Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

Oh my goodness!  Thanksgiving Day was so gorgeous.  The day started out a little chilly, but with all that sunshine, it warmed up just fine!  This year, with just 5 of us, we decided to start some new traditions.  One of those is going to be the Toquerville Turkey Trot - a 1.7 or 3.7 mile trail race.  Jess and Rachel ran the long loop, while we walked the short loop with Mary.  This year was our first, and we had a blast!  And the scenery was worth getting up early for!

Pasture view from the trail

Rachel & Jessica trying to wake up!

Getting warmed up - sort of!

Mom and Mary are ready!  Well, mom is.

Dad's ready too.  Why the pout Jess?  Don't know what's going on with Rachel...?

Cool bridge with funny people on it.

Close up on the funny people!

We stopped to pet a horse!!

Jess and Rachel are long gone, while we pull or push Mary along.

We finished!  Yay!  And we picked up trash too!!

What a great way to start Thanksgiving Day!  Plus, it eased some of the guilt over the upcoming pie!!

November in SoUtah

This fall exceeded my expectations for a colorful season!  Whoever thought that you have to be back east or up north for the gorgeous autumn colors needed to visit southern Utah this year!
Ash creek near Toquerville.

Trees near our home exploded with color! 

November was especially pretty. 
Pretty busy too with plays, concerts and parades.  Here's a sampling:
 Jessica played in the pit for Brigadoon - here she is on "half-face make-up" night.

Dad and Rachel working on that lovely math homework!

Rachel on snare in the Veterans Day parade.

 Mary and Dan all bundled up for a brisk and chilly walk!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Early Morning Walks

Most mornings, we get out for a long walk through the fields of alfalfa that surround our neighborhood.  It's always refreshing to leave the noise of traffic behind and be alone with our thoughts and have an uninterrupted conversation.  It's a great time to reflect on life and all of our blessings - or just to think about everything we gotta do when we get back home.
Highlights of our week:

      This past week has been full as usual.  Danny left for southern California for a few days for some scheduled interviews for residency programs.  He is using our home as a 'sort-of' home base while interviewing in the western U.S.  It's been really great to have him around again.  We get him for one more week, then he heads back to Milwaukee.
        Mary has started going to Special Needs Mutual lately.  She really loves it - and getting out with her peers.   
She's also enjoyed Danny being home since he fixes her lunches!  

           Jessica has been really busy with pit practice for the play, "Brigadoon", which is being performed by her high school.  After several weeks of practice every day after school, the play opened this week for a one week show.  After tonight, she'll get her life back - until club soccer starts!

        Rachel started winter training for track this week.  She was so sore for the first few days, she looked like an old woman trying to hobble around.  On Friday, she ran a 3-mile race and took 3rd place!  Not bad after only 1 week of training!  We also had parent-teacher conferences, but we turned it into a 'Rachel & Mom' date by trying out the newest burger joint! 
You can check for updates on Amelia and Loren on their separate blogs
- listed on the blogs I follow. 

         Dan and I were lucky enough to land 2 free tickets to "The Five Browns"!  What a treat THAT was!  They were simply ASTOUNDING!  All I could say for hours afterwards was, "WOW!".  
If you don't know who they are or what they are about, check them out at

Life has been good to us.  Walks in the fields helps us reconnect after going our separate ways each day.  Talks about what's going on with the kids, with one another, or just having one of those great philosophical "discussions" keeps us in touch with each other.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween for the Middle-aged

We have morphed this year - into parents of non-trick-or-treaters! Gone are the days of searching through our dress-up boxes in the basement for the right costume for a finicky five year old. Gone are the days of applying the sticky make-up for a dead soccer player. Gone are the days of rushing to the school with two and a half dozen orange frosted cupcakes for a class party which follows the traditional costume parade through the school halls.
Now, we have girls running off to teen-age costume parties, or helping with the neighborhood spook alley. The dress up boxes are still in the basement, but now I have a group of 12 teen couples - on a date - rummaging through them looking for the perfect silly or scary costume to wear on that date. And, luckily, Dan will always be a kid and heart - so we still have him!

He still sneaks into the Halloween candy days before the festivities begin, trying to look innocent as his cheeks bulge and bits of chocolate cling to his lower lip. On Halloween night he greets each and every trick-or-treater that rings our doorbell, asking, "Trick-or-treat??",  "...and what are you?", or, "OOHHH, you are SCARY!!, and, "I know you! You live down the street!". The trick-or-treaters love him and he loves all the little goblins who come begging for treats and candy. He jumps up each time the bell rings so that he is the first to answer the door (even though I made it to enjoy a few of the tiny goblins and their squeaky "twick-o-tweets").
I had imagined our first Halloween alone to be a quiet one, sipping hot cocoa while reading a good book, side by side in a darkened room with little halloween candles lending their ambiance. That, I now know, wouldn't have been any fun. It was a great Halloween just enjoying Dan enjoy the holiday! Maybe next year, we'll be the ones rummaging through the dress-up boxes!