Bozeman has this Sweet Pea festival every summer with arts and stuff, and they have this one mile race for kids which - c'mon, that's already the cutest thing ever - but then you add a huge rainstorm and a hundred soaking wet kids and it is ADORABLE and simultaneously MISERABLE.
We weren't going to go because it was raining so much, but then it seemed like it was slowing down, so we put the boys in the stroller, pinned the numbers on the girls and got to the starting line. The second we got there - downpour. Then more downpour. The longer we waited the harder it rained, the more clothes Addie took off. She would have had her pants off had the race not started right on time.
I wish I could have gotten a non-blurry photo, but my phone was too wet to function, and I was running backwards while pushing a double stroller with my butt so my skills were not that great.
So, I don't know how to explain this, but there's something that happens to me when I watch a race or am in a race. I am completely overwhelmed by emotion. It's weird, but I can't help it. The first marathon I saw was one my friend Gina ran in San Francisco. We saw her coming to the finish line - the finish line after 26.2 miles - she made it three feet in front of the line and then said, "I have to go back" and she turned around and ran another mile to go get her friend with whom she had started the race, because she had promised her they would finish together.
Goddamn Gina, now I'm crying again.
Anyway, she's amazing, they finished together. The end.
Also, the first marathon I ran was in San Francisco, and Gina happened to be running the half that time. We crossed paths at my halfway point and stopped and hugged over the dividing tape and she said, "You're doing awesome! Keep going!" and then ran away from me. I didn't see her again until the finish line. And I knew I was going to finish, I'd worked too hard not to, but it helped me. Having someone tell me I was doing a good job when all I wanted to do was sit down and disappear into the asphalt, was like filling air into my lungs for the first time. Super happy cocaine air.
The end for real.
So, we started running and Addie and Tula were just charging. Like, they were so excited Josh and I actually had to push it to keep up with them. I thought we'd be able to do a nice walk with their pace, but they were not slowing down. They. Were. Racing.
About every thirty seconds Addie would turn her dewy face, criss-crossed with matted wet hair all over her cheeks and forehead up toward me, and would say with and insane amount of thrill, and joy, and hope, "Mom! Am I winning?!"
And every single time it made me cry.
Because she was so happy, and she was so excited, and she was so proud of herself, I could not handle it.
I was so glad it was raining.
"Mom! Am I winning?!"
"Yes! You are! Keep going!"
"Dad! Am I winning?!"
"You're doing so good girl! I'm so proud of you!"
**smiles bigger than I've ever seen in my life**
And the crowd was out there in the rain. God bless the crowd standing there freezing, and wet, and cheering everyone on. They were all clapping and yelling and whistling, and at that moment it was all for her, and it's all she could hear over the pounding rain, and she ran faster. We saw our friend Michelle and Addie ran harder. We saw Grandma and Addie ran harder. We saw her Uncle Andy and Auntie Christina and cousin James and she ran even harder.
And my heart exploded over, and over, and over again.
Of course she didn't actually win. Some super fast 8 year old killed it. But she won to her. She ran the whole mile, all by herself, in the pouring rain. And that was everything. That was all I want for her in life. To be proud of herself, and to do things that are difficult with joy.
Just after we finished. Moments before the horrific cold set in. When we were running we forgot that being wet makes you really cold.
Ok, well enough of the race stuff.
On to pictures!
Oh, the boys are 7 months old now, and can SIT UP! And I'm telling you, they are even cuter sitting up than they were laying down. It's some weird new law of physics.
First time sitting without falling! So proud of themselves!
These are becoming my most favorite pictures. They are also evidence that we might need to invest in a king sized bed if we are ever going to want to relax again.
Babies, working on their sitting. They're pros. Happy little pros.
STOP IT! I CAN'T TAKE ANYMORE CUTE SITTING UP! LAY BACK DOWN SO I CAN CALM DOWN!