Friday, November 30, 2012

Where did the time go?

It feels like just yesterday I was sobbing in Ryan's arms, begging him to let me quit school, work, my internship and any other responsibility demanding my time.  

The first day of school was one of the worst days of my life, and any sense of drive or motivation quickly vanished - I was DONE.

But, being the comforting, kind man he is, Ryan was able to gently encourage me to take it a day at a time.  Luckily, I was able to set aside my worries and focus on my last semester of school.

And here I am now, one week away from graduating.  I look back in disbelief at my semester - 15 credits, an internship with BYU, a 20 hour-per-week marketing job, and several demanding group projects.  But, it was worth it.  

Not only was it worth it - it was a blast!  Ryan and I have never had so much fun in a few short months.  Halloween parties, family in town for general conference and marathons, visiting family in Ogden, power outages and snow storms, movie marathons, Oregon for Thanksgiving, runs and yoga, hiking Timp and Squaw Peak...and more.  

Yet again, I have learned that with hard things come great things.  With a terribly demanding semester came some of the best memories for Ryan and I.  

Now with this chapter coming to a close, we look forward to the next big step - medical school and a family.  Although we wish both could happen this very second, we have learned that through patience and faith come the sweetest blessings.






  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kiddos

We adore our CTR 7 primary class.  

At first, I will admit we were both a bit overwhelmed.  We were even a bit stern at the beginning, trying to teach them reverence and how to be respectful to teachers.  But, we have definitely grown attached to every single one of them, and I was surprised to find myself dreading January - when they will move to an older class.  :(  

I know they aren't my own children, but I can imagine this is a very small taste of what a mother and father must feel when they see their children graduating from kindergarten, playing in their first soccer game, progressing from grade to grade until all too soon, they graduate and leave home.

I remember when Eric graduated from High School.  I was a freshman at the time, and thought it would be funny to dress up in his cap and gown and march into the kitchen while my parents were talking.  Wrong!  My dad saw me and immediately said, "take that off" in a rather stern voice, and my mom just looked at me with a blank stare.  Now I get it - but just barely.  I know I don't come even close to understanding, but at least now I can imagine.

Ryan and I look forward to having a family, and we are committed to soaking up every minute with each of our children.  We are doing that now with our primary class...which may be way we are getting kind of soft.  Yesterday after the primary program practice Ryan said, "if you are good and reverent during the program on Sunday, you get any treat you want in class!"  Don't worry - they all requested different goodies.  




Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hiking Timp

A few weekends ago, Ryan and I realized we only had a few short days to hike Mount Timp before winter came upon us.  So a late Friday night in October, we decided we would hike Timp the following morning - early.  

We woke up at 4:45 am, packed our backpacks with snacks, water, and warm layers, and drove up the quiet canyon to the trailhead near Sundance Resort. 

We started this journey (which Ryan had done years earlier and was new to me), at around 5:15.  It was so relaxing to hike in the dark led only by our small, 3-inch flashlights.  Switchback after switchback, gradually watched the sun rise as we made our way up the steep mountainside.  The first view of sunrise was spectacular:

We made it to the "saddle" in great time, and enjoyed walking through the only flat part of the 14 mile hike.  It was a peaceful meadow surrounded by towering mountains.  After the 45 minutes of hiking across shaky rocks and shale and scaling boulders, we made it.
 Such a beautiful view.  We were quickly getting cold, so we inhaled our little breakfast, put on a couple warm layers, and made our way quickly down the mountain.

One of the most memorable parts of the trip was running into an older gentleman, who took his gaze off the trail to look at us and say, "Well aren't you a handsome couple?"  Such a cute man.  It was his 87th birthday, and he told us that his doctor told him if he hiked Timp every year, he would live a long and healthy life.  What a remarkable person.

After 6 total hours and 14 total miles, topping the elevation of 11,740 ft, we made it back to our car - which I thought I would never see again.  The hike down took its toll on our knees and we were ready to sit down and be lazy for the rest of the afternoon.
Beautiful colors, and a fun yet challenging hike!  Maybe we'll give it another try next year - if we are around :) 


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fear Factor - Halloween Style

We have some brave friends.

