July 21, 2014

Yellowstone: part 2

Another beautiful day at Yellowstone!  I can now say I've eaten a buffalo burger and I own a cowboy hat :). 
It kind of terrified me when I saw people walking on the tree close to the cliff.  You can't tell in this photo, but it was ridiculous close to the drop off.  I'm going to be a super annoying Mom, I learned how obsessive I am about sunblock on this trip too.
 
By the end of the trip, I saw a bear (very, very far in the distance), elk, mule deer, and loads of buffalo.  Someday, I'm gonna see a moose and I hope I have a camera on me when I do!

July 18, 2014

Yellowstone: Part 1

Devin and I have been planning a trip to Utah for about a year now to see college friends and reminisce, basically.  I contacted my biological Aunt because I wanted to come visit at a time when I would get to meet more of my family.  Turns out they were having a reunion in Yellowstone this year and we were invited to tag along, lucky us!  All in all, there were 28 of us and lots of cute little kids.  I'm pretty sure my situation takes open adoption to a whole new level and I was very appreciative to be able to meet everyone.

I'm also convinced now Yellowstone is one of the prettiest places I have ever been too!
Devin's new girlfriend is on the right.  She's introduced us to Lalaloopsy, which I admittedly really enjoyed watching.
All of my Aunt's grandchildren (so, my first cousin's once removed) and great-grant children.  There were three missing and I'm sure some more to come over the years :)
Over the past year, I haven't deleted any photos of myself or untagged photos on facebook.  I've never gone on a vacation with so many photos of us.  A huge bonus of having such a huge family around that all have camera skills!
Can you see the baby birds?
By the end of the week, someone in the family joked that buffalo were "the rats of Yellowstone."  Basically, there are a ton of them and sometimes they get pretty nasty looking dreads.
Old Faithful blowing her top.  We ended up going and seeing it blow another time.  It was pretty hot during the trip, so I was pretty appreciative that it got me a little wet :).

Don't worry, there are more tourist photos to come ;).

July 17, 2014

Top 5 most beautiful

I was tagged by a church friend, to show the top five pictures where I felt prettiest, while we were on vacation (there are so many beautiful photos...I can't even start).  When I saw Madeline posted it in a blog format, instead of facebook, I decided I had to try it out :).

#1
This was taken in the summer of 2008.  I had just finished my first year at BYU as a sophomore (I was a transfer student) and I was incredibly home sick.  My Mom found a really good deal on airlines and surprised me by buying a ticket.  Together, we surprised my Dad by not telling him I was going to be coming home.  I missed the country, a lot, but I knew I was in the right place.

#2
Devin and I had just decided we were a couple.  We went for a drive around Utah lake and took a lot of pictures.  I remember telling him that if we ended up getting married down the road, these pictures would be really cute.  However, if we broke up, it would go in the "delete off of computer" pile.  I really embarrassed him saying that, but the good news is it worked out.

#3
I felt beautiful on our wedding day.  Everything turned out better than I could have imagined.  It was a great feeling knowing that we were able to get married in the temple, and even though I had no idea what would be in store for us, I knew we were going to be happy.

 #4
I took these photos the day or two after I was hired for my teaching job.  It was a crazy school year, but in a lot of ways, the country reminded me of home.  I remember feeling so full of purpose on that day knowing that I was going to do what I wanted to do, I was married to the person I loved, and we were going to be moving to an unknown place and continue our adventure in a year.

#5
This is another one of those side shots.  We had moved to Georgia, lived here for a year, and bought our first house.  I remember feeling completely overwhelmed, and life was completely chaotic moving into our house, but we took a break that weekend (Devin was traveling) and just went back to the basics.  It made me feel really grateful for everything and feel more confident.

If you want to do the challenge too, tell me so I can see what you post! :)

June 23, 2014

our underdog part 2 (courtesy broken iphone)

Our yard was a mess when we bought the house, but somehow in our starry eyed "we know we are looking at our first home!" we kind of didn't notice; you can see it here.  Our yard was the blight of a neighborhood with clear backyards.  We received a lot of help from teenagers, my parents, and the missionaries at church and we might have started joking that we felt like this about our yard.

However, progress is definitely progress!  We reclaimed the fort and several yards of yard on all of the three fence lines.
...last week we received a price quote for tree removal that we liked.  The best part?  We knew they would be honest because they didn't take money for their work until the job was done...so rare!  They gave us a week time frame, but ended up coming the next morning to remove everything.  That is why you get photos, from my phone, through a window :).

The next post about the yard will show you what some heavy duty machinery can do and how different a yard can look sans 45 trees.

June 19, 2014

a little bit of history about our house

Having a house built in 1968 doesn't exactly make our house a historical home.  However, the awesome thing about our neighborhood is that most of the original home builders still live in our neighborhood.  Basically, our neighborhood is a little slice of retirement heaven.  Our neighbor's mow their lawns on the same day and we have had the (now) unusual experience of getting to know almost all of them (and their in-laws, pets, grandchildren, etc.).  Sometimes we get to learn too much of what our neighbor's think too ;).

The first month after we moved into our house, the stories started pouring in about the previous occupants.

We never met the person who sold the house, but rather his parents helped with the sale.  He told the real estate agent he was out of country without internet and phone access which made things really interesting, but then we asked his parents where he was they said he was just in Michigan; the room was uncomfortably silent after they said that. 

Anyway, the last occupant studied bugs, was a single man, and owned a flute repair service in our house.  He also hated yard work apparently from the looks of our yard.  I may have joked several times that I want to take some yard tools to him, if I ever met him, but I digress. 

About two months after we moved in, the cops came to the door asking how long we had lived here and asked for him.

Sketchy, but our gain, because we love our house.
The first view of our house
However, the real winner was when the neighbors told us about the first occupant of our house (which props to him, we love the house and the house plan).  Apparently, he was a white supr3m@cist (and yeah, I just typed it like that because I don't want hits on my blog for typing that out).  He was the editor of an anti-civil rights magazine called The Lightning Bolt.  The neighbors said they would often see lobbyists pull into our driveway in limos, to wine and dine him, for some article space.

If he is still living, I'm sure he would be thrilled to know that Mormons live in his house, next door to a Vietnamese family, and across the street from two African American families.

I would love to know more about the other occupants in our house, and maybe over time, we will learn more.