Saturday, June 9, 2012

Zion (and other adventures).

Happy 45th Anniversary to my grandparents! They are such amazing people and they definitely deserved this trip.  My whole family went down to Zion for the party. My grandparents got everyone a room and my cute auntie filled each room with goody bags! It was so lovely.

 (Disclaimer! Credit is due to Mom and Brother - they took the photos.)

On our first day there we arrived around 4. Everyone was down at the little park area they had at the Cliffrose Lodge and had sandwiches (and other good things) waiting. We had dinner and then just hung out the rest of the evening, chatting and playing lots of games (i.e. Australian Ninja Golf, volleyball, and Frisbee).  We roasted marshmallows and had treats.

Vaughnie was not happy with the golf...

The next day we went on a hike to Emerald Pools. It was harder than I thought it would be! If you ever want to know how Chase escaped death on Angels' Landing, you should ask him. It's pretty gut-wrenching. The hike was beautiful and I helped little Zach catch tadpoles. I realized that it's a bit difficult to enjoy the scenery when you are watching you feet so as not to slip off the edges...but we made it back safe and sound ( I know you were worried). After a swim and a shower we had a grand display of desserts set out for Hans and Mary at the little park again. There was bumbleberry pie, a raspberry white chocolate bundt from Nothing Bundt Cakes, a carrot cake from Oscar's, and little old fashioned candies from when G&G got married. To top it off? Mexican bottled Cokes! Grandpa used to work there just after they were married. With 60's music playing in the background, we indulged. While we had desserts, G&G gave out little Ukrainian gifts. Grandpa went there to do mock trials with the law students. I got a painted wooden egg and a mastryoshka doll. Well, man doll. It was a man. Then, my favorite part. I made a little game to play and called it "Hans' and Mary's ABC's". I collected key words from all 4 of the sisters and basically created a memory board.  For example, A is for Arctic Circle, where Grandma worked in high school, G is for Garments (which, by the way, invoked a story that brought tears (from laughter) to my Grandparents' eyes), etc., etc. They absolutely LOVED it. We went through the whole alphabet and with each word brought a great memory. 45 years worth.

This is Bryton trying to stifle a laugh as my Grandpa 'combs' her hair...with a wooden comb from the Ukraine that basically rips your hair out. Woo!

Then, the next morning we loaded our bikes onto the tram and headed to the end of the canyon. We rode them all the way down, back to our hotel. It was amazingly beautiful, and I felt so happy to be alive. I am so blessed with a life I love. I feel gratitude.

Some more swimming, and some Oscar's and what a great day it was. I loved all of the little shops we visited and the time I got to spend with my family. It's been years since we were all together on a vacation.

We of course enjoyed our stay in Zion. Bumbleberry pie, swimming, red mountains, Frisbee, and family. I can't wait to do it again.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Playing catsup.

I'm just going to start writing.

I'm not sure what I want to write about that has happened in the last month. I'm not really sure I remember much from last month! I have a terrible memory. I have to be reminded. I'm working on fixing that. My friend Lacey says that puzzles help your memory. I can mostly remember important dates like birthdays and holidays, but not very well. I panic that I have forgotten someone's birthday often. It's not good! I want to be better at remembering things.

Let's see...

At the beginning of the month, I was feeling strange that it has been a year since I graduated from SUU. Time goes by so quickly.

 I thought for sure that I would have a job that better utilized my degree. I have 3 jobs right now and only one of them can be remotely related to my degree; I love working at my recovery center and I still get to work with and help people that I care about. It's still health care related, but just a different kind of health. There is some physical, but 90% mental/emotional health. I see now how important this line of work is to the well-being of a person. For now, I am staying here. I love this job and I really feel that since I get to know the patients/clients here I feel a greater sense of gratitude and love for the ones I come into contact with. This job has changed my entire outlook and response to living. It's a path worth following and I intend to see where it takes me.

Then I had a dream that I was back in school again, and I was sad in the dream that I had finished.  Sometimes when  I dream things I see it in reality soon after. I've started keeping my dream journal again.

Our mothers' day with my mom was fun! I hadn't been to her new house yet, so Chase and I loaded up the dags and headed down. We got her old fashioned candies and chocolates from the local candy shop. She has always loved those and I thought it was a good gift! The candies have always reminded me of her.

Another strange event that passed was the year mark that Chase and I got engaged. That feels like a month ago. I would love to go back and relive that moment and that trip 100 times. In my dreams, I suppose.

This is the exact moment we were engaged. If you can make us out in the ocean right above, you can tell there are two people floating on a tiny boat, surrounded by turtles and sunset. Unforgettable.

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For about a week I got extremely curious about Marilyn Monroe. I rented My Week With Marilyn, and Michelle Williams did such a beautiful job. I had never seen one of Marilyn's movies, and only knew her as an icon and in photographs. I watched several movies and documentaries. She was so sad at the end. I wonder what she was thinking in the last year of her life. I think she's just delicate.

And then! Oh what a wonderful thing the eclipse was. We had so much fun doing that. We got glasses from Chase's uncle and went on top of the OTC roof. We invited Lacey and her family since it was her birthday the same day. What a great birthday gift from the earth! I have never seen a solar eclipse, so it was a new experience for me. We ate popsicles and watched the ring come and go.  I made Lacey a Tres Leches cake and, not to toot my own horn or anything, but it was delicious! I want to make it again soon. It was a great day.

Next on the list is buying a mattress. Chase and I really wanted a nice one. I have had the same one for about 5 years and it was the cheapest one I could find.  We have been using that one to sleep on and I decided that it was time we treated ourselves to a good one! We are always getting headaches from terrible sleep! I have been wanting one since before we got married. We got our tax refund back and we decided that we could spend it on that. Let me just say that it might be one of the best things I have ever purchased. It's a big firm mattress with a latex pillowtop. And we got it for $300 less than full retail. I sleep so well on it. I never want to get out of it.

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Next time...

Let's talk about my trip to Zion.