Tuesday, September 13, 2011

why we love june

it's an annual event.
it's my happiest place on earth.
it's why I'm a water baby,
why I married a water baby,
and why all my babies will be water babies.
you'd better believe it.

it's the scent of sunscreen,
the sting of a sunbur
when I'm having too much fun to remember it,
and will be the most notable contributing cause to any future case of skin cancer.
it's fun in the sun with
and friends that may as well be family.
and it even has an association that opposes its existence.
AHBA anyone???

so obvious,
I know,
but humor me.
drumroll, please!

...ba da da da da da da da da...

lake shasta!!!
woo woo woo woo woo!!!!

always picturesque.
always entertaining.
always memorable.
always epic.
always an adventure.

 And let's be honest...
what more could you ask for in this hundredth 100th post
than 65 favorite moments
from this year's 
endlessly entertaining
absolutely memorable
Think of the 65 as a sign that I'm temporarily retiring from longwinded posts, cartoons, pointless elaborations, and anything resembling an ABC format.
I can't handle that kind of commitment anymore.
And besides...
if you don't look at it that way it doesn't make any sense!
It was once 100 favorite moments, but I didn't have it in me.
I know, I know.
You can thank me later.
I saved me,
and you,
from myself.
pretty amazing.
cue the 2011 highlights reel
a.k.a. photo overload
and. we're. off.
1. seester time
 I love these girls more than anything in the world!!!
We're like brain quadruplets!
for reals...
the similarities-uncanny
the mannerisms-so the same
the personalities-nearly identical
the quirks-i can't even explain.
and the blonde moments
--oh the blonde moments!!!--
let's just say when four little peas try to squeeze into a two-pea pod,
you can't help but find it just a little endearing.

kindred spirits
best way I can think to describe it.

and what's even more amazing...
see the gorgeous girl in the white & pink???
we adopted her that week!

her name is becca.
she's my bestest friend in SLC.
my favori-test gym buddy.
my main wardie.
my brain twin.
my shopping accomplice.
my social butterfly's double.
my travel bug's match.
the box to my chatter.
and so much more.

She came into the picture at a time when I couldn't shake the feeling 
that all my closest friends felt so very far away.
I loved being in Salt Lake City.
I really did!
-and still do-
But the initial excitement from the newness of it all was wearing thin
and the social being in me began to really miss the days when our friends were just 1, 2, maybe 3 blocks away.
You'd be amazed at all the planning hiccups & headaches a 344-block span can create.
-yes, that number is accurate.
and yes, i looked it up just for you.-

and I mean really miss it...
becks! can you believe this is the ONLY pic of just the two of us?
i am in shock.
enter becca!
I still think the beginnings of our friendship are absolutely hilarious.
We reverted back to all our childish/adolescent tendencies:
-two little girls at a sleepover who refused to lose an ounce of fun on sleep.
-who seemed to forget completely the reality of the fact that...
oh my goodness!!! 
we could still play tomorrow,
and the next day,
and the next day,
and every day after that.
and might even enjoy it more if we had a bit of sleep.
-who worried everyone to pieces when we'd stay out til the wee hours chatting without ever checking in
note: avoid tucking your phones safely away in the trunk before checking in with the hubbies as any conversation you assume will take five minutes will likely take 50.
-who jumped the gun on issuing and accepting invitations to join in on each other's family vacations before:
1. checking with our families
2. checking with our husbands
and especially
3. knowing if we'd really be friends.
In most cases, I'd advise on waiting to make these decisions til you at LEAST into week 2.
I just think we kind of knew...

As we discussed discounted flights and possible itineraries, 
one of us finally had the presence of thought to ask,
"Do you think we're maybe moving too fast?" 
at which point we both busted up laughing 
and continued chattering on about our plans.
note: Is making new married friends not the most hilarious thing in the world?
Who knew you'd still be semi-dating after marriage.
oh so funny...

