Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Your Highs and Lows This Past Year - Day #22

Blog Challenge - Day 22
~Your Highs and Lows This Past Year~

Well if today's challenge doesn't give me a kick start back into blogging, I don't know what will!  Either that or make me realize why I stopped!  Adding photos is SO much faster and easier on Facebook!  I am not sure why Blogger can't make it easier and faster when the technology is here to do so.  It frustrates me, so I guess I will start this post on that LOW note...  haha
I take WAY too many photos to really do a full year of highs and lows justice, but I think did okay!  If you survive this post, you deserve some kind of prize!  Pretty sure this is the longest post EVER on my blog! But it will be nice for me to have someday when this is made into a book!  I should do this for each year I haven't blogged as sort of a catch up post.  Sounds good, but doubt it will happen!

Go grab a cold drink (and some chocolate!) and throw on your sweats! I'll try and revive you when it's over!
When you get to my marathon post, you will know you are almost done with THIS marathon! If you actually make it that far, you deserve a medal more than I do for running one...

You will probably need to click or tap on the photos to enlarge some of them.


High or Low? 

I have to say BOTH!

I am not sure there is anything more stressful for a mom than doing family photos!  So that is a LOW, but once they are done and you see the end result, that is a major HIGH!
 I am very happy with these and now I am going to have to do a separate post of just the photos because I would really like to add them all on here.

Oh my, did we ever have a good time!!!  This was last summer.
And yes, I took hundreds of photos (didn't even post them on FB yet but I promised my niece I still will even if it's over a year later!)  We had such an awesome time!
So that was definitely a HIGH!
I did get heat exhaustion while there after a day on the strip and so that would have to be a LOW.  I think that must  be why they call it the strip.  It's so hot there that you want to strip to cool down!

We were trying to get this Mime to crack a smile!  Literally. 


What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas so lets jump on the bed!


Yes, the adults were acting more like kids than the kids!

Oh yeah, this has HIGH written all over it!  haha

Sorry but you will have to enlarge this microscopic one...

We saw Nicki Minaj rehearsing and we were the ONLY ones there.  Julie took us where we weren't supposed to be!  haha  Nicki hid her face with her scarf so we couldn't tell it was her, but she didn't pull it off that smart!  All my nieces knew it was her.  I had never even heard of her.  Yeah, I'm that old!

I bet YOU have never kissed a Blue Man before...

I just have to say going on a Pioneer Handcart Trek was not and never would have been on my bucket list!  When I was asked to be a Ma for our Stake Trek, I did NOT want to do it!  The thought of it was a big LOW for me. Lower than LOW!  How LOW can you go?  THIS was even lower than that!  Bugs?  Snakes?  Eating dirt?  Cow Pies?  Blisters?  Chaffing?  I get enough of that stuff out running!  But over time, I got used to the idea and in the end, I was glad I went and loved it all!
I was the Ma and Taylor was the Pa of our family.  Dave was the Doc on the trail and spent most of his time taking care of blisters or dehydration.  McKay was in a different family than ours.  It was an experience of a lifetime and I am so happy both my boys (McKay and Taylor) were able to go.  That made it all worth it!

This was a definite HIGH for me...  not something I would have expected. 
We went to Deseret Land and Livestock in Wyoming

(click to enlarge)
We can do hard things!  Pie anyone?

This was definitely an experience I won't soon forget.  I have never been more filthy in my life. I had dirt in places I didn't even know I had places.  We ended up walking almost 34 miles total.  Luckily I didn't get any blisters to prove it.  This trek gave me a new appreciation and enormous gratitude for my ancestors that crossed the plains as real pioneers.  Oh my, I have no idea how they survived.   This is one of those kind of events in life that you have to experience in order to understand what it's like.  I'm so grateful we only had to do it for five days and not for months and months like they did.

Whew!  Can I now say I'm a real pioneer?  I have the bloomers to prove it...  

Once again I took hundreds of photos of this great trip!  I DID post those on Facebook!

This was definitely a HIGH because ALL my boys were able to make it!!

Another HIGH - I caught the BIGGEST Silver!!!!!  Yes ME!
ME!  The one who can't stand fish of any kind.  If it swims, it's not entering my mouth!

