Monday, December 28, 2009

Home for the Holidays

This holiday season was definitely one to remember :)

With this being the first holiday season Jason and I were both working and just our second being married, we had a lot to figure out! With shopping, hosting, and two families to spend time with we were overwhelmed with both excitement and anxiety to get everything ready.
Of course, we had to wait until the last minute to do shopping, squeezing it into the Friday and Saturday before Christmas :) This is all with exception of a select few gifts I braved homemaking, which actually turned out quite well! Then came the house cleaning..... this a task which Jason and I both equally dislike and will put off until absolutely necessary.

Christmas week quickly approached with us being treated with Kari, Brett, and Chase arriving in town from Utah Monday afternoon. It had been over a year since I had seen Brett and several months since Kari and Chase had visited. We had the pleasure of hosting a family dinner Monday night for which I bravely cooked a 5lb roast plus 2 lbs of chopped veges- since I rarely cook for just the two of us, cooking for eight adults, especially the "in-laws", was a bit terrifying :) Everyone was a good sport about it, even the hour delay in dinner time and seemed to like it enough to eat. Of course I am also kidding about my in-laws making me nervous, they are truly some of the best people around and I consider myself quite blessed to have them in my life.

Tuesday quickly approached filled with more last minute holiday shopping, dinner of personal pizzas hosted by Kristen and Steve, and Kristen and I pretending to watch the Utah game in Vegas with the guys.
Wednesday Kristen, Kari, Shauna, and I spent the afternoon going to see the Nutcracker- a Kent family tradition. It had been quite some time, I believe since elementary school since I had actually gone to see it rather than watch my VHS version. After the show we stopped at Gate's to bring home a BBQ feast for the family.

Christmas Eve I again woke at 7:30am as I had all week (this is rare occurrence with me working nights) and decided to do just a little more Christmas shopping. I took a little to longer than expected and sleep didn't come easy once I finally tried to nap :( After a 1 1/2hr. nap I woke up to get ready to head to the Kent's for Christmas Eve dinner with our family. We has a wonderful meal of turkey tenderloin, ham, and of course all the festive sides.

Then came the ice.......

I had to drive into to work that evening, which Jason was not to happy about. We have only had our new Accord since March and were not quite sure how it would handle in the sleet/freezing rain disaster that had been coming down for two hours at that point. I left for work an hour early and got there just on time :(
Over night is when the blizzard set in snowing anywhere from 6-12 inches, depending on which meteorologist you chose to listen to. The highways were covered in snow drifts and the ice was still dangerously slick with the highway patrol advising no one drive.
I was thankfully able to get a ride to Independence with Ashley, a good friend from work, that had an SUV rather than staying at the hospital for Christmas. Jason then picked me up and we headed home to pick up gifts for our family. We were able to visit my Mom and open gifts with my siblings as well as visit Jason's side of the family for opening gifts and to wish Kari, Brett, and Chase farewell.
I made it home and to bed by around 1pm to squeeze in 3 1/2hrs. of sleep before returning to work Christmas night.

Overall, we had a wonderful holiday getting to spend time with all of our amazing family and so thankful for all the wonderful gifts, kindness, and flexibility with our hectic schedule. We are now so looking forward to a new year full of adventure, family (with a new nephew and brothers returning home from missions), laughter, and joy!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cruise 2009

Jason and I are definately guilty of blog neglect and have finally decided to take some time and get back on track! We are only a month late on this, but here is an update about our cruise :)

We had such a wonderful time!

It started off with our first experience with "days at sea". It was so nice to get to sleep in and extra nice in the cave interior room we chose! We started off our days at sea with breakfast and the dreaded omelet lines followed with exploration of the ship and attempts to take advantage of the planned activities. The only complaint about days at sea- crazy sun bathers! They scope out lounge chairs at 7am and dont move-literally!- until sunsets! I felt rather sad for them and the poor condition of their leather skin, but also very annoyed that there were very few options left for anyone else to sit down! We were finally able to find two chairs right next to the adults only pool which also happened to be on the same deck as the pizza, ice cream, & burgers and fries! Our second day at sea was spent on the water slide, minature golfing, playing cards with our new friend, and attending the various farewell event and shows-including our favorite, the Love and Mariage game.

