Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Here are the reason why Mom's Awesome:
#1 She can cook. I know this is what a lot of people say about their moms, but whenever I go back to Utah, I am actually glad to get away from my mom's cooking because I love it too much. She can whip anything up for a crowd in seconds flat. And it is very healthy and tasty. I remember when I was growing up that she would make 10 pizzas at a time. Our family got three and the rest she was giving away to people that were sick or needed pizza. The kitchen would be packed with pizza and I may or may not have picked an olive or two off, but I loved those times.
#2 She helps everyone. And I mean EVERYONE. I went back to Utah this summer and heard from so many people how she had changed their lives, etc, because of all that she has done for them. I really want to have a witty come back like "Oh yeah? You should try being her daughter" and then recant some torturous event that happened or ways in which I was neglected, but I have nothing, because she is a helper to all. When Kevin and I were selling our house in the Avenues, the wife of the couple that ended up buying it was from my home ward and she told me how my mom had been like a second mom to her when her mom had died in a tragic car accident when she was a teenager, and how my mom would take her to functions where a mom was needed. I never knew this. Maybe because all the good that she does is under the radar and she's not looking for any acknowledgements for her good deeds.
#3 She can throw a party. Our house was the gathering place for all parties in the ward or family gatherings. She's even had parties there when she hasn't been home, that's how good she is. I didn't realize how important this was until I moved away and find myself missing all of those family gatherings (especially when I hear about an event that got a little heated). Thanksgivings have 50+ people there, and she has made her home a welcoming place and made sure that everyone who enters, whether she knows them or not, feels that happy, peaceful feeling that she exudes. But she did have a misstep at an event. I remember one baby shower that she threw and everyone had gathered and were talking, eating, and having a good time, when my mom asked where the guest of honor was. It was then that she realized that she had not invited the recipient. She quickly called her and she came over, so all was well.
#4 She is industrious. My mom is one of those people who never sits still, because when she does, she falls asleep from all the work that she has been doing. She wakes up early, early (which used to drive my cra-a-zy when I was a teenager and wanted to sleep in) and works the live long day. Now, I wake up early. I don't get as much done as she ever did, but I try and emulate her. We never had a plumber come to our house when I was growing up. That's because my mom fixed everything. If there was an issue with anything, she would fix it. Her and my dad had major projects they did every summer when my dad was off from school. They added a room on the back of the house, redid the kitchen twice, made an extra room downstairs. I could go on and on.
I could go and on about how awesome Mom is too, but then I would make myself and other moms feel bad because we aren't doing as much. And by other moms, I mean my sisters. I kid of course. Those are four separate blogs right there that I need to do on how I am not as great as they are. I bet they get it from their mom. So way to go, Mom! If you have any comments on how awesome you think mom is, please leave them. Or, you can leave a comment on how awesome YOUR mom is. Yay for mom's!!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Before we started out trek as we were waiting for the shuttle to load up, an Italian woman was fascinated with the new hiking poles that Kevin had bought this summer. They are super light weight and collapse to smaller than other poles. She spoke to him in Italian and then she called all of her Italian friends over so they could admire them too. It was quite a sight to see him explaining to these people in English and they responded in Italian.
So, it was chilly when we got to the North Rim. I know that's all relative, but I was not prepared. Fortunately, I had a husband who bought me gloves and ear warmers.
There he goes! I had a fellow hiker ask me if someone was chasing me because I was going so fast. I told him "No! I'm trying to keep with that guy!" I did twist my ankle pretty bad and heard a crack, but kept going. What were my options? Sit?
At the next usual stop, there were workers doing some tree trimming. Kevin talked to one of the workers and discussed the trees that were there and what needed to be done to take them down, etc. Then we came to a group of hikers that yelled out "Who wants to see a rattle snake?" What are you supposed to say to that? Yes, but not too close? Kevin told them it wasn't a rattle snake (they were from New York, so they probably think that all snakes in AZ are rattlers) You be the judge.
