Monday, October 29, 2012

Horsing around

Last year at the Utah Valley Marathon, we passed a herd of horses in a pasture at about mile seven. You can see how excited the horses were at about 23 seconds into this video. It was my favorite part of this marathon (especially since the race went down the crapper at about mile 17).

This year, at about mile nine (or mile 2 into my leg), some horses alongside of the Ogden marathon (and relay for me) shared a similar experience. Thank goodness. What a fun way to spend a morning.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


After my paternal grandmother passed away, the whole family was a bit worried about grandpa. After all, he was a diabetic, he would be lonely, he would be in this big old house by himself, his sight wasn’t great, etc. There was a list of potential problems. But, he was also in pretty good health, he was mobile, he was lucid, he was good-natured.

Our family (his son) lived less than three blocks away, and we visited often. (Probably not often enough, in retrospect.) Another son lived about six blocks away. A daughter lived about a mile away. The last daughter lived about 7 miles away. Yes. This exercise in distance is important, because you won’t believe what happened.

The family that lived in a neighboring town owned a skinny, single-wide. Grandpa offered them HIS HOUSE if they would just come and live with him for the rest of his days. The house was definitely big enough with a yard and a pasture and two-car garage (which was a big deal in our town back then). They refused. I guess they didn’t want to do this because they lived next door to my uncle’s mother, and they were already taking care of her. Fifteen years later, they have inherited her house, so all is OK.

Anyway, even though we were all so very close, no grown-ups could be bothered to care for him. Everyone was married, so there were eight grown-ups who could have done this, but they didn’t. Yes. I’m bitter. No. I don’t know all of the reasons for the decisions that they made. Yes. I’m probably overreacting and harboring these negative feelings for too long. No. It hasn’t blackened my soul. Yet.

So, the decision that they made was this: two grandkids would live with him and help care for him. The choice was made for those kids (literally, kids) to be me and my cousin. Even though there were kids in their teens, she and I were chosen. I can’t remember exactly how old I was. I want to say 12. If that’s the case, she was 10 as we are separated by exactly two years.

Dear Reader. Could this really be a good idea?

So, I stayed Sunday night through Friday morning, and since she was younger, she stayed Friday night through Sunday morning. This went on for about a year.

I wouldn’t trade that time with him for any amount of money in the world.
He put up with my dramatic tween attitude, and took care of me much more than I managed to help him.

Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, I would wake up and make breakfast for us before I had to catch the bus to junior high. I would fry up some bacon, and when it was done I would drop some eggs in the grease. Two for him, and one for me. Nothing is better than eggs fried this way. Very few things were as unhealthy, for sure, but tasty! Two pieces of toast and butter for both of us, usually with lots of jam for me. A tall glass of milk washed down the whole breakfast, and I was on the bus by 7am.

We sat on opposite sides of the kitchen table to eat, and we talked and talked and talked. Today, I have no idea what we talked about, but it was nice to have the attention. I come from a family of five kids, one of whom always seemed to be having a friend live with us. My mom was famous for taking in “strays” of the two- and four-legged variety. We were always finding a way to squeeze someone else into a spare bed, a couch, sometimes even the floor. I can still remember many of them: Casey, John, DeAnna, David, and more, I’m sure. I think that I was the only person that didn’t have someone live with us, but my best friend was there almost every day, so it was the same thing. So, anyway, it was nice to have his attention without five or six or seven other kids/teens vying for the same thing.

While we ate our breakfast, he would give himself his insulin injection. Right there at the table, he would un-snap his shirt, expose his tummy, and just pop that thing in. At first, it freaked me out, but it was a non-issue after about a week or so.

On Wednesday, I had piano lessons before school. My oldest brother would pick me up on his way to work. We would leave at like 5:30am so that I could get to lessons by 6am. On those days, grandpa would get up extra early to make ME breakfast. For some reason, his always tasted better than mine.

In the evenings, I would arrive after stopping at home to practice piano. We would watch TV together after dinner. I would go to my room to practice my clarinet. I’ll bet he wished that he was losing his hearing instead of his sight! We always found something to talk about.

I grew so close to him during this time. I’m sure that my cousin felt the same way even though she only spent two days with him instead of five. He missed my grandma, for sure, but I’m glad that SOMEONE could be there for him.

Then, it all ended.

