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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas

I don't really have anything clever to write, there's really no point to this post. I just wanted to write something Christmasy on my Christmasy blog so people would see it because I think it's so cute!

Merry Christmas!

We're headed to Ohio for Christmas this year, our flight is scheduled to leave tomorrow evening, 8:00 pm. It's gonna be an adventure-filled red eye across the country; Salt Lake City to Phoenix to Philadelphia to Columbus, arriving mid-morning the next day. And then an hour and a half drive to Athens. Aaaaawesome.

Despite the terrible flight, I'm very excited to be going to Ohio. I've only been to Max's home once, over a year ago. It will be good to go again, especially with all of his siblings there.

It's going to be my first Christmas away from home, but I'm more excited than sad. The Ogles are now family as much as the Viehwegs, and it will be fun to experience the wonderful holiday the way Max grew up doing it.

Enjoy the Holiday!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice



My wish has been granted.
I really did want a little girl. Of course I would have
been completely happy with a boy too.
But I really did want a girl.



Because I can dress her in adorable little outfits and frilly dresses
Like this!

And I can put ridiculously big bows and flowers on her head
Like the one below.
I'll have craft parties, maybe by myself :),
making all sorts of headbands
Just for her.

Well, maybe a few for me too.


She will be the first granddaughter on both my
AND Max's side of the family.
And she will be the first Great-granddaughter
for the Viehwegs and the Ogles.

This is pretty major I'd say :)

It's fun knowing that she's a she, and not an it anymore. For some reason having this more intimate and specific knowledge about her makes me even more aware, and even nervous. I hope even more now that she continues to grow healthy and strong, without any complications for the next few months until Max and I can meet her in person. And for the rest of her life.

Wow, I'm going to be a parent.
It's pretty mind-blowing.
I'll have a daughter to take care of, and worry about, and dress up all cute.
I'll have the responsibility to teach her and raise her,
to make sure she learns the gospel,
and everything she needs to know to be successful in this life
and make it back to our Heavenly Father.
I kind of feel like I'm still learning these things for myself.
But I'm glad I've been entrusted with this little life,
And I hope I can do everything,
or at least Most things,
Right.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ATTN:

In approximately one week and two hours Max and I will be sitting in the doctor's office up on University Ave, waiting to be taken back for the ultrasound letting us know whether the Little One is a Boy or a Girl.

We can't wait!


Monday, December 6, 2010

O Christmas Tree


Max and I bought our first Christmas tree this year. I'm not really sure why we didn't get one last year, I think "our" (I think it's safe to say it was really his excuse because I'm sure I wanted one) excuse was that we weren't going to be in Provo for Christmas, and besides we were Poor College Students/Newlyweds. Well, the same circumstances apply this year but we bought one anyway, much to my delight. Dollar General was our friend this season and supplied us with our 6 foot, $20 tree, our two strings of white twinkle lights, and our $5's worth of cheap, plastic, bulb ornaments. It is a beautiful sight. Let me show you what kind of ornaments and decoration our tree consists of:

Olive wood angels, stars, and bells purchased two and a half years ago during my semester in The Holy City. This is their first time being hung from a tree. They add a wonderful touch - nostalgia for me and a warm, golden tone to the colors.




Snoopy figurines. Collected during Max's childhood. His mother decided to pass them on. They add a touch of playfulness.

**Also notice the plastic bulbs we bought. As long as you don't look too closely you wont see the cheap-looking seam running down the sides of them all. They add the festive red and green I think are imperative to any Christmas tree.**

The rest are pieces acquired I'm not sure how, but they add nice variety and help to fill out the holes.







Someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, I hope to decorate a fresh, live, pine scented tree with lovely ribbons, delicate, shimmering and sparkling balls of glass, icicles and mini-nutcrackers, striped candy canes, with scattered cherished memories and hand-made-by-my-children wreaths and snowflakes mixed in. But for now, this is perfect.



Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 22, 2010

On My Mind

-Little Women I looove this movie, and for some reason I always begin to think more about it during the holiday season. Maybe because it starts out in the winter, Christmas time, and there are a few Christmases in it. Also maybe because Christmas time is a time to gather with families and this movie is so focused on family and sisterly love.

