Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pioneer Day Weekend

Jason and I had a great Pioneer Day Weekend. It started off with an outstanding evening in Deer Valley. We were invited to go with Jason’s parents to a performance by the Utah Symphony of classic Disney Songs. It was so much fun! Oh, how I love Disney. It made me realize how much I really need to watch those old classic movies again…now that I would actually know what was going on!

The Grubers brought a tasty dinner of KFC, watermelon, brownies, and snacks galore! We rented short chairs (yes, they had height limits on the chairs) and Karl was able to find a perfect spot on the grassy hill. I don’t know how he was able to get that sweet spot, but we were able to see the musicians, conductor, singers, and projector perfectly! There were four main singers, and they were all brilliant! I’m so glad….I always hate it when you get those lame-o/less-experienced performers and you can’t help but feel embarrassed or awkward for them. You know what I’m talking about! Luckily, I didn’t have to feel 
embarrassed at all. It was seriously so good!

  Yes, Jason....we're all impressed...

THANKS Grubers!

The next day, Jason got up at the crack of dawn to go fishing with his brother Max (big surprise there). Once he returned, we went and saw Inception…..BEST movie since Avatar! We absolutely loved it! It was one of those movies where your head is hurting by the end because you’re trying to figure it all out. Definitely recommend it! After the movie, we stuck around at the mall for some shopping (I had promised Jason some “half-birthday” presents that he needed to cash-in).

Afterward, we enjoyed a dinner at Kneaders and an awesome Banana Cream Pie Shake at Sammys (so bomb!).

Since our 4th of July was “big firework” free, we wanted to make sure we got to see some for Pioneer Day. We ended up going to the fireworks in Spanish Fork with the Phillips boys and Mandy (Paul’s fiancé).  The fireworks were decent to good (it doesn’t help when you’re peering up through branches in order to see them). Quality fireworks or not, we had a great time hanging out and observing the Spanish Fork folk!

Going Back to a Place That I Love

As I mentioned in my previous posting, we attended Brooke's reception in July. I generally described the event, but here is the play by play of what went down that weekend:

Yet again, we were on our way to another wedding reception. This one was for my cousin, Brooke. (Not to be confused with my other cousin Brooke living in Utah). This Brooke is from my mom’s side and grew up in Idaho. I believe I have mentioned this before, but I am very close to my cousins from Idaho. Brooke, Brianna, Kendra, and I were always playing (or fighting) together, and have continued to have a great relationship. I don’t get to see them nearly as much as I would like, so whatever chance I get…I take.

Jason and I drove up to Shelley, Idaho that Friday night and spent the evening talking to the grandparents and searching for “night crawlers”! Sounds creepy right? And it was! 

Jason had been planning to take advantage of the Snake River while in Idaho. When my grandpa caught wind of his plans, the night’s discussions became all about fishing! My Grandpa Rich was quite the Fishing King back in his day (and still would be if his physical strength was better). It was really cute to see him and Jason have something to really connect and talk about. Grandpa even lent him some of his homemade lures to use, and ended up letting him keep one and take it home. Rather than buying worms at the gas station nearby, Grandpa suggested we go in the yard and search for night crawlers. So we took a flashlight out and began searching through the wet dirt. 

The worms we saw were huge! Perfect for fishing! The only thing we didn’t anticipate was how FAST they were. Every time Jason saw a big juicy one, he would quickly grab for it…but they would quickly zip out of his fingers. They almost appeared to be jumping out of his fingers! It was crazy. Sadly to say, no worms were caught.

The next morning, Jason got up at 5:00 AM to hit the river. He kindly asked if I was interested in joining him…anyone who knows me probably knows what my response was. So Jason set off to the river and I continued in my dreams…until…

I was suddenly awoken by my mother insisting I quickly get up and go outside. One of the ponies on my grandpa’s lot had gotten out in the night. The trick was trying to get the pony back in the gate before the other horses and ponies got out. My smart mother ran and grabbed a rope and was able to loop it around the pony’s neck, which is a surprise since these ponies are known for being feisty. We guided the pony inside of the gate and were able to pull the gate back in time. Mind you, the gate was very heavy and sticky with bugs and spider webs. It was nasty. What could have turned out to be a very scary and dramatic thing, turned out to go smoother than ever expected. It was definitely fun to see my mom at work in her element… doing the things she would have done growing up in that small town of Shelley, Idaho. 

Since I was already up, my mom dropped me off near the bridge Jason was fishing under. I was glad I was able to get some time fishing with him. He kept going off on how BIG the Snake River was. It makes the Provo River look like a stream!

The rest of the day was spent helping the Hillams get their yard ready for the reception. It was quite the job. Even with over a dozen of us helping, the task seemed overwhelming. However, Aunt Arnae did a phenomenal job!! It was so pretty! She put SO much work and preparation into making all of the décor…and it turned out perfectly. It was rainy in the morning and very windy in the afternoon, but by the time evening came around, the weather became very pleasant. So lucky!

