Monday, August 20, 2012

Breckenridge, CO!!!

Saturday, August 11
We woke up bright and early at 0300 hours to get a head start on our 12 hour drive to Colorado! We wanted to make sure the kids slept through a lot of the drive, but check-in to our cabin wasn't until 4, so early morning it was! We loaded up the kiddos and dogs, then swung by to pick up Laura. She caught the beautiful desert sunrise from the front seat 4 hours in. Us kids in the backseat were busy dreaming of the mountains :)

Annabelle and Michael did amazingly well! I came prepared with lots of snacks, games, new puzzles, and books. We kept each other entertained and the excitement of a new adventure was heavy in the car air :)

The pups were especially happy that Laura came along :)

After arriving in Breckenridge and making a trip to the grocery store to stock up for the week, we finally made it to the cabin, or should I say, mammoth of a cabin! As we were trying to find which cabin was ours, while driving through the neighborhood, we turned the corner to find this huge mansion towering over us. I said, "Wow! What if that one is ours!" We looked at the house number and sure enough, it WAS ours! We all started screaming (well maybe just Laura and I did :) We couldn't wait to get out of the car and explore!

We settled in and waited for the others to arrive. We were meeting up with Shanam's parents and 10 of their Oklahoma friends from when Shanam was just a boy. Two years ago we met them all in Telluride, CO for a week and this year they chose Breckenridge for a reunion. We had been looking forward to this week from the time they booked the cabin, 8 months ago :) And, boy, was it a happy reunion. Two years ago, I was pregnant with Annabelle and now this year we brought along not just 1 kid, but 2 :) They all loved seeing the kids and immediately adopted them as their own grandchildren. Although, no one could ever replace GranEllen and GranTim :) 

 Shanam somehow picked up a flu bug and was flat on his back for the first day!! Such a bummer! (But don't worry, he bounced back pretty quick and was out 4 wheeling the next day :) While he stayed home, Laura and I loaded up the kids and we headed out for a hike with the rest of the group. It was a gentle, little hike that started out on a neat bike trail, but then led us up to a small lake in the woods. It was a great beginning hike to get us acclimated to the altitude. It was wonderful to be out in nature and the kids loved it!

Shanam was feeling a little better after a rough night, so we decided to take it easy and hop in the 4runner for a little off-roading adventure! Tim and Ellen hopped in theirs and followed behind us. The kids did great! Every time we went over big bumps, Annabelle would ask to do it again and Mikey just slept through most of it :) He did love looking out the windows, though, to watch all the tall trees go by. He normally just sees sky out his window :) Half-way up, we let the dogs out so they could run along the trail beside us. Something I will always remember is Laura, in the front seat, laughing hysterically! I didn't know what was so funny and when I asked, all she could squeeze out through her laughter was, "I'm having fun!" I love that girl :)

We made it to the top of the peaks where we all took pictures at the continental divide. 
The view was beautiful!

On the way home, we took a different route that led is through the town of South Park. 
While stopping to get hot chocolate we couldn't pass up this photo-op :)


Day 4 was the big day! Shanam, Tim, Laura, and Alan set out to climb the tallest mountain in Colorado, Mt. Elbert! This was one of the main reasons Laura came. We have the goal of climbing all the state highpoints. I think this was her fourth or fifth and Shanam's third. I really wanted to go, but couldn't bare to leave Mikey for the whole day while he's still breastfeeding. I'll have a chance to climb it another time :) I woke up early with them to give them a proper send-off. They said the drive to the trail was gorgeous!

The hike climbs 4,000 feet and was pretty steep! 

Here they are at the summit, 14,443 ft!!! They all made it!

They had to be sure to be up and back by the time the afternoon thunderstorms came. 
The weather was wonderful, though, so they got to stay at the peak for about an hour, taking in the views before heading down. Sophie especially loved overlooking the mountains ;)

Poor Laura had a rough time with her knees descending the steep slopes. There was also a bit of a scary adventure on the ride home. While coming back through a mountain off-road trail, the 4runner's brakes gave out! Shanam had to kick it into low gear and use the e-brake the whole way down! So scary!! We were able to meet them at the bottom and the car was towed back to town to be repaired. What a day!

 The three mountain men celebrated their victory with ice cream :)

 Since we had to bring Laura to the Denver airport that night, we decided to make a day of it and visit Boulder during the afternoon.  This is where we eventually want to raise our family, so I was really excited to be able to explore the town! They have a fabulous Waldorf school there and we were able to set up a tour, thanks to Ellen :) The campus is so beautiful and the little classrooms were magical. I hope we get to Boulder in time for Annabelle to attend kindergarten there!

We met up with some friends for dinner at a fabulous Vietnamese restaurant then made our way to the airport after exploring some neighborhoods. 

