And finally! The moment Ana had been anxiously, excitedly, stressfully, happily been waiting for since she signed up in January--BYU swim camp!
Ana only had maybe three or four major freak-outs the morning of swim camp, worried about everything from not having the right shoes to anything we did that might delay our arrival or make her in any way late for registration.
But, I could understand her franticness. Ana worked so hard to get to swim camp, raising half the cost of the camp, working hard on her swim team and to improve her strokes, and going over the packing lists, rules, and schedules about 600 times. She wanted to be as ready as possible.
She was also so relieved and thankful that she arrived at Swim Camp in good health. Up until we left Maui, her health was fairly iffy and her doctor wanted her to prepare to not be able to go. I'm so happy that her prayers were answered and she was all better in time to go (well, besides being a little weak, but she said she regained her strength through the cafeteria).
She has always been "going on 17", so I can see why she was thrilled about the mini-college experience. I myself was thrilled that she ended up with the sweetest roommate and friends. I'm also glad that during that whole week I could trust her to take full advantage of the excellent coaching, swim instruction and of course unlimited food in the cafeteria. We also knew we could trust her to keep the rules, be a good friend and example, and to learn as much as she good. I love having such a responsible daughter. Thanks Ana!
After we dropped Ana off at Swim Camp (whew!), we got to pick up one of Cam's BFFs--Heath! Heath lives in Saint George, so when we decide to fly-by Saint George this year, I called Heath's mom (another old friend--she was actually one of the leaders in my YW when I was growing up in Henderson!) to see if we would by chance cross paths at another point, and wouldn't you know it, she was in Northern Utah that same week that we were. We stole Heath away from his mom and older sisters (Yay! he said, No more shopping!) so he could come join us up in Park City at Jonah's parents' house for a few days.
Of course, even though they only see each other for a few days or a week every year, these guys are forever best buddies, as if no time has passed at all since they were three and making paper ships. I hope someday they get to live by each other again.
I drove back down the mountain from Park City to meet Heath's mom when it was time for them to head back home, so I thought, why not just make a quick visit to Ikea?! You know, walk around... get the kids some lunch.... Again, it's another missed attraction when you live in Hawaii. But oh my heck!? What was I thinking!? It was "Free Kids' Meals" Tuesday and nothing is more crowded than a place offering free kids' meals in the middle of Mormon Utah!!! At least I saw some people I knew (welcome to Mormon-ville... we all 16 million of us seem to know each other one way or another) and the kids were especially hungry and thankful when we finally got our (free) food.
We also came down the mountain one evening for an off-the-hook ice cream party with all of my Beer (my mom's side) cousins who are currently living in Northern Utah. Oh heck yes!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE my cousins. It was awesome. Ana was gone, so I was sad she didn't get to hang with one of her BCFs (Best cousins forever) Livy, but it actuallyl worked out okay because Cam shone through and became Mr. Personality for all the girl cousins, even directing them in a little gymnastics/circus performance. What in the world? What planets aligned that night?!
Anyway, my cute cousin Lyndsi came and brought her boyfriend Ofa (we got to again Lyndsi again later the next week and get the full scoop, so it was great to have met Ofa before that), Jennifer came, my cousin Jerilyn's son Andrew came (we missed him when we were in Vegas), and of course cousin Eric and his wife Amy hosted us at their new immaculate and darling house. Their three girls are just the bomb-- so much pizazz and personality and fun-- and I loved seeing them all at their own home. So fun. Can't wait to see everyone again next year, but I hope its sooner!
(hint hint, come to Maui you crazy people!)
And finally, we spent that week while Ana was at Swim Camp recovering. Remember how I mentioned that Elsie came down with strep throat after her trip to San Diego. Well, come to find out, my poor little nephew Gabe had strep (plus majorly and chronically enlarged tonsils, which have since been removed) and my dad and a few other relatives at the same time. So, that sore throat I had had since we left Vegas of course also turned into strep throat. I had been fighting it back because we were traveling and I didn't want to be sick and miss out on the fun, but once we arrived at Jonah's parents' home (and they were gone for most of the time we were there) and I relaxed for a day, it hit full bore. Luckily, I happened upon a miracle cure online (cayenne pepper tea) and was able to swallow without pain after two days. But, both Jonah and I definitely had the infection for almost a week. Jonah healed up fairly well though. On the other hand, I never got my body to start working right again and for the following three weeks, I had what seemed like altitude sickness. A great doctor finally saw me and said my immune system had done too well against the strep and had nearly knowcked me out. And though I luckily didn't have rhematoid fever, my blood volume was low enough that it was causing the constant heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headaches, and major fatigue I had been suffuring from since the sore throat stopped. Sheesh. Thankfully, this stupid "recovery from strep" that last three weeks took place while we were places where there were plenty of other adults to help take care of the kids and plenty of other cousins to entertain them (see future posts about Bear Lake Reunion).
The doctor prescribed an intensely iron rich diet (not the first time in my life that's been prescribed to me, but that's another story) and Jonah took the bull by the horns and made me ginormous spinach-strawberry (to help absorb the iron) smoothies every day, fed me meat at every meal, and let me eat unlimited microwave chimichangas in bed (surprisingly high in iron and low in sugar). I eventually healed up and it was such a relief!
It was a crazy six months of weird health problems, I tell you what. It happens that way though... one bad knock down to your immune system and it seems like it takes months or years to get back to normal. It all started when I got bad anxiety on a scary flight to San Diego back in February, which then probably caused me to finally contract the walking pneumonia that had been going around (maybe that's what Ana had in April-May?), which then kept me weak enough to catch strep (I've never had it in my life.. why now?), which then meant my finally overzealous immune system knocked out my circulatory system. Dumb. But, nothing like it to make you grateful for when you do feel great and healthy!
Well, back to the story-- the week went by too fast for us and for Ana. But, she was glad to see us and especially excited to show us around the cafeteria.
The final Swim Camp event was a swim meet. But oops, I forgot to take photos. (Ana has a ton and maybe I'll have her do her own blog post.) But, I do have a photo of the crazy divers that also had their final event in covered pool area. I had flashbacks to when my sister Sonna used to dive competitively. It was horribly scary. I think my kids will stick to swimming.