Another school year has come to a close and the kids were positively giddy at the thought of lazy days in messy rooms and in front of the television. Dream shattered!! Mwahahaha. Ok, so I let them have one lazy day, but then we were heading to Park City, Utah, for a family reunion where they stayed up late and ate junk food and it's quite possible the girls never took an actual shower...I'll call it my version of camping.
While in Park City, we went to an aquatic center there with a waterslide about two stories high. Gemma took one look at that thing, pointed her little finger at it, and casually said, "I'm going on that." Um, really? Joel went down with her and she loved it, but got out of the water and said, "And now I'm going by myself." Oh reeeeeeeeally.
Not only did she go down it, she proceeded to spend the greater part of the next three hours going down that thing. It was pretty funny to watch her, her face a mixture of excitement and fear. She'd get to the bottom, climb out, and then punch the air while squealing, "WooHOO YES! I'm amazing!" I think we all need to do that a bit more.
The reunion was wonderful and we ate some amazing and delicious food. Katherine and her husband made delicious lasagna (three versions) with a secret layer of pesto in there. Note to self: try this. Ryan made a couple batches of homemade ice cream and I adored the strawberry banana way more than I could have imagined. As he pulled the paddle out of his gallon-and-a-half ice cream maker, he handed it to me and said, "Can you take this?" I beheld the pink creamy mixture beginning to drip from it and nodded, "Yes. Yes I can. Right to my mouth." Delicious. And then Terry rigged up the grills to form a make-shift smoker and made baby back ribs. I think there were probably 200 of them or something. Plenty for everyone. I love it when there's plenty for everyone. And then Anne brought some green salsa that has kind of changed my world. Let me put it this way: We got home late Thursday night, and Friday morning I was at the grocery store, picking up tomatillos and poblanos and anaheims and preparing to make my own batch. Eat with chips or in breakfast burritos or on pork or a spoon.
We refused to drive through Wyoming because the view from 80 is painfully boring. Just barren dirt and shrubs. For like SIX HOURS. So we blazed a trail through highway 40, taking us through many small towns but some of the most beautiful views we've seen in a long time. It did add an extra hour or more, so the night before we were leaving to come home, Joel asked, "So would you rather just drive straight through Wyoming?" Visions of endless wasteland came to mind and I just shook my head, "Let's go green." I think we'll have plenty of time to view Wyoming as we drive to California in a couple weeks.
And that brings us to what has taken up any spare time I've had between the kids, some freelancing, and all of the above: the Denver Century. I got a road bike last year and I have to say that it's my favorite form of exercise, by far. This year, Joel got a road bike and halfway into his first ride (30 miles), he proclaimed, "This is AWESOME!" So I came home and signed him up, too. This Saturday we will ride 100 miles around Denver. There's one big climb, but we've already done that twice. We feel pretty good about it. I love that Joel will be with me. It's great fun to be whipping along with your husband and feeling like you could do this for the rest of your life. It's also great fun to hear your husband sing your praises after a particularly hard part, or where you've really pushed it. There are a lot of metaphors for life in there, but for now I'll just say I think cycling is incredibly therapeutic on multiple levels.
So offer up a little prayer or whatever for us on Saturday. I burned my hand Saturday night when I accidentally (obviously) grabbed the handle of a pot I had just taken out of the oven. I think it's healing quickly, thanks to the help of a great friend. But still, we're in unchartered territory here. We're excited though. It's going to be awesome.