Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gone Fishin'

Time for Jason to put a word in on the blog – this is a first – but it was a request made by Emily, so I agreed to. The Thursday of Memorial Day weekend, two friends from high school and I decided to go on a fishing trip.  Originally our friend Trevor Cook had wanted to take myself and Parker Redding to Henry’s Lake up in Idaho.  Due to really bad weather that was moving in we decided to stay a little closer and head East to Strawberry Reservoir.  Like most trips or pretty much anything my friends and I do, it was planned last minute with minimal organization.   It ended up being the three of us and Trevor’s dog Sage.

We loaded up in T’s car, which was also pulling his fishing boat.   We got up to Strawberry Reservoir Thursday night right before dusk.  It was quite cold, but we got a fire started and set up camp as well as the tent (which I had brought along).  The next morning we got up early, and headed out to Renegade “harbor”, launched the boat, and set out for our first session of fishing.  We got into the fish early, or I should say Parker did.  We started landing quite a few cutthroats as well as rainbows. 

The weather was windy, with occasional strong gusts.  We didn’t mind too much since we were catching fish and having fun.  We fished for about four or five hours and decided to go back to camp and take some naps as well as eat lunch.  We kept four fish that morning to eat for dinner that night.
Upon arriving at camp, it was quite windy, and it didn’t take long to realize the wind had completely snapped one of the tent poles in half and tore some nice holes in the rain fly.  Seeing the condition of the tent and our circumstances was quite comical considering we still needed some type of sleeping arrangement for the next two nights, especially with the threat of rain in the forecast. 

We ate lunch, which was bratwursts, and luckily enough that morning we found some old buns in the bow of his boat from a previous trip (we forgot to buy buns the day before).  After lunch we went out again to the lake and though it was still windy, we had come to terms with the weather, and figured we were there to fish so why not.  Well a few hundred yards from the harbor as we entered the larger bay area, the wind picked up.  Unfortunately, T’s boat wasn’t running its best so we didn’t have much speed.  The waves picked up and we instantly knew we had to turn around and head back.  With the three of us and Sage and all our gear and coolers, the boat was hitting the waves pretty hard, and water was close to spilling over into the boat from the sides.   I know we were all a little scared, since the wind was so strong and the motor wasn’t 100%, it felt like we weren’t making much progress back to the harbor.  Eventually we made it back, and I’m sure the people on shore got a good show watching us flip around in the middle of the bay and get drenched by waves as we put-putted back to the harbor.

Wearing Frog Togs with pride!

After much deliberation, we decided to head even further East to try some other fishing places that T knew about. (Much to his dismay – “You don’t leave fish, to find fish” – T’s comment referring to our great success that morning)We then drove out to Starvation Reservoir.  After driving around for a long time, and not knowing where we were, we luckily ended up finding an amazing spot right next to the water.  We fished a little from shore that night and had a good fish fry (Thanks to T cooking up the fish from Strawberry) and also some freeze dried rice, oh and I can’t forget the healthy serving of sand in each of our meals due to the consistent wind and lack of lids to our pots.

That night, the wind calmed down just long enough to deceive Parker and I that we would be fine to sleep out on a tarp, while T slept in his car.  Well to say the least, after the first big gust, Parker and I both had ridiculous amounts of sand in our sleeping bags and just about everywhere else.  I maybe got three hours of sleep.

I woke up first and decided to do some more shore fishing before the others woke up.  After just a few casts, I hooked into a 15” small mouth bass!  It was a great fight and is definitely the biggest smallmouth I have ever caught.  

For breakfast we ate eggs, bacon, cereal…..and some more sand.  Although we were already at Starvation, we decided to go to a different lake that T had told us about.
We decided due to continued wind and lack of a tent, that we would fish the rest of the day and then head back that night (Saturday).  We arrived at the new lake and found a random place to launch the boat.  We unhooked the tie-downs and we about launched it, when we spotted another spot that was more promising.  Upon arriving at the other launching location, and after a few trial and error back-ups, Parker and I stood helpless as we saw the boat slide off of the trailer and onto the ground…yes, we had forgotten to put the tie-downs back on.  When I saw this happen I thought all was lost, the boat was ruined, and we would never get it back onto the trailer.  But out comes Trevor to investigate the damage, and amazingly he didn’t look too worried.  He only asked about the motor and if it was ok.  Sure enough with a little fisherman brute strength and the trailer “wench”, we got the boat back onto the trailer, with no harm done.  I found out afterwards the same boat fell off the trailer on the freeway, going freeway speeds and yet no damage was done.

We began fishing the lake, and didn’t have much luck.  We tried fly after fly and lure after lure as well as trolling.  The wind, of course, was still harassing us and even with both anchors down we still floated our way across the shoreline.  About two and half hours in, and still without any fish landed, I decided to try my trusty jig again.  And after about four or five casts… “FISH ON!”.  We quickly realized it was a nice sized fish, but we weren’t too sure of how nice it was until it finally got close to the boat and and surfaced and our excitement hit the roof!  It was big, and we HAD to net it.  Trevor had the net, and Parker was getting an anchor up to help avoid the fish getting caught in the line.  T netted the fish, but after a few seconds, and all of us amazed at how big it was, the fish jumped out of the net and back into the water.  My heart stopped, and I’m sure T’s did too.  LUCKILY, the fish didn’t break the line and the jig stayed hooked.  T netted the fish again, and it was quickly brought into the boat.  At this point I already knew it was the biggest fish I had ever caught in my life.  All three of us were like giddy school boys looking at this fish while taking pictures as well as getting the specs.  It was a tiger trout and weighed in at 6 lbs and was 24” long.  We kept the fish and I couldn’t have been a happier fisherman.

