Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Spa Day

My sister, Kimberlee, was an absolute angel and surprised me with a trip to a spa for my birthday present!  I've never been to a professional massage place before so I was quite excited. 

We went to the Beyond Day Spa in Layton but we hit Krispy Kreme Doughnuts first and tallied up a dozen goodies that oozed custard and raspberry filling.  We needed our energy for laying on a table for the next 80 minutes. :)

To say that those 80 minutes were amazing would be an understatement galore.  We had a pre-massage foot soak with warm neck wraps and soothing music.  And the massage?  I've never had 80 minutes fly by so quickly!  It was really difficult for Kimberlee and I to get off our tables and find the energy to get dressed.  We ate at the Philly Steak Shop, which was a favorite place for Kim and Josh to eat when they lived in West Point.  Their Italian is divine! 

Of course I can't forget the part after our massages where we were driving to lunch and I had a chuck full mouth of water when Kimberlee said she needed a "McNapperson" so bad (that's code for "nap") and it hit a major funny bone with me and I spewed water all over her dashboard.  We could not stop laughing!

By the grace of the heavens we made it to my house in one piece because we were so incredibly tired and took a nap until it was time to pick up the kids from school. 

I would love to say that we have some awesome pictures from our adventures, but really, we have none.  I did get a few nice pictures from our drive in the canyon and one in my driveway, though.  Score!  Thank you, Bimby, for an epically awesome day! 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

General Conference Weekend

I always love General Conference weekend and listening the inspiring talks from the servants of the Lord.  I wish I had been like that for my youth.  I'm positive I could have spared myself a lot of grief and stupid mistakes. 

I try to have a few questions in my mind before conference and oh boy, President Uchtdorf's talk answered every single one of them, I was in tears!  Did I mention he was the very first speaker? The boys and I spent Saturday with Kimberlee and her kids since Josh was out hunting.  Spending any time with her always speeds by.  Josh got home with enough time to clean up and take my boys out to the Priesthood session with my brothers and dad. 

Jamie sent me pictures of her scrapbook that had mine and Micheal's wedding day and one from family camp when we were first married.  I can't get over how small her, Molly, and Andrew are!

Can't forget that awesome moment when you're going over your Conference notes and realize that you accidentally combined two separate thoughts.... haha!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cache Box

Cache Box is probably the biggest race outside of Region and State for the x-country season.  There were 10 schools there for it: Mountain Crest, Ridgeline, Logan, Green Canyon, Sky View, Bear River, West Side, Preston, Malad, and Box Elder.  That's a lot of kids!

There was not a cloud in the sky but there was a cool breeze at least.  MC Varsity girls took first, barely edging out Ridgeline (61-65).  Kai did awesome, cutting three minutes off his time since he last ran this course!  We're so proud of him!  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tender Mercies

Today was one of those days.  

The kind of day where I want to pull the covers over my head and stay there (and I did).  A day that seems like I can feel each tick of my heartbeat and every one of them stretches out into oblivion.  The kind of day where it hurts to breathe and the pain of Micheal's death feels raw and sharp, like the first day all over again.  

It's hard to explain to people sometimes, so I seldom do; mostly because I've been burned way too many times by the commentary of others.  My pain is something that I keep tucked up close, disclosing the full array only to those that I trust it with.

I know that part of the roughness I'm feeling is the season.  Fall time is one of my favorite times of the year and I can't help but both remember the activities we'd do as our little family and long for the opportunity to continue doing so.  Fall also represents the looming season of holidays, birthdays, anniversaries that sometimes feel like a checklist of all that is different in my life.  Holidays are always hard.  This year will be our 10th season without Micheal and it never gets easier.  Harsh, but true.

My heart cried out to God for release, to help me endure this heartache of living this life without my best friend.  I can't do it. How can I possibly do this? Please, please, please don't make me do it.  It really did feel like the first day all over again because my prayer was equally as fervent.  

I needed an escape.  It took a Herculean effort to pull myself out from under the covers, get dressed into my workout clothes and get my butt out the door.  Going for a walk always brings me to the Hyrum cemetery; almost like I am on autopilot.  No matter where I start or wind my way through, I always end up there.  

I sat with Micheal and just cried.  I cried and cried and cried until I'm pretty sure I had nothing left inside of me.  I told him how much I missed his laugh and wit and the way he makes me smile, even when I'm mad at him.  I miss his towel on the bathroom floor and how he always sneaks cookie dough out of the mixing bowl.  The smallest things are what I miss the most, like waking up to see him laying next to me, or brushing our teeth together.  I wondered to him how long we'd have to wait to finally be together again.

