August 31, 2009

The one where my head explodes

About two months ago I entered a giveaway on a blog I had never read before. It was a giveaway hosted by a woman in the Salt Lake area who is trying to get her photography website up and running, and she was giving away 15 photo sessions. With how expensive professional photography is, we have never been able to afford to have our pictures taken. We didn't even have the money to hire a professional photographer for our wedding. Instead, we recruited one of Brett's sisters to do pictures, and another one of his sisters to do video.

I'm not a particularly lucky person, and I've only ever won a few things in my life, so naturally I was ecstatic when I received an email a few days later informing me that I was, in fact, one of the winners. This kind of thing never happens to me.

After going back and forth with her for a few weeks to try and decide on a location and time that would work for both of us we finally had an appointment set, and the perfect spot in mind. I wanted to do something a little bit out of the ordinary, and thought that it would be fun to go somewhere with a lot of graffiti. There is an old abandoned building out by Saltair on I-80 that is covered in graffiti, and there is an old train car out there too. It seemed like a great spot, and she agreed that she would meet us out there. I was getting so excited! I am a really impatient person, so waiting another five weeks was the hardest part.

We are not usually the type of people who go all out for this kind of thing, but we decided that since we were going to have our pictures done professionally we should get new clothes. We had been looking for something to wear for weeks, stopping at any store we passed, and didn't have much luck. We finally found an awesome shirt for Brett, but now I needed something that matched, and it didn't seem to exist. Saturday morning we went to the mall, which Brett hates, to keep searching. After a few hours we finally found something that I loved. We ended up spending more than we wanted to on the clothes, but after the pictures were done it would all be worth it. At least that's what I kept telling myself.

After we had the clothes picked out it was time to get ready. I had my hair styled professionally so that it would look perfect, and I even went crazy and decided that I was going to wear heels. I never wear heels. This was obviously a big deal.

The time came on Saturday for us to go, and I could barely contain my excitement. We had waited a long time, and the day was finally here! We were going to have our pictures taken by a real live professional.

We got out to Saltair about fifteen minutes early, and got out to walk around. As we were waiting, a few car loads of people showed up sporadically for photo shoots of their own. Apparently we had picked a great location, and we determined that it must be a hot spot for photographers to bring their clients.

Fifteen minutes go by, and our photographer is still not there. I was starting to get annoyed, but I figured she must probably just be running a little late. We continued waiting, and watching the other people that had shown up after us as they got their pictures taken. I was getting anxious. Where the hell could she be? After another fifteen minutes goes by Brett can tell that I am really bothered by how late she is, and suggests that I call her to see what's going on. I had this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach that she wasn't going to show, but I kept trying to convince myself that I was just being paranoid. I had sent her an email to confirm the appointment a week ago, there's no way she is going to blow us off.

This is the part where my head exploded.

I got her on the phone, explained that we were waiting for her, and that our appointment was supposed to be twenty minutes ago. She then proceeds to tell me that she completely forgot about our appointment. COMPLETELY FORGOT!! Are you kidding me? Then she has the balls to say "do you still want to try to do it tonight?". NO, I don't. I don't want to wait here for another hour until you can get around to showing up to take our pictures. You've already wasted my entire day, and now I would like to at least salvage what is left of my evening. Jerk.

After everything that we went through to prepare for this photo shoot, we got stood up. Now I don't know how long it will be before we'll be able to get our pictures done professionally. I can tell you one thing though, when it happens again, I will make sure to go with someone that has been recommended to me by a friend. I want to do anything I can to avoid a mess like this in the future.

Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed in the whole situation. I don't see how she will ever be able to build up her client base operating her business this way. If anything, I hope to help other people avoid having a bad experience like mine. I would highly recommend that you DO NOT have your pictures done by Rebecca Terry Photography.

August 28, 2009

The plot thickens

I have really been going back and forth in my mind about whether or not I wanted to do a post about this, and the little devil on my shoulder has finally convinced me that I Should just go for it.

If you know me personally, then you are aware that I have never met my biological father. If not, then this is news to you. He left when I was just a baby, and I have never seen or heard from him since. I can’t explain it, but I have never really had a desire to know why. I had seen his picture, heard stories about him from family, and had a pretty good idea of what kind of person he was. I guess I just figured that I was better off without him. He didn’t seem to care at all about me, so why should I care about him? I asked my mom about him occasionally throughout my life, but she always responded with the same answer. Now was not the time to talk about it.