One night, he got up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water or take some medications or something. I don’t even know. He fell in the kitchen, and he couldn’t get up. He hollered for me several times before I woke up. (Have you ever tried to wake a teenager?) But, I DID wake up. I got into the kitchen, and couldn’t help him up. I was too small, and he was too big. He wasn’t fat, to be sure. In fact, he was a rail. But, I was just 12, and scared. I think that had something to do with it.

So, I called my parents, and they called the other sister. Everyone converged at the same time, and it was all chaos.

And, I felt like I had failed him. In a way, I did. But, really? I was 12.

So, I can’t remember if they called the ambulance or not. I think so. But, it was all precautionary. Nothing was broken. His hips and legs were fine. He was probably just bruised a bit.

My cousin and I were no longer responsible to stay with him. His own children and their spouses took turns for a week or two.

Then, against his wishes – very much against his wishes – he was put into a nursing home. Oh, it was a nice place. Very nice. But, it was an hour away from all of us. For a bunch of people who didn’t visit enough to begin with, this was the end of visiting. (In the time that he was in the home – four months? - we visited once.) He begged and pleaded and cried. My grandpa cried! And, still, he was still shipped off to die.

And he did.

I believe that he died of a broken heart. I know that’s dramatic and a bit ridiculous, but I think that it’s true. I am 42. It has taken me 30 years to get to the point where I almost forgive myself for not hearing him yell for me after his fall. But, it is still hard to not feel like I failed him.

When he died, I was away at 4-H camp. I was canoeing with three friends. My mom, one of the advisors, called me in off of the lake and told me. I treated it with the nonchalance of a snotty girl who had just turned 13 and returned to the canoe with my friends. But, inside, I was devastated.

I realize that this is epically a first-world problem. I realize that I’m yammering on and on about something that other kids in developing countries face to this day, 30 years later. But, why put such a young person in a position of such great responsibility?

At the time, I didn’t really think through it (because I was 12) to realize that I could wake up one morning to find him dead. Truth be told, I didn’t think about that until just this moment while writing this post! What the hell would I have done if he had died in his sleep? Or had a stroke? Or had broken something (think: hip) when he fell so that every move I tried to make or help him with would have resulted in agonizing pain and certain tears from both parties? I was desperately unprepared for any of those things. I didn’t even know the emergency phone number (our rural area didn’t have 911 service at the time).

But, on the flip side, if I was qualified to care for him before his fall, why wasn’t I given a second chance? That, too, was demoralizing. I already felt like I had failed him, but the fact that I truly wasn’t good enough, ready enough, old enough, strong enough really drove the point home. The 12-year old inside of me still says “I will do a better job next time.”

I sound like I’m angry that I “had” to do this. I’m not. I never was. It didn’t matter that it meant lots of nights where I couldn’t hang out with friends, but that
never mattered. It still doesn’t. I’m grateful that I got to spend that time with him. Now that I’m older, I realize how special the time was, and I’m almost sad that I didn’t get that same time with my other grandparents.

I am, however, still a bit ticked that he was shipped off to die – that nobody else (a bit older/wiser/stronger/better) stepped up to help him – that we couldn’t afford to hire someone to help him – that he had to beg his own children, and they wouldn’t/couldn’t accommodate him.

I’ve never asked them about any of this, so this is an extremely one-sided story. I don’t know if I ever will ask them about it – partly because I don’t want to know.

And, why are children – in any place or culture – being asked to provide this kind of care? 12-year olds should be worried about their first junior high dance, the cute boy/girl in the next desk, clothes, books, movies, magazines, mowing the lawn, making the bed. Kids shouldn’t be changing soiled grandparents, caring for babies, picking up cans for recycling in order to buy milk, family members who are meth-heads, making their own dinner every night. As a country, we have the resources so that no kid should be put in this position, but we squander those resources on a million meaningless things or unjustified wars. What about other countries where the resources are less abundant? UG! It’s just so much and it frustrates me to no end!

At the end of the day, I was lucky. Despite how irritated, angry, and woeful I might sound, my time with him was a blessing. I still think of him almost every day.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The copper mine

A couple of weeks ago, we took advantage of the free admission at Kennecott Utah Copper and took the boys for their first trip. This is the first time that Bub and I have been there since 2000 (?) when Tony came out to visit from NJ.

