Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dear Hairdresser

Really all I want is a haircut that
1. Looks good tucked behind my ears
2. Is short so it's off my neck in the summer
3. Still works into a sassy cute ponytail (minus those stupid bobby pins) for running (and other events that are ponytail friendly, like life)
4. Is wash and go and looks good after just a blow dry. You know, just in case I don't wake up until the girls do, and have to take a shower, get dressed and "do" my hair all while they whine and cling to my legs.
5. Makes me look feminine, so that when I choose not to wear make-up (lately every day but Sunday) people do not mistake me for some strange androgynous person.

That's it. I don't know why this seems impossible. Seriously, I'm not asking much.

Yesterday, when I went for my twice yearly haircut, Mike said to me, almost pleadingly, "You have a haircut? How short are you going to go?"

Mike pretends that he likes my hair at whatever length I cut it, but it's comments like these that reveal his true desire for long, silken tresses.

When we met I had short hair, and I have generally speaking always had short hair, but last summer I grew it out for Locks for Love. It was long-- and that was about its only attribute. Mike loved it. It seriously just hung on my head, looking, well, dead. I always pulled it back in a ponytail. I have never mastered the cute ponytail either, so that didn't even look good.

The one time it looked good was when Shaelynn (my sister) did it for Alisha's (my other sister's) wedding. That required a can of hairspray, two curling irons and a half an hour. Do you know what I can accomplish in half an hour? Hair is not one of the things I think about when given a half hour of free time.

Sometimes I think about growing my hair out long again, just to please Mike, because I like him, a lot :) But it's summer time right now and we still have children and my curling iron is broken.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer fun

We had a super fun time today at the Splash pad up in S. O-town. It was so fun, and so free, and let me say it again so fun. It makes me happy to see my little girls thrilled to be somewhere. I wish the parks around here would put in one of these things.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

That was a long race

Surprisingly, my stomach forgave me. Unfortunately my hips and legs have yet to decide if they are willing to forgive and forget. After 16 miles in less than 24 hours, I guess I can't blame them for rebelling everytime I try to stand up or go up and down stairs.

This weekend I ran (well the last leg I wasn't really what I call running) the Wasatch Back Relay--a 181-mile, 24-hour race from Logan to Park City-- with 11 awesome women (and two amazing drivers)! You run it in teams of 12, with each runner running 3 legs varying from 3-8 miles.

It was a little bit of a flashback for me-- we were all alumni of the Weber State University track/cross country team, and it reminded me of why I loved running in college so much. I was surrounded by amazing women that all worked really hard and were great examples to me. They were kind, beautiful and competitive. I get all sappy and emotional thinking about it. I was so inspired watching each woman get out on the course and run so fast and then get in the van and cheer for everyone else!
We won our category and were the second "women's" team--(the first place was Davis High girls--grrrr! and wow they are amazing too). What good times! Thanks Mike for biking seven miles up a mountain and then seven back down just to give me some company while I ran at 2:30 a.m.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day, Mike style

Mike with Kenzie at the hospital

Mike with Hannah at the hospital

Here I was all ready to buy Mike a nice, conservative watch for Father's day, with maybe a sappy card too, but on Monday he says to me, very excitedly,
"Steph! STP is touring again and they are coming to Salt Lake on Wednesday!"
"Not STP!" I probably said in mock excitement. Mike's musical tastes are shall we say, different from mine.
I enjoy the occasional hard rock song, and I even listened to a whole cd of Aerosmith once, and I liked it. Mike loves STP (Stone Temple Pilots), and his favorite song ever (I remember this from when we were dating), is "The Big Empty" by STP. This is one of the mysteries of Mike I enjoy, but don't understand at all. In fact, the first time Mike kissed me, he played me this song, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and ran away.
Another fond STP memory I have was when we were once listening to their cd in the car when "Silvergun Superman" came on. Here's a sampling of the probably drug-induced lyrics, "Find you in the dark/Read you like a cheap surprise/Without shame/Sell me out, and frame your name/I can hear when the pig whispers sweetly/Jealousy is the weapon you kill me."
Mike said to me, "That's so strange."
"Yes," I nodded my head and Mike continued:
"Jealousy is the weapon, you kill me. Don't you think that's kind of strange?"
"Oh," I said. "I thought the strange part was about the pig whispering sweetly."

Mike and I still laugh about that. So I guess STP is inextricably mixed up in my happy memories of dating Mike.
Anyway, somehow I found myself surrounded by beer-drinking, dancing and singing (and some pot smoking) lovers of STP at the concert on Wednesday. (Mike was not one of the drinkers or smokers) I gave in to Mike's excitement and instead of a watch he got tickets.
They opened with "The Big Empty" and played tons of songs that Mike really loved. I had a great time because Mike was so pleased. And I must admit it was really fun when I knew some of the songs and could sing along with all the drunk people. I only wished I had some leather pants to wear. . .
So, it was a way better gift to give than a watch.