That first night was also our first experience with "Elegant night", which I must say, we felt extremely underdressed for! There were women parading around in floor length ballgowns and men in tuxedos! I understand the thrill of dressing up, but wow, I couldnt imagine packing that stuff or spending that much time getting ready while on vacation. Maybe we will try it out next time :)

The other new thing to us was the assigned dinner tables. By the second night we really had come to love it- only because we had really hit it off with the other couple we were seated with. They were a wonderful newly wed couple our age on their honeymoon from North Carolina. As usual with cruise dining, we were very impressed by the appetizers and the main course, but let down by most of the desserts :( They all looked very impressive, but the flavor did not live up to our expectations.

Our first port of call was Georgetown, Grand Cayman. We booked an excursion to go out on the Jolly Roger- a restored pirate ship. We had a blast with our mock battles against the cruise ships in port, scrubbing the deck, and walking the plank. The crew of the ship were great with acting and dressing the part. After that we spent te afternoon browsing around the shops and walking through all of Georgetown. We stopped for lunch at Breezes, a small seafood restaurant on the third floor above the street front shops. The food was wonderful, but cost alot more due to the horrible exchange rate. Back on the ship that night was the Rockin the Promenade party. We had alot of fun with our new friends dancing, laughing at/with those brave enough to karaoke, and playing the slots in the casino.

The second port was Isla Roatan, Honduras. We spent the day taking a bus to the opposite side of the island to visit Gumbalimba Park. When we arrived we were outfitted and headed to the ocean for snuba! Isla Roatan is surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world which we were dive down to the ocean bottom and discover! It was truly an amazing experience to be among the tropical fish and beautiful coral formations. After snuba, we used the rest of our time to go on a private guided tour through out the park. The best part of the park tour was getting to play with the capuchin monkeys! They are so playful and just as fascinated by us as we were them.

The next port of call was Belize City, Belize. We booked the Raiders of the Lost Mayan Tomb excursion. We boarded a bus and took an 1 1/2 bus ride out of the city into the jungle. We stopped at an outpost where we were instructed to apply a generous amount of our insect repellant then fitted with harnesses, helmets, and gloves. From there we began our hike up the side of a mountain- this is when we realized why the bug spray was necessary! The mosquitos in Belize are crazy- they would still swarm and attack us regardless of the bug spray, which I am guessing they have grown immune to! We finally made it to to the mouth of the cave where we began the real adventure. We were guided through the multiple chambers of the cave making stops at a variety of spots used by the Mayans for ceremonies and rituals. We crawled through small opening, rappelled down cliff sides, ziplined across the jungle canopy from the mouth of one cave to another, walked swinging rope bridges, and treked through waterholes all before riding down an inclined traverse back to the jungle floor. We then boarded the bus and headed off to a jungle BBQ for lunch before returning to port.

Our final port of call was Cozumel, Mexico. We arrived and boarded a ferry to take us to Play del Carma on the main land. After arriving, we met our guide to take us to Xcaret Ecological Park. Much to our surprise, there was only us and another couple with their daughter that booked this excursion! We all walked to our bus which happened to be a quite nice Greyhound like bus with reclining seats and all for just the six of us. After arriving at Xcaret our guide took us on an educational tour of the bat cave, Mayan village, deer shelter, jaguar island, spider monkey island, and the butterfly pavilion. After our guided portion, we were taken to the entrance of the under ground rivers. We were given life jackets and adviced of the very cold water temperature, but told this is a cant miss! We took the stairs down to the entrance and rushed in- it was freezing! The river had such a current that we were able to just kick back and float. As we got further down the river we began to feel where the water met- the top half of the depth is freezing fresh water, the lower half is very warm salt water. It was an amazing eperience to feel such a temp difference and have a freezing torso with really warm legs! We floated for 45 minutes underground in the cave with various spots in the roof opening enough to slightly let the sunshine in. After we made it to the end, we continued our tour of the oark. We were able to see the dolphins, huge sea turtles, sharks, sting rays, vast array of sea creatures in the aquarium, flamingos, bird sanctuary, as well as the orchid and mushroom farms. We also took some time to walk along the ocean which was bordered with natural pools/cenotes and lounge in the sea of hammocks on the cliff overlooking the ocean. With so much left to do, it was sadly time to head back to the bus. We definately plan on returning Play del Carma for an extended stay and another visit to Xcaret!

