Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas & Brother's on the side!

I realize it's December 27, and I have already posted about Christmas once. However, it's such a great time of year, and my Christmas decorations (including the tree) are still up. So I officially declaring it still Christmas time! 

I have a really great family, and we are all quite close. For Christmas this year, Zach & I spent the holiday at my older brother Rhett's house with his wife and two cute chilluns. I must say- I've never seen a 1 year old so excited about a race car in. my. life. 

Another high point of the weekend? We were able to chat with my younger (I typed 'little' and realized he is definitely not 'little' anymore) brother Lance who is currently serving on an LDS mission in Indiana. It is always great to hear his voice- can't believe he is over half way done and will be spending the Holidays back home with the rest of us next year! 

This is Lance and Rhett, notice the red & black color scheme... U-Tah Man am I!!!!!! Go Utes!

Lance ran track & cross country in high school- perfect way to warm him up for running a marathon when he gets home if you ask me! 

Love this pic of Lance and the girls- They always have so much fun with him!

 Here is a more recent pic- what a studly guy- right? 
 And doing what they love most of all.... Tiny Wings!!! If you haven't played this game- it is a must! Seriously- don't wait. Start the download now! Available on the App Store- Thank you again Apple! 

Now- just to make sure we are clear on things. Lance & I are the two youngest in a family of 6 kids. There are ten years between me and my next oldest brother- Rhett (pictured above). So we kinda grew up on our own, and are pretty much best friends. Lance is a total pain. Like pull your hair, chase you with worms and spiders kind of pain. Oh not to mention fart-in-front-of-your-boyfriend kind of pain. I think you get it. But... He is one of the kindest and most selfless guys I know. He'll make a great father and husband someday- until then, I must practice my Tiny Wings and keep up my training so he will not beat me at either once he gets home! Trust me- I need the extra practice time! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Joy to the World!

Because we don't have kids yet, nor do we have a dog....It's just Zach & I this year, wishing you and yours the merriest holiday season! 

Yes- we take this VERY seriously!

Our sweet lil' or should I say- HUGE- Christmas tree! Don't mind the half wrapped present on the right....I ran out of wrapping paper! What's a girl to do? 

 Aaaannnddddd.... last but certainly not least- My DIY projects this Christmas season: 

Reindeer stockings- Thanks to Mom, I won't even begin to describe what my Rudolph would have looked like.

We totally hiked through the Book Cliffs to find these beautiful branches, laden with hundreds of blue berries (I'm sure they have a really awesome name, I just can't think of it right now). My mom is creative- she definitely has an eye for these things! 

P.S. My Christmas t-shirt (courtesy of Old Navy), totally has real flashing lights in it BTW!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The pharmacy

As long as I can remember I have been plagued with these really annoying miniature blister-skin outbreaks on my right hand. Gross, I know. Anyway I have come to the non-medical-professional opinion that I am either allergic to tomatoes or garlic, both of which are dear to my heart. Hence, I am likely to never stop eating either of them and will continue to get annoying minautre blister outbreaks. 

Thank goodness I have awesome people in my life who can help me out with this predicament. Once again, Dad Warner came to the rescue, easing my fears that I had come down with a severe case of something anthrax-level-of-scariness. I thought about posting a picture, and then realized I do actually want people to keep reading my posts and talked myself out of it. 

But....this story does have a point. 

My history of filling perscriptions is slightly more than non-existant, in other words, I am no pro. However, I do have a bit of experience with customer service, and well, manners in general.  I have been that person who works 12-14 hour shifts during the holidays (not to mention going to school full-time simultaneously). My share of customer experiences are plentiful in the that-crazy-lady-just-yelled-at-me-and-I-just-smiled-and-said-is-there-anything-else-ma'am kind of way. So, when I come to the pharmacy during finals week, after a long day at work, with the annoying minautre blister syndrome on my hand, I actually do expect you to be able to hand me my perscription after you billed my insurance, pay the correct amount, return my debt AND insurance card, and close the projectile mailbox thingy so I can manuever the drive through without scratching the entire side of my car. Yes. That is what I expect. And if you can manage to meet about 75% of those expectations, I'll leave with a smile on my face, and I'll probably even fill out your customer service survey (even though I'll never use the blasted 10% off coupon or win the $500 shopping spree) because I get that your job and salary rely on the ambiguous results of those surveys. However, after waiting for 15 minutes with my car turned off (go-green people, global warming isn't a conspiracy) in the 22 degree snowy outdoors you can expect me to be a little annoyed when you ask me to pay +$110 for a perscription, for which I have to remind you to bill my insurance for (isn't that your job???). And yes, after the 4th time of telling you my name and birthdate, I AM SURE I was born on March 7, 1990 and my name is Echo Warner (not to mention, this is the only pharmacy I have used since I've been Echo Warner and you've had my insurance on file for at least a year and a half). Don't mind my glare as I watch you sit and chat and giggle with your girlfriend for a few minutes everytime you hang up the two way microphone, this isn't afterall a one sided mirror-it's a window and I can see you roll your eyes at me. Don't worry princess, there is a highly statistically significant chance (p<0.001) that I will not be needing your services in the future. 

