Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Talia and Her Many Camps

Oh my goodness, summer has flown by!  Much to my chagrin (and slightly to my joy), the kids are back in school and life is quickly resuming a routine.  So much for staying up late and sleeping in!  Brooklyn now catches a 6:45 am bus to take her to seventh grade at West High School. (While there are only 100 seventh graders, there are over 2800 enrolled at the school.  Every day I take deep breaths and try not to panic.)  Talia and Eli are back at Emerson in their International Pathways track (dual language Spanish.)   We trek out the door at 7:00 to make it to the bus stop by 7:15.  Annika went to Washington Elementary for the first time today to meet her new teachers for morning Pre-K, and me, well, I'm slowly trying to re-establish a house of order.  Boring, but necessary.

I told my Dad that I wasn't going to blog anymore until I was completely caught up on the house.  Ha!  We can all guess how successfully that went.  Annika is taking a rare nap, and instead of washing the windows or mopping the floors, I am playing with pictures again.  Why?  Because summer is fun.

Talia had a particularly eventful summer this year.  In June she went to Camp Cloud Rim with her Girl Scout troop for three days.  Here we are carpooling on the way up.

Happily awaiting our medical checks to make sure every gal was fever and lice-free.  (More on this later.)

Camp Cloud Rim was just as stunning as ever, nestled at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon.  I think Eli's a little jealous that boys can't camp there too.

Our cute little camper, all ready to go.  A hug and a kiss, and it was time to bid farewell.

After dropping off Talia, the rest of our crew decided to take a hike to Doughnut Falls.  We had a rough start when Eli got stung by a bee before we even left the trailhead.  Undeterred, we forged ahead.  Brooklyn was a huge help, especially since I was bound and determined not to carry Annika.  (The petite little gal is great at begging rides on shoulders, but needs to learn to hike on her own.)

A fellow hiker advised us that if we were quiet, we would likely see a moose crossing the river just below the trail.  So cool!

Almost there.

Ta da!  The water was running pretty quickly, so I didn't let the kids forge the stream to the other side, much to their chagrin.

Instead, they amused themselves by playing squirt with a leaky water bottle, plus took tons of pictures on my phone.  Annika took this one.

Before we knew it, Talia was back home.  She arrived Saturday morning, hanging out with the family all Sunday.  Eli had the stomach flu, but Talia seemed perfectly healthy.  Monday morninbg she headed back to Camp Cloud Rim for a week of regular Girl Scout camp.  She had so much energy, in fact, that we stopped off at Silver Lake on the way up for a training run.

Talk about a scenic trail!

Talia passed her health screening a second time so we kissed our gal farewell once more.

Well, little did we know how soon we would be seeing our poor little Tally Wally again.  Turns out that the brief period she spent at home between camps was just long enough to catch the nasty stomach bug.  (After conversing with Dr. Uncle Justin, I strongly suspect norovirus.)  Monday night she tossed her cookies, followed by a great deal of rewind and repeat.  By Tuesday at noon she had spent far more time in the nurse's station than anywhere else and was ready to come home.  Despite feeling deathly ill myself, I managed to pick her up so we could watch movies and recover together.

Fortunately, the Girl Scout Council was super understanding about Talia's sickness, allowing us to sign up for a different program.  Looking for a completely fresh start, we signed up for Junior Survivor at Camp Trefoil.  I think Talia was a little more nervous leaving this time, but she had a great time biking, river rafting, and engaging in water fights to cool down on the Fourth of July.

At camp pick up, we discovered a great surprise.  Our good friends from St. George were there as well, picking up their daughter Chloe!  (Even though it has been many years, Eli still considers Chloe his bestie and was thrilled that we had reconnected.)

On our way back from Trefoil, Talia and I went hiking in Provo Canyon.  Despite five years of living in Provo, I'd never been to Bridal Veil Falls and couldn't wait to share it with my daughter.

Yup, she's the cutest.

I'm glad my children have so many wonderful adventures, but the very best part is when they come home.