Mike- You're an amazing dad! I'm so happy that I get to raise our little girls with you. You are always patient and kind. And just remember, "When Hannah is sad she says, 'mamamama', and when Hannah is happy she says, 'dadadada'." (according to Kenzie) Our girls adore you, and so do I.
Happy Father's Day to our dads too! We love you.

Grandpa Alan holding Hannah the day she was born.

Grandpa Reid with a fresh crop of grandkids.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stephanie and Mike's Excellent Adventure

Mike and I decided to fall in love all over again by not showering for three days, hiking long hours, and sleeping in really confined spaces. We totally recommend it for all couples.

We spent our sixth anniversary camping and hiking a remote spot in S. Utah called Paria Vermilion Wilderness. We left the kiddos at Grandma's, loaded up the sleeping bags, a cooler, and the tent (minus the stakes, oops), and headed out just past Kanab.

It was absolutely fabulous.

A short (well, actually quite long) travelogue:

On Wednesday we left four hours past schedule. Mike worked a half day and I was incapable of leaving without first exchanging a nasty bag of oranges that I bought at the grocery store and running a million little errands. All the little last minute things added up, so we left at 4:00 p.m. instead of 12:30. We would have arrived at our planned campsite, down a long and winding unlit dirt road at 11:00 p.m. Instead, I used my map skills (learned in seventh grade geography) to find a campground. We stopped at Red Canyon, just outside of Bryce Canyon at about 9:00 p.m., made some taco soup, (I love cooking on the Coleman stove. I love cooking when there are no children clinging to my legs.) and decided we were tired. As we retired to our tent, it began to hail. It was a freezing night, but bearable.

We woke up to snow. In June. In Southern Utah.

This is Mike, surpirsed that it snowed. This is me, staving off frostbite by hiding in the car while Mike took the tent down.

After loading up our soggy tent and sleeping bags, we headed to our original destination-- the Stateline Campground, about 50 miles outside of Kanab on Highway 89. Although the road to our campground was only 9 miles of dirt, in our little car it was more like 30. Good job little car. Who needs four wheel drive?

We camped on the Arizona side of the campground-there were only four spots to camp in, and the Arizona side had sheltered picnic tables. One of the funniest things about this trip was the random signs they have out in the middle of nowhere. My favorite showed a house consumed by flames, and it asked very seriously, "Do you have defensible space?" At the campground my favorite signs were "Rattlesnakes!" and signs placed all over that staked out the Arizona and Utah border. It must be very important to know exactly when and where Arizona and Utah begin-especially out there.

We had our choice of the campsites and set up a soggy camp that was soon dried by the hot desert sun, and the gusting winds. The gusting winds did not bode well for our stake-less tent, so Mike filled the tent with large rocks. You can't fit much in our tent, but our large rocks kept us very cozy.

Then we set out for The Whiterocks.

They were fun to explore and we had our first, well not if you count jackrabbits and each other after not brushing our teeth, wildlife sighting. We saw a huge fox, up one of the canyons we explored. It was super cool.

That night we slept comfortably. No snow.

Friday we had our permit to visit the famed "Wave." One of Mike's professors at the U told us about it, and we actually centered our anniversary around the permit we won. Only 20 people a day get a permit. Mike's professor, Scott, gave us GPS coordinates for some other cool things at the hike. It was a good 3 mile hike to the Wave, but we took a detour to look at the lace rock. It made me wish for a really nice camera, it was so beautiful.

The Wave is a frozen striation of colors frozen in sandstone. It was amazing.

We spent the whole day hiking around that area, seeing beautiful things that my camera did not capture very well.

Top Rock arch, above the Wave

Inside the Alcove. The Sandstone was carved by wind and absolutely amazing with the colors and sunlight reflecting off it.

This is the Outside of The Alcove in the above picture. I had to run fast for this self-portrait.

People call this the Second Wave. We looked for this for a long time. This is about when I started to get ornery, but it was worth looking. It reminded me of banana cream pie.

This is a cool formation just before the Wave. If I got to name it I would call it "The Three Kings" or something.

After that we were bushed. I started to get ornery. But Mike's eternal optimism prevailed and we had a great night at our campsite, making Smores from marshmallows that had cooked in the car, and chocolate that we squeezed directly from the Hershey bar wrappers. I call them "Direct Sunlight Smores" and think that marshmallows taste much better roasted over a fire than cooked in the car, but they worked. When our camp chairs self-destructed we figured we would call it a night.

