Birthdays and Mountains

This past week was birthday week.

Keith's birthday was on Tuesday the 16th. For dinner he basically wanted Thanksgiving; fried chicken, tortellini, green beans, homemade rolls, and blueberry pie. Homemade, of course. It took all day in the kitchen, but I did it! And he was happy as could be. We have decided to not give our kids gifts anymore for their birthdays. They have too much stuff, and they don't appreciate what they have. Instead, we are doing experiences. For Keith, he really wants to go to a VR place where the whole building is a VR game. He has been watching it since he was 5, waiting for it to be built and to open, and it is finally up and running! We haven't done that yet, but hopefully we will be able to soon. We have had too many other things going on in the meantime (roof, car, etc). On Friday, however, he did have a LAN party with all of his cousins on Jeffrey's side of the family. They played for about 7 hours, and loved every second of it! Friday was also the day that the roofers started on our roof.

Saturday was quite possibly the most perfect day in the existence of days.

I turned 30 something. And I'm not being coy, I honestly don't remember off the top of my head, and don't feel like thinking about it too much. No one asked me so I haven't given it much thought until right now. Friday night, around 10:30 I called my mom and asked her if she could take the kids the next morning. I wanted to go to the temple, and Jeffrey wanted some time to take care of things around the house, which let's be real here, it's pretty hard to get anything done with 5 kids around. And so, I got to go to the temple. It was beautiful, and I learned all kinds of things, and I got to see a friend I haven't seen in a good 6 months!As I was leaving my house to get the kids to my parent's house, our roofers sang Happy Birthday to me. It was simply awkward and adorable! I got to the temple, had a lovely learning experience, and when I left I went to Denny's because free Grand Slam for your birthday, yo! The best part was sitting in quiet and eating at my own pace, not worried about other people, and not having to rush, or be distracted. Of course I had a book with me. I had hoped to eat a hot meal, but because of my book that didn't happen.

I got the kids from my parent's house and took them home. There, Jeffrey took the baby from my arms, gave me some money, and told me to go enjoy my afternoon.


By myself.

! ! ! ! ! !

I grabbed a few things, jumped into the car, and headed to the mountains. Except as I drove, I realized that I would need a few things. I had my water bottle, but I wouldn't want to carry it the whole way. Also, I would need some snacks. On top of that, whenever I have hiked, as long as I have been hiking, I have always carried a Book of Mormon with me. I love to read when I am high in the mountains. Upon reaching my destination I have always found a quiet spot and pulled out my book and just swam in the words and atmosphere. They go together, you know, God's word and the mountain tops. So basically, I needed a bag for hiking supplies, so I stopped by the DI for a cheap bag. I love the DI. I found a never before used fanny pack! I had to get it. Jeffrey loves fanny packs and it made me laugh anyway. So with my new bum bag loaded with treats and my scriptures, giddy with excitement I headed to those beautiful foothills.

As I approached I got incredibly intimidated. I had planned to go home a canyon I have been dreaming about lately. It is a canyon I know well. I used to hike it nearly every weekend when I was a teenager and I love that place! But it isn't an easy hike, and I am well out of shape. At the last minute I decided to go to the much easier canyon right next to my favorite. It also has many memories associated. We would have bonfires there when I was a teen. You could look over the valley, see the stars, and enjoy the crackle, beauty, and warmth of the fire and dear friends. This was the place I had learned the magic of roasted twinkies and Starbursts. As a youth, those things somehow seemed to be good. There was a stream we'd walk along or dip our feet into, which had an amazing rope swing someone had attached above it that was the most exhilarating thing ever! That place was magical, but it is completely different now. A parking lot now stands on the lookout where we would build our bonfires. The trail down to the stream has been fenced off, and a trail that connects to the Bonneville Shoreline trail runs through. This is also the place where Jeffrey proposed to me, so while not my favorite canyon, it still holds a very special place in my heart.

And it's much easier.

Even so, I am so much out of shape or was a difficult walk for me. I hate to admit that but it's the truth. The trail wasn't crowded, though, and it was a perfect 65 degrees to go hiking. There was a mysterious spiced apple smell floating on the air, and with every step my heart soared a little higher and my heart was a little freer. I found a deer trail and followed it up for a space and sat down to read and think. I wish i could have mountain time more often. I really miss it and benefit from it. Everything was beautiful and perfect!

After the mountains I talked with my dear friend Melissa. We decided a while back we must have been twins in another life. I love her dearly and really wanted to talk with her on that special day. She lives in Oklahoma so seeing her was a bit out of the question. However, after calling Adrienne about 5 times, I finally mentioned it was my birthday and I would love to spend time with her. We don't see each other often anymore, and we only live 7 minutes apart, which is inexcusable! It was decided I would go down to the City with her to pick up her sister. We decided en route that we would also go to an Indian restaurant while there. The food was fantastic! The company was even better. I'm so glad Adrienne and I found each other again. Seriously, BFF material and I feel sorry for everyone who doesn't know her.

It was the most perfect day I can remember.

Sunday we had birthday dinner at my parent's house. My dad's birthday was the following Monday. My siblings and I all pitched in and got him a new set of scriptures. His previous set had been well loved and used and were dealing apart.


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