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.


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)

And with Monday's Celebration came the

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!


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.


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.

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!

Monday, August 2, 2010

One Week and Two Days

I will be finished with school for the summer in approximately a week and two days. My finals are next Wednesday, back-to-back from 9:00am to 1:00pm (ugh, not looking forward to that) and after that I will be finished for about two and a half weeks! It may not sound like much but it's the longest break I've had since I finished winter semester in April of 2009. Wow! Even Christmas break this past year was only about two weeks. I'm really looking forward to having some free nights, time to relax, and no homework or school to worry about. I just hope I can make it through this next week. It's going to take extra motivation, especially after the nice weekend getaway we had for our anniversary a few days ago. "I think I can I think I can."

I'm also looking forward to finishing the blog posts I've started. I don't have much more than a title for them, but I wanted to at least start so I'd remember what I wanted to write about. After next Wednesday I can write and not feel guilty about spending the time doing it. Wahoo!

So stay tuned! More posts will be coming.