Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Just Dance!

So the weekend of the dance recital finally came...a little too soon to my liking. With my past experience preparing for competitions, it was strange going into a dance performance without EXTENSIVE cleaning. While it was definitely nerve-racking, it was actually really nice to just dance it the way I wanted to dance it.

Let me back up a little bit.

Starting October 2009, I joined a dance class at Jive for "retired dancers". What does that mean? Oh, it's just a self-appointed name we gave ourselves meaning "we're too old to really be dancing, but we're going to do it anyway". There were seven of us, ranging from ages 22 to 28 (two of which were college roommates/best friends). All the girls were SO cute and it was such a blast each week.

The recital was quite an exhausting process and required a lot of time off of work (such a strange situation, since I never really had a job when I was dancing in high school). We had to put a full day in on Thursday just for a dress rehearsal. Friday, we had to be there in the early evening so we could be ready for two performances that night, one at 6:00 and one at 8:00. After a tiring night of performing, we had to be right back at it again on Saturday at 2:00...followed by two more shows at 6:00 and 8:00. Yes, that's right...that's FIVE performances!

And not to complain or anything (I take that back, I'm actually just complaining), but Thursday and Friday were spent in agony due to my overexertion on Wednesday, frantically trying to learn the opening and closing numbers for the dress rehearsal (Jaleah, Bryton, and Sarah know what I'm talking about!). I pulled something in my neck, making it very hard to dance full out without sending a shock through my body. To add a little seasoning to this disaster of a concoction, I woke up with a miserable sore throat and head cold on Saturday! That's just my life though, if I'm ever looking forward to, or excited about something...I swear I always get sick!

Somehow I pulled through and still had such a fun time. It was so exciting to have Jason come see me perform (his first time ever seeing me dance)! Definitely something I would do again.

Thanks to others taking pictures, here are a few shots of us getting ready to go on stage:

When September Ends

Crystal, Sarah, Bryton, McKenzie, me, Jaleah, and Vicki

(Hip Hop)

Have You Ever Loved a Woman

Sweet Jason had this waiting at home for me:

My favorite daisies from my favorite boy :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Shout-out to Mothers

It was nice to actually be around for this Mother’s Day (as last year we were on a Carnival Cruise line). Unfortunately, Nancy was out of town for the week…so we didn’t get to see her. But, that just meant we got to spend more time with my beautiful mother! 

Jason and I drove up to Draper that morning to enjoy a delicious breakfast prepared by my dad and my family. He probably made the prettiest omelets I’ve ever seen!! They were perfect and so tasty! 

After breakfast, Jason returned home to prepare his Sunday school lesson, while I stayed behind and attended Sacrament Meeting with my parents’ ward. After the meeting, we took the “traditional” three hour drive up to Shelley, Idaho to allow my mom to visit her mom. We arrived in the afternoon, stayed and chatted for a few hours, and then returned home that same night. It may seem crazy to some that my family would spend so much time driving just to enjoy a few hours with the family, but for my mom, it is always worth it!

 Visiting with Grandma Rich

Oh! So cute!

This year for Mother’s Day, my sisters and I all pitched in to prepare a fun “Girl’s Afternoon”. Two weeks after the actual holiday, we met up in Alpine to enjoy an indulgent activity at the salon. We had my mom get a nice pedicure, while the three of us got manicures. Afterward, we drove up to Draper for a quick lunch at Zupas. Then it was a speedy drive up to Salt Lake to attend the Young Ambassador’s Concert. There’s nothing like an afternoon of family, pampering, good food, and fun entertainment!!

Thanks girls for making the afternoon so fun!  I hope it is something 
we continue to do often!
Hope you had a great Mother's Day, Mom!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Party Like it's MY Birthday!

What comes after April?
What comes at the beginning of May?

That's right...the most beloved day of the year!
I was really lucky this year because I got to milk it three days in a row (May 1st-3rd).

May 1st -

Jason and I met up with the Grubers for lunch and an evening of fun. Amy and her kids were still in town, so that made it extra special.

If this cake looks delicious...that's because it was!...with all the right toppings!

 There's nothing like having the little serfs...I mean your gifts for you!

