Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Uncles' Wedding

Last weekend Jason and I flew down to LA to attend my uncle Kelvin and Ernie's wedding.  It was a pretty cool thing.... watching a group of just as many Mormons as gays celebrating.  One of the highlights of the wedding was when Kelvin got up and announced, "The bar will be open all night so enjoy!  Oh and for you Mormons out there, we have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks for you too!"  Another guest standing next to my cousin turned to her and gasped, "There are Mormons here???!"  I loved that Kelvin and Ernie intermixed the guests so the gays, non gays, and Mormons had to interact.  I think it was great for everyone to see that we are all just people.  People who love celebrating and love our friends and family.

I wish I had better pictures of the event because it really was beautiful!  Raine was in charge of decorating and she did a fantastic job!  The event was held at the Van Nuys airport in an old army building.  It was beautiful!
This guy was the best dressed of the event with a pink hat, suit coat, and tie.
Later I discovered he was also the one that would marry them!
Kelvin and Ernie walked down the aisle to Neil Diamond's version of "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You."

The only other picture I have of the event was my dad joining in on the family song to Kelvin and Ernie.  It was quite amazing.
Kelvin and Ernie we love you!!!

The next day was one of the most beautiful days at Corona Del Mar.  It was AMAZING!  The water was the warmest I have ever felt at the beach in CA....ever!  But the waves were insanely huge!  So huge that the life guard wasn't letting people very far out into the water..... so Jason FINALLY got to build a castle with Nils.  It was wonderful.

It was the most wonderful weekend ever..........
if only every weekend could be a California weekend..............

Monday, August 11, 2014

Life is a Journey, not a Destination.

As we were wandering around the bookstore attached to the Hans Christian Anderson Museum I saw  this journal.
I've been thinking a lot about this.  This idea of destinations... how often we think about them, wish for them, and try our darndest to survive until them.

In the single world it is so common to think of marriage as the destination.  It's probably a really good thing that it took me so long to get to that destination because I was forced to see life as more of a journey and trying to find joy along the way.

It was for this exact reason we took 3 weeks this summer and just played until our little hearts were content.  Sure we don't have a lot of money..... sure it probably would have been smart not to put another 3,000 miles on our car when it already has 230,000 miles on it and we need it to last.... but it's about the journey.  We have no idea when we'll ever have money, when we'll get to have kids, when I'll get to finally stop teaching junior high but if we I sit and hold my breath until then there will be so much to miss out on.  I am trying my hardest not to think in terms of destinations rather just be happy in the moment.

So I decided to make that the theme of this year's blog book.

2013-2014: Life is a Journey, not a Destination
2012-2013: At Last
2011-2012: Carpe Diem 
2010-2011: When You Wish Upon a Star
2009-2010: Let the Good Times Roll
2008-2009: Introducing Random Kristin

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Our Home

As I previously stated.... we are pretty excited about our new place.  So even if this is just for me and Leigh, Jason's mom :) here are the pictures of our new place.  It's pretty self explanatory...

 Our bedroom.... yes Schnuckums is still around...

 our bathroom.

 Inspired by my friend Joanie, these are all the places we've been together since we got married.

This hallway makes our apartment feel so much bigger!!  Any  guest would have a whole "wing" to themselves! 

 The guest bath

 The guest bedroom

 I know..... probably only exciting to me, but man I am excited!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Grand Tour of California: A Boy and his love for Cliffs....

It didn't take us 25 hours, maybe 13?

We started off the day the same way we start most days on road trips.... a deluxe breakfast with hot cakes from McDonalds.  For $3.99 (only in the state of CA for some reason, elsewhere it's more expensive) you get 3 hot cakes, English muffin, eggs, bacon, sausage, and a hash brown.  Enough food to feed both of us. (And give us a heart attack someday)
I don't know exactly what I expected from Yosemite.... because I guess I really haven't thought a lot about it.  You see I feel like in the west there are two types of people.  Yellowstone people and Yosemite people.  Clearly with my roots in Eastern Idaho we have always been Yellowstone people.  My dad has probably made the 9 hour drive into Yellowstone at least once if not twice a year in the 25 years we've lived in southern Utah.  Not once in his entire life has he entered Yosemite even though it is only 8 hours away. So like I said.  We are not Yosemite people.  

So I guess I expected a similar experience in Yosemite as you experience in your typical day trip on Yellowstone.  I expected lots of clear distinct points of destination, lots of "bear" jams as my dad would call them... although these days most of the traffic in Yellowstone I've experienced is over buffalo, and I guess I just expected a day long travel driving through the park.  Like I said, Yosemite was nothing like I expected.

Maybe part of the unexpected was because there were two fires in/around Yosemite when we entered and California is in the biggest drought in like 50 or 100 years so there probably wasn't the waterfalls that normally are experienced in Yosemite.  But it was crazy.  There was no one there!  Not one traffic jam (even when someone actually spotted a bear!), no hoards of people, no hours of driving and waiting and driving and stopping. AND no construction! (Yellowstone is notorious for terribly long waits through construction areas.)  AND it has a two lane road through the "loop" so no getting stuck behind a Winnebago going 15 mph!   That being said and because Jason had a bum knee so we didn't hike very far and I was going through my normal monthly "migraine" ......... we only spent a couple of hours or so in Yosemite.

Since Jason was a teenager he'd dreamed about El Capitan.  He'd never seen it.  But he's dreamed of climbing it and at one time he dreamed of jumping it....  One of the highlights for me from the whole trip was when we turned around a corner and there she was.  Jason just started laughing.  He laughed and laughed.  It was like he was as giddy as I get when I walk through the tunnel with the music playing and the smell of churros and I see the castle... It was exactly like that.  He just couldn't stop laughing.  And then he parked the car and just sat and starred at it.  

 Jason has dreamed of climbing it.  And seeing it I think helped him see that his dream could actually come true.  Although possibly a little more daunting.... you see climbing the nose of El Cap is not an easy thing.... It is a 3-4 day rock climb.... sleeping on cliffs.... hauling up enough water and food and sleeping gear as well as climbing gear to make it up and down.  It's the most famous rock climb in the world.  It's like climbing Mt. Everest for rock climbers..... I sure hope he gets to do it soon.

Anyway Yosemite was beautiful.  Even when filled with smoke.  (I tried my hardest to take pictures avoiding or editing out the smoke... I probably should have gotten at least one picture of how bad the smoke was.  It was pretty dang terrible.

 I can't believe I did it.  I took a picture of a squirrel.  But it was the craziest thing, all the squirrels had white collars or rings around there neck.  I had never seen that before!

The deer practically let Jason pet her.
 So Jason really wanted to just feel El Cap.  I know that sounds a bit silly to you and me but I kind of understand.  He wanted to get right at the base and see where it all starts.  So we did a short little hike to the base of the nose of El Cap.  It was probably around noon and still there were parties of people starting up the climb.  (A smart climber would have started the climb at dawn to beat the heat)  We could hear the climbers yelling out in French and another group in German.  You can barely see them starting the climb.

 So of course Jason had to climb a little.

I really do hope he gets to climb.

So we had planned on spending the night in Yosemite but all of the camp grounds were full in Yosemite Valley and I was in so much miserable pain that Jason figured he'd just keep driving.  We drove across the state of Nevada.  I took quite a few pictures because I love teaching my students about rainshadows.  I think they are the coolest thing.  And the majority of the state of Nevada is the best example of a rainshadow ever.  So without further ado.... the state of Nevada.

We went a sold 40 miles on one road without seeing a single car and zero reception.  That kinda sketched me out.


 And all I wanted when we got back to St. George..................
 And the aftermath.