Sunday, December 19, 2010

Who'd a thought!

I feel a new blog post coming on...stay tuned...

Eh. No time like the present:)

I have never come into the holiday season feeling so emotionally drained. Luckily, I guess, that gives me the opportunity to really fill up my "bucket" with the wonderfulness of the season as well. I have been able to enjoy Mayflower's first junior high Christmas concert, make a gingerbread house with my girls, rehearse with my ward choir (performing our program on the 26th) and sing with as near to a full voice as I am able because of the timing of my latest Botox injection. Rock and I slipped down to the Ogden Tabernacle last Sunday and joined in the annual Messiah sing-in. Apparently with the remodeling of the Temple in the works, the Tabernacle may not be available next year and the organizers of the sing-in warned that this may be the last one for awhile. I am glad we went! I have also found new Christmas music favorites on Pandora radio. Who'd a thought! I have been blessed to go visiting with my RS presidency some of the sisters in my ward and have been truly touched and strengthened through them and their sweet testimonies that they have....And! Scout is on her way home from Dixie State as I type!
I have also had to learn the art of letting go of some things, which I may or may not elaborate on at a later time:)

But most of all, I hope.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dang it!!

Well. The befuddled bafflement mentioned in my previous post has given way to ... hmmm... I really don't have any idea what. That is probably why I haven't posted any thing in weeks.
After 7 weeks and finally a round of antibiotics for what appeared to be a bad sinus infection, Shematite's physical symptoms have improved. Unfortunately, she had to drop all of her classes at Weber State. The mental and emotional struggle still goes on, however. I am grateful that we have at our disposal so many great tools, knowledge, understanding, support of friends, family and special visiting teachers and home teachers. I am grateful that Shematite is and always has been the BEST laugher at my attempts at humor. I love coming home from work and making her laugh. We talk lots. We cry even more. But most of all we are traveling through this life with the understanding that maybe we are here to help each other learn what we need to learn about compassion, empathy, judgment, mercy and TRUST. It helps me to think that the Lord TRUSTS her with the obstacles that are in her path. I am learning to trust her as well.
For some people, pain is a private matter. I've learned that it's pretty exhausting to maintain that all of the time. So if I seem to be telling it like it is, please forgive me. I'm learning to dang-well enjoy the dang journey...dang it!!

Friday, October 8, 2010


Isn't it cool that the word "baffled" sounds like it means?


Other than the last 3 weeks of pregnancy, theses have been the longest 23 days ever!!!
Shematite has been very sick. Headache, body aches, sore throat, nausea, some abdominal pain, but most of all, overwhelming fatigue.
Dr. #1 - on day 8, Strep test...negative
Dr. #2 - on day 15 @ the Instacare...hmmm, " it's going around, here's an antibiotic and some cough medicine. Get lots of rest."
Dr. #3 - on day 20 ...Mono test...negative
Dr. #4 - is on Monday if she is not better
Dr. #5 - is on Tuesday to follow up on my one last hunch.

Please keep her in your prayers!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

August Rushed

Mayflower and I were on our way to our annual Stake Birthday Bash last night to volunteer at the cupcake walk when she commented on how fast the summer seemed to fly by. She then stated that they were only going to keep going by faster.....
I agreed, but secretly thought, "Really!?! You are only twelve! How do you know this?"
I have intended to post our August activities oh, for about 3 weeks now, and really only have the excuse of working lots and being busy, just like everyone else. So! No more excuses! Here's the lo-down.

August 6 - My Birthday! I took the day off work and went for a fun little hike with my Rock, Mayflower and nephew, Parker. White Pine Lake near Tony Grove was beautiful! I got a fun surprise upon coming back to the trailhead. Our friends, Joe & Cindy from St. George, were there at their family reunion, so we had a quick chat and a big hug:) Then we headed to Crystal Hot Springs and enjoyed a nice soak.

School started! Mayflower headed off to junior high with a spring in her step, new contacts in her eye balls and best friend by her side.

After making a practice run the week before to see how long it took, Shematite and Michex were extremely disappointed and frustrated when they learned that it doesn't take 30 minutes to ride UTA to Weber State. It takes a freaking hour and a half! To this day, we try not to talk about it. But! The great news is that they both like all their classes, Shematite thinks her astronomy professor is The Bomb ( his name is Prof. Armstrong! How cool is that!) , Michex has a costume construction class that seems super fun and it's just fabulous to see them enjoying their higher education experiences so far:)

Scout made it back from her summer camp counseling job at KAMP KOHUT in Maine. Her new friend she met there, Ashley, lives in St George and they planned to travel home together. Ashley made the flight reservations, unfortunately, from Portland, Oregon...not Portland, Maine. This was discovered as they were leaving camp and arriving at the airport in Portland. Needless to say, reservations had to be canceled and re-made at the last minute and they got to ride a bus to Boston and spend about 20 hours at the airport people-watching! When asked if she would work at a camp again, we got a resounding YES! But, maybe not that camp. She would prefer something away from the humidity of the east coast:)
The last weekend in August, we headed down to Dixie to see Scout, take her a vehicle and do a little bit of hiking in Zion. Mayflower passed the Canyoneering 101 class by going through Keyhole with Scout, Karli, Makenzie, and her dad.

