Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas in Arizona

This year for Christmas, Chris and I drove down to Arizona to spend the holiday with his family in Apache Junction, AZ. It was so nice to drive down south and enjoy a warm(ish) Christmas. We drove down on Tuesday December 23rd and spent the 24th and 25th with the family before driving back home on the 26th. On Christmas Eve we took a scenic drive up the mountains to a cool restaurant in a place called Tortilla Flats. The cool thing about the restaurant was that their walls were decorated with dollar bills! They even had European money hanging on the wall! The food was also excellent and we had a blast! We then drove back to Grandma and Grandpa Miller's house where we talked and played the Wii for the rest of the afternoon. After dinner, we acted out the Nativity which was a first time for me and it was so much fun!! Chris and I were Mary and Joseph (with a cute teddy bear as Jesus) and Lisa and Cindy played everyone else. Christmas morning dawned and I called my family and wished them a Merry Christmas before we all headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house to open our presents. While on the way, Chris and I ambushed Lisa and Cindy and sprayed them with silly string!! When we got to Grandma and Grandpa's, the present opening commenced! When we were finished opening gifts, we talked while Grandma made dinner and we ate around 1:30. After we were finished, we went and saw Bedtime Stories as our Christmas movie. It was so good! I really enjoyed it!! When we came home, Chris and I talked and played the Wii for the rest of the night while the family watched Ice Age 2 and went swimming. All around, it was an awesome Christmas and we enjoyed it immensely. On Friday, we quickly went to a flea market before our long 12 1/2 hour long drive home!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Christmas Spirit

I love this time of year! I love decorating the house for Christmas with my family, the smell of our Christmas tree (a real one!), the presents that are already wrapped and under the tree (and are all from me so far), and the general happiness that comes from this time of year! We started decorating for Christmas a little late this year because we were in California for Thanksgiving. However, when we finally did get it done, it was so much fun! On Sunday, we got all of our Christmas tree's out of storage and decorated them. We then proceeded to decorate the whole house. On Monday, Chris and I decided that we should get our tree and so after work, we went to a tree lot (for only the third time that I can remember) and picked out a cute little tree that fit in the nook by our bedroom door. Gir couldn't quite figure out what it was, but he must have enjoyed it's smell, because he just kept sniffing it! I was really excited because this was the first year that we could use our brand new Christmas tree topper that we got in Michigan last March. It was a good thing that we got a small tree though, because we don't have many ornaments yet to fill a regular sized tree! When we were done, we just sat back and admired our tree (especially the wonderful smell!). I hope that we can make it a tradition every year to get a real tree! Next year, Chris wants to get a permit and cut down our own tree which I think would be an excellent adventure! I guess we'll just have to see what next year holds!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Kris Kringle Day!

Happy Kris Kringle Day! For those of you who might not know about Kris Kringle Day (I totally did not make it up) it is a German (I think) holiday that is every December 5-6. On the night of the 5th, each family member puts a pair of shoes out in the hall before bed and when they are asleep, Kris Kringle brings them small gifts if they are good, and coal if they are bad. So, on the morning of the 6th, you get to "open" your shoe and receive a gift. At least, this is how my family have always celebrated it. This year, I received an enlarged family picture of Chris, Gir and I and a pirate nutcracker. Chris got a goofy Jim Shore statue, some Mountain Dew, some microfiber towels for his car, and some cacti. He really got a good load; he must have been really good this year! Well, even if you don't celebrate Kris Kringle Day I hope that everyone had a wonderful and relaxing December 5-6th.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving in California

