Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gratitude should not be an annual event (note to self)

I was out for my run today, and my heart was full, and I was thinking about all the great and amazing things in my life.  I thought "I need to write these down, before I forget how much I sometimes take them for granted".  So while the rest of the house is in bed full of turkey and pie from the day, I am sitting in bed, intent on not letting my thoughts be forgotten.

This year has been a crazy year with so many changes, so many accomplishments, so many ups and downs.  This had made me come to appreciate some things this year that have heretofore gone unnoticed.

Thoughts of gratitude from my run (in no particular order) (and not all inclusive... just what came to me while running):
1) My kids.  They are as different as the seasons, but each bring its own beauty as the seasons do, as well.
2) Morgan.  I have been able to spend more time with my oldest this past few months, and I forgot how much I love her.  She sometimes makes me want to strangle her, and I know she sometimes thinks I am crazy/weird, but I just really have enjoyed getting to know her again.
3) Running.  Seriously.  This is my sanity... literally and figuratively.  I know that someday I may not be able to run, but today is not that day... and for that I give thanks.
4) Hayden.  For someone who has started from step 1, and had never handled a power tool... and built a company into what he is taking care of today, I am truly amazed and impressed.  He has given up much for me, and I am grateful for his listening ear, his BFF status for me, his crazy work ethic, the friend and listener he is to my kids, and the amazing dad he is to his girl who pretty much think he is THE KING.
5) My job.  I know... I'm weird to love teaching jr high, but it is where I feel I truly make a difference.  My students love me and I love them (most of the time... with the exception perhaps of block days... and maybe sometimes not during 7th period ;)  I have some amazing co-workers who make my job more bearable because they are in my life.
6) Wade.  This kid has grown so much this past year... both in inches and in character.  He is the peacemaker OF THE WORLD and is willing to sacrifice whatever his opinion is for the benefit of others... which is admirable, but more admirable is how much he has learned to speak his mind, and have a say.  And when Wade is around... he is THE KING, and Hayden has to step down from that status.
7) Ability to be introspective.  I hope I never lose being able to take other people's feedback and process it, and decide what really applies to me, and how I can become a better person from it.
8) Aspen.  Holy cow.  This girl makes me grateful EVERYDAY!  She is the "cleaner" of the house as of this past week or two, and if I don't watch, she has moved my stuff to wherever she has decided is "the place" for it.  She has more energy than a herd of chickens (or a classroom full of 12 year olds), and somedays my gratitude is just in having her fall asleep early.  I love her, and she gives love so freely to everyone.
9) Great people in my life.  I have some pretty amazing friends, I have an AWESOME set of in laws that anyone should be envious of, and I have some wonderful people I'm related to that would give their shirts off their back for ANYONE... and sometimes do for  me.  I love you guys, and I truly do appreciate having you in my life!  Thanks Arica, Becky, Jocelyn, Frank & Debra and Kara.
10) Brenden.  Serving a mission in Canada, and I have forgotten how much I took for granted just being able to see him when I felt like it (even if it did require a 3 hour drive).  Aspen is counting down the days to see him, and I know he is going to be such a great missionary.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

First official Blickenstaff visit

We stopped by a real toy store yesterday. I've been wanting to go to this place since I read about it on Nie Nie's blog. Lets just say the game we bought was a hit and we are headed back again... Especially since it is at Gateway now. Love this place.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Brenden, Park City and a Banjo

My missionary boy takes off for Canada in five minutes.  Kinda strange that I wrote my LAST easy "dearelder" letter to Brenden yesterday (they can be written and delivered on the same day) and the last $2 package that I could send was delivered on Saturday. Now I'm going to be spending time at the post office, and Brenden will actually get letters with stamps on them, instead of printed off of the internet. Which means he will get more lovely pictures from Aspen as well...lucky him.  I heard from him this morning, but it was frustrating because his calls kept dropping.

