Thursday, February 2, 2012


So the month of January has passed by....and with the decisions made in that month I feel like my life is now all about planning....for April.

There are three things that are now going on in April that will consume most all of that month. So I guess I'll go in order...

The Kansas City LDS Temple construction will be complete! Open house to be held from April 7-21. Due to my plans for the rest of the month, it is just that first Saturday that I have available to go and see the new temple. Anyone can go, member or not. So if you are interested in joining, let me know! They are gorgeous buildings that are always fun to exploring a pretty home.

I'm trying to talk my brother Matt into bringing his kids and coming over with Mom and me to go and see it. And I'm pretty sure Leslie is also in on coming to see it, so it's turning into a fun family weekend. So excited for the new temple! Here's a pic of what it will look like completed:

The next item on the agenda...a trip to Arizona...which actually compromises the other two items on my 'planning' mind. The second weekend in April...I'll be hiking the Grand Canyon! I am so excited!

When I started working out at the end of last year to lose some weight and just take some control back in my life (instead of being a lazy bum all the time)...the goal I set was to hike the Grand Canyon sometime within the next year. My sister Audra has done this 4 times or so already and talks about it constantly. Since I am so not a 'runner' and I do enjoy hiking I thought this was a good goal to set that also I could do for some more bonding time with my sister. When plans for item number 3 in April finalized I called up Audra and she got the ball rolling and her and some other friends helped finalize all the plans.

We will be hiking down the north rim (unless weather does not permit it...could be snow) and hiking back up the Bright Angel trail on the south rim. Overall I'm told it's about a 27 mile hike, down and up. Which I am so excited for, and also a bit nervous. There isn't tons of 'hiking' around my home but I am working out 4 days a week and I'm doing what I can to prepare for I'm not dead at the end. :)

But my sister and the group of my sister's friends that are going are so helpful. There's been a list sent around with stuff to bring and stuff to prepare for. I can't seem to get it off my mind...and the hope that I'm doing enough. I think it's also just a bit overwhelming as it will be 6 months from when I started to lose weight and try to get healthy that I'll be hiking the Grand Canyon. Since I'm half way through seems like such a short time to prepare. But I'm determined to not be the straggler in the group...well at least that's what I'm hoping...that I don't slow everyone else down. I can do it! (I think. hehe)

Then the final plans for April, my friend Kristin will be getting married on April 21st!! I am so excited for her that she has found a man that makes her so happy...and he is not crazy. Kristin is such an amazing person who deserves a lot of happiness in her life. St Louis was not good to her...per her words...but Arizona definately seems to have some brighter aspects for Kristin!

Also Kristin asked me to be her maid of honor, which I was so thrilled, humbled and just overly exstatic about. So in the week between the hiking of the Grand Canyon and Kristin's wedding...I'll be driving around and helping to finish up whatever Kristin needs to make it all come together for her. Super I just have to find a dress/outfit for the wedding. Black skirt and blue shirt (royal blue, medium blue or baby blue). So...more shopping on my mind. hehe.

Kristin and Adam are to be married in the Mesa, Arizona temple...below:

Then a fun casual rock'n roll themed reception. Then that next Monday I fly home. I'm slightly exhausted thinking about it all.

Then in April I will have my father's birthday as well, and my friend Jane's birthday.

Funnily though there was tons going on in brother Luke and his wife Leslie found out they are pregnant (YAY!!!!), went to a Blake Shelton concert, celebrated my Mom and Luke's birthdays. And in February I have Nicole's baby shower, Jonah's birthday, Makenna's birthday and Nicole's birthday. March I have Samantha's birthday, a 5 Browns concert, Stake conference and the temple will be closed for two weeks for cleaning. Sorry...not all are stuff I have to go to...just stuff I have to remember and possibly 'plan' for.

I think when May hits I may be either be greatful for a 'planning' break...or I will be on withdraw. Guess we'll see when it comes. :P

Anyone have any tips for hiking the canyon...or advise? It's like I want to pick everyone's brain for the smallest bits of information so I can be prepared. I'm turning a bit obsessive. Fun times!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year 2012

Okay, it has been a year from my last post. Life just got....busy and crazy. Looking through the photos on my phone here is a summary of what happened in the last year:

  • I saw a Cirque du Soleil performance here in St Louis - Dralion. It was a Christmas present from Dominque and it was totally awesome! I have wanted to see one of those so bad!

