The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lagoon Day with My Brownie

Yes, it is 11:30 at night and I'm typing like the dickens trying to get this post written before midnight - I haven't had this many posts in one month since I was young and energetic.  That was a while ago.  Hopefully I can make it!

Bitty and I had a Lagoon day together.  For anyone who doesn't know what Lagoon is - it's the local amusement park - it's super fun unless you've been to Disneyland recently where everything is so pretty and shiny.  After that Lagoon seems kinda murky and gross.  But it can be a ton of fun especially when it's just you and one of your children, especially if it's the one of your children who gets probably the least alone time with you and needs it the most and who just blossoms under the shower of your singular attention.

Bitty worked hard selling gobs of Girl Scout Cookies this past winter.  Last year she used her cookie credits to buy herself some time at girls camp.  We were planning on doing the same thing this year until we found out that the girls in her age group are only allowed to go to the camps that are 5 nights long and four times as expensive.  Nope and nope.  We hunted around for ways for her to spend her cookie credits and discovered that there was a Girl Scout Lagoon Day with discount tickets and prizes for girl scouts and stuff like that.  We were pretty excited!  Of course, this fabulous adventure was planned for the day after Troy got home from his latest trip to South Carolina, the one where he got delayed overnight again - so many thanks to friends for taking Stomper and Bundle while Troy slept and composed himself.

Bitty and I had a ball.  We took full advantage of this one and only Lagoon Day of the summer - we got there just after it opened (10 a.m.)  and left just before it closed (11 p.m.)  I am still tired, just in case you were wondering.  It was a long full day.  You know what the funny part was?  Bitty doesn't really like rides that much.  There are a ton of rides there! We discovered very early on in the day that any ride that spins or twirls, moves quickly or has any element of thrill is not the ride for Bitty.  This means that we rode the sky ride about 8 times.  And you know what?  That was totally okay.  It was really fun to just let the day be hers.  We enjoyed the bumper cars, the train, the musical performances, some extremely large corn dogs, touring the creepy creepy Pioneer Village museum area (let it be known that I will NEVER visit that place in the dark) and many of the kiddie rides.  Too bad it wasn't until about 8pm that we discovered that the little rides were a good fit for her.  We did go swimming for a few hours at Lagoon-a-Beach where I was amazed at how much Bitty loved the very twisty speedy hydro-tubes.  We also discovered that she enjoyed the water-rides (where you wear your clothing but get very very wet anyway) like Rattlesnake Rapids and the log flume.  It was slightly unfortunate that this discovery came as the sun was setting so we missed the chance to have our very wet clothing dry in the heat of the day.  I LOVE soggy jeans for three hours.

Best part of the day?  We decided to speak to one another in British accents starting at 7 p.m. and we didn't quit until I tucked her into bed.  (She is really really good at it, I'm mediocre at best.)

I loved giving that day to her, I really really did.

Whew - 11:50 - I made it!

Love you Bitty.

Ode to My Sister-Friend

I can't believe it's been five years since Troy got a little note on Facebook from an old "friend" (aka girlfriend).  Now let's be honest, not all Facebook messages from old boy/girlfriends are a good thing.  Sometimes they can be slightly/moderately/extremely uncomfortable, awkward or occasionally wildly inappropriate.  I have never experienced that last one, just so you know, and I would like to hereby state for the record that all Facebook connections with men of my past have all been pleasant and friendly.  (Covering my bases here.)


About five years ago Troy got a FB message from one "Krista."  She was a lovely gal he had dated in college at a moderate level of seriousness.  She ended up marrying a very nice man from Wisconsin and attending schools in various states, including Pennsylvania where they got to know The Other Troy (my former next door neighbor) and his family.  They settled in her home state of Texas for a few years until her husband was hired at our local children's hospital, Primary Children's Medical Center, and they made a move here.  Krista was getting in touch with Troy first of all to say hello and reconnect a little and also to find out the best place to go in order to watch our local Pioneer Day Parade.  Sadly, we had no answer for her due to the fact that we never never never watch the parade even though it travels within a couple of miles of our house.  She shortly thereafter invited our family over for dinner.  This was also a potentially awkward situation - ever had dinner with the family of one of your past girl/boyfriends? Luckily for us....that's not an uncommon occurrence around here because I seem to have become dear friends with a few great guys I dated long long ago.  (Is this a weird confessional-post?  I don't mean it to be.)  The dinner was fun (homemade pizza baked on their Big Green Egg - will never forget it!) and our kids played well.  She and I each had a baby - we even had a bonding session while we nursed our babies.  My Bundle was about 2 months old and her baby was about 8 months.  And guess what.  It turns out that once you sit and nurse babies together you pretty much just become friends.

