Sunday, August 29, 2010

6 down 2 to go

We actually went out to Utah for Mikes Sister Becca's wedding. Rebecca and Aaron came to visit us out in CT before they were engaged, so it was especially fun to see them tie the knot. Mike and I got up super early and did a session in the Bountiful temple before the wedding.

The bride and groom
Mike's whole family. With 6 of the 8 kids married, hence "2 to go!"
The nieces and nephews

The Miles kids
The Permann Boys
Prom picture
I really enjoyed decorating the car, although I heard the jello was awful to get off. Opps! But don't worry I helped clean it, somewhat.
It was a beautiful wedding and reception and we all had a lot of fun. But really how much more can you say about a wedding? ;-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Day at the Beach & the Golf Course

Last Saturday both Mike and I enjoyed some time with our friends. Mike with the boys on the golf course and me with the girls on the beach. It was actually a lot of fun. The weather was perfect for the guys warm and overcast. This of course made the weather on the beach a little less perfect. However, the last 2 hours the sun came out and it got really hot and then it was perfect beach weather.
The Boys: Jake, Mike, Brian and JT
The ladies on the beach. Kris, Lizzy, Hannah and Shelly
The kids were to much fun to watch play together. Thad is 18 months and Sophi is 2 1/2. Sophia is such a dainty little girl and I loved watching her the whole day.

Shelly and Hannah just moved into the ward at the beginning of July. Their husbands work together so they've been lucky to have each other to adjust to life out here. I had so much fun getting to know these two ladies a little better!
Lovely Lizzy and I trying to soak up some sun.

The beach was really cool. You have to take a fairy ride to get there because its actually an island. On a clear day you can even see the New York City sky line. Tell me how cool that is. To be relaxing on a beach and looking at such an amazing skyline. Anyways it was a great day all around. Mike really enjoyed playing on a nice Greenwich golf course and from what I can gather he did pretty well!

We're going to a little place called Aspen.....

While we were in Utah we had a family reunion with all of Mikes siblings and their families. It was a lot of fun and the perfect place for our family to get together. They had a lot of fun activities for the adults and child care for the little ones. We having so much fun I hardly took any pictures!
One morning we got to go paint-balling which was a lot of fun. It was my first time and I was really nervous about how much it might hurt if I got hit with one. The first game we played I wasn't sure what I was doing and snuck out of my hiding place to see what was going on... and I got nailed right on the collar bone. It hurt so bad and really scared me. I run back into hiding and I just cried the rest of the game. It was just a lot of emotion going on at once. lol. The next game went a lot better :)
We played with some of Mikes family members and it was just a blast.
Mike really got into it and captured the flag 3 of the 4 times he played.
He was pretty sweaty and gross afterwards.
There was a lot of time to play with the adorable nieces and nephews. I think the kids really had a lot of fun.
One day we were able to do a ropes course. I was a little nervous about being able to complete it but it was pretty easy once I got going.
We had to crawl up this long log with slits in it then transfer ourself over to the rock wall. As you can see there aren't many pegs so it was a little tricky but fun. Then we walked a tight ropes course which was a little harder then I thought. You had to use the strength in your forearms and that was harder for me. After we were done we repelled down which is fun... AFTER you take the first initial jump backwards.
There was a lot of horseshoes played. The boys in this family are so completive and it makes for really entertaining show downs. There was also a lot of ping pong, badminton, volleyball, basketball, softball, tennis, frisbee golf and golf simulator games that were played during the day when the kiddies were away. At night there was 31 (for nickels,) black jack (for skittles), acquire, scrabble, settlers of Catan, apples or apples and many more games. It was just a lot of fun!
On the last night we were there we were told there was a meteor shower. So we took our mattresses out on the tennis court and watched all the shooting stars. It was really cool. Kind of romantic too. I've never seen so many shooting stars and they had the longest brightest tails. It was just a really cool experience. Later that night though was not as perfect. Mike woke up sick, sick, sick. It was pretty bad all night. We found out the next morning some of the kids were up sick all night to. Over the next few days we all got a little sick to different extents. It kind of ruined some of our plans but we were able to work it all out. I think we all got food poisoning.
Once Mike had recovered we headed to Rexburg, Id where we went to school. We dropped of all of sister Becca's wedding gifts then toured Campus. It has changed so much. We couldn't believe it. It was hard to believe. I got a little emotional. As much as I hated the winters there were a lot of good memories and I miss it!
The most awesome part of the trip was my small roommate reunion. I got to have dinner with some of my best friends from college. Abby and her husband Michael hosted the dinner at their house. They have two little kids Lilimae and Lincoln. I'd never meet them before. Then Stephanie, who is still in school at BYU-I, came over. It was good to catch up with her! Jessica and he husband Chris came as well. Their little Ruby was there and she is a hoot. Jess is pregnant with another little girl and due in November I think. It was just a lot of fun to visit with these ladies. I really miss them all so it was a great time to catch up. To the rest of my roommates that live far away I miss you all too and we will have a 204 reunion sometime in the next few years! I love you girls.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Two wonderful years

Yesterday Mike and I celebrates our two year wedding anniversary. I feel like it was just yesterday that we got married, but ages ago that we started our life together. At any rate it has been a wonderful two years full of excitement, adventure and romance.

