Sunday, August 29, 2010

RUSH with my "drummer boy"

As part of the "mama/son" date series this summer, I offered Brenden a night at a concert of his choice.  The choices were Jack Johnson, RUSH, and Men at Work.  It was a no-brainer for him.  Much to my dismay, RUSH won.  I have never been a RUSH fan.  They are a band I used to loathe in the late 80's/early 90's.  I couldn't stand the whiny voice of the lead singer, but since I am a dedicated mom, and so I didn't embarrass myself, I decided to do some studying of tunes and lyrics.  They are impressive (did I just say that???).  The lyrics are contemplative and insightful ... with my stand-outs being MARATHON (because I'm a runner), Time Stand Still, and Subdivisions.

So on a Thursday afternoon in August, Brenden drove down and met me.  We had dinner at Costa Vida, then headed over to Usana Ampitheater.  Last time he went to a concert at Usana, they were late... even missing most of the opening act, and had to sit on the back section of the grass.  Not this time.  We were in line before the gates even opened, and had a spot on the lawn right at the front.   It is so much fun to watch Brenden in his element.  I had a great time (even surprised MYSELF).  The concert had its fair share of interesting moments, from drunk fans, 40-something has been rockers wearing tight zebra striped pants and an old rocker shirt, to several air-drummers in the crowd without a care in the world who was watching them.  We left during the last song of the encore... which made Brenden not happy, but we made it out of the dreaded Usana parking lot in 5 minutes
Thanks for the company Brenden... and for teaching me to broaden my musical tastes to include once hated bands.

Fairview 24th Celebration

Getting Hayden away from work (especially when it means going to a place with no running water) takes a miracle.  With half of summer gone by the middle of July, we still hadn't been to the cabin, so it became a no-brainer plan for the 24th.

July 24th weekend in Fairview was crazy.  Lots of people on the mountain with their ATV's, many people at the swimming pool at the mountain resort.  The celebration in town includes a parade, demolition derby, music, food, and much more.  The demolition derby is usually sold out by the second day tickets are available (in May), so taking the boys to that was a non option.  The morning of the derby, I was up at Overlook Point reading a book and watching the sunrise.  An older gentlemen drove up and we started talking.  Turns out he had 10 extra tickets to the demolition derby.  Wade and Aspen have never been to one, Brenden went to one when he was 6 or 7.  Hayden and Debra haven't been to one for 20 years or so.  I was SO excited to have tickets.

watching fireworks

The boys LOVED it...  Brenden especially.  He was standing on the bleachers, cheering for "his" car, and whooping and hollering.  I was having a great time because I love watching the kids have a good time.  Throw in the entertainment of Brenden leading the crowd in YMCA, and that topped off the night.  After the derby there was a great fireworks show (especially for a small town celebration) that we watched on our way back to the truck.

Aspen waving to "the princesses"
Other highlights of the trip included ATV riding (mostly Brenden), the parade (for Aspen... especially the floats with royalty), the swimming pool (definitely Aspen), and just enjoying nature (that includes everyone except Hayden).  Aspen had a couple sets of binoculars she found at the cabin, and they did not leave her neck for most of the 3 days.

Thanks Frank & Deb for letting us crash at your mountain pad!  We need to do it more often.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Half-marathon... sort of.

I ran hobble creek half marathon this year.  It is apparently THE RACE to get into, because the race was full 8 hours after it was opened.  The day of registration (after online registration was already full) I was in the running store buying Brenden shoes and noticed a line for race registration. Hmmm... Why not?  I had enough time to train for it.  Two years previous I signed up and paid for it, but ended up not running it for two reasons: 1) my running partner "M", got a stress fracture and wasn't going to be able to run it, and 2) I ended up skipping it and did a home make-over surprise for a friend.

So... about the race.  It was painful, beautiful, rewarding, a sacrifice, and frustrating.

