Friday, May 21, 2010

April Showers Bring May Flowers...

... and I planted them on my porch!
They really do bring beauty and happiness to my plain cement porch, and I love them!

From pansies...
To petunias....
And more!!

I really really do love spring! :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Strawberry Freezer Jam!

Just to prove to the world that I can be domestic when I feel like it - here's some proof:I made homemade strawberry freezer jam! Mind you, it's really not too hard to make. Just buy the yellow box of pectin, some sugar, and strawberries, and follow the directions! Then, VOILA, you have very cheap, tasty jam that you can store in your freezer for up to a year. And it really is so tasty without all those preservatives that you get with the store-bought stuff! For mine, I used a potato masher on the strawberries instead of blending to get those nice-sized strawberry pieces! SO good on Great Harvest bread or homemade yeast rolls. MMMMMM!

Are you drooling yet?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Two Wonderful Years

Trevor and I have been married for a whopping TWO YEARS! We had our second anniversary on Monday, May 3, 2010. That morning, I got up early, took my parents to the airport, went to work for about 9 hours... and then came home to spend the rest of the evening with my handsome date who had just gotten a fresh new haircut! That's probably the best gift he could have given me that day--it was about time! :)
So, to celebrate, we kept it low-key and went to have a FABULOUS dinner at Carrabbas in Orem. I stuffed myself full of fried zucchini, an amazing cheese/chicken/sundried tomato entree, a free dessert, and lots of wonderful conversation with my hubby.

It's nice to know that the second year was, in fact, easier than the first... and that they'll probably only get even better from here! :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Back to Zion

Day 4 of our trip, we decided to stop back through Zion for one last day of beautiful scenery, hikings, and fresh air. We went on the Emerald Pools hike -- not to long or strenuous, but still highly rewarding! On a bridge overlooking the river:
The first stop of the hike, about 0.6 miles in, is the lower pool with its gorgeous waterfalls:
So, we took lots of pictures, of course! Here's Mom and Dad:
And me and Trevor:
Takin' a quick drink ;)
I guess I got thirsty too!!
Starting the second leg of the hike -- another 0.3 miles to the middle pool. There was some pretty cool parts to this hike... like this one:
We finally made it through all three legs up to the upper pools where there was the very tall waterfall that started the whole beautiful process:
On the way back down, we decided to do some REAL hard-core rock climbing! Up on the cliffs with no ropes! Here's my Dad:
Me, reaching the top!:
Don't fall Trevor!! Just pretend you can't see the ground here, please and thank you :)
My Mom can even rock climb! What a daring mother she is!
One more picture of me.. looks pretty legit, huh? ;)
Our wonderful vacation was so much fun that I actually started to have mini anxiety attacks the Sunday before I knew I had to go back to work. BLAH! WORK! But, hey, I survived. Life is good!

The Grand Canyon!

So on day 2 we woke up next to the beautiful Grand Canyon! We spent the next couple of days exploring the canyon, playing games, and enjoying each other's company. Here's some pictures for your enjoyment:The husbands overlooking the canyon and the Colorado River:
Me and my Mommy:
Breakfast, Day 3, at the nice hotel nearby:
Me and my sweet Daddy:
The fam (minus Mike on a mission) out on a rock with the canyon two feet behind us!:
My Dad had a birthday while we were at the Grand Canyon! Happy Birthday Dad!
Both my Mom and my Dad turned 52 last month, but let's be honest - They still look like they are 32!!! :)
Beautiful skies - windy - and such a great day at the Grand Canyon:
On Day 3, we decided to take a short hike (maybe the first 3/4 of a mile or so) down into the canyon. The trail continued many miles to the bottom of the canyon and lots of adventuresome people will take multi-day hikes down to the canyon, camp, and hike back up. We decided we were going to do that one day. It really was pretty! Here's part of the trail that they built through the rock:
I sure do love my family. We really did have so much fun!
Inside the Grand Canyon's watchtower near the end of day 3 -- Trevor and I were up on the third floor with my Dad taking this picture from below. Pretty awesome ceiling, huh?:
After lots of good food, playing nertz games in the hotel lobby, and plenty of outdoor adventures and sunshine, we made our way back to Zion National park to see if we could find another hotel. We were having so much fun we decided to stay one more day!! :) We found a hotel outside of Zion's for Wednesday night and then spent another day at Zion's on Thursday. Stay tuned for the next post!!! :D

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Angel's Landing

Well, for the last week of April, my PARENTS CAME TO TOWN TO VISIT! :) Yay! I haven't seen them since last July, so you better believe I was excited! I took a week off work and we all went on an adventurous 4-day trip to Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon! Since I have tons of pictures, I've got to spread up the trip into multiple posts.

This post is of the first day, where we visited beautiful Zion National Park in Utah:
We based our day around a hike that we had heard a lot about. It's called the Angel's Landing trail and it is AWESOME! The first couple miles up are a "normal" style hike with a wide trail that is flat at points and much steeper with switchbacks at other points. One of my favorite parts of the hike is a place called "Refrigerator Canyon" and it was cool with shade and a nice breeze, which felt GREAT after hiking in the mid-day sun for a while. We discovered a neat cave (most likely carved by wind into the sandstone) that we crawled up inside and took a picture through the natural "window" that had formed:
The hike really was enjoyable, and this part of it was really neat! It was called Walter's Wiggles, I believe, and it was made up of 20 (or so?) very short switchbacks that carried you up to the top of the cliff fairly quickly. Can you spot us? :)
We finally reached a point in the hike called Scout's Landing. This is the farthest point in the hike that Boy Scouts are allowed to go, and with good reason. The last half mile of Angel's Landing hike really is ridiculously dangerous. Observe the danger sign:
So? Did we decide to be crazy people and risk our lives on small ledges, holding onto chains, with 1000 foot cliffs on either side of us ALL just so we could experience a great view AND so we could say we did it?? Um... yes we did! :) It wasn't even a question in my mind - I HAD to do it! I was so excited and a little nervous!! The next few pictures will show you just how worth it this awesome hike was:
Yes, that's a straight drop off on the right side of that picture above. And this is what you'd see if you looked over that way. Yep. That's a river. And the road.
So, as we carefully watched our foot placement and clung to the kindly-placed chains for our lives, we pushed onward to the top. I love this next picture - it really helps show you the type of terrain we were hiking on. See the thin strip of rock and trees to the upper left hand corner? That's where we had just hiked and we were only getting higher up! Say hi Dad:
But, I am glad to say that we MADE IT! :) We ate our sandwich lunches on the top of a rock overlooking THIS:
Smile! We made it up!
Uh oh... Now we have to go back.. Down!! Gulp! This was the part I worried about. What if I slipped?! It seemed like going down it would be a lot harder to control my speed and momentum, as I was moving with gravity this time! Just take a look at THIS:
But, I'm glad to say that it wasn't as bad as I anticipated and we all had SO MUCH FUN!
Celebration kiss! :) I think he's enjoying it!

Well, stay tuned! There's more to come! If you ever go to Zion National Park, and you aren't afraid of heights, then you MUST go on the Angel's Landing Hike. AND... no chickening out for that last half mile. It's SO amazing and totally worth it! Just talking about it makes me want to go back and do it again! :)