-Other Christmas movies (man, I'm getting into the spirit early this year, I've even listened to Christmas music a couple times. I used to hate doing that until after Thanksgiving but now I'm trying to remember why I so strongly disliked it, Christmas music is so wonderful!)
The Polar Express
White Christmas
It's a Beautiful Life
Miracle on 34th Street
-Research Paper: My history of Spain class is requiring me to write one, due on December 8th.... I haven't really started it yet.

-Snow! Love it. Wish I could play in it more. I don't think I'll be doing as much skiing this year, since: A) I'm pregnant and am not sure I want to risk falling and injuring myself or the little one, and B) We aren't buying passes this year, money is a bit tighter and we're trying to save up for the little one when it comes. (I guess you could say it's all the little one's fault that I'm not going to be participating much, if at all, in the sport I love so much this year). By the way, we should be finding it if TLO is a he or she on December 14.

-Brittany, and Brent, and Jason - Britt if you read this, know I'm thinking of you. Thanksgiving will be very different without you and your cute family around. Even though it was me that was absent last year, it seems a bit strange you all won't be around because for so long you guys were always up in ID for the holidays. Hope you're enjoying your holidays down in Houston.

- Cleaning... .. ... this has been on my mind for a while. I have gotten so out of the cleaning mode recently. At first it was because I felt sicky all the time and couldn't bring myself to do it. Now I guess it's just because I'm being lazy! I don't really feel as sick anymore, as long as I keep good food in me throughout the day, but I still just never want to clean! And it's weird because I used to LOOOOVE to clean, even the yucky bathroom! What's wrong with me? I need to fix this before we leave for Thanksgiving break, which means I need to clean the apt tonight. Because who wants to come back from a holiday break to a messy house? Maybe I should just stop blogging right now and get to it... I will in a minute :)

- The semester is almost over. Starting last Friday and ending today at about 3:00 I discovered, one by one, that each of my 3 classes that I was supposed to have tomorrow have been canceled! Which means that really I only have a week and a half after Thanksgiving break of classes, and then finals week. WoW - I never thought this semester would end.

-My job. I really love my job. I was sooo excited to be able to return to work about two weeks ago. My boss is hilarious, and very kind about my pregnant state, always asking how I'm doing, telling my coworkers to not let the pregnant lady push the green machine (our big heavy watering tank) (which really is no big deal for me to push), etc. And I love the girls I work with, the three that have been there since I started Jenna Standing, Liz Pletsch, and Alyx Strawn are awesome, and I count them all as my friends. It's nice to be able to hang out with girls again, since most of the time I just hang out with Max, which is fun... but not the same as being around a bunch of girls. Alyx is graduating in December! It'll be sad to see her go.
We're getting all our Christmas decorations out for the big set up we do every year in the ASB. A few trees, two GIANT wreaths, and lots of fun Christmasy stuff.
It's just a really fun job. I'm loving being back and I keep thinking about how I will miss it when I have to stop in the Spring, after the little one comes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Long Hair

So I usually think that super long hair looks really weird, and kind of awkward. I think to myself, "That hair is just tooo long, I could never wear my hair that long."

But look at this Gorgeous, Long Hair!!



Have you ever seen hair so beautiful?

I know it's a weird topic, and a weird picture, but for whatever random reason ( I was studying for my History exam and reading about Henry VIII, who supposedly had auburn hair... now you know how easily distracted I get by silly things) I was looking up the word "auburn" on google to see what color it really was. This hair showed up and I was amazed by its beauty.

I still probably won't ever grow my hair that long, too much work. I just wanted to share that super long hair can look really good.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rose

I haven't done this rose thing in a while.


As my doctor so perfectly described a few weeks ago, to put how I've been feeling recently into one word:

Blah.

Don't really want to get ready, or blog, or go to school or work, or do homework, or take a shower (haha) or do my hair, or get dressed...

Just blah.

