Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bear Lake 1/2 Marathon

Two weeks ago I ran a half marathon in Bear Lake with Katy and Sara Sargent. Although it was so cold, we had a great run. The course is around the lake, and is totally flat. It really is a beautiful course. I was so happy with my time. I wanted to be under 2 hours, and my official time was 1:59, so I was spot on.

It was nice to have a race to maintain my long runs. I didn't get in to Moab (and haven't for the last three years I've tried...BOO to Moab Half!). This race was closer, the registration was cheaper, and the course was great! If only the weather would cooperate, it'd be the perfect race!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

House for Sale

It's official, we've listed out house! Yes, in perhaps the worst market of all time, I know. Bad timing. We'll give it a couple months and see what happens. It'll be interesting keeping the house clean 24-7. With three younglins and a dog, it's practically impossible!!!

If you know of anyone that wants to buy a cute house in the Millcreek/Holladay area, please send them our way! If you have access to the MLS, it's # 972281

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cabin Week!

We just got back from a full week at the cabin. I don't know if I've ever been out of touch from the world for that long in my life! My phone doesn't really work up there and there isn't any Internet, so for one full week my phone was tucked away and I was able to spend great quality time with family. The weather was so great, with only one day of rain.

One day we did face painting, so Jeremy painted Parker's face. Parker was in heaven to have an older cousin paint his face, and Jeremy was in heaven to have someones face to paint! It was a win-win.

This was our one rainy day. We spent it in doors, watching lots of movies and trying to stay busy with games and coloring/painting. This day was a little rough...we all suffered from a little cabin fever.

The infamous painted names wall. I took this picture a little too soon before all the names were up, so we're missing quite a few. But as of now, the Vern Morgan Family names are all up to date and complete!

Painting names is the highlight of the cabin...seriously. From the time I can remember I couldn't wait to get married and paint my own name. I have spent so many hours staring at all these names. Every time we come to the cabin we spend hours visiting, playing games, laughing, and it's all done around these names. I have loved painting our name and Amber, Parker's and this past week Aubrey's name. Carrie helped me get a little more crafty with Aubrey's, and I love it!

The kids did a little painting of their own.

We made slime another day which the kids loved! Katie loved it just as much as the kids! She was having a blast with it. It was kind of fun to play with, it was such a strange texture.

Here we are at the pond. Molly loved jumping in to cool off.
I think half the trip was spent here at the pond. The kids loved fishing, throwing rocks, sticks, leafs, grass, what ever they could find in this pond and then you spend the second half of the trip fishing all the stuff out you tossed in! We all did it as kids, so it's fun to see the same traditions passed down. Carrie and I each grabbed a stick at one point and fished out moss and weeds. Oh the memories!
Parker, Kiley, Elsie, Amber and Emily

Issac, Ben and Sari with their slime. Brian and Julie were out of town for the week, so Matt and I were responsible for them while at the cabin. They were seriously the best, easiest kids to watch! I had such a great time with them, and hope they did too. Ben is 3 (will be 4 in August). This is my favorite age/stage. Ben had me laughing all week. He was constantly saying the funniest stuff. He has the cutest little voice too. One of my favorite comments during the week from Ben is when he was peeing outside and he said "Let's go on the stinging nettle. DIE stinging nettle, DIE!!!" He also loved playing superheros all week, and would change character at least three times a day. He was Iron Man, Spider Man, "Awesome Awesome Cool" "Super Strong" and "Pirate Buzz"
These are six of the seven grandchildren born within a year of each other. We're missing Jake is all. Nate, Will, Ben, Parker, Andy and Emery.