The night started out with each couple forking over $5 into the money pot - the winner of the night takes all.  I explained that points were going to be kept throughout the night on the huge white board, 1st place getting 3 points, 2nd place getting 2, and 3rd place getting 1 point.  

Next, each couple voted for their favorite costume:

Masqueraders 

Flo and Mayhem
Vampire and Victim

Cowboy and Indian

Black Widow and Hawk Eye

Gyote Actors

Bane and Joker
Now on to the games....

1. Worm Relay - One person at the table, the other across the room.  Without using hands, one spouse had to find a gummy worm hidden in whipped cream, pass it off to their spouse (in the mouth) and that person had to run to the table, put the worm in a cup (if you miss you have to redo!) and find the next gummy worm.  It was a great warm up and those with makeup/nice suits were a little surprised!  Sorry about the mess :)  

2. Bubble Trouble - One person from the couple was chosen.  Without hands, they had to find the piece of bubble gum (shaped to look exactly like the chunks of hotdogs smooshed among the nasty cold oatmeal), turn around and face the group and blow a bubble.  Those pieces of gum were harder than a rock, so watching everyone chomp on the oatmeal-covered bubble gum was a hoot!

3. SpagettiO's - Each couple was given a raw noodle and a cup of cheerios.  One person had to hold the raw noodle in their mouth, and the other (without using hands) had to get cheerios from their mouth onto the raw noodle.  The couple with the most cheerios on the noodle at the end of a minute won!  

4. Throw up-Throw down - We thought our friends were going to kill us.  One member of the couple had to volunteer (or be forced) to participate in this event.  Earlier, Ryan and I had blended up the following: pickles, jam, cold brown rice, ketchup, mustard, ranch, veggie burger patties, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, and kale...give or take.  This chunky green smoothie was to be drank in 20 seconds, or whoever drank the most won.  No plugged noses allowed!  Needless to say...there were plenty of dry heavers.

5.  Spoon it up! - When I passed around the spoons, each couple said "do we have to eat anything?" and looked like they were ready to cry if I said yes!  Each couple had to hold a spoon in their mouth.  One person had to get candy corn on their spoon, run it over to their spouse and put it on their spoon, and that person ran it back and poured it in a cup.  This was hysterical.  The tiniest laugh or bump sent those candies flying!

6.  Make it or Break it - I had hard boiled a few eggs and put them in a bowl with several raw eggs.  Each couple had to come to the middle of the room, one spouse in the chair and the other standing above them ready to be the "smasher."  At this point, everyone had a good chunk of points.  They were allowed to wager points, all or some.  The smasher would then grab an egg out of the bucket and immediately smash it on their spouse's head.  Raw=negative points that were wagered and Cooked=positive points that were wagered. Some lost all their points, other gained a few, but almost everyone got messy!

7.  Now it was time to count up costume votes:  Rachael and Chad won best costume for their amazing idea of being Flo from Progressive and Mayhem guy from Allstate.  Amazing!  Mitch and Megan came in a close second for being Bane and the Joker, and the Croppers came in third with their equally amazing costume portraying a music video called "Somebody that I used to know" by Gotye.  

All in all....Mitch and Megan took home the dough!  It was a hilarious night, an eventful evening, and an all around good time.  We just hope our friends will still hang out with us.  :)


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Murphy's Law...

So Lauren and I were going on an outdoor outing last week and the moment we arrived at our destination the wind and dust was blowing, rain was falling, and our plans had to be tucked away for some future sunny day.  Not long after, we invited Kate and her friend Jason over for the final presidential debate.  We bought a cable cord to hook up to the TV.  To our dismay, we don't have any cable channels, not even the basic 3 or 4 that everyone gets, so we had to resort to the computer, again.  Rarely does anything that Lauren and I plan out, especially if it's fun, go according to plan. In fact, the majority of the time we have to deal with minor, but still infringing misfortunes on a daily basis.  That must happen to everyone, right?  It's not just us with bad luck, is it?

