Friday, January 30, 2009

Remember when we were fun...

Aaron at the Condo in Park City.
My mom and Stoy watched the kids for the weekend. BLESS THEM! It gave Aaron and I a chance to act like kids, instead of rear them.

One of Aaron's mission friends, Nathan Gordon, invited us to Park City to hang out with him and some friends that would be there for the Sundance Film Festival. He had rented a condo and we had a great time meeting everyone there for the festivities.

The thing that makes it blog-worthy is the introspection it caused me. You see, Nathan is single, and fun. I felt like a senior citizen as the oldest person at the condo. I think the youngest was Bridgette at a fresh and perky 20 (maybe 19). For the first time in my life I felt aged.

Weird feeling.

Going to Sundance was a little like falling into a portal to my life between 1987-1998. It was full of hot tubs, meeting new people and having tons of fun with people I may never see again.

Nathan, Bridgette and a number of other people I don't know in the hot tub, just after Aaron and another new friend threw cold water on them from the deck above.
I have never been a self-concious person, but I did not want to get in the hot tub with this crowd. I know that Heff doesn't mind hanging in the hot tub with playboy bunnies half his age, but I just couldn't bring myself and my stretch marks to hop in all together and say, "Hi. I'm Emily. I have three kids and have been married over half of your life."

By the second day, I was feeling a little less geeky. I think the option to be fully clothed in the group helped. We went out to dinner and met up with everyone on Main Street in Park City. It was one of the funnest and funniest nights I've had in a long time. We took obnoxious pictures and Aaron and I watched everyone else try to pick up on random "lonely"s on the sidewalks. (Did I mention that we were the only married people at the party?) We hit a midnight showing of a Sundance Film, The Informer, a disturbing depiction of L.A. in the 1980's at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. And returned to the Condo and Hot Tub. We stayed up til dawn and slept in late.

I remember when that was my life. It doesn't seem like I have changed, but my life certainly has. The only reason I have been up at 4:30 am over the past 8 years was if I had a baby feeding, crying or puking. Or if my alarm was waking me to get to the gym to burn off that "baby fat".

It was fun to re-live those days. And it was fun to come home. I guess my life couldn't be better. I have the best of both worlds. Aaron and I manage to fill our marriage with time together and time with our kids. Personally I need both. And I have both. Lucky me.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I try to be cool. I want to have skills. I see others with abilities and know that they are possible. I have all the right gear. I have positive thoughts. I leave my comfort zone and push myself to try things that are a bit of a stretch. Yet something is missing...

Aaron and I went on a date night to our local mountain, Bogus Basin, with a bunch of friends- skiiers and riders. It was well planned and a great night. Not the best conditions, quite icy, but not too bad. I forged onto the quad (fast chairlift that holds 4 people) and did my best to keep up with the crowd. They all know that I am not the most proficient rider, but wait for me at the bottom of the hill before heading back up the lift.

We looped and looped. One run I fell and landed on my right butt cheek. A minor bump, no big deal. It happens to everyone. Up the lift again. While riding near the bottom of the run someone ran into me from behind. Sheesh! I have a hard enough time keeping myself from falling, that was just sabatage. I caught my breath and continued to meet Aaron and our friends waiting at the chairlift. Up again. The next run I crashed and although my body had stopped snowboarding, by board wasn't done. So my right knee took the brunt of becoming my break. That one stung a bit.

I thought that might be a good time for a snack and potty break. I soloed myself to the Lodge. Ah, the Lodge. Sweet refuge. A frozen protein bar and beef jerky were never so delicious. As I gazed out the foggy window I saw this little kid there at 8:30 pm, with a board the size of a skateboard. That's so cute, and cool. If he can do it, so can I. So I headed downstairs to the ski school and found out about lessons and when my kids and I could get signed up. I was ready to become one of those "mountain families". This will be great! We can come here every winter and all be really great snowboarders. I'll learn with them.

So I headed back out. Right as I was about to get my board on again I ran into my group all heading in for hot chocolate. So I couldn't refuse, and we went back into the Lodge. After sitting there for a while, we all agreed that we could call it a night and head back down the hill to continue the night with Rock Band 2 at my house. I guess my snowboarding practice was over for the night. I'd pick it up again tomorrow. Maybe even bring all the kids up tomorrow.

We parked in a lot half way between the top and bottom of the mountain. You have to take the chairlift up and ride halfway down a run to get to your car. On the lift up our friend Kenny mentioned that the last time he had come up to Bogus he had "fallen like a beginner" and still had a stiff neck. I thought, "Hmmmm, I had never thought falling like a beginner hurt more than other falls" but I must say, at this point I see what he means.

We all got off the chairlift, strapped into our bindings for the last time and headed down a cat track to get to the car. Cat tracks are my nemasis. The only way to be successful on a snowboard while riding a cat track is to get speed. Without poles or incline gravity to move your board, you are at the mercy of sheer speed to get you where you want to be.

I am a chicken. This is where I fail. I have to talk to myself a lot on cat tracks. "Balance, bend your knees, perfect balance, hear the snow on my board, guage speed, more balance" and then BOOM - the back edge of the board catches the snow wrong and I'm out.

