Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Girl Party!

I'm always up for a girl party, even at 5 in the morning!

This morning I got up mega early to go see Eclipse with my sisters-in-law Raychel and Alisa. As early as it was, I was glad for the early showing. Raychel was leaving on a trip, we have family reunions coming up, and Alisa works in the evenings; our options for seeing the movie were quite limited.

Overall, I'd give the movie three and a half stars out of five. But I'd give the silly girl party a ten out of ten!

So, to make up for leaving 4 kids (Raychel's and mine) with Cody this morning so I could go to a goofy movie, today I have washed the van and made a gigantic lunch which I split into 3 freezer meals. I also need to go do dishes and laundry. Alas, my blogging time has just ended. :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Officially Too Hot.

I knew the summer was coming. I tried to ignore it, but it has finally taken over entirely. I hate hot weather. So I am trying to focus (as always) on the positive.

In a few months we will have fresh garden tomatoes, pepper, cucumbers, and zucchini. Yum! I can take my kids in the back yard and set up the baby swimming pool and soak for hours. Hopefully, soon our landlord will have fixed our swamp cooler, making the days bearable. And, the majority of July will be family reunions. Soon we'll have fireworks and a plethora of hot dogs and hamburgers. To celebrate the heat today I grilled up chili cheese dogs for dinner. I love our grill! I love being able to cook outside, leaving the heat on the back porch instead of in the kitchen. And, there's even thunderstorms on the forecast. I miss North Dakota thunderstorms with a passion. They were always my favorite thing up there. Maybe we'll get something fairly close here tomorrow.

See Lisa, perhaps Summer isn't all THAT bad...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

SSS: Anyone Hungry?

Something Super Saturday!
Last weekend after getting back from the Ragnar Relay, I had a special gift waiting for me. Cody had ordered me The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It took me two evenings to devour the book completely. I LOVED it! I love reading, but don't do it terrifically often because of how easily I get sucked in. But this one I kept mostly to the evenings when the kids were in bed, so I was able to keep my mom brain intact.

The book is the the first in a trilogy. Something I really liked about it was that it was written in first person present tense. ("I walk here. I see this. I do this. I am hungry. I say this." but not all the sentences start with I.) I found Suzanne Collins' writing intriguing, and as a writer, often the way something is written fascinates me more than what is actually written.

But beyond the good book was the fact that Cody bought it for me just because I had been lonely and it was our Anniversary. It was so thoughtful of him! Between the initial feast and then the scanning through it since, The Hunger Games has certainly been something super this week!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Zoo




Yesterday I packed up the kids and took them to Utah's Hogle Zoo. It's a bit of a drive from our house, but we had a great time. My dear friend, Jennifer, who I've known since I was 13, was in Utah visiting her family. We met up at the Zoo (a planned rendezvous) and our kids had a great time while we chatted.

Both Lee and Anna's favorite animal was the giant tortoise.

As you may recall, we have a tortoise named Oda. Anna pointed at the giant tortoise and said "Oda! Oda! Oda!" Annalisa also loved the elephants. As soon as she saw them, she started saying "E-fant, pppphh!" And blowing raspberries to them. So cute. Lee also loved the rhinoceros that was eating RIGHT by the window to see them, and also the bats that were flying around their little cave. Every five minutes he would say, "Let's go see more animals."

I feel pretty smart because I looked up online the zoo website and found they had a deal going on that if you brought in four wrappers of Cache Valley Cheese or butter, you could get a free ticket (up to 4 per household). Annalisa is under 2 so she got in for free. And even better, Cache Valley Cheese was on sale. I already had 3, so I picked up some more cheese and butter, emptied it out of its packages, and Lee and I got free tickets into the zoo! Jennifer was really kind to let Lee have her carousel ticket because she (like me) gets motion sickness. Jennifer's mom was soooo sweet to take all the kids on the carousel so us older girls could sit and laugh and watch the kids. The carousel was by far Lee's favorite activity of the day, with the ride on the train close behind.


So all told, I spent $3 at the zoo for a ride on the train. We brought in our picnic. That's of course excluding the cost of cheese, but still, not bad! And just in case you live in Utah and want more information on the cheese deal, it's 4 wrappers for 1 free ticket. There didn't seem to be a limit for how many times you could use the deal. It is for Hogle Zoo, AND Utah Bee's games (baseball), AND the Gateway Megaplex theaters. Suh-weet!

