the rest of utah

On Monday we went to lunch with Elaina, one of my favorite running friends of all time. I can’t believe it’s been five years since we used to run together in Kentucky.

That evening Grandma and Grandpa Pullan and Dave came for dinner, and then the rest of the Pullans came for dessert. There’s never enough time to spend with the extended fan when we are in Utah, but that evening was sure fun.

Tuesday morning Jason, Mom and I went to the Payson temple. I got to go through the open house when I was in Utah in April, but Jason hadn’t seen the inside yet. It’s incredible.

We went to lunch with my parents and Jordan and Mio at Arctic Circle so Jason could have his most beloved halibut sandwich. I hear it is delicious. Then, my dad showed his love for his son-in-law by accompanying us to the BYU bookstore so Jason could pick up a pullover.

That afternoon we played tennis. Grant is so good. Since he’s left-handed, his serve is really disorienting. We played a couple games and then decided we were probably better off hitting around since I couldn’t actually score points. Meanwhile, Jason and Dave continued their Frost-Frost showdown. Mom and I also played as a doubles team against Grant for a bit. Being at the school tennis courts in the fall felt so very nostalgic, like Roni, Hannah, and Coach Ralph should be there with us (and that I should be worse at tennis, I guess. Sadly, I’m pretty sure the thirteen times I’ve played this summer have taken my game to a higher level than when I played in high school.)

Before dinner, Mariel, Jordan, Hannah and I went to Wal-Mart, and home by way of the temple. It is also beautiful at night.

We had a great evening together, which culminated in playing the Bowl Game! It is the best, especially when my mom is playing. We put Adam’s name in the bowl four times. I think we miss him. Other doubles: Huckleberry Finn, Rafael Nadal, and Rachel Carson. We said good-bye to the Deans and Hannah that night, which was so sad. I’m glad they could come down and hang out with us!

I got up really early the next morning so my mom and I could go on a walk on the canal road before leaving for the airport. I love the view of Utah valley from up there.

On the way to SLC, we stopped to see my Aunt Sharla and Grady, who we missed on Monday night. Grady showed us his alphabet book (adorable) and his two-years-ago Halloween costume: an orange ninja hippo. Kids are so funny. Then, my mom dropped us off at the airport, I did my obligatory leaving-Utah-crying routine, and we were on our way.

I hate leaving Utah and I hate leaving our family and sometimes I get worked up about the competitive craziness of the greater DC area, but by Thursday afternoon I remembered why we like living here after all. We had a wonderful time in Utah, though, and I can’t wait until we get out there again.

26.2 (again)

Grant and I woke up at 3:45 a.m. the morning of the marathon, and so, by default, did our parents. We got ready to go, then had some Cheerios and almond milk and purple Powerade.

For some reason I was convinced we would forget our bibs, even after I myself had pinned them to our shirts. We did not forget.Mom and Dad drove us to the bus-loading zone, where we got in a not-so-long line to board a school bus. We were glad we got there early so we avoided a hoard of people who arrived just after us. The bus departed and we were on our way!

The drive up to the start line takes a while, which we knew both from last year and from driving the route the day before, but it feels even longer in the dark. We talked a bit, but mostly looked out the window.

When we reached the start line, we immediately got in line for the first of several bathroom trips, then grabbed mylar blankets and sat on the road to wait. The weather at the start line was much more pleasant this year–probably sixty degrees instead of the frigid wind we encountered last time. At 6:35 a.m. we tossed our gear bag in the truck and headed over to the crowd to await the starting gun.

Finally, at 6:45 a.m., the race began! We were closer to the front of the pack this time, and crossed the start line at 6:51.

Miles 1-3
It felt good to be running after the long wait at the start line. Grant noted that his foot hurt a little bit, but that he presumed the pain would go away. We passed the 4:15 pace group and lots of people in matching running garb. (For some reason Grant didn’t want to match me this year?) Grant tied his shoe at one point.