Mike has been really busy at work the past few days so I took over the anniversary preparations this year. I think I came up with a few cool ideas (that I have to admit I stole from one of my favorite blogs, Love Actually) This what what the house looked like when he came home from work.

Candles, cut out hearts and the rose petals he used for our proposal.
Leading to our "romantic" dinner table
Candles and rose petals on the bar for extra light

For dinner I made Mikes favorite meal. Chicken parmesan and sautéed broccoli (and of course we had a Martinelli.)
After dinner I had Mike look under his dinner plate where he found this note: A secret mission to find a treasure...
He found his first clue inside my phone, then he went to the living room lamp, spice rack, bathroom clock, key holder, inside a pair of heels, and finally the prize was found in the oven.
(The clues he was given)
(The prize)
He's been wanting Scrabble forever (I guess now I have to play with him.)
Then I wrote 52 different memories we've made in our time together on a deck of cards. He really liked this. I think these are they types of gifts that we cherish forever. It was $1.50 for the deck of cards, and about 2 hours thinking of and writing my favorite memories and now we'll have this little treasure forever.
Mike wrote me a really sweet poem and put it with a picture of us. It was really sweet (as usual) and I loved it.
(Don't mind our creepy smiles)
After all that I still has one more labor of love to share. I made Mike a cake, but not just any cake. I found a recipe for cool whip frosting (he has been longing for this type of frosting.) It was a chocolate cake with vanilla cool whip frosting... very, very yummy. Any one close is welcome to come and have a piece or two... we're not sure how we are going to eat it all- and it's just to good to throw away!
All in all I think it was a wonderful night. He even kind of watch (feel asleep watching) a cheesy chick flick with me. I couldn't ask for more.

I sure did luck out when I got Mike as an Eternal Companion.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mt Timpanogos

I climbed this Mountain! I have to make a detailed documentation of my climb. It is an experience I never want to forget nor do I ever want to repeat.

Sterling, Marily, Jared, Melanie, Mike and I started our hike at 7:15am. We took the trail from aspen grove which is paved the first mile and a half. This made the trail easy to follow but man was it steep, I was wearing my jacket and carrying one of our heavy backpacks so by the time we hit the first waterfall I was breathing heavy and sweating.

We drank some water and took some pictures then continued on...

The next 4 1/2 miles all run together to me. Mile 3 and 4 seemed to be paths dirt, trees and some rock. We passed a few more waterfalls which was fun.

(The Girlies)

Mike used a box of cheerios to set us a path for the way back. The view was incredible hiking up. When you looked down you saw a sea of greenery. We could even pick out the cabin we were staying in at Aspen Grove.

When we passed under one waterfall Mike wanted to wash off his hands, this ended in his slipping and falling on his bum into the water. His pants had a huge dirty wet spot on them for a while which made us all laugh (which we needed.)

By the time we hit miles 5 and 6 the terrain was a lot more rocky and the air was getting harder to breath. Our water supply was starting to shrink and I was really starting to feel weak. I already had a blister on my foot and was trying really hard not to complain.

At about mile 5.7 we hit the prettiest grove of wild flowers. It was also pretty flat which made it easier to enjoy. This pretty wild flower field lead us to Emerald Lake (this is the lake right below the no tree line and only about a mile and a half to the summit.) When you get to the lake this is your view to the top of the mt. if you look close you can see the tiny white hut on top.

