Thursday, July 31, 2008

Maine Lobster

Last week Jeff, myself, and my sister (Kristen) went to Maine. We stayed in a beach house that belongs to Jeff's second cousins, John and Malea. Let me tell you this place was picture book perfect.

We flew in on a Thursday night. Had dinner with John, Malea (she makes a mean blueberry pie), son-in-law Jonas and his daughter, Addison. Then we drove to the beach house. It was pouring rain and pitch black when we finally arrived. The next morning I woke up to Jeff saying, "If you thought this place was amazing last night, wait til you see it in the morning!" Sure enough the house was right next to the ocean (we had had no idea how close we were), the fog was lifting and we could see seals resting on the rocks, and the quaint New England style homes extending down the coast.

Jeff surprised me by arranging for some of our good friends, Jeff and Meredith, to come in. They moved away nearly 2 years ago and hadn't seen them since but have kept in regular contact via email and phone calls. So Friday morning I am sitting on the beach and a woman comes up and asks if she can borrow a chair. I look at her and although I recognize the face it takes a moment to register that it is Meredith! They are the kind of friends where you pick up right where you left off.

Being removed from all distractions for a few days (we came home Monday night) was relaxing. I did get my Lobster dinner I've always wanted. The Lobster Pound was a 2 minute walk away. Here you pre-order and they steam and crack the lobsters. We picked them up later on along with some clams and butter sauce and took them back to the house for dinner.

Welcome to Maine! Thank you John and Malea for your hospitality.

Many things to love about the beach house. One feature in particular was all throughout they had bookshelves loaded with every type of literature. I liked this detail of how they built shelves into a seating area.

Back from the Lobster Pound and ready-or-not for dinner. Meredith, Kristen, Janae.

Whenever Jeff or I ask each other, "So if you could go anywhere, where would you go?", nearly every time it involves a beach.

Jeff doing his "Uncle Rico" pose from Napoleon Dynamite. I can think of just about a million reasons to marry this guy and the fact he makes me laugh is right at the top. Nice tan lines babe! Mine weren't too far behind.

I am so glad it worked out for Kristen to join us. Since Jeff and I have good relationships with our siblings it is always good to be with them. At one point Jeff told Kristen that if she could catch a seagull he would buy her a pair of shoes. She said, "any shoes?" Jeff replied, "yep." Kristen is a good distance runner but I have never seen her sprint so fast as visions of "Jimmy Choos" and "Manolo Blahnik's" danced in her head. Fortunately for our checkbook she didn't catch anything.

Jeff (#2) and Meredith. Thanks for coming!

Jeff (#1)...I'm not saying my Jeff is better than Meredith's Jeff by the #1 or #2 thing. It is a method of identification. Seriously. Hahaha.

Meredith in one of the sea kayaks.

Tidal pools are my Disneyland. I could spend all day here.

In case of an emergency out it is nice to know that our Jeff's (#1 and #2...) are skilled hunters.

Not much to eat here. I'm sticking with the Lobster Pound.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thank You

We recently received a very nice (extreme understatement!) gift basket. Obviously a great deal of time and effort went in to putting the basket contents together. It was left on our front porch and the givers have chosen to remain anonymous. I'm guessing you (the givers) have seen this blog because of those buttons you made (so so funny!). I don't know who to give the thank you card to so I'm doing it via the blog. As I type this I don't want it to be impersonal...I just want to say we got the basket and love it (and at the same time, a bit taken back!).
Thank you thank you Thank you Thank you THANK YOU

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cecret Lake Hike

Megan was in heaven riding in the backpack
Hiking buddies: Paige & Claire

We made it to the lake. We made it back from the lake. There were no serious injuries. All in all I would have to say the Cecret Lake hike was a huge success!

Yesterday went a little better than last weeks hike around Silver Lake. Last week Claire made it all of 200 yards before she pooped out on the Silver Lake "walk." This week she made it the whole way (2 mile round trip) by herself. The fact that we brought along mini candy bars and capri sun drinks helped in keeping energy levels up. This same level of energy in a house would be bad, but in the mountains it keeps them going and going and going. We had a big group of 5 adults and 10 kids. Erik and Claire had fun hiking with their friends.

