Monday, November 21, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

So much

My last post was 2 months ago. Can you remember 2 months ago? 
I'm trying to and it's a little difficult. 

We spent a week at Snowbird and enjoyed the beauty that is Little Cottonwood Canyon. We hiked up to the tram in record time - we thought we were taking our time but I guess we weren't. The ride down is always fun, we much prefer to hike up than down.

We moved Sydney into her dorm room at Utah State. She went up early so she could go on a backpacking trip (college class & credit for backpacking!). It was great to be one of the few moving in that day. She is in a dorm that will be torn down at the end of the year. The new replacement dorm is being built right now and she has a lovely view of the construction area - along with lots of pretty trees.

This is what her bed looked like over a month ago. I have no idea what her room looks like now - that is probably a good thing. So far she has loved her time at school.

Yippee! We took a trip to Maui with some friends. We left Gretchen and Julia at home with Grandma. It was a delightful week in the tropics!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Rocks and water

For the past 11 years we have gone camping/climbing with our friends at City of Rocks. Each trip something happens that really makes this one different from previous trips. The winning event this year was hail! Followed by 4 hours of rain. Brian and 3 of the kids wanted to repel down from our last climb of the morning. Sydney and Gretchen made it down with a bit of rain but Adam & Brian got the very unique opportunity to repel down during a hailstorm. It was crazy! I wish these pictures captured what really happened. Definitely something we will talk about for years to come.

Brian holding the only lizard of the trip - there must be a shortage of lizards this year.
 July 4th was a parade party for us. We do not go to many parades but this year Gretchen, Julia and I went to two parades. Brian joined us for the 2nd parade.

Another big event for July was the state long course swim championships. 4 long days of prelims and finals. It was great watching these girls race. Sydney and Gretchen were able to swim on 2 relays together so that was a treat. I thought I wouldn't see that again after the high school state championship. I'm glad Syd decided to swim again this summer.

Life is in full swing around here. I did just spend a day completely by myself while Brian worked, Sydney was backpacking and Gretchen & Julia were at AFY in Idaho. I have to include a bit from a post I read by Jen Hatmaker because she describes so well the way I am feeling:
"Do you ever worry just a tiny bit that you are living in your very best days?? The ones you'll describe as the greatest ones of them all in 30 years? I feel like that a bit right now. Our own parents are healthy and vibrant, we have fun and good big kids in the nest, work we love, and just a full happy loud life. These feel like golden years. Pretty sure I'm going to miss them. In over words, I am prematurely grieving my current life which is surely a wonderful and smart use of my energy, no?"

I am doing my very best to enjoy every minute I have with this family of mine.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

We are not moving at a snail's pace

Sydney graduated June 2. 

Obviously, she is excited about it. She's excited to start a new chapter in her life - new city, new school, new roommate, new friends, new activities, new, new, new. It's a bit overwhelming - do you remember graduating? As great as is was, did you also feel a bit of, "That's it? That's all there is?" The summer before college is a little strange. You're ready to move on, but you still have your friends. You're all doing different things and going different places and 2 1/2 months is a long transition. So far I'm pretty happy with how much time Sydney has spent with us - I guess it helps that we've been out of town over half of June. :)

Speaking of being out of town. We went sailing around the British Virgin Islands. All the hype you hear about a vacation like that? It's true. 

We've also been doing swim meets, youth conference with our church, gardening & in Brian's case - working. The rest of us are lazing around like we have nothing to do. (I don't know how to insert the sarcasm font so just read that last sentence as if I did.) There's still a lot to happen this summer. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Time Keeps on Ticking...

Sydney graduates in 4 days. I know, you are wondering if you read that correctly and you did! 4 days. She is ready to be done. I am not. Too bad for me.

While she is getting ready to graduate, the rest of us are enjoying the activities and events that make up the end of the school year. May is a crazy month. I think it's crazier than December.

Lacrosse season ended. It really ended a few weeks earlier for Gretchen because she got a stress fracture and has spent the month of May in a boot. Sydney loved her final season. Gretchen is looking forward to playing again next year.

Prom was so fun for these two. They both thought their dates were great and their groups were fabulous. An excellent way to end for Sydney and an excellent way to begin for Gretchen.

This picture makes me laugh a bit because as a reward for super hard work in our yard - they bought, loaded, unloaded and spread 47 bags of mulch, plus a couple other projects one Saturday - they all wanted a little cactus, please, please, please. Had I known $5 houseplants would bring me such happy cheerful yardworkers I would probably have houseplants coming out my ears.

We went for an awesome mountain bike ride on my birthday. The weather was perfect, the scenery was gorgeous, the time together was the perfect gift.

I like to make my own birthday cakes and this year I tried a recipe from Paula Deen for a coconut lime cake. So so yummy. I will be making that one again.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Yikes - it's May!

May the 4th be with you.
Welcome to a new month already. I've done many mental updates over the past 5 weeks. Yay for me that I'm actually sharing one. 

The month started off with a quick fun trip to St. George for spring break. A few mountain bike rides, dinners with friends, climbing, playing in the sand and enjoying the warmth were packed in to a couple days.

April 12 was Gretchen's 16th birthday! It was an action packed day that started with her family celebration at 6:20am so Brian could get to work & actually see her that day. Cream puffs were the requested treat (no cake please). They made a yummy breakfast.

After school was a lacrosse game. Well played and fun to watch!

 I played around with some covered jars and a different technique. 

The girls and I had our last ski day April 7. Lots of fun.

And then I had another last day with Brian 3 weeks later because there was so much fresh new snow! 

Gretchen had been complaining about leg pain for a week or two and I finally got her in to see a doctor - stress fracture & 4 weeks in a boot. Farewell lacrosse season & hello to a healthy and painfree summer.

And finally, here we are in May. 
Sam turned 20 2 days ago and we get to skype with her in 3 days. Awesome.

Monday, March 28, 2016

It's the end of the month

Here are some highlights to March:

Brian was big in Japan

Studio time for me & some lidded jars

Beehive finale swim meet for Julia

Lacrosse tournament for Sydney & Gretchen

Swim awards banquet for these winners

State age group short course swim meet with some amazing swims by Julia

Samantha being super happy in Mexico

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Leap past February

Well. I missed the entire month of February. There was even an extra day and I still didn't get a blog post written. Instead of skipping the February events completely I'll just focus on the 5A State High School swim meet. That, hands down, was the biggest deal of the month. It had all the emotions. I'm still talking about it to those who missed it (which in my world is almost everyone; people don't go to swim meets, even when they know the swimmers.). If you will recall from my last post, the region swim meet was amazing. How do you top that? 
Well, for one, you help your team do better than your school has ever done in the history of your school. That is an awesome feat. 

Two, as a senior, you shine in your moment. 

Three, as a sophomore, you show some grit and let people know you'll be in the fight next year also. 

And four, you are a great team member and help others do their best too.

It was a fabulous finish to Sydney's swim career. What a gift I have been given to spend my time with such wonderful girls. I had no idea what was in store when Brian and I started our family. So so amazing.