Thanksgiving in San Simeon was amazing!! My family started going to the beach for Thanksgiving while we lived in California. We would get together with some of our neighbors and go camping on the beach. It was always a highlight of the year and we looked forward to it for months. Since we moved to Utah 7 years ago, we haven't really been able to make it out again to renew our tradition until this year. My parents, Thomas, Chris and I went with the Gehmliches this year and it was sooo much fun!! My parents drove down on Monday, but due to school and work, Thomas, Chris and I couldn't come down until Wednesday night/Thursday morning. After getting to San Simeon at 2:30 am California time (3:30 Utah time) we crashed for a couple of hours and than as soon as Thomas woke up, he went to the beach. It was a little cold for my tast to be on the beach, so, I spent the day playing card games with the Gehmliches and my family. At 3:00 we ate our turkey and Thankgiving goodness which was amazing! When we were done, we played around on the beach and just goofed off. At night, we all huddled around the fire and talked for hours! On Friday, my parents, Chris and I went for a drive up to a nearby bay where we walked around, got some ice cream, and watched some sea lions. When we got back, we went to the beach and watched Thomas, Nicole Gehmlich and Aubrey Gehmlich dig their fort named "Phil." Later that day, Chris' sister Lorie and her husband Adam who live in LA, drove up to spend the evening with us. They brought their surfboards and Adam took Thomas out and tried to teach him how to surf. Thomas was so excited! They tried to surf for a while, but the waves were a little rough, so, they decided to bring it in. While Thomas and Adam were surfing, Chris and Lorie were catching up on old times as well as talking about the new times. Chris was really excited to talk to Lorie and I think that they had a good time. When we got back to their car to put the surfing aquiptment away, we discovered that the keys were locked in their car!! We called their car insurance who sent out someone to unlock the car. So, we got to talk alot more together which was nice. After the car situation was taken care of, Adam and Lorie stayed around for dinner and to talk around the fire. It was really nice to see them again (the last time I saw Lorie was at our wedding and I had never met Adam before) and to have a chance to talk with them. I'm really glad that they came so that I could get to know them both better! On Saturday, Chris and I decided to take a road trip to Monterey Bay which was about 2 hours from where we already were. So, we drove up and went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (which is SOOO cool) which was crowded but lot's of fun! We got to see a Sun fish (which is really ugly), sea otters, river otters, Asian otters (can you tell that I like otters?), sea dragons, sharks, and tons of fish! When we were done at the aquarium we ate lunner (lunch and dinner) at a really nice sea food restaurant right off the ocean where the waves would come up and crash on the window. The food was amazing and it was nice to spend some quality time with Chris! We then went to Fisherman's Wharf and than we began the long drive. We drove about 5 hours to catch up with the family as they were camping for the night on the boarder of California and Nevada. We got there about 12:00am and crashed for a couple of hours in the back of the Jeep (which is not the most comfortable place to sleep). Sunday we all just drove home which was an adventure in itself. Chris, Thomas, and I arrived home at about 6:00 and my parents got in about midnight! Well, we had a blast and many adventures. It will definitely be a Thanksgiving to remember!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanksgiving Top 10...

With Thanksgiving only a couple of weeks away, I thought that i'd list my top ten favorite things about the holiday. Here they go:
10. Not having to work
9. TURKEY!!!
8. Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
7.Remembering what i'm thankful for
6. Rolls (My Mom makes the best rolls)
5. Stuffing
4. More Turkey!
3. Having Thanksgiving at the beach in CA
2. Left over turkey sandwiches
1. Spending time with the family

Well, there you have it. My list of favorite things about Thanksgiving. I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember what you're thankful for!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's time for birthday's!!

Alright, I'll admit it...I'm a way big daddies girl! One of the reason's for this may be because we practically share a birthday! My Dad's birthday is November 5th and I had the fortune to be born November 6th (at around 3:30 am). So, if I had been born a mere three and a half hours earlier, we would be birthday twins. As it is, we usually share a birthday party with the family, although we each get our own cake (which is usually the same thing). For my 9th birthday we had a combined birthday trip to Walt Disney World which was so much fun. For my 13th birthday we went to Paris for our birthday's and in 2004 (for my 19th birthday) I was working in Disney World and my Dad came up for our birthday's (which incidentally was our ten year anniversary from when we went the first time, which was really fun!). We also like similar foods so, deciding on our birthday meals are usually pretty easy! While many people would enjoy having all the attention on their birthday's I honestly can't imagine what it would be like to have a birthday party without sharing it with my Dad. It has been one of my life's great pleasures!

So, as our birthday draws closer and closer, i'd just like to wish my Dad an awesome birthday and to say I love you!!!

For my Dad's blog check out!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The joy of carving pumpkins...

Last night, most of my family got together and carved our pumpkins. I know that we are carving a little close to Halloween this year, but this was the first time that we had all the right ingredients (pumpkins, almost all of the family, and most importantly time). Chris and I had picked up our pumpkins on Monday at a local farmer's home (if you live in the Sandy area, the Rassmussen farms have really great and inexpensive pumpkins!), but with every one's schedule, we didn't have time to sit down and carve them until yesterday. I love carving pumpkins because after we are all done scooping out the seeds, my Mom will clean them off and bake them which is one of my most favorite things about Halloween! It's also just a fun activity to do with the family and even the dogs enjoy pumpkin
carving because they sometimes get the insides of the pumpkins which they love to eat.