You might be wondering about the title of this post.  Murphy's Law is that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.  Luckily our misfortunes haven't quite reached the status of Finagle's Law, which is that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, at the worst possible moment.  Why is it that things seem to work out that way? Any ideas? From a religious perspective is the Lord simply trying our patience?  Are there always lessons to be learned when Murphy's Law strikes?  What about the idea of Karma.  Do you think our thoughts and behavior are responsible for these mishaps?

I've thought a lot about how to get the best of Murphy's Law, maybe even enjoy it.  The main thing that comes to my mind is the adage come what may and love it.  That seems like fitting advice for frequent misfortune.  But can you really love it, no matter what comes, all the time?  Can attitude, optimism, or any preconceived plan get the best of ol' Murph?

Anyway, it's an interesting adage that got me thinking today.  If you have any tips, strategies, or game plans to combat Murphy's Law that have consistently worked for you, do share!


                         

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hawaii-Final Days

The last couple day spent in Hawaii were certainly among the best.  After our adventures with dolphins and great food on Wednesday, we anxiously anticipated our adventures to come on Thursday.  We started the day of by heading north to the tip of the island.  We enjoyed a short hike together down to the beach where they filmed some of Jurassic Park.  It was a little eerie, though, because there were hardly any people in the park at the end of the trail.  There were hammocks and swings and other fun things to play on, but no people.  Other then the pictures we took the experience turned out to be mediocre, hiking around we even thought "this bites."  Speaking of bites, Lauren ended up with mosquito bites from her ankles all the way up to her bum.  I won't mention how, but it makes for a very distinct and not so fond memory of that portion of the trip. Anyway, we took a few pictures and hopefully you can see why the hike was barely worth it and some resemblance to the landscape in Jurassic Park!

After our north-island fun we spent an hour or two at our favorite spot, Kua Bay.  Following that pit stop we headed back to the Kona Brewery for some more grub.  Because we got pizza the night before we figured we try our luck with something else.  I decided on a delicious pulled pork sandwich and Lauren got the club.  Both hit the spot and prepared us for the highlight of the day, night swimming with manta rays!

We set out around sunset and cruised with our group to a cove about 15 minutes north of the Marina.  At first we were a little worried because dozens of other boats were there waiting for the action to begin and it seemed unlikely that we'd all see the giant mantas.  The captain/crew gave us brief instructions about how to best attract the beasts and we all plopped into the dark ocean water.  It was really unnerving at first.  Every person was given a high power, waterproof flashlight and each group was to surround a giant floating ring and shine the light in the middle. Imagine a giant flower with humans for petals and ten flashlights for the stigma. After a few minutes of focusing our lights together, plankton began to collect in the light.  Like a phantom a 12-16 foot giant manta ray emerged from the border of our light ring and swam straight toward us. With a mouth as big as a small coffee table it looked as if the beast would swallow Lauren whole!  It was headed straight for her!  All of us could hear her screams as she shrieked through the snorkel.  At the last second the manta arched back, swallowed the majority of the plankton that was collected in the light, and continued to perform several rolling backflips right in front of us.  It was incredible.  It felt like we were swimming with aliens. Lauren and I both loved this trip and highly recommend it.

We hustled home, went to bed, and slept in Friday morning!  It was great.  By this time we had been going going going for the last 6 days and needed a break.  We moseyed on down to a place that we'd heard about, but never knew when to plan it into our schedule: it was called two-step.  The name seemed interesting and we heard there was stellar snorkeling so we figured we'd give it a whirl.  We drove south for about 30 minutes and loved the beautiful hawaiian coastline.  South of Kona seemed to be much less populated and more rural, so the landscape seemed very untouched.  It made for great pictures and a stress-free drive.

We showed up at two step and were a little hesitant.  It didn't look like the snorkeling would be that good, but as soon as we jumped in the water we knew we'd made the right decision.  Beautiful coral, gliding turtles, and schools of radiant, tropical fish had us captivated the entire time we were there. Also, there was a portion of the bay that gradually descended into the ocean, which was great for diving deep and checking out the scenery 35-40 feet below the surface.