To me it has never really mattered who you are related to by blood. Your family can be anyone you want it to be. I have blood relations that I haven’t spoken to in years, and don’t really consider to be family at all. I consider my family to be the people around me who love me, and are always there for me, no matter what the circumstance may be. They are the people that I can always count on. So it never really bothered me that I didn’t know him.

About five months ago my brother, my sister, and I were going through some of my mom’s things and I found something that has, since then, completely rocked my world. It was a sealed white envelope that had my name written on the front in her handwriting. Naturally after discovering said envelope, I opened it up to see what was inside. Wouldn’t you? The contents of the envelope seemed to be nothing at first, just a few pieces of paper. The first page was my birth certificate, which I had seen many times before, so it didn’t seem too out of the ordinary. The second page is what I found to be interesting. It was a letter. Nothing too wordy or long, just a short paragraph, followed by a signature, and a Notary.

The letter was from my biological father.

I know that this discovery may seem unremarkable, but I can assure you it is not. Let me explain. The man who wrote the letter that I was holding in my hands is not the man that I have believed to be my biological father my whole life. It is someone entirely different, and someone that I do not know. I had never even heard his name before I read that letter.

Instantly after reading the letter I assumed that it wasn’t true, but then I spoke with my mom’s best friend and she confirmed it.

At the age of 24 I discovered that my biological father is not who I thought it was.

At first I didn’t really react. I didn’t have any intention of running out and finding him, and I just figured that it wouldn’t really affect my life at all. I already didn’t know the man I thought to be my biological father, so what difference did it make? Now it was just a different name than before.

Since I found the letter five months ago I have been struck by curiosity. With the other name I had at least seen pictures, and heard stories. Even though I had never met him, I still knew what he was like. The pages of my story, though tattered and torn, were complete. Now there is a hole in that same story. The question is: do I try to fill it in?

August 26, 2009

The day we've all been waiting for

There is a new blogger in town folks, and it is something that I am so happy to announce! Why? Because this particular blogger happens to be my best friend. I have been telling her for months that she needed to start a blog, and until now she hasn't shown any interest. In fact, she has frequently made fun of me for blogging. I can forgive her now though, because she has seen the light.

I can assure you that her blog will keep you entertained. How do I know this? She is the most hilarious person I know. It doesn't matter what day it is, or what is keeping me down, this girl can always put a smile on my face.

{here she is just before 80's day at work}
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, may I present to you Shay's blog:

What are you waiting for? Head on over and show her some love!

August 20, 2009

Movie quotes - take two!

Do you remember that game we played a few months ago? You know, the one with the movie quotes. I think we should play again! I've come up with 20 more movies that I love, and listed a quote from each one below. If you don't remember the rules, or didn't get to play last time, here's a refresher:

I have picked 20 movies that I love, and listed a quote from each movie below. Read through the quotes, and try to guess which movie's they are from. Leave a comment with your guess and include: the quote number, movie title, and your name. When someone guesses correctly I will strikeout the quote, put the name of the person who made the correct guess, and the name of the movie next to it. Sounds fun, right? Here's the tricky part: You aren't allowed to use any search engines, IMDB, wikipedia, etc. You just have to know them. You wouldn't cheat would you? Good!

Let's get started, shall we?

1- "She doesn't like it in the barn. The horses keep her up at night." The Ring

2- "THEY DO NOT! At the feed store do I say, "Oh, now Wally, give me a bag of that F-in' pig feed, and a pound of that bitchly cow corn"? At the bank do I say, "Oh, Mrs. Malenger, here is one big bastard of a check, now give me some of your Christ-ing money!" THERE, LOOK THERE, NOW SEE WHAT YOU MADE ME DO!" Misery {Anonymous}

3- "I had a mother lined up for him, but she's bangin' the Pepperidge Farm guy and the kid won't stop peeing and throwing up, he's like a cocker spaniel." Big Daddy

4- "You're missing the grand design here! If I don't go, I'm dead! Yeah. And it's a little hard to carry on a relationship when I'm stuffed with straw and formaldehyde." The Mexican {Anonymous}

5- "Sometimes, the only way to catch an uncatchable woman is to offer her a wedding ring." Big Fish {Shaymus}

6- "This is my ninth sick day this semester. It's pretty tough coming up with new illnesses. If I go for ten, I'm probably going to have to barf up a lung, so I better make this one count." Ferris Bueller's Day Off {Brooke}

7- "Don't look at me. I'll stay here and suck on my thumb, while you guys go play Pirates of the Caribbean." Into the Blue

