Sunday, August 30, 2009

Summer's Last Dance

Summer went by way too fast. The boys went back to school this week, and what better way to spend their last day of freedom than a picnic in the park and a long game of tag with Daddy.

And with a father's blessing and a loaded backpack, we reluctantly sent them back out into the real world.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Memory Lane

Once upon a time, I met a tall, dark, handsome man at a cabin in Sundance, Utah. It was my first weekend back at college after the summer. He happened to sit in the chair next to mine. We exchanged biographical information over the movie Men in Black.

"I'm from Idaho, where are you from?"

"Maryland." I made a mental note: too far away. I like Westerners.

"I'm 18. How old are you?"

"25." Another strike against him.

"What are you studying?"

"I don't know yet." Okay. Cross this one off the list. (Not that I had a list. I was only 18, remember?)

Yes, this sounds judgmental, but it worked out well because he didn't like me either. He was looking for someone else, and I did NOT fit the description.

So we went to church and FHE group together. I tutored him in calculus. He drove me to physical therapy and the grocery store. We went caving, out to dinner, for drives up the canyon and long walks along the Provo River. We hiked Squaw Peak and met for lunch at the WILK. We practiced the quickstep and the cha cha for our social dance class. We played ultimate frisbee and volleyball together. We attended football games, ward activities, devotionals, and Homecoming together. All with a strict "just friends" policy.

Every weekend, the conversation was the same:

"We're just friends, you know. I don't like you like that."

"I know. That's fine with me."

"Good. Do you want to go out for ice cream?"


Until one day, several months later, the unthinkable happened.


We were engaged in June and married in the Salt Lake Temple in August.

And this month, we stepped back in time for a few days, revisiting the places of our past and reliving the memories. Marty planned the trip entirely by himself, and kept all the details a surprise. It was the most wonderful anniversary present ever.


A memorable walk along the Provo River.

A view from the lookout on Y mountain. Marty claims he arranged the fireworks show down below just for us.

Visiting my brothers and sisters-in-law and meeting my first niece Jade and nephew Ryan!

A drive up Provo Canyon. The night before we got engaged, Marty set up a candlelit dinner and Scrabble game on the top of this hill, overlooking Deer Creek Reservoir. It has been "our spot" for a long time.

Two nights at the Anniversary Inn, the same place we spent our first anniversary nine years ago.

A beautiful session at the Salt Lake temple. We spent the day touring the grounds and enjoying the atmosphere. (It was so quiet without the kids!) Oh, and a fabulous lunch at The Garden.

A viewing of the new Joseph Smith movie at the Legacy Theater.

Dinner at The Roof, serenaded by piano music. This was the view from our table. Marty took me here on the night he proposed, and I asked him to bring me back for our tenth anniversary. He remembered.

Thank you, Marty. For ten adventurous years, and the perfect gift to celebrate them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ten Years Ago Today

I can hardly believe it's been that long.
Happy anniversary, Marty!!

{Photo by Diamond Photo}

Oregon, The Saga: Part 4

Day 6: We visited Yaquina Head lighthouse and visitor's center.

Whale watching near the lighthouse. We were so lucky - we spotted a few gray whales! Such a magical thing to see.

Cobble Beach, named for the basalt cobblestones that make it up.

They had amazing tidepools there. And lots of harbor seals, including a baby seal who perched on a large rock near the shore, watching the tourists. Grace loved it.

The cobbles were very interesting, but difficult to walk on.

Dinner at the Chowder Bowl. We highly recommend the place. We liked it so much, we ate there the following night too. If you go, ask for James.

Our last day in Oregon, we spent relaxing on the beach in front of our condo. Playing frisbee, exploring tidepools along the jetty, building sandcastles, and trying to catch sand crabs in the waves.

Grace was very reluctant to touch the sand at first, but warmed up to it eventually.

Now that both boys can read, family board games are a lot more entertaining.

Farewell, Newport. We will miss you!

This was our rainy view of Portland, where we spent three hours in rush hour traffic, and still managed to get home in less time than it took us to drive the "short" route there.

Jacob showing off his souvenirs. Not shown: the dead starfish that rode home with us and required immediate disposal.

The End

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oregon, The Saga: Part 3

We spent the fourth day of our trip at the Newport Aquarium - definitely a highlight for all of us.

Up close with a harbor seal.

Grace petting a starfish.

The otters really liked Marty.

We took a break for lunch at a nearby restaurant, then walked the pier and chatted with some people who were crabbing.

The sea lion feeding/show.

Jacob and Isaac looking too happy to be in a shark's mouth.

Quick family portrait.

On the fifth day, the boys made an attempt at kite-flying on the beach. Not too successful, unfortunately. I think it was the only time during our trip that it wasn't windy.

Beachcombing at Agate Beach.

Mart's best find: a nearly-whole sand dollar.

Grace just liked collecting the sand.

Sightseeing down at the Bayfront.

The murals that covered the buildings there were remarkable.

The boys' favorite part of the day - a trip to the Newport Candy Shoppe, where they sell lollipops bigger than your head.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oregon, The Saga: Part 2

The "Devil's Punchbowl" - it fills with water at high tide, and is supposed to be spectacular to see during a storm.


Isaac searching for crabs.

Jacob's catch of the day.

The kids really enjoyed seeing the wildlife in the tidepools, and beachcombing for treasures. We came home with dozens of sand-coated mussel shells and dead crabs.

Grace wasn't fond of the wind or the waves - a bit too loud for her taste.

{From here, we drove up to Lincoln City for an unanticipated visit to a medical clinic - turned out Grace had come down with strep throat the day we drove here. Poor thing! We were very blessed to find a clinic that 1) accepted walk-ins, 2) was open on a Saturday, and 3) took our insurance.}

Marty trying to convince Grace that the water isn't so bad. Grace didn't buy it.

The boys' first venture out into the waves.

Grace didn't know what to make of the jetted tub filled with bubbles, but after a while it became her favorite thing. Unless we turned it on.

Exploring the pier down at the Bayfront.

Our lucky sighting of a sea lion "in the wild." The boys were thrilled and talked about it (even to complete strangers) for days.

The sunset view from our balcony.