Monday, May 18, 2009

Bear Lake

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Several months ago, a girl named Brooke from Texas made a very kind comment on my blog. I always try to visit blogs of people who comment and when I went to look at hers, I saw that they had a counter on the side counting down until they went to Puerto Rico on vacation. I thanked her for her comment then I told her that I would love to go to Puerto Rico and I hope they have fun on their vacation. Well, I believe it was the same day, I got an email from her telling me that they would love to give me a week of their timeshare in Puerto Rico and practically begged me to accept. At first, I was going to thank her and tell her it was nice to receive the offer, but that I could not accept it. After thinking about it that whole day and reading her email again, I accepted her offer depending on flights and the week it was available. Well, after deciding that it probably would not work out to go all the way to Puerto Rico, she said there were places available closer by and gave me a list. I settled on Bear Lake since it was only a two hour drive and more people would be able to come with me. Throughout these months as it was in the works, I have developed a friendship via emails with Brooke from Texas and I am still blown away by the generosity of someone I have never met.
I have been blown away by lots of people who have been so kind in their thoughts, their deeds, their words, their love, their friendship from afar. There really are such great people all over the world and I want to tell each of you who have ever reached out to us through prayer, kind comments, kind gestures, loving thoughts, loving words... anything. We are forever truly grateful.

Aaron Jr. & Leslie

Aaron Jr.

Aaron Jr. was cold and didn't want to walk through the water again. So, he beckoned me to come and get him. I obliged. :)

Aaron Jr & Leslie

These are the friends who came up throughout the first half of the week:

Kerianne & her sons, Brighton & Bode

Carrie & her sons, Easton & Cameron

Sarah & her kids, Corban & Savannah

Rori & her kids, Marley & Carson

Kerianne, Carrie, Leslie, Sarah
Rori had not come with her kids yet... so here are the four of us who came first.

This was an overcast, foggy beautiful evening. This was from the balcony of the condo. If you look close, you can see the line at the top that shows the ridge of the mountain. It all blends together... it was gorgeous.

Sarah, Carrie, Leslie, Kerianne
This was the day that Sarah and Carrie were going home, so we had to take more photos, right? Of course... then it became just plain silly...

I asked someone to say something to make us all laugh. I won't repeat what Sarah said to get us all to laugh, but here are some photos that were so much fun to take because they will hold such great memories for all of us. I don't need to remind you girls what she said... :)
Good Bye Carrie and Sarah. We missed you once you left.

Aaron Jr. & Leslie
After those two left to go home, the rest of us went to the park to let the kids play. It was pretty chilly, but we all lasted a while. And of course, WE ended up playing as well...

Kerianne, Brighton, Bode

Rori, Marley, Carson

Aaron Jr.

Aaron Jr. & Leslie

Aaron Jr. & Leslie

Aaron Jr... my darling.

I was having a difficult day one day. Nothing happened, I was just contemplating the fact that Kerianne and Rori, the last of the people coming for the week, were leaving the next day. Each friend and kids who came had the excitement of returned home to their husband and the kids to their Dad. Once they went home, no one else was coming up the rest of the week and once our week was over, we would return, but not to Aaron.
ANYHOW, at one point, Kerianne screamed something like, 'Les, you've gotta see this, quick!'. So I ran to the window and there was an amazing rainbow. I grabbed my camera and ran downstairs to the balcony. It totally brightened my day. My day was fine after that. Thank you Kerianne.

Rori, Leslie, Kerianne
The second group. (I am not fishing, so please no comments, but I REALLY wish I had looked in the mirror at my hair before taking this photo. What on earth? :)

We did make it to the indoor pool a couple of times as well.

We couldn't swim in the lake, it was too cold and spending much time on the beach was difficult as well. It was always chilly, or the wind would be so strong, it would be blowing sand in our faces. It was beautiful though. Can't complain. It truly was gorgeous.

Brighton, Bode, Aaron Jr.
This day it was finally sunny and we were thrilled to go to the beach. But it was one of the days where the wind whipped sand into our faces and made it difficult to be out there for too long. But I still got some great photos. Loved it.

Aaron Jr. & Leslie

Kerianne, Leslie, Rori
Here is our shot as the final three left at Bear Lake.

Kerianne & Leslie
Kerianne was the one who was with me through all of the time when there were friends there. She was going to be there the whole week with me, but something with family came up and the couldn't stay the whole time. It was understandable, but we SO wished they could have stayed the whole time. Aaron Jr. missed all of his friends once they went home.

Good Bye Kerianne & Rori. We missed you when you went home.

Once it was just Aaron Jr. & me left there, I tried to make sure we had some great bonding time together. We went on a drive one day and I couldn't believe how amazing the countryside right next to the lake was. It was gorgeous.

He became obsessed with vacuuming while we were there. It was a lightweight vacuum, so he could push it around. He got so excited when there was anything on the floor that needed to be cleaned. :)

After one of his baths, I was blowdrying my hair and he loves it when I blow the air on his face. See? Great bonding times. :)
We did go to the beach each day... it seemed to be sunny each day... then we would get there, and Aaron Jr. would ask to go back to the condo about 10 minutes after getting there because he was cold. We built part of a sandcastle until he stepped on it on purpose. :) Silly kid.
The last day, the sun was out, but it was windy and chilly. So, we went back home to the condo and put blankets and towels up around the railing of the deck. Then, we sat on the floor of the deck on blankets and we colored together. It got so warm with the wind being blocked. It was so much fun. That was our last full day.

This was Aaron Jr's reaction when we drove past the pool and I told him he couldn't swim because we were going home.

Then these are some of the faces he made when we got to Logan and we went through a car wash. He was in heaven and so was I watching him.

I love this boy.

