Tuesday, June 29, 2010

every rose has its thorns

So Parker & I really lucked out with the housing game. We live in the most adorable daylight basement in a very nice area of Salt Lake City. It's the perfect size for us and has so much personality. I love it! Truly. And I promise I will post pictures of it soon.

In the meantime, one of the best parts about our new little home is the yard. Our landlady Michelle is an expert gardener and planted about every type of flower you can imagine back here. I remember one of our first conversations involved an explanation on how the flowers are planted so that as soon as one has seen its day a new batch springs up to keep the yard colorful for the next season. It's the neatest process. We've seen pinks, purples, reds, oranges, yellows, lavenders, blues, whites...you name it!

Though they're all beautiful, I think Parker and I have a favorite. We LOVE the big fuchsia roses that line our walkway. I learned today they're called Mr. Lincolns...interesting. They are absolutely gorgeous and have the sweetest scent. It's so funny to watch us walk by. I swear we really do "stop-and-smell-the-roses" each and every day. It's such a treat!

The other day Parker developed a new relationship with our beloved rose bush. On our way home from the ward social we started in on some very "beedin" name calling. By the time we reached our front door this had escalated into somewhat of a wrestling match (apparently Parker learned nothing from his chats with the family in Rockville).

I'm not exactly sure how it happened.
I poked him.
He said to stop or I'd be staying outside for the night.
I don't do well with threats.
So I slapped him on his hiney
and ran.

He caught up to me as I was nearing the stairs leading back to the gate.
He grabbed me by the waist.
I knew he had me.
So I did the only thing I could do.
I heaved myself into his arms hoping to catch him by surprise.
And I did.

I knocked my poor husband right into our thorny rosebush.
And then I laughed...
and laughed...
and laughed.

I tried so hard to help him wriggle free from the bush but my debilitating bouts of hysteria left me motionless.
Every time he told me where to find the next pokey I lost it.
When he told me to be careful not to tear his favorite shirt my abs started to hurt.
Tears streamed down my face as he yelled at the "beedin'" bush.

I know you're all thinking I am a cruel, pitiless wife.
Maybe I am.
But I really did feel so sorry for him.
And I really did feel guilty for what I'd done.
I just can't begin to tell you how funny it is to try and extract "pokeys" from your grown-up hubby's bum.
Oh my...

Don't worry, Parker laughed too.
And he's made a full recovery.

Welcome to Married Life 101...
"where not to wrestle."

Let's hope we learned our lesson...
for Parker's sake :)

guilty pleasures

I know what you're thinking and I will be honest, I'm so ashamed!!! I haven't watched the Bachelor or Bachelorette really ever because I've always detested reality shows and their scripted drama. It makes me nauseous to see how many housewives get hooked on soap operas. And even though the Bachelorette isn't exactly a soap opera, I have to admitif I'm being honest with myselfthat this is the next closest thing. Ratings for these shows and entertainment news are through the roof because our society, for some reason, thrives on watching and hearing about other people's drama. Why is that??? I swear our lives are not this small...

But alas, mine is.

I didn't see it coming. I thought I was above it all. I thought I had the strength to withstand temptation.
But no.
I didn't.
And now I'm hooked.
And I'm dragging my husband down with me.

I was at Gold's one night a few weeks back trying to put a dent in my half marathon training when it happened. I was tired. I needed a distraction. Anyone who's tried to run a significant distance on a treadmill will understand. Then I saw it.

It was mid-show and as trashy as it ever is. The bachelors and bachelorette were making a music video together. I mocked it. Rolled my eyes at least a dozen times. I even recounted my experience to Parker when I got home and expressed my disbelief at how and why anyone would subject themselves to such a situation. But the truth is, I finished my run quicker than I have in a long while and never even noticed any signs of fatigue. I felt great!!! And I wanted that feeling again.

Note the signs of drug addiction.
The Bachelorette was quickly becoming my TV/running fix.

The next week I went at the same time and had a similar experience. Except this time, instead of my extensive mocking, I found myself becoming an advocate for a few of the candidates. I had favorites now. And the teaser trailers had me worried. I had to watch and make sure they were ok.

The week after I made Parker watch with me. He shook his head in disbelief as I had, but I could tell it was slowly growing on him too. He started teasing about "cross-eyes" (a.k.a. Frank if you watch the show) and making predictions with me about who wouldn't be getting a rose.