It has been a crazy week. We did go to Park City with Mary, and even Wade was able to come. We stayed at the Marriott, swam, and went shopping at the outlets. The highlight of the trip was the alpine slide and the lift ride to the top of Deer Valley combined with the hike down the side of the mountain to the bottom. For the mountain adventure, I didn't exactly plan great, and wore my Nike flip flops for the trip, and decided to make the hike down anyway. My feet were horribly filthy by the top we reached the bottom of the 2.5 mile trail, but other than that, my feet felt pretty good. The alpine slide was fun too. Wade and Aspen rode on one cart and raced me down the mountain. Aspen hates to lose, and every time I was a little bit ahead of them, she was start yelling at Wade to speed up. I think she gets her competitive nature from Hayden :) 
Hayden & Aspen
Walking Sticks... an essential
My hiking attire :)
Wade and Mary at the bottom of the switchbacks
Only two weeks left until school starts and I'm trying to ignore it's impending approach every day. I always get emotionally a mess (I know, shocker...) this time of year because of all the stuff that I end up still wanting to do before the summer ends. This year is no exception. Wade and I still need to get to the top of Mount Timpanogas, and I have lots of sewing still to do. Wade is at cross country camp today through Wednesday, so he will be back on Friday...that gives us two weeks to try to get to the top. Oh yeah, and try to get to Lagoon too sometime with my tickets I won. 

Wade went and worked with Hayden this past week, so he earned enough money to finish saving for his.... BANJO! It's been kinda cute watching him try to figure it out. He had to take it home yesterday to show it off.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cheyenne Frontier Days... long TREK!

Just back from the gym, tending to Wade, Aspen and Hayden's Aunt Mary. We are headed to Park City today for a few days. Mary bought us a room up there for two nights, and we have plans to swim, ride the alpine slide, and perhaps ride the lifts and do some hiking. Morgan isn't with us, she is at her dads... long story. The short version is, she needs to rest and relax and be (somewhat) waited on. When I heard her dad was driving through town to bring Wade here after their trip to Lund, I sent Morgan with him. She needs some time to work out some of the wrinkles with him anyway.
She spun the wheel and won $25.  She bought a backpack for kindergarten
Aspen loved Frontier Days!

My view around town on my 5 miler
denver LOVES
Cheyenne and Denver were SO SO SO much FUN! There was only one downside... the DRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEE!!!! We drove to Cheyenne on a Friday morning, and arrived in Cheyenne around 4pm. On the way home, however, we left Denver at 1:30 Sunday afternoon, and pulled into Lehi at midnight. Won't do that again. We stayed in a cool hotel that was similar to the style from the Titanic age, the Brown Palace Hotel. I ran a good five mile exploration route through town. This was my favorite part of the trip, actually. Cheyenne was good. Zac was amazing (as always)... however, the Marshall Tucker Band was the warm up band instead of Sonia Leigh. IT was NOT good! They were bad and I was really looking forward to Sonia. Zac has a new album out. It is (as always) great. We are glad to be home... at least until we leave this afternoon for Park City :)

Brenden got his shipping orders, and flies out to Canada next Tuesday, so his days for local care packages are numbered.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

AF Canyon Half

I ended up in Provo on Brenden's P-Day with a few extra minutes to spare, so of course I had to drive by JUST IN CASE!!!  He hadn't emailed yet, so I thought maybe he could be outside playing soccer or ultimate frisbee.  No luck.  Three weeks left to try and spot him before he is off to Canada.

This week hasn't been too crazy... other than the fact that Morgan is moving home today.  Um... yeah.  And she is NOT happy about having to contribute to the household (financially or with some minor house help).  It's going to be a rough year or so.  I am not sure who is going to come out the worse for wear, me or Morgan.

starting line scenery. 
The story of my half marathon... Originally Arica (from my school) was supposed to run with me, but she ended up injured from running Ogden Marathon.  Jocelyn has been injured as well but working up to some good miles.  Two days before the American Fork Half Jocelyn bought someone's bib, and ran with me.  It was one of my favorite races BY FAR!  It was for a good cause (cancer) and 100% of race entry fees went to cancer help.  The course was AMAZING, downhill, fast, and beautiful.  That is, until mile 8, where the course came out of the canyon and past a few neighborhoods.  As I was looking at the houses and yards as we passed, I caught an edge and went down.  Being the volleyball player that I was, I went with the chest slide... which works great in a gym, but not so great on blacktop.  I don't have much padding to catch myself either, so the impact was about 90% on my chest and 10% on my right elbow and right wrist, from catching myself.  I got up and finished the race without too much problem, but the next day I was hurting.  I had x-rays done to see if there was a fracture, but there was not.  For a good week it hurt to breathe or lift anything with my right hand/arm... which is really nice considering I am right handed :)  The bummer part about the whole thing, too, is that I totally could have PR'd, but between my fall and having to cater a bit to Jocelyn's sore foot, I was a few minutes shy.  Oh well... it was a cool medal :)  Besides... for my birthday I got a race entry and will be running Big Cottonwood in September.  PR for sure!
road rash baby!

the short and the tall of it

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mission Letters, Music and Torrey

(and did I mention YAY?)
Tuesday is always the day I wait with anticipation for missionary email, and if I get really lucky, I get a short little email of my own... and then the MOTHER LODE comes the next day, the ACTUAL... "I get to hold it" letter!!! So Tuesday came and went, Wednesday I was gone, but by the time I got back on Thursday I just KNEW my letter would be waiting. 
No luck. Thursday afternoon mail... no letter. But today... YAY! YAY! YAY! 

