Saturday, October 18, 2008

ZPR aka Zion Ponderosa Resort

In August Samuel and I, sadly Matt could not come along, ventured to my family ranch on the east rim of Zion National Park. This little piece of heaven is filled with so many memories for generations in my family. It is breathtaking. There is so much to do but I find myself just wanting to sit back with all my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents and enjoy each other.

When I was growing up our many trips to the Ponderosa were spent staying in a large family cabin that was pieced together with all kinds of random scrap building material around an old camper (where my great grandma & grandpa Lewis slept) and big trees to stabilized the shifty structure. Little time was actually spent in the cabin as we were so busy chasing lizards and building forts during the days and sleeping under the stars at night. When I was a teenager a cabin to accommodate all the distant family coming together was built. This was luxury with bathrooms and running water, I never thought the ranch would have these amenities.

The ranch resort ( was not part of the original plan when my great grandfather bought the 10,000 acres in 1961. It was a whole new wave of luxury at the ranch that started small about 15 years ago and has grown tremendously. I spent summers working in the kitchen, cleaning cabins and checking guests in at the front desk. It was a huge step with a swimming pool, electricity and a paved road all the way there.
This most recent trip I felt a little out of sorts. Instead of catching blue belly lizards I was eating at the new 4 star restaurant the Blue Belly grill - divine. I toured all the multi million dollar mountain homes that have been built in the new home division. I had a massage at the spa and sipped pina colodas by the new endless pool with waterfalls and all. This was not how I was used to the ranch, but I definitely enjoyed every minute of it.

I was taking Samuel down to see all the animals and little kids were running up with news that a new colt was just born and none of the wranglers were around. My lucky little sis was playing with a few of her cousins near the horses when the horse was born. She said, "We saw a big white thing fall out of the horse so we ran to see what happen. The horse then ripped it with it's teeth and a baby came out of the white thing." We got there a few minutes later and it was amazing to see this little colt stumble around trying to stand. Then the little colt found his way to his mom's milk, it was so interesting.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Forever Strong - The movie & The real deal

Highland High Rugby has always been very important to Matt. He was able to play for a coach that was more out to make boys into great men than winning, but in turn won almost every game. Matt created life long memories traveling to play teams from all over the world including going to Africa for the World Cup. Matt and I first started dating during our junior year of high school just in time for Nationals. I was smitten, even by the extra short shorts.
Matt loved Rugby and he was good at it. He played many different positions on the field and was a team capitan for two years.

When we heard there was going to be a movie filmed around the different true stories of the team through out the years we were really excited. Matt's younger brother Dave, who also played for Highland, made the cut and was on the Highland rugby team in the movie. He did a great job and got some serious face time in a major motion picture. Go Dave! The coach in the movie is playing the character of Matt's amazing life changing coach Larry Gelwix. The movie opened last week in select theaters nation wide. We attended a premier in New York to see it for the first time. I definately recommend it. So if you are in the mood for a good flick go see Forever Strong and look for Matt in the pictures at the end.

Matt with his coach Larry Gelwix

This band was actually really good at the after party

Lindsey and lead Sean Faris the "future Tom Cruise" he even rubbed her pregnant belly

Matt playing Rubgy

Check out that face

Friday, October 3, 2008

Zoo Birthday

Samuel didn't get the fire thing, he kept trying to grap the flame

The Carousel was the perfect ending to a perfect day. He was obsessed and sang the entire time.

We went out for a birthday dinner afterwards and Matt was able to come. Samuel loved opening all his presents.

One last picture on your 1st Birthday

For Samuel's birthday we went to the Bronx Zoo. He was in heaven! Luckily there was no school so some of his favorite people (minus Daddy who was sick in bed) were able to come. I was happier than ever to have such a fun birthday, you would have thought it was my birthday. It made me realize how much fun I am going to have planning all the fun kiddie parties.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dear Samuel, Happy Birthday!

Little boy where has the time gone, I can't believe you are one. This has been the best year of our lives. We had no idea how happy you would make us. Every stage of the past year has been our favorite. I thought there would be nothing as great as you being a newborn, then 2 months was the best, no three....even now I still can't decide. We love your personality. You are a little tough guy sometimes, but such a softy. We giggle all day long, you love to laugh. Your favorite toys are anything with animals and books. You are so active I can bearly keep up. Your favorite thing to do is to sneak away from me and make it up the stairs before I catch you.
Happy Birthday little prince. We are so grateful for you and pray every day we can be the best mom and dad for you.

Mom & Dad