Anyway. It was a fantastic day and a great way to get into the gear of Summer vacation. I think the kids were the perfect age for it. They recognized many of the animals and the zoo is just the right size to get it all in in one day, but still totally wear out the kids so they both fell asleep before I even made it to the freeway to drive home. :)

In case you were wondering, the people in attendance were: Me, Lee, Annalisa, Jennifer + her 3 kids, Jennifer's younger cousin who is just old enough and responsible enough to be a HUGE help, and Jennifer's mom.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A first

Yesterday I was putting some food in the back of the van to go to Raychel and Paul's house for dinner. There was a roll of paper towels and I could hear a moth flipping its wings, trying to get out of the paper towels. I grabbed the towels and tried to rip it off and take the moth with it, getting it out of the van so it wouldn't get the food dirty, when I felt a tiny poke in my hand. It kind of hurt, but when I looked at the paper towels I realized it wasn't a moth--it was a bee. I'd grabbed it with my bare hand. Yes, that was my first ever bee sting.

Since it was through the paper towels, I don't think it was as bad as it could have been. But still I was worried about allergies and stuff so I got some ice. It looked like a mosquito bite for a few minutes, and then went away.

All in all, I didn't think it was horrible. Considering the welts that last for days I get from mosquitos, a little poke and fifteen minutes of slight burning I can deal with. Plus, I now know I'm not deathly allergic. Not that I'm about to go poking my head in all kinds of beehives or anything, but I'm kind of glad it happened. However you slice it, it was a first for me!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Ragnar Relay

We're back, and we're all alive! Cody just barely...he has three huge blisters on his feet and many sore muscles. So, I'll start at the beginning and just chug my way through...


Thursday mid-morning Cody came up to me and said that a friend of his was going to run this big relay race, and one of their team members was injured, and if Cody could join last minute. We talked about it quite a bit, and I did some research. Cody is in pretty good shape, but he hasn't done regular distance-running in several years. He's gone on only a few runs in the past months. The relay is 188 miles through the back Wasatch mountains, and he would take 3 legs of the race, totaling around 16 miles. We finally decided to do it, and all of us would go and make it a family camping outing besides the crazy runs.

So I spent the rest of Thursday cooking, packing, and shopping to get ready to go. Cody instantly started super-hydrating and carbo-loading himself, and we went to bed early.

Friday we headed out after a really good breakfast. His first leg was a 3.4 mile, flat run through Eden, UT. He was able to complete it in about 20 minutes.

Then we headed over to Echo Reservoir just north of Coalville, UT. Cody's second leg was right along that reservoir, so we found a campsite and set up our tent. I had brought pork chops and cheesy hashbrowns that we cooked in our firepit. mmmm. Very tasty. We swam a little bit in the reservoir, relaxed in our tent, and waited. The relay chugged along and Cody's second leg--the long 9.6 miler along the reservoir--started at 10:12 pm. I parked near the exchange where he would stop running and the kids slept in the van. I realized I had internet reception, hence the previous post. Cody finished that leg in precisely 1 hour and 45 minutes--he purposefully took it slow since he hadn't been training and didn't want to kill himself.

We went straight to bed... well, maybe a quick dip in the reservoir again... and listened to the other runners pass us as we fell asleep. There were runners chugging along that leg when Anna woke up for a minute at 2 am. There were runners chugging along that leg when we woke up at 6:30 am. There were runners chugging along it when we left camp at 8:30. This was one HUGE event! We found out later that they did indeed stagger the start, with the fastest groups at the end of the race, so that most of the people would be able to finish today. Kinda blew the wind out of our sails, since our team was definitely in the first 20% of the teams (probably around 1000 or more teams). Oh well. ;)

Anyway. Like I said, we packed up camp and roasted sausages on a quick fire and had that along with muffins and rice pudding for breakfast. We drove down to Cody's final leg and met up with the rest of his team. Even though it had been cold and Anna did wake up, I'm certain we got better sleep than they did. They were in a car beside the runner almost the whole night (well, the team was split in half between two cars, so technically they were beside the runner half the time...). A car was always near the runner, and would provide water and other support as needed. They'd always get to the exchange when the runner was around the 1 mile mark so that the next runner could get ready, make the exchange, and take off. I think these people are all crazy, by the way. (One semi-sad thing--I somehow left the camera in the covers of our bed in the tent, which we just scooped up and put in the van. After our camp, I couldn't find the camera until we unloaded this afternoon. So no pictures of Cody's last leg, which is a real bummer because of how intense it was. But believe me, Cody is my running hero!)

