Monday, May 31, 2010

Moab, Utah

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Aaron and his caterpillar.

Top photo is of our entire camp area. It was such a beautiful spot. We were surrounded by rock walls on three sides.

One aspect of our camp spot that was not quite as beautiful as it could have been... were the people who were camped about 50 to 100 yards away from us. They were really really noisy into the night as they set up their tents and then sat around their fire. Aaron Jr and I have no problem sleeping through noise if we are tired enough, so they didn't keep us up long, but they kept other people up longer. BUT... in the middle of the night, I was awoken to some REALLY LOUD boisterous drums and other musical instruments and loud singing coming from that other camp. Luckily, I was tired enough that I was only awake in AWE at their noise for a few minutes. I contemplated yelling as loud as I could "SHUT UP"... but then decided that I would rather not make people angry. So, after a few minutes, I was back asleep. But those drums and music kept other people awake for a long time. It was not very thoughtful. That next day, Grandpa Harkness went and asked them to keep it down that next night... and they were quite accommodating. They were an interesting group. They even brought hula hoops camping... who knows what for... but they had them just in case.
Anyhow, it makes for a great story to tell...

It was the perfect playground for all of these kiddies.

Aaron and Sophia. Aaron is always so sweet with his sweet girl cousins.

Like father, like son. Aaron did a lot of lizard hunting.

If it looks like a pencil and walks like a pencil, it must be a pencil, right?

We had some pretty daring kids climbing around on those rocks... which made for some pretty worried moms.

THIS is the view from our tent window when we woke up each morning. SO gorgeous.

Betcha can't guess what this is. YEP, you got it... play dough mingled with the red sands of Moab.

Nick & Sadie's cute kids. Grace, Lillie Pearl, Sophia, Ava

Steve & Christa's cute kids. Malia, Isaac, Evan Aaron

Dave & April's cute kids. Susen, Robert Lennon

Our cute kid. Aaron Jr.

Aaron Jr and Me. After a long day in the sun, we drove to a little beach by the river. Sadly, it was in the shade by the time we got there and I was cold enough that I just couldn't bring myself to jump in the water...

... but Christa & Steve jumped in. GREAT form Steve.

... and April & Dave jumped in.

... Aaron Jr. jumped in.

... Malia & Susie jumped in.

Malia, Aaron Jr, Susie

... even Lennon jumped in. Isaac and Aaron made sand angels on the beach.

The thing is... I would have jumped in if Aaron had been around. He would have been the first one in and would have dared me to jump in... so, wanting to impress Aaron, I would have jumped in for sure. But... he was not here, so I gladly photographed the occasion.

Steve and Christa's family

Aaron Jr and Me

The view up the river.

S'more time. Aaron enjoys his s'more.

I don't like S'mores, but I love roasted marshmallows. So I always prefer to try to roast a marshmallow to perfection when I am sitting around a campfire. One I get my perfectly roasted marshmallow, I am usually done roasting knowing that I have completed my task. It is an art form... one that I am able to master after several attempts each time I have the chance. This top one was close to perfect, but it was too droopy... so I persevered, and...

I prevailed. Okay, so this isn't my most perfect ever... but Mmm was it GOOD.

Okay, so anyone who knows me well... knows how much I love the moon. It was looking awfully pretty that night, so I had to take some photos.

So neat. My sister Lisa and I share this love for the moon. We even named the moon when we were younger. We love it.

Aaron and Me at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah. We all hiked up to the Arch and boy was it difficult with so many little kids. Aaron seems like he should be big enough to walk the whole thing, but I ended up carrying him at least half the time on the way up and on the way down. I was SO tired when all was said and done. But the only time I had ever hiked up to that Arch was with Aaron before Aaron Jr was born. Now I have hiked it with both of my Aarons. Its SO beautiful!

Grandma and Grandpa Harkness

Adorable Aaron.

All the Harkness Grandkids except baby Evan Aaron, who was with his mom in the shade.

Here is our whole group. This is the whole Harkness family except Aaron. I think it is actually the first photo of everyone else together that has been taken since Aaron passed away. But it is always tough to call it a family photo with a member of the family missing from it. Going on trips with family now a days always keeps it right in the front of my mind that Aaron is not here... and it is tough. Aaron is missed... to be sure.

Aaron and Grandpa

This is a lizard that Christa pointed out to me on our way back down.

Pretty neat.

One last photo of Mama and son. I love this kid.

Aaron Jr in May 2010

On the way back down, I kept looking for the exact spot where I took a photo of Aaron back when we hiked this trail together. It is one of my favorite photos I took of Aaron and I just love it. So I wanted to get a photo like it was Aaron Jr. Silly, I know... but I am a sentimental fool. ;) I think I got the spot PRETTY close, but not perfect. See below.

Aaron in March 2005.

Since it is Memorial Day today... and Aaron Jr and I are out of town, I wanted to share some thoughts in this posting. This will be the first Memorial Day since Aaron passed away that we won't be able to go to the cemetery to visit the grave. It makes me sad. There is always such a neat and special spirit there and it is such a nice way to show Aaron that he is remembered and that we love him. Aaron Jr enjoys going there and I always want him to remember his dad.

I am grateful for those who have fought for the freedoms we are blessed with in this country. We are all blessed to live here, whether some know it or not. We are blessed beyond measure. Thank you to those who serve, who have served, and those whose family members serve or have served. I am grateful.

I am grateful for the loved ones among my own family and friends who have gone before us. Their lives and their memories will always be remembered and we will carry their memories throughout our lives. I love them all.

Happy Memorial Day everyone. Let's all keep remembering the sacrifices of so many and be grateful.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Triathlon # 3

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I had to bribe Aaron to leave this gravel pit in order to get him to come and pose in a photo with me. This is after the race.

So, I had not planned on running in this triathlon, but when I heard that two of my brothers and a brother in law of mine were going to run in it, I wanted to run in it. But I didn't want to run it as the only girl running it, so I didn't sign up until three of my sister in laws decided to right before. It was hard... I didn't feel as ready this time as I did last summer, but I am glad I did it and I hope I feel more ready for the next one.

John R, John H, Mark, Leslie (me) ~ before the race.

Christa, Leslie, April, Sadie ~ before the race.

The left is me just barely starting the running leg telling Aaron Jr in sign language that I LOVE HIM... and with jelly legs after riding the bike.
The right one is a crazy woman running through. Watch out! It is of me just a few yards from the finish line. I am a weirdo.

Crossing the finish line. I got done, took a bow to my family, and then I was approached by the lady who was supposed to put a medal around my neck telling me that they had just run out, but that she would get one to me. So, I was the first person to cross who didn't get one. :) Hahaha. So the medal I am wearing in the photos is borrowed... Anyhow, a couple of days ago, I received my medal in the mail. It didn't feel quite the same as if I had received it at the finish line, but it will do. :) SO funny.

John R, John H, Leslie, Mark ~ after the race.

Leslie, Christa, Sadie, April ~ after the race.


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