Friday, July 27, 2012

Love These Two!

We are celebrating a wedding very very soon! Here are some of the shots we took of Johnny and Alyssa for their invitations. We love them both and are so so excited for all the fun times to come with these two! In the meantime, we are having fun celebrating with showers and seeing each other all the time! Alyssa lives on our street and lives in our ward! We are so lucky to get this cute girl in our family!

She Grew Here

The ranch has always been my ideal place (the ranch and the Needles section of Canyonlands... but very different concepts). When I close my eyes and picture perfection, I am in the middle of grove of quaking aspens... or perched on top of a jagged teton-range peak... or still, amid the asters, sticky geranium, yarro, and Indian paintbrush. This place is home to my heart. I can't keep away - I haven't kept away - each summer since I was 12.

I was managing the backpacking gear, greeting hikers as they returned from their overnight trips. I was checking in all the gear, organizing, cleaning, and repairing, while Scott and his fellow hike leader Linda downloaded with Dick how the hike went smoothly. My health prevents me from helping like I used to, so I had to be creative in finding ways to help this year. Linda saw me working, Peter in a hip-hamock, and said to Dick, "Look at that girl! Where did you find her?"

I love Dick's response. "Oh, her. She grew here."

I did.

Like a weed that can't be cut back and kept away! I just keep coming back. On another level though, I knew what Dick was saying. In addition to the important values I learned at home regarding testimony, work ethic, gratitude, sacrifice, and being myself, the ranch echoed those values and gave me the opportunity to reinforce them in my life... from the time I was very young. I very literally grew here.

The ranch, Sue and Dick, the nature that surrounds, the relationships I've formed, the realizations about myself, the creations of my hands and my heart, the songs that I sang, and the whisperings of the Spirit in all the quiet moments that witnessed of God and His love for me all gave me the vernacular to apply the gospel to my life. This beautiful experience represents all the best parts of who I am - including family, as I have been blessed to share the ranch with my parents, brothers, sisters, closest friends, husband, and baby boy. Lucky for me, I married a man who loves it just as much as I do (if that's possible). He has his own relationship with the ranch and doesn't simply respect or lean on mine. We haven't missed a summer since our wedding.

Peter was asleep in the car! I was sad we didn't get a picture with him in it. These are two (three!) of my heroes by my side.

Cute Peter on his first boat ride. Nasty side shot of me, however! We took the boat across Jenny Lake and took Peter on a hike to the Hidden Falls! Peter loved the windy boat ride and riding high on daddy's shoulders. But he got a little tired on the ride back. So was I! It was my first hike post-heart failure and respiratory failure. It was a beautiful start, but I have a long way to go!

We walked into one of those awesome, expensive fur stores in Jackson, where we spent one night before heading home on the most gorgeous drive through Star Valley I think we've ever experienced. We were both gushing over the beautiful northern farmlands, mountains, and fields. We started trying on some of the furs and taking pictures (aren't we a delight to have in the store?) when Scott says to me, "Now I can't run for president because somewhere down the line some animal rights activist will hold it against me that I even came in the this store."

I told him he could never run for president anyway because he's Canadian. So with that settled, we proceeded with the mortifying pictures before. When in Jackson...

That would be an entire bison my husband is wearing... naturally.


I wanted to get Peter a little cowboy outfit... but after a quick photo shoot, I realized that the pictures will be souvenirs enough.  

He actually loved this hat! He was smiling at himself in the mirror behind some exhausted little eyes.

Peter's first Huckleberry ice cream (and ice cream in general!)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Uncle Ollie and Auntie M

Back in June (expect no rhyme or reason in the update order here), we had a quick visit from Margy and Oliver on their way east for school. It was fun to have them spend a night with us to break up their long drive ahead, and Peter had so much fun with his Uncle Ollie and Auntie M (aren't those good uncle and aunt names?). They were both so great with him and kept him very entertained! We love these two and hope to see them again soon!

Nothing like a little family tongue action. Peter was especially interested in his tongue this particular day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When it rains...

... you get giant zucchinis in your garden! There existed no signs of zucchini life when we left for the Tetons. It rained a ton while we were gone, we hear, and after four days, we returned to find this sucker ripe and ready for the picking (the veggie, not the kid).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How About You-You-You...

Grandma, my only reader, told me today that I need to update my blog, and she is right! I need to purchase a new computer cord someday. Without it, I am falling way, way behind on all my journaling... not just my blog. Scott has his computer at school three times a week, and there's no way I'm going to sit on the computer blogging on the nights he's home! 

So I will play a wonderful game of catch-up once I've sorted through my memories. So much has happened in a month! We took Johnny and Alyssa's engagements... we saw fireworks at the Country Club on the 4th of July after hosting a BBQ at our house for our family... we've gone swimming over a dozen times... we've gone to the zoo a bunch... Lynne and Rick stopped by on their way from Canada... Margy and Oliver stopped by on their way to New York... We took Peter on his first trip outside Utah up to the ranch and Jackson Hole... and I did my first post-heart failure/respiratory failure hike! So much to talk about! And we will talk... and talk... and talk...

Or maybe I will just talk.

In the interest of starting somewhere... I'll go with the most recent. We had a fun day with the cousins. We went to the zoo to see the polar bears and the bird show (which Peter LOVES). I should bring the real camera to document some of these excursions, but the cell phone ones give us the general idea. 

Peter loves his cousins, and he has so much fun feeling like he's a big kid whenever they're around. He wants to do whatever they're doing, and I can tell he knows exactly who they are. They are all so sweet to him... hugging him, reading to him, sharing their toys. I know they will always have a very special bond because of how close they all became during Peter's earliest days.

These kids crack me up, and it was a blast to spend the day with them (we spent Monday with them too. I am so SO lucky my sister lives so close with her awesome kids. I grew up being really good friends with my cousins... so I'm glad we can provide that for Peter as well. Nothing compares to having family nearby).

Always good to know you've got a cousin like Ben who can show you how to make the best rhino faces.

We had lunch at Cafe Rio (Cafe Rio beans are Peter's favorite food right now besides fruit) and then spend about an hour at Grandma Joan and Grandpa George's. We sat in the back yard eating popsicles, exploring their yard, playing the drums on buckets, and visiting with each other. I love my grandparents. I love living close to them. I love getting to see them so often. And, best of all, I love that Peter knows them, loves them, smiles at them, and will have relationship with them. That is so special, and that relationship with his great-grandparents may be one of the most important gifts I give my son. I didn't take pictures today... but I got some video. Sometimes that's more fun.

Peter and I rounded the day out with a sewing project during nap time and some weeding in the backyard. Peter dug through the bucket of weeds and got nice and muddy. He threw such a hilarious fit when I pried his hands off his bucket o' weeds when it was time to go inside. It was so funny... I had to be a bad mom and pull out my phone to record it. It was just too funny, Scott had to see it! I think Peter learned some new angry noises from one of two sources: his cousin Sarajane... or the screechy parrot at the bird show (Sorry SJ). Anyway... he loved the yard work, and I loved seeing him covered in dirt... especially after a long weekend at the ranch; we are all about dirt around here. Peter just gets cooler and cooler every day. How is that even possible?