After that lovely dinner Krista and I started hanging out - taking our kids on outings, watching each other's kids for date nights, trading baby daughters on a weekly basis to give each other free time, catching lunch together (she took me to Chick-Fil-A for my first time ever - this is true friendship), texting one other with our daily woes and triumphs, and eventually sharing our deepest struggles and fears and everything we were striving for.  We often thanked Troy profusely for asking her out in order to bring us together.

And then in the spring I dropped by her back door to pick somebody up or drop somebody off and she just walked out the door, quietly held her arms out and hugged me.  This scared me.  Who has cancer?  How horrible is your day?  Who died?  It was nothing like that.  She just tearfully told me that her husband had accepted a position in the exact same happy Texas town that they left in order to move here.

We decided that there was no other reason they ever came to SLC other than to become best friends.  (Okay okay there are other reasons I'm sure but that's how it feels.) Krista, I am missing you terribly, and your sweet wonderful kids and husband.  There is a thing called a Sister Friend and you meet one only a handful of times in a lifetime.  Thanks for being one of mine.  

last pictures together - could not get all the kids to look at the camera at the same time to save my life.  Not pictured is their oldest and extremely tall son.  

 Fall 2010 - During the first year we traded babies.  Naps were a big part of the deal.  

This was the first of many Christmases we celebrated together - the past couple of years our Christmas Eve tradition has been to find an activity together.

One of many outings - this one to Thanksgiving Point

Krista and family are avid BYU fans (ack! How are we friends?) and they loved playing tricks on us like sending Bundle home in clothing such as this

These two girls spent their first five years learning how to get along - lots of ups and downs with all the playdates but now they are super darling friends who love each other a lot

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mid-Summer Crisis

I think I'm picking up on a bit of a pattern to summer.  It seems to break itself into three phases.  First, summer hits, and everyone is so relieved to be free from the pressure of school, we're all so excited for the adventures ahead that we start off with a bang - lots of activities, a couple of little (or big) trips, daily charts of to-dos.  We try to pack in as much summer as we possibly can.  This lasts until about the 5th of July.

By then we are completely exhausted, and thus begins the second trimester of summer - the completely lazy and slovenly period. The real heat of summer has arrived, we are tired, we basically turn on the cooler, turn on the television and remain in our pajamas until 3:00 in the afternoon.  We eat more popsicles than usual, we occasionally fill up the pool in the back yard and watch it heat in the sun before deciding its too hard to put on a swim suit and go back to our popsicles. To-do lists hang limp and unattended on the side of the fridge.

But then along comes the third trimester, which begins at the time you realize that there are only three or four weeks left before school starts and you panic.  You have a complete Mid-Summer Crisis - have I had enough fun?  Have we packed in every summery activity we possibly can?  Are we sunburnt and scabby-kneed from all of our adventures?  I'm not sure!  Let's go back to phase one!!  Thus begins the craziness again.

I think I hit my third-trimester mid-summer crisis last week.  The previous couple of weeks since we had been home from Seattle were so lazy.  Then I looked at the calendar and realized as I always do that summer is slipping by and I need to suck its marrow before the elementary school doors open.  Naturally, this realization and subsequent frenzied activity occurred in unison with my husband's departure on a business trip to the Southern States.  Holy smokes, we were busy.  Here's what we did:

1) Took the kids plus Chase's friend to my favorite place on earth (as noted by the following photograph):

Hollywood Connection. The indoor amusement park staffed by the grumpiest teens on earth.

It was actually pretty fun - not very crowded, Bitty got to roller skate, a sport at which she excels, Bundle was big enough for all the rides and fell head over heels in love with these giant bumper cars:

I don't have any pictures of the boys because they were running away from me too quickly. 

2) Met cousins at Seven Peaks water park where we spent many hours and I even hired a teenage girl to be Bitty's companion for the day so she would be happy and I wouldn't be worried about her.  This meant that I forgot to track her down to reapply sunscreen and she got her first ever super fun sunburn:

3) Spent a 100 degree morning at Tracy Aviary enjoying the incredible birdlife there, most especially the sun conures with whom we frolicked briefly.  After the aviary we made an attempt to swim at the Liberty Park Pool, finding out only after we had changed into suits and were in the water that there were swim lessons going on there at the time.  We left, walked over the the canyons fountain only to find that they are closed on Tuesday mornings.  Then we walked to the splash pad only to find that my kids were too tired and grumpy to play so we went home.

