Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Return to Idaho

Sometimes blogging is like my laundry; I can never keep up. We've been back from Idaho for just over two weeks, and here I am just now blogging about a great visit home. Jordan is staring at me from across the room, making sure I stay on track. We've got a ton to blog about and I can sometimes dilly dally when I'm blogging. This is a long one, we were home for about three weeks and it was non-stop the whole time. We saw friends, family, and football. I tell ya, there's nothing like Idaho in the early fall.

It's been over a year since the boys last visited Idaho. It's been even longer since they got to play with their best friend from our Seattle days-Dan. The Chambers' house was high on their priority list of places to go in Idaho. I loved seeing the three boys pick up right where they left off in Seattle; as if time and distance meant nothing to their friendship.

We took a little trip to the cabin. Jordan had to fight the wind and rain for our campfire, but once it caught, it was a goodie!

Nothing beats a campfire s'more!
Princess Anna was only a couple of months old when we left- now she's a real little girl who can hold her own with the crazy boys.
The boys used to spend hours at the lake throwing rocks in the water- I tell ya, it's like no time had past at all for these guys.
How cute is this sleepover? Thanks Mark and Katy for a great excursion!

There is a mountain in Swan Valley. It is big. It is bald. It kicked our trash! Jordan thought if we took four wheelers up the back canyon we could save a ton of time and be up and back in about 4 hours. A great little Saturday morning activity that Nick and Kelsey agreed to accompany us on. The four wheelers did save a ton of time, but the never ending timber, six foot tall bushes, sheer rock walls, and straight up terrain kind of slowed us down. Nick is not ducking, the brush is really that tall and thick.
Notice the sunglasses on Kelsey's face. They now belong to the mountain. She threw them in a moment of rage at the absurdity of our chosen path. Strike that, at the lack of existing path up the mountain. This hike was honestly one of the hardest things I've done in a long time. At one point and time I was actually free climbing a shale wall. Yes, I did realize it was not a smart thing to do, but it was climb up the wall or drop down the sheer cliff. Maybe we should have turned back then, but we couldn't just repel down said wall, so we just had to keep going up. The view from our top (yes, we got to the top and realized we weren't even at the top of the right mountain [insert curse word here], but we were out of water and way over on time, so we gave in to Mt. Baldy) was beautiful. The Teton Mountains are back there. And Kelsey found the love to smile again. Hunter and Henry have been waiting for months to ride the horse at Grandpa's cabin. Hunter loved it. Henry just kept saying "This is a big horse, Daddy. A really big horse". (Our nemesis, Mt. Baldy is in the back ground. The shadowy place in Hunter's picture is the official top, we succumbed just to the left of the shadow.) For five glorious days of our trip, we left the boys with Grandma and Grandpa Higham and headed back to Seattle. Celeste, Kelly, Alex, and Will (Jordan's sister, her husband, son, and cousin) all came too. It was awesome. I honestly could not stop the tears as we flew in to the city. They continued to fall as we past the hospital where both my boys were born, the hospital where Hunter made his first two ER visits, the 7-11 we lived behind for four years, and as we saw our friends from such a great time in our life. I did stop crying long enough to cheer for UW at the BYU vs. UW football game. I will not apologize- I have no emotional ties to BYU. I will cheer for them any other time, but when in Seattle and surrounded by people from my favorite place on earth, I had to cheer for UW. Not that it matters, they lost and I spent the majority of the game gabbing with my girlfriends anyway. I also got to rock an adorable baby Braden to sleep during the second half. "Our Anna"- pretty much raised Henry for the first year of his life, so I thought it only fair I get to hog her precious little boy my first time meeting him.
I love Seattle! We spent three days in the San Juan Islands at a beach house Jordan will forever covet. It was our second trip to this house and if Jordan has his way, we will go back for years to come. It's absolutely lovely. Without the boys this time, I had a very relaxing stay. The views are amazing and furniture is perfect for curling up with a good book. Just a few minutes drive from the house is a beautiful spot for whale watching. We watched about 15-20 whales swim by; at least six of those were close enough to hear their tails slap the water and hear them breathe. I've never seen anything like it before. I didn't think it would be as exciting as it was, but it honestly took my breath away.
As if all the aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends weren't enough, here are a few more reasons my boys loved our trip to Idaho.
Playing legos and trucks at Grandma and Grandpa Landon's house.
Playing the piano at Grandma and Grandpa Higham's house. ( I love this picture)Riding crazy tall old school trikes at Grandma and Grandpa Landon's house.Riding golf carts with "Uncle" Nick and "Aunt" Kelsey.Riding on "Aunt" Katie and "Uncle" Bracken.Idaho was good. I've actually had a little bit of trouble adjusting to being back in NY. I guess I'm more of an Idaho girl than I thought.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Farewell to Summer

I don't know that I'm ready to bid summer farewell, but as often happens, it's not really my choice. We have had a great summer that even though felt short, was cram packed with adventures. Here's a quick look at what the second half of our summer entailed.
We took a little neighborhood nature hike at Stonybrook State Park. The boys loved walking up along side the stream to the different waterfalls. And even though they had no desire to walk into the waterfall, they were all too happy to throw rocks into the water. A few of our neighbors gathered for a little fun in the sun (minus the sun) at Roseland water park about an hour away. This was our second trip in two years and the boys loved the Splash Zone, Lazy River, and Water Slides just as much this year as last. Too bad both years found us at the park on the darkest, coldest days of the summers. The boys loved it though, so that's what's really important.

About mid-July Jordan mentioned the idea of running a 5K. I am so not a runner. Once in Jr. High our track coach needed someone to run the mile just to get the points- time didn't matter, someone just needed to finish the race. I ended up being that someone and I promise you there has never been a slower mile in the history of Jr. High track meets. Everyone lapped me and they were ready to start the next event before I crossed the line. I am so not a runner. And let's be honest, Jordan isn't really built for any kind of distance running either. But we trained and I found a sort of peace in my morning runs (at least the ones without the boys). I still can't fathom marathon runners, but I do enjoy a good solid run now. Mid-August found us at the starting line, and Jordan and I ran together all but the last 100 meters or so; my finishing pace is way slower than his. If I ever run another 5K, my goal is to treat it more like a race instead of a normal daily run. (ie, Pick up the Pace!)
The boys discovered the joy of riding bikes, and we kind of stopped leaving our bubble in the course of a normal day. They have spent hours riding around and around our complex, both on the sidewalks and grass. Hunter has actually now abandoned his "three wheeler" for the much bigger and cooler "four wheeler". Yes, it is purple. Yes, it's in pretty sad shape. Yes, it's technically a girl bike. But to Hunter, it's bigger and faster than his "three wheeler" and it's Husky color. What more could a boy ask for. We're trying not to ruin his three year old innocence. The end of August found us packing for a trip to Idaho (our first in over a year). I found this little intruder curled up on a bag of blankets in our basement as I reached for the luggage. I promise it was bigger than it looks in the picture. At first I thought it was a toy, but a quick check by our neighbor boy told me it was definitely real. Pest control asked me if I realized that, "Pets are not allowed in our housing". A Pet! Seriously, not my idea of a pet! All the neighborhood kids loved the zoo moment as pest control showed it too them all and talked to them about the dangers of touching wild animals. I still don't feel the same about my basement; it's just creepy!

We've had a great summer and truth be told, we're ready to welcome fall.