BUT,
this rose is about how the last few days I haven't really been feeling Blah anymore! Maybe that's why I've done two blog posts in two days after a couple months' break. It's been so nice to be feeling a little bit better. Even if it's not quite back to normal, I know I've been feeling better because Max said to me "You're smiling again! And being nice to me! You must be feeling better."
(Now you know how much of a grouchy, sick, pregnant lady I am)

I'm not getting my hopes up that it will last, because I don't want to be so deeply disappointed when/if? it returns. I just wanted to say how thankful I am that I've had a bit of a break. I mean I've only tu'd ... I think once in the past three days! Wooo!

That alone deserves a Rose.

Monday, October 25, 2010

In Praise of Labor


I've decided that I need to learn some hobbies. I'm looking forward to that blissful day when I am finished with school and, if all goes according to my hopes, I can be at home with the little one doing what Moms do. And I will need to have something to do!

But my REAL inspiration for this idea is my grandmother, Janet Andersen Ray. Oh what a wonderful woman she is.



This is a picture of her taken about a year ago, with my grandpa (her husband) Oakley J Ray, and me and mine of course. They are both inspirations to me for their testimonies, their faith, their devotion to family, (their children, all 80+ grandkids and who knows how many great grandkids), their frugality, love of work, service and being active, their citrus orchard, their sincerity and genuine kindness, and so much more.

Just a few weeks ago my grandparents were in Provo and, as always, Grandma had brought with her a handful of hand-sewn quilts for all who cared to have them. I already own 3, maybe 4, of her beautiful, colorful quilts. With more than 80 grandkids and the many little great grandkids, even if they each only had one, imagine how many hours were spent making all those quilts. She is also an excellent and fine seamstress, loves to bake bread and cook and sing and play the piano and much much more. After leaving her company those few weeks ago I started thinking to myself,

"In order to make all those quilts, and sew, and bake, and do all the things she does, Grandma must spend her free time being veeery productive! In her relax time she sits down at her sewing machine or quilt frame with a needle in her hand and creates."

Then the formidable question came,

"How do I spend my free time?"

And the immediate answer, I am kind of ashamed to say, was Internet.

I get on facebook, or my blog (guilty), or on email, or back on facebook... and I get lost looking at pictures and hoping to be entertained doing... ... ... absolutely nothing. As I mentioned, a felt, and still do (although I haven't done anything to change it yet) ashamed of the results of this self examination. I was reminded of something I heard in this past October's General Conference from Elder Christofferson:


"By work we sustain and enrich life. It enables us to survive the disappointments and tragedies of the mortal experience. Hard-earned achievement brings a sense of self-worth. Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God. A consecrated life is filled with work, sometimes repetitive, sometimes menial, sometimes unappreciated but always work that improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers, aspires."

Elder Christofferson spoke in praise of labor. Working and accomplishing is vital for us. It helps us to feel happy, and to make self improvements. He also spoke of leisure:

"Just as honest toil gives rest its sweetness, wholesome recreation is the friend and steadying companion of work. Music, literature, art, dance, drama, athletics—all can provide entertainment to enrich one’s life and further consecrate it. At the same time, it hardly needs to be said that much of what passes for entertainment today is coarse, degrading, violent, mind-numbing, and time wasting. Ironically, it sometimes takes hard work to find wholesome leisure. When entertainment turns from virtue to vice, it becomes a destroyer of the consecrated life. “Wherefore, take heed . . . that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God” (Moroni 7:14)."

Those two phrases are what came to my mind when I realized that my free time is spent staring into the screen of my laptop, accomplishing nothing.

Mind-numbing! Time wasting!

I get lost in peoples facebook albums, hoping to see more, or to find another one so I don't have to start my real work just yet, but can be entertained for a little while longer. In the moment it seems fun, but always afterwards I'm left feeling empty, having accomplished NOTHING.

And so, I've decided that I need to pick up some hobbies, like crocheting or quilting, etc. so that when I feel the need for a relaxing break, or have some free time, I don't turn to my computer but instead sit down to do something productive.

Look at the beautiful things I could make!


Flowers for my hair...

Hats and slippers for the little one (I have to admit, I'm kind of hoping it's a girl so I can doll her up all cute like this!)...

