Thursday, December 12, 2013

November Happenings.

November was full of fun times. We went on a little getaway to SLC so I could go to the SYTYCD concert with my sister in law. We decided to meet up with Juje and Austin for dinner since they were going to the concert too. We had a little extra time to kill before dinner so we decided to go do a little exploring. We went to the capitol and wandered around, it was my first time in there and I loved it. After that we went to an awesome Catholic Cathedral, but I felt too awkward to take pictures in there.

After tourist-ing it up we went to Macaroni Grill so we could see Mckay. It was delicious, and the service was some of the best I've ever had! Mckay hooked us up with all kinds of complimentary delights. The best part of the night was when Mckay sent over one of the opera singers they employ. He had the most beautiful voice and sang about love in Italian. It was quite magical, even though he was singing to Juje and Austin.

Here we are! Austin is big sauce-sucka! Someday he'll learn.
Then we went the concert! I drove with Juje and Austin because I was already with them and Jami was going to meet me there with my ticket. I had to go the bathroom pretty bad at the restaurant, but decided to just go once we got into the concert. Bad idea. Once we got to the Maverick Center, I realized you couldn't get in without a ticket. Crap. Juje and Austin went on their way, because Juje had to go to the bathroom too. I called Jami to see how far away she was but she didn't answer and then Nate started texting me with updates on her whereabouts. She was on speaker phone with her husband who was trying to help her navigate and Nate was with her husband giving me updates because Jami was too frazzled to talk to me. She was lost. I waited patiently at first and talked to some usher about how bad I needed to go to the bathroom and he just laughed like I was trying to flirt with him or something. After about 20 or 25 minutes, it was getting bad. I drank way too much at dinner and my bladder capacity is pretty pathetic, it was getting to the painful stages. I got desperate and started thinking about offering some kind of collateral to give to the usher while I went to the bathroom. My phone? No, too risky. Purse? Maybe, but I'd have to take all the valuables out...My Boot! Perfect, I'll go tell him that I'm leaving my boot here and I'll have to come back for it, he'll let me go. So, I went up to him and  proposed my plan, he looked at me like I was a crazy person. Which now, I realize, that did sound crazy. He just shrugged and said he still couldn't let me go. Shoot. He now knew the whole "bathroom bit" wasn't some disgusting pick up line. I'm doomed. By this time the show had started and I didn't even care. All I wanted was to go t
o the bathroom. I thought about buying another ticket to get in, so now I had to evaluate how much a wizz was really worth. Not worth it, I decided. So I sat down and waited. At least I had scared that usher away, he didn't bother me again. I decided to try talking to an older usher, so I found what looked like the "main usher" and told him about my predicament. He said, "oh, no problem, let me get someone to escort you down to the bathrooms" What? That was easy. All I could think was that I was going to kill that other usher. I was overly thankful to this lifesaver and probably creeped him out. I made sure to glare at the other usher as I was being escorted down the stairs. After thanking my escort a ridiculous amount of times, I returned back to my post and was sure to ask the other usher if he knew about the "escort" trick. He claims he didn't. Yeah right. Jami showed up a few minutes later and we got in and found our seats so quick, we barely missed anything. The show was awesome and a little surreal.

Here's a crap fest picture- as Natalie would call it. 
Juje and I met up at intermission, talked about the annoying people next to them and took a picture.
This may be the weirdest picture ever taken. We meant to get a pic at the show, but since we decided to sprint outta that place the second it ended, there was really no time. We regretted it when we got home, so we tried to recreate it but it ended up just being really weird and also funny. And now we have this picture to prove that we had tickets to the concert and that we were able to find a logo online and enlarge it. 

