Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dragons on the River Trail

John's cousin, Peter, and his wife, Jill, live across the valley from us. Saturday Jill called and invited us out for a nice walk along the river trail. An easy little stroll on level ground with a well defined gravel path - sounds like fun. We planned for a little picnic and then an easy stroll.

The day was absolutely beautiful - crisp fall weather with not a cloud in the sky. We had our picnic and then headed for the river trail and a little walk. But, Ashton, their almost 4 year old son, had other plans for us. We hadn't walked 5 minutes when Ashton found a little trail off of the main that lead straight up the side of the mountain. Jill said the last time they walked this path he had wanted to go up the same trail and she told him no, maybe next time. Well he hadn't forgotten those words and again found the exact same trail and asked again to take it. It is quite apparent he comes from a family of adventurers. None of us had the heart to tell him no, so up the moutain we went - in hunt of dragons no less - with Ashton leading the way. It turned out to be quite a beautiful hike - with multi-colored leaves and beautiful scenes of the mountains.

We hiked and hiked and on several occassions we asked Ashton if he was ready to turn back, but of course he was absolutely determined to see where the trail went and if it lead to dragons. Well, no dragons were found, but the trail did end in a very large fire ring - so we told him it was where the dragon slept and he must have just missed him. He was undeterred and wanted to climb higher to see what he could find, but we managed to convince him to turn back. Mainly the adults, Jill and I, plus John in shorts were getting quite cold and wanted to head back to the car. The amazing part of the whole hike was that Ashton never complained and he was even in his crocs with no socks on!

We made it back to the car safely, although little Henry's legs and arms were starting to turn purple from the cold. I tried to keep him warm with my jacket, but it wasn't quite enough.

Moral of the story - always be prepared to go dragon hunting.

And just for fun - (with two engineers for parents, I think the kid is doomed)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fulfilling a Family Goal

One of our family goals for the year (actually for last year too) was to set up a blog so that family and friends can see what is going on in our lives.

Of course this blog is really just about posting pictures of Henry Todd and doting on him way too much. Maybe I'll include a little about John and I too.

A quick background: we've moved to Hyde Park, UT just North of Logan in Cache Valley. We were previously living in Austin, but due to the lack of aerospace jobs in Austin, and a desire to "live in the mountains" we started looking elsewhere and found the perfect little spot. I got a job with ATK Launch Systems as a manufacturing engineer building solid rocket boosters that launch the space shuttle into orbit. John got a job first with Cartwright and Associates and then moved on to a better job offer with Cache Landmark Engineers. He is a civil engineer in land development, and due to the rate of growth in the valley, has great job security. Although it is his line of work, we are still disappointed to see the quiet little valley we moved to developing so quickly. I worked for ATK for two years almost to the day and have since taken early retirement to stay home with Henry, a job I find TREMENDOUSLY more rewarding than building rockets.

So the two most time consuming / news worthy topics at the moment would be Henry Todd and the near completion of our garage that we've been building. We started the garage last summer. Needless to say if we were the contractors we would have fired ourselves a long time ago.

Last year we got the framing finished and shingles on just in time for the snow. It pretty much sat untouched through the winter except for John wiring it for electricity and lights. We started again on it in the Spring, but the birth of our little one in May slowed things again. Now we are in a race to get the siding finished before it snows again, but it is almost complete, well outside at least. We still have insulation and walls to hang inside, a work bench to build, cabinets to install, and if John gets his way, some electric heating.

On to much more exciting information. Henry Todd was born May 31st, 2008 in our home in Hyde Park. I wanted a home birth, and thankfully Henry and I were healthy and everything went as planned through pregnancy so that I could deliver at home. I could write a dissertation about why I wanted home birth, but I'll spare you the details. Needless to say it was an absolutely wonderful/spiritual experience and our midwife was excellent.
I hope to repeat the process for the rest of our little ones. He was actually born on the same day that my grandmother passed away in 2007. We said she must have decided he needed to come on that day to turn a sad day into a happy one. Our family up there must have all given him great big kisses and sent him on his way a week early - he had a very well defined angel's kiss when he was born, and lots of marks on his cheeks.

But, alas he is growing up much too fast! (1 month, 2, 3, 4)

Life is good here in Hyde Park, or what I lovingly call Mayberry. We eat, we sleep, we work, we fish, we camp, we hike, we ski, but not nearly enough of the latter four. But, we live day to day and we love it here, life is good!