Or BEAUTIFUL quilts.


(I think another reason I want to pick up these things is because they seem to be becoming lost arts. They are so beautiful, I want to be a part of keeping them alive and well.)

So, I will attempt to spend my free time doing things that are productive. I have to be honest with myself and admit that I likely won't get to learning these desired hobbies until I no longer have school to worry about. But until then, I will attempt to spend less time on the internet and more time doing my homework, or spending time with my sweetheart :)

Don't tell him I called him that :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5

Really? REALLY? Five times?! Five times in one morning, or more accurately five times in under three hours one morning? What the heck? How am I even supposed to be eating well and getting all the nutrients I need and gaining the wait I need (which so far has been -10lbs) if my stomach won't let me put anything in it? I mean, seriously, how am I supposed to provide for the growing little one if this happens on a regular basis? (never five times though, usually just two or three).

sigh... Frustration...

The worst part is that it's not like I have a cold or the flu or something and can just go sleep it off and be blissfully unconscious until it's all over, I've got to suffer through it awake and coherent and try and find something that I can eat. Grrr.

Most of the time it's exciting.


But sometimes, it's not.



I mean, that's a lie, I'm always excited, we're always excited, but sometimes it's just really hard. That's all.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another Favorite


While I was writing about my favorite movies last week, I completely forgot about another favorite I had recently re-discovered:



Dennis the Menace!

I know, it's nothing like the other two movies I praised in my previous post, no refined culture or beauty, but I still love it! I watched it again for the first time in probably 10-12 years a few months ago, and I could not stop laughing throughout the entire film! It portrays so well the mind and activities of a mischievous 7-year-old boy. It's cute and hillarious, and it's so true! The tricycle trailing empty cans, the sling shot, the tree house, the denchers, the teenage baby-sitter, the bossy girlfriend, the grouchy old neighbor and his angel wife ... ahhh, I love it all! If it's been a while since you've seen it, I encourage you to watch it again, hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

While writing this post I looked up the trailor for the movie and watched it, remembering again how funny the movie is. Click to watch for yourself (but understand that the real thing is much better than it's preview).

Friday, September 3, 2010

Rose

Today's Rose:


After my 1:00 class I had an hour to kill (and no homework to do) until my 3:00 class so I went to the JFSB computer lab to check my email, and facebook, and blog, etc. etc. Basically just to kill an hour messing around. Well I sat down at my computer and started doing some of the above when I looked up to see a tall, handsome man wearing a blue button up shirt walking over to the printer. It was Max! He had been sitting right behind me the whole time and neither of us had noticed. While he was busy with the printer I snuck into his chair to trick him when he got back. What a surprise! It's always fun to accidentally/randomly see him on campus like that.



Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Roses

Since my blog is called

"Smell the Roses"

I've decided that I'm going to try and start posting what my rose for the day was every evening. Hopefully this will help me think more positively about my days, and help me truly take time to notice and enjoy the fragrance of the daily roses we all have in our lives. Maybe it will keep me from writing posts like "Student Snob" below. :)

So, the first official Rose of my blog is:

Today I got to come home after my Portuguese class at 4:00 and take a nice nap. It felt gooood.


Ok, Rose number two for the day (I'll try to keep it to one per day... most of the time):

I finished all my homework before I came home for my nap! So now any homework I do for the rest of the night will be putting me ahead, which I've Never been in all of my college career!!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Student Snob?

I fear I may be becoming one.

Only in one of my classes though. I'm taking Portuguese 201 and 202 this semester and because they're accelerated classes, we have a lot of Spanish speakers (mainly RM's who served a Spanish speaking mission) in the class, hoping that with their strong Spanish background they can pick up Portuguese in a jiffy. They're right, they can. They understand much more and can formulate thoughts, sentences, and replies much better and faster than I can.

But their Spanish Accents are driving me crazy!!! It's true, the grammar and spelling of the two languages are very very similar. But the pronunciations are as different as English from Arabic (ok, that could be a teeny exaggeration, but not much). It makes it very difficult for me to understand what's going on in class because I've learned Portuguese with a... .. ...Portuguese accent. And unfortunately I'm just not good enough yet to understand this beautiful language from all sorts of different accents like I can with English, whether spoken with a British, Spanish, Australian, Arabic, German, etc. etc. accent.

