Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Honeymoon camp out...

Today John and I are celebrating 20 years of marriage. Like every marriage, we have had our ups and our downs. Thankfully a lot more ups then downs. We have been blessed with 4 great kids in our 20 years of marriage. And yes, sometimes those cute little turds have contributed to the "downs". But, we still love them anyway.

When we were first married, we were poor and frankly very clueless. It also seems to me that we communicated more about love and mushy things then anything substantial. I have to say that sometimes young newly-weds are just so stupid. I think back to how I was at age 20 and just have to laugh and scratch my head a little. We thought we knew it all, but we didn't know jack-squat!

The day of our wedding things seemed to go smoothly. Although at about 10:00 p.m. when the reception should have long been over, someone grabbed John and handcuffed him to my mom. It was funny for the first few minutes, and then I was tired and ready to go. We had an hour and a half drive to a cabin, (where we were staying that night), and we needed to get going. I recall starting to feel like it was not so funny anymore. I guess you shouldn't mess with a bride on her wedding day. It may be kind of like poking a sleeping bear. I recall starting to feel like that sleeping bear.

Our honeymoon was a traveling honeymoon with the the final destination being Arizona. We were moving there. (Back to the non-substantial conversations...I don't really recall a discussion about moving there, either that or I just have a really bad memory). I hope to help my kids see clearly when they are getting married and to not have their heads in the clouds.

We stayed in a cabin the first night and a hotel along the way. The final night we camped. Back then it seemed like a good idea to camp near the Grand Canyon. I'm not talking about camping with air mattresses, cooking stoves, and all the other things that make camping pleasant bearable. I'm talking...a small tent and a couple of sleeping bags. Over the years I have learned that I am not much of a camper. I need indoor plumbing and a nice comfy bed. I like to be outdoors, I just want a potty, clean hair...and not to sleep on a rock.

We pulled into a spot (out in the middle of nowhere) to set up camp for the night. It was starting to get dark and we needed to hurry and get it done. Eventually, it was dark enough that we had to turn on the pickup so the lights would shine on the tent, so we could finish getting set up.

When we were finished I jumped into the pickup and locked the doors and left the driver door open (Now that makes a lot of sense). The pickup was still running and John was going to hop in and turn it off. I let John know that the doors on the pickup were locked. (I'm a door locker, and he is a door shut-er). Before he entered the pick up and shut it off, he was finishing up a few things and pushed the door shut. What the H!? We had just locked our keys in a running pickup out in the middle of nowhere. No cell phones, no one close by to help, dark outside. Lovely. We looked high and low for a hidden key and tried our best to get in. After stressing for several minutes trying to come up with a solution, John picked up a big rock and bashed it into the driver side window. Oh, and did I mention that the pickup belonged to his mom and we were just borrowing it? And, did I also mention that it was hot ol' Arizona and we had to drive the rest of the way with a window down and out. Annnd, we were broke and couldn't pay for a new window. Annnnnnd, it was monsoon season where it rains in BUCKETS. (Jumping ahead--I remember seeing John's mom driving (shortly after that) with an umbrella open and up against the spot where there SHOULD have been a window. Whoops. I'm sure under her breath the whole time was "Stupid, idiot, kids.")

There hasn't been a dull moment since!
I'm blessed to have married such a great guy! Love you John!

Love this quote...
"Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half-shut afterwards." -Ben Franklin

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Two tickets to paradise

John and I just recently returned home from an AMAZING trip to Hawaii.   Next week is our 20th wedding anniversary, so we decided we needed to do something a little more special this year.  We were gone for a total of 10 days...10 days of just pure relaxation!!  We went with my sister Lisa and her husband Bob (they were celebrating their wedding anniversary also).  It was so nice to be able to get away with them and get to know them even better. They are both so amazing and we had such a blast hanging out with them.  It was great getting up every day and saying, "What are we going to do for fun today?" It was all about having fun and relaxing. 

Bob and Lisa own a condo there, on the big island Hawaii.  The condo was perfect and just so beautiful.  The name of the condos is Hali 'i Kai in Waikoloa. Some of the nice things about staying in a condo... You have a kitchen and you don't have to eat out every meal!   HUGE bonus! It seems like you can only handle eating out a few times before you start to feel gross.  Also, we had a washer and dryer to use. We didn't check any bags, and were able to pack light knowing that we could do laundry there. I tease John about him saying he didn't need to pack anything, he just needed to wear his speedo under his clothes and get on the airplane! 

The condo has a private ocean club and it was simply breath taking!!  We happened to be visiting Hawaii in more of an "off season" time.  The workers at the Ocean club told us during May and September they don't have as many guests.  There were a few times that we had most of the Ocean club all to ourselves. We took food down to the ocean club and BBQed several different nights.  We would sit and watch the sun set and then enjoy time in the hot tub. The hot tub had a pebble bottom to it and it was just sooooo relaxing.