  • We had some crazy snow in January and February.

  • My Mom had a hernia surgery. She had so many hernias...they stopped counting after 6. (There were all from a prior surgery...not healing well) So for quite awhile Mom was out of commission.

  • I had a good friend, Brooke get married. They were a cute couple!

  • Leslie brought over their extra fouton and it is now our seating in the clean basement...and bed for Luke when he visits. :)

  • I went to Branson, Missouri for a work function. It was pretty fun, 4 hours of classes and then they had excursions around Branson planned and organized for us.

  • Dominique and I took a trip down to Orlando to see the Disney parks. We drove down and had a lot of fun. The Harry Potter theme park is really awesome!

  • I took Mom to go and see Josh Groben in concert with Ellen and her mom. It was an awesome concert and at the end of the night Ellen dropped her shoe beneath the stands...that was actually pretty funny. :)

  • I dog sat Dominique's parent dog, Trip for a week while they were out of town. He is cute puppy...definately likes the attention.

  • I took Matt's kids to a Cardinal's game on his birthday night...since he had to work. We had a blast in awesome seats!

  • I started doing HCG. It's a hormone weight loss drug where you cut down to about 500 calories a day. Yes, it sounds hard...and it was. But I was pretty unhappy at my weight and wanted a change. A quick jump start was what I wanted to make me feel more motivated on my own to keep going and get back in shape. I did it for 5 weeks...then got a kidney stone and stopped around week shy of my stop date. But I did lose 25 pounds in that 5 weeks. YAY!!

  • I turned 31, yes I am old.

  • My friend Robyn got married. They are such a cute couple and seem really good for each other. I wish her so much happiness.

  • Due to my old age...I graduated/got kicked out of the Singles Ward here. So starting in November I started going back to the family ward. Which is weird and comfortable all at the same time. Go figure.

  • After the HCG was done I did start going to a gym. I had a few training sessions with a trainer...and have been going 3-4 times a week, every week. So far so good.

  • Went to Sam's dance recital, it was fun and she did so much better this year than at her old dance studio. So proud of her!

  • And finally for Christmas Matt came over on Christmas Eve and we got to spend the holiday together, the 3 of us.

And now we are onto New Years. :) I did the usual tradition, hang out with Dominique at her place. We did dinner at PF Changs, then headed back to her place for a TV/movie marathon. Here is Cody (left) and Riley (right) in their Christmas finery. Dominique finally got a picture of them together! :)

Dominique gave the dogs some keep them occupied and not want to be scratched all night long. And the dogs have this...funny routine. Please watch the clip and enjoy! :)

Part 1 -

Part 2 -

And just to memorialize the year end, here is me vegging out on Dominique's couch:

And here is Dominique drinking the sparking grape juice we got...yes it really is sparkling grape juice. Actually...she had wine glasses we were going to drink out of but they had weird spots on them. So she served it in some glass Shrek McDonald's cups. But...literally 1 minute before the end of the year, Riley was getting needy for attention and his wagging tail knocked off Dominique's glass from the coffee table. She barely got it cleaned up before the count down...and just didn't want to deal with another cup. So she used the bottle. I alcoholic here. :)

Riley being needy...wanted some of what mommy was drinking. Silly dog.

So what a way to end the year. In Dominique's words..."2012 is going to be a great can only get better from here."

So I end the year at my goal...40 pounds lighter than i was on Labor Day weekend. My goals for 2012...lose 50 more pounds, hike the Grand Canyon and get my debt paid off. Let's go 2012...we can do it!

Friday, December 31, 2010

I Leave You Now...

With views from the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

When we got there the fog was filling up the canyon, but it did soon disappear.



Audra & Leslie



Audra & Mom

Audra & Me



Leslie, JT, Me

JT & Audra

Me, JT and Leslie

In the pic above you can tell it's getting a bit windy. It then started to rain and the fog moved back into the canyon. It was a wonderful day!
The boy's crashed soon after wel left:

Until next year!