The visitor's center is nice. It's not extensive or huge, but it is interesting. It's a bit much for five-year-olds, but still fun. We had hoped that they would have really understood the magnitude of the sheer size of the place, but it's still a bit much for them. The dump trucks that drive through this area are as big as a 2-story house. I kept trying to explain to the boys that the "little" trucks were actually semi-trucks, and the "big" trucks were actually ENORMOUS. Even though they didn't really "get" it, they enjoyed it. We all did.

Here's a photo of the boys standing next to one of the tires that belongs on an enormous truck. Keep in mind that they boys are each just over four feet tall.
That makes these tires at least 16-feet tall. It's mind boggling.
A long time ago, they used to have one of the trucks parked next to (and dwarfing) the visitor's center. It's too bad that they don't have that anymore.
The drivers actually need a ladder to get into the trucks. It's crazy. One of our friends, Merlyn, drives one of these trucks. She's a badass.

Then, Meatball got ahold of my phone and managed to take some pictures - all of them were of the tire. I'm only including two of them. I won't torture you with the other seven photos....

On the way home, we crossed the top of the mountain - up through Butterfield Canyon and down Middle Canyon, enjoying sandwiches and cheese on the drive home.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The next FIRST lost tooth

I was so bummed that Meatball lost this tooth while I was at work. He was pretty dang excited about it, though! They called me at work and told me all of the details. I was worried about him being all freaked out about this because he gets very anxious about stuff like that.

Unfortunately, Bub and I both forgot how much money the tooth fairy left for Peanut just a couple of months ago. Luckily for us, Meatball remembered! (Of course he did.) I'm happy to report that she fluttered her little wings and managed to leave him $2, a little toy, and a mini candy bar - just like Peanut received. Whew!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Utah Museum of Natural History

Last month, my employer celebrated the company's 85th anniversary in style. In addition to giveaways and lunches and gifts, we were treated to a morning at the Utah Museum of Natural History. The whole company - at least all 1500 who are located at the home office.

I spent the majority of the morning taking pictures of my teammates for our work blog, but I did get a few minutes to take in the amazing-ness that is the museum. It was recently re-located and is completely awesome. My employer helped fund and furnish the gems section.

I can't wait to go back when I have the entire day to spend checking things out. Here's something that I thought was pretty interesting. This is just a visual that shows the different kinds of rock and soil in the US. Utah has more varieties of rock and soil than any other state.
Here you can see the specific detail of Utah as well as the entire contiguous US. Pretty cool, right?

But, the part that I was really excited about was the actual fossil area. I cannot wait to take the boys to this part of the museum. They were freaking out over the photos on my phone.

These fossil heads mounted on the wall really freaked me out a bit. First, they are very scary looking. Second, almost every one of them were as tall as me. THE HEADS were as tall as me. That is crazy!

So cool!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cute niece and grand-niece

Grand-niece. That sounds awful. It makes me sound so OLD.
The trouble is that I have THREE grand-nieces and ONE grand-nephew!
I blame my sister. It's all her fault.

Doesn't make them any less cute, though, does it?
This is my cute niece, JKW, and her sweet and adorable daughter, AML.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Excellent report cards!

We recently had the PLEASURE of our first parent-teacher conferences. The boys' teachers are wonderful. WONDERFUL. The boys love them - adore them! In fact, when he found out that he wouldn't have the same teacher next year, Peanut cried and cried. Bub finally had to tell him that she was kidding!

During both of the conferences, we were told that they are very friendly - a sweet euphemism for "talkative." Bub looked at me like it was MY fault. Yes, I will admit that when I get going, I really talk up a storm, but it takes me a lot to get to that point. Otherwise, I'm pretty reserved and quiet. SHE, on the other hand, didn't shut up for the entire conference. Like, seriously, didn't shut her pie hole! And, she didn't even know that she was doing it. Both of the teachers looked at me like they were astounded. I just shrugged it off. I'm used to it.

Anyway, they both got all A's in every single topic. Peanut could use some more practice with his handwriting, but otherwise, they are rockin' it. They are both in advanced reading and very high math.

Their teachers love spending time with them. We are SO PROUD!
So, we came home and had celebratory cupcakes after dinner!

They are such awesome boys!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Autumn at the edge of the desert

The city where we live is the most populated city in the northern part of the state that is situated on the edge of the Great Basin desert. There is one city in the most southern part of the state that is more populated, but it's not actually on the edge of the desert; it's actually in the desert.

