13 Years!!!!

Yesterday we celebrated 13 years of marriage. It hasn't always been easy, but I don't believe we had more or harder problems than others, but we have always worked it out. Always. Otherwise I wouldn't be writing about this. Stephen and I met in high school, he was a grade older. We were just friends and didn't start dating until after I had graduated from high school. Our first date ever was a hike up waterfall canyon, it was also our second hike thankfully. (I didn't finish the first time due to work, lack of sleep and food. I did redeem myself with the second date.) Many more hikes and dates followed. I kinda wiped all the other girls from his memory, or at least blew them all out of the water.
We married two years later on the day of our first date. The ceremony was under his parents cherry tree. We were sealed on our one year anniversary, having Girl #1 sealed to us. Being sealed in the temple was the.best.decision.ever! Because of our sealing, we have made it through many things and I know that we will make it through all things. We have been given strength because of this decision.
He is my life. Because of him, I have been blessed with 4 wonderful children; I'm learning patience; to have an open mind and to consider things when I don't know the answer; to budget better; to be more compassionate to others because I don't know their circumstances; to love easier and better.

I have truly been blessed by the Lord. He has given me an incredible gift in my husband. I am truly grateful for all that we can do and accomplish. I love my husband. What more can I say?


Can't help it

I can't help but love this face.
Isn't he all sorts of cute?
My good friends Amanda and Jared were able to adopt this little cutie. I got to see him on his one week birthday last week. His older brother is so cute helping out, I love it. He will totally be the bestest big brother to this little guy. Jared and Amanda will continue to be the best parents for these little guys.

Congrats you two! So happy many, many prayers were heard and answered! You deserve to be happy!


running this week with critters

monday. i went for a run with chuck. we did 4 or so miles going through a neighborhood. just as we passed a house three deer ran across the area we just cleared. it was kinda cool/scary. the hooves on the pavement sounded so different i was nervous, wondering what was following us. end that day on a good note.
tuesday. chuck, lesa, and i went for a 5 miler. we started out doing really well and headed for a hill. they are faster than i am so i wondered why they were backing down from the top of the hill. i looked at what they were looking at and saw the top of a yellowish furred body, walking along the front of a garage door. chuck said it was a mountain lion and decided she wouldn't run that area alone again. ;) (and she was so worried about a mountain lion getting her while running ragnar....nope, just in her own backyard) we finished our run without any other "critter" encounters. end that day on a flat note.
thursday. i went running with lesa for an easy 3 miler. on my way to lesa's house to run, i almost ran over a raccoon. almost. i'm pretty sure i didn't even nick it, but you never can be sure. i even swerved to miss it. i don't usually do that, it causes accidents. so on my way home, i drove the same way i'd gone. i didn't see any kind of greasy, hairy spot so i'm assuming one of two things: i never hit it; or i hit it enough to send it to the weeds past the sidewalk and there it lies.
later that day, stephen and i went for a drive to his parents place. a quail comes running out on the road. again. i swerved. stephen looked at me and said i "so could have had that bird!"
what is with all the critters!!?!! critters- stay where you are so you don't get hurt. i'm not responsible for anything that happens to you if you leave your areas. have a good day!

Hidden Valley...sooo not the salad dressing.

On Sunday after church, we went for a hike as a family. Stephen has been dying to hike to a place called Hidden Valley. The trail head you start from is at the top of 22ND st. in O-town. You start using the Indian Trail and about a 1/2 mile up there is a bunch of rocks that look like steps going S instead of NE. On one rock is painted Hidden Valley. Okay. The hike, according to one Internet source is 1.4 miles, difficult, the paths aren't recognizable (to anyone except my husband!), and the elevation increase is from 5080' to 6760'. What!??! yep a difference of 1680 feet. My kids hiked the whole way, except for boy #2, he gave up early. We ran out of water. Our dog was dying thanks to his black fur. Oh, it was a heck of a hike. But the best part of our total 5 hour hike, being together. The two middle kids just love hiking and were running often on the trail. The oldest griped, but she had me as an example when she was younger. What can I say? I don't enjoy hiking but I go anyway. most of the time. She finished the hike stronger I think. We took this opportunity as parents to explain to our kids that they were given strong bodies, healthy bodies, able bodies. We should be grateful we can hike this particular trail. There are those we know that are the same ages and wouldn't be able to hike it. at.all. Boy #2 enjoyed his ride on Stephen's shoulders, back, being carried in his arms like a little baby is cuddled. Yep, he has the easy life. We ran out of water, but were lucky enough to get into the trees. We made one major stop to eat a few snacks we brought, I thought we would turn around & go back home. Stephen scouted ahead, came back and told us we had less than 1/2 mile to go. We finished to the top. Looking at the pics now and remembering how everything was, it is gorgeous! Definitely a hike to do if you like to hike, and it's early spring/summer. It was Totally worth all the dust, dirt, bugs, bites, lack of restrooms, trips on roots, lack of water, and my fear of heights. We took pics of the scenery, kids standing on ledges, hiking the steepest parts of the trail, and us at the end of the trail. Totally worth all of it. I won't do that hike again, (probably,) but we are heading out to do Ben Lomand Peak in a few weeks. Tell me what you think, should we take our kids to Ben Lomand Peak starting at the divide? or should we leave them home so we do the full 18 miles by ourselves? Just wondering. Stephen is sure the kids can make it. I'll decide later.
Recap: Full afternoon sun. Ran out of water. One kid whining. Heights. Ready to give up. Finish to the top of trail. See tip of Mount Ogden across the valley. Beautiful views of valley and O-town. Seeing that my family and I can do what I think is impossible...Absolutely Better than anything I could imagine.