Friday, April 30, 2010

Deep Thoughts and Burning Bosoms

The vanity was as cluttered as my thoughts; random products from the past few days remain that there hasn't been time to sort and put neatly away.

Birthday gifts
Social Justice
Butter vs. margarine
Relief Society meals
Debbie Gibson's "Electric Youth" 
Spray tans vs. farmer tans
Shoe shopping
12 miles

 I sleeked and smoothed, tweaked and twirled, primped and painted, while deep in thought- not particularly paying attention to or thinking about what I was doing.  
And that's when it happened.

The wrinkles were too much to get away with....not many, but enough that the shirt would not button right. I tried applying water and tugging on it. The result was just a bunch of soggy wrinkles.

Dreading wasting time and energy dragging out the iron and ironing board for a tiny length of collar and shirt tail I continued working with my hair. Somewhere between deciding to leave my hair down and what to serve to basic strangers for dinner, brilliance struck. I was using a flat iron on my hair to smooth out the god given wrinkles in my hair why not use it on those in  my shirt?  

While continuing to straighten my hair my mind dove back into the difference between being forced to be or choosing to be charitable as Debbie's lyrics wafted around the room, "....the future belongs to the future itself....Electric Youth!" and with that triumphant 80's line, I finished ironing my tresses and  moved swiftly to my collar. With one long drag of the iron the big bend sending my collar in the wrong direction was gone.  I moved down where the mass of wrinkles surrounding the button holes were causing gaps and general untidiness to try the magic of my new found tool.

The button holes are on the right and for a  right handed individual the little trick of maneuvering the 200+ degree flat iron became....a little.... awkward. Transfering it to the left hand produced better results, except for the cord. That serpentine, plastic, electricity filled lasso had managed to wrangle my elbow, bicep, and the vanity knob making its length incredibly short. One wrong move found the flat iron screeching to a halt and sending it into a free fall as it slipped out of my hand. Because of it's tethered length it didn't have far to go and instantly my chest experienced a very warm sensation which quickly transformed more into that of a burning one.

My bosom was burning!!!

And not in that good, warm, fuzzy way that deep thoughts and pondering usually produce, but in a flesh melting, why was I distracted, I almost gave myself a reduction by curettage kind of way.  The iron, which seemed more like a branding iron now than anything, was quickly removed and thanks to protective undergarments burns were avoided and only mild tenderness remained. 

So when using a flat iron DO NOT;
- get distracted by deep thoughts, political subjects, or 80's music that may hinder your normal thought process,
-try to manipulate the device with your non-dominant hand,
-think you are brilliant to use the device to iron down the facing around button holes of shirts....

....unless you are brilliant enough to actually remove the shirt first.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mommy Retreat

Moving is always difficult; in one way or another, there is always hardship involved. When we moved to Provo from British Columbia, I found this to be particularly true. Although we loved our time in Canada, our move here was a good thing; we were back in the states, we were closer to family, and we bought our first home. Things were good. Life was good. But there was still a void. The void was that feeling of security that living in a place that feels like home brings. I figured that in time the void would be filled and Provo would finally feel like home and I was right....only it took a little longer than I thought.

In late October, I was invited to and started attending a weekly Craft Night with these ladies.

 In December, I told Richard that Provo finally felt like home. Coincidence? Maybe, but I don't think so. These ladies and some other associations have filled my void and given me that security that belonging brings.

 Friday night, I went away for a night in Park City with some of these friends. We stayed in a 10 million dollar home complete with 5 master suites, 3 kitchens, theater room, elevator, and hot tub.

This particular home has been rented by the likes of Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel (pre-split), Tony Romo, and Will Smith....and now my friends and I. Only we didn't have to pay the steep per night rental fee- we enjoyed ourselves for free (Thanks Kari & Duncan)! Seriously, it doesn't get any better than that.

We had dinner in Park City at the Loco Lizard and then headed up to the house.
Once we were there all the girl fun began....
We fit all 11 of us in the hot tub.
There was nail painting courtesy of Carrilyne.

Some of us even played in the snow....and then hopped right back in the hot tub to warm up.

We stayed up too late watching a movie in the theater and even later just talking in bed.
In the morning some slept in, but my internal alarm would not let me. At 6:28 I woke to find this view from my window. It was amazing....even if Bigfoot didn't walk by (This is an inside joke for Chastina my roommate for the night and awesome backyard neighbor).

At 7:00, when I realized I wasn't going to go back to sleep, I laid in bed and read for the next hour and a half which was as welcome as sleeping in would've been.

