Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How do we spend our time?

Last week as our family was watching the Olympics, Raquel asked me why we didn't go to Salt Lake when the Olympics were there.

I remember at the time of the Salt Lake Olympics my mother calling me multiple times inviting us to come. She told me how exciting it was just to walk around downtown and how beautiful the city looked. We had a free place to stay (at my mom's) and even some free food (my mom's a great cook and I'm sure she would have fed us at least a couple of meals), yet we didn't go.

I tried to remember what my excuses had been and why we hadn't taken the time to spend a few days in Salt Lake at a time that would have been forever etched in my family's memories. It really was a once in a life time opportunity and we let it pass us by.

It started me thinking of all the "things" that take up our time, consume our thoughts, waste our energy and overwhelm us. And yet the very next week we can't even remember what they were. How many other opportunities are we letting slip away because of all the "things" we have going on?

I would like to think that I'm a little smarter and wiser now, but I'm afraid that I still let all those "things" consume me. But if the Olympics were held in Salt Lake again, Mom, I would be staying at your house.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The perfect plan

Last Monday, Preston and I decided we needed a break from school and decided to take advantage of all the snow Arizona has received. We headed up to St. Johns Monday night, spent the night with Garth's parents and then headed up to Sunrise Tuesday morning.

I don't think I have ever seen as much snow as they had and we were psyched for a great day of skiing and snowboarding. The plan we had was perfect - go up in the middle of the week, avoid all the crowds on the weekend and have great snow, roads and weather before the next storm came through on Wednesday. I was a little worried when we got to the slopes and the temperature was only 11 degrees, but our Arizona sun never lets you down, and it kept us warm all day.
As you can see by all of the snow and the bright blue sky, our plan was perfect and the mountain and snow were absolutely breath taking. The added bonus was the buy one, get one half price on the lift tickets on Tuesdays! Perfect plan!
You can see by the few tracks and lack of people on the slopes that we avoided the crowds. The best laugh of the day was when we were going down the snow park for the first time. I went first and I went off the side of a jump rather than going straight off it. Preston followed me and was headed straight down the jump and at the last minute went off the side like I did. He fell in such an awkward, funny way that everyone on the slope watching started to laugh. There was group of snowboards off to the side and they told him that was the funniest thing they had seen all day. We all had a good laugh including Preston.

To add to our perfect day, we had Indian tacos made with real Indian fried bread for lunch and since they had all their lodges open we didn't have to wait in one line the whole day - not for the chair lift, bathrooms, or food. What could be better?
Our only problem came on our way home. I completely forgot to fill up with gas when we left Show Low - not such a good plan. As we watched the digital gas display count down our miles until empty, Preston informed several times that he was not going to push the car when we ran out of gas. We drove almost 50 miles from the time the display said we had no gas, so we really coasted our way into Globe on fumes. Luckily running out of gas didn't ruin our perfect day in the snow, it just gave us something to concentrate on for an hour or so.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"You've been selected"

Those are dreaded words if you are part of my husband's family. "You've been selected" does not mean that you have won a prize or will be honored with some recognition.

"You've been selected" in my husband's family means prepare yourselves - you are about to be hosed, taken advantage of, inconvenienced or required to buy a steak dinner for 16.

Everyone is his family has their name blocked so when you answer the phone your caller ID can't tell you who it is; otherwise you would never answer the phone if you saw it was a member of the family. You just don't dare, you never know when you will be "selected." And it can be an expensive experience.

You can answer your door and have a family member standing there telling you that "you have been selected" to feed them lunch that day or let them spend the night or take them out for ice cream.

Don't get me wrong we have taken advantaged of this tradition, too. When Jason's car broke down in St. George last Thanksgiving, Garth called his cousin to let him know that he had "been selected." Garth wondered if his cousin had hung up, there was such a long pause on the other end. His cousin was very relieved when he found out Jason just needed to spend the night.

Every January I start to worry. I know we are going to be "selected," once again, to host the Super Bowl party.

So two weeks ago I wasn't surprised when Garth told me that yes, once again we had been "selected," the Super Bowl party would be at our house.

It used to be that we varied who had the party. We would head to Flagstaff, play in the snow, go ice skating, visit the Grand Canyon or go to Winslow and visit the "Standing on the Corner" monument (that's about all there is in Winslow) and have it at our house every other year. But that was long ago when we still had all our kids at home. Now no one wants to get cold (I think everyone but me is getting old) and so our house "gets selected."

The Super Bowl party is quite a tradition in my husband's family and we all look forward to seeing all the family, eating way too much, and watching the "big game."

So I shop for food and stock the fridge with cokes (our budget is so thankful that no one drinks beer) and Garth's one uncle brings his delicious salsa and his other one brings a half eaten box of chicken wings and you just hope no one invites too many friends they didn't tell you about.

I talked to Jason today and he was sad he would miss the Super Bowl party once again. I talked to my son-in-law and he wondered if we could set up Garth's laptop and Skype he and Lonica in. Then I remembered all the wonderful memories I have of Super Bowl's past and realized that while "being selected" can be expensive, it can also bring together a great family and create memories that will last a life time.

I guess I can handle "being selected" once again.