Sunday, December 30, 2007

Morgan Family Traditions

We have a tradition in my family that started with my grandparents. Each Christmas they would bring out "The Christmas Pie." It was a large pot filled with presents. Each present had a string attached to it. The pot had a large piece of wrapping paper covering over the top, and all the strings were poking out of the top. We'd each get a string, and say the little nursery rhyme "Little Jack Horner, sat in a corner eating his Christmas pie. He stuck in his thumb, and pulled out a plum and said what a good boy am I." As soon as it says "pulled out a plum" we'd tug on our string and pull out a present. My parents have incorporated that tradition into their family. They get a present of all siblings/spouses and all 21 grandchildren. That's 36 presents small enough to fit in a bin! This year it was done in shifts. It's such a fun tradition, one that I distinctly remember as a child. It's fun that my children will have the same memory.

This is Joyce and Stu's little boy Jake. He made his way into a box and was having a blast. He is such a good little boy. There were so many times this week I'd look at him and get "misty eyed." I wonder if it will be that way his whole life. The poor kid is going to hate visiting us. Anytime he shows up we all surround him and smile and get cheesy. He gets mauled! We all want to hold him and squeeze him and especially kiss him. He is so sweet, how could we not? It's so nice to have him in our lives. What a blessing, and miracle to have him in our family. He brings so much joy! Stu was such a sport to come to a lot of family stuff with us. I'm sure it was really tough to be around us all, but it was sure nice to have him there. It makes us feel like Joyce is with us.

Parker was born in the middle of a Morgan baby boom! There were seven babies born within a year of our family, so we tried to get a picture of all seven of them at the cabin. Unfortunately Emery (Joan's baby) was taking a nap, and Jake was so wasted he fell asleep mid picture. So here are six of the seven (all six are boys!).

From left to right: Nate (Eric & Katie's) Ben (Brian & Julie's) Jake (Joyce & Stu's) Parker (us), Will (Steve & Mandy's), Andy (Carrie & Jason's), and Brooke (the oldest Grandchild (Roger & Susan's). Not pictured, Emery (Joan & Chad's)

The Cabin

We were lucky enough to go to my parent's cabin over the weekend. It's only an hour away, but you feel like you're in the middle of no where. It is so quiet and peaceful, and the kids can run wild and you don't even think about it. We went sledding for most of Friday and Saturday. Libby (our dog) loves to chase Matt as he sleds down the hill. She runs as fast as she can and barks the whole way down. She is SO warn out afterwords that she literally crashes. Her eyes shut tight and she doesn't move for hours. Our cute little Libby is blind and has hip dysplasia, so she is WAY handicap but it doesn't stop her. She goes nuts and totally over does it. Matt and I were talking about her, and how she literally is our child. We love watching her reaction just as much as we enjoy watching Amber and Parker.

Amber and her cousin Spencer are best buds. They enjoyed sledding together. I was so surprised at how much Amber loved sledding. She was having a blast, and only liked the sleds that made her go fast.

Parker enjoyed himself to! He had such a huge grin on his face as we sent him off down the hill. Speed wasn't a factor for him either. It didn't even phase him.

Christmas Day

Thanks Aaron & Fetriah for our presents! I don't let anyone play with Flounder or Ariel. I take them everywhere I go, and especially love to play with Flounder in the bath tub.

I've already worn my vest several times, and luckily mom took it off when I ate my big bowl of spaghetti.

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas everyone! I'm a little behind on the blogging, so be forewarned that this post may be lengthy. I hate how fast the time flies. It seems we just put the decorations up. Anyone familiar with the song by Michael McLean about a lady who cries when she takes the tree down? I wouldn't recommend listening to it, but ti's true isn't it? I hate it's a whole year before Christmas again. We had a lot of family in town, so it's been fun visiting and catching up. So much happens in a years time. Matt and I started a new tradition this year (at least we hope it'll continue). We went snow shoeing Christmas Eve up Millcreek Canyon. It was BEAUTIFUL! We were having the time of our lives. I could have been gone all day! Amber unfortunately didn't like it as much as we did. She was bored half way through. I don't know why! What's not fun about being strapped to a confined area on your dad's back in the cold snowy weather when you're two years old? I can't think of anything she'd rather do! Parker really enjoyed it though, and was kicking his feet and had a grin on his face the whole time. We wore him out though and he eventually fell asleep.