When everyone was awake and dressed we left to go and do what girls do!
Only I must not be very good at it because the 2 things I went looking for I came home without. Oh well, I guess there will just have to be a next time.

When we were worn out from shopping and lack of sleep, we headed back to Provo. When I arrived Richard was hard at work building shelves for our food storage in the crawl space, which only meant one thing- the kids, especially the boys, had been left to their own devices.
This is never a good thing.
One has to wonder what happened in my absence, when you find my youngest dressed in Halloween clothes, a  full sized shovel in the middle of the kitchen, every surface of said kitchen covered, and a mystery substance on the floor that is wet yet very sticky.......never mind, I don't want to know.
 It doesn't matter anyway, I was home.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Comical Truth About Utah and its Weather

I love humor.

If you are quick with the wit, I will be your biggest fan. In fact, some of you may not know it, but this is one of Richard's most endearing qualities. Hence, I am his biggest fan, but I also find Jeff Foxworthy to be very chuckle-able. Of course, I love his redneck jokes, but his other material is also quite humorous and for the most part, clean too. I'm a little giddy when we are able to catch a re-run of his Blue Collar Comedy Tour on the Comedy Channel, because between Jeff and his cohorts, it is usually a good hour or so of pure amusement.

The thing that makes their material so comical is the element of truth behind it. It is this element of truth that we relate to because somewhere along the way we've met someone or had an experience that is the reality behind the satire.

I was reminded about this element of truth the other day as I ran  in the rain. I am a bad weather running wimp, so this was a first for me- but besides looking like a drowned rat when I got home it was  awesome! As I dodged and hurdled puddles I thought of the previous day's weather- I woke up to snow...I barbequed that evening under a almost cloudless blue sky...and went to bed that night with my window slightly cracked open which was quickly shut at some unearthly hour due to the wind that began to usher in the storm in which I was then running. Can you say crazy? Unpredictable? Perhaps, even hyperactive?  Such is the weather in Utah.

But that day I found it comical due to an e-mail my mom forwarded to me a few days earlier. It was titled "Foxworthy on Utah" and contained many jokes related to the haphazard weather we in Utah, love or loathe so much. Now I don't know if Foxworthy really came up with these, but I still got a chuckle and  I hope you do too.

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in Utah.

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in Utah.

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number, you live in Utah.

If 'vacation' means going anywhere south of Salt Lake City for the weekend, you live in Utah.

If you measure distance in hours, you live in Utah.

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live in Utah.

If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' and back again in the same day, you live in Utah.

If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both doors unlocked, you live in Utah.

If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Utah.

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in Utah.

If the speed limit on the highway is 75 mph -- you're going 80, and everyone is still passing you, you live in Utah.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Utah.

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Utah.

If you find 10 degrees 'a little chilly' you live in Utah.

If you actually understand these jokes and forward them to all your friends, you live in Utah.

I guess now in that last line you can add the words "or post in on your blog," but he truth remains the same I understood and laughed at every one. So yes, I am from Utah, born and bred....and Ill even admit, I'm proud of it.....wacky weather and all.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring Marathon: Odds & Ends

Just a few small experiences and tid bits to wrap up our Spring Break (esp. since it ended a week and a half ago)....

*Ashton had a dream that he had a pet turtle and he has driven us crazy wanting one since. We did find a very nice 20 gallon aquarium complete with a screened lid which normally sells for $80-100 for $8 at our local DI! Woo HOO! SCORE! Now he is saving to buy a $109 turtle which is supposed to live for 35 years...for that much money the dang thing should live forever.

*Price is a great place to buy leftover Easter candy at discounted prices. Especially, the huge Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs. I bought 3 at half price. I wish I would've bought more...but then again I went swimsuit shopping yesterday morning and I think that 3 was probably 3 too many.

*I got the chance to be Octo-Mom for a day when 4 of my sister-in-law's children stayed with us while she went on her honeymoon. During this time, I was told that "I ROCK" because I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and when I told my 8 year old nephew it was time to take him home he whined and asked if they really had to leave. When yes, was my reply he said, " No! We're gonna live here and YOU'RE gonna like it!" Well.....what do you say to that?
If I could have kids who thought I was that cool all the time, I might have 2 dozen! But for now I'll love being the "favorite aunt" and take this to mean that I'll make a fabulous grandma in 20 or 30 years...

