Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The other "baby" in our family

The day we put away the boat for the winter is always a sad day for me. This summer we weren't able to get out on the boat as much as I like because gas was $4/gallon! (Too bad it's not warm right now-gas is cheap!) I do have to give props to Jeff for being able to pull off the parking job it takes to get the boat in our garage. :-)

I thought it would be fun to take a look back at our journey with our "baby". I hope you will enjoy this with me. Edited to add: This ended up being way longer than I had anticipated. I will be amazed if anyone makes it through this. Just enjoy the pictures!

I did not grow up with a boat, but I remember the first time I went on a boat to earn a girls scout boating badge. I loved the feel of the wind through my hair. I felt at peace in nature and loved the crisp air. It was a freedom I had never felt before. I loved every minute! (I was probably 9 or 10.) The next time I went on a boat with with my best friend in elementary school, Michelle. She took me to Lake Havasu a few times and again I just loved being on the boat. We never had a chance to waterski because it was always too windy. My best friend through junior high and high school, Val, also had a boat. (Notice a trend...) She took me to Lake Mead and taught me to waterski. That was when I found my favorite sport. I wasn't great at team sports, so I loved that waterskiing was individual and it was all up to me. It didn't matter if I messed up. (Maybe this is why I love running too!)I started off on double skis and by the end of the week I was begging to learn to slalom like the cool skiiers. They did teach me, and it was tough but eventually I got up on one ski- woo hoo. This was when I was 16. Over the next 3 years I would ski off and on, and I loved it every time I did, although I felt like I had to keep relearning because I skied so rarely!

When Jeff and I met, our first real conversation turned to boating and waterskiing. He had grown up with a boat and absolutely LOVED waterskiing. (He is also amazing to watch!)
We both said that someday we wanted a boat for our family. (Not knowing then that we would be getting married, of course!)
When we moved to Oregon, the first couple that we met mentioned that they had a boat. Jeff and I both looked at each other, and knew we had met the right friends. They needed a flag holder so they called us and we went skiing almost every week that first summer. They showed us a dock that was only 5 miles from our house and the most perfect skiing river. It is almost always calm. I happened to get pregnant early in that summer, so mostly I watched Jeff ski. The summer after that was awesome! We again skied often, and Dallin LOVED the boat as a baby.
He would fall asleep on the boat. It was really cute. Our friends, unfortunately ended up getting divorced (so sad), and we didn't have a boat to ride on anymore. We were struggling a little bit because with kids, pregnancy, etc we weren't being as active together. No running, roller blading, etc. We needed something we could do together and include kids.

Right before Emily was born in August of 2004, we went on a family boating trip with Jeff's family. Dallin LOVED the boat and kept saying, Go faster, Dad! The weekend we came home we started looking again. We never thought we would be able to agree on a boat. Jeff wanted a fancy schmancy new boat, and I wanted a boat we could pay cash for. He didn't think we would find one that was in good shape. (Oh, and it had to fit in our garage!) Luckily, we found the perfect boat! It was a used boat, but only a few years old and it was in pristine condition. We bought it a few days later. I was 8 months pregnant so I was the flag holder for the first few months. After I had Emily, I wanted a chance to ski on MY boat after watching everyone else. Emily was born via C-section on Oct. 5th. I tried to talk my Dr. into letting me ski at 2 weeks postpartum because it was awesome weather, and he said no way! He finally agreed on November 5th. It was cold, my good friend Amy came with us, and it took me about 15 tries to get up. I only skied about 30 seconds and I was done! I was not a pretty sight in my wet suit, but I did it! The next summer was much better skiing.
So, we have had the boat for 4 years now. We have been through a lot with it. We have had some great years when we got a lot of boating in, and we have had years with hardly any. We have taken it camping a few times, but mostly we drive 15 minutes to the dock, leaving after Jeff gets off work and ski until dark. The kids have LOVED the boat, as babies and also as they get older. I love watching kids' faces on the boat, especially kids who have never been on one. It is priceless.

It is our family time together and we all enjoy it so much. We also love sharing our passion with our friends. It gets tougher to do as our families get larger. :-) My goal is to get out once a week in the summer, but it doesn't always work out that way. Part of the problem is that even though many people say they want to come on the boat, they aren't always ready to come last minute, and that is just how it works. If the weather is nice (or even a little overcast which makes the river less crowded!) I will just call Jeff and say let's go! Jeff and I also have different views on how many people to invite. I say the more the merrier, and he says there isn't enough daylight for that! Turns out he is right.
So, the plan is to take one family at a time. (Or 3 couples without any of us bringing kids!) I am turning to my blogging buddies to let me know if they would like to come with us. Throughout the year people mention that they would be interested, but honestly I always forget who. So, this winter I am starting a place to keep track of families who want to come with us. Your job is to let me know, and then next year, remind me that I made a list. :-) We LOVE bringing people with us. In my perfect world, someone would call ME and say, hey, let's go out on your boat tonight. Give it a try!

Okay, I can't believe how long this is. It was really fun to look through the pictures and remember all the good times we have had. I feel really blessed that we were able to buy something that all of us enjoy.

Still to come: Our boating mishaps...(It hasn't all been roses!)

Here are pics of each of the kids as babies on the boat:

We have also enjoyed taking the girls from church. It is fun to watch them learn and they are very helpful with the kids.


Ranell said...

Okay, I'll be honest, I didn't read everything, but the pictures sure were fun! You are brave to put up so many pictures of yourself in a swimsuit ... wait, no you're not, since you look GREAT! I love that Suzie is in jeans and a sweatshirt!

One of these days I'm going to come out on the boat with you guys. My hubby's not big on boating, but my kids and I would love it. Next summer can't come soon enough ...

Jennifer Lomenick said...

I read the whole thing! How fun to have something that the whole family loves. If you ever bring the boat to Utah we will take you up on the boat ride.

emily said...

I've been water skiing entirely once in my life. I never could get up. that's okay though, I think riding in the boat is just as much fun.

JP said...

I love all the water-baby pictures!! So fun...

Kathy Rump said...

Thanks for that great entry! We would love to go out on the both with you guys- I think the kids would have a blast!

amydear said...

Hey, we'll take a boat ride, if you ever wheedle down your list to people you hardly know. : )

Angi and Jared Cowley said...

I DID read everything and all I can say is: I wanna go, I wanna go, I wanna go. You guys have to come down here with your boat, there are some great places to go, and they weather is still 75 mid November!!

Amber said...

Okay, Kelly, I've been catching up on your blog-- so great to read about your thoughts and experiences. And, if you ever feel brave enough to have all seven of us (eight in April)-- add us to your list! We'd have to get a couple more lifejackets, but other than that-- we're game!