Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Book #11: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Title: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Author: Roald Dahl
# of Pages: 176
Genre: Children's Literature

Okay, so I read this book about a hundred times as a kid. But, I recently was horrified to find out that Matt had not, so I ended up sneaking a copy into the car when we were headed home to Bountiful so that I could read it aloud to him.

I won't go into the details of the story here (since I'm assuming most people are at least familiar with the movie), but I will say this: Roald Dahl is probably one of the most brilliant children's book authors of all time. All of his books are a delight to read, whether you're 8 or 88. So if, like Matt, you find yourself in the position of only having seen the movie of this great story, you'd better repent stat and get yourself to a library right this very second.

You're welcome.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Tell-All

*I decided that I might just live with my hair in a topknot all summer long. For a long time, I was too self-conscious to wear my hair pulled back (partly due to the fact that an old ex-boyfriend once told me that he found me unattractive with my hair in a ponytail. Obviously I did not marry him). Anyway, I have since made the executive decision that a topknot will be my hairdo of choice from now on until the hot, muggy days of August when I will become an official teacher and must look more presentably put-together. Until then, prepare yourself for some serious hair-laziness.

*Earlier today, I found Matt seated on the couch, whittling away at a small chunk of pine and watching a show on the history of zombies.

*The last fact is made funnier if you could have listened in on a conversation last night that occurred between Matt's two older brothers--they literally argued for probably 20 minutes straight on whether a long sword or a Samurai sword would be more effective in staving off a zombie army. Since no conclusion was reached by the end, both parties concluded that they would re-adjourn the meeting when both of them had been able to find sufficient evidence to prove his point. It was finally decided that both would write a two-page paper, find appropriate Youtube videos, and possibly create a Power Point by the next meeting and that the rest of the family would then judge who was more correct.

*I am not kidding.

*On other topics, I finally got my car registered today. You want to know the best part about having an old clunker car? The fact that I only had to pay $56 to register it.

*The worst part about having a clunker car? I had to pay over $200 in repairs so that it would pass its safety inspection. Oh well.

*Matt has put in The Glass House so that he'll have something to distract himself while he continues to carve away at his wood piece. This movie is freaky-deaky, even in broad daylight. Yikes.

*Yesterday I went with my friend Kayla to the gym for about 2.5 hours so that we could get a headstart on burning off all the calories we knew we'd be eating later that day. While there, I came to a most definite conclusion: I think that in order to qualify to be a Zumba instructor, you need to be a little bit insane. It's like they must have them pass a perkiness test or something. Don't get me wrong--I love Zumba (and the instructors)--they're all just a little crazy is all I'm saying. One of the ones in our class was making higih-pitched, off-harmony whooping sounds the whole time. True story.

*I discovered something about myself this past week--when I create a to-do list, I always get more done than when I don't write down anything at all. Is anyone else the same way?

*Another thing about to-do lists is that it usually takes me two weeks to complete what I set out to do in one. At least it gets done though, right?

*Anyway, this movie is creeping me out, and I have to go get ready to go visiting teaching. Hope you all have a lovely Tuesday!

Memorial Day Weekend

Matt and I just made it back to Logan after spending the perfect Memorial Day weekend with our families in Bountiful. It was everything the weekend should have been:

We paid our respects to our departed loved ones, and we heard about how my grandma visited the cemetery every year with her family growing up (she said it was the only day in the entire year that her dad ever dressed up in a suit). She also pointed out that everyone visited the cemetery on Memorial Day--"it was just what people did."

I like that.

I think everyone should still do that today.

(Obviously we still need to work on the wearing-a-suit part.)

 Then we spent the rest of the weekend at family barbecues, playing Settlers of Catan, and catching up with old friends.

I will also take this moment to point out that I, yes I, won no fewer than THREE games of Settlers in a row.

Just saying.

Oh, the happiness of being surrounded by the people I love, in a country that offers me liberty and protection. How grateful I am for the sacrifices of so many so that I could enjoy such luxuries.

Hope your Memorial Day was just as splendid!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book #10: Persuasion

Title: Persuasion
Author: Jane Austen
# of Pages: 150
Genre: Classic/Romance

When I was a bit younger, I was in the habit of reading anywhere from 5-15 books at the same time. Basically my system was that I had a different book for every room of the house: I had a book in each bathroom, 2-3 books by my bedside table, a book in the living room, a book to read while waiting for other people to take their turn in board games...well, you get the idea. I think my brain must be shrinking as I get older because I am no longer able to keep track of so many books at once--I have found that old(er) age has pushed me towards more conservative reading habits (aka, the "normal" habit of reading only one book at a time).

However, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I have taken on the daunting task of trying to read the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo (all 1500 pages of it). As you might be able to imagine, that book is huge. And bulky. And it hurts my back, shoulder, knees, and brain when I try to heft it around anywhere with me in my purse. So, as a result, I have taken advantage of the fact that my mom bought me a Nook for Christmas and have been using that to fulfill all my reading-en-route needs (and my reading-while-donating-plasma needs).

Just FYI.

Anyway, I've actually tried to read this book a number of times (not unlike my experience with Great Expectations), and I was never able to make it through it. It's not that I never cared for the story (and what female reader doesn't love Jane Austen?)--it's just that I was always so absorbed in the 12 other books I'd be reading at the same time that I tended to just let Persuasion sit there and gather dust.

But no more. I finally found myself adequately enraptured by the tale of Anne Elliot, a middle child born to a high-ranking (and rather silly) family who let the love of her life go because she was worried about keeping up familial expectations of marrying a rich baron (or someone equal). Almost nine years after that fact, her former sweetheart unexpectedly returns to her social circle, and what follows is the ever-increasing anxiety over whether or not he will fall in love with her all over again and give her another chance.

Persuasion (Austen's last novel) is the story of the effects of time on love and reasoning. Beautifully and simply told, it's a novel that can easily be read in a few lazy summer afternoons. I'm only sorry I didn't give it its fair chance earlier on.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thoughts On Being Rich

I've been thinking a lot about this subject recently; in fact, I had a minor panic attack the other night (not literally, but yeah) because I couldn't seem to stop thinking about money. Even though the fact that I actually got a teaching job has brought on an enormous amount of relief, it did, however, make things a little bit harder as far as money goes for the summer. Since we have so many vacations/family events going on this summer, it would be extremely difficult to find a job that would allow me to have sufficient time off; therefore, Matt and I have decided that I won't take a job this summer. And since Matt had to quit his job a couple weeks ago for school, you can perhaps imagine a small amount of the stress we've been feeling about our financial situation for the next couple months.

A couple nights ago, I worked myself up into a bit of a tizzy over some money particulars, and I found myself throwing a minor pity party over how unfortunate it was that I couldn't buy all these things that I wanted/needed. That same night, I got a major headache (probably from all my stressing out), and I really didn't feel like making dinner. So Matt and I scraped together a bunch of change that Matt had in his car and went out for Wendy's. Afterwards, I found myself relentlessly beating myself up over the $5 that we could have better spent somewhere else. And then, as I took my car in to Jiffy Lube to get a safety inspection done, I discovered that there were several repairs that I needed to make before I could register it.

I was freaking out--the numbers just wouldn't crunch, and I had no idea how everything would work out.

Then I had a bit of a breakthrough.

I was looking through some of my old pictures, and I came across these photos of the first place I ever lived in El Salvador. I remember that the house had very few pieces of furniture, lizards in the bathroom, and absolutely no hot water to speak of. And I was in the one of the nicer houses in the mission.

As I further reflected, I remembered how 99% of the people from my mission wouldn't have ever been able to afford a meal at Wendy's, and how many of them wondered on a daily basis where their next meal was coming from. There was one man who lived entirely on the mercy of his neighbor and the bounty of green beans and lemons growing outside of his dirt home.

And there I was, freaking out that I couldn't buy a pair of new running shoes or drink all the Dr. Pepper I want.

And then it hit me: even as "poor" as I might feel compared to many other people around here, I am richer than most of the world:

I have running water (both hot and cold!) that is clean, fresh, and abundant.

I never really have to wonder where my next meal is coming from. Even though I might not dine on steak every night, I am never in doubt that I will have enough to fill my stomach.

I live in a relatively bug-free apartment with carpet, tiled floors, and painted walls. I enjoy the luxury of air conditioning when I'm too hot, and heat when I'm too cold.

I own my own car that is paid off and takes me where I need to go.

I completed a college education that will give me far more opportunities than many people will ever have.

