Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Making Good Time

Spring has sprung...or it's trying to, and so we are taking full advantage and blazing full speed ahead. I don't think I've ever seen a longer winter than we have had. It started in October, and it's still snowing in May. On the few good days we've had, we "made haste" and followed the sun. Part of the fam took a trip to Moab where we did 160 foot rapells down arches and into caves, hiked to Delicate Arch, layed out by the pool, drove up Hell's Revenge in a Hummer and had an all around great time. And I have to say, the girls were great company! They were real troupers. Especially the time we had them hanging from a rope with a 100 foot drop to go, and made them promise to keep their rooms clean and come home by curfew before we would let them down the rest of the way. Ah yes, those were the good times.

Then we followed up that with Whitney being honored as a scholar athlete at Utah State. Only athletes with a high GPA are honored. Whitney was part of an elite group and it was a very proud day.

Then a spectacular weekend with the boys graduation from Snow College. Both boys graduating at once before they head to their next step in life. Jantzen will be starting pharmaceutical tech school to get his certificate before starting up college again in the fall. And Zac just secured a paid work study to set up a sustainable living footprint at a resort just outside Zions National Park. He'll start by setting up an organic garden and go from there. Who would have guessed? I always pegged Jantzen as the art teacher and Zac as the defense attorney. It's such a riot to see them go their own way and evolve into an adult with their own interests.

Kevin just made President's Club (woo-hoo) so we get an all expense paid trip to Kauai coming up in August. He is first to point out that he will meet the terms of our pre-nuptial this year (two trips outside of the country each year come rain or shine). I hate to break it to him Hawaii is on US soil. But I'm not complaining! Can't wait to go. Just the two of us (and 25 of his closest work friends). Golfing, sun, beaches. Ahhh.

Nothing much else to add for now. I've got to go pack for my first fishing expedition of the year. The ice is off Fontanelle Reservoir. The fish have summoned me. And as for an update from my last post--spray tan...CHECK. Lose 10 pounds....getting there.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Yes, I have been in hibernation for the long, hard winter. Deep depression. No fishing. No trips overseas. No new projects. Just "nose to the grindstone", working and raising kids, paying the bills kind of existence. I've heard it called "real life" --I call it "somebody just kill me now".

As the green buds are emerging from the earth, it brings with it visions of running through the daisies in slow motion with my dog smiling as she leaps beside me. I am caught up in the daydream of rolling the windows down in the 4runner, while the hot wind blows my hair, and John Mayer is singing to me that my body is a wonderland. I think of greasing the fly lines and casting to the big one hiding under the log on a 14 foot cast just past the foam to the left. Hiking. Barbecues. Road trips. SUN (oh, the sun).

The past 6 months have left nothing of consequence to talk about. No icy road skid-outs, no rare diseases, and on the other side of the spectrum, no lottery ticket wins, or major promotions. We can sum up all that happened in two words: Teenage Drama.

Let me illustrate: Just put any name in our household to fill in the blanks. Then repeat the scenario a bajillion times (Obama doesn't even know how high that number is).


"I can't wait until I'm 18! It's only xxx days and I'm leaving. I hate it here. You aren't my (mother/father)! .........(Now wait 5 minutes). Hey mom/dad. I love you so much. Will you give me xxx dollars for gas? I promise I'll pay you back. What?????!! You want me to do jobs for it????!! No way! You are ridiculous! Why do I have to have you for a parent? Forget it! (Then repeat variation of this 10 times).

Anyway, up and coming on the docket--

Trip to Moab with the 3 youngest kiddos--a little rappelling, a little hiking and golfing. Mmmm...
Kevin gets back from China (I'm getting soft. I can't believe I turned down the chance to go with him)
Teaching Hannah and Kayla to drive a stick shift
Zac and Jantzen graduating from Snow College! Yesss!
Tessa will lose 10 pounds and get a spray tan.

I wanted to attach our super fun pics of us sitting in our house on the weekend while it blizzards outside again, but I couldn't decide which one to choose.

Til next time--


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fishing Season Officially Ends

Oh, this is bad. Dad called tonight and asked me to update my blog. When a senior citizen (sorry Dad) thinks you are behind on your blog, you are REALLY behind.

