Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to School 2011

R and C heading out the door 
11th grade at SHS and 9th grade at CJH

The little girls posing for the obligatory photo 
(which made them late, btw - that's how we roll these days :-)
5th grade and 2nd grade respectively

Nothing like starting school with a broken arm

. . . "Really mom, we're already late!!!"

Liza and best buddie Gracie

Since they already missed their line going into the class, I might as well take another photo!

As of late

Missing the kids while they are away at school, but glad to have some time to myself.

Wishing summer vacation could last another few weeks.

Needing more sleep.

Devouring two engaging books:  Peace Like a River and Of Human Bondage.

Cheering for my daughter and her team as she competes in her first high school tennis matches. 

Listening to No Doubt About It by Sheri Dew, and then blasting U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind on the i-pod while I clean the house.

Relishing the cooler evenings, the feel of the grass under my barefeet, crickets, and late night walks with Lucy.

Bursting with pride and emotion after listening to Ryan's thoughtful talk in sacrament meeting.

Realizing we never made it up our canyon for a hike, not once, all summer.  Sigh.

Healing from an unfortunate bike accident a few days ago.  Ya, our dog ran in front of my bike, we collided, and I landed hard on the asphalt - smart one - ouch.

Wanting to spend every minute outdoors, but knowing that I've put off "indoor activities" too long and organization is now top priority.  Sigh.

Driving everywhere.

Participating in the kids' nonstop chatter as they share their first day of school experiences.

Watching the neighborhood crew play while I read in the shade.

Baking loaves of zucchini bread

Attending our last BEES baseball games and cheering on the guys with our dear friend Jenny Sandoval.

Wondering if I really can accomplish the lofty goals I've set for myself this fall.

Studying and Pondering the scriptures . . . looking forward to another discussion with my study group.

Feeling the love Chris has for our children as he gives them each a father's blessing before they begin another school year.

Laughing (and crying) with old friends.

Loving life . . .  and trying to slow down enough to enjoy it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Not just a marriage, an eternal marriage

The topic today in relief society was eternal marriage.  It was my week to give the lesson and I shared this thoughtful quote from a talk given in General Conference a few years back by F. Burton Howard of the seventy . . .

An eternal marriage is eternal.  Eternal implies continuing growth and improvement
It means that man and wife will honestly try to perfect themselves. It means that the marriage relationship is not to be frivolously discarded at the first sign of disagreement or when times get hard. It signifies that love will grow stronger with time and that it extends beyond the grave. It means that each partner will be blessed with the company of the other partner forever and that problems and differences might as well be resolved because they are not going to go away. 
Eternal signifies repentance, forgiveness, long-suffering, patience, hope, charity, love, and humility. All of these things are involved in anything that is eternal, and surely we must learn and practice them if we intend to claim an eternal marriage.

I love this quote and the perspective it offers of eternity; that it is a gradual progression towards perfection, and as we continue to grow and overcome weaknesses together, and earnestly strive to live our lives in harmony with the gospel, our eternal companionship will be blessed. What a beautiful reminder to keep our marriage strong and continue to nurture the bond that began, for us, twenty years ago next month.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Never a dull moment

What summer isn't complete without at least one trip to the emergency room???  Yep, Liza fell off the monkey bars and broke her arm while at the park with the neighborhood kids.  Aren't neighbors who take your children to the park and feed them dinner while their mother enjoys a relaxing evening at the movies with girlfriends the greatest?!  Sigh.  Thank goodness Chris was home because I certainly wasn't paying attention to my phone with it's ten missed calls and unread texts buried deep inside my purse.

Of course our August has stayed true to the pattern we began at the beginning of the summer and I've suddenly found myself counting the HOURS until school begins.