In other news, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Nates family. No one even threw up at the table this year, so it was huge success. (Last year not one, but two of our nephews threw up at the table, almost on it. It was the most disgusting thing and everyone had the weirdest reactions. The smell was overwhelming, so a couple people straight up bolted down the hall into a separate room and shut the door. Some people just sat there and continued to eat-that was probably the weirdest reaction of all.  I gagged, stood up slowly and went downstairs casually, trying to act like I needed to go down for something and it wasn't because I was about to throw up. Later that night I had a miniature panic attack. It was a very overwhelming day and I was so done with family, especially because now we all probably had the flu!) But that was last year, and this year was great. No one brought sugar or gluten free anything (which also happened last year, some pretty nasty tasting things happened. That may have been why those little boys threw up. jk They really did have the flu). We looked at ads and talked and ate so much pie. It was perfect. Nate and I didn't really want to go black friday shopping, we weren't after anything and I just wasn't in the mood, so we went home and watched a really stupid movie with my parents and went to bed. The next day we did a little shopping, but nothing too serious. 
Nate fully participated in Mo-vember this year and he loved every second of it. He got way too many compliments on that stache. He said that for every compliment he got, he would extend the life of the stache for one month. We went to my work Christmas party a week ago and everyone went crazy for that thing. I think if he was really doing a month per compliment he probably would have been up to about 3 years, no joke. The next day at work I had people emailing ALL day about that stache, everyone was so obsessed. It was kinda fun, but I couldn't handle living in the shadow of that stache, so I gently encouraged him to shave it. But I mostly told him to shave it because no one would ever take him seriously like that. I must say, I do miss it a little.  We leave for Disneyland in 6 days for the Griswald family vacation! I'm so excited and can't wait to blog all about it. Don't worry, we all have matching shirts that say "Disneyland Shirt" on the front. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

October Fest.

I love October! Definitely the best month. We went on 2 ghost tours. First Max and Derrik's ghost bike tour. It was super fun, but mostly because there's nothing I love more than being in a bike gang, especially with Max yelling in megaphone about ghosts and stuff. Also, they gave us an EMF detector so we could know when the ghosts were trying take our souls. So "ghost hunters".
After that, we wanted more and heard the Logan ghost tour was really good. There was only one good story in the Ellen Eccles theatre, it was creepy. The rest of the stories were told by thes-pos, (thespians) and they were being way too dramatic for me to be able to enjoy the story. At the end of the tour some sensitive candy maker fed us some nasty fudge. He literally told us before we ate it that if we didn't like it to not tell him because he couldn't take the criticism. If you have to give that kind of disclaimer, you may want to change your recipe. Just sayin. 
I went to a corn maze with the Young Women, and we couldn't find the exit, so we just went back through the entrance. Way lame. 

We went to Canadian Thanksgiving. Mckay sure does know how to throw a party. The turkey was a little under cooked, but it would be a gnome dinner without some salmonella, right?  It was a good year, but it was harder to make fun of Canada because there was an actual Canadian there. I was really looking forward to singing "I'm Proud to be an American" but no one stepped up. But it's alright, it was worth it to see old friends. 

Next, it was anniversary time. We went and stayed in a poshy place in park city. We shopped, ate, and watched way too much walking dead. It was such a nice weekend. We were planning on going to a nice dinner one of the nights. The first night we went to Wendy's because we needed something quick. But we were in for a big surprise, because the Wendy's in Park City is the best in America. It was honestly one of the best burgers I've ever had, what? I know. And so naturally we ended up going there the 2nd night for dinner too. Romantic, huh? 

Luckily, the night before we left for Park City we went to this new restaurant in Logan called HoHut. Sounds weird, but it's delicious and entertaining. You get to load up all the food you want and then the chefs cook it all up for you. I can't believe we've already been married two years, but then sometimes I think it's been way longer than two years too-not in the bad way. Probably just because we have been together for so dang long. And now, some of my favorite memories from our 2nd year of marriage:
-All the weird things that happen when I'm half asleep and Nate is reading. He tells me interesting things he is learning and I try and repeat them back to him and they are 100% nonsense. 
-For some reason I make Nate be in charge of setting the alarm for me, even though I have to wake up an hour earlier. He uses his phone, snoozes it once every day and then turns it off. I'm such a little baby. 
-One of the best inside jokes from this year was one night when I kept asking Nate if he was talking to me. He made fun of me for a while and then said something else, and I said "who, me?".  We laughed for a good long time, and now he always clarifies that he is talking to me. 
-Nate is so good to me. He cares about the stupid things I care about. He lets me know how the decorations would look best, sadly, he has a way better eye for that than me. 
-Mostly I just love coming home after a long day of work and making dinner together while we watch stupid TV shows. Marriage is so much better than I thought it would be and now when I accidentally end up at "singles events" I cannot believe how I used to live like that. It's so nice to just have a perma-BFF, always having someone to sit by and talk to when things get awkward. Sorry for the sentiment, but it's true and I meant it. 

