Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kess's Birthday

Bryce and the boys were in Utah for two whole weeks! Mary and I were only there for one, but it was a blast. Here are some pictures from Kess's 11th birthday, when we went a water slide park and then had a little party.

Mary and me.





Harrison coming off the long water slide.

Heather and Betsie going down together!

Check out Kess.

I thought I was going to die but I made it. I was by far the biggest wimp of the day, and that's including 3-year-old Natasha.

Bryce, looking triumphant.

Kess loved going down the slides with her aunts.

Kira shakes her hair back and forth.

There goes Heather down one of the long slides!

Mary, Harrison, and Natasha waited to see when Cam came down the bouncy slide so they could run back up and bounce in to him.


Bryce keeping cool with Cam and Mare.

Kess got some great things for her birthday.

The Price family: Natasha, Kess, Betsie, Kira, Andy, and their nephew Ryker.

The 11-year-old birthday girl, the fabulous Miss Kess! She is such a sweetheart and I'm glad she's in our family.

Friday, July 26, 2013

All About Tyce

While Mary and I were at girls camp, Tyce and the twins and Lauren(!) went to Utah with Bryce for the week. I missed his birthday, which was sad and lame for me. Can you believe he is 17?

(A few days before Mary and I left, Tyce's dear friend Lauren came to visit us in Nevada. She rode with the men to Utah, where she spent the night at Al and Judy's house before hopping a plane home to Colorado. She is a sweetheart.)

So even though I wasn't there it seems that he was well-taken care of. He got money from the Cook grandparents, which is always a delight for a teenager. The Jones grandparents took him to the Bombay House for dinner, and then shopping for clothes. Lauren gave him the Nike shirt he wore on his special day. And I have to say, spending half a week with Lauren was probably the best present of them all.

Look at all those candles on that cute cake!

Opening presents with style.

Tyce and Lauren.

The next week he went to his very favorite activity of the summer, YASE. It is BYU's Young Ambassador's Singing Entertainers workshop, which means a week of intense singing, dancing, and performing. This was his first year making it in to the Showcase, the concert on Friday night; besides the group numbers, a handful of singers are chosen to perform special numbers they've prepared. Tyce auditioned with his friend Amy, singing a duet of the song "For Good" from the musical Wicked. Bryce and Heather attended the audition and they thought it was iffy as to whether Tyce and Amy would make it in....it was good but not spectacular. But they did, and when they performed it a the concert they were AMAZING. They totally deserved to be there and they were indeed spectacular.

We had great seats!

Tyce came out first in their duet.

Then Amy joined him.

She has such a lovely voice. And so does Tyce.

The final number.

After the performance with the beautiful and talented Miss Amy.

The singer with his parents.

We were so proud of him!

Tyce had the support of us, Heather, Aunt Betsie and her older girls Kess and Kira, the grandparents, and his siblings.

How cute is this picture of the boy and his cute sis?

Those weeks were the highlights of his summer so far, for sure. In August he has the chamber choir retreat but in the meantime, he's looking for a job (as is every other teenager in the city).

I have enjoyed him playing his guitar more; he got new strings and the instrument came back to life. There's pretty much nothing better to me than to have my kids play music around the house.

We love Tyce. He has a kind, sweet spirit and when he uses his talents for good, there is no finer person in this world.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Health Update

I have lost 27 pounds so far. It's been slower lately but that's because I am much closer to my goal; my ideal number is 18 pounds away. Oy, getting where I want to be is taking forever. But yay for me, I've come a long way, right? And I'm doing it in a healthy way that I can see sustaining for the rest of my life.

One of the changes I'm making is becoming a physically active person. All my life I've focused on my brain/smarts, and my relationships with people--but never my body. I never played sports, didn't work out on my own, and just wasn't interested in getting strong, lean, fit, or healthy. I wanted to look good, sure--which is why I did crash diets and quick fixes. Somehow things changed for me and I have four overarching tenets that guide me.

Have I told you my mantras I repeat daily?

--Have a healthy heart and strong body free of disease. I want to stave off the ailments that come with being overweight, especially high blood pressure, diabetes and dementia. There are many others but those are the three most on my mind.

--Honor the temple that houses my spirit.

--Look good and wear whatever cute clothes I want.

--Live up to my motto: She believed she could, and so she did.

So guess what. I've started playing racquetball. My companions have only been the twins so far but I think I could play a real game with a not-very-skilled adult and hold my own. I don't know. I dominate the court when I'm with the 8-year-olds, I will say that. Before I was too scared to try something new but to my surprise, I am really having fun.