This was our Christmas Card Photo last year!

(Click to enlarge)

Dave got the biggest halibut!  Ya know, just for the halibut...

The only LOW part of the trip was I didn't get to see a bear the entire time.  I even went looking for them!  Followed some tracks and went where they had been spotted.  Nope, not a one!   That is until we headed to the airport to catch our flight home....

How em "bear" assing!  (I just said a naughty word!)


Wow, what an honor it was for me to play such a big part in this event!  It was SO much work and time, but it was worth every second!  I was in charge of the youth in my church group.  We had about 40 participate to join the throng of thousands.  Nearly 4000 youth!  It was an undertaking like no other for this little city!  I have had several leadership church callings, including Young Women President, and I can honestly say, this calling assignment was the biggest and most time consuming one I've ever had.  If I had to find a LOW in this, that would have to be it, but I will forever be grateful I was able to have such a great part in this.  I wouldn't change it for the world!  I LOVED every minute of it...okay, that's not exactly true, but looking back, all I have is good memories of it! 

Me with most of our youth.

With some of the fearless leader's I asked to help me.

The day of the performance.  I didn't include any of the practice photos, though I had many, since we attended hours and hours and months and months of rehearsal.

My son McKay in the center.  I was so happy he was in it!  Oh yes, and so was he! ;) 

My trek daughter!  We did Trek together and both lived to tell about it.

It was such an amazing performance!

This is our Stake Dance.  It was the Bushnell Hospital number.
They did awesome!

The second army man from the left is my son McKay.
Yeah, he's workin' that uniform...

I think this is the only photo we have together of this entire thousand day event.
I do love this boy!  Yes, he is my last-born in the wilderness. 
Well looky there!  Another McKay is photo bombing us!  

Oh my, it was so hot and there was a lot of time spent waiting!

Russell M. Nelson and L. Tom Perry attended and spoke to the youth before the show began.

Our group performing in front of the apostles

This performance gave me chills and goosebumps!  It was just so amazing!!!!  And the spirit was so strong!

I will never forget this HIGH as long as I live.  I feel so honored and blessed to have been able to be a part of it and to contribute in the small way I did.  I will post a video at the end of this post if you have any desire to watch any of it.
Hahahahaha..... yeah as if!  It's good, I promise.  It really is...

 I had another great honor last summer to be an usher and tour guide for the Brigham City Temple Open House.  Oh yeah, this was definitely a HIGH!  
I had several days of being a guide inside the temple and one of being the tour guide on the bus.  I had to stand while the bus was moving and tell the entire busload of peeps all about Brigham City.  I learned a lot I didn't know and made up a few things that they didn't know either!  hehe  I was hoarse after the tours.  The peeps in the back couldn't hear me very well and so I had to use my most powerful voice and my shift outlasted the voice.  
This bus driver was one cool guy.  We became fast friends and shared our life stories over the course of several hours and tons of bus rides.  His story was amazing.  I love how you can see the reflection of the temple in the bus windows.

How HIGH can you get?  ;) And at the temple no less!  We were lucky to be able to take the tour many times with various family members.  We were also lucky enough to get tickets to be INSIDE the temple for it's dedication!  We got to be in the Telestial Room.  Hope that wasn't symbolic for where I'm going to end up one day! Yikes!

This temple is by far one of the prettiest I have ever seen.  They spared no expense when they built this temple.  The bride's room is incredible!


Wow what a blessing for us to be able to be in attendance at the VERY FIRST SEALING performed in the Brigham City Temple!  We went with this sweet couple who are Dave's patients.  They invited us to join their family to witness this special event!  They are such inspiring people.  Sadly this sweet little lady (in the wheel chair) passed away soon after from cancer.  Oh, this was most definitely a HIGH!


30 years!  Wow!  How and WHEN did that happen?  It just doesn't seem possible!

I would say this was definitely a HIGH!  The bouquet helped!  The chocolate too!


Oh and the kiss wasn't bad either!

We were married in the Logan Temple, but we celebrated in Salt Lake City at The Roof Restaurant in the Joseph Smith Memorial Bldg because that is where Dave took me on one of our first dates and we spent part of our honeymoon there when it was the former Hotel Utah.