When we reached the lake it was so beautiful!
The bad thing was the wind was blowing and it was so cold. We ate our lunch in a little shed the provided shelter from the wind. (If you look you can see out little sanctuary.)
(The "Kids" infront of the lake and the glacier)
(My lovey and I)
(Jared and Marily freezing at the top)

(Super Women!)
There was a lot of discussion over just how far we all wanted to go at this point. We had already been hiking 4 hours and had another 2 till we hit the summit. Jared and Marily decided they had accomplished their goal (6 miles up and back is a lot harder than it sounds) so they headed back down. I was sure I couldn't make the summit but thought it might be nice to reach the saddle. This would give me a breath taking view and make me feel accomplished. So the four of us continued on up the Mt. Our next patch of the hike was basically a field of rocks. We saw a lot of Mt Goats "Sunbathing" on the rocks. The fact that those animals live in the mountains is so odd to me.
Anyways, then the "fun" began. We hit a dirt and rock patch which we had to climb hand over foot. We hit one patch that was 15yards or so of loose rock and dirt. This was so hard/scary to climb because you couldn't get a great grip on the dirt. My shoes kept sliding and I thought I was done for. Dad and Mel had completed this part and were sitting on a rock right above the steep part. Mike told me that once we reached them we would stop. Then when we got to them we were so close to the saddle (and not in a hurry to go back down the way we came) that we pressed on. It was worth it of course because the view from the saddle was pretty awesome.

From a girl who is afraid of heights I could still appreciate the sight. I was feeling pretty accomplished and ready to be done at this point. BUT the only thing scarier than continuing to the top was going back the way we came. So.. we said a prayer and pushed on... (This is what we had to look forward to. Mt Doom! You can see some of the swich back path you have to follow.)
The last 40 min was pure torched for me and my fear of heights. The lack of oxygen was making me a little dizzy every once in a while and it was harder to breath. The trail was scary with maybe only 18 inches to walk on as a path. I was literally hanging onto the rocks for dear life and playing the "don't look down game." I do have to say I have never loved my husband more than I did at this point. He was soo sweet to me, holding my hand and encouraging me the whole way. He was my rock and the only reason I survived. We hit one part where we had to climbed for a while and really thought we were almost to the top. But by the time we reached the top of that we saw we still had a ways to go. Just imagine walking on the side of a mountain with only enough room for your feet on the trail. NO ONE TOLD ME IT WOULD BE THAT CRAZY! This was my first hike every and no one told me it was going to be like that! A lot of praying and hymns were running through my head the whole time. But then finally ... we reached the top.

I don't know what feeling was more overwhelming. Knowing what a huge feat I had completed or knowing it wasn't over and know i had to go back down the mountain. A few weeks prior our friends Dave and Liz Jensen went on the same family vacation to Aspen Grove and hiked to the top of Timp. They left us a note at the top of the mt that was a welcome distraction. Thanks guys!
(The view)
(This doesn't come close to doing it justice.0
(Breath taking)
(Proof that we really did reach the summit!)
(So proud of eachother. I don't think there are much better ways to strength a marriage than to be in a life or death situation with eachother.)
Obviously not wanting to go back the way we came we took a different route. We walked a crossed the mt down some switchbacks and came to a canyon area. As we were walking I noticed I had gotten a small cut and was leaving a trail of blood on the rocks I was touching. I was glad to know we would soon be back at Emerald Lake. Funny that the next part was the best for me but the part were the most people get hurt. We slid very slowly down 100ft of rocks and dirt. Then once we did that we had to slide down a 300 yard steep glacier. It was probably so easy for me because of my sweet husband. He was in front and he would slide and then use his strength to stop himself so he didn’t go too far, too fast. Then I would slide down and he would stop me. I had one foot in front to steer, one foot further back to break as much as I could then I put my hands in my jacket sleeves and used them to help stop me. I was lucky. The other three in my group didn’t do as well. Dad hit a rock coming down and got a 4 inch cut in his bottom. Mel wore shorts so she was pretty much sliding down on her bear bottom. Mike had a short sleeve shirt on so his hand were in the snow the whole time freezing and numb. By the time he was able to feel them again he noticed his wedding ring had fallen off. It is now frozen in the glacier for all time (on to ring 3 in not even 2 years.)

After sliding down we still has a far ways to walk on the snow but this was much easier than anything else we had done thus far. I was so happy to be off that huge Mt side and at the lake I forgot how much work going down would be. The first mile was pretty easy because we were all in this state of euphoria from making it to the top and living to tell about it. But the last 5 miles coming down were tough in their own ways. You couldn’t walk with your toes in front because your toenails would dig into your toes and hurt so you had to walk funny. Then there was the part about your whole body being numb. I’m not sure how we all made it back down. It had to have been 100% muscle memory. We ran out of water and against out better judgment started drinking water from the waterfalls and streams. We were happy to find a single cheerio of the 100’s Mike left for us earlier that day. I was so happy to hit the paved part of the trail and even happier to be DONE. It was 5:15pm we had been hiking for 10 hours! When we got to the bottom we saw a sign warning us that without proper hiking shoes or if you weren’t and experienced hiker you wouldn’t enjoy the hike. They were right, but only to some degree. I hated being so high and feeling so scared. But to know that I did it, is so amazing. As Dave and Liz said “It’s the coolest thing I’ve never do again!”