Miles 4-6
First bit of downhill. It was nice. Suddenly, I developed a sharp pain in my left hip. I’ve never had pain like it, running or not, and I was a little worried. I tried to focus on breathing, which helped a little. We noted that the sky was darker this year than last, since the 2014 race started almost thirty minutes late. We did some 8-minute miles here to give us some wiggle room at the Veyo Hill, which loomed large ahead of us.

Mile 7
First we passed the Veyo Pie Shop, which has a terrifying anthropomorphized pie mascot. Grant suggested maybe we come back this afternoon and get a pie. That sounded like a good idea to me. Then we started up the Veyo Hill, a mile-long 6% grade. We slowed down a lot and just plodded our way up. It wasn’t nearly as bad as last year, probably because we were in the shade almost the entire way up. At the top, Grant made use of the bathroom.

Mile 8
Tried to enjoy this downhill portion before the next bit.

Miles 9-13
This is the part of the race where last year I began to feel absolutely terrible, so I was a little anxious. We didn’t worry too much about speed through here, and fueled up with some waffle (which Grant did not like as much as I did). Around mile 12 I told Grant I couldn’t talk anymore because I was beat, so he told me about the top ten men’s tennis players. We were so happy to reach the half mark at 1:58:27, on pace for our goal of less than four hours.

Miles 14-15
This is where the St. George marathon gets good. I was overwhelmed by how beautiful the canyon is. At mile 16 we saw spectators and what appeared to be an alpine band (accordion, lederhosen, etc.)

Miles 16-18
We still felt pretty good. Grant wanted some more food, so we opened the sports beans. I ate one and spit it out immediately. While my stomach felt much better than last year, I definitely didn’t feel like eating. Not eating when or as much as we should have was the biggest mistake we made this year. The second biggest mistake was me thinking “Oh, we’ve just got 8.2 miles left” at mile 18.

Miles 19-20
We saw a woman who had fallen down and looked like I did when I encountered the shrub in September. Grant and I were still talking, and the scenery was incredible. We hit 20 miles at exactly three hours, which was good because prior to that mile marker I was incapable of doing math. 1 hour = 6.2 miles is an easier calculation, though, and I figured we would be just under our goal. At mile 20, Grant said “Hey, we just have a 10k left,” which felt pretty good.

Miles 21-24
Lots of downhill. Feet killing. During one of these miles I said to Grant, “My body is rebelling.” This is also where the aid stations don’t exactly mirror the mile markers, which was a little disorienting. We were in survival mode now.

Mile 25
The weirdest thing about a marathon is how something that should be easy (like running two miles, which I can do in my sleep) becomes insurmountable. I was not feeling great as we entered St. George proper. People lined the streets, handing out soda, candy, and popsicles, none of which sounded appealing. I grabbed an otter pop and held it against my forehead. By now the sun was out in full force and, while the weather felt better than last year, I was more than ready to be finished. More than once I told Grant I couldn’t do this, and that I had to stop running, and he just kept repeating, “Come on, Amanda. We’ve got this!” Mile 25 was by far the hardest mile I have ever run. This photo (from about a mile later) shows how we were feeling.

St. George Marathon-6

Mile 26+.2
We passed a water feature/splash pad and I legitimately thought about just walking over and laying down in the water. I didn’t care about anything at this point, even about making it under goal. I just wanted to stop running. My feet, core, shoulders, hips and IT band all hurt. Grant kept me going. A little ways ahead of the finish line, we saw Jason, camera at the ready!

We look so much happier here than we really were. The rest of the fam was also there cheering us on: Mio and Jordan, Hannah, Mom and Dad, and Dave. My watch showed that we hit marathon distance at 3:57:42 seconds, so that’s what I’m going with. (Official time was 3:58.) We not only finished under our goal, but we had run the whole way. We kept plugging away, and crossed the finish line together. I just threw my arm around Grant. I couldn’t even cry this time; all I wanted was a carton of chocolate milk and to sit down.

We wandered through the post-chute food area for a while before determining that the Great Harvest bread and Creamies did not sound good. We each grabbed a water and a chocolate milk, then headed out to find our family.

So glad to be finished!

I can’t overemphasize how happy we were to be not running anymore.St. George Marathon-4

So happy.

