Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Christmas to Remember

What a special Christmas this year. Departing from my usual lightheartedness, I'm touched by what a special week it has been. I'm less interested in telling you what we did and more interested in sharing the feeling I felt this Christmas. It was peaceful, happy, easy, wonderful. All the things you want Christmas to be. There were grateful hearts--least of which was mine--for just the simple things like being together as a family with all of our children. Those peaceful moments don't come along everyday, which makes them all the more special when they make an appearance. I took a simple after Christmas road trip with my kids that was worth it's weight in gold. What a wonderful way to end the year.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Disneyland For a Day!

How has a month gone by? It seems impossible! Not much to report other than a few lukewarm grades in school, some nicely drawn dead animal skulls in art, and a rockin' trip to Disneyland with just Kevin and Gentry. Now that's the way to do a trip. Cut costs to nothing by taking 3 instead of 8. Let's do some simple math here: 3 x $250 = $750. 8 x 250 = $750 PLUS 2 new Sage TCR limited edition fly rods with large arbor reels, gas money to Montana and 10 cans of Cheese flavored Pringles.

Forty day countdown before I start my new job...excited for the change of pace and to see Hannah more.

More to come after Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year !

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Cookie Decorating Contest








The results are in! It was the best contest yet with new, young blood coming in as the darkhorses and stealing the show. In 30 years of this tradition, why had no one ever thought of making a long ponytail out of red licorice? Lils stole the show.

My minimalist cookie, called "Candy Corn" should have won. It was just too ahead of it's time in it's simplicity. I tried to sell them on the "Andy Warhol was a genius by doing the same thing" argument, but nobody went for it.

The Frank and Jan cookies also fared well in the competition. Let this be a lesson to the male football fans and hunters who thought they didn't need to come--watch out. You just might find yourself the subject of mass produced cookies...and it ain't pretty to see your face decorated in orange icing.

Thanks to Paige for hosting the event yet again.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tennis, Fishing and that order

This past week Kayla and Whitney played in region and state tennis tourney. We couldn't have been prouder of them. Kayla placed 3rd in region and Whitney placed 2nd in State. I think by the end of the tourney, I could keep track (sort of) the score. It was pretty tense a few times. Whit will move on to Utah State and play at a D1 school. See...all those tennis lessons paid off after all!

As for fishing, it's the last of the last of the season. Kevin and I payed homage to the fish by catching each one individually and telling them to get used to our faces, because they only have 6 months off before we'll be comin' a callin' again. So much fun!

And art....ughh. Did I say I wanted to major in art? I said that? Was that before or after I realized I couldn't draw? It's killin' me but I am sticking with it. I HATED the drawing of stuffed animals assignment. Who wants to spend 8-10 hours on a picture of a stuffed animal? Plus, just how do you make the fur look fuzzy? These are the questions that plague a 42 year old such as myself. However, there is hope. I am now drawing giant 4 foot tall flies from my flyfishing collection. Now THAT'S an art assignment I can sink my teeth into. Only one more semester and I graduate with my Associates degree ! Caveat--must pass math. Help mom.

Maybe art is what is driving me back to work. I am going to take on some more work again. I miss using my left brain. It feels left out. Human Resources, I'm Baaaack.

Lastly, I want to formally apologize to my Dog, Dazy for accidentally almost choking her to death. I thought she was going to jump out of the back seat window after some wild turkeys so I rolled the window up. I don't even need to tell you the rest, except that I know now when I panic I do the wrong roll the window up tighter. Sorry Dazy. We're even now. We haven't spoken since she busted the tip of my Sage rod a few weeks ago. I guess almost killing you puts us at even again. But barely.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Arizona Adventures

Things we love about Arizona:

1. 85 degree days, 70 degree nights
2. Playing in the pool
3. Smearing our opponents in football (44-0)
4. Seeing friends and family
5. The Grand Canyon
7. Pizza Parties at Dan's house

Things we don't love:

1. Car rides with teenage girls
2. Speed traps in Flagstaff
3. Anonymous farting in the car
4. Figuring out where to eat with a vegetarian and meat lover
5. Gassing up a Yukon

