Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Alaskan Cruise

Warning: Long Post Ahead! I have been asked a lot about our cruise, and the wait is over. Please know this is just a small sampling of stories and pictures. I am trying to compile and video/picture montouge, but it is taking some time to sort through nearly 4 gigs of pics. I will definately post it when I get it done. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy a small sampling of Alaska!

We all flew into the Seattle Airport Friday, September 13 and stayed in a hotel that evening. We boarded the boat Saturday around 2:30pm. They immediately sent us up to the dining room to eat. Really, we didn't stop eating until we got off the boat the following Saturday. I think I gained all my weight back in about one week!
Before we could set sail, they had to do a safety drill. We all had to go to our cabins, grab our life jackets, and meet in our designated areas for further instructions. I sure got a kick out of everyone!
The second day was spent just sailing. Matt and I got acquainted with the ship and found all sorts of really cool things! There was a gift shop (with extremelly overpriced items), a cinema, giant chess board, and even a driving range! I think my favorite thing on the entire trip was the amazing, breathtaking views we had! The first night we were graced with an awe inspiring sunset (really, the only sunset on the entire cruise. There was a lot of fog!) Our first port was Ketchikan, Alaska. The girls went shopping, and the boys went Salmon fishing. (FYI the girls are my Grams, my Mom and myself. Boys=Matt, my Grampy, step-dad Chris, brother Drew). Between the four of them, they caught 9 salmon! The most any boat caught all day! We had Matt's salmon shipped home and I am definatly looking forward to a fish fry!

We docked next in Juneau, where Matt and I took a tour of Mendenhall, Glacier. Talk about beautiful scenery!! I remember telling Matt while we were here that I can't understand how anyone can see this beauty and not believe in Heavenly Father, or at least a creator. Everything is perfectly set in its place!
From Juneau we went to Skagway, which was one of the huge gold mining town during the 1800s. We took a train ride, and again, stunning scenery! Waterfalls coming right out of the mountains, leaves just beginning to turn, trees everywhere! Absolutely incredible! I cannot find words to desribe what I felt and the beauty we were able to partake of!

Our last port was Prince Rupert, Canada. My parents, Matt and I went whale watching, something I have wanted to do my entire life! Humpback whales came as close as 30 feet from our boat! It was an incredible experience!
And a little known fact about me is my obsession and love for lighthouses. (I picked this up from one of my roomies in college). I decided my dream is to someday live in and manage one. What a fantasy!
Our last day was spent at sea, meaning we sailed all day. We got off in Seattle and flew home. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Everyone on the ship was so friendly and nice. The service was impeccable! When you left your cabin in the morning you turned the sign outside to read, "Make up Cabin," and housecleaning staff came in to make your bed, give you fresh towels, and tidy up the place. Before going in for the evening you turned the sign to read "Turn down Cabin" and the same staff came in and put the next days itinerary out on the bed with little mints and occasionally a little towel animal! I felt like royalty! There are appoximately 1,000 staff that so professionally take care of all the guests. I am forever in debt to my grandparents for their kindness and generosity for taking us all on the cruise. It was the experience of a lifetime!!

Stay tuned for more! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy 4th Anniversary!!

Today celebrates our 4th Anniversary! It doesn't seem like it has been that long at all! I am so grateful for a husband who loves me and cares for me, and not to mention is so good looking!! My favorite movie is Everafter, and I quote is all the time, but I particularly enjoy the part where the Prince is speaking to Da Vinci about finding your perfect mate:
Henry: Do you really think there is only one perfect mate?
Leonardo da Vinci: As a matter of fact, I do.
Henry: Well then how can you be certain to find them? And if you do find them, are they really the one for you or do you only think they are? And what happens if the person you're supposed to be with never appears, or, or she does, but you're too distracted to notice?
Leonardo da Vinci: You learn to pay attention.
I am so glad Matt paid attention!! It took him awhile, but I am so glad he did. When I got the job in Colorado, I called my home teacher (Matt) to tell him I was going to go to the Temple to pray about it. He asked if he could come, and while I was pouring my heart out to Heavenly Father about moving, Matt was next to me pouring his heart out about me. I am so grateful that my husband is so close to the Lord and he learned early on to listen to the still small voice! I am grateful for Matt and all he is, and all he will become. I love him dearly! Happy Anniversary!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I am so very excited (and nervous) to be leaving! We are flying to Seattle and from Seattle we will board the Norwegian Star for our Alaskan Cruise! I am very excited, and I have to admit, a little nervous. I always get knots in my stomach when I have to get on a plane and leave my home for any period of time. But I know things will be great!! I am excited to spend the week with my hubby and my family and not worry about work or bills or anything else! I hope you all have a great week and I can't wait to post pictures of the trip! See ya soon! Sending my love across the ocean!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I love my nieces to pieces!

