Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesdays Tunes For Alisha

2008 at the traditional Young Christmas Eve Dinner
This week marks the 24th, I mean 34th Birthday for my cousin Alisha Rose Young Transtrum. Alisha and I have been best friends since we were practically born. We are only 80 days apart, but even so we were in different grades, different schools (until High School), and lived on different sides of town, however we were together most weekends, talked on the phone every day at least once and even now talk most every week. We imagined our lives would continue being close to the same, but even though both of our lives have taken a totally different path than we had planned, we still have that same strong bond that we always have had.
During late elementary school and Jr. High we would ride our bicycles a mile or two, but seemed like 10 miles from Alisha's house to the best place in town, The Swiss Village Cheese Factory. We would spend hours there as we watched them make cheese through the gigantic windows, sample every kind of cheese ever imaginable, eat lunch at the upstairs cafe consisting of french fries, nachos, and the best ice cream ever for only 95 cents or $1 with tax. We would top it off by purchasing a large bag of fresh squeaky cheese for the road; oh how I miss squeaky cheese. This was by far the best place in Nampa, until 1999 when they shut the factory down to the public. We were totally devastated. We still talk about it every time I'm in town.
When we were in High School, Alisha had the best car ever, it was a 1950's turquoise, push button Falcon with bench seats! Wow, the men we picked up in that ride, that is until she slid into a telephone pole during a winter snow storm on her way to school. Gratefully she was OK, unlike when she tried playing high school softball and ended up with a broken nose and two black eyes after being hit in the face while attempting to play catcher. We would sing at the top of our lungs and replay over and over again, "Forever Young, I want to be Forever Young." I think we meant by age, but I'm sure we always also thought that because our last name was Young, we would always be A Young too.

Tristen, Alisha, Kaycee, and me at our favorite college hangout The Brick Oven Beanery.
Alisha went off to Ricks, while I finished my last year of High School. I think this was one of the saddest parts of my life. We didn't have cell phones then or internet and I remember only being able to talk on the phone 20 minutes a week because it was a long distance phone call, which added up. We actually would write letters with postage stamps and stickers. When she would come home we found a new favorite activity which consisted of going to Fred Myers and buying a bag of jelly bellies. We would sit in the dark and eat them one by one, while guessing what flavor we were eating.
I was so excited when Alisha finished her second year at Ricks and moved home, however it wasn't but a month or two before she met her husband, fell in love and married rather quickly. When they were newly weds, Jason worked nights, so Friday's after class, I would drive to Caldwell. Alisha and I would make dinner and drink root beer from our "maverick mugs", that is until she got the fancy frosted mugs at a yard sale for 10 cents, which made root beer taste even better. We had ourselves a slumber party which would entail going on walks, pedicures, head massages (Alisha gives the best ones ever), and watching movies. Jason realized rather quickly the bond that we had and still honors that. He loves that we spend time together when I am home and even didn't mind when she came to visit last September. We sure had a great time at Hilton Head Island. I showed her my lifestyle, beaches, elegant restaurants, luxury cottages with breakfast on the patio, while looking out at the golfers. It was just about pure heaven. Unfortunately my life isn't always like that, but we had a great time. This is how Alisha sunbathes at the beach...

Jason actually supports her in her desires to not lose herself in motherhood all the time and encourages her with out making her feel guilty to take a break from her busy life with four children. Alisha and Jason have this great relationship. They work together and encourage each other in their goals. Last year Alisha ran her first half marathon. She had injured her knee a few weeks before, but she finished the marathon, as her husband supported her by tending to their sick children at home, instead of cheering her at the finish line. I really need to find a man like him. I'm still looking...
Alisha is a great mother. I admire how she is so patient with her children, especially with the challenges that each have. She teaches them by fulfilling her callings, continuing her education, taking them to the library, and encouraging them to be the best that they can be.
So here is to you, my dear, wonderful, beautiful cousin and wishing you the best year yet! Yes, thirty's are the new twenty's for sure!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

No, It doesn't get better than this past week!

Cousins and my Dad's Sisters.
Grandma and Grandpa Young with 23 of their 50 Grandchildren ranging in age from mid 30's to 2.
Those that have asked can view the few edited family pictures on www.stephaniehillmanphotography.blogspot.com
Photo Caution: Remember I was on vacation so I wasn't always wearing lipstick, my hair wasn't always stylish, and some of us aren't always picturesque, but we sure had a grand time together.
Last week I was on vacation from blogging, working, cleaning, going to the gym, eating healthy, making my bed, etc. Oh, what fun it was. It is always amazing to me though how fast one week or 7 days can fly by. As I reflect upon the last week, I realize I was even more busy than I am when I am not on vacation. I know you are asking so what did you do? Well, bright and early Monday morning I had my annual dental cleaning by my sister Tristen. By then it was lunchtime and we had a lovely lunch at our hometown cafe, The Robin's Nest, where they always start you off with this amazing sour cream green Chile dip and chips. I always have a cup of their delicious Stuffed Potato Soup made with of course real Idaho Potato's. And they have this out of this world Strawberry salad with a raspberry vinagarette. Yes, it is to die for. Well, then of course it was time for a short afternoon nap, but I think I slept for about an hour and a half, even longer than Aidree. Of course then it being FHE, we decided it would be best to meet at the park with everyone and have a picnic. It was a perfect evening for one too and the boys had great fun at the playground and grandma's house stayed clean! Of course, we just sat around holding babies and chatting, however I will give Tyler and Danielle a thumbs up for the delicious sugar-free pomegranate juice that they donated to the meal.
Tuesday was my hair day. I have been going to the same person for several years. She always does a great job and I enjoy visiting with her. We went to school together and she later married my cousin. She now has five children. Amazing, I don't think I will ever make it to five, but she seems so relaxed and always fits me into her busy schedule.
We all made our way slowly up to the cabin Tuesday afternoon, but on our way up we had to stop for Snow Cones. This is my favorite thing about summer in Boise. There is something about shaved ice that I can't describe. It makes me very happy. I always get peach, however on our way home we stopped by again and I got Tigersblood, which Tenielle always gets and I think my new favorite flavor.

