Sunday, October 30, 2016

sunsets and fall foliage

For the last month I've become semi obsessed with sunsets. I don't really know why, besides the obvious, that's they're beautiful and remind me of the One I love. It might have started with this first sunset.

I noticed the light outside had gone all pink and thought I'd climb the hill to the east behind our house to get a fuller view. 

We live in a kind of bowl so we don't have that great of views, but this night even from our back yard it was pretty amazing.  

I guess I got hooked after that sky-on-fire kind of night so the following evening I hoped to catch another amazing sunset. Didn't happen. But the neighbor's tree was pretty in the evening golden light.

Again the following night I went outside with hopes of an orange and pink sky but once more, it didn't happen. Thought it was still pretty lighting up my sweet sensation clematis from behind. All beauty reminds me of Him.

Denise and I went mountain biking one Thursday night, October 6, and as we came down the western side of M Hill the sun was so bright, blinding us right at eye level. 

The next week as we drove to small group southwest of town I brought my camera along hoping to catch a bright sky. The sky was indeed amazing as we climbed the hill but we missed the most intense light - still good though, especially since this was taken from the inside of our moving van!

The next weekend, October 15, Denise and I again biked up M Hill real quick. I had remembered a beautiful blur of yellow as we came flying down the front of M Hill and had told Denise I wanted to stop and take a picture. And that is what I did. However, I didn't recall those power lines in the way... 

Right when we reached the bottom of the trail just before the bridge, this huge cottonwood tree filled all my vision. And it was gorgeous! 

Two nights later (Monday, October 17), there were a bunch of clouds in the sky and I thought perhaps the sun would light them up. So I took the dogs for a walk along with my camera (we were dog sitting Bo for my folks who were out of town for my cousin's wedding in Wisconsin). There were too many thick clouds to illuminate since a thunderstorm had just passed over. I love thunderstorms and to have one this late in October felt like a treat. 
Looking above Stevens.

This was the best sunset light I caught. 

I had walked up 44th street and where the sky finally opens up I could see across to dinosaur hill and spotted some pink over there. 

I thought maybe if I waited a little bit the clouds would light up more so I dilly dallied in this field next to the high school parking lot. Pretty trees! 

I wanted to run out there and frolic with the dogs but I didn't know if I was allowed. It's National Guard land again. 

The following day (Tuesday October 18) I had some time to kill with the littles during Noah and Evie's hour of piano lessons. I didn't want to go home for several reasons so we went just across the street to Canyon Lake park. I was bored while the boys were playing so I wandered over to the nearest pond and just started taking pictures with my phone. It was a cloudy day and I wished I my Canon, but the leaves were beautiful.

The boys wandered over to play with the water and I was glad because I think pictures are more interesting with people in them. 

"Say cheese boys!" 

I had been admiring that huge yellow cottonwood for about a week. It was so perfectly yellow!

I walked over towards the yellow tree and looked up the bike path toward the spillway.

I love the big huge trees. In the winter I often imagine how their roots are mirror images of their naked limbs and branches. I like how the branches point up to heaven, reaching for the sun, just like I reach for the Son. Every living thing looks up, and for good reason. 

Here's that yellow tree with some of its neighbor's branches hanging down, adding to the general color. I made this my phone wallpaper because I liked it so much. 

We walked around the pond and headed back to the car. The sun came out and lit up another big tree.

That evening the clouds cleared up enough to give a decent sunset. 

Just this last Tuesday the 24th I walked up the hill again in hopes. All I caught were these sunbeams but I liked them nonetheless. This was the night our neighbor investigated me with her binoculars. Ha! 

The following night, Wednesday, I had gone out to the yard at sunset and seen no color. I was in a hurry anyway to get to church for Awana and Youth Group. Fifteen minutes later however, I had to pull off on the road because the sky had indeed turned pink. Looking north. 

Looking south.  

"The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands" (Psalm 19:1)

"and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion, 
which shall not pass away, 
and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14)

Jesus refers to himself as this son of man, a title that used to confuse me. But I like to look up into the sky and imagine Him coming. I eagerly await His coming. Maranatha!

"Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:30)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Terry and Jazmin's Crazy Horse half marathon

On Sunday, October 9, 2016 Terry and Jazmin ran their second half marathon together. The first one I took part in, but because of unceasing IT band knee pain, I wanted a long break from running. These two were more than ready for more though, obviously, so they signed right up.

Terry continued training right after our Deadwood half marathon in June. One Friday a month before the race Terry wanted to do a long run but I didn't want to sit at home and wait. So we all went! I pulled the two little boys behind the bike and Noah and Evie rode themselves. We all had our work cut out for us to keep up with daddy.

One week before the race, the six of us plus Chris and Jazmin, drove up to Crazy Horse to do a long practice run. 

It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. 

Even though Samuel learned how to pedal his bike back in June, he couldn't get himself started. He figured it out on this 10 mile ride though. It was all downhill so that made it easier for him to start and by the end it didn't matter if he was up or downhill - he finally had it figured out.

Chris took this picture of me and the boys one time we passed him. He was a great help with Samuel. If I was stuck behind with Ezra, Chris would help Samuel out. Plus he made Noah and Evie feel a bit safer since daddy had driven back down to Hill City and was running up towards us. 

About six miles into our ride and four into Terry's run, we finally passed each other. 

Jazmin will never again eat mac and cheese before a run - her stomach hurt her a lot.

Fast forward to Saturday, October 8 when I made a special pasta meal for carbo loading. 

It was seriously the best fettucini alfredo I've ever had or made. 

On race day morning David drove Terry and Jazmin up to Crazy Horse since I didn't want to get the kids up at 5am. Fist bump.

 Fist bump explosion. What a sunrise right?!!

What a gorgeous picture thanks to David! 

There he is :) 

About the time the sun was coming up at 7am we were finishing breakfast. I sent Terry this picture when he said they had arrived.

The race started at 8am sharp and they were ready to go.

We arrived just as the first runners were coming down the road from the Crazy Horse parking lot. It was only 8:24am or so when Terry showed up. He's wearing the lime green shirt to the far left.

We only had to hang out five minutes or so and Jazmin and a whole crew of others came into view. Go Jazmin! Unfortunately that was the only time we saw Jazmin until the end. 

We got back on the highway and could see Terry running along the road. At the first intersecting road, I pulled off and drove down a bit to this bridge. Terry crossed it after not long! 

The next intersection we had to wait a little bit at. But once I decided to climb down the hill, there was Terry coming out from under the highway. 

Next we pulled off at exactly the same place where we had passed Terry on our bike ride.  

It was so fun to cheer him on. WAY more fun than running.

Pretty much right around the corner was another pull off and I took it. At this point I could tell Terry was very tired. Afterwards he said I was right and that his legs just left heavy. 

A few miles outside of Hill City the Mick crosses over the highway. 

We pulled off one more time before the finish line.  

It sure went fast from our point of view! 

We parked in Hill City and not long at all later Terry came in to view at the top of the road. 

Go daddy go!!! 

His time was actually a bit less since he didn't cross the starting line until a few seconds after the clock began. 

We let him breath a bit and then went forward to congratulate him. 

Shortly thereafter we got back in the van to drive back up the highway in search of Jazmin. I felt bad we hadn't seen her but the course was such that we couldn't track both of them. However, we could not find her. The racers started to be walkers and we figured she was in front of us somewhere too far away to see. So we went back to Hill City and it was a lucky thing. Truly, as soon as we arrived, there she was.

Go Jazzy go!

Daw, what good runners they are. 

Fist bump. 

Fist bump explosion. 

Terry had been on a pop fast since April before our first half marathon and he continued it all summer. He was so ready for a Coke. 

Just like last time, he played dead. 

Jazmin's family came up to cheer her on! 

Jazmin crushed her previous time. She improved her pace by 30 seconds! Most likely because I wasn't there to hold her back! Ha! 

Terry improved his overall time by 3 seconds. He was bummed but I think he did amazing. 

He earned that Coke! 

Oh yeah!