Thursday, July 29, 2010

little brother

Twenty-seven years ago today my brother Christopher was born. He came eighteen months after me (which now makes me think my mother must have been a wonder woman since there were already 2 older than us). However, with a house, a career, a rad wife and two beautiful babies I think he probably looks much more like the older sibling now!

In a serendipitous coincidence, today happens to be the day Bike Snob was on our very own Radio West program. If you aren't familiar with Bike Snob then you should be because he write amazingly clever blog posts and he loves bikes in a completely egalitarian sense; bikes are functional and fun and practical for all kinds of people. I started to read and love Bike Snob because his point of view reminded me of another less sarcastic, but equally passionate, bike point of view...Christopher's bike point of view.

Because I don't know another person in real life who loves bikes as purely and as simply as Christopher loves bikes. He started mountain biking in junior high school and moved to a road bike a few years later. He figured out ways to build and fix bikes on his own with little money or outside help. He's competed in all kinds of races including the long haul of LOTOJA but considers day to day commuting every bit as important because he thinks bikes are good for both people and the environment. He will help anyone with any kind of bike problem. He will search Craigslist and KSL ads for a bike that fits your price range. He will take you to the bike collective to introduce you to economical part options and a sense of bike community. He will go on a bike ride with you and even if you're huffing and puffing at 20 miles he will make you feel like a million bucks for your effort even if he could go another 50 (when he's in shape that is!).

Of course, the other two bike boys in my life are Aaron and Logan, and both of them are also intense and knowledgeable in their appreciation. But Christopher quietly and kindly seems to be the go-to guy.

Thanks for being born little brother.

Friday, July 23, 2010

fake plastic trees

Besides how much my mostly inside body appreciated our sunny trip south last weekend, my mostly inside thoughts also appreciated our sunny trip south last weekend.

I think there were some things I was very good at as a single person. One was annoying roommates with my complaints about dishes in the sink. Another was watching all the shows on TLC and HGTV. And the third was driving by myself.

I think I still annoy my roommate with my complaints about dishes in the sink and I still try to watch as much TLC and HGTV as I can possibly squeeze in around Whale Wars and Tour de France coverage. However, I have been no good at driving by myself. The very lovely reason behind that is of course, that I have someone I always want to be around with me now. The only problem is, I've realized that a lot of my alone thinking time is wrapped up in driving by myself time.

I didn't get a car of my own until I was home from a mission at 22 and the freedom of it I still haven't ever gotten over. I love letting my mind wander in a car. I love the way you can be surrounded by sound in a car. I love being in a car long enough to listen to a favorite old album, or a brand new album, or a mix of songs. I think half the reason I love Cache Valley so much is because it's the perfect alone drive distance away.

But I don't drive to Logan or nearly anywhere alone anymore. And since Aaron and I have very different tastes when it comes to music and the enjoyment thereof, when we're together we listen to podcasts and the artists where our music overlaps.

So for the first time in a long time, on the way home from Escalante, with worn out bodies and bellies full of pizza, I ended up driving for a spell while Aaron slept on the back seat and Christina dozed in the front. I slowly turned up the volume for their sleeping ears to adjust and got back to a place I didn't realize I have missed so much...but plan on arranging to visit more often.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

big sky

Aaron's summer internship doesn't allow for taking time off, so we have to pack A LOT of fun into weekends. Like driving 5 hours on a Friday afternoon to Escalante for a quick couple of days backpacking with Aaron's old roommates.

This was the trail we were going to do last year, but just ended up camping instead.

We hiked through rain,

and water,

and heat.

We learned that Native Americans began those family back window stickers.

We set up camp in this awesome alcove.

We ate s'mores.

We only had one first aid issue (besides blisters) and that was Christina sticking her hand directly upon a cactus.

We had Stacy's 14 year old nephew with us. I thought 14 year olds were the worst of teenage offenders, but this one was the world's most adorable kid. I'd have 12 boys if they'd all turn out like him (no I wouldn't).

