100 years of girls camp

Today is the last day of July, and in one month summer will be over. I can't believe it, and to tell you the truth I am not ready for the girls to go back to school. They have been so busy throughout the summer with church activities and summer homework that I feel I haven't spent enough time with them!

One great thing upon returning from such activities such as EFY, SOAR and girls camp is the camaraderie they bring when they return. I am so grateful for these summer programs in the church because it truly does help our children grow spiritually, and helps them to become stronger as they get older.
This was Lexie's first time at camp and Sierra's fifth year at camp. Sierra was also a youth camp leader, and in her second year really enjoyed it. All the girls hiked six miles a day, sang hymns, learned camp songs & the YCL's helped prep for lunch on certain days for the younger campers, and prepared skits that dealt with the theme which is this scripture in the Pearl of Great Price (Book of Mormon.)

"And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of
one heart and one mind..."
~Moses 7:18
One thing I look forward to when they come home besides a beautiful attitude of gratitude are all the homemade crafts they bring home. They always make something while at camp, and I was really impressed with what they made this year.

They made headbands out of three strips of fabric, and hair ties (no sewing involved, and so easy to make!)
 lanterns made out of mason jars,
bottle cap necklaces and each bottle cap had a meaning of all the things they did at camp. My favorite ones are the scriptures, and the one that says "STOP IT" (which is my favorite talk given by President Uchtdorf!)
They also made bags out of an old t-shirt which in this case Lexie made one out of her Boston t-shirt...
before she said goodbye to her favorite tee
and after it was made into a bag.
In spite of the poison oak Lexie got (which she is recovering from okay), spiders, daddy longlegs, lack of sleep, sore feet from hiking six miles a day, being out in the wilderness with a camp so spread out was an amazing experience for her. Lexie's favorite part of camp was having devotional everyday, and testimony meeting. She really felt the spirit during testimony meeting, and shared hers as well.

We are so glad to have them home, and hope to enjoy the last month of summer as a family. Time goes by so fast when you're having fun!  

a desire to run.

Is it me or does everyone want to be a runner?

I just finished the book "Run Like a Girl" and I already want to read it again! Lately I find myself reading books about running, and thinking to myself, "can I actually start running, and attempt to do a 5k, 13, or 26.2 marathon in my 40's?" Or should I just stick to walking three times a week with a little tennis, and a side of yoga. A triathlon is out of the question because I'll have to learn how to swim first! Funny how I love the beach, and swimming in pools, but don't swim very well!

Well, after reading Run Like a Girl it has given me the motivation to seriously start putting my words into action, and to just do it. I got my old New Balance shoes out of the closet, and I am going to put them to good use. As you can see they are still in pretty good condition.
So last night my daughter had asked me that she wants to begin our morning walks (in her case jogs) with me. Of course I said yes, so this morning my oldest daughter and I woke up bright and early to begin our workout.

She got home from girls camp this past Saturday, and on their hikes walked at least six miles a day. This has given her preparation for tennis practice which starts up in a couple of weeks. She will be my running partner at least until school resumes.
Running is like a drug for some of us, a constant need that if we go without we become cantankerous. Although I have great things in my life which keeps me grounded such as the gospel, being active in the church I attend, blogging, and raising a family, I want to do something physically fit that will keep me happy and healthy. I feel that in order to be a good mother finding balance is key, and crucial into living a happy, and healthy life.

"We need to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit if we are to be the best mothers we can be."
~Lisa, literary agent, marathon runner, and mother of two. 

The book was life changing for me. There were true stories that were told from women of all ages. They discussed all the different sports they were in from kayaking, karate, rowing, swimming, archery, mushing, skate-skiing among others, and how it influenced their lives. All of them had some sort of obstacle or challenge that encouraged them to do a marathon, triathlon, and to do the sport they love out of their heart, and for the right reason. It helped me to look at life's challenges in a different perspective, and helped me realize that we are never too old to try something new. No matter how busy I get with our children, or how life's stresses get in the way, I want to be able to have a physical outlet to keep me strong in living a long, and healthy life. It also gave me insight on how every woman dealt with challenges, whether it was learning to balance their life, to endure, to succeed, and how doing the sport they love helped them to better their life.

I heard about the book Mile Markers about a year ago through Facebook from a friend, and when I looked it up online it sounded interesting. Although it's been a year since I've owned that book I haven't quite finished it yet, but what I've read so far reads like a blog with interesting entries. When I found out about the book at that time I wasn't as eager for my body to start something new. I had just picked up yoga again after having Noah, and didn't want to overwork my body with trying to do something that my body hasn't done since high school.

I have never been the athletic one in the family. My brother and sister were heavily into sports, and till this day my sister still keeps active by running, and goes on a 4 mile bike ride at least 3-4 times a week. I remember having to run numerous laps on the track in order to get a passing grade. I loathed it, and tried out for Drill team. Although drill team wasn't a sport it sure gave me a work out of stretching out my muscles, and kicking to high heaven. It was a great experience, and I loved it. 

I now have more of a desire to finish the book than I did then. I've always had an itch to run, but was nervous due to having weak ankles. I think I just need to build up my stamina again, and do my best. It won't kill me if I never run a marathon, but I would like to at least try, and start running at a pace that is comfortable for me. Having two active daughters who love sports, and a sister who is active at 43 years of age, (and looks great by the way) are great examples in my life of wanting to do something that'll keep physically fit, and help lead a life of longevity.

Reading these books, and seeing others on the bike trail pounding on concrete rain, snow, or shine has given me the motivation to try a little harder, and the determination to be like Nike, and "just do it." Sports may have never been a close friend in the past, but is sure going to be a great friend now!