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall in the Air

I have not been good at taking pictures lately. My bad. And my apologies to the whole family who is SEVERELY underrepresented lately. But it's been a good month. This weekend, Kevin, myself, and the girls are headed to sunny Arizona for some football, swimming, and (cross your fingers) Diamondbacks baseball game. It's fall break...and a much needed one. I'm not as "into" my fall schedule this year. It's a lot of required classes but not ones I'm very passionate about. I'm still finding some time to mess with pottery on the side. My tall things are getting a little bit taller, and my round things a bit wider. That's good by the way.

The kids are great in school. Kayla is going to be a lead in the school play, and she's doing fantastic in tennis. Gentry is active and having so much fun with friends, Hannah is getting used to a new school and has a boyfriend (arghh). The boys are in college here and couldn't be more pleasant to be around. And Whit is living in Alpine, working and playing for the region championship in tennis next week.

I'm learning to love football more. Since it's about all you can do in Ephraim on a Saturday (if you don't own four wheelers), you plan your day around it. I'm ready to get a foam Badger hat and paint myself blue. I seriously considered shaving Dazy and dying her the blue Snow College logo.

Having fun with new friends...finally feeling a part of things here. One more semester away from my new degree. Hangin' in there.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Fishing Extravaganza

No time for a long post today. Just know this...on Labor Day the fish were plentiful, the company was great, the day was carefree. Now I'm back at it at school...and have a pile of homework that's makin' me belly ache.

This weekend...more football. Next weekend...Lake Powell with a girlfriend. This poor old body hasn't seen sunshine for many years. I'll be the resident "night light" for the houseboat. I prefer to say my skin is "alabaster" instead of "pasty white".

The kids are all doing great right now. This is honest to goodness a great phase. We don't know what to do with ourselves. I keep waiting for something bad to happen, but we are having a stretch of "easy". Knock on wood.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Family Picnics and Other Odds and Ends

Nothing too new or earthshattering. School has started. Me and my two boys are roaming the college campus which brings me a lot of satisfaction. I can't wait to start my art classes so I can proove once and for all that I did in fact inherit some artsy genes. My dog stinks and I can't get her to poop in her own yard. The girls start school tomorrow, on my birthday. Other than than, I'm just glad summer is over! Let the fall football and fall fishing season begin!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The New York trip without Pictures

I was so prepared. Bought a new camera just for the trip. Charged it. Packed it...and somehow dropped the battery when I put it in the suitcase. So instead of Kevin and Tessa, I've used some other models to represent us in New York. My, don't we look rested!

It was a great trip. We've finally started to figure out the places, restaurants, hotels, and streets we like. We started the trip by seeing Next to Normal, a musical about a family with a bi-polar mom. Felt right at home. Then we spent a day in Central Park going to a Cuban concert and watching an outdoor documentary called "I am Cuba". We felt at one with our Latino friends. The next day we went to the Museum of Modern Art where we quickly realized I could have a real shot as a famous modern artist. Thursday we headed by subway to the new Yankees Stadium where we saw a Red Sox/Yankee's game that got blown to bits in the 4th inning with 8 runs by Yankees. This is where I got my education on the true cost of being a pro baseball fan. The bleachers tickets may only cost $25.00, but a hot dog, some lemonade and peanuts will run you $21.00. It seemed ironic they received some National award for best run service and catering that night. We also learned that a family of four can go through 15 bottles of beer for $150.00 in 2 hours, 20 minutes. You know what they say: a family that drinks together, stays together. And that same family thinks they are a group of stand-up comedians at about the 7th inning.

We learned our best food was on the smallest plates. When we realized we were at a "fine cuisine" restaurant and our plates came out with approximately 1.5 bites of food on them for $50.00, we ate VERYYYYY SLOOOOWLLYY. Then we washed it down with a $2.00 slice of cheese pizza on the way back to the hotel.