*Upon leaving our adventure in Price we headed up the canyon towards home. As the van climbed  the winding road we drove straight into a snow storm. The snow wasn't sticking to the road, but the fluffy flakes were coming down fast enough that it made it somewhat difficult to see and with windy roads and oncoming traffic it was enough to make one a little nervous, even with a trusted leader to follow.
Since we had forgotten to have a prayer before we got on the road, I decided that that moment would be an appropriate time. Since Ashton had offered one the night before when we left Goblin Valley, Ashton's friend Matthew, was asked to do the honors. A short and simple prayer was offered and I don't think "Amen" had even left his lips when the snow seemed to abruptly stop.
All three boys were astonished at the instant change and each commented on how cool it was that our prayer was answered. Who may have just been that at that exact moment we reached the summit and came out of the storm.....or maybe not.
I like to believe the latter.
After all, that is what those three boys believe happened and aren't we admonished to become like little children? Whatever it was, I know it is an experience we all won't soon forget.

*I changed the oil in our van on the Friday that Spring Break started. The following Saturday when I was driving home from eating at Utah Noodle in Ogden for Grandpa Parke's 74th birthday, I looked down at the odometer and realized that by the time I arrived home I would've gone 1000 miles over the course of the last week.
Wow. It really was a Spring Marathon.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring Marathon: Brides & Baseball

On Friday, April 9th, we had the opportunity to witness Richard's sister, Mary's marriage and sealing in the Manti temple. We are really grateful that she found DJ and for the love and respect he shows her. We couldn't have asked for anyone to love her more and that is a great blessing.  

Unfortunately, that pesky wind from earlier in the week continued to follow me and this time it had a bite to it. It was too cold to stick around the temple grounds after the ceremony to capture any pictures of the wedding party consisting of DJ and Mary's 9 kids (combined) decked out in their red and black finest.... but I will just tell you they were a very handsome looking bunch.
Another reason to not hang around besides the wind, is that our tummies were talking. Since it was going to be hours before the wedding dinner we made a stop at the Malt Shop in Ephraim, for a snack of french fries, onion rings, and shakes- like peanut butter Reese's peanut butter cup, my favorite.

After we all had sufficiently gorged ourselves on french fried fatty goodness, we headed back to Moroni for the ring ceremony, wedding dinner, and eventually, the reception complete with cookie buffet.
But what do you do when you have six families who are an hour or two away from home, dressed in their Sunday best, and have 2 hours to kill before the reception starts?

You play baseball....of course! 
A few locals had challenged our boys to a game, so a few of the adults decided to get in there and help them out. 
It was a blast.
We had fun imagining what the Moronites might be saying about "City Folk" who play baseball in dressy clothes. As we see it, they probably think we are the epitome of awesome and have now started playing baseball in their own church clothes.

I even had a nice hit out behind second base.
It could have been a homerun if I would have slid into home plate.

But I figure there some things you just shouldn't do in a dress.

Congratulations Mary and DJ!
May you have many more happy years together.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Marathon: Price & the Dinosaur Museum

As we returned from the hike in Little Wild Horse Canyon and pulled into the parking lot of our campground there was commotion all around. It only took one look at my own tent to guess what everyone else was excited about. The wind had significantly picked up while we were gone and the fiberglass poles of my tent and others in our camp were no match against it. My tent was flattened, others in our group had been blown down, and Ashton and Matthew's tent had everything covered with sand.

No biggie... We had a minivan we could sleep in- the boys in the back on an air mattress and me across the front seats. Others in our group planned to take shelter for the night in their own vehicles or in the stronger spring pole tents. The problem was solved....or so we thought.

Around dinner time the wind really picked up as a storm blew in. When we made a barricade to block the wind from blowing the cheese off of our sandburgers as they finished cooking and the stronger spring pole tents toppled over like dominoes a decision was made that things were only getting worse, so it was time to pack up and head home.

Everyone flew into take down mode. I was astonished at how quickly camp came down and we were on the road home. It was really impressive how well everyone worked together.

At a little after 9pm we were headed toward Green River to top off on gas and fill up on caffeine for the long drive ahead of us. On the way to Green River I was tempted to get a hotel because exhaustion was setting in and I wasn't sure I could safely make it home. The decision was made for me since we found out that Provo was having a snowstorm and Spanish Fork Canyon had snow covered roads and patches of black ice, so the group decided to continue on to Price and get a hotel there.

So with one room for the girls and one room for the boys we found somewhere to sleep for the night. And can I tell you...a hotel room floor has never felt so good. I was so tired that the next morning I had to apologize to the lady I had been talking to before I feel asleep, because one minute I was lucid and into our conversation and the next minute all of the caffeine from my Dr. Pepper wore off and I was out. Like a light. And according to my hubby, I probably need to apologize to the whole room of girls because apparently when I am really exhausted I snore like a grizzly. Anyway...

