Saturday, May 28, 2011


This is a journaly post, so Choose Your Own Adventure: (anyone else love those books growing up?)
To see pics, just scroll down.
To know why I did this triathlon, continue reading.

Memory 1:

I was young... maybe 7, 8, 9 years old? It was the last day of my swimming lessons at Mission pool and to be tested and "pass" our class, we had to swim from one end of the pool to the other and back, freestyle, one at a time. I remember kind of doing it, but then half way back I stopped and sputtered and threw up all the water on the side of the pool that I had swallowed on the first half. I'm pretty sure I failed those swimming lessons. I just wasn't coordinated enough to get the breathing and other motions lined up.

Memory 2:
Fast forward to the first day of Girl's Camp and I'm now an awkward 12 year old girl, standing among many other awkward 12 year old girls, listening to instructions for all the newbies. "All first year girls have to pass a swim test before they can play in the water this week." Crap. My heart sank. All I had to do was swim out around the dock and back, but I was terrified.

So there I stood in my swim suit, knee-deep in the lake water, just waiting to get up the guts to take the test as all the other girls passed me. I played the "Oh burr, the water's so cold, I think I'll go in slow" card, and before I knew it, all the girls had passed and were swimming and playing. The lady with the clipboard who was keeping track of swim test passers left and I was still dry, thigh-high in the water now. I never did pass that stupid test all 6 years I was there.

Memory 3:
I was maybe 14? 15? And I was with my friends Katie and Emily at their family reunion. We were swimming and all I remember is that they wanted to swim out to a dock, or to another beach or something, and I couldn't do it! I had to make sure I was touching the whole time, or had a floating toy to hold on to.

Memory 4:
A glob of memories of swimming through out my teens and twenties, having to plug my nose before going under water, not being able to dive, and being terribly afraid of the deep end of the pool. By now I have just accepted that I don't swim and I don't love the water.

Fast forward to February 20011 when my sister Erin calls. The conversation went something like this:

Erin: "So I have an idea of something fun that all us sisters can do together"

Kristi: "Ok - sounds good! What are you thinking? (thinking she would say something like a cruise... a girl's weekend somewhere warm... etc).

Erin: Let's all do a triathlon together!

Kristi: I laughed out loud. This is not my idea of "fun" to do with my sisters. "You're crazy. You realize I don't swim right? At all. As in I failed swimming lesson as a child."

Erin tried to reassure me but I wasn't convinced at all.
I wrote off the idea and wasn't planning on doing it, but it kept bugging me.

Finally one night I was rocking Lincoln and just thinking. I remember the following thought process:

My sister is crazy. But that would actually be really cool to be able to say I've done a triathlon. But there's no way. I really don't want to do it. But why? I like doing 5 k's. And Ben can train me on cycling. It sounds so intimidating. I feel nervous right now just even thinking about it. I feel panicked right now. But why? Fear. But why? Fear of making a fool out of myself. Fear of the water. Fear of drowning? I can't let fear hold me back. I don't want to be afraid. I can't always operate out of fear. I need to overcome this. Why not learn how to swim? I can't not do this just because of fear. Fear is the opposite of faith.

So I decided right then that I would do the triathlon, regardless of my fears. Gulp.

Luckily I have a pass to 24 hour fitness where there is a pool. I tried a couple times to go and just discretely observe other swimmers as I was using the kick board. Then as those swimmers vacated and I was positive I was all by myself, I tried what they were doing, bit by bit.

I remember after a couple times of doing this, I actually swam from one end to the other without stopping (only a 25 yard pool) and I immediately turned around, stood in the water, threw my arms in the air (kind of like Michael Phelps would :-) and jumped up and down in the water with the biggest smile and tearing up I actually yelled, "I did it!". I'm pretty sure I was the only one there... I hope. :-)

Then one Sunday during the Relief Society Good News Minute I decided to share the fact that my sister pressured me into doing a traithlon but that I had no idea how to swim. And immediately after I said that, a girl piped up from across the room, "I'll teach you!" I was astounded. "Seriously? You will? That would be GREAT!"

Luckily, this girl who offered to help (Ashley) goes to the same gym as me so that worked out well. She met with me for about a month a couple times a week teaching me technique and motivating me. I was so grateful to have someone willing to spend their time in helping me learn something so basic. It was humbling to go every time and talk to the swimmers around us as they asked about what we were doing. And it was amazing how many people offered help and advice as I opened up and talked to other swimmers.

Anyway, I am still not a great swimmer. I am slow and still have to rest between laps and do the back stroke. But bottom line? I CAN SWIM! I don't have to plug my nose. I still have an aversion to deep water, but it's not nearly as bad as it was a few months ago.

The funny thing is Erin and Mindy ended up not being able to travel down here for the triathlon and Andy has chosen to do another tri. So I was on my own for this one, but I still wanted to follow through because this was bigger for me than just doing a triathlon. It was proving to myself that I can learn something new and overcome my fears.

So now for the triathlon details...

