Monday, July 30, 2012

California Dreamin'...

So we went to California this week. We started out in the south and went to visit Ryan's family for their huge week of birthdays and to get some sun.
Ryan and I got there on Saturday and had a delicious bbq dinner with the family and autns and uncles and cousins and Nanny. It was complete with amazing eclairs and birthday songs. It was a nice relaxing evening to sit in the spa and go swimming.
Well the next morning we slept in and relaxed until church at 1 pm. We went to the single's ward that Ryan's dad works with in the bishopric and they had a cool meeting where, after sacrament, they had lunch and then an hour of 'Meet the Mormons.' It was fun to have about 15 non-LDS attendees who were able to ask questions and get to know the doctrines of our gospel and it was a nice atmosphere that was very open and comfortable. A very neat idea! After church we went to the OC Fair and got to see some animals, huge produce, smelled some marijuana, and saw some great friends. Got to ride some rides and I lost my favorite sunglasses. So not worth that ride. But oh well. Its just what happens!
Well On Monday, we had another fun little bit of excitement... Once again, Ryan and I had to be at the scene of a car accident. Needless to say, I am tired of them... Thankfully though, it was no one from the family. Anyway, this is the story. We were driving along and suddenly Pam and Maddie gasped from up front. A car was run off the road and shoved into the concrete barrier almost pushing it over the bridge that they were on. Insane. We of course stopped and Ryan and Evan helped the poor girl out of her car. I called 911 for the second time in a week and we directed traffic for a bit until crazy Californian drivers decided not to pay attention and almost caused more accidents and the emergency services arrived. Needless to say, the other driver was mad and was trying to not take blame. The girl who was almost pushed off the bridge probably had a broken arm or wrist since it was swollen and bruised and her car was totaled. Roland was intrigued by having all the firefighters and paramedics and police officers around us in the car and then, once everyone was settled, we left to go on our way.
Tuesday was our last day in Orange County. It was a great day that we just laid out by the beach in San Clemente and dug for sand crabs with Roland. And just relaxed in the sun. It was a beautiful day and we had so much fun!
Well before we knew it, we had to leave Wednesday morning for our flight to San Francisco! We were so excited! It was our first time there and we had a lot of fun things planned! We were heading up there for a fundraiser for an NGO that Ryan has been doing some consulting work for. Well we got in early on Wednesday and went right into the city. We walked around Union Square and had some great burgers at Cafe Mason. Then we decided to walk through Chinatown and saw some beautiful churches, smelled some great food and saw some fun shops and people. It was a really pretty day and the walk was great through Chinatown and North Beach. We went into a great map shop in North Beach. I seriously wanted everything. But finally we ended up at Pier 39. It was so pretty! We rented some bikes right away and rode from the Pier to the Golden Gate Bridge and across it to Sausilito on the other side of the Bay. It was a crazy ride across the Bridge! I do not like heights and that bridge is high. But it has great views and the ride was so fun to the little resort town. We had some good pizza and ice cream and just walked around. We met people from all over the world and when it was time to head back, we actually took a taxi back since the ferry would have taken FOREVER and I spotted some Arabs that Ryan went and talked to. They were from Yemen and so nice! They gave us a ride back that we split with another American couple.
Afterwards, we walked more around the Pier and walked back to Union Square along the bay.
The next day we went to Berkeley campus and met with some admissions counselors about their PhD programs for Ryan. Its a great school but very different from BYU. That is for sure. So who knows where we will go... Still have some time to figure that out. Last, but not least, we went back downtown for our fundraiser. We got all dressed up and went to the lounge that the event was being held at. It was hosted by Eliza Dushku and Joss Whedon! Very fun! It was an interesting night and fun to look back on. We had a great time! We left for Utah early the next morning and got back into Provo and were so happy to just relax.

It was a great vacation that was seriously non stop but we loved it! Here are some pics! :)

At the OC Fair
OC Fair
Chinatown in SF
On our bikeride
I love this bridge!
Dressed up for our night on the town!
SF architecture
Chinatown gate
A Fisker... Thought it might be the Bieb's... If so, I might have keyed it.

Bay Bridge
Ryan and his future children
Seals at Pier 39! 

Batman, Birthdays and Baby Showers!

Well these past two weeks have been incredible! We have been busy non-stop literally and we have had some insane experiences!
To begin, obviously we moved into our new place as the previous post tells the story of.
Next we had a last minute visit from Ryan's brother David who came up here to drive to Cali with Ryan's other brother Evan. It was great to see him even for just a short period of time. Well that's when the scariest phone call of my marriage to date happened... I was sitting at work and Ryan called me. I answered and he proceeded to tell me that Evan and David (my brothers-in-law) were in a terrible car accident and rolled Ryan's car a few times off the freeway in Cove Fort, UT. Of course I freaked out. As far as we knew, they were okay but shaken up with some cuts and bruises. Well I called our insurance company and filed a claim and made sure that everything was okay on that end. However, Ryan and I immediately left work and made our way down to Kanosh, UT (worst place ever) to pick up our jostled relatives. I was so happy to know that they were okay and to see it for myself. However, Ryan's car, Maria, was beyond hope. She had been rolled a bunch of times. All the airbags deployed and the whole car was crushed. It was seriously a dream-like experience. I couldn't believe what I saw and the fact that David and Evan walked away from this without injuries. Well we gathered out all our things from the car and left her there to meet the insurance adjuster to then determine her fate. In the end, it all is fine. We are going to get Ryan a new car that he can love on and it will be awesome! :)