I have a cell phone, working laptop, and DVD player, not to mention an iPod, television, Nook, washer/dryer, and numerous kitchen and other electronic appliances that make my life easier and more enjoyable.

And, most of all, I have a husband and family who love me, the light of the gospel in my life, and the blessing of health.

I could keep on going, but I guess what I wanted to say was this: although I might feel poor some of the time, I am more rich than most people will ever be.

I'm not writing this post to draw attention to our situation or make people feel sorry for us--rather, I just want to remember this time of our lives, and how it built our faith and our love for each other. I hope that one day, when I am able to go out to Wendy's without worry, I will look back and remember this time with fondness.

Truly, I am one rich girl.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My First Teaching Job!!!

Well, it's happened--even though the teaching job market looked incredibly bleak and I had almost given up hope, I did end up interviewing with three different schools and actually got job offers from all three. So the past few days have been filled with pros and cons lists and a lot of soul-searching, but I have finally decided on the school:

You are now looking (theoretically) at the new 7th grade English teacher at Harris Intermediate School in Tremonton!

I couldn't be more excited--the staff have been incredibly welcoming, and I feel so blessed that they seem as eager to get me as a teacher as I am to work there. I came very close to accepting a job offer from a school that was much closer, but in the end, I went with what my gut told me: at Harris, I would be able to have more flexibility with my lesson planning, the teachers I would be closely working with really respect my opinions and seem excited to see what ideas I have to offer, and I would probably have a much greater chance of really making an impact in students' lives.  And in the end, those are three of the most important things to me.

So even though I'll have a much greater commute (almost 40 minutes, meaning I'll have to leave around 6 every morning), I felt like I needed to go with the school where I would grow the most as a person and as an educator.

So watch out, kids---mwa ha ha!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekend With Chelsee

Since Matt and I live in a small-ish valley about an hour and a half away from family and where we both grew up, we often aren't graced with much company.

However, occasionally some of our friends from Bountiful (or elsewhere) will take mercy on us in our lonely and forgotten married state and come visit.

This weekend, we were lucky to play host and hostess to my friend Chelsee from high school (who also happened to be the photographer for our wedding). I was so excited to have her come up, and we had a fabulous times watching movies, going out to eat, and even helping out with a local service project. My favorite part, however, was when she agreed to go on a little photo walk with me. As you know, she's a brilliant photographer, and it was way fun to learn some tips and tricks of the trade (and finally learn a little more about how my camera operates).

We loved having you, Chelsee! Come again soon!

(These two photos below by Chelsee--I've been tring forever to get a good spiderweb shot, and she nailed it on her first try!) 

(The two photos below are mine--we spent a lot of our walk talking about different lighting effects. She really opened my eyes so that I now look at the lighting in my shots way more than I did before--thanks a ton, Chelsee!)

 And, just because I can't resist, check out how amazing these crepes look! Oh, how I love Angie's (a local diner that we frequent a lot). I'd never tried these before, and I was definitely impressed.

A very sweet weekend, indeed!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Here's What's Cooking...Strawberry Popovers

If you are on the lookout for the perfect treat that combines the summery flavor of strawberries with the luxurious taste of cream, then look no further, friends---you have just found your new favorite recipe. Matt and I first made these popovers last summer when all the strawberries started to come on sale, and these popovers will now forever remind me of the first magical month of summer: the joy of being able to expect sunlight every day, the pleasure of fresh produce, and the delight of being surrounded by people you love (who are subsequently much less stressed out due to the laidback nature of the summer months).

Seriously, these popovers are our new favorite thing ever. Matt can pop down four in one sitting and still want more. The best part? They're super easy, and relatively quick.

Here's to summer!

Strawberry Popovers (from Taste of Home's Prize-Winning Recipes 2007)

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh chopped strawberries
4-1/2 tsp. shortening

4 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in the strawberries (I actually like beating the strawberries in so the cream takes on a lovely pink color). Cover and refrigerate until serving. (I think it saves a lot of time if you actually make the popovers first and then make the cream while they're baking in the oven).