8- "You know, I was just thinking why would I ever leave before New Year's Eve? That makes no sense at all. I mean, you didn't exactly ask me out... but you did say you loved me... so I'm thinking I've got a date. If you'll have me." The Holiday {Brooke}

9- "All right... That's confiscated. All of it. And I want you on the next transport off this rock or I'm gonna shoot you where it don't grow back." Men In Black {Jessica}

10- "This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes." The Matrix {Shaymus}

11- "I got robbed by a sweet old lady on a motorized cart. I didn't even see it coming." Dumb and Dumber {Jessica}

12- "Oh man. Well, we all gotta die right? I'm the guy who gets to do it saving the world." Armageddon {Jessica}

13- "Your temper is the one thing you can't get rid of, by losing it." Anger Management {Shaymus}

14- "My problem is that it's 2 A.M. My problem is I'm asleep. I'm on a tour bus with eight stinkin' men. Rule number one: Don't propose to a girl on a bus, you got that? Rule number two: Don't tell her it's because you had a bad dream." Walk the Line {Brooke}

15- "Well, let's think about this...we go to the movies, that's 15 bucks. We get popcorn, that's 53. And she'll want raisonettes, alright? So, we're looking at 75 bucks." 10 Things I Hate About You {Brooke}

16- "I saw the way your friend Mauricio looked at me; I thought he was going to shoot me with a tranquilizer gun and tag my ear." Shallow Hal {Shaymus}

17- "That's my friend, Irishman. And the answer to your question is "yes". You fight for me, you get to kill the English." Braveheart

18- "First thing it's two minutes, then four, then six, then the next thing you know, we're the U.S. mail." Cast Away

19- "Brenda, I don't want to lie to you anymore. All right? I'm not a doctor. I never went to medical school. I'm not a lawyer, or a Harvard graduate, or a Lutheran. Brenda, I ran away from home a year and a half ago when I was 16." Catch Me If You Can {Brooke}

20- "Yeah, but you know what? This one, this one right here. This was my dream, my wish. And it didn't come true. So I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back." The Goonies {Brooke}

August 18, 2009

Goin' to a party where no one's still alive...

I know that today is only the 18th of August, but I can't tell you how excited I am getting for Halloween. I know, I know! It's still over two months away, but to me two months doesn't really seem that long. I mean, we are really only talking about 73 more days.

Whatever, maybe I am jumping the gun a little bit. The problem I am having is that I have got to come up with an idea for our costumes, and it has to be fantastic. Last year we didn't come up with a great costume idea until the last minute, I'm talking two weeks before Halloween. Then once we had decided what we wanted to be, I really had to crank it and get our costumes made. It was pretty tedious. I had never made Halloween costumes before, and I definitely bit off more than I could chew. It all ended up working out in the end, and the costumes turned out great. I'm just sayin' it would be nice to get a little head start this year, if at all possible.

Right after the party we went to last year I started brainstorming on how to make the party for this year better. One of the first things I decided was that it definitely needed to have a theme. I called Shay to tell her my idea, and she thought it was great. This is part of why I love her so much. She is just like me, and loves to plan great parties. We decided that the theme should be 'dead man's party' based on the 1985 Oingo Boingo hit. It's always been one of my faves!

What this means for our costumes is that we have to come dressed up as someone or something that is dead. We would prefer to have two costume ideas that go together, but if we find separate costumes that would be better, we'll do that too.

We already have a few great ideas, but I'd love to hear what your suggestions are! Who do you think we should dress up as for Halloween this year?

August 13, 2009

The first of many without her

Today should be a happy day. It should be a day filled with smiles and celebration. There should be a party to attend, with a guest of honor who is being showered with gifts. We should be eating dinner at her favorite restaurant, and preparing for the birthday weekend tradition that we started for her last year. There should be candles on a cake, and wishes being made. She should be surrounded by family and friends, enjoying the first day of the next year of her life.

Today would have been my mom’s 62nd birthday. If you ask me, 61 birthdays aren’t enough. She should still be here. She should be able to do all of the things that she loved: Watching her grandchildren grow, taking cruises, visiting new cities, shopping on QVC, making chocolates, sewing blankets, taking pictures, finishing the book she was reading, adding to her many collections, drinking Pepsi, watching new movies, picking wildflowers, listening to Chris LeDoux, going to yard sales, eating pretzels, spending time with her children, visiting her dad, playing with her dogs, going to lunch with her best friend.

Today my heart is heavy.

Happy Birthday mom! I love you, and miss you everyday.

