Thursday, May 29, 2008

Darcy's First Tinkle

If we could be out of diapers by Iceland, I will be one happy mommy. One tinkle at a time...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday, Darcy!


"Enjoy the Little Things in life, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things"
--Robert Bradt

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bed and Breakfast

I feel so behind on blogging. So many things happen that I don't get a chance to record, and being the perfectionist that I am, that irritates me immensely. But, I have thought of a theme that encompasses a few events, so I will go with that. In May, we had an Icelander, Siggy, visit with us during his stay in the states. Siggy is very intelligent, articulate, and asks tons of questions. I love having him around because I usually have similar questions, but I get made fun of for asking them. It's also very funny to listen to Colby talk to Siggy (or any Icelander for that matter) because he doesn't use any contractions when he speaks. When Siggy was here, we had the chance to go to The Screwtape Letters in D.C. with a group of young adults and youth (Thank you, Pelts, for watching our kids). Our next house guest was Colby's sister, Brooke who stayed with us so she could run the Half marathon in Fredericksburg. Brooke helped Colby make a cookie-ice cream cake which was a highlight of my birthday. Two days later, Colby's childhood friend, Josh Dickinson stayed with us so that he could attend the WhiteBoard Sessions on Thursday. When Josh first sat down next to Darcy at dinner, she was ballistic, but an hour later, he had won her heart and they were playing together. I hadn't seen Josh in years, but he made me feel like it was just yesterday that we were in college together. The day after he left, my college roommate, Tracy Hoare-Wu came to visit for the weekend. Tracy and I are able to connect and have heart-to-heart talks no matter how long its been since we've seen each other. She encouraged me to pursue my dream and write a book. Our next guest is my brother, Andrew, who I have not seen in almost two years. Haley Jane has enjoyed sleeping on our floor this month in her butterfly sleeping bag.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Best Birthday Present

Yesterday, May 18th, was my 28th birthday and the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon. When I heard about this event last winter, I really wanted to participate, but Colby (the wise man that he is), counseled me not to. He knows that I am very competitive and intense and if I tried to train for a half-marathon, I would stress myself out. He thought that being in grad school was enough work for this spring. Smart man. Fast forward to last weekend. The Pelts were over and learned of my desire to run this race. Yes, the Pelts deserve credit for many things in our lives (my first job, our townhouse, our blog...), and now we have one more thing to add to the list. Jason had access to an extra number for the race and I could officially run it. I couldn't believe it. I had two dreams the next two nights about this race: 1) that I was able to run the entire race (I have never run 13.1 miles in my entire life, and 2) that I couldn't finish and I had to ride a bus with a bunch of people back to the finish line.

I started training on Tuesday, went to our neighbor's track meet on Thursday where I got inspired, and was excited to participate in this race with Brooke (Colby's sister) when Sunday morning came. Here are highlights from the race (Mile markers are approximate):

Start: The Gun went off and I had to wait maybe 5 minutes before I even crossed the start line (there were 6500 people in the race).

Mile 1: So much fun. People everywhere cheering and ringing cow bells throughout Central Park. I couldn't stop smiling. It felt like the whole community was out cheering us on. So many flags and t-shirts proclaiming "Running in Memory of..." that I began to cry. It was so inspirational and I felt so honored to be there.

I begin to wonder if I will be able to really finish this whole thing (I usually only run 2-3 miles 3x a week). There is a rather large man wearing a kilt next to me. I decide that if I stick with him, I should be okay.

Mile 2: I have to go to the bathroom really bad and spot a port-a-potty. There is 1 person in line and after wasting precious time waiting, I decide that I didn't need a toilet. I went behind a big hill of dirt and just as I was about to go, I saw a man coming who had the same idea as me. (For a moment, I thought this man was Ray Brown and I panicked). Darn it...I contemplate just peeing on myself as I continue to run.

Mile 3: I hadn't spotted any mile markers yet, so I asked a man next to me, "Hey, do you know if we've run 1 mile yet?" Everyone around me started laughing...apparently we were almost to the 3 mile mark. I couldn't even feel the pavement under my feet I was on such a high.

Mile 4: IPOD time. It was me, Bono, and the colors of sunrise as U2's "It's a Beautiful Day" filled the landscape.

The only thing that is holding myself back from peeing down my leg is the fact that I have to ride in Brooke's car on the way home and I'm not sure there would be anything to sit on. Also, I knew Jason would make fun of me because that is only something people do if they are in the running to WIN the race. Running with a full bladder is UNCOMFORTABLE.

Mile 5: So much downhill. I let the hill carry me down as I passed groups of people. I couldn't understand why everyone was going SO SLOW on all the downhills. I am enjoying seeing parts of the city I had never seen before.

Mile 6: I still haven't seen the first mile marker yet. (That is why this mile-by-mile-account is VERY approximate). I think that I see Mr. Rogers. I decide that I am hallucinating and stop to stretch my tight calves.

Mile 7: I finally get to go to the bathroom. I see the mile marker for mile 7...I haven't run 7 miles since 1998.

Mile 8: Old Town favorite place. They hand out special "power jelly beans" packets and I grab one of each flavor. I walk for a little bit while I enjoy the snack. I was horrified by how many people threw nearly full bags of jelly beans away on the ground. I wished I had a backpack to salvage them all (they were really good jelly bellys).

I don't like the fact that people are passing me and I start to jog again. Seeing Kristen Marks singing at the Library gave me an extra jolt.

