Tag Archives: Sisters

Southern Salvation

I’ve been struggling this winter.

So much snow. So cold. No yard. Stuck inside. Ugh.

About 2 weeks ago my mom and I were due to go to Southern Utah for the Lights Festival in Mesquite, NV.  It was going to be a quick but very enjoyable and needed break from the Northern cold.

But it didn’t happen. Last minute we decided that trying to schedule our driving times between 2 big snow storms was not worth it. Sad face.

So we planned a make up trip.

My cute cousin Ryan’s wedding + an available home = perfect!!

The wedding was on Saturday so of course we had to go late Tuesday so we would have all day Wednesday thru Sunday!

The home we were able to stay in was one of the many of my uncle’s, FIL. Beautiful. Big. Free. Freaking awesome.

Just across the street was a trail into the red desert where we could hear frogs and crickets.

Rock collecting was the mission of the boys.

Sun basking was mine.

Wednesday after we did the short walk across the street, the boys were drawn (without blame) to the hot tub on the patio. Although it wasn’t warm yet they had a blast splashing around.

First it was rolled up pants and ‘don’t get too wet!’ to underwear and ‘who cares!’

After that we headed to Zions. Wearing the same shirt btw.

The boys fell asleep on the way so we decided to take a Sunday drive. I’ll admit the purpose of where we went was to catch a glimpse of a property for sale in Virgin that I’ve had my eye on. 100 acres for oh only 2.3 million! It looked like paradise. A girl can dream!

So off onto the dirt road we went! Google maps on our side we did our best to decipher where this place could be! About 30 mins later on the dirt road (a rough one at that!) we came to a fortress of a mountain with a pretty iron gate in front of a perfectly manicured gravel road that went up, up, up!!

Probably about 1 mile of switchbacks up the side of this mountain is was brought you to this property. Nope, we didn’t get to go up there. But it didn’t matter. At that point I knew that this is somewhere I’d never want to live. It was way too secluded.

So it was a memorable adventure. Without photos of course.

Zions was wonderful. We saw the 4 Patriarchs and then we did the back side of Emerald Pools. Ben was a champ. He hiked the entire 2+ miles all by himself! Apart from the last little chunk where Mimi gave him piggy back ride because his feet were wet and sandy (crossing river mishap).

William enjoyed himself most of the time on my back in his little carrier.

It was hard to leave but the time came and we headed to IN N OUT for some hamburgers (and shake for mama).

Thursday was a bit more rough.

Let me back up a bit.

Before we left for our trip I was determined and felt inspired to do my best at making it a ‘worry free’ trip. As of late I have been so over worrying. It feels as though worry has consumed my being so there is nothing left but all the horrible possibilities around me.

I have been making progress and getting better. And this trip to me was the perfect place to really put it into use.

Enter Thursday morning. Now, if you asked my mother she would tell you that it wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was. We are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to worry. It’s a wonder we all made it as kids to adults. ūüėČ

William was in the hot tub with his cousins (they came down the night before to spend some time). He had his floaties on and I was close by because I knew that he wasn’t perfect with them yet.

Sure enough I noticed (thankfully because it could have been SO easy to miss because he looked upright) that his mouth and nose were under the water and he just couldn’t get in the right position to get out of it. I ran over as fast as possible and those few feet felt like a few miles. I pulled him out and he was struggling. Panicking and coughing in a manner that was concerning…sounded more like barking/vomiting.

Immediately all the what if’s running through my mind. I had read stories of kids who died from second hand drowning. It doesn’t take much water..and chlorine can highly complicate it. Or that’s what ‘they’ said. How much did he get? How would I know? What if? What if? What if?

Worry-free goal down the drain. Flush.

The next hour I was in full fledged worry mode. I spoke with David on the phone. I watched him like a hawk. I read things. Maybe we should give him a blessing? Nope. My gut, whether it was the irrational worry side of me or not said to take him in.

So off to instacare we went. Got there and the line was slow and so non-urgent. I felt uncomfortable.  So back into the car to the ER.

My only other experience with the ER was when Ben broke out in hives late at night as a baby. We didn’t know what they were. My experience here was as positive as it could be. I wanted to run away but knew that I couldn’t.

The doctors and nurses were amazing. They told me that I did the right thing (at least I think they did) and ended up doing a breathing treatment for him. After having that they wanted to monitor him for 2 hours. So that’s what we did!

Another champ right here. No crying at all except to tell me he was really hungry.

