Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Belated Mothers Day!

I know Mother's Day was a couple weeks ago, but I wanted to publicly tell my mother how grateful I am for her in my life.  It's really hard to put into words the respect, admiration, and love that I feel for her.  We have a special bond that runs so so deep, that it's difficult to explain.  Over the past twenty six years she has taught me so much, mostly by her quiet example.  She's shown me the importance of putting people first, serving everyone around you, supporting your husband, sacrificing for your children, standing up for what you believe in, and loving the Savior and his gospel.   She's taught me that I can do hard things, to dream big, and to find the joy in living every single day.  She is the kindest, most giving, loving, beautiful, positive, strong, generous woman I know.  In my eyes, she is pretty perfect.  I hope that I can be just like her some day.  

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."
- Abraham Lincoln

This year, I am also very grateful for my wonderful mother-in-law, Carol.  Carol is kind, strong, non-judgmental, loving and will do anything for her family.  I am so thankful for the way that she has welcomed me into her family, and become such a good friend over the past year and a half.  Mostly though, I will forever be grateful to Carol for raising such a perfect son.  I thank my lucky stars every. single. day for Mike, and I know that a huge part of the reason he is so kind, gentle, humble, patient, forgiving, and loving is because of the way his mother raised him.  Thank you Carol, from the very bottom of my heart. 

This year for Mother's Day, Mike made me breakfast, and surprised me with some new perfume.  I felt a little weird being celebrated since I'm not a mother yet, but that just shows how thoughtful, and kind he is.  I cannot wait until we are blessed to be parents someday, and we are so anxious and excited to bring children into this world that we can love, teach and raise together.

After a beautiful church service we went to my parent's house and my siblings and I made dinner for my mom. 

To all mothers out there, thanks for all that you do!  Your job is difficult, but so important.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Our trip to Moab!

Mike's parents are hiking enthusiasts (they put Mike and I to shame), adventure seekers, and pro's at traveling Southern Utah.... so we were thrilled when they invited us to go to Moab with them a few weeks ago!  They knew that I had never, in all of my years living in Utah, been to Moab, and so they were excited to show me the ropes!  We had such a great trip, and besides Mike and Gary getting WAY too close to the edge of a cliff for Carol and I's comfort, and Mike forgetting to pack his meds and pants (this was actually pretty funny) everything went off without a hitch.  

After leaving cold cold SLC, we slowly made our to mildly warmer weather.  Sadly, weather remained in the 60's for the whole weekend.  We were a little disappointed it wasn't warmer, but it was a nice break from reality!  After getting to Moab Friday afternoon, we checked into our hotel, then went to a dutch oven dinner/ riverboat cruise.  The dinner, prepared and served by cowboys, was absolutely delicious.  Afterwards we boarded the boat and set off for a light show cruise!  Once it got dark, they had a very old fashioned light show on the beautiful red rocks.  It was fun, but you can tell by the picture that it was FREEZING.  We felt like we were on a sleigh ride in the dead of winter with the wind whipping and water blowing.  It was very memorable, to say the least.  I literally had 4 blankets on my body, and I was still cold!  Afterwards, they had hot chocolate waiting for us, so it was all good.

The next morning, we got ready for the day and set out to Arches National Park.  I couldn't believe how beautiful everything was.  I have had the opportunity to travel to many different places in the world, and I was absolutely amazed at the beauty and wonder of  the great state that we live in!  No wonder people travel from all over the world to see this!

We packed lunches, and spent most of the day exploring in the park.  We did several hikes that were off the beaten path (thanks to Carol and Gary), and enjoyed the weather.  Don't let the sunshine fool you though- I still had 5, yes 5 layers on!

Our cute tour guides

These arches were so beautiful!  It was such a testament to me of the power of God and his many creations!

I'm not sure why we took this picture... probably because the tree was dead?

Carol and I had just hiked down from the top.  For me, who is deathly afraid of heights, this was a major feat!

We hiked up the mountain directly across from Delicate Arch.  Once we got to the end of the trail, we decided to keep going and do some exploring.  Out of nowhere, we approached this HUGE cliff.  Gary and Mike were like hanging over the edge and Carol and I were FREAKING OUT.  Luckily our crazy husbands didn't fall to their death.  Like father, like son.  Finally I ventured out a little bit to take a picture.  It was scary!

The picture really doesn't do this justice- you should have seen the drop directly behind us!

Boys being boys...

After hiking and exploring all day, we were beat.  We ate dinner at a pizza joint in town, then we drove up the canyon to stay the night at The Red Cliff's Lodge.  We had our own cabin right on the river with a sweet balcony.  It was absolutely breathtaking!

That night, Mike attempted to teach me how to skip rocks on the river, we watched footage of the Royal Wedding and, and we ventured up to the lodge for dessert.  They were having a wedding party that night, but Mike and I still managed to sneak into the restaurant in our pajamas for a cowboy brownie.  If you are going to Moab anytime soon, I cannot recommend this place enough!  It even has its own winery- which didn't do much for us in the way of drinking- but it provided a beautiful, charming atmosphere!  We only wish we would have been warm enough to try out the hot tub... I wasn't about to take off my 5 layers, even if it meant getting into hot water.
The next morning we got up and went to church, then drove home.  Thanks so much Gary and Carol!  We had such a great time, and can't wait to do it again!  You're the best and we love you!