The Rest of the Summer

It’s probably about time I finished up writing about summer so I can get back to blogging about things like what I ate for dinner. You know, the interesting stuff. 🙂 So, here it is in a nutshell:

My brother Mick and his family came into town and I went with them and Jan and Brad’s family to Music and the Spoken Word at the Conference Center.

In addition to laying sod, I also redid my entryway. Ok, so it’s not quite finished yet (notice the missing pictures in the frames?), but it’s pretty close.

I also redid the space above my fireplace. Once I changed out the picture, none of the things on my mantle worked any more and I have yet to decide what I want up there now.

I went to my co-worker’s wedding and reception. She looked stunning . . . blurry, apparently, but stunning. 🙂

My friend Erin left to got to George Washington University, so some friends got together to say goodbye.

And what’s summer without a little horseback riding? Our Bishop has horses and let us ride around the corral for FHE.

I can’t believe summer is pretty much over. It was fun while it lasted.

Happy 4th of July

After the great sod escapade we all headed down to Provo for a carne asada bbq with my brother-in-law Brad’s family. Soooo, delicious! Then we all went to the field by the MTC to watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks. Jan, these pics are for you. Better late than never, right?

(C.J. thought that only his mom and dad should take pictures together.)

(We met up with some of my brother Ken’s friends who were in town from Arizona.)
(Morganne stayed with my sister for a few months this summer.)

Going Green

I moved into my town home 3 years ago and ever since then I’ve been meaning to do something with my tiny backyard. I spent the last two summers digging it out so that I could haul in road base and sand and lay down paving stones. The digging in and of itself turned into a huge process. First of all, the ground is rock solid when it’s dry so I would jump and jump on my shovel and barely get it into the ground at all. The solution? I discovered that if I soaked the whole backyard with a hose for an hour or so it would turn into a giant mud pit which would make the digging much easier. That, however, led to my second problem–what do do with all of that wet mud? Since my house backed up to an empty lot, I decided I would throw it over the fence.

Now picture this–me, up to my mid-calf in mud (I told you it was a mud pit), scooping up shovels full of mud and hurling them over my six-foot fence into the lot behind me. I must confess that there were several times where I got really tired and missed making it over the top of the fence. Instead, I just ended up splattering mud all over the fence.

After two summers of doing this, I realized that I didn’t want to invest the time or money into putting in pavers and would just lay sod instead. Over the 4th of July weekend my brother, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew helped me make that happen. I must say, I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and pretty sad I didn’t do it earlier. Here are the action shots:

(Most of the crew just after the yard had been rototilled and raked and was all ready for sod)

(Laying down the first roll of sod)

(Getting the rest of the yard ready. Little Jace was a great supervisor.)
(So, apparently the guy didn’t cut the sod deep enough, so Ken and Brad struggled to keep it from falling apart. They did a great job though.)

(Voila! The finished product. Due to a slight error in measurement, I even ended up with a small area to plant flowers. 🙂 I never have been good with numbers.)
This final picture was taken today. The good news is that nearly two months later, it’s still alive! I have a way of killing things. (Please don’t ask me what happened to my window-sill herb garden, or any other number of house plants–may they all rest in peace.) The lesson I’ve learned is that apparently growing things need water. Hmmm, interesting concept. Thanks to my family for all of the help in turning my mud pit into a little green oasis.

A Call for Suggestions

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I’d like to take a break from the slow chronicling of what’s turning out to be a less than exciting summer to ask for some suggestions. Here’s the scoop:
I have a birthday coming up on September 18th. It’s a bit of a milestone birthday and for the last several months I’ve been saying that I was done having birthdays and that I was going to ignore the day all together. Ok, slight change of plans. Instead, I’ve decided I need to work on embracing this time in my life. But, realizing this is going to take a bit of getting used to, I’m going to ease into it slowly . . . 30 days, slowly.
The plan is to do something in celebration every day for the 30 days leading up to the “Big One.” Now, these can be fun things, educational things, service-oriented things, whatever. I’m just looking for things that maybe I wouldn’t normally do in my daily routine. Now here’s where you come in, I’m supposed to start on Thursday and I don’t really have much on my list. Does anybody have any suggestions? So far my list includes donating blood, learning to make freezer jam, taking a cake decorating class . . . um, that’s about it. See how badly I need your help? So, hit me with your best suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
The plan is for all of these activities to lead up to the grand finale on my actual birthday . . . the Utah State Fair where Boys II Men will be putting on a free concert. Yeah! Now who’s with me?
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I now return you to the regularly scheduled updates of my less than exciting summer.

Another Summer Day

Moving on in my slow chronicle of this summer’s happenings . . . at the end of June my good friend and old college roommate Melissa came to visit me for a few days. Sure, she saw other people while she was here, but we all know it was me she came for.
Melissa and I have known each other since before our missions. (For those of you who may be wondering, the equation goes something like this: Current Age – Before Our Mission Age = A LONG TIME! Then again, we all know I’m no good at math, so let’s hope the numbers are off.) We were in the same ward and I met her because I worked at the EFY office with her sister Melanie. We managed to stay in contact through our missions and when I moved in with an old mission companion after my mission, Melissa and I happened to be in the same ward again. She has always been a great friend and I’m so glad she came to town. She was a trooper and put up with getting dragged to a few of my Sunday meetings (sorry about that) and we had a good time just the same.
(We tried to take some self portraits, but it was a pretty windy night and this is the best we ended up with. Really, we’re much cuter than this picture makes us look–really.)
The first night she was here we went up to Park City to eat and do a little bit of shopping. While we were there I ran into my friend Tiffany and even had a star sighting. I snapped the paparazzi picture below.

What do you mean you don’t recognize her? The girl on the left is none other than Tracey Wilson Christensen! Still not ringing a bell? Ok, there may only be a few of you out there who remember this, but when I worked at EFY I worked with a girl named Tiffany Wilson. Tiffany is sisters with Tracey, and Tracey used to be on a local TV show called “Center Street.” To make a long story short, when I found out Tracey was a local star I demanded an autographed 8″x10″ glossy of her and have been “stalking” her ever since. Her endeavors since “Center Street” include founding a physical therapy center for disabled children ( and putting up with the ridiculous antics of crazed fans like myself.
(This isn’t my 8″x10″, but it is a current head shot of Tracey. Ok, now I seem a little creepy.)
After shopping and dinner, Melissa and I headed to Midway to see my old mission companion/roommate and our good friend Bryn. Bryn was staying with her parents for a few weeks in the middle of her move from Los Angeles to Chicago. She had just had her second baby a few days before moving and was taking some time to recover before joining her husband in their new digs. I’m sad I didn’t snap a picture of the three of us together, but I did find the following picture which I feel is a fairly accurate representation of each of us.

(We didn’t jump rope together on this trip, but now I’m kind of wishing we had. Next time.)

It was a fun weekend and it was so good to see Melissa, Tiffany, Tracey, and Bryn. Thanks to Melissa for coming to town and making it all happen.