It's been fun to recap some of the important moments of this trip, but there is so much that cannot be accounted for on a blog.  The sounds, smells, air, and feel of the island can most accurately be described by one word, paradise. We hope to go on another trip together in the near future but who knows when that'll be.  The nice part about our adventures on the Big Island is that we created enough memories to get us through the years when we are tied down with work/school/and other commitments that won't permit this sort of vacation.  It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we're glad we made the effort to save up, plan, and enjoy it while we can!






Thursday, September 27, 2012

Accidentally Perfect

(This a needed break from our Hawaii journal.)

Friday, Ryan took me on one of my favorite dates.  We didn't go very far or spend a dime, but it was one of the best nights we've spent together.  We found an empty lot a few streets above us, laid out a blanket, unpacked our picnic, and watched the sunset.  

There was no one around to take a picture, so I hung our little camera from the tree, put it on a timer, and it came up with this: 


Provo. A Kiss. Sunset. Love. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hawaii Day 5

For a few days we anticipated the events of this, the fifth day of our trip.  We woke and performed our typical morning ritual, homemade breakfast accompanied by POG on the porch, surrounded by fluffy, feathered nuisances.  Then we headed to a black sand beach nearby and enjoyed a good half hour of snorkeling in timid, soothing water.  The short snorkel trip, though, was just a way to pass the time because at 8:30 we arrived at the Marina and checked in with Neptune Charlie's; a local company that guides dolphin swimming adventures.  Lauren and I were pumped for a few reasons. 1. We heard only the best reviews about how transcending it was to swim with dolphins in the deep, open ocean. 2. There were only about 12-15 people in our group when usually there are 20-25, which was a definite plus. 3. We knew we could snake some snacks from the boat and spice up our lunches for the next couple days.

The boat launched at 9 and our group was composed of an asian family who fit every touristy stereotype, another small family, the typical boyfriend/girlfriend couple getting away from some hawaiian fun, and finally two swedish girls who smoked like chimneys. We cruised for about 40 minutes before the captain finally spotted a pod of dolphins.  Our expectation was to swim with between 8-25 dolphins, but we got lucky. The captain stopped the boat, we threw on our fins and snorkel gear, and all of us plopped into the water.  We were welcomed by over 100 dolphins who were effortlessly gliding through the water.  We hate to admit it, but I think part of us expected those wild animals to swim up, toss their head as an invitation to grab on to their dorsal fin, and parade us around the open ocean like characters off of the rescuer movies.  Fortunately, our expectations were surpassed as we watched and listened while dolphins cruised by, some coupled with little babies at their side.  Lauren was lucky enough to have a small group swim within 6 feet of her, which was sweet because they didn't get terribly close to any of the swimmers.  Whistles, clicks, and many other fascinating sounds permeated the water and made the experience complete.  Imagine yourself effortlessly floating in the buoyant ocean water, surrounded by enormous, but gentle animals, listening in on their chatter and conversation.  Looking back it really was an amazing experience that we'll never forget!

After our date with the dolphins, the crew took us to another sweet location they called the golden arches.  The name comes from a giant arch, located 30 feet below the surface and about 15/20 feet wide.  Surrounding the arch was exquisite coral, decorated with a variety of sea creatures.  Our captain and his buddy spotted a shark, but it was tucked back in the coral and about 15 feet down, so many of us didn't get a shot at seeing it.  But, there was a cool tunnel that ran directly into a giant island of coral and after about 15 feet there was an opening that lead to the surface.  Like a little puppy dog I asked if one of the guides would take me through, just in case something bad happened, and the captain gladly showed me the way.  Unfortunately, when I felt I could conquer the golden arch, it was time to go and I didn't get a chance.

We got back to the harbor, pumped and satisfied with the experience we'd had.  It was definitely worth it. By this time it was 1:30 and we had a few hours til dinner, so we decided to hit up a more locally known beach called Kua Bay.  It did not disappoint.  It was every bit as majestic and cool as Hapuna beach, but without the tourist traffic.  Lauren and I were lucky to stake out a spot under the lone tree that graces this smokin' hot beach and enjoyed another afternoon of snorkeling, reading, and suntanning accompanied by the rhythmic crashing of the waves.  ( One of the best parts about recording this experience is realizing how wonderful it was.  Day five, like all other days of this trip, was balanced with the perfect amount of adventure, relaxation and great food).