Using 1/2 teaspoon shortening for each cup, grease the bottom and sides of nine popover cups (muffin tins work just fine, and the recipe will make more popovers. I also just used Pam cooking spray and the popovers came out just fine). In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs; beat in milk. Add the flour, sugar, and salt; beat until smooth (do not overbeat). Fill prepared cups half full.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 15 minutes longer or until very firm (you've got to watch them closely--sometimes you'll need to take them out much sooner). Immediately cut a slit in the top of each popover to allow steam to escape. Spoon strawberry filling into popovers (we just keep the filling in the fridge and scoop it onto the popover right before we're about to eat it--in other words, we don't store the popovers filled). Serve immediately.

Yield: 9 servings (or about 15, if you use a muffin tin)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book #9: The Tiger's Wife

Title: The Tiger's Wife
Author: Tea Obreht
# of Pages: 338
Genre: Magical Realism/Realistic Fiction

As you may already know, I have great aspirations to someday write a novel. That "someday" has yet to be translated into actual, daily writing, which is why I have made little progress in my goal.

Tea Obreht, on the other hand, is my same age (twenty-five) and has already published her first novel to wide acclaim, her book having snagged the coveted Orange Prize, been a National Book Award Finalist, and landed itself on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Obreht, in other words, has made me feel like somewhat of a failure.

But all my (slight) jealousy aside, I really loved this book. I'm also trying to still figure out this book, but I'll get to that part in a second.

The Tiger's Wife tells the story of Natalia, a young doctor in the middle of a Balkan war-torn country, and the way in which she must deal with the grief of her grandfather's passing while in the midst of a medical rescue mission. Her grandfather, a well-known physician himself, had contracted a terminal illness, a fact that only Natalia and her grandfather shared. When her grandfather mysteriously sneaks off to an unknown village in the middle of nowhere and meets his end, Natalia is left to try and piece together the mystery that remains.

Two mythical-sounding tales pervade the whole mystery of the book--the story of the deathless man and how her grandfather chanced to encounter him on three separate occasions, and the story of the tiger's wife, which Natalia only discovers after his death. Natalia also strives to find out how Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book factors into the mystery, as her grandfather had carried a well-worn copy of it with him wherever he went.

Although the book jumped around a lot (and subsequently made it a little difficult to follow at times), I was captivated immediately by the rich descriptions and the almost-magical feel to the book. Even though the book never lapses entirely into magical realism, themes of myth and lore and truth and fiction are interwoven throughout the whole thing. It is a rare book indeed that leaves me puzzling over it for days (perhaps months) after--and this is definitely one of those books.

Just to give you a quick glimpse into the beautiful prose, here's a short excerpt:

"Eventually, my grandfather said: 'You must understand, this is one of those moments.'
"'What moments?'
"One of those moments you keep to yourself,' he said.
"'What do you mean?' I said. 'Why?'
"'We're in a war,' he said. 'The story of the war--dates, names,who started it, why--that belongs to everyone. Not just the people involved in it, but the people who write newspapers, politicians thousands of miles away, people who've never even been here or heard of it before. But something like this--this is yours. This belongs only to you. And me. Only to us."

If you're looking for a captivating story and a bit of a challenge to wake up your summer mind, then check this out. I promise you won't regret it.

My Rating: 5 stars

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday Tell-All

*We got some more marathon pictures back from our parents, and I am totally not even kidding when I say that I'm going through this phase where I really am having a hard time believing that that was really me in all those photos. My favorite part about most of them is that I look pretty happy and content in the ones from the first half (see above) and that I look like I'm about to die/throw up/pass out in all the rest (unfortunately for you, I didn't post those ones. On purpose). There were actually professional photographers taking pictures throughout the whole race, and they got some pretty cool ones (and some pretty gross ones). Too bad it would cost an eye and a leg to actually purchase them, eh?

*In other news, I had a teaching job interview this morning, and I have another one tomorrow with a different school district. I'm also still waiting to hear back from an interview I had about a week and a half ago. It all is rather exciting, but it's making me feel like I'm in a constant state of nervousness and anticipation, mixed with perhaps the slightest shade of panic--it's gotten so bad that I feel as giddy as a middle schooler every time the phone rings...

*One really sweet thing about the interview today though was that they bought me lunch (and they invited Matt to come along for the meal, too). I've felt good about both schools I've interviewed with so far, and I'm excited to see what happens tomorrow. The thing I love most about interviewing for new jobs is that it makes me realize more and more concretely how each new job is a door of opportunity that could very well determine the rest of my life.

*The bad thing about interviewing for jobs? I actually have to decide which door to go through. Oh decisions, how I hate you sometimes...