This year my Dad got the biggest pumpkin and ironically, he carved the smallest face onto it! I had the smallest pumpkin and instead of carving out a face, I dedicated my pumpkin to James Bond and carved a 007 on the face. Thomas made Jack Skeleton from the Nightmare Before Christmas, while Chris carved out a fearsom pirate onto his pumpkin. My Mom left hers a blank canvas but still sat around the table and had fun with us!
Well, now that are pumpkins are complete, I can't wait for Halloween when we can put them on display!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jackson Hole, WY

This week, Chris and I have our fall break for school, so, we decided to take a short trip to Jackson Hole, WY. I was so excited to go because the last time we were there, was on our honeymoon. While on our honeymoon, we got some sweatshirts but during the summer, those sweatshirts were lost by UPS (I am still very, very bitter towards them because along with our honeymoon sweatshirts, they lost a lot of our wedding gifts!). So, we have been wanting to return to Jackson Hole to get ourselves some new sweatshirts.

We drove up to Jackson Sunday afternoon, and just chilled for the first evening, which was really nice and relaxing. Than on Monday, we walked around Jackson Hole which only took us about an hour and a half. By that time, we had found some new sweatshirts and a few little trinkets. We than decided to take a drive, so we drove towards Yellowstone National Park which was about 30 miles away. It was so beautiful! It is not a very populous area, so all that we could see was mountains and open grassland. There were occasionally herds of deer roaming around, but the land was mostly empty. When we found the entrance to Yellowstone, we discovered that it was going to cost us $25 to enter the park. That seemed a little high priced for a couple of hours in the park, so we decided to drive back. On the way, we found a cool historical cabin owned by some of the first ranchers that settled in Wyoming, which would have taken lots of courage seeing how there was nothing around and the weather can be unpredictable. After we had walked around the little log cabin, we took some pictures and headed back to the car. Our next unexpected stop was for the Teton National Park Visitor Center. It was a really nice, new building which gave some great information on the Teton mountains and surrounding wildlife. With new souvenirs in hand, we went back to our cozy hotel room and watched a movie until dinner. We went to an amazing steakhouse for dinner where they serve not only cow steaks, but elk steaks, Buffalo meat, and venison. Chris and I ended up sharing a plate of Elk medallions, Buffalo chops, and Venison bratwurst (which tasted just like regular bratwurst). It was sooooo good!!! I was amazed! If you like steak, I highly recommend trying different varieties! This morning, we got up and checked out by 10am. We than went back to the town square and had our picture taken under the famous antler arches that they have in downtown Jackson Hole. We had gotten a picture here when we were here for our honeymoon in our old sweatshirts, so we thought that it would be fitting to have pictures in our new sweatshirts. Overall, this trip was a blast and i'd love to come back again!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thomas is home!

