Sunday, September 27, 2009

Snow Basin

Shawn competed in the Xterra off-road triathlon at Snowbasin yesterday.  Since most races start so early, we don't usually make it to watch him.  But this one had a later start and so we decided to show our support for his last race of the season.  It was a long drive, but we ended up having a fun day.  Here's Shawn after he finished.  This photo doesn't show all of the scrapes and scratches he collected during the bike ride.  I looked at him and said, "You're sure this was fun?"If you look closely at his leg in the above photo, you can see the demon thorn sticking out, but in case you miss it, there is a closer look in the photo below.  The kids were wanting to go do something, and I said, "Hold on, we've got to go to the medical tent and get the stick out of Dad's leg."  Next thing I know, Samantha has turned white as a sheet and ended up passing out and throwing up on the grass.  She ended up lying down in the medical tent for a few minutes until she recovered.  I guess its good that she didn't see the guy getting his face stitched up or the broken ribs of another guy.  I think this race was a little brutal for some.  A couple of my kids have shown their inability to handle any level of gore before, but never quite this publicly.  Since it all ended up all right, it was kind of funny.  Jonas said, "Samantha looks kind of green."  (Which was true - she was green.)  This was the most upsetting part to her because she said, "What?!  I hate green!!"  And then kept asking if she still looked green for the next hour or so.  She was fine and was asking for ice-cream within half an hour.
  Here is the demon thorn in the leg...
And here it is out of the leg.
The most exciting part was Shawn's 3rd place finish in the corporate CEO challenge.  A podium finish is always worth it.  Since he got in for free and then won a $50 gift certificate to Salt Lake Running Company, he actually got paid for punishing himself instead of paying for the punishment.  That's a first.
The fall colors were absolutely beautiful.  (That made the long drive a little more enjoyable, too.)
We rode the gondola (or gondzilla, as Samantha called it), to the top to enjoy the view.  Here I am, with Duffy.
Shawn and Peter
Everyone enjoying the ride.
We grabbed a little snack at the lodge, 
and then headed out on a short hike.  The kids enjoyed identifying the wild flowers and finding cool rocks.  
The weather was perfect and all in all, we had a really fun day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I'm sure that this post will be most appreciated by grandparents, but here it is anyway.

I always hope that my kids will continue to like each other this much through out their lives.
This is such a rare photo of Amelia because generally as soon as I pull out the camera, she is smiling, tilting her head and posing.  But here she is, one of my 3 beautiful princesses.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Zoo Babies

Ever since the baby elephant arrived, my kids have been begging to go to the zoo. So, in order to appease them, we went on Friday afternoon.  Needless to say, she was a big hit.  We all thought she was so cute and funny to watch.  And, she wasn't the only new animal baby to see.Here's Zuri, the baby elephant.

Here's the baby giraffe.

Here's one of the 3 tiger cubs.
And here's the baby Stringham.  (Apparently he wasn't quite as impressed with the babies as everyone else was.)
There was also a baby snow leopard, but I couldn't get a good picture of him.Every time I finally go to the zoo, I wonder why we don't go more often.  And then I remember, it's because I can't seem to get out of there without having to shell out the cash for a ride on either the train or the carousel.  Oh well, at least they think I'm a nice Mom for a few minutes every once in a while.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Meet the Newest Member of the Family

I have reached the conclusion that despite the 5 degrees that are hanging on our walls, Shawn and I may not be very bright.  Why else would we allow a child to choose another enormous instrument to play?  Apparently we think big instruments make beautiful sounds.  I have been pushing Jonas towards the cello for a few years, but then Shawn suggested the bass and Jonas decided that would be pretty cool.  This thing is huge!  And keep in mind, this is only a 1/4 size bass.  Within a year or two, he should move up to a 1/2 size and then a 3/4 size which has got to be at least 7 feet tall.  The thing about the bass is that he can't exactly strap it on his back and ride his bike to the bus stop.  And the thought of the damage that could occur as he tried to take it on the bus - well, it comes down to the fact that as his mother, I am the lucky one who gets to haul the bass to school and back for him.  (Like I said, this is probably proof that we aren't very smart.)
I guess the good news is that since we already have the suburban, we don't need to invest in  new car to move it.  (Same with Samantha's harp.)  However, if it is ever necessary to move both the harp and the bass, then I guess the kids will have to stay home.
Still, it does sound really cool.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our Last First Day

Poor Megan has been waiting and waiting for school to start and finally, her day has arrived.  She was so excited and definitely ready, even if I am not.  With 3 older siblings all in school, hanging out at home just with me and the baby doesn't have the same appeal that it once did.  Now, since Amelia goes to ballet Tuesday morning as well, I have a whole 45 minutes a week when I am down to just 1 child!