We stayed up until midnight last night streaming the show online to "catch up" after my week on the houseboat. I love that this is something we do together. I love spending time with my husband. I love that he makes fun of it. And I feel more and more grateful for our relationship each time I watch.

I just feel silly that I am now one of those people I used to make fun of.

Se la vie.
What goes around comes around right chelly belly???

J Go Kirk!!!! J

cheers to the bride & groom!!!

My little Kayla Gomer is MARRIED!!! And the coolest part is that it's to one of my best friends.

We made a marathon road trip home from Shasta to celebrate Kayla & Michael Chandler. We left around 3:00 a.m. Nevada time to make it to their 2:00 p.m. reception in Bear Lake, UT. We looked like hobos, slept like bums, and had wild hair because of our weak car inverter, but we made it! We wouldn't have missed this day for the world!

The girls and I set Michael & Kayla up during our Amazing Race group date this past fall and things just took off from there. There is no question in my mind that these two will be so incredibly happy together. Kayla is a sweetheart through and through and I've known, ever since I met her little eleven-year-old self, that she would be the best wife and mother to her future family. We've had a million memories together through years of YW's, soccer & school and I'm so grateful for the friend and example she's been to me.

Michael made my sophomore year at BYU an absolute blast! After getting over our mistaken first impressions, Mansion 28 & 24 became the best of friends. He was the best little FHE brother a girl could ask for and teased and taunted me like any big brother would. He has a competitive drive and ambition that inspires me to work harder. We've been snowboarding buddies, road-trip allies, Risk enemies, marriage prep chatter-boxes, and had a million more memories together. I've always thought he deserved the best and I absolutely believe he's found that in Kayla.

Their wedding was gorgeous—everything I would've dreamed of for my own if Utah May's weren't so incredibly unpredictable. Bear Lake is MASSIVE...I had no idea...and her family's property is gorgeous. The white chairs and tables with her pretty aquamarine and lime green bows were just perfect. The new Kayla Chandler was an absolutely stunning bride and Michael couldn't stop smiling. It was the sweetest thing! I hope your day was everything you two dreamed of and I'm so grateful we had the opportunity to share it with you.

And really, who could ask for a more beautiful setting for mine & Parker's post-houseboat reunion. I LOVED this day!!! Congrats to the newest bride & groom! We are SO stoked to finally have married friends. Love you two!

Tiffany was SO stoked to have her amigo Devon back. Doesn't she look happy???
I love my Parker so so much!!! I was SO happy to see him after my week at Shasta. He means the world to me.
My super mom who drove through the night on ZERO sleep and still looks amazing!
Kayla's cute little sister/bridesmaid Kensie with the houseboat hobos. Friends are forever!

shasta highlights 2010

I'm back!!! Finally! Though my escape from reality was desperately needed and oh so fun, I really did miss my little life here in Utah. It's amazing how much pull one person can have on your heart.

I felt like an awful wife leaving Parker for the week. I feel like every wife I talked to leading up to my trip had never been away from their husband for a full 7 days and I'm certain a handful of those thought I was crazy for doing it just a month into our marriage.

Of course I would've had Parker there with me in a heartbeat if I could have. No question about that. But between the houseboat week swap and his start date at his new job we knew it Shasta wasn't happening for him this year.

To be honest, I think it was good for us. Every day I spent away from him I appreciated more and more the happiness I feel when we're together. I love my family and friends to piecesspending time with them is the main reason I love the houseboat so, so much. So to be able to be there, in that setting, and still feel like there was something that could make my trip exponentially better spoke volumes of how much I need Parker in my life. I love you baby cakes! Shasta 2011 will be here before we know it and, even though I will still win the tanning competition, you'll at least have enough sun exposure to attempt to compete. I can't wait! JJJ
Shasta 2009—The year Parker fell in love with the lake...and maybe me too J
My super sexy husband-to-be...I had no idea I'd be showing up to the boat just a year later married. Amazing how quickly life comes at you...