The triathlon was last weekend - Women of Steel tri in American Fork. It's women only and caps off at 1000, there were about 750 who actually participated.

It consisted of a 300 meter swim, 12 mile bike and 3 mile run.

My goal was sub 2 hours and my final time was 1 hr 39 min - whohoo!

That morning I woke up at 5:30. I packed the night before and was ready to go. Left for AF at 6:15.

6:30 Arrived. set up my transition area and got body marked. Ate a banana, drank a coconut water. Checked out the pool one more time.

It was warm by now and not a cloud was in the sky (this is amazing because this was the only day out of the week that it didn't rain). Had it rained, they would have changed it to a duathalon (run, bike, run) and I would have been super disappointed.

7:50 athletes piled into the pool area and 8 am swim portion started.

It was 8:53 by the time I entered the pool, and there were still 1/4 of the women left.

The swim was great - I wasn't nervous at all, until about 5 second before hitting the water. They had women entering the water every 10 seconds, which was great. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I thought it would be.

Coming out of the swim, running to transition. My legs were jello here and transition felt way too short.

Coming out of transition, ready to mount for the biking portion. I ate (more like gagged down) my goo as soon as I got on the bike. I could really feel this kick in - beautiful!

Logan entertained himself with sticks and his blue bike that he brought along.

I don't know if this was as I was going by to start the second bike loop, or if I was done at this point.
The bike portion was awesome. By far my strongest leg of the tri. The bike loop was uphill the first half and a gentle downhill the second half, and the loop was 6 mi long so we did two loops total.
My average speed uphill was about 13 mph and down hill was about 22, and got up to 28. I was praying the whole time to (1) not flat because stopping to repair a flat would put my time over 2 hours and (2) to not wreck. :-)

Walking into the transition area to get ready for the run. Legs were super jello at this point.
Stopped for a fast bathroom break in transition and took off.
As soon as I started running my legs were fine, but my left side cramped up and lasted the entire 5 k. I prayed at the beginning of the run that it would go away. It didn't. Finally I adjusted my prayer to ask that I would be able to deal with it and run well anyway. And that's what happened. Taking the advice of a returning athlete, I took a slow pace for recovery the first mile (uphill) and then pushed hard the last two miles (flat and downhill).

This is while they were waiting for me at the finish line. I'm sure that cone was supposed to be somewhere important. Oh well. :-)

Sprint to the finish line (well it felt like a sprint... it probably looked like a slow jog though)

The finish line. Once again tears welled up as I crossed. This was the proudest I've been of myself in a while.

My cheering section. Dave and Jera were in town that weekend, so Jera came and helped Ben with the boys and cheered me on. It made a world of difference knowing I had someone there pulling for me.

Robin Knowlton (Andy's sister-in-law) and me afterwards.

This was my transition area afterward. A mess. And you can't see it, but a trick is to tie a balloon to the pole so you can locate your place quickly during each transition phase.

This tri was super fun and well organized. And even more, it sounds silly, but this really was a huge obstacle for me to overcome and I did it. I think I'm hooked!

Swim portion: 10:28
Trasition #1: 3:40 (kinda slow)
Bike: 47:53
Transition #2: 2:44
Run: 34:52

Total time 1:39:40 - 56th place in division out of 89. Not too bad.

Lessons learned?
It's never too late to overcome fears.
Sometimes it pays to open your mouth and talk. You never know when someone is willing to help.
Faith is stronger than fear.
Triathlon only has one "a" (a.k.a., NOT triathAlon)
Confidence comes in doing. Acting. Practicing.
Prayers are answered, over and over.
Power Bar Gels are disgusting.
I love cycling.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


We're not huge concert people. We like them when we go, but never really go that often. The last concert we went to was John Mayer a few years ago, and before that was a Beatles 1964 The Tribute during our BYU-Idaho days. :-) Oh wait, actually that's a lie... we went to The Stadium of Fire for free (thanks Kaye!) a couples years ago that featured Shedaisy & The Jonas Brothers, but we only knew a couple of the (Shedaisy) songs.

So last night we broke out of the mold once again and went to the U2 360 Tour concert here in Salt Lake City. We're both huge U2 fans and listened to it (a lot) when we were dating (right Nate?) so we decided it was finally time for us to go to one of their shows.

It was at the Rice Eccles Stadium and they had a huge contraption (called The Claw) set up. It was an awesome stage and venue and an amazing performance. Luckily the rain cleared up just on time for the show and held out the whole night!

The Fray opened for them - here they are performing

The Fray played from about 7 pm to 8 and then it took a whole hour for U2 to come on... talk about anticipation. Finally smoke was released from the huge tower on top of the claw and they came out.

There were a couple of bridges that extended from the main stage to the outer perimeter stage, but the cool thing is that the bridges moved and rotated around the whole stage.

We originally purchased tickets in the stadium seating but as soon as U2 came on and the bass started pounding our chests we couldn't help but move down into general admission. There was tons of room down there and we had an awesome view.
Here's our view of The Claw and stage from the floor

Half way through the show the lcd screen extended all the way down to engulf the band

Up close shots of Bono walking by on the perimeter stage

My left ear hasn't completely recovered yet but we're so, so glad we went - it was so amazing to see them perform live. What a party it was!

