Thursday, August 20, 2009

My endless love . . .

Saturday marked 7 years since I married my sweetheart and best friend. Our "song" was "Endless Love" though Lowell couldn't remember that we even had a song. More or less that was what our first dance was at the reception so I dubbed it our song. It's funny, Sunday we went to my cousin Zack's mission farewell (he's headed to the Baltics Mission, Russian speaking, good luck Zack!) and I sat next to my little cousin who was our flower girl. She's now 12 and starting Jr. High school. How time flies! Our anniversary celebration was a little disjointed this year, traditionally we go overnight to Park City and out to a nice dinner. This year we hiked Timp, went to Snowbird with the kids, went out for dessert on our anniversary (thanks Hill!) and dinner a couple of days later (thanks Dinda!). Each part was fun though I think it worked out better when we just did it all in one day. Oh well, live and learn.

This is on the wall in our bedroom--I keep thinking someday I will look at it and think I don't even look like that girl any more. For now I still think we are pretty close, we were thinner then and Lowell had less gray hair but kids will do that to you.

Saturday we also got to celebrate my friend Erin's wedding--congrats girlie! and my sweet adorable niece Alivya's 2nd birthday. What a doll baby, why do they grow up so fast?

Sunday as I mentioned was my cousin's farewell and all my mother's siblings were in attendance so it was fun to see them, some we see regularly and some not so much. Through the wonder of facebook, I even have pics!

My mom (green top), her siblings and my grandparents
And a kind of blurry shot of most of the group. You start with 6 kids who then have 2-7 kids each who then start having kids and the group really grows. My grandparents have 27 grandkids and 16 great grandchildren so far. They are not all pictured here of course, goodness I have several babies I haven't even met yet. I met my uncle's 5 year old son for the first time Sunday.

Tuesday we had the UVMOM play group for the month, a hike up to Grotto Falls. We took the boys not too long ago but it was fun to go again and to visit with the other moms and my sister who came and helped me. Thanks again Hillary . . .are you sure you have to go back to school?

Here's strong-man Carter above the falls
Davis too
And this is how they got there, climbing the rocks up a pretty steep incline (I didn't want to do it but of course I had to follow them) and yes, they are barefoot. My sensitive children would not wear their shoes once they were either wet or dirty and instead did a fair amount of rock climbing and in Davis's case, the entire hike back barefoot. I guess you can say they have tough feet.

Yesterday was just one of those days for me . . .I was literally seeing red, I thought if I checked the mirror steam would actually be coming from my ears. We went grocery shopping, the dreaded chore. T-1 more trip to the store before the munchkins will be in preschool and I can blissfully go shopping by myself. It was just bad, nothing specific but yes there were many many staring people. We went home and the kids wanted to play the Wii--fine it will let me get the groceries unpacked and lunch started. No such luck, 1 minute later they are screaming because they can't take turns. Then my dad calls so I duck into the garage so I can hear him. The screaming stops . . .would it be my luck that they just worked it out? Nope, I come out and they are gone--totally gone. I instantly walk 3 doors down because I know they have climbed the fence again and are playing down the block. I march them back home fuming mad (they KNOW they are not allowed to leave the yard, they are 3 for crying out loud) and the front door is locked, the side gates have pad locks and the garage entry's battery is dead. In a nutshell I am totally locked out. This did not improve my mood. A few good deep breaths and hooray the Lord loves me, the garage opens, the kids are spanked and put in time out (for their own safety!) and I got a minute to calm down. It wasn't a good day though. And somedays just aren't. That doesn't make you a bad parent in my book, it's just how things are. Today was better.

And tomorrow we have the boys' preschool park social. Just a chance to meet their teacher and the other kids in their class and for me to meet the moms I guess. Then next week they will have their open house day to see the classroom and get all ready for the following week when, sob, they actually start preschool. My tiny little men. Who like to tell me frequently that they are not my babies any more, they are big boys now. Sob. But before that we'll have a last hoorah in Denver, yeah! More to come.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Staycation