Saturday: Bright and early we met Scott (Mike's professor that told us about the Wave) and Monica (his wife), and Scott's sister Lisa at the Wire Pass trailhead for a hike through part of Buckskin Gulch. It was a really fun and beautiful hike. The company was good and the scenery was amazing. Our camera battery died, so these are the only two pictures we have of our hike. Scott takes amazing pictures though, so check his blog for pics.

We were expecting water holes and wading, but the trail was dry and shady for the most part. Not only did we see a beautiful slot canyon, but we saw tons of lizards and snakes and a hawk totally flew down and posed for us. It was great. We figured we went about 3-4 miles in to the Gulch. We definitely plan to backpack the whole thing someday.

That night, we pansied out and got a hotel, but I now plan to end all extended camping trips with a stay in a hotel. It was great to clean up before the six hour drive home.

Overall it was a great trip, and I was happy to find that we could hold adult conversations and get along together without discussing the kids (too much).

Six years! Wow. Time flies when you're having fun! I love you Mike!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Conversation with Kenzie, part 2

(This is a mother's day picture, that has nothing to do with the following post, except I liked it, and I'm a mom, and in this post I talk to my daughter.)

Last night I was tucking Mckenzie into bed, and I said, "Kenz, you're a great little girl. Thanks for being part of our family."
She smiled sweetly, hugged me and said, "Okay mom. I won't die."
I was a little confused. I wasn't saying farewell to her. I swear I compliment her often.
"Why do you say that?"
"I don't want to die," said Kenzie. "Will I die mom?"
My gosh. She is three. She doesn't even watch TV. Just stupid Disney movies. Actually, I guess those have lots of violence and death, and even some swearing (Sleeping Beauty anyone?). So much for my protectiveness.
"Everyone dies sweetie, but you won't die for a long long long long long long long long long long time." (I added under my breath, "I pray.")
"I want to stay here forever. Why did President Hinckley die?"
"Well, Heavenly Father needed him in heaven, and he said, 'time to come home, Pres. Hinckley.'"
"I don't want to go to Heaven," said Kenzie, almost crying. "I want to stay here, so I can see you."
Ahhh. Can you hear the violins? My heartstrings are definitely pulled. I also reject the urge to be funny (to myself) and don't mention where we go if we don't go to heaven. We haven't explained the opposite of heaven yet.
"Okay. You don't have to for a long long long time."
Tender moment now ends when Kenzie rolls away and says matter-of-factly, as if I have taken up too much of her time,
"I want to go to sleep now, mom."

Oh yeah, the tank top issue? You will probably see Mckenzie wearing tank tops this summer. I am just going to let her wear the three we own. (I swear I bought them thinking they would look cute over a t-shirt. That's the grown-up style around here.) I will probably just not buy anymore. We will wean slowly.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A conversation with Kenzie

Every day I have some form of this conversation with Mckenzie:

Kenzie, excitedly and loudly, every time she sees someone wearing a tanktop: "Look mom, she's wearing a tank top!"
Me, wearily, trying to be quiet: "Yes. I see that."
Kenzie, loudly: "Why is she wearing a tank top mom?"
Me, quietly, trying desperately to think of a good answer: "She must be hot."
Kenzie: "Why are we not wearing tank tops?"
Me, knowing this answer can only last a week or two longer: "Because. It's not summer. We don't wear tank tops."
Kenzie: "When it's summer I will wear tank tops."
Me, mumbling incoherently: "Mmmm."
Kenzie then proceeds to relate instances of friends wearing tank tops, and friend's mothers wearing tank tops and aunts wearing tank tops, and strangers from months back wearing tank tops at Zion National Park. Her memory is excellent in this subject.

I don't know where she got this obsession. (I think I've worn one once, when I ran a race or something.) Last year, she had a couple of tank tops that she wore, but they were just clothes. Now they are the coolest things ever. Tank tops are better than princesses. I could probably bribe her to eat all of her dinner, all by herself, veggies included, and even some extra squash, if I told her she could wear a tank top.

I waffle on the subject. I try to explain that we're different. We don't wear tank tops unless we wear something over or under them, or unless we're exercising.

I can't decide if giving in to her tank top wants is setting her up for a lifetime of immodesty, or if it is no big deal, and I just don't buy any, it will go away. We had a Family Home Evening on modesty once, but the modesty concept was well above her head, so we only talked about our swim suit area, how we always keep it covered. (Nothing like explaining modesty to a three-year-old to remind you of how ridiculous it is that all standards of modesty are dropped as long as you're "swimming")

I think I am coming to the conclusion that I will just let her wear the tank tops we already have (I think she has 3 that still fit), and just not buy anymore. Although, I know that once I let her wear a tank top she will become completely incensed if no tank tops are clean, and we will have to experience all sorts of unpleasantness until she realizes I am not letting her wear her popsicle-grass- stained tank top, and I am not washing it every night either.

What is your theory on tank top wearing?