14 September 2017

A Grad, the Mountains and Snow in April

The last weekend in April, Troy's brother Todd graduated from college. He was in school on and off for an entire decade so it was kind of a big deal. After changing his major a few times and taking some semesters off to work, go on his mission and battle mono, he finally did it. Troy was planning on attending his brother's graduation all along, but we didn't think there was any chance we could find someone to watch the boys all weekend so I could join him. Troy booked his flights a few months in advance and that was that.

But then the graduation drew nearer and I really wanted to be there to support Todd and to be with the rest of the family. Troy's sister and her husband were flying out and I was going to be the only one missing. Five days prior to the graduation, we talked through ways we could make it work.

We were so blessed to line up multiple willing friends and my dear aunt from Long Beach to take shifts with the boys. We arranged all sorts of carpools. The boys were split up and put back together. But we figured out a way to make it work and I was lucky enough to find low fares on Troy's same flights.

Of course, 12 hours after Troy and I boarded our plane, Finn started having breathing troubles. He can go from a healthy to an emergent state so quickly and there was nothing we could do about it. I FaceTimed with each shift-taker to explain how to give him breathing treatments and measure his pulse ox. By the time my aunt arrived to take over, he needed treatments every four hours. I don't think she got any sleep that night. We talked several times during the night and she monitored him closely. Finn pulled through without having to go to ER, which is what we were all hoping for.

Aside from worrying about everything going on back at home, we were so excited to be there in person to watch Todd receive his diploma.
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He was selected to sing in a quartet during the ceremony.
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It's always fun to be back on the campus where Troy and I spent our early married days.
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Troy was my model to test the light. Clearly I need to find reasons to get him away from the pressures of work and parenthood more often. He was cracking me up.
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So glad it worked out for all of us to be together.
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However, I could have done without the snow. Yes, snow! I had to make a special trip to pick up tights on the way to the graduation ceremony because it was freezing cold. I was expecting it to be a bright and sunny spring day like it was at Troy's graduation that took place at the same university on the same weekend nine years ago.
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No such luck. We shivered through some obligatory photos before parking it indoors the rest of the weekend.
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We celebrated the new grad with a multiple course dinner at The Blue Boar Inn in Midway. I had to leave the table a few times to talk through Finn's breathing issues with friends and family back home, but it was still so nice to sit around the table for hours without small children.
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The party didn't stop there. Troy worked hard to plan some fun activities for us to enjoy. It's rare that all of the adults are together without our collective seven children, so we took advantage of every kid-free minute. One of the unpictured highlights was the five of us siblings and spouses going to the gym together the morning of the graduation. We kept up that active spirit the next morning by kicking off the day with indoor rock climbing.
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It's been years since I've rock climbed and it was hard. But also super rewarding aside from how sore we were the next day.
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We continued our streak of freedom by hitting up FlowRider, an indoor surfing facility. My brother-in-law Jacob was the only one who actually looked like he knew what he was doing.
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The rest of us did a lot of falling.
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I never became super attached to the mountains during our nine years in Utah. I'm still more of a beach girl, but I will say that the snow caps looked stunning against the blooming green grass that weekend. I couldn't stop picking up my camera during our drives through the canyon.
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Our final activity was a cooking class back at the cabin. Troy's parents have a friend from church that is a chef and was willing to come give us some private instruction.
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We pulled and chopped and sliced and somehow turned a whole bunch of raw ingredients into a magnificent dinner.
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The only disappointment was that we didn't get to enjoy the leftovers because Troy and I flew out bright and early the next morning. We said goodbye to a weekend in the mountains.
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And hello to the coastline.
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I'm sure my aunt was so happy to be relieved and we were so grateful for her and five other friends who helped make the weekend away possible. It was all worth it to celebrate Todd, who we all agree is the best of the best.