Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Hunt

This post has been on my mind almost everyday since this adventure started.  It's weird how writing things out help me put things in perspective.  It's not as much for everyone else as it is for me, it has surprised me how therapeutic this blogging thing has been.  I have gone back and forth a few times, trying to decide how much depth to go into.  But the last few days I have been feeling a little better about things and I think I would rather not relive the whole thing at this point.  So here you go.  The shortened version.  We hunted our tails off and came home with the stupid tag in our hands.  Yep, no deer.  It's not that we didn't see any, we did, just not any that we deemed worthy of a once in a lifetime draw unit.  It was hard, both physically and  emotionally.   All the early mornings and cool weather didn't bother me.  And the hiking was pretty awesome actually, it felt so good, and I was so proud of myself for keeping pace.  But wrapping my sleeping baby up and pawning her off on Nicole at 6 am was hard.  After all it was Nicole's vacation too and I felt like I was taking advantage of her, a lot.  But of course she never complained, and she had a smile on her face every time I invaded her trailer to dump my kid off.  She is one of those people who are few and far between, a true friend.  Shes obviously easy going and fun, but most of all, she's genuine.  I just can't say enough about how grateful I am for her.  There were also several more people who were there to get up early and sit for hours and spot and spot and then spot some more.  They hiked, they cooked, they laughed, they were what made everything OK in the end.  I feel so unworthy of all the time and effort everyone went to just to help little old me.  But despite it all, I missed Chad.  I tried hard to stay focused, but I found my mind wondering almost constantly.  I wanted him to help me, to show me, to tell me where to go.  I held out hope, until the very end, until Ben finally looked at me on the very last day and asked me what I wanted to do, and I had to call it.  It felt like losing him all over again.  It was definitely the very hardest part.  I wanted to scream and yell and call him bad names, and I almost did.  I had a good cry, ripped off my orange hat and after a few minutes I was OK again.  OK until Jason told me as we pulled into the drive way that I had done a good job and he was proud of me for being a true hunter and holding out for the buck I wanted, even if that meant coming home empty handed.  I was so honored to receive such a compliment from someone I consider my big brother.  I now realize, after a few days of trying to sort it all out in my mind, a pair of antlers could never mean as much to me as all the love and support I have felt over the last two weeks.  A huge thank you to Jason, Jed and TJ, my big brothers, (weather you like it or not) thank you for everything.  All the days off work, days away from you families  all the driving and advice and help, I wouldn't have even seen one thing without all of you. Collin, I know you love to camp and hunt but I really am so grateful to you for helping out with Ty and Ally.  I am glad you were there and I think you are a pretty amazing and awesome young man, keep up the good work. Waylon, thanks for being patient with Ally, you are the cutest happiest boy ever and I just love you to pieces. To Nicole, well I just can't find the words to thank you, I love you.  Even though I felt bad leaving my kids I knew that they couldn't be in better hands, you are and amazing Mom and friend.  My Mom and my Uncle Tim, two of the most special people in my life, my world was complete with you there, you provided some sort of calm I was unable to find after you left, thank you for everything over the last 30 years.  To my kids, thank you for being good sports, Ally thank you for not crying for Nicole and only being a diva when I was around.  Ty, you are one funny and amazing boy.  I am so proud of you for always finding the good in any situation and being a happy fun kid.  And to Benny, NONE of this would have happened without you.  You were the first one up every freezing cold morning and you sweetly and calmly asked me if I was awake and told me it was time to get up, even though it wasn't your hunt and I know how much the whole getting me out of bed in the morning drives you crazy.  You never complained about anything, you never told me no.  Someday I hope I am the kind of person you are.  I love you so very very much.  Thank you for listening to me and holding me while I cried.  I know you are the only one who truly understands what I went through and I know you felt Chads void just as much as I did.  There is no one else on the planet I would have wanted to be with for this adventure.  You kept me positive and you still helped me see the good after it was all said and done.  You are my rock, I love you.

OK now that I have spilled my dramatic guts, how bout a few pics?  I only got my camera out one day, boo. But can I just say how much I love sitting in a camp chair surrounded by friends.  There can't be anything better in the world than that.

It started out with a little friendly shooting competition. Can you see the cans?

Somehow they ended up shooting one of Collins Gatorade's because of who won, or lost,
 I can't remember how it all went down.

While the boys were having their fun, Nicole and I loved on our little people. 
(Don't his curls just kill you?)

 Ally slept on my lap for what seemed like hours, I loved every single second of it.

After that was a friendly game of pine cone baseball,

 Which turned unfriendly pretty quickly.

Ben found this 4 wheeler for sale on KSL two days before we left.  It wasn't running, of course my handy husband had it fixed in a few hours, and the part to fix it was only one dollar, sweet!  

Ty rode it non stop for 4 days.  Ben told him only First gear, that lasted almost a whole day.

 This was the view out the windshield on the way home, it was sad to say goodbye, bittersweet.  But I am so grateful for the opportunity and I am doing my best to find all the good in it.  Which there is, a whole lot of good.  Thanks again everyone.

