Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Violin

Back in July, Jay Durfee (the father of one of my girls that I work with at church) brought this violin to me, which he had just finished making:



I fell in love with it from the minute I laid my eyes on it. I have been playing on the same student violin that I started on back in the 4th grade, and while it has served me well, it doesn't have the ability to play as well I would like it to. In the world of violins, there is quite a difference in sound quality based on the materials used and if it is handmade or machine made. Most student violins are machine made out of artificial materials, to make it cost effective.

Jay Durfee started making and restoring violins within the last year. He is self taught (I KNOW!) and does amazing work! When he brought this violin to my house, while I loved it, I knew I couldn't afford a new violin. Not for many years. Too many other things taking precedence right now. To my shock (surprise, astonishment) he offered it to me. He said that he got really attached to his violins and that he knew one day he would have to learn to part with them to people he didn't know, but right now he would like it if I would take it and play it, and tell him about any improvements that he might make. I was flabbergasted. At first I thought, no way ... that was way too generous. The more we talked, the more I realized that he really wanted me to have it ... and it would mean a lot to him if I accepted it.

So, I accepted this precious gift with the promise of playing it lots. Not only have I fulfilled that promise (played at my mom's wedding, several duets with friends for various events, in church for Christmas, etc.), but I cherish this violin. I can't tell you how much it warms my heart. This year, Aubrey started violin in school, and I was able to turn over my old student violin to her so the legacy continues! (Okay, that is cheesy, I know!)

Since July, I have wracked my mind trying to find a way to repay Jay, besides the thank-yous and letter. Yesterday I came up with a great idea of a Christmas present. First, I did a photo shoot with my violin and came up with this awesome shot:




Then I got a see-through picture frame and printed out some black vinyl letters to come up with this sign to hang in his shop:


I really hope he likes it and that he can begin to understand just how much this violin means to me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

4 years since the car accident


This is Aubrey is front of the Camry. She was 5 and had just been released from the hospital the day before and I was still in the hospital for who knows how long. This picture gets me every time, because even though I can't see her face, I can just see all the emotion that is there.

Four years ago today, I was on my way home from picking up Aubrey and Avery from kindergarten when we were t-boned by a jeep running a red light. (Talking on a cell phone of course.) It was that split second that turned our lives upside down. Funny how things happen like that. If you want to read the whole story, and my whole story I mean loooooong, you can read it on my blog here:

http://the-keeles.blogspot.com/2008/07/remembering-car-accident.html

If you don't want to read to long story (and I don't blame ya!) Aubrey and I were life flighted, her to Primary Children's and me to U of U Hospital. Avery was the only one that was conscious and remembers it. (Avery is 6 months older than Aubrey and they grew up like sisters, since I watched her from the time she was a baby while her mom worked.) Avery was taken by ambulance to the hospital and had some stitches on her forehead. Aubrey had stitches to her forehead and suffered a concussion which kept her in the hospital overnight. I suffered a broken shoulder, rib(s?), left hip and pelvic bone and had internal bleeding where the removed my spleen and fixed my kidney and live. Taylor (who had been laid of from work the week before which ended up being a blessing, since he was home with 10 week old Braden) didn't find out about it for several hours (the whole ward knew before he did ... this was back in the days of dial up and people couldn't get through to him, since he was job hunting). I spent the month in the hospital. The first few days on a ventilator, had several surgeries including a screw in my pelvic bone (see the pix below) and remained in a wheelchair while things healed for about 3 months. It was a long recovering, but there were many great things that came from it. (Okay, this was supposed to be the short story!)



This is not a great scan of my xray, but it will work. Most people ask how I am doing now, and I can't complain really. I do get sore where the screw is and this time of year (weather changing) is when I have been noticing the most pain. But hey, doesn't every one have a bad back or bum knee? I can pretty much do everything I want to do and even ran a half marathon a year and a half ago, something I would have never thought possible 4 years ago!

So, take today to hug someone you love and remember what's really important. I am grateful to all my friends and family who pulled us through this hard time, I will NEVER forget what you did! (Taylor, my Mom and Tammy who took turns being with me around the clock ... Mom dropped everything and flew out here from Florida, staying for 7 months. Stacey who made me cute hospital nightgowns. Susan who took care of Braden, neighbors & young women who did countless hours of service). I'm grateful to the kindness of strangers who stopped to take care of us (Tara, I am remembering you and the kindness you had to hold up Aubrey's head until the paramedics came!) And I love all of my new friends and am grateful for you! I really am blessed and grateful to be here!

Love,
Carrie

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Braden plays T-ball

We signed Braden up for fall T-ball this year, and oh my! It is quite comical to say the least. Four year olds pretty much don't listen, and as a result, the "game" is hysterical! Taylor is the coach and has been having fun taking on that responsibility. He's not sure he will do it again ... maybe when the kids are older and might actually take direction!

A couple of weeks ago, during a Saturday game, it was pretty warm outside and Braden was calling to me from the outfield ... "Mom, I want to sit in the shade, Mom, it's hot, Mom, I don't like hot!" He really likes hitting the ball and running the bases. Here are some pictures:



This is his baseball pose, with no pointers from me.



Excited to play!


With most of the team at the first practice


Coach Dad helping Braden with his form


Way to hit the ball!!!
Running to home base, the long way!

Ryanne Mariah Wood

Okay, so I know it's been like 4 months, but I have lots of good excuses! ;) I won't bore you with them.

Taylor's sister, Jaime and her husband Tony, just welcomed a new baby to their family (lucky number 4!) We got to go down to visit with them last weekend. Here are some fun pictures ...
Her face is smooched here, but I thought it was cute! It was fun when she was awake, we all gave her lots of attention!

