Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Brooke, the Bachelorette!

Brooke is adjusting to college life just fine.
She is loving it, especially loves having her sisters Ashley and Allie (and brother-in-law, Justin) close by.
Here is an excerpt from Allie's blog about a fun experience that Brooke had at freshman orientation.

My baby sister, Brooke is starting college this year!  I am so excited for her and happy that she will be so close to us!
Anyway, Brooke's freshmen year has had a fabulous start thanks to the Dating Game. 
Brooke was chosen to be the "bachelorette" in the BYU New Student Orientation version of the game. 
Naturally, I headed over to the Wilk (student center) to witness it myself.

Needless to say, it was awesome. Justin wins best bro-in-law (sorry Brett) for capturing the event.

The MC (who was acting as Harry Potter's Snape for some unknown reason...)
 announced a little bio about Brooke and then she walked out. So. Freaking. Beautiful. 
All you could see was blonde hair and golden tan skin. 
The boys practically ran to the stage for a chance at a date.
Pretty Brookie, walking out on the stage.
Eager boys run to the stage.
Professor Snape explaining the rules.
Brooke answered the questions...
and the sad boys had to leave if their answers didn't match hers.
The pack of boys dwindles.
The final two.
Brooke asked questions and the boys had to make up answers on the spot.
My favorite answer for "What is your best pick up line?
One boy said, "I'm headed to the Celestial Kingdom, wanna come?"  I love BYU!
And we have a winner!
Uhhh! Can I have your number?

Ash, Justin, and I loved every minute of this.  It was thoroughly entertaining.
Brooke was like a mini celeb walking around afterwards.
It was at that moment that I really wasn't liking this "empty nesting" thing.
Don't get me wrong.  I love just being with Mark without any kids around.  
It's like we are on this really long, uninterrupted date and that part is truly wonderful! Really, it is.
Just saying that I hate missing out on the fun kid things.
But we are heading back to Utah this weekend to watch Brooke race 
and spend time with the college kids.
It's all good and thank goodness for cell phones calls, skype sessions, emails, Ichat, etc,
and wonderful son-in-laws that take photos, and daughters that blog about all the fun,
so I don't really miss a thing.  Right!?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fixing a flat at Folsom Lake

It was another adventurous day biking to Folsom Lake this morning
 with Cindy Strickland, Kim Nash, Sue and Karen.  
No!  I didn't have a bike accident. But Cindy did have a flat tire and 
I am proud to say that the 5 of us changed her tire. 
 I know that it doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment,
 but it is harder than you think and none of us had done it before 
so we were pretty pleased with ourselves.  
It was definitely took a lot of team work! 
 And as you can see, I was mainly working as the team photographer.
We rode all the way back to Beek's Bight trail and stopped to take a photo of the gals
with the lake and the Los Lagos neighborhood in the background.  Gorgeous!
Just before the photo was taken, Cindy took a thorn out of her tire.
Right then, we heard the air coming out of Cindy's tire and it went completely flat.
Cindy and Sue posing with the flat tire.
Cindy called her husband to come pick her up because she didn't have a spare tire.
But Karen was determined and I had a spare tire, just the right size, so Karen got busy.
Karen, Sue and Cindy working on getting the spare tire around the rim...
which is harder than you think.  But Karen is determined and isn't going to give up!
Now that the spare tire is on, Kim grabs her pump and all 4 gals work together to fill the tire with air.
Right as we were finishing the job, Cindy's husband, Joe drove up.
He was quite surprised and pretty pleased that we fixed the flat tire by ourselves.
 He gave us a few tips... and I gave him the Iphone camera...
and asked him to get a few pics of the girls and the tire, all fixed and ready to go.
Now with the tire back on Cindy's bike, we are ready for the ride back home.
I think all the gals would agree that there is nothing like changing a flat tire
 to make a girl feel clever and smart!
It was a good biking day!  
A good workout, gorgeous weather, and great conversation with good friends!
I can hardly wait for next weeks bike ride!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Brooke is a BYU Cougar!