I loved when…
  • We went to church on the first Sunday there. One of the girls speaking in sacrament meeting (she was probably about 10) got up to speak. She was wearing a fedora and holding a ukulele. She played "I am a Child of God" and then spoke. Loved it. It was something different and very cute.  It seemed like everyone was just so low key and relaxed about everything.
  • We rented scooters for the day.  It was such a blast crusing around every where!
  • We went snorkeling a couple of times.  I didn't know if I could do it.  I am a chicken about some animals and creatures touching me.  I didn't like the idea of fish swimming around me and getting too close.  Especially eels or something equally creepy.  When I first put the snorkel tube in my mouth, I kinda gagged a little.  I have easy gag reflexes and was a little nervous.  I soon realized that you have to breath slow and deliberately - not hyperventilate.  Once I got the hang of it, I loved it!!  So FUN!!
  • One day we went on a kayaking trip to the Captain Cook Monument in Kealakekua Bay.  In order to get to the monument you have to swim, hike, or kayak.  While we kayaked in and out we were accompanied by MANY dolphins.  Once we reached the monument, we snorkeled for a while and saw some of the most beautiful coral and fish.  I was a little antsy wondering if we were going to be joined by a dolphin. 

  • I have always wanted to go to a luau.  Lisa and Bob went home a few days before we left and have already experienced a luau.  We decided to go the night before we left.  I guess I can now check that off my "bucket list" of things I would like to do before I kick the bucket.  It was a lot of fun! 
  • We sat and watched the sun slowly go down. 
  • We went and walked the grounds of the Hilton that was right next to the condo.  So beautiful, and so much to see.
Dolphin jumping at the Hilton
Well, I would like to add more pictures from the trip, but am getting a message that I have reached the limit on Blogger for my storage space for pictures (and I didn't even get to add pictures with us in them)  BOO!  I guess I better figure out what to do next.  Any suggestions?  In the meantime, I am going to post this so I don't get further behind then I already am!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Clear the road!!!

A couple of days ago, my oldest completed the final steps--and received her drivers licence.  I have such a love/hate relationship with this.  But, it is a little bit of a bug-a-boo.

First off--    It just makes me feel SO OLD!  I don't really love all these "series of firsts" that you have to go through with your oldest child.  You are constantly questioning yourself and your judgement.  You want to give them a little freedom and start trusting them, but then at the same time you are pulling back so hard on the reins.

Sometimes I think her driving skills are lacking.  She can be a bit of a dig-bat-driver.  She says she does better when I am not in the car.  I DO have some wicked-awesome back seat driving skills.  But, in my defense, she can sometimes make some stupid mistakes in the car.  I worry about her, and those on the road (and possible the sidewalk). :)  For example--driving, seeing a friend walking, honking and waving, meanwhile steering over into the left lane.  What the crap?!

My insurance just DOUBLED due to the fact that she is a teen driver.  Lovely.

I get a lot of "chat time" with her in the car.  That is probably the time when she tells me most about her school day, friends, etc.  I think I will miss out on some of that when she is driving herself to and from school.  (Even though we are only 1 mile from the school).  It seems like when kids hop in the car after school they usually have a lot to say.

I know that it will make things a little easier having another driver around here.  But, also make it harder because of the stress involved...worrying.  It is definitely going to take me some time.  Heaven help me!! (As my friends Mike and Tai or John might say, "This is either going to get easier or a lot harder".  So profound.)

I just have to mention how the driving test went last Wednesday....
Riley was completely freaking out and was a nervous wreck!  She kept saying before it started, "I think I am going to throw up!" and "Do you think if I need to throw up, I can pull over really quick?"  Needless to say, she was not putting my mind at ease.  She was working herself into a complete frenzy.

We thought that her drive was going to take a certain route and had practiced it several times throughout the last 9 months.  When she was told to turn a different way, I think her mind went blank.  She pulled out and started driving with the emergency break on. 

When she was asked if she forgot to release the emergency break, she started to unravel a little bit.  She pulled over and started running her fingers through her hair and I could see in the mirror that she was starting to tear up.  She shed a few tears and the instructor (who we know well) told her to take a deep breath and just relax.  She explained that more mistakes are made when a student driver is way too nervous.

After Riley calmed down a bit, she pulled out and did great.  In order for me to ride along, I could not say a word about the drive or coach her in any way.  At one point, I almost had to physically hold my hands over my mouth.  She was asked to turn onto the interstate during 5:00 traffic.  There were SEVERAL cars getting onto the interstate and Riley had a yield sign.  She was trying to decide when it was safe to merge on, and I was in the back seat about to die.  I wanted so bad to let her know that it was not safe to proceed.  She eventually merged into the traffic and ended up cutting a driver off a bit.  Luckily, no accidents, no horns being honked in our direction, no one flipped us off, and I did not say a PEEP!  If I would have coached her in ANYWAY, it would have been an automatic fail.  Initially, I had decided I wasn't going to go (just because I knew of this rule), but Riley wanted me to. 

At the end of the drive she was told that she passed.  She was so excited and relieved.  When the instructor got out of the car, Riley started to cry again.  I think she was so glad that was over that she just had to shed a few tears.  Funny girl!

The day after the driving test, we went to the DMV for her to take the written test.  She passed with flying colors.  When she came around the corner after the test, she had a great big smile on her face and bright red cheeks.

So, if you see my van cut you off or driving a little erratic, be may be my little student driver.