St. George Marathon-5

It was amazing to see our family at  the end. Jason’s been so supportive (as always) through the last five crazy months of training. Couldn’t have done this without him.

It was also bittersweet, since we had hoped my dad would be doing it with us. Next yearSt. George Marathon-8

We also couldn’t help but miss Adam, but he’s where he is supposed to be. (Judging from his most recent letter, I don’t think he was disappointed to miss out.)St. George Marathon-3

And Dave filled in. He was a good sport to come along on a madcap Pullan weekend and we’re so glad he did!IMG_2724

Grant and I changed into our sandals (thanks Mom!) and crashed. We probably should have walked around, but at this point we just wanted to rest. A few minutes later we went to get our gear bag, and then–on my dad’s instruction–went back to the Runners Only area for food. We each had a piece of bread (of which I handled one bite then gave it to Grant) and a Creamie. Are those a Utah thing? Anyway, they were delicious.St. George Marathon-3-2

Hannah and Dad walked back to the Hotel, but the rest of us drove. Grant and I showered, and then we went to Mongolian Barbecue for Mongolian barbecue. I think this is my new go-to post-race meal: carbs, salt, and a fortune cookie!St. George Marathon-1

I’m so grateful the race went well. I worried we would have a heartburn/leg cramp repeat of last year, or that the hills would get to me, or that Grant’s lack of running (in spite of his very active lifestyle) would be a problem. None of those things materialized, thank goodness, and Grant and I admitted to each other later that we pushed ourselves so we wouldn’t let each other down. He’s an awesome brother, a great running buddy, and the toughest sixteen-year-old I know.

in which we go to beautiful utah, 2015 edition

Jason and I flew out to Utah two Wednesdays ago. We landed around 2:30 p.m. MDT, and my mom picked us up from the airport. We stopped at my grandparents’ house on the way home, then dropped my mom off at the Quarry so she could take Grant’s car home (he was there for YM), and then we took her car to see Jake, Justine, and Kallie. Dave also showed up, and we had a great evening together.

The next morning Jason and I ran two quick miles together in part to keep my legs fresh and also to work off some nervous energy. Mom, Jason and I went to lunch with Hannah at Guru’s (home of the world’s best sweet potato fries), then went to Deseret Book, where we found many products that probably should never have been created, including Mormon Origami. We tried hard to find something really kitschy to send Adam on his mission for his birthday, but finally settled on some both cute and useful sticky notes. (I was holding out for the matching mother-son charm bracelet/tie pin. That’s not weird at all. #sonsofhelaman)

Then we went to Wal-Mart to pick up running supplies: tums, chafing stuff, and Cheerios. Then Jason and I went to Sue Anne and Harold’s for dinner with Jason’s extended Utah family. As usual, it was wonderful to see everyone. IMG_1842

The next morning we packed up the car and Mom, Dad, Grant and I headed to St. George! We stopped, per tradition, at Arctic Circle on the way down. I was starting to get anxious before we even hit Santaquin, and my stomach felt even more churny as we picked up our packets from the expo. My shirt fit this year, which was exciting, and we got some beet gel, which sounds terrible.

We drove the course, which is just as long as I remembered. At the top, we saw evidence of the excitement that would be happening there the next morning.

Then we drove back the same 26.2 miles we’d be running in the morning. 

We stopped by our hotel and unloaded our gear. By then it was time for dinner. The night before a run means limited options. We tried Brick Oven but the wait was long enough (and the two-generations family anti-Brick Oven feelings strong enough) that we went to Chuck-a-Rama instead. Thank goodness it was seafood night, which helped us practice extra restraint. I ate a lot of rice. It was perfect.

Not all could be perfect, though: I got a call from Jason saying I had left my antacids and anti-chafing stick at home. We headed to Harmon’s to replace these essential goods, and to pick up a toothbrush. (I have never remembered to bring my toothbrush on vacation.) Then we went home and went to bed. Mom, Dad, and Grant fell asleep quickly, but I had a tough time. I finally went to sleep a little after 11 p.m.