Usually, I lean my body against our headstone, but today, I didn't.  I turned to look at our headstone, at his side, for what must have felt like the millionth time and wondered how I ever missed it.  Here's the thing, I didn't miss it.  Somehow, the Lord preserved my sight until this day to notice the "A" that is mixed in with his books and bike, two earthly things he loved.  Micheal's military journals had my name written all over in them and I knew this was Micheal's way of telling me he loves me and misses me just as much. 

Once again, the Lord pulled through for me and never leaves me comfortless.  This has been here all along, but today was the day He needed me to find it, because today is the day he knew I would need it most.  

I didn't magically skip home, whistling a jaunty tune, though.  It still was a difficult day to get through, but the Lord gave me that assurance that He is aware of me and what I am going through.  I love and live for those tender mercies.  

 And I've found that whenever I am feeling down a bit, all I have to do is look at this meme and I laugh.  Every single time. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mountain Crest VS Sky View

Kai had his first cross country race today... yes, on the first day of school.  When I ran, the home course was at a park in Hyrum and involved a LOT of hills.  A couple of years ago, they moved it to the American West Heritage Center and while it's a bit more of a drive, it's a fantastic course to run on. Hills, dirt roads, corn fields, etc.  There's also lots of places for spectators to cheer on their runners without feeling like you're running as much as they are. 

Way to go, Kai! Great job on your first official race of your cross-country adventure!

#farmers tan

First Day Of School

I cannot believe that the first day of school is already here! I'm sure I say this every year, but I swear this was the fastest summer.  It felt like only a blink and it was over.  Now we are off on another adventure. 

I thought it was weird when Kennet turned 12 and I had no more kids in primary, but now it feels even weirder to have no more kids in elementary school. That's right, Kennet has moved on to middle school and Kai is a freshman in high school!  Even more, Kai is attending the same high school that I did.  Pulling up in front of your alma mater to drop off your child that is attending there, when you yourself feel like you just barely left, is quite a strange experience. 

The day before school started was almost crazier.  Kai had a five hour freshman orientation and x-country practice, Kennet had to have some cavities filled, they both had haircuts and then mutual. It felt like we were running here and there, from sun up to sun down. 

Kai had to wear a dress shirt and pants because he had his first x-country meet on the first day of school and the team dresses up for home meets.  It's funny that we later realized that both Kai and Kennet were wearing Ridgeline colors (rival high school) on the first day.

I was so worried about Kennet having to attend seven classes, knowing where to go, getting his locker open.  He has a tendency to shut down if he gets overwhelmed.  I prayed so hard that he would know where to go and have the courage to ask someone if he didn't.  I knew that the Lord and Micheal would help, and boy they sure did. He had a great first day and I only hope it continues!

Kai was so glad that he attended the orientation because it made his first day a TON less stressful.  He likes having five classes instead of seven like last year.  I'm so proud of him and all he has accomplished and worked through to get to this point.  High school isn't the easiest thing in the world for some people.   

Here's to another year! 
Fresh haircuts and handsome boys, thanks to Andrea!


Monday, August 7, 2017

My First Podcast Interview

My dear friend, Lindsay, started up a podcast called Everyday Mormon Girl, where she describes it as:

"I believe in the beauty of everyday life and I created this podcast to share stories of real Latter Day Saint women just like you, including the struggles, triumphs, heartaches, and joys of our mortal experience."

Even though it is titled "Everyday Mormon Girl" the stories that are shared are uplifting and inspiring whether you are a member of the LDS church or not.  Lindsay's very first interview was her grandma, who became widowed at 36 years old with three young children when her husband took his own life. Listening to her story was amazing and I was hooked.

About six weeks ago, Lindsay asked me if I would be a guest on her podcast and I was so honored that she would think of me.  Besides, it meant that I got the chance to visit her and I'll never turn that down.  I admit that I was a bit nervous because I had never done a podcast interview before.  What would I sound like?  Would I trip over my words like I usually do?  How much would I still "talk" with my hands?  

The answers to those questions are just what I thought they'd be.  My voice sounded much deeper than I think it does (not quite Michael Clarke Duncan worthy, but still) I almost hardly finished a sentence before skipping onto the next thought my brain had, or I would say a lot of words with no actual information conveyed (22:30 is a prime example of this), and I gestured just as much with my hands as ever.  Micheal always told me that if I ever lost my hands for some reason that I'd become a mute.  Even though he was teasing me, it's sad how true that statement is in reality.

All in all, it was a touching experience for me to be a part of.  I love any chance that I get to talk about Micheal as it is a healing process for me, each and every time.  

