Sunday, August 30, 2015

Up to? Up to, up to, up to...

Well helllooo...

 If I had a nickle for every lapse in blogging these days, eh? I'm pregnant! Wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles! But it makes me sick, and tired and blogging is low on the list. Probably for the best - the prevailing thoughts these days are such: "Morning-sickness-you-bast...jerk," or, "Welcome back boobs, why you hurt so much?" And in between those I'm sleeping like 9 to 11 hours a day, naps included.

Dave is my hero - preparing meals when smells are making me nauseated, and taking the kids out so I can nap. Riley and Joe are excited and tell everyone who will listen that there is a baby in Mommy's tummy. According to Joe there are two - one for Riley and one for him. Joe likes to sit on my lap and fall over and pretend the baby has kicked him off (I told him baby is the size of a blueberry - he didn't care - said it was just strong.)

So by way of updates, we got to go to another sealing, this one for my college roommate Sabine (recently nicknamed "Sabini" by Riley). It was a perfect, beautiful day and I'm so grateful we were able to go.

It is the funnest thing to see old friends and remember all the crazy times we had. Sabine's mother came over from Haiti and it was awesome to meet the woman behind the legend - I've heard so much about her and finally got to meet her. Although, I don't speak French and she didn't speak English and she probably thought I was nutty, but I was very excited.

That was August 12. August 13th was Dave and my 5th anniversary, sentimentally written about in my last post. Now you know what the "surprise" was that I mentioned! It totally was, by the way - Dave is accustomed to me showing him the pee stick the second it turns positive - he never saw it coming. I truly am the worst at gift-giving too, so it was nice to have this special card to play. I told him we should start a photo booth tradition for our anniversaries, and he humored me and held up this sign and then I held up the pregnancy test and his face was delightful! I'm glad it was on camera.

We've been trying for a while, and were starting to think maybe our child-bearing days were over, so this was truly a wonderful moment for both of us.

After the surprise we went for a very sweaty long board ride down Provo canyon, followed by dinner and painting at Color-Me-Mine, just to take it back to where this all started on our first date five years and...some months ago.

Thanks to Don and Suzette for babysitting so we could celebrate just the two of us. And thanks to Dave for being my person! You are the peanut butter to my jelly and I love you!

Mira's baby shower: 
We celebrated the impending arrival of a new nephew! Number seven grandchild for my parents and number two boy - Joe finally will have a boy cousin to play with! I love baby showers - always fun getting together with the ladies and oohing and ahhing over tiny little baby things and eating treats. And its even more fun when the girl of the honor is your sister in law. Mira is going to be a wonderful mom, and Jon a great dad!

And that covers the major events. Let's finish with a few shots from day-to-day, for balance!
Forts. I believe Riley thought she and Joe were going to camp out here indefinitely.

Ice cream with Aunty Em, following a fabulous girls day - it is so nice to be with family again!
"Helping" in the garden. In their underpants.
Burger Supreme happiness. Best burgers/fry sauce in the world! Riley and Joe ate practically none of it. Ha!
Dave found a bouncy house gym in Pleasant Grove and the kids had the best day of their lives I think.

Aaaaand, this afternoon, I snuck in the kitchen when I heard Riley making Joe a lunch.
"But Riley I thought I wanted to have a tea party!" haha! Oh these kids.

Heidi out.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Zion National Park: Angels Landing

The second day at the park we went to Angels Landing. It is listed as "strenuous" but we were like, eh, we're experienced hikers, we have the carriers for the children, it'll be fine. And it was amazing! Amazingly strenuous! And we probably heard some variation of "look at those crazy people with kids on their backs," in ten different languages, and it was so hot and exposed that we guzzled almost all our water before we got back down.

But the views were worth it - breath-taking. There was a part at the top where I wondered if we would be featured in Elder Holland's next conference talk (he shared a poignant but terrifying story of two brothers rock climbing in Snow Canyon in UT last April - to watch, click here), and I was super scared my sweaty palms would slip off the safety chain and we would die so I turned back while Dave climbed a bit further. I have a very rational fear of heights.

