Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Camping is better with friends!

Before school started, we took a little 3 day/2 night camping trip with friends.  We had a really good time - not much captured on camera though.  I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I usually do.  Luckily, Donald and Julie took a few - some of these are theirs.  I wish I had taken a picture of them cooking with the Dutch ovens.  One of my favorite parts of the trip was the food!  They know how to cook!  We know who to take with us on our camping trips. We had cookies and muffins hot out of a camping oven.  We also had chicken and veggies from a Dutch oven.  

Alex and I did hotdogs and chips and smores the first night.  Alex cooked eggs and sausage for breakfast the first morning.  After those meals, we got to enjoy the gourmet meals!  :)  

The kids were easily entertained with the trees - fun for climbing!

We all took a hike on the 2nd day - 2 mile round trip.  I took quite a few pictures of Savie - she was just too cute.  And stubborn.  She insisted on walking on her own for most of it.  She did the first mile all on her own.  I carried her a little ways up to the look-out.  Then she let Alex carry her on his shoulders on the way down.  (I couldn't find the jacket I brought for her, so she had to wear a Batman hoodie...)    

There were 3 families on our camping trip.  Glad to get all the kids (and Lance) in one of the pictures - 12 kids made for a great time!  Savie loved hanging out with Becca and Ammy.  Ammy is just a few months older than Savie.  

It was a little overcast, but you can still see Morro Rock and the bayhead delta in the background.  Alex was most excited about the bayhead delta!  

Savie and Weston were excited for a snack - apples!

There was a swing along the hike - pretty cool.

The last picture below is Owen with a bird whistle - the kids all got one for completing a questionnaire during our museum visit.  The kids liked the (Morro) rock listening devices - not sure why Savie is wearing swim goggles...

We stayed a little longer than our friends - made a last stop to do a boat tour of the bay.  We were impressed - saw plenty of otters and sea lions.  The kids enjoyed the binoculars too.  They all got a stuffed Nemo fish for souvenir - that's what Savie has in her mouth.  

If there were 2 of anything, it was a "mama and baby" to Savie...

Who wants to go with us on our next trip?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

It's a sappy love story!


married: August 4, 2000

I can't believe it's been 15 years already!  I am happy to say that I am more in love with Alex today than I was the day we got married.  It should be that way, after the experiences and time we have spent together.  I have to admit that I didn't really know Alex that well when we got married, having only dated for one year beforehand (and never living together until marriage).  Alex didn't have a car, so I didn't know what kind of driver he was.  I didn't really know if he was good with kids.  I didn't realize how stinky his feet were!  :)  On Alex's side of it, we had never even been hiking together.  He didn't really know if I could carry a backpack or not.  :)  Luckily for me, I proved that I wasn't very good at backpacking AFTER we got married.  Too late to turn back...Ha ha!  He didn't know that I talked (and sometimes hit) in my sleep.  I don't think he ever even saw me in a swimming suit before we got married.  There were a lot of things that we didn't know about each other.  

Alex still asks me sometimes, "Why did you pick me?"  I usually say, "Because you were a nice guy." But this is what I mean when I say that:

What I did know was how kind and respectful he was to me and to everyone else.  I knew how easy he was to talk to and how comfortable I felt around him.  I knew that he got along well with others and wasn't judgmental.  I knew that I was very attracted to his eyes and smile.  I knew that we would make cute kids!  I knew that he was just as awkward as me at dancing.  :)  I knew that he was genuine - that he didn't need to buy my love with gifts.  I knew that he was hard-working and smart and had an enthusiasm for his work.  I knew that he had a strong relationship with God and that faith and family were most important to him.  I knew that he was worthy to take me to the temple - to make forever promises there.  I knew that my life would be happier with him than without him.

It was a bit of a leap of faith to commit to and put my future into his hands after only knowing Alex for a short time.  Yet, I felt like it was right, and I trusted in the feelings I had ever since our first date.  Yes, I'm sure some of it was that giddy young love of a new relationship.  But there was that extra spark that left me feeling like this could be a forever love.  And I trusted in that spark of love, and I am so glad that I did, because that flame has kept growing stronger with time.  And what I knew then about Alex is still true today.  He still has all of those qualities I admired when we were dating, but I also know now that he is a great husband and father.      

We didn't start out with much in common or an extensive knowledge of each other.  We started out with qualities that we admired, a solid foundation of mutual trust and commitment, with similar goals, and shared spiritual beliefs.  I know that has kept us going strong.  We have been blessed with a great relationship - one that doesn't require extra effort to maintain.  I really appreciate the drama-free, easy-going aspect of our relationship.  I have enjoyed our 15-16 years together, and I look forward to many more.  I love you Alex!  

(You had me at "Do you want to go out for ice cream?")  :)    

backpacking debut, on our honeymoon





five kids!

Look at this beautiful mess we have created!

Japanese friend

At the end of July, Alex had a business trip in Japan.  The highlight for him was seeing one of his mission companions -they served together in Salt Lake City in 1997-99.  Alex loved serving with him - he was one of his favorite companions. 

I dug up one of the old mission pictures of them:

They haven't changed that much in 17 years...

His friend sent Alex home with some famous Japanese snacks - some kind of cracker.  Couldn't tell you the name of them...

a couple more from June...

My mom posted a couple of pictures recently that I wanted to make sure got in my blog book.  

4 generations!   (Smile Savie...) 

Cousin group picture (2 kids weren't cooperating very well...)