Later that day we went to Matt's sister's new condo for dinner, and then headed to Temple Square. It is so beautiful! We took trax down. It was like a blizzard outside. It made it all the more spectacular. Matt took this photo, I thought it was incredible!

Taking trax was fun. The kids imagined they were on the "Polar Express." We saw several cars that had crashed both on the way down town and back home. It was quite the weather. We wondered if we should even go, but come on, it was Christmas Eve! Temple Square is a must! That's another tradition I hope to continue.

After our downtown adventure we went back to his sister's house and had hot chocolate and opened a couple presents. The grand kids got matching pajama's and a fun book and bear from Grandpa & Grandma Deming. They were so excited, but beyond exhausted. Matt and I booked it out of there and headed home. I don't know who was more excited for Christmas, Amber or me. I couldn't fall asleep and woke up well before the kids. I made some yummy treats that morning, but I was the only one who ate them. I make my favorite things thinking all will enjoy, but it seems my little family isn't as fond as treats as I am! I guess that's a good thing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend & Other Stuff

For Family Home Evening we bought a little ginger bread house kit (which is the best invention ever). We, or I should say Matt and Amber, put it together last night. It was way cute. They were both totally in to it (as you can see by the pictures). I wish I could have taken a “before” and “after” shot from last night to tonight of the actual finished product. Half the candy is gone already, and NOT because of me (big surprise, I know!). Amber has enjoyed un-decorating (eating) it as much as decorating it!

Christmas is so fun this year. Amber freaks out at every Christmas song, at any Christmas lights, snow, candy canes, ANYTHING to do with Christmas. Turning on our lights each night is just as exciting as the night before. I went to Target the other day to do some Christmas shopping, and each isle she’d say “LOOK MOM, A …” She wants every toy possible (which is weird, she didn’t even notice toys about a month ago…funny how fast things change).

Thanksgiving was great, as always. It is my absolute favorite holiday. I love all the food (stuffing and pumpkin pie especially), but more importantly I love the long weekend, and the time spent together as a family.

(Emily & Issak-cousins of Amber)

Matt and I have a tradition that the Friday after Thanksgiving, we go up to the Uintas and chop down our Christmas tree. We’ve done it six out of the seven years we’ve been married (even last year at 38 weeks pregnant!). We spend the whole day looking for the perfect tree. It’s such a fun tradition; Libby loves it just as much as we do. She honestly knows when we are getting ready and gets so excited. This year was ten times easier that years in the past because there was NO snow! We drove right to the spot, when usually we’re hiking several miles in a day. It was way cold though, so we all stayed in the car while Matt & Libby chopped it down.

It was great. Saturday Matt went hunting with a friend. Matt wasn’t successful in getting a deer, but his friend was. They drove in his friends Hyundai Accent, and so the deer had to fit in this tiny little car. I laughed hysterically when they got back to our house, and there was this deer, sitting in the back of a tiny little Hyundai Accent. I had to include a photo. Sorry for all you anti-hunters, but rest assured he kills for the meat, not the antlers (as proven by his rack!).

Parker the Walking Man

It's official, Parker now walks! He prefers it to crawling, but hasn't mastered it yet so he'll quickly fall to the floor and cruise to his destination. Yesterday was his first official day taking steps with out any help. I can't believe it! Where is my little baby? I tried to get it on film, but of course every time I started to record he'd fall to the floor. He is pround of him self though, and knows he's a big boy. He tries to walk as fast as he crawls. It's so funny to see him get out of control and often wipe out. He is a dare devil! Today, he was climbing from Amber's little chair to her little craft table--there is like a 2 foot gap between the two, but it didn't stop him. He biffed it and hit his chin, but didn't cry and tried again until it was mastered. What a crazy kid!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Silver Lake

Last Sunday we took a little hike around Silver Lake with the kids. It was such a beautiful day and warm! I have loved this warm weather. Sorry to bore everyone with all the kids photos, but these pictures are meant for family out of town to see what they're missing out on!

