Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Birthday visitors

(Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post... I am horrible about taking my camera anywhere, which I regret! I'll try to be better in the future)

This past Monday, Labor Day, I celebrated my 26th birthday. The only thing I really wanted for my birthday was to see my family, so I was so excited that they were able to make a trip up from St. George to help celebrate!

My parents and twin brother (yes, I suppose we were celebrating his birthday too) got here on Sunday morning and the first thing we did was head to Salt Lake to have brunch at The Cheesecake Factory. It was sooo yummy! It's probably a good thing it's closer to my house or I might become addicted. We were all so full by the end of our meal that we didn't even get any cheesecake (gasp!) but we had our fair share of cake and whatnot over the course of the next few days so it was alright! After we were all full on delicious food I had a little surprise trip to the Bingham Canyon Mine planned for my dad. He's been saying for years that he wanted to make a trip up there, and since they were offering free admission with a coupon on their website, I figured there was no better time! That place always amazes me at how enormous it is. The trucks at the bottom of the mine look like little matchbox cars, but when you see them up close they are HUGE. Just the tires on them are probably 3 or 4 times as tall as I am. It was really fun looking around the visitor center at all of the displays full of minerals and rocks that they mine, equipment they use, and just what an impact the mine has on our everyday lives. If you are ever in the area, I suggest taking a little time out of your day to go explore :)

Monday, my birthday, was actually pretty relaxing. We didn't really have much planned that day but it was nice to just spend some time catching up with my family. We did make a trip to Cabella's to stock up on some fishing gear for our activities on Tuesday. My dad's birthday was about 2 weeks before mine and I told him that for his birthday I would take him on a little shopping trip. I don't think he's ever been in a sporting goods store that big before so there was a lot to look at! We spent probably an hour and a half looking around at everything and I think he probably could have stay a few more and still been entertained! Monday night for dinner my family planned to meet up with my brother's girlfriend, Kaytlyn's family so they could all meet since the parent's hadn't ever met before. Even though it was a dinner for them to meet and get to know each other, they still surprised me by singing happy birthday, bringing cupcakes, and a little gift! It was really sweet of them! I didn't expect that at all so it was really fun!

Tuesday morning we got up pretty early and started getting everything ready for our fishing trip! My dad loves to stream fish, and since we have the Provo River really close, we try to go up for a little while each time he comes up. I am not the best stream fisher, I'll admit it! I tend to lose my lures in the rocks (I think I lost 3 that day) and didn't catch anything, but it was still fun to be outdoors with my family. Thad and I hadn't been fishing for about a year and it's one of our favorite things to do together so it was nice to be able to find some time to do it again! After we spent the morning fishing we headed up to Park City Mountain Resort for a little fun!

My twin brother has been wanting to go to Park City for a long time and since we were fishing only about 10-15 miles away, we decided it would be the perfect time to head up! While we were there we bought day passes so we could enjoy all of the attractions at the resort. Our first activity was the zipline. I'll admit, I was scared! I usually don't get scared by heights and thrill rides, but I'd never really done anything like the zipline before. So, after the really long ski lift ride to the top of the hill it was time to conquer my fears. My mom and brother went first, then I went down with my dad, and Thad was the last one to make the trip down the mountain. Once the gate opened and we started going, I had a blast! The views were amazing being that high up! I probably would have gone a few more times if I didn't have to pay extra to keep riding! Our next activity was the Alpine coaster. This was my favorite ride of the day! I love rollercoasters so I was pretty excited to ride it. Thad and I shared a car together since they said you go a lot faster with 2 people. It takes you on a slow ride up to the top of the hill, so we took some time to enjoy the nice views of the mountain and valley of Park City. Once we got to the top, we pretty much just let go of the brakes and started careening down the mountain! Honestly, that little coaster was probably on of the most fun rollercoasters I've ever been on! It feels like you are going to fly out of your car in the sharp turns, but I loved it! We ended up riding that a few more times that day because it was so much fun! The last activity was the Alpine Slide. I think of everything we did there, this was my least favorite. Don't get me wrong, it was fun, I just couldn't get past my fear of flying over the side of the TINY cement wall on the side of my as I was flying down the hill! The little kids that were riding it were a lot more brave than I was, I'll say that! It's a good thing I had a brake so I could control the speed. But, I learned that I enjoy riding things affixed to a track, rather than just being on a little sled while riding down a mountain!

Today before my family left to go back to St. George, we went to lunch at Tucanos, probably my favorite place to eat! I took my brother there a few months ago but my parents had never been before. My dad loved all the meat (even the chicken hearts, EWW) and my mom loved the salad bar and her dessert! I think it's definitely going to be a place we visit regularly when they come up! They were already making plans to go back the next time they come up so they can take some time to enjoy the rest of the shops in the Riverwoods at night when all the lights are on and the fire pits are lit.