Needless to say, I am so incredibly happy we acted so impulsively.
ShastaLakeCruiser 1 welcomed two wonderful new additions to its ranks that week.
And the 4 of us?
We came away from the fun with the kind of memories that make 
four fast friends 
best friends forever.
2. boat rides with Becca's hilarious & handsome husband Taylor
he DJ's.
he dances.
he drives.
-and he's even a bit of a paradox-
at 6"6' he skis like a pro
and makes a killer wake.
you're one tuff cookie Tay.
way to make and take all the jokes too.
-it's great to finally have some company-
3. blondes v. board games
Green wins the round.
Red & blue announce a rematch.
Teams begin to divvy out the chips.
Ashlee snags the game board and packs it into the Sequence box before attempting to collect everyone's chips.
Dad's hands hover over his chips in an attempt to guard them. 
Everyone else sits motionless, wondering what to say.
Jason of course breaks the silence.
"You ready for bed Ash?"
Ashlee breaks her trance and surveys the table,
quickly realizing her mistake.
She apologizes profusely but it's too late.
"Oh my goodness.
I thought we were all done! 
I'm SO sorry.
Here--here's the board back.
Let's play!"
The game ends as everyone breaks into hysterics.
Poor Ash...
you know she heard about it for the rest of the week.
No mercy with this bunch.
I know all too well sis...


Sleep deprivation & sun exhaustion begin to take their toll on Becca.
It's her turn to play.
She's not thinking clearly in her halfway unconscious state.
Everyone's nervous about green's diagonal.
They need to be stopped.
Everyone's hearts break as Becca lays down the winning card...
til she begins to move her chip toward the wrong slot on the board.
The tension is palpable.
Her teammates wince and will her hand to move the other way.
The blue team feigns ignorance, tilting their heads in an exaggerated look of confusion and contemplation.
The red team's in a fit of giggles.
 Then suddenly, she pauses.
All reactions change,
there's hope!!!
then change again as she wanders back to the wrong side of the board.
just kidding.
we're doomed.
Her green teammates can't stand it any longer.
Haley buries her head in her hands.
Parker pipes up.
"Think about it..."
he kindly cautions across the table.
Mom tries to mask her blue team's manipulation with sweet smiles,
"Go Becca! Nice one!"
as Jason's red team's about ready to pee its pants.
Finally it begins to dawn on Becca that something is amiss.
She wills herself to wake up and study the board.
then she sees it.
"Oh, we win!!!"
cue hysterics...again.
In Becca's words,
A+ Becca.
4. Jay's tummy
My command is met with the usual grumbles.
Why are boys so difficult with photos?
The boys in our family especially.
"Whatever, just smile."
As I look through the view finder, something's not quite right.
Then I see it.
stop sticking your belly out!"
"I'm not."
I just want one cute pic."
Jason looks confused.
That's a new look on him.
Ashlee peeks over at Jay and starts to laugh.
Oh babe, you weren't kidding were you?"
Jason shakes his head sadly before burying it in her shoulder.
What a faker.
I think...
I hope.
else the worst sister of the year award goes to...
as Parker would say...
"You're a jerk!"
say it like the rap song and it's funnier.
love you elder brudder.
notice how thoughtful I was not to write big.
5. 300 golf balls
Thanks to Taylor, 
the boys had a ball,
and Becca had to repack her bag.
not to happy 'bout that one.
"I still cannot believe you are bringing those..." 
but we did have fun spectating.
love our cute little golf pros.
My favorite: Parker & little Par-quito's golf lessons.
6. the gummies
you know you want some...
7. my little hay-hay
I remember my little 4-year-old self begging my Mom not to name her Haley.
"But they will call her hay-
like hay for horses Mom!!!"
But to my dismay,
Mom decided to name our sweet little baby Haley.
Why she asked my opinion, I will never know.
Actually, I probably wasn't even consulted.
I likely just made my opinion known.
I was a spirited little child.
And now that I know her,
I wouldn't have it any other way.
She's my little hay-way...
my super cute,
super smart,
super talented,
super silly,
super sassy,
super fun little sis.
...and she always will be.

I'm so happy we're besties now Hay.
Love you to pieces little one!

