My Oldest Son Reaches The Mid-Century Mark

My oldest son reached the mid-century mark today.*



How can that be?

That would mean that fifty, yes, fifty, as in 50, years ago today, I became a mom.

More importantly, Ryan, my 
firstborn child
firstborn son,
entered this world on a beautiful Sunday early afternoon in September,
fifty years ago today.

Ryan on his wedding day

This mother’s heart has stayed young and does not count the years when she thinks of her children.

Is that because children, even after they are grown, keep one’s heart young?

Ryan and Mom
I had no idea when I first met my firstborn that his life would expand my world so much.  From his earliest days, he was such a delight to me. That first year of his life was a year when I had the opportunity to bond deeply with him.  His father began college on the day I brought Ryan home from the hospital, and Ryan's father worked a full-time job at night also.  That meant that Ryan and I spent many hours alone, but what delight filled hours they were for me. In those early years,  many evenings were spent with mom pushing Ryan in his stroller for long walks exploring the neighborhoods near the basement apartment where we lived.  Often when he was a little older we would end up in a park where Ryan loved playing on the playground equipment.

Then, there was the day when my son got his first set of wheels.

His life, and mine, changed that day.  
He now had a vehicle where he could explore the big wide world out there on his own.

Honestly, I was a protective, almost over-protective mom to my very core.  Once Ryan had wheels, this protective mom learned she could never keep up with Ryan and his next adventure.  He was off and running.  Somehow, he’d be out of the house and on his bike before I’d discover he was gone, and I had no idea where to start looking for him.  At the age of three, he was seen riding his tricycle down the middle of a busy street as if he owned the road while I was looking for him somewhere else close to home.  He’d decided he wanted to go to the grocery store where I’d wheeled him in his stroller, or driven him to by car, by himself.  Thankfully, someone saw him, and brought him home just before he crossed one of the busiest intersections in town on his little blue tricycle.  I should have known then that adventure and exploration would be a foreshadowing of his life.  

Somehow, he survived riding dirt bikes that weren’t really dirt bikes, in places where his mother did not want him riding.  Somehow, he survived the driving the hot red sports car that got when he was 18, the little Mazda sports cars that he had through his thirties and forties.  He loves his wheels, and I always love when he takes me for a spin in one of his sports cars.  It is a thrill, but honestly, I also hang on and close my eyes, and sometimes, ok, always, say, “Ryan, please be careful.”  Mostly, though, I just try to hang on and enjoy the ride.  This has been a metaphor for my life with my firstborn son.
Ryan in his biking attire before a big race

Ryan (top left) and & team on LOTOJA Race 2007

On his fortieth birthday, he rode his bike on the challenging LOTOJA Race.  It is a 200+ mile race from Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 

For his fiftieth birthday, he got his favorite thing: wheels, an new truck.  I haven’t seen it yet, but he now has the ultimate truck where he can throw in all the kids, the camping equipment, the bikes, or the skis and take off on another grand adventure.  He tells me he loves his new truck.  I'm sure he does.


Ryan learned to read at the age of four.  He seemingly taught himself.  I read to him from his earliest days.  I’d just begun but had not completed teacher training to be an elementary school teacher when I married Ryan’s father a year and a month before Ryan was born, so I was eager to teach my son all the skills I’d learned about reading.  I had little plastic letters on the fridge.  We’d practice sounds and letters.  I’d point out the words on the page.  Then, one day, Ryan started reading.  I thought he’d memorized the book, so I took him to the library and asked where I could find the first grade readers.  I took one off the shelf, sat down with my curly headed four-year-old, and asked if he knew what the book said.  He did.  He started reading from it. Frankly, I was shocked.  He'd broken the code for reading, and now another great passport for his future life was in his hands: reading and learning.  