An event two years in the making has occurred. Thomas has come home from his mission to Seattle, Washington. Yesterday morning, Mom, Dad, and I headed down to the Salt Lake City airport to pounce on Thomas as soon as he came down the escalator. His flight was supposed to get in at 10:22 am and we arrived at about 9:40. We went inside around 10:00 and got our position at the end of the stairs and held our banner (made by Brett) high. As we were waiting, we noticed that we weren't the only ones waiting for a returning missionary. There were about two other families waiting with us and we chatted with them for a while. One of Thomas' young men leaders met us at the airport to be with the welcoming committee when he arrived. We found out soon after we found our spot, that his plane had already landed, so we thought that we wouldn't have to wait long. Well, every time a young man came down in a suit we prepared to see Thomas, but most of the time, they were just young business men coming home. We began to fidget and make jokes that maybe Thomas is just sitting on the plane teasing us and purposefully taking longer. By 10:30 we were getting pretty antsy when suddenly, there he came down the stairs. It was an awesome site! After two years, we finally got to see him, and it didn't look like he'd changed too much. As soon as Mom laid her eyes on Thomas, she started to tear up, and I grabbed the banner so that she could run and give him a hug. It was a tearful and happy reunion. After lots of hugging, we picked up his luggage and went home. On the way, we updated him on the latest news from the family and prepared him for the changes he would see at home. When we got home, I let the dogs out of the house to run up to Thomas, but Gir, didn't recognize him and started to bark and bark. It took Gir most of the day to feel comfortable with him again and I'm so excited that Thomas played with him and helped him become less shy from the start. We had lunch and began looking at all of Thomas' photo albums and hearing the stories behind them. After lunch, Thomas opened his belated Birthday/Christmas present (the airsoft gun he's been looking forward to his whole mission). For a couple hours we just sat around and talked about mission and chilhood stories, and the changes in the neighborhood. Around 4:00 Brett and Brenda arrived and reunited with Thomas. Thomas immediatly showed Brett his new gun and they had so much fun strengthening their brother bond. At 5:00 Chris came home from work and we all went out to dinner at one of Thomas' favorite resturants. We talked together until about 7:30 when Amanda and Liz came over for some rootbeer floats and to see Thomas released as a missionary. The member of the stake presidency that came over gave Thomas some great advice and said some really nice things about his mission. After he left, the first movie that Thomas wanted to see was Transformers, so, we watched it. He loved it!! He has a huge stack of movies that he's missed while away and is determined to watch in the next week. Well, yesterday was so much fun and we are thrilled to have him home again after a good and faithful service. Welcome home Thomas!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Elder Thomas Prusso returns...

Finally after two years away Elder Thomas Prusso is going to be coming home tomorrow! We are all so excited for his return!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Gir Graduates from Beginners Training

This past Wednesday night, our cute dog (I guess he's not really a puppy anymore) graduated from his first training class! It was an eight week class that taught him some tricks like sit, stay, shake, and down, and also taught the "puppy parents" how to understand our dog's behaviors better and what to do about them. Our main goal and concern for Gir is his socialization. Chris and I adopted Gir about 2 years ago from a shelter in South Carolina when he was about 6 month old (and SOOO cute). The people who ran the rescue center told us that he and his siblings had been found in a cardboard box abandoned (I still can't understand who would want to abandon such cute and
innocent puppies) and we discovered that Gir, understandably, had some issues with new people and places. We have been working on trying to help him socialize, but with little success, so, we thought that we'd try training. Our trainer Robyn was amazing and really helped us with Gir. There was one other dog in the class, a seven month old boxer named Hinkley. For the first couple of weeks, Gir wouldn't let Robyn or Hinkley near him, but the last couple of weeks he really started to improve. He would let Robyn sit next to him and pet him and even began taking food out of her hand. He also began letting Hinkley smell him and once in a while, he tried to play. Even though Gir has made some progress, he still has a long way to go, and hopefully the intermediate class (which we signed him up for) will help him out even more. On the graduation day, he got to wear a little cap (as did Chris, luckily they only had one, so I didn't have to wear one) and he got a diploma. It was so cute! I highly recommend training for anyone with a dog that has some difficulties!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vanessa's Top 10...

I've been going through a rough patch lately, so, i've come up with a list of my Top 10 Things that i'm greatful for. Here they are:

10. Ice Cream- it makes any bad day way better!
9. Being creative-helps keep my mind occupied.
8. My health-it would be much worse if I had bad health.
7. Books-help me forget my worries and let my imagination grow.
6. Dates-time with the hubby is always wonderful.
5. Being a member of the church-what a blessing!
4. Friends-always there to cheer me up.
3.The beauty of the world around us-we are so blessed to live in such a beautiful world.
2. My family-they are always there for me when I most need them.
1. Chris-my world, my life, my love.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