Meanwhile brother was with his cousins having a blast at a new park.  An amazing park. A dinosaur park with a life like volcano and a train!

The next day we went back so William could experience the fun and Ben was more than happy to show us around and of course ride the train again!

The doctor said I should look out for pneumonia that could possibly set in a day or two after but luckily as predicted he was just fine.

Thank you Heavenly Father.

I’m still trying to figure out what my lesson was supposed to be thru all that.

I feel like I did a pretty good job with not worrying after that. It was all about fun and memories. Suckers at Christensen’s, Children’s Museum, cartoons on the big screen, dinners at restaurants and more!

The wedding on Saturday was wonderful. I had never been to the Las Vegas temple and in March it was just perfect. I had the littles so I couldn’t go in for the ceremony but it happened so fast that I really didn’t mind.

Look at this cute couple. They don’t get much cuter than that.

I love my family all so much. It’s always great when there is an event like this where we can see each other for a while.

We just did nap times in the car mostly.

After the delicious luncheon we headed back to St. George but first we had to stop in Logandale to see Rob and Chelsea’s new place! And we ended up staying waaaay later than planned. But hey, I wasn’t worried right? ūüėČ

I even let my kids jump on the raised trampoline at 8 pm in the dark, unsupervised. Roll around in the dirt? Sure! 8:30pm? Whatever!

But just like my brother pointed out these will be memories forever in their minds that they just cant help but feel happy about.

AND THEY HAD SO MUCH FUN!

Sunday was church in our old ward which was nothing like we expected because it has changed too much. Then lunch with the family up at Grandmas house. More catching up and connecting with loved ones.

Did I mention my joy ride in my Brothers rental?

Ya, he rented a brand new mustang for the trip. He left it with his wife for a few hours. She was in the shower for a few minutes. I was revving down Dixie Dr.

I figured if something happened to me my SIL could say that I didn’t ask her to take it…she didn’t know! HA!

Oh what a beauty.  I do have a weakness for nice cars. I blame it on growing up with boys.

Anyway….

Monday morning we were doomed to be heading back to Logan.

BUT……..

My mom graciously saved our souls for one more glorious day. Afterall we hadn’t even been to Snow Canyon yet!

Monday morning we went on a short hike with some family. The familiar smell of sage and red dirt was like manna to my soul. Why do I love this place so much?!

This day we did do real nap times and boy oh boy did they need them!

After that it was back to Snow Canyon to play in the sand dunes!!

Really, if William was given the choice to do only one thing for the rest of his child life it would be dirt. Anything to do with dirt or sand. Just as long as he’s playing in it. It would be a toss up I’m sure between that and coloring or drawing though.

I do have to throw in this funny story though….

Monday afternoon before we headed to the dunes I wasn’t feel all that great. ¬†A week of eating the way I was (restaurants etc) my guts were feeling it. So I asked my mom if she would stop in the nearest store to get me some fresh ginger I could chew on.

At this charming little market near Snow Canyon out the door comes this cute store clerk with a ginger drink that he swears by….Kombachu. There in the parking lot in my car he lets me look at it and tells me all about how it comes from fresh ginger and how it’s carbonated so it helps with indigestion etc. He was even going to open it up so I could try it! It sounded perfect! So I said, “I’ll do both!”

On the way out of the lot, I unscrewed the lid and took a swig. EH. Something was weird. I screwed the lid back on and looked at it closer. This is what I saw…

Notice the paragraph at the bottom?!

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

My mom says, “Too bad you read the label you would have had a lot more fun tonight!”

HAHAHAHAHA!

I said, “I thought it smelled funny!

Holy cow, I almost got drunk in St. George. That would have been a funny story to tell the hubby when I got home. And no, I’ve never had alcohol before so I really would have been drunk.

So instead of getting a buzz in the dunes I just chewed on my piece of non alcoholic ginger. And felt much better.

The glorious sun eventually went down behind the mountain and we dragged ourselves home. A simple dinner of carrots, bell peppers and yogurt with oatmeal was had and then bedtime.

The next morning was cleaning time and getting read to leave. For real this time. William hid in the closet. I wanted to join him. Do we have to!!?

It was a wonderful time and really was my salvation at a dire time. It breathed new life into me and I am grateful for that. Next time I just have to bring my husband so I don’t have to miss him.

Thank you MOM for an amazing time!

8 years later

8 years ago today I flew reluctantly from Texas to Utah in return from my 18 month mission.