*Matt and I have been playing Hand and Foot for hours and hours the past few days to try and get my mind off the interviews. It has mildly helped. It's also helped that we've been rewatching old seasons of Psych while we're at it and working our way through that six-pack of Dr. Pepper I bought over the weekend.

*I'm debating on whether or not I want to bite the proverbial carrot that is The Bachelorette--I was so utterly disappointed by the ending of The Bachelor that I swore I would never indulge in such nonsense again. But now, with the seasons of Biggest Loser and Once Upon a Time over, I'll admit that I'm feeling a little bit of a void in my life. To watch or not to watch, that is my question...

*Meanwhile, in all my spare time, I did manage to be mildly productive: I finished reading The Tiger's Wife yesterday (and am still trying to wrap my brain around it--review to follow soon), and I have decided to attempt to take on the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo--all 1200 pages of it (or something like that). We'll see if this is the year that I finish both Great Expectations and The Count of Monte Cristo--wouldn't that be a miracle? I certainly think so.

*Matt and I went out and played tennis last week for the first time in a long time. Let's just say this: I swear that I did, once upon a time, beat Matt almost as much as he beat me. However, it appears that those days are now irrefutably over, as I think I only won two (maybe three games) out of about fifteen. Boo.

*Last week, we decided to take a small road trip out to the Pepperidge Farm and Fat Boy factories (partly because we remembered how glorious it was the last time we went). Our road trip was only destined for disappointment, though--prices had risen so much at both places that we decided it was probably not worth it to ever go back. However, after enjoying several Fat Boys from our well-stocked freezer, I think we might just sometimes make a tiny exception when it comes to the Fat Boy factory (Pepperidge Farm is out for good though). Bulk goldfish crackers and 49-cent Milano cookie packages, you were sure good while you lasted.

*Surprisingly, I don't think I have much else to add. Apparently the lack of job and big milestones in my life tend to equal the all-too-familiar writer's block. Guess you'll just have to tell me what you've been up to so I can live vicariously through your exciting life...

(Here we are at the finish line--it's appropriate, see, because you have now reached the end of this post. Tee hee.)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

To My Mother

Dear Mom,

How could I ever express in words the gratitude that I owe you, the very person who brought me into existence here on this earth? And how could I ever express my thankfulness that not only did you give me life, but that you gave me the very best life I could have ever hoped for--

You have shown me by your stalwart example what it means to be a woman of faith, no matter what adversity comes to me in life.

You have shown me how to be selfless through your continuing example of making sacrifices for me and always putting others before yourself.

You allowed me to make my own mistakes in life, but never allowed me to stray so far as to make them unfixable.

You have shown me what it means to be a respectable, honest, involved citizen who is moral, service-oriented, and neighborly.

You have shown me how to be frugal, resourceful, and to always live within my means.

You continue to teach me new things every day, as I reflect back on your example and as I continue to call you whenever I'm in need.

Most of all, you taught me how to love, and you taught me what a mother's love is all about.

If I become half of the mother to my children that you were to me, Mom, I will be one happy woman indeed.

I love you forever and ever,


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Solo Date

Sometimes when Matt is in an Angry Birds kind of mood and I'm in a let's-go-outside kind of mood, I'll take a little drive to get myself out of the house.

More often than not, that drive takes me to the grocery store.

This time, it (also) took me to a hidden little park that I've never noticed before, right across the highway from our favorite photo stop.

And sometimes on my solo dates, I like to do a little swinging action--just like the good ol' elementary days (complete with dramatic jump-off when I'm tired).

 And sometimes, my solo dates surprise even me just a little:

Like today, when I found this secret little waterfall.

If it wasn't surrounded by bees, I probably would have just cozied up on a rock and stayed there all afternoon.

Lucky for Matt (who by the time I got home was tired of Angry Birds), I didn't stay too long.

And now I'm off to go teach Matt a little Hand & Foot with the Rook cards I conveniently bought on the first half of my solo date.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekend Survival Kit

You'd think I was in some kind of serious, feminine-hormone-driven crisis judging by what I just picked up from the store on my way back from donating plasma.

But no--I just have a couple hours before Matt is due home from work, and I'm in the mood for some serious guilty-pleasuring.