More importantly, why would I go for 4 months without updating my blog? What is wrong with me? When I lived in E-town, bi-weekly updates came easily. But then, so did doing the laundry, writing letters to old friends and relatives, detailing the baseboards and anything else that would pass the time and make the days go by with something to do. It's not that Alpine is a mecca of activity, either. But for whatever reason, I feel like I'm on warp speed again. Beam me up, Scotty.

Four months...let's see. Work, kids, Kev's new job, a few road trips, shaving Dazy (I'm stretching for things now), and finally got the yard fully weeded in time for snowfall. Grand accomplishments. But I digress...

The best part of the last four months was the last 5 days. Dad and I took out a map, and marked all the places we wanted to fish and explore between Utah, Wyoming, and Montana. We made it to a fraction of them. I would put Thermopolis as a gem of a find. World's biggest natural hot spring melts right into the Big Horn river. Imagine standing in water that's 100 degrees but casting to freezing cold water just a few flycasts away. Pretty spectacular. Then there was the amazing "secret" lake near the Big Horn where I caught my trophy. All I will say is that the fishing Gods were kind because I was a hot mess trying to reel it in. A small miracle I was able to land it.

I will skip the section about fishing xxxxx and xxxxx. Dad caught xxxx and Tessa caught x. It was an anomoly. A freaky, bad dream that had me ready to snap my rod in half and give up fishing altogether. Fortunately, the goldfinger came back on the Green River and I was back to equal footing with pops.

We stopped and saw the Mormon trail, shared trivia about trappers, beaver hunting and the Gold Rush in California, and shared our favorite western storylines from movies and books of old.

It was a great end to fall and a wonderful memory to carry with me forever. I can hardly wait til next year's adventure. And not a WORD from any of you about the purple pants. Purple is the new black.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

3 Months Since Last Posting?!

Where does the time go? Summer's half over! Who stole summer? Return it immediately!

In a nutshell, here is our past three months:

Hannah spent a month in California and is now back living with us.
We moved back to Alpine!
Kayla is getting ready for tennis at Lone Peak.
Whitney is back living with us for the summer and just sent off her missionary.
Kevin just accepted a new job here. It's out of athletics, but a great company.
Zac moved to Mass. for the rest of summer for a permaculture internship.
Jantzen is living in Omaha to be closer to his girlfriend.
Gentry just finished a Young Writers Conference.
Kevin and I just got back from our annual trip to Estes Park.

Furthermore, here is what is just around the corner:

Over the next few weeks, we'll be getting kids to/from EFY and other camps.
Hannah will get her learners permit (RUN AWAY!)
Kayla will start practices with the tennis team.
Whit goes back to USU.
Jantzen and Zac will go back to Snow.
Our monthly food bill will go back down to nothing.
Kevin will be attached to the remote as football season starts.

Things I Forgot and Remembered the Past 90 Days:

1. There should be a limit of 2 moves per lifetime. Additional moves should be illegal and fined heavily.

2. Modesty may be our teens continual battle but just be grateful they don't try to dress like Lady Gaga. It could always be worse.

3. Flyfishing is always more fun when you have to hike 5 miles to get there first.

4. Dogs like to eat their own poop. I don't know why I forgot, but I wish I hadn't remembered.

5. Six people in the house means there is not a washer/dryer warranty good enough for what we need.

6. Lots of kids means there is lots of weeding help in the yard.

7. No matter how many kids there are to weed, it still requires at least 2 adults to supervise so that something gets done.

8. The kids still hate weeding as much as they did when they were young.

9. The weeding is never finished.

10. Girlfriends are more important in life than chocolate.

I've attached a few summer pics including our great trip to Estes Park. Good times. Rejuvenating times. Peaceful times. Keep-from-killing-your-kids times. Priceless.

Friday, April 30, 2010

National Football Foundation Dinner

Look at my hubby playing "big wig" at the Ntl. Football Foundation Dinner. He did a great job. It was a lot of fun to see him in his element mucking it up with the mucky-mucks. Wait...what did that last sentence mean. Did I use any actual words or are those all made up words? I need to get back in English class.

Anyway, fun to see him in a tux. Fun to visit with all the coaches and Eric Weddle. I had to ask who Eric Weddle was, but now that I know, I'm impressed. He was actually a smart, quality guy (I say that like someone who doesn't believe people who play football do anything besides ...well...play football). Sorry Kev. You better not read this blog. Just a little gentle ribbing. You play football and you is very smart. Ha. Sorry. Did it again.