Then it was onto 'Bat-Week' as Ryan likes to call it. A week full of Batman bliss as we awaited the final installment of the Dark Knight Trilogy. We watched Batman Begins, Batman cartoons and we had a Dark Knight party on Wednesday with some great friends!
Then I got some amazing news, one of my best friend's, Felicia, is home from her mission!!! Ah I was so excited to talk to her this week and to hear all about her mission to Virginia! She is seriously such an amazing person and I am so blessed to have her as an example of Christ-like love in my life!
Thursday night we had a break from Batman kinda and threw our amazing friend, David, a birthday bash! We <3 David. So I made him a dark chocolate cake with raspberry creme filling and chocolate ganache icing! Yes it was delicious and yes it was amazing. We had a ton of fun and we loved having everyone over to our new place and celebrating with them.
Finally, the moment Ryan has been dying for for over a year.... The Dark Knight Rises.
I bought us tickets for the Friday evening IMAX showing so we could just make an evening of it after work. IT WAS AMAZING!!! So I do have to say it was heartbreaking to see the news of the shooting in Colorado. I cannot believe still that people can commit such terrible acts and my heart went out to the victims and their family members... It is so sad that we cannot even go to the movies here in America now without thinking of this atrocity.
So yes, we went to the movies and we were so excited to be there! I nearly cried during the previews since they showed the Hobbit and I am seriously so excited I can't even control myself. I LOVE THAT MOVIE ALREADY!!! Okay, back to Batman. Well, we loved it. A phenomenal movie and very well done. Of course, I was a mess at the end and Ryan was not let down since I told him for sure I would cry. I delivered on that promise. It was great and Ryan was very satisfied.

After all that, I had the great privilege of throwing one of my closest friends a baby shower! Kristen and I were roommates years ago and we have remained close ever since. She already has a beautiful little boy, Henry, and she is now expecting a little girl in August! I love Kristen and was so happy to throw this little shindig for her! I made some simple finger foods: mac & cheese bites, pretzels, and last, but definitely not least, my mother-in-law's famous eclairs! These are seriously so dang easy to make and so insanely delicious! I love them! They were a big hit! We played some fun games and had some good laughs. It was so fun! :)

Well California was a crazy week so it deserves it's own post...More to come! :)

Notes on the pictures... I had more pictures from the baby shower and such but Blogger has decided to hate me today and not load them... I will try another time to edit the pics!

Ryan's car

                                                                    Rasperry Cream Filling! YUM

Finished product! It was so dang good!

New Home!

Well Ryan and I have once again decided to move apartments. But never fear for those of you who are tired of helping us, this is our last move we will make in Utah before we move for Ryan's PhD! Hallelujah!
We have been packing up our lovely one bedroom apartment just south of campus and we are moving into a beautiful town home over on the west side of Provo that will be cute and adorable and perfectly sized for us to hopefully bring home a little one within the next year! Fingers crossed on that last part! :)
So, since there is nothing more exciting than me telling you about how I pack my boxes, I will simply just give you some lovely before and after pictures of our old and new places. Enjoy!


NEW: (a couple of them are from pre-move)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fourth of July Festivities!