8. the Walton family
Keith, Dana, & Parker are a hoot!
seriously the perfect additions to this year's crew.
Keith is a closet watersport pro.
totally impressed us with his skiing, wakeboarding, and wakesurfing skills.
I hope I'm still that hardcore when I'm a parent.
Dana's easy-going, super fun, and so amused by us.
our family dynamic's a bit much to handle at times.
I always appreciate those select few who find us endearing.
oh and Dana's a speed reader too!
thanks again for all the great recommendations.
And little Parker...
I think he merits his own section.
This kid is a riot.
gotta love little Par-quito.
9. the boat
and Keith's willingness to tow us around incessantly.
We appreciate your generosity more than you know.
Made Parker's week!
both Parkers actually.
and mine too.
thanks again!!!
9. little "Par-quito"
This is how we will reference him for the remainder of this post.
Parker edged poor little Parquito out for the name when we all tried to decide how to differentiate between the two.  
I believe my Parker played the seniority trump card.  
We felt bad at first, but I think Par-quito grew to love his little nickname.
He definitely wore it well.

Oh boy, this boy.
He seriously made my week!
He is spunky, curious, daring, ambitious, and incredibly insightful & smart.
And let's not forget how this pint-sized human garbage disposal is crazy confident for a 10-year-old too!
here's the deal though...
words will not be enough to explain the dynamics this child brought to the boat.
you'll have to hear the stories.
10. "mission accomplished."
As evidenced by the pictures, our boat's outgrown its child phase.
Needless to say, it's an interesting dynamic and even a bit of an adjustment to reincorporate this element.
I'm always sad when the munchkins don't have a friend.
I remember being that age and feeling too "little" for everything and so bored.
Adults only humor you for a short while before returning to "me" mode.
As much as I feel guilty though, I do love having kids out.
It's a fun energy on the boat.
Poor little Parquito was bored out of his mind spectating a game of Hand & Foot.
"Is it over?"
"Is it almost over?"
"Can I play yet?"
"Not quite yet.
You can keep score though!"
This didn't even last us through Round 1.
After a few more laps around this same conversation he'd finally had it.
"Why would anyone want to play this game?
It is so boring.
I'm out of here."
And Jason,
in his typical sarcastic fashion,
accompanies his exit with a mini fist pump and 
"mission accomplished."

As the table snickers away,
Parquito appears not to notice and continues on his way.
We didn't expect him to.
That kind of humor goes right over the typical 10-year-old's head.

We're in Round 3 by the time the laps back to the back of the boat.
As he passes the table, he accidentally bumps the stool he'd been using, 
catching Taylor's little toe and yanking it out to a 90-degree angle.
Taylor howls in pain,
Little Parquito pauses,
casts a quick glance back,
then continues on his way.
"Mission accomplished."

Oh my goodness.
We all died laughing.
even the injured Taylor had to appreciate the humor in it all,
chuckling in between gasps of pain.

He beat us at our own game.
what a smart cookie!
11. gusher wars
When Parquito polished off his second box before the end of the second day,
Jason decided it was time to take action.
 -Jas is our family's gusher lover.
They're his houseboat treat.
And when a child two decades his junior attempts to empty his stash,
you can bet he'll intervene.
Is this hilarious to anyone else?
oh my gosh I'm dying.
it's too funny.-
Jason gave Parquito his own box and hid the rest.
But before long, that box was gone.
To Jason's dismay,
sharp Parquito noticed that a certain Mr. White still seemed to be snacking on gushers.
How can that be if I had the last of them?
It can't.
There's a cache.
And so the battle began
and ended with Jason giving Parquito the last of his stash as a parting gift the day he and Ash left for home.
How's that for a happy ending?
12. jokes that backfire
Like the one Jason made about the men's gymnastics.
Mom tried save him but he was too far gone.
"Jas! Men's gymnasts are actually really tough.
That's where you got all your muscles, right Parquito?"
bum, bum, bum.
i'm beginning to rethink my position on the battle of the gushers.
jelly-filled fruit snacks can't spur on that kind of feud.
or can they???
Jason sighed as we spent the next twenty minutes discussing the nature of the sport and how little Parquito's parents spared him from the spandex costumes.
he really is super tuff.
no joke.
As Mom jetted out a few damage control questions, I heard Jason quietly musing,