Speaking of great food, we heard about a restaurant called the Kona Brewery and decided to give it a whirl. Lauren and I both ordered pizzas and, holy smoke!, they were delicious.  When we initially sat down, tired and hungry, we noticed our table was much to close to a group of people, in particular one person, that was course, vulgar, and downright brain dead; the kind of guy you want to go over and clobber.  So we stood up, moved, and fortunately loved the rest of our evening there.

To finish things off, like most nights, we cruised home, made some snacks, and watched a show.  Matt Damon dazzled us once again as he punched, chopped, and kicked through his enemies to get to the bottom of operation blackbriar.






Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waterfalls & Yucky Coconuts


Hawaii Day #4 – Tuesday                 

Today was our travel day…but of course after we went on a morning run and watched the sun rise!  First we made our way to our new favorite spot on the island – Kua bay.  We went straight to “our tree”, started reading our books, snorkeled a bit, laid in the sun, and got our fill for the day.  And for the second time (or third? I am already forgetting…) it didn’t let us down.

We hopped in the car with our sights set on Hilo – the other side of the island.  Driving around the northern part of the big island reminded us a lot of Oregon; green rolling hills, tall trees, hardly anyone around…it was a nice reminder of how lucky we were to grow up in Medford.  We also drove near the spot where Jurassic Park was filmed!  It was scary to think about “what if” dinosaurs still roamed the earth…you want to watch that movie now don’t you :) It’s ok, so do we!

Our first stop on the way to Hilo was Akaka Falls.  We parked and made our way to the hike entrance, where we were stopped  by a teenage, scruffy boy with a fanny pack, who said we had to pay $5 to pass.  At first I thought he was kidding!  Ryan and I were thinking umm yeah right?  Where are your parents that made you stake out here for your summer job, ripping off the tourists…But when we saw several people paying, we decided whatever, we just want to see the waterfall.  Here’s a few bucks towards a new scooter little man.

But the waterfall was worth more than $5 in my opinion.  Only a picture can come close to describing it!   

The hike back took you through a mini jungle!  Large plants, tiny streams, large trees…

After Akaka Falls I made Ryan stop the car at a little tent outside the parking lot.  My dream had been to drink coconut milk straight from the coconut – and wouldn’t you know a young guy was selling his family farm of coconut milk!  Awesome!  Well, not so awesome actually.  I was a little disappointed.  Looks like we really sweeten up our coconut here in the states. 

On to Rainbow Falls!  We found a small path leading to the mouth of the waterfall, and that made up for the disappointing coconut milk.  We sat as close as we felt comfortable to the edge, and just watched the outrageous amount of water cascade down the cliff.  It was truly amazing. 

After our little waterfall adventures, we found a restaurant in downtown Hilo called, “CafĂ© Pesto.”  If you ever make it to the big island, YOU MUST EAT HERE!  It was our favorite of the week by far.  Uh-may-zing sandwiches, pizza, and pesto creamy sauce.

The ride home made this day the most memorable.  In a not-so-good kind of way.  It started pouring buckets as soon as we left the restaurant (a sign?? I knew we should have ordered dessert…) and did not stop for over an hour.  We decided to cut through the middle of the island on the infamous “Saddle Road”, which for all you gamers out there, will remind you a lot of the Royal Raceway level on Mario Kart.  Up and down and over and across and up again!  It felt like a rollercoaster ride with stomach drops and a few screams here and there.  Not to mention, the roads are NOT lit.  So after a couple hours of scary, dark, windy, roads we finally made it back and went straight to bed.  Since you know, it was around 9:30 pm and it was way past our bedtime. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hawaii Day #2 & #3


Hawaii Day #2 – Sunday

Time zones are funny.  We were in bed on Saturday by 8:00pm, and were wide awake by 4:30am!  If only we could carry on the habit when we went back to Utah.  Each morning we opened the blinds and watched the sunrise, and were shocked when the temperature was already 75-80 degrees by early morning.  We made some kind of easy breakfast, poured ourselves a glass of POG juice and sipped it from wineglasses – all on our porch with the cool morning breeze and sound of the ocean.  HEAVEN.

