Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Isn’t it gorgeous?!?!?!
I used to be a little put off whenever I heard people rave about Lake Powell. I’m a Shasta girl at heart and when I moved to Utah I felt like that was all I ever heard. “Lake Powell this. Lake Powell that. Have you ever been? That’s not where you houseboat? Oh…poor girl. You’re missing out.” Everyone I talked to seemed to undermine my Shasta experiences because A. they hadn’t heard of the lake and B. because they hadn’t there was no way it could compare. Well, I decided to develop a few ignorant biases of my own and, before I knew it, I’d subconsciously decided Lake Powell was overrated.
Well, just over a year ago my boyfriend’s family decided to take me. Parker had grown up camping out by the lake and just loved the place and (because we were both in the stage where neither could do any wrong) I decided I’d just go ahead and love it too.
We had a really wonderful visit—tons of boating, lots of laughs, and an infinite number of “ooo’s” and “ahh’s” over its scenery—but outside of the good company and great vacation I’m not sure I was sold on the lake itself by day one. It seemed choppy, crowded, and (from the stories I’d heard and the overturned houseboat we passed) a little dangerous too.
BUT (and this is a big but) I do love it now. Yes, it has its moments where conditions aren’t perfect, but so does every other lake. By our second day there last year I knew I’d found a special place—a place I’d love to come back to time and again with family and friends. And, as luck would have it, that’s what we did! The great friends that gave me my first taste of Powell became family and have brought me back for Round 2.
Lara & Kirk invited us down on their annual neighborhood couples’ trip. What a fun time! First of all, I’m so impressed they all collaborate and make this happen. And second, they’re all so much fun! They laugh and tease and joke and love and cuddle and made us newbies feel so welcome. Lara & Kirk spent the few weeks leading up to the trip giving us the scoop on each and friend and it paid off. I had everyone’s name memorized about 10 minutes into the trip because their descriptions were so spot on. It really made me laugh. I’d love to hear Kirk give our bios someday…
We BBQ-ed up of the yummiest kabobs (thanks to Kristy & my dad for the marinades and Tristan for his garden-fresh veggies!!!), wakeboarded until the sun set, rub-a-dub-dubbed in the lake, took a midnight swim, and even woke to watch the sunrise. Falling asleep to the sound of the waves on the shores and a blanket of stars up above was, to me, absolutely priceless.
And another perk to camping—it earned us about 6 extra hours on the lake!—which left us lots of time to talk. I learned a lot about Lara & Kirk and their life together and hearing about it all made me so excited for the future. It’s so neat to see where they are in life right now—in a happy home with 4 adorable little boys, fresh paint, passports with stamps to the neatest places, the “tuffest” boat I’ve ever seen, and even a “dirt-bag” (it’s a joke) dog. It’s everything you’d ever imagine when you think of building a life with the person you love and I’m excited for the day when we’ll have all that—when we and our friends will be able to afford couples trips to the lake, when we’ll have stories to share about the funny thing our kid said at football practice, or when we can say we’ve seen Les Miserables in London. (I know it sounds superficial that all I’m talking about are things, but I’m just trying to paint a picture of what comes to people who live their lives well—who love their families, serve others, work for everything they receive, and stay close to the Lord through best and worst of times.) Anyway, I just started thinking about that day and wanting to be there—wanting to have it all now or at least have a sneak peek at what it will be like.
But hearing them describe their life leading up to this also made me treasure the time Parker and I have together now. This is the time to grow and learn together and take life by storm. It’s our time to decide who and what we’ll be and become the people who will raise those children, take those business risks, and stay so in love through it all. It’s our time to realize how incredibly compatible we are and how much potential we have as a couple. And it’s our time to go without for awhile so, when we do have it all, it will mean that much more.
Even though they weren’t there with us, I learned a lot from Tristan & Kristy too. Hearing Lara & Parker reminisce about their childhoods and being with them on the days before and after our trip made me love their parents even more.
Watching Tristan with his grandkids makes my heart melt, and hearing about the ways he worked to make his family vacations the best makes him that much sweeter. I can just picture him working up some creative way to tie the pedal-boat to the truck just because he knew the kids would love it. And it's equally as easy to see him convincing Kristy to buy the springy tree ornaments because he thought they were so neat-looking and knew she'd love them too. I about died when he used his headlamp to pick squash for us at midnight just so we could skip a trip to store too. Generosity is never in short supply with the DeMilles and I know Tristan is a BIG reason for it.
And Kristy—WOW! When Lara thought back on how her parents ever managed to do camp-outs with all 7 kids I realized how often I fail to realize what a feat it would be to be a mom to so many. 7 doesn’t seem like as much now that they’re grown, but one day, not long ago, they were babies and toddlers and teenagers all at the same time. She did it all and still does. She lets her children live their lives but she’s always there to play mom when they need her. She makes back-to-back trips up north to help with wedding pictures, tend kids, move furniture, deliver cookies, or do anything else you need her to. She stays up late to make potato salad because she knows you’ll want another side dish and makes her grandson’s favorite cookies just because he asked. She thinks a year ahead for Christmas (i.e. NYC) and brings home the cutest finds for each and every one of us, always making sure to never leave anyone out.
And when you say thank you, neither one lets it stick, because in their eyes their acts of generosity are simple and small and what any person would do. And I know they think, if they could, they would do so much more. But I’m not really sure what else we could ask for. It blows me away and I hope, someday, they’ll realize why we can’t ever say thank you enough. Parker and I are so grateful for them and I really, truly hope they know it.
And now that I’m done with my super-sized tangent…here are the highlights I figured no one would read long enough to see:
1. Kirk’s impression of Eminem (we thought he was impersonating a robot)
2. My impression of Sugarland sounding almost as pitiful
3. Midnight swims in birthday suits
4. More than one full moon
5. Racist jokes
6. Wakesurf crashes
7. Secret boat alterations
8. A boat that can’t reverse left
9. People’s issues with peeing in the water
10. And the reason why all the men are now scared to jump off cliffs
It was the best of times!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Parker and I cruised up the coast from San Diego to Long Beach to meet up with my parents for their last few hours in town. We strolled along the pier, admired the lighthouse, found an ice cream shop (of course), and tried to make the most of the last of the time we’d have together.
It’s funny how hard it hits me every time I have to say goodbye to my family. The gap between now and Christmas isn’t long and I’ve done it a million times, but it still makes me sad to be so far for so long. But, what can you do? Let’s just hope this semester flies by…
We snapped a few last pics in front of the Queen Mary, hugged goodbye and sent them on their way before heading over to the aquarium. My family took a trip there on Wednesday as we’d made our way into town and insisted they treat us to a visit as well. As if they hadn’t done enough for us that week!
Parker’s always said something he admires most about my dad is the generosity. He’s always looking for ways to give others a bit of happiness on his dollar. He says the memories are worth so much more to him. As much as I tease him for being a giver to even the biggest of money-grubbers, it is definitely one of the reasons I love him most. I had the best childhood a daughter could ask for, and I’m not sure when his days for helping his little girl are going to end so I can finally try to return the favor. Thanks daddy dave for being so good to us always!
Did you know…otters have over 1 million hairs on every square inch of their body? Every inch! Craziness…
And, did you know…there are fish that are sex
changers?! Girl fish become boy fish when certain environments or situations require it. Weird…fish are weird.
Exhausted and a little on edge from our nonstop activities, we decided to head to my brother’s place in Aliso Viejo and take the rest of the night off. We had the yummiest paninis at the Panini Café and made another pit stop at, you guessed it, Yogurtland!