"You just try to play the odds.
I picked the most obscure sport I could think of...
I felt so good about it...
live and learn."
And in case you're wondering, 
I did feel better about the tummy incident after this.
Hard to be a victim when you're a perp too!
13. wakeboarding lessons with Parker x 2
Is this cute or what?
You should've seen little Parquito's progression that week.
He's an animal!
I loved seeing my Parker so proud of him too.
Absolutely adorable.
Can't wait to see him train our own little Parquitos someday. 
14. newlyweds
all married within 7 months of each other
3 times the newlyweds = 3 times the fun
I'm convinced.
Becca & Taylor get the top pic for being the most senior newlywed couple there.
What'd you have Jay & Ash by, 3 weeks?
That is still so amusing to me.
Gotta love love!

The Duncans
October 2009

The Whites
November 2009

The DeMilles
May 2010

15. the Duncans
Taylor's jokes & Becca's laughter made for such a fun week.
You can't help but love these two.
really, you can't.
we already adopted Becca.
If you're nice we might keep you too Tay.
We're so lucky to have them for friends!

16. Jason & Ashlee
Never a dull moment with these two.
I so enjoy seeing their relationship dynamic.
It is hilarious.
They are absolutely honest,
but still so in love.
It is such a comedically cute thing to see!
Plus it helps me justify most of Parker's & my behavior.
We're in good company with these two.
Life is exponentially more fun with them in it too.
which is always a plus.
Jason's dry sense of humor never ceases to both amuse, appall, and amaze me.
And Ashlee truly is the big sister I never had.
Love her to pieces.
Hope you know how much we love you two.
so happy you survived almost a whole week with the fam big bro

