The Trials of a Busy Mom

Our mini vay-cay!

This weekend Ryan and I ran away from home. Just for the weekend, mind you, and we had everything all planned out for the little people who remained home. Many, many thanks to Ryan’s parents who watched the kids for the weekend. They drove Cole to his band practices, let the kids play with legos for hours and hours, and even made their number one requested dinner–pinwheels. We realize how lucky we are to have parents who are willing and able to watch our kids, and we try not to take advantage of them too often. But take advantage we did, for a little away from the kids time, a little couple time, and some togetherness time.

We left Friday around noon and drove down to sunny St. George. Even the driving wasn’t bad, as there was no fighting in the back seat, no EMERGENCY potty breaks, and no passing back snacks every hour. We could even listen to whatever CD we wanted (although we didn’t really plan ahead in the CD department and had to just make do with whatever was in the car at the time). But mostly we talked. Really. We TALKED. Things have been so hectic lately and he’s been out of town for two out of the last five weeks, and our conversations have been less of the conversation variety, and more of the list making variety. Or we just trade parenting jobs and talk about who’s driving whom to what. So it was nice to converse.

When we go to our hotel in St. George, we checked in and then looked at each other and said, “So, what should we do now?” I had remembered some ice cream store/fudge shop that I had seen was somewhere around the tabernacle the last time we did the church history sites in St. George. That was about 3 years ago, and either that ice cream/fudge shop is gone, or there never was one and I’m remembering it wrong. We did, however, in our driving around looking for fudge see someone dressed up as Horton the elephant.
horton I don’t know who they get to dress up in an elephant suit in 90 degree weather, but he was nice enough to wave at me as I took his picture, so “Go, Horton!”

We ended up going to dinner at Bajio (our favorite place, really), and then went to the very expensive “dollar theater”, which in reality was a $2 theater, to see Get Smart. And they must have a little thing for Horton, too, because there was a very large paper mache Elephant there in the lobby. It was laugh out loud funny! Steve Carell does the usual great job, and I liked Anne Hathaway more in this movie than in the last 3 or 4 movies I’ve seen her in. Yes, it was slap stick humor, and yes, the plot was sometimes predictable, but it was REALLY Freakin Funny. And Ryan is the perfect guy to see a laugh out loud movie with, because he really does laugh OUT LOUD. We loved it!

After the movie we went for a dip in the pool, and did some soaking in the hot tub to try to work out the soreness from our sore muscles from our jumping the night before. Now before you get the wrong idea, we went with our kids to Jump on it a non company party party. Our friends Tess and David threw a party for David’s employees, and I guess they consider us valuable employees, too, because they invited us. Jump on it is a huge trampoline fest, with trampolines connected, so that you can jump from one to the next, and even bounce off the walls. Although I originally intended to just let the kids jump their little hearts out while I chatted with my friend, but after our snowcones, I felt the need to jump along with the kids.
Ryan did some heavy duty jumping, too, so our muscles were all pretty sore. Who knew you used your back, shoulders, abs and neck to jump on a trampoline? So the late night soak in the hot-tub felt quite nice.

The next morning I went garage sale shopping. Really. On vacation. The night before I asked Ryan, “Do you care if I go garage saleing?”
“Do you care if I don’t?” was his reply.
Aren’t we great together? So, he slept in, and I enjoyed the red rocks of St. George while looking for that perfect bargain. I did find lots of pants with no holes in them for my little boy, a bookshelf, some clothes and a few other thing. And I enjoyed myself. Ryan enjoyed himself sleeping in and the having the wonderful breakfast of Belgian waffles and eggs and bacon.