One day I went on a  fall bike ride extravaganza and went to all the places in Logan that are best during this time of year. It was the most beautiful day of 2013. I loved it and even took some selfies, and hated myself for it. 

We went to a super fun Halloween party and dressed up as Rick and Lori from The Walking Dead, because that show has consumed our lives a little bit lately. I wanted to be something else, but Nate won and I guess it was kinda fun. 

One of my favorite things about Logan is the pumpkin walk. It is so much fun to see all the awesome displays. Even though I didn't like the movie that much, the "wreck it ralph" dispaly was too impressive not to love. It's been a season with plenty of pumpkin recipes, caramel apples, scarfs and sweaters. I'll miss you fall. I sure do hate you winter, you better not be a jerk this year. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Youth

So I did such a good job as camp director, I got promoted to be a counselor in the young women presidency. It's been mostly fun, but also a little crazy and stressful. A few weeks ago we went to a youth conference up at a cabin in Bear Lake. I love doing anything that is combined with the young men because the leaders and young men are all so great and so funny. Plus, they do all the hard stuff that I usually have to do when it's only the girls. We went to an awesomely big cabin with a huge play room in the basement with all kinds of tables-foosball, pool, ping pong, air hockey and more. We ate so much delicious food and played a lot. Here are some pictures from the weekend. 
We went on a hike at dawn and though it was nearly impossible to get everyone up and out, it was totally worth it. 

Some of the group, the rest of the boys thought it would be cool to go off the trail and bush whack until they found the car. We are all really good leaders, so we let them go, and then talked about how funny it would be if they got lost and we had to call "search and rescue". 

We went and "swam" at the lake, but it was so dang cold. The girls played in the water for like 10 minutes and then shivered and whined for about 2 hours before we took them back to the cabin. See what I mean about the "good leaders" thing. 

This picture is perhaps the greatest miracle that ever happened. We were all gathering to take a group picture but it was taking everyone so long, so I just kept taking pictures (with the timer) until everyone got there. There is a swing off to the left of the picture that that boy was on, I told everyone there was 3 seconds left on the timer and he somehow jumped at the exact perfect time and we got this gem of a picture. That poor boy who is on his knees got flattened moments after this picture was taken. And I started freaking out because it was the coolest thing ever, so everyone ran over to see the picture and the flattened boy got trampled. Poor kid.  

Then we finally got the whole group together. Such a small but fun group. 

We also did a talent show last week with the young men/young women and it was the best thing ever. I took some really crappy pictures with my phone, but they are too crappy to post. I'll just tell you how great it was. One of the boys is good roper- so he told his other friend to run around and he would try to rope him. The leaders decided they should let the boy out of closet, and let him run wild- so it seemed more like a rodeo. The boy came out like a crazy person and was running around while someone else yodeled or something. It was hilarious chaos, but the roper finally caught and tied his feet together, it was perfect. One boy taught us mathematics, and made up this insane story problem about a velociraptor chasing you around and how fast you'd have to run, blah blah blah. He made up this story problem because he wanted it to have real-life application. Someone taught origami and there was a comedy routine from Bill Cosby. The young women did the "cup song" and then a really annoying song from girls camp. Now you know why I love the young men so much. Don't get me wrong the young women are awesome and I love them all. 

Those are all the fun updates from my calling! Because that's what people really want to read about on a blog, how someone's calling is going. You're welcome. At least my calling isn't a gospel doctrine teacher or something, that'd be way boring to read about- probably. 