Once again, Laura captured the brilliant light of the sun :)


What better way to enjoy the beautiful mountain air than on a boat? :) The ride was nice and relaxing, hence both kids fell asleep two minutes after leaving the dock, and our surroundings were breathtaking!

Shanam preferred to get his fill of mountain air by mountain biking with the dogs :) 
He wore them out, but they loved it!

After getting back, we took a little family outing with GranTim and GranEllen. We found a beautiful, green, lush hike. This was probably my favorite time of the whole trip. We weren't rushed, so we could stop and explore whenever Annabelle wanted to. She and Shanam gathered quite the collection of bark and pine needles. The smells of the forest were invigorating and the weather was absolutely perfect. All felt right in the world :)


Time for another hike! The whole group came on this one. Two of the guys had actually lived in a little teepee for almost a year in the area we hiked around. Crazy! We saw where the teepee used to be and where their outhouse still is! We also heard lots of fun stories about back in the day :)

 We stopped and had lunch in a beautiful little clearing. It must have been too slow for Shanam, though, because the next thing I knew, he was bushwhacking it up to the peak in front of us!

Crazy thing, is that it only took him 20 minutes to reach the peak!

Since that wasn't enough of an adventure for him, we decided to take a "shortcut" home, through several mountain passes. We loaded up the car and away we went!

The views were some of the most beautiful views I had ever seen!
The trail was pretty crazy in some parts, but Shanam showed his skill and got us all down the mountain safely. What was supposed to be a shortcut, though, turned into a 3 hour trip. I can't even tell you how happy I was when we finally made it onto smooth ground again!

 We made it home in time for us to get ready for our DATE!! Shanam had made reservations for us at a french restaurant called Le Petit Paris and I was beyond excited! We enjoyed an incredible 2 hour full-course meal and came home to two peacefully sleeping babies. Thank you Tim and Ellen! What a treat :) The food and service were excellent and when we get a chance to go back to Breckenridge, we will definitely make a point to eat there again!

DAY 8 

Before saying good-bye to GranEllen and GranTim we spent some time walking around main street. Such a cute little mountain town! We ate lunch at an organic cafe that had been there for 25 years then hit the road. We drove to Santa Fe and stayed the night before finishing the trip the following day. Phew! What a week! We loved every second!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

Camping in Ruidoso!

Other than the birth of Michael (visit his blog for details on that adventure), our first adventure of the year was over Memorial Day Weekend! The weather was forcasted to be in the 100's here at home and Shanam REALLY didn't want to stay for the three day weekend, so early on in the week he passed the idea by me of going to the mountains. Sure, Mikey was only 4 weeks old, sure, I was still healing from birthing a baby a month ago, sure, we now had a very mobile toddler, but ... how could I say no to the mountains and more importantly, how could I say no to my loving husband who works so hard to provide so much for our family! Despite all the reasons that could have kept us home, it turned out quite well! We had to end our trip early, but it wasn't because of any of those reasons...

We arrived Saturday afternoon and immediately set up our new 8 person tent. It was awesome!!! We had to get a couple shots from each angle just to relish how much space we had. We had one room with Annabelle's pack n' play and our air mattress and the other room held all of our stuff. It was amazing to actually be able to stand up inside! Can you tell I'm happy to be out of our 3 person tent? :)

After we set up, we broke out the snacks (per the little one's
 request) and just sat and enjoyed our surroundings :) I just love the smell of pine trees!

Annabelle had a blast exploring the wonders of a tent and absolutely loved her little space in the pack n' play. Camping was a whole new experience for her this year, because she actually new what was going on :) Mikey did great, as well, for his first time camping. As long as he has mommy's milk and a warm place to sleep, he's a happy camper...literally :)

The fun began during the first night. The kids went down just fine, however, the wind picked up big time!! As I was laying in bed, I could hear when a gust of wind was coming. I would first hear it rushing through the tree tops, then the force would hit our tent so hard and make the loudest sound as our rain flap beat against the tent and our poles groaned and creaked. Each time a gust hit, I pictured the whole tent falling down on top of us! Amazingly, everyone else slept through it just fine. It was only the worried mother hen that got about two hours of sleep. It didn't help that there was a raging party going on outside our tent from about midnight to 3 am that kept Annabelle up. Oy, what a night!

The next day was just as windy. We left our tent that morning and prayed it would still be there when we returned :) For breakfast, we met up with some friends at our favorite restaurant, Log Cabin Restaurant, and then went on a beautiful hike by our campsite. Annabelle loved watching the dogs run around beneath her and Mikey, of course, slept through the whole thing. It was so wonderful to be able to get out and hike in the mountains. My pace was like a snail's, and the "hike" was more like a leisurely stroll through the woods, but I've got to start somewhere :) I didn't want to push myself too hard and get mastitis or something.

