Monday, June 30, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Aaron and I went back home to Utah for a few days and had a fantastic time! Aaron's friend Travis got married, and I had two personal business days at work that I had to use by July 1, so we were able to go out for a few days and we had so much fun. We spent Thursday with Paul and Mikelle and spent the day with them, and had a ton of fun. I cannot believe how big Annika and Sydney are. Annika was so entertaining. We didn't think that she would have much to do with us at first since it has been so long since she has seen us, but she was as friendly as ever and was quite the conversationalist. She talked and talked and seemed to have quite a bit to say although we didn't understand all of it. Sydney was more reserved and didn't seem as excited to see us, but she would smile at us and was as cute as ever! They are adorable. Aaron spent Friday with Paul and Mikelle and went miniature golfing and they had a wonderful time. I spent the day in Logan with my awesome friend Jessica and had a ball and spent way too much money, but it was so worth it!! (Thanks Jess for the super fun day, I enjoyed it so much!) We spent Saturday busy with the wedding and Aaron's friend and was able to see more of Paul, Mikelle, Annika and Sydney. They were able to come up to The Oaks with us and have lunch and I got the biggest kick out of Annika and what a little social butterfly she was. Thank you Paul and Mikelle for your wonderful hospitality and for all of the fun, it was so great seeing you guys, we miss you!

Saturday evening we were then able to drive down to Salt Lake to see my brother Lynn his wife Jaclyn and their two kids. When we got there it was their bedtime but Lynn and Jaclyn were nice enough to let them stay up a little longer. We did fireworks, but Reese didn't like them too much. She cried and was pretty afraid of them, and kept saying "I'm freaking out!" It was pretty hard not to laugh. She was also very sociable with Aaron and I which was surprising. I guess we have two fantastic nieces who love to see us, even though they don't see us very often. I got lots of hugs and kisses and Reese even let me tuck her into bed that night, a privilege I don't get to have too often. Tate really is a tank and is as huge as ever! He is such a sweet boy who has such an amazing temperament. He is such a smiley and happy boy who is so easy going. He looks so much like his dad it is amazing. We went to church with them on Sunday and then just hung out for the rest of the day. We had so much fun with them, and it was so good to see part of our family. Thank you Lynn and Jaclyn for letting us come and stay with you and for your hospitality. We love and miss you! Aaron and I are so lucky to have such wonderful families!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Another Day at the Beach

We decided take another trip to the coast this past weekend, so we went to one of our favorite spots: Short Sands Beach in Oswald West State Park. The park is a few miles south of Cannon Beach, a nice little resort town. The beach is in a fairly small cove about a quarter mile from the highway and there's an old forest between the highway and the beach, so you feel like you are far away from everything else. The next morning we went to Cannon Beach and did some shopping and some more sitting around on the beach. Being so close to the coast has been one of our favorite things about Oregon, something we'll definitely miss when we leave.

No camping trip is complete without roasting marshmallows and making s'mores. You may notice the can of baked beans next to fire above; Aaron forgot the can opener, so he had to use some rocks to prove to Marjean that if cave men could open cans without can opener technology, we probably could too. I don't think she believed I could do it, but I showed her what two-thirds of a law degree could accomplish.

You can barely see some surfers out there. Apparently this is a popular spot for the local surfers. We think they must be nuts because we are sitting on the beach with pants and sweaters and still freezing.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Growing Pains and Emergencies

Yes, this has been my week, full of one emergency after the other. I came into the office Tuesday morning and checked my work voice mailbox. I really wish I hadn't done that. Unfortunately, working for Child Welfare, this is not something that you can put aside. This job is full of emergencies, some are worse than others, but unfortunately they do happen. It was a week that I felt tried all of my patience and then some. Sometimes this work is really heartbreaking, it is really hard to see children suffering and paying the consequences for the choices of their parents and families. Needless to say, I worked four very long days that were heart wrenching. Friday was the worst. It was the worst day I've had in a long time, mostly because my heart ached for a little 2 year old on my caseload. If I were a superstitious person I would have attributed this to it being Friday the 13th. But I'm not. When 6:00 pm came on Friday I had at least two more hours of work left, but I couldn't handle any more so I came home. Through my tears of sadness and frustration I had a black cat run right in front of my car. Maybe it was my total exhaustion, but it did make me break into a fit of laughter. I thought great, what next, I'm doomed now that a black cat crossed my path on Friday the 13th. Luckily for me I'm not superstitious, but it did cause me to have a good laugh, which was a nice change. I went straight to bed and took a nap. Let me tell you, its amazing what a good nap will do for a person. I woke up feeling so much better and was able to process the things of the day. I've spent a lot of the day pondering on the events of last week. Sometimes the things I see push me to my mental limit and definitely push me to the edge of my patience. I guess these are experiences that are providing me with some learning opportunities and opportunities for growth, even if they do hurt sometimes. I hope that I am doing at least some good, and I hope that I can help some children along the way. They are such special people who have experienced so much. I am so thankful to my own parents who are so wonderful, and I am so thankful to Aaron's parents for raising such a wonderful man. Also, hats off to you wonderful parents out there, you are appreciated, even if no one thanks you!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Why we love bunnies

This is a video of Cooper trying to get a carrot that we put inside a little cereal box. Needless to say, don't get in between a rabbit and his carrot.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cape Lookout Camping Trip

This weekend we went on our first camping expedition of the year. We went over to the Coast to a place called Cape Lookout. We were able to enjoy an afternoon on the beach relaxing, and then later took a long hike on the Cape. It was about a two hour hike and was very beautiful. Parts of the hike the trail wasn't very wide and then there was nothing but a big, straight drop off from the cliff. All in all it was a pretty cool hike. The weather was cloudy as you can see, but it wasn't too terribly cold or windy which was nice. During the night while we slept there was a pretty steady rain, but fortunately it was no longer raining when we woke up in the morning. We are fortunate to have a good tent that keeps out the rain and water very well (thanks mom and dad), so we stayed warm and dry which was definitely nice.