So the final exchange was made at about 10:00 am, and Cody started running up the mountain outside of Midway, UT, and ran up a pavement-turned-gravel-turned-dirt hill, climbing 1700 feet in 3.6 miles. Everybody's final leg was the hardest--they were tired and sore already from their first 2 runs. Cody's was particularly hard with that climb. He said he walked a lot of it. It took him just under an hour. The kids and I waited for him at the top of his run and munched on carrots and swedish fish. There was no way back down with the narrow road and all the runners and support cars, so we followed the course up and over the mountain and waved at where it would end in a few hours in Park City, UT. I drove and Cody placed his poor blistered feet on the AC vents. Lee was soooo excited to have a real toilet. We got home around 2:30 in the afternoon today.

Holy Hannah, that was a long post! It was a crazy two days. I'm kind of in shock that we even did it. But we're back, a little worse for wear, but in good shape. Cody and Anna are asleep and Lee is watching a movie. That was quite the adventure. I hope you're all having a happy summer too.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cannot BELIEVE I'm posting...

I'm sitting in my car on the side of the road in the middle of an unknown small town in the middle of the night...and I actually have internet service!

Cody is at this moment running the Ragnar Relay through the Wasatch back. He's runner #9. He was asked to run it yesterday--a friend's team member had been injured and they needed someone to come take his place. So, here we are! No training! Just crazy!

I will post a bunch of pictures and all kinds of details when we're done. He's almost done with this leg of the race, and then we're going to go sleep a bit until his third leg. I'm scared to death. I just hope I have a husband in the morning. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"It's so funny when it's not your kid..."

...I heard as I was walking through the store. Yes, the woman who said that sentence was indeed referring to MY child, who was screaming at the top of his lungs "I want to go shopping with my daddy!" and crying like he was being tortured.

To Lee, I say: Whether daddy or mommy takes you shopping, if you run off and don't come back when called, you will end up sitting in the cart with Anna and not pushing your own little cart. And if you continue in your so-loud-that-a-group-of-women-stops-and-laughs-at-me-and-comment-on-how-it-reminds-them-of-their-kids'-youth tantrum, I may be forced to leave you at home until I too can laugh about it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today's Musings

Today's post is journal-style.
This is our anniversary dinner. Pretty spectacular, eh?
Cody and I on our anniversary, outside cooking our dinner 100% on the grill. It sure has gone by fast! I love this guy. He's a stud.
The other day we made ribs. Cody smoked them on the grill and I made homemade barbecue sauce for them. Lee loved being given a whole rib just to chew on. It was so fun to watch him gnaw away on it. He kept stopping and picking at his teeth because he'd gotten meat in them. One of the greatest things of being a mom; nay, THE greatest thing, is watching your children discover what life is like. Lee's first experience with ribs was one of those times.
This was not a posed picture--the kids were just being buds on the recliner. So sweet!

One picture-less thought: the weather is finally starting to warm up. There's been a couple days where I wanted to use our swamp cooler, but alas, it is not set up for summer yet. Fortunately, today is kind of windy and we had a little storm blow through, so it isn't really hot yet. I relish days like this because I know within a very short time it will get so hot I won't be able to keep the windows open.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Five Years

Cody and I have been married for five years today. Wow!

Five years ago right now we were trying to find our reception center and got lost. Cody ran into a gas station for directions in his tux, with his new wife in the front seat (me) in my big white dress.

We were married in the Jordan River Temple. It was a beautiful day--we even got sunburned during pictures.

I can honestly say that we are happier now than we were then. Every day gets better and better. I love being married.

To celebrate today we have a babysitter taking the kids for a few hours. We've dry-aged 2 beautiful rib-eye steaks that we will grill up, and we've also got some shrimp cocktail and we're going to make herb crepes with grilled mushrooms. For dessert I've made a 2-tier raspberry-marble mock-wedding cake, which we will feed to each other while watching our wedding video. Waaaah...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

SSS: the "s" is for silly.

I feel kind of nervous posting this one today, but it must be done.