Yep, my  baby Mowser is one!  He wasn't a fan of the hat, but he loved the canned food treat and his new toys (even though Kilo destroyed them seconds later!)

Definitely a HIGH since our other cat only lived a month!


This was HIGH on steroids!  I LOVED this race!  It is to date the funnest race I have ever ran!  I wish they all were this fun!  Best part was the dancing at the end!  You should have seen us doing Gangnam Style.  We rocked it! Can't wait to do it again!  I have the funnest running friends!

A HIGH for sure!  Bryce (yes I know this is McKay but I just love this photo!) brought Kilo to live with us when he was about 3 or 4 months old.  It was a LOW at first when he was a puppy and was trying to learn to obey and to potty train!  He grew up fast though and became such a good boy!  Yes, another boy!  Let's add some MORE testosterone to the mix that we already have going in this house!

This was a big LOW for us!  Dave and his family have always LOVED this place and it's where Dave took me on our first date, so it has special meaning.  We tried to talk Kevin and Scott (Dave's bros) into buying it.  They actually thought about it. 


Now this is HIGH if anything is!  I am so proud of McKay and Taylor for following through with this even though it was tough!  They are amazing young men!  I am so happy all my boys are Eagles!  Well, with the exception of Tyson who passed away before he could do his project.  He was close though.  I am sure he has earned it up in heaven by now though!  I wonder where he'll put another pair of wings?  

I have made one of these cakes for each Court of Honor we've had for my boys.  Bless you Taylor and McKay for combining yours so I could get away with only one cake for the two of you!

Oh no, someone's lost their head!  (besides ME!) These Eagle Head things were pretty fun to make and quite tasty to munch!



Okay this is a tough thing for a mom to send her children off into the farthest parts of the world for TWO YEARS without even being able to talk to them (with the exception of a phone call each Christmas and each Mother's Day!)  It is one of the hardest things I have done as mother and and so I am going to say this one has HIGH AND LOW written all over it!  

 Taylor was called to the Brazil Belem Mission!

He was so happy and so excited to get to serve the people of Brazil for two years.

HIGH was I got to spend a lot of one on one time with Taylor trying to get him ready and buy all the stuff he needed.  We are eating Brazilian food at Tuscano's here.

LOW was not seeing any of his friends hanging out at our house anymore.  They are all serving missions as well.  I only have a photo of two of them here, and one of these is serving in Arizona and the other in Argentina.  I get a lot of his friends letters and so I am able to keep up with them that way.

Big LOW, not seeing this cute girl's face around our house much anymore for two years!  Hope it comes back around when he does!  We adore her!!!  Luckily she still stops by when she is town, but we don't see her as much as before!

BIG TIME LOW!  Saying goodbye for TWO YEARS!  At the airport taking the very last photo of our family for two years!  McKay's face in this picture says it all!

HIGH!  Taylor coming out of the special needs restroom at the airport with that lovely face!  He didn't know it was a "special" bathroom!

HIGH. All my boys enjoying being together at the airport before he left.

There are just no words.... Okay how about LOW?  Hardest thing just watching him wind through that security line knowing it was the last time we would be together for two years.  It's a good thing I have a strong testimony of this Gospel! 

LOW LOW LOW...  Be still my heart!

HIGH.  We saw this as we were driving home from the airport.  I know this was heaven sent.
Life IS good!  He is where I want him to be.

HIGH!  He is well taken care of and very well loved over in Brazil!  And he LOVES it!

 HIGH HIGH HIGH!  He is jumping pretty high too.  He is enjoying his mission and that does my heart good!

Are you still with me?  Still breathing?  Still awake?  Need a No-Doz?  Or two?

This was mostly a LOW! But this particular day, after we put in about 4 miles out of the 14 that was planned, we decided to bag it and head to BERT'S for breakfast!  That was a HIGH! Good choice!

Running to Bert's for breakfast in a winter wonderland!


Yes, a LOW!  I love to ice skate and we go with Dave's fam each Christmas.  I was doing great until they were closing and we decided to do one last race. I was trying to show them my amazing skills.  Like going too fast and hitting the wall.  Then falling flat on my back.  And last, but not least, breaking my tailbone.  Again.  I think this was about the 4th time.  The worst part of it all was I had just started training for my spring marathon and this little injury set me back quite a few weeks!