August 7, 2009

Jackson {part 5}

One of the things that we had to buy before we went on our trip to Jackson was a pair of sunglasses that Brett could wear down the river. He has a nice pair of sunglasses that he didn't want to take on the river for fear of losing them. So we had gone to Target a few days before the trip to grab a few other things that we needed, and he found a pair there for $20. Mission accomplished!

The first day down the river we were at the one slow stretch where you can get out of the boat and swim around, and Brett had taken his hat and sunglasses off, and handed them to me to hold for him. The sunglasses must not have been very good quality, what do you expect for $20? When he was pulling them off of his face they broke right at the bridge between the two lenses. Though they were still technically in one piece, they were useless. So after we were done rafting for the day we drove the 15 minutes to the nearest town, and found another pair at a local gas station. They looked similar to the other pair, just plain old black sunglasses, but they were five dollars cheaper. Bonus!

With new glasses in hand the following morning we set off on another rafting adventure. The glasses survived. We got back to camp, had some lunch, and loaded everyone into the truck to make the second run of the day. There is a spot after the two biggest rapids where you can stop to cliff jump, and Brett couldn't resist. So again, he hands me his hat and pulls his sunglasses off. Once again, they broke. He was having the worst possible luck with those damn sunglasses. At least it wasn't his nice pair, for that I was grateful. So once again we ventured into town for a new pair. There really weren't that many to choose from in the first place, but by now there are only like eight pairs left, most of which have reflective lenses, Yuck. We realized that he was going to have to settle for something a little less normal, and venture out of his bubble a little bit. That's when we laid our eyes on these babies:

They looked like they had been shipped in straight from Jamaica. We all had our little jokes about them, and most of us sang the theme from Cool Runnings to him on a daily basis. But, the funniest part is those $10 sunglasses, fit for a Jamaican king, lasted the rest of the trip. So for the next five days, everyone at camp had a good laugh at Brett's expense everytime he wore them, but at least we didn't have to buy anymore sunglasses.

August 4, 2009

Jackson {part 4}

During the times when we weren't on the river we had a lot of fun at camp. Playing games, making smore's, pulling funny faces, talking, cooking, laughing, telling jokes, and just hanging out. Chaz's family are some of the most funny people we know. The whole week really was just awesome. When we first got there everyone kept telling us how much it usually rains, but we didn't see any for the first five days. It was absolutely beautiful. They kept cracking jokes about how the rain follows Toni {chaz's mom} everywhere she goes, and maybe it wasn't raining because she wasn't there yet. Sure enough, Friday morning as soon as Toni shows up. Rain. It was pretty funny.

Two different nights Chaz cooked in the Dutch Ovens for everyone. I must say, I have never had better ribs or chicken. Ever. It was so delicious!
One of my favorite parts about the trip was when we burned the copper pipe. Have you ever done this before? If not I would strongly recommend it the next time you go camping. I had never heard of this before, and so when they were telling me about it I was a little sceptical, but it works. You take a foot long section of copper pipe with a bunch of small holes drilled all over it, and put a piece of rubber hose in the middle. Then you stick it in the middle of your camp fire, and voila! Your campfire becomes colorful. Ours was green, blue, purple, and pink. It was so fun to watch.

We want to say a special thank you to the Schlange family for letting us tag along on this awesome camping trip! We have never had so much fun in our lives, and we really do appreciate everything you did for us. Hopefully they will invite us back next year!

Jackson {part 3}

River rafting wasn't our only adventure in Jackson!

We learned how to kayak! I can honestly tell you that kayaking isn't something that I never thought I would want to try. Then once we got there and Steve took Brett out for his first time I thought, why not? I have to tell you, kayaking is really fun! We didn't take the kayak's down the big part of the river, but Brett wishes that he could've! Instead we went to the upper part of the river that was a little slower. There were a few small rapids, but nothing out of control. It's really not as hard or as scary as it looks. It's actually quite easy! Trust me, I am very athletically challenged in most aspects, and I didn't even tip over. We both loved it, and now we also have to buy kayaks. Damn, this is going to get expensive. Thanks a lot Chaz!

The fun didn't stop with the kayaks either though, Brett, Chaz and Steve-O did some cliff jumping. I didn't feel the need to participate in this particular activity. I don't feel the need to throw myself off of a cliff into swift moving water. So instead, I took up the post as photographer of said crazy act. One of the cliffs they jumped off of was right above one of the biggest rapids on the river, and you jump right into the belly of the beast. Then after you jumped in you get carried under the water for a ways, and resurface about twenty feet down the river. Not my idea of fun, but They had a BLAST!