Dave came down to Payson a bit before we left to pick up Jason for a day of brotherly fun. They went to lunch at Bam Bam’s (Jason’s preferred barbecue joint in the greater Utah Valley area).IMG_1845

They played some tennis, went to the bookstore, and visited Dave’s apartment. Then, the two headed off to the BYU-UCONN football game!


They were able to surreptitiously get into the stands early, which meant they had front row seats in the student section. (The Roar of Cougar section? I’m confused by this whole ROC situation.)IMG_1856

Needless to say, they had a great time. Had I been awake, I would have been very jealous!IMG_1884

Freshman phenom Tanner Magnum high-fived Jason twice (!!) IMG_1860

BYU pulled out the win, 30-13, which made the Frost boys very happy. I gather they returned to Payson by way of (late night) Wendy’s and spent the night before heading down to the marathon in the morning with Hannah, Mio, and Jordan.

in which grant comes to see us and we go to a baseball game

Grant came to see us last Friday. He’s been the only kid at home since Adam left (which I can’t even comprehend since I can’t remember being alone with both of my parents very often growing up).

Anyway, a couple weeks ago we formulated a plan for a long weekend with Grant. He flew himself across the country (again, the first time I flew alone I was 22 and married. He is 16.) and I swung by the airport after work to pick him up. While walking through the terminal I saw a pair of brothers, one big and broad and the other less so and for a split second I impossibly thought it was Adam and Grant. Hard to not miss Adam these days.

Anyway, it was wonderful to see Grant and I almost couldn’t believe he was really here! We headed home on the metro. We had a few minutes before our dinner reservation, so we went out to play tennis. Grant has become quite the tennis player since the days when his racquet was as big as he was. While we were walking to the courts we saw a groundhog! I’m accustomed to the bunnies we have everywhere in Virginia and even the occasional fox, but a GROUNDHOG? It almost didn’t look real, but it turned its little head and waddled underneath a nearby shed. Perhaps it is his home?

We drove over to Founding Farmers by way of Sports Authority so Jason could pick up his newly restrung racquet in anticipation of playing with Grant the next morning. Grant and Jason had the fried chicken and Jefferson doughnut, while I had my first burger in a looong time (but not my last of the weekend). 

At 5:30 on Saturday morning I ran two (point three) very dark miles to Dani’s house. We met up there, then did 16 miles together. The run was tough for me for two reasons: 1. I went to buns, hips and thighs on Thursday night and 2. I went to another weights class that turned out to be almost all legs on Friday at lunchtime. My legs were dead. Our clock time didn’t reflect it, but I felt like I was really slowing us down. We survived, though, and I went home for a quick shower, breakfast and a little lounging before joining the boys at the tennis courts.

When I got there, Grant and Jason were nearly done with their first set. I watched for a bit and tried–with limited success–to take some action shots.

I joined in for a few minutes of hitting around, but walking was still a struggle. Grant went easy on me. The men played one more set and then we headed home for pizza.   

We went out for frozen custard and I returned my library books. Then we all took much-needed afternoon naps before heading into the city.

I’m glad the Nationals were in town for Grant’s trip. He has been to more Bees, Orem Owlz, and BYU baseball games than any of the Pullan kids, but hadn’t yet been to an MLB game. (Also, before we go on, can we talk about how cool his hair is?)

I love Nationals Park, and we had perfect weather for the game.  

Our seats were pretty good. The best part was that we could hop over the backs of them to procure food, which we did after about the fourth inning. I’m glad baseball exists so I have a reason to eat a polish sausage with onions and peppers every once in a while. Jason also picked up some butter-slathered pretzel bites, which we all enjoyed.

This particular evening happened to be 80s Night, so the Presidents’ Race turned into pac-man.

The Nationals won, and we saw three home runs! (Well, there were four home runs if you count the one from the Marlins.) I think Grant had a good time.

Coincidentally Adam went to his first MLB game last week too. I guess it was Faith Night at the Orioles, so they let the missionaries go. I’m sure my dad is proud.

One unexpected bonus of our outing: getting home was a dream. Usually it takes a while and we spend forever crowded on the platform with a zillion other people. Not so! We got right on the first train and made our transfer with no crowds at all. Awesome.

