Saturday, April 17, 2010

February - a BIG Birthday Celebration!

Note: A couple of days ago I was doing the first pass at uploading photos for this particular post. It was getting late - around midnight on a weeknight and time to go to bed - so I went to hit the "save" button....but hit the "publish post" button instead. Oops! Obviously it was a premature here is a more "polished" post about February.

The Big 5-0!!

So the highlight of February - and probably of the whole year - was that I had a "big" birthday. I turned FIFTY!!! A half-century. Old? Definitely Not. Middle-aged? Maybe. (I am older now than my mom was when I graduated from high scho0l. That's a sobering thought.) I only hope that my 50s are as good or better than my 40s. A celebration was in order...and I am going to make the entire year a celebration.

"Life's milestones warrant a party." ~ From a "Dear Abby" article titled "Turning 50 Beats the Alternative" appearing in the Deseret News on Feb. 9, 2010 (my 50th birthday)

It all started on February 4 - five days before the "big" day - when I went to lunch with, who I thought was only going to be, our Relief Society Presidency - Bethene, Shannon, and Laila - at one of my favorite places to eat, Garcia's. Much to my surprise it was just that - a "surprise" party. In all, there were 20 of us at lunch. Completely fun...and I am so blessed with amazingly great friends. Bethene, Shannon, Laila, Wanda, Meribeth, Presdee (my youngest friend at the lunch), Lori, Judy, Karen, Tori, Connie, Marie, Emily, Christy, Sue, Sherrie, Pam, Cachea, and last-but-not least, Brenda. Not just lunch, but two dozen roses, balloons, other nice gifts, and a scrapbook of sweet birthday greetings from those at lunch and some who couldn't make it. I was amazed!! I still am.

Some of the "loot" from the surprise lunch

This little gerbil plays a cute little birthday song...which was (and is still) a big hit


With my birthday being on Tuesday, it was only appropriate to make it a four-day-weekend. (I mean, really, how often do you turn 50?!?!) On Monday I was headed up to West Yellowstone to spend the night. Just me. Some solitary time. What I wanted. As usual, if the opportunity arises that I can stop at Harriman to ski I will take it. That's just what I did. (Have I ever said this is my FAVORITE place to XC ski!!) The completely awesome thing was that I was the only person there skiing!!

The only other person I saw out on the trail was the guy driving this grooming machine. So not only did I have the whole place to myself, but freshly groomed tracks to boot!

I didn't get to Harriman until 2:30 the shadows were getting pretty long before I finished.
As I was skiing along the magnificently beautiful river trail in complete solitude - and in celebration of my first 50 years - my thoughts were drawn to two women who had such a profound influence on my life. The first was my mom. (How can you NOT think about your mom on your BIRTHday?? She played a huge part on that blessed day!!). The other person was my friend, Karin. She passed away last year...and will remain in time only 49-years-old. So in my own way, if only in my thinking about them, they were with me on this beautiful day along Henry's Fork.

Such a clear day - Henry's Fork...with the Tetons in the distance

Staying in West Yellowstone, I enjoyed a nice dinner, relaxing in the hot tub, working out in the fitness room, a movie....etc. Nice. I headed home and met my friend/visiting teacher, Tina, for a session in the temple. What a great way to start my second fifty years!

On Wednesday I arrived back at the office to this...

I guess it's only appropriate that I got ribbed a bit...and given some products to help me in my aging!


Last but not least, I went to Utah the weekend following my birthday...where the celebration continued with family. With birthday cake, more balloons, and more presents.

A big "Thank You" to everyone who has helped me celebrate so far. I think the culmination will be when I ride the Mickelson Trail in South Dakota in August/September.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

January - XC Skiing

I can't believe three-and-a-half months of 2010 are already history. I figure it's time for me to update my blog for the first quarter of this year. Here's a synopsis beginning with January. It's taking me so long to upload and arrange the photos that February, and March and part of April will be in subsequent posts.

January - XC Skiing at Harriman/West Yellowstone

The highlight of January was going up to West Yellowstone shortly after New Year's Day - with Marlene and Steve, Mike, Jenny, Lisa and Natalie. On our way up to West, we stopped at Harriman - my very most favorite place to XC ski.

Harriman State Park

Mike - he got to tow the two youngest for most of the time...switching off at times with Jenny

Mike and Jenny


Lisa and Natalie - the cute occupants of the trailer - bundled up and ready for a fun ride

After skiing a bit, we came to the Jones House, a rustic cabin at the ranch, and took a break. Natalie had fallen asleep in the carriage. But after a few minutes she was awake.

After a short break, we were back on the trail for more skiing.


The scenery at Harriman is sublimely beautiful. The pictures don't even come close to the true beauty of actually being there.

Natatlie - back at the car after her first experience of XC skiing - all ready to head to the Lodge in West. Gotta love the hat-hair.

Hangin' Out at the Lodge

Time spent at the Lodge included relaxing, reading, eating, watching movies (ALL the Harry Potter movies that are currently on DVD) , more relaxing, swimming/hot tub, snacking, relaxing.

Yes, we did actually eat food - they were just anxiously waiting while I cooked it. They were a bit hungry after our skiing.

Skiing Yellowstone

Our last full day, we skied directly from the Lodge into Yellowstone Park down to the Madison River on the Riverside Trail.

Mike isn't really taking a "break"...he's just waiting for the rest of us

It was warm enough to roll up the outer cover. (In fact, it was getting too warm and steamy with the cover on.) This way they could see out better, too.

Arriving back at the lodge....