If you want to brave the unfinished thoughts of my brain and the deep melodious sound of my voice, you can listen to it here. Check out the other interviews, too!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer Item #50: Pioneer Trek

We've known about trek for at least six months.  When did I go in to find pioneer clothes?  Oh, only two days before they left.  Kai got to go up for the full three days while Kennet only went up the last day since he is under 14 years of age. 

 This dirt ball came home exactly as I saw him last, meaning he didn't change his clothes... at all.  The entire time.  I'm not sure why he packed anything besides a sleeping bag and pillow.  He didn't touch his deodorant or toothbrush.  Yes, I'm chronicling this for his wife and kids to read about one day. 

I love these two boys of mine, in all their dirty glory. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Summer Item #11: Fireworks

I love that we were able to cross so many things off our summer list in one day!  We laughed that we walked 20 minutes up to my uncle's house and only spent 12 minutes watching fireworks before walking 20 minutes back.  

Today was the first time that I hit 30,000 steps in one day on my Fitbit.  I'd say that's a win. 

Summer Item #48: Water Balloon Fight

I love that we were able to just walk next door for our 4th of July BBQ to the Bair's house.  When they pulled out the water balloons after dinner, a water fight was inevitable... and achieved. 

Best faces ever!

Summer Item #98: Main Street Mile

"Mom, can I run with something during the Main Street Mile?"

"Sure, Kennet.  What do you want to run with?" (98.9% positive it was a flag)

"My Saruon mace."

[insert blank stare on my face]

"Y-yeah, that's fine . . . I guess."
And he did.  A lady at the end waiting for her kids to come in asked out loud "is that kid carrying a weapon?"  My sister had to reassure her it was all foam and cardboard, not real.  

Way to run for freedom, Dark Lord Sauron. 

Summer Item #54: Freedom Run 15K

There was a time when Kennet didn't even want to run the Main Street Mile.  Granted, it is at noon when it is pretty hot, so it's understandable.  This year, he did both the Freedom Run and the main street mile!  I was shocked!

This would have been Kai's third year doing it but he ended up running a fever the night before so he had to sit it out this year. 

My dad told Kennet that if he beat him he'd pay him $20.  At the starting line, Kennet asked me if it was ok if he ran ahead.  I had no problem with it and expected to catch up to him in a mile or two but I didn't even see him till mile 8!  Apparently, he was running himself into the ground trying to beat my dad and stayed ahead of him for at least six miles.  My dad, wanting to preserve his grandchildren, told Kennet that he would pay him the $20 anyway for effort.  We had a fun time running the last 1.3 miles together and always get to wave at my grandparents at the Hyrum McDonalds.  

My dear friends, Shauna and Braquel.  Braquel is Shauna's daughter and recently lost her six-month old son, Colt, to SIDS.  These ladies are absolutely AMAZING! Their whole family is!  They ran for Colt and wore these awesome blue bands with his name on them so we can take him on our adventures.  I was so honored that Braquel gave me one so Colt can join us on our adventures. 

My dad, Kennet, and myself.  My dad always carries that flag the whole 9.3 miles in honor of Micheal and all those that have given their lives for our freedom. 

Kennet's first year running and he wins this water bottle in the rewards drawing.  I've run it ten years and never won anything.  I guess he didn't inherit my luck (or lack thereof). 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer Item #45: Old-Fashioned Photos

My kids asked me what my favorite thing at Lagoon is...

"The old-fashioned pictures."

"What?! That's not even a ride!"

They were quite disappointed in me after they asked me my favorite ride and I still told them it was old-fashioned photos. 

I keep a collection on one of my walls downstairs and our first one was from 2009 when Halle was only four months old.  It's fun to see how much the kids have changed over the years. 

Summer Item #52: Lagoon

My sister and her husband's company, Apollo Engineering, had a Lagoon day and were kind enough to invite us.  Jamie and her friend, Austin, were also able to come. 

Surprisingly, the weather was quite nice with a cool breeze. I love going now that my kids are old enough to go off on their own if they wanted.  Apparently, they redid the Terror Ride and it would make sense why the line was crazy long all day.  We got there three minutes too late since they had shut ride down for the night. 

Dracula's castle

Kennet and Liam were best buds all day!  It didn't hurt that Kennet hates roller coasters so he was perfectly happy to go on Liam approved rides. 

After we did our old-fashioned photos, I took Liam in his little car stroller to take the pics out to the car.  We barely made it out of Pioneer Village before he fell asleep sitting up, so we found a nice shady bench where he could sleep on me instead. 

Austin had gone paddle boarding with Jamie the day before and so we had to check every now and then to make sure they hadn't been stolen. 

It wasn't until hours later that we noticed the guy that photobombed in the background. 

Austin, Jamie, Kai, Kennet, Amy, Kimberlee, Halle, Chloee, and the McKay girls

What a fabulous day!