September 2, 2013

From Mountains to Corn Country

[Our little pirate baby during a Labor Day picnic]
 
 
Well, we finally made it back to good old Iowa! We spent our last weekend in Oregon meeting up with Ryan, Stephanie and their boys Clayton and Brody (Brandan's oldest brother and his family) at Crater Lake National Park for some exploring, then Bend, OR for a trail race I had registered for. We saw Crater Lake (which is HUGE and BEAUTIFUL by the way!), roamed around near Prospect, OR where there is a "Natural Bridge," aka a lava tube that water runs through, the Avenue of Giant Boulders, a really pretty, tall waterfall, and a super yummy pie shop! Luckily, the boys and Kaiya did pretty well keeping themselves entertained and running around so we could see a lot of stuff in a very short amount of time.
 
 
["Natural Bridge"]
 
[Brandan & Kaiya, Steph, Brody, Ryan & Clay at the waterfall]
 
[Crater Lake :)]
 
 
The Haulin' Aspen Trail race was one that I will probably not repeat. It was a half marathon race up and then back down a mountain in Bend, OR. It was a really beautiful trail and it was really fun seeing the different kinds of people and runners who do trail runs. I was so nervous because I had only practiced on trails twice previous and was using this race as a midway adrenaline rush before the DSM full marathon in October (in Oregon, most of the runs are on trails, so I had limited options for my time frame for a half). I did much better than expected, coming in at 2 hrs 17 mins and 5th in my division (and I even had to stop off the side behind a bush to pee halfway through!), but HOLY COW - there was quite a bit of walk-age going up the steep hills and then coming down on jagged rock paths! It made me feel a lot better once I started though because it wasn't just in-shape granolas running or hardcore buff guys, but a mix of people who just love nature and love running. Anyway, but it was way more exciting coming across that finish line with not only my hubby and baby girl, but his brother's family!
 
 
[About 3 miles left during the race!]
 
 
After our adventuresome weekend Brandan finished out his last week of internship and we packed our things up into the car and headed back east. We were in the car for an entire day and spent a few days with my Grandma Robertson in Idaho helping her out around the house and visiting several of my cousins and friends who still live nearby. I also made a huge adjustment in getting my hair chopped off! When I was pregnant and even still now, my hair began growing crazy fast (which is maybe a normal speed since it never grew before!), so I've been feeling more and more exploratory with it. My cousin Aubree did a great job chopping my long curls into a short A-line cut that A) Kaiya can't grab, B) is quick and easy to style each day, and C) actually looks cute with curly hair!
 
We then drove all day to Wyoming to visit our friends who are temporarily living in a very small, dinky cow town in the middle of nowhere, and then made our way to Omaha, NE to visit Tyson and Jackie and their little man for the weekend. It helped a lot to take our sweet time driving that far - I feel like Kaiya did awesome in her carseat and was well-rested. It really helped to take lots of breaks so our little mobile baby could crawl and climb to let our some energy in between long stretches.
 
Just a few weeks ago Kaiya officially became mobile - she now crawls everywhere and climbs up onto everything. I feel so sorry for her little head, which is now constantly covered in at least one if not three or four bruises! She has also learned how to whine and cry with a really, REALLY sad, high-pitched sound so that you can't help but pick her up and do anything to make her happy again. Of course sometimes it's really sweet and I love comforting her, but she is definitely learning to play the field with us! It also doesn't help us determine how serious her hurt actually is because she is teething hardcore and getting use to a new climate and bedroom too! We can't help but smile when she starts to fuss in her crib and we walk in to see her standing up, holding onto the crib bars like a little criminal :). Our baby girl is growing up!
 
[Brandan is eager to start his last block of classes, but he will miss his lazy, study-free evenings!]
 
[Our mobile baby!]
 
[My sweet ole' Grandma for our 4 generation picture - sorry you couldn't be there in person mama!]