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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tell The Wolves I'm Home

I seem to find most of my books off of Facebook, people's blogs, or magazine reviews.  I think I saw this book in all three places so it seemed like a logical one to add to my list of "must reads".

From Amazon:
1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.
At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.
An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.

The book started off strong and I found myself drawn into the story.  I found some parts endearing and interesting.  However, there was a lot to me that seemed pretty unbelievable and did not feel very authentic.  I was felt like there were several story lines that either should have been left out, or explored more fully.  It was worth the read, but maybe when I didn't have anything more compelling.  B+ 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hogle Zoo

We have been trying to get to the zoo all summer...too busy, too hot, too something.  Saturday must have been the perfect day because when we got there, we found a few thousand of our friends were already there to join us.  It has been a long time since I have been to the zoo.  We said several times how impressed we were, they have made a lot of changes and it was great to watch most of the animals interact in their natural habitat. Somehow I forgot to get very many pictures, but as long as you have a gorilla shot, life is good.

The giraffes were kind of my favorite,
I can't get over how fascinating their markings are.

All I wanted here was one shot of me and Luke with the giant elephant,
Clearly, he had other ideas.

They loved the rhino statue as much as the real one.

The sealions were incredible
We loved watching them spin and swim.

There is currently a lego exhibit with scenes throughout the zoo.
Luke may look terrified here but I promise he was having a good time.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Reunion for Ruby

This afternoon we were able to spend a few hours with Tim's family.  His grandma Ruby Whitesides was born on September 17th so they often try to get together sometime close to that date to celebrate her birthday and catch up with the extended family.  This year Tim's dad brought and had read a short life history that she had written.  Grandma Ruby died before I ever met Tim so it was fun for me to learn more about her.  It was especially meaningful for me because we plan to name the baby Ruby.  It is a name I have liked for a long time, and the more I learn about his grandma, the more it seems like an honor to name the baby after such a great lady.

Grandma Ruby and Boyd (Tim's dad)

Three of the Whitesides brothers,
Tom, Bill and Boyd
 It turns out that Tim has a lot of relatives that are super musical.  Erika loved the chance to join up with her second cousin Bella and the uncles for an impromptu jam session.  They are each incredibly talented and we loved being part of the audience to enjoy it all.

Grandma and grandpa and Brycen especially enjoyed the music.

The little boys were mostly interested in funny faces.

The Cooks

Ryan and Nic
Nic finally got cold after a lot of fun in the rain.

The boy and his dad, of course.
 It rained nearly the entire time we were at the park.  Luckily we had a pavilion but everything that was uncovered turned into a lake.

The boys were fascinated by the worms,
Probably their favorite part of the party.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mt. Nebo Marathon

Saturday morning Tim, Sean and Jarin braved the hills (both up and down) and ran the Mt. Nebo Marathon.  It starts at the top of Payson Canyon, runs over into Santaquin Canyon end back down Payson Canyon.  I can't imagine a more beautiful course and was definitely jealous of this one.  Tim told me after the race how strange it was to be at a marathon start without me.  My dad has been battling plantar fasciitis so he was there, but as support crew and course photographer.  I like to think they missed us.  

Meanwhile back at the ranch.....Because of the amount of downhill in the course, we had no idea how long they would take so we got there early and had plenty of time for spectating. Sometimes I think it is easier to run than to watch.  Spending a lot of time spectating has definitely made me appreciate even more all the support I have had over the years.

It was so fun for the kids to run in with the racers.
Tim finished looking fresh and strong.

It was funny to watch Tim hop in and out of the ice bath,
By far the best recovery tool.

The kids could hardly wait to form another entourage.

This "marathon maniac" just finished his 24th marathon.

Tim loved having the kids there for support.

This little one appears to be ready for his own
Run across the finish line. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Onion Days

I am from Santaquin but beginning 9th grade I went to school in Payson so I consider it home.   Payson has it's big city celebration, Onion Days, over the Labor Day holiday.  For a long time I don't think I really realized that Labor Day was the official holiday - it was just Onion Days.  Over the years my activities have evolved.  The parade is always a "must see".  When I was young we begged our parents to take us on the little carnival rides.  I moved on to hanging at the carnival and park with friends (definitely too cool for family), and then as I got older, we headed back to the carnival but this time to entertain the little kids.  This year we went to the parade and then I didn't actually even make it out of the shade of the park - it was a hot day and I was too lazy to do much except for chase Luke.  I was a little sad when I realized how few pictures I took, but at least we have a little something to remember the day.

Thanks to my mom and dad for staking out a spot.

When the sun came out the grannies needed their umbrellas to protect their silky skin

Ada was the superstar of the parade with her clogging group.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


We started August with a quick getaway to Park City.  The inspiration was to celebrate Tim's birthday, it was part "babymoon", and mostly just an excuse to relax for a few days.  We stayed up at the Canyons and it was absolutely beautiful.

By chance I read an article about a climbing competition that was happening on Friday night at the Olympic Park.  Neither of us had ever been there and decided it was worth checking out.  We got there and discovered it was a huge competition with climbers from all over the country.  We were completely out of our element but loved the crash course into the climbing world.  

Saturday we spent the afternoon at the pool, had a quick dinner at our favorite Baja Cantina, then headed down the canyon to Sundance.  My boss generously invited us to attend Annie Get Your Gun with a group event he had organized.  Their outdoor theater is always one of my favorites and we really had fun with the play.

Meanwhile, back at home, Luke had a great time with grandma and grandpa.  We are so lucky to have great family who are willing to watch him so that we can have some baby free fun.

Tim loves the band Blackhawk, a 90's country band.  We have of their CDs in my car which generally gets played almost any time we go on a road trip.  When Tim found out they would be playing at the Salt Lake Country Fair, he was super excited.  When he discovered the tickets were free, even better.  It was definitely an interesting crowd, but the band sounded great and it was really fun.  

Tim's birthday was on August 9th.  We were lucky to meet his parents for lunch then spent the afternoon at Trafalga.

The next weekend we had the official cake/cheesecake/candle celebration with Ada, they are lucky enough to share a birthday.

Sean and the kids came to Utah in the middle of August for their annual summer visit.  This time Sean decided to make it even more interesting and run the Park City Marathon.  We were able to make it to several spots on the course to cheer him on. It's been really strange this summer not to be training for a marathon. Usually when I see people racing I'm jealous and wish I were running as well but once I saw the hills on this course, I was completely happy to just be a spectator.

We had a great time while they were here...Sunday walks,

And of course a boating trip.  The weather wasn't exactly cooperative, but a short trip is better than nothing.

The Pied Piper had all of the kids in awe once he brought out the metal detector.

Luke's first haircut probably deserves a post of it's own, but for now we'll let it be part of the August events.  Sean has been the most passionate in the campaign to get Luke's hair cut so I thought it was appropriate to have the two of them together for the "before"shot.

See, I knew that he really didn't want to a hair cut.  We have both recovered from the trauma but it still makes me sad to look at him because he looks so much older.

Nothing like a little mini me.  We are so excited to have Jesse starting BYU and here in Provo!

The official shot of 34 weeks.  I still really feel quite good for a pregnant lady.  Just a little hot and moody, but so far we are all making it through pretty well.