Thank you again for your continued prayers and love! We are doing okay. Everyday brings something different, but we try to put our trust in the Lord and in His plan.
In the midst of the craziness, I didn't get an opportunity to share our Labor Day weekend! It was amazing! We were going to go camping, but completely spaced making reservations until Thursday night. Wouldn't ya know, everything was booked! We called up Matt's brother, Ben and his cute wife, Angela, and asked permission to "kidnap" the babies. They were happy for a weekend of peace and we were beyond ecstatic for a weekend with the girls! We did as much as we could possibly squeeze into one day.
Reagan and Hannah on one of our breaks. It was soo hot!!

The entire time, Reagan kept saying she wanted to see the giraffes. They were at the very end!

Her other favorite was the lions! She repeated, "The Daddy lion has flies on his nose."

Matt told me I had to post this one...what else can I say?

There were some bongo drums and the girls absolutely loved them!!

No Aunt/Uncle day is complete without a trip to McDonalds! (I forgot my camera in the car for this part) but the girls were absolutely adorable! I could watch them play for hours.

It was such a warm day we wanted to play in the water, so we drove across town to Southlands Mall to play, but neither of them were too terribly set on the water idea. I definitely got more wet than they did!

For a nice ending to the day we had ice cream. The girls were so incredibly adorable! There was ice cream EVERYWHERE!!

My favorite part of the day was bath time, and bedtime stories and singing my little girls to sleep. They are the lights of my life and I am so blessed to have two little nieces who I love to pieces!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Tao (or way) of Life

Questioning why doesn't work. Feeling guilty doesn't either. I need to let it all go and just be. I teach a class in massage therapy school called Acupressure. You may be familiar with its brother, Acupuncture. Very similar, just without the needles. We study a philosophy called Taoism (Dow-ism), which interpreted best into English means "The Way, The One, The Absolute." Taosim is very hard to explain, but to me in my life, it is a way of finding true happiness, a way of just "being" present in the moment. It is a thought that things are just the way they are for a reason, even if we do not understand why. (Sounds a lot like Gospel principles to me!!)

So, that is where I am today. I have been doing some fertility testing. Well, I needed to wait until I got my monthly cycle to go back in and get another round of tests. I kept waiting and counting days, and nothing came, and then after being about a week late, I started having cramps. Cramps, for me, is the first sign my cycle is going to be starting within 24 hours. I cramped for three days without any bleeding. I made Matt buy a "pee on a stick" (aka pregnancy test) and we were both ecstatic when it came out positive! After doing the math, we found out we were about six weeks along. Last night I started bleeding, so I put a call into the doc and was able to get in this afternoon. I had an ultrasound and found nothing. The "tissue" (as they call it; I still call it my baby) had miscarried. I will need to wait for everything to come out naturally (which really stinks with my cruise coming up in 2 weeks) but at least now I know.

Of course, I question. Why? Am I not worthy? What did I do wrong? Why can a teenager have sex once and be pregnant? I am trying not to do that. We have been praying to Heavenly Father that "thy will be done," so I feel some semblance of comfort from knowing that He has a greater plan, even if I don't understand right now. It will be a couple of months before we can continue on with testing,but it will all work out. It has to! Writing has been a huge form of therapy today, so thank you for listening to my ramblings. Thank you again for your continued prayers. The comfort is truly felt!