Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Surely heaven on earth

I started this post several days ago and have been so busy that I haven't had the chance to finish yet. Oh well! Better late than never, right.

I'm officially back from my favorite place. And, yes, it was still so amazing to be there! It was even better to be able to see it with my family, whom I love very much. I'm pretty sure it'll always hold a special place in my heart because of the memories I have of going there and the fact that it represents family to me.

The trip started out with a trek to Idaho Falls, which was great! I was able to stop and visit two wonderful friends en route whom I don't get to see very often. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with them and their families. That night we enjoyed swimming and sitting in the jacuzzi at our motel. It was great! And the next day we were off to the park!

The trip started off with a bang as we saw two of the best geysers in the park: Beehive and Grand. Beehive, pictured below, is my favorite geyser and seeing it this year makes three years in a row. Yippee! :)
Then we made our way over to Grand Geyser, which is my second favorite geyser and the tallest predictable geyser in the world. We spent some quality time waiting, but not as much as we have in the past. My sister and I took Bumblebee and the Diva for a little walk while we waited. Then we saw a great show!

Daddy makes a great pillow.


Waiting





and waiting. . .



and this is when we walked to break up the wait


The show we were all waiting for. Wa-hoo!


The next morning several of us got up very early and hiked in to see Fairy Falls. It's beautiful, as you can see from the pictures. What a great way to start the day--to go on a 5-mile hike.
This is a beautiful picture my brother took on my camera as we drove into the park. I love it!



I sure love Fairy Falls!
Then it was off to see Artist Paint Pots, also known as boiling mud and back over to the other side of the park where we hoped to see another favorite geyser that we haven't watched for about four years. Of course there was more waiting involved, but, again, the show was very much worth it.


Just the fam. . . Our grins are cheesy, but we really do all love this place.



Boiling mud

Hooray for Great Fountain. It was here that I was officially told that I'm a geyser geek. I admitted to it with pride. :)


Day 3: Canyon. We hiked the North Rim Trail from the first Upper Falls viewpoint over to brink of Lower Falls, which was fabulous. n we swung down to Lake and out of the park until next year. Sad day!

Just me 'n my mom

My sister and bro-in-law at the brink of Lower Falls

Just a few fun photos of our shopping spree prior to leaving the park. Help, help, the bear is going to eat me!



The Gamer, Diva and Bumblebee by the buffalo in West.



The iconic by the sign picture. This is my brother and sister-in-law.


I wanted to put more pictures on here, but my blog is being stupid today so you'll have to check out my Facebook page for more photos of the trip. So many great ones to choose from!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More Homemade Jewelry

While I'm thinking about it (and the person this was intended for has received it), I'd like to post pictures of my latest piece of homemade jewelry. I went to a watchmaking class last week and this is the fruit from my labor. I'm so proud that I have to show it off, especially since I gave it away. But, I'm delighted that I was able to give it to such a worthy recipient, and I bought enough beads to make one for me too, so it's all good.


The Coolest Clock Ever!

This weekend I was introduced to what I think might possibly be the coolest clock ever. Here's a picture of it. Enjoy!

Oh and I also saw a giant wall clock (and when I say giant I mean it was really huge!). I'm pretty sure those who know me well and are aware of my tendency to be tardy would've told me I really need that clock instead so I can actually make it places on time. But this one just has more personality. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

The night she was born

If you follow my sister's blog, you've already heard this story from her, but I'd like to tell it here as well for my own sake about the night Ashley was born.

At the time, my older sister (whom I'll call Gabby), my younger brother (Hermano) and I were the only three kids living at home. My parents were going to a geyser class in Yellowstone National Park, and my sister's husband was going to a work conference in San Diego, so she agreed to come and stay with us. She was 35 weeks pregnant at the time but thought it would surely be just fine.

On the evening of July 18 we were attempting to contact our parents. This was in the time before cell phones (yes, I know I'm dating myself here), so we had to use the hotel switchboard in order to reach them. My mom had just called us 10 minutes before and then hung up so we could try reaching her through the motel system. It had just closed, since it was just after 10 p.m. My sister was scrubbing something up from the carpet (I can't remember now what it was) and went into the bathroom because she thought she'd had a little accident.

Nope. It turned out her water broke.

When my Mom called back about 10 minutes later, it was to much excitement and perhaps a little fear. Luckily, my grandparents live only four blocks away from my parents so they came to drive my sister to the hospital. In the meantime, we were calling her husband like crazy to try to reach him, again without the aid of a cell phone. He was just getting back into Evanston (where they were living at the time) that evening so we knew we had to catch him.

We finally got him a little after midnight, and he jumped right in the car and booked it down, shaving half an hour off the journey in the process. That meant he arrived in time for Ashley's birth just after 7 a.m.

In the meantime, my mother was panicking that she couldn't be around for the big event, so we decided to make some arrangements. Gabby's boyfriend, Albert, who is now her husband, drove the two of us to Rexburg where we met our parents. My mom went back with them while I went to Yellowstone with my dad so finish out the class. It was a cool experience, particularly the part where we got to go off trail and see features we'd never seen before and probably won't again, even if we had to walk five feet apart single file in order to reach some of them.

It immediately became apparent after Ashley's birth that something was wrong, when they couldn't put a tube down her throat. They life flighted her to Primary Children's Medical Center only hours after she was born and performed her first surgery (to attach her esophagus to her stomach) shortly thereafter. My mom went with my brother-in-law to Salt Lake to be at the hospital so my sister could recover a little bit. She still ended up in Salt Lake within a day.

