Friday, March 29, 2013

preparing for the inevitable

OK, here goes.  It's been an exciting week of college notifications, friends receiving mission calls, preparation for graduation and senior trip.  I'm just ripe for another sentimental post about my child growing up and preparing to leave the nest.

But instead of reading my ramblings, I'll share some thoughts from an insightful author who just "gets it" and has the uncanny brilliance and ability to put my feelings into these touching words.  Thank you Katrina Kenison for your wisdom in finding the beauty of my very own "ordinary days."

Get a tissue . . .

Monday, March 18, 2013

year in review: summer 2012

Alright, a little ridiculous that the "year in review" posts are still happening as we enter the second half of March, but as we are all pining for summer and beginning to plan our summer events, I just have to capture the epic season we enjoyed in 2012.

In a nutshell, this is what last summer looked like, beginning the day after the kids finished school:

Last day of school | California trip with grandma | Ryan's ACT | BYU tennis camp | Stake Youth Pioneer Trek | Volleyball camp | Swim team | Track team | Engineering State | 4th of July | Shakespeare Festival & weekend in St. George | Rodeo Camp & Island Park | Cantera Family reunion in Bear Lake | Utah State tennis camp | Bear Lake with Howicks | Handcart Days Parade | Skyline Tennis Team tryouts | Sophie's 11th Birthday | Julie's Oakley retreat | BYU hockey camp | Newport Coast family vacation | St George high school tennis tourney | School starts again.

I'm exhausted just reliving our insane summer, but the kids thought the nonstop activity was the best.  As I recall, when school was beginning again, it was unanimous that 2012 was indeed the best summer EVER (warning: high voltage picture overload) . . .

{ J u n e } 

Sophie and friends on the last day of 5th grade.

Sophie had a fabulous teacher, Mrs. Peck.  On the last day of school, they learned the official rules of hopscotch.

Liza's FABULOUS 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Davis

Liza and buddies.

Sophie and her doubles partner finishing up a final match in a tourney on the last day of school.
What good sports!

We're off to Disneyland with Grandma Janice!

Even better with our friends the Osterlohs ( . . . how many in your group?  FOURTEEN!)

We love Disneyland!

The real reason for the trip: watching Caroline perform with the CJH ballroom dance group.

Ahhh, Treasure Island Park in Laguna.  Our favorite spot.

Spending the afternoon at Aliso Beach.

Thanks grandma for coming along and creating such fun memories together!

Back home just in time to send these two pioneers off on Trek!

Spent a morning on the BYU campus visiting the art museum, HFAC, library, and ice cream at the Wilk before dropping Caroline off at tennis camp.  

Swim team season in full swing at the SLTC

Liza competing for the first time - she really loved it!

Ready for her heat . . .

Butterfly and backstroke

{ J u l y }

Kids from the hood at the annual 4th of July Granite community celebration

After running the 5K that morning - 3rd and 4th place in women's division!

Ryan and Jeff entertaining the ladies at the breakfast ;).

The crew watching the parade and waiting to run out and gather candy!

ST. GEORGE weekend . . .

Fun times in grandma's pool

Utah Shakespeare Festival - took the kids to see "Les Miserables" - amazing performance - loved sharing this experience with the kids.

Taking a break during intermission at the Randall Theater

Checking out the Globe theater on SUU campus

Celebrating our July birthdays - Grandma Janice and Sophie!

Return home from St. George late Sunday night, and off to Idaho early the next morning for RODEO CAMP!

Our cowgirl

Sophie and friend Teegan all saddled up and ready to go . . .

The only shot from this year's rodeo - the storm rolled in right after they got started and just poured - they had to call the rodeo off early :(.

After the storm.  Sophie loves her rodeo camp friends.

Beautiful sunset from Meadow Vue Ranch

Chuckwagon dinner

Camp kids singing for us.  Sophie loves these kids and was in tears the day camp ended.  
Truly is the highlight of her summer.

Rodeo camp moms (and the girls' awesome counselor, Julia).

While Sophie spends her days with horses, Liza and I make our own plans . . .

Kayaking from Big Springs to Mack's

Liza's favorite - jumping out of the kayak and playing in the river

Hanging out in West Yellowstone with friends

We love the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center

Kids all lined up and ready to go feed the bears!

Ahh, the beauty of YELLOWSTONE

Hiked the falls with our friends 
Liza is just happy to sit on the dock and collect minnows.  This is my favorite picture from our trip.

Thanks Liza for the one-on-one time.

Visiting Mesa Falls with Sophie on our way back home.

CANTERA FAMILY REUNION - Bear Lake's North Shore 
Yes, every person in this picture is a Cantera :).

Watch out for these two yahoos on the wave runner!  We play for HOURS: water, mud, paddle board, cousins, movies, games . . .

Fun at the cabin: making bracelets, pedicures by aunt Linda, and just hanging with cousins

Visiting Minnetonka Cave with Grandma and David's family

What a great week with the Cantera clan and my own chicks.

Speaking of family . . . its on to the HOWICK gathering on the south end of Bear Lake a few days later:
The crew

Good natured rivalry never ends in our family

Celebrating three cousin birthdays: Sophie, Avery, and Miriam 

Speaking of birthdays . . .

Birthday party with good friends at Flowrider (couldn't think of a better fit for our boogie board queen).

Opening gifts with the family.  The ONLY thing Sophie wanted was her very own phone, and if it could be an iPhone, all her dreams would come true.  She got her wish and was so excited she cried - it was a sweet moment.  However, within a week she dropped it on the concrete and cracked the screen *sigh.

{ A u g u s t }
Annual scripture study group retreat to Sherry's beautiful cabin in Oakley.  Two days to refresh, relax, and rejuvenate with these wonderful women (one of whom is behind the camera ;).  Love you guys!

Speaking of relaxing. . .
Our summer family VACATION.  Oh, how we love Southern California.

Plenty of tennis time at the resort.  These girls can hit!

Treasure Island Beach, Laguna . . .

We spent a morning touring USC - one of Ryan's college prospects
This campus was impressive and Ryan felt right at home.

Meeting up with our family friends, the Osbornes (teens and lemon juice - still in vogue, who knew?)

Nonstop action from Sophie on the board - we finally broke down and bought her her very own board,  just her size!

Our base camp for a day on Thalia beach, Laguna

Spent a day riding bikes from Balboa along the boardwalk in Newport

Gotta stop for a Balboa bar!

Newport pier

Huntington pier

The kids favorite - shopping all the surf shops in Huntington

Sunset at the Wedge
Pure entertainment - spending our last night watching the crazy body surfers take on HUGE waves at the Wedge in Balboa.

Caroline and friend Maddy

Such a great night together with family and friends!

Goodbye Newport Coast  . . . until next summer!

Arrive home from Cali and have a week to get ready for the first day of school (2012-2013 year) . . .
Liza 3rd, Sophie 6th, Caroline 10th, Ryan 12th.  First days of school are always bitter sweet, hate to see the kids leave, but a little joyous at the same time to have some peace and quiet.

As school begins, so does high school tennis . . .
Caroline's teammates cheering her on during the region finals.

Way to go Skyline: 1st place St. George HS tourney / 1st place Region champs

If you stayed with me for the entire barrage of pictures, I commend you diligence and promise to NEVER put you through it again ;).  Now, I'm ready for summer more than ever - bring it on!!