I also want to sign up for a 5K fun run. A RUN! Remember when I ran on my birthday three times longer than I had before? I may not have mentioned that my hips killed for weeks after that. I had to take the jet packs off and go back to walking. I looked up the symptoms online and I think I had a flare-up of the uber-glamorous granny condition, bursitis. Not cool. So I have slowly introduced running back in to my routine. And I do mean slowly. Yesterday I logged about 4 minutes on the treadmill at 5.5 mph, in my entire 45 minute session. BUT!!! My hips feel just fine today. To make sure I did yoga today (Jillian Michaels' power yoga which you can imagine, was not gentle and sweet) and I feel normal. I think that if I take it slow like that I can work up for running a 5K for real. Bryce and I talked about the whole family doing the Santa Run in December, which is not competitive at all. Everyone's dressed like Santa, for heaven's sake! How fun would that be?

So those two things have really pushed me out of my comfort zone but now they're kind of IN my comfort zone, you know? Woo!

One more thing, I want to do a cartwheel. I've never been a pro but it's not too late to become one, hm?

When it comes to clothes, I have a favorite black knee-length pencil skirt that used to be a tight 14 and now it's practically falling off my body. That's the sad thing, saying goodbye to some old favorite clothes (because I do have quite a few favorites). But it's a good sad. I've avoided buying many things through this transition but I did buy myself a new pencil skirt in a size 8 and I'm almost there. Single digits, people.

I feel that healthy eating is my new normal, for the most part--a few slip ups here and there but I'm learning from my mistakes. Logging my food choices has been key. It's not always easy, especially when I'm surrounded by temptation or exhaustion (my reasoning takes a back seat when I'm tired). But this little saying spoke to me:

And I was like, YES.

So that's what's going on in the heath department (aka, the road to better living).

Come join me!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Girls Camp Report

We went to to Big Bear, California for camp. It is about 3 hours away from Las Vegas, equidistant from our regular stake camp in Kolob Canyon, Utah. However, it was a treat to be at Big Bear because the terrain was so different from the dusty desert of home and the accommodations were a big step up from what we were used to!

The girls stayed in cabins or A-frames instead of tents but the thing I liked best was the huge dining hall and kitchen. There was also a sports court where the girls played volleyball. There were several large gathering spots and lots of places to explore.

Mary (in red), with Bella, Taya, and Sara. This was our first gathering.

The dining hall.

The 2nd year girls were Kung Fu Pandas.

Mary and Taya at certification. Mary carved a really cool cat out of soap.

I went on the 3rd year hike.

These were our hikers. We went uphill for 2 hours and sped downhill back to camp in 30 minutes.

This was a view from the trail. Lovely. One group even saw a baby bobcat.
On the 4th of July we went to the lake. It was a spur of the moment decision and since we told the girls not to bring swimsuits, they swam in their clothes. How cool is this floating bounce house?

At the lake we sang camp songs. I'm sure the other lake-goers were entertained.

Waiting for the fireworks, which were super cool.

Mary will always be remembered at camp for her cape, her monkey, and her obsession with her Swiss Army knife.

One very fun activity was the Bishops' warrior competition. Each bishop dressed as a character from the scriptures and told why that person was relevant in our modern lives. Then they competed in some hilarious games (log throwing, hot dog eating, Primary song singing, and musical chairs, among others). Our Bishop rocked and he made our girls proud!

The leaders from our ward: Kristy, Jody, Danette, Jenni, and I. Loved hanging out with those chicas!

Our last activity was a hike to Testimony Rock. President Steadman and I both gave short talks before we descended to camp and began our testimony meetings.

It was a hard balance between being a ward leader, kitchen help, Mary's mom, and the stake Young Women's president, I won't lie. No one knew who I was so I went around introducing myself. I wasn't in charge (the camp directors were) but still my position made people ask me questions for which I had no answers. The lady I replaced as stake YWP, Lori, was there too, and she knew everything; I knew nothing. I felt that I wasn't doing enough in any of my roles and there were some awkward moments, uncomfortable moments . . . moments I felt like people were wondering where I was and why I wasn't acting more in charge or on top of things. Really, it was horrible. After one particularly horrible moment with Mary that made me too late to conduct the next activity, I hid in the bathroom and cried. But we got through it.

Mary said she loved it. I had to drag, pull, threaten, and sometimes just give up when it came to her participating but I'm glad to know she wants to come again. I'm hoping that maturity will make the camp experience easier as time goes by--for me, if not for her.

Our theme was BRAVE--Be Righteous and Virtuous Everyday and the motif was various bears (because of the movie with the same name, the mother was turned into a bear....remember?). It was super fun to hear the cheers of the different levels and the fun things they did with that. We had some very enthusiastic leaders and girls who helped make every event a party. A highlight for me was the 3rd year hike--sweet girls to get to know, nice adults, and great scenery. Mary's 2nd year group went 7 miles to the top of the mountain, the longest hike of any group. And guess what shoes she wore--cheap silver flats from K Mart. Hello. But her feet didn't bother her at all and the hike was her favorite part of camp, too.