17. sweet reunions
Remember last year when I had to leave my dear husband for a WHOLE WEEK only a month into our marriage?
I'm never leaving him home again.
Life's so much happier when he's around.
And really...
what good is my happiest place on earth when the person who makes me the happiest isn't there with me?
happy place vs. happiest place
It just isn't the same...
How'd you like that?
Too much?
I thought so.
I'm so happy I could share this whole year with him.
Love my Parker.
17. the Webfoot crew
Oh goodness, 
how I wish the whole world could meet Big E's posse!
We took about 5 of these pictures,
each one more hilarious than the next.
I would post all of them, but because I am such a wonderful daughter I will spare the mother whose facial expressions seem to match the increasing level of comicality in each picture.
I lov-a you momma.
I LOVE this group.
I love their laughter and just love how much they enjoy each other's company.
Partly because it's sweet and reminds me how lucky I'll be to have lifelong friends.
But mostly because it's incredibly entertaining.
love the Webfoot crew!
18. squashing Mom
and swimming with Mom.
and playing Sequence and Word on the Street with Mom.
and talking with Mom.
and teasing with Mom.
like the time we were teasing about the stick by her foot being a snake and she screamed and we laughed at her and she said it wasn't funny and then she looked down to start walking again and really screamed because there really was a snake.
we felt kinda bad about that one.
and really just spending time with Mom in general.
she's just awesome.
and I love her a lot.
and I wonder often too what on earth the three of us did to be the incredibly lucky/spoiled/blessed little kids Heavenly Father sent her way.
He must really love us.
Or more likely realized Mom was the only woman with enough
faith, patience, humility, compassion, charity, and love to handle it.
Either way, I love Him for it!
Love my mom too.
19. feeding geese
and teaching them how to eat out of our hands!!!
did you know geese like brownies?
and licorice?
and sour punch straws too???
don't freak out.
I didn't give them much.
And I gave all the sour punch straws to the mean geese who'd bite the other geese's bums anyway. 
I will admit, I did give the nice geese some brownies and licorice.
But we really just used the licorice to create distance when a couple overeager goosen nipped Haley's finger trying to snatch away the bread.
don't judge us.
you weren't there.
you don't know.
19. Dad's famous daiquiris
virgin, of course.
and, as always, so delightful & delicious.
As I walked over to deliver Parker's to his floaty,
I watched him cave to peer pressure and peg a nearby goose with the nerf football
after I'd specifically told him not to.
"I will give this to you,
but that doesn't mean I'm proud of you right now."
Big E about peed his pants.
but I meant every word.
20. swimmy time!!!
what'd I tell you?
we's a bunch a water babies.
If only you'd been there to see the shark riding competitions.
or would you call it shark mounting?
nobody could sit on the floaty long enough to ride the blasted thing.
oh so funny.
if I ever find pictures I will share.
21. playing catch
nerf ball.
nut ball.
haha jk!
we didn't play that.
but we did have one close call...
Heisman trophy poses.
the list goes on and on...
not really.
I just wasn't really sure how else to end it.
isn't my Parker so cute though???
21. when I caught Parker borrowing Haley's hat
or maybe I made him put it on...?
i don't remember.
thanks either way Hay!
22. the odd couple
one bleeds red.
the other bleeds blue.
one's a center.
the other plays point.
tall, dark & handsome
blonde, blue-eyed, fair & fine.
I've never seen the movie,
but I can't help but think of the title "Grumpy Old Men."
I can see it now...
23. emerald green water
it is beautiful.
and always glass.
water baby heaven!!!
24. figuring out how to float
i'll let the pictures tell the story.
"Haley! You have to plop!"
"I can't plop! I will sink."
"Don't be a baby."
"You don't be a baby."
"Why is it sooooo cold???"
"My butt is getting wet."
"Why did you bring your camera?"
"Why did you bring your glasses?"
"You brought yours too you goob..."
Well at least I didn't bring a hat."
"But Chels, you told me to bring the hat."
"Oh I didn't mean you Becca!"
"Be quiet Haley!"
25. bald eagles
and the obsession with the eagles.
cue emoticon rolling its eyes.
oh wait, i don't have one.
oh well.
But I will admit,
while I didn't have the fowl fascination or patience for bird watching,
the eagle v. osprey showdown was pretty epic.
As was the moment when the sheriff pulled in to rubberneck and my fellow boat mate shouted,
"Hurry! Quick! The birds are fighting!!!"
Yes, yes.
Let's let the sheriff flap on up there and ring the bell to end the match.
Gotta love the little genius!!!
who, in fact, isn't little at all.
26. the time I insisted on hiking my camera all the way in and it died three pictures later
super duper. 
I suppose I can still be grateful it allowed me to capture this moment.
Becca & Taylor braved Little Backbone.
Go team!!!
27. parking the boat with Dad
a.k.a. not parking the boat
I will admit I'm a bit picky about the water.
Mom and the girls try to avoid buggy coves.
Dad likes coves where he knows the ropes will hold.
And the boys like having non-poison oak trees to tie off on.
But we went a little overboard on our scavenging this year.
To the point our conversations sounded a bit ridiculous,
"Please, please, please, please, please have trees.
It has a tree!
That's a bush.
Please, please, please, please, please don't have dirty water.
It's kind of brown.
I just won't shower."
28. polka dot day
it's an annual event!
29. reading
We may or may not have been a little hooked.
so happy Becca & I were book twinners
especially reading a mystery.
"What page are you on?"
"Nice. Have they traced the couple in the photo yet?"
K, I'll keep reading."
and so happy Haley finally read The Hunger Games.
30. beautiful sunsets
I'm dying to go back now.
Why's it so easy to feel like you need a vacation?
We just had Labor Day!!!
for reals Chels...
31. the fam-damily
you know you make me happy.
counting down the days 'til Thanksgiving in Newport
woo woo woo!!!
btw...does Jason not totally look like he's in trouble for trying to throw Ash over the edge?
Just caught that in the picture progression.
 ba ha ha
32. the whole posse
i miss us already...
33. the girls
Dana where are you?!
or was this a picture with our new adoptee?
I don't recall...
34. ashlee's celebrity send-off
It's the same every year
and always equally as cute.
love our little bad-Ash!!!
35. Mom & Dad
I love you more than words can say!
Thanks for making all of this possible.
I am one lucky girl.
36. the incident
Remember when I sat on Keith's leg to get this picture?
Yep, I definitely did that.
I remember standing up,
peering behind me,
and feeling the awareness creep in.
"I totally just sat on your leg, didn't I?"
"Oh. my. gosh.
I am sooooo sorry!!!
oh my gosh!"
And then the awareness actually penetrated deeply enough into that thick skull of mine to hit my brain.
"Oh no.
Oh my gosh.
I totally adjusted too.
-wiggled and wriggled around to catch my balance.-
Oh you are kidding me!!!"
Becca can't even breathe at this point.
Haley's crying on the floor.
And Keith just smiles and shakes his head.
I am a little hussy.
And an absolute idiot.
but what's new?
The end.
37. my sexy husband
who simply shakes his head when I do all the dumb things I do.
gotta love him.
38. wakesurfing
and the fat sacs,
of course.
we couldn't have done it without you.
and no I'm not talking about Haley.
hehehe kidding seester.
Keith bought these bags that can carry up to 400lbs of water apiece.
The technology amazes me.
The physics of filling it seemed crazy awesome before I realized there was a pump sucking the water in.
but it's all good.
39. watching my man drive
I love that he can drive a boat.
and a motorcycle.
and a 4-wheeler.
and a bike.
and a horse.
He's my little studmuffin.
Thanks to his family for keeping him so well-rounded.
40. Dad manning the grille
yum, yum, and yum!!!
Daddy's steaks are seriously the best.
And yes, I do realize that is chicken in the picture.