If you haven't had enough yet, part 4 will be coming soon.....

Jackson {part 2}

If you have never rafted the snake river, you are missing out on one hell of a time! I can honestly say that it is one of the most fun things I have ever done. In the seven days we were there, Brett and I rode the river about thirteen times. Each run down the river takes about two hours, so we were on the river for between four and six hours every day. That might sound boring, doing the same stretch of river two or three times a day, but I assure you it was not. The levels of the river change throughout the day, so that makes the rapids change. Each time you go it is completely different than the last. The sun was beating down and reflecting off the water like you wouldn't believe. That, my friends, is a serious sun burn risk. Lucky for us we had SPF 85 on our side.

Here are a video and some pictures to give you an idea of why your life is not yet complete if you have never rafted the mighty snake:

The thing that I find funny is that cold water usually bothers me, but while we were on the raft I never had a problem with it. I'm not just talking chilly, I'm talking like so cold that while you are sitting on the edge of the raft paddling and your foot is submerged in the water it goes almost completely numb. It was cold. But for some reason I just loved it. It could've been that the sun was SO hot or that we were having so much fun on the rapids that I forgot to think about how cold it was. I don't know, but I loved it.

At first I was afraid to be a paddler, I think that I was more afraid of being thrown out of the raft, but once I took a turn paddling I realized that it made the ride more exciting. There were only two runs the whole time that I didn't paddle at least half of the way. I was only thrown out of the raft one time, and that was interesting. We were heading around this bend in the river, and the current just started throwing us into the wall. I was paddling, but I was on the opposite side of the raft from the wall we were going to hit. Right at the last second before we were going to hit it, everyone on that side of the raft jumped over to my side, and I got knocked out by Chaz's dad. Once I got over the initial shock of the cold, I realized that it wasn't so bad after all, and it didn't scare me anymore, in fact I was secretly hoping it would happen again. Brett got thrown out of the boat a lot more than I did, but it's because he is a lot more fearless than me. He was going over a lot of the rapids without even holding onto the ropes. He's brave, I'm not.

We have already decided that we are going to buy a raft of our own some day and make a tradition out of this. I want to go every year. I have actually already tried to talk Brett into quitting school so that we can just move to Jackson right now and become river guides, but there is the one little issue of those student loans coming due if he quits. That is a bummer, because I would totally do it.

Stay tuned for part 3.....

August 3, 2009

Jackson {part 1}

The day after Brett's triathlon we started preparing for the next big adventure in our lives. There were groceries bought, bags packed, tents and sleeping bags gathered, laughs had, and Cars loaded. The next morning, we set off for Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Brett and I borrowed the Explorer and loaded it to the top with our camping gear, as well as the camping gear of the Schlange's. Shay rode up with Chaz's dad, and Chaz stayed home. He didn't come up until Tuesday night because he had to work. Though we were all sad that we would have to wait a few days for him to join us, he kept his chin up and told us that he would enjoy his little 'staycation' before the big vacation.

I have only been to Jackson once, and I was only about 8 or 9 years old, so I didn't remember a lot, which also meant that I really didn't know what to expect. Chaz, Shay, and Brett had all been there before and between the three of them I had heard some pretty awesome stories. There was one thing that I was worried about though, and that was the river. There was going to be a lot of White Water Rafting involved on this trip, and I was scared.

Before we even left, I was convinced that I would probably die on the river. I'm not talking about just any river here, the river that we were going to be riding was THE river. The Snake River.

The drive to Jackson wasn't bad at all, it would make an awesome trip for a three day weekend. We have grown a new love for books on tape during a road trip, and this time we opted for I am the messenger, by Markus Zusak. We highly recommend it.

At the camp ground we met up with some of Chaz's family, and decided who's tents were going where. After a few hours worth of setting up tents, and making sure that everything was accounted for it was already time for lunch. I expected that the rest of the day would be spent relaxing and getting used to being in the wilderness, but they had a different idea. They were ready to hit the river. Asap. I wasn't sure that I was quite ready, but got my wetsuit and life jacket on anyway. I was nervous. Have I mentioned that I am afraid of almost everything?

The whole time I was screaming like a little girl, but I didn't cry. It's like the first time you go on a really scary roller coaster, and then when your done you want to go again and again. We got to the end of the first ride, and I was ready to go again! It was awesome.

I promise that part 2 will be coming soon, I just have to decide which of the millions of pictures I took to use. Literally millions.