Even though it is not officially August any more, we had some fun on the warm Saturday of Labor Day weekend floating in the Great Salt Lake with my sister Kira and her boys ...

...and then hiking Ben Lomond Peak via Inspiration Point on the cold Monday. I had never actually floated in the lake nor set foot on the peak before, so these were some of the highlights of my summer. JT, Little T, Parker and Em joined me, Rock and Mayflower on a breathtakingly beautiful day! A little nip of fall was in the air as we first made our way up the dirt road and then hiked the ridge to the peak:) JT then treated everyone to milkshakes in Brigham City at the Peach City drive-in.

For those of you who have read this far- everything above this line in my post inadvertently got published before I was done adding all the photos and finished writing and editing. I had minimized the computer screen Sunday morning to get ready for church and just came back to finish it at about 4:30 pm and found it published with 2 comments already! I thought I had clicked 'save as draft' , not 'publish post'. Sigh...Oh well:)

August 21 I ran my first ever 5k race! I signed up Rock, Shematite and Michex to participate also and I had so much fun running with my family! After spending all spring training for the hike into and out of Havasupai in June, I really did not want to lose momentum and the fitness level I had gained, so I started running a little bit back in June, and yes, it hurt. But I imagined it hurt a lot less than a heart attack would, so I kept going, slowly. After believing for so long that running was "bad" for my body and hating the pain and fatigue I felt every time I tried to do it a little bit, I was really happy with the change that was brought about in my attitude, perspective, beliefs and my stride by reading the book Born To Run. I can't continue preaching to my family about health and cardiovascular fitness as a crucial part of provident living if I am not willing to do what I want them to do. So, in spite of working 8-10 hours a day, I decided I needed to set a better example and prioritize. After all, my honey works way more hours than I do. And guess what? I now belong to the CAN camp and not the CAN'T camp any more- which, in my mind, answers the rhetorical question, "what good does it do to be able to hike across the Grand Canyon but not be able to run for help if needed?"... Plus, I feel happier and healthier than I have in years. And...running doesn't hurt any more:)
I am now looking forward to my favorite season...Autumn! Enjoying a crisp evening outside, being able to almost smell the leaves changing color, and making homemade caramel and dipping apples makes me want to take a big, juicy bite out of life and savor every moment! Thanks for making my life richer and sweeter!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Thanks to Wildbound, I have a new perspective Apparently, in order to get these...

Everyone around me has to put up with this...!


Friday, July 30, 2010

Dearest Em

Dearest Em,
I thought of you while I was at work today. I loved seeing your bright, brown eyes and beautiful smile the other day and most especially loved the hugs I got from you and your brother. I also thought of the fact that I learned a little bit more about you and some of the things you love. Animals! In all shapes and sizes and colors! I knew this, of course, but I came to the realization that you and I may have something in common that might surprise you a little bit.
A few years ago I lost something that was very precious to me - my ability to use my voice the way that I wanted to and was used to doing. I LOVE to sing and I miss being able to do it to my satisfaction so very much. I know you have such a big heart that misses having a furry little something to snuggle, pet and love. I hope that someday, there is a way for you to have all the special, furry friends that your heart desires, but until then, just know that I understand your frustration with your allergies and what appears to be such an unfair thing in life. Elder Worthlin from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said this in his last conference talk...

The Principle of Compensation

"...understand the principle of compensation. The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."

This has given me a lot of peace and hope. And believe you me, I am going to hold the Lord to His end of the deal!

I imagine great things are in store for you and your family, as well:)

Until then, know how much I love you, your brother and your Mom & Dad.

Hugs & Kisses,

Aunt Heather

More Summer Reading!

Okay! I just barely finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I am once again astonished to say that I laughed, giggled, smiled, sighed, held my breath and wept my way through this book. And yes, it is a novel of fiction no less! Thanks, Bethany for lending it to me. I think I need my own copy now:) What could possibly be a more delightful summertime treat than sitting in the porch swing, sipping lemonade and reading a great book!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer reading, summer not.

I just finished 4 books that need to be ranked in the "page-turner/can't put down" category.
I have realized that I don't have time for much fluff and my reading preferences have now fine-tuned themselves to include very little fiction. So if you want to learn about 4 compelling, true stories, I highly recommend these books (not listed in any particular preferential order).