On our way out we discovered we could have died!

But forgot all about that when we were reunited with soda!

Backpacking success!

Friday, July 16, 2010

world news

Morgan turned 2 yesterday.

This was his party (because the kid actually watches sports).

This was his cake (baked by his adorable mama).

This was his mature dad.

This was his tiny brother.

This was his grandma holding that baby brother.

These were Morgan's other guests.

Coleman I think?

Will I think? (who all belong to the hilarious Megan)

Hudson (who belongs to Meikel and Luke)

Alma and Julia (who belong to each other)

And Nick (who belongs to Aaron and me).

Thanks for being born kid!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

long way home

Aaron and I have lived in our apartment for 6 weeks. A week before that, we ordered a couch. Well, two couches because my comfort driven husband and his entertaining driven wife wanted plenty of comfortable space for people who visit. We went to Macy's and to my delight, finally pulled the trigger on the couch I've coveted forever.

Behold, the Corona:

I saw it posted once on Grassrootsmodern and ever since have occasionally checked back on it, dreaming about when it would be mine. I've always had roommates with couches so I've never purchased...but I knew I could convince my current roommate!

So we bought the loveseat and the couch and since we chose an in stock color, we were supposed to be sitting pretty 2 weeks later. We figured that by 3 weeks into our new home, we'd be ready for guests for sure!

Well...we still don't have a couch. We have a love seat, but no couch. No couch means no final furniture arrangement. No final furniture arrangement means no art on the walls or stuff put away. And no art on the walls or stuff put away means we still look like we just moved in. Plus just a loveseat means this is how we fit trying to watch movies together.

So you are welcome to come squeeze in with us for yet another 2 weeks until the couch arrives (don't make me bad mouth you any more Macy's). Just don't judge the 4 lamps sitting next to you on the floor.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Everybody's Gotta Live

I love the 4th of July. There are lots of reasons (first and foremost because I effin love America), but I think in part because while all holidays mature with you as you get older, the 4th of July stays the same. A lot of holidays loose their magic but fireworks and sparklers are still exciting. Red, white and blue food is still fun. And gathering with family and friends for barbecues is still something to look forward to.

On top of that, the past few years the Cache Valley Cruise-In has coincided with the 4th of July weekend, which gives me two more reasons on top of my regular reasons to go to Logan.

This is the house my grandmother was born in (I love Morgan and my grandma in this photo).

It is conveniently located on the path of the car show parade.

So we sit on the curb and watch cars go by.

My grandparents supply SO MUCH SODA (Aaron and I used those wash bins at our wedding for the same purpose).

And for the holiday, I thought I had done a good job on a 4th of July outfit with this multi-cultural red, white and blue combo.

But then Tasha showed up and America-ed the hell out of my attempt,

and had one of her children dressed in actual starred and striped shorts.

Morgan's brother Wyatt exists this year and was also outfit ready for the holiday in blue.

So I did the only thing you can do with new babies...tried to eat him up starting at his tender, baby neck.

The next day, Logan and Kristen and Aaron and I started with a bike ride to inaugurate my new bike.

Which according to my athletic brother and sister-in-law and bike crazy husband meant taking me nearly 30 miles up a canyon (I was too grumpy and tired to take photos there)...thanks guys!
At least it was all beautiful and there was the sweet reward of zipping down the canyon and getting home on flat streets through Logan farmland.

Then Kristen and I relaxed on the kind of warm beaches of Bear Lake,

while the boys eased themselves into the cold water (no thanks).

I wish every weekend was a low pressure, yet fun, holiday weekend!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

stars and stripes

I have more 4th of July weekend photos. This one just couldn't wait any longer to be seen all over the internet.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

family business

Best wedding moment ever captured? Most definitely.

Thank you very much Kristina

Dead Hearts

a little M83, a little Explosions in the Sky, a lot of Stars...I love this new album