After a goodnight's rest we made a trip to the College of Eastern Utah's Dinosaur Museum and a Chinese Buffet before heading home. The boys really enjoyed the whole museum, but my favorite part was the Native American displays. As we looked at projectile points (Did you know that is what they call arrowheads now?), woven baskets and pottery, grinding stones and dioramas of different tribes living conditions, I was struck with what a lazy amenity blessed life I lead. It was really humbling and well worth the stop. It made me really appreciate the hot shower I had that morning even more than I already did and after two days in the blowing sand that's saying a lot.

I guess they didn't get enough of playing in the sand in Goblin Valley. 
 Dallin- too cool.
Showing the dinosaur some love.
Me and the boys tee-peeing it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Marathon: Goblin Valley

I had a nasty tension headache perhaps triggered by the way I cried when I left my two youngest with my parents before starting the 4 hour drive from West Point to Goblin Valley State Park, but as we entered the desert country of eastern Utah my tension gave way to anticipation. Mostly because I was greeted by views like this...

How to describe Goblin Valley?
Well, have you ever been somewhere that represents a creation from the deep recesses of your imagination or a scene from a science fiction movie?
That is what Goblin Valley is. 

I had never been there before and I can only describe my first view of the goblins as surreal.

There they were stretched out before us...

...a playground of mushroom like goblins waiting to be climbed upon and hid among, beckoning us to come play.
So we did.

Unfortunately, the wind that is partly responsible for the shaping of the surrounding landscape was trying its best to do the same with us. It hurled a fine mist of sand that dug at any exposed and vulnerable places and sucked the moisture from our skin leaving the same web-like pattern on my hands as the cracked and parched desert floor. It demonstrated its power all night long ripping and tearing at our tent and stealing my nights sleep. But morning came with beautiful blue skies and weather perfect for hiking, so our group caravanned to Little Wild Horse Canyon trail head and set out.

The wind still relentlessly blew the sand in our faces, but nothing could have kept me from enjoying this hike.

I am a tactile person. I simply enjoy touching things. I make connections with people and objects through the sense of touch. The erosion patterns along the way were like a tapestry of texture just calling out to me to touch them. It may have slowed me down, but I enjoyed myself immensely.
Besides, there were friends all along the way to make connections with.

We were lucky enough to have been able to bring Ashton's friend Matthew, with us. The boys had a great time exploring, climbing, bouldering, and just being boys.

All in all, we had a fabulous time in Goblin Valley during Expedition Red Rock.
Even with the sand blowing, my tent breaking, and my car battery dying twice I really hope there is a trip next year....
...because the only thing the sand etched upon us is the fantastic memory of a one of a kind adventure.
 And I can't wait to do it again.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Marathon: Easter

I don't know why they call it Spring "Break" because at our house it is never a break, it's more like a marathon. We just go and go until school starts again signaling our finish line. 
I have debated about how to record all of this because I want it for future family history and I have family members that keep up with us through blogs, but yet I hate to bore all of my friends with a travelogue. So I've decided to do it in parts and if you are bored all I can say is keep on scrolling... 

Checking out their baskets.

Easter for our family was really simple this year. Life simply didn't allow time for anything else.  We didn't color eggs and the Easter baskets were simplified, although the kids still received enough candy to last them until Halloween. We didn't even attend any egg hunts, except for one on Easter morning in Grandma Jeanne's and Pop Marlin's livingroom. This room is not the ideal place for an egg hunt because it really has a lack of nooks & crannies that make great  places to hide plastic candy filled eggs. This made the whole Easter Bunny part of Easter very short, but that left the rest of the day to focus on the real reason we celebrate Easter.

Along with celebrating Christ's atonement and resurrection we did get to watch or hear all sessions of General Conference which led into a funny conversation with Dallin on our way to Goblin Valley that afternoon.
Dallin's finds.
Dallin- I wish Jesus was alive and living on the earth right now.
Mom- That would be cool, huh. But you know he will come again and we never know when, so we want to be trying to do what's right so that we can be counted among the righteous.
Dallin- Ashton makes that really hard.
Mom-  What's that?
Dallin- Trying to be righteous.
Mom- (fearing to ask) How?
Dallin- He does things to annoy me, so then I have to call him bad names.
Ashton & his loot
Those darn older brothers.....they're just gonna keep us from going to heaven because we have to call them  bad names!
You know, I kind of wish we could blame some of the not so good stuff on older brothers. Then when I reach the judgment bar I've got three of them to pawn stuff off on.

Maybe there is hope for me getting into heaven after all.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter.

Ben's new movies

Grandma Jeanne helping Emma find an egg the boys didn't get to first.

Emma happy with her 2 eggs.

Worn out after a successful morning.