Entries for the ‘wyoming’ Category

Summer Lessons

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Once again summer is winding to a close, equal parts of me are baffled that summer passed in the blink of an eye and Oh my gosh I can’t wait for school to start next week! I just want to be able to type a five sentence email without being interrupted twelve times about inane things. I want to complete thoughts, sentences, text messages, meals without having to answer questions or play referee.  I want to clean up the kitchen and have it stay clean for TWO WHOLE HOURS. Its the little things.

I’m not looking forward to my new 5:15am wake up call, so I can get to the gym before the rush to get the kids out the door. I decided to really make an effort this summer, I’ve been goaling for the gym 5 times a week. I hate it, but I keep doing it. I don’t care what those healthy people tell you- I don’t have more energy, in fact I usually want a nap at 10am! The only side effect of all the exercising is a decreased appetite for sweets- which I guess is a good thing…but shouldn’t all this exercise mean I can eat more junk and not gain weight?!

In other news we drove over 2,000 miles this summer and replaced a transmission (ouch!), swam in salt water and floated in snow melt. We climbed mountains, drove over mountains, ate fresh raspberry shakes, hiked through wildflowers, sat in LA traffic and enjoyed hotel swimming pools. I vacillate between feeling frustrated that we can’t financially take trips that involve air travel and passports (thank you social media) and feeling like we are the luckiest family ever to be able to see so much of America with our children in tow.

I was reflecting yesterday on our time in Wyoming and trying to pinpoint why I enjoy being there so much. For sure it has to do with the lack of cell service at my in-laws, no phone calls and no texts make it really easy to forget the real world that exists outside the bubble of Star Valley, WY. It also has A LOT to do with the patience and acceptance of my in laws. I have never felt unwelcome in their home,their home is both relaxing/comfortable and always in a state that could be photographed for a BHG spread. My MIL’s picture should be in Websters next to the word Homemaker, she sets the gold standard. My in laws have never once lost their patience or their cool with any of our kids and their shenanigans. My mother in law never seems bothered by the messes our presence create in her home. I’ve observed and marveled at this many times. I can only assume its because she knows its only temporary, and maybe she likes us enough that our messes are worth it to spend time with us?

 I get frustrated with my children/husband when I have taken the time to clean something and they carelessly mess it up. I mopped my floors last night and I am sure I’m going to snap at the first person to walk with pool wet feet across it. It frustrates me because I know I’m going to have to clean it again….sometimes I feel like Sisyphus and that rock. When I complain about that to Aaron he always says something irritating like “think how the place would look if we never cleaned”.  I’d like to develop my MIL’s patience, because really, having messy children in my home is temporary. In twenty years it will just be Aaron and I, and my floors will stay clean for days. I’ll probably be begging my kids to come visit and I won’t mind their messes because it means they are home.

Islands In Time

Sunday, July 28th, 2013


I returned from Wyoming today and have never been so happy to see my own bed!  I read up a storm while I was at my in-laws (see my books page) finishing two books and starting a third- Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg.  I am only two chapters in and nearly every page I have underlined something and the margins are filling up with my notes.  Every woman should read this book- there are grains of wisdom for all ages and stages.

“Islands in time, like this short vacation of mine. The past and the future are cut off; only the present remains.  Existence in the present gives island living an extreme vividness and purity”

As I read that I couldn’t help but relate it to my time in Wy.  I do not get cell coverage in Star Valley, which means I make and receive no calls or texts.  I rarely check my email and if I do it is only to clear out junk-I don’t respond to anything.  I talked to my husband nightly while I was away (via the land line) but it felt awkward each time.  It is truly as if I live in the moment- what is happening back in Arizona or what might be happening when I return simply vanishes from my radar.

After a family picnic I found myself alone on the back lawn where I laid on my back with my face to the sun and my eyes closed.  It was quiet except for the sound of the aspen leaves rustling in the breeze and the occasional bird call.  Feeling the sun warm on my face and arms all enveloping.  I decided if I ever found myself in a stressful situation, one where I needed to mentally find a calm place to be this would be it.  I would take myself back to that moment in time, to the warm sun and the rustling leaves and the feeling of being alone in the most blissful way.


And to think, I almost didn’t go to Wyoming this summer.


Wyoming & Back

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

We drove up to Wyoming with just the girls to pick up my oldest, who had spent ten days absorbing all the attention his grandparents bestowed on him.  The girls did so well on the drive up,  so well that I began to envision all the trips we could take as a family since my kids were clearly such great travelers!

We arrived in Star Valley on Sunday evening,  where the temperature was in the mid sixties, a far cry from the triple digit heat we left behind.  It was beautiful, and so good to see my son again.  I secretly look forward to my kids growing up and going out into the world to have their own adventures….I hope they will call me up after every adventure and tell me all about it and what they learned. (I love the idea of seeing the world anew through my children’s eyes)   This solo trip to WY was his own adventure and I couldn’t wait to absorb all that he had done- through his eyes!