Cabin fun is always around. No internet, phone, or tv means finding your own fun. It is amazing to me how three year olds can find fun and get dirty fast. I asked Kadyn and Gavin what they were building, "a wode of cose" or rather "a road of course."
Their building skills take after their father's I'm sure; they are starting young. They actually had so much fun outside that they put their efforts of potty training on the side. Oh, something I really don't look forward to ever! Those poor parents.

Of course the four wheelers are always a hit for the big ones and the little ones, however I'm not quite sure that Aidree is into them quite yet, but she sure did have fun outside getting dirty and eating pine cones!
And after Tenielle and I about killed ourselves on them, well let's just say I'm driving from now on if I ever get on one again, or maybe we just need to stop climbing such large mountains.

We did have ourselves a beautiful 2 hour ride, however the entire time we were climbing hills I kept thinking to myself, we have to eventually go down, which is quite scary at times, especially this time around.

Before we rolled I had asked Tenielle if I should get off she told me no. So for the first time in my life I wasn't heavy enough to hold the back down, which is likely why we flipped. The funny thing was the 4-wheeler didn't feel heavy when it was on top of us, like you would have thought. Becky and Danielle watched the entire thing and said we were both trying to save each other. And all four of us would say there was an angel watching out for us, because it was like someone grabbed hold of the 4-wheeler and gently put it down on all fours. It was crazy, but poor Tenielle couldn't stop crying even after we got back to the cabin. She said it was because her favorite jeans had two huge tears in them and it was also her pride. However she does have the battle wounds to prove it. I do too, hers just look worse.

Yes, those are tire tracks. She is just grateful she didn't wear her flip flops and changed to sneakers at the last minute.
They looked worse the next day. These were only a few hours after the accident.
Of course my favorite parts about the cabin are sitting on the porch, this time rocking babies and who doesn't love a 'smore while sitting around the camp fire?

You ask, what were the babies doing while we were out having a grand 'ole time? Well, these are about the best three babies you have ever met. They only cry when they are hungry, tired, or need to be changed.

We weren't at the cabin but a few days and then we headed back to the house where we relaxed for an evening. We had just all showered when we had friends drop in. In fact none of us had makeup on and our hair was wet, but at least we didn't smell like campfire or have dirt on our faces. It is always fun to have friends come by when I'm home. My cousin Alisha even drove over for the evening.
Thursday we had a small baby shower for Danielle and Karston. Grandma Betty held Karston for 2 whole hours. She wouldn't give him up and loved every minute of it.

That night I had a lovely dinner with my dear friend Kaycee at Costa Vida. It's similar to Cafe Rio which is my favorite. I did get news that Boise will be getting their very own Cafe Rio. So I told my mom now that they have a Hobby Lobby, Cafe Rio, and Cheesecake Factory, that as soon as they get a Talbots Outlet I'll move back. Watch, they will! Back to my friend Kaycee, we had such a lovely chat which lasted all evening. We went over to our friends the Fergusons, as Kay and her girls usually join us, but we hadn't heard back from them. But Thursday nights are usually the night her and her husband work in the temple. We thought we would try stop by any way. Well, when we got there the door was wide open and no one was home. We let ourselves in and left Kay a note that we had been there and that we will have to catch up in 2 weeks when I will be home again.
Friday I picked my cousin Alisha up and we headed to the temple. We then went to the Cheesecake Factory and shared a lunch salad and pizza, however mom and dad called just as we sat down and ended up joining us and sharing 1 lunch salad, a pizza, and two pieces of cheesecake. Of course we weren't starving a few hours later when we went to Tyler and Danielle's for Spaghetti Dinner, but we ate it anyway, which was lovely of course!

Alisha's daughter was staying at her parents that night and her boys had a water activity, so guess what? Alisha and I had a slumber party. Yep, even though we are in our 30's we still have them! We actually spent most of the evening over at Grandpa Honey Bee's and Grandma Betty's chatting with them and their daughter Marne and her husband Tim who had flown in that evening from Seattle, about books. I even got a new one from Grandma Betty which I am quite enjoying already!
Saturday morning we had breakfast at a lovely cafe in town and then I headed to Deseret Book for some last minute shopping. Then it was off to the Airport. Can you tell my vacation is always about what we ate or where we ate? I'm a social eater and am sure I gained a few pounds, but tomorrow is the gym and 11 of 12 days of work before going back for Karston's Blessing and Aidree's first birthday!
Here are some of my favorite photo's from this trip...

This was a baby present from our friend Pamela. We thought it was adorable on each of them.