Something Super Saturday!
This week has been made extra special with a generous helping of ABC's series "The Bachelorette." Now, please don't judge me too harshly as a foolhardy romantic... You see, I have a pretty bad addiction to TV, which has been getting worse in the last few years as I've had kids, and my ability to go out has become more and more restricted. Hobbies can cost a lot of money too, and I've tried to cut out the expensive stuff. Last fall I started feeling more shut down than ever, as we tried to save money and all my little pleasures like going shopping or out to eat were being denied. I turned further to TV, and held on to a few TV shows as my nightly escape. I had a show nearly every night, sometimes two. In this time, I picked up The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. But I secretly denied my obsession until a few weeks ago, which was chuck-full of season finales. As I bid a near-tearful adieu to all my shows, (The Biggest Loser, The Office, CSI, Glee, Smallville...) something wonderful happened: A new season of the Bachelorette! New TV to watch--two glorious hours every week! I look forward to each episode all week and put the kids to bed early on Monday so I can wrap up in my pj's with a bowl of caramel popcorn. Cody doesn't even tease me about it, because he's awesome that way. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I pick through the episodes again, re-watching my favorite parts and relishing every second.

Pretty pathetic, huh. But most girls have some kind of sinful indulgence, and this is mine. So there you have it--this week my Something Super is kind of silly, but still super to me.

Friday, June 11, 2010

My Great-Grandfather's Great-Granddaughter

I was watching Good Morning America this morning with Cody when I made him pause it so I could point something out to him.

Let me back up. My mom's side of the family is...how can I put it delicately...particular about some things, like spelling, grammar, general etiquette, stuff like that. My Great-Grandfather used to read National Geographic Magazine cover to cover each month, and then send a letter to the editor containing all the mistakes it contained. I'm certainly not perfect with grammar and spelling and stuff, but if I go back on my blog and re-read a post and find an error in it, I feel deeply compelled to fix it.

So today was no different when I noticed Good Morning America was proclaiming that the Soccer World Cup would have an estimated 26 Billion viewers. Wow!

We now have one of several very exciting scenarios: 1) There are aliens watching from afar, 2) a few years ago there was an unexpected, untold, and completely secret baby boom of soccer fans, upping the world's population by at least 433%, 3) we now can count ghosts and spirits as soccer fans, or 4) (certainly the most unlikely of all situations, right?) GMA accidentally put a B instead of an M on their count.

Cody sent an email to GMA saying that they probably fell victim to the classic Wall Street Blunder of the B vs. M mistake. I would have asked them where they found the aliens hiding, or how they learned to communicate with ghosts. Great-Granddad Lawrence would have been more practical than that, and more professional. But I think he would be proud to know his legacy lives on.

Until next time, I give you all leave to crusade for a better world...grammatically speaking, that is. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

For your viewing pleasure

Since you took the time to come visit us today here in blogworld, I will reward you with some cute recent pictures of the kids being goofy.

I'm also putting these pictures up because I love pictures of the kids, and I worry about losing them. Here in blogworld, they're safe from things like crashing computers, natural disasters, and the like. I hope you enjoy!

Sorry about Lee's lack of pants... but the kids were so funny in the dryer, we couldn't help but take a picture.


This one's for you, Grandpa S.--notice what's holding Anna's diaper on? That's right--Duct Tape!

Anna took her shoes and wanted to go outside. She fell asleep on the ground waiting for mom.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June Mornings

We took a little hike up the canyon for our morning exercise. It was a beautiful morning, and down in the trees it was surprisingly humid. The kids loved being outdoors, and we all got a good workout! I snapped lots of pictures.










Monday, June 7, 2010

Date Night

On Saturday we went down to Salt Lake for a Married Cousin Date (on Cody's side, hereafter referred to as "S"). It was way awesome! There were 5 couples there. We held it at Grandma S's house--she was way kind a
nd generous to let us crash her back yard for a few hours.

Nick and Amber put together the games--Minute to Win it. They were surprisingly difficult, but amazingly fun. We were all yelling and shouting and laughing in no time.

Cody and I were in charge of food (surprised? not really). We made a grilled chicken salad with lots of yummy toppings, homemade sweet potato chips, and homemade rolls. We had plenty of food, but better too much than not enough!

We're definitely going to set this up as an annual event. It was too much fun not to. Best of all was hanging out with the cousins and getting to know each other better.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

SSS: Healing

I'm finally getting over the illness I had this week. So, technically, my "Something Super Saturday is my box of Nyquil that Cody got me earlier, OR the human body's immune system, OR the priesthood blessing Cody gave me... pick one. Either way, I'm so grateful to be feeling better! I still feel like there's something in my throat, but the horrid constant burning it was radiating for over seven days has at last abated. aaah.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sick... blegh.

I so hate being sick! I've had a cold the past week. Fortunately, I have an amazing husband who always puts my needs ahead of his own. He's been so kind and thoughtful, and I appreciate him so much. So that's the reason why I haven't been posting much the past few days...just been sick. Hopefully I'll get over it soon, it's been over a week now. Catch y'all on the flip side...