This weekend, Chris and I tried something adventurous! We took a class (through the University of Utah) on canyoneering. It was soooo much fun! Thursday morning, we met our class and than drove down to Southern Utah (near Lake Powell) where we set up our camp and got our equipment. When everyone was settled, we packed up our backpacks and went to our first canyon. We first had to hike for about 15 minutes before we got to the entrance of the first canyon and than we repelled in. The first repel was pretty scary because I hadn't done one in a couple of years (since Girls Camp) and it looked a long way down, but I summoned the courage and went down (which was pretty fun once you got over the edge). We than continued in the canyon for another two hours or so, traveling on the side of the canyon walls, repelling down long drops, and going where no human should rightfully go. The biggest annoyance was that our class was pretty large (about 15 people or so) and it took a while for everyone to repel. The only person to get hurt during the canyon was a guy who though the bottom of a particular area was closer and jumped off the walls and sprained his ankle. Luckily he did this close to the end of the canyon, and it wasn't too hard to get him out. Needless to say, he didn't join us on the next canyon.
The first day was so much fun and Chris and I escaped with only minor scratches and bruises. When we finished the canyon we headed back to our campsite and ate a wonderful backpacking dinner of chicken and rice. Our class than had some discussions about the canyon we had just been in and what we should think about when we are canyoneering. In other words, our instructor told us all the ways we could either get injured or die while canyoneering (which was a lot)! It scared me a little, but not enough to stop me from going on the next canyon in the morning. The next day was a beautiful day in southern Utah, and we did a two hour (or so) hike to find the entrance to the next canyon. The hike itself nearly did me in. We had to climb up sandstone cliffs and walk through the desert. By the time we found the canyon I was pretty thankful for some water and a chance to rest before we started out again. A couple of my classmates decided not to try this canyon, so, our numbers were a little reduced but not by much. From the beginning, the second canyon was much harder. Instead of easy repels off straight canyon walls, all of the repels were down narrow channels that I could barely fit through. There were also a lot more deep drops and very technical area's. Our instructors also warned us that this canyon was known to have water in it and that we might have to swim for a part of it. What! Swim!! That made me panic a little bit, but luckily all was dry and I didn't have to worry. In this canyon, there were a lot more narrow parts where we had to walk sideways in order to fit, and most of the time we had to spread out over the canyon walls to get anywhere (which I did NOT like to do). Also, our group spread out more, so that the instructor was not always near at hand to help out in a tight spot, and without Chris there to guide me and show me where to put my feet, I think that I would still be stuck in the canyons without a way out. Another thing about the canyon was that one moment, you would be sweating because it was sooo hot, and the next minute, you would be in the shade and would freeze! I wish that there was just one constant temperature. Well, we made it out of the canyon still intact (although I cut up my hands pretty good from the ropes, and I have a lot of bruises) and we really enjoyed ourselves. Canyoneering is a very dangerous sport where if you are not careful you could easily get killed (as our instructor liked to remind us constantly) and I would advise that if you ever wanted to try, go with some expert guides and be careful! here are some more pictures of our trip! Enjoy.

Awkward looking hug! Its because of all the gear we have ;)

I was so tired and sore when I finished this canyon. The group was allowed to do another night canyoneering trip, but both Chris and I were far too tired to try.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Geo Caching

This past weekend, Chris and I went Geo Caching for the first time with some jeeping buddies of Chris. We drove down to Bountiful and meet the other jeepers before heading up into the mountains to find the caches. In case you don't know what geo caching is, let me try to explain...Someone drives up the area where the geo caching will be held and places caches (sometimes coffee cans with prizes or small bottles) and records the coordinates on a GPS unit. They then give the GPS coordinates to the participants, who than go try to find the caches. This weekend, 22 caches were placed that the group was supposed to find. The more caches you find, the better chance you have to get a good prize at the end of the trip. Chris and I drove down Friday afternoon and went up the mountain looking for the rest of the evening. That night, we set up camp at Bountiful peak campground and had a great dinner.

Saturday was also spent mostly in geo caching. Most geo cachers need a good off road vehicle and I was so glad that we took our jeep because there were some (actually most areas) that we would not have been able to reach if we weren't in our jeep.

Chris had so much fun driving his jeep with all the guys from his jeeping website (whose jeeps are really, really big!!) and I was content to ride in the passenger seat! Here are some more pictures of our weekend. Enjoy!

Oh yeah, and we got to shoot some guns as well!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Museum of Ancient Life

Last Saturday, Brett and I did some brother sister bonding at the Museum of Ancient Life. The museum was way cool! It begins at an archaeological site and shows visitors what goes on during a dig and then leads you back in time to the carboniferous period where there are just some really big bugs and ferns. As you keep walking through the museum, you go through more and more ancient life. After a couple of halls, you finally get to the dinosaurs which are so HUGE!! As well as the cool exhibits, the museum has a lot of hands on activities for kids which are really fun. After the dinosaur hall, there is an ancient sea hall which has giant turtles and sharks the size of Jaws! It was a blast!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Emily and Glendon come for a visit...