But not only do I dislike it because it's hard to understand, it's also just annoying! And that's why I think I'm becoming a snob. Because I have no sympathy for these students trying to pick up another language and struggling with the new and different accent. I find it annoying, ugly, and offensive to us "true" speakers of the Portuguese tongue. Like they're violating the language somehow, by saying "brazilll" instead of "brasiw" or "binte" instead of "vinte" or "descoberrto" instead of "descobehto" (pronunciation-wise, not spelling-wise). It's "hapido", not "rrapido"

I could go on.

But I won't

As snobby as it may be, I just wish they would stop speaking Spaniguese and start speaking Portuguese. It would make the class much more understandable and enjoyable for me.

Favorites

I have a hard time picking favorites of anything. Can't tell you my favorite food, or my favorite dessert, or my favorite ice cream or candy. I don't have a favorite band, or a favorite genre of music for that matter. Don't really have a favorite game, don't have a favorite color...

...get the picture? Now that's not to say that I don't have any preferences or opinions and just like everything the same. Nooooohohohohoh way. What a boring life that would be! Everything would be so blah. Bland, hazy, gray and dull. My life is definitely not like that. But there are so many things that I do like, that I can't pick just one favorite! For example, I often tell myself that my favorite color is "rainbow" because it's so hard for me to decide on only one, and also because I love the way all the colors look together in ROY G BIV order. If I had to pick one, I might say coral, I just love that orangy-pink. But I also love earthy shades of green, and deep reds, and gold, and magenta, and pansie-purpley-violet. Yep, there are just too many to pick a favorite.

But I think I have found a favorite of something, or at least two favorites of something. I've decided that I feel ok saying The Young Victoria has become one of my favorite movies. Since I saw it a couple weeks ago, I've been wanting to watch it again. **Thank you Liz for the suggestion, it definitely hit home.** First of all, it's a film about history... which I have always loved. Second of all, it's about a princess, who becomes a queen (probably like most girls, I've always loved princesses). Thirdly, there is a wonderful romance that ends in a loving marriage. Fourthly, the set, costumes, and tiny detials like jewelry are Amazing! It truly is a beautiful film. Take a look at some images from it:







Incredible costumes, right? And Beautiful beautiful beautiful settings. Oh how I love it.




It reminds me of my other favorite movie: Memoirs of a Geisha (note that these two are the only films I've seen that have reached "favorite" statues) . The first time I saw this phenomenal movie I instantly fell in love with it, much the same way I fell in love with The Young Victoria. Incredible costumes and sets, wonderful music, I loved the actors, and to me it was a captivating story. Japanese culture is so ornate and beautiful, this movie does a beautiful job depicting it.



I guess I just love beautiful things :) Scenery, clothing, music, rich culture, castles and palaces, parasols, crowns and earrings and pendants etc. etc. etc. The kinds of things that these two movies are full of.







Sunday, August 22, 2010

Um Ano Juntos

***Side Note: Blogging just became a Whooole lot easier for me now that I figured out what the "Compose" tab is. ***

Anniversary #1 for us was about a month ago, Friday, July 30th. To celebrate we took the afternoon off [which meant that I was able to skip both of my classes!] and drove ourselves down to St. George to see Tarzan playing at the Tuhacan Theater. The drive down was great, main attraction: Beaver's claim to having the best water in the US (I really wanted to stop and try it). When we got to St. George it was about 6:00 so we hurried and ate at a yummy Mandarin buffet, they had the best green beans I'd ever tasted, and headed off to the lovely outdoor, red-rock theater (thinking the play started at 7:00). It didn't. It started at 8:30, oops! Luckily the wait wasn't too bad, even though the play was delayed another half hour due to power outage from the thunderstorm that chased us all the way down, because we got to listen to a nice musician play and sing us some songs on his guitar. Unfortunately I don't remember his name, but he was very good, even without power. It was nice to have a little pre-show entertainment which, as he kept reminding us, was included in the cost of our ticket :)

These stairs were empty when we arrived an hour and a half early! It made for really easy picture taking. We were also sure to get our photos taken as Tarzan and Jane. Exciting stuff!