Alright, feeling much better now. And yes, after all of that it was definitely worth it- those darned miniature blisters are seeing what's up now!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

On the road again

I wouldn't call myself insightful, but I usually have a reason for most things that I do. That being said, I chose this background picture because it reminds me to maintain perspective. This was taken in the Summer of 2012 on a camping trip with my family at the Warner cabin. When I see it, I always think something like this: Though the sun is setting on this day, there is a road which leads to tomorrow, and as far as we can see it goes on to infinity. Which leads me to my next thought... An anonymous quote I read whenever I'm feeling overwhelemed, 

"Don't confuse your path with your destination. Just because it's stormy now doesn't mean that you aren't headed for sunshine"

Picture from:

"The Marathon"

Call it initiation, call it bonding, call it family fun, call it whatever you'd like...I'll tell you the truth- it's a trick. Remember that thing in elementary all of your friends told you would be awesome? You thought, what the heck, if everyone else is so hyped about it, it MUST be cool. So you did it, whatever "it" may be, and afterward you thought- jeez those guys totally tricked me. But, you know, I'm glad they did. This actually turned out kinda cool. Being a "Warner" is a pretty cool club to belong to. Warner's hike, they play, they eat (Ahead: Thanksgiving, Warner style. Everything from smoked turkey and orange rolls to oyster casserole), but the real defining Warnerish thing to do is run a marathon, and not just any marathon, The Marathon. 

Orange hat's are a thing. Kinda like "Where's Waldo" in a sea of runners. See someone in the St. George Marathon with an orange hat, they're probably a Warner. See someone in an orange hat, orange shirt, orange shoes with a camera in one hand, 12 gels in his spy belt, and talking to a stranger about how their running form can make or break their knees...It's definitely Claude. Believe it or not, my father-in-law isn't just great at wearing orange! For those of you who know him, he's great at pretty much everything (and I mean that!). I had known Zach for about a year when we went to St. George, Utah for The Marathon. For those of us unlucky non-Washington County residents, the St. George Marathon (SGM) operates on a lottery system, meaning that unless you are a Runner's Series member, you have about a 61% chance of being selected to run. I had been denied entrance my first year of entry, but decided to tag along as moral support for Zach, and let's be honest, putting forth my best efforts to make a good impression on my to-be-family-in-law. Upon our arrival, and much to my suprise/horror, one of Zach's sisters had decided not to run the race that year, and the general consensus was that I should take her place, heaven forbid a race entry go unused. 

I am NOT one of those people who works out daily, and eats a strict regimented diet. I'd much rather snuggle up in a blanket, enjoy some Grey's Anatomy, and a jelly-filled doughnut. Spring semester (Jan-April) I had taken a marathon training class in hopes that I'd make it into the lottery, but since I found out I hadn't been selected my training had become essentially non-existent. Hence, the idea of running the full 26.2 miles from start to finish sounded about as enticing as cleaning toilets all day with a toothbrush. And here comes the trick part. Zach, Claude and the rest of the Warner clan was determined that, as the newest potential addition to the family, I must at least come to the starting line. But, no pressure, I wouldn't need to run, just wake up at 3:30am and ridue up with everyone for fun! :) Riiiight. One new running out fit (thanks Claude) and plenty of bribes later I found myself here...yep. At the starting line, it was probably about 40-45 degrees, but in my mind, I'm sure it was closer to -11 or so. 

As we sat around the campfire that morning, I remember thinking, "This isn't so bad, I could probably last a few miles." Keeping in mind that the extent of my running experience amounted to one season of track my senior year of high school, I had no inention of doing more than 3-4 miles tops. In response to my obligatory self-doubt, I'll never forget Aunt Niki saying, "Oh don't worry, no one ever trains for their first marathon!" Afterwhich ensued a lengthy discussion of various family members' untrained first marathons. Let's just say, the more I heard, the more i realized I was grossly unprepared for the task at hand. Nonetheless, when I heard the gun shot signaling the race had begun, I found myself tagging along with Zach and our cousin Alex. The silent energy and anticipation was infecitous. There is nothing comparable to the sounds of thousands of sneakers trotting along in the crisp morning air. Before long, we had passed several mile markers, and I was starting to feel the burn in my legs and lungs. Convinced I was to the end of my journey, at least for this year, I urged Zach and Alex to go ahead and I would catch up with them when they crossed the finish line. I found myself alone, in a crowd of people, but unable to stop one foot from going ahead of the other. I was about 10 seconds from calling it quits at about mile 12 finally saw a familiar face! Not many people can say their first one-on-one conversation with their father-in-law was halfway through their first marathon! 
Let's be honest, I was so done with the running thing at this point, surpassing the longest distance I had ever ran at mile 6. Yet for some reason, call it pride, I couldn't stop running! Then, we saw the figure of my future husband less than 100 yards ahead. Inside I was jumping for joy and feeling more than a little ecstatic! I'll nenver forget the look on Zach and Alex's face when we jogged by them. 

And at mile 16 we were still feeling great! Thank goodness no one has a pic of me at Winchester exit...NOT my best moment. 

And just over four and a half hours later...

I am pretty sure I didn't move from this position for about 3 hours, 
and I won't even go into trying to walk the next day. 

In the end, this initiation trick or whatever you'd like to call it has become an endeared family tradition to me. Running is more than a sport to us, it truly is family time, and some of my best memories with Zach's family are from The Marathon. 

So, to future Warner's, don't worry- no one ever trains for their first marathon! 

We do it not because we love the early morning and midnight training runs, the blisters or lost toenails, we esspecially don't love Winchester hill, nor do we even sort of like the "You're almost there" cheers at mile 20. We do it because there is nothing like the feeling of crossing that finish line after 26.2 miles! 

Noob alert! New to the blogging world...

In graduate school, a professor of mine asked the class to read a book called Crazy Like Us, by Ethan Watters. One of the stories from this book takes place in Tanzania,  a country in South East Afria. In Tanzanian, zogozogo is a term meaning "managed chaos". Heck, zogozogo even sounds chaiotic! (I later found out onomatopoeic is the term for a word that sounds like what it describes- fascinating!) I live a zogozogo life, and I'd like to share it with you!

Disclaimer: I am new to the blogging world- my expertise is limited to sarcastic Facebook posts, and indulgent Instagram pics. Forgive me if I make a few (or many) newbie mistakes! As with all things, I'll learn-eventually.