Frost Fiscal Year 6

Is it time for another Frost Fiscal Year report already?! This year has flown by, and, though not a year of dramatic changes, has surely been our best yet. I can’t say I love Jason more now than the day we got married, but I think I love him more completely. I knew he was great on May 2, 2009. I just didn’t realize he was everything I would ever need in a best friend and partner. (Sometimes I still can’t believe this is our life.)

We celebrated our fifth anniversary in Mexico City!

It was easily one of the best/most fun trips we’ve taken together.

Attended Sarah and Brian’s lovely wedding in Baltimore.

I eventually recovered from the stomach ailment I contracted in Mexico.

Jason’s mom came to see us and we had a lovely–albeit humid–time together.

We took a load off at the third annual Frost-Holbein beach extravaganza.

I went to New York City to hang out with Roni.

I hosted book club, at which we discussed Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. I am proud that the book has come up at subsequent book discussions, but also a little concerned that the ladies of the ward thing I’m macabre.

I turned twenty-six and celebrated by 1. not working 2. running 6.5 miles (1/4 mile for every year) and 3. eating dinner at the Capital Grille with Jason, who had just returned from a trip the night before!

Jason became nocturnal. In his absence I walked a lot (39 miles over four Sundays), ran a lot, and went to visit the YW at Camp Misty Mount.

We had a lunch date in Georgetown whilst Jason tried to find a navy suit.

The new metro line opened, with serious positive commuting implications for me.

I went to two Nats games with work.

I stopped running so much when I started having shin problems.

Dave came to visit DC!

The three of us went to CT to see Jason’s family and, of course, attended the season-opening BYU football game at UConn.

Jason traveled.

I went to my first ever book sale.

I helped out (by which I mean I didn’t do much at all) with a baby shower for my friend Elayna.

We moved to a new apartment and it was our best/easiest move yet!

I ran my first marathon with Adam, Grant, and my Dad (and the three of us who aren’t going on a mission this year put in for the 2015 race). I can’t think about that day without smiling.

Mariel got married! I can’t think about this day without smiling either.

Jason and I camped (along with the boys) for the first time in five years.

We also spent some quality time in Payson Canyon, a.k.a. one of the most beautiful places in the world.
payson lakes jason
I spent three miserable days covered in urgent-care-worthy hives. Still no idea what I was allergic to, though my best guess is the particular blend of garam masala I used in our butter chicken.

I got released from Young Womens and called as the teacher of the then-twelve-turning-thirteen-year-old Sunday School class. Jason continued to serve as executive secretary.

We caught our first high school football game in at least eight years (probably longer). It was so fun.

Jason and I were promoted at our respective places of employment.

We Thanksgivinged in Virginia, which meant Jason got to play in the ward Turkey Bowl and I got to watch. Oh, and we cooked our first ever full-size turkey.

I (along with everyone else who likes NPR) got hooked on the Serial podcast.

We took our yearly Christmas photo.

Jason went on a very brief business trip.

We went to Connecticut to see la familia Frost, where we ate all the candy and watched all the basketball.

And we saw the in-progress Hartford Temple!

I finished my thousand running miles and 154 books for the year.

We celebrated New Year’s Eve in the usual way: with a butternut squash and games and no banging of pots and pans.IMG_1588

We set a goal of cooking one new thing a week and have stuck with it so far.

I went to my only Georgetown basketball game of the year. 

Attended Emily and Brandon’s beautiful DC wedding.

Headed up to New York City to see the Matisse cut-outs and had a blast.

I developed The World’s Most Persistent Sinus Infection, which lasted an entire month.

Jason turned twenty-nine!

We had our first (but not last!) snow day of the year.

We spent Valentine’s Day downtown at the Portrait Gallery.

I made cream puffs for a baby shower and they were awesome.

Church was cancelled for freezing rain and we had another snow day!

Jason took another trip.

My parents came to visit us and we had a pretty great time.

We watched a lot of Kentucky basketball. Sorry, BYU.

I went for my first outdoor run of 2015 on Good Friday.

We finally met our baby niece and Adam got his mission call to Baltimore, Maryland!

