Friday, September 16, 2011

Ally's Update

I know you have all been waiting on the edge of your seat to hear what I've been up to all summer. Especially since I was so busy I couldn't find the time to even update our blog.

As you all know my summer started off with more broken puppy fun. Namely having Dublin tethered to one of us at all times. That alone pretty much accounts for May and June. We kept things very quiet around the house to help Dublin stay calm and rest up.

In July I got to go to Girls Camp. This year was Stake Girls Camp and I wish it was Stake camp every year. (I know words I never thought I would say...) But it was great. We went up to Lava Hot Springs this year and honestly the odds were already stacked against camp being good before it even started. I had my reasons, don't worry. You know like the last (and only other time I've been to lava), or my general disdain for Girls Camp, also the fact our campsite had no running water and porta-potties seemed to allude to a horrible week.

Because I'm only slightly committed to my calling (kidding), I only sacrificed 2 1/2 vacation days to attend camp(when you only get 10 days a year, that's kind of a big deal). This meant I got up to camp late on the first day which honestly isn't a bad way to go. With camp all set up by then all I had to do was plop my camp chair down and enjoy the evening. All in all, it turned out to be a great week. The stake leaders had put together workshops for the girls, we went on our hike (really a stroll down the road), we spent an afternoon at the ideal pool (seriously, it's great) which meant we got showers and our girls were absolutely fabulous the whole time. This one is for the record books, I actually enjoyed Girls Camp this year.

Shad already told you about our trip down to his Grandma's ranch so I won't rehash those details. Just share a picture of us on the side by side.

At the end of August it was finally time for Woman Cave up at Beak Lake. Once again this year I had a blast with my friends from work, Jen and Gina. We went up Friday afternoon and went swimming in the lake, had some delicious pizza and saw the show at the Pickleville Playhouse.
Saturday we played on the 4 wheelers and took a drive to Bloomington Lake to go play there. Unfortunately the road to the lake was less than ideal and we didn't make it there. Instead we stopped to play in the freezing cold mountain stream. Just as good as the lake if you ask me.
Saturday night we made our usual bacon wrapped-cheese stuffed hot dogs and then cressant rolls over the fire. So good.

I also got to work lots and lots of coverage and backs this summer. At the beginning of the summer I was given 2 new projects out of the blue. One project meant coverage (in my case backs because I'm nice) just about every other week. I'm pretty sure that's just one reason the summer flew by. I think sleeping all day tends to do that to you.

September meant it was time for my birthday and it was very uneventful, just the way I like it. We just ordered pizza and caught up on some Netflix. Nice and relaxing.

For the last part of my update I saved my big news. I start a new job on Monday!!! I couldn't be more excited. I am super sad to be leaving so many great people that I worked with at K-C but my new job has set hours (that's right no more backs...ever), lots of vacation and I get to learn something new. This also means I have a lack of vacation right now which means our big trip to Japan that was planned for October is getting pushed back a year but it's totally worth it for a new job. My goodbye/birthday cake. So good.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Shad's Update

So Allyson asked that I send her a bit to add to the blog about my summer. To be honest I kinda like reading about my own family and experiences in a blog without having to write it, but I guess I should give Allyson the same privilege today. Here goes:

My summer started a bit earlier than it did for Dubin, really with scout camp. We went up to camp Aspen Ridge on the Utah/Idaho border. Had 1 dad get called away on a business trip at the last minute, so we had to shuffle some adults' schedules around to make sure we had 2 adults there the entire week. The week went smoothly, no one was lost, and the biggest injuries were taken care of with a band aid or two. So I got to stay out of the newspapers.

The best part was the camp is like a boy scout all inclusive resort- activities, facilities, and food provided. We were there the opening week for the summer so the hot water heater for the showers didn't work just yet. Other than that the boys had a good time, earned a bunch of merit badges and taught me how to mountain board. Mountain board is basically a long board with large rubber tires and (gratefully) a rear brake.

In July Dublin being able to walk longer distances and start to run has helped me get outside and get a bit of exercise. Before that I wasn't nearly as consistent, and got in trouble with the animals in the neighborhood for coming by without Dublin. A neighbors pit bull ran across the street barking at me one day and shocked the owners. The owner apologized saying "she never does that, I don't know what is wrong." I knew, I didn't have Dublin with me. A yearling horse that lives in a pasture on the side of a trail I run by on used to look for the dog, but started to shun me (literally) as I came past. And finally one ornery dog who lives close to a school playground we run to stopped barking at me when I ran past, and started whining to express his displeasure. So with Dublin back out and moving hopefully my standing in the animal kingdom in the neighborhood will improve.

On Bracken family trip I got to learn that my mid-life crisis won't include the purchase of an ATV, ORV, or any other abbreviation that means getting motion sick while driving down a trail. This lesson came courtesy of a trip my parents planned down to Grandma's ranch where they rented a pair of Razors. Daniel and Monica (my brother and his wife) were more aggressive and left me trying to chase them and balance my desires of not losing them or the big breakfast they cooked for us before we left.

The other trip to talk about was a backpacking trip with my brother Luke. With Unitas and just about every other mountain range in Utah still being covered with snow in July we took some advice from a coworker of Allyson's and headed to the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. He advised we hike above Red Fish Lake, and I tried to find a map on-line, but I couldn't find an electronic one without requiring one of those subscriptions so I used Google Maps and decided we'd just buy one at the visitors center when we got there to keep us from getting lost. The lakes above Red Fish Lake didn't look that far on Google- maybe 3~4 miles out. I learned not to trust google for the back-country. The nearest lake was 11 miles, and there wasn't really a flat spot to put up a tent before that if we wanted to stop. It was a ridiculous climb to do in an afternoon. And I'm no longer in shape to make up for poor judgment. It was an amazing place, and a blast once the initial climb was done.

So back to home and the last thing I think I should report on- our garden. Allyson started nearly every plant on the windowsill in the kitchen in the spring to give the plants a head start. Our strawberries were awesome this year, we have a healthy pumpkin, tomato, and pepper crop this year. This years casualties included carrots, lettuce, peas, and green beans. Not sure what happened to the carrots and lettuce this year, and the peas and green beans fell to the poor soil (it's more like sand really) that they were growing in.

So to wrap up my summer- I didn't get famous for losing a scout, eliminated one mid-life crisis, am no longer shunned by the animal community, learned I'm not invincible, and had a bit of success as farmer Shad & Allyson.