The kids were all asleep when we returned to our still-standing tent, so we put everyone down for a nap, including myself :), while Shanam cooked us up some lunch over the fire. A little while later, while we were awake and hiding in the tent from the wind, a HUGE gust came and actually broke one of our poles entirely in half! I was able to catch the tent above me and yell to Shanam to come help. He was able to rig it back up, but that was it for our camping adventure. I was not about to go through another sleepless night in a now broken tent.We packed everything up and headed home :) What a trip! Even though it was short, we were glad we did it.

Friday, March 30, 2012

How I Met Love, Utah Trip, Part 3

Saturday, June 14, 2008

We started the day off right by going to the Salt Lake Temple then touring the Conference Center. It was a gorgeous day and we enjoyed spending time together, ever grateful for the great blessings that God continued to place our lives.

That evening, we met up with a few of my good friends and their husbands/dates and my brother, Drew. Red Robin was Bre and my's favorite restaurant because of their steak fries, so it was a no-brainer as to where we would all meet up. :) Bre was excited to meet Shanam for the first time and I was excited to see that she had asked Mark to be her date for the evening. She and Mark had been good friends for about a year and had just returned from a cruise with all of their friends. By the way she talked about their trip, I new there was a romantic interest and I was glad to be a part of their first "real" date :)

It was so great to get together with everyone and for them to meet Shanam. I felt like each time I introduced him to someone that was important in my life, my attraction and love for him grew. This evening was no different :) 
After dinner, we split off from the group and Bre, Mark, and Drew came with us to the bowling alley for a little friendly competition. 

Drew challenged Shanam to a race. 
If Shanam won he could keep dating me.

He won :)
Thank goodness :)

 Bre always brings out a goofy side of my personality and I loved that I could completely let go and not be afraid of what Shanam would think of me. He not only liked it, but he joined right in, making the night enjoyable for everyone :)

Most importantly, I got the two thumbs up from my best friend :)
She loved him.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How I Met Love, Utah Trip, Part 2

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thanks to Shanam's meeting, I was able to skip out on skiing that day :) He still went skiing early that morning, but then went straight over to his new "friend's" office and spent a couple hours with him. I had told Shanam to call me as soon as he was on his way home.

"Hey, hun. I'm done, but I can't really chat." He said. "I'll see you in a little bit and I'll tell you all about it."

"Oh, okay. I'll see you soon."

I was a little disappointed, but he sounded preoccupied, so I just let it go and focused on getting ready for that evening. He and his family were coming over to meet my family...and not just my immediate family. Since I wasn't able to make it home to visit very often, the whole extended family was invited to come over for dinner. This included my grandmother, my aunt and uncle with their four kids and my other aunt and uncle with their three kids. It was going to be quite the get together!

I was hoping Shanam would come over early so I could get some alone time with him, but he showed up with his parents at the same time my whole family was arriving. This didn't really give us a chance to talk at all and I was starting to feel a little disconnected. I could tell something was on his mind the minute he arrived, but both families were very engaged in introducing themselves and getting to know one another. Shanam and I were of course the "main attraction," so it wasn't until about an hour later that I was finally able to pull him aside.

"Hey, you." I said smiling, as we walked outside to the patio, holding hands.

"Hey, hun." He said, pulling me in for a tight hug.

"That wasn't so bad, eh? I told you my parents would like you."

"How do you know they like me, already?"

"Oh, please. First of all, how could they not like you. And second, it's a good sign when you and my dad already feel comfortable bantering back and forth." I laughed. "So, tell me about your morning. I've been waiting all day to hear about it."

"Well, skiing was great, of course, and the meeting went really, really well." He paused for a second and then said something I was almost expecting to hear. "They offered me a job."

"A job?! Wow!" I wasn't really sure what to say next because in that moment all of the implications and possibilities and unknowns bombarded my mind.

I didn't get a chance to say anything, though, because one of my younger brothers flung open the porch door and shouted for us love birds to come in for dinner.

We managed to make it through dinner, but the weight of what was just revealed was so heavy that it was hard for me to focus on anything else. There were so many questions I wanted to ask.

Was he thinking of taking the job?
Does that mean he's moving to Utah?
What will he be doing?
Is this a risk worth taking?
What does this mean for our relationship?
What part do I play in this decision?
We'd only been dating a month. Do I even have a part in this decision?

When dinner was over, the party moved outdoors onto the lawn where we set up chairs and pillows in a circle. It was fun to be with my family and to see our two families interact, but all I wanted to do was talk to Shanam. I could tell he felt the same way because he kept looking at me and giving my hand a comforting squeeze, as if to tell me everything would be alright and we would talk through it soon. I appreciated that and was able to relax a little and enjoy the evening breeze as we all chatted with each other. My Aunt Jamie was moving around the circle giving each person a shoulder massage and didn't even think about stopping when she got to Shanam and his parents. That make me laugh a little inside and I was grateful our families already felt so comfortable with each other. The evening turned out to be a great success.

