Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Wonderland

We are enjoying all this snow to hike around and play in. The mountain trails are literally in our own backyard and it's been nice to get above the inversion lately!
They couldn't be happier.
Friends from work made this snowy hike lots of fun!
Instantly popular with a few doggie treats.
What's better than burning off some calories while hiking with friends? A chocolate waffle treat back at home :-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cole turns 1... or 7?

It's hard to believe he was ever this little! Although he doesn't know or care, today is Cole's one year birthday.
We sure miss our little Zoey. We still wish she was here with us. It would be fun to see how she would be grown up.
They sure are cute as puppies, but I don't miss all that hard work!
It's hard to say no to that face.
He was born in the snow and loves it so much! This is Annie's first winter and she's loving it too.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I am thankful for this beautiful world and...
all of His creations.
for family who comes together...
and helping hands to make a hard job a little bit easier.
for family bonds...
and feeling Al's spirit in Zion even though his house won't stand much longer.
I am thankful for this family that feeds us and loves us and welcomes all in this home.
for my wonderful, handsome husband who makes this journey in life an adventure.
for my sister and best friend. (She was a little too excited about snowboarding this year and blew her ACL on the first day out)
and for people that remind us how blessed we are to have such a wonderful and loving family.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Good News/ Bad News

The good news is I bought this pretty new Subaru to replace my Honda that was stolen...
The bad news is I was in a hurry leaving for work and backed into the side of my garage and crunched the side mirror. That was the not the first thing to go wrong today. Oh well, as I've come to realize a lot lately, it could always be worse.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh fall, I love you.

For a while there we thought winter had come right after summer and we would never get to see fall. A week in Park City at our cozy condo made the cold a little more bearable. When the sunshine came out one day we took a little hike.
It's always so nice to be around family and good food!
Some girl time at the condo.
And of course, we couldn't be in Park City without eating at The Flying Sumo where Em works!
Another weekend hike in Park City with our friends Ben and Katie and their pups.
The 4 Black Dog Posse
Brandon and his best friend Ben.
Our little Annie- 6 months old. She likes to play in the mountains with us.
Fall is practically the best time to climb. Great cooler temps and BEAUTIFUL SCENERY!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Just the thing to look at to forget all our worries. The water was bath-tub warm and waves were really fun to play in. The Sea of Cortez in Cabo is absolutely beautiful!
Brandon and I spent a lot of time just relaxing on the beach or by the pool. We had great warm weather and loved having a week with no set plans, alarm clocks or responsibility!
We always saw a couple of these guys lurking around in the rocks near the pool
Awesome snorkel trip at Cabo Pulmo. It was worth the 1 1/2 hr drive to get there!
At the sushi bar at our resort- Hacienda del Mar. I never grow tired of sushi, but I think I may have had my fill of seafood for a while. It was great to have fresh, yummy fish though.
Can you tell where the pool ends and the ocean begins?
We met some people at our resort that invited us along for dinner with them. We had an incredible view of the sunset from the Mona Lisa. Land's End in the distance.
Another day of snorkeling at Playa de Santa Maria. The clarity on this day was not so great, and our Spanish was not so great so we kind of got ripped off when renting snorkel gear. Oh well, beats a day at work, right?
Aboard the Tropicat catamaran sunset cruise around the bay. It was one of the high-lights of the trip. Very small group on a small boat, great relaxing music playing, and all you can eat and drink. Montezuma's Revenge was soon to follow however...
The resort we stayed at had some terrific restaurants, and some of our meals were paid for by going to the timeshare sales presentation. It was absolutely fantastic!
It was hard to leave this place and know we were coming back to Utah where it was summer weather no more.
Brandon got to try SCUBA for the first time and is now hooked. I haven't been on a dive for a few years because my partner wasn't certified, but now that he's got a taste for it, we'll be back!
Our trip to Cabo was a nice, relaxing way to recharge our batteries a little bit. We had a great time and hope that next time we'll get some friends and family to join us!

Saturday, September 26, 2009



My car was stolen from my garage a few days ago. It is a 2001 Honda Accord, just 2 months away from being paid off. It had a snowboard rack on it, a wallet with $400 cash, an I-pod and all the CDs I have ever owned, and some other sentimental items.

I don't even want this car back I just made this flyer to tell you that I hate you, car thief. I hope you drive my car and get hit by a monster truck. I hope my car takes you straight to hell.

(Disclaimer: This is taken from a funny flier that someone made about their missing bike. I just changed a few things and don't worry, I don't really wish that on anyone!)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Celebrating Peace, Love and Uncle Al

On August 28, 2009 we lost our Uncle Al at 63 years young to a dissecting aortic aneurysm, the same condition that almost took my dad's life 9 years ago. We have all felt such a profound loss in our lives now, but Al would want us to celebrate his life, not mourn for him. So that is what we have tried to do. This is my favorite picture of my favorite uncle- shining in the sun in Zion.
He was our mentor and was so fortunate to live in the most beautiful place in the world. We often took trips to Zion, staying with Al, and had the opportunity to explore this land that he loved in a way that most people never do.
Atop the peak next to Johnson, one of my favorite times hiking with Al. This is the area just behind his house, and from this view we pointed out many of the other peaks we would plan to bag together. We never thought our time would run out so soon.
His funeral was held at the Springdale cemetery, a beautiful place to be laid to rest. His wishes were to return to the earth in the most natural possible way- not embalmed, buried in a pine box, with no nails.
My father's tribute to his brother was very touching. He spoke about the reunion he hoped Al was having with his mother and other brother who preceded him in death. Half of my dad's family has now passed away.
An impromptu indian flute piece "Amazing Grace" by one of Al's comrades from the paramedic/ firefighter group he was a part of. Adrienne's husband Dave and daughter Davenne in the background.
Bench cousins.
Al's daughter Adrienne felt that it would be more personal if the members of the family helped bury him, rather than some random workers. It was very emotional but felt like the right thing to do.
Later that evening we had an informal gathering at the park where people from the town of Springdale and those that had traveled from very far away to pay tribute to Al by sharing memories and stories. This is Dick Dotey sharing a piece of amazingly detailed leather work done by Al, the artisan.
The Bench family reunion.
Avery, Adrienne's darling little boy was delighted to see his great-grandpa. Family connections.
Al's collection of cochina dolls from Hopi land. He traded cottonwood root and other goods with the indians. Al gave us one of these special pieces as a wedding gift.
Feeling the love in Zion.
We have been so lucky to stay here with Al at his house so many times. Coming to Zion just won't be the same again.
But we will always cherish our times with Al and know that his memory will be here forever.