My good friend Emily Pfiefer and her boyfriend Glendon came to visit Chris and I yesterday from Livermore, CA. Since it was Glendon's first time in Utah, we tried to show him some of the sites. We started off the day going to The Living Planet Aquarium (where I work) and than afterwards going up the canyons for a drive. When Chris got off work, we drove down to Salt Lake and took them to lunch at California Pizza Kitchen in the Gateway Mall. Glendon requested to see the planetarium which is where we went after we ate. I must admit, I was really disappointed in Clark's Planetarium. I thought that it was supposed to be a really cool space museum, but it just had a couple of exhibits. Most of the Planetarium is for the IMAX movies that they show. Also when we were in the gift shop, one of the employees kept following Emily and Glendon around which I think made them a little nervous. When we were done at the Planetarium, we finished walking around the Gateway Mall, and than headed up to Rice Eccles Stadium so that they could see the Olympic Torch. The cool thing is that there is a small visitor center right by the torch where they have some pictures from the Olympics and show a short movie. It was a nice little visitor center and I enjoyed remembering everything from the Olympics. We than drove up to Park City and went to the Olympic Park where we walked through a small museum where you could sit in some bobsleds and look at more pictures of the Olympics. There was also an option to go down a huge zip-line, but Glendon and I were too chicken to try. We walked outside and were able to watch some kids do some summer skiing into a swimming pool. It was really cool to see them doing flips and lot's of crazy tricks. When we got tired of watching them, we piled back into the car and drove down to historic downtown Park City and walked around. When we were finished, we started getting hungry, so we started our way back home. My mom made a wonderful dinner and after, we had to take Glendon to a site he had never before witnessed...Super Target! I'm not sure how impressed he was with super target, but now he can say that he's been there! We came home and I made popcorn so that we could watch a movie (since there's no way that you can watch a movie without least I can't). This morning, Emily and Glendon left to continue their journey to visit a friend in Colorado. I had lot's of fun and hope that they can come visit again!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

July's Book Club Book: Ever

I've always been a fan of Gail Carson Levine's books such as Ella Enchanted and Fairest, and I definitely wasn't disappointed in Ever. Although Gail Carson Levine usually writes about princesses and fairy tales, she took a different avenue and wrote about a young woman in a greek-like period who falls in love with a God (the God of wind), and finds out that she has only a month to live. I really liked this book and how the author tried something different than her normal subjects and I think that she succeeded. If you enjoy princess or fantasy books, than I would definetly reccomend this to you. I loved it! If you read this book, please let me know what you think!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mamma Mia

Last night a couple of my friends and I went and saw Mamma Mia! Although some of the actors cannot sing (Pierce Brosnan), it was hilarious! I thought going into the movie that I'd enjoy it, but I wasn't prepared for how much I was going to laugh! I loved it and would definitely see it again!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

August book club book...

If anyone interested in my book club has any suggestions for the August book, please let me know! Thanks!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I found Vanessa...

Everyone's name has a meaning. A name could mean brick builder, or princess, or many other things. Well, one of my names (Vanessa) means butterfly. This morning I found that my name means butterfly not because it sounds nice, but because there are actually butterfly's that are named Vanessa such as Vanessa atalanta, Vanessa cardui, Vanessa gonerilla, Vanessa myrinna, and many more. It was really cool to be able to find out more about my name and how beautiful it is (and how beautiful the butterflies are also).

