Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Huntsman 140

Last weekend brought the biggest ride of our cycling year - the Huntsman 140!

There are so many reasons to love the Huntsman 140:

  • It all benefits the Huntsman Cancer Institute
  • Qualtrics is the title sponsor
  • What's not to love about 140 miles and 5,000 feet of climbing in the scenic wilds of Utah?!?
Mostly it was a week of early mornings and good fun, starting with a spot on the morning news (you have to watch it on a computer to see the spot, phones won't play the video).

Coming off of that much excitement was a challenge, but before we knew it it was Saturday at 5 am and time to drive 2 hours to Delta, Utah (the middle of nowhere) to start pedaling!

This year Steve and I both rode the Huntsman. We were privileged to ride in memory of Steve's mom, Sharon, and our high school friend, Pat, both of whom we lost far too early. We also rode in honor of our friends Tom and Dale who are both fighting cancer right now. We love them all and held each in our hearts during the ride.

And we're off!
And we're stopped!
Our joint Huntsman ride stopped at mile 35 when Steve had a bit of a mishap involving his body and the road. Fortunately, there was an ambulance close by and a good friend ready to pick Steve up and take him to instacare. 5 stitches and yards of gauze later, Steve was battered but ok. It was definitely not how Steve planned to spend the day, but we're grateful that he could walk away from what could have been a pretty bad accident.

I was sad to lose my favorite cycling buddy, but fortunately I had lots of C4C friends to keep riding with
And many hours later, we finished the full 140 miles!

It was a tough day, and we remain proud and grateful to be able to suffer for those who are suffering, raise some money for cancer research, and encourage those who are on really tough journeys. Another Huntsman 140 down!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sum Sum Summerfest

We recently passed the high holy day of the Morningstar summer - Orem Summerfest!

If you know us, you know we really like our house. Yeah, 6 people in 1,700 square feet is cozy, but it has a great yard, convenient location and lots of open space for romping and entertaining. But the very best part of our home is that it's close to Orem Center Street Park, giving us perfect front-row access to Orem Summerfest.

The advent of Summerfest season brings so many good things: junk food, puke-o-whirl rides, and staying up late for the parade and fireworks. It's the perfect summer trifecta of awesomeness/queasiness.


The children prepare for their second ride on the Gravitron. Second. Ugh. Makes my stomach turn just thinking about it.
They emerge unsullied. They say it's fun. These words make no sense to me.
They like the puke-o-whirl rides. They make faces at roasted corn. I do not understand these children.

Admittedly, it's impossible to choose one favorite element of the Summerfest Weekend of Wonder. But if I had to pick just one best thing it would have to be the Children's Parade. Before the main parade, the neighborhood kids decorate their bikes and scooters, line up a block away from our house, and ride pell mell down the middle of Center Street the two blocks to the local grocery store, get sugared up with free popsicles, and are sent back to their parents waiting along the parade route. It's fantastic.

The girls exhibited some particularly nice decorative flair this year with their streamers and buntings. They were so fast I actually missed them coming down the street on their first pass, so I had them reconstruct their first ride in all its glory (but slower speeds) post-popsicle.

But the true winner of this year's Summerfest Children's Parade was clearly Ben. All decked out with his sparkly vest, hat, and bow tie and complimented by Uncle Sam goatee and Birkenstocks, he was the very picture of... well... the general bizarrity that almost always accompanies any Morningstar family activity.

And we couldn't be prouder.

Summer, we officially welcome you!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer So Far

Our summer so far has been pretty much how every Morningstar anything is: an equal mix of chaos and fun! (confession: we don't know how to have one without the other)

Passion Pit concert with Ben
Appreciating Ben's special flair for eating snowcones (a unicycle is involved whenever possible)
Fun with friends, good exercise, and all for a good cause - the Little Red Riding Hood century to benefit the Huntsman Cancer Institute
We're smiling because it's mile 95 and we finally have a tailwind!
Evening trips to the DQ (we told you Ben's daily routine involved unicycling whenever possible)
More concerts! This time the Tedeschi Trucks Band and Sharon Jones - she knocked our socks off!
Good time with besties! They should definitely move back to Utah
Strawberry Days Rodeo
And plenty of sass to cover it all

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sam's trip to Sam Fransisco

A picture of the city skyline from a boat
( A quick note: This post was written, produced, directed, managed, and created by Samuel Morningstar)

 I recently went to San Fransisco for a school trip, and it was a lot of fun. San Fransisco, for those of you who don't know (I hope that you all know) is a city on the California coast. It is famous for its seafood and several landmarks, including the golden gate bridge.

 We (We being me and the ~20 other students on the trip) saw a lot of cool sights, and I really enjoyed the trip.

 On the first day we went to the exploratorium, which is sort of like a children's museum in that it has a lot of hands on exhibits that teach cool concepts.

One of the cells in Alcatraz
 For lunch we went to the hard rock cafe, and the food was pretty good. 

 On the second day we went to Alcatraz, one of, if not the most infamous prison in history. The most interesting thing about Alcatraz is its history. It was originally a civil war fort, built to protect the port of San Fransisco. After Alcatraz we had lunch on pier 39, which was really good, and finished the day at the aquarium.

 The third and final day we went to the golden gate bridge which was really cool, shopped at a chocolate factory(yum), rode on a cable car(awesome!), went to chinatown for souvenirs and lunch, then topped it all off with a quick visit to pier 31.

So there you have it. That was how I spent my trip to San Fransisco.
The golden gate bridge, as I saw it on day 3

The whole group I was with. I'm front row, fourth from the right


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