I picked up Wade last night at the train... this time with no "suspicious characters" hunting him down after arriving.  Last time he had to make a connection and got approached by some of the local scaries... offering him "candy". He is currently asleep on the couch. 

City & Colour
Between last night and today, he is kinda worn out. We went to Avett Brothers last night, and... what can I say?.. I'm a fan. City & Colour opened for them, and they were a band I could totally see Brenden sitting in behind playing the drums for. Very much "Brenden style". 
Avett Brothers
After only 6 hours of sleep (and amazingly, for Wade, going to bed before midnight) we made it to 7 Peaks today, too. Because there are so many fires burning right now, the sky was horribly smoky.  There is a fire in Neola, Duchesne (close to a possible explosive situation), Delta, Fairview (2 fires), and one along I-15 south of Spanish Fork. Another was just announced about a half an hour ago with major evacuations from Herriman. The Colorado fire ended up wiping out neighborhoods and over 300 homes, so far, and is still burning. It's crazy. It is especially crazy when you consider that some are started by stupid people out shooting off fireworks, or target practicing in the horribly flammable conditions. Just dumb decisions. Hayden jokes about maybe pushing our house to the fire line and letting it "get devoured". It would be probably worth more burned than standing :)

The "cabin" with the swing

On Tuesday, Hayden was home and his worker guys were working on a floor, and we decided to take a drive. We headed south thinking we would stop in and say hello to Grandma and Grandpa Fraser, but about Provo, Hayden called Grandma and she had plans... so we just kept driving south. We stopped in Richfield and bought a couple changes of clothes, some bathroom supplies and a pair of shoes each, and just kept right on driving until we got to Torrey. We both love Capital Reef, and we both love the Lodge at Red River down there, so we checked in and decided to stay a couple days. We ate at Cafe Diablo... twice, drove to Boulder after a hike to explore and eat, and sat in the hot tub a couple times. Aspen found a dog at Cafe Diablo to play soccer with the first night, which she named Serena (seriously... everything gets names with crazy strange names... and they change all the time!). There was also a cat at the lodge, which received the name Pixie... or Sabela... depending on the day (and the minute).

This is Heaven... I'm sure of it

Morning Shadows

Writing Utensil = Happiness
We only did one hike while we were down there, but it was a big one. Hayden thought it wouldn't be that big of a deal to just do a two miler (to OVERLOOK POINT) a mile above Hickman Bridge... the same hike you and Wade did last October. Yeah... well, Aspen lasted about 1/2 mile, then she was whining, and begging for rests. Hayden and I took turns packing her on our shoulders, which is NO small incline. By the time I was done with one portion of my turn, I was sweating like crazy... and it was only 9am. We only had to hear "How much longer" 23,512,502 times... luckily. 

One of the 12,386 breaks she had to take
But the end result...
It was beautiful. 
It was worth it. 
It was TIRING! 
Barely Survived the Aspen Workout
We managed the full 4.6 miles in just over 3 hours... far from the lightning speed you guys did it in, but we survived. Even Aspen, who had a ride 80% of the time, and she thought SHE was going to die, but Hayden and I... survived. On the way down the stairs at the end she was riding on Hayden, and I kept calling her SELFISH. She finally asked what it meant and I said "It means you are being mean and making dad carry you the entire way... he is tired and needs a rest." This was met with silence for awhile, then she said, "No, he's great. He's doing just fine".