Soho and NYU rocked. We slept through the Good Morning America Jason Mraz concert when we couldn't get out of bed at 5:00 am. But we made up for it by seeing Altar Boyz, a 90 minute Christian boyband concert comedy that had us in stitches. The band members were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Juan..and a Jewish add-on named Abraham.

We loved the trip. The best ever. Wish you could have been there.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dreaming of San Francisco

I just spent a week in San Fransisco with Hannah and we had the greatest time. First we spent 4 days with Nicole with her beautiful family in Novato. Gabe and Claire were our favorite parts of that part of the trip! Going to Six Flags with 4 year olds is so much fun. We saw the world through their cotton-candy covered faces. Hannah and I rode on three of the craziest roller coasters I've ever been on. Just imagine paying money to have someone drop you from a skyscraper and then pull your guts out through your throat. Yah. That good. I felt like I was going to puke all day long.

We got to see Gabe spar in his Tai Kwon Doe lessons, Claire dance in her gymnastics clothes, but perhaps the best was watching Nicole as Primary President. I'd pay to see that again. Imagine little 4 year old Rocco with his mohawk on the front row, lean under his chair midway through singing to find a sucker taped to the bottom (they weren't supposed to get tipped off til the end of opening exercises). "Hey EVERYONE...theres a SUCKER my chair!!!! Then he looks again and exclaims in utter amazement, "HEY!!!! THERE's A SUCKER UNDER EVERYONE'S CHAIR!!! EVERYONE LOOK!!! " It was mass pandemonium. Snicker, snicker. You needed that experience Nicole.
My favorite was our lunch at the Mediterranean restaurant. We ordered a sampler with 10 different types of food to try. Ahhh, the Hummus. Then the next day on the toilet-- AUGGH. The Hummus.

Then on to see Aubs in the heart of San Fran. She and Blake were wonderful hosts. We ate Riccotta Pancankes with Lemon Curd and Raspberry Sauce at Zazzies. We played tennis in the park. We shopped for vintage clothes at the secondhand store. We went to the candy store and tried one of everything. We played the 70's classic boardgame "Hearththrob". We went to Sushi. Life was good.

Hannah made for wonderful company and a very memorable trip. I left my heart in San Fran!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

 doesn't get any better. 8 days of hiking, fishing, waterfalls, mountains. I can breathe again. The vacation was complete with dead bodies, big fish and lots of bruises and bumps.

First off, our hike was cut short because they found the body of a drowned missing person just as we got there. We waited for about 40 minutes while divers in helmets traversed against the raging water, but finally gave up and went back down the mountain. Kind of takes the fun out of it to run across a dead body.

Our subsequent hikes proved more successful as there were no dead bodies, only injured ones as we boulder climbed through raging waters and mountain crevasses--whatever it took to find our fish. In the process, we both ended up with bruises and cuts from the knees down--pants and waders didn't seem to shield us. And as per the usual, I was looking at the water and ran into a tree. I assure you it won the fight. My left cheek doesn't look so good. But that is the price you pay to catch the biggest fish.

Yes, I said it. I caught the biggest fish. The kingpin of the river dropped his guard for just a moment, and my professional fishing skills kicked in. Before he knew what hit him, he had taken a gulp of that delicious looking red brassie nymph.

We fished through the tailwaters of a high mountain lake in this boulder field covered with crystal clear water. We must have seen a hundred fish a day. You got ONE cast and that's all before they figured it out. But we outwitted those wily creatures.

Each day we hiked about 9 miles roundtrip to get to our holes and we were the only fisherman there--my only competition was Kevin ( and honestly, what kind of competition is THAT?) ...and beating the rainclouds to the next downpour. This year we were smart enough to bring raincoats, a change of clothes and an umbrella. The rain didn't make us miserable--just cold and damp and seeing mirages of hot tubs in the distance.

One day we went to my favorite town--Boulder (that's where my peeps live) --and had caramel apples and ate at the local restaurants. We purposely skipped fireworks and the parade on the 4th so we could get some hot tub time without germy kids with snotty noses and BBQ sauce smeared on their faces.

We went to bed each night feeling like a Mack truck ran over us, but with a smile on our faces.