Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There's no place like the fake church

So, I know I've already complained about this whole ward change fiasco.  I'm not going to do that again. 

As a matter of fact, I've been trying to be more positive about the whole mess - ha! - so instead of just

moping and missing everyone, I decided to throw a party.  A reunion of sorts.  A 3-month reunion.

Those are pretty common, in case you didn't know.

Last Friday we had about 50 of our old pals show up for the best darn barbecue/reunion there ever was.

The Bishopric & their wives even came - with their food gamefaces on!  They never disappoint.

Good food & good friends.  It just doesn't get any better than that.  Until you start playing Koob!

Lacey, Max & the Boyers (they really are the best - they even forgave us for TPing their house!)

Action shot of the Bishop.  He definitely knocked that block down, fyi.

This get together was music to my ears.  Literally.

J-Slice & his baby mama Amanda in the background.

Seems like there have been a gazillion babies born since the ward ended.

And you know there are plenty more on the way, too - these sistas don't mess around!

Thanks to everyone who came.  You seriously made my summer. 

And you made going to church the next day freaking misery haha!

We really missed those who couldn't come, but we're kinda glad you didn't because that just gives us an

excuse to do this again soon.

Love love love you all!

There's no place like home...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Knight of my life...and now I can die happy

When I heard that Paul McCartney was coming to Utah I vowed that I would do anything and everything in my power to get my family there.  This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was not going to pass me by, it just wasn't an option.  I immediately text-ed my dad to see if he'd heard.  Yes, he had.  Then I called my mom and told her we were going.  She was down, and she told me to look into it.  I called BFF Rachel Jenkins (a.k.a. music connoisseur) to freak out.  She informed me that her stepdad was all over this priceless situation & was ready to buy presale tickets only available to Amex card holders.  Long story short, we aren't Amex-ers, so Rachel bought presale tix for us to secure our booties seats at the hottest show ever!  Thanks, Rach, I owe you sooooo big!

My parents are both big Beatles fans, and my dad especially loves them, so you know I was raised right.  One of my fave memories of my dad is singing along to Hey Jude while he played it on the guitar.  I also went through a bit of a Beatles super-fan stage my junior/senior years of high school where I wrote a research paper on John, acquired Paul's most recent live album, and checked books on the band out of the library over & over.  And just so you know, I feel no remorse for making my friends listen to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds on the way to school every single day.  Not even a little.

You know how you continue to learn things about your spouse, even after you get married?  Well, one of the biggest and most shocking things I learned about Richard is that his family had different taste in music than mine, and he didn't know ANY Beatles music.  None.  Not that there's anything wrong with that (except that there kind of is!).  I mean, who doesn't know the Beatles?!  That little nugget of information really surprised me because of how much he loves music, and how incredibly talented he is.  Anyway, I "surprised" him with the tickets, and considered this to be a music education/appreciation experience for him.  My dad made a cd of the set list from Sir Paul's recent shows & I think Richard enjoyed the show much more because of it.  Thanks, dad!

I was literally counting down the days to the concert.  I kept sending my family text messages trying to psych them up as much as I was - my dad was usually the only one to respond (thanks, again).  The day of the show it was all I could do to make it through work.  I swear I can't even remember the last time I was this excited for anything.  Such is life that things that the night didn't go off without a single hitch (sister nearly broke her wrist, but crisis averted), but even that didn't keep this from being one of the best nights of my life. Seriously.

Here is a little peek at one of my all-time fave memories/experiences:

Sweating in the "cheap" seats.  Luckily the clouds came out & the wind came to our rescue. 

 I should note that we had a great view...thanks to the giant screens to the sides of the stage HA!

Even waiting for the show to start was fun!

Only 4 tickets could be bought at a time in the presale, so the sisters sat on their own behind us (next to The Answer Man). 

This is phase #1 of their mood for the evening:  kinda ornery, but surviving.

WAAAAHH!!  Paul is definitely not dead!  He sounded great, and danced around a lot!!! 

I was amazed & completely thrilled.  I love him, yeah yeah yeah!

His favorite sign in the crowd said, "Paul, you're in Utah...Marry us!"  He loved it.

Phase #2:  Getting excited & actually having fun.

I can honestly say that this is the first time I can ever remember seeing my dad dance...

let alone with the whole family, and for hours at a time!  Classic.

You can't see my mom's whole face, but can't you just feel how much fun she's having

by the look in her eye?!

Pretty sure I'm singing Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da at this exact moment.

Singing along with Paul Mc-freaking-Cartney!!!

Phase #3:  Singing and dancing - I love it, now!

*got fancy and put this video from my camera on youtube because blogger was being lame*
FYI:  I'm completely aware that my camera sucks.

My personal favorite moment of the night:  Hey Jude.

I may have cried just a little.  But they were happy tears.

Mom & Dad, holding hands while listening to their song (the one that was playing when they first said

"I love you" while they were dating) Let it be, being sung live, by the very Beatle who wrote it. 

Now, that's romantic.

