Thursday, July 28, 2011

Toad and Geevy

When I went to my parent's house last weekend, my Mom let me take home a few old photo albums with me so I could scan all the photos into my computer. I knew EXACTLY the first two pictures I wanted for sure. These pictures were taken sometime during the fall of 1989. That's my brother, Jody (Toad) and me (Geevy). I was 14 and Jody was 23. We were headed out on a Friday night (not together exactly) and my Mom stopped us to take a picture.
These are some of my favorite pictures of all time.

Maybe everyone thinks their big brother is cool, but mine is one of THE coolest. I love him so much! Everybody loves "Toad"! It's true. When I started high school, I was so afraid of all the older kids, but as soon as they found out I was "Toad's little sister" I was IN. Zeke says either they thought he was cool or they were afraid he'd beat the crap out them if they messed with me, but either way, I was good to go. Thanks, Jode.
Now we switched hats: (Please forgive our attire... it was the 80's!)
I'll tell you about our nicknames some other time (one has to do with dead flies and a dare and the other one is just some variation of a put down Jody picked up in Vegas? yeah, it's a long story) ... it's late, this week has been CRAZY as usual and my family is waiting for me to continue our Lord of the Rings movie fest. Jody kinda reminds me of Aragorn a little bit... well, a little bit. Aragorn is so serious and Jody's pretty silly and THAT reminds me of Zeke.
You should see the two of them together! :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kefir Who?

Okay, so blogger is being SO slow lately... or I am just extra impatient. Sorry everyone, I just can't seem to find a minute to sit down and blog this summer.
Just a quick post here...
This stuff has seriously given me a NEW life. My Aunt Barbara recommended it to me during the 4th of July weekend. THANK YOU!!! I have had stomach problems ALL of my life and nothing has really helped it until.... KEFIR!!! I have not been sick for almost 3 weeks now!

I used to get sick about every other day from different foods I would eat. If I got sick, it would last for a few days at least. I've always been told I have an ulcer or I can't handle greasy/spicy foods or that I should get checked to see if I have diverticulitis or irritable bowel syndrome or even a gluten intolerance. My symptoms have always been inconsistent with any of these problems. And chocolate KILLS me. :( Well, I ate THREE OREOS yesterday and I feel fine. This actually could be a bad thing...

Before, I would just avoid the foods that made me sick, but over the last couple years that list is growing while my incidences of sickness were greatly increasing. I have been so sick this last year and especially the last 6 months that it has been interfering with daily activities and definitely dictating what I do (and don't do). Now, I haven't immediately re-introduced every irritating food back in my diet yet, no way, I am not that crazy. I'm going to take it slow and maybe in a few months I might be able to have a taste of what I have been craving most: SALAD!

I have more energy than I've had in years. My digestive system has been out of balance to say the least and Kefir can help restore the balance. It helps you digest your food, which I know my body hasn't been doing well. If a food made me sick, I would know it about 10 minutes after eating it. Oh, the avocado egg rolls at Aggy's Sports Grill still give me nightmares!

But, start out slowly... it made my stomach feel so good I drank too much the first four days and I broke out in a SERIOUS rash. YIKES! Now I am drinking about 4 ounces every 3 days and I hope to increase it as my body can tolerate it.

What is Kefir? In a nutshell, some SERIOUS probiotic yogurt-type stuff.

This is the kind I have tried, I like the blueberry. I got it in the organic section of our local Smith's Marketplace. $3.49 for 32 ounces.

Seriously, I feel like a NEW person! Dear Aunt Barbara, I owe you BIG TIME!!!!!!:)

Okay, gotta go, Kaia and Beck were tucked into bed and they just came downstairs... AGAIN!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just call me "JOE"

Last week I got my "baby" all tuned up and repaired. This "baby" of mine has been long neglected. It got new shifters, cables, a chain, and even new hand grips. It's just like new! As soon as I got it home, I took it out of the van and zoomed down the block sans shoes! Ahhh, that one ride brought back so many great memories. :)

I remember when this bike was my LIFE. I used to ride it to work and back everyday the following summer -- 16 miles roundtrip. Wow, I wish my legs could still experience that everyday! I also remember how my bike got stolen about a month after I got it. My Dad's friend heard an ad on a local radio station yard sale/auction thing and actually found my bike! Thanks, Reg! And no, we did NOT have to buy it back, but I did have to go to the house of the guy that stole it and had to identify it -- just a *bit* awkward since everybody knows everybody in my small hometown.

