On My Mind

2015 Recap

2016 is already here!  It’s crazy how 2014 went by sooo slowly, but 2015 flashed by! 2015 really was a VERY eventful and busy year for us. And it was so so good 🙂  Here’s a little month-by-month recap 🙂

January:
Got settled into living in our townhouse in Cedar Hills.  Nate started Radiation.  He definitely felt its effects (very tired, sore throat, mouth sores, all food tasting bad, hair loss, etc) but everything went super smooth. I think the thing that got him the most frustrated wast he 90 min commute to and from Huntsman each day haha.  I started training for a 5k PR and the Boston Marathon. Ames was 15 months, talking, walking, and running around like crazy! On the days that Nate felt okay we tried to get out and go snow shoeing in our attempt to enjoy winter.

February:
Nate finished radiation on February 24 & was declared CANCER FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of the best days so far.  He still felt real crappy, so we celebrated for him 🙂  We took a trip down to Cedar City & to Park City and stayed in a reeeeeeeal nice hotel and experienced the Sundance Film Festival for the first time.  A good little get away from our daily cancer life.  We also went on a weekend camping trip to Topaz mountain with Nate’s dad, our sister Heather & her kids. I was still training & ran a 3k at the Weber Invite indoor meet.  Wasn’t my best race, but it was a great rust buster.  Ames was talking more and more and loving playing with his cousins.

only picture I took in Park City…

Topaz Mountain

  

March:
By mid-March Nate was starting to feel a little better.  Regaining some energy and some taste of food.  I was heavy in training hitting 65 miles per week.  I also ran a 5k PR at the UVU outdoor track invite (18:02) and placed 2nd.  Nate also spoiled me rotten for my 25th b-day (March 29th)  I had a day full of scaengered surprises…Massage, picked out my new road bike (which I earned through winning some races), picnic lunch, Paragliding!, and dinner at Mellow Mushroom (something I thought only existed in Georgia. Ames kept learning and growing and being the cutest guy ever.  I feel bad I don’t have more detailed stuff about Ames…but he was talking like a champ by this point and loving be 1! Needless to say, March was a great month!

Picnic from my birthday fun!

UVU Invite – 5K PR

My boys spoiling me on my 25th Bday!

April:
We started April out by road tripping down to San Francisco with our sister Heidi.  We got to watch my sister Jasmyn Kapree run a HUGE 10 PR and Heidi and I both raced as well (San Fran Invite).  I FINALLY broke 18 mins (17:45).  I had been chasing that barrier for years and it felt amazing to finally get it done!  We celebrated with Jazzy and checked out San Fran a little.  We celebrated Easter and had a great reminder of our Savior’s love for us. And Ames loved running around finding Easter eggs (and the candy inside of them).  We took a mini trip down to Cedar City for my brother, Shea’s, missionary farewell.  He gave an awesome talk and in June we shipped him off to Arequipa, Peru! The end of April we took a trip to Atlanta too see our friends and old stomping grounds.  I loved it and still want to move back. From Atlanta we headed up to Boston where we met up with sister & brother Heidi & Parker and my Momma & sister Aisha.  We checked out the city and most importantly ran THE BOSTON MARATHON!  (we as in Heidi & I, BUT our support crew (family) definitely played a huge role to us running!)  It was FREEZING (39 degrees, head wind & rain) but I somehow managed to still run real well (3:07).  I should also mention I won a treadmill mile race at the race expo the day before (5:24).  I think Nate & Parker were way more excited about that race than the actual marathon! haha.  Ames turned the big 18 months and was doing somersaults, knew his colors & most letters & numbers, and LOVED to talk and play outside and with cousins!