41. wakeboarding
let's all be honest,
watching Parker wakeboard is the real treat.
I can't wait to post pics of the nonsense he pulled behind the Malibu at Powell.
stay tuned...
42. extending our vacation
convincing my boss to extend my vacation for 2 days.
driving all the way home and back and rescheduling our flights in less than 24hrs time.
convincing Parker to let me bring Molly for her first houseboat trip ever.
but mostly
43. riding with Molly
can you tell how much Parker's loving this?
"I am not stopping for her one more time."
"Babe! Think of her like a baby. 
A big, chubby, furry brown baby."
"I wouldn't stop for a baby either."
"For real? You're just going to tell our kids tough luck anytime we take a road trip?"
Or hand them a bottle."
"Classy Parker."
"Every time I stop, everyone we just passed passes us."
"Think of it like a game!"
cue sequence of exasperated expressions.
eye roll. sigh. crusty.
"We need one of those little baby gates."
The irony of it all?
Molly slept like a ROCK the whole way home.
Didn't make a peep.
And she got shotgun.
oh my goodness.
it's official.
we've become those people.
43. getting Molly to bed
So I felt like a total jerk the first time I tried to teach her how to hop up here.
She hesitated nervously, staring down the tall platform.
I nodded reassuringly, patting the sleeping back with animated,
"You can do it Molly's!"
Finally she believed me,
took a two foot running start at the bed,
heaved half her body onto it,
and pawed at the sleeping bag to try and hoist the remainder of her brown body up,
but to no avail.
The little brown tank slid the silky sleeping bag right off the bed and onto the floor.
I eventually convinced her to try again and helped her make up the difference with a little nudge.
Poor pup...she fell right to sleep.
44. seeing Molly jump off the dock
The little chicken wouldn't do it!
She loves the water, but she's only ever been to a river.
She can't seem to manage braving doing anything other than leaping in like a little gazelle.
And now I understand why.
When we finally convinced her to take the plunge.
Molly did a face plant/somersault right into the water.
And the poor little pup with no thumbs couldn't even plug her nose!
Loads of water up the snout=no more attempts at dock diving.
45. Little backbone Round 2
with a working camera, mind you!!!
I was so happy to have Tiff & Kelsey out for the week.
Kels came for a quick visit before her big move back to Utah.
congrats on the engagement by the way!!!
December 17 people.
mark your calendars!
And we convinced Tiff to squeak in one teeny, tiny, final vacation before she packed up and headed off to the MTC.
And then on to Paraguay!
What better way to start her adventures than with an adventure, right?
Not to mention the fact that she's been out here so many years now it just wouldn't have been a trip without her.
I was SO excited to have her come...
so excited, in fact, that I even let her cheat me out of a win in Name That Tune.
You, however, are still not forgiven Miss Haley White.
47. pictures with Tiff
are always priceless.
oh my!
I will miss this the next 18 months.
I will miss this dearly.
48. falling down the water slide for the first time ever
I think someone tugged at the rope before I had my balance.
I'm not 100% sure.
It all happened so quickly.
hehehe. i had to say it.
you may continue with your protest. 
cliche! cliche! cliche!
By the time I realized what was happening, I'd toppled over and shot down the falls backwards into the icy cold mountain run-off.
21 years accident free.
and then this...
haha just kidding!!!
well not totally kidding.
I did fall.
But it really didn't hurt at all like I thought it would.
I came out in one frozen little piece.
49. Daddy's little girls
I love my Dad.
And I LOVE houseboat time with my Dad.
He's the best captain.
the best cook.
the best cove finder.
the best cribbage player.
the best tour guide.
and the best daddy a daughter could ask for.
He knows I'll always be his little girl,
but I know he still loves to hear me say it.
Love you Daddy!!!
And though it's questionable,
Haley probably does too...