I remember writing an essay about it when I was a Senior in High School... I wanted to share it with you here just for fun. Now, remember, I was 17 when I wrote this... almost TWENTY years ago. Oh, I was/am so dramatic! In some ways, I hope I have REALLY changed, but as I read through it again I thought, in other ways, I hope I'll NEVER change.

Here it is, unedited, for your reading "pleasure"?

Lacy R. -----
Narrative Essay
College English 101
"The Ride of a Lifetime"

Today was the day! All summer long I had been anxiously waiting for it. I felt so fortunate that this day actually came. Three years of hoping and wanting were beginning to disappear, as I pictured myself proudly riding away into the beautiful August sunset. More than anything, I wished for the sun glistening in my hair, and the wind gently teasing my face, as I rode freely on a mountain bike of my very own. Now, which surely was a dream, I was finally going to get one.

It was August 25, 1992, a beautiful summer morning. My mom and I were on our way to Provo in dad's large blue Chevrolet truck. We needed the bed of the truck to take home my new bike.

"Lacy, you know we can't afford this," Mom lectured, "but I guess we'll call it your early graduation present."

"Ok, since I'm already getting my present, I won't have to worry about graduating at all." I teased, slyly turning up " X 96 ", my favorite radio station.

"You'd better graduate, because $500 is a lot of money for a mountain bike!" Mom laughed, innocently turning the radio back down to a low hum.

"Well , Mom, I can use the bike for transportation at college" convincing her, "besides, you know I'll graduate." I promised.

We took the University Avenue exit, and headed straight for the mall. There, we tried to eat lunch, but we were so excited we couldn't eat anything. So we decided to leave , and get on with the important stuff — my mountain bike.

Across the parking lot of the mall stood "Gorilla Bicycle Company" complete with a gigantic grey gorilla above the doorway. I'd heard many good things about this store, all of which convinced me to check it out: awesome bikes, good deals, and gorgeous sales-clerks. So far, it sounded perfect to me.

Walking through the door, I saw hundreds of different bikes. Glancing at me, my Mom figured we would be there until closing before I could decide which bike I wanted. I just smiled back, quickly looking over as the salesclerk came to help us.

"Hi, are ya thinkin' about gettin' a bike?" asked a tall guy with purple and yellow hiking boots, plaid shorts, and a "Red Hot Chili Peppers" concert T-shirt.

I was in love. His long shiny brown hair was casually-pulled back with a leather string, to reveal a small name tag just below his shoulder. In bright green letters, it read simply, "JOE".

He showed me a group of bikes, and I nervously searched for the right one. There it was! Sleek and powerful, it hung from a large orange hook in the ceiling. A 16-inch, Mongoose Alta , with 21- speed 300 xl shifting , and with
Shimano brakes.

But it wasn't all of the high-tech components that caught my attention — it was the appearance of the bike. The beautiful color was a rich earthy tan with hints of silver, shiny, yet subtle. The sales sticker said it was 'light champagne'. Joe said it was the color of my hair. All I knew is that it was gorgeous. With a chrome-ally frame and black rims, I knew this was the one.

"Ok, with tax and total, it'll come to $464.87," Joe declared, as his deep coffee-brown eyes looked up from the cash register to meet mine.

I eagerly smiled back, while mom nearly fainted. Whether it was because she just pulled $464.87 from her wallet, or the fact that a 23-year guy with long brown hair and a tattoo was flirting with her daughter; it was a funny sight to see. Joe helped me wheel it outside to the truck, and watched patiently as I carefully lifted it into the back of the truck.

"Thanks a lot," I smiled, looking directly at Joe to let him know that I appreciated it — and that I was extremely available.

"Hey, Lace, anytime," he promised, "and if you need anything just call, okay?" Joe assured me, writing his home phone number on the business card.

"Sure, thanks again, see ya!" I called, carefully driving out of the parking lot.

Mom and I drove to my brother's house in Orem, just seven miles away. My Mom kept smiling at me and looking back, constantly checking to make sure my bike was okay. Soon after, we pulled up to my brother's house, I nearly jumped out before I even turned off the truck. Gently, I lifted my "baby" out of the back and walked it out to the sidewalk, careful not to scratch it or bump it.

"Thanks, mom," I whispered, fighting back the tears of joy.

"You're welcome, Lace," Mom smiled, "I know you'll graduate, because the smile on your face is thanks enough.”