This was when we thought the show was over...before his TWO encores!

Can you believe that people actually left before that?  Idiots. 

I don't know if I've ever smiled, clapped, screamed, sang, danced, and felt as much pure joy as much as I did at this concert. 

It was amazing.  AMAZING.

A completely unforgettable night with my parents.  It meant so so so much to me!

Thanks, fam!  This was seriously like a dream.

Dream. Come. True.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Freedom...I love it!

...Independence Day 2010...

We started a new tradition  this year & woke up for the West Point 5K & 2-Mile Walk.

Richard ran & I walked with my mom, dad & sister Chelsea Bug.

My dad & I came in 3rd for our age groups.

If Richard had registered for the race he would've taken 2nd in his age group. 

Way to run your guts out, baby!

A medal isn't the only thing I won...

Take a look at my brand new Huffy Cruiser bike that I won in the raffle!!! 

I named it Freedom.  Cheesy, I know.

She's a one speed, but I love her still.  Took her for a spin on Sunday & felt like a kid again. 

This is how much Chelsea loves the West Point Parade.

We all love the parade, actually. 

Richard literally fought little kids for the candy that was thrown into the street.

Look at my dad's face.

This is "our spot" at the white church.  Usually my dad sits up in the back of his truck, but he came down

from his throne to watch the festivities w/ us this year.

Jan's favorite part is the fly-over of the jets. 

She gets right in the middle of the street and screams when they pass us.  Literally.

She's just like a kid & I love it!

My two favorite parts of the parade:

1. Old Naked Guy.

Look up in the right window.  This guy watches the parade from his window every year, w/out a shirt.

He's probably wearing pants, but its much funnier to joke that he's naked!

This year he had a lady friend w/ him!

Kudos, Old Naked Guy!

2. West Point's very own Uncle Sam.

I don't know who this guy is, but I look forward to seeing him each year on his tractor, in the same shirt,

with the same hat, the beard, and his jolly grin! 

It really is like Christmas in July.

I love the 4th of July, mostly because of my family's traditions.

It was such a wonderful day!

I get really frustrated and disheartened with politics & politicians (in both political parties), but I love this country.  I hope someday everyone can work together to make things better rather than get caught up in their own ambitions.

Thanks to all of the men & women who serve this country to make our traditions possible!

Growing up?

All growing up I never got along with my cousin Dayne.  Not really sure why, but now I'm just chalking it up to us hating each other because we thought each other had cooties.  This lasted all through our teen years, too (when I'm pretty sure all he wanted to do was hook up with my friends on the sky-ride at Lagoon every time his family came to visit).  Like I said, I'm not sure why, but the summer that he got married (which is the summer that I got married, too) we finally decided to bury the hatchet.  I flew with my mom down to Texas for his wedding, and he and his wife Jessica came up for ours, even though she was great with child!  Leaps and bounds from where we were when we were so young and immature, right?...

Dayne, Jessica, their kids & the rest of Dayne's family came up for a short visit last weekend & we had a ball!  You could say we're "growing up" now that we've gotten over our little feud, but you could probably still say we're little kids at heart, too. 

Here's the fam, just hanging out & waiting for dinner.

That's my dad's designated seat on Shirl's patio - he's perfected the art of falling asleep in that lawn chair.

Dayne's little boy, Kayson, loved the bubble machine!

And I loved watching him try to avoid swallowing them!

Cutie Patutie.

Dayne's wife Jessica with their little girl Shawnee.

The feud may be over with Dayne, but I'm pretty sure Jess is my new favorite cousin!

We watched a chick flick and then went to TX Roadhouse and stuffed our gourds with rolls &

cinnamon-butter.  She's a girl after my own heart.

Richard played hoops with Kayson.

Or should I say, Kayson didn't let him stop playing hoops for the longest time!

I was ok with that - husband playing w/ kids?  Eat your heart out. 

I love him.

Yep.  That is a Beauty & the Beast Pull-Up on my sister's head.

I put it there, but she's the one that left it there.

What a big kid!

Proof that we made it the whole weekend w/out killing each other...and we didn't even have to try!

I had so much fun with Dayne, and getting to know Jess & the kids - I love love love them!

Don't worry, we're already making plans to visit them in Texas.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kiss my pASS!

Ten years ago I started a love affair that is still going strong today.  Don't worry, I'm just talking about

volleyball.  My best friends talked me in to starting the sport, I met most of my other besties playing in high

 school, and many of my very favorite memories took place on the court or on our way to an out-of-state tournament.

Its been TEN YEARS (yikes!) since we started playing, and we still jump at any chance we can find to play this mud volleyball tournament we heard about in South Ogden.  That's right, I said mud volleyball.

This was probably one of the most fun we've ever played, for sure.  Our team name, KISS MY PASS!,

 was the brain child of Ceara.  And yes, she had mud in her teeth.  We missed Kaycee, Petey, and Veigel,

 but we'll definitely be doing this again. 

Thanks girls, this is another memory for the books!