Overall we had a wonderful time and can't wait to start planning for our next adventure!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Weekend Highlights

Jason and I had a pretty busy, but wonderful weekend!

Jason has ended his first week and Saturday shift at Adidas, which was quite the experience he will just have to share later! But, I have a story from Saturday I am sure you will all enjoy....

I rode to work with Jason on Saturday for some retail therapy while he worked. After he got off work, we walked to the car, unlocked it, and we stood at the trunk to show Jason everything I had bought. Our new car locks the doors when you open the trunk (a safety feature I am not to fond of). Well, we shut the trunk and could not find the key to the car anywhere and of course all the doors had locked!! So, we called Jason's parents to drive the 30 minutes to pick us up thinking that we locked the key in the trunk. We went to eat at Chipotle while we waited, but to our surprise when we went to sit down, I sat on the key in my back pocket!! I will say though, our key is an all in one key and remote that Jason wont let me put any other keys or key chains on! I also never use my pockets! :)
Saturday evening Jason and I were able to go to the Royals game vs. the Cincinnati Reds with Steve, Shauna, Kristen, Steve, and Aubrey. We had a great time, especially since they actually won! We enjoyed ballpark cotton candy, nachos, and chicken tenders & fries. It was so much fun watching Aubrey enjoy a Royals game for the first time. It was almost as if at points she was actually watching the game when she would stare at the field and nothing could come close to breaking her attention. After the game we went to Shauna and Steve's for some Dr. Pepper and chocolate almond ice cream floats, an invention by Steve, which was pretty delicious! I would highly recommend them!
Now it is back to another work week, Jason working Monday through Friday and me working Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday night.
Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


We have finally found a moment to post about our trip to beautiful Colorado! We left early Saturday and arrived that evening to stay 2 nights at the Hilton for $50 (thank you very much Priceline negotiator!). We spent Sunday in Manitou Springs. We toured the Cliff Dwellings of the Pueblo Indians, strolled through downtown, drank cups of natural mineral water from fountains (some were better than others...), hiked the Garden of Gods, and had "KC style" BBQ, which was actually pretty good! Monday we checked out of the hotel and headed to set up camp for the next two nights on the side of Cheyenne Mountain... in the middle of bear country. The camp site we actually picked out online was perfect! After we pitched the tent, we left for the afternoon. We had lunch in Old Colorado City at a french bistro and then headed to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo- the only mountain zoo in the USA- where we fed giraffes and Jason made friends with the chipmunks. We had a peaceful night by the campfire roasting hotdogs & s'mores and reading Twilight. Tuesday morning we made pancakes and eggs- well I did while Jason discussed his new job with Adidas! YEAH! We then headed off to hike Red Rock Canyon and take the Cog-rail to the top of Pikes Peak for some amazing views, donuts, and hot cocoa! Wednesday morning we made one last campfire breakfast and then packed up camp. We headed to Canon City to visit the Royal Gorge! There we walked the worlds highest suspension bridge, rode the worlds steepest incline railway, and rode in the worlds longest cable tram... all followed by a delicious funnel cake! After leaving, we decided to drive home- all the way. We drove from 6:30pm to 4:30am. We had a wonderful time and are considering making it an annual spring trip- if anything just to get an amazing tan!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A blog of our own...

After much contemplation, I have decided it is time for Jason and I to create a blog of our own. With our crazy busy schedules and ever changing lives, we need some way to keep everyone around us up to date! With that said, it is now time for my afternoon nap to prepare for another long shift.....

Another post is soon to come!