Mostly it was great to see Kev do what he loves with the people he loves.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Our Sunny (NOT) trip to Cali




We were young, naive, full of promise. "Let's get out of this crappy Utah weather and go to sunny California! We'll do a road trip through Yosemite, Monterey, San Fran. We'll come home with a suntan!".

Weather Check Day 1: Cali 70, Utah 27
It was day two trying to find an open entrance to Yosemite that should have served as warning. The ultimate optimists, we drove around the perimeter of the whole park to finally get in 5 hours later--other entrances closed due to snow. We should have given up the next morning when the sleet came down and the only people brave enough to try hiking were the 2 dozen Japanese tourists huddled in their bright yellow rain ponchos. "Hey, the waterfalls will be GREAT with all this rain!." We trudged on...until we hit 9,000 feet and it started to snow horizontal (thought: Uh-Oh. Honda. No snow tires.) We did a brisk 3 mile jog down the mountain, through the mud, and made it to the hotel on snow-packed roads.

Weather Check Day 3: Yosemite 25, Utah 70

The ultimate optimists, we socked in for the night with a fire and a rousing round of Scrabble. We awoke to 12 inches of snow, no entrance to the park, and no plan. "Hey, I'll bet it's nice in Monterey. Let's go golfing!". Mother nature thought it sounded like so much fun, she tagged along and followed us. Kevin got a round of golf in just as the downpour started!

Weather Check Day 5: Cali 45, Utah 55

In short, it rained on and off the rest of the trip. We adapted each time. We came. We saw. We conquered. Pebble Beach. 17 mile drive. Fresh seared Ahi on the pier. Seaspray and seals on the beach. Tennis. Hikes to waterfalls. Early morning breakfast of steel cut oatmeal with dried cherries, brown sugar and cream while overlooking the 14th hole. Banana Republic outlet store (!!)

Bottom line--here's my beef: This whole commercial with Arnold Schwarzenegger and his cronies talking about sunny California while laughing and sipping Sangria on the beach? False adverstising at it's finest. You should be ashamed Arnold.

And in the cruelest form of irony. The day we get home: Cali 60, Utah 37

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Looking Back Over a Decade

I couldn't have written a book with these kinds of twists and turns in it. Ten years ago I was 32 years old and a single mom with three young kids, and no clear cut plan on how I was going to provide for them. I had big dreams of international travel, and a hope that my future life would be brighter than where I had just come from. Oh, and I had big hair.

About the same time I was hired as head of HR for PowerQuest, I began one of the happiest periods of my life. I was paying the bills, the kids were a real joy to raise, I loved deeply, and I fulfilled a life long dream of traveling the globe. I was able to travel through Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, Africa and found a passion for the people and land of of Argentina. I remember sitting in church one day as they were talking about daily trials and thinking, "I must be lucky. I feel like life is near perfect." I knew it wouldn't last,but it was a special time for me and my little family. And I didn't have big hair anymore. Just hair in many different styles and colors depending on my mood.

The next 5 years were a blur. I worked ALOT--too much. I met and married Kevin who has been my partner and best friend through challenges I never could have anticipated. Little kids turned into big kids. Little problems morphed into big problems. The way we got through it was just a lot of committment, a healthy dose of patience and learning to laugh instead of cry. My hair got better, my wrinkles got worse.

Even though the past few years have been hard, I have learned to appreciate the compensatory blessings that came our way: Our children our alive and happy. I have almost concluded my degree in Art. I have found great joy in simplifying my life. I am beginning to trust love again. I am a kindler and gentler version of the me I used to be.
In a decade, there are ways I haven't changed. I still have to read the paper before I do anything else each morning, I still reach for "impossible dreams" (and sometimes one of them comes true), and I find my solace in the outdoors adventuring down new roads and discovering new rivers.

I have changed in other ways. I sag more in all the wrong places (which drives me crazy). I am less worried about the future and have a lot more fun in the moment. I am careful with love. And I'm getting better at letting go, whether it's about letting my kids choose their own path, realizing there are things I can't change, or forgiving myself for a hundred things I could have done better.

In my 30's I wanted to climb a ladder of "success" and it was all about growing and stretching. In my 40's it's about slowing down to savor the moments as they come and becoming comfortable in my skin. I am less interesting in achieving for myself and more interested in seeing my children achieve and wanting to reach out to others.
And for the record, I stopped caring that much about what my hair looks like. You can love or leave it.