Sunday was a relaxing day.  We were able to find a local ward and enjoyed listening to their talks and testimonies.  We saw a couple next to us with extremely shiny rings, and asked, “are you on your honeymoon?”  Very shyly they nodded back and continued to hold on to each other very tightly.  It was adorable.  The Kona temple is right outside their church building, and it is gorgeous!  Very tiny, but still beautiful.  We spent most of the rest of the day in a car, driving to the northern tip of the island.  The scenery was beautiful and we loved all of those Hawaiian tunes that we still find ourselves humming (“I wanna go back to my honey…”).  But towards the end of the day is probably the funniest part of the week:

We fixed ourselves breakfast and packed lunches every day, but saved eating out for dinner time.  We were starving, of course, and found ourselves walking up and down the main drag in Kona, indecisive as usual and growing hungrier and grouchier by the second.  We finally chose a nice little restaurant right on the beach, and opened the menu…to find there were no prices listed.  That is never good.  I ordered something that sounded cheap (turned out to be $18), and Ryan ordered a seafood platter (which turned out to be $40…gulp…)!!  To make matters worse…the food wasn’t even that great.  What a bummer!!!!!  We didn’t make that mistake again, so we look back and laugh…and cringe.

Hawaii Day #3 – Monday

We woke up at our usual, too early time, and went for a little jog along the coast.  We found a little hub where some locals were paddle boarding/surfing and watched them for a few minutes, itching to join them soon!  We signed up for a kayaking adventure that morning at 9:00, and it lived up to the name!  There were only four kayaks in our group, so our guide took us to several more lava tubes than usual.  We were able to cautiously and carefully maneuver our little kayaks in and out of lava tubes and caves along the rocky coast of southern Kona.  We kayaked for about four miles total, but were able to cliff jump, snorkel, and explore. 
- Interesting fact: Our guide showed us three homes that were entirely “off the grid.”  They were above a large lava tube, and were able to cool down their homes by channeling some of the tubes to their homes.  They collected rain water and used solar panels, and they were beautiful! 
We had gotten to know the tour guide towards the end of the adventure, and he offered to let us use some paddle boards for free!  We jumped at the chance, and soon found that it is most definitely not as easy as it looks.  I was able to go a bit faster than Ryan, and whenever he asked me to slow down and wait, I would start to wobble…then I would start to really wobble…then at last I would face plant first on the board, and then roll into the water.  This happened probably four times, and I only wish I could have seen it from Ryan’s perspective!
We next went to a recommended beach next to the Marina – and soon found that the treck there was not quite worth it.  The sand was breathtakingly white, but the water was very murky.  We did luck out by seeing nearly 10 turtles, but decided to pick up our snorkel gear and chairs and head to a better beach.

And we found one.

Kua Bay is the hidden gem of the big island.  It is hard to find since it is not marked, but we were able to score some good directions.  There was only one problem with this Bay, and that was NO SHADE.  We were getting a little roasted by this point in the day, and were able to find a lone tree on the north side of the beach.  Thank goodness!!  We snorkeled, body surfed, boogie boarded, and soaked up some sun :) Afterward, we went to a delicious Japanese restaurant, and fell quickly asleep for the third night in a row.  







 Ps. The last few are pictures of pictures...from our water camera.  Not the best quality. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Back from the Dead - Hawaii Day #1

It has been over a month...and I would be embarrassed of our lack of writing if we hadn't had the most incredible past few weeks.  [Give or take a few moments of sadness, and few days of stress and the other ups and downs that come with life's trials and struggles.] Ryan and I were so fortunate to get away from Provo and leave responsibility right along with it!  We have been going, and going, and going, and this needed respite couldn't have come at a better time.

First, we went home to Oregon for a solid week.  We almost felt our cup was full with Thompson/Folsom love, but we could always have some more :)  What a wonderful thing it was to spend time with each family, and Ryan and I soaked up every minute of it (quite literally with all of that pool time!)  