This is the first half marathon M was going to be running, and my husband convinced me to run the race with her.  His reasoning?  I wasn't going to be improving on my previous time (2:05) because our runs have been pretty slow, I wasn't going to win the race (ha ha ha ha... as if) and it would mean a lot to her.  One week before the race,  M went in for an emergency appendectomy and wasn't sure she was going to be able to run it at all.  So... now what? Do I plan on running solo? If so, I haven't done any speed workouts for the past 11 weeks.  If she can't run and decides to walk, do I just run it or stay by her and finish with her?  Aaaaarggghhh..... frustration.

Morning of race day: arrived at the park at 5:15am, boarded bus, and took a long frustrating 50 minute bus ride 13 miles up Hobble Creek canyon.  The morning was chilly, and I ran into a couple friends while waiting for the race to start.  The race started forty minutes late, and the canyon was amazing.  Beautiful.  M had bandaged up her incision so that it didn't jiggle while she ran.  We started off running, she felt pretty good.  We made it to mile six, running the entire way, with our mile pace at about 11:27.  After a quick bathroom stop, we were on the road again, and ran to mile 8 before the effects of her surgery began to take effect.  I'm HUGELY competitive, and really can't stand to have people pass me... Especially people who have been walking.  So by mile 10 I was fit to be tied.  Slow people passing us as we did our walk/run for the last 4 miles.  Walkers passing us.  I kept thinking of Hayden's suggestion to stay with her.  Kept fighting off the urge to run and pass all the walkers.  Kept checking my watch realizing that our time at mile 10 was my time I was FINISHED at my last race.

With one half mile left to go, M told me she was feeling guilty about ruining my race (through tears) and told me to just run ahead and finish.  NO WAY MAN.  I've come this far doing my friendly duty, i wasn't about to go ahead of her now.  As we approached the finish line, I reached over and grabbed her hand as we approached the finish line.  Final time: (2:53).  That's a 13:07 mile pace.  At the finish line, i hugged her and she cried.  All the pain and agony and frustration of the race was suddenly rewarded.  I realized this is what i was supposed to do.  My half marathon "race" was my sacrifice to give, and one that meant more to her than I could have known.

I have signed up for a race in November in St. George... with M.  Pretty safe to assume that I am not going to be running "with" her or anyone else for that race.  My goal is to do my speed workouts between now and then and beat my 2:05 time.

Hayden and Aspen came and met us on the trail just before mile 11. I was so excited to see them.  I love to have them as my cheer leaders. Thanks for giving up your morning Hayd! It meant the world to me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Growing Artist

Where has my summer gone?  One minute I'm planting my garden in preparation for warm weather and sun, and the next thing I know I have more summer squash, tomatoes and beets than we could possibly eat... even though we have had one or more of something out of our garden everyday.
Budding artist!
 I feel the same with my kids.  One minute they are just beginning to learn so many new and exciting things (Aspen), and the next minute they are preparing to start their last year in high school and move on with their life as an adult (Brenden).

Aspen has taken a liking to my ipad I acquired for my birthday.  She spends more time on it than I do... which is saying something.  She loves counting programs, alphabet writing, coloring, paint by numbers, and watching movies, but her favorite lately is the Monkey Preschool app.  It's fun to see her match colors, letters, etc etc.  
She has learned in the last 2 weeks that she can control what she is drawing, and loves to draw lots and lots of SUNs.  She has began to add legs and arms to things and people as well.  We had a small problem with her drawing on things OTHER THAN the chalk board and paper, however.  Three weeks ago I noticed nice permanent pen all over the seat of my car.  This prompted a lecture from me about writing ONLY on paper.  Within a week, she had written on my ipad with a crayon (followed by another scolding), my patio doors with permanent marker (white doors/dark blue markers), on the door handle in Hayden's truck, and all up and down her legs, arms, and face during a car ride to Park City.  Where is this child's mother??? and WHO keeps showing her my hiding spots for all my writing utensils???