Wow, more than a week since my last post . . .you'd think that would mean that we haven't been doing anything or that I have been busy at work, but of course neither is true. Work has been as it usually is with the exception that the construction is now complete. Come see it some time, a totally different lab. Brighter, larger, cleaner and with a nifty new office. No improvement in sleeping conditions, but greater possibilities in that realm now. The funny part is that the main reason for all the change was a deficiency in our blood bank per a CAP inspection. Lots of time, work, and money later our new blood bank is at least as cramped as the old one. Hmmm . . .I finished The Invisible Man (good, if a slow read and different than I expected. Like how you couldn't do the things you'd think would be cool because you are invisible because the things around you are visible--you can't steal because they would see the stolen goods. Also, it's cold to be invisible) and am enjoying Dracula now--the character Mina in the movie is in the book. For the record, I am not reading Dracula because I am now a vampire fan--I continue to have little interest in vampires, I just like (okay love) the Twilight series. So far Dracula has been interesting though, and creepy. And I have been busy keeping up with blogs, I'm up to 40 I follow now and yes, I read every post. Which is why it is 9 pm and I am still waiting to eat dinner--that's what I get for taking a few days off and getting behind! :p
As for the family, we've been busy--aquarium, dino museum, children's museum (thanks Hill). We had the twin club family party Tuesday (oh and Tamara sorry I am SO slow in getting back to you--any twin moms interested in our club please visit http://www.uvmom.com/ for info on joining. You'll be glad you did! Please share with any one who could benefit and THANKS!) and I asked Davis if he knew what it was to be a twin. He said he was one and that it meant you were "nice and cute". I think there may be more twins around than I thought. Tuesday I was also reminded that I have 5 naughty children, not just 2. Maddy is "roo-ing" at me, she may have been given the false impression that I have a treat for her . . .Her and Max and of course their other partner in crime Oscar decided to bark at the black and white "cat" on the other side of the fence and came back smelling just great. A gallon of Skunk remover later our house is back to normal. And somehow the dogs scored quite a few treats in the deal--I couldn't pass up the 1/2 off chews and they did all have a birthday recently . . .
Of course Davis is a naughty child as well, don't let the angelic face fool you. He has been my mastermind of escape lately. He keeps climbing the back fence to run amuck in the neighborhood. A few time outs (and yes even a spanking) later he is still doing it and I am considering barbed wire . . .
Carter has been his partner in crime most of the time. Today he decided it would be really cool to put a small ball (from a cheap little pool table set they got at the store today) up his nose. His attempts at retrieval were only successful in the sense of getting it more stuck. I finally fished it out using a squished Capri Sun straw and was lecturing him about not putting ANYthing in his nose when I turned around and saw Davis had done the same thing. Argh! Seriously are you that desperate for attention child!?! His was not any easier to remove and resulted in a bloody nose as well. I then caught Carter putting it into his ear (yes this is my life) and I told them both the toys were going in the trash NOW if they put any more balls anywhere and the trouble passed . . .or I went to work and now Daddy is dealing with it . . .


The other excitement this week is we went to Snowbird for our Staycation. Can I say that I adore Snowbird? An hour away but a world different. So gorgeous. The family vacation was significantly different than the couples getaways we have had in both good and bad ways. It was stressful getting out the door and Lowell had a lot of work waiting for him which made him antsy to get back as the day dragged on, but I loved most of it. And I think the boys had a really good time.
The bubs in front of our window. I was just taking a pic of the view and they jumped in, who am I to say no, the lighting is all wrong? As you can see the room included a great balcony where we sat the night before and watched the lightning on the mountains while sipping our hot cocoas and ciders. I could sit on that balcony forever I think--like camping only cleaner.
The kiddos watching the mountain pass by on the aerial tram.
C & D at 11,000 feet on hidden peak.
Our family--this is nearly as high as Timp is, hmmm . . . much much easier to get to!
Us with the Salt Lake Valley over Lowell's left shoulder. The boys are thrilled to be wearing their new fall shoes we picked up for hiking around. They have spiderman on them and light up. Ooooh ahhh. I also picked up some tan air walks for nicer affairs--I may never get them to wear them.
Davis and Daddy getting ready to head down the alpine slide. Lowell is not thrilled with the lines . . .
Davis getting air jumping while Daddy waits in line for the bungee trampoline. That took f o r e v e r, 3 stations and five minutes for each session certainly took a long time.

C-man jumping--yes the wait was worth it, they loved it!