Monday, August 07, 2017

All About Annie

I have an entire folder on my desktop labelled Annika.  Whenever I come across crazy pictures that make me smile, I dump them there.  I hope they make you chuckle as well.

Meet Annie Mae: the coolest four year-old around.

Annika dresses up.

Future scientist.

Or perhaps an exotic dancer.

She insisted on wearing this ladybug costume to see the fireworks on the 4th of July.  Because why wouldn't she?

Doesn't everyone pull out their snow pants in the middle of summer?

She may be a monkey, but we love our little princess.

On any given day, she is likely to change into at least three different "swimsoups."  With so many wardrobe changes, it's easy to get turned around.

Occasionally her bottoms suffer the same fate.  But hey, cute shorts!

Annika and her long hair.

Annika and her crazy hair.

Annika loses that hair.

Annie loves scissors.  Inspired by her haircut, Annika has a current fascination with scissors.  Concerned about what she will cut inside the house, we regularly send her outside to cut the grass.

Annika also loves books.  The librarian in Papa Kay would be proud.

No better place to read.

Annika really loves her stuffed animal friends.  She sleeps with at least a dozen every night.

She throws them parties.

She feeds them Babybel cheese and swedish fish.

She even makes them all leashes so she can take them on walks.

But what Annika really really loves are bugs.  She spends hours outside playing with her "friends." If you ask her if our family has a pet, she will tell you all about our pet worm.  We had a pet roly poly, but it stopped moving after Annika gave it a bath.  Lately I've been trying very hard to convince her not to pet spiders.

Most importantly, after ever so much adventure, Annika sleeps.

Good night, sweet girl.  We love you!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Utah Valley 2017: Jason Bolts for Boston!

On June 10th, Jason rocked the Utah Valley Marathon.  Now wait a second, I hear you saying, didn't he run the Ogden Marathon just a few weeks earlier?  Why yes!  Yes, he did.  Jason felt so strong after Ogden that he decided to give qualifying for Boston one more try.  He registered for Utah Valley at the last minute, snagging one of the few remaining spots by paying a bit more to be a VIP runner.

Being a VIP had a few perks.  Jason and I both got to attend a pre-race spaghetti dinner.  I was positively blown away by the number of people who had run dozens, if not hundreds, of marathons.  He was also guaranteed a spot on the last bus up the canyon, plus he got a snazzy hat.  The real perk, however, was that he didn't have to do much extra training since he was already in tip top shape from Ogden.

The kids and I got up at the crack of dawn so that we could cheer Jason along the course.  Here we are waiting at the top of University Avenue.  (Eli was our photographer.)

Celebrating like crazy as we see Jason coming.

Keeping pace with my hubby for a short while.

I left my phone in the car during the hustle to beat Jason to the finish line, so I don't have any pictures of his finish.  Not that I could have photographed anyway.  I was too busy sprinting alongside while hollering embarrassing comments about how my hubby was the sexiest guy on the course.

As always, the end was super tough, but Jason pushed through.  He ran an overall 7:10 pace, finishing in an amazing 3:07:49.  That was eleventh in his division and fiftieth overall.  Congratulations, Peanut Butter!  I'm so amazed!

As you can see, we were all so proud.

Best of all, this fantastic finishing time was a Boston Qualifier!  As proof, Jason got this really nifty running shirt.

Woot woot!

Now for the nitty gritty.  Even though Jason beat the Boston Qualifying standard of 3:10 by more than two minutes, he may or may not actually be able to secure a spot in the race.  It all depends on the number of people trying to register.  Either way, Jason ran magnificently.

Following Jason's finish, we took the kids to BYU to show them our favorite old haunts. Note Brooklyn snugging up to Cosmo.

Checking out the ducks at the art museum.

Purty rainbow!
What you can't see in this photo is Jason collapsed on the bench behind taking a well-deserved nap.

Congratulations again, Jason!  May your future be filled with many more endorphin-filled, lightning quick bolts.