Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Sledding Party, A Birthday and a Will's Eye View of Home Improvement

The end of December Brian and his girlfriend Quyen came to visit for a few days.  Brian's goals for his trip were three:  eat at In-N-Out Burger, which they don't have in Chicago, eat the best pizza in Salt Lake, and go sledding.

We accomplished all three.

In-n-Out was easy.  We stopped there on the way home from getting them from the airport.

For the pizza, we went to The Pie.  It's debatable if The Pie is the best pizza in Salt Lake, but it's the most famous.  And it was pretty tasty too.  Of course it doesn't compare to Chicago Pizza, but, hey we aren't imitators.  We have our own style of pizza out here in the wild wild west.

For his last wish, we headed up one Sunday afternoon to Big Cottonwood canyon for what turned out to be  a small series of unfortunate events, with a few sled runs in between.

First off, the hills were treacherous, not from being too steep, but from some dumbhead digging big jumps all over the place.  Not fun little bumps, but more like huge caverns that you had to be going pretty fast to even get out of, and then it would send you flying and crashing the rest of the way down.

This picture was taken right before Audrey sacrificed herself for her little sister.  They slid right into some trees and Audrey turned the sled and bailed off and crashed and saved Olivia from sure hysteria.  Her second run down, Audrey hit the bumps, went flying, and cracked her tailbone.  So she was out after that.

And then, we had epic equipement failures.  The only sleds we had were the blow up kind, and we popped all four of them  So that pretty much put a dent in the fun.

Which was probably okay, because we had started out pretty late, and it was freezing cold, and starting to get dark.  And we got some GREAT pictures, so it was all worth it in the end.

I love how you can see Quyen peeking over Brian's shoulder.  It was her first experience sledding and she was a great sport.  We love Quyen.  Sweetest girl ever.

And then, on January 9, Duncan turned the big 19.  And here is what I love about Duncan:  The morning of his birthday, he was up at six a.m. with the rest of us,  and as excited to open his birthday breakfast presents as he was when he was nine years old.  And he made sure to get up early so that everybody could be there to get in on breakfast on his special day. 

Later on, we went to In-n-Out (again) and met up with Mitch for dinner.  Then it was home for cake and ice cream and more presents.  He said he got everything he wanted this year.

I really love all these kids.
And then, today, my folks came over for more birthday stuff, and to help us put some tile in the family room downstairs.  Yes, you read that right- work on the family room has resumed once again, after a year long hiatus and many many delays.   Will had the camera while we were working, and this is what he documented:

The Before Shot.

What Duncan did:

What Olivia did:

A compelling shot of a bucked of water.

The pros, down on our hands and knees:

Another professional:

What Hokey did:
Just look at that form:

And the true professional, who saved the day once again:

And the finished project:

Oh. Well, apparently Will lost interest before we were finished.  And I still have to grout it, so really, it isn't finished yet.  But it's still exciting!!!  Home improvement brings me great joy.

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