Hmmm.... what could this one be?  HIGH or LOW?  haha!

I finally got around to making these thanks to a friend that asked me to come and teach how to do them at an Activities Day class.  I think they turned out EGG-ceptional!!


This hasn't happened in years!!!  Pretty sure this was HIGH.  Pretty sure I was HIGH too knowing I got to see my first born on his 'born-day'!
He is usually somewhere across the United States working.

I made him his favorite Boston Creme Pie!  He loved it!  Maybe that will get him to stick around next year too!  I can always hope!

Oh my gosh!  This is a HIGH for him but a LOW for me!  He needs to slow down!  He's growing up way to fast for me!  I have thrown a surprise party for each of my boys when they turned 16.  I was worried he would be expecting it!  But he wasn't!  Yea!  We really surprised him.
McKay with a few of the party-ers that came early.
I have also made each one of my boys a bikini cake on their 16th as well.  This was the first time the cake was man-handled!  Down boys! I left that photo off!

McKay also was ordained a Priest in our church.  Future missionary for sure!

This one was a HIGH for me because he is living at home and I love having him around!  Look at that cute pup!  He is posing for the photo.

Yes, crazy I know, but I was asked by my friend Davaleen if I would star in her film she was making for the 48 hour film festival.  I am not an actress, but somehow I pulled it off and it was a blast! 

We went to watch it on the BIG SCREEN at the Broadway Theater! 

Um.... YES darling, that is the red carpet! 
With Dawn and Kathy....

Yep that's me!  My name on the BIG SCREEN!  I played myself!  lol

Walking posing the red carpet!

Yes darling, I will be happy to give you my autograph! But it's gonna cost ya...  =)

Me and a few runner pals decided to do a fund raiser to help the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing.  We planned a race around the Mantua Dam for runners and cyclists to bring their families and donate what they could.   The course around the damn was miraculously 4.15 miles (exactly) which is the date of the bombings (4-15-2013).  We were very happy and surprised with the turnout!  We had about 400 people in attendance and raised almost $1800 that we sent to the Boston One Fund.  It was a great experience and it felt so good to helping those in need.  
A definite HIGH!

PA'S BACK SURGERY poor Pop!  He went in for back surgery because it was bothering him so much and affecting his golf game, but it didn't turn out so well.  What was supposed to be a one night stay in the hospital ended up being almost 2 months! He also had to go back in for a second surgery just a week after the first to see if they could fix a blood clot.  It was a very long haul for him and unfortunately 7 months later, he is in worse pain now than he was before he had the surgery.  A huge LOW!

Another huge LOW! My dear friend Gina whom I went to high school with, ended up losing her very courageous and valiant fight with cancer in April.  She was diagnosed about 9 years ago and they only gave her 18 months to live then but she beat it and just kept fighting for so long. It came back with a vengeance and even though she never gave up, it didn't either.  She was an amazing woman and had a heart of gold and uplifted people daily on Facebook with her inspiring and amazing posts. She had such a positive and upbeat attitude that you just loved to be in her presence.  We had all just reconnected with her (thanks to Facebook) and then she moved back to Utah for the last few months of her life.  We were able to get her together with all the Sistas quite often and have a lot of laughs.  Gina had an infectious laugh that I can still hear.

We did the Ogden Relay for Life in her honor this summer and raised money to fight that  wicked disease. 
We love you Gina!   I know heaven is a brighter place now because you are there!

This was definitely a HIGH for me!  I wasn't sure I was ever going to be ready to run this one.  I broke my tailbone early in my training and that put me way behind (no pun intended) and then I got sick and wasn't able to run for almost three weeks.  I was pretty sure there was no way I could do it with all my lousy training...or lack thereof.   And then to top it all off, we had the coldest winter ever and it was so tough to go out in sub zero temps to get in a run!  
BUT.... I did it!  
It was a tough race because it poured rain the entire time!  All 4:37 minutes of my run.  I was happy with how I did and I didn't hit the wall this time.  It was a great course, even in the rain!  I'm actually a fan of running in the rain, but I have to say, running a full marathon of 26.2 miles with wet shoes and feet has always been one of my biggest fears!  I conquered that fear now and it felt great! I did end up hypothermic after the race due to the rain and cold, but after some hot chocolate and a hot shower I was good to go.

