Aspen Grove 2012

It soundcliché  but is true anyway: some of my happiest childhood memories are from Aspen Grove.

My gradeschool friends can all vouch for this; I've been talking about the place for years.  We started going as a family every other summer when I was but a spring chick.  My dad's sister's family comes too (pretty much our favorite cousins), and it has always been a much-anticipated event.

I missed several years as a college student, newlywed, and young mother, so when I realized we could actually go for the week this time, I did everything possible to make it happen.
Starting February 1st I called the Aspen Grove Office almost daily.  I checked for openings, called family members, sent emails, called the office some more.  I asked everyone to switch to a family lodge so we could come.  Two lodges opened and filled before I could get us in.  Finally it all worked out.  We were booked.

I kept trying to tell Slice how awesome this vacation would be, but he didn't believe me, or really understand.  He made sarcastic comments about BYU Alumni (of which I AM ONE, remember) while I patiently waited for the time to come.

The time came, and went.  And we played until we just couldn't play any more.  We hiked and swam every day and stuffed ourselves every meal, played dodgeball and shuffleboard and ping pong and badminton and volleyball and basketball.  We conquered the ropes course.  We did relay races.  We mini golfed.  We danced.  We played Reverse Charades and laughed until we cried.
We dropped our kids off for 5-6 hours every day.

We didn't use computers or TV for a week.
We didn't sleep.

And not only did Slice buy that little BYU shirt the last night we were there, he also said on the way home, 
"I think we could do that next year......"



Right now, at this very moment, I am procrastinating a bunch of post-vacation chores.  You know the drill: clean out the car, unpack, wash/fold/put away laundry, do dishes, run a kitchen inventory (a week is a long time to leave food!), clean and reorganize the entire house, feed the dog, water the flowers, mow the lawn.

There are few things in life I hate more than unpacking.  I've been known to let my luggage (minus the dirty clothes) sit for weeks as I gradually picked out the items I needed.  A girls camp backpack sat in my room until the only things left were the waterproof matches and compass.  In fact, my wallet still contains a 5 bill ... from six years ago.

Packing has never been a problem for me; after a few months in Europe I could pack for a weekend in another country in a half hour or less.  Kids make the job trickier, sure, but it's a happy task for me.  One of anticipation.

The unpacking gets me, though.  It's so final.  Unpacking means the vacation is over; it's time to take stock of what I have and put it back in its place.  Unpacking means it's time to move on.

And so, I think, it is with my life.  I have a lifelong habit of holding on to things too long.  Jealousies, insecurities. Hurts. Pride. Love lost.  I hold on to things I have packed in my past and, occasionally, neglect the uncluttered future.

So much unpacking to do.

(Then I can tell you about the vacation.)


sup, dude*

I guess I need to start blogging in the late hours before I fall asleep, because that's when I do my best writing.
(In my head.)
I've had a ton of post ideas rolling around up there but now that I have a few quiet minutes, they're completely gone.

Instead, I'll tell you what I've been doing lately.

Vernal trip.  Thinking the bounce house opened at 10:00 (because that's what the website SAID), we arrived with over an hour to spare.  So we walked through the dinosaur museum across the road.

Then we got to the bounce house, where Liam didn't want to bounce on anything, because he only wanted to do the things that cost extra money.
fifth time on the carousel...
Then we did a horrible thing and took a Hot-n-Ready pizza to Sonic, where we ordered drinks and ate at the outdoor table.  It was a fantastic meal, not gonna lie.

Friday night we made a quick trip to Heber to collect a playset, which we now call "the slides."
our jungle
Unfortunately Liam doesn't love as much as I thought he would, and I'm not sure what to do about that.  

Killing flowers.  This flower:                                           used to look like this:
Pink flowered New Guinea impatiens

and I am trying to revive it.

Last but not least, we're always playing:

And dancing:

*this is what Liam said to me yesterday.  without prompting.



I don't know why, but I'm pretty sure that kitchen utensils are better entertainment than any toy on the market.


And the winner is...

...the Birkenstocks.
Here's why.

Yesterday Slice and I went to Lagoon.  I've been wanting to go since 9th Grade Lagoon Day, and let me tell you, that is a long time. (A decade.)  We had an anniversary almost three weeks ago but didn't really celebrate ON our anniversary, because if you recall, that's how we do things around here.

So Sunday night we put the kids to bed before heading out of town.  We slept in Ogden, ate breakfast at Denny's, 
Slice's breakfast of choice
stopped at Costco (diapers), and made our way to Lagoon.  By the time we parked I was as giddy as a schoolgirl.

We did the usual loop: Roller Coaster, Wild Mouse, Colossus, Spider, Wicked.  We watched a guy lose his hat on Wicked, so when we got on, Slice sat on his hat and - no access to pockets - stuck his glasses down his shirt.


When the ride stopped, the glasses were gone.  The $460 Nike glasses that took up two years' worth of vision insurance and then some.  I asked Slice why he even wore glasses in the park, I mean, why would you do that?! You don't need them! I learned years ago not to wear my glasses at Lagoon.

Alas, they were lost, and chiding would not find them.  The ride attendant told us to come back at 3:00, when they stop the ride to do a hat check.  So we left.
Swings, Tidal Wave, chance meeting with Slice's old boss, Rattlesnake Rapids, Jet Star 2, The Rocket and Samurai.  Sky Ride back to Wicked.
Pretty sure I was saying something right then. 
The hat check came and went - no glasses found.  In the meantime, I was feeling old, because I had started to wonder how our bodies even handle amusement parks.
I was feeling it from the start, from that rickety, jerky Roller Coaster (formerly known as White).  My headache ebbed and flowed as the forces whipped around, started and stopped.  At the bottom of the first Colossus loop, I almost blacked out.  It was ridiculous.

Hindsight tells me it was probably a combination of the intense heat, lack of water/food, and hypothyroidism in addition to the thrills which I am unaccustomed to.  Anyway, we were having fun.

We went on the Rapids again (got drenched), then Air Race, Hydro Luge and the Rocket one more time.  Then we walked back to Wicked, trying to decide what to do.  They do two more hat checks at 7 and 10 but we were pretty much done with the park (my fault) and didn't want to sit around and wait.

We left Lagoon around 6:00 and ate at Olive Garden before driving home.  Four years of marriage, and Slice has lost his wedding ring and his super-good-looking, super-expensive glasses.



Second Firsts

MG hasn't had nearly as much blogtime as Liam did by this age, but just so you know, we love her too.

This little girl is just the sweetest thing in the world.  She is my tender heart, my sunshine, and I feel so lucky to have her.  (Especially now that she sleeps through the night!)  My mom says she's my reward for having Liam.  Ha.

In the last few weeks she got her first tooth, stopped nursing, started sitting up on her own, and was the best travel companion ever.  She went from 3rd percentile in height & weight to 10th, and now 25th. At almost seven months, she just hit 15 lbs.

She loves applesauce, jewelry, and most of all, her dad.