We have a trampoline in our backyard and they are good jumpers (I call it the best toy I never would have bought [it came with the house]) but there are just things you can do with a bungy you can't (or haven't tried) at home. Like this:

video

Yes that's my 3 year old doing a back flip. They both did a bunch and were SO impressed with themselves. The crowd was cheering them on, they felt like pretty hot stuff. And of course they are to me any way. Maybe it will even be useful when they start gymnastics this fall. There is graciously no pics or video of me, but yes I can do a back flip too. :) Mommy is WAY cool now.
Next we rode the chair lift up and walked through the tunnel from Peruvian Gulch to Mineral Springs (as a non-skiier I really have no clue what that means) it was pretty cool--and cool temperature wise which was a nice break.
Coming back down on the ski lift--cool, gorgeous, and relaxing! We also saw a huge moose and a deer.
Big D rock climbing. The pic is deceiving as he really didn't do too well--the harness was too powerful for his little 32 lbs. He is (they both are) actually a great climber and probably could have done the wall minus the harness but no, I would not have wanted him to try!


It's safe to say that was a VERY full day, the kiddos crashed on the way home. And I am the bad mommy that didn't bring sunscreen. I was thinking about how it would be cooler up there but neglecting the fact that you burn more easily at higher altitudes. Sorry boys!

Lastly for the day we went to Reva's graduation party (Anthony/Andrew's mommy who just finished getting her Nurse Practitioner degree). It was at her cousin's house in Lindon where they have an awesome set up! A bunch of neighbors share their yards and a pool, train, sports fields, etc. So cool and the train winds through it all. The kids loved the train--less the pool where they couldn't touch. Thanks for inviting us Reva and congrats!
Finally here is Carter kicking some Wii Sports sword booty--the kid is really good!
video

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Veni Vidi Vici

As I said on my facebook status, I came, I saw, I conquered . . .then I hobbled my sad self home. We did it, not sure we should have, but we did. Yesterday Lowell and I hiked to the summit of Mount Timpanogos. It is a well known mountain here in Utah county, the 2nd highest in the Wasatch Range at 11,000 feet and the most recognized one. We have each climbed it twice before (why in the world would you need to go again!?!) but after seeing a family coming down the mountain when we were camping the other week Lowell said we should go. I said I was much too old and fat now but he convinced me that we could do it. And I guess I should take pride in the fact that old fat me did indeed scale that mountain. I can look up at it and think of the end of the hike with awe. And in two weeks I will probably look fondly on that adventure. But right now I am dreading the fact that I need to stand up to run a lab and I really really don't wanna.
Okay, sitting again life can go on. Even with a considerable dose of ibuprofen I am hurting. Sore tight muscles and stinging blisters--plus 2 toe nails that I will most likely lose to blisters. Such a whiner I know, take it as a warning! Chapped lips, sunburn, achy joints, sigh, I am getting too old for this. But truly we had an amazing time. 11.5 hours with my honey and most of it where we were the only people around, surrounded by the most intensely beautiful scenery and the blissful quiet--delightful.

Me, at the start of the hike. I look so happy . . .and foolish. It is 6:30 am (I just got off work at 5:30 and have had 4 hours of sleep. My choice, this was the best day we had left this summer).

Me again at one of the waterfalls along the first part of the trail. Though steep and somewhat killer to me, this first part was cool, shaded, and filled with natural gems like this falls.

After what seemed like forever (4 hours) we reached the meadow. Here's Lowell in front of the summit. The wildflowers were gorgeous, really stunning this time of year. I took heart at this point for being at the meadow, I could see the top and the trail that led to it so I was so close.

An hour and a half later we reached the saddle--the first part of the trail where you can see over into the valley and start to climb the front of the mountain. The view was spectacular and refreshing. We took a break and had our lunch (the other half of my Beto's burrito which would prove to be a very poor decision).

Lowell called the boys to tell them we were looking at them from the top--they got a real kick out of it. We made a few more calls and prepared to start on that trail you can see to right of Lowell.

Another hour and a half later (dang deceiving mountain, it looked so much closer than that!) we made the summit. That last bit was killer for me, so difficult. We climbed a section called "Devil's Staircase" because it is switchbacks of steep rock steps and at 11,000 feet there is just no air. I was gasping after just a few steps. It was slow going but I really wanted to replicate this picture:

Lowell and I 8 years ago and much much thinner.The lighting is poor in both because the background is so intensely bright compared to the dark shack.

