Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Free for All

Last week, I was all prepared to write a blog about how I felt like I was in a rut.  In fact, the introduction was already written in my mind.  I hate to waste a good intro, so I'll share:

"Am I allowed to admit I am in a rut?  I know I'm allowed to be in one; I mean, that's not really something I choose.  But can I really admit to it?  If I do, is everyone going to look at me with their heads turned slightly and an expression that says, "Oh, look at that poor woman.  What can I do that will pull her out of her rut?" 

I'm turning 31 this week, and just like I predicted in last year's birthday post, I'm feeling a little destination-ed out.  A little like, though I'm living the life I chose and a life I love, nothing truly exciting ever happens."

Well, thanks to an awesome birthday weekend, I'm going to have to rewrite that post.  Here goes...

In all reality, none of what happened happened because it was my birthday.  Rather, I was lucky enough to have a bunch of free stuff fall in to my lap on three consecutive days surrounding my birthday.

The first was a new phone.  I've joined the world of the 4G Smart Phones, and I have to say, I'm in love.  I've downloaded a few fun apps (which I never have time to play), but mostly I'm enamored with the organizational and timesaving apps.  That and the ability to have my phone read from the scriptures aloud to me while I am driving home after dropping Adam off at school.  I'm all about the multi-task, and this phone allows me to do it.

This phone does all the cool stuff I expected, but what I've really loved has been the surprises.  It reads my blog, facebook statuses, and text messages to learn my writing style.  Based on that, it predicts what words I might want to say next.  Apparently, I write very predictably, because it is right a lot of the time.  It's so cool, and it saves me time.  Plus there's the whole forward-facing camera thing.  I had no idea how much fun one of those would be!

And remember... free.  I did have to order it online as it is not sold in stores, and I did have to use my now-in-Bolivia brother's upgrade to do it.  But... FREE.  And it came on Thursday just to kick off my birthday weekend.

Another great surprise which fell into my lap was the chance to review a murder mystery dinner theater for the Utah Theater Bloggers Association.  For the full details, read my UTBA review.  But the short version is: find the money somewhere and go see this show.  Or if not this one, make plans to go to another Poison Ivy Mysteries production.  We had so much fun!  And my birthday felt pretty awesome with dinner at Famous Daves and a murder mystery show!

Then there was the long-anticipated University of Phoenix alumni Lagoon Day.  Four free tickets per alumn meant 8 free tickets for our family.  With three tickets to spare, we invited Skye and Michelle (a bit selfishly, knowing 36-weeks pregnant Michelle could do little but watch the kids) and Adam's friend Soda.  Somehow the stars aligned to have three well-behaved children and a respectful friend for 9 straight hours of rides and fun.

I loved seeing Dylan enjoy the rides.  I liked being the one to sit next to the kids when they were just barely brave enough to try something new.  (Apparently having tallish children means they are tall enough to ride long before they are tough enough.  Since I couldn't ride the Colossus until like 6th grade, this seems a little backward to me.)  It was great to ditch the little kids and go ride the bigger rides.  And it was nice to send Adam and Soda off with a cell phone and allow them a bit of space to be kids without hovering parents.

Frightmares was particularly exciting, since we've never been to Lagoon during this timeframe.  Michelle got a particular kick out of the funny headstones, and Skye and I had to ride Dracula's Castle a second time to get this picture.

There were fun "trick-or-treat" type areas set up for the kids, and I was particularly impressed with one Lagoon-employee-princess who took the time to read the kids' University of Phoenix nametags and call them by name.  "Adam, are you my prince?" she asked.  "Alex, are you my prince?"  I thought, "Wow, this girl really takes her job seriously."  That is, until she mentioned that she is Ryan and Kaleb's cousin and used to occasionally babysit my kids.  Now I'm just super impressed that she remembered their names from several years ago!

We decided to do the whole "Pioneer Photos" thing, and it turned out to be a blast.  The boys looked adorable dressed as little cowboys, and apparently Alex thinks saloon girls are pretty.  "Mom, you look so beautiful."  I've gotta watch that one...

Okay, this part wasn't free.  But it was TOTALLY worth it.
But even with all the other great stuff I got to do, there was one clear highlight. You see, I nearly had the opportunity to cross off #4 on my list (go skydiving) when Brett and Lisa were here this summer.  But it got cancelled because they plane had to go in for repairs.  So I've been feeling the need to in some way fly through the air, and I finally got the opportunity.

I have to say that of all the thrill-seeking things I've done, this one is very possibly the top of the list.  (It may have to share that spot with bungee jumping.) 

The Catapult. 

It went down something like this:

Skye: "Are you gonna ride the SkyCoaster with me?"

Me: "Are you gonna pay?"

Skye: "I always ride it.  Usually I make my dad go with me.  But he's not here, and Michelle certainly can't do it.  I've been saving up some money and somebody should go with me."

Me: "Well, then, yeah."

But we've both done the SkyCoaster.  So we opted to try something new, wondering why the price was slightly higher for the Catapult.  Well, it costs more, because it is more AWESOME.

They strapped us in, tilted us back, and then I swear we waited forever before they launched us.  I had expected to be launched before needing to inhale again, and I started to worry that right when I decided to take in a breath of air, they'd launch.  I'd need to scream, and I didn't know how that was going to work with air going in and sound going out simultaneously.  So I held my breath. 

And they didn't launch.

I finally had to breathe, and I was able to finish that before the ride attendant started our countdown.  "3..."


No "2...1..."

Just launch. 

I screamed (naturally), but it was a "this-is-the-best-thing-EVER" laughing scream.  We were hurled up to the top, then the ball rotated and we watched the ground as gravity did its thing.  We bounced up again, were pulled down again, bounced, dropped.  It was pure awesome.

Skye agreed that - short of skydiving (which he has done) - this is the most fun a person can have.  So thanks, Skye, for giving me that for my birthday.

And I certainly can't say I'm in a rut.  I think what I was actually in was a bad day.  Because this life I live sure is exciting!


Kris said...

Sounds like a great birthday! I can't wait to hear how you like skydiving (when you get to go). I went back in college and LOVED it. Such a thrill!