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Lovin'

It's 5:50am and I have already been to the gym, and Hayden is already gone to work. Wade has been back North since Monday when I took him to the train in SLC.  I had him come twice to our 5am workouts while he was here, and he thought that was pure torture.  He did say that one of the things he misses from being in Tremonton during the summer, is that they don't make him exercise. So... in my "motherly" way that I have... I have come up with a "long distance workout plan" for Wade. If he runs 7/9 of the days he is there before coming back here, I have offered him an itunes gift card. So far, he has 2/3 days down... :)
carriage ride @ birthday party
We had Aspen's birthday party on Tuesday. It was B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.!!! My definition of beautiful means stress free. Other than getting the kids to the party, because we had to pick up a few, everything was done for us. They rode ponies, fed all the animals, had a carriage ride, ate cake, opened presents, and played. Now I don't have to listen to her and all her birthday party plans... for about a week, anyway, then she will start planning her next one. 
She stayed at Grandma Fraser's for a couple days last week, but she never makes it more than a couple nights before she is dreadfully homesick. Sure enough... her Sunday return home date had to be moved to Saturday, and that was pushing it. Friday night she was in tears on the phone begging to come home. We definitely took advantage of having her gone. Thursday we went to the Toby Keith concert, Friday I got a manicure, did a "long"-ish run on Saturday, ran a million errands, and got her birthday party plans taken care of. 

We took Wade for a little IKEA initiation last week. He had never been before, and I was pretty sure by the time we ended that he was just going to pack a bag of stuff and move into one of the little model apartments they have set up. 
Our fridge... with an artist in the house.
Aspen got her first bee sting last week as well. She was poking a stick in the hammock stand and apparently there was a hornets nest just inside the hole. We knew something had happened because the scream that came from the backyard was HORRIFIC. Seriously. A bee sting and the loss of a leg sound pretty close to the same thing, I'm sure. Aspen isn't dramatic at all. :)  After a good dose of bee-spray, we killed off a few nests hanging around the back yard.
Punching ball
I have a half marathon on Saturday in AF Canyon. I haven't really trained for it, but then again... I hadn't really trained for Ogden and I managed to pull out a PR on a marathon and felt GREAT afterwards. Something to be said for cross training I guess. 

Brenden is in his third week at the MTC, and is district leader.  His companion had to be sent home for medical reasons, so he has been adjusting to a new partner.  I have been guilty of driving by the MTC very slowly and looking for him when I have to be in Provo for meetings or whatever.  Aspen misses him already.  His blog address is  I post his letters there as they come in.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy #5 to My Little Spit-Fire

My little fire-cracker.
 Painter and artist (especially of animals and people).
Dare-devil and stunt man (hanging upside down on your swing by your legs with no hands)
Determined little gal.
Homesick after 3 days... yes, even at Grandma's house.
Daddy's little princess.
Trampoline master (still trying to not land on your head on your "flip")
Lover of going on walks... even when it's 92 degrees.
Particular little bugger... who REFUSES to wear any color of pant that doesn't match EXACTLY with her top (and jeans don't match ANYTHING).
Photogenic girl.
Runner wanna be.
Diva.  Fashionista. 
Creative little story teller.
Pouty little fits (onto her bed) when she doesn't get her way.
Chocolate milk lover.
Cuddle bug... kiss giver... affectionate.
Misses her dogs and her space when she is away.
Daddy's little fellow beach bum.
Her brother Wade's little shadow.
We sure love you.
Thanks so much for loving us... literally.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer craziness

This week has been a crazy week here. Aspen has her last day of swim tomorrow, and is in the second level of the 6 year old swim class. She is an animal. Today she showed off her backstroke, front crawl and her treading water (which she says is the hardest).
beautiful "V" of 100+ pelicans flying into town
Kara and her family went to Lake Powell this week (on Tuesday), and because my schedule was so busy, and Hayden had work all week, we passed on the invite. When Wade found out that there WAS an invite (on Monday night... of course) he had a little bit of a nervous breakdown about missing this year. So Tuesday morning at 5am, we drove to meet Kara in Price, and then I drove back, took Aspen to reading class, swim, etc, etc... it was a long day.
Climbing a tree in a dress... cause she can
I had Wade come to a treadmill class yesterday. He LOVED LOVED it. I think the speed work we did made him feel like he was as fast as he would like to be... if even for just 4 minutes at a time. He put in 10 miles in 80 minutes.

I have a race next weekend... a good way to give myself a birthday present a day early. I will probably be running it solo, because my marathon buddy, Arica, has an injury and is struggling to do a half mile.

Aspen's birthday is on Saturday, so I better START TOMORROW planning the party she has been talking about for over three months, in order to pull off a party by Tuesday. Hayden is trying to find her a swing set on KSL. She is trying to do a flip on the tramp this week, and has landed on her head more than once. She keeps begging me to get her in gymnastics, and talks about all the wonderful flips she will be able to do once she gets in. Yeah... I guess I better get on that tomorrow too.

Next week Morgan and Wade will be I will be having my typical "mom" meltdown of loneliness for the first couple days. Then I hope to get a few things sewn that I have been putting off.

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