And in case you are mad you read this whole thing and feel like it was a waste of time, here is something you can be happy about. Kyle is finally on SNL, here is a video to cheer you up.

And if you don't know who Kyle is, you need to get real and watch these clips. 

I don't know why I think he is so funny, but I do. And I hope you do too. See ya. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Girls Camp

Girls Camp. Here's the situation. We only have 2 young women who committed to coming, they were barely 12 and had never really been away from home. A couple days before leaving 2 leaders backed out, leaving only me and one other leader to take care of everything.  We were staying at a place called Cinnamon Creek, it's a beautiful campground on the other said of Porcupine reservoir. They do Stake Girls Camp every year because there just aren't enough girls in any of the wards. So we had to haul our stuff clear across camp with a handcart, took about 3 trips and it was exhausting. By the time camp was set up, I was so ready to go home. The first night, we made tinfoil dinners, despite my words of advice, they were made incorrectly and almost all of them burnt. We were all pretty hungry so we ended up eating muffins and cereal. I felt like a huge failure and was on the brink of tears- exhaustion, hunger and a feeling of failure is not a good combo. Also, lucky for me, it just so happened to be that time of the month, so add some hormones to that equation. By bed time I was so ready to go to bed! The first night I got to know the other leader that was there really well. She grew up in India and had an awesome life story that was super interesting, and that may have been my favorite part of all of camp. This is where I found out that she didn't have much experience with camping and I started to realize it was going to be up to me to do all the dirty work. I prayed really really hard that night for a more positive attitude the next day. About an hour into sleep one of the girls wakes me up to take her to the bathroom that was forever away. After that, I couldn't sleep much because of the wind and rain, it was way too loud.

The next morning we had to wake up early to go on a hike up to a mine. I was really excited to see the mine, go on a nice hike and be in the mountains. The hike was beginner to intermediate and not that challenging but the girls sure did complain the entire time. It was so for me to not tell them they were little babies and needed to "man up" because that's all I wanted to say the whole time. I tried to encourage them and be positive, but it was so hard. I do not remember ever having a hard time hiking when I was in Young Women, aren't you just always in good shape when you are that old?
On the trail. These girls make me look like a huge giant, but I'm still regular-sized. 
We made it to the mine. Miracles happen. 

It was so dark and cool in there, I could have stayed in there all day. 

These guys were always doing weird poses for pictures.
We got back to camp and played some "minute to win it" games. I accidentally dominated, but it was kind of cathartic and it felt really awesome. (Such a good leader, right?)

We sang lots of fun songs. All my favorite songs were sung to way different tunes and it was a little disappointing, not to mention I could not sing them right and everyone probably thought I was tone-deaf to the max. The second night one of the girls got super homesick and scared and wanted us to do something about it. I had no idea what to do, we only have two girls, so we couldn't stuff her in the middle of everyone. And we were not allowed to sleep in the same tent as the girls, quite the predicament. After an hour of trying to figure out what to do, we decided to screw the rules and my co-leader went and slept in the girls tent (don't tell) The next morning it was the girls job to get the fire going, as I had taught them a pretty thorough lesson on fire starting. They couldn't get it going in time to get breakfast cooked so we had cold breakfast burritos. 

There were snakes all over, which completely paralyzed my co-leader and made it a little difficult to get things done. The girls were not as helpful as I had hoped and we had to beg and beg them to help with meals and clean up and all that. Once they would finally start helping, it would take them 45 minutes to do a 10 minute job. So frustrating. Since no one else knew how to start fires or the camp stove, that was left up to me. I had to collect the fire wood every night, start all the fires, cook all the food. When the winds picked up I was the only one who knew how to anchor down the shade and the tents. I cleaned out the coolers, made everything rodent-proof every night and had to wake everyone up every morning. The priesthood situation was less than ideal. The stake said they would provide the men, and we were not allowed to bring any from our individual wards. The main problem with that plan was that the men were always helping other camps, there was not enough testosterone to go around. 

