Friday, June 26, 2009

My California Adventure

So back in May of 2009 Jay and I decided to take a fun trip to Southern California.
It's remarkable that I haven't blogged about it before now however.
I've been more than neglecting my own blog as of late it seems.

Anyway, so on the 14th of May, Jay and I flew into LAX for my Disneyland/California adventure.
I'll admit that my previous experience in Southern California at the theme parks was not enjoyable, or a memory I wanted to ever have to re-live, but my thought process centered around this: "If and when my children ask me if/when I took a trip to Disneyland, Universal Studios, the California Beach, or anything a long those lines, I wanted to have a POSITIVE experience there to tell them about." So - considering Disney was offering a free 1 day park pass for your birthday - to celebrate your birthday with Disney (it was their 50th birthday in 2009) we decided to take the bait and have a fun trip down in L.A., staying at my brother and sister in-law's apartment, to do the typical Southern California sight-seeing.

So... here goes in reverse order!

Our last stop on our trip was to Universal Studios - we took the tour, and rode most of the rides in the park (I'm pretty sure one was closed down so we couldn't get that one in).
Unfortunately for us, our day was cut short at the park as they were hosting Prom for one (or possibly a couple) schools that evening. I wish they had mentioned this before we purchased the tickets to get into the park to begin with, but... alas, they didn't.

The day prior to our Universal adventures was my birthday (May 15th for anybody that doesn't know, or wants to keep track).
This, of course, was our Disneyland day.
We opted for Disneyland rather than California Adventure - so next time we're down in that area of the world we'll have to hit the other park (maybe the "giving a day of service for a free ticket to any Disney park for a day" trade-off in 2010 will provide for that incentive).
Again, the pictures are in reverse - but it shows the major highlights of the day (including the $8 plate of overcooked spaghetti & meatballs I had for lunch - ouch!)

I actually got my official Mickey Mouse ears this trip - expensive, but worth the memory they provide.

And a bunch of balloons!!

No... I'm just kidding... *sighs* the guy selling these balloons was in the bottom right-hand corner of the picture holding fast to his merchandise.

I also found my knight in *shining* armor! Sorry Jay - but trust me, that gear is heavy and uncomfortable to wear!

This one's of the tree house bridge (formerly Swiss Family Robinson tree house - now it is Tarzan themed).

On board the Mark Twain! This was a leisurely boat ride - welcome toward the end of a long day of hoofing it around the whole park.

Making my birthday wish at the wishing well!

I found this sign to be pretty funny. :)

Why did the *headless* chicken cross the road?

I told Jay to heed this sign's warning...

but he didn't listen... *sighs*

The infamous small world clock tower (I took so many pictures on this ride - and no, I will not burden you all with them here).

Mmmmmm, that $$ lunch mentioned above.

A happy Jay with his $$ pizza!

Look who I found!! Goofy!

The day prior to our Disneyland excursion was our 1st full day in CA.
That evening my brother Diego (aka Ben) and his wife Mariela convinced us to go to a local climbing gym with them.
I had a good time, but my muscles were pretty sore a couple of days later.
We also went out for frozen yogurt (or was it custard?) afterward - a worthwhile venture!

Earlier that same day - on our own because Diego and Mariela both had to work - at Venice Beach. We got some sun, and had a fun time wandering a long all the shops, and almost all the way to Santa Monica beach, but we decided to turn back before we made the whole trip.

So that pretty much sums up our entire trip. Short, but sweet. We had a good trip, with lots and lots of pictures. Hopefully I'll figure out the problem with uploading all of those to Facebook (I have tried to upload them at least 5 times over the last 8 months to no avail).
So now that you're updated on our lives to the point of mid May 2009, maybe I'll put another post up from last year in the coming weeks (or maybe not - no promises).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

California Here We Come!

I figured I'd better put a brief update on our lives here (considering the last two blogs weren't really about 'us' per say).

Jay and I are still living our everyday 9-5 (or 10-6 in Jay's case) lives.
This past weekend we spent a good amount of time cleaning up our apartment (because it was driving me nuts!) and grocery shopping.

While we were out and about we also decided to get us a new pet fish (sadly our almost 2-year-old beta, Sprout, bit the dust on Monday last week :( and I missed him). I cried when I came home to find his poor white body laid to rest on the bottom of the bowl. He hadn't been doing too well toward the end as it was.

The new beta isn't nearly as blue as Sprout was, but he sure is pretty. He has a lot of red in his fins on top of the blue. The red reminded me of fire, so I was thinking of naming him Fawkes (after the Phoenix in Harry Potter) before finally deciding on Dante.

In the small tank next to Dante's bowl are some other recent additions to our family purchased at least a month ago. They are: Grog (an African Dwarf water frog), Yoda (a golden snail) and Chewy (another golden snail). I'll be adding pictures later.

Originally Yoda was Sprout's companion, but for the week we were without sprout I put him in with the frog and other snail.
I was planning on putting him back in the fish bowl with our new family addition, but Dante won't let him even emerge from his shell when he's in there, so he might be relocated into the frog tank permanently. Only time will tell (I'm considering putting him back in the fish bowl in the dark so that he has a fighting chance of getting out of his shell and getting a bite to eat before the fish wakes back up).