School was not his favorite thing.  He was a peer leader socially, but not academically, yet those early leaning towards learning and growing have served him well as he progressed and grown in the world of finance.  His social skills, his love of people, his gift of gab, have also served him well.  He has already had a very successful career as a banker. 
Ryan with Zion's Bank, his employer for many years, in the background

My handsome son after a long day of work at the bank

Ryan in his banking days

Now, in his fiftieth year, he is in the finance industry in an entirely new way.  I don’t even understand his new job, but he does, and that is what counts.  He has been on the ground floor in developing a program for the lending industry.  It has been an exciting, fulfilling time for him as he has worked in the development of and the marketing of this new financial tool that lenders throughout the country will be using.  Best of all, he says he no longer has to wear and suit, and in his fiftieth year, he has let his hair grow long and grown a beard.  He doesn’t look like a banker anymore.


One picture of Ryan that I carry around in my head as one of my happiest memories is the one when he burst out of a hospital delivery room with his first-born son in his arms to present my first-born grandchild and grandson to me.  The look on his face was priceless.  It seemed to say, “Mom, look what I did.”  He was so proud and so happy.  I tear up every time I remember it.  Ryan is a great dad.  He loves being a dad, and his kids love having them as their father.  

Ryan with his three children
Regan, Parker & Bridger

Christmas morning 2010
Ryan with Parker and Regan


Ryan cooking breakfast for mom in her kitchen while wearing her apron.
May 2011
Somewhere along the line, Ryan learned that he loved to cook.  Was it when he took cooking in junior high?  Was it when he was scouting?  I don’t know when he first started loving to cook, but he does love to cook, and he is a great cook.  I remember him walking in the door from a ten-hour day of banking, after a commute of two hours a day added on, and begin rolling up his sleeves as he walked in the door ready to fix dinner for the kids.  He says cooking relaxes him.  It also brings out his creative nature.  In his fiftieth year, he loves cooking for the kids, the family, for friends, or just with his wife whenever he gets the chance.

Ryan creating the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner with Sheridan
November 2015


Ryan met Sheridan the love of his life six years ago.  

Together, they have worked at building a family, a blended family, and a future that is filled with much love.  They have bought and built a family business that his wife Sheridan began with her sister many years before Ryan entered the picture.  Now in his fiftieth year, he and Sheridan manage a family owned boutique, (mostly Sheridan does this job these days), and he also works long hours with his financial software business job.  These two work long, hard hours, but they do it together.

The "Mordiansens" a blended family
Parker, Regan, Max, Bridger, Henry, Sheridan, and Ryan

They also parent together so well.  It warms this mother’s heart to see how they are such great parenting partners.  

How could a young mom all those years ago have ever known the way that small son she first held would bring so much richness into her life?  As I told my husband today, I love having sons.  I’m also so grateful that I have daughters.   There is a special part in a mom’s heart for her first-born son.  He is the one that introduces her to the memorable ride of being a mom. What a ride it has been.  

Photos of mother and son from 2007 to 2017 are below.

Ryan & Sally
July 2016
Thank you, Ryan for gifting my life for the past half century. (How can it have been that long?)  You have so exceeded every desire I ever had for you when you were a child.  I never even would have imagined the path your life has taken. Perhaps one of the earliest milestones you reached was becoming an Eagle Scout.  When I think of you, I can’t help but think of the Eagle Scout character traits that you portray in so well in your life.  The words loyal, trustworthy, friendly, helpful come to mind.  You learned early to love the outdoors and survive in it.  That transferred over to living successfully in any environment where you found yourself.  You learned to set goals and reach them.  You learned leadership, and you have lead well.  You learned to love adventure, hiking, biking, skiing, and hiking. You keep on doing that every chance you get.  You make my day every time I hear your voice, and when you hang up the phone, you always say, "I love you, Ma."  You have been a wonderful son, brother, husband, father, friend, and business man.  You have made me proud.  I hope the coming decade brings you continued success in all that you do.  

Given your genetic makeup, you most likely have at least another fifty years of living, loving, and laughing ahead of you.  Enjoy it.  I love you.

* My photo program froze as I was writing this post, so I couldn't access many of the photos I had hoped to share in this post.  

** The formatting on this post is mixed up and crazy, but if I try to change it, it will take me until Ryan is another year older.  

A Spring Trip to Utah ~ Part I

If my math is correct, there have been fifty-three days between Mother's Day and Father's Day this year.  I look at the calendar for May and June and see that the days have been scheduled with one thing after another.  Seeing the schedule in black and white explains where the days have gone, but where the moment's go I have no idea.  We have begun summer.  Spring sprinted past me.