We traveled a little further and some other hikers paused to admire a plant that looks like a giant morning glory
It's hard to tell from this picture how big it is, but it is about the size of a softball. As the ladies were admiring it, speculating as to what kind of flower it was, Kevin breezed by and said "That's a datura plant. It's poisonous and a hallucinogenic." I'm sure they were shocked to have this drive by expert just spout off that information. I dubbed him the "Ben Driggs of the North Kaibab Trail" since he knew all of the flora and fauna. Only Mountain View members will get that reference.
We got to Phantom Ranch, had a quick bite then left. I was hitting the wall, and had to mentally gear myself up for the task ahead. I don't think I've felt like that for a while. But I drank my Perpetuem (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) and took off. Devil's Corkscrew was next and I HATE the sandy part leading up to it because it is not easy to walk through sand in hiking boots, but thanks to the recent rain, the sand was packed down. Whooppee
I got out at the top, all sweaty, disgusting, dirty with my pack on and hiking poles and some older man said to his wife "Here comes a serious walker." If I had the energy, I would have told him all of the serious WALKING I had done all day long.
I checked in to the Maswik Lodge, and it was lovely to have a bath and clean up. We ate at the Maswik Lodge as well, and Kevin and I couldn't decide if it was because the food was so good or the fact that we were so hungry, but it was the best meal we had on this trip. Hands down! AND to top it off, the Utah vs byu game was on!! We kept saying what a perfect evening it was. Sad for the team that lost very badly though. Lucky for us, that wasn't who we were cheering for!
Thanks to the McKellars for keeping our people safe. Olivia did suffer a minor head injury when she was jumping up to see Dillan's snake and hit her head on the edge of the cabinet and she has a small gash in the top of her head, but that could happen anytime, even if I was looking right at her.
***NOTICE*** Sisters and Brother, This is NOT the hike that we will be doing next fall. That one will only be 17 miles of hiking. This one was a little longer at 24 miles. Oh, and the crack in my ankle? I don't think I broke it or anything, but it stills hurts. I put myself on mandatory Kindle reading until the end of the week. Then I will stop reading. Maybe. Unless I find another good book to read. Why are there so many books I want to read? Will I ever get them all read? If not, please put some in my casket. Seriously.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Oh, and the picture. We must have been going out on a date or somewhere that we were a little dressy, and we asked our roommate, Heidi, to take our picture. She gave us a "One, two, three" and then passed the LOUDEST gas, ever. This picture captured our reaction. It always makes me smile.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
So this summer vacation raced by. Here's a sample of what happened. And don't bother thanking me for putting it all together in one tidy little blog instead of dragging it out over two months.
We went to Utah for three lovely weeks. I love Utah in the summer. And it seemed like we were there for a much shorter period of time than three weeks, probably because we were going here and there and having a grand time. We saw everyone we could squeeze in, and still, we didn't get to see everyone. I will try to recapture the fun in a photo essay shown here:
Other events worth noting: I spent the most wonderful afternoon/evening with my former roommate from college, Kim, which I will blog about separately, and I had a lovely evening out with Julie. We are planning on celebrating our birthdays together on a girls WEEKEND. Just the thought of that will get me through tomorrow. And I had a double exercise day when I went to see my friend, Kami, who I have known since I was five (don't do the math, please). We picked her kids up from school via bicycles and jogging stroller. Then there was a huge hill and of course, what child can resist rolling down a hill? Olivia and Blake certainly couldn't. That was such a fun day. Herriman is the happening place to be. When I was growing up, I was so jealous of Kami's super long ponytails. I wanted my hair to be that long, but my mom never wanted to take care of long hair, so I never got the chance. Sigh.
That's what I can remember so far. If there is anything noteworthy, I will try to remember it. For those of you who give me a hard time about not blogging more often, I'll have you know, I blog ALL OF THE TIME in my head. I wish there was a way that I could think up a blog and it would already be there and I wouldn't have to sit and put it all together, like this. Then I would be a much more prolific blogger. And since I'm making requests for things that will never happen, I would also like books that I don't have to sit down and read, ones that all of the information just goes right into my head and I know it and act on it, because I have been spending way too much time reading. I know, because I have gotten complaints. I'm not saying who from.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Kevin took this picture and told me that he got his mad self portrait skills from JT (Justin Timberlake-and he's not kidding). So I had to try out what I had learned from the person who learned from the master.