PS  I asked Ty when we got home if he was glad to get back to normal? he said "Yeah, like making cookies and going to the movies...."  What? that's not normal? How about cereal and cartoons buddy.  I love you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Some quiltyness, and other things

My friend and I were shop hopping a few months ago and saw this really cute idea for a quilt.  It was a chevron print made rag quilt style.  It was a small scale chevron and it only had a few layers and no batting in it.  Oh, we can totally do that so much better we said to one another.  We get ourselves into things like this all the time, you would think we would learn.  So a few weeks later Cindy and I ran a quilty errand together one Saturday afternoon and she showed me the large chevron print she had bought.  I was totally in love, so very cute.  So I went and bought my own along with some yellow minky that Ally kept laying on and rubbing her face on while we were in the fabric store.  Then I went and bought five colors of flannel to match.  Oh I was just so excited to get going.

 So a few weeks after that Cindy and I got together on a Friday night for our monthly quilt night. We layered all of our fabrics together with a little spray glue and then happily started sewing down the chevrons.  After about 45 seconds I realized that this little project was dumb.  You see there are 10 chevron stripes, and then Cindy thought it would be best to sew down the middle of the white stripes.  That means 30 seams total.  Which means sewing 2.5 inches stopping, turning the entire quilt sewing 2.5 more inches, you get the idea.  And it's not like it was 2 light fluffy pieces of cotton and some batting.  It was a fluffy piece of cotton, five fluffy pieces of flannel and one extra fluffy piece of minky.  It sucked.  So I started whining, and I kept whining.  It went on for days.  Every time I worked on it I send Cindy a text and whined about how bad I hated it.  Until she offered to finish it for me, but I told her no I just wanted to whine about it.  One Saturday I finally buckled down, fed my family cereal and fast food all day and finished it (stopping every hour or so to text Cindy).  And now I'm pretty glad I followed Cindy down this quilty path, It's darn cute. (I should mention Cindy finished hers in like a week with very little, if any at all, whining, and it was really super cute :))

 Whats even better? My daughter really loves the back.  Which makes me extra happy about all the time I spent on the front :)

And it apparently doubles as a yoga mat.  Come on Ty, do yoga with me.

After the trauma, I needed something really easy to work on.  So I dug this rag quilt out of my stash.  It's one of my original unfinished projects.  We are talking almost a decade old. But a neighbor of our is expecting a baby boy in a month or so and I thought this soft quilt might be fun to wrap him up in.  And it took me one hour to finish, sweet!

But the very best thing in recent history? My new pantry! 
There are no words to express the joy it brings to my soul.

This space used to be a half bath.  It's right off our kitchen and hadn't been used as a bathroom for at least four years.  I had stuff stacked all over in there.  A few weeks ago Ben told me that if I cleaned it out he would tear out the bathroom items and put shelves in for me.  I had that thing cleaned out in like 10 mins. Ben, well he is my hero, as usual.  All that stuff in there, it used to be shoved in all my cupboards.  You took you life into your own hands opening most of my cupboards, until now that is.  I tell ya, I don't know how I lived without a pantry, I know I never can again that's for sure.   OK I gots to go.  I need to pack, and grocery shop, not normal grocery shop, Sam's Club grocery shop.  And then pack some more. 
Less than 48 hours till go time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Every last bit

When we went for our drive up the canyon a few weeks ago Ty asked if we could please stop and hike the Grotto again.  I told him that we didn't have enough time so naturally the next question was "Can we come hike it with Toby tomorrow?" And of course I was totally down with that, maybe Steph would squeal in delight at the autumn splendor with me since Ben wouldn't.  So it took a week to work it out but we finally made it.  And it was totally worth it. 

While hiking I came across these scary shadow monsters, eek!  But then they started giggling and I realized they weren't as much scary as just silly, and pretty cute too.  Yes Ally did come hiking, but she was in the backpack for most of it, so she was helping me take pictures.  She was thoroughly entertained by all of it.  I am so grateful to live in a place where we have four beautiful seasons to enjoy. And I am so grateful to have some really amazing friends.  I have a lot of them and they have been listening to me and helping me a whole lot lately.  I hope I can be there for all of you the way you are always there for me.  10 days until the hunt, hopefully all the freaking out will subside a bit when it's all over.  Hopefully.  Yes I am freaking out, yes my friends and family are all that's keeping me from ending up in the nut house.  Thanks friends and Mom, seriously, thank you.  For listening to me cry, for borrowing us your husband to get my gun sighted in and watching my kids.  For taking me away for the weekend so that I could have some fun and relax, and eat good food, and vent and then vent some more.  For taking off work and spending your vacation fund to camp for five days in the mountains on a hunt that's not even your own.  For calling to check on me and telling me that it's all OK.  For cooking, and packing, and babysitting and listening to me melt down.  For wanting to help and offering to do anything to make me feel better.  You have no idea how much all of you mean to me, I feel completely unworthy of such kindness.  I owe y'all big time, thank you so very much.  As for the title of this post, it was meant to mean that we are soaking in every last bit of Fall.  Then when I read it again before pushing the publish button, I realized that it also means every last bit of fear, anxiety, patience, acceptance, guilt, self control and basic sanity I feel like I have left.  I know that I am crazy for letting something so silly get me into such a tizzy, trust me I know, it's part of the problem, and I feel really stupid.  I knew that this hunt was going to have some major emotion attached to it.  But just like everything you never really know until you are there. And here I am. Wish me luck.