So happy to see these faces at the finish line!!!
Dave was there too, but he is behind the camera! ;)

There he is now!


This is always a LOW for me when Sky takes off for another state or country.  This time he drove clear across the country to Florida and Georgia to sell security.  It wasn't working out financially how he hoped and so he drove all the way back home two weeks later and headed to Hawaii to sell solar panels.  He doesn't know when he will be coming back and says it could be long term.  I guess that's okay as long as I can go visit him!   Won't be too hard to get me to Hawaii for a little visit.  I'll even do his laundry!

There he goes....AGAIN!

Telling him goodbye AGAIN, at the airport this time.

Another LOW.  I didn't have to tell just Sky goodbye, but I also had to tell two of my other best guys bye as well for the summer...or so I thought.  Bryce headed off to California to sell security and took Kilo with him.  I tried to talk him into leaving him with me, but he wasn't going for that.  He knew Kilo would miss him too much and visa versa.  Hey what about ME missing BOTH of them?
He ended up returning after three or four weeks because they weren't allowed to keep Kilo in the apartment.  Something they should have told him BEFORE he left.  I was selfishly happy they came home though.  

Mr. Cat and Kilo -  best buds!

I am excited to be a Pacer with this awesome group.  The best part is you get to run the race, but you don't have to pay an entry fee.  Yea!  Those things are expensive for the marathons and halfs.  The only drawback is you have to pace what they tell you.  That means whatever pace time you get, you are responsible to cross the finish line at that exact time!  No pressure!  haha  The good thing is, you usually have a partner to pace with you in case one of you needs to use the bathroom etc.  I paced a 30K with Jen in the spring and we are doing the Big Cottonwood Half Marathon in two weeks.  It is really fun because the other pacers are the most awesome peeps!  This is a HIGH for sure!  I think...
Haha - I look mad or something in this photo even though I wasn't!  I guess I wasn't ready for the picture to be taken! 

Running is such a big part of my life that I couldn't leave it out.  This year, it has had it HIGHS and LOWS.  But it always does. That's the nature of the sport.  I still love it and I still keep doing it despite the lows.  I am just now recovering from a bout of dehydration and heat exhaustion I got a couple of weeks ago that totally took me down!  I thought I would bounce right back from it, but it was evil!  I wasn't able to run the Top of Utah Half Marathon because of it.  That was a huge LOW.  But, I took first place in almost all of my races this year so far in my Geezer division.  I even got two medals (never heard of that before!) at the Brother Brigham Half Marathon for finishing and for taking first in my age division.  So that was a HIGH.

I have great running friends and that is most definitely a HIGH!  They keep me going when I need it and make me a better runner for sure.

Me, Marci, and Jen after the Mantua Dam Race

We like to have fun too!  Enlarge this one to see that car! haha
Road Kill for sure!

At the Star Valley Half Marathon 13 mile marker. More Road Kill!   We took this a couple weeks after the race because it was still there and I thought it would be a good photo opp!  haha  Not sure what I was thinking, other than I remember feeling this way at that point in the race!

This little race ↓ called the End of Summer 5K was one of my best ever.  I was so psyched because I did so well.  It was half of the Peach Days 10K course (the hill part!) and it was a tough course.  I have decided it should be the new Peach Days course.  No more 10K Peach Days race.  It's too hard to eat those peaches after a 10K.  I didn't set a new PR or anything but I came in 4th overall woman and got first in my age division. Gotta love small town races!  I was so happy that I felt good running it and not like I wanted to die, which is the case in a lot of 5K's that I run.  The best part was I took 1st not only in my geezer age division, but in all of the others except one.  All those little whippersnappers better watch out for the Geezer!  hehe   I needed this boost because that next week I went down with heat exhaustion and couldn't run for two weeks.  This race is what kept me wanting to get up and run again.  I needed this HIGH!