Shea’s Mission Farewell
Easter Sunday
en route to San Fran

after my 5K at the San Fran Invtie – 17:45 PR

In the ATL
It rained the whole time we were in Atlanta and Ames didn’t mind one bit
Running Boston

May:
Nate was really coming around and feeling better (that is, after he recouped from out ATL/Boston trip.  He felt confident enough to start applying for jobs!  So the job hunt began.  We celebrated our 5 year anniversary by taking a trip to an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  It was a dreamy and relaxing vacation and I was sad to leave!  However, we flew into SLC late and night and from the airport went straight to Pocatello where Nate had an interview with Idaho State for their Head XC & track coach position!  It was a fast short trip but we were pumped he got an interview!  I also ran & won a 5k & Half Marathon.  At the very end of May I left my boys and went to Chicago with my family.  It was the first time that Nate had Ames over night by himself! He did a great job for the 4 days I was gone 🙂  It was so fun seeing where my older brother, Rhett, and his wife, Mary, live and spend some quality time with my family.  We also spent a TON of time outside enjoying the beautiful May weather!

In Chicago with my siblings!
Hildebrandt Girls
Puerto Vallarta

June:
Nate got the Idaho State Job!!  We were beyond excited for the opportunity for Nate to continue living his dream job of coaching.  But with him starting the job only 2.5 weeks after accepting it, we were crazy busy finding an apartment and packing up our stuff!  It was a whirlwind! We moved the last week of the month. The day we moved I raced and won the Strawberry Days 5k. We tried to do as much as we could in Utah before we left.  We went to 7 peaks & splash pads a couple times a week and Ames was in heaven.  That boy LOVES swimming.  He would just squeal with joy every time we went.  We sucked up the last remaining time as a family who had no responsibilities other than getting Nate healthy.  I was sad to see all of our family time end, but I was beyond excited to start ‘real life’ again 🙂  Also, I can’t forget to note that Nate turned the big THIRTY YEARS OLD on the 7th!  Though old, he’s still the best & hottest out there 🙂

giving Nate some big loves after we heard he got the job

crossing the border into our new home

exploring the trail in Idaho 🙂

July:
I ran the Freedom Festival 10k and Ames got to experience fireworks for the first time.  (the previous year he fell asleep right before they started).  He loved them – especially the sparklers. We moved into an apartment in Pocatello while looking for a house.  It was such a rush to find a place I overlooked our apartment not having any kind of AC!  And all of July in Pocatello was near or over 100 degrees…it made us VERY motivated to find a house!  Nate was super busy starting his new job and I was super busy trying to find us a house!  Ames was in mourning at not having all his cousins around.  But we made up for it by eating lots of popsicles 🙂  Mid-July Ames & I & my sister, Jasmyn, went with Nate’s family to Yellowstone for a family reunion (Nate couldn’t take work off since he had just started).  We saw 2 grizzly bears, moose, elk, buffalo, and loved haning out with the family.  My favorite part was probably swimming in the river.  At the end of the month Ames and I headed to California with my Mom, sister Aisha, & her friend CJ.  We went to a Dotter Family (my mom’s side) reunion in Bear Lake.  We swam, went on some hikes, went out on the lake, and had a great time catching up with some exteneded family.  After the reunion we went to Coranado beach.  Ames HATED the ocean but loved the sand.  He literally rolled all over while giggling haha.  Ames by now was saying sentences, teasing us, and surprising us daily with how smart he is.

Freedom Festival 10k
Yellow Stone
Yellowstone

Yellowstone
Big Bear alpine slide. Ames loved it!

Ames got to see both sets of his great-grandparents from my side on our Cali trip!
August:
Nate’s team reported for practice so his job got real.  Biggest thing that happened was WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!  We closed mid-August and right away got going on some renos.  We worked literally night and day for 3 weeks taking out a wall, moving wires, moving water lines, fixing toilets, tiling 2 bathrooms, painting 2,500 sq feet, laying down wood flooring on 1100 sq feet, getting new dishwasher & washer and dryer, & putting up new baseboards.  IT WAS EXHAUSTING!  We got most of the projects done but we moved in with a lot to do. Ames LOVED our new “Blue” house and I was real excited he had some room to run around AND we finally, for our first time in our married lives, had a backyard!  Nate quickly installed a rope swing in our tree and tilled up some dirt for a “sand” box for Ames. We all were in heaven.