There's much more to the story, which many of you have probably heard, but this will do for now. It's late, and I'm sure I've babbled on so hopefully this all makes sense. :)

Today's the day

Today's the day she would've turned 13. Yes, I'm referring to our beautiful angel. I've honestly been dreading this day for a couple of weeks just because I knew it would be hard, but it's been a lot better than I would've expected.

Which just goes to show me that anticipation is often worse than the actual event. :)

So what have I done to commemorate the day? Well, my sister said her goal was to do something really fun because that's what Ashley would've wanted. She and my mom were planning to take the kids swimming and just make the day a great one. And we were doing a family balloon release tonight, which I still participated in even though I'm in a different state.

I had to work today, but work was good (except this afternoon which dragged endlessly on!) so it kept me distracted. I had lunch with a great friend today who always makes me happy. I made plans with another friend to go out to dinner and to see Iron Man 2 tonight, which I've wanted to see for such a long time. It's a total man flick, but I loved it! Well, except Scarlett Johanson's sudden transformation into a superhero chick, which apparently ties into the comic book, but I didn't know that, of course. Oh well! It was funny enough to make up for it.

Happy birthday, beautiful angel! We still love and miss you very much! I hope you're still smiling down on us and are happy with how we commemorated your special day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sorting

This morning I wasn't feeling very well so I stayed home from work to rest myself up and prepare to get back into the work saddle tomorrow. I rested this morning, and this afternoon I'm feeling better. So I decided it was time to do some sorting in my room. I've known that I needed to do it for awhile but it wasn't until today that I actually made myself do it, probably since I'm at home, feeling okay at the moment and have some time on my hands.

It's been interesting for me, almost like a walk down memory lane in many ways. I keep finding hobbies that I had every intention of taking up but somehow never did, items that belong in my professional portfolio (like articles I wrote for the Scroll and D-News) and various other brick-a-brac. I'm creating a sack of items to donate to my creative nieces next time I see them because I think they'll get a lot more use out of it than I am.


I also purged my closet. Again, something that I needed to do but just haven't done yet. It was getting so crowded in there that some of the clothes were being mashed by other clothes, and the hangers couldn't hang straight. Oops! It took some will power but I got rid of quite a few things. I know it's shocking, but I tend to hold onto things for sentimental reasons, and my clothes are no exception. I kept convincing myself that although several shirts used to be my favorites or I wore them all the time that they are no longer, and it's time to let them go. My closet looks so much better now!


I found a treasure in the midst of my sorting: a picture my beautiful Miss Sassypants drew of me. I'm including it here so you can enjoy it too. Yeah, it might've made me cry just a little bit when I found it, but it's even more of a treasure now than it was when she first gave it to me. She even drew earrings and a necklace on me, which is just cute. Hooray for sorting!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Just Life

If I've learned anything in my life thus far it's to expect the unexpected. Just when you think you have things figured out or you're in a good place, life pulls the rug out from underneath you and you're on your backside trying to pull yourself up again. Or, you're dealing with things on your plate okay until something else gets added to it and then you must learn how to deal with that thing too. It's incredibly frustrating!

I know, I know. That's life.

And let's face it: life is not fair. Anyone who says it is will be telling you a falsehood. :)

I don't meant to sound angry or bitter, just realistic. I've been trying so hard to cope with everything that's gone on the last few months and, all in all, I think that I've done pretty well. It's been a hard adjustment and other things have come up that have made it that much more difficult. Again, I'm doing my best to cope with everything. The only problem is that it never stops! It just keeps coming full force, and sometimes my mind reels with it all.

I regularly tell my mom to take a step back because she gets completely overwhelmed, but she is in the thick of it. I always advise her to take a step back and try to look at it in smaller fragments so it's not so daunting. I don't know that she does, but I try. Most of the time, I could be saying the same thing to myself, and I do try hard to follow my own advice, even if I'm not always successful in doing so.

I suppose I just need to remember that life is a test, and most of the time tests are hard. I can think of more than one exam I took during college that was more than a little challenging. In fact, some of them were a LOT challenging. But I made it through and a good portion of the time I got a decent grade on the test.

So that means I can make it through this period of testing too. I've just got to grit my teeth and bear it until it eases up a bit. Perhaps this also might mean faking it until I can make it. Because no matter how hard the test, it won't last forever. And I'll be all the stronger for having made it through.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fireworks!

Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE fireworks? And when I say love, I mean I really love them. I get super excited for the Fourth of July (and now that I live in Utah, the 24th of July) because it means that I get to see the sky light up with beautiful explosions of color. The bigger the firework show, the better!

And, since the majority, if not all, of the fireworks I see come at patriotic times of the year, fireworks also make me feel patriotic. I'm not sure how exactly explosions in the air tie in with being patriotic, save only that they're a tradition for that time of the year, but somehow they do. And I would feel cheated if my Fourth of July went by without seeing any fireworks show! This year I got to see two. It was exciting!

It's become an important tradition for me, whenever possible, to always see the fireworks show at Aggie Stadium in Logan. I can't even recall the number of times that I've seen it over the years my sister has lived there, except that I know it's been many, many times. I love it because not only is the show put on by professionals, but the fireworks are also choreographed to music, which makes it that much cooler!

Here are a few photos of the fireworks show last year and this year. I'm not quite as good at photographing them as my brother, but I do try. I'm also going to attempt to upload a video, but I'm not sure if it'll work out or not so we'll see. Enjoy!









video