We had no plans for the weekend except for our reservations at Tuacahn, so we had the day free. Since there’s no shortage of car dealers in St. George, we decided to do some test driving. Oh, what fun! We are actually in the market for a smaller car, since we’d like to ditch the 1998 Dodge Caravan and have a smaller, more fuel economic car to do the around town driving. We’d still have the Suburban for the times when we need to take the whole family. We told Frank, the salesman, that we wanted a small car with four doors and good gas mileage. It should be able to fit 3 kids in the back seat. Not really the most stringent of requirements if you ask me. Oh, and it can’t be too much money. I guess that’s the big one. So, we looked at Camrys, Hondas, Mazdas and even a Chevy something. Ryan has opinions on everything. This one’s too old looking, this one doesn’t have enough room in the back seat, this one has a spoiler, this one is too “race car” looking, this one is too red. You get the picture. I, on the other hand, love them all. It doesn’t really take much to impress me. Oh, look, it’s clean and there’s no crap on the floor! I love it! Oh, wow, it only has 30,000 miles! I love it! Oh, this one is so much fun to drive! I love it. I didn’t really say that about every single car, but I guess I have much lower standards than Ryan does. I did end up falling in love with a zippy little Mazda 6. It takes me back to the time when I owned a little Mazda GLC in college and when we first got married. It was such a great little car and I have wonderful memories of the fun we had with that car. I’m not saying I have to have a Mazda this time around, (because like I said, I have pretty low standards, and as long as it’s not a pinto and doesn’t have 90K on it, I’ll probably be fine with it) but it sure would be fun to have a car like that. We had a good time testing them out, and since we obviously weren’t buying a car in St. George only to have to drive two cars back home, Frank wasn’t giving us the “What do I have to do to get you into this car today” crap, and we enjoyed pretending like we were new car buyers.

After we finished with that dealership, I think we were going to go and look at different kinds of cars, but Ryan realized he was hungry, and he immediately got grumpy and couldn’t make a decision. We ended up at Sonic. After lunch we did some swimming, reading, laying out in the sun and watching chick flicks on tv. Ryan got sucked into “What women want” on tv (how could he not have seen that one?).

We got cleaned up, went to dinner at Cracker Barrel and then headed out to Tuacahn for the main event– Les Miserables

We got out there by about 7:15, and were just kind of killing time, when someone came up to us and said, “I just knew I would know someone here!” I thought it was just someone Ryan knew, and didn’t really look that closely at his face, until I realized it was a friend that I knew in high school, who had known Ryan from his mission. He had married a girl I knew from my freshman year at BYU.
So, here we have Jim and Michelle. (Bonus points if you know their last name. Anyone?) They also ran away for the weekend and were having a wonderful time with no kids. But they have, get this, a freshman at BYU and a one year old. And four more kids in between, too. But that’s quite a spread, wouldn’t you say? We had so much fun talking to them, and just thought it was so amazing that both Ryan and I knew him, and that I also knew his wife. And how did they recognize us? There’s about 2,000 seats in that theater, and it was almost full. How cool is that? Finally we said goodbye to go and find our seats, and settled in to enjoy the show.

Here we are just before the show started. Yes, I know I have “crazy eyes”. I guess that’s how I look, right?

And enjoy the show we did. It was amazing. The music is incredible, the story is so sad and tragic, and can you believe I’ve never seen it before? I mean I knew it wasn’t a happy light fluffy musical like Seussical, but I didn’t think I’d be crying. And must they all die? Oh, that’s terrible! But amazing. It was a wonderful production there in the red rock setting, with the soldiers coming down from the mountains, and there were horses and fireworks and everything. I give it a rave review. I especially loved Marius, Eponine and Gavroche. Jean Valjean was amazing, as well.

When the show was over, I asked Ryan, “What did you think?” He thought about it for a minute, and said, “It was too long, there was too much singing, and it was too depressing. I think I liked Get Smart more than this.” Yes, I am married to an uncultured swine, but I love him anyway. Whatever. I’ll try to remember that the next time I drag him 300 miles to see a show. Less singing, more happy. Got it. Actually, I don’t really care if he liked it or not, I’m just glad he came with me. Because I liked it.