4) Made a second attempt to swim in the Liberty Park Pool, this time accompanied by dear friends, but made the mistake of doing this on Pioneer Day, the day our valley and indeed the whole state celebrates the day in 1847 that the Mormon Pioneers arrived.  This seemed like a great way to spend the morning until we actually got to Liberty Park, saw a line of a bazillion people trying to get in and remembered that DUH IT'S PIONEER DAY - the morning's races and parade all conclude at that park, people spend the WHOLE DAY picnicking and playing there before the evening's fireworks, which happen at that park.  We pulled in, found ourselves in a complete and total traffic jam for fully 10 minutes just at the entrance of the park, and nearly aborted the mission.  We decided that since we were in the park we would just drive past the pool and see how it looked.  Good thing we did - after the first section of the park which was completely jammed with people and cars, we made it to the pool/aviary area where there were parking spots to be had by the dozens and barely anyone at the pool.  We had the most lovely swim in the clear cool water where Bundle made her first attempts at actually putting her head under water and lifting her feet off the bottom of the pool to kick at the same time.  This is major progress.  Bitty also seemed to cross a swimming barrier that day by getting super comfortable taking breaths while paddling along.  It was a big day for us.

After the pool we headed home to cook and clean before hosting The Becky and her friends for an evening barbecue.  What a pleasant evening.  Our pool was set up and Becky's little boys had an absolute ball splashing around in there.  The rest of the kids buried themselves in various DS/ipad games while the adults ignored them, ate peach barbecue chicken and jambalaya.  Our back porch did its best to be cool and leafy and we were happy to just enjoy being together.  Especially because The Becky brought really good ice-cream bars.  And some fireworks.  Lovely evening.

5) We also had the sadness of saying goodbye to some of our very best friends who moved here to SLC five years ago and have just moved again to their home state of Texas.  It seemed that the main reason they came to SLC was to give us a chance to become best friends.  Mission accomplished, time to move on.  We went to a movie together - Rio 2 I think, then I took some of their kids home with us while they packed, and then another day we had lunch together to say goodbye again and then on Friday I took them Bruge's waffles to say good bye just one more time.  I will write more about this in another post I think.

Let's see....I feel like there were a couple of other things but now that three whole days have passed since last week I am at a loss for what they were.  I think a lot of neighborhood kid-trades, making dinner for new moms, ....oh yeah and spending an evening waiting and waiting for my poor husband to get home.  On his last trip to the Carolinas he had all sorts of airplane trouble which led to him being away from home an extra night, which he spent trying to sleep on the floor of the Dallas airport.  We made lots of jokes this time about the likelihood of that happening again - I mean, what are the odds?  Remind me to never ask that again because it turns out that the odds are actually pretty good.  It was unreal to see it all unfold again as windstorms and broken airplanes combined against him to create a 26 hour travel experience involving another sleepless night at an airport.  It was sucky.  Next time, we're not making jokes, we'll just pray.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Crawdads '14

Man, check me out!!! I haven't blogged this much in one month for a very long time!  If ever!  Very proud of myself.

Just two quick days after we unpacked and cleaned up our Seattle trip, we repacked the car to go camping.  It was just for one night, but we had even less room in the car than we did for Seattle.  When you have to bring your house and beds with you, it eats up the space!

This was the first time our entire family went on the crawdad hunt and all stayed over night.  A couple of years ago I came with Bundle once, but we didn't camp, and Troy brought the big kids once and did camp.  So this was a monumental event.  What made it really fun is that we turned it from a quick jaunt for crawdads into an overnight playdate with our dear friends the Burnetts, with whom we capture Christmas Trees each year.  I guess hunting and gathering is just our thing.  They had never heard of going crawdad fishing and were eager to find out what it's all about.

That Friday evening at Strawberry Reservoir was extremely pleasant.  I forget how lovely the landscape is up there with the rolling hilly mountains, wildflowers sprouting everywhere and groves of aspen and pine here and there.  We were able to nab Troy's favorite camp spot and I got things set up while Troy took the kids down to the shore to set the traps.  Not long after that the Burnetts arrived and we spent the evening roasting hot dogs, trying our hand at fire-roasted corn on the cob (delicious!) and experimenting with a new invention Mary brought along called a "woofum."  It's basically a marshmallow roasted but instead of a poker on the end there's a thing that looks like a wooden corn.  You wrap biscuit dough around the thing, cook it over your coals, and when it's done you end up with this yummy toasty little bowl of bread that you fill with jam or preserves and top with whipped cream.  We were cackling with delight they were so delicious.

In the morning after a leisurely breakfast in the Burnett's trailer we headed to the lake to check on our catch.  It was not our best year - the traps didn't collect as many lake-bugs as we had hoped but we spent an hour with the kids wading in the water and plucking out more.  We ended up with maybe 40, enough to enjoy along side our jambalaya and cornbread, which the Preslars went home to make while the Burnetts (who graciously kept our daughters) stayed and played for a few hours at the lake and campground.

I was glad we got a chance to get home, unpack the car again, air out the bedding, air out ourselves, and clean up a bit before we had company.  Somehow the Burnett clan didn't seem to get as stinky and messy as I did.  The day was so piping hot but thanks to Troy's installation of our porch sprayers the porch was still very pleasant.   We had a wonderful evening of crawdads, crafts on the back porch and watching the kids play on the lawn.  The crawdads were delicious as always - thank you butter.