So, since we're on the edge, we get an OK amount of water, and we have some decent mountains: The Oquirrh's. They aren't the Wasatch, and they definitely aren't the Uintahs. There is one more range, the Sheep, that buffers us from the desert. Everything after the Sheep range is definitely desert. Our town sits in the valley between the Oquirrhs and the Sheep ranges.

Since we actually have mountains, we do get some color on the scrub oak and the quaking aspens in the fall. Since we are at the edge of a desert in the second driest state in the nation, fall doesn't last long. It seems like it's here for a week at most. It's so fleeting! So, I'm happy that we were able to get some good pictures a few days ago while out "hiking". (Five-year-olds don't "hike" well. At least, ours don't. Of course, to me a hike is 10 miles, and that's a bit unfair to a little person.)

Did you really think that this was going to just be a pretty post? Uh, no. Here are pictures of the boys - of course!

ha-ha-ha! Isn't that a funny picture? Everyone found something interesting - a stick, a rock, a leaf - and they all bent over at the same time... even Nana! I'm sure that she will be happy to see her butt here...

Ok - fine - here are some more pretty pictures sans handsome boys:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Stir it up, little darlin’. Stir it up.

When we were kids, we weren’t allowed to play with our food. As a parent, I can understand that. Dinner time is the most frustrating time of the day for me, and it really makes me crazy when the boys yutz around and make a mess. So, there. I’m sure that my parents feel vindicated now that I have just typed that sentence.

But, we weren’t allowed to do anything with our food except eat it, and this extended to stirring our ice cream. This is a problem for a girl who would much rather have it all soft and of a malt/shake-like consistency instead of remaining in a scoop form. So, every time we had ice cream, I would inevitably get in trouble for playing with my food.

I did it anyway.

I still do. I am 42 years old, and I still get immense satisfaction from knowing that my dad’s head would explode if he saw me stirring my ice cream all together into a soft and runny-ish soup. Is that wrong?

And, although I would like to say that I allow the boys to do the same thing that would be a lie. I regularly find myself telling them to “just eat your food, already!”

Geez, lighten up, mom!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Are you tired of zoo pictures yet? Too bad...

We are determined to use that family zoo pass from Uncle Norris as much as possible! What a great gift that has been. This particular day was overcast and only in the 80s. We managed to have loads of fun while Bub was at a funeral. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that we had the better time.

Is it just me, or is it some kind of unwritten parenting law that you must take pictures of your kids while at the zoo? We all do it, and then we have 73 photos of the same kids seeing the same animals at the same zoo several times. The weird thing about this, I think, is that we don’t even have the greatest zoo! Don’t get me wrong. It’s a good zoo; it is. But, it’s no San Diego Wild Animal Park!

But, these are the greatest kids...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Missing the girls.....

This is what happens when you split up in the mall and one brother gets to see our awesome friend, Geri, and the other brother just misses her.

He was SO excited to see her that he picked a flower, and we RAN through the mall to try and catch her.

We didn't make it in time. He was heartbroken all the way home and until he fell asleep.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just being silly

Why is it so much fun to take pictures of yourself? When someone ELSE is trying to take a picture, we avoid it or put a silly smile on our faces or glare at the camera or whatever. But, when we are taking a picture of ourselves, our whole demeanor changes. Strange. And Fun.

Of course, when you are five, you have license to be silly any time you want!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dear Kids: Mommy is a total Tough Mudder BADASS!

See my running blog for the race report(s).

Part 1 Pre-race jitters

Part 2 The first 11 obstacles

Part 3 The final 12 obstacles

Part 4 Retrospective

Monday, October 15, 2012


On the left is one of my best friends, E. I’ve known her for probably 22 years, and I adore her. I feel like we’ve always been close, even though for 16 of those years, she lived in Alaska. She’ll be going back there relatively soon, too. I’ll miss her so much!

On the right is her new girlfriend, A. They have known each other for about 18 months, but the rest of us have only known A for about six months. Since we don’t all get to do too much together, the jury is still out on A. It takes a long time to get in good with our group (just ask Bub), but I must say that she’s doing a good job so far. She makes E. happy, and that’s all that we really car about.

Cute, aren’t they?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Drop Cookies

Meatball continues to love to cook with me. Peanut will help, but he mostly likes cracking the eggs and using the mixer. Meatball loves the entire process. Here he is doing his first batch of drop cookies. I remember very vividly my mom teaching me to do the same thing. “Scoop the batter with one spoon, and scrape it onto the cookie sheet with the other spoon.”

