"The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds, and that's what you've given me."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The End of a Fabulous Summer

I'd like to think I sent the summer off with a bang and am ready for school, but now that it's left me I am nostalgic for the freedom of summer. However, The last three weeks of summer were packed full of fun and I am still exhausted from the adventures. My last three weeks of summer began with me flying to Utah to see another one of my beautiful BFF's marry her Prince Charming.
Jenessa and Erik were married on August 3rd and it was absolutely stunning. I flew in the night before and had a scare with my bridesmaid dress. My mom and I spent quite a while attempting to zip up the skirt made for me and I was in a panic for the remainder of the night. Jenessa had the brilliant idea of using safety pins so my mind was eased for the morning. Friday morning my mom and I went to her water aerobics class (which I was super excited about) where my confidence was bumped up while I raced cute grandmas and grandpas in laps. After the class I got ready for Ness's night by putting on my bridesmaid outfit and Google-mapping her reception site. Sadly even with Google Maps It took me an hour to get there when it should have taken me a total of twenty minutes (I know... how do I function?). When I got there again I was in a frenzy because my skirt was not zipped or pinned and I felt like I was ruining the entire wedding. Luckily my lovely friends and co-bridesmaids have had many a practice pinning costumes (Go Cardinelles!)so I knew I was in good hands. As soon as I saw Whit Nalder she saved the day by realizing I was wearing my skirt too low. Raise it up a bit and it fit like a glove!
After the skirt ordeal everything went smoothly as far as I could tell. Jenessa's mom is one of the most talented people I know and should win an award for her creativity and awesomeness. She decorated the entire wedding and reception and it was absolutely gorgeous. Jenessa of course looked like a model and her hubby-to-be was truly handsome in his grey suit. I loved it all! It was so good to see friends and I loved being a part of Jenessa's special day, they make one of the cutest matches ever.
After the big day I had Saturday and Sunday to spend with my family and I loved every minute. Saturday morning my dad and I ran the South Weber 5k in which my amazingly-in-shape father won third in his age group... and finished about 2 minutes ahead of me. I finished the race with a lovely scene of me vomiting under the finish line :). Good times. My competitiveness apparently pushed my body a little harder than it could handle to keep up with my rock star of a Dad. After the race my Dad and I supported my Mom in the parade by making ourselves a part of it. Yes, somehow my Dad convinced me it was a great idea to ride our bikes in the parade so we could take pics of my Mom... once we were riding in it I realized I had just added myself into a parade without having my bike decorated at all. How embarrassing, right?! Anyways, we finished the evening with fireworks and I could not have been happier that Jenessa's wedding got me in Utah during South Weber Country Fair Days.
I flew back to NC on Monday and went to work for three or four days. Worth it I know, then I proceeded to fly BACK to Utah for some family time and this time my husband came with. We hit the ground running once we landed by spending our first day going bowling with Curtis and then having dinner up in American Fork Canyon.
We camped overnight at the Timpooneke Trail head so we could begin our 18-miler at 4:30 Am. We slept great in the back of my Dad's truck (except for a minor nightmare of men cutting into the truck to cut me, and Mitch waking up to ask it it was a bear when I closed the window out of fear). The Hike to summit Timp was beautiful and I was glad Mitch convinced me to go. We ended up hiking with a family of mountain goats for a good half hour, which was very distracting and eventually led to a face-off of me vs. wild. We hiked up going over the saddle and to get down we went around and down a glacier to Emerald Lake. It was an awesome experience, sliding down a snow covered mountain in August. Many in our families thought we couldn't make it to the top due to the change in altitude from NC but we did manage to finish and it was exhilarating.


video

The next day we went on a 20 mile bike ride with my parents on the Ogden River Parkway. I was skeptical since my feet were still broken from the hike before but it did feel great on our muscles. Then the following day we decided to finish our custom-made triathlon with a three hour canoe trip up in Logan. We finally got to visit cute 8 mo. pregnant Emily and Philip and re-visit our favorite Cache Valley. After the canoe trip we had dinner on a farm property and then went to "Hello Dolly." The trip was perfect and by the time I got back to NC on Monday I was exhausted and "ready" to start school on Tuesday.
The only downside to the trip was that I had to leave Mitch in Utah. It brought back all of our long-distance-dating memories and it was not my favorite airport experience. Since Mitch is stuck at the U for a month if anyone feels the need to call and catch up with me, now is definitely a good time! I am already going a little crazy... I swear Lucy is going to start speaking to me soon :). Hope everyone is enjoying being back in school as I am (hear the hint of sarcasm?). Good Luck!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Sweeney's Have Left the Building