After everyone left, Shanam turned to me and said, "How about we go for a walk."

"That sounds like a great idea." I said, sighing a breath of relief.

The sun had set, already, leaving behind a breathtaking sunset and the warm summer air smelled of freshly cut grass. We decided to walk along the path by the water canal that ran behind my house.

I started the conversation with, "So, a job, eh?" I figured I'd let him tell me what was on his mind first.

"Ya. Pretty crazy, huh?" He squeezed my hand. "They want me to be part of their business development team. It sounds like the perfect opportunity to see how a successful start up business runs. I get to learn from another company's successes and failures without having to take the hits myself. Then, when I start my own business, I'll have some experience, and hopefully avoid a lot of the mistakes normally made. The company seems pretty stable and I'd be working with some great guys."

"It does seem like a great opportunity. And it sounds like you're leaning towards taking the job. Does that mean you'll be moving to Utah soon?" I asked, hesitantly.

"Well, I don't really know if I'm going to take it, yet. I wanted to talk with you and see what you thought. I would be moving, but I'd first be going to Texas to learn the operations there, then to Wyoming to learn there, then finally I would be in Utah working with the management team. It's a big decision and I needed the afternoon to think about it. I also talked it over with my dad. That's why I didn't come over sooner. Sorry."

"Totally, I still can't believe it...I many people get offered a job like this?! Meeting the CEO at the airport, being invited to his office and then being offered a job! I really don't see how you could pass up this opportunity. You've been wanting to move out of Florida for a while, now, and here's your chance. You'd be by the mountains and could go skiing and mountain biking whenever you wanted!"

"Well, what about you?" Shanam asked.

"Me?" I gathered up my courage and decided to take the vulnerable route. "Well, I don't want to stay in Florida forever, either, you know. I would love to move back to Utah and live closer to my family...and closer to you."

"You would move for me? You would leave your job at Disney? But you love working there!"

"Shanam, I never planned on staying in Florida past my first six month internship, two years ago. But every six months I would fast and pray to know if I should stay or go somewhere else and every time I received the answer that I should stay. Things would always work out, even miracles would happen, to provide a way for me to stay in Florida." I took a deep breath and continued. "I believe I needed to stay so I could meet you."

Shanam stopped walking and drew me into his chest for a long embrace. He didn't say anything. Our heads were turned in the same direction looking towards the night sky, when all of the sudden a shooting star shot across the sky right in front of us!

"Did you just see that!!" I asked, pulling away so I could see his face. "Was that seriously a shooting star!"

Shanam laughed and looked just as shocked as I was. "It sure was! I guess we got our answer!"

How I Met Love, Utah Trip, Part 1

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Unfortunately, we weren't able to get flights to Utah together. I had arrived in Utah the day before and Shanam's plane was due to land that evening. At 8:30 pm, I got a phone call letting me know we were now in the same state, again :)

"I've got some pretty interesting stuff to tell you about." He said, about half way into our phone conversation.

"You do? What about?" I asked, wondering what he possibly had to tell me.

"Do you want me to tell you now, or when I get to your house?"

"Well, you might as well tell me now! You've peaked my curiosity!" I said.

"'s not really that big of a deal...but it could be..." He began. "While I was waiting for one of my connecting flights, I struck up a conversation with the two guys sitting next to me at the airport. They were flying on business, one was the CEO and the other the CFO of a company based out of Utah. We started talking about what the business was, how it got started and where it was headed. I mainly just asked a bunch of questions. Since I've always been interested in starting my own business, I felt it was a great opportunity to kinda pick their brains. Our discussion continued once we were on the plane. Of course we talked about other stuff, too, but it was mainly about the business. Well, when we parted ways at the airport, the CEO gave me his business card and told me to come by his office tomorrow. I thanked him and told him I would love the opportunity talk to him more. And that's it."

"Wow, pretty cool!" I said. "I've always been impressed with how you can start up a conversation with anybody. So, you're meeting with him tomorrow. That's awesome! He sounds like a great guy to learn from."

"Ya, they were both great guys. I'm excited to meet with them again."

"Well, I'm excited to hear how it goes."

Friday, February 10, 2012

Text Message

Friday, June 6, 2008

Text Message (5:00 pm)

Him: Whenever you get a break and check your phone, just wanted to tell you you're wonderful :)

Me: Well, that was a nice note to open up to, thank you!

Him: Just did a google search on my name and came across your blog. You are so sweet!

Me: LOL! That's funny! Surprise! I have a blog and you're on it!

*Click here* to be taken to the blog post of when I introduced Shanam to the world :)