Aubrey is quite possibly the most baby hungry girl I've known! I hope her future husband is ready! She could easily be the mother of 7.



I had to take a bunch to get any with her eyes open. That darn flash is so bright!



This is big sister Andee (not quite 2) who absolutely LOVES her new sister. All she wants to do is hold and touch Ryanne!


I took a bunch of pictures of Andee and Ryanne, because it was so cute to watch them get to know each other!


Ryanne looks a little worried here! I think it was the flash, not Andee!


Lots of kisses!


Here is Kendra, the biggest sister! Bradley & Braden were off playing and didn't want much to do with the baby!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood Bike Race 2009

Many of you know that Aubrey and I have been training for our first bike race which we completed on June 6th. This was an all girls race in order to raise money for breast cancer research. Aubrey and I did the 15 mile distance, Samantha (Taylor's sister) did the 39 mile distance and Stacey (my sister) did the 47 mile distance.

Here we are before the race, excited and raring to go!
(Aubrey, Stacey, me, Sam)

Here's one of Aubrey and me. We had fun trying to find matching clothes!


Samantha ... just about ready to head out


and she's off!


Aubrey and I were the last group to leave. We couldn't have asked for better weather!


Taylor and Braden met us on the tailend of our race, this is with about 4-5 miles left to go. Still smiling!


Here we are coming into the finish ... feeling great! We finished in 1:29:03 which was right on for our training pace. I'm proud of Aubrey, she was a little worn out for the last little part (the wind was blowing REALLY hard on the way back which meant you had to peddle twice as hard to go half as far) but she did a great job and stuck it out!


This is Stacey coming in to the finish line. I can't remember her time (just over 3 hours, I think) but she did great! The longest she had ridden previously was under 30 miles, so she really pushed herself ... way to go sista!


These lais were our medals!


Samantha coming in at a strong 3:30 hours!


Way to go, Samantha!


Here's another group shot after it was all over. Maybe a little tired, but happy for sure!
I've decided I like bike riding MUCH more than compared to running. (Last year this time, I ran the Ogden half marathon) So much so, I splurged and bought a bike trailer so that I can bring Braden with me and Aubrey and I can ride bikes whenever we want all summer. The biggest reason we didn't do a longer distance is that we didn't have time to train any longer than we did because we had to juggle the time from when Taylor got home from work and the other committments we had going on during the week.
I've got a list started of girls that want to ride this race next year. Let me know if you want to join us! It's a fun, non-competetive race for a good cause. With distances from 15 miles up to 100 miles, it works for every rider.

Rain, rain, go away ...

Actually, we've been LOVING all this rain we've been having. Sure it doesn't feel like summer yet, but I will be the last person to complain about that! I love thunder and I love being able to turn off the sprinkler. When I lived in Florida, we had thunderstorms every afternoon in the summer (they last for like 20-30 minutes with clear weather before and after) and so all these storms bring back fun memories.

On one of the nights, Taylor was off at a meeting and we decided to be a little crazy and go out and run around in the ran (sans lightning at this point!). At first, Braden was not sure about it, but he quickly realized just how fun it was!

I love this picture of Aubrey ... you can see pure joy in her face. How did I get so lucky to have such awesome kids?!? If you can't see the picture very well, click on it to see a bigger copy.
Braden was nervous at first, but would go out holding my hand.
Then he got brave enough to go out on his own!

Have you been enjoying the weather?!? We sure have!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Memorial Day Part 3

I sure took a lot of pictures Memorial Day weekend! These are the last of them (I think!)

This is a shot of Grandma Lois' house. It's a fun place for the kids to explore.

All kinds of places to explore.


This is the big tree. Hatch family tradition, that's for sure. It's about a 5 minute stroll from the house. You can't visit the cabin without making a visit to the tree!


See ... look how big that tree is!!!


Sandy and Randy's (why can't I remember her name?) little one totally fell asleep on Randy's lap while eating her icecream cone!


Uncle Mike built this hot rod about 4 years ago. We all took turns going for a ride. It was lots of fun (and kind of scarry too!) It was great fun until I burned my leg on the muffler as I was getting out of the car. Yes, Mike warned me before the ride, but I totally forgot about it. Two weeks later and it is still healing!


Aubrey thought it was pretty fun!


Even Braden got to try it out


He ABSOLUTELY loved it!!! Can you tell?


Grandma Susan and Sophie were a little anxious about it!

As you can tell, it was a great weekend. I love it when we can spend time with family and the kids can create their own childhood memories.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Memorial Day Part 2

We had a small lunch at Grandma Lois' house on Sunday and then a BIG family lunch on Monday for Memorial Day. Here are some pictures (surprise, surprise!):

This is Randy and Sandy's little one ... isn't she cute?!? (Cuteness seems to be a theme in our family!)


Lois and Fred have this really fun house up in the mountains outside of Boise. There are all kinds of cool things to do there including all kinds of swings and hammocks.


Grandpa Kent


Lois always inspires me when I visit. She grows her own food, bakes her own bread ... she doesn't even know how to make something out of a box. Maybe this is why at 87 she is able to walk up and down the mountain with ease.


Taylor pitched in on the cooking ... impressed?


Taylor and Braden with some cheesy smiles!


Some candids of Sunday lunch


Wow, a candid (kind of) picture with me in it!


Grandpa Kent telling a story to Sophie!


Uncle Steve and Grandma Lois


Marrianne, Aubrey and Braden. Aubrey and Marrianne became best of friends this weekend.


A rare picture of Fred. Fred is great to allow us to come in a take over the house!


Aunt Ellen


Aubrey had so much fun!


We played lots of Skip-Bo, Grandma's favorite game!


It was a long day apparently!
I have even more pictures, but I'll probably put those in another post, since I want to go to bed now! ;)