1. Stones into Schools - the sequel to Three Cups of Tea that I mentioned in a previous post.
The continuing story told by Greg Mortensen of his and his non-profit organization's (the Central Asia Institute) efforts to build schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

2. Blind Descent - the story of the "race" to find and document the deepest cave on Earth - the last known terrestrial discovery. Wow! The rigors of deep caving are described as something like rappelling down El Capitan, in the pitch dark, with a waterfall pounding on your head and then climbing back up - over and over again for weeks at a time, but don't forget to include the digging in tight spaces for hours at a time and diving into "sumps" of unknown lengths and depths.

3. Born to Run - by Christopher McDougall. "A hidden tribe, superathletes, and the greatest race the world has never seen".
OK, I seriously laughed out loud while reading this book, all the way through to the point where tears streamed down my face as I choked back sobs at the end! I've never been a "runner". The last time I remember feeling any joy at all while running was clear back in my childhood. But ...this week, I felt it, out on the trail of the Ben Lomond bench all by my little lonesome self as the sun was setting. And you know what the best part was? I was grinning ear to ear at the END of the trail... because it felt so good to remember!

4. Deadliest Sea - by Kalee Thompson. The Untold Story of the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History. Don't like cold water? This is the story of a fishing trawler that sank in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska in March 2008 and the ultimate rescue of 42 of the people on board. The story itself needed to be told, but author Kalee Thompson was dead-on in her story-telling and fact-based time line accuracy and research. Kudos!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The People of the Blue-green Waters.

Havasupai certainly left it's mark. Not just on my feet, but on my heart as well. I guess that is what the Grand Canyon does.
Rock, Mayflower and I returned from our little adventure over a week ago and I have struggled to not only find the time to post on my blog, but to also come up with any descriptive superlatives that really do it justice. So, instead, I am just going to fall back on my list of "favorites".
1. Watching my daughter, nieces and nephews do SO WELL! I was amazed!
2. Not only is Havasu Creek beautiful, but the canyon is as well.
3. The pleasant realization when we got to the village that there were only 2 miles more to go and I didn't feel all that bad!
4. The incredible blue-green water.
5. Sleeping on top of my sleeping bag, under the stars.
6. Grandpa Bob playing his harmonica.
7. Did I mention the incredible blue-green water?
8. Marveling at the searing heat of about 105*.
9. Being pleasantly surprised at the composting facilities:)
10. Laughing at myself and Cowboy Bob trying to have a conversation near the roar of Mooney Falls. He without his hearing aids, and me without a voice. Hilarious!
11. Napping in the shade at Havasu Falls.
12. Tossing my Tevas to the bank of Havasu Creek after they both lost their souls (there might be some kind of metaphor here) and watching one land on shore and the other float on down the stream, imagining it forever caught in the tumbling turbulence of Mooney Falls. This was also my biggest disappointment. Wardrobe failure. It kept me from hiking below Mooney and hiking back up to the New Falls where everyone was jumping and playing. Hmmm...guess I'll just have to go back!
13. Watching the kids accomplish hard things! Yea! Like making the descent to Mooney Falls!
14. Oh, and the beautiful blue-green water!
15. Getting a lukewarm hamburger and hot dog at trail's end back on Hualapai Hilltop from native villager "April".

We "slept" at the trailhead the night before hiking in. "Slept" is really a rather broad description of laying in the back of the car (for Mayflower, it was sitting in the front seat) listening to the wind and the loud boy scouts for most of the night. We started hiking before 6 am.

Bethany, Mitchell & Parker reach the bottom of the switchbacks and take a break and take in the view.


8 miles down. 2 to go!

New waterfall created by the flood of 2008

Bright blue-green water of Havasu Creek right by our campsite.

JT enjoying the soak.

Cindy, Joe, Tristano, Nicoletta, Desertbound, and Rock @ Havasu Falls (photo by Lil' T).

The Emster playing in the falls!

Mayflower @ Havasu Falls

Hanging out at camp!

This is what a vacation is all about.

Some of the crew heading to Mooney Falls.

One of our favorite things to see on a hike! Warning signs!

Breathtaking Mooney Falls!

Mayflower, Emily & Kassidy posing just below Mooney Falls.

Early morning At Havasu Falls.

The hammock @ Havasu.

Aunt Carol & Uncle Kevin taking the plunge near the new falls!

Blue-green water I tell ya...

Last night in camp. Mayflower loved sleeping in her hammock! We got up at 4 am the next morning and hiked the 10+ miles back out.

1.5 miles to go!

Back to Hualapai Hilltop in 4 hours 40 minutes! Thanks to those who offered "mule space" and lightened our loads!

15. But the absolute best part of this adventure was, of course, sharing it with my family, the new people of the blue-green waters.

Special thanks to Tristano for all the coordinating efforts!
....OK .....Now. When can I go back?