Next, I’ll have to teach him how to fit twelve on a sheet. That’s how I learned multiplication, by the way…

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Community Canning

Some friends of our live about two blocks away. You’ve seen them here recently with the bounce house and pool party. We’ve never been incredibly close, but that has been changing lately which makes me happy. Just recently, D&F’s mom decided to get into canning a bit. Not knowing what she is doing, she called me to help out. So, we packed up the wagon with two water bath canners, some pots, jars, lids, tongs, and rubber gloves and set off.

The first night, we did oodles of salsa. The second night, we made jalapeno pepper jelly. Since then, she has gone crazy and did pickled beets and bought a half bushel of peaches. She has caught the bug. I see this becoming a regular event, and I couldn’t be happier.

She and I cut, chop, stir, and boil while the four boys run around together and wear each other out. The boys are becoming better and better friends every time we visit.

So much fun!

It was during the salsa night that the neighbor and I got talking about the process of canning.

Bub hates it. It’s too tedious for her: the peeling, the chopping, the seeding, the stirring. She loves to cook, but this is a whole new level of torture for her. This is fine with me.

For me, and I’ve said it here before, it is a practice in meditation and remembrance. It is a time for preparing and ensuring that our family has plenty of healthy food in the pantry.

It is also a time of honoring the commitment that my mom made to us to keep us fed (which was hard sometimes). I managed to not cry as I described to my neighbor the last time that my mom and I canned something together, just one month before her death. It was cherries from our tree, and mom taught me an awesome trick for quickly pitting them as we sat on the back porch for hours that night. The last gift that she ever gave to me was my black water bath canning kettle and THE BIBLE (The Ball Blue Book of Canning).

Finally, I was just like one of the aunts or neighbors that used to come to our house when I was little to put up the fall harvest. Mom and I talked and laughed and gossiped. I think that we both realized that it would never happen again, but it was only in the very furthest reaches of the back of my brain. I know now that she knew. I was still holding out hope that her cancer hadn’t spread and that her liver would last for five years so that she could be put on the transplant list. So unrealistic and naïve I was.

I miss her every time I seal a jar, every time I open something from my pantry shelves, every time I see fruit on a tree just waiting to be picked.

Friday, October 12, 2012

All dressed up and nowhere to go

Ever since last Halloween, the boys like to get dressed up – in their dresses – and play once in a while. I’m sure that some people are going to read that and have a complete fit. Fine. Do it. I don’t give two shakes.

What this means is this: nothing.

It’s playtime. It’s imagination time. It’s fun.

In their world, I dress up for work, but Bub never dresses up in dresses. In fact, she shops in the men’s section of every store often with the boys in tow. They have seen Halloween pictures of Papa as a cowgirl, Uncle as a hooker, and cousin as Cher. When we see people dressed differently at the mall or downtown or where ever, they don’t even look twice (although Bub and I certainly do). To them, it is just another way to look. It doesn’t mean that they are gender benders or gay or strange.

But you know what? We wouldn’t care if they were any or all of those things.

Yes. It’s hard to be gay – especially in Utah – but the times are changing. As long as they are healthy, happy, and kind, then we don’t care.

I will say that they have learned that it’s hard to play trains and run around in a dress. Good lesson. All of us girls learned that way before we were five years old.

They haven’t, however, learned that other people can be cruel when you are different. While on this walk, four different adults truly thought that they were girls with really short hair. However, the boys stopped and talked to a couple of 8-10ish year olds, a boy and a girl. We talked about Meatball’s stuffed dog and Peanut’s trains. The other kids didn’t talk much at all… until we turned to leave. Luckily, neither boy heard the older boy say to the girl “gawd, they are so weird” as they walked away laughing.

And, it saddens me to admit that even though I just typed a great speech about how we don’t care if they are considered strange/gay/etc., I did try to get them to change their clothes before this walk precisely because I didn’t want them to be hurt by the cruel words of others. And, when that boy was laughing at my kids, I wanted to pound his 10 year old ass; I really did. I wanted to cry “why can’t you just accept difference?” I wanted to shield the boys from reality. Luckily, they were busy doing something else entirely and didn’t have a clue. But, soon, they will.

Parenting. This stuff is hard!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Daybreak sleepover

A couple of weekends ago, we had a sleepover with some friends (David and Charlie) who live in the Daybreak community in the southwestern part of the Salt Lake valley. These guys are the BEST, and although we had only seen them on and off in the past few years, being with them was like not missing a day. They are warm and friendly and nice and funny and generous. And, they love to feed people.