Aspen is into everything PRINCESS, castles and dragons.  She would prefer to have a princess dress on than any other clothes, and if I sneak clothes on her before she remembers her princess dress she will say "I don't like this shirt... need to change it" and brings me a dress to replace it with.

She constantly is asking "Whachu say, momma?  Whachu say?" if I tell her something and she didn't fully hear or understand what I said.  When watching a movie, and wondering what comes next she says "Whas happenin'?" (repeated 305 times without pause).

A typical outfit for Aspen includes:
2 necklaces with large pink jewels and beads on them
4+ bracelets...on both arms
Princess dress
Sun bonnet
Pink sun glasses
Several hair-bows (which she calls hair BONES)
clip-clop shoes (that make tapping sounds when she walks)
A backpack or purse or her trusty dog blanket.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy #5 Haydy Baby

Seriously... I am married to the best man on the PLANET!  Ask my girl friends... they have all (at one time or another) asked if Hayden has a brother to share.  

It was our fifth anniversary this year (last Sunday) and I kept pretty quiet about it, trying to catch Hayden in the act of forgetting about it.  Did you know Facebook has ANNIVERSARY reminders??  So much for my sneaky plan.  

Friday's job for Hayden ended up getting canceled and by 10am, he had made plans for the weekend and our anniversary. Here is a blow by blow of our adventurous weekend. 

Day 1: Friday
  • Hayden divulges "secret location"... tells me to pack
  • Mad-dash to get someone to cover Sunday's lesson.
  • Frantic packing job.
  • Head to Lodge at Red River.
  • Check location in GPS unit.
  • Double check location on google.
  • Triple check location on bing.
  • All say same to middle of nowhere... arrive at destination.
  • Stop in Richfield for a few supplies.
  • Walmart.
  • Leave Walmart feeling VERY normal.
  • Drive through awesomely beautiful country I didn't know Utah had.
  • Arrive at a lodge amid a mass of cottonwoods.
  • Check in at lodge.
  • Room is amazing complete with 2 beds, log walls and a small balcony.
  • Decide to explore the area... on foot.
  • Check out game room.
  • Embarrass myself trying to play Hayden in ping-pong. (I beat him one time... long ago).
  • Push Aspen in massive swing hanging from a cottonwood tree.
  • Go walking along Fremont river on a weeded path.
  • Walk for 10 minutes.
  • Rain begins.
  • Run back to lodge in rain (Aspen on Hayden's shoulders)
  • Drive around the area exploring.
  • Watch rain storm move in.
  • Dinner @ lodge.  
  • Aspen on swing... again.
  • Aspen to bed.
  • Sit on balcony with Hayd and talk for an hour.
  • Bedtime.