We both got sick and spent a day sprawled on the couch watching HGTV.

My Grandpa Henderson passed away, so I headed out to Utah for the funeral. While there, I got to see Adam and Grant play high school tennis for the first time.

Jason headed out of town on a business trip. Barring unforeseen travel difficulties, we will be reunited today!

H1936496_1025334054000_389758_nappy 6th anniversary to the best man I know!

Previous Fiscal Year Reports


five days in utah, part II

I got up bright and early Monday morning and went for a run while my mom rode her bike along side. She’s a good sport. We showered and headed over to Grandpa’s house again, where I secured a mini muffin tin. My Grandma Pullan gave me some muffin tins a while ago, so now I have one from each grandma. I really should make more muffins.

We hurried home and got ready for the Payson Temple open house. I have been looking forward to seeing the completed temple since early 2010, when I learned on my metro commute home that a temple would be constructed in my hometown. The outside is incredible, but the inside was breathtaking. I can’t believe there is such an incredible building so close to home.

This picture so much does not do it justice.

Two thoughts about the temple open house:
1. There were volunteers stationed throughout the temple to sort of move the self-guided tour along. At several stations, these volunteers were people I knew (my old piano teacher, my friend Whitney’s mom, old ward members). It was surprisingly touching to see old faces from my past.
2. I kept thinking about my Grandpa and Grandma Henderson and how much they loved the temple. They served in the Washington, D.C. temple for almost thirty years (which, as someone who is not yet thirty, seems like a really long time). I’m so grateful for their example, and felt close to them while I walked through the Payson temple.

After the open house, we ordered pizza from Fat Jack’s and got ready for the viewing that night. I played Scrabble with Grandma, who also rarely finds anyone willing to play with her. It was the most frustrating game of Scrabble I have ever played! Grandma spent the game with all vowels, while I spent the latter half with one vowel per round. I think we each ended up subtracting something like eighteen points at the end, which is really high for Scrabble aficionados.

The viewing that evening was very nice. My Pullan fam attended, so it was good to catch up with everyone. There was also a great slideshow of really old pictures of my grandpa.

That night Aunt Amy and Uncle Mark dropped off Scott and Robbie (who were spending the night), so naturally we stayed up late eating some much of the bounty our neighbors had dropped off.

After a late night, we all made it to the church early for the second viewing and funeral. The service was wonderful. My dad and Uncle Mark spoke, and a representative of each descendant family gave some brief remarks about Grandpa. Hannah repped the Payson Pullan family and did a beautiful job. We processed to the cemetery for the dedication of the grave, then headed back to the church for lunch.

The boys went off to their tennis match and Hannah had class, but Mio, Jordan, and my parents and I enjoyed the standard Mormon funeral fare: ham, funeral potatoes (or, as we have decided they should more accurately be called, funerary potatoes), two kinds of jell-o salad, and rolls. I used to be a little cynical about post-funeral meals because they seem like a lot of work for the ward, but it really is a nice thing we do.

Mio and Jordan went off to run errands and Mom and Dad and I went home. Mom and I drove up the canyon for a bit until we approached the gate a ways past Benny Creek Trail (and I’m pretty sure right around the place we saw a skunk in the late nineties). We saw some deer and the canyon was, as usual, just lovely.

When we got home we took naps and ate more German chocolate bars, then went back up to Grandpa’s to hang out with the fam. We had a great time playing The Bowl Game with everyone and tried valiantly to finish off the aforementioned funerary potatoes. We said good-bye to everyone and headed home, after which Dave very kindly drove all the way down to Payson to hang out for a couple of hours (and to play another round of The Bowl Game because it is so great). With Dave’s visit, I have officially seen everyone in the Pullan and Frost immediate families in the last two weeks (which has never happened before and likely won’t happen again for at least the next two years).

The next morning Mom and I went for a long walk on the Canal Road (seeing a theme here?), but we went a little too far and forgot Mariel and Jordan were coming over, so they came and picked us up. We made some bran muffins (which are so good! I need to get me some bran!) and stood around in the kitchen talking as Pullans are wont to do. Adam stopped in and showed us his super cool 3-D printed car. Mio and Jordan took off for Idaho and Mom and Hannah and I went to lunch at Tadka. Two words: peshwari naan.