Happy Halloween-A Little Late

So if you recall, my last blog I made a statement that went something like "having two kids close together really hasn't been bad..." well, the past week has been INSANE! I take that statement back! Amber has decided she no longer naps, and instead likes to destroy at least one major item per day. If I take my eyes off her for a second, she's in to something. She used to be so good and would just hang out and not get in to anything! As I look back on the past week, I'm reminded it all started with Halloween. We put her candy up in the cupboard and next thing we know she's pushing the chair over so that she can reach the cabinet and help herself. I don' t think it ever really dawned on her before to be mischievous, but now she has a reason to be. Despite that, work has slowed down dramatically but I can't seem to get even one appraisal out within a week. My time to work was during Amber/Parker's nap and since Amber doesn't nap anymore I am limited when I can work. I try to go to the gym in the AM, and evening is nuts with dinner, Relief Society stuff, Primary meetings, family stuff, etc. When do I work?! I'm going crazy! Poor Matt and the kids (I think I've said that in previous blogs as well).

On to happier, more uplifting topics, Halloween was really fun. Amber was totally in to it this year which makes it all the more fun. Amber was Ariel and Parker was a pea in a pod. His costume was WAY too small, so the poor kid was scrunched and couldn't move (it reminded us of poor Ralphie on A Christmas Story). I think the costume was intended for 0-6 months when they can't crawl!

We went trick-or-treating with Sara, Mike & Will and with Ashley & Anna. It was too dark to get a photo of Ashley & Anna when they arrived, so sorry! Props to Sara for constructing Mike's costume in 24 hours. Way to go! He looked great! I wish you could see Montana's costume. She was a spider. She was dang proud of it too. What a cute little family!

Later we went to Matt's parents to say hello. We ate more candy, along with pizza and donuts. Honestly, I can't imagine how small I'd be if I could just have a little self control! Why do the holidays bring on such yummy treats? Below is a picture of Amber & Parker and their cousin Issak. We had a great time though. We didn't get many trick-or-treaters though. Matt stayed home while Amber and I went out, and he said maybe 12 groups came over. That's nothing! I bought good candy too! How unfortunate that it's left for me to eat.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Enough About Parker

I know, I seem to have a lot more to say about Parker, but he's just at that crazy stage, you know? I got home from looking at a couple houses tonight and walk in to Parker screaming his guts out. He's quite the screamer lately. Anyway, this is what he looked like!

He hates anything that is distributed by "Gerber." If it comes from my plate, it must be good, right? He hates baby spoons, baby food, bibs, car seats, pretty much anything that labels him as a baby. He's done with it!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend Fun

On Saturday early evening we went to a local farm for some hot cider, donuts, a hayride and Charlie Brown shown on a big truck outside. Jody took a lot more pictures than I did, so you'll have to check out her blog for all the festive events. I just got a picture of us (Amber, me, Parker, Allee and Jody) and Steve, Mandy and their family. It was a lot of fun and perfect weather too.