So onto the highlights from our 2010 houseboat trip! Have I ever mentioned that this is my ALL TIME FAVORITE vacation??? When you combine days filled with swimming, sun, water balloon fights, and wakeboarding with nights of nonstop game play and a million laughs you have it all. Truly. I think Lake Shasta is absolutely beautiful. I may be a bit biased considering I've gone every single summer for the last 20 years of my life, but I'm pretty certain our Shasta novice Parker would back me up on this too. The emerald green water is glass 90% of the time. The red rock shores lined with thick green foliage and trees look like the product of a romantic encounter between St. George and the Sierras. And the houseboat just feels like home to me when it's filled with so many people I love.
Another Shasta 2009 moment—see what I mean though??? it's beautiful!

I'm working on cutting down these posts so the general public can actually read them (a.k.a. my very best friends who have yet to read even one...that's right, I know who you are my 3 little amigas J). So without further ado, here are my sweetest 17 highlights from Lake Shasta 2010.

1. Watching Big E play arms dealer for our weeklong water balloon fight. He loved playing the agent of chaossecretly promoting the fight and supplying the ammo then watching the war unfold from a safe distance on the good 'ol S.S. Webfoot.
2. All of our canoeing adventures—laughing our heads off in the "haunted" upside down canoe, Tiff ramming her head into the seat 3 times before being guided into an air pocket, Tiff harassing Blake about having learned nothing at scout camp because he couldn't remember how to right a canoe without taking it to shore, my dad flipping the capsized canoe time and again because he so enjoyed our antics, remembering back on Tiff's "bonsai" moment, etc. etc.
Tiff freaking out about the spider hitching a ride.
Can anyone else see where this is headed???
"GO in the wata!!!" bahahaha
Parade wave

3. Fake tattoos on the Webfoot with Big E & Joleen—Tiff's "gun", Nicole tramp stamp, our missionary's kissy lips, armbands that gave funky tan lines , matching sister marks, etc. etc.

4. Our group hike to the ever-famous waterfall slide up Little Backbone—our canoe taxi ride, the creepy surface-swimming fish, forgetting Blake on the boat, cold water, canoe complainers, etc. etc.
I love my girls!
Isn't Colie just the cutest???
5. The Hamm/Turner clan!!! I love the latest addition to our houseboat crew. Darrin is a rockstar with slalom skiing, Dawn is a firecracker and all-star Identity Crisis player, Ali is a ball of energy, Hayden is like a mini-Parker on his wakeboard, Mariah is as gorgeous as her mom, and Ashlyn (a.k.a. Munchkin) is just so stinkin' cute. Thank you all for being so generous with your boat and making our week so fun!
6. The LeBarons!!! Ashlee's parents and youngest brother Kyle contributed to our houseboat fun this year too. Everyone gives my parents a hard time about lucking out in the in-law department and it's easy to see why anyone would be green with envy over this group. Natalie is a riot!!! She made me laugh all week and is probably a better talker than I am. Steve is Mr. Muscle and dazzled us with his kneeboard skills and marathon swim. And little Kyle is not only adorable but a professional penthouse diver too. Thanks for a fun week LeBarons! Jason & Ashlee are lucky to have you.
7. I often tease that my dad loves my friends more than I do. This year he extended invitation to all four of my best little buds before he even knew I'd be coming J I'm so happy he did though! These four make me laugh like no one else I know and have made houseboat history over the last five Shasta summers. There's something special about a friendship that transcends college, missions, marriages, moves, and whatever else life has to throw at us. I love you all to pieces and can't wait to see what the future has in store. Thanks for being my allies through it all.
8. Family!!! I'm so grateful for the opportunity I had to spend so much time with my family this week. It seems that I love and appreciate them more and more as time goes on. My brother Jason has always been a role model for me and has this wit that blows me away every time he's around. He's too too funny to me and has taught me how to have thick skin and not take life so seriously.

My little sister Haley is an all-star in everything she does. I'm so proud of her for being such a strong little spirit when everyone else around her seems to succumb to the pressure of living in the way of the world. She's an amazing athlete and student and has so much going for her. I think what I love most though is how silly we are when we're together. I never would have guessed it would turn out this way when I was little, but I'm so happy we're the best of buds today and that she can hang out with a group of college kids at age 15 and be right at home.
I love my mom too! She is such an example to me of service and selflessness and I swear she's superwoman. She's gone nonstop from planning my wedding to a grueling 21-mile pioneer trek to playing hostess to all of our houseboat guests to driving cross-country for my friend's wedding and still has girls' camp, work, and a million other tasks to look forward to. The most amazing thing of all though—she never complains. Everyone she comes in contact with loves her because she has such a way of making people feel comfortable and loved. She's hilarious, if you didn't know, and makes my friends and I laugh all the time. I love you mom!!!

p.s. This picture made me miss Parker so much—our little family just didn't feel complete without him. And no, I did not forget my Dad & Ashlee in this description. They're soon to come, I promise.