Once again we have reached that wonderful time of year when Shawn has completed Lotoja.He rode this year with my brother, Rob and our friend, Troy Preslar.  As always, I find this to be an amazing accomplishment. I love to ride my bike, but I don't know if I love it quite this much.  Twelve straight hours in the saddle while punishing my body isn't quite my idea of fun.
This is the 5th time Shawn has done the race - 4 times on his own and once as part of a relay team.  I am fully supportive of him doing this, but by the end of the summer the loooong Saturday rides get a little tiresome for those of us who already spend all of our other days home with the kids.  It's always a relief when it's over.
Congratulations to all of you!  And thanks to Matt for driving support so I wouldn't have to.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

House For Sale

My house is getting ready to be put on the market.  OK, not my house exactly, at least not the one I live in now, but the one where I spent the first 21 1/2 years of my life.  My parents are getting ready to move on.  At first I thought I was all right with this, but the closer it gets, the more sentimental and sad I feel about it.  There are just so many memories tied to this house and this neighborhood, that it's hard to let it go.  Here it is.  1606 Yale Avenue
I remember how we always had to get going fast enough on our bikes to make it up that hill so we could put our bikes away in the back.  The steps, porch and driveway used to be pink.  That was always the identifier for telling people how to find our house. I've always loved the little stained glass segments in all of the front windows.  When I was young I loved to see the rainbow colors on the floor inside. 
I still love coming across houses in various neighborhoods that have the same bricks as this house.
I remember the yard, sandbox and patio that we enjoyed before the pool was put in.  And of course, I have loved the pool, as have my kids.  It also was quite lucrative for Shawn who spent a few years teaching swimming lessons to lots of neighborhood kids there when we were dating and first married.
We spent so many nights sitting out on the front porch steps, just outside this door.  Most nights in the summer as a matter of fact.  I still love to sit on my front porch and watch the world go by, watch my kids play or visit with passing neighbors.
One of my favorite things about this neighborhood is all of the mature trees up and down the streets.  I still love driving under the canopy that they create.  Thirty six years of memories associated with this place is really a lot.  My parents have lived here for just over 40 years.  They moved in on Rob's 1st birthday. I really hate to see it go.  I just wish another nice family would buy it and enjoy it like I did.  I'll be pretty devastated if someone buys it just to tear it down.  It will be hard to drive by when it no longer belongs to us.  I guess I better start preparing myself to say good bye.

Crazy Hair Day

It was crazy hair day at Samantha's school today.  And this was the look she chose.  Her hair is so long that she had to turn sideways to go through the doorway but she wouldn't let me turn the ends up.  I just told her to be careful not to poke someone's eye out.

Labor Day Fun

After spending the morning trying to fit in a few quick errands, we were ready to enjoy the day off from school and work.  First we tried a little boating, but due to a dead battery, we sort of ran out of time.  We had a chance to just drive around the lake a bit which was still enjoyable for most of us.Then it was off to my parents house for one last holiday swim party before we lose the opportunity  for good.  We enjoyed the nice warm water, dinner and ice cream.

Peter and Grandma Judy.
Here are all of the Marsh cousins minus the 3 that live in Atlanta.  A total of 7 boys and 7 girls.  It's pretty rare that we can get this many of them all together in one place like this.  (So enjoy the photo Mom and Dad.)  Not a bad way to spend a day off.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Let's clarify.  13 bikes, yes.  Not all Shawn's.  In fact, only two are mine.  1 road bike, 1 Mtn bike, which is almost as old as our marriage.  We also have a Madsen, which is a "family" bike   The rest include many sizes of children's bikes, from plastic 3 wheelers to tag-a-longs.  It is true if you are thinking of purchasing any type of bike accessory and want to try it out, come here first.  

Yes, I have plenty of skis, again, only three I currently ski on.  1 Alpine, 1 Telemark, 1 cross-country.  Not excessive.  The rest are my collection, which one day will hang on the walls of a mountain cabin.  You'll be impressed in the distant future.  I have a pair of skis from most decades dating back to the 20's.  

It is true, after the garage vomiting most of the contents onto the drive way today, I am pretty excited to park my car in the garage again.   But I did miss the ski sale.  

How Many is Too Many?

So Shawn cleaned/organized the garage today in an attempt to fit his car in.  My question is should any family without 13 people in it, actually own 13 bikes?  And to think we are still looking for a road bike for Jonas.  Wow.  I won't even attempt to count how many pairs of skis there are out there.  I'm sure it would be an embarrassing number.  The good news is, Shawn can now put his car in the garage again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Just wanted to share my beautiful flowers.  I wish you could smell them, too.  They smell soooo good.  (Much better than the dead fish smell emanating from Samantha's room before the burial yesterday.)  So, enjoy.  I know I am.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

That's right, Shawn and I have been married for 15 glorious years.  Here are the numbers:
15 years
5 kids
3 dogs
7 homes (4 houses)
2 states
4 cities
5 degrees
3 universities/colleges
3 boats
countless bikes
8 cars
10+ jobs
2 washers
1 dryer
3.5 tons of laundry detergent (rough estimate)
and lots and lots of races
Fortunately for me, he is still my favorite person to be with, and it just keeps getting better every year.
Every time I see these photos, I wonder why Shawn's parents let him get married when he was 14.  He looks so young! (And by the way I was totally writing this post before Shawn wrote his facebook post!)