Dark Knight

Chris and I saw Dark Knight last night on the IMAX screen and it was amazing! Heath Ledger did an amazing job as the Joker, as did the rest of the cast. This movie keeps you at the edge of your seat the whole time and has some great surprises in the mix. I think that this was one of the best movies of the summer!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Well, last week, Chris, my parents, and I went on our yearly pilgrimage to Lake Tahoe, CA. We go camping at a wonderful place called Camp Shelly which is owned by the city of Livermore (where we used to live). Also camping with us were my cousins (and their families) Dustin, Jeremy, Canyon, Aunt Laurie, and family friends, The Morris's, the Pfiefers, and friends of Dustin and his wife Emily. It was a huge group, but we had lot's of fun. The first day out Chris and my parents, (and I), were the first to arrive (about 6 hours before anyone else) and we set up camp and relaxed until everyone started showing up.
The second day, Chris, Dad, Jeremy, Derek (Jeremy's son), and I went on a canoe trip to Emerald Bay. It was beautiful. In the middle of the bay was an island with a tea house of a rich lady who died in the 50's. The tea house was in ruins, but it was a nice small walk to get up there and once we were at the top, it had a nice view of the bay (if you could see it from all of the smoke that was blown our way from all of the California fires). After our canoe trip, we sat on the beach until dinner and relaxed.
The next day, Chris, Dad, Mom, and I set out to hike Mt. Talac. We started early in the morning and were dismayed to find mosquito's out in full numbers. Mom and I got bitten the most, and luckily the higher up we hiked, the less mosquitoes bothered us. Mom and Dad turned around and went back after we reached Cathedral Lake, which is about 1/4 of the hike, while Chris and I continued on. After we left Cathedral Lake, everything got much harder. It felt like we were climbing vertically up. We finally did reach the top (after many rests and a lot of persuasion from both parties) after about 3 hours of hiking. Unfortunately, when we reached the top, it was so smoky, that we could hardly see the beautiful view. So, we ate some lunch and decided to hike back down. The trip down took us another 3 hours, but it didn't seem quite as strenuous as the previous 3 hours. Luckily my Dad met us at the bottom to give us a ride back to camp where we could take a nice shower and relax. I think that this was the hardest hike that I've ever been on...
The last full day we were there, everyone went to the beach to relax. My dad brought an air mattress and the kids had fun riding it and laying on it in the water. A contest was even held as to who could balance on top of the mattress the longest. Chris beat all of my cousins with an amazing 10 seconds! It was really fun and funny to watch. As soon as we left the beach in the evening, we got a crazy thunder storm and we got poured on! We all huddled in tents and campers until the worst was over, than Mom, Dad, Chris, and I went around South Shore Lake Tahoe eating at Chevy's and walking around shops.
Sunday morning we packed up, ate breakfast, and drove out 10 hour trek home where we were met by enthusiastic pets. It was a great welcome home.
Overall, we got really red, lot's of mosquito bites, and had a blast! Thanks Amanda for watching the "pups" for us while we were gone!
Here are some pictures from our trip:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

When does it happen?

A friend of mine posed an interesting question at work. She asked when was the turning point in our lives from childhood to adulthood. That really got me thinking, does feeling like an adult (or having to act like one) come from a result of age or does it result from an event. I feel like in my life, the turning point to a more adult-like phase was when I moved out of my house and went away to college. For the first time in my life I was truly responsible for my actions and self being. I had to buy my own food, get myself places, earn money to continue buying grocery's, and such. I think it's amazing how much you grow from having only yourself to look out for. I think another instance that helped me into adulthood was getting married and having the responsibility of another person (and adorable dog) to think about. To sum up, I think that responsibility is what shot me off into adulthood...but even if we have the responsibilities of adults, I think that many of us (hopefully including me) still have child like qualities.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Independence Day

We are so blessed to live in a country where freedom rings and our votes matter. I hope that we can all think about what freedom means and pause for a moment for those who are fighting to keep that freedom for us and our posterity. I am so grateful for the brave men who founded this country and for those who faced tremendous dangers to defend it. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Going into this movie, I didn't think that I'd enjoy it very much, but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved it. I don't think that this movie is for everyone, but if you like action movies with a twist, than this movie is for you!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wall E

Chris and I went and saw Pixar's new movie, Wall E. It was so good!! It's amazing that you can enjoy a movie with hardly any dialogue, but this movie makes it work. Wall E and all of the robots on this film just steal your heart! If you can't tell, we loved it! It would be so much fun to see it again!

Monday, June 23, 2008

To Grandpa Vic...

"O, who will walk a mile with me along life's merry way?
A comarade blithe and full of glee, who dares to laugh out loud and free, and let his frolic fancy play, like happy child, through the flowers gay, that fill the field and fringe the way, where he walks a mile with me.
And who will walk a mile with me along life's weary way? A friend whose heart has eyes to see the stars shine out o'er the darkening lea, and the quiet rest at the end o' the day, a friend who knows, and dares to say, the brave, sweet words that cheer the way, when he walks a mile with me.
With such a comrade, such a friend, I fain would walk till journey's end, through summer sunshine, winter rain, and then?-Farewell, we shall meet again..."
-James Whitcomb Riley

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Get Smart

Last night, Chris, my dad, and I went to see Get Smart. It was hilarious and we loved it! I'd highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys comedy, action, and Steve Carell (the other actors were awesome too, but Steve really carried the show).