In the B.K. days (Before Kids) I would see groups (like ours) and think, "Whoa that is TONS of work, and looks like slow going." The fact is, well yes, hiking with kids is quite a bit of work:
-packing snacks (Put in candybars. Don't bother with raisins, the kids will just throw them at the chipmunks)
-applying bug spray ("Don't get it in your eyes honey, it will sting!")
- multiple potty breaks ("Are you sure? You just went!")
- coaxing & encouraging ("You get a super packed power treat at the next switch back")
- be careful-ing ("Don't throw rocks when we are below you")
- the fact it took a hour to go one mile!
Despite all of that we had such a great time. We are so used to it, it no longer seems like a big deal. It is a whole lot better than staying at home.

In our group: Josh & Rebecca and kids, Dave & kids (hope Dawn can come next time!) Jeff & Janae and kids.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Megan!

The word "sunshine" is used frequently in our family. Last month I talked about Claire being our "Sunshine Girl" (I'd compare it to sunshine on a warm spring day). Well, we just happen to call Megan our "Sunshine Baby". This baby girl is more like sunshine on a hot summer day where you are drinking lemonade and eating chips and salsa. Megan is spunky, loves to laugh, a bit fiesty, opinionated and definitely a Daddy's girl . No doubt about it she was meant for our family and adds such a fun dynamic. We love you Megan!

For Megan's birthday on July 16th we took a picnic up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Silver Lake. After dinner we sang happy birthday and ate some cake. Then we started out around the Silver Lake trail loop. It is fairly short, maybe a mile. Great for small kids (usually). From the beginning Claire had announced that she "did not like hiking." Then around 200 yards into the loop she fell off the boardwalk and into the marsh getting all wet. At this point any remaining fun was gone out the window for Claire and she was not interested in going any further. So Claire, Megan, and Jeff hung back while Erik, Grandma LaKay and I finished the trail loop.

July in our backyard mountains is amazing! It is worth the long wait.

What a great place to celebrate Megans 1 year birthday!

Claire was so proud of finding this butterfly (you have to look close).
Erik and Grandma LaKay.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Community Garden

If we were to do one of those "Mastercard" commercials it would go something like this:

Community garden plot fee- $32.00
Irrigation drip hose- $12.00
Irrigation timer- $20.00
Soil amendment (aka cow poop)- $10.00
Plant starts/seeds/flowers- $30.00
*Being able to pick your own fresh produce- Priceless*

After tallying up the costs of having a garden I realized that we could have bought A LOT of produce from the farmers market! But what it comes down to is the experience of Erik and Claire being semi-responsible for something. They have had a part in this from picking out and planting what we put in, and then watching the garden grow. The garden is overall low maintenance which is nice. Periodic trips to make sure the irrigation timer is still working, picking a few weeds and squashing the "Squash Bugs."

Today Erik was being mean to Claire so I told him he had to say 3 nice things about his sister. After a "hhhmmmming" for a while (and a few comments like, "she is good at crying") Erik came up with, "she is good at weeding."

Monday, July 7, 2008


When our computer crashed over a week ago there was the initial panic of "Oh no, my pictures that I haven't yet saved to a disk will be lost!" and just the sheer inconvenience of not being able to check my email multiple times a day. But then something amazing occurred, I found that I had loads more time to do other things. My life was simplified. So until we get it back I will be typing from Jeff's laptop.

In an odd kind of way I have found the same true with my diagnosis of ALS. There was the initial terror and shock, but at the same time just overnight my life has been simplified. All that matters to me right now is having meaningful experiences with my children and husband. I don't want to miss the little moments of Erik, Claire and Megan growing up. My new long term goals of what I want more than anything are to see my children baptized, see them go on a mission, and to able to hug them on their wedding day. And everything else in-between.

With this wake up call I realized that some things just don't matter. Sometimes I may be right (or at least I think I am!) but not everything needs to be a battle. It brings a lot more peace to at times just to let things go and move on. It is much more easy to like someone than to "not like someone." There are many things I can't control in life so here's to trying to do my best with what I've been given. For everything else I can only say "oh well."

I'm more at peace now than I have been in years. Of course (of course!) I still have my moments (like last Saturday hahaha) but I feel fortunate to have something else and that is a new perspective. We go through life thinking we have all the time in the world but what a rude awakening when we find out we don't.

It goes back to my new motto of "Enjoy the Journey" (thank you Amy for first introducing me to the phrase!). That is what the Jeff, Janae, Erik, Claire and Megan family are trying to do.