May 26, 2009

Making Memories?


I think I learned a few things yesterday so I thought I would tell you my tale. It started last year on Memorial Day when we went on a hike to Bash Bish Falls. It was a great hike with a rewarding waterfall at the end. Perfect in every way. I had thought about that hike often and decided that we would do another hike this year for Memorial Day. About 4 weeks ago I sent an e-mail to my friends that I can not bear to have fun without. Everyone said they were interested and so I figured since I was having lots of different ages coming on this hike that I should choose a easy hike so I settled on taking everyone to Kent Falls in Connecticut. Which is easy and beautiful. But as the day drew closer and some people ended up not being able to come I realized I did not have to go to Kent Falls anymore. So I started researching. There were a ton of other options. I had a hard time figuring out where to go. Every hike I read about on the Internet sounded better than the last. But there was one I kept returning too because the descriptive words the reviewer used to describe this hike were so intriguing. I really have pretty high expectations of myself when I entertain. Whether it is hiking or cooking dinner I really want everyone to be supremely happy. But I realized yesterday, something I already knew, I can not make them have a good time they have to decide for themselves if that is going to happen :) But that is getting ahead of myself. This hike I kept reading about was to the top of Mount Alander. A mountain right on the border between Massachusetts and New York and I was completely sucked in by the descriptions of the view I would experience. I had visions of everyone thanking me profusely for the best hike of their lives :) I really thought we HAD to go on this hike. So I easily convinced everyone and it was a done deal.


I was so excited for this hike I stayed up late making homemade granola to take with us. I filled all the water bottles that night so they would be cold. I map- quested. I was ready. Everyone met at our house at 7:30 in the morning. It was my 6 kids, my hubby, Miriam's friend Nichole, Robb and two of his kids, Chris, Karen and Benson. We all fit perfectly in the 15 passenger van. The hour and 20 minute drive to the hike was uneventful. A few of my kids had been fighting all morning so I feared the worst but was pleasantly surprised. We drove straight to the small dirt parking lot that marked the beginning of the trail. Just like it was meant to be.


What I had read had said that this hike was straight up. But that you could take it slow and stop along the way and it was do able. We started on the trail and immediately came upon a Y. No one mentioned this on anything I had read? So we just chose what we thought would be best using what little info we had. As we headed the way we chose we started to realize we were not going straight up and that was the only clue we had about being on the right trail. So we headed back to the Y and went the other way which immediately went straight up. It was a tough climb. My Natalie immediately earned herself the promise of a glitter ball and a ice cream cone if she could do this and that was enough for her, she was a great hiker, I just had to listen to her talk about the glitter ball and the ice cream the whole 6 miles. My other children all continued to complain throughout the whole hike in various forms. My husband never complained but I imagined it going on in his head :) And of course my guests did not complain a bit. It was strange that the whole 3 miles up this very difficult hike I never doubted that this hike was going to be worth it. I never imagined it wouldn't be. I continued to imagine everyone grateful for the hike when we were done. I spent a lot of energy distracting my children from the misery they were experiencing by reminding them of the end reward.


But end reward was not to be. There was a view when we finally got to the top. It was nice. And that is about all I can say. Going down was definitely harder than going up. I learned about some muscles in my derriere that I never knew existed. I tortured myself the whole way down the mountain with thoughts that I should have read more, that I should probably only take people to places I have already been to and thoroughly checked out.

I confess that I really enjoyed myself. I was proud of myself for making it to the top. I was proud of the calories I burned. I was proud that I did not complain about being left behind and having to hike with Natalie the whole day. I was proud that I did not complain about having the grumpy, angry 13 year old tag along for part of the day. I was proud that I packed enough water for everyone. And I was proud that I had had a bag of licorice for the hike in our house for two days before the hike and had not eaten it before we left the house. And that pretty much is all I had control over. We learn something every time we take a chance.

May 21, 2009

June 1. 2009

Okay, I think I have pulled myself together, while I have been frantically working in the yard, planting my garden, whipping children into shape, working on my daily Seminary lessons about the book of Revelations and such all I have been thinking about is how I can work blogging back into my life. So on June 1st I am going to start up again. But before I can do that here is my list of what I need to do:

#1. Get in the car but before driving the car make sure the camera with the full SD card is in the car with me. Drive 5 miles over the speed limit the whole way to Costco. Find the Costco card in my purse (might want to do that before leaving the house). Walk into the Costco and go straight for the photo lab, channeling all my will power to resist purchasing bulk quantities of things I do not need. Download the pictures from the SD card onto a disc so that I can take pictures for the blog :)

#2. Wash every window in the house inside and out. I have those amazing windows that fold
right out for easy washing so I have absolutely no reason not to have washed these windows.

#3. Choose a VERY LIGHT shade of pink to paint the little girls room. Any suggestions?

#4. Make job charts. Big, extensive, misery inducing job charts for the Baird children's "summer 'O' fun."

#5. Write all the thank you notes to all the people who gave me birthday presents in October 2008, all the people who helped and supported with getting Zach on the mission, my old seminary teacher from high school whose address I just located, I must thank her for putting up with my incessant talking. :)

#6. Teach Natalie and Tatiana to close their closet door to hide the clothes they have not put away.

#7. Read Hunger Games one more time. Such a good book :)

#8. Learn to operate the weed eater all by myself :)

#9. Not kill Joe. I promise I will never, ever sign that child up for a sport he has not begged to participate in for at least three years prior to me signing him up :)

So be thinking of me during the next 12 days while I am crossing off things on my countdown to blogging list.

May 5, 2009

Waxing and Waning.

Waxing means growing larger and waning means growing smaller. For a good amount of time now the old business of writing on the blog every single day was definitely "waxing". But sadly and painfully right now it is "waning."

I am at war with my lawn...I fear we may have to convert to the 4-step program for the first time in our lives we have a lawn that is high maintenance.

I am giving a talk in church on Sunday on Motherhood and believe me if you hate to listen to the talks on Mother's Day just count your blessing you do not have to do all the research and give the talk that induces the guilt. :) Researching motherhood is enough to make anyone feel enough guilt to take a break and fix a few well balanced meals for the "fam." (well at least a main dish :)

The house cleaning had gotten away from me. That is all I can say about that or my impeccable reputation will be ruined.

Seminary will be over in about 20 days and Revelations is coming up and I need to be able to answer all those speculative questions about the seven seals and such.

So please do not give up on me. I will definitely be back. And believe me it is more painful for me than it is for you. :) So if you have been wondering how on earth I did "it" ALL, this little development should really make you feel good because I apparently can't do it all like we all previously thought I could :) Consider it my gift to you. :)

Oh wait don't go yet....I have almost 300 old posts on this here blog. I know it requires a little bit of extra work on your part but if I do say so myself there is some pretty good reading in there. So don't just leave because there is nothing new....enjoy the old :)