Sunday, August 30, 2009


Our dog Toby functions on one brain cell... on a good day. He is a great dog. He is patient with Aspen, as she tries to ride him when he is lying on the ground. He is obedient, and obeys commands like sit and stay. He just has one HUGE weakness. He has a toy called a KONG. It is his kryptonite. This summer he ran through our campfire because I threw his kong, and the campfire was in between him and his kong. We finally got him patted down and the embers put out.

He isn't going to win any prizes in the IQ department.

Friday, August 28, 2009

unstable... temporarily

It happens every year. My poor husband can attest to it...

Because he has to ENDURE it.

Good ole' Back to school. Where weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth (on my part) are prevalent. Now let me clarify, before you start thinking I'm a spoiled teacher who cries when they have to end their luxurious summer vacation in order to go back to the 8-3 job (with weekends and holidays off). I love my job. I feel like I make a difference, and have not grow tired of it even being 1/3 the way through my 30 years. I love the kids. Yes, even THAT kid, that no other teacher can handle. AND it isn't the end of summer, per say, that brings about such a strong reaction, because I LOVE fall. I love football, pumpkins, sweaters, cooler weather, and all that come with it. And, actually, I couldn't quite figure out what exactly it was about going back to school had me in such an emotional mess until Hayden went walking with me one evening, and helped me figure it out.

THIS is the part of back to school I dread:
  • I begin my 9 months of being a "visitor" parent with my boys, instead of being able to the MOM that nags them to finish their homework, pick up their socks, and for "Pete's sake... take a SHOWER". No matter how many times I begin school, this part only gets harder.
  • 6am in June is almost too sunny for a morning run. 5:30 is when I have to run in order to beat the sun. NOW that school started, 6 am is pitch black. And I'm having a rough time adjusting to dark running. And colder weather is just around the corner, which is another zapper of motivation to my already dwindling supply.
  • I CAN never get done all the things I want to do in a summer with the kids. Doesn't matter what we DID do, I see The list of unchecked items on our summer bucket list, and they haunt me. Literally. I dream about them for weeks after school starts. Mother guilt.
So I'm looking at the bright side. Cross country season just started, so there will be lots of chances to see the boys and cheer them on. Also, I am considering a race in October, and the OGDEN MARATHON in May in order to keep my motivation in check. And lastly... as my husband teaches me on a daily basis... I'm going to chill. Relax. Go with the flow. Breathe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

bait and switch

I have to give my husband a hard time occasionally because he is not a big outdoorsy person (unless that "outdoor" includes a beach, sand, surf... etc. etc.) When we were first dating however, he took me on some pretty cool hikes and walks. We went to Memory grove in SLC, Donut Falls up Big Cottonwood canyon, the dog park trail in SLC and hours and hours of hikes up Fairview Canyon.

After a 5 year absence, we finally made it back to Donut Falls last weekend. Aspen LOVED it. She is a natural hiker. We haven't quite yet figured out RIVER SAFETY and things like that, but then again, a person would have to GET to a hiking spot more than once every 5 years in order to teach such tips.

With fall coming on... my goal is to sneak in a hike or two before it gets too cold.

Aspen agrees.
Sorry Hayd... you're outnumbered.

Monday, August 24, 2009

a little perspective

Funny how life has a way of sneaking up on you and lets you know that it is fleeting, fragile, and easily lost. A month ago a great young man, who is our home teacher, Brenden's young mens leader, and a friend to all, blessed his new baby in church. Two weeks later he was killed in a plane crash, leaving a young wife and 3 small children behind.

This has brought about some perspective for me (and I thought I had a lot BEFORE this). TIME is the number one thing you cannot buy. It is what family wants most. It is the hardest thing to give. There are always things that come up... school, work, kids, schedules, cleaning, garden. Taking time out of "getting stuff done" FEELS so unproductive.

So now... PRODUCTIVE, at our house, has been redefined.

Productive is laying on the bed for an hour after getting home from teaching, just reading books and telling stories with Aspen, and she with me (and the laundry is still in the washing machine from Friday morning).

Productive is driving to Bountiful on a Saturday to help Hayden put in a floor, because I know it means something to him to have us there, and I know it helps him get home sooner (and the floors at home are still unvacuumed and mopped).
Productive is driving to Roosevelt on a whim because... hey, could I live with myself for the rest of my life if something happened to one of my family, and I hadn't made an effort to get out there and see them? The answer: NO (and my school work is being done today at school instead of last night at home).

Life is a trade off. I just get to decide which things are worth the trade. The 4 hours in the car yesterday, however inconvenient, was DEFINITELY worth it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

first day back

How to tell if it is the FIRST day back to school:

~Aspen is up and ready to go play with the kids @ Emily's house
~I start with a headache that grows into a migraine
~Students (for the first and only time during the entire year) are SILENT
~my list of TO-DO's massively out numbers my list of DONE items
~My shirt matches with all the other teachers at my school
~I've repeated the same things so many times, I can't remember which class I am in, or whether or not I've even told them certain things.
~A nap is a must by the time I get home
~dinner=pre-prepped chicken pot pie (gotta love freezer meals)

Bring on DAY 2 (and all the 8th graders)!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

in the red

It is said that when it rains, it pours... and this week has been a financial downpour at our house.