note: Dad also had a nasty spill on one of the rocks.
Tore a muscle in his leg-
which later turned completely black.
He hobbled his way through the rest of the hike as if nothing had happened
and as of September, he is still on the mend!
Poor Daddy Dave...
I'm now embarrassed I even made mention of my waterfall fall.
 50. Tiff losing her flip-flop
not happy...
51. Tiff finding said flip-flop
oh happy day!!!
again with the expression!!!
so hilarious.
so Tiff.
52. ineffective swimming methods
I assumed swimming with the four of us would be much more efficient than the three-spoked model.
Each swimmer could act as a limb.
simple right?
Lazy Haley wouldn't kick.
Tiff tried to use her flip-flops as oars.
And Kelsey and I ended up spinning us in circles by picking up all the slack.
It's like a kayak.
You can't all paddle on the same side.
Eventually we made it home,
but not before about 3 mutinies along the way.
That is why I bring the camera.
No one can attempt to drown you and/or get you wet.
I never should've sent the blasted thing with Parker.
53. Hand & Foot with the Corbridges
my favorite game people ever
and the best Ma & Pa a girl could ever wish to find.
Or be assigned to.
But just like real kids, helped guide us along our journey on the Pioneer Trek and have loved us ever since!
Their competitive spirit is so entertaining.
Their energy & enthusiasm's infectious.
And whether Kimble's rockin to Rascal Flatts on the wakeboard
or Linda's bringing home the Hand & Foot win for the girls,
they're a blast to be with.
So happy they could come out this year!
54. mom trying to find service
Poor Mom couldn't catch a break!
You'd think everyone could leave her be for just a week...
let her enjoy her vacation,
her family,
her finite window of opportunity for a little peace of mind.
But I suppose that's never the case when so many needy people have needs
and Mom's the kind of person who's always so incredibly willing to help.
Thank goodness for the few coves without service!
And FYI, I've appointed myself her personal secretary next year.
You want her,
you're gonna have to go through me.
he he he
seriously though...
55. jumping off the top of the houseboat
for the more advanced students: trying to catch a tennis ball while jumping off the top of the houseboat
It is much harder than you think.
And not fun when you have three hucked at your head at once.
Gracias amigas.
56. Mount Shasta
snow-capped as we're in 100-degree heat.
57. watching the yahoos fight the current
I'm curious to know what makes it so strong in certain areas.
We were near the dam...
I am too tired to think of an answer and,
have decided I don't actually care.
Feel free to enlighten me.
58. parents!!!
who love you even when your friends don't because you refused to swim.
k they still loved me,
but they did harass me.
And the water + the breeze = frigidness!!!
so wasn't happening.
59. shasta dam
3460 ft long
602 ft high 
543 ft wide
created the largest reservoir in all California.
constructed between 1938 and 1945
at which time it was ranked as one of the greatest civil engineering feats in the world.
All I want to know...
could you live if you rode down it like a water slide?
I'm just sayin'...
60. the ward party
Jason's phrasing
is anyone surprised?
You can bet this group had a party!
I am so grateful for all the fun the Corbridges & Tingleys brought to the boat.
It takes a special group to acclimate to houseboat life...
the decibel,
the chaos,
the laughter,
the humor,
the games.
But they took it all in stride!
You should see them play Buzz Word!!!
absolute naturals.
Hope to see you all out again!
61. cartwheels with Parker
because we can.
62. swimming with Molly
Do you have a sound solution to getting an 80lb lab back onto a boat that's 3 feet off the water?
Poor Molly loves to swim.
But until we could think of a way to get her in
-remember she won't jump-
and, more importantly, get her out
we simply couldn't let her join in on the fun after we'd pulled away from land.
She cried and cried and cried.
"It's nod fair. I's wants ta swim! I's a gud sweemer!"
And finally we felt so guilty we decided to improvise.
I should be replacing the "we's" with "I's."
I had very minimal support/help.
But regardless...

