Well folks, here is another marathon blog post with very little writing and lots of fun photos. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words. The good news is that tax season ended on April 15th and after spending WAY too much time indoors during the first few months of 2010, my goal for the remainder of the year and specifically the summer, was to spend as much time out of doors as possible. Begin Summer o' Fun 2010. I realize that summer doesn't start in April, but that is when my activities began. So every weekend since then has been spent doing something delightful. I really do lead a glorious life. It is amazing how much time there is for fun when you are only spending 40 hours/week at the office. To add to the fun of having more time on my hands, Emily Hardman has been living on our couch for the past 5 weeks. Those of you lucky enough to know her personally realize how wonderful this has been for me, if you aren't one of those lucky people, I just have to say that not only have we had endless hours of fun, but she has also made me a better person. Now...on to the photos!! Which to choose? There are too many!
It all started with me getting on a plane April 15th to visit my nearest and dearest. Well not really my nearest as I had to fly across the country to see them, but definitely my dearest. I flew in to Grand Junction where Janae and her tribe picked me up from the airport and after staying the night there, we headed out for Cedar City to spend the weekend at the family homestead. Brianna was also flying in from NJ that weekend and Kendra came down from Provo. So the only ones missing were Helaman and Tara. In keeping with my goal, I spent a lot of time out doors on the trampoline and swingset with Parker and the niece and nephews. Parker is only 10 and I think that he thinks I am an old woman sometimes. So when we were out on the tramp one day he asked if I could do a flip. Phhhe...of course I can do a flip! So I had to show him my front flip AND my back flip. And in reality it had been years since I had done this and I was not entirely sure if I still had the skill but I had to show my little bro that I was still fun and youthful! Luckily all the hours spent on a tramp as a youngster came through for me and I was able to land both of them. To further demonstrate my youthfulness I pulled some pretty awesome tricks on our swingset, including crossing the monkey bars (that used to be so much easier), hanging upside down from the monkey bars and pulling myself up, and though I no longer dared to do it, I described to him the glorious days when I could do cherry drops from bars like that. (Cherry Drop = hanging upside down without hands and then swinging so you can flip down and land on your feet.) I'm pretty sure Parker was sufficiently impressed and I was proud of myself, though I was also REALLY sore the next day. We also spent time hiking in St. George, I LOVE the red cliffs down there. There is just something wonderful about hiking across red sand stone cliffs. We also went swimming at Aunt Ellen's and got to play with Uncle Doug's new toy. They live outside of St. George so their backyard is essentially a sand dune. Perfect for driving one of these:
This isn't exactly what it looked like. But you get the idea. F-U-N!! The whole weekend was just wonderful. I love my family so much. They are wonderful and so much fun. I don't even know what I would do with out them.
How can you not love these faces?!
Tyler is obsessed with tractors. There happened to be one working across the street from my parents' house. He was in heaven!!
Drinking peach drink (fruit smoothie). Love the face!
The wonderful mother of these cute kids. Can you believe she just turned 26? Crazy!
I may have made Tyler some pajama pants to match mine. They have construction trucks all over them. He loved them!
The next adventure was Christina's birthday. I don't know if I've talked about her a lot on here, but she has been my friend/roommate for almost 3 years now and I just love her. She is truly one of the greatest people I know and I am better for knowing her. I flail more and my accents have become so much better. (yes we flail and talk in accents, sometimes at the simultaneously) I just have great roommates period as you can see from some of these ridiculous photos.
The birthday girl. Yes we made her wear that hat the whole night.
I made cow pie and she loved it and when she blew out the candles she definitely blew the oreo cookie crumbs all over my face. Awesome!
The birthday was a mid week activity and that weekend we went hiking up at Great Falls in MD. It was a little bit rainy but still beautiful. I just love the great outdoors!!
Great Falls with Adriel and David.
Went to the BYU Management Society Gala that night with some friends and ended up sitting at a table with this lovely couple, who ended up being my brother-in-law's mission president. Love it.
I just realized that I skipped a couple of activities that happened prior to April 15th so I'll throw in a few of those photos. Mostly because it was conference weekend and Bree came down from NJ and we had a wonderful time. Conference was just what I needed to help me get through the last few weeks of busy season.
Showing off our skills at a YSA skating activity.
Cherry blossom festival. So beautiful and so crowded.
The next weekend started off with a 5k on Friday night. It was around Crystal City and there were a bunch of fun people who did it. Christina and I decided to dress up a little bit for the occasion.
Some pre-race warm ups
Walking over to the race from David's house. We just needed a reason to stop and pose.
