Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Walking Virus

My sophomore year in high school my older brother, Erik, dubbed me with the nickname "Walking Virus". There were soon small caricatures of a cartoon virus walking around the house. Oh how I loved the support of my older brother and his artistic skills! I guess his joke did have some merit considering I had tonsillitis, strep throat, and mono all at the same time and missed an entire month of school.

Well the years have gone by since high school and not much has improved with my immune system. It didn't help that I chose to go into public education; specifically elementary age levels. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the excitement and love of learning that a child possesses, but the massive cesspool of germ infested fingers is not the ideal everyday situation for my sickness prone body.

Last year alone, while teaching third grade here in Pleasant Hill, I had a sinus infection every six weeks, strep throat 3 times, and walking pneumonia all by the time March rolled around. You'd think that I was the only one being effected by these sicknesses, but sadly Dallas, sleeping in the same bed, was put in the death zone. Several nights he ended up sleeping on our blow up mattress to hopefully evade the circling germs in our bedroom. Sometimes this worked; others it did not.

This year has been extremely refreshing! Although I do miss having my own classroom and interacting with my students; I have NOT missed the never ending trips to the doctor. I am proud to report that I have not had any infection (sinus or throat) since I stopped teaching in June!

So you can see why I was shocked when Dallas came home totally sick with no voice on Thursday. My first thought was "How did you get sick without me giving it to you!?" My second thought... "Oh no does this mean I'm going to get sick!?"

A couple days later...TWO sad people on the couch watching movies.

Friday, February 26, 2010

My Little Camstar

It’s been raining here all day and there is just something about the rain that makes me want to cuddle up and reminisce about past experiences. I guess a huge part of that is due to the fact that I’m not teaching this year, so often times I will stroll down memory lane and think about all the amazing little souls I’ve been able to interact with throughout the years. I have some incredible stories, but today I’m going to focus on one dear friend in particular. Her name is Cammi. Even just saying her name brings a smile to my face.
It was in my first year of teaching when a fellow coworker told me about a mentor program in the Provo Valley where I would be paired with a youth to help with whatever needs might be prominent at the time. It was through this program that I first got to meet “my little Camstar.” Every week, for over three years, we met for an activity. Sometimes these activities turned into what we would call our “adventures.” Whether it was playing rummikub while eating frozen yogurt at FroYo, hiking through Provo canyon, reenacting Lord of the Rings in the local park, or visiting the zoo, I could always count on hours of laughter and entertainment from my little Camstar.
It’s been almost two years since I’ve been able to see Cammi, but I am constantly reminded of her and our time together. I wish I could be there for her in person as she enters this crazy time of high school. I know without a doubt that she is going to accomplish incredible things in life. She’ll probably be the next J.K. Rowling! And when she does become this all famous author, maybe there will be a little dedication at the front of one of her books to her big sister, Kirsten, and all the fun times we had together!

Cammi and I spent a fun day at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City. We had some fun taking pictures with all the animals; especially the Gorilla!

We took a hike around Sundance and found an outside amphitheater where we had our own talent show. Cammi had some serious dancing skills!

One of our girl afternoons out we went and got pedicures. I'm the only girl out of six kids, so I absolutely loved the excuse to be a girly girl and pamper ourselves!

We loved to go to the Thanksgiving Point Dinosaur Museum.
Goofing off was definitely our favorite thing to do!

I've realized over the past couple years that my time with Cammi was an incredible experience that few get to have in their lives. She will always be my little sister and I will always be grateful for the time I was able to share with her.
I love ya, Camstar!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

President's Day Adventure at the Golden Gate Bridge

I can't even begin to describe how grateful I am to have family in the bay area! My older brother, Erik, his wife Heather, and their four children have been a major source of laughter and love over the past couple years of living in California. This past President's Day was no exception. Heather and I decided to take the crazy four to Chrissy Fields Park, Lincoln Beachey, and the Golden Gate Bridge. We brought picnic supplies to enjoy on the beach while the boys played along the rock formations and tried not to get totally doused in the waves.

Lincoln was pretty proud that the city of San Francisco named a beach after him. Rulon, on the other hand, was NOT and demanded that there should be a "Rulon Beach" as well. How can you not adore his little pouty face?

We set up our picnic on the beach and Ellis immediately situated herself in the middle of the blanket and curled up for a nap.

Oh how I love this face!! Little Will is growing up so fast and is such a happy baby. I can never get enough snuggles from him! He loved watching all of us playing in the sand. I love this picture, because it shows off his two new teeth and his GORGEOUS blue eyes.

Lincoln has been watching a lot of Man vs. Wild lately and loved acting out survival mode on the surrounding rocks. The sun played tricks on us hiding in and out of low laying clouds so part of the time we were walking through fog...common occurrence for San Francisco.

Will really was happy to be taking this picture--he just didn't want to show it.

Heather had the great idea of bringing the boys' scooters and helmets to cross the bridge. There was nothing like watching Rulon with one foot on the scooter and the other pushing off the bridge railing. He also ran head first into an older man's backside. Gotta love that kid!

The boys got a little tired about a 1/4 of the way across. They needed to take a breather...Heather did too, after chasing them the entire way.

Doesn't get better than those blue eyes!

It was another great day spent with Heather and the kids. I'm so grateful they live so close and are willing to let an obnoxious aunt follow along on their adventures!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Weekend of LOVE

Wow with a title like that, who couldn't pass up on reading this post!?
I have long since adored celebrating Valentine's Day. It's a day totally devoted to letting those in your life know that they are great is that!?
This weekend, since it fell on a Sunday, we even got to celebrate for two whole days!
On Saturday, Dallas sweetly took me to the matinee of Valentine's Day where the movie lived up to the hype of every other cheesy chick flick. I could feel Dallas cringing while trying to hold back laughter during a few of the scenes, but I loved every minute of it.
Then we got dressed up for a nice dinner in the city. He took me to the Japanese restaurant, Ame, at the St. Regis hotel in down town San Francisco. The food was incredible and I loved the peaceful atmosphere. I love how Dallas loves gourmet food. We have become quite the food snobs while living in the Bay area; we just wish the prices were
more reasonable!

Sunday, I surprised Dallas with breakfast in bed, decorating our apartment with hearts dedicated to my hot husband, and then a romantic home cooked dinner. I know...I cooked TWO whole meals in one day! I think it's a record!

My accountant truly is hot!

Simply put: I love my husband! I love my Dallas!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tao: Martial Art of Drumming

There is nothing like a couple hours of loud intricate drumming to get your blood flowing! Dallas surprised me with tickets to a Japanese touring group called Tao. They specialize in the Martial Art of Drumming. Basically it was AMAZING! I wish I could put into words the incredible talent that goes into the musicians that perform throughout the show. Imagine the stamina and strength of a Samurai pounding on a drum for 90 minutes straight! They train in the gorgeous hills of Aso-Kujo National Park where they train not only as musicians, but athletes as well. Hopefully you can tell from the pictures, just how athletic these people are! They tour for 6-7 months out of the year all over the world, so if your able to see one of their shows it is totally worth the cost!
Thanks Honey, for the fun surprise! I had a blast tonight!

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