Sadly after lunch it was time to say goodbye so they could head back home. I had such a great time with my family and I was so glad they were able to come spend some time with me and celebrate my birthday! It was definitely one of the most memorable birthdays I've ever had!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Coming out of hiding

I feel like I say this at the beginning of every blog I do, but I am the world's worst blogger! I always think of things I want to blog about, but I never do. So... I'll just do a big blog about out happenings over the last few months. Sadly I don't really have pictures. (I want to go outside and take some so you can see but its WAY too hot and smokey outside right now - more on that in this post)

Back in April, we decided to finally tear out our ugly planter box that was in our back yard. We've hated that thing ever since we moved in because it was right in the middle of the yard and always full of weeds. I can't grow anything and make it stay alive so I never cared enough about it to want to pull the weeds so I could use it. The project turned into a lot bigger job than we were expecting it to be. (doesn't it always happen that way?)  We rented a bobcat to help tear it out and help level the ground so we could put sod in. We also were adding a few feet of grass to create a straight line in between the fence lines on both sides of our house. It was at a diagonal before so we figured we would just make our yard bigger in the process! Most of our siblings and a few neighbors and friends came to help us, which was so gracious of them! After everything was all leveled we put the sod in and it looks so much better! Its crazy how much bigger our yard looks just by taking that out and adding grass!

Another one of the projects we did this spring was add red lava rock to our flower beds outside. A few years ago we bought some red wood chips to put around the house, but seriously within a day most of them had blown away. It was pretty sad! I loved the look of the red so we chose to go with something a little bit heavier and added the lava rock, which, in my opinion, looks amazing! I think it was a really good choice and actually was a lot cheaper than the wood chips.

Our home improvement projects seem never-ending these days, but we're looking onto bigger and better things. And by "things", I mean homes! Yes, Thad and I are going to be selling our current home next spring and getting into one a little bit bigger. We've loved this home but with the market the way it is, we feel we could sell the home we are in and get something bigger and a little nicer for not much more than we are paying now. We haven't decided if we will build or buy used, but we have been brainstorming for months what we want in our new home and are excited to start the process. We've been working hard to get all our debt paid off any by September we should have everything except my car and our house paid off so we can start saving for our down-payment. Its a really good feeling to be getting out of credit card debt and hopefully we can stay on track even after we buy our new house.

Probably the most exciting (that sounds like a horrible word to use in this context but I can't think of a better one) news as of late is this fire burning out here in Saratoga Springs/Eagle Mountain. One of the reasons we wanted to move out to this area is that we love to shoot guns and the open range is only about 10 minutes down the road. Well, since it's been so hot and dry the last few months, so several fires have been started on Lake Mountain, which is about 5 miles from where our house is. The one that started this last Thursday is over 5,000 acres now and thousands have been evacuated from their homes! We are far enough away that we are safe but we know several people that have been evacuated. The pictures online are amazing to look at but makes me scared at the same time because there is another mountain behind my house that is just as dry and could catch fire just as easily. If you haven't seen the pictures, take a look *here*. Yesterday was really smokey outside and was really had to see because of all the smoke in the air, but today seems to look a lot better. Hopefully the winds stay calm today so those that have been evacuated can return to their homes.

And last but certainly not least, tomorrow Thad and I will celebrate our 6th anniversary! It has gone by so fast - I wish it would slow down! I'm still so in love with him and still get butterflies when I'm around him! I couldn't imagine my life with anyone else. We don't have any plans really. Maybe dinner and a movie since we are trying to save our money. I'm just looking forward to being able to spend time together since all of our weekends as of late are spent doing projects on the house. I love you, Thad!

That's all folks! Hopefully there will be another blog post before our 7th anniversary!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lady Antebellum

Geez, I am the world's worst blogger. I think the last post I did was about my excitement for the Lady Antebellum concert... Well yesterday was the day!