The highlight of the spring was a trip to Utah early in May.  My husband wanted me to have time with my two oldest children for Mother's Day.  The weather, horrendous at home with heavy rains and record breaking hail storms, was not much better as we drove that all too familiar route between Colorado and Utah through rain storm after rainstorm.
The View of Pike Peak as we left home
I've been making that long trek across Wyoming at least once a year for the past fifty years.  As we drive the 600 plus miles, we always plan to make a pit stop at Little America, a truck stop, gas station, and hotel that is in the middle of nowhere in the wide expanse that is Wyoming.  We have to get our 50¢ ice cream cone.  This year we found that the ice cream cone is now 75¢!  Not only that, but the iconic back to the sixties feel restaurant where we have eaten so many great meals over the years is closed!  We were sad and disappointed to see that a place where we could count on for a good meal is now gone.  We had to settle for eating a fast food type sandwich in the grocery store part of the gas station.  What a disappointment.

As we walked over to where the old restaurant used to be, I sneaked in to take a photo of the breakfast/lunch counter area one walked through on the way to the dining room.  We have spent more than one night over the years sheltered in a room at Little America when we drove across Wyoming in a snowstorm at Christmas time.  We always looked forward to the nice meals we would eat there.  Now we just have our memories of the place.

Iconic Views of Little America, Wyoming

I learned to drive on I80 when I was a teenager driving across Wyoming with my father.  Much has changed since those days.  There is much more traffic, and there are a lot of trucks making the I80 one of the main routes they take across country.  These days, one can drive at 80 miles an hour on parts of I80.  It is often one sees the speed limit posted at 80!

We got a very late start on the day we took the trip across Wyoming.  My husband had worked late the night before.  Since he was planning on doing most of the driving, he slept in.  Then, we had to pack.  I am notorious for not packing until just before I leave on a trip.  It was noon, lunchtime, when we pulled out of the driveway to begin our journey.  I asked my husband if he'd like to look for a place for lunch before we left town.  His answer, "I was thinking I'd have to look for a room to spend the night before we leave town at the rate we are going."

As it turns out, we should have planned ahead and found a room before we left town.  We made slow progress due to the weather on the first day out.  We decided we wanted to get to Rawlings, Wyoming, before stopping for the night.  That is about the half way mark in the trip.  It was raining like crazy when we got to Rawlings, and we could find a room for the night.  I called every hotel or motel I could find listed on the smartphone apps.  All had no vacancy.  This is not the first time we have come up with this problem in Wyoming.  As they say, "This wasn't our first rodeo." We should have known better and booked a room.  Finally, a clerk at one hotel told me of a new hotel that had just opened.  They had one room left.  We took it.  It was a tiny little room.  We barely had room for our suitcases, but we were happy to have it.  

Tired and hungry, after we were checked in, we drove over to the truck stop for dinner.  At 8:00 at night on a rainy night in Rawlings, we were grateful to find a place to eat.  After dinner, we made our way back to the hotel and began to prepare for bed.  That is when the power went out.  A generator had been hit by lightening.  The entire hotel was in the dark.  Grateful for a room, even one with no electricity, we went to bed without our CPAP machines.  At 4:00 in morning the lights, the t.v. and our CPAP machines suddenly came on and woke us up.  So much for a restful night, but we were dry, and we had a bed, and we got a little sleep.

The next day, we made our way across the rest of Wyoming.  As we entered Utah, I had my husband stop so I could get some photos of Devil's Slide, an interesting limestone formation in Morgan County, Utah.  It always fascinates me.  Read more about it here:  Devil's Slide.

As we drove on into Weber Canyon, we observed that spring had arrived with all of its beauty in Utah.  I especially enjoy driving this part of the journey in the spring because of the verdant green pastures where sheep and other farm animals graze on either side of the highway.  I love Utah in the spring.  It is always so beautiful.  Anxious to get to our destination, we didn't stop for photos.