But Dave and Riley returned to us safely - Dave said he didn't go the whole way - too risky. 
The steep hike back down was trying in different muscles, but easier than going up!

There's a quote: "You can't enjoy the feeling of the summit from the parking lot." Well I love the feeling of the summit but, after a long hike, I might like the feeling of the parking lot even more! It was a relief to get back and fill our bottles to the brim with refreshing cold water from the pump! And sit and take off those darn carriers! This is probably our last hike carrying kids that much, Riley at least. Dave was carrying at least 50 lbs on his back, kid and water and snacks. I had about forty. But you know what, go us! *pats self on the back. My legs were like jello after and we both had rub marks on our hips from hauling, but the challenge was met! 

After a very pleasant bus ride back we took the scenic route out of the park, which includes a mile-long tunnel, mountain goats, and more interesting rock formations. If we'd cared to tack on a few more hours we could have gone over to Bryce Canyon this way, which I love (last trip here), but we were all ready to go home. Word to the wise: there are not a lot of places to stop at food-wise. We had spoonfuls and peanut butter for dinner, and some grapes and trisquits and twizzlers - you know, the last of the road trip food. The kids thought it was fantastic! By the time we stopped at a gas station/Burger King at 7pm, they weren't even hungry. 

Our kids are good sports.

As are all the Harreld clan. They are such a fun group to hike with and this weekend was awesome! Thank you, Don and Suzette for making this happen and for having us! You are adventurous folk, loving grandparents, generous spirits, and just fun to be with. You couldn't ask for better!

And to end: a compilation of videos we took on this trip. A lot of it is just scenery, but FYI, I thought of you, Dad, every time a bus tour said "Geological wonder of the world" and throughout our visit - you would love it out there. Actually, past tense: you loved it out there, right? Went as camping there when you were a kid? Anyway, thought of you!

The End.

Zion National Park: The Narrows

When we left UT a couple years ago we left with the regret that we hadn't made it to Zion Park yet. Visiting Bryce Canyon really gave me the bug for southern Utah. So this past weekend was something of a realization of a dream! And bonus - it was with the whole Harreld family. It was a blast!

Originally, last weekend was supposed to be a camping trip, somewhere not too far from home. But then we remembered: we like beds, and so a house was arranged in St. George, about an hour from the park. The first day we got to visit the St. George temple and meet up with long-time friend and taco night conspirator, Leo.

There is something about being with friends who knew you pre-parenthood, you know? Makes you feel young again! (You know what doesn't make you feel young? Riley telling everyone that, "Mom is super old. Not me - I'm 4. But my mom - OLD.") It was wonderful to catch up. And I loved seeing the St. George temple and strolling through the visitors center. They had a beautiful painting exhibit of pioneer scenes, any one of which I would totally hang in my home. If I was a wealthy man! (Hope you sang that.)

After dinner at a restaraunt, swimming, and a sound nights sleep on a cozy bed in an air-conditioned home, we initiated the next stage of our "camping" trip: Hike the Narrows. Actually, we had to find parking first, which was a trial for my soul. I lack patience. Especially for people lounging around their car, rubbing on lotion, taking selfies, and tidying up their trunk when like a million people are waiting to park.

Ahem. And then we hiked the Narrows.

Everyone was excited. Glub glub.
Leaving the crowds on the shore.

Due to a rainstorm earlier, the river was high and strong and water looked like chocolate milk - you couldn't see rocks even just below the water's surface. It made  for very sketchy wading.

Back on the bus - Riley and Joe's favorite part of the whole trip.
Buffalo Wild Wings for the victory dinner. We were all pooped, and I didn't even mind that Riley and Joe spent the whole meal on BWW iPads playing games. I call that a win for everyone!