Day 2: Saturday
  • Wake up with headache... no run for me.  Sad.
  • Breakfast @ the lodge. 
  • Push Aspen in tree swing.
  • Decide to shower later... throw on a hat.
  • Drive into Torrey & buy drinks for the road.
  • Drive to Capitol Reef (9 miles away)
  • Take 10 mile scenic loop.
  • Drive 7 miles on scenic loop... road closed.
  • Hike on closed area over washed out roads (very NON drivable conditions)
  • Gather rocks for my sand-jars.
  • Head to Hanksville.
  • Compare parts of the drive to Price.
  • Stop at HOLLOW MOUNTAIN in Hanksville.
  • Buy Aspen her "diamond" (she wanted the PINK CAT she saw on our way to Lake Powell, but opted for the jewel).
  • Drive to Goblin Valley.
  • Pay $7 entrance fee.
  • Hike down a few hills into "goblins".
  • Rain starts.
  • Wait out rain behind very large goblin.
  • Wait some more... find bigger rock to cower behind.
  • Give up and decide the rain isn't going to end... back to the truck we go.
  • Sandy silt is now slippery mud... we slide all over with every step.
  • Crawl uphill through mud to top.
  • Wash off as much mud as possible is pools of standing water.
  • Remove shoes and get into truck.
  • Remove pants and drive back to Torrey in our underwear.
  • Redress and eat a bite at Taco Time.
  • Check into room #2 at lodge (since we booked at the last minute, we had to switch rooms after the first night to pull it off).
  • Aspen on swing... complains about being cold.
  • Drive into Torrey.
  • Contemplate going to Women's Music Festival.
  • Read sign that says $35 entrance per person.
  • Skip music festival and go to dinner @ Cafe Diablo.
  • Eat awesome creative food.
  • Pay too much for dinner.
  • Pick up Aspen a jacket at RV store.
  • Get contact information from RV park for a return trip with the kids.
  • Return to lodge.
  • Push Aspen on swing... this time with a jacket on.
  • Watch buffalo next to lodge
  • Bribe Aspen with hot-tubbing to get her off the swing.
  • Hot tub with Aspen and Hayd.
  • Back to room.
  • Aspen sleeping on floor in our room.
  • Off to bed...
Day 3: Sunday
  • 6:45am run along highway bordering Fremont River.
  • Stop 2 miles into run to read historical marker.
  • Continue run back to lodge.
  • Stretch out on the patio.
  • Shower.
  • Pack up room.
  • Push Aspen on Swing.
  • Say goodbye to lodge.
  • Breakfast @ brunch shop in Torrey.
  • Drive on a country road looking for a mountain with pieces of red rock.
  • Put truck in 4wd and drive up scary road leading to red rock.
  • Load truck with beautiful red flagstone for my yard.
  • Head to Ephraim.
  • Pass Manti temple... sealed 2 years previous on same date.
  • Aspen sees the "castle" and asks where the "princesses" are... have to take her and see them sometime.
  • Dinner with Fraser's.
  • Make dad jealous of all my cool flagstone rock.
  • Tour of dad's rock projects.
  • Drive home while Aspen naps.
  • Arrive at home... unload truck.

It seems so much to do, as I was typing it all out... but I haven't had such a relaxing, non stress, chill weekend since I was on a beach last December.  This is a DEFINITE do-over.  Hayden... once again... you have out done yourself.  My friends will be jealous.  Love you Haydy Baby.

teenagers...a pain?

I've had so many things going through my head lately of things I need to post, so many way cool summer adventures, but haven't felt much up to typing, trying to be eloquent, or trying to think of the best way to say it... so I just left it unwritten.  Hopefully I can take the events I have jotted down and write about them in the next couple days before I forget all the cool parts about them.

I have two boys that are so different in everything about them:  looks, characteristics, hobbies, how to spend free time, personality.  Wade is fair complected, Brenden is dark... Wade likes (LoveS) playing video games, Brenden would prefer to hang with friends... Wade is my peacemaker, Brenden is the antagonizer... Wade is the helper, Brenden is the motivator.  So I have learned that expecting the same results out of them for the same request will NEVER happen.  I have to nag Brenden several times a day (and sometimes into the next day) to finish his few simple jobs.  I finally had enough of being a nag, and told him of my frustration. 
He listened.
Apparently more than I thought...
the next morning this is the note on the chalkboard in the kitchen that I found.
He doesn't say much, but when he does it is usually worth paying attention to.
Brenden... love you.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ea$y Money

If you need a good laugh, offer Brenden some money for a dare... but you better make it a good dare because he will do just about anything for a few bucks. 

For $5 he chewed on my ear pads off of my running headphones for 10 minutes.  Yeah... gross.  Seriously.

For $5 he wore some pink high heels and walked to the gas station in them, bought some snacks, and walked home in them.  And I missed seeing this one... I'd pay $10 just to see it again.
So when Grandma Debra offered him $10 to get down and lead the crowd in the YMCA song/actions, that was EASY compared to what he had done to make money in the past.  I'm so glad I had my camera... but wishing I had my video camera.

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