In case you wanted to know, yes it is amazing up there. This is the view from the front, looking down on Utah lake, Orem, PG, AF, Lehi.

And looking back the way we had come, gorgeous wilderness.

My tough man Lowell at the summit, collecting a couple of rocks for the kiddos. Looking at Timp from the ground I don't think you'd realize how much loose rock there is on the face. Oh and one very odd note, they were filming a BYU commercial while we were there. A helicopter kept passing over and over (and over, very annoying!) and we saw the film crew and the actors, who were holding a BYU flag as they marched across an adjoining peak. So if you see something like that (my guess is it will be for BYU football) know we were there at the same time.
So then we headed back down. I was happy that now every step was a step closer but it was still trudging along, one foot in front of the other. I got the privilege of using the most disgusting bathroom I have even seen (and I toured through Europe with my mom, there's some pretty nasty stuff there). In retrospect I really should have just gone under the tree next to it but I thought I would be brave . . .and it did have an amazing view. I spared you all the photo--though I did consider taking one.

Here we are hiking down, 8 hours into the trip and I look down and can see the parking lot and yes, even identify our car way off in the distance. Rather disheartening. Lowell shared some of his Excedrin with me and the caffeine jolt really got me moving for a little way but I petered out again and while enjoying conversation with Lowell (books, movies, TV shows, our family . . .) it was still just very very long. My joints which had started to protest on the way up were much more vocal now and the blisters forming were getting bigger and/or popping. My toe nail was getting loose and each step was a struggle. But what are you going to do, stay up there? So we continued. That was about when Beto's came back to haunt me. I had some pretty serious bowel distress. There wasn't many good options restroom wise in the woods, too steep and close to trail, or no cover, or I just didn't want to so I continued huffing and puffing and thinking all along that we were almost there. Just around the next corner . . .an hour of corners later we actually reached the restroom. What a joyous moment that was! I then wanted to take my shoes off (and never wear any again. Ever), sit down, gets some ibuprofen, get a snow cone, and see my kids which is what we did.

These were my legs--I really don't know how I got this dirty, it was like that all the way up my thighs. I guess the dusty trail blew up my pant legs and stuck, Lowell wasn't near as dirty in shorts. The boys were happy to see us, Davis must have missed me because he told me "You climbed the big mountain? I missed you. You have a pretty nose. You have a pretty face. You are my princess Mommy. I love you." Definitely worth coming home for. Lowell says he wants to go again next year (he did so much better than me, tough guy--and so caring taking care of me as we went) but I am not so sure. Maybe we'll go every 8 years then next time the boys will be almost 12 and they can come too. Or maybe I will just retire my scout name "Iron Maiden" (earned by hiking to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite) and just be flabby old me. Or scale it down, that first 9 miles was do-able maybe I will make that my max. 18 was just a but over the top. Anywho . . .that was our adventure for this week!

Pirates or Monkeys?

Another full and fun week. The boys got to take advantage of a good Toys R Us sale and scored some 50% off pirate ships (after they got the required stickers that is). They LOVE all things pirate right now. The Davey pirate

C-man with his ship. Yes I had bought one and had to go back and get another. It is such a big toy that I thought they could share but after the blissful hour of relaxation that was my massage I returned to children fighting and screaming over who got the captain or whose turn it was for the gun. So Lowell stopped off and grabbed the last one on that last day of the sale. Happy children since.

Sunday Lowell made us some super yummy zucchini cake, I had to take a picture because I thought it was just so pretty. Then the boys were playing outside and discovered, not to my surprise but perhaps my dismay that they can now reach high enough to climb our biggest tree. Oh my what a joy that has been! Davis came in and told me, "Mom, that is a fun tree. I am being super careful". Yes I worry but honestly there is no way I am going to be able to keep them out of it so I taught them some safety tips and watched them climb. Definitely little monkeys.

Boys and trees just go together. "Boys don't grow on trees, they grow in them."

Now Carter all over the playset is another story altogether.

Crazy kid, they say they are being "fight fires" and helping people.

Okay, my new favorite picture ever! Even if he is filthy, so my Davis

Just in case you were wondering how high they were, Davis is on the left of the trunk about half way up the picture.

Carter baby, very dirty also
Silly boys, it's great to be 3! Except only 2 months to go until they are 4, seems absolutely unreal that they could be 4. Or that they'll start preschool in less than a month. Where did my babies go?