We will blog later with details from our Oregon trip, but we are almost bursting with the Hawaii Hangover Syndrome and want to relive every detail as we record each fun-packed day there on this blog.  

Pre-Hawaii Day - Travel - Friday

On Friday, the 24th, we spent our final hours with our families and packed the car with borrowed snorkel gear and extra goodies, buckled in cute little Cambria (my cousin) and made our way to our first stop - Salem to give Cambria a ride home.  Next, on to the hotel near the Portland Airport.  We double-checked our bulging bags, set out our comfy outfits, and hit the sack.  

Hawaii Day #1 - Saturday

Waking up at 4:15 a.m. is usually difficult for most people, but we were ready to start the "trip of a lifetime" that we had been planning since February.  Thank goodness we have generous parents who gave us a little (ok, a lot) of help as a graduation gift for both Ryan and I.  We boarded the plane and made our way to Oakland, then on to Kona.  What a plane ride.  I was expecting a little more glamorous of a plane and was embarrassed that my heart sank a little when I saw there were no TV's.  A six hour ride with no technology??  So pathetic I had those thoughts.  We read books, chatted, slept, and FINALLY heard those blessed words:  "we are now making our decent to Kona, temperature is 88 degrees all week..."  We leaped off the plane, snagged our bags, and hitched a ride to our rental car - amazed we were finally there.  

After we figured out the rental car mess (it takes sooooooo long), we drove away, convertible top down to our first destination: LuLu's.  We had heard from an Uncle that it was THE place to go for lunch.  And, since it was lunch time and we were sick of gingerale and biscoff cookies, we decided there was no time like the present.  On the main street in Kona, Lulu's is right across from the beach.  It has such a fun atmosphere, with signed dollar bills stapled over the entire surface of the restaurant.  Ryan ordered a local favorite while I tried some mahi-mahi tacos.  It was good...but not great.  Next time we'll order to recommended burger.  

We went to check in to our room and were surprised to find two porches, two bedrooms, a large kitchen, and a family room.  With a perfect view.  We looked at each other and said, "Is this real?"  We grabbed our suits, asked a local where the best beach was, and drove north up the island to Hapuna Beach.  It. Was. Beautiful.  White sand, turquoise water, beautiful fish, the perfect amount of sun, and plenty of people.  You could tell it was one of the best on the island.  After we got our fill of body surfing and sun bathing, we hopped in the car and drove north to the tip of the island.  The sun was starting to set, and we felt like driving all night.  We had another tip and made our way to a japanese restaurant that proved to be delicious.  We were also starving.  (At this time it was 8:00). But, we would definitely go back in a heart beat.  

A little sun-kissed, still wet from the ocean, full of delicious food and exhausted, we ended our day with only smiles.  And fell asleep the second our heads touched the pillows.  










Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our Not-So-Adventurous Adventures


Ryan and I like to be spontaneous – in thought!  Yesterday morning we woke up at 7:00am and decided it would be fun to pick up and drive down to Zion’s National Park, to hike Angels Landing.  After we planned out the travel/hiking hours, we made the boring decision to stay in Provo to get needed things done around the house.

To our surprise, it turned out to be such a fulfilling Saturday.

First, I made some granola.  Starting a morning off to the smell of honey and olive oil is so heavenly.

Next, Ryan did the “manly job” and mowed the lawn while I took the womanly task of cleaning/sweeping/vacuuming the house.  Nothing says “Saturday” like a tidy home!

We then tended our little (yet exploding) garden, and found our first ripe tomato hiding in the background.  You would have thought we won the lottery :)

After our garden triumph, we pruned the apple tree and took a bite of an almost-ripe apple.  I think they need just a few more weeks…

We made our way to the local farmer’s market and enjoyed the sights and smells.  We bought dill and cucumber plants, tried a couple tasters, and made our way home for lunch.

After a delicious meal of carrots, grapes, apples, and open face peanut-butter and honey sandwiches, Ryan continued to finish some yard work while I made DELICIOUS whole wheat bread (thanks Anna – I love your recipe).