I'd like to end this post with a verse from "Run like a Girl"...this quote is a gem.

"No matter how young-or less young-we are; no matter what life is throwing at us-from career pressures and new family, to disease and death--we can find our place in sports, and sports can find a place in our lives. Not only that, we will reap the rewards of its antioxidizing, de-stressing, energizing effects. Instead of feeling like the crunchy, worn-out waistband of our favorite decade-old pair of running shorts, we can be as resilient as elastic so fresh it leaves red lines on our skin. Snap! That's the sound effect of sports in our life. Not to mention the bonus feature--yes, I'm back on that hobby horse again-happiness."
Dara Torres~41 year old silver medalist in swimming (2008 Olympics)

Inspirational thought

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring
a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a 
warrior are children born in one's youth. 
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
Psalm 127:3-5

the double date at Ensign Peak.

Jordan's signature pose
Since Sierra hasn't been blogging lately I am taking it upon myself to write about her double date in the great Salt Lake valley, and I know she won't mind. After all...this is all being written on her behalf.

Jordan and Sierra have known each other since elementary school, and she considers him to be one of her dearest friends. He is as sweet and adorable as they come. He should be packaged with a label that reads "charming, witty, devoted, chivalrous, ambitious, comes from a good family, will treat you like a princess, good listener, and good at keeping friendships."

This is the first time they've seen each other seen we moved from Utah seven years ago! Thank goodness for Facebook reconnection. She was so happy to have been able to spend the day with his family in the ward we used to live in. She and her friend Emily really enjoyed the company of the Watchman brothers (Jordan has five) entertaining them, and doing a lot of reminiscing, playing piano (of course) as well as catching up on all that has gone on since we moved away.

The date was sweet and simple...hiking all the way up to Ensign Peak.
What an amazing view!
Emily & Nathan
Nathan's signature pose

These two had so much fun on this trip. 

Although attending SOAR at BYU was her main focus of this trip, she was so excited to have put the time in to spend it with one of her closest friends.

This double date was priceless, and they would both do it again.

hydrangea flowers are my favorite.

One of my favorite parts of summer are blooming hydrangea flowers, and they have them all over New England.  They are so vibrant in color, and so perfectly created. I actually see more hydrangeas in New England than in New Jersey. The people in the New England area seem to take more care of them than those in Jersey (at least in my area.) I see so many hydrangea shrubs dried up, discolored, and lifeless. It's a shame because these are the most beautiful flowers on the east coast. 

I first noticed them while we were living down in North Carolina, and was immediately drawn to them. I've never planted them, but one of these days I will. They don't grow in Texas or in Utah, and they come in the colors blue, lavender, rose, white, and an off yellow. They certainly are beautiful, and they definitely flaunt themselves out in the open.

 As were driving around to see the attractions of where the movie Mystic Pizza was filmed we were surrounded by hydrangeas. We drove along the alluring seaside country of Watch Hill & Westerly in Rhode Island, and found all these hydrangea shrubs. These towns are about 20 minutes away from Mystic.

My myriad of pictures were all taken with my iPhone 4S, and I think they came out just beautifully.

If I ever do plant them I'm going to make sure they are treated well, so that they can bloom year after year. 

Mystic Seaport

After attending the pageant this past weekend, I was brimming with elation as we made our way up to Mystic. Mystic has always been one of my favorite getaways in Connecticut. It is such a charming village filled with nautical beauty. Ever since we attended my brother in laws wedding back in the year 2000...I fell in love with this quaint little village.

We refrained from snacking throughout the six hour drive so that we can eat at our favorite pizza place... Mystic Pizza. Besides eating ice cream on the boardwalk we always eat here, and get the "House Special." This pizza is absolutely "superb!"
Coloring while waiting to devour yummy pizza
After eating lunch we walked along the waterfront. It was so relaxing to sit and take in all the nautical charm that this town has to offer. Watching the boats gleefully cruising across the Bascule bridge, and being surrounded by tranquil still water was so relaxing. The kids really enjoy coming here, and they all sat down to inhale God's handiwork of beauty. 
As we were walking through all the shops in the village I had to go inside my favorite store...Whyevernot. It's kind of like an Anthropologie with an Urban Outfitters twist! I love this store, and usually by gifts from here for my loved ones.
Sea creatures!
Since this is my better half's last vacation time for the summer we totally took advantage of his time off. We spent the whole weekend here, and made time to go to Mystic Seaport. It reminded me of the time we went to Sturbridge Village...without the water and boat.
The kids had so much fun throughout the whole village, and Noah was running from shop to shop and finally found this treasure. Three wooden boats...a sailing ship, lobster boat, and fishing dagger! He was in heaven!
He had so much fun jumping from one boat to another!
 There are all kinds of shops, exhibit galleries, and the historical landmarks of this area are pretty amazing. There is even a children's museum, and across the playscapes (where the wooden boats are) there is a planetarium.

One nice thing we found out about this place is that every Sunday after 5pm you can tour inside for FREE, but everything will be closed. You can listen to live music while dining outdoors. It was fun, and we really had a nice time.
 Truth is that we didn't want to come home this soon. Mystic truly has an authentic beauty of a nautical lifestyle. It is so inviting, breathtaking, and as always puts my mundane worries aside. We took our time in all that we saw and did, and loitered all the way back to Jersey. This was a weekend of stress release, and fun for our memoirs. 

We always treasure the times we come to this quaint little town.
Oh yes...I could definitely live here.