Well Fourth of July was amazing once again here in Provo. It was definitely different than last years in Jordan. But it was just as fun! Ryan's family came up from California and got a cabin up in Heber. We had a blast on the holiday!
We started off our Fourth of July in Provo and walked around the Freedom Festival in town and rode some rides, ate some good food and held some reptiles. Yes I held an 18 foot long reticulated python! Pictures are below. It was great. Pictures and captions are below.
Then we went to Stadium of Fire at the BYU football stadium. Needless to say, the Beach Boys are amazing! We absolutely loved them! It was awesome to see old men simply have to sing on stage to make the stands go crazy. Scotty McCreary opened for them and he was great. We had so much fun singing and dancing along to the music that we all know and love. 
Next came the fireworks. The first set of fireworks was to celebrate fifty years of James Bond and the show was set to the music of the best of 007. It was really fun. Then the second part of the fireworks was the patriotic section. No one does better at patriotism than Utah. That's for sure. It was great! Definitely recommend going to one of these shows if you are ever in town.
The next day Ryan and I went into work for a half day and then headed back to Provo to meet up with Ryan's family to go and see Spiderman and to check out the activities at the Provo Beach Club. 
However, the sad moment of the holiday happened when Ryan and I had to go and see our amazing friend Sean for the last time before he leaves for his grown-up job in DC. Sean and Ryan have been friends for a while as they were the same major and roomed together on their study abroad to Egypt. Needless to say, Sean is very near and dear to us and we are definitely going to miss that adorable face of his... 
Well Friday we had an adventure floating down the Provo River. We nearly drowned, got eaten by spiders, attacked by boulders and lost/destroyed many valuable items. We nearly died going under the bridge that we were told to go around but of course we were too lazy to actually follow those directions and we learned our lesson the very hard way when I had to rescue my mother-in-law from an untimely death from the rapids on the bridge. Ryan's dad lost a sandal and also one of the lenses in his sunglasses. So he looked like a pirate for the rest of the trip. We had some awesome burgers and milkshakes in Heber after that and then it was time to freshen up and change into non dirt-encrusted clothes and headed down to Salt Lake. 
We walked around Temple Square and met some great missionaries and saw some of the new exhibits there in the visitor's center. Then we ate at Texas de Brazil for a late dinner and headed back to the cabin for some well deserved sleep.
Our last adventure was on Saturday when we went to the Olympic Park in Park City and conquered the bobsled. It is so worth the ride! Definitely need to try it sometime if you haven't. We tried to do the other activities there but once we got up the mountain and were waiting in line for the alpine slide, of course it started to thunder and lightning and had to be brought back down the mountain. Well that led us to then go and take refuge at the outlets (great idea) and they had some nice sales (equally awesome). Well then the little boys needed to be able to have some fun so once the rain stopped we headed over to the Park City resort and did the alpine slide and coaster there. Really fun and then it was finally time for a great dinner at Bandits BBQ on main street. Delicious! 
Well all in all, our Fourth of July adventures were great fun and we thoroughly enjoyed having family and friends around us. I always love celebrating the wondrous aspects of our country and it was great to give thanks for all our blessings that we enjoy. 
Below are some pictures. There were way too many to organize completely so just enjoy!

On the barrel ride at the Freedom Festival
Lighting some sparklers in a parking lot
Fireworks and the flag lit up
Fireworks during the finale

Me holding a giant snake at the freedom festival..

 Evan playing with sparklers

Ryan snuggling with a giant moose at the cabin
The view from the top of the mountain at the ski jump. 

Prepping for our bobsled adventure

We were the brave ones who wanted to do the bobsled
Fireworks during the show
Beach Boys stage
Olympic Park View
Before the concert
The American flag lit up during the concert and ceremonies at Stadium of Fire
Reliving childhood on the swings at the fair
Giant snake
Alpine slide
Beach Boys
Alpine Slide
Sleepy puppy. It was a hot day.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Lovin

So we have been having a blast here in P-Town this summer. We have been busy working, playing and moving and all sorts of fun! 
We have also been having lots of wildfires around us here in Utah. They have been pretty devastating and we have been praying for rain a lot. Luckily today as I am writing this it is supposed to start raining. Hopefully it does so our firefighters can get some rest soon. They have been working so hard and for so long. Also, I would definitely encourage my friends to donate blood to the Red Cross since they are at a critical level now and need more volunteers! Ryan and I are going to go this next week and donate... It's not our favorite thing to do but it is worth it to help save lives! You can find a local spot to donate on this link:
Well the following pictures and stories are from the last couple weeks here in Utah and let me tell you, we live an exciting life, so prepare yourselves for an overdose of awesome....
So these first five pictures are from my week long adventure in Park City with my company. We had our User's Conference at the Canyon's Resort. It was very beautiful up there! I could have stayed there but that would have meant me being away from Ryan for a week and we had to pack up so we can move this next week. So I just commuted every morning. It was beautiful to go through the canyon in the mornings and evenings and to see the sun rise and set along the way home. 
Deer Creek Reservoir

These pics above are taken at the Canyons. The pool was great and the hotel was very pretty. 
This next section is the FIRE section of this post. So we have had a bunch of fires going on all around us here lately... I will describe the locations of these and if they are not out or not...
This is the Alpine fire right by Draper and Alpine. It started on Tuesday and it is mostly out by now. But it was very big for sure!
This is the Saratoga Springs area fire on the other side of Utah Lake. It burned for about a week and has finally been put out.
The fiery sunset from the Saratoga Springs fire. This was taken from Orem... So that is about 15ish miles... It was a big fire...

Alpine fire... That is smoke overtaking Timpanogos Mountain.
This is also from the Saratoga fire
Saratoga fire
This is my adorable friend, Henry. He is my friend Kristen's little boy and we got to babysit him the other night so his mom and dad could go on a much deserved date! We had a blast playing in sprinklers, feeding ducks at the duck pond, played in the BYU waterfalls and streams and rolled down the Maeser Hill. He is so dang cute... 
These last pictures are from the Riverwoods where we met up with our friends Ryan and Morgan and watched our other friend Justin sing and play his guitar there in the courtyard. He was so good! We then went into the Provo Beach club and played croquet and I proved to myself that I am definitely not going to get on any national team anytime soon. But we had a blast and then went up to Farr's and ate some delicious ice cream! Great times here in Provo! :)