Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Journey To Utah

As promised here is our funny little adventure to Utah. We closed on our house in Texas on December 29th. One of the things we wanted to do before leaving Texas was it visit all the LDS temples in Texas. We had been to only the Houston temple. Our plan was to leave right after the house closing and travel to Dallas which was a 3 hour drive. After doing a session we would drive to Dublin, TX, the home of the first Dr Pepper factory and of course do one last tour! That night we were going to stay in a bed and breakfast in Dublin then head off to the Lubbock tx temple. We were going to miss the San Antonio TX but it was way too far out of the way. After going to the Lubbock temple we were going to continue on our way to Albuquerque NM. We would drive until we were tired and get a hotel room near the Albuquerque temple. The next morning we would do a session and continue on to Utah. Sounded like a great plan.

First things first. The closing happened but we were not quite ready to leave. We had to go by a couple of places and then we had some friends give us a gift certificate to our favorite restaurant Sodalaks Beef Masters Grill. We absolutely love this place. Great Texas cooking.
We were going to go the night before and got there at 9:05pm....they closed at 9. It was one of the things we wanted to do before we left. So we did our final things and waited till 11am to go to lunch. It was super tasty! Well, this meant we did not have time to go to the Dallas temple since it was already out of the way. Its ok, we still were going to go to two temples neither of us had gone to. So we headed straight to Dublin.

We pulled into Dublin, checked in at the bed and breakfast which was so lovely. It is called the Patrick St. Bed and Breakfast. The lady who owns it was great to talk to. This was the house she raised her children in and converted it into the bed and breakfast.

Here we are standing in front of the house.
Here is a picture of our room. It was very lovely.
Sean and I love dublin Dr. Pepper, and its lovely cane sugar!! We had to go to the soda shop/factory one last time. and headed to the factory.....closed at 5pm. it was 5:30pm. Really? So we made the decision to go to the factory in the morning.....they opened at 10am. Here is a picture of the soda fountain counter. We got ourselves some Dr Pepper for the drive!!Outside the factory there is a lot of Dr. Pepper stuff around. They throw a really big party each summer marking the birthday of the factory. Here we are sitting on the stage.
This is our favorite place to take a picture, by the giant Dr. Pepper can.
Since it was Christmas time they had these giant Christmas cards outside, we just had to take some pictures.
Lastly we took a picture by the statue of the original owner of the factory.

We left Dublin and headed to Lubbock TX to be able to go to our first temple since this was a temple trip. As we pulled up into the parking lot, we were surprised to see the gates shut. I wipped out my phone and looked up the temple hours online. Sure enough on Thursdays they are only open until 11am. It was around 2pm. So instead of going to the temple we took a few pictures and headed on our way. At least we still had the Albuquerque temple.The plan was to keep driving until Albuquerque. We looked