Mile 9: The Rappahannock river and some prayer time...I turned off the IPOD so I could enjoy the harp music, the civil war re-enactors, and various musicians lining the river. I alternate walking with running every few minutes.

Mile 10: The canal trail. This was so relaxing. I keep pace with some SWAT team officers who are running in memory of a sergeant who died a few weeks ago. I chatted with them for awhile.
I hear my high school track coach's voice in the back of my head: "If you're talking, you're obviously not working very hard, Anne Haley! Pick up the pace!" I realize that I only have 3 miles left and leave the SWAT team behind. I see a speed walker ahead and determine that I will not let a speed-walker beat me in a half-marathon.

Mile 11: I see Mr. Rogers again. I kept waiting for the hill that Colby had warned us about (we drove past it the day before). As we ran past the hospital, I came to the realization that I was ON the hill (Colby didn't know what he was talking about the day before). I realized how little I had been pushing myself for the last 11 miles because I had a lot left. Passion worship music is on the IPOD. "Your grace is enough..."

A woman had pinned a few pictures and names on the back of her shirt and had written, "I have angels running with me." I began to tear up and started to run beside her so I could communicate how moving her shirt was. Just as I began to talk, she turned and spit on my shoe. She apologized, and I decided to just focus on finishing strong.

Mile 12: I had to stop and go to the bathroom again. When I came out, the stinkin' power walker and SWAT team guys were ahead of me. I regret not peeing on myself.

I start to pick up the pace and feel, for the first time, like I am really working hard. I pass the power walker for the final time.

Mile 13: We are running through Central Park again. This was my fastest mile. I passed the SWAT team guys (which felt really good--I'm not going to lie) and crossed the finish line. I look for Mr. Rogers so I can give him a hug. No luck. I don't see anyone I know. It was slightly anti-climactic to finish such an exhilarating race and have no one to celebrate with. I jog through to the Expo Center where I wait for a free massage. There are few things in life that feel as good as a professional massage after running 13.1 miles.

I will never know my exact time because I didn't have a chip in my shoe, but it was 2:24 minus however many minutes it took to get to the start line at the beginning. I am guessing my time was a 2:20. Today I am feeling sore and irritable (so,go easy on Jason, hurts)., but I am so thankful for such an awesome experience. I think I have found a new hobby!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hvath heitir pu?

I realized yesterday when I was talking to my mom and she asked the big question that not everyone has heard the official news yet: Yes, we received a letter from the IMB when we arrived home from Boston and we have been approved to be missionaries to Iceland. So now it has been confirmed and we are getting serious about renting our house and applying for a VISA. Today I also made a decision to start teaching Haley and Darcy Icelandic. I have been fighting this for a long time. Instead of teaching them the language that they will be exposed to in 5 months, I have been immersing them in Spanish videos, Spanish music, Spanish literature, and Spanish conversation. Ever since I learned to speak Spanish in middle school, I have had countless opportunities to use it. Kids learn languages so quickly, so I am trying to give them the opportunity to become fluent early on. For the last six months I've been making excuses for why I can't/won't teach them Icelandic (I don't speak it myself, only 300,000 people in the world speak it and it won't be that useful in the long run, they can teach their little friends English instead of learning Icelandic), but last night I came to the realization that I am doing them an injustice not preparing them for this new environment. Every single child will speak Icelandic (they don't learn English until they are 9, right Dagny?) and I want to give them an opportunity to make friends. So, I got out my Teach Yourself Icelandic textbook and started going over phrases with Kitty Ashley and Haley today (while Darcy slept in till 1:00 p.m. recovering from a cold). I spent maybe 3 minutes on introductory conversation phrases, so I was shocked when I overheard Haley Jane and Kitty Ashley conversing later. "Hvath heitir pu?" Haley asked as kitty responded in her high-pitched voice, "Eg heiti Kitty Ashley." I was floored. I have been afraid of confusing them with too many languages, but they are actually able to create more categories of information and distinguish between them (or so says my linguistic friend, Heather Sagan Zealand.) One thing from our conference that really struck me was that God has not just called Colby and I to be missionaries, but he has called Haley Jane and Darcy Lane as well. God is going to use them as well in special ways during our time there, and I guess it's my job to start preparing them for that now. If anyone happens to come across any Icelandic teaching material for children, let us know!

I love digital media

Here are pictures of the girls driving the boat on our duck tour in Boston. I have finally put our vacation pictures in our online photo album, so I am officially done talking about our vacation.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

More Vacation Pictures

After we left my grandparent's home in Connecticut, we went to the Bushnell Park in Hartford where we enjoyed a carousel ride and a beautiful day.

Dear Nonny,

Happy Mother's Day! I'm glad we got to see you in CT. The girls loved it and so did we! Thanks for everything you are and everything you do!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Boston Aquarium pics

We were finally able to get a internet connection on our computer so we can show pictures of our time in Boston. The girls loved the aquarium...The entire time that we were walking up and around the giant aquarium with sharks and sting rays circling, Darcy shook her head and repeated, "don't open it!" We had lunch at Quincy Market and the girls chased pigeons around in the sunshine. Haley and Darcy are loving being with "Dunkle Tsane."

Monday, May 5, 2008

Blogging Break in Boston

The Garmans have been in CT visiting Annie parents and grandparents for the weekend and are in "Bean" Town now visiting Uncle Shane (Darcy calls him "dunkle tsane") for the next couple of days. Thus the quiet blogs. Today we are headed to the aquarium.