Sunday, June 30, 2013

Park City, Utah Vacation

The vacation destination had to be a drivable distance this year. And my two year old severely dislikes being trapped in her car seat, so the distance needed to be short enough that I didn't melt down with all the potential whining and screaming in the backseat. We happened upon a fabulous deal at a Marriott resort in Park City, Utah, something we really couldn't pass up. And since great deals are usually last minute deals, we only had a couple of days to wash, pack, and completely ready ourselves to leave on a day-long road trip. I think the biggest part of packing was the hundred-million things I had to round up/buy/put together to keep the kids entertained on the long trip! I don't know how parents did it before there were portable electronics!
Without exaggerating, we heard the word, "out" about 500 times on the 12-hour trip. But there were no serious melt downs, on anyone's part, either. So, despite the fact that Makenna did not fall asleep until we were about 15 minutes from our destination (and it was 11 pm!) we called the trip a success. Now on to the fun part!
We drove down to Aspen Grove in Provo Canyon to hike the Stewart Falls trail, a hike that I loved to do when I was in college. It's 4 miles round trip, a long hike for little legs, and the kids did wonderfully! Makenna spent about 3/4 of it in her "purple seat"--gotta love the backpack carrier!

The only picture of all of us...I think Makenna is the only one actually looking at the camera!
Yeah!! We made it! The falls are much bigger than the photo shows. It was really cool to look up to the top and see the clouds moving across the waterfall. 

Too cute!

We visited with Brian's 95 year old Grandmother. She lit up with the love and attention from the kids. It was good to see Grandma Coley.
My sister-in-law Melissa, niece & nephews came up to Park City to spend the day with us. We all had fun in the swimming pools.
Jake and Elli
Kenna & Daddy
We noticed a little family of badgers living in the rocks outside our hotel window. It was fun to watch the Mama and babies.
Makenna giving her cousin Chase a kiss. I don't think he likes it. :)
Racing down the Alpine Slide!

We spent a day at the zoo in Salt Lake City with my brother Dave and his family. Jake and Nati are close in age, as are Makenna & Zach, so they play well together. It was a swelteringly hot day, but we all had a good time. 
Jake riding on the carousel.
Blowing bubbles with cousin Bailey
Cousin Elli turned 10 and we joined her family to celebrate her big day and play with everyone. 
Drawing chalk bodies on the sidewalk.
Fun in the sun at a splash park
Cutie Pie Zach

The biggest surprise of the vacation was Nana and Papa spontaneously driving down from Washington. All of their grandkids were in one place and they wanted to be there too!
I love this daughter was wailing, did NOT want to be in the picture, so Nana and Papa started crying too!
In was a fun vacation. There was lots of swimming, visiting/playing with family & friends, and trying to stay cool in the heat. And, as usual, the time to go home came way too fast! 


Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Beautiful mountain scenery. Colorado summertime weather. Very little responsibility. What more could I ask for from a mini-vacation to Breckenridge? We liked it so much last year that we took the opportunity again to spend a few days away from home. We tried to do some hiking, something a little longer and more difficult than the jaunt of last summer. It was a good attempt, but the hike itself wasn't nearly long enough. I guess I should do a little more research beforehand and not listen so much to the advice of the desk clerk at the hotel. :) The kids had fun, nonetheless, exploring the trail area, watching the fish in the water, and checking out a historic steam engine train that was on display nearby.


Jake remembered the fun he'd had the previous year at the Children's Museum, so of course, we had to stop in to play. They went fishing, flew in a helicopter, played doctor and patched up a broken Daddy, hid inside a bear den with too many bears to count, and had lots of fun. Mom and Jake even came back while Makenna was napping at the hotel.

Evergreen trees, pristine blue skies, snow capped mountains. Breckenridge really is such a gorgeous area, one that I would love to explore more freely (i.e. sans children!) Maybe next time!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sprint Triathlon

 As I've gotten older, I've realized that I am much better suited to individual sports (as opposed to the team aspect). It's my race, my pace; I am only competing against myself. Running is usually the logical choice for me. I've run many too 5k races to count. I took part in the Klondike Road Relay in Alaska, a 110 mile road relay, back in 2005. Marathon? Not likely. :) Last year a friend of mine completed a sprint triathlon, something I'd never considered doing. But it got me thinking: If she could do, why couldn't I? So, beginning the New Year 2013, I set my sights on training for and competing in a sprint triathlon. June 8th was the date, Denver the place. Five months of dedicated training (as much as a mom of two young kids can, anyway), a newly tuned-up bicycle, and the right gear found me as ready as I was going to get for this event.
My bike was racked and ready to go in the transition area at 5:15 Saturday morning. My nerves had to wait nearly an extra hour until the swim actually started, but once the whistle sounded, it was time to jump in the pool and ready-set-go! The race consisted of a 500 yard swim, 12 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run. My goal was to finish. It was a challenging combination of events. By the time I was running, the final leg of the race, I could hardly breathe. I'd been fighting to get enough oxygen into my lungs the previous two hours (that's what happens with constant exertion) and I was quickly wearing out. But you push on, keep going, finish the race. And that's just what I did. I finished in just over two hours (2:04:26.8 to be exact!).   

It was exhilarating to cross the finish line, to know that I'd pushed myself hard and done my very best. I truly appreciated having my family there, Brian and the kids, & Aunt Frances and Lee, cheering me on throughout the race. And all of my friends who were cheering me from afar. After I crossed the finish line, Jake and Makenna handed me a medal that said #1 Mom. Talk about choking up.
Will there be a second sprint tri? Probably. :)