I had MANY great companions and made good friends. Just last month my cute Tongan companion (far right-if it wasn’t obvious next to us whiteys) was in the states and I was able to see her for a few short hours! The other two ladies are also past companions and good friends who live here in Logan so I see them occasionally but not near enough!

It was a fun evening of reminiscing with them.

Flashback to us 8 or 9 years ago….

Sister Bodine

Sister Sparrow

Sister Talasinga

Oh what wonderful memories!

One of my goals this year is to make a photo book of my mission…a scrapbook if you will.¬†These were some of the best months of my life being a representative of Jesus Christ.

Frontsight

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I finally did it!! Took long enough gosh!! Oh my heck it was so fun!

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This is my gun¬†and¬†I love it. It’s a Springfield Armory XDM full size 9mm. It’s technically a competition gun. I special ordered a stainless steel slide so it shines…mmmmm so pretty. But anyway moving on. Once I got my gun and ammo and other gear I was ready! Unfortunately, I had to wait almost a year¬†before I could go.

It was hard because I didn’t shoot it that whole time (OK, once right after I bought it cause come on!) because I didn’t want to learn or make bad habits. Boy am I glad I did that. So many go with well ingrained habits and most bad.

Uncle Joe and I commiserated Thanksgiving 2014 to go and in the meantime we recruited and tried to recruit more people to go. In the end it was UJoe, my sister in law Mericar and UJoe’s friend Jim and I.

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I tried to go without any expectations.  Was it going to be scary and hard? Were the instructors going to be militant? Were my arms, wrists and hands going to be able to keep up with the long days? I started to get really anxious as the time got closer.  I had no idea what to expect.

Our trip started out on a great foot. About 10 mins into our drive we heard a really loud sound and realized quickly that we had a flat tire. ūüôĀ So glad we were with two men that could change it in a flash!

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We got to stop in St. George to see Grandpa Sharp and have dinner. Uncle Joe hit it off with our waiter but who doesn’t hit it off with Uncle Joe?!

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Pahrump, NV. Never heard of it? THAT’S ¬†A GOOD THING. Apparently it’s one of the only ¬†spots in the country¬†where prostitution is legal. Ya. Living, breathing brothels exist here. So wacko.

It’s about 45 mins outside Vegas. Middle of no where. Then go from Pahrump about another 25 mins in the middle of the desert and you are at Frontsight. Awesome.

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We had to be there at 7 am Friday morning for registration and weapons check. We were given a range number (so we could drive to it later) and then we were shown to a friendly worker who took our weapon and ammo and ‘suited’ us up. I didn’t realize that my magazine pouch (the thing that holds my extra magazines (thing that holds the bullets)) needed my belt to go thru it so I had to take my belt off and put that on…embarrassing.

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He checked my gun (‘nice gun’ he said..hehehe) and inserted it into my holster for me. Told me I wasn’t allowed to take it out or touch it while on the range unless told otherwise. ¬†Ie: if we were loaded and needed to unload off the line then we had to have one of the instructors do it for us. We could never touch our gun unless on the firing line. Smart.

Meanwhile my Uncle Joe and his friend Jim were going thru the same process and my sister in law, Mericar was renting a pair of ear muffs. ¬†You can rent basically anything from them if you didn’t bring your own gun, ammo etc.

Once we met up we drove down to our designated range. Range 7. It’s a HUGE place. Range 7 was close. ¬†On day 3 we were moved down to range 15 and that wasn’t even the farthest.

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We met our instructors and got a good look at the other 34 or so people in our group. Then we went back to the main hall where we would be given our first lecture. There were almost 800 people in that hall. Crazy! And this was just in our 4 day defensive handgun class…there were other classes going on at the same time!

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I had no idea it would be so big.

I wish I could remember what they said. I don’t. Welcome. Be safe and have fun…something like that probably.

People of all shapes and sizes, age and ability…here to learn how to be safe and defend themselves with a gun. One of the best forms of self defense.

The first 2 days was lots of lecture, demonstration and learning. We practiced what we were taught in between but the majority of our time was in our chairs. The next 2 days it flipped. We spent most of our time shooting. FUN!

The lectures were really interesting. We learned about being in yellow awareness which means instead of being dazed, unaware and clueless, in our own world kind of thing we need to be keenly aware of our surroundings and what’s going on. Looking when we’re walking. Noticing the details and the changes around us.

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Criminals target those in awareness white which is the dazed, own little world one I talked about. Talking on your cell phone, texting, daydreaming etc. You don’t want to be caught in awareness white. You are in trouble.