Not bad, right?
How many pictures do we have like this? I'm going to say a dozen. On to the North Kaibab! We did not see anyone for almost six miles! And the two people we saw snuck up behind us. I almost had a heart attack. I was worried about getting attacked from behind after Susie told me that the trail is rampant with murderers and rapists (she told me this to discourage me from hiking to the top alone if anything happened to Kevin). We stopped at Cottonwood Campground for food and refill water. It was eerie that there wasn't anyone. This is us in case you have forgotten what we look like when we are hiking:
Hey! Where's me? Oh, that's right. Potty break.
Keep on keepin' on. Up to about this point there is very little incline as it runs along the river. After we get through this campground it starts heading up. I chose to listen to General Conference on my iPod. Which I was very glad that I had that thought because I don't really need motivation music, and besides, I am a little sick of listening to it right now, so I filled my spiritual cup as I drained my physical cup. There was a terrifying moment on the trail. No, I didn't slip off the side. We came across this:
FIRE!!!! In the Grand Canyon!!! One of the Natural Wonders of the World! Oh, wait. There are guys in yellow jackets that seem to be tending the fire. And it is very controlled. Thank heavens! I was worried that I was going to have to activate the emergency system, but more importantly, HOW WERE WE GOING TO GET TO THE TOP OR BACK AGAIN IF THERE WAS A WILDFIRE?!?!?! So, my thoughts were selfish, but glad that this was not a wildfire, but a controlled burn. Keep going.
If you do a Rim to Rim to Rim, this shot is obligatory as proof that you made it to the other side.
Back down. This part gets tough because your toes have gotten relief from the going up and now you are going back down with a steeper decline. I could feel my right two toes were getting blistered, but kept moving. Here's me by Ribbon Falls:Two things that you could learn from this shot. #1 Hiking poles are ESSENTIAL. I mean it. They reduce the effort on your legs by 30%. #2 Compression socks are ESSENTIAL. This was the first time I have worn them on a hike and I could tell a difference.
He said he wanted a picture of him for the kids in case he didn't make it out alive. So once we pushed on, I kept thinking about how selfish I was for asking my husband to do this with me. I had to stop that, so I counted again. The moon was full so it helped light the way. I was so happy when we got to the 3 Mile Resthouse! Only three miles to go! We still had three miles to go? Ugh.
Onward. Now instead of counting, I tried predicting how far we had gone and kept saying in my head: "We've only got 2.9 miles to go, we've only got 2.9 miles to go" and then when I thought we had gone a tenth of a mile, I changed it to "We've only got 2.8 miles to go" etc, but I hoped that I was underestimating how far we had gone, and when we came up to the 1.5 miles resthouse and I had in my head that we still had 2 miles to the top, I was elated! Kevin saw the emergency call box and commented that it looked really good right then. Still going up. This part is such a mental endurance challenge that I can't even describe it. You know you have to keep going because you can't pull off to the side of the road and motion to the medical response team that you're feeling lousy, you have to get out! And I could NOT have done it without Kevin, nor would I have wanted to, despite the fact that I thought he may not make it. But when we saw the sign for the Bright Angel Trailhead, I don't think I have ever had that much relief or love for my husband. WE DID IT!!!! Truly an amazing bonding experience. And here we are at 0230 in the am:
We got back to our room and surveyed the damage, which was great. I had chaffing on my shoulders from my pack, two blisters on one foot, two toenails sure to go, sore backside, but that shower. That shower! And then the bed. And the sleeping in. Nice.
We were beat up, battered, but definitely closer as a couple, so for that, the experience was truly once in a lifetime. That is, until Kevin told me three days after the hike that he would do it again. Wh-aa-at? Yep. He says he'll do it again and wanted to know if I would to. Of course I would, dear.
P.S. Siblings: This trip is NOT the one that we will be taking for my 40th birthday. Mom said there was no way she was going to allow it. Ours will be the much easier 17 mile hike.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Trampoline providing hours of entertainment that usually ends with someone getting bumped.
I have been asked by the bloggers at The Cutest Blog on the Block to please move my blog to The Most Boring Blog on the Block. Even bloggers have their standards.
The Adoring Fans love a pose Don't call me four eyes!