So... that's the family currently.

On to future plans!

With my birthday coming up this Friday Jay and I decided to give in to the Disney commercials and register my birthday online for a free park pass to Disneyland. This, of course, means we have to get out to California to put it to use on Friday.
Therefore, we will be flying into LAX Thursday morning and staying with my Brother and Sister-in-law (Diego and Mariela). I think we'll be renting a car as well, I'd better give them both a call today to check on that before we get there.
So, in the next few days plan on seeing a TON of photos from our trip!

Other future plans we have in store are starting our family. There's no 'bun in the oven' yet, but there will be one soon (I can't very well be pregnant before going on a bunch of roller coasters in California).
This is the reason I'm getting the apartment cleaned up too. Need to get things ready for another person who'll be living with us (and in our bedroom none-the-less).

Anyway, that's what's going on in our crazy lives lately.
Come back soon to see pictures of our pets and vacation!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Shalie's Wedding

About a month ago my cute cousin Shalie decided to get herself hitched for all time and eternity in the Idaho Falls Temple.

Lucky for me, Jay and I were able to take a day off work and drive up to be there for the whole thing, including the temple ceremony.
We arrived in Idaho Falls rather late in the evening on Thursday night (April 9th) and headed over to Shalie's hotel after checking into ours.

It's no secret to anybody in my family that I am THE most enthusiastic gift-giver anybody knows. Being thus, I was so excited about the wedding present I got for Levi and Shalie that I practically begged her to open it that night. She didn't argue at all, and was quite happy to do so in fact.

I got them a set of matching towels, oven mits and hot pad, sheets, plates, bowels, cups, and some reusable ice cubes from Bed, Bath and Beyond.
I went ahead and purchased a "party bucket" as well to display it all in, but you can't see it in this picture due to the gift bag.

Shalie and Levi were so precious to admire at the temple that day. I was able to concentrate more on their ceremony than on my own due to all the adrenaline pumping through my veins on my special day. I was blessed to have gone.
They were married on April 10, 2009.

Right after the ceremony I went back into the bride's room and did Shalie's hair up as best I could. I was quite happy with the way it turned out, although I took about 100 bobby pins to do so!

The next few pictures are from on the temple grounds shortly after the ceremony.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to snap a shot of them coming out because I was right in front of them after doing Shalie's hair.

The happy couple with their parents and grandparents.

Shalie and her mom, Linette.

Glenn and all six of his kids!

Plus Linette

Their immediate families

Although the batteries in my camera were dying, I still managed to get several good shots of the two of them on the Temple grounds.
I photo shoped some of these and they are at the end of this blog.

The happy couple on their way home for the luncheon.

Their first "official" reception was held in Malad, ID where the two will be living at Levi's mother's house before heading off to school at BYU-I.
Shalie had me do a slightly different hair style for the reception than in the wedding photos at the temple.

Their adorable wedding cake!

The food table
There were 5 or 6 other cakes baked for them so that they could take the main cake to their second reception in Murray, UT.

Kaela hiding from a snapshot at one of the tables.

Jaeden Longhusrt (I hope I spelled that right)

Because there was not a professional photographer to lock these images into history, I decided to get some good pictures of the decorations at the reception.
Shalie hand-made most of them, and I thought they turned out just darling.

The gift table
I'll also mention here that I became the 'interior decorator' as well for both receptions. There's just something about weddings that calls my name.
I can remember how much my arms hurt after hanging the backdrops and making everything displayed look 'just right.'

People in the receiving line.

Various relatives attended both receptions and the wedding itself, but, unfortunately I wasn't able to get a good picture of everyone.
See who you recognize!

I also thought it was very cute how Shalie and Levi both wore tennis shoes at their reception. Here they took the opportunity to model how contemporary they are!

Viewing the gift table

I've always loved how, at weddings, the little kids are so taken by the bride in her gown. Some of the best candid shots, in my opinion, at weddings come from interaction between the happy couple and kids.

Proof that both Jay and I were there, but we were both pretty tired by the end of the night.

Shalie's beautiful sisters Taesha and Kaela (again I hope I spelled those right)

The 'father-daughter dance' to the tune of "I held her first."

The 'mother-son, and son-mother-in-law dance'
I can't remember what song was played however.

Shalie finally getting a moment to soak in that "Wow, I just got married!" feeling.

End of the dance.

And now... time for cake!!

One of their beautiful presents.
I believe that you can click on any one of these images to enlarge it for viewing. You will then have to hit the back button on either your mouse after doing so.

Shalie's sisters "did up" their car with lipstick.
I was so glad somebody did!

The candid "graduation" shot!

Another couple classic candids!

This was the second reception in Murray, UT.
Shalie decided she wanted me to style her hair 'down' this time-around and avoid any more bobby pins!

This was my favorite "are we done yet?" shot of the whole wedding line.
Everyone was exhausted at this point due to lack of sleep and a whirlwind of activities.

The two photo shopped photos.
I want to do something else with these, but I have really cheap software... so maybe some day I will convert some of those photos into Black and White, and do something really cool with color overlay like Anne Geddes.

I hope you enjoyed all the pictures!!