On the way to the airport we stopped by Grandma and Grandpa Pullan’s house, where my mom got a much-needed nap. We zipped up to the airport just in time for my 4 p.m. flight. Actually, it worked out really well because I was randomly selected for the TSA pre-check line. Otherwise I’m not sure I would have made it to my gate in time.

I love going to Utah, but I hate leaving. Even when I know I’ll be back soon (hopefully before Adam sets out on his mission, and maybe again in October if this St. George Marathon thing is happening again this year), I hate being far away from my family. That said, I love my life here in Virginia and can’t imagine being anywhere else than right here right now. I’d just like to wrinkle the states in between (who needs Nebraska anyway?) so Utah is within a day’s drive.

My family rocks. Can’t wait to see them again under happier circumstances.

five days in utah, part I

My Grandpa Henderson passed away last Monday, so I headed out west early Friday morning.

Good-bye DC!

Since I bought my plane ticket at the last minute, I had two layovers on the way out. Fortunately I had a great book (How Architecture Works: A Humanist’s Toolkit) and a bag of trail mix to keep me occupied.

I made it into SLC around 3:30 pm and my mom picked me up from the airport. We hit The Red Iguana–the first of many must-hit Utah restaurants–for lunch, where the mole is as good as it is in Puebla. Then we stopped in at my Grandma and Grandpa Pullan’s house. Eventually we picked up Mariel from the airport (she had taken the shuttle down from Rexburg). The three of us dropped in on Jake and Justine so Mom and Mio could meet Kallie, and we FaceTimed with Jason before going down to Payson.

The boys were out and about when we got home, but I finally convinced them to play Scrabble with me (at 11 pm Utah time). Turns out my Scrabble skills drop off precipitously after bedtime. I was the only participant not to hit 100 points, and my mom emerged victorious.

Hands like this may have contributed to my epic loss.

On Saturday morning I woke up bright and early (a benefit of being on eastern time) and went for a run. It was an incredible run for several reasons: 1. I saw the sunrise over the mountains. 2. I saw several horses close up for the first time since we went to NYC (and I am sure these horses were much happier). 3. I got a great view of the spire of the Payson temple.

After a bowl of Life cereal (#vacation) and a shower, Mom, Mariel and I went to Spanish Fork to watch Adam and Grant play tennis. 

We usually play when I come to visit, but this was the first time I have seen them play an actual high school match. I thought for sure I wouldn’t have to opportunity to do so before Adam graduated, so I am glad this worked out! They are basically incredible and so fun to watch. What would it have been like to win matches??

The boys stuck around at the courts while we ladies went to Provo to get Mariel some new pants. She’s a good shopper, so we finished early enough to swing by the BYU Bookstore (I refused to call it The Store. It will always be the bookstore to me.), where I stocked up on chocolate-covered cinnamon bears and picked out a t-shirt for Jason.

We met up with Hannah for lunch at Zupa’s, then headed home for the afternoon. The boys and I were going to play tennis, but it started to rain so we went for another run instead. I had wanted to run to Elk Ridge on Goosenest, but we thought the lack of sidewalks made the route inadvisable. Instead, we ran the Canal Road. I haven’t been on the Canal Road since we used to take Sunday drives there (probably not kosher anymore?) and had forgotten how beautiful it is. From the road, you can look across the whole valley, the patchwork of fields and orchards and tiny houses, with Utah Lake just beyond. It was such a fun run.

That night we went to Sam Hawk for dinner and drove past the Payson Temple on the way home.

On Sunday Mariel and I went to church in the Page Ward with the fam, where we got to hear Grant bless the sacrament for the first time. I can’t believe my brothers are so old. That afternoon we made guacamole and Adam favored us with his Velveeta-cream of mushroom soup-salsa queso of champions. We had shwarma for dinner, then took some German chocolate bars over to Grandpa Henderson’s. That night, we played Backwords, which is one of the more hilarious iPhone games I have ever played.