The play itself was pretty good. They did some really neat things with the set, like flooding the stage and hooking the "gorillas" up to zip lines above the stage/audience for the swinging-through-vines effect. We were both a little dissapointed with the music though. They had all the same songs from the Disney movie, which were pretty good but not meant for a staged musical, and then some additional ones that unfortunately seemed to drag on. Who knows, maybe the heat and length of our stay (6:50 - midnight) was getting to me so I thought I didn't like the music. But it was still fun, my first live musical that wasn't a high school production. There was fun dancing, great voices, and like I said before, awesome sets and costumes.

The next morning we went to the St. George Temple and did a session. Let's just say that St. George = My new Favorite temple. I fell in love with it's old style of architecture, interior design, colors, murals, furniture, chandeliers, carpet, stone work... everything. It's so very beautiful and was well worth the trip. I'd love to return some day. Max and I are hoping to be able to visit and worship in all the temples in Utah (13!) in the next year or so. The furthest one from us is now checked off of our list. The rest should be easy-peasy, I hope.

We exchanged photographer role with a nice little family in front of the temple.



Beautiful, beautiful. One of the whitest temples I think I've ever seen. These pictures don't do the brilliant stone justice. The white stood out against the blue sky, green trees and red cliffs magnificently.

The grounds of the temple were also very beautiful. I loved the flowers (always) and all the great big, old trees. Something about having aged trees in a place brings a sort of beauty, majesty and silent but somehow perceptible sacredness to a place. Lovely.

The trees were all buzzing with cicada bugs which, as Max informed me and Wikipedia confirmed, sometimes come out only once in as long as 13 years! The sound they made was incredibly loud but, thankfully, they didn't affect us in any other way. (I would have been pretty traumatized if the bugs themselves had been buzzing all over the place, luckily it was just their noise). The closest I got to seeing one was looking at their left-behind skin shells on the tree trunks--weird, kind of gross, but actually pretty amazing.

After the temple we returned to our hotel and packed up everything to head back to Provo. We made a few stops on our way out, first was Orange Peel. This tasty little smoothie shop was recommended by a friend [Thank you Janelle] and it did not disappoint. Their bubble teas (with optional tapioca pearls) were delish! I got a Thai Coconut and Pineapple bubble tea smoothie and the flavor was magical. Very very delicious. I hope to return. We also stopped at the mall and walked around a little bit before leaving town. Barnes and Noble, always a fun and interesting stop, Tai Pan and Claire's for me, and then we were off.


I tried to get a shot of Max sipping his smoothie with the red rock cliffs in the background, driving down main street. It was actually quite difficult because cars or buildings kept zooming by and getting in the way. Finally I got a good one though :)


It's been a fun year, a roller-coaster type ride, as cliche as that may sound, but steadily getting better and better. We are grateful to be married and for the blessings we have and look forward to what adventures the future has in store for us.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Independence Day Festivities

This is a little late, but better late than never, right?

The Fourth of July in Provo was celebrated over a three day period. The actual 4th fell on a Sunday so, with Provo being so full of Mormons, the city decided to make Saturday and Monday the days of celebration. Our festivities began Saturday evening when we headed out with our friends, Brent and Janelle Lambson (who have sadly left us for BYU Hawaii ), to walk through the booths and shops along Center Street that were part of Provo's Freedom Festival. It was a party!






We saw lots of fun things, including bagpipes! I looove bagpipe bands so it was a treat to watch them.

There were also a lot of fun rides set up, although we didn't ride any of them. We satisfied ourselves looking at all the fun stuff for sale. We passed by a Toyota booth where Janelle and I got ourselves some FREE Toyota lip balm. Awesome. We also came across a booth that was full of handmade merchandise from Kenya! The woman there was very nice. I found a beautiful necklace and she saw me fingering it and eyeing it and telling Max how much I liked it. I set it down though and said "maybe on our way back". When we did come back I was sooo pleased to find out that she had hidden it in the bottom of the necklace basket for me so that no one else would spot it! How nice of her. At first I was nervous that someone else had purchased it because I didn't see it right off, but then she told me that she saved it for me. I was pretty excited!
I also found a new love for chocolate dipped frozen bananas. You know, the ones that are at every fair and festival? They're so Yummy! I tried my first one that night and gobbled it right up.