After so much hard work, I was really looking forward to testimony meeting. Finally, I would reap the reward of all my hard work. But unfortunately no one bore their testimony. It was really disappointing and I went to bed feeling like a failure for the second time that week. The next day we had to pack up and get out. For some reason, the stake made us wait until noon to start, because they wanted it to be as hot as possible. This was the worst day for me. There was so much work to be done and the girls would not help. We nagged and nagged but they would not get anything done. I had broken down most of camp in time it took them to pack their duffle bags. It was about 2 hours of non-stop work getting camp packed up.

 After that it was time to load up the handcart again and trek it across the huge field. I was the only one strong enough to lift most of the gear onto the handcart so I had to get everything packed up for each of the trips. The girls couldn't pull the handcart alone, so we had to push on the back. There was one point where I stopped pushing for a second and the cart stopped completely. After 2 trips of that I was sweating like crazy, and so incredibly exhausted, but our ride still hadn't showed up. I started loading everything I could into my car, while the girls laid on the grass because they felt like they were going to die. By the time our one priesthood helper got there, we only had a little bit left to load in the car and head out. I drove alone because I was all out of patience and room in my car. I blasted 'girl talk' as loud as it would go all the way to the church and it was one of the best car rides of my life. Once I got to the church I had to wait for about 20-30 minutes for the other car, because they decided to stop and swim for a while on the way out. We got everything unpacked and then had to go drop off borrowed gear. I had to make about 5 stops before I could finally go home. No one was home. It's weird how mad this made me. I was so angry because I just wanted to be done. I didn't want to have to do anything for camp ever again. 

By the time I got home I was exhausted physically, mentally and spiritually. That week had taken so much out me that when I walked in the door I just cried and cried for a good 5 minutes before I could even tell Nate why I was crying. I know that this sounds extremely negative, and I really hate that. I was super positive while I was with the girls and gave them all the patience and care that I had in me. I wasn't expecting camp to be like this, I didn't think it was be hard in the ways that it was hard. I was disappointed when I came home because I felt like I did my calling wrong, because I didn't learn or grow in the ways I thought I would. I am honestly still kind of waiting for the lesson in all of this. I can't really believe that I was able to do it. I guess I learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. And I really hope I never have to do that again.

Phoenix and Bear Lake

It has been one of my busiest summers ever, and it is finally starting to calm down. We left Havasupai to travel down to Phoenix to hang out with Nate's family. We finally made it there, and pretty much had to stay in the pool the whole time because it was so hot. You know what they say, "I'd rather be dead in California than alive in Phoenix."

There was a lot happening all the time and not much time to relax but it was really fun to be surrounded by so much family and to eat constantly. 

All the uncles kept launching children and it was so entertaining to watch them flail around in the air. 

Nephew attack!

Just some of the nieces and nephews, still missing about 7 crazy children. 

Glow stick madness at the fireworks. Phoenix sure does put on a great show. 

The "dive-in" movie was super fun. The kids were so conflicted with whether to swim and play or watch the movie, but the movie won. (kids these days) 

The last night we turned out all the lights and dove for glow sticks for hours. It was so awesome to throw tons of glow sticks off the diving board and watch them dart around in the water. So much diving and fighting under the water. It destroyed my ears for a couple days, but it was worth it. 

We made the long drive home, worked for a couple days and then took off to Bear Lake for a long weekend. Bear Lake was pretty dang, especially compared to Phoenix. It was pretty stormy the entire time and it was too not be fully clothed. We were up there at the perfect time and got to meet up with Riana and Ryan and Natalie's family. There were so many people we knew up there that weekend it was insane. 

Riana's always got the hook ups. She invited us to go boating one morning. Nate and I were the only ones who got to get out on the water before the storm rolled in. This was Nate's first time "getting up" on the wake board. What? I know, it's crazy. Ryan was the secret charm to his success, it's all about the boar driver. And now he's already better than me. Boys are the worst for that reason.  
We love being on boats. 
Once the storm started we decided it was time to go have an awkward meet up at the Innes family reunion. It wasn't near as awkward as I was expecting. Partly because I had forgotten how awesome the Riana-buffer is and also because they are the nicest family ever.. We talked and laughed like we were old friends. Nate and I both wished we were in their family so we could stay for the whole reunion. They invited us in and fed us delicious snacks and treats. It was super fun, good people are the best. 