We learned about all the many true and made up scenarios that might happen when forced to defend yourself or your loved ones. The ethics behind your decision and the consequences. ¬†Basically if you and anyone else around you, the jury for example would say, ‘who wouldn’t have done what you did?! Who wouldn’t?’ Then you know it was the right direction.

Very interesting and eye opening.

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We also learned about approaching a house or building with a bad guy inside. How to clear a door, a room etc. The choices….does he have a hostage, is he harmful, should I shoot, where should I shoot?

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We learned how and what to yell at someone who is challenging you. Stop right there!!! or Stop or I’ll shoot!!! Now there are witnesses.

We learned so much there is no way I could detail it all out here. The goal of the course was that we could pull the gun from our holster, take 2 controlled shots to the thoracic cavity and optionally the head in under 1.8 seconds. Ya. crazy huh?

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Everything was very impressive and well worth every bit of money and time it took.

I can’t wait to go back in the spring.

It will be warmer then. Yes, it was cold. Very cold. Especially the last 2 days. It was windy too which made our skills test very interesting! But oh what good memories! I really cherish the time I got to spend with my sweet sister in law and get to know her better. I love you Mericar!

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Some random fun things that happened, memories that I want to keep….

  • Mericar dropping her magazine in the latrine. Plop! Yuck! HAHAHA (don’t worry if you want to go they have flush bathrooms too)
  • Eating less than sub-par sushi at a CHINESE buffet in PAHRUMP, NV. What??
  • The old farts in our group swinging their guns around like bats and everyone taking cover behind Hilary the big guy or just dropping to the ground.
  • The annoyed but friendly instructors reprimanding them
  • Jim shooting off a negligent discharge during malfunctions and just continuing on like normal. Afterwards saying, “I was hoping no one would notice.’ HAHAHA
  • ‘What you missed in History class’ podcasts
  • Mericar’s victory dance
  • Mericar’s fast as lightning draw
  • Me losing against uncle Joe in the 3 target hostage competition and the audible ‘ahhhhhhhhhhhhh’ from the crowd when I shot the hostage.
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  • Uncle Joe winning the 3 target hostage competition.
  • Jim and his salt
  • Valley’s and peaks (something we all experience while learning)
  • Paris attacks happened…ironic as Paris is a gun free zone. Shooters acted at ease and took their time while taking peoples lives because they knew no one would be shooting back. Hello!!!!!
  • Jim asking us everyday as we entered FS if we were carrying clubs or guns.(loaded or unloaded)
  • Yoga in hotel room with Mericar the master.
  • Tape on fingers and wrists=hardcore ūüôā
  • Nearly freezing temps and amazing wind speeds that kept us from using concealment on two occasions.
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  • Hearing my boys’ little voices on the phone and thinking how much cuter they sounded after being away for a few days.
  • 600 rounds of ammo from just my gun alone and wondering how much $$$$ was blown up each day on the ranges
  • Our amazing instructors. Dan, The Hulk from Germany (Hulger) and the others.
  • Waiting for the day when I could go¬†back and do it all again!

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Who wants to go with me?!!!

 I never expected to feel so confident with my gun and have all my fears about being helpless go away!

You can too!!! You have the right to defend you and those around you!!

 

Vegas Baby!

After a small pow wow with my sis in law we were very aware that we needed to plan a ‘getaway’ for the girls. ¬†It’s tough being a mom as anybody who’s a mom knows and something like this makes all the difference in the world. ¬†So we started planning. ¬†Vegas was the destination. ¬†March 27th was the date. ¬†It was marked on all our calendars and we maybe (in my case) not so patiently awaited the day where we could lovingly leave our kiddos behind with their respective babysitters and our hubbies¬†and go leave it all in Vegas! ¬†Wahoo!

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David drove me down to Ogden where I got onto the Frontrunner train and rode it down to South Jordan.  I love the train and enjoyed the scenery and people watching.  Natalie picked me up in South Jordan and we were off!!  We stopped in St. George to pick up Chelsea and continued onward!  IMG_1811

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We stayed at the Luxor hotel which is the big pyramid on the strip which was kinda cool and fun but we’re pretty sure we’d never stay there again. ¬†Riding the elevator up to the 18th floor felt and sounded like something out of a horror movie but good memories right? ¬†Once we checked in we decided to take a taxi to the Town Square shopping center and do some serious e-commerce. ¬†We relished in the beauty that is Victoria’s Secret and their amazing bras and so much more. ¬†When my mom finally reached town she met us at a yummy Italian restaurant for dinner and we again indulged.