9. Father's Day! I LOVE Father's Day because it is one day of the year that I can tell my Dad all day how much I love him without everyone thinking I want something JJJ I'm kidding. Really though, I love having a day to celebrate dads. My Dad means the world to me. I've always been a daddy's girl and I really don't see that changing anytime soon. I'm so grateful to him for everything he's done for our family. He's always been the best example to me of the importance of hard work and ambition. I've worked my whole life to try and be the "best" at everything I did because I knew it made my dad so proud. My love for games stemmed from his willingness to teach me chess, rummy, backgammon, and cribbage before I even knew how to read and our many years of road trips playing stump-the-dummy in the car. My dad has a bigger heart than almost anyone I know. He is so incredibly generous and just loves seeing others happy. I think he's a big part of why I love animals so much too (our dog Molly is like his fourth child and he's always been so loving and gentle with my old & decrepit cat Paws). You are the best dad a girl could ask for Daddy! I love you bunches!
10. I LOVE LOVE LOVE having a big sister!!! Ashlee is and always has been so sweet to me. She's the perfect match for my brother I swear she is funnier each and every time we're together. She's the epitome of sugar, spice, & everything nice but has this spicy edge to her that I so admire too. I so look up to her and appreciate all the advice and insight she so willingly shares. We're so much alike that it scares me sometimes. I love all of our sister chats this week, laughing over "diapers", musing over the ideology that Men are from Mars & Women are from Venus, and being able to laugh at ourselves and our silliest moments. We're lucky to have you in our family Ashlee!

11. Polka dot day—is anybody else sensing this summer's style trend?
12. The entire boat erupting into a roar after the U.S. scored against Algeria.
13. Pudding smiles—My friends and I are incredibly immature at times. I about peed my pants when I saw these pictures though...
14. Camera thievesJust another testament to our immaturity. Each year my friends come out they swipe my camera and take goober-y pictures on top of the boat. I still don't understand why, and I'm not sure I ever will, but I think it's kind of their way of saying they love me...I think...
15. Tiffany, Nicole, & Jillian—I love my girls so much!!! Like I said earlier, no matter where we are in life or what changes we may make I know we will always be friends. From the earliest days it's been the 4 of us against the world. Many friends have come and gone over the years, but this little core has stayed the same. They are all amazing examples to me and I love that I have a different bond and relationship with each one. Tiff is my gym-buddy/soccer conehead and the comedian of the group, Nicole is my gaming expert and has always been the one to give advice and help me return to reality whenever my mind wanders too far, and Jillian is my spontaneous take-on-the-world friend who is my ally in the girly-girl, shopping realm and my go-to for second opinions. I love you all so much and am so happy we had another girls' week to remember why we are and always will be the 4 musketeers.
16. Ladder-ball/Lasso Golf—When my brother & I were brainstorming gifts for my dad for Father's Day I told him Dad was impossible to shop for. He never wants anything new or unfamiliar and mom has bought him every random gadget you can imagine. I quickly followed up this statement with a suggestion of lasso golf. My brother hadn't heard of it so I explained it away as a game with two golf balls on a rope that you launch at a tiered PVC pipe for points. He writes back, "You sound just like mom."

Despite Jason's skepticism, I decided to spring for the golf game anyway. I loved this game so much when we played this last Memorial Day that I thought it'd be great to share the fun with my family too. And what do you know...it was a hit! We had tournaments galore and laughed a ton. Even Big E played! I'm not sure how I'll top myself next year JJJ
17. Shasta Lake—This is my favorite view of Shasta. It's my first glimpse of the lake at the start of our week and the last thing I see as I say goodbye each year. It reminds me of all our best memories as family and friends and this special time we share together each year. Thanks for another great year little lake. I hope I see you for many years to come. 'Til next year...