Someone is supplying her with these pipe cleaners since I don't have any at home. Who knows what she could come up with if she had an endless supply of these. Headbands? Scarves? Bathing suits? I will not be getting any pipe cleaners for her now that the thought has crossed my mind. It is only a matter of time before she tries it.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
One of Kevin's client's (who is in the opening credits to M*A*S*H. She is the blond nurse running toward the helicopter), her ex husband has a condo on Catalina and they generously let us stay there. It was so beautiful and away from the main part of Avalon, so we got around on a golf cart. The first time that we took it out for a spin, Kevin and I took Olivia and Blake. Olivia sat in the front seat next to Kevin and as soon as we started going, she sang "In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room" over and over until we got to our destination. Who needs a radio when you've got Olivia? The trouble that I saw immediately with where we were staying was: the stairs. 51 to be exact. That's how many we had to climb to get in, and then once inside, there was a couple of steps going up and down in the condo to each room. I knew that I would be feeling it after I ran.
Chloe was our photographer, so all pictures that you may see are from her. Dillan was in heaven and wanted to be at the beach all day and checked on when the low tide would be so he could go in the tide pools to capture whatever he could get his paws on. Kevin went snorkeling and came within 20 feet of a sea lion. He said that it had a lot of brown teeth, so he hurried and got out of the water.
So here is the race report, which, the most interesting part was getting to the beginning. I was told to purchase my race day boat ticket because that was the ONLY way to get to Two Harbors on the other side of the island where the race started. I bought my ticket with my registration, planned to be there at 5 am for a 5 am departure time, and planned out when we were leaving the condo with Kevin and went to bed in my own bed (that's what serious athletes do. I guess. Or ones that will use any excuse to get a night of uninterrupted sleep). Kevin and I left at the previously determined time, and got to the dock at 5 am. Just in time to see the race day boat leaving the dock. I ran down to the end and started yelling "I'm still here!!!!!! You can't leave without me!!!!!!! That is the only way to get to the other side!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Right then, another couple pulled up in the same predicament. I was told later by the fella that Kevin turned to him and said "I'm going to do whatever it takes to get her to the starting line. She'll be too mad if she doesn't run." The Harbor Patrol officer came by. We asked him what to do and if he could help. He said we could try a taxi, but we already knew that they didn't open until 7 am because we had asked them on the first night we got there. We drove over to where the race planners were setting up the finish line and told a guy our troubles. He looked stunned that this could have happened and didn't have any idea what to do to get us over there. Kevin said that maybe he could call the race director and see what could be done. That's when he said he was the race director. We went over to the grocery store that had a couple of people in it getting ready for the day. Kevin asked them if they knew anyone with a boat. They looked at him like he had three heads and said "We aren't hoity toity people who have boats. We work in a grocery store." I told Kevin that I wanted him to pinch me because this was a nightmare and this kind of thing doesn't happen to me!!! I plan for things like this NOT to happen. Kevin thought we should go back to the Harbor Patrol and see if he knew ANYONE that had a boat to take me and the other two (BTW, the girl had a potty mouth and started swearing at people. I didn't think that it was a good time to tell her that she may get a better response if she acted like a lady instead of a sailor) to the other side. He called one person, but they couldn't, so he suggested that we find the sheriff to see what he could do. As we drove over there, I started praying as hard as I could that we would find a way. We saw the sheriff at a stop sign and told him what was going on. He said he didn't know anyone with a boat (who owns all those boats in the harbor????), but that he could see some people that looked like runners getting into a van a few houses behind him. How he even thought that these people looked like runners is beyond me because it was two ladies in there 50s that didn't look like they were in exceptional shape. We hurried over there and Kevin asked them where they were going. Two Harbors. Tears started welling up in my eyes. Kevin asked if I could hitch a ride. They said of course. I hugged everyone I could in that van. There was the couple and a woman and her two boys. Kevin gave the man some gas money which he tried to refuse, but I think at that point, Kevin was so relieved that I wouldn't be mad (not at him, of course, since I should have known better), that he insisted and told him gas was expensive. I