Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Wheeler Peak

I summited my first 13,000 foot peak the other day.  Wheeler Peak is in Great Basin National Park in Nevada.  Earlier this summer, Taylor, Parker, Xander, my dad and I camped in Great Basin for a few nights.  We saw some beautiful scenery and went on some great hikes, but ascending Wheeler Peak was not on the itinerary. I knew I would eventually go back and hike to the summit.  It's a 4.5-mile hike with 2900 feet of elevation gain.  It was kind of like two totally different hikes.  The first two miles (and the last two on the way back) are through a beautiful evergreen forest with quaking aspens that were turning brilliant fall colors.  The temperature was great with little wind and the slope was not very steep.  A nice fall hike for pretty much anyone.  The second half was brutal.  Super steep, exposed terrain.  No trees and almost no vegetation.  The trail is well-developed, but it is just over talus.  Plus, I was essentially on a ridgeline, so the wind was unbelievable. I would guess it was 40 miles an hour up there.  It was so crazy that I couldn't keep my hat on and ended up with a sunburn.  I'm grateful to live so close to so many places that offer me nature therapy. I love the mountains!

Wheeler Peak is the high point just to the right of center in the photo.  You can see
the ridge line where it got so windy headed up from the right side of the picture to the peak.  Steep!!!

Magnificent 360-degree views from the summit.  This is the second highest
point in Nevada and higher than any point in Utah.

Saw this line of tanks on the way home.  Cool!

Monday, September 17, 2018

All kinds of drivers!

Sophi isn't quite ready for her driver's license yet, but she sure is having fun on the lawnmower!  No hands? No problem!!!  (The blades are off as she's driving.)

She really loved this, and a couple days later on the way to school she said:
"Driving the lawnmower is awesome! It's the funnest thing I've ever done!!!"...pause..."well, maybe not the funnest.  I've been to Napa and London and Disney World and a cruise..."

Spoiled much?


Friday, September 7, 2018

Here comes trouble!

Watch out world, Cali can drive! We finally got hand controls for her to use.  These are portable ones that can be moved from car to car.  They are convenient and inexpensive, but they are also more tiring to use.  We'll have permanent ones installed in the minivan soon.  In the meantime, Cali is so excited to start this next step towards independence.  You go girl!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Happy Birthday Sophi!

Christi is a master of making kids feel important.  Perhaps the best example of this is how she treats them on their birthday.  If it were up to me, we would sing Happy Birthday and put some candles on a cake and that would be about it.  But Christi likes to add a bit more fun to the mix.  Sophi's birthday on September 4th was a good example.  The day starts out with the whole family marching into the bedroom to sing Happy Birthday and give them breakfast in bed.

If you can't tell, she's holding up all 10 toes!

We will sing Happy Birthday multiple times throughout the day, lest the favored child forget how special they are.  Mom will often take the birthday girl out to a restaurant.  She checked Sophi out of school and took her to Ihop for lunch.  Later that night Sophi had her requested birthday cake: Key Lime Pie.  As you can see from the video, Sophi took full advantage of her opportunities:

The day also included a trip to Target to pick out her own birthday present.  If you know Sophi, you won't be surprised she picked something that had to do with animals. A play set from the animated series, "Spirit" about a group of girls that solve myriad problems in the old west with the help of their trusty horses:).  

We are so lucky to have Sophi as part of our families.  She's our spicy, sassy, funny, self-confident little whirlwind.  We love you, Soph!!!

Love, Dad

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Love my girls!

Last Friday night I had the awesome opportunity to go on a daddy-daughter campout.  As the girls get older and I get older I guess Dad gets less exciting to hang out with.  When given the choice of coming with me, only two of the girls decided that was what they wanted to do with their Friday night.  (And let me be perfectly clear: the option was to stay at home.  No big plans for anyone.  Basically a campout with Dad just didn't seem particularly awesome.  I guess I had some foresight when I blogged our campout in 2011.)

But Graci, Sophi and I had a great time!  We returned to Clover Springs for the first time in seven years.  The campground is pretty remote and the stars were absolutely fantastic.  Hot dogs, s'mores, and egg mcmuffins for breakfast made for a great menu.  The first year we went on a daddy-daughter campout we started a funny tradition.  On a pre-camp shopping trip I saw Funky Flames in the camping section at Walmart.  We tried them out, the girls loved the colors, and now they want them every time we go.

Having Taylor leave for school has really driven home the reality that our time with these angels in our household is limited and short.  I am so grateful for opportunities like these that provide the chance to create memories that will help sustain me when more of them are gone.


Sophi loves to pose 😂 

We took a little hike...
...to the springs that give the campground it's name.

Apparently Sophi decided to take some pics before I woke up 😂
Cool pic, Soph!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Bittersweet Moments

I now have new motivation to blog regularly!  We have a son who has left the house.  All his life we've wanted to Taylor to someday attend college and become independent.  But when that day came (last Wednesday) it was so bittersweet.  We are so proud of him.  He is a freshman at BYU.  He earned enough scholarship money to pay for his first year's tuition.  He's a great person with great goals.  He's fun to be around.  He makes good choices.  And all of those things make it so hard to see him go.  Fortunately he's only a 45-minute drive away (he already came home for Labor Day!).  But we also know it will never be the same.  I miss my two-year old Taylor and my seven-year old Taylor and my 15-year-old Taylor and everything in between.  I hear that eventually grandkids make everything worth it, but I still have awhile before that happens.  In the meantime, we will eagerly await phone calls, texts and emails from our firstborn.  Hopefully he will enjoy blog posts about all of us at home.  We love you, Taylor!  And as uncle Tyler said, "What would Jeremy do during his first year of college?  Don't do that!"


Finally on campus!

So hard to say goodbye :(

Taylor is somewhere in that Y made up of the freshman class of 2018