Monday, May 31


Jolee has officially reached her 1st birthday! Will post our celebration activities later. Hurray for Jolee!

Sunday, May 30

Growing up too fast

Jolee quickly proceeded from a few steps to eight or nine steps to full out walking. Yes, that is right, our little baby decided that now is the time to walk. She walks all around the house and she is SO cute. She is very proud of herself and loves to talk and laugh while walking to ensure that everyone is looking and ready to cheer her on. She will still crawl every once and a while, but she is mostly walking. It is so hard to believe that she is almost a year old. Where did the time go?

Thursday, May 27

It's Official!!

I am now officially a teacher. I got my institute recommendation yesterday in the mail, so I went down to the state ED department this morning and payed the fees and filled out the paper work and got it stamped. YEA!! I am now a teacher on paper. Now if I could just land a job!

Tuesday, May 25

10 MILES and the Dentist

Can you believe it? We ran 10 miles last night in just over 2 hours. It would have been faster, except for the fact that we were falling apart. Fortunately, we are not like Humpty Dumpty and all we need is definitely time to head over to the chiropractor to get put back together. Only 3 more miles and we will be at the total race distance! WE CAN DO THIS!!!

Jolee had her first dentist appointment yesterday. Although she didn't love it, it went very well. Her favorite part was playing on the scale to get weighed. The entire appointment she squirmed to try to get back tot he scale. Her teeth are looking great. She got her floride treatment and a new toothbrush. The dentist said that it looks like 2 more teeth are on their way. I could've told her that because Jolee has been cranky and teething for a week. After these two, her molars will come in and then hopefully we will get a break from painful mouthitis. We really liked the dentist that she gets to go to. If anyone in Tucson is looking for a pediatric dentist, then Tucson Smiles Pediatric is for you (

Sunday, May 23

Almost a year

Wow the time has really flown by. I can't believe my little baby has so quickly changed into a toddler. Here are a bunch of pictures I have been meaning to post.
Daddy and Jolee reading a book

First time touching snow, so cold

Petting a chick (she wanted to squeeze it)

Being a cowgirl, yeehaw

First time in snow fall (in Preston, ID)

Playing with cousin

Playing with cousins
At Daddy's high school locker (if you have seen Napoleon Dynamite this should be familiar)

So tired

Getting rowdy with Aunt Emily

Trying to steal Mommy's necklace

In her toddler bed

Tried to get a picture with the hat on and failed
Being silly

Fell down and scraped her chin :(

Stole and demolished crackers, mmm

Lots of naps (and lots of growing)

Playing with balls

With Great Aunt Grandma (GrammE's aunt)

Petting goats at the Pima County Fair

Watch out sheep, here comes Jolee

So sweet

First time eating licorice

Playing with a turtle shell at the Tucson zoo

Jolee fell down in the tub and bashed open her eye, OUCH!


Celebrating birthday early while family was in town for Daddy's graduation

Jolee doesn't like cake, but she loves frosting

Playing with toilet paper (Ellsworth family tradition for the first birthday)

Playing with GrammE

Jolee with her new Elmo. She loves to dance when Elmo sings. It is hilarious.

Party time in PJs

Heading to church on Mother's day. Jolee is so cute!

Being cute in my dress from Auntie Meg

Jolee will take 3 steps on her own, but she will walk all over while holding hands

Jolee fed herself breakfast this morning. Messy eater :)

Thursday, May 20

What I Have Learned

Jolee after our run through the hills in Pine.

Sarah post Pine run.

As the race day comes closer and closer, I find myself thinking more and more about running. I eat, sleep, talk, dwell, imagine, ponder, and debate running. Run, run, run, run, run. I have learned so much about running and myself through 1/2 marathon training.