Monday Aaron and I went for a bike ride just outside of  Thayne, it was just the most beautiful scenery. It was so nice to spend some time alone with him too, no kids, no distractions…just the two of us on a rather deserted road.  I think we rode about an hour and a half and stopped for ice-cream on the way back.  Going to an ice-cream store without the kids felt almost like a sin!

Tuesday we left all the kids with my in laws and Aaron and I went on a date to Idaho Falls, were we visited the Temple, the old sugar shack (I’m told that area of town in now part of Ammon, not Idaho Falls), and lunch at Snake Bite Cafe.  It is always strange to me to go back and visit a city I lived in as a child….I fond memories of our time in IDF, I remember all sorts of adventures in the yard with my sister. To see the town again as an adult was kind of eye opening, in a lot of ways it is still a very rural town.

For all the times I had driven by the Idaho Falls Temple, this was the first time I had actually been inside and it was a nice experience to share with Aaron.  It is one of the older Temples, and really a beautiful structure- inside and out.

If you ever find yourself in the area, you should really eat at Snake Bite in downtown IDF, I had the most amazing fish tacos there (I know, fish tacos in Idaho…but they were SO good!).

Our last day in Wyoming we took the big kids and my father-in-law to Lave Hot Springs, a place I had really enjoyed as a kid.  The first thing that struck me was that water safety standards in Arizona are waaaaaayyyy different than Idaho standards.  We spent enough time at the big pool for the kids and Aaron to go down the 60ft vertical drop water slides, with terminal velocity of 38mph (my fil and  were happy to watch!)

We visited the Hot Pools, where I wimped out- it was too hot for me.  I don’t know how my kids managed to stay in the water longer than 30 seconds!  We decided to rent tubes and go tubing down the river, which was fun for everyone until Aaron and my daughter tipped- she decided it was no longer fun anymore.  The rest of us went again and no one came away unscathed.  We all emerged from the river with blood dripping from our legs, or arms, or both!  I thought it was a blast, but I am glad we had the kids on rafts with us, and I probably would do life vests on the kids if I did it again.

That night we had fish that Aaron had caught for dinner.  Long story short I swallowed a bone and sure enough, it got caught in my throat.  Just like my mother always said would happen if I wasn’t careful about eating fresh caught fish!  My father in law called the local urgent care and told me if I couldn’t get it unstuck with dry bread and water (4 slices and it was still stuck!) that I should go to the clinic and have it removed.  In my state of both fear and mortification I texted Jaylee who commiserated and told me if I went to the ER I would have to tell the tech that I was there about a fish bone, probably after he had just stitched up a gun shot wound.  I decided to sleep on it…in the morning mortification won and we drove away, fish bone and all.  I must have eventually swallowed it somewhere between Provo and Las Vegas because it wasn’t there when we woke up in Vegas!  See, my ego was right this time!

We stopped by the Hoover Dam on the way home….it was too hot to enjoy; the kids faces really were that red.

Remember how I said my two girls did great on the way up?  Well, apparently three is a crowd because they all fed off each other and the drive home was such an experience that I found myself yelling words to my kids that I try to avoid in normal life.

When we got home, my 2 year old was playing with her little people and I caught her saying “guys, stop it, now” over and over.  The drive home was just that much fun.

Making Memories

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Last weekend my father-in-law was here to take my oldest daughter up to WY for some one-on-one time with her paternal grandparents.  Before he left with my daughter he asked me if I had any reservations.  I laughed and made a joke about him falling asleep at the wheel on the long drive.  Later that night I laid in bed and thought about what he’d asked and I realized that no, I did not have any reservations.

(they stopped along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon)

No, I thought how lucky we all were.  How lucky my in-laws are to have their health and the time / resources to spend with their grandchildren.  How lucky I am to have in-laws who truly find joy in their children and grandchildren.  How extremely lucky my children are to be able to have these special times with their grandparents.  My son will go up by himself for ten days later in July.

I know that they will form relationships with their Mimi & Papa independent of my husband and I,  and I want this for them.  I want them to make memories that are shared only between each other.  I hope this summer-and many more to come- are filled with special fishing spots, watercolors in the sun, lightening bugs on the back deck, grilled cheese with butter for lunch, splashing in the pool, and snowballs at the Maverick.

(her first fish of the summer)

Many (many, many) years from now when their grandparents are no longer here, I hope that my children can look back and take comfort in the countless memories of special summers and hotel sleepovers with their Grandparents.  I hope they will not only acknowledge their love for Mimi & Papa, but that through these memories they will know that they were deeply loved in return.

Are You Tired…

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

of seeing my vacation photos yet?!  I’m overwhelmed by the beauty here, I just can’t seem to stop taking pictures.

wild rose

My MIL is an impeccable decorator, her homes are always so clean, beautiful and comfortable.  Here are some shots from the Star Valley house.


I procured these peony’s on the way home from church, but refuse to divulge where I got them.  They sure do smell good though.


One of the basement (why oh why don’t we have a basement in AZ?) guest rooms we stayed in.

**don’t forget, you can still enter the Tuxedo Ruffle Set giveaway!**