I asked Parker what is favorite part of the cabin was, and he said "Andy." He and Andy played so well together. They were such good buddies. They liked to fish in the pond (Andy brought his fishing pole so they'd take turns fishing). They also loved to "talk to each other." There is a stream that runs through the property and goes down under the road across the street. There is this large pipe that it goes through, so Parker goes on one side and Andy the other and they'll yell to each other through the pipe. It's so cute. They'll put something like a leaf or stick at one end and run to the other side to watch it come out of the pipe. They also played guns, all sorts of super hero characters like Star Wars, Bat Man, Iron Man, Avatar. They played hunting, shooting, squirt guns, jumping, wrestling, basketball, and every kind of typical 3 year old sport. They also had fun playing red light green light, and alligator alligator what time is it?
Here is a picture of 20 of the 25 grandchildren. Aubrey was sleeping, Brooke, Holly and Katie were in Texas and Jake was in Richmond visiting family. The cabin is perfect for family gatherings. There is space for everyone, there is so much to do, and so many places to explore. The kids get to rome all throughout the property and just be kids! I literally felt like I didn't see my kids all week long! They were out playing and exploring every single day from sun up to sun down. I saw them at meal time and occasionally when we organized an activity. We are so lucky to have such great relationships with our family. Everyone got along so well, and everyone had someone to play with (Sari was cute and although was the oldest cousin there, still played with the younger cousins which they LOVED and will always remember!). Sari also helped a ton with face painting.
Molly loves the cabin just as much as us! She doesn't move from this spot all week, and waits for a potgut or chipmunk to come out of its hole so she can chase it. She wears her self out and by night practically has to be carried to her kennel. I took her running on Saturday and she didn't need a leash which was so fun. She was running circles around us and would run up to chase a bird of critter. She loves it up there and has been sleeping the past 24 hours like a baby. I don't even know if she's eaten!
Here we are all lined up to start a scavenger hunt. This was for the dads to get their Father's Day treats.
What a great week! I can't say enough good things about the cabin. I heard every child get upset when they were told it was time to go. Each family had at least one child in tears about it. It's the perfect place to relax, to play, to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, and to be together as a family. The food is always great (and by Saturday I had to squeeze in to my clothes, no joke!) The kids always sleep horrible (which means the parents do too) so each day we all progressively get more and more tired. But we love it. We'd still be up there if we could! We can't get enough of the family time.
The adults all look forward to night time when all the kids are "asleep" and we get time to vedge, play games, visit and laugh until our cheeks can't take it anymore. I laughed so hard on so many occasions I literally cried.
A couple months ago, my parents announced that they (along with my aunts and uncles) were going to sell the cabin and that they had an interested buyer. They asked if I would do an appraisal on it to obtain a proper selling price. I can't even being to convey how upsetting it was to hear. I couldn't figure out why I was so devastated. When I told Matt about it, I cried, HARD. I could barely even talk about it. As I was telling him, I began to realize why I was so sad about selling the cabin. I had told Matt, imagine all your best, fondest memories as a child. Every holiday weekend and an additional two weeks of my summer was spent at the cabin. This is where I got to know my cousins. This is how I knew my aunts and uncles. This is where we spent days cleaning out the pond, hiking to the lookout, canoeing on the lake, catching potguts in the trap, playing "Tornado", eating yummy treats, staying up late, sleeping on the deck, playing games, singing songs, and eating scones, bacon, eggs and hash browns. Every memory I have of the cabin is a positive one. So imagine all those fun memories coming to an end. Knowing there would never be an opportunity to experience those memories again.
I felt like I was experiencing a death in the family. Suddenly this place that is so near and dear to me is gone, and I won't be able to visit anymore, I wouldn't be able to share these experiences with my children and watch them create memories of their own. It would all be a memory, nothing more. I was upset wondering how will we our children gain similar relationships with their cousins and aunts/uncles? Having dinner once a month won't cut it! We need weeks at a time and weekends at a time to build relationships and to create memories. Having good relationships with family is critical to me. I feel so strongly about having these positive influences in their lives. I feel that being close with cousins, aunts and uncles will help our children be more accountable for decisions they are making, knowing there are 45 people they are linked to that are routing for them, cheering them on and supporting them and would be disappointed if they make bad choices.
Anyway, as the weeks went by I finally finished my appraisal. I met my aunts and uncles at a meeting and told them the results. They agreed that family (meaning all the grandchildren) had first dibs and if anyone were interested they would sell it to them before this other interested buyer. As the days passed, we learned that my two brothers and sister are going to buy it! I went from Memorial Weekend reminiscing about every little thing, thinking it could possibly be my last weekend there, to this week enjoying every single second and not taking one moment for granted. I am so thrilled to know it was not my last week there, that I can continue to spend many summer and winter nights there, laughing, playing, eating, and enjoying the best company around!!! I am so grateful Amber, Parker and Aubrey will have a place to run wild, play and grow closer to their extended family. What a great week! I couldn't be happier knowing the cabin weeks will continue!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Amber's Dance Recital

Princess and the Frog

This was my favorite move of all! I had caught Amber doing this several times in the last couple months, so I knew it was part of her dance recital. When ever I'd catch her doing this, I'd ask her to keep going but she got to embarrassed. I loved it though. It takes such coordination, something I have not been blessed with!

It was another great performance! We look forward to her recitals each summer/winter. She has grown up so much. To see that she is now the "older" class is strange! Emily and I started these kids when Amber was just 2! I remember taking her to her first lesson and she fell asleep on the way there. I thought there was no way she'd wake up happy and ready to be dropped off at a stranger's house...but she proved me wrong. She has loved it from the beginning. A huge thank you to Emily who introduced us to Miss Julie. If it weren't for good friends I don't know how we'd hear about anything! We love Miss Julie and look forward to another year of dance next year!

Happy 70th Dad/Grandpa!!!

We celebrated my dad's 70th birthday yesterday! I can't believe he's 70! His older brother turned 80 this year, and that was strange for me too! It seems like parents are stuck in their 50's. I really don't feel like my parents are getting older! My sister Carrie had the bright idea to have a surprise party for him. After all, 70 is quite a milestone! So we spent the week planning a fun Hawaiian style surprise party. We didn't tell my mom about the party either, so it was a total shocker for both!

We were all waiting on the stairs ready to yell surprise. They thought they were going to dinner with Joan and Chad at Sampan, and thought they were just dropping off Joan/Chad's kids but little did they know...

As you can see Amber was so excited (she especially LOVED her little dress, and even asked if she could sleep in it).
This was my favorite costume of the night.

Mandy made this cake, how awesome is she? I am amazed at what she is capable of! This cake couldn't be cuter, and notice the volcano behind! That is real smoke coming out!

It wouldn't be a party for Matt without a little shut-eye.
We even had a little entertainment thanks to Eric's drum skills. It felt like we were at the PCC for a minute.

This is the line for the pinata. We started the line, oldest to youngest. Out of all those kids, three are only two between Parker & Amber! Boy they are close together!
Grandpa taking the first swing.

Yes, that is for real. She actually made it! Go Joan!

Emily has the same birthday as Grandpa, so we sang Happy Birthday to Emily as well. Happy 6th Birthday Emily! Amber was sad this morning because she wanted to be the same age as Emily.
Joan and Chad rented a "shave ice" machine, and made us real "shave ice." Complete with ice cream on the bottom, shaved ice with many choices for topping, sweet & condensed milk, and topped with whipped cream. It was so good! I think we all had two!

It was a great night. It was fun to totally surprise Dad and Mom. I love any time spent with family, and can't get enough of it!