Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Yes, those were the words coursing through my mind during FHE on Monday.  As an athletic girl, this was a very humbling evening, and probably good for my pride in humbling me to be much more thankful for the gifts God has blessed me with, particularly a knack for sports.

Our ward decided to do a tee-ball tournament for our FHE activity.  I was excited, and even felt good warming up to Kelson batting some line drivers to me in the in-field.  I threw them back with ease, and felt very confident and comfortable that I would have no problems at bat--especially when the ball would be just sitting for me to hit there on the tee.

Our team had plenty of girls who had played softball before, and they made things look super easy.  While not getting a chance to bat during the first inning, I was the first up for our second inning.  I placed the ball on the tee, wound up, and--SLAM!--knocked over the tee and heard the ball drop to the ground with a chorus of "hey, batter batter batter!" from the opposite team in the background.  I know that most of these people know that I'm athletic, so I'm sure they were enjoying this little mess up by me.   

I lined up a second time, swung with all my might and--BAM!!--the top half of the tee went flying into the infield while my ball dropped once again to the ground.  Now I was feeling pressure.  I got the ball on the tee again, took another whack, fully expecting my ball to go flying out into the outfield.  Nothing.  I was defeated and deflated.  

I figured since it was strike three, my turn was over, but no, I was to keep this publicly humiliating feat going with the instructions from the ump, a member of our Bishopric.  It took me two more swings before I finally hit, and when I did, I still hit under the ball and managed to send it flying up in the air.  At least I got a base hit, with a little help from my speed, which helped to dig me out the my deep whole of humiliation. 

I keep hitting under the ball, and I can only think that I had a tendency to do this in large part from my tennis training and in small part from my golf experiences.  Who knew that hitting a ball off a tee could be that difficult?  Those little five-year-olds who play the sport have just earned a ginormous amount of respect and admiration from this fan.

All I can say is that you never know when you'll be humbled.  Remember to be grateful for EVERYTHING you find yourself super capable of doing--you never know when you'll find yourself struggling to hit a ball that's a sitting duck.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Super Charged July 4th!

Wow!  I just finished watching one incredible Wimbledon final.  I didn't watch the whole thing, just the 5th set of Nadal and Federer duking it out, playing with enough spryness and energy to convince you that it was the 2nd set if you didn't know the score.  Incredible athletes and gentlemen.

What an end to an incredible Fourth of July week and weekend, a cap to some great activities that I participated in around the state--maybe next year I can extend the activities of this week to around the nation :)

The week kicked off with a little bit of a roller-coaster of emotions as I planned a trip to Moab, UT for 17 boys and 5 staff that I work with.  Monday we loaded everything up, drove down south, and enjoyed testing the Moab waters (literally).  We hiked up what is called Negro Bill's Canyon, an excellent canyon to hike during the heat--it is shaded with much vegetation and the stream is easily accessible for a quick dip.  In our case, we spent about an hour in the stream catching and releasing crawdads--an excellently fun activity for all, a good "heat-breaker" for the week.  We then drove a few miles down the road to our camp site and set up our tents in an afternoon thunderstorm--quite a refreshing break for the oven temperatures in the desert.  That night we grilled hot dogs and had s'mores over the fire.

Tuesday we got up early to go and hike Delicate Arch, before the oven completely warmed up.  All of my boys did it without complaint, and were super excited to get to and see their destination.  With the incredible heat that had us even sweating a bit in the shade, we decided to cut out our afternoon hike and go back and have a quiet hour before we went and swam in the river.  While the boys were at the river, I went into town with KJ and took care of paperwork for our river trip the next day, coupled with a few other errands.  We came back and grilled up hamburgers--two grilled meals in a row in the outdoors is was quite the tasty treat!  Dinner was followed by a solo--time for the boys to explore camp and be out on their own, to look for an object (or two) that could represent themselves to the group the following night.   Due to the boys' bad behavior the night before (not going to sleep and inappropriate conversation), we didn't have any s'mores and sent them straight to bed to get rested for our river trip the next day.  

However, having them go to bed earlier also meant that KJ and I could go and get a shower (since we missed the swimming) in the river.  So, that night I had my first skinny dipping experience, but I can say that it was all well worth it---I was so sweaty and smelly, I'm sure everyone else appreciated it as well.  I've never worn garments in Moab before, and don't recommend it--find activities to do that require you to go without them; even if you're super active and sweaty, it's not as bad as wearing two layers! 

Wednesday morning lived up to all that we hoped it would, with quite a fun river trip.  What was so funny, though, was to watch the boys watching and drooling over our young female guides--boys are boys.  And, while they would struggle to paddle in sync when listening to commands, they were completely synchronized taking out their paddles and leaning into the middle of the boat when they were made me laugh, especially when they would act all excited and brave for the rapids, and then pull themselves inside the boat!

We went back to our site for lunch, and then headed off for an uncomfortable hike--uncomfortable due to the heat and due to half of the group being blindfolded while their peers led them.  Then they traded off.  As a therapist, it was good to see emotions, frustrations, and fears come from the boys during this one.  I had my youngest boy, 10 years old, cry because of the heat.  But we quickly got him laughing and he was fine.  To cool ourselves off, we went swimming once again and I joined them on this trip, scrubbing myself down while making sure all were safe.

That night we were treated to Dutch Oven chicken and veggies before we headed off into the sunset to check out some Native American petroglyphs and dinosaur tracks.  While the Petroglyphs were delightful to stop and see, the dinosaur tracks were completely safe, as swarms and swarms of mosquitoes bombarded us as soon as we stepped out of our vans.  We quickly retreated and headed back to camp for our final ceremony and ice cream.

The next day I led our caravan as quickly as possible (it took forever for the boys to pack), where we we greeted with 100 degree temps at our campus as we unloaded and put things away.  The weather was just as hot as in northern Utah, but we had much more delightful activities and scenery to enjoy.

That night I slept....alot.....and even missed tennis with the family the following morning.  However, I didn't miss watching Wimbledon or our family croquet matches, which were quite hilarious and entertaining.  When we go to Wimbledon one day, I'm sure that we'll be practiced enough to make a good showing on their lawns.  Nobody will suspect our kamakazi or poison death-strikes.  And we have our own wicked wicket to prep us for anything that will come our way....

Saturday was the icing on the cake, and Mom, Dad, and I sacrificed our sleep to make it to the 9:30 a.m. session of the Manti Temple.  Beautiful rolling hills and canyons, along with small towns dotting the way made for an enjoyable drive.  And the Temple was much more than I could have hoped for.  Our session was small, only about 15 people large, and watching the session live was very instructive, while the room decor added more depth and meaning (as well as focus) to the session.  We got quite the lucky deal, as we were also asked to help with sealings, which was a beautiful and sweet experience as well.  And to top that off, we got to go and see the spiral staircase!

After our spiritual hunger will filled, we satisfied our physical hunger at Miller's Drive In, just a few blocks south on the main drag from the Temple.  The onion rings and fresh raspberry shake were worth it, but the chicken salad was eaten for nutritional purposes only.

The final part to this super charged, ultimate holiday week and weekend cleaning and organizing my paper files.  They had been waiting for me a while, and now my desk and filing area are so much cleaner.  

So, a bit of everything this week.  I even got in a few naps.  All I can say is that I love my life!