 It's hard to believe that this little bear is now a cougar! 
 She is so excited and so I'm trying to be so excited for her! And I am! Truly, I am!
 She is ready to go to college and so I am trying to be ready to let her go! 
 The last of the 5 Holt kids at Brigham Young University.
Time to take the traditional pictures in front of the sign as you enter campus.
And of course, we must get a casual sitting pose.
Allie and Justin were so nice and helped her move into her dorm room.
So cute!
Wouldn't be right without a jumping picture!
Mom and Dad with Brooke.
We all wore our Blue gear to show our Cougar pride.
We also had to do a jumping photo and pretend that we are excited about being "empty nesters."
Yeah.  We had to give each other a high five with our last dropped off at college,
looking forward to the future and ready to embrace the next stage of life!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Hike almost to 9990!

A long, long time ago, while vacationing in Park City,
 we hiked Holly's trail (which is listed on the trail map as "a more difficult" hike)
 then caught the Mid Mountain trail (also "a more difficult" hike), 
followed it to the top of the gondola and arrived at Red Pine Lodge.
 After successfully accomplishing this "more difficult" feat and feeling pretty good about myself, 
I made a flipant comment about how someday we should climb all the way to 9990, 
which is the highest peak at Canyons. 
 Dad perked up immediately and said, "Let's do it when you turn 50!"
 At the time that seemed SO far away. I mean I thought I'd never be that old!  
I agreed because I figured that by the time I turned that old,
 Dad would be losing his memory and forget about our conversation about hiking to 9990. 
 But no!  Dad has been talked of nothing else when my BIG birthday came along!  
So I tried to talked all the kids into joining us.  But alas, everyone had a good excuse. 
 Ashley was in CA babysitting the cousins. Brooke had to run 9 miles that day so I didn't blame her.
  Allie and Justin were both going to join us, but then Allie got called into work that morning. 
 So it was Dad and Justin and me that headed up the mountain that day. 
Justin and Dad on the trail at the beginning of our hike.
I made it to the top of Red Pine Road ski run.
The view from on top of a ridge with Dreamcatcher and Daybreak runs in the background.
We made it to the top of Tombstone chairlift.
From here on up the hike is described on Canyons trail map as their most difficult hike.
It says that "when you get to the top of the ridge, some technical climbing is required over talus rock."
We aren't really technical climbers.  We aren't even climbers at all.  Nor are we hikers.  
We probably fall into the category of beginner recreational hikers at best.
So we knew that we probably wouldn't make it to the top of 9990 but we weren't going to get discouraged.
We decided to just hike as far as we could, until it got too technical for this amateur hiking crew.
Now the incline gets more steep as we continue the hike up Fantasy Ridge.
Like I said, it got much steeper.
Then we passed this warning but it didn't intimidate us and we pressed forward.
We passed this gorgeous meadow which was filled with wildflowers.
These two were determined even though there were a few fallen trees on the trail.
At last, we made it to the ridge and 9990 peak is in sight.
The view of Lookout Cabin from the top of the ridge.
Dad standing on the edge of the ridge.  The view on one side...
and the view on the other side of the ridge.
My view of Fantasy Ridge.  All the sudden, it didn't look like any fantasy at all!
The talus rock that we hiked up was gorgeous
 but proved to challenging since the rock wasn't super stable.
But it did make for some fabulous pictures.
Another fantastic shot with the talus rocks.
And yes, it is that steep!
More views of the ridge we were hiking on.
The map describes it as "knife edge" and after hiking it,
I think that is a pretty good description.

I took this picture to show how steep it is.
Then Mark was like, "Hey, get down there and I'll get a great shot of you sitting on the edge of the ridge."
  I don't know what I was thinking because I sat right down, 
held on to a rock to stablize myself, while Mark took the picture. 
 Remember, I'm afraid of heights!
Apparently, my desire to get a good picture overrides my fear of heights.
Anything for a great photo!

We hiked until we finally got to the technical part of the hike, which basically meant that you would need a rope to hoist yourself over the narrowest and steepest part of the ridge.  
It was at that point, that we turned back.
I was relieved that the boys knew their limits and didn't push it,
because I was trying to stay calm but inside, I was a little freaked out by the "knife edge ridge" that we were on.
Standing on the edge of one of the many cliffs.
Dad stopped and picked a couple wildflowers for Brooke.
Brooke joined us for lunch back at the outdoor grill at Red Pine lodge.
They brought her a free pizza and sundae for her birthday.