Mandy, Will the monkey, Steve & Spencer

This is Amber and her cousins Spencer and Will having a little fun in my parents backyard. We took a nice Sunday walk today, and Amber decided she wanted to walk rather than be in the stroller. She was dragging her feet wading her way through the gutter where there were huge piles of leaves. She enjoyed kicking them watching them fall and stick to her sweater. It gave me a flash back to being a child. I remember doing the same thing. Don't you all remember kicking leaves as you'd walk through piles, throwing leaves, making big piles of them and jumping in? What a memory. I remember one year bagging up my neighbor's leaves and bringing them to my house so me and my sister could spend the afternoon jumping in big huge piles of leaves. Fall is so great, isn't it?! Oh to be a child again!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Crazy Monkey

My little Parker is nuts. He loves to climb EVERYTHING! I still treat him like such a baby. In my mind he isn't capable of doing anything yet (like crawling, talking, hand gestures, etc.). He turns one though on December 8th, so it's right around the corner! I need to face it that he's not my little baby anymore. Time for another one I guess. Weird to think that Amber was his EXACT age when I found out I was pregnant. It truthfully hasn't been as bad as I anticipated having two so close together. If Matt allowed 4 kids in the Deming clan I'd hold off a few years and have two close together again. Not to alarm anyone, a baby isn't in the plans any time soon. I think three under four would be a little hectic. I'd for sure be in the loony bin. So I took this picture because it's a stage Amber was in that I remember clear as day. My sister-in-law Julie has a chair similar to this one. We were visiting them (they live in Arizona) when Amber was 11 months old. Amber loved to climb in and out of it all day long. She'd laugh hysterically as she crashed to the floor (she didn't quite know how to get down without falling flat on her face). I bought this chair for Amber about a year ago. Parker discovered this past week how to climb in and out of it just like Amber. He too crashes flat on his face but just laughs. His facial expression shows he is so proud and it's like he knows he is such a big boy. When he sits in it he claps his hands or pats the side of the arm rest like "good job, I did it." It's so cute.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Love Fall!

Are you all wondering when I'm going to update my blog again?! I'm sure the 5 people that read my blog have been waiting anxiously! Time has flown by and I'm way behind in my posts, so this may be a lengthy one. Life is so crazy, isn't it?! I hate working so much, I wish I could just be a cute little mom that does crafts and plays all day long with the kids. I feel so stressed out lately and I'm not even working much to be honest. I really wonder if Joyce's death is hitting me harder than I thought and I'm blaming my stress and bad mood's on other stuff. Anyway, I feel sorry for Matt and my kids because I feel like such a grouch lately.

On a lighter note though, fall is great, isn't it?! I've seen so many of your blogs with beautiful fall pictures, and I love it! Matt and I took a drive over conference and took some pictures (actually, Matt gets all the credit, he is quite the photographer). So to show my fall spirit I thought I'd have at least one fall photo. There is a tree in our neighborhood that was brilliant yellow-more like golden-and each time we passed Amber would say "look at the pretty tree mom!" It was so fun to drive by it each day. It's amazing how fast the leaves fell though, and now it's just a bare old tree. I wish the colors on the trees stayed much longer.

Matt and I went on the deer hunt this past weekend...with the kids. If you think we're nuts to take the kids, you are right! It was FREEZING! I can't even begin to tell you how cold it was. It was a lot of fun though, and I'm totally glad we went. Quality time together is a must, so it really was fun, just COLD! The temperature Sunday morning was 17. We had Matt's parents tent trailer though, and it had a heater so inside the tent trailer was a nice 50 degrees.

On the way down, Amber fell asleep in the car while eating her bagel. Half was in her mouth, and the other half in her hand.

It was quite the drive to were the "big bucks" are, so it took us most the day Friday to get there. Once we arrived we set up camp and hung out, collected sticks, rocks, and tried to find deer.

On Saturday morning Matt woke up early to go try and track down a big buck. We stayed in camp and collected more sticks and rocks (at this point it wasn't too cold, so we played out side quite a bit). Matt insisted we all wear orange. I guess you're supposed to so no hunters mistake you for a deer and shoot you down. I'll spare you the pictures of me in orange. I was quite the sight.