I smiled again and looked down the block. Ahead of me was an endless stretch of road and I was going to ride it.
Excitedly, I lifted my leg up over the seat and checked the brakes. Then, I zoomed down the road, the sun glistening in my hair and the wind gently teasing my face. I rode faster and faster; free as the wind itself.

Coming towards a street corner, I slowly came to a stop. Breathing hard and smiling proudly, I reached in my pocket for the "Gorilla Bicycle" business card. Looking around for the nearest
payphone, I headed down the next block to 7-11 — I was going to call Joe.

I wish I had a picture of me and my bike way back when, but I did NOT like having my picture taken (just ask my Mom)! I was a teenage nightmare.
Anyway, here's me and my "baby" almost twenty years later...

Just for the record, I didn't really call Joe!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Zoo, The 4th of July, and Potty Training, OH MY!

Well, our computer is really acting up. Actually it's not acting at all, I think it's really dying.

Beck is right here and my brain is mush. I went to Book Club last night and well, I didn't get to bed too early. Oh, how I love Book Club! These women are beyond wonderful. I love them all.

We went out of town for the weekend and got back late Tuesday night. I was without the internet for FOUR days. FOUR DAYS. Sad, but true. Somehow I survived. Then, I come home to our poor little computer. Blogging may be a bit sporadic for awhile (if it wasn't already)!

On Saturday, we went to Hogle Zoo. We haven't been since 2005. It was fun, but HOT. As in over 100 degrees HOT! The bird show was awesome... that's another story. My favorites were the tigers and the baby lemurs. My kids were troopers. We really felt like we were melting.

Here they are at the "water ball thingy" at the entrance:
Kaia on the carousel:
Zoe on the carousel:
Beck and me on the carousel (he did NOT want to ride on one of the "horses"):
Gabe is almost as tall as a male gorilla.... hmm... just think about that one.
My little monkeys:

Our 4th of July trip home was fantastic and HOT. Yes, HOT is the theme for July and well, I don't do HOT very well. Gabe was with cousins already (and for some reason didn't want a new 4th of July outfit, why not?), but here's
Zoe, Kaia, and Beck going to the morning carnival:
Zoe and cousin Kyden doing the "knock each other off the inflated pedestal with inflated club thingys". Zoe had so much fun with Kyden.
She's talked about him non-stop since we got home.

Zeke just landed at the bottom of a HUGE slide. YIKES!
Kaia climbing up to the HUGE slide:
Look out below!! This slide was HUGE, I'm telling you!
Beck got to go in a giant bubble machine. This really was quite ingenious and I thought it was the hit of the carnival. SO COOL!! Go Salina! :) It's hard to tell from the picture, but Beck is inside a giant bubble!

Zoe with my dear cousin, Nicky. She made a bunch of the cutest flower clips and hair bows for my girls. Zoe tried all of them on at once.
It looked like a crazy shower cap.
Nicky is so sweet! We have so many good memories growing up together. We had fun hanging out with her family this year. Rod, Barbara, Ryan, Aubrey, Randy, Rusty, Maxine, and a plethora of little ones and not-so-little ones... it was a great day. My cousins ROCK and I'm not just saying they are cool... they really ROCK. Seriously, we're just sitting there and next thing I know, full on band playing "Plush" from Stone Temple Pilots. This was the 4th of July, I was in heaven. By the way, Ryan, Randy, Rusty: you guys seriously can sing and play! Zeke was also loving life, because he just happened to bring his guitar and Rusty was teaching him everything he could.

It was the best! Other than my stomach. You know every blog post includes some dumb ailment of mine. I sound like I'm 80. It stinks! But hey, my dear Aunt Barbara said, "You've gotta try some Kefir!" And just like her, she didn't just say it, but she went and got me some and more to take home. It's like an extra concentrated probiotic yogurt. She said it has really helped her. I'm looking forward to having it help me. I came home and found some in the good old organic section at Smith's of course. :)

And just a side note, last Wednesday, the morning ritual of trying to see if today was the day Beck wants to go potty was successful! The morning turned into the afternoon which turned into evening and well, we were potty-training all through the weekend. It was crazy, of course, but that's how we do things around here.

We're on day 9 (counting 4 days of vacation) and things are going rather well. I've reached another milestone in my life. I have been buying diapers for OVER 14 YEARS, PEOPLE!!! But not any That's got to help the budget a bit.

Beck is so proud.
My Mom only has one bathroom...yeah.
He especially loved when he got to pee on a tree outside!
This picture is worth a THOUSAND words (and DOLLARS!) :) Woo hoo!
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