Seriously, every time we turned around, we were being offered fruit or pasta or cheesecake or salad or drinks or ice cream or suckers or or or or…..

We started the weekend with a tour of their “house.” It’s enormous. It’s even bigger than the in-laws home (which is saying something). It’s just the two of them in this house that has seven bedrooms and 4 ½ baths. (Yes, they hope to sell it when the housing market recovers. I’m sure that they will sell it to a family with oodles of kids. We have plenty of those families here in Utah.) It is decorated and landscaped beautifully, and they take great pride in how wonderful it looks.

Then, we had lunch.

Then, we had dessert. After lunch. We never do that unless we’re at a birthday party or something.

Then, we went to the community lake. It’s about three miles long, and is stocked regularly with trout, catfish (eeewww), blue gill, and crappie. We just spent time wading in the water and playing in the sand and the playground.

A side note: This community is very well planned. This is just the first portion. It consists of about 3000 homes right now, but it will eventually be around 20,000 homes when it is all finished. It is built for families. Each section has its own elementary school, and each neighborhood has its own pocket park and community garden plot. It is created and laid out in a way that strongly promotes neighborly contact and interaction. The town center (of which there will eventually be three or four) has loads of shopping from grocery to fashion. They host weekly festivals where locals can compete for “the iron pig” cooking award. They have local bands play at the festivals or sometimes karaoke or other performance art – all free. If I actually wanted to live in “the city” again, I would consider this area. I really would.

Anyway, after the sandy beach and playground, we returned to their house where the boys took a bath (in the tub that looks like a great big sink, mom!), and we had a snack. Then, we played outside while waiting for Granny and Grandpa to arrive for the barbeque. After dinner, we went to the weekly festival, Fizz Fest, where we played in the fountain, checked out the toy store, listened to the band, decorated our own ($0.25) cupcakes, sat inside the fire engine, and shopped for home décor. While doing all of this, we ate mint brownies, cheesecake, and some other puffy pastry filled with sugar.

Then, we returned to the mansion and popped some popcorn so that we could watch a movie and drink cocktails.

Finally, after falling into a food-induced stupor, we went to bed looking forward to fishing the next morning.

But, who can fish before breakfast? Apparently, not us. So, we had biscuits and gravy, eggs, hashbrowns, fruit, milk and juice.

THEN we went fishing. Bub caught a catfish. BLECK! They are so damned creepy. If you are one of “those” people who are convinced that catfish is great if you prepare it properly, then I invite you to our house to prove it. I haven’t had it work out for me yet – restaurant or home cooked, it all tastes like dirt. Anyway, they are creepy buggers, and Bub was very happy that it managed to wriggle its way off of her hook so that she only had to hold it long enough to huck it back into the water. Ben caught a tiny blue gill. Yes, I know that they are small fish, but his was very small. And, let’s be honest here. “Caught” is probably a generous term. It was more like “the-fish-happened-to-be-at-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time” scenario since he refuses to leave his line in the water for more than, oh, I dunno, 22 seconds. So, he just happened to snag this fish as he was wildly reeling in for the 6 time in as many minutes. Poor little Meatball was the only person to not catch anything. He was pretty bummed.

It was pretty breezy, so we headed out to Herriman to their little local pond where we were skunked again. (However, on the way there, we were able to see the “UP” house. It’s built, painted, and decorated exactly like the house in the movie, UP. Adorable.)

After not catching anything in Herriman, we played in the playground for a while where Peanut surprised us by climbing the “rock” wall. He’s climbed the little walls before, but this one was pretty big. The guys really got a kick out of the fact that this freaked Bub and I out.

Then, we returned for lunch, more movies, more time at the beach, and dinner again!

Bub literally didn’t eat anything at all the next day. I ate incredibly sparingly (an apple, a piece of toast, and an egg, I think). Holy food frenzy! Oddly, I didn’t gain any weight the entire weekend!

We had a blast, and we met some new friends while there.

We can’t wait for Halloween. This place must be a gold mine for sugar and sweets!

The best part? We were told several times how well-behaved and polite the boys were. And, they were, too. We were very proud of them all weekend long.

The oddest part? Although the house is stunning, I found it odd that there were 22 clocks in it. Bub and I have two, which is probably on the low side, but 22? Silly boys.