Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A First for the 4th of July

Yes, it was a monumental, milestone 4th of July, this year. Brady and I "ran" the Butte to Butte, a famous road race in Eugene that is 6.3 miles, starting at Spencer Butte and ending at Skinner Butte. That is the longest distance I have ever jogged in my life! I was nervous, because I didn't know if I would be able to do it. My legs were actually trembling on the shuttle ride to the start of the race. I've never done this race before, so it was really fun to take it all in for the first time. Brady has ran the race several times, but not for the past 12 years. We made a pact to stay together the entire race, and we crossed the finish line at exactly the same time. It was so fun! It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be, and the positive energy and excitement in the air was inspiring and nearly overwhelming. People were on the sidelines cheering us on the entire distance, clapping and waving and shaking cow bells like you hear in the Olympics. Our little B's spent the night before with our beloved Lambert family, and they all came down to the race and cheered us on with a special sign they had made. It was so cool to see them all sitting on the street corner, the four kids in special 4th of July tie-dye shirts we had made, Kimmy holding an awesome sign they all signed that said "Good Job Big Daddy &  Big Mama" in red, white and blue. It brought a tear to my eye to see them, and I had to really force that emotion back down to make it through the rest of the race. Over 4500 people participated in this year's Butte to Butte, all happy and excited to be there. The goal for Brady and I was to just make it through, and we did, despite Brady's knee giving him some real trouble the last couple of miles. We already have a new strategy for next year... Afterwards, we met at the Lamberts' house and Brian talked Brady into soaking in the hot tub. I soaked my aching feet, as well, while Brady soaked his body. I'll never forget how fun it was to sit in the sun and talk to two of the most special people we know, sipping our fizz that Kimmy got us. She also got us our favorite candy bars, which we devoured as soon as we got in the car to come home. Can you tell it was an incredible experience? It was...

The rest of the 4th was fun, too. Brady judged the Fire Cracker Bull Ride that night and we had a great time. The weather was perfect, the fireworks were amazing, and we got to spend time with another family dear to our hearts, the Hartley's. Once again, an amazing 4th of July celebration! If you know me at all, then you know the 4th is my favorite holiday... I love it! And I will never forget my first Butte to Butte, held every year on the 4th, and sure to be conquered again.

Britt, Brailey and Hope.

Brailey and Hope - the two cutest cowgirls in the land!

I always get the kids an elephant ear at this bull ride - Eugene makes the best elephant ears in the land! This year was extra special, because I let each kid have their own, instead of sharing one. They enjoyed every last bite!

Robert and Stacie Jo Hartley, two of our dearest friends and two of the greatest horse trainers around, and still in love with each other. They are too cool for words, and the B's love them! (Hope is their little girl in the pictures above...)


  1. Twin! I was sooo proud of you two healthy cats! Good job!!! love you

  2. Way to go on the Butte to Butte! I did that race once with my twin sister, and that was enough for me. (I didn't come away with your enthusiasm thinking "It wasn't as hard as I thought" - instead, by the time I reached the finish line Michele remarked that I had that expression on my face that looked like I was in labor...yup, that pretty sums it up) These days, a pounding workout will guarantee a migraine, so I use that as my excuse to not considering a repeat experience.

    So, Eugene has the best Elephant Ears huh? I'm a lover of Elephant Ears so that might be just the draw to get us to the rodeo next year -

    Looks like you had the true Fourth of July Americana experience - as years go by, it has also become one of my favorite holidays, second only behind Christmas.

    (And, btw, thanks so much for your sweet comment on my blog - it was a fun day all around and I treasure these memories).


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