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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Puppy Love

I've always considered myself to be someone that dealt well with death. I started working in geriatrics as a 16 year old. I've held the hands of people I loved while they crossed the veil, comforted families...I've even spoken at funerals. However, none of those experiences prepared me for loosing Wickett. We found out at the end of June that Wickett's kidney's were shutting down. When you hear news like that about a person, you immediately think, "What can we do? What tests can we run? Spare no expense!" When you hear it about your puppy, you think the same things...but it's a DOG. There was nothing to be done. So, we waited as long as we could before accepting the inevitable action of putting Wickett to sleep. I was surprised at how quickly he went to "sleep"...pretty much as fast as the injection was given it took effect. Mom and I cried and cried. I held him the whole ride home. When we got there, I laid him on the floor so Wookie could see him. I don't think he understood it was Wickett. I wrapped him in his blanket with his paws hugging his baby. Mom and I had a little funeral in the back yard. We couldn't help but laugh as we talked while digging the hole in the dirt, wondering what we looked like--two grown women sobbing over a dog, we even made sure he was facing east...laughter through tears always has been my favorite emotion. It's true what they say: Dog truly is man's best friend. Wickett and Wookie listen without judging, interrupting or talking back. They're always happy to see you when you walk in the door. When I had my knee surgery they both never left me alone. My own little watch dogs. They're content to snuggle on the couch and watch a movie or take a Sunday nap. I've decided that the difficulty in Wickett's death was that it was in our hands. With people, they can tell you what they want, what they feel...if they're ready. When people die, I know they have a family waiting to welcome them home on the other side. Wickett just looked at us with his big brown eyes. I believe that we did the right thing. And, when all is said and done, I believe what they say....All Dogs Go To Heaven. I hope my Granddad gave him a treat when he got there.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Floatin' Down The River

This year for the 24th of July our family floated down Provo river....a new Tradition was born! We had so much fun laughing and giggling the entire way. We did our best to stay linked together, but at times got separated...lucky for us, Ashleigh's friend Tim provided the brute strength needed to gather us back together. It was a perfect day...the sun was sizzling and the water was like ice, but together, it made for the perfect atmosphere. I already can't wait until next year!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Know What You Are...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Surviving Supai

I did it! I survived my trip to Havasupai! It all started a few months ago my Mike invited me to go on his annual trip to the Grand Canyon to go hiking in Havasupai. I can only imagine the look of shock and fear at his request as memories of statements made by those who'd made the trip in the past echoed in my ears..."Next time I'm taking the helicopter".... "I don't think I'll ever walk the same".... My answer was not only no, but Hell No! However, Mike can be incredibly persuasive. So, after some encouraging words and a helicopter to fall back on, I was in. Although I'd started preparing about a month before, my anxiety kept increasing as the number of days until our departure were decreasing. Then, it was
suddenly July 8th and we were on our way! The hike into the canyon wasn't so bad...I didn't expect it to be, since it was all down hill. We started out around 4 a.m. and made it to the camp ground around 8:30. After setting up camp and a quick nap, we were off to play in Havasu Falls. It was just a quick hop from camp and truly a Garden of Eden in the desert. Mooney Falls was day two's destination. We spent the day playing in the water, soaking up the sun, and saving our snacks from sneaky squirrels. Navajo Falls was our final day adventure. Since it was on the way to the village, we packed up our packs and headed out to play. These were my favorite falls of all! I even jumped from 40 feet high...much to the surprise of the onlookers below.

After some fun at the falls, we hiked out to the village to fill our bellies with food and a quick rest before facing the 9 miles ahead. I was nervous, but confident. Seven of us girls set out together...The Sisterhood of the Traveling Packs. We made a vow to stick together, take things slow and steady, and passed the time with singing and laughing...especially with the rule that any complaint must be sung!

I'll never forget the feeling of accomplishment, empowerment, and fulfillment as I made my way up the final switch back! I had done it! I'm so grateful for the confidence and encouragement from my friends and sister...I can't wait until next year!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Smith Super Star Rally

I seriously have the greatest family EVER!!! We've always gotten together to celebrate the holidays, but this year we started a new family tradition: The Smith Superstar Rally! We split into two teams, complete with matching shirts and a trophy, to compete in a series of events. Each person had an individual event, a partnered event, and team events. And what crazy events they were! At one point I found myself laying on the ground holding an ice cream cone in my mouth while my mom stood on a chair and tried to drop scoops of ice cream into the cone....all of which landed on my face. The final event of the night was a relay race involving all the members of each team...starting with bobbing for apples, licorice eating, throwing Cheetos into the shaving cream beard of your team member, dressing crazy, a math equation, and popping water balloons. The highlight of my night was beating my sister in the math equation....she's a CPA! With the trophy on the line things went above and beyond competitive! While we were all winners, Darin insisted on keeping the trophy until next year. After the festivities, we set up camp in the backyard for an outdoor movie and sleep over. It was the best time ever!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


It was the event of the century...or maybe the decade...or the year...well, of the day at least. The culmination of the Grand Celebration marking the transition from UVSC to Utah Valley University marked by a concert featuring Josh Gracin, Collin Raye, and Joe Nichols. And to top it off, there was even a Niel Diamond impersonator straight from Las Vegas! A Perfect excuse for a girls night...

...I'm so excited to graduated from a University! I thought that may have been the reason it's taken me so long to get through this higher learning experience--that was until I found out ANYONE who has graduated from UVU in any of it's previous forms qualifies for a diploma from UVU. Sure, now you tell me.