Family Time

We stayed with oldest son Ryan and his bride of one year.  Ryan cooked us up his wonderful fish tacos for dinner that night.  Dinner was great.  Ryan is such a good cook.  Sheridan is also a good cook.  Together, they make a fabulous team.  Of course the presentation is also a delight.  

The next day, we drove north to Ogden to spend some time with Keicha.  We decided we wanted to go to a restaurant that has been serving awesome meals since 1949:  Maddox near Brigham City, Utah.  I remember taking Ryan there as a baby when I celebrated my very first Mother's Day.  They still serve excellent food there.  Sometimes, it is just fun to visit long time favorites when visiting one's old stomping grounds.  Keicha had actually had dinner there the night before, but she didn't mind going again.

Special Mom & Daughter Time
Friday night, we were back in Salt Lake for a special time down in the Ninth and Ninth neighborhood in Salt Lake City.  (Click on the link to read about this fun neighborhood.)  I always love spending time in this neighborhood and have happy memories of the first time Julie took me there when she was a student at the University of Utah.  We went there to look at an apartment, which she ended up renting, one time when she needed to find a new living arrangement.  She was a bit hesitant to even check it out, but I convinced her we needed to go see it.  Even then, this neighborhood seemed so hip to me.  I thought how I would love to live in the area.

Daughter-in-law Sheridan, who was once Julie's roommate, has owned a shop in the area since 1999. She is very involved in the business community events that take place in the area.  Recently, my son Ryan joined her as a business partner.  If you are in Salt Lake City, you must go and visit Hip and Humble.  Every corner is filled with treasures.  You don't have to go to Salt Lake City to shop at Hip and Humble.  You can shop online too!

Hip & Humble
Ryan & Sheridan

We had such a fun evening going in out of various shops that were participating in the art walk.  This shop was once a flower shop that I remember visiting with Julie many years ago.

It was the perfect spring evening.

The Little Country Wedding

My son and his beautiful bride were married during the middle week of June in Boulder, Utah.
It was the best wedding ever.
My son, the groom, was teary-eyed throughout it all.
The bride could not stop smiling.
The sheer joy emitted from these two will not soon be forgotten by any in attendance.

Ryan and Sheridan
A disclaimer is in order.
Photographer/participant do not go well together.
I wanted to take my own personal photos,
but mostly, I wanted to just enjoy the moment.
Also, I took so many photos, that I just might crash this blog by sharing them all.
Not only that, I just could not begin to capture the scope of this wedding.
It was in the country.
It was not "little."
No detail was missed to make this wedding perfect.
Some said it was like a Martha Stewart Wedding.
That is not correct.
A Martha Stewart Wedding would not have been as relaxed, joy filled, fun, and beautiful
as this wedding was.
Going to this wedding was like going to a great family reunion.
It wasn't just a wedding.
It was the event of the year for our family.

There was:
dress up clothes for
polaroid camera photos,
daily agendas,
fancy restaurant meals
cowboy boots,
cowboy hats,
fancy dresses,
a gourmet wedding supper
prepared by chefs written up in the New York Times,
Sunset Magazine, Fodors,
homemade ice cream
outstanding scenery,
a full moon, 
the coming together 
of two families,
The bride accompanied by her two sons

My son awaits his bride.
My son and his children.
Parker, Ryan, Bridger, Regan

There is more to come.  I just wanted to give you a small snapshot into it all before I fill you in on all the details.  Stay tuned...

Spending Time With #1 Son

This summer, I've been able to spend some time with my #1 son.  I hesitate to call my oldest child and oldest son by the title of #1 Son because some may think that the title denotes favortism.  I assure you it does not.  For some reason, I've just referred to my eldest child as #1 over the years.

My oldest son lives in Utah, so that means we must travel in order to spend time together.  He is a banker who works very long hours during the workweek and commutes an hour each way to work every day.  Needless to say, he is very busy and does not get a lot of time off work.  I try to spend at least a week in Utah every summer and try to make at least one additional trip a year to spend time with him and his family and my daughter and her daughter.  