So so so sad.  I am not sure I even want to write about it, but our sweet and beloved Kilo was hit by a car and died on July 2nd.  It was heart breaking (still is) and we all miss him so much.  It's a sad story, but to make it short his sister Bonzi jumped through the truck cab window and into the bed of the truck. Bryce was in the bed and tried to grab her but she slipped out of her collar because they had been swimming at Bear Lake and it was still wet and then she jumped out of the truck going 65 mph!  Her owner Chris, pulled over and stopped the truck and unfortunately when he opened his door Kilo jumped out and ran to check on Bonzi.  When they all got there, Kilo decided to cross the four lanes of traffic.  He made it until the last one and a car hit him.  The car didn't even slow down or stop after.  Kilo was solid muscle and their bumper flew off.  They just kept going.  Bryce rushed over to him and he said he looked fine. No bleeding anywhere.  He tried to get him to walk to him but he couldn't. Bryce picked him up and a nice lady drove him back to the truck where Animal Control was waiting to escort them to the animal hospital.  Some one must had called 911.  It was about a 30 min drive to the hospital and Kilo just held on and was licking Bryce the whole way and smiling at him.  Bryce just kept telling him he loved him and to hang on.  As soon as they pulled in the parking lot, he started to struggle to breath and his gums were all white. Bryce knew he had internal injuries.  They got him inside and put oxygen on him, but his lungs were so bad, it didn't work.  He ended up dying right after they walked in.  I drove up there to get Bryce and Kilo's body and we sobbed and sobbed.  We buried him that night.  It's just so sad.  He was such a good dog and everyone loved him.  He was so much fun.  It is so quiet around here without him.  The hardest part is that this is the second time Bryce had to go through the exact same thing.  It was almost the exact scenario with his roommates dog Gary.  

Rest in peace Kilo!  I hope Tyson is up there teaching you some new tricks!  Nice tricks! =)

Yes, the first one!  And it was so fun we are going to make it a yearly event!
This year it was at the cabin in Alpine Wyoming.  There were a few that couldn't make it (including Dave - he was on call), but overall it was a great time! 

HIGH HIGH HIGH  And I'm not talking about my age!  haha  I love my birthday! My friends took me to lunch.  They are all just so up-lifting to me! ;)

Me and my SIL Linda share our birthday.  We were taken to lunch to Maddox to celebrate!

This was actually my birthday in 2012. in the heck did this get in here?  Chocolate must mess with your brain!

HIGH and a half!  Dave's sister Karen has lived away forEVER and they finally moved back to Utah!  That is good news!  I have been so excited because I love to hang with her and her girls.  Her son is on a mission in Nevada and he used to hang with us all summer and he became another one of my boys.  She is only about 45 minutes away now instead of 14 hours and so let the fun begin!

We didn't take a real vacay this year, but just a lot of short trips to the cabin in Alpine Wyoming.  I love going up there!  I ran the Star Valley Half Marathon this summer and it was gorgeous!

He was bacon for a kiss!

Dave's been a Bishop for four years and this is the first time we got together with all the wives for a social.  It was long overdue and a lot of fun!  (two are missing)

Yikes!  Oh boy!  This is a huge LOW for me!  I know I should be shouting for joy, but it just gives me one more thing to worry about.  Thinking back to all those stitches from when he was learning to ride a bike!  

This is because my sister in law moved back and so she is gung ho in getting us to party! Love it!  Thanks Scare!  So glad you're back!

My adorable nephew Isaac!  Love this little "newt" to pieces!

Yes, I just found this!  I wanted to end on a HIGH and so I had to post this!  it is a reminder to me what this year has been like.   It's just a little sign that people's hearts are fragile and so is life.   It's always a good idea to be gentle with others hearts and more kind and loving than is necessary.  Life really is fragile! Cherish the moments!

For some reason I'm feeling high...

WHEW!  If you survived this very long post, you need to be awarded some kind of medal of honor!  I would even be happy to give you one of my marathon medals.  This was even longer than a marathon!

I almost didn't survive it myself!  You are awesome for sticking it out!


These are videos from YouTube of the Brigham City Temple Cultural Celebration. The first one is 15 min. if you just want a taste (our dance isn't on that one) and the second one is 70 min. (our dance starts at 41:01 on that one) if you want to see more.    
 Our dance starts at 41:01 on the bottom video.



One last thing...
You can choose to live life in the front row..or the third!
I'm taking the first row! Then even the LOWS in life won't seem so bad! 

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