Father/Sons 2018…

Here’s a throwback to two months ago before we left for our summer roadtrip: Father/Sons campout 2018. The weekend where I pack toothbrushes and clean underwear, and neither are used – and yet the whole bag has to be washed because everything reeks of campfire smoke.

The highlight of the weekend (aside from unlimited s’mores) was the water rocket. Every family brought 2 liter soda bottles and the kids created rockets and launched them. Evidently it was buckets of fun…until your rocket got stuck in the trees! The played in the forest, built forts and in general just got dirty – nothing beats guys weekend!

Father Sons 2018

Father Sons 2018

Father Sons 2018

Father Sons 2018

Father Sons 2018

Father Sons 2018

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99 years…364 days…

Last summer I took the kids to Montana to visit my grandma for her 99th birthday. When I said goodbye to her last summer, I couldn’t imagine her living to see her 100th birthday – she was frail and not doing so well. And with each month that passed, she surprised us all.

As we started making plans for this summer, we talked of doing a reunion in Montana around her birthday so we could celebrate with her. But there was still a pit in my stomach that didn’t believe she would make it. As her birthday drew closer, you couldn’t help but root for her to live just a little bit longer – to see 100 years. An achievement not met by many.

When we were in Idaho, 2 1/2 weeks before her birthday, we learned she was steadily declining. Her body was starting to struggle. Sure, a part of all of us hoped she would hang on for 2 1/2 weeks. But I couldn’t help but think she didn’t need 100 years – she had 99 and that was more than enough.

My mom called this morning to let us know she had completed her time on earth – all 99 years and 364 days…her birthday is tomorrow. She lived a day short of a century. Bitter sweet.

In the early hours of this morning, as she took her last breath, we happened to be sitting around our kitchen table, a time zone away, talking about her with my brother and his wife who were visiting. We spoke of our memories, thoughts and feelings about her life, a tribute to the life she lived and the world she saw change.

She was born in 1918. I thought it was interesting to learn what was happening the year she was born.

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the world’s population.

Time zones and daylight savings were created.

The USPS started regular airmail.

The Boston Red Sox defeated the Chicago Cubs for the 1918 World Series championship, their last World Series win until 2004.

World war 1 ended.

A dollar in 1918 equals more than $16 now based on inflation.

Sam Walton (Wal-mart founder) was born.

Bacon was $.40/lb, a refrigerator was $20, and a movie ticket was $.15.

Life was different. In her century of living, she saw the world change and change again. She lived through the depression. She witnessed the effects of a world war. She saw the birth of technology. She saw it all. And today she completed her journey.

I am grateful today she was reunited with her husband after 20 years of living without him – I’m sure it was a tender reunion.

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Summer Roadtrip 2018…

We made it home. It was 3:30 in the morning, (16+ hour drive) but we made it home safely and we were all excited to get out of the car and sleep in our own beds. Here’s some stats from this summer’s roadtrip.

We drove 3900 miles. 2700 of those were driven without Steve. Sidenote: On average, I’ve put about 8,000 miles a year on my car. This summer roadtrip is half the miles I drive in a year!

We visited 5 states.

We saw 43 license plates. (We missed Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia).

We were gone consecutively for 31 days (Steve joined us when he could) – although we were at girls camp right before which made the trip seem even longer.

We went to four state parks.

We slept on a boat. We slept in beds and on the floor. We slept at friends. We slept in tents. We slept in the car.

The movie of choice this roadtrip was Greatest Showman.

Our roadtrip soundtrack was on repeat for hours and hours and hours. And just when I thought the kids were tired of it and I tried switching it out, they revolted and demanded the roadtrip CD, seems to happen every year.

We visited Costco just once.

One carsick kid.

Washed the car window twice and yet visited countless gas stations. (we had a lot of dead bugs by the end!)

Played three rounds of tennis.

Had snowcones 8 times (thanks to my dad’s snowie machine!)

I listened to a good majority of Atlas Shrugged – Steve’s book of choice two months back – I’m almost done and I’ve really enjoyed it.

In our hours upon hours in the car, Briggs slept for approximately 8 hours – thats it. Oh how I wish I had car sleepers!

We didn’t eat at McDonalds – not even once. We did manage to eat at Subway twice, a local hamburger joint, Chipotle, a local Mexican restaurant and Little Ceasers.

Bedtimes were thrown completely out the window. I can think of one day they actually went to bed at their normal bed time and only a handful of times that they went to bed within an hour of their normal bedtime. It doesn’t help that it was light until 10pm while we were in Idaho.

When we arrived home it was 97 degrees. It was in the middle of the night – I don’t think any of us are quite ready for the Arizona summer that we’ve successfully avoided until now. Excuse us while we slip into swimsuits for the next couple weeks until school starts!



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Girls camp prep…

A lot of our preparation for girls camp was administrative and leg work. Making sure all of our i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed. Permission slips signed. Food lists created and food prepped. Activities organized. Camp assignments made. The list could go on and on.

We also had some more physical prep for girls camp. We had to make sure these girls were prepared for our all-day canyoneering experience. We took them out rappelling locally to help them feel more comfortable.

Hallie was not looking forward to this portion of girls camp – if you haven’t done it – it can be a little intimidating and scary. She’s gone several times before to this exact location, but she still gets nervous. She was ready to call it quits after one run down the mountain. I talked her into one more run so we could go together. I’m glad she agreed because she was far more comfortable going down the second time.

Some girls left this activity more excited than ever for our big canyoneering trip – other girls (Hallie included) were still nervous but at least had additional experience under their belt – or harness 😉

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When lessons pay off…

I don’t claim to be a tennis player. I picked up a racket when I married Steve and we’ve played doubles a couple times a year ever since. For the most part, I’ve been able to get by on general athletic ability and some coaching from Steve. (And I always play doubles with Steve which helps hides my weaknesses!)

Tonight, however, I’ve entered a new level in my tennis career – my 12-year-old daughter can legitimately beat me in tennis. We started out playing some friendly volleys. Then Steve had the idea to play a short set. We ended up tying but it was just luck on my part.

She’s just better than me. Better form. More consistent. She hits the ball hard. She’s good.

Its fun to see lessons really paying off. Perhaps I should pick up some lessons for myself!

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