With 3 days left of SUMMER (aka: before mom goes back to school) left, we had many things to get done... we just didn't realize how EXPENSIVE some of those things would be.

What helped put us in the red for this week:
  • Repairman come to fix water heater ($120 to vacuum out my furnace vents)
  • Repairman return on next day to fix (again) water heater
  • Left my right leg at the letterman jacket shop in exchange for a jacket for Brenden (which he will be required to wear everyday until he is 40 in order to get our money's worth out of it)
  • Dealt with obtaining passports for 4 of us (they want $100 for ONE, plus $15 to take your picture)
  • Took our car in for an estimate. A lady in Walmart parking lot backed into us, left a little ding on two car doors.... $1000!!
  • Credit card company called trying to raise our rates by 14%. SERIOUSLY.
  • $50 to Workman's Comp to get a voucher to say we don't need workman's comp (for Hayd's company)

Apparently I am in the wrong profession. They don't tell you these things in college. The big money is to be made in the jacket, passport, repair-dude business.

Just a little FYI for those looking to change careers

Sunday, August 9, 2009

reporting in

I ran the Provo River 1/2 marathon yesterday.

It was a COLD morning. I had brought along gloves, a sweatshirt, and a headband. I felt prepared for the most part. I had ran the miles I should have beforehand. There were a TON of people there: approximately 1500, which made for a crazy start.

First 4 miles felt good, next 2 were BEAUTIFUL! I ran the whole thing. RAN meaning, I DID NOT WALK... even during the little uphill portion they threw at us in the middle of the course. My aunt had filled me in the previous day on what to expect, but neglected (intentionally... I found out later) to tell me about the uphill part. Mile 9-11 were the most difficult. They had left a mark on mile 9, but not on 10. I kept waiting and looking and hoping to see mile marker 10... but never found one. Finally I saw the mile marker coming up ahead, and was glad to finally be hitting mile 10. There is was: MILE 11. Mile 11? MILE 11??? SWEEEEEET!!!
I was so happy about this news that mile 11-12 passed by quite quickly. The last mile seemed to never end. Partially because it was the last mile, and I had lost my energy GU somewhere along the way, and partially because my feet had started protesting. I had to trick myself into thinking that the pain, in fact, was a tingling pleasure in order to press on. It worked until the second the race ended... then the fantasy was over.

I passed Hayden and Aspen when I started reaching the end. Aspen started crying because she wanted to come run with me. Turned another corner and LO and BEHOLD... there was the finish line.

It was a big accomplishment. Never had I run that far before in my life... and all my previous miles I had done (even my two 12 mile runs) had been quite a bit slower, and I had walked in portions. I try to pretend that my sister didn't dust me by 5 minutes, and my sister in law by almost 30 minutes. I just concentrate on the fact that my PREDICTED time to finish was a 10 minute mile time of 2 hours 11 minutes, and I finished in 2 hours 5 minutes. I just concentrate on the fact that it is OVER and I LIVED.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

getting there is 1/2 the fun

Riding in a car with a 2 year old is tough... especially if it is a long drive. Long drive=anything over 5 minutes.

A 3 hour car trip on Sunday meant we resorted to desperate measures to keep her entertained.

chased with a swig of DIET COKE

This girl cracks me up.


We were able to do a "getaway" job for my sister @ their cabin in the Uintahs. We went up for a couple days to put in hardwood for them, and were able to spend some down time playing in the outdoors. It was beautiful... the water was cold... and Aspen and I (and about $1000 in electronics) almost didn't make it across the log that spans the river leading to the pond. We waded through a shallow part on the way back. Still amazes me that we made it across at all... dumb idea.

Aspen's highlight of the trip was the walk on the water pipeline, I think Wade's was probably the little trip into "town" (yeah... town is a HUGE compliment for the place). But by the end of 2 days of deer flies (which are WORSE than mosquitos, in my opinion)... we were ready to head back to civilization. Thanks Aud and Bill for the stay. Hope you love the floor.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

making lemonade

What was I to do?
I had plans.
I had a list of things to do.
Aspen had a swim diaper... and brought it to me saying SIMMIN'.
So the plans went away, and we went to Liberty Park in Salt Lake. Unfortunately for us, Tuesdays were cleaning days and the full stream/river part of the park wasn't open while we were there. That didn't matter. There was a little water reserve in one of the parts, and we played in that for a good hour. Give this girl a puddle to play in and it somehow counts as SIMMIN'.

There is also a nice little carousel, ferris wheel, and a few other rides right next to the water... so obviously we had to buy some ride tickets.

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