Since my husband isn't the concert-going type, and doesn't particularly enjoy country music, he was nice enough to let me spend Valentines Day with my brother at the concert. (I'm sure he was relieved I didn't make him go!) TJ and I got there about an hour and a half before the doors were supposed to open because we had "inner circle" tickets and wanted to make sure we got the very best seat. Once the doors opened and we got through security, we hustled down the stairs onto the floor to secure our spots. Before reaching our seats, we were given 3 different wristbands - one for access to the floor, one for access to the general admission on the floor, and one for access into the inner circle! A little overboard if you ask me, but I guess they just want to make sure the right people have access to the right places.
Once we got our wristbands for the inner circle, we were given a piece of paper with specific instructions on what to do while in the inner circle.
Once we had our wristbands and instructions we headed to the designated spot on the floor to have access to the inner circle. We were literally the 5th and 6th people in line for the inner circle, which would mean we could gain front row access once inside.
The inner circle didn't open until right before Lady A came out, so in the meantime we got our spots right on the front row for Thomson Square and Darius Rucker, who were the opening acts.
I have loved Thompson Square since their first song came out so I was really excited to see them. And they didn't disappoint. They are husband and wife so the dynamic they have on stage is something you can't fake! One of the best moments of the entire concert was when Keifer (the male in T.S.) gave Shawna (his wife and the 2nd half of T.S.) a bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day while they were in the middle of singing Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not, which made her teary-eyed!
After Thompson Square, Darius Rucker came out. He was a great entertainer and even did some of his older Hootie and the Blowfish stuff, which was fun!
After Darius, we were finally able to make our way into the inner circle! We were able to score spots right in the center of the front row which gave us a great view of the entire stage.
Being in the inner circle meant we got a lot of interaction with all of the group members and the band.
I think the only downfall to being in the inner circle was that they did have their backs towards us a lot of the time, but I'm not going to complain!
Probably one of the most entertaining parts of the show was when Dave rocked out on the guitar while standing on top of his piano! He played so many different instruments during the show! I was pretty amazed at his talents!
Right as they were walking off the stage after their encore, Dave threw a guitar pick into the crowd, and guess who has it sitting on their desk now?? Yep, that would me me! :)
It was the best concert I've ever been to and I will carry the memories with me forever! If you want to see a few more pictures from the show, you can check out my Facebook here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


As I have grown up and gotten older it seems like there are a lot less "events" that I look forward to or get excited about. HOWEVER, this week I've become EXTREMELY excited about 2 events coming in the next few months.

First, lets fast forward to Valentines Day, 2012............

Lady Antebellum is probably my favorite music group of all time (besides my teenage obsession with NSYNC). They are coming to Salt Lake on Valentines Day and I was able to get some AMAZING tickets!

See that little red circle in the middle of the stage?? Ya, I'll be there! Right now the plan is to go with my brother since Thad is not a music person (especially country) but if my brother decides he wants to take a date with him I will have an extra ticket! So, until V-Day I'll just keep singing their songs in my head :)

Fast forward again to March, 2011...........

Probably one of the best books (definitely my favorite series) I've ever read is being made into a movie. They released the official trailer this past Monday and it looks amazing! I've never gotten into the whole Twilight phenomenon (never read any of the books or seen the movies) but I WILL be waiting in line at midnight to see this movie! If anyone wants to go with me just let me know! My family has been reading the books over the past year and therefore has my copy of the first book in the series but when I go down to visit next week for Thanksgiving I am going to track it down and start reading them again so I can be ready! Anyway, if you haven't watched the trailer for the movie yet, go watch it here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weekend Adventures

This past weekend, my best friend Denise came up to visit me! She has been my best friend since 3rd grade but I hadn't seen her in over a year so we had a lot of catching up to do. When she first told me she was coming to visit she said we had to visit the "Up!" house. So, we did! And it was AMAZING! Every detail of this house was straight from the movie (minus the downstairs which had a princess room, Andy's room from Toy Story, and a home theater). I am still trying to get Thad to buy it for me... I really want it. I guess for the opening they had tons of balloons attached to the top of the house, which would have been fun to see. But since it was barely above freezing, I don't think balloons would have lasted very long this weekend.

The mailbox is SO cute! I want to make one like this for me and Thad.

Denise and I kept coming back to the kitchen to admire it! I LOVED the blue appliances.
And of course their chairs! Though, my favorite detail of this room is his walker with the tennis balls on the bottom. You can't see them in the picture very well, but his big, thick glasses are sitting on the side table.
The home builder was so nice and even let me and Denise have a seat in the chairs that were roped off
Then there are their pictures in the stairway.
I thought all of his little ties were such a cute detail. All of them were short, just for Carl
This is Andy's room from Toy Story (though the name on the wall says Jack) but I love all the Toy Story details - it is after all one of my favorite movies
And this was in the nursery.

After we visited the Up house we went to lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and as always it was delicious. We shared the Snickers cheesecake and it was so yummy

Sunday Denise was nice enough to give my hair a much needed make over! She did such a great job with it and I have gotten so many compliments.
Sadly the weekend ended too soon and we had to say our goodbyes since I had to work the next morning and she needed to head home. I was sad she had to leave but I had such a good time. It brought back a lot of memories from back when we were in school when we lived just 2 doors down from each other. Hopefully another year won't go by without visiting each other!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