We went down to Tuacahn a few years ago to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Ryan actually got sick that day. When he said he didn’t think he could make it to the show, I tried to act sympathetic, but ended up saying, “Well, do you mind if I go anyway?” and I did just that. I went by myself. I mean, how much could I do for him in that hotel room if he weren’t feeling good? Better to just get out of the way.

Sunday we didn’t get to sleep in, because we wanted to go to church at the Pine Valley Chapel, which was about 45 minutes away. So we got up, had breakfast, and checked out all before 9 am.
As we were waiting for sacrament meeting to start, we were looking around the tiny chapel and playing “who does this person look like that we both know”. We picked out people from our current ward, from past wards, and it was a fun little game to pass the time. When he said something about the guy with a viola case, I said, “That’s Karl Allred.”
Ryan was shocked. “That IS Karl Allred! What would he be doing here?”
“Um, I don’t know. It just says on the program that a Karl Allred is going to be playing a cello solo. That doesn’t really look like a cello, does it?”
“Karl Allred was my junior high and middle school orchestra teacher! And he played in the bluegrass band with my mom!” Wow. It really is a small world, after all.
After the meeting Ryan went up and talked with him, and I don’t know if he remembered him, but it was nice of him to say hi.

We drove back through Enterprise, stopped at the Mountain meadows memorial, ate lunch in Cedar City, and then picked up the kids in Spanish Fork. Mom and Dad Erickson even fed us dinner. The kids were excited to see us, and they reported that they had had a GREAT time, but they were actually beginning to miss us. Perfect!

If you asked Ryan what his favorite part of the trip was, he’d probably say the “together time”, and the car shopping. I would say the relaxed no schedule and Les Mis. But we’d both tell you it was a great little Vacation, and we would love to do it again!


  1. Melinda


    Now, what’s my prize?

    P.S. I’m glad you had fun. Lucky girl.

  2. Amy

    Hooray for mini vacations! I’m glad you were away from the kids long enough for them to miss you. The big question is, did you miss them? Because once we got together with our kids after our night apart, I was right back wanting to strangle them, only worse!

    I still haven’t seen Les Mis yet, but I know the plot, and I cry listening to the music. I’m not sure I’d want to sit through all the sad and violence, though. I’d see Wicked if I had the choice.

    I DO remember that “zippy” little Mazda from college–the one with the banana hanging from the back windshield? Yeah, by the time I got it, it couldn’t go over 60 MPH without rattling itself to pieces. But, I sure appreciated having something I could drive to and from school and to get groceries in.

    That Pine Valley Chapel was where Brian’s mom always went to church when she lived in St. George. She said she was going to build a house up there one day, and she wanted to be buried there. She’s not. We all wanted her up by people, instead of somewhere out in the middle of nowhere. But she seemed to think it was the most beautiful place on earth.

  3. Ryan

    Melinda wins!


  4. Melissa

    That does sound like a great time – sometimes it’s nice just to get away from things, just the two of you, and reconnect, isn’t it?

  5. Vicki

    What, you’re calling my baby brother an uncultured swine??? *snort*

    I can’t believe you guys saw (or even recognized after all this time) Karl Allred.

  6. Ryan

    What can I say, Paige calls ’em like she sees ’em.


    Karl Allred looks pretty much like he used to, but more grey on top. His name was on the program, I didn’t recognize him until Paige read his name.

    He got married again 15 months ago (mom told me his wife passed away a while ago), his ‘bride’ accompanied him on the piano. It was quite nice.

  7. Lisa Adams

    Too bad I’m late on reading this post because I knew the answer (McGuire).
    Great weekend getaway. Those are the best!!
    Paul’s mom’s family cabin is just down the road from the Pine Valley chapel. We love going to church there whenever we’ve gone to the cabin. I’m impressed you took the time to go there.

  8. Christine

    That sounds amazing. I”m glad you took the opportunity to go! Even SuperPaige needs a relaxing weekend and time with the hubs!

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