Enter blue mat.
Molly's entrance ramp.
one person holds it in place above the ladder as another in the water angles it out,
thus creating a ramp.
And an adult XL life jacket
as Molly's never required a dog one. But in case she had some sort of panic attack as we tried to hoist her our the water, I intended to take every precaution.
The little brown dog inched her way down nervously,
failing to realize that the slower she went, the more quickly her flimsy ramp morphed into a U-shaped cradle.
Finally we'd lower the whole thing into the water and let her just doggy paddle away.

I thought swimming would calm her cries.
She got what she wanted, right?
But no.
My genius dog swam around like a little spaz,
clueless that she had a life preserver,
a floaty,
and ten people in the water who could help her.

I gave up on the idea of swim time and had my Mom attempt to snag the ramp back to we could try to hoist her in.
No chance.
Molly decided to steal the mat.
And the more I tried to pry it away, the more tightly she held on.

At this point I'm just feeling guilty, so I attempt to climb out and find an alternative exit strategy.
Brown dog sees me headed toward the ladder and shoots over like a bullet,
barreling through like a bull in a china shop and knocking me straight out of the way.

She begins to paw her way up the ladder,
forgetting it's 
A. a 90-degree incline and that she
B. carries most her weight on her backside
C. has no thumbs to steady herself even if she knew how to effectively maneuver her weight.

I swim over to attempt to pry her paws loose from the rungs before realizing she is actually more of a human than I thought.
She will. not. let. go.
The dog with no thumbs would not let go.
How does that even work?!

Regardless, she held tight.
Finally Dad decided to intervene.
He snagged the little pup by the vest and hoisted her back into the boat.
Crisis averted.

You'd think Molly'd learn...
think she'd have a few emotional scars from the experience and decide to call it a day.
But no.
Every time we swim--there's Molly!!!
begging away to come back in.

I will never understand my dog.
But I do love her dearly.
It was like having a little kid out again.
And hassle or not,
I loved every minute of Miss Molly Brown's Houseboat Adventure.
is she not the cutest brown thing you ever did see?
I just love her.
63. sweet memories
 I think that's the whole crew!!!
64. waking up to the sunrise
then falling straight back to sleep til you're baking away in your sleeping bag like a sweaty little spud.
then you get up. 
and plop back down inside.
65. being able to say goodbye
knowing you'll be saying hello again.
only 8 months now!
amazing how time flies.

Thanks again for a fabulous vacation!!!
It's no wonder we so love June...
happy 100th post team!


  1. 4:54am??? Chelsey! What do you do the next morning when you have to wake up for work? Worth it for the post though. Make me sad that 2010 was probably my first and last houseboat trip, :( glad you guys had fun

  2. Too much fun! We loved spending time with all of you out there this year. June can't get here soon enough for me. Molly will be forever grateful to you for making her summer 5-star. Get some sleep!
    Love you...