Just a sampling of the past couple weeks:
Bear Lake with Howick cousins . . .  high school tennis team tryouts . . . Cantera cousins in town . . .  Hike the "Y" . . . Jordanelle with cousins . . . . Ryan's endless summer nights . . . Echo Dam with cousins . . . Back to school shopping . . . one more tennis tournament . . .  SHS tennis team politics . . . High school registration . . . Jr. High registration . . . . Elementary registration . . .  SEP conferences for girls . . . new car shopping . . . dentist appointments . . . . ortho appointments . . . emergency room visit . . . hair appointments . . . doctor appointments . . . high school tennis team practices . . . high school summer hockey wrap-up . . .  high school hockey season kick-off . . . high school LAX season kick-off . . . back to school parties . . . Bees baseball games . . . 

Like I said, never a dull moment.

Pics to come!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday!

Our spunky Sophie turned ten a few weeks ago (July 31st), and spent her birthday driving home from our California trip - how fun for her.  She actually didn't mind much since we had a few mini celebrations beforehand - getting her ears pierced in Newport, ice-cream cake with grandma and grandpa in St. George, birthday dinner in Old Town, and a special "happy birthday" sign and recognition on our dolphin expedition.  She also loved the fact that we had to drive past the American Fork hospital on our way to pick up Lucy and reminisce about the day she was born and those first few months we welcomed her into our family.

Her favorite gift was the book of photos celebrating the last two years . . .

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011


It was time for a break.  It was cluttering my mind and taking precious time away from things that matter most.  I battled back and forth, discussing the pros and cons endlessly with myself.

So yes, I committed social suicide last week by leaving facebook - gasp.

It was like breaking up with a really cool, but unstable boyfriend.  The guy you think is really great for you because everyone says how amazing you are together, but deep down you know he's nothing but trouble.  Really, I liked facebook, a lot.  I love to socialize - I'm a overly social person (if you haven't figured that out already ;-).  I still remember my 8th grade English teacher reminding me that if my academic skills were as brilliant as my social skills, I'd be a genius.

Of course we were a perfect match.  However, my desire to be social and my love of people and friends led me to forget the things that deep down I know make me the happiest and bring the most fulfillment. Facebook became my "downtime" and began to slowly replace the activities that used to fill that precious time.  A few weeks ago, I realized it had been so long since I'd really sat down at the piano, which used to be one of my favorite downtime activities.

So I'm taking a long break from social media.  I have to admit that the habit to check facebook is strong, but the feeling of freedom is stronger.  I don't know if it will be a forever thing because there are many qualities I liked about the site, but for now, being out of the loop and not knowing what everyone is up to has been unbelievably liberating.

I'm sure I'll be back eventually, and when I make that decision I'll most likely discreetly log on and clear out a few "friends" whom I really don't even know personally, and hopefully my reunion with facebook will be much more healthy and stable :-).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our summer vacation

After a crazy summer when I had to wonder if the entire family had even been under the roof at the same time for more than a few days, we took off for sunny southern California for a week of uninterrupted family time.  It was just what we needed and since we haven't seen much of each other and we truly enjoyed every minute of our together time (I couldn't believe it either - the kids actually did LIKE being with each other!).  Our days were spent on the beach, in the pool, hanging out with friends (our good friends the Larsens were at their beach house the same week), playing tennis together, perusing surf shops, staying up late, and just general relaxation in that oh, so perfect seaside climate.

I made a little memory book last night and figured sharing this on the blog is a whole lot easier than downloading all those pics . . .

If planning a trip to SoCal with the family, I recommend staying here. It's our favorite place to stay - plenty of room for the family in the villa and just a beautiful resort.

For surf lessons in Huntington, call our new friend SAM - he was great, the kids loved him, and we all got up on surfboards!

If your kids want to see dolphins and even a whale, head to Dana Point and find Captain Dave's Dolphin Safari.  We sailed through a pod of literally hundreds of dolphins while they swam and played alongside the catamaran - we loved every minute - more fun than SeaWorld.

Don't forget running on the beach - Crystal Cove State Park is perfect and just across the street from the resort . . .

my pics from an early morning run