End of the Year

Okay, so I haven't posted since Becca's birthday which was beginning of November. I guess I should catch up before the New Year starts and I get way behind again. :)
Thanksgiving came next in big was just Mom and me this year at home but it was really kinda nice. We got to eat what we wanted, when we wanted...saw a movie...relaxed and watched the TV we wanted. It was fun. :)
My friend Dominique's birthday was the Friday after Thanksgiving and we hung out most of the day doing movie and lunch. Then for dinner I went with her and her family to a Murder Mystery dinner at a place in downtown St Louis. Basically we all had parts in this 'play' that went on while we ate our dinner courses where Kris Kringle was up on trial for the murder of the therapist from Miracle on 34th Street. I play Kris Kringle's brother (really Kris was left on my family's doorstep as a baby and we adopted him). I wanted Kris to be guilty so I could get his room. Siblings. Turns was really the Grinch who killed the therapist...he dropped an anvil on him. And I had figured it out! Didn't win but it was still fun.
Life was then busy with work, church and Christmas stuff as I only had two in a half weeks to get ready to leave town for the holidays. Mom and I headed to Arizona to visit my sister for Christmas...and Luke and Leslie headed down there as well. It was exhausting getting it all fit in, and then it was exhausting while in Arizona as there was still tons to do. But we had a great are some pics of our fun times there:
The first night the kids had a school choir performance. We stopped and got food on the way there to eat during the break (there were two performances depending on the age of the kid). Inside was this cool panda that is their mascot i was a mexican chinese like place. Not bad food, probably would have tasted better fresh but cold wasn't bad.
Here's Rylee and Leselie with the panda:
Luke trying to eat the panda's rice with Leslie playing
Smile now!
JT is in the white t-shirt...the older kids danced in the aisles between songs
Top row, far head...that's Seth!
Didn't end up getting a picture of Rylee as my camera kinda sucked in the dark auditorium.
The next day I headed down to Gilbert to spend some time with my old roomie Liz from college. It was great fun to see her and catch up. We like to vacation together here and there, but it has been awhile. I miss my Liz.
When Liz took me back to Audra's we met at a friend of Audra's and we kareoked the night away! My first time really doing this...and I have to say I rocked! Well, actually my voice kept cracking but I think I impressed them with my knowledge of lyrics. :) hehe.
We took a trip up to the Grand to come in year closing post was foggy at first but it did clear up later and was a fun day.
Next we went to see Taliesin. This is a Frank Lloyd Wright home that is actually still used as a 'school/foundation' for artists and architects. It was pretty cool. Enjoy the views:

Front entrance near the gift shop

Pretty fountain at the front

View from the back

More view from the back...this place was pretty big!

Cool little sculpture. Can you tell it's starting to rain?

A little pond area in the back

Pretty pergola view

Pretty sculpture
Another cool one

Not all the students are architects...many went on to become well known artists and their work is throughout the home. Pretty cool.

I liked this one...called Inner Path

Luke and Leslie walking...Luke wasn't ready for the pic

Mom by a sign for the place...cut off the name a bit. Oops!

Smile Luke!

Audra in a doorway. Frank Lloyd Wright liked to do compress and release building...where doorways were a bit small and then the air is realsed into large rooms to help you appreciate the architecture more. Interesting concept.

Travis and I were also there...but didn't happen to get pics of us on my phone. Oh well.

Luke and Leslie were really impressed with all the cacti and the size of them out there. Had to get a pic by one of them!

Leslie ended up making us a chicken pot pie from scratch while at Audra's. I dont' like pot pies but everyone else raved about it! It looks really pretty!
December 23rd is Travis (Audra's hubby) birthday! We all had lunch together with the kids then later that night we headed out to a restaurant...adults only...that has a mechanical bull. We didn't get on the bull, but Travis did get this birthday treat from our waiter...huge cotton candy!

The waiter said he doubled the size just for us than what they usually give out for birthdays.

The the waiter drew on the bill so Audra wanted a pic of that. :)

Audra for Christmas gives out cookie plates to her friends. This year we added a special treat...Santa to deliver the cookies. Well...Luke as 'Santa's Helper' delivering the cookies. Here is is posing as muscle Santa:

Audra on Santa's Lap:

Mom and I on Santa's sides...we didn't want to wear him out too early. I missed the pic with the kids and Santa...was going potty. tmi...I know.

On Christmas Eve it is another tradition in Audra's household that one gift is opened...Christmas pajamas! Mom's even came with a special wrapping...which turned into a headband. hehe!

Audra couldn't be left out and created her own headband as well. Her's and my heads were too big to fit mom's headband.

No pictures from Christmas day or after but it was an awesome, fun, warm and exhausting trip! I hope you all had great holidays!

Oh and one final big present this Mom got the cross stitch I finally finished framed...professionally! Isn't it pretty. Onto the next project...soon.