1. Mind over matter. As I push myself to further distances and running during less than pleasant Arizona summer weather, I have realized that when I feel like I can't run any further, I must change my thinking. I find some way to think that I can continue. Like Dori said in Finding Nemo "swimming, swimming, just keep swimming." I think "running, running, just keep running." My mind can completely over power my body and force it to continue to run, even if I think it is impossible. I can keep running!
2. Sunshine, heat, and running are a very bad combination. With the sun getting up way too early in the morning, we have done a complete of runs as it starts to heat up. My ability to run at a nice steady 10-12 minute mile, falls apart with the heat. Sometimes it feels like I am made out of lead. With the heat, if I want my brain to keep functioning, I have to guzzle water constantly. It is only May and I am already looking forward to next winter. Like my grandmother said "you can always put on more clothing if it is cold, but you can only take off so much if it is warm."
3. Runners are mostly if not completely crazy. There is an entire running world that is completely different from the one that "normal" people live in. They have there own social networks. Different rules. Different social norms. They are just a bit competitive (okay maybe more than just a bit). Just read Runner's World magazine and you can see how much people put into being a runner. Whoa dang!
4. Stretching is not nearly as important as I thought it was. I read an article about how stretching just as often causes injury as decreases injury, so I tried skipping my stretch after a run and realized that I am less sore when I skip stretching. In fact, I haven't stretched in months.
5. Running teaches patience. This is especially true when I run a little slower on the long runs. I run, then I run, and then I run some more. Sometimes it feels like I am going to be running FOREVER. But as I patiently run along, I eventually get to the end.
6. A mile is not nearly as long as I used to think it was. For example, on our run this morning, we were planning on running 3 miles. Quick and easy so I could get home, shower, and get to bed (I work tonight). We weren't really thinking about where we were running and we ended up running 4 miles instead of 3 and we didn't realize it until we were about home. During the long runs, the thought "only one mile left" is so wonderful.  It feels like just a tiny bit more and then we are done. Compare this with how we felt at the beginning of training when 1/4 mile was "so long."
7. I hate having dried sweat on my face. I think this is the worst part of running. Oh, the feeling is sooooo awful.
8. Caring chap stick during a run is very important. When my lips get dried out, I feel dehydrated and I will drink more and more water, which leads to a water logged belly and a sloshing run. Talk about making me feel like I am going to puke. By regularly using my chap stick, I drink water more sensibly and my run goes so much more smoothly.
9. Upbeat, fast tempo music is the easiest way to increase running speed. I would put type out my play list, but my MP3 player's batteries died during today's run and I don't have time to get new batteries right now. Any songs by Owl City work great for running. "Hello Seattle" is one of my favorites because it makes me think about race day and I end up getting so excited and then run faster. Go super turbo power!
10. Expensive, good quality running shoes are worth every penny. Less painful, more enjoyable runs all due to  shoes!

I love running and the crazy person than running has turned me into. I am excited to continue to run and see what else I can learn. Signing out for now.

The Swann family after this morning's run.

Wednesday, May 19

Still Running and Looking for Donations

Hello readers! As you know, we continue to train for the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon. We have a 10 mile run this week. We are down to 37 days until race day and we are still looking for donation to help us hit our fundraising goal of $1000 toward the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation. Any amount is very welcome (we would even be thrilled with $5). Please share this opportunity to donate with anyone you know who may be interested. All donations go to Susan's Foundation which is dedicated to the support of young adult cancer patients and their families. We would love to have you join the list of donors (if you don't want your name to be shown, anonymous will be placed). Once again, thank-you so much for your support as we train and prepare for race day!


It seems that I cannot be satisfied with one color scheme for more than 2 years, so the entire house is getting repainted (again). This time we went with very light colors (glimmer, summer mist, and baking stone). Pictures will come eventually. While the house is torn up for the color change, I am taking advantage of the chaos and reorganizing everything and sending oodles of stuff to the nearest donation center. Entertaining Jolee has been challenging during this project. Jolee is so mobile and energy charged that having one room to play in is driving her crazy. She is now regularly taking two steps before she gets back down and crawls. Time to get back to painting so that she can be free to roam again.

Sunday, May 16

Randy's NAU Graduation!

Randy waiting to graduate. I absolutely loved this outfit on him! Next graduation in this little family won't be for a while. Eventually we plan to go on and get our Master's degrees, but not yet.
Eric and JoAn Ellsworth. Thanks Mom and Dad for driving down for Randy's big day. It was great to see you. We love you uber d duber amounts! As you can see, it was a tiring  day for Jolee and she napped before and during the graduation ceremony.

Sandy, Mikal, and Misty Swann. They braved the long drive and each other's constant company to celebrate with us! We are so glad each of you came. I have the best in-laws ever!!! It was super great to see and play with you. We can't wait for Sandy to move down (July 20th is the date!!!).

Here is me with my parents and Jolee. I am so proud of Randy and the hard work he has done!

Kelly and LeAnn Ryan. Super big thanks to both of you for making the very very long drive down. We love you both so much and are so glad you could be here. Thanks Mom for giving Randy such a good beginning and helping him to be the person he is!

 If you open this picture you can see Randy on the big screen during the graduation talks. I cried when Randy walked. He has worked so hard; he definitely deserved this day of celebration.

Jolee was so snugly with Randy after graduation. I think she was proud of him too! And I think she is glad to have her daddy out of school so that he can spend more time with her and spoil her all summer!

Our little family. We have changed so much since my graduation. It is so wonderful to have Jolee as a part of our family. She brings so much joy to our lives. 

Jolee looking on while Daddy and Mommy have a celebration kiss! I am so happy for Randy! It was a great day for the Swann family!

The Ryan/Swann family with Randy and Jolee. Mom looks proud too!

Thanks again to all of our family who made out of state drives to come and celebrate Randy's graduation with us!!!