After buckling down and getting needed schoolwork finished, we met up with our great friends Mitch, Meghan, and Jacob (poor guy – his wife is out of town for three more weeks!) We had a delicious barbeque and stayed up for hours talking about food, health, exercise and all that jazz.

Although we may not be quite as adventurous as we’d like to be, we sure are glad we made the “boring” choice to stay in Provo and enjoy such a wonderful day.

PS. If you’re interested, check out the garden’s progress…



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

writer's block

It has just been that kind of week - feeling like there is nothing to scrounge up that anyone would care to read, or that I would care to go back and read one day. Life has been so hectic, and I don't think "well today we were gone from 8-8, school and work is fantastic and exciting! Aren't you enthralled??" will keep anyone on the edge of their seats for more.  


But it made me realize something. This blog is for family and friends...but mostly for our little history.    


There are so many significant, tiny, special events that make up every day.  And I need to do better at recognizing those moments and making a special note of them - because those little moments make every day so wonderful.


So my new goal is: I want to be more observant.  I want to be able to say that I know things about Ryan that he doesn't even realize I know.  


So, here are just a few things I have noticed lately:


1.  He holds my hand every time we pray together.  I think it is so sweet and so special.
2.  He always tucks in his shirt right before we run. Without fail.
3.  He calls me "Baybuh" and I always giggle.
4.  Every morning, the first words I hear are, "Oh hiiii sleepy!" 
5.  At night when he works on medical school applications or other homework, he never sits on the couch.  Always on the floor.
6.  This one may be my fault, but after dinner, he opens every cupboard to find something to satisfy his sweet tooth.
7.  He cannot sit still.  Movies, dinner, homework...one of those footsies are moving to a silent beat!
8.  Lately, he breaks out into Les Miserables songs at the most random times.  And he belts it too.  He was an opera singer in another life.  
9.  He has those "kind eyes" when he smiles.  The crinkly corners that make his eyes so gentle.
10.  He would rather wear the same workout shirt/shorts multiple times a week than do the wash.  I know this because today I saw the exact outfit he wore at the gym yesterday - only inside out.
11.  Gradually, I have noticed that he is becoming increasingly more snuggly than me.  Which says a lot.  Last night, I heard "will you cuddle me?" and I thought he was dreaming :) 
12.  He gives the best hugs.  
13.  If we are on opposite sides of the gym, he likes to catch my attention by doing random dance moves.


Just a few things I've noticed, out of many.  I am so grateful to be married to Ryan, to live where we live, to have the families we have and to find reasons to enjoy every minute of every (seemingly mundane) day.        


Monday, July 9, 2012

Surprise!

Tuesday, the 26th of June, was possibly the worst day of my life - maybe not quite but close.


It started off as one of those mornings when both Ryan and I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  Short tempers and snippy remarks were our first interactions with each other, so we both left for school with grouchy attitudes.  Thankfully this doesn't happen too often, but when it does it is not fun!


Next, I received an email from our TV buyer stating that it had been shattered on delivery.  I love learning that we paid to have our TV destroyed...


Then just a few hours later I attended my night class, only to find out that the idea of driving home to Oregon was outrageous and there was no way it could be done with the course load and team projects.


We had been planning with my two sisters, Alison and Katie, for weeks deciding how to best surprise Anna and my mom.  I hadn't seen Anna for over eight months and was eager to meet her new baby.  So after plans were made and excitement was escalating, we only had one more week 'till takeoff!  But, on that terrible Tuesday, I was told our dreams of going home to Oregon would not be realized.


I bawled.


Then, I called Anna and my mom and cried some more.


After, I told Ryan how sad I was and continued to wipe away tears.  It was a pretty sad day.


BUT!  After a few days of meeting with my teacher, I learned I could drop a test if need be which gave me a glimmer of hope.  I took two quizzes early, finished some group work before our deadlines, and decided it could work if we left for Oregon after my night class.


So we did!!!!


It turned into a Thompson Reunion and a fun Folsom Family get together.  Both families were surprised.  Both families were so fun.  And both Ryan and I were relieved to have made the choice to come home.  There is no place like Medford, Oregon and we can't wait to move back (in a decade or so).