Hope your weekend is fabulous, too :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday Tell-All

*I don't know exactly how it happened, but all of a sudden, everything in the entire world is GREEN. One minute I was taking my runs amidst bare trees and muddy parking lots, and now I'm marveling at all the shade that I now so desperately need as I take my 4-mile runs. I love the changing seasons. (Except, of course, when that season is changing to winter--I don't think I'll ever like that.)

*This morning, Matt and I caught a matinee showing of The Avengers with the anniversary money we got from my grandma. It's the weirdest thing--usually I'm not a big superhero-movie fan (I outright hated Iron Man), but I have loved Thor, Captain America, and now The Avengers. I don't know what it is that makes these particular superhero movies so much more appealing to me, but I'll take it. (I somehow think that the fact that I was on my honeymoon the first time I watched Thor might have something to do with it.) Have you seen The Avengers yet?

*Matt and I collectively decided that a Tuesday noon-time showing is the perfect time to go catch a popular movie. We'd gone last night to go see it, but it was sold out by the time we got there a mere 20 minutes before showtime. I've been sensing a pattern here lately--first, there was our unpopulated, almost-uninterrupted hike up to the Wind Caves yesterday, and now the half-empty movie theater. Might it be because other people actually have jobs and school and lives going on at that hour? Shocking.

*After we caught the movie, Matt actually did have to go off to work, but I had decided previously to just run home from the movie theater, since it's only about 4 miles away from the house, and I've needed to get back on the running horse (figuratively speaking, of course), especially since I was miserably sick all last week with a mind-numbing head cold. So run on home I did, and boy was I regretting it about 3 miles in, when I was dying in the 80-degree heat, and my tongue thought it would never see the light of water again.

*Sometimes I wonder if I really did run that marathon. It all just seems too incredible to be real sometimes.

*Since the movie was sold out last night, we made a little pit stop at the grocery store to pick up some chocolate and a movie we could watch at home, and I decided that I just HAD to buy a little plant for my container garden that has been sitting so lonely and bare in front of my house since fall. Remember this His/Hers post from last year? Well, I think I'll be doing an update here on those little gardens here on the bloggie right quick...

*Since I'm now the leader over all the young women in the ward, I had a nice little surprise during my orientation meeting last week: I'm going to girls' camp at the end of July. Eeeek! I'm WAYYY too excited about it...

*So last year, I did my Before/After post for when I lost 10 pounds, right? And then I said that I still had a little ways to go before I got down to my pre-Freshman-15 weight? Well, I am happy to report that I'm almost there. And even though I'm actually pretty darn happy with the shape I'm in right now, I might just be doing a "Hey, I finally reached my Ideal Weight" post. I just thought that was pretty cool. That's all.

*Matt's last day at the beef plant is this Friday, and even though it means that neither one of us will be working (until I find a teaching job, that is), I'm really excited for him. Although I will be sad to see the end of these funny posts on his blog...

*Speaking of jobs, I had a job interview last week with this all-boys prep school down in Brigham City. Even though it would be a major challenge, I would be totally thrilled if I got it. Keep your fingers crossed for me, will ya?

*Man, these posts just seem to get longer and longer every week. What's been going on with you lately?

(picture of me at the Wind Caves yesterday--such a fun day!)

Anniversary Picnic

For our anniversary yesterday, Matt made the excellent suggestion that we take a picnic lunch up the canyon and enjoy a nice hike in the great outdoors. Besides being kind of romantic, it was also free (therefore making it the perfect date).

Last summer, we went to this place in City Hall that has all these brochures and travel guides for tourists coming through. We, being firm believers of the staycation, milked the place for all it was worth and walked out with a massive paper load that closely resembled all of Matt's textbooks stacked on top of each other. We finally put all these brochures to good use yesterday, when we realized we had no idea where any good hikes were in Logan, despite my having lived here for 7 years.

We finally decided on the Wind Caves, a short 4-mile hike (round trip) that ends in these gorgeous, triple-arch, wind-formed caves that provide the perfect amount of shade for a handpacked little picnic lunch.

And the bonus? Since we went on a Monday morning when most people have work and all their kids are in school, we pretty much had the place (almost) to ourselves.

What a great day!

For anyone in the Logan area who's looking for a great hike, I highly recommend this one. It's a little steep, but the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the delicate arches of the caves at the end make the whole thing worth it.

Happy anniversary to us!
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