have no idea how much he gave him. We had lost the other two a little while before, but Kevin (the do gooder that he is) tracked them down and was able to get them in the van as well. It turns out the driver was the community pastor and they were going to drive over the night before to take the two ladies to the starting line, but were unable, so them even being there at that time was a last minute thing. My prayer was answered. And, yes, Mom, I did thank my Heavenly Father that I was getting to the start. This meant that I got to drive through the interior. which was beautiful, and get a sneak peek at the course. Hilly. We got there in time to take a potty break and walk to the starting line and then start. The course is so amazingly beautiful. Waves crashing on the rocks below, wildflowers everywhere, green hills, a few buffalo, and ocean air. I knew by mile 10 that I would be doing it again and again because it was my kind of course. It really is like hiking the Grand Canyon, but there's more up than down and it's all mixed up. I was so grateful that I had hiked the GC so many times with Kevin because he flies down the trail, which is harder for me than going uphill, so I had enough experience of keeping up and not trying to put on the brakes that my downhill running didn't suffer. Plus, the aid stations were fully stocked with peanut M&Ms, Swedish Fish, pretzels, cookies, and Twizzlers. I told Chloe this and she said I should have taken my number off and gone back for more, and I told her it didn't matter! I could have had as much as I wanted, there was no limit to what I could take. She may sign up for the marathon next year. And then, as promised, the last three miles are at such a decline that you could roll down. It was super fun. I ran through the Botanical Gardens, which was funny, because all of the sudden you see beautifully manicured plants and shrubs that are identified, and it took me a second to figure out that I was in the Gardens. Kevin and the kids caught up to me with a couple of miles left to go while they were in the golf cart yelling words of encouragement like "Go faster, Mom!" and "He touched me!" and "Mom, I'm hungry". It was a glorious sight to see the finish line, and get my FINISHERs t shirt, pin, and medal. I loved it. And I am still sore from running and I can truly say it is my favorite course I have done.
We went to church the next day in the bank building, where the sacrament service was held in a small room. Our family made up 60% of the congregation. Dillan passed the sacrament. Olivia asked me where her Primary class was, and then during "Gospel Doctrine", she had ALL of the answers. Kevin kept giving me the eye to get her to stop raising her hand, and I tried to get her to tell me her answer first so I could screen it, but then she would change the answer she gave me. And, it is very funny when the prayer is being offered and the two year old goes to the bathroom and chooses that reverent time to flush the toilet.
I'm sure there is more to all of this that I can say, and if there is something that I forgot, I will put an addendum, because I know there are many of you anxiously awaiting this report. Thanks to all of those who cheered me on in your hearts. At one point during the race, I swear I heard someone say "Kim!" but then looked around and no one was there. I'm sure it was either my sister, Jen, giving me encouragement, or Emily yelling at me to keep running.
I almost forgot about the "Pants" part of the title! Blake discovered that he loved saying the word "pants", so if there was any break in the conversation or a dull moment he would say "pants" and it would put us all in to giggles. Then on the ride home, the kids were watching a Veggie Tales movie and a song about, of all things, Pants, comes on, and, well, you can imagine the laughter.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Now, some of you may be embarrassed at how silly you were (Jake and Adam), or how young Kevin looks, and how I STILL look the same. Ok, except for the fact that I stopped dying my hair brown and it is its natural shade of dark blonde with highlights and lowlights. I love the shot of my dad looking exhaustico. That shot should have been after my sister's wedding two months before when they put on a luau for her AND we had to go to Hawaii for her open house. That was exhausticating. The shot of my dad should have been jumping and shouting for joy that he had gotten rid of me! A special thank you to Uncle Bruce Merrill. The Merrill's may have a reputation for always having a camera or recording device handy, but I am so grateful to have this momentous day recorded forever. Let's hope I stay looking that young forever, too.
I hesitiated putting this video on my blog because I didn't want to upset anyone that was living in a frozen tundra, but then I remembered that ALL of my followers live here, so I needn't worry about upsetting anyone. This video is from January 31st in Tempe Towne Lake, which is in Tempe, AZ about 20 minutes away from our home. I don't have it on this video, but I said that Dillan is not with us because he chose to have an Air Soft War with his friends instead of hanging out with us. Enjoy the show!