Friday, March 30, 2007

Zions and Spring...

So, after the busy weekend away at Moab we were glad to get back home only to be leaving to Zions on Thursday. We felt like we unpacked and packed up again all in the same moment, but we can't complain because we got to get away again and tour more of southern Utah, which we love, especially in the spring time. I had a conference in Springdale which is right at the mouth of Zions so we figured we'd make a weekend of it, again. We had to be there Thursday afternoon so we headed out early Thursday morning and met up with Dave (from work) and his family in Spanish Fork. The drive seemed to go by quick, but stayed cold for way too long. When we took a break in Beaver it was still 39 degrees! I was worried that we wouldn't have enough warm clothes for the boys, but alas, as we headed further south things cleared up and the temp went up to 72 in 2 short hours. Springdale is beautiful this time of year. There is a little orchard just as you arrive there and all the trees were in bloom, the grass was green and there were leaves on the trees. It was about two weeks ahead of home as far as seasons go. We checked in and had lunch before I headed to the conference and Teeny and the boys hung out with Dave's family at the park. After I was done, we had a pizza picnic at the park and the boys couldn't keep away from the water. N and T are facinated by it, which can be scary with how fast they get around now. A has always loved the water, but is wiser on being careful around it now too. We took them on the bridge over the river and they loved seeing the water go by. They just loved being outside and able to run around. You'd think, or at least we'd hope, that they'd kind of stay together, but when they're playing it's in all three different directions. I'd be watching N and T on the bridge and A would take off down the trail, so I'd go get him and N or T would be headed towards the street and one still on the bridge...I don't know how Teeny does it. After scrambling to contain the little monkeys we decided we'd hit the town and check out the local stores and such. There were a lot of outdoor clothes places and some fun little rock and gift stores too. It was a perfect evening to do a little walking outside. We had a little ice cream break and then headed back to the Bumbleberry Inn for the night. The kids all do really well in the room. They love to push any buttons they can find and run around, but when bedtime comes they settle down pretty quick and drift off to sleep. Teeny and I headed out to the deck after the kids dozed off and played some cards for another couple hours. It was so nice to just hang out and chat and be on vacation. We can't wait til we can do that at home! Afer kicking my butt in combat, we headed off to bed too.

Friday morning was another beauty in Zions. The mountains in Zions are so different than Arches. They are taller and more rugged, but still that amazing red sandstone color. We thought that Friday would be a great weather day too, but when I finished my conference duties around noon, it was starting to drizzle just a little bit. We decided we'd go hit the Zions tunnel and see if the weather got any better. The tunnel was amazing. It's a lot longer than I thought it would be and the kids really enjoyed it. By the time we'd gone through and back the rain had gotten a little worse, but we figured, "hey, we're here. We might as well enjoy it", so we headed up to the river walk hoping the rain would die down at least a little. Luckily, it did. It was drizzle on and off but the river walk was awesome. It is so pretty after a rain storm. We got a lot of looks from people with our great kids. People would see N and T in the stroller and A walking along and just smile at us. I still can't count how many times we've heard, "You've got your hands full". Yeah, no kidding, but they are so dang fun too! People were really nice though and kept telling us how cute they were, and really they are the most handsome little devils you've ever seen (you don't have to admit out loud, but deep know it's true). The river was so green and the rocks were so red, it really was a spectacle. We even saw some wildlife including a deer and a couple of fat little squirrels. But A liked the fish the most. That kid loves fish. There was a little bridge that went over a stream with these little tiny fish and A spotted them and kept telling us to look at the fish! The end of the trail finally came and we took a little break before heading back down. The way down was just as pretty and it had stopped raining by then too. Just as we got back to the Monkey-wagon it started raining a little bit again, and it was a little later than we'd planned on getting back, so we decided to head to St. George for dinner and some shopping. We don't get down there a lot and it sounded like fun. The boys were able to get in a little nap during the drive and our little trip to St. George turned out really nice. That night we played cards again, despite our biker neighbors, and just loved being outside enjoying it all.

Saturday was awesome. The weather was perfect and we got to do a lot of hiking with the kids. We packed them on our backs and A just trotted along like a champ. We hit the Emerald Pools first. N and T did great in the packs. They love seeing all the different trees and water and rocks, everything facinates them. A has a good time playing like he's a car the whole time racing up the trails. The pools were perfect and clear. Spring has got to be the best time for Zions. We took a little snack break at the lodge before heading on to the Weeping Wall and then headed home. It was a great get away and even though it was packed in there with Moab, we wished we were heading somewhere again this weekend. Oh well, we'll just have to settle for yard work, which we love too.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Moab, Moab, Moab.....