September:
Nate’s parents and Heidi & Parker and their family were our first visitors the first weekend of the month!  Nate hosted a home XC meet and then they helped us a TON finish our wood flooring and baseboards.  The rest of September was spent working on finishing house projects and traveling to Bozeman, Montana for a XC meet (Montana State Invite).  We also found out that I was PREGNANT!  I was super excited because I realllly wanted to have a late spring/early summer baby because Nate is SO busy during the school months.  Ames found a group of neighborhood kids that would run around our street that asked if he could play. He loved it!

October:
Nate traveled to South Bend, Indiana (Notre Dame University) for an XC.  While he was there I went and visited my sister, Jasmyn, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and see UNC & Duke and the sights there.  In route to NC I had a layover in Dallas and my Dad pickedup Ames.  So he had a few days of time with his Grandma & Grandpa Hildebrandt and his Aunt Aisha.  After NC I flew into Odessa, Texas and spent a week at my parents.  I got spoiled and my pregnant body loved all the extra rest I got.  A big event of October was AMES’ SECOND BIRTHDAY!!! We had a party at my parents house, and then on his actual bday we took him to the movie theater (he LOVES going to movies).  Then a couple days after his birthday his grandma & grandpa Houle, and my BFF Tessa, her husband Marcus, & their babe Logan came and stayed with us.  With them and a few kids from the neighborhood we had a little bday party for Ames.  He loved the attention & presents.  Couldn’t ask for a better 2 year old! We also all traveled down to Cedar City 2 times for SUUs home XC meet and then they hosted the Big Sky Conference Championships.  Both Nate’s teams made TONS of improvements during the season and finished 1 spot ahead of where they were projected.  Lastly, Ames was “PIDERMAN” (spiderman) for Halloween and loved trick-or-treating.  He also loved craving pumpkins and ghosts.

  

with his Papa Kool in Odessa

  

November:
Nate traveled with his team to Albuquerque, New Mexico for their Regional and last race of their XC season.  They all ran well and Nate did an awesome job as a first time head coach! We had a scary moment with Ames when he chocked on a hard mint and had to be taken to the emergency room.  Luckily after choking/gagging for a few minutes the candy went to a place in his throat where he could at least breath.  And while in the emergency room the candy went all the way down.  Definitely one of the scariest moments of his young life and mine!  For Thanksgiving we drove to Tucson, Arizona where we rendezvoused with my family.  It was a great week full of my favorite people.  I keep telling Nate that some day we will live in Arizona – it’s where my heart lies!

December:

We had a goal to finish all of our house projects that we had started before we left for Christmas break.  So we spent a lot of time working on the house.  We cased the windows, put up new blinds, finished the baseboards, and fixed our shower (had to retile some of it because the grout was gone and there was a little mold).  For Christmas and New Years we went down to Utah County and spent 2 weeks with Nate’s family.  It was a great time just to relax and enjoy the holidays!  Ames pretty much understood what Christmas was…he told us it was “Jesus’ Birthday!” and that Santa was going to bring him a fire truck and a choo choo train.  He wasn’t disappointed! 🙂  I think half the fun for him was just the unwrapping of the presents – having kids for the holidays truly is magical.  For New Years Nate’s parents rented a cabin up Hobble Creek canyon and we spent a couple days playing games, sledding, snow shoeing, eating great food, and hanging out.  It was one of the best New Years in a while.

Nate real excited about house projects

With so much going on 2015 truly flew by.  I can’t believe how blessed we were and how different our lives are today versus last year.  Through everything I can’t help but be reminded again and again how aware Heavenly Father & our Savior are of our lives.  They are there every step of the way and we can feel His guiding hand if we only search for it.  Also, I know that going through trials really do make us stronger, smarter, and more suited to take on life.  We have been so blessed through our trials.

I hope everyone had a great 2015! Grateful for y’all!

Here’s to an adventurous 2016!

   

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