Ryan at Julie's Service
This year, Ryan made two trips to Colorado to visit.  This was a rare treat for me.  He was here for a few days at Christmas, and then he was here for a few days over the Memorial Day Weekend.  Ryan has been such a strength to me throughout the entire process of settling Julie's estate when it came to taking care of all the financial matters that occur after a death.  I don't know what I would have done without his financial wisdom and knowledge.   I've always valued his financial knowledge when I've turned to him for advice, but his fair and impartial ability to sort through many issues was truly priceless when I needed it in settling a difficult situation.

Ryan is a fun guy to be around.  He has a great sense of humor.  I love his take on life, people, and situations.  He has top notch social skills.  He makes friends easily and keeps them for a lifetime.  He likes to make people laugh and have a good time.

He also loves to cook.  On Sunday morning of Memorial Day Weekend, he got up and fixed breakfast for my husband and me.  Here he is in my apron.  I have others that aren't quite so feminine, but he grabbed the first one he saw before he began to fry up some bacon. 

Later that weekend, after he and I drove to Northern Colorado to stay with my daughters and a friend from Utah who would all be running the Boulder Boulder the next day, he made us some panzanella.  I was quite impressed and thought it was quite yummy, but then, I'm his mom.  

Ryan says cooking helps him relax after a hard day at the bank  Actually, he has always loved cooking.  I remember when he took cooking in junior high, he came home with all kinds of new recipes to try out on the family.

So, when I was in Utah in June, I had the opportunity to enjoy some more of his cooking.

Father's Day Barbecue

Ryan and Stephanie
Father's Day 2011
Ryan checks his email on his phone while others are serving themselves some scrumptious barbecued food he had prepared for a Father's Day celebration.  


We had grilled veggies and wonderful spare ribs that had been prepared using Ryan's special sauce.

Cousins, Regan and Gillian initially came to the celebration dressed as Dracula and bride.

Then, they changed outfits and came as bat woman and another wacky bride.  Regan has a belt made from her pajama bottoms and hat made from a cheering pom pom.  Note the make up they applied for this photo.  Don't you just love the RED lipstick?

They are being silly, but I think they will both be beauties someday.  Of course, I'm the grandmother, so I am a bit biased.  Actually, they are already quite beautiful in my eyes.

A shot of them being silly in the back yard.

Bridger has just made me the perfect smore in this photo.

Four of my grandchildren roast marshmallows around the fire pit on Ryan's wonderful back patio.

Summer Solstice Party

My oldest grandson, had a bunch of buddies over for a summer solstice party while I was in Utah.  After the party, he drove me back to my daughter's house a few miles away.  It seems very odd to think that my oldest grandchild will soon have his driver's license.  I was impressed with his driving ability while I was being chauffeured around.

While the kids ate hamburgers and fix-in's out on the patio, Ryan fixed me a perfect hamburger, just the way I like it.

While I was visiting with Ryan and his family, I had the opportunity to go shopping for a few supplies for an upcoming scout trip that he and Parker were taking later that week to the Moab area.  It was a biking, rafting, rock climbing excursion.  Ryan, who earned his Eagle Scout Badge as a young teenager, took some time off work to lead this trip for Parker's scout trip.  It was so great to see his excitement as he prepared for the trip.  It took me back to his days as a scout.  It brought back many happy memories and proud moments when I saw him inducted into the Order of the Arrow during a harrowing lightening, thunderstorm in the mountains of Idaho over 25 years ago.  I've always been proud of his achievement of reaching the rank of Eagle Scout.  It is great to see him now giving back to scouting as he takes his own son and others on scouting trips.  He is following in the footsteps of his paternal grandfather, another Eagle Scout, when he does this.

There are two special memories of Ryan that I  carry with me in my heart.  In both memories, he has the same look of absolute pride and sense of accomplishment.  One was the day he emerged from the workshop in the basement of his childhood home with the first completed birdhouse for his Eagle Scout project. He had constructed it on his own using a power saw.  Pride was written all over his face.  

I saw that same look of pride, accomplishment, and amazement when he emerged from the delivery room carrying his first-born son and my first grandson.  His eyes said, "Mom, look what I've produced!"  These memories, and the ones we continue to make whenever possible, are treasures that become more valuable as each year goes by.