Saturday, June 28, 2008

I think I can, I think I can...

Two years ago I went on my first extreme hiking/rappelling excursion with Jeff and his crew to Zion National Park in Southern Utah. We did 2 days of 8-10 hour climbs/rappels each day, and I really had a great time! I have always had a little fear of heights, but I got over it real quck when I had to rappel over 100 feet into a huge bowl with tourists and water below, and canyon walls surrounding me.

We weren't able to make the trip last summer, but everyone found time this year. Since Jeff and I live 45 minutes from Zion Nat'l Park, everyone just drove down from SLC and is staying here with us. Jeff's brother Ryan and his wife Jen came, another brother Doug, and brother-in-law Cory.

So yesterday we did Spry Canyon (one of Zion's "technical" canyons). Before the bulk of us drove up though, Jeff and Ryan had already headed up at 3:00 a.m. to wait in line for a permit for the hike they all wanted to do today (Mystery Canyon). They got it! Yay! Anyway, we started our hike into Spry around 8:30 Friday morning and it was tough from the get-go. It began in a wide, sandy wash that took us about 15 minutes (about half a mile), then we had to climb several hundred feet up a "slickrock watercourse". That was the hardest part of the whole day for me. It was the steepest climb I've ever done, and it was on this smooth sandstone type rock, so it was pretty much just using your calf muscles and loads of endurance (I must have forgotten to bring those things with me yesterday!). Anyhow, I had just done the cleansing stage of this healthy eating plan I'm on...and Thursday was my first day with all the food groups reintroduced, so on Friday I guess I just didn't have the energy and fuel my muscles needed. Jeff is the one who is typically the leader of the pack and is always in the front, but he stayed in the back with me, encouraged me, checked on me, kept making me stop to breathe and drink water, and eventually he took my pack so that I could make it up to the top.

After the climb, we began our descent through a dry riverbed surrounded by the high, colorful walls of the canyon. The first rappel was 165 feet if that gives you an idea of how huge the rappels were on this trip. Anyway, about 115 rappels later, we got to the bottom where we bouldered our way down to a pool of water (this is also the end of the Pine Creek trail too). What a sweet reward it was, about 9 hours after we began, to jump into that nice cool, clean water!! It was at least 105 outside, so we were ready for that perfect ending.

All in all, it was an incredible experience. It was so awesome to be able to enjoy God's creations up close and personal. I also really enjoyed being able to get to know the Baumann/Christensen family better!

Today the five of them are up again doing Mystery Canyon. It's supposed to be one of the hardest, yet one of the most beautiful trips in the park, so I can't wait to hear their stories! I wish I could have gone, but I couldn't handle the idea of leaving Mason with a babysitter for a second day. Plus, yesterday WORE ME OUT!

No, No!

Today we reached a milestone with Mason that I was hoping would come a year or so down the road rather than at 15 months.

There are several places in the house Mason knows he's not allowed to go, things he can't touch, and doors/drawers he's not allowed to open. He's not the greatest listener or most obedient child, but I am 100% positive that he understands what I mean when I say, "No, no Mason."

So as I was in the kitchen cleaning up a little bit, Mason was sitting on his little riding truck watching me and eating a strawberry. I reached for the trash can lid to throw some things away, and he let out this super girly scream. When I looked at him (with a baffled look on my face), I said "What, Mason?" To which he replied, "No, no!". I didn't know why he was saying that, but as I opened the trash can and he started to yell "No, no, no, no!" and try his best to shake his finger at me, I understood all too clearly.....if Mason's not allowed in the trash, neither is Mommy!

It was really cute, and now that he knows I laugh when he tells me no I'm pretty sure it will become his new game. Isn't motherhood an adventure?!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Our latest trip up to Sandy...

2 weekends ago (the weekend after getting back from El Paso), we decided to go up to Sandy so we could be with family for Father's Day. On Saturday, Jeff's parents' stake hosted a huge Family Fun Day complete with free food, a live band (they were so good!!), blow-up toys for the kids to play on, face painting, etc. Most of it was too big for Mason to really enjoy this year, but we'll take him again next year when he's a little bigger.

After that, we went back to Gma and Gpa Baumann's house so the kiddos could play in water in the back yard. It was a blast!! Mason and Malia play so well together - she's always so sure to watch out for him and make sure he's not doing anything he's not supposed to. At one point, she took all the toys he was playing with, and when I mentioned to her that they were Mason's toys, she said "yeah, but Mason can share". I died laughing. She's really figured out how to reason through things!

On Sunday, everyone came over and we formed the Baumann/Christensen rock band. Cory even held Mason on his lap so he could play the drums with him. It was so cute! Check out the pics and video!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

El Paso Vacation

So the past couple of weeks have been sorta vacation-ish for Mason and I. On the 31st of May, the 2 of us flew out to El Paso to spend some time at my parents' house before Jeff and all the rest of my family arrived the following weekend for Taylor's high school graduation. It was so relaxing, and I really enjoyed having a pool in the back yard!

Once the whole family arrived, the real fun began. Mason, Isaac, Connor and Bennett had so much fun playing together! We were able to see just how aggressive Mason can be as he unleashed his hitting powers on Bennett a few times. I'm sorry, Mark & Bronwyn!! I guess it's time to work on that before it gets out of control.

Dad and I let our goofy side come out - the REAL reason it's so fun for the Donnelson clan to get together is that we're pretty much all a little crazy.

We had a graduation party for Taylor and his girlfriend April on Saturday, then their graduation was on Sunday evening. It was so cool, but I'm a sucker for sentimental stuff like that.

The trip was so much fun, but boy is it always nice to be home and back in the routine I'm used to. Enjoy the pictures!