Thursday, June 9, 2011

A long adventure in a lovely, chaotic month (longest post ever)

Well it's been a while and there's been quite a bit going on! At least as far as our simple lives go.  Lets see, where to begin...I guess the beginning of the chaos would be a good place, huh. That would be about a month ago. Probably the better part of the chaos even. Riley's brother Parker came to visit us for about two weeks in the ripe beginnings of May. It was wonderful. We barbecued, went on numerous hikes (training for another part of the chaos), Riley and Parker rented some video games that I otherwise would ban from the house and had a few late "man-nights", Parker and I went shoe shopping and then all three of us headed up to Lehi to play house for a week while my Aunt and Uncle were away on a cruise with my parents. I suppose this was the real chaos. And also wonderfully pleasant! Let me paint you a picture of about how it went, in a one day summary ( Get ready, this is done in one heaping hot breath );


6:30 comes around and Riley is up and ready and about to run out to door to make it to work on time with the 25 minute commute, while I start the long process of opening my eyes and rolling out of bed to wake the 1st round of children (16, 13 and 13)  to get ready and go to school. Then I start making lunches for the 2nd round of children (12, 10 and 7) that are not yet awake. Hounding and homework questions are fluttering around as the 2nd round of children start trickling out of their caves with halo's of fuzz surrounding their precious faces asking for breakfast and what treats they got in their lunches. The fuzz of the child on my lap is being brushed at the table as round one of children report that shoes are missing or sweaters are lost and because of this they will need a ride to school. SO. I pull on my slippers and pull my hair into some poor display for someone who is supposed to be going to cosmetology school and, bra-less mind you, I rush to drop off the kids at school and try to remember my way home so I can get the rest of the kids off to their school in time. I rush in the door and have to tell poor Abby that "I'm sorry, but no you can not wear that tutu to school because it's a little too short...yes it is just a lit...oh yes when you walk it shows your bum and it's rather see-through, I'm sorry dear you just can not wear it to school. You can wear it at home with leggings or shorts or over something, but you can't go outside like that. " and then making sure homework and lunches are gathered and everyone is off! Then a few hours to tidy up and then they start trickling in and home and chores are thrust on the children, and Riley gets home and there's complaining about who's turn it is on the computer and there's no toilet paper in the bathroom and.....what is that smell?.....What is that sound?..... Where is that coming from?......Is that coming from the cupboards under the sink?.....Wait is that water coming from under the sink?!?!?!?  And yes of course it was. And yes of course the pipes broke. And yes of course that meant chores including dishes and the kitchen were postponed (with gratitude from the children). And it meant a trip to home depot and an incredible brother in law who volunteered to fix it! Friends came and went, dinner was miraculously made without the use of the kitchen sink and seemed to produce twice as many dishes as we had  used (at least that's how it seemed as there was no way to wash them ), jokes were made, scriptures were read and then the battle to getting all the kids to bed. I think the day ended somewhere around 1:00am after the last minute semester-long-project-procrastination was dealt with AND SOLVED and we finally got to bed to do it all over. As crazy as it was it was a lot of fun and I didn't want to leave...and I am also very grateful that children only come one at a time and they start out as babies with very little to deal with outside of their natural needs and all of what comes with being a new baby. And that is that bit of wondrous chaos. 


After some reaaaaally long naps and a shower, Riley's parents came into town! It was short, but very nice to have them here. We hiked some more and played some games and all of this loveliness and then they went home leaving us to plan for our Back-packing trip to the Grand Canyon, on the Thunder River trail, with some of Riley's friends. It's a pretty intense bit of a hike. We were a little worried because Riley had blown out his knee the last time he did this hike and it's somewhere around 25 miles, and 3 days long. But we diligently trained and about 3 days before we left I pulled my hip flexor pretty good. So we took it easy and I stubbornly insisted we still go. And It was wonderful! For the first 9 miles of the first day anyhow. At that point my hip started giving me problems and Riley's knee started acting up.

We hiked down the Red Wall (of death)... get to the esplinade. Then we made it down
what is called the white wall... this place called Surprise valley. It  sure is a surprise.
A surprise hit to the legs! It was endless!

After we got through the valley we went down one more cliff face and ended up in this little haven
called Thunder River Falls!

We managed to drag ourselves to the loveliest place where I have ever unknowingly taken a nap and missed out on. How, you may ask? Well we stopped at this incredible waterfall that goes for about a mile, fiercely for the whole mile, and ate lunch. After we filled our water bottles I plopped down on a patch of weeds under a shady tree 5 feet from the mouth of this enormous waterfall and apparently fell asleep to the sound of the waterfall. I didn't think much of the fact that I was no longer in shade by the time I got up ( as the sun had moved quite a bit)  But as far as I can remember it was a lovely 2 hour nap! At least I felt lovely afterwards, I don't actually remember falling asleep. HA! 

On day two, yes the previous portions were all the first day, we hiked to Deer Creek.  There were water falls along the way, boulders to climb over as far as the eye can see and then forests of reeds that we went through to get here. These are the narrows. A river had cut it's way through to the falls. If you looked down from the top there were sections that it had cut down 100 ft. and you couldn't see the water, but you could hear it raging below you. We had to walk along a narrow path against a cliff face along side the narrows to get to our next destination.

This is Deer Creek Falls. Many river rafter just get there on their rafts, but we  hiked down  yet another cliff to get there with our packs and proudly jumped in fully clothed to feel the cool mist coming off the falls. It was a beautiful place.
The rest of the trip was great as far as company, food, jokes and scenery go. Riley and I took turns being in pain as his knee was no good on the downhill and I had to hoist my leg by my shorts to climb anything, but we got out alive and we are glad that we went! 


To top off the last of the month, last weekend the BYU Bookstore held a festival that I was on the committee for planning. It's something we've been working on since January and I am glad to say that it was a huge hit and it's over! I was in charge of pictures, costumes and some other little tid-bits here and there. The costumes were a big hit and I was actually complimented by some of the people at KSL that had done the festival in previous years and was contacted by a lady who is doing the Festival at Uof U about tips and advice for doing costumes at their festival this September. All of the people that volunteered to wear the costumes were fabulous and we had a lot of fun. Riley even came and participated. He volunteered to be our Winnie the Pooh and every woman I worked with told me I was incredibly lucky to have a husband like Riley. I enthusiastically  agreed and told them I already knew that :) Afterwards we went out to Olive Garden to celebrate and now here we are.  I will try and get some pictures of everything soon. I realize blogs as wordy and long as mine usually require pictures to be even mildly entertaining, so I shall get some soon. Hope you're all doing well! Much love!

Disclaimer - I do not claim to own rights to these pictures, I'm just sharing in the beauty. Here are the links for each of them