About two years ago Mitch and I found ourselves with new neighbors below us who happened to be in our ward. We didn't know it until they told us with a note on Mitch's Jeep. It read something like this "Hey are you LDS? We saw your Utah State license plate and figured you might be. We live in apt... come and stop by!" Now, I am prefacing here because it WAS two years ago so I obviously don't remember it word for word. Their note was followed by months of Mitch urging me to go downstairs when I had time to make us some new friends, because he was crazy busy and I was still having a hard time making friends in our new home. I am not sure exactly when or what started our friendship off, but I know once we finally hung out it was an easy friendship! Mitch and Ryan hit it off pretty quickly with their common love for sports and Caitlin and I had an easy time talking about pretty much anything from the start. After our friendship was established we had many nights together full of our favorite games(Ticket to Ride and Dominion pretty much dominated our game-time), afternoons by the pool, and nights at baseball games. Eventually we started carpooling to church together and then when they got their cute puppy Ryno we would puppy-sit for them.
Then when we got our Lucy dog, the two pups were fast friends and they would have her over to play for hours at a time. We really have been so blessed to have them move in right next to us. I think we both provided each other a much needed close relationship after moving across the country away from family and friends. Alright so I have obviously touched on the fact that we are close friends, now to tie in the sad title. Last week our lovelies, Ryan and Caitlin, moved away :(. Ryan is finishing his PT degree at Duke with his clinicals in Arizona, Nebraska and then their last 3 months will be back here in NC. We helped them move and it was a sad day for our little family. We went to our favorite bbq place for dinner and then helped them finish up their packing until late that night.
Lucy still runs to their door every time we go downstairs and today when the cleaners were repainting their old apartment with the door open, Lucy of course ran right in looking for Ryno. We are obviously still recovering from the break-up. Luckily, our other Bff's, Logan and Christine Christensen, moved in across the parking lot just before the Sweeney's left. We really are so lucky to have not one but three other families in our ward in our apartment complex. With the Bonds right below us and the Christensens across the parking lot I have running and pool buddies all the time! Not to mention a date every Monday to watch The Bachelorette with me (Thanks Christine!). It will be a sad day when we find out where all of our friends are headed for residency in a year. The ideal would be if we all went to the same place :) A girl can dream right?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Thus Far

Alright, I am going to do a combo of the rest of my catch up for the summer. We seriously have had a very busy summer and I have loved every minute. I can't believe it is already July... it is going by way too fast. The day after we went to Chicago, we picked up the newest addition to our family. Meet Lucy everyone! She is a Mini Schnauzer and is absolutely adorable. She was the first dog I made Mitch finally meet in person and she fooled us by acting all calm and mellow... little did we know she has the biggest personality I have ever seen in such a small body. We love her to death and potty training this pup has been an experience.
Two days after we took Lucy home (who was 9 weeks old at the time), we went on a beach trip with some friends of ours. We spent the night at a dog friendly hotel right on the beach, boogie boarded all day, fished, introduced Lucy to the ocean, and played with the little babies of our friends. It was a great trip overall.
About four days after the beach trip Mitch headed back to Chicago for another conference. About 5 hours after he got home, at 11:30pm, we went to the Greyhound station in Raleigh and boarded a bus headed to Richmond, Virginia, where we switched buses and eventually arrived in DC at 6:30am. Now, Mitch had to do some serious convincing for me to do this, but I will say it was worth it. Maybe :). Mitch's uncle was there with his cute family and we got to spend the day with them, literally running from one monument/museum, to the other. We saw the Capitol, Arlington Cemetery, Museum of Natural History, Aerospace Museum, The House of Archives, the Lincoln Monument and the White House. It really was so great seeing Mitch's family and it being my first real experience of DC, I was pretty pleased. The ride home on the bus I was not so pleased with. It was 12:30am when our bus left DC, we had another layover in Richmond and then got back to Raleigh at 6:30, getting us back to our house at 7:00. Then of course I worked from 8:30-6:30 or so... let's just say I was pretty grumpy. But hey, worth it. Right?
A week or so after our DC trip I went to Utah for my good friend, Simone's, wedding. I met Simone on our high school dance team and I absolutely love her to death. Simone is one of the sweetest, most honest, and genuine people I know and I am so blessed to have her in my life. We danced up at Utah State together and were roommates while there. She was baptized into the Mormon church during her year at Utah State and I feel so lucky to have seen her conversion. She is the only member in her family so she showed her strength when she was married in the LDS Temple with only a handful of friends to see it. Her family has been so amazingly accepting of her joining the LDS Church, they are truly an incredible family. The day before the wedding I was able to go to the Temple with my parents and do some temple work for my Great Grandmother who passed away about 3 years ago. It was a very special experience. It was a great weekend with friends and family.(I'll post photos later... only downloaded them on my parent's laptop. Oops.). About a week after my first trip to Utah for the year, Mitch and I went on our second beach trip with another group of friends for Independence Day. Mitch spent quite a bit of time looking for a beach that was not crazy crowded for the Fourth, and he seriously found us the perfect spot. We went to Cape Lookout, NC which is a small, secluded island off of the East Coast. This tiny strip of island is a national beach and it's only inhabitants were a few cabin stayers, and some rangers. It was perfect. We took a ferry to the island so we didn't have our car, and stayed in a cabin right on the beach. After spending our first day boogie boarding and fishing, we spent the night playing card games with our friends. Mitch and I woke up early the next day and tried shore fishing again, then had our last round of boogie boarding and hopped on the ferry to take us back to the mainland. It really was a blast, and with our good friends the Sweeney's moving so soon, it was our last big hoorah with them.
Our summer has been amazing and we have not wasted any time! In a few weeks I will be headed to see another beautiful friends' wedding in Utah and then will take one final trip out west with Mitch to get him set up for his away rotation at The University of Utah. I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer as well!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Update #1: Chicago