Us at the park relaxing in the Spring Moab sun!

Well, what a couple of weeks we had! Teeny and I were busy packing and unpacking for a week it seemed. Our first outing was to Moab for the annual Half Marathon. I was the only one of us two who was lucky, or unlucky (keep reading to find out why), enough to be drawn out to run in the race. We were stoked because the weather was going to be awesome (mid 70's to mid 80's), and most of the fam was going to be down there (missed ya, Rachy, Ava, and Doug) . We hadn't seen temps like that for a long dang while (was it just me or was it one bitter winter??!). So the marathon people told everyone to hydrate well and so I did. I had a giant thing of Gatorade for the three days previous to the race and then a big ole jug on the day of the race. It didn't start til 10am so it was plenty hot by the start time. No worries though, right? Ha ha ha..... I get down the canyon (10.5 miles into the 13) about the time I was expecting and was on track for a 2 hour half marathon...super! Everyone was there to pump me up for the last little push to the finish line and I felt pretty good. Chug, chug, chug, I was getting a little tired, but could see the next water station half mile away, straight into the sun (it's gotta be 80 degrees by now). Then, BAM, it hits me.....groggy step get the idea, and before I knew it I'd passed out. I have no recollection of what happened between the time I went down and loading me in the ambulance, but they say I never lost consciousness. Luckily, a doctor was right behind me when I went down and he stuck with me throughout the ordeal not finishing his race. Granted, he was a doctor and was only doing what he should, but I can't be more thankful to him for staying with me. I remember him being a large part of the ambulance ordeal and getting me stable and the hospital. I asked him his name before he finally left, but in the state I was in I totally forgot it. Thank you, whomever you are, for stopping and caring that much. All the while Teeny and the fam where all waiting at the finish line for me to come hobbling in. 10 minutes, 20 minutes, half hour, 45 minutes....where the stink is he? Teeny was sure I was dead in some ditch and so she started to back track the route. Now I don't remember a lot, but I remember telling people to call my wife, call my wife... Her cell number was one of the few things I remembered, but they never did. My dad finally went to the medical tent and found out that I was in the hospital, but doing OK. He, my ma, and Teeny hurried over. I sat in the hospital room for a good hour before I saw anyone familiar and let me tell you, the most confusing hour of my life. I couldn't see my future, if that makes any sense. Scared and shocked that all this had just happened to me. Then, in walked Nate and Jodi and family....getting better already, and then Ma and Pa, better still, then Teeny....finally good. It was a little scary for both of us, but having family around helped my little pea brain put the pieces back together. I couln't spell words backwards for the doctor like "world" which was a little concerning, but all the tests and labs came back fine. About 4 hours after I collapsed, I was released and was able to go back to the motel where I slept the rest of the day. Of all the people to thank my family has to be first. Thanks Nate and Jodi for watching A, checking in on me, and being there to support me. Thanks Ma and Pa for watching the twins and the blessing (Nate too here). Thanks Jesse and Lindy and Kris for gathering my stuff and just being there. And thanks Teeny for being my wife and for the concern, hope and comfort you gave me in those first moments we saw each other. You helped me recover more than anything.

Me and A at mile 10.75 probably, I made it about 11.5, but here I felt great

After all this the family went up to Delicate Arch, where A climbed like a champ, all while I was sleeping off the collapse. The next day, I woke up feeling normal and we were able to hit some arches on the way out of town before heading home. All in all it was a memorable event, but always a bummer to part with family after such a great weekend together.

Ma, Teeny and the boys at Delicate Arch

Teeny at Landscape.....HOT!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Duck pond -- Feb 2007

Well, it's been a while since my last post, and who knows, it may be a while til my next. J and L have started a blog now and inspired me to update ours. N and T have grown into quite the little boys. They are now 21 months old and are into everything. They crack us up! A is 4 now and has started itty-bitty ball, which he loves! It's fun seeing him having such a great time. Teeny just tells me about it since I can't go, but I can picture him out there having a blast. We've been in our new house for almost six months and we're enjoying the rambler lifestyle. We've got everything in except for plants in our landscaping and a fence....oh, and A won't let us forget a swingset. Hopefully this year we'll get all that tied up. Anyway, here are some pics of our latest trip to the duck pond. We went there on a warm day a couple weeks ago to feed the ducks, and when we got to the top it was all frozen over. A was really looking forward to seeing 'Jose' the crazy duck. Maybe next time.