Sunday, May 25, 2008

Anna's Newest Accessory

Annabelle's newest accessory is purple, will most likely be very expensive, was custom made for her, draws lots of attention and limits her wardrobe to tops with large armholes!
Annabelle broke her arm Saturday evening while we were visiting with grandparents here in Utah. She barely fussed after she fell off of an exercise machine so I was surprised when Mike said that he thought she had broken her arm and without even asking for a second opinion was strapping her into her car seat.
As it turns out Mike was right and her arm was a little crooked! The entire car ride and almost throughout the hospital visit Annabelle never cried about her arm - but doctors and nurses sure made her furious!
Her ulna and radius are both broken in what is called a 'green stem fracture' which means that her bones bent and must had to be bent back (she was out for that part) and are now in a splint - or as she told everyone at church a "spleent". Later this week she'll get a cast on.

She seems to be adjusting well and has still been using her left arm. If you ask her about pain she'll either ignore you or tell you that it only hurt a little bit. She is still just as independent as ever - she insisted on putting on her own sandals this morning and pulled up her own pajama pants for bed this evening. She has been fairly patient with me trying to get shirts off and on and making her wear a bag over her arm at times.

Our Latest Trip

Thanks to our generous neighbor with a spare laptop, my sanity and easy access to the Internet has been restored! I hadn't quite realized how COMPLETELY dependent upon the Internet I have become. So here is the promised travel log from our latest and greatest adventures:
Dinosaur National Monument
On our way out to Colorado we decided to make a stop along the way and Dinosaur seemed like a great spot for some exploring and camping. Unfortunately a lot of the park was inaccessible and there wasn't much shade, so after enjoying a quick hike and lunch we decided to continue on and find elsewhere to camp.

As many times as we have driven between Utah and Colorado we have never driven the scenic route from Dinosaur across the northern part of Colorado - we just kept driving and driving, enjoying the hills and antelope - Annabelle slept and we arrived in Steamboat, CO for dinner around 8pm. It was definitely too cold to camp (still snow on the ground) and Anna was wired so we pressed on made it to Colorado Springs about 1 am, set up a tent in Mike's parent's yard and slept! Annabelle thought it was so funny and when Jake (Mike's brother) discovered us in the morning he informed his Dad that there was a bum sleeping in his yard. Correction from my mother-in-law: 3 BUMS!

Off to Arkansas
After a few days of relaxing with the families we left for Arkansas. We have been wanting to go out since we were married (nearly 4 years ago) so that I (and now Annabelle) could meet Mike's paternal grandparents and Uncles who live out there. Uncle Stan and Aunt Sue welcomed us into their home. The trip was SO wonderful :) We spent loads of time with Mike's grandparents and were able to visit with all three of his uncles and their families that live out there. We were spoiled with good food, fun with cousins and an overnight trip to Stan's lake house.

Annabelle warmed up to several relatives, including Grandpa Sherwood who administered 1st aid for a stubbed toe!

These pictures are from a BBQ at Uncle Karl's. Look how GREEN Arkansas is!

These cute cousins totally made Annabelle's day - they shared with her and entertained her and even put up with her bossing them around :)

We spend part of Mother's Day at the lake house and Annabelle and I had our first ever rides on these 4-wheelers!

The lake level has risen quite a bit higher than normal (Note the sign in the background).

It was a blast . . . and of course totally safe.

Despite a storm the threatened a tornado we were safe and even got to try out Sue's new fire pit.
Our Sherwood hosts took their duty seriously and made sure we had a wonderful time. This is Stan, Sue and Allie with us, out by the ever approaching water edge - Look how high the water is, usually those trees are growing out of dry ground!

We loved playing 'Grandma Sherwood Rummy' with Grandma herself.

We have adopted one of Grandpa's sayings into our home and it can be heard several times a day: "We pinch bare bellies and we spank bare bottoms" - Annabelle loves it and still encourages belly pinches.

Back in Colorado
Relaxation, time with family and rock climbing with friends took up the rest of our time in Colorado, but we felt that there was ONE more adventure to be had - so after longing to on several previous trips we FINALLY hiked to Hanging Lake (which is found on I-70 about 1/3 of the trip from the Springs to Provo).

The trail was only 1.2 miles each way but it was really steep, but totally worth it. The hike followed a river up the mountain side and little water falls could be seen as we ascended the trail. At the top is a lake sitting at the top of the falls. A boardwalk allows you to walk between the lake and the falls.

The lake is also supplied by water falls that fill the almost glass looking aqua colored lake.

Our trip was amazing, a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure!

Monday, May 19, 2008

More Adventures

. . . and a broken computer! Well after getting Mike and I through school it seems that our laptop has given up! We are going to try to get the hard drive recovered or whatever it is that you do to get your photos and music off. BUT despite that we had a really great last two weeks in Colorado and Arkansas :) Maybe I'll bring my digital camera to this wonderfully air conditioned and free computer lab later this week so that I can write a proper update. We are happy to be back in Provo. Our next adventure is going to Arches/Canyonlands in 2 weeks - anyone who wants to come along is welcome!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks!

Our 2 months of traveling and fun before Mike starts his new job has begun! We have started off with a trip to south western Utah. We LOVED camping down at Zion National Park, for those of you who have never been there: I highly recommend it - at least on a weekday in April or May! We were able to camp just inside the park - even without a reservation - in a nice and clean camping spot (except for the INSANE amount of caterpillars). We spent 2 and half days hiking in Zion Canyon, Kolab Canyon and a little bit on the east side of the park.

This is at Canyon Overlook just on the east side of the tunnel in Zion.

Annabelle getting her feet wet up in the stream from the upper 'Emerald Pool'

The most popular area of the park (Zion Canyon) has a shuttle so you don't even drive yourself around you just pack a bag for the day and hop on for free. The shuttles come VERY frequently and you can travel either up or down the canyon from each stop. IT was so convinient and Annabelle loved riding the bus.

"It's hard to catch your breath when everything is so breathtaking"

-Tia (I was frequently out of breath)

On the way back to Provo we did a hike in Bryce Canyon and were so glad we made the stop. It was really different looking from Zion - and MUCH cooler too.

Bryce Canyon has lots of pillar looking formations that are called 'Hoodoos'.

Each of the areas we visited were really diverse and so we felt like we were really seeing something 'new' with each hike. Annabelle was a champ, hiking the safer sections of each hike and putting up with being in the carrier a lot of the time. She LOVED camping - on the way home she said "Daddy, I need to sleep in a tent one more night." Annabelle also befriended the caterpillars before our trip was through and would wake up each morning dying to get out of the tent so that she could go play with them.

This night after dinner Annabelle was chasing me with caterpillars trying to put them on me. When bedtime came around I found about a dozen of them crawling all over her shirt - she had placed them there and watched them crawl around, she couldn't have been happier.

We are excited for more adventures to come!