Wednesday, April 23, 2014

yosemite take 2

Yosemite has sure become one of our family's favorite places. This week is spring break. A few weeks ago Spencer asked me what we were doing over spring break so I got online and after hitting refresh for a day or two, saw that two nights were available (campground) in Lower Pines. So we booked our trip to Yosemite but didn't tell the kids because we wanted to watch the weather and possibly have an "out" if we needed it. About 10 days before we decided we would go no matter what. I mentioned it to my dad and a few days later he was coming too! He just retired, and with that is a certain amount of freedom. We were excited to meet up with Papa. It was so fun to reminisce about Yosemite with someone who had more memories and could help me remember things from ~24 years ago.

Sadie was excited to go...
We got there and within a few minutes she had broken the campsite in.
Papa came and we had Easter dinner (ham, funeral potatoes, rolls, and salad). Then we went on a bike ride around Curry Village and up to Mirror Lake. We saw several deer.

It was amazing to see how much higher the water was than last year when we were there in June (we were sitting in the middle of this pool last year...on the "sand").

On Monday morning we hiked up to Vernal Falls. Last year when we did it, it was 30 degrees warmer, and it was definitely harder then. This year my dad was there to carry a kid (yay!) part of the time. Last year the falls seemed full but we only got misty for a minute and it felt wonderful. This year the waterfall was bigger and more wind made us WET as we went up as well as down. It was cold. Still fun. Tyler hiked with a sprained ankle!

After Vernal we were pretty wiped so we rested at camp for an hour and then headed out on bikes to the Visitor Center and Yosemite Falls.

The kids got their junior ranger stuff and worked hard that night to get their badges before we left the next day.

On Tuesday morning it was cold and rainy, and it even hailed! Dad got ready to go home because the weather was ridiculous, but his car battery was dead. We jumped it but the weather cleared and then he decided to stay a bit longer with us (check out was at noon) and we are so glad he did! We went back up to Mirror Lake and then parked near Yosemite Village to do a few more things before heading out.

What a fun 42-hour trip! We love this place. (Dad's picture.) Can't wait to go again!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

march madness

March was crazy. Most of us were sick for a majority of it. Sadie got her first ear infection. Lots of church stuff/calling stuff going on. Baseball.

 Bike rides and slurpees

 Ear Infection
 Antibiotics make everything better.
 Watching baseball.
 Provo for 36 hours
Blue and Gold father/son cake decorating.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Often, my first instinct when approached with something "difficult" is to just say no. Spencer and I are good together because we both have this trait...but almost always at different times.

When our kids were both really small and we were in Boston I never wanted to do anything fun, because pretty much everything seemed "too hard." Really, my life was just hard - Spencer left for work every morning at 5:45 and got home between 9 and 11 pm. And he worked most Saturdays. The kids never saw him except for Sunday (he was ward mission leader so we would see him for a few hours only), and by then they had forgotten him enough that they just wanted me. When Spencer did get some time off, or when I got up enough gumption to try something adventurous on my own it was so tempting but also so daunting. The funny part of all of this is that I never felt like it was hard at the time. That was just life - everyone has to struggle and luckily I was raised to never feel entitled to anything, and it was a stepping stone, or a rung on the ladder. So we still got to do some amazing East Coast things - Washington DC (twice!), NYC, Maine, NH, Cape Cod, etc.

I am realizing more and more that we have to do those hard things that will create memories. I am bad at SO many things in life, but one thing I am pretty good at is documenting our activities. Emma and Tyler, and now even Tanner love looking through our scrapbooks and blog books again and again. If there is something they don't remember (because they were too young) they will ask me about it and inevitably be so happy that it is documented anyway so they know they were included.

We have been talking recently about a trip we took almost 6 years ago to Yellowstone. Emma only remembers snippets of it, and Tyler doesn't really remember anything (he was 2). But he loves (!) looking at the pictures and seeing that he was there. Tanner even loves it, and enjoys hearing how he was in heaven then.

I grumble a lot about doing these big trips that are a lot of work and cost a lot of money, especially when the motorhome is involved. Having 6 people in 300 square feet isn't easy - it makes staying in a small hotel room seem like a luxury. But my kids talk about Yosemite and Gualala and the Grand Canyon and Aspen Grove (and of course Disneyland) with the fondest memories - this has been a good reminder to me that just because things are expensive (it's just money) and because I know Sadie will cry the whole time and everyone will get off schedule doesn't mean we shouldn't make those memories anyway. Because they just remember for the fun/incredible parts. 

Because I am such a good documenter I am always trying to picture how those moments will feel in the future. We try to live in anticipation of the memory, which helps me to have a slightly better attitude and to make the most of what we do. My kids are adventurous, and I am thrilled that they are this way. And I am glad Spencer is so insistent that we do these fun, HARD things because my kids are so so grateful for the memories, and even for the pictures of the forgotten memories...