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Earlier that evening Chelsea made the brilliant suggestion that we go to a club that night and dance! ¬†We then brooded over the idea for several hours laughing and joking and wondering if we really could bring ourselves to do it. ¬†After dinner and after we were back in our hotel we found out the price and the time and just did it! ¬† We got as dolled up as we could and knew that we were going to stick out of the crowd like a sore thumb. Oh well! ¬†We didn’t care! ¬†But we certainly did.

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I’m certain we were the only ones there that were REALLY dancing and the only ones there that weren’t drunk. ¬†Weird eh? ¬†But SO MUCH FUN! ¬†There is something about letting all your inhibitions go and being free that is really liberating! ¬†You’ve gotta try it. ¬†Wish I had a camera that night but it probably would have been too dark anyway. ¬†We all saw something in each other that we’ve never seen before and man it was fun. ¬†Did I already say that?

We stayed a lot longer than we thought but eventually we decided to go to sleep. ¬†The next morning we ate breakfast and headed out to the pool. ¬†We stayed in the ‘paid access area’ which had padded lounges and umbrellas and man we were happy with that decision, thanks mom! It was spring break and very crowded by noon. ¬†We must have lay there for about 5 hours just relaxing, reading, listening to music, swimming and visiting. Dreamy! ¬†But what to do next but more shopping! ¬†This time is was Fashion Show mall on the strip.

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Parking is always a nightmare but count on my mom to improvise! I was ready ¬†to pay for valet parking when she decided she could fit in this teeny space between the support and where the parking actually started. ¬†Well she did! And we didn’t get in trouble! Whew!

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This shopping adventure was especially fun. ¬†Sometimes (most times) it’s difficult to get my dear mom in the mood for shopping. ¬†She rarely if ever buys things for herself. Well that changed today. ¬†It took a minute but she eventually let go and had a blast trying on new things and beautiful things. ¬†She’d model for us and all the sales ladies and in the end came out with a load of new beautiful well deserved clothes! Go mom!!

Oh shopping. ¬†Why are you so addicting and fun. ¬†I usually don’t like the sales people in Buckle and how pushy they are but this particular day as I walked in a young man came straight up to me and said, try these on! It was day of saying yes so I did! ¬†And I was so glad! It was just what I was looking for and better!

We probably would have shopped for a couple more hours but we were pushing the time limits of getting to our show on time! My mom and I being absolute Michael Jackson freaks of course had to see his show! ¬†It was INCREDIBLE. ¬†I can’t say much about it cause it would never do it justice but it exceeded my expectations and made me choke up at one point. ¬†It was beautiful.

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I can’t wait to take David to see it. ¬†And Ben someday. ūüôā ¬†I didn’t have time to go home and shower after a day of sitting by the pool and shopping so I looked nasty. ¬†But at the time I really didn’t care! I was so excited! Here is a preview but just keep in mind it doesn’t do it an ounce of justice.

When it was tragically over we walked back to our hotel in awe and wonder and went to bed dreaming of moon walks and beautiful flying people. ¬†Or amazing pole dancers….

The next day was check out day, we got ready and packed up and made our way out to track down the Hash House which was supposed to be this amazing place. ¬†Well apparently we were right. ¬†There was a 2 hour wait when we got there…packed!! ¬†We put our name on the list and went out to the plaza to get something to tide us over and of course shop a little more. ¬†Well when it was our time we weren’t regretting our ¬†decision. ¬†This place was incredible. ¬†Here is our meals.

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This was our last hoorah I guess.  From here we walked back to the car and drove home to St. George.

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This was the LinQ High Roller Ferris Wheel thing we walked by on the way to the car.  It was Gi-normous!!  Just gotta love Vegas!!!  It was kinda hard going home but we we all missed our little ones of course.

When I got to South Jordan I was 45 mins early for the train and since I had made a mini goal to talk to people on the train instead of have my head down and ears plugged like everyone else I had a nice chat with Tony! ¬†He was from San Francisco and had just moved to Utah for work. ¬†He had dreadlocks and baggy pants and thought I was 20 years old bless his freaking heart. ¬†We even exchanged numbers and if he’s ever in Logan he’s going to call me so I can make him dinner (I was reading my new cook book when he walked up). ¬†How fun right? ¬†Then when I was on the train I talked to some cute young girls who had gone to Salt lake to shop for the afternoon. ¬†I just really love that train. ¬†I love the weekend and memories that I made with my sis in laws and my mom. ¬†It really was a weekend to remember forever.