My (Day 1) birthday was awesome! Thanks Grubers!
May 2nd - 

May 2nd was a Sunday, so that meant Sunday dinner with my family. There's nothing like 2:00 pm church on a fast Sunday...So Jason and I were very anxious for the meal that my family prepared. It was definitely worth the it always is. 

Playing a pre-dinner game, called Blocks or something like that...
...I'm not smiling because I didn't I'll probably never play that game again...

Don't try to add up the numbers...they were just short on candles

I don't remember the house fire...but this picture makes it seem like Jason saved us all from one

My (Day 2) birthday was just as great! Thanks family!

May 3rd - 

Finally, the REAL birthday!

I woke up to an amazing breakfast of orange-cranberry (strawberry) muffins and an omelet for a queen! What I mean by orange-cranberry (strawberry) muffins is Jason knew I didn't like cranberries in my muffins, and to his dismay, when he went to the story EARLY that morning, that's all they had. So, he did his best to remove the cranberries and replace them with fresh strawberries!...we found out it doesn't exactly work that way...but the thought was there! It was so cute!

After putting in a few hours at work, I came home to this masterpiece:

The culprits: Amy, Harlan, Clara, April, Alex, and Mya!

They decorated the room (as you can see) with streamers, balloons, little notes, drawings, candy...the works!! It was such a surprise coming home and seeing this. The bed was covered with my favorite candies and treats!So sweet!! (No wonder why Jason worked so hard the day before to clean the place up!)

After that, Jason took me out for an afternoon of shopping. He said I couldn't leave the mall without spending  X amount of money! He knows just how to make me smile! :)

That evening, I had to rush off to dance practice (our concert was the next weekend and so I couldn't miss). But I didn't mind, no better way to spend the rest of my birthday than dancing with two of my best friends!

Even later that week I got to nibble away at my birthday even more. Amy Stallings treated me to dinner one night, and Jaleah and Bryton treated me to another. It's great to know that I am so loved! haha

And that concludes my Birthday Extravaganza!
Yet another amazing year!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Graduated at Last! Part IV - To Top it All Off

Remember the awesome gift Jason surprised me with when I finished classes? Well, I had a lot to live up to when he finished his classes. I started realizing how often he mentioned wanting bikes that we could ride around on. The wish finally clicked... so after his last final, I broke the news that we were going to be getting bikes of his choice! To say the least, he was very excited!!

It took us a little while before we found some Beach Cruisers that we really liked (we didn't end up getting them until June), but here is a look at Jason's (eventual) Graduation Surprise:

Aren't they cute? I think we picked out some keepers!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Graduated at Last! Part III - The Party Continues

The next day (Saturday), we continued the party in Alpine to take advantage of the time that Amy, Alli, Grandpa, and Alan had in Utah. Robby even made it into town, which was a special treat for us and especially for Amy.

We showed up in our awesome (free) 2010 BYU Alumni shirts...they were quite the hit!

The day was filled with food, family...and dams??'ll see what I mean:

Karl, Alan, Grandpa Banks, George, and Jason

Allison, Kaitlyn Pacada, Grandma Blair (Kaitlyn's grandma), Nancy, myself, and J-Dawgs! 
My first J-Dawg ever!

Amy, Nancy, me, and April

Jason taking over the BBQ

The most interaction Clara and I have had her entire life!! A very proud moment!

Harlan, me, Jason, and Alex relaxing on the hammock

Now comes the infamous dam building in the Gruber creek! It is quite an ordeal: actually turned out quite beautiful this year!

The party didn't end there...we made our way up to Alpine the next day to enjoy Sunday dinner and fun!

We always manage to fit in a game of Nertz!

Jason found his old kite and thought it would be a perfect activity for the kids to enjoy...and like always, he was right! The kids loved it! Last year it was the airplane, this year it was the kite...he always knows just what they'll love!

This is the little rascal I got to play with while the boys were putting on their show!
Mya is just too cute!

We concluded the party later that week with a fun outing at Boondocks in Draper. The kids absolutely loved the play area!

Karl, George, and Grandpa Banks...loading up on the tickets

Karl and Alex playing some air hockey

To say the least, we had a VERY enjoyable graduation week/weekend! 
Thanks to everyone who came to support us and who helped make it so special for Jason and I!