After that, we came home, I worked for a week and then it was time for Girls Camp...

to be continued. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"If I make it out of here..."

So much has been happening lately, it's hard to keep up. But here are some of the things that have been going on.

We went to Havasupai with Juje and Austin. It was more stressful this time because I felt like I was in charge and I nearly lost our reservations and ruined the trip, but I finally got a hold of a really nice indian who was very helpful and made the whole trip possible. The week we decided to go was the week of the "heat wave", all these heat records to be broken, blah blah blah. I was pretty nervous about the heat, because sometimes the heat makes me not want to be in a good mood. Luckily, everyone was really supportive and encouraging. Not. The weekend before Juje called me because her dad "didn't have a good feeling" about us going. I hate going against parents feelings, because those are freaky things, but we had been planning for too long. The night before I left my mom texted me the following. "Lachelle's friend lives in Havasupai and she said it was 127 degrees today, the birds are dropping dead. I love you and have fun!" Way cool. So now that I was super nervous of dying of heat, we were on our way and as we pulled out of St. George at about 3 PM, we realized our A/C was not working. We tried and tried, but nothing would make it work. We did what we could to cool, but it was too hot. I started texting Lachelle who lives in Las Vegas and she said we couldn't keep driving because it was 117 degrees and they had been rushing people to the hospital all week because they were driving without A/C. (My family is very dramatic and it gets me all riled up). So I was freaking out and Nate was calm as could be.
We kept our bandanna's nice and wet and finally made it to Vegas where we tried to recharge the A/C, didn't work. Nate let me go with Juje and Austin because he knew I was on the verge of losing it. After leaving Vegas the A/C was touch and go, but it would come on every so often and that was good enough for me. 

Finally we made it to the trailhead. After a crappy 2 hours of sleep we decided to head out on the trail at about 2:30 AM

The trail down was really hard for me this time. My body sure hates the things I do to it. Every down hill I had to go super slow because my legs were aching too bad. I was a pretty sad sight. See what I mean...
But we finally made it in. I don't know if this place would be as beautiful if you didn't have to suffer through the hike before. It is the most amazing site to see that first glimpse of the amazingly blue water. 

We set up camp and got in that water as fast as possible. 

We spent the first day playing in the first waterfall and trying to get as close as possible. It was a fun and sometimes scary game. 

We got an awesome new waterproof camera that we had way too much fun with. It's the perfect camera for jumping pictures. 

We played some games, Juje got loopy and we all wished the day would end so we could go to sleep. 

The next day we hiked down further to this huge waterfall. You have to climb down the cliff while holding on to chains and ladders, sometimes it's a little scary. 

Hiking around and finding treasures all over. 

We found this awesome little place to swim and play behind the waterfalls, and pretty much stayed there the rest of the time. Until this huge group of like 20 girls in sports bras came and invaded. We left for a while and then came back to reclaim our spot. It was the perfect place to swim and play all day. Probably my favorite part of the whole trip. 
Hiking back up the cliff-side. What a heart throb. 

By the time it was time to do the hike out, I was in bad shape. My feet were all torn up, all my muscles ached and I felt a little nauseated. We started the hike out at 8PM, hiked about half way and slept/lied on the trail.  I say lied because Nate was the only one who really slept. A little while after we settled down to sleep there was the most terrifying sound coming down the canyon toward us. Sounded like some kind of bobcat in heat or something. The boys got up and threw rocks at it until it went away. But I couldn't get the noise outta my head and thus, couldn't sleep at all. We woke up and started back on the trail at like 3 AM and Juje and I felt like we could puke any time. I forced down some cliff bar and somehow managed to make it out. I destroyed the switchbacks, didn't stop once, thanks to Nate's sing-a-long. 


The trip was an overall success, even though Juje will never eat "fruit and nut" again.