Nothing throws me harder or faster. I can't equate it to anything other than maybe a car wreck. One minute you're moving and the next you can't breathe. Luckily Aaron is wise and rather than wear his helmet on his head, he opted to protect mine. I am so grateful for him, his helmet and my intact brain today. My tailbone however didn't fair so well.

I write to you from my bed, where I have been for most of the day. Strangely I think this is more painful than recovering from childbirth. Or maybe the pain killers just aren't available. Ibuprophen isn't enough today.

I don't know the extent of my injury - bruised, cracked, broken. I just know it hurts. Unfortunately, all snowboarders have "caught their back edge" and lived through it, so I am not exceptionally injured. In fact, after I fell we spent the rest of the night hearing everyone's stories- "I broke my wrist the first time I went snowboarding." "I cracked my tailbone like that too!" Yet they all want to continue riding.

Why? I'm not sure yet. But I know I'll go again. If for no other reason than I still have that "mountain family" vision for the Williamsfam5. We'll see how long this takes to heal.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

More Than You Wanted to Know Holiday Blog

It all started with this tree...

THE HOLIDAYS... this will be a LONG reflection on the Williams Fam 5's 2008 holiday festivities. So get a cup of hot cocoa and a blankie and enjoy reading about our family's fun. Other than our tree falling over TWICE, we had an absolutely pleasant month of December.

Brooklyn won 2nd place for all the 3rd graders in Boise in the Annual Festival of Trees art contest. Her drawing of "Red Holiday" the dog won the judges over.

Then came our yearly date with our tripod and camera for Christmas Card Family Pictures. First we tried taking the picture in front of our house with the dog. THAT DIDN'T WORK- Too dark and too crazy. We headed in the house and tried to get an "under the tree shot". After about 2 hours of saying "SMILE!", "LOOK AT THE CAMERA!", "DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE CAMERA IS?! LOOK AT IT THIS TIME!" we gave up and decided that one of our attempts would have to suffice. Many of you may have received a card with the second of these photos on it, but I thought it would be worth it to show you the photo that best depicts the experience too.

Before school was out, Ian was the cutest Christmas Elf ever in their school program and Brooklyn sang her heart out as a "winter weather child" in
Meltin the Warm Hearted Snowman
One of the most rewarding experiences for me as a mom this year was to watch my kids in their Christmas programs at school and church. It was about 100 degrees in the over-crowded school gym, with claustrophobia looming in the air. In file the children through the parents and grandparents with their video cameras perched. It was one of the most uncomfortable and best shows I have ever seen. It reminded me of when I was 13 and my dad took Elliott and me to a Bob Dylan concert. It was so crowded that there was no line between bodies, no personal space, but it was an experience I will never forget.

Next came our ward Christmas party. I was in charge of the music program and took the opportunity to perform my aunt Cori's song
Heavenly Choirs with the Primary kids. I also roped my dad into singing Oh Holy Night with me, as a duet. Everyone in the ward, and visitors loved the show and I loved doing it. Today one of the Primary kids told me that Heavenly Choirs is his favorite primary song. (I did tell him that it isn't technically a primary song, but it's my favorite too.) All the kids dressed in white and were an angel choir along side of our stable scene. Here are MY angels.

Immediately after the gymnastic meet we headed up to the Williams family cabin in Smiths Ferry (south of Cascade, ID). We all love going to the cabin. It is definately one of the perks of being a Williams. Here are a few shots of us sledding and playing in the snow. We spend our days up there snowmobiling, snowboarding, sledding and making snow angels. And, of course,
playing with our new puppy...

Our evenings at the cabin are spent eating cookies and other yummy foods and watching movies. It really doesn't get much better than a day or two up there.

One of Aaron's "crazy coupon deals" - Pre made cookie dough. YUM.

Along came Christmas Eve...
Due to the fact that we are abundantly blessed with families to spend the holidays, we have made it a tradition to hang out with Pappy and Nonny on Christmas Eve, and split Christmas among our little family, Santa, Aaron's family and my mom and Stoy. So to begin our annual Christmas marathon we ate well and got to get into the fat man's sack. And that was even BEFORE Santa came!

We have a situation in our home...the kids' rooms are downstairs, and Aaron's and mine is on the main floor. The fire place is in-between the two. So to prevent the children from seeing Santa's loot before Aaron and I were up, I wrapped the staircase with Christmas paper and blocked the kids from coming up the stairs. I warned them the night before that it would be sealed, and they would have to sing Christmas carols for me and Dad to let them upstairs. So at 5:43 a.m. we were awoken to the sweet sound of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". Priceless! Santa brought us a Nintendo Wii, so we spent the rest of the morning (and almost all free time since) playing the Wii.

Thanks to Grandma & Grandpa Williams for these sweet snowboarding goggles!

We ate at Grandma Susie's and Grandpa Stoy's house. YUMMY! There is no better place to get delicious food than the Stoy house!

We rang in the New Year at our house with friends and our new ROCK BAND 2 game (thanks mom). Lucas fell asleep around 10:00 pm at Aaron's feet with the music blasting, but Ian and Brooklyn stayed up for their first time until after midnight. We went out front and set off fireworks and were just as loud and obnoxious as the neighbors have become accustomed to us sounding in the day time.