Wow. What a crazy week it has been! It's only been a week since I got a phone call saying I had won a trip to Las Vegas to attend the IHeartRadio Music Festival. Originally when the tickets went on sale they sold out in less than 10 minutes so tickets were pretty much impossible to come by unless you wanted so shell out a couple hundred/thousand dollars. I was completely shocked! At first I thought maybe it was a hoax and just someone trying to get my information but I looked into it more and it was legitimate. It was Monday and they told me I'd be flying out Friday, but luckily for me I already had some time off scheduled for the end of the week and didn't have any plans. The prize for winning was a free round-trip flight to Las Vegas, airport transfers, 2 night stay at MGM Grand, and 2 tickets for the each night of the music festival. Pretty cool, eh? The first night our hotel room was just a basic room but the second night we were updated to the Celebrity Spa Suite which was AMAZING! It had a HUGE bathroom with spa tub and great views!
So, Friday came around and Thad and I headed off to Vegas. The whole talk of the town was this music festival. From the time we got off the plane, to checking into the hotel
, to everyone walking around on the strip, its all anyone was talking about. It was also advertised everywhere! I couldn't wait! Once we got checked into the hotel we went and picked up our tickets in the "winners suite" and then went to do some sightseeing. We went to Las Vegas on our honeymoon so it was fun to be back. It's amazing ho
w much it has changed in just 5 years!

The music festival was jam packed with the biggest artists! The first night included Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, Jane's Addiction, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, and Jay-Z. The second night had Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson (American Idol), Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Lopez, Sublime with Rome, Lady Gaga, Sting, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Nicki Minaj, and Usher. Ryan Seacrest was also the host. So many guest appearances too (Justin Timberlake anyone?)

Sadly my tickets were in the very top row in the back and with all the lights and smoke pictures were not turning out but I'm sure you can look online and see pics from performances if you want.

It was an amazing trip and I'm sad to be back home but I had a blast! If they have another festival next year I'll definitely try to win tickets to that as well!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My favorite birthday present

Every year as my birthday approaches, I always remember my favorite birthday present.
It was my 18th birthday and a guy I had been talking to for a little while decided he wanted to come down to St. George to help celebrate my birthday.

I had only met him once about 6 months before and that meeting was a bit of a bust. I basically spent 2 hours following behind him and his friend while they tried to find a hotel to stay in for the weekend (mind you it was Spring break so there were no hotel rooms available). They finally gave up and decided to just figure it out later so we went to a movie. I sat between them during the movie and then went home. We hardly said anything to each other the whole night but we had still kept in touch over the next few months.

Back to my birthday... I met him in a parking lot since he didn't know the area and he surprised me with a card and a little bouquet of flowers. It was so sweet of him. When I asked him what he wanted to do, he said he had it all planned out and he was going to take me to the "mountains" ("mountains" to me were considered hills to him so he kept making fun of me for this the entire night because I apparently didn't know what a mountain was) and we were going to watch a movie on his projector as we sat in the back of his truck. He said he wanted to experience a "drive-in movie" since I had never been to one before and it was one of his favorite things to do back home. So, we went to Hollywood video and got a free movie since it was my birthday, and headed up to the "mountain" to find a spot to hang a sheet and watch a movie. After driving around for an hour we found the right spot and began to hang the sheet.

We talked non-stop on the drive and joked around as we tried to hang the sheet. Since I am a little on the short side (maybe a lot on the short side) my side of the sheet was no where near as high as it should've been. We both laughed as I struggled to hang it properly but in the end Thad had to hang my side as well.

Once it was hung, we started the movie - The Butterfly Effect. Honestly looking back I don't remember ANYTHING about the movie. We spent the whole night just looking into each others eyes (cheesy as it sounds, its what happened) and after the movie was about over and me secretly hoping he would kiss me, he leaned over and kissed me. And that was that! We were inseperable from that night on.

Since I still lived at home and had a curfew, I had to be home by midnight so once the movie was over we headed back down to the city and said our goodbyes. It was really tough! I didn't want the night to end but I had to get home and he needed to head home to be to work the next morning. So we ended the night with a kiss and headed our serparate ways.

It wasn't 15 minutes after I got home that my phone was ringing. It was Thad. He said he couldn't stop thinking about me and wanted me to stay on the phone with him to keep him awake and so it would feel like I was with him. So we talked for about 3 hours while he drove back up to his house. I knew after that phone call I needed to see him again.

2 days later I was headed up to visit him. We went to a real drive in and went to Lagoon while I was up there. Leaving was one of the hardest things I had to do. But, I had to head back home because I had school the next day. The whole drive home I kept thinking about him and wondered when the next time I would be able to see him.

3 days after I went back home I was greeted with a huge bouquet of roses and a note asking me to be his girlfriend and the rest is history.

It's been 7 years since that day but besides my wedding day it's probably the day I remember most in our relationship. I couldn't be more in love with him and I'm so glad I didn't listen to those people who were more than a little skeptical when I started dating him. Sometimes you just have to follow your heart, even if it is 300 miles away!