Alright, this summer is flying by way too fast. Things have been fun and crazy busy, leaving me no time for pretty much everything important, such as cooking, or cleaning... or showering? No but really we have already had many adventures this summer! I will start with Chicago. Mitch had two conferences there this summer and we decided I should come to one of them so we could enjoy ourselves a bit there! We got there around 10am and it took us, oh... 3 hours to make it to our hotel!? We tromped around the city on buses, subways and streets with our backpacks, and suitcases. It was quite the start to our trip! By the time we made it to our hotel overlooking the lake, we were beat and took a small nap.
Our first night was spent at Navy Pier. I finally got to ride that beautiful Ferris wheel to view the skyline, and we went to an amazing cirque show.
The next day, Mitch went to the conference to present his research while I slept in, ate delicious waffles by myself and layed out by the pool. When he got back we made our way into the city and walked around Millennium Park and ate delicious Giordano's pizza. It was still early after all of this so we decided to check out Chinatown. There I found a surprise box for $1 and we felt a little out of place. Once is enough for that...
Our last day we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo. This may have been my favorite part, I was absolutely amazed at how nice this free zoo was! We visited the gorillas and polar bears, who both put on quite a show. My favorite animal was the wild African dogs. I had never seen them before and they are pretty amazing looking! Sadly I didn't get a picture of those, so I stole one from the web. Now you can all agree they are pretty much the coolest. After the zoo I talked Mitch into going to H&M with me, where we spent way too much time and saw a whole bunch of interesting people :). We then headed to the airport, which again had us going across the city on subways and buses with our suitcases and attempting to stay out of people's way. By the time we made it to the airport, we were barely on time to make our flight, and then... we find out we were at the wrong airport. Yes. We flew into O'hare, and apparently were supposed to fly out of Midway. Oops! Luckily the nice people at O'hare put us on a flight of theirs for a small sum. We then made it safely home from there!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

First Week of Summer!

My posts have definitely slowed for a while... blame UNC. However, last week was my first week of summer and it began a very great opportunity for laziness. I had my last final on May 3rd, and the Summer session at The Little Gym doesn't begin until June 11th. This means I have a few weeks of working my school-work schedule, which is two days a week, WITHOUT the school!! I have been loving summer so far! Sleeping in has been a delight and now, a week after school ended I am finally getting a little bored. Last week was a great first week of summer though! We started the summer off right with a trip to the beach with our good friends, the Erdmann's and Tandberg's. It was a blast, and the perfect weather was ideal for their little ones to spend a day in the water.
I was finally able to provide home cooked meals for Mitch (trust me it has been way too long! Poor guy.) We enjoyed pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, 7-layered tostadas, and our favorite black bean and rice casserole! We also went strawberry picking at a local farm, and I made my first attempt of strawberry freezer jam! Pretty much summer so far is fantastic!
I have also started exercising again, which has been a long time coming!! On my run today I actually got lost... so that is going well. Good times ahead!!