Max didn't have as much of a "purchasing" night as me, although he did try a pretty tart slushy, made with the juice of half a lemon! What can I say, shops and things like that are just geared more towards the tastes and preferences and likes of a woman.

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The next day was Sunday, and Max and I went to church in our most patriotic church clothes. Aren't we cute?
That afternoon we headed up with my siblings to Grandma and Grandpa Viehweg's house in Salt Lake for a yummy barbeque. My grandpa makes some of the best burgers I've ever tasted, second only to Brent Lambson's :) The Staleys brought up a few small firecrackers so after a few matches of badminton we sat out on the lawn and watched the show.
(The picture with them was actually taken at the barbeque we had with them for Memorial Day, but I didn't take any during our Fourth of July BBQ, and Memorial Day was too small to mention by itself)
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And with Monday's Celebration came the
FREEDOM RUN!

I ran the 5K this year, with Macsen, and had a great time. It had been years since I'd run regularly (I'd been getting my exercise through at-home pilates and kick-boxing videos, awesome) and so I had to train for a couple months to get to the point where I could comfortably run 3 miles. It felt great! I woke up early, before work at 8:00, and got my runs in during the cool of the beautiful summer mornings. A couple of days before the race Max and I drove over to Hogi Yogi in Provo to pick up my packet, where I got my excellent, mesh, Freedom Run running shirt, a timing chip for my shoes, a bunch of coupons, and a sample of some free frozen yogurt. I was getting pretty excited, especially to wear my new shirt.







When race day finally arrived Max and I woke up briiight and early and he drove me to the starting line where I met up with big brother Macsen. We were pretty excited, and I was practicing my starting stance. But pre-race jitters didn't allow me to start off with the bang of the gun along with the rest of the crowd of thousands of people. I had to run up the street and wait in line for a free outhouse and so started the race a few minutes after everyone else. I figured I'd rather just start late than run the whole race feeling miserable. Besides, my time wouldn't start clicking until my shoes with their handy timing chip strapped into the laces crossed the starting line. Like a good brother, Macsen waited for me at the line :), how nice.
Max was acting as photographer and didn't know where we were in the crowd (or that I was lagging behind) so got a shot of the exciting start for us. Thanks Max!

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And here we are at the end of the race, 3.1 miles later. We had run the parade route that would be taking place later that morning. It was exciting to run by the many spectators who had either camped out the night before or staked out the spots early in the morning to get a good view of the parade. They cheered us on the whole way.
Macsen came in before me. We ran the whole thing together until the very last leg, which was up the incline of 900 East and into Kiwanis Park. It seems like a shallow incline until you're running it, and it's the last 1/2 mile of your three. He broke a few yards ahead of me during the climb, but I'll have it known that he never left my sight. I was determined to stay close.
I was also determined to finish strong, and you see me in mid-sprint.
After finishing there were so many people milling around the finish and the grassy park. Thousands and thousands, it took a while to finally find my husband! But I found him, proudly wearing my participant's medal.



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After the race we all (the Staleys, the Ogles, Macsen, and Kristin) gathered at the Staley's beautiful home (we'll miss their nice gathering place when they leave us for Houston) for a delicious breakfast. Banana pancakes with crumbled macademia nuts and coconut syrup and scrambled eggs. They even had patriotic colored paper plates for us.

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After finishing breakfast we walked a couple blocks don to Center Street and found spots to sit down and watch the parade. We were really excited to see all the floats (by we I mean especially me). I took pictures of my favorites. They were so creative and beautifully put together.



Wal Mart had a dragon-themed float, it was Awesome.


We also saw lovely carriages, a few temples, BYU school spirit, cakes, flowers, pretty girls in red dresses, and of course, some Utah pioneers!