Here are some clips that we got:

Until The End Of The World (you can see The Edge crossing the moving bridge as he's soloing)

With Or Without You (the big circular thing that Bono was swinging around was a mic that came down toward the end of the show)

Sunday Bloody Sunday (one of my favorites)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Finally Four

Happy Birthday Logan Berry!

Logan turned four yesterday. I'm not one to wish away precious time with my little ones, anxiously waiting for them to grow up, but man this year was different.

Logan's third year proved to be the hardest thus far, for sure. There were many tantrums, many time outs and many tears of frustration on both parts. But then it seems like just a month or two ago, he turned a corner! He's all of a sudden older, bigger, smarter, more understanding, a little less crazy and a better brother. But regardless of how hard year three was, I would do it all over again.

Logan has such a personality and it has been so fun to see it evolving this year. There's never a dull moment with this guy.

Here are some fun Logan facts:

He has to stand on the porch and wave bye to Ben every morning as he drives away for work. But instead of just regular waving, he waves either the "I Love You" sign or the "Hook 'em Horns" sign with his hand.

He's an early riser, usually waking up around 6:30 every morning.

He loves Curious George. That's usually the first thing he does every morning; wanders out and navigates his way through our Tivo menu to turn on the most recently recorded Curious George episode.

Logan LOVES to dress up. He has lots of different costumes that he's usually changing in and out of through out the day.

He is a cowboy, through and through. He usually insists on wearing his boots and cowboy hat. Everyday. Everywhere. It takes a lot of negotiating to get him to wear his regular shoes.

If one of us is sick and doesn't feel good, then he'll offer to get us a glass of water, insisting that it will make us feel better.

He's crazy good at puzzles. Loves puzzles and games (especially Don't Break the Ice).

Loves surprises ("Presizes") and often asks for Ben to bring home a "presize" from work for him.

Loves dancing (especially dancing like a cowboy, stomping with his boots in the kitchen).

Loves to sing and will make up little songs. And he can finally follow a melody now. :-)

He is inseparable with his blue bike. He pushes himself everywhere on that thing.

Loves setting the table and helping in the kitchen. He'll usually help set the table without being asked.

Still takes a great nap (holding on to that as long as I can... )

Is a coloring/writing fool. He writes his name on everything and loves to draw. He's starting to sound words out.

He's a skinny minny. I swear he's weighed 35 lbs forever.

Talks loud. Talks A LOT. Especially at the dinner table.

Still loves the Wizard of Oz and listens to the soundtrack every night as he falls asleep. My You Tube favorites is clogged with mini clips from the Wizard of Oz.

Loves to race with Lincoln to see who can get jammies on the fastest at night.

Loves doughnuts.

Eating Peeps with Dad (gag)

Robot Logan

Pure boy

I woke up one morning to find this. He got them out, sorted and assembled these all by himself.

In this video Logan wanted me to sit and be his audience. I thought he was just singing/conducting one song, but then continued to sing two more.

I caught him doing his cowboy dancing. Don't ask about the music... I love that song and it's on my "Cleaning Music" play list. :-)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dear Gigantic World of Min Vans,

You are much cooler than I thought you were.

I think we'll fit in with your crowd just fine now.

Especially with this:

And these guys to go inside:

Please accept my apology for thinking very bad things of you in the past. I haven't always loved how you looked in the past, and how much room you hog on the road, and how slow some of your drivers go. And I certainly haven't always wanted to belong to your club.

But I take it all back. Perhaps you've come up in the world? Perhaps you have much cooler features now that will make my life SO much easier? Or maybe it's because I have entered the world of goobery children and crave simplicity and ease?

Either way, I bow down and kiss your tires. I'm converted.

Cheers to many, many miles of long road trips (in comfort!) that await us.

Sincerely Yours,
A very happy mom of two who needed more space (and keyless entry :-)

Monday, May 9, 2011


"It's a snug! A disgusting snug..."

We found this slimy guy on our front door when Logan opened it to wave to Ben as he left for work this morning.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Happy Birthday

A couple days after Linc's birthday, we had a family party for him.

Waiting for everyone to arrive. He loves balloons and balls, so we made the party "Ball" themed. That's why you see a couple balls on the floor behind him.

Who was there...


Aunt Andy and birthday guy



Then we ate. I made Cafe Rio salads that turned out a little time-consuming, but delicious! (Thanks for the recipes Megan!)
What a weirdo.

Grandma Kaye

Then it was cake time... the best part by far.

Lincoln's ball cake and smash cake. Also time-intensive, but worth it!

Lincoln had no hesitancy when it came to the cake. He tasted a little frosting first before he realized what was under all that frosting and little dots.

The end result.

All the kids eating cake too.

Then after a quick bath, Linc "opened" presents and Logan helped. A lot.
More balloons.

It was so fun to share his 1st birthday with family. Happy Birthday Lincoln!