I’m sure many would read this story and think with the horrible wind that it was not worth it, but let me just say it certainly was!  When my grandpa in California quickly caught wind of my fish (no pun intended) he offered to get the tiger trout mounted, and so it is.

What the wind claimed:  Tent, T’s glasses, Parker’s sleeping bag case, storage bin, T’s frog togs case, and a good amount of food.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Girls Week 2012

That’s right, another Girls Week! It seems like just yesterday that we were all in Las Vegas livin’ the dream. This year was Nancy’s year to host in Alpine, Utah. Being eight months pregnant, I was so glad to be going somewhere close to home.

Everyone arrived Wednesday evening. Nancy and I picked up Alli and Amy from the airport and enjoyed some delicious pizza at a small Italian restaurant in Salt Lake City (I believe it was Settebello). On the way home, we picked up April in Riverton. And so the five-some was complete and Girls Week officially began. Once we arrived back in Alpine, we were given the weekend itinerary and enjoyed delicious banana bread.

Here’s a look at our fun-filled Girls Days Weekend:

Girls Days officially begins!

 Nancy's famous banana bread

Draper Temple
Lunch at Food For Thought
“Tour of Homes” - April, Grandma Gruber, Karl, Emily
Home for relaxing and fun


Draper Temple

Food for Thought

Touring April's home:

Newly remodeled master bedroom - Looks awesome!

Visiting Grandma Gruber:

She had the most gorgeous plants and flowers all throughout her backyard! So pretty!

She treated us with an elegant "snack" of fresh berries and chicken salad

Karl's "Tour of Homes":

Waiting for Karl to arrive

The home Karl will be moving into/renting as soon as it is completed

Visiting my house:

Jason was fixing the swamp cooler when we arrived

The big sisters teaching Jason how to swaddle a baby on a toy stork!

Sadly, at this point I was feeling very sick...experiencing some Braxton Hicks/cramping. I stayed behind for a bit to rest at home, while the others went on to dinner. The original plan was to eat at J-Dawgs, but my nausea kind of messed that one up. Jason took my back to Alpine later that night to join up with the girls again.

Leave for City Creek Mall
Lunch at Cafe Rio
“Father of the Bride” at Center Theater
Dinner at home
Games - Farkle

So as you can see, the plan was to go to City Creek this day...and we were actually on our way to City Creek when I started feeling really light headed and dizzy. The moment they handed me a bag, I immediately started vomiting into it. I know...TMI. But with that unfortunate turn of events, we turned the car around and headed home. I felt so embarrassed and sad. All of the girls were so nice about and said they didn't care at all, but I had to be the fun-sucker at a fun weekend like this. Yet again, Emily is messing up the plans. As a result, we ended up spending the afternoon at home and eating lunch at Cafe Rio. The good news is, I was feeling well enough by the late afternoon to attend the play at Hale Center Theater.

"Father of the Bride" at Hale Center Theater

I have to say, this play was ridiculous! Actually quite terrible! I have been to Hale Center before and have enjoyed most of the plays I have seen there, but this was definitely the worst. It was hilarious how awful it was. It made the memory all the more sweet! There was an old couple sitting next to Amy and she overheard the wife say to the husband, "This is so stupid!" in her old lady voice. Later on in the play, she whispered to her husband "This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen!" And even later, she said again, "This is the stupidest one they have ever done!" It was hilarious to hear Amy tell us the story after the show. I think the old lady had it right on the button!

Dinner at home: BBQ Beef Sandwiches
(nice fingers George!)

Lunch at Trellis Cafe (surprise baby shower for Emily)
Actually made it to City Creek Mall
Dinner at Cheesecake Factory
Relaxing and games at home

Heading to Trellis for lunch, I had NO CLUE that they had planned a surprise baby shower lunch for me! I was completely shocked and completely grateful. My mom and sisters were there, as well as Aunt Jean, Khirsten, Cierra, and Maria. So nice and so fun!

They surprised me with a big gift - a beautiful crib and changing table! I couldn't believe it! So thoughtful!

And to top it all off, we got a delicious BTS cake!
Jason snuck in at the end to pick up the gift and was able to join in on the cake.

The original plan was to walk The Gardens at Thanksgiving Point after lunch, but since I was feeling better and we missed out on City Creek the day before, we decided to give it another go. This time we successfully made it! Sorry Gardens!

Nancy surprised us with matching shirts...perfect for our photoshoot:


Pack up
Drop Alli off at airport
Church at Joseph Smith Memorial Building
Lunch at Little America
Drop Amy off at airport
Drop April off at home

Bye bye Alli!

And so concludes Girls Week for another year! Thank you, Nancy, for a wonderful weekend!

Home Sweet Home

I know this has been a long time coming, but we have finally gotten our apartment decorated and furnished to a satisfactory level. It feels a lot more like home, and we are really happy with how it turned out. It has been a long process, but an enjoyable that Jason and I were able to work on together. I am really lucky that Jason has an eye and an interest in helping with the home decor. I know that not many husbands would want to participate in this kind of thing.

So here it is, a look at our home:


Our bedroom


 2nd Bedroom (Nursery)

 ...and eventually it was transformed into this to prepare for Baby Gruber:

We are excited to eventually add baby pictures to the walls



Front Room


 Our garden in May

Here it is in early June:

We were thrilled when the rose bush started blooming! We thought it was just a dead ugly plant!

And here it is in late June:

 The tomato plants are MASSIVE!!

Somehow, the African Daisies that Jason gave me for Mother's Day died, so we replaced the dead flowers with new ones:

And there you have it...our home...for now (at least until next February)