Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eggstravaganza--Easter 2011

This year, as in years past, we had a fun, busy Easter that began with the Clifford family dinner at Jeremy's Aunt Kristin's house. We had a super yummy dinner and an Easter egg hunt with all the children. Merrick found the special "golden egg" with $10 in it. He was very excited to find such a big egg.

Lollie and Grandpa brought Merrick some bunny ears to wear and he looked as cute as can be.

On Easter, the Easter Bunny visited our house and left us some surprises. Merrick got finger puppets, sidewalk chalk and bubbles but by far his favorite surprise was was the Thomas video. He did not want to put it down to see what else was in his basket.

After baskets we had an Easter egg hunt in our backyard. Merrick loved looking for eggs so much that we ended up having three different egg hunts over the course of the day. It also did not take him long to figure out the he really liked what was inside the eggs too.

At the end of the day, however, Easter is not about the bunny, the eggs, or the candy. It is hard to teach a 19 month-old the true meaning of Easter, but we did try. Merrick may not really understand what Jesus did for him, but he does know who Jesus is. On the way home from church Merrick had the tightest grip on the picture of Jesus that he colored at church. He looked at it and said "That's my Jesus. I color my Jesus". As he grows he will learn more and more about Jesus and just exactly why we celebrate Easter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pat's Run

As I mentioned before, Jeremy and I have been working so hard running three times a week to prepare for the Pat Tillman Run. As race day approached I became more and more nervous and wondered what I had gotten myself into. Jeremy was excited and I tried to be as excited as he was.

This past Saturday was race day. We had to be up at 5:45am to be out the door by 6. Grandpa and Lollie came over to stay with Merrick so he would not have to be up so early. We headed out and took the light rail to downtown Tempe. Merrick woke up soon after and they headed down to meet us.

The race started just after 7 and by the time we got there some racers had already started. In fact, the fastest runners (like the ones who finished the 4.2 miles in 20 mins.) were already done before we started. There were 28,000 runners and it was the largest timed race in Arizona history. We somehow got caught up in some of the racers starting and ended up starting before the group we were supposed to run with, but the pace was good and I think we actually started with a good group for us.

The course wrapped through downtown Tempe and over Tempe Town Lake. There were a few more hills than I would have hoped for, but it was a nice day and it was amazing to see the sea of people both ahead and behind us. I said from the time we decided to do this that I did not expect myself to run the entire thing, but that I did want to run at least 3 miles. We did stop to walk a few times, but figured that we ran about 3.5 miles.

In the end I was pleased with how much we ran, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed myself, and more than anything I am surprised that I want to do it again.


Riding the light rail and waiting

Finish line and post-race

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Little Sports Fan

Over the last few weeks Merrick has become interested in watching cartoons. He will pick up the remote and say "I want to watch toons". There are times though when Jeremy will be watching a game and does not really want to change the channel. We started telling him that they are "daddy's toons" and that usually pacifies him. He will either go find a toy or watch for a minute, but he has not really been too interested in "daddy's toons".

Last week the NCAA championship game was on, which means the tv was on in the evening, a true rarity. Jeremy and I were in the kitchen and Merrick hopped up on the couch and settled in. I guess he decided to take advantage of this extra tv time and see what "daddy's toons" are all about.

A few days later Merrick got to see "daddy's toons" in person when we went to Uncle Garret's volleyball game. Garret did an amazing job and Merrick loved to clap and say "yeah Uncle Gaga". He did get a little restless as the game wore on. Luckily Grandpa was there to walk him around and keep him occupied.

Maybe one day Merrick will turn out to be as big a sports fan as his daddy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Final Thoughts

We have been home from our trip to Portland for over a week so I guess it is time to wrap up my thoughts from the trip. Far and away the best part of the trip was spending time with family. While Merrick gets to see pictures and talk to his Nana, Papa, aunts, uncles, and cousins on the phone, it is entirely different to see them in person. Merrick was a little shy in the beginning. My favorite quote on the subject came from my niece Lauren who said "Merrick and I are like this (showing her fingers crossed). Well, actually he does not like me, but I want to be like that".

Eventually Merrick did warm up to everyone. Our last night in town Merrick finally turned the corner with Papa. All he wanted to do our last night was sit on Papa's lap and read his favorite book. I finally pried him away, way after bedtime, crying for more. First thing the next morning he was right back on Papa's lap with Toby and his book.

Just when we were all getting settled in, it was time to go home. We were all sad to leave, but hopefully we will be back soon.