Most importantly, Brooke looked gorgeous! She was the type of gorgeous that makes you feel depressed, because you know you will never look that pretty. You know what I’m talking about. Brooke and Nate were so cute together and I was so glad I was able to be there to celebrate their marriage with them (see previous posting for lots of pictures).

After “taking down” the reception, we met up with several of my cousins (and their boyfriends) for game night. We played Boxers or Briefs, a very fun game! We were exhausted by the time we got to bed.
I couldn’t believe it when Sunday came around and we were driving home. The weekends you look forward to always go by the fastest. 

One disappointment of the weekend, however, was the lack of Air-Soft battles going on. As an encore to our good times at the Spruces, Bryan got us hyped up about a big war we were going to have in Idaho. He brought all of the guns and promised a good fight. The turning point was when Bryan found out that Jason was going to be bringing his automatic gas powered air-soft gun. This was very concerning to Bryan…since it shoots faster and possibly harder. Whenever we suggested to Bryan that we play, he would say “No, not right now.” Jason did get one game in with Bryan and his friend, Ammon, but that lasted a whole 10 minutes. We’ll get you next time Bryan!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More Weddings!

I am not kidding when I say this was the year of weddings! Thursday, July 15th and Saturday, July 17th marked the dates of two more cousins getting married.

Thursday evening was spent celebrating the marriage of Erin and Ryan. Erin is Jason's cousin and they have grown up being very close and great friends. They had a BEAUTIFUL wedding ceremony and reception at the Homestead in Midway. Everything was gorgeous! The dress, the scenery, even the food! I must say, it was absolutely the best food I have ever had at a reception! It was buffet style with multiple main courses: chicken, salmon, pasta, name it, it was there, and it was top notch!

 Gino, Zion, Kirsten, Sierra, Nancy, George, Jim, Amy, Emily, April, Max, and Jason

 The girls with the bride

 Waiting for the walk down the aisle...

Wish I had gotten a picture of the food...but the family and the cake will have to do. Some other highlights of the evening include the awesome dance party and Uncle Lloyd's shining grill.

On to wedding #2 -

Now to be completely honest, Brooke and Nate officially got married two weeks before on a beach in Florida, but their reception that we could all attend was July 17th. As mentioned in my June posting, Brooke is one of my close cousins, so we drove to Idaho that weekend to be there.

Brooke was stunning (as expected)! They had the reception in the Hilliam's recently finished yard and it was beautiful! Aunt Arnae did an amazing job (as she always does).

Pictures from the actual wedding in Florida:

Pictures from the reception:




Amenae, Briana, me, Brooke, and Kendra

So pretty!

And more cousin weddings to come before the year is done...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

July 4th Weekend

The great thing about having the 4th of July fall on a Sunday pretty much get to celebrate it Friday, Saturday, and Monday...right?

So, Friday night was spent with the Grubers up at Sundance where we enjoyed a special Patriotic Concert by the Utah Symphony! So good and so fun! It was especially fun because I remember going to this same concert with his family when Jason and I were dating (at that time we were accompanied by his grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins).
George, Nancy, me, Jason, and Karl

Saturday evening was spent with my family for an Arbon BBQ. We were welcomed by Bryan's Parking Company:

It was too cute to pass up a picture!
(This is a typical procedure whenever there is a family event.)

Monday through Wednesday was also spent with my family on our annual camping trip. Each year we go camping at the Spruces (beautiful campground). Last year, Jason and I were only able to show our faces for dinner one of the nights...and so this year we wanted to make sure we were actually able to camp with the family.

Typical camping activities for my family include hours of leisure reading, walking along/through the streams and rivers, card games, tin foil banana boats (YUM!), roasting marshmallows, delicious breakfasts of bacon and eggs, bike riding, scooter riding, and hiking to Doughnut Falls.

This year, we participated in most of these activities, but also added a few new activities that I'm sure will turn into "traditions": Grandma and Grandpa Arbon and the Apelu family came and visited us the first night and joined us for dinner and marshmallows; we played a game of baseball (and of course my team won...which will be a continuing tradition); and last but not least, we played HOURS of air-soft war!

Our air-soft wars could be described as a mix between paint-balling and capture the flag. We formed two teams and had the mission of stealing the other team's flag without getting hit by any air-soft gun bullets. If you got hit by a bullet, you had to wait there for so many seconds before returning to your base and trying again. Lucky for us, the campsites above and below us were we were free to roam over a wide area.

We absolutely had a ball! We played round after round after round....after get the idea. I'm pretty sure my parents weren't loving it..given the violent nature of the game and the fact that it took away from our typical card-playing, but it was definitely something that made the camping trip memorable and fun! Thanks Bryan for the brilliant idea!

Visit from Grandma and Grandpa Arbon and the Apelu family

 Making banana boats

Jason stoking the fire...pretty good for a non-Eagle scout... :)

 The beloved reading time

The special operation team!

...and the GLORIFIED version...