Post race. It was pretty warm. I love running 5ks.
Saturday was filled from morning to evening. In all my planning and love of doing fun things I tend to overbook myself sometimes. But I couldn't say no to kayaking or to a bridal shower or to going to dinner to celebrate Christina's birthday, just the two of us. So I did all of the above and loved them all. Though I did have to go to the bridal shower smelling a little bit like the river. Oh well.
My home teacher Jared has some kayaks and promised to take me as soon as we both had some free time. We finally made it happen and we had so much fun! Up til this trip my only kayaking experience was in the ocean in sea kayaks, which are a little bit different.
Jared and I had our own kayaks and he taught me some great tricks for how to use your companions kayaks to get ahead.
We were one the river for about 8 miles and over 3 hours. The whole journey was absolutely beautiful. These pictures do not do it justice. and what is crazy is that we were in Northern Virginia, practically in people's backyard, but you would never have known.
I was trying to stand up in my kayak...apparently this isn't a good idea. But I didn't fall in :)
Jared dropped me off at the bridal shower which I was a little late to. But I got there just in time for the best part...belly dancing!! True story, my friend Abby had a belly dancer come and give us a lesson at her shower. Hands down the best bridal shower I have ever been to!
I think the just off the river look that I'm sporting is the hottest look :)
Thanks to my dear friend Dianna, that Sunday I discovered a new part of DC. The National Arboretum is a little slice of heaven in the midst of a crazy city. The azaleas were in bloom when we were there and it was amazing. We can't wait to go back to find more amazing things.
Nothing like a little yoga in the middle of the Asian gardens.
My roommates wanted to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and they definitely lived up to the "Go big or go home" motto. Sombreros, pinata, guacamole, even an awesome mustache.
Next stop on the summer o' fun train: river rafting in Ohiopyle, PA. One road trip with Emily Hardman and Matt Fischer coming right up. The river rafting itself was great! My first time, and we had such a great crew even though our feet were like blocks of ice by the time we were done. But the trip itself was quite the journey. We got started late and then we decided to make a little stop in Cumberland, MD. First of all because we were switching drivers and we wanted to get some ice cream, and second of all because there were some beautiful church steeples beckoning us from afar. The city is very quaint and we stopped on their little main street to try to find a treat. Keep in mind it was already pretty late at this point and there wasn't anything open. So we entertained ourselves with some interpretive dancing as well as a guitar concert from some friends we met hanging out on a bench. They informed us that McDonald's was just around the corner so we headed over in search of some ice cream cones. We found that and more. Apparently McDonald's is the only thing open late so there were all sorts of characters there. We sat down with some older gentlemen who were telling us all sorts of stories about the city and their lives. Not to mention giving us advice about not wearing sunscreen among other things. Hilarious. They also gave us a recommendation about where to eat in Ohiopyle. Which came in handy the next evening. After leaving Cumberland it should have only been another 45 minutes to our destination. Somehow it just didn't work out that way. We didn't have an exact address for the campsite (it's a campsite!) so after driving on random dirt roads that led to the top of a hill in the middle of a field, we were finally able to get cell phone service and talk to some one at the camp site who gave us gps coordinates (bless Ryan Blick). We finally got there after 1am when almost everyone was asleep. We set up our tent, blew up our air mattress (sorry other folks next to us who may have already been sleeping) and settled in for the night. Lucky for us the tent we were in was good and rain proof because it POURED for several hours which equaled me getting very little sleep. But the next morning was bright, sunny and chilly. We didn't go rafting with the morning group but waited til later. Em decided not to go at all and then she got lost while we were gone and we couldn't find her but really she couldn't find us. It's a long story, but we finally found her and we all made it home safe and sound. After a stop at the recommended restaurant that had rolls as big as our heads and delicious coconut cream pie that they gave us for FREE!! Wow! So here are a few photos to document the journey.
Em's lap was the only place to put the firewood.
We found a random playground in "town" and had a marvelous time.
Minus spinning around on this thing. It was definitely one of those "it seemed like a good idea at the time" moments. Bleh!!
Trying to avoid the smoke around the fire.
What a great looking crew. Many thanks to Seth who just has all this gear and lets us all use it.
The beautiful but chilly river.
The rolls as big as our heads. They were delicious but Em swears they were just two rhodes rolls put together. Either way, we were hungry and they tasted delish!!
I think that is enough for one blog post. There is so much more to write! I am only up to the first weekend in May! Stay tuned for more delightful adventures. Hopefully you didn't get too bored with this one.