School’s (Almost Out) for Summer!

Tomorrow is the kids’ last day of school and I already feel like a huge weight has been lifted. We survived. It wasn’t always pretty, but we did it! Already with the prospect of sleeping in, travels and camps, the kids are in their happy place.

My preliminary observations/frustrations after six months in Utah: Everyone has such big immediate and extended families they don’t make as much effort to go beyond that. On Sunday, we invited a couple of families over for a BBQ and one of the moms said just that–they’re always so busy with family commitments they rarely have time for anything else. In Colorado, our ward was our family and we did EVERYTHING together, even traveled. This makes me sad because my friends were the kids’ best friends and I don’t think we’ll ever have that here.

We have a pretty busy summer and I’d scheduled three weeks of “downtime” in June to explore the area with friends but I’m scrambling to fill it with other activities. My worst fear is the kids are bored, bored, bored and they’ll just stay at home playing video games (Bode) or watching insipid YouTube tutorials (Hadley).

Here’s what we have on tap for the rest of the summer:

Yard Work. A Lot of It.

We’ve been busy busy busy with yard work. When I say that, I envision mowing the lawn, trimming flowers and wearing a fancy gardening hat but our lives have been anything but. The last several weeks have been spent prepping our front yard for sod. Hauling out rocks. Grading the soil. Hauling out more rocks. Digging. And weeding. Have you ever seen a 1/2-acre with weeds? Welcome to our plot in paradise. We finally had sod delivered for our front lawn last week and it’s about 85% complete. The backyard is a different beast altogether and we can’t afford to sod so will go with hydroseed…just as soon as we can save up enough money for all the rocks and then weed the whole thing.

The only good thing to come out of all of this is that it’s teaching the kids to work hard. I was consoling Bode about it and said,

“This is price we pay for having a beautiful, big yard. I mean, we could have a small condo or apartment so we need to be grateful. Don’t you want a nice yard like this someday?”

“Yes, and I plan to pay someone to do it for me.” Smart kid.

Kids Adventure Games

Hadley and Bode are once again doing the Kids Adventure Games (but this time in Park City) and Hadley has had some struggles finding a teammate.  She’s well-liked in school and church but her friends just don’t want to do anything beyond that–I’m not sure if it’s a teen thing, they’re too busy with other commitments or they are just homebodies… maybe a combination of all three? It’s pretty unbelievable to me in a recreational paradise like Midway that there aren’t more outdoorsy girls but we have yet to find them.

We finally decided to invite one of her besties, Maeve, from Colorado. She’ll be staying with us for a week and Hadley is thrilled to have a friend who actually wants to do something and I’m thrilled she’ll have someone with whom to do things.  Bode will be running the race with his good friend and ski buddy, Porter. It’s one of the highlights of our summer and we can’t wait!

Dirty Dash

About six weeks ago, I was feeling sorry for myself and missing my friends in Denver. I saw an ad for the Dirty Dash, a 5K mud run in Midway, and casually sent a text to our snowshoeing/hiking group to see if anyone was interested. Seventeen of my new friends signed up! My knees are still giving my problems so I haven’t been able to do much running to train. My friend Jana is a hardcore cross-fitter and she worked with me yesterday–it felt so good to get back to boot-camp-style workouts and we plan to do them through the summer. Never mind that she could dead lift me; everyone has to start somewhere, right?


The kids will be going to the acclaimed Keystone Science School so we’re joyously returning to Colorado for 10 days. While the kids are at camp, Jamie and I are going on a second honeymoon in Crested Butte and Keystone, topped off by a family trip to our favorite place on earth, The Broadmoor. That’s the good part. The bad part is I’m doing campaigns and travel articles on everything so my real work will begin once we’ve returned.


In addition to Keystone Science School, I’ve signed the kids up for some fun camps and activities. Hadley begged me to enroll her in rugby but she lasted one day (fortunately I was able to get my money back because they switched practice days). She’ll be doing a volleyball camp at the high school, as well as a week-long BYU volleyball camp thanks to the generous donation of her Grandma Johnson. Recreational activities are so cheap in the Heber Valley so we signed Bode up for a fishing class on Wednesdays (just $15 for six weeks) and he’ll also learn to play golf at The Homestead while Hadley is at Young Women’s Girls Camp.

Canada (and Cousins)

My brother Jade is getting remarried so we’ll be be in Canada for a couple of weeks for the wedding and our annual family reunion in Vernon, B.C. My mom’s MS is so far advanced she can no longer travel so the kids and I will spend a week in Calgary with her and my dad and then a few days at the lake. And we won’t be returning alone. While my brother is on his honeymoon, his two boys will be coming back to Utah and spending the week with us. Bode is thrilled; Hadley NotSoMuch. We plan to expose those city kids to country livin’ activities like the rodeo, which should be pretty interesting because we’re still getting acclimated to it ourselves.

Bring on SUMMER!

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