Here is the Logan Temple. This is where my parents were married. It is so beautiful.

Closer view.

Me & my little man.

Sorry this was so long... but I took hundreds more photos and I narrowed them down to these. It was such a wonderful week. It was a much needed getaway and we had some very fun times. Thank you to my friends who came up there with us.
And thank you to Brooke and her family for giving us this wonderful gift. The place was amazing, the lake was beautiful, the accomodations were perfect, and we had a great time. Words aren't enough to show our gratitude, but I am at a loss for what else to do... we will be forever grateful. Thank you and God bless you.

With love...

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Mindy said...

What an amazing gift! People truly are wonderful and caring. I am so glad you had a little getaway, and I LOVE your photos! My very favorite is the 6th one down that shows the wide shot of the sky and the water with some kids playing. Love it!! I love Bear Lake and the surrounding areas too. My dad grew up in Fish Haven, so I have great memories.

Kristi said...

What a fun getaway with friends. How kind of Brook. That rainbow picture is beautiful. I am glad you had so much fun. Aaron is so much fun. We love you guys.

Valeri said...

Wow, awesome pictures. I also love the Logan Temple. It was quite a bit out of our way, but I was determined to go through it to take my own endowments out, and I'm so glad I did. I'm glad you were able to get away for a bit. It's wonderful having good friends.

LL said...

what a fun thing for you to do, and I LOVE that it was a gift from someone who cares about you!
i'm loving your hair!!!

April said...

I'm so glad you got to do this with your friends! It looked like lots of fun... and every photo was fun to see!
Random: I miss playing games with you... I need another game night!!!

Carrie Cox said...

Why would I cry while reading this post?!!! Because of the thought that I just about didn't go. I am so grateful my hubby talked me into getting over myself and going because I had so much fun. I loved hanging out with all you guys and would never have gotten to know Sarah better without the long ride to and from the lake. My favorite part was makeover. You looked HOT! Along with the stupid barbecue that wouldn't cook Sarah's crazy awesome chicken, vacuuming 44 times a day, creating my very own blog(which I'm still afraid to write on!) and of course the freezing cold kiddies that thought they were so cool getting their clothes wet in the ice cold lake! Actually, my most favorite time was the night you and I stayed up until 4 talking and the new friend I got to meet!! My lips are sealed :)

Thank you Brooke, for your generosity. We truly enjoyed ourselves and were so grateful for that time together as old time friends.

Thanks Les for liking me enough to invite me and putting up with my two rugrats. Love you.


Kate, Alek, Hank, and Cash (RIP RED) said...

That is amazing, a wonderful new memory with Aaron jr. Good for you Leslie you are so stong and beautiful. Thanks for sharing and being an inspiration for Alek and I through this journey we are on.

Sarahmanarah said...

I love pictures. It just takes me back. It's like we lived together for a few days which seemed like forever because we instantly felt at home and then it was over. It kind of makes me sad. Paligamy couldn't have been all that bad? JK. Life is a crazy thing. And I'll always cherish the weekend I had with 4 amazing friends/women. Do you ever feel weird being called a woman. I still feel like a girl.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm sure I didn't realize how much it meant to you to be with friends for 3 days straight. It meant a lot to me, but for different reasons. (Wow this is long.) Thanks Brooke for your loving kindness. It was well appreciated. From one heart to another. Thankyou.

Sarahmanarah said...

P.S. Those laughing pictures are helarious. I have to show them to everyone.

Gneiting said...

I must say, you have such talent for photography, I mean REAL TALENT. The perspective/focus on the the first picture of the sailboat, the colors on the picture of the blue lake and amber grasses on the shore - these are such beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing! (Just my humble opinion...but honestly these are a little too good...maybe you should put a watermark on them so people don't steal them!!)

Utah Boating said...

Thanks for sharing your good words about your vacation. I am bit new to your blog as I hope you don't mind me commenting. I was thinking that sure Puerto Rico would have been fun but it really looks like you had a blast at Bear Lake. I guess free is free right? :) It definitely is a great place to go. I love the color of the water. The photographers also did an excellent job capturing the moment. Kudos!

Thanks Again,
Kerry Haymore
Utah Boating Info

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie, I'm so glad you had a lovely time.

Wow - the temple with the mountains behind - how stunning is THAT!!

Love to you


Brooke said...

I am so glad that you and your friends had such a good time at Bear Lake! I wish I could have given you some better weather to go along with it, but you never can tell. You are the one that is such an inspiration to those around you and it is more than thanks enough that y'all had a good time together. I thank you for excepting the offer because I have gained much more than you have. Thank you.

K and K and kids said...

Wow...looks like so much fun. Such generosity from you blogging friend. Looks like Aaron really enjoyed himself. Love the pictures of the Logan is one of my favorites.

Jen said...

It looks like you all had a great time. How fun!

It amazes me the true kindess of people that i have never met, but who read my blog. After Shawn died and I lost the baby, I got cards from people all over, those who read my blog. It really did touch my heart.

Hope things are going well for you two and know that I think of you often.

Kerianne said...

Your selfless gift to Les turned out to be a bigger gift to all of us who got to tag along! You were so right when you pointed out how much of an inspiration Leslie is to those around her. Bear Lake was a perfect example of how Leslie organizes a 'get together' that she feels that SHE needs, but yet everyone else walks away with much more.
Thanks again, on the behalf of Les and those that got to tag-a-long, for such an awesome getaway. :)

Kerianne said...

OH... and thanks, Les, for inviting me. :)
Didn't mean for that to be an after-thought! I'm so grateful to have a friend like you.

jensenfamily said...

how nice! looks like you had a relaxing getaway with great friends- Wish we could see you this weekend for the wedding, but we're staying put in Colorado - hopefully soon! love, Erin