Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer Travels!

Whew! Summer has flown by and it’s only June.
I’ll give you all the quick rundown on the past couple of weeks, and then maybe a few other events of significance in our family lately…
I am SO SORRY for the lack of pictures. I happened to forget my camera on each trip, and when you’re 4-9 hours from home, it’s just not convenient to run back and grab it! But summer fun pictures are soon to come.
The weekend of May 21 Reghan and I drove to Idaho to watch my youngest sister Chelsie compete in the state track meet for her last time. I can’t believe she is graduated from high school already. Time sure does fly. She is an amazing young woman, and I am so proud of her! She qualified for state in the triple jump, 200 M, and the medley relay. She didn’t do as well at state as she would have liked due to a rotten knee injury. I know that feeling well, and sure felt bad for her, but I was so proud of how hard she competed, her determination, and her camaraderie with her teammates (that’s not easy in track, especially when you are pretty athletic and could easily qualify in four events by yourself, but she is such a great teammate!). Anyway, we had a great time in Boise, and loved the track meet, and also loved the fact that it is likely the last trek I will make to Boise to watch the Idaho State Track meet. It brought back some good memories, and also some painful ones, but the one thing I love about looking back on my own time in athletics is the renewed determination I always come away with to make every moment of every day count. I really look back and feel like I cheated myself out of what I could have been (I know, a real Uncle Rico moment ☺), by not working as hard as I should have. And really, in high school athletics, how trivial is that? But it is painful to look back and feel that way, and I don’t ever want to look back on my life and feel like I cheated myself out of what I could have become if I had only worked harder, or done more. So anyway, there’s my plug for life lessons learned in athletics.

It was great to get to spend time with my parents and siblings, and also my Grandma Pope and uncles LeRoy and Eric, aunts Kris and Zina, and cousins Brigette and Dallan and Dallan’s daughter Brittany. It was fun to watch the cousins compete as well…Brittany, Brigette, and Allie – great job, girls! AND…we got nice weather!! Last year we got snowed on, so I just had to throw that out there.
So…we got home from that adventure on Tuesday and had a few days to wash clothes and clean house. Yes, my husband does pick up after himself pretty well, but no, he does not do dishes by hand, sweep or mop floors, or clean bathrooms. So there was a bit of housework to straighten up before I felt good about leaving again.
Friday, Ralph, Reghan and I took of for the big city of Lyman, WY, to visit some old friends. Kent & Amy were great friends of both Ralph and my family in Idaho, and after hearing Ralph talk about the way teachers are treated in Wyoming as compared to Idaho, they decided to make the move out here too. We are glad to have them closer, and decided that since they are here, we better make the effort to visit ☺. Their kids (especially Jake and Kenna) took amazing care of Reghan while we were there, and she can’t wait to go back! The fact that Kenna gave her some princess shoes she’d outgrown didn’t hurt, either. Saturday, we drove from Kent and Amy’s house to Salt Lake City to watch Les Miserables. My mom and I had been planning FOREVER (okay, so for about a year) to get tickets when it came back to Salt Lake, and we were able to get four of them, so we invited our husbands to go with us. I think Ralph was kind of embarrassed about going to a broadway musical production with me, but he took it well, and actually remarked that he enjoyed the show. I know I did! It was amazing. What a great moral, great singing, and amazing sets! I do have to say that as usual, the book was better; but if you’d rather pay the money and watch the show than read, you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately, my parents weren’t able to come this time…but that just means that when it comes back in a few years, I have another excuse to go! And yes, I will stalk the tickets from the moment they go on sale this time so we don’t get hosed on prices again!! ☺

Okay, so we stayed Saturday night in American Fork (the play was almost 4 hours long – we didn’t get out until almost midnight) with Kent’s sister, and headed back to Lyman on Sunday afternoon. In the meantime, they got 14 inches of snow in Lyman. Blah! I was feeling very glad that the only plants in my garden were raspberries and strawberries!
When we finally made it back to Casper, I decided it looked warm enough that I better get my garden in if I wanted a harvest before Thanksgiving. So Tuesday I put my gloves on and went to work – I am excited to report that there are now plenty of other food items (and a few weeds) growing. We’ll see how long I can keep this up. Most of you know that patience is not my strong point, and pulling weeds that seem to sprout up overnight while I wait weeks on end to see any change in the food I am trying to grow really drives me crazy! But I have committed to stick around enough this summer to give this an honest effort. Poor Reghan, she already knows more than most 10 year olds about pulling weeds; and stepping on strawberries; and feeding worms (she’ll only touch them if she’s got her Dora gloves on); and tipping over the wall’s of water around the tomatoes. What a helper!
Anyway, back to our summer traveling adventures…Monday night we got word that Ralph’s Grandma passed away. She had been sick for quite some time, and although it is never easy to lose a loved one, it was a blessing to see her out of her extreme pain. She had been almost constant pain ever since I met her, which has been about 7 years now. So it is good to picture her up and walking, and smiling without grimacing in pain, and being able to enjoy herself again.
Her passing meant that we were up for another trip to Idaho. The funeral services were going to be Saturday, so we headed down on Friday morning to get there in time for the viewing that evening. It was good to get to see so much family, and once again feel totally lost as I tried to place everyone with their respective families. ☺ Now I know how Ralph feels when he comes to the Ivie reunions! My mom has 11 children in her family, and most of them have large families as well, so it can be a bit overwhelming. But Ralph’s family is pretty close to that…I think his mom comes from a family of 8 children, with several half- and step-siblings, so it can definitely get a bit confusing as well! But I love big families and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Going home for Grandma Hatch’s funeral meant that we would be in Idaho for my birthday – the big 2-5. I feel like being a quarter of a century old, I should have some wisdom to share or something, but I’m just not coming up with anything. I do feel old, though. I don’t know what I’m going to do when 30 and 40 creep up on me…most days I’m still pretty sure that I just got out of high school. Good old glory days!
Anyway, I have to say it was the best birthday I’ve had in a long time! Usually it’s just another day, which is the way I like it. I would probably be mortified if I ever walked into a surprise party for myself…it’s just not my thing. But being home with Devri (we share a birthday, 5 years apart) and the rest of the family made it special. All of us girls (with the exception of my mom) had a campout in the tent. We had a small encounter with a smelly friend, but all survived no worse for the wear. My mom made me a birthday cake, and it was SO GOOD! I think I’ve made my own cake since I turned 15, so that was a fun way to get spoiled on my birthday. I was a little upset that I had to leave before they had Devri’s birthday cake made, because the greatest thing about sharing a birthday is sharing cakes, but my rear end probably thanks me for it! Especially considering all the miles I’ve put in on it the past few weeks ☺.
Other exciting news from that trip – Carlie talked her mom into letting her come home with us for the summer, so she’ll get to spend June and July in Casper. We are so excited to have her here!
We got ourselves home on Tuesday and I tallied up the hours Reghan and I had spent in a car over the last three weeks. I stopped at 60, but it’s slightly more than that. ☹. Ugghh!
So needless to say, when Ralph asked if I wanted to go back to Kent and Amy’s for the weekend while he helped up in a sprinkler system, my answer was a vehement NO. Sorry guys…I know you are missing out on the pleasure of my company, and my landscaping expertise, but I can’t take another minute in a car!
So…here we are back at home, and ready to stay here for the entire rest of the summer. Hopefully we will get some decent summer weather so we can just camp ourselves out at the lake and eat hoagie sandwiches, licorice and chips, and water ski to our hearts’ content. Hope you are all enjoying your summer!!