Cute Libby was a good sport to wear an orange jacket. I know she hated it, but we didn't want to take any chances! It was a great weekend though, and unfortunately Matt didn't get a deer. He was holding out for a big one. He saw a few but none worthy of a spot on our wall next to the antelope (yes, we have an antelope hanging in our house...huge debate between doesn't really go with our "decor" but oh well, it's a nice looking animal, I'll give him that). On our way home, Matt said "I'm so depressed. I have 363 more days I'll have to spend watching hunting DVDs to get ready for next year." I have to admit I have a new appreciation for hunting after this weekend. It was kind of exciting trying to track down a deer. Every time I heard a shot I'd say to Amber "maybe that was dad" and she'd get all excited too. It was fun, but believe me you'll NEVER see me with a rifle in hand. I'd pass out if I shot an animal. The first deer Matt killed I cried when he told me the story. Just so you all know, we do eat the meat (if that gives anyone out there comfort).

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Life Goes On

What a crazy few weeks! I can't express enough how thankful I am for such great friends and family. It's amazing the amount of support and love that comes flying in at times like this. I loved listening to conference this weekend and felt so uplifted by many of the talks. I feel like I've been on this spiritual high for the past week and a half. It's sad to be back to the "real world" again. Most of the family has flown out now. The main reason I even made it through these days is all the time I had with family. It was the most therapeutic experience. We had so many moments of just pure joy and laughter. We enjoyed the time reminiscing about our childhood, and our different experiences with Joyce. She truly is an amazing person. I find comfort in knowing she isn't suffering any more. Our family talked about the fact that she has her hair back, and her rosy cheeks!

One experience I found through all this is how quickly you leave the "world" behind. We hear so often "you can't take anything with you" so the things of the world shouldn't matter. That became so clear to me. After Joyce died, suddenly her apartment was filled with "stuff." Her makeup, clothes, decorations, shoes, socks, books, jewelry, nail polish, shampoo, lotions, etc. One minute they were hers, the next is was just "stuff." The greatest realization of all, is what Joyce not only took with her, but what she has left. She has the strongest Testimony of Jesus Christ & Joseph Smith. She also has so much compassion towards others, and loved to serve others. She has the sweetest personality and smile, and dedicated her life to family & the church. In her short 25 years, she spent it serving others.

I can't believe she is really gone. I look at pictures and we watched some home movies the other day. It was very odd, and just didn't seem real that she was gone. I feel like I can still call her when ever I want. I got an email yesterday from "Joyce Riding." Stu had sent us an email from her email account. It made my heart skip when I saw it in my inbox.

Did any of you hear the conference talk about cancer being the disease of love or something to that effect? It really is so true. For the past two years we have been able to travel back and forth to Texas, take tons of family photos, capture several events on film, spend hours on the phone or sending emails back and forth throughout this whole experience. We shared so many wonderful experiences together and didn't take one moment for granted. It really is incredible to reflect back and see how blessed we truly were/are. I'm so grateful we had these past two years together to grow closer as a family. Cancer sucks, but there are positive events that come from it!

Her funeral was amazing. It was the most incredible funeral I've ever been to. It really was a celebration of her life. Everyone I have talked to that attended (myself included) left wanting to be a better person. She truly inspired so many people. Her husband spoke and did such a great job. I can't believe the strength he has! She was so lucky to have him. They were only married 4 years! The things they had to go through in those 4 years would have put most couples over the edge (medical school, cancer, remission, pregnant, cancer returns, chemo while pregnant, deliver baby, continue chemo treatments, deathly ill, graduate medical school, start residency, chemo continues but isn't working, Joyce continues to get worse...).

Well, anyway, thank you again for all your kind comments, calls, support, etc. I have really been uplifted through it all. Don't take one moment for granted with your loved ones. You never know what the future holds (cheesey, but it's true).

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Joyce's Obituary

Joyce Morgan Riding
Sept 28, 2007

Joyce Morgan Riding, 25, was surrounded by her family as she peacefully passed away September 28, 2007 at her home in Irving, TX after courageously battling cancer for two years. Joyce was born on November 5, 1981 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Vernon and Carol Morgan. She married her incredibly devoted husband, Stuart Lee Riding, on December 27, 2003 in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple.

Joyce grew up in Holladay, Utah and graduated from Skyline High School in 2000; then went on to receive her Associate’s Degree from Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. She enjoyed a semester studying in Nauvoo where she developed a love for early Church history and the Prophet Joseph Smith. Joyce always had a beautiful smile on her face and would light up every room she entered. Her life was one of service, and even in her last moments she was more concerned about the comfort of others than her own. Joyce selflessly supported her husband through medical school, while he selflessly supported Joyce through cancer treatments. Both were thrilled by the miraculous birth of their healthy son, Jacob.

Joyce is survived by her loving husband and 9-month old son; parents; four brothers, Stephen (Amanda), Roger (Susan), Brian (Julie), Eric (Katie), and three sisters, Carrie Knapp (Jason), Trisha Deming (Matthew), and fraternal twin and best friend Joan Taylor (Chad); parents-in-law, Stanley and Karen Riding; 3 brothers-in-law, Brian (Deanna), Wayne (Terry), and Craig; and 3 sisters-in-law Teresa Carter (Paul), Sheryl Finch (James), and Linda Birrell (Jeffrey); and 57 nieces and nephews.

Joyce’s wish was to be surrounded by her family to say goodbye, and amazingly that wish came true. Joyce had a strong relationship with her Savior and she put her complete faith and trust in the Lord. She exemplified His counsel of giving ourselves completely to His will. Joyce will be missed tremendously, but we are comforted in knowing that she is truly one of the pure in heart.
In lieu of flowers a fund has been set up on behalf of Joyce, Stuart, and Jake Riding. Please send contributions in the name of Joyce Riding to: Zions Bank, 80 East 100 North, Payson Utah, 84651.
Viewing: Thursday, October 4, 2007
6:00-8:00 pm
Walker Mortuary
587 S 100 W
Payson, UT 84651
(801) 465-3846

Funeral: Friday, October 5, 2007
10:00 am viewing prior to services
11:00 am funeral services
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
780 W 400 S
Payson, UT 84651

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Here is my cute sister & her husband Stu before she started chemo. I'll post her obituary tomorrow or tonight if I can get it then. I have a lot of people asking tons of questions, so I'll also update you all about where the funeral will be, how to get there, why it is where it is...etc. Thank you so much for all your thoughts, calls, emails, posts, prayers, etc. I really am so grateful for such great friends. Love you all!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sad News

I thought I'd take a second to tell you all that Joyce passed away Friday night. After my quick trip last weekend she continually got worse and went to the hospital Thursday night. They were supposed to do surgery on Friday but by Friday she was even worse and so they couldn't operate. She, Stu and the doctors met and it was decided she'd go home rather than stay in the hospital. Roger asked her what she wanted, and she said all her family by her side. We all miraculously caught the last flight out of Utah and flew to Texas. We all arrived around 9:00 PM and she passed away at 11:15 that night. It was a very peaceful experience. She was still able to communicate with us, but was very uncomfortable. It was so sad to see her in such pain. It was a very sad, but beautiful experience to all be together and say goodbye. I'll write more about it later. For now I just wanted all to know. I haven't felt like calling anyone because it's too emotional to talk about it. I already miss her so much. Her husband Stu is seriously so incredible and I love him so much. Her little baby Jake has been such a joy to be around. I am so surprised at the comfort he brings. I have kissed him over and over and love to hold him and see him. I'll put info about her funeral as we know more. It will be in Utah, in Payson and most likely on Friday morning. Thank you so much for your phone calls & prayers! We have had miracle after miracle and so many wonderful experiences, too many to write and too special to share most of them. I'm just so glad to have such supportive friends. I don't know what I'd do with out you all.

Thanks again

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I got this off Mary's blog. I think it's a fun way to get to know each other. It actually took me some time to think of answers to all these crazy questions. Anyway, here you go:

Crazy 8's:

8 things I'm passionate about
1. Trying to loose these extra baby pounds!
2. My kids/Matt/family
3. Finishing work so that I can relax
4. Keeping a clean house
5. Teaching my kids good manners
6. Becoming more of a reader rather than a couch potato
7. Education
8. Being kind/compassionate towards others

8 things I want to do before I die
1. Read all the Harry Potter books (if you know me well, you know that may indeed take a lifetime)
2. Do a triathlon
3. See my kids all go to college & get married
4. Travel the world with Matt
5. Be financially secure
6. Get a tummy tuck and a boob job (sad that this comes before the following two, I should have specified "in no particular order).
7. Be able to play all the hymns well
8. Have a better understanding of the scriptures

8 things I say often
1. “I’m seriously going to the loony bin”
2. “Please don’t do that Amber”
3. “Well that wasn’t very nice”
4. “I am seriously so stressed out”
5. “I love you babe”
6. “You’re such a good girl Libby” (the dog)
7. “Oh Parkie, you’re so cute”
8. “What are we going to do?”

8 shows I’ve recently watched
1. Ellen
2. The Office
3. Three’s Company (this is like “Friends” only the 70’s version, it’s great!)
4. Fox 13 News
5. Barney
6. The Wiggles
7. Prison Break
8. Conan O’Brien

Songs I could listen to over and over (I changed this to Artists)
1. The Killers
2. Dixie Chicks
3. Sarah McLaughlin
4. Cold Play
5. Collective Soul
6. Dave Matthew’s Band (still a fan, just not the concerts)
7. Justin Timberlake (surprising to some I know)
8. Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd

8 things that attract me to my best friends
1. They are therapeutic!
2. They make me laugh uncontrollably
3. They are all a blast to be around
4. They inspire me
5. They don’t care what I look like!
6. They make me happy
7. They are fun to be around
8. They are good examples

8 things I’ve learned this past year
1. Life is too short and is flying by!
2. I am so blessed
3. Honesty is really the best policy!
4. Some things I just need to learn to let go (dishes in the sink, laundry piled up)
5. I don’t need to always answer my phone
6. More patience
7. My spelling is getting worse and worse
8. I need a little “Trisha” time each day to keep me out of the loony bin

8 people I think should do '8' (some of you already have, but do it again!)
1. Ashley
2. Stacie
3. Abby
4. Sara
5. Jill
6. Katy
7. Amy
8. Jody

Monday, September 24, 2007

Don't Mess With Texas!

Matt and I just got back from a quick trip to Texas, WITH OUT the kids! It was a quick trip, Friday to Sunday, but it was great. I have a lot of family there: my two sisters Joyce and Joan, and my brother Roger. We originally went for the Dave Matthew's Band Concert (our friend's brother was supposedly opening for them in Dallas only...). It was a perfect weekend to go though. My cute sister Joyce was hospitalized Thursday for the entire weekend, so it was a great weekend to boost her spirits and be with her. Joyce was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in September, 2005. She has had miracle after miracle and we're so lucky she's with us! Her little boy Jake was born just after Parker, so December 2007. Her cancer returned while pregnant and so she continues to fight it (it's now in her liver). She is so amazing and such an example to us all. I've never met anyone with a more positive attitude. She has endured so much. I don't know how she does it. She had a rough time in the hospital (although you'd never know it from the looks of her in these pictures). Like I said, she is amazing, and her husband is amazing.

This is Joan (her twin), Jake and Joyce

So the concert was a bust! I was so disappointed! We've seen Dave a few times, so I was expecting so much more. The previous time we saw him was AWESOME and I contemplated becoming a "roadie" full time for his show so that I could tour and see him perform all the time! It was so great and fun and just one song after another-it was all so dang good, no complaints at all. I never wanted the concert to end. WELL...not the case in Dallas! His opening song was so SLOW and boring. It was like a 20 minute slow song. Who opens with such a downer? The songs that followed weren't much better. FINALLY he played a peppie song, but just one after another was slow and boring. He also took a good 3 minute break between each song, so it's not like it went from one to another continuously. The raging alcoholics in front of us were getting a little upset about it and were ready to run up on stage and do something about it. Matt of course had a good time, but I don't plan to see Dave ever again. I was totally bored half way through. In fact, some of our friends left half way through. It literally was lame. I think the show catered to the pot heads, so I'm sure they enjoyed themselves. I'm surprised I wasn't enjoying it by the end...we were surrounded by doobies. Folks were puffing all night long! I said to Matt several times I thought Dave was so wasted he didn't even know what he was doing. He actually sang parts of the same song twice. I'm not much of a concert goer myself. There are only a few people I'd pay to see. Dave was one of those few, but after Saturday night's concert, never again.

This is before the concert: Chad (my sister Joan's husband), Matt and my brother Roger

These are my sister's cute kids Morgan & Emery. Emery was just born in May, 2007 so this was my first time meeting her. I wish Texas weren't so far away! The whole weekend was great though. Don't let me sound so down about the concert. The company was great, and just being able to be there while Joyce needed visitors was great! I actually looked for flights to go back first thing this morning. I already can't wait to go back.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

LoToJa!!!!!! Way to Go Matt!!!

This weekend Matt was in a bike race called the LoToJa. It's a bike race from Logan to Jackson Hole. From start to finish, it covers 206 miles! It's done all in one day. Matt started at 6:49 AM (this picture is us on the way to the starting line) and finished at about 8:30 PM. He took a couple lengthy breaks, so total riding time was 12 hours, but with his three breaks it ended up about 13 1/2 hours.

We had a blast following him from feed zone to feed zone. This picture above is Matt on his way in to the Montpelier, Idaho (80 Miles in). He looked so great and didn't even feel the burn yet!

There is a point in the race called "King/Queen of the Mountain." It's at 115 miles, and it's at the top of a HUGE climb. Matt did awesome and cruised up WAY faster than I had anticipated. He just flew. I know if I would have been racing I would have had to walk up this portion. In fact, on our way home today we saw two bikers walking up this section of the race. I have asked Matt about 100 times if he is sore today, and of course he says no. I don't understand how that is even possible! He was on a bike from sun up to sun down!

Here we are at the finish. What a long day for Matt, but he really did do an awesome job! The weather was perfect all day, not too hot, not too cold and even the wind wasn't too bad. In past years it has been horrible, so all in all it was a great day. This is Matt's 4th LoToJa experience. It's funny, because I look back to his first year compared to now, and it's amazing how much he has progressed and how much more confidence he has now. I even think back to the "gear" he had in the past compared to now. He borrowed a friends jersey the first year, and was all mis-matched and had a lame helmet & a totally heavy bike. Now half his closet consists of bike jersey's, he has tons of jackets, socks, a much better helmet, and a much lighter bike. He knows what foods work best to give him the most energy, what foods make him gag, what drinks work's just a major process so I'm glad we're done with the "beginner" stage.

Can you believe that you eat while riding? I can't imagine wolfing down food at the feed zones. It seems like it would make you yak! From what I understand though, if you don't eat, you literally can't go on. I just know with running, if I eat anything other than a gu, it sloshes around in my belly and comes up later. It's just amazing the food intake Matt took in all day yesterday. I should have taken a picture of the basket of food I would bring from feed zone to feed zone. In fact, at the stop in Afton, Wyoming, the feed zone and where I parked were about 1/4 a mile apart. So I unloaded the kids, loaded them back in to the stroller, grabbed the basket of food (which had to go on my hip, while the other hand pushed the stroller) and walked on Highway 89 for that 1/4 a mile to get to the zone. I looked like a complete imbecile. Fun times I tell you!

Anyway, the weekend was great. The best part was eating a nice breakfast together at Jedediah's in Jackson (a nice birthday breakfast for me!). What a yummy place! It was a fun morning, and beautiful as always in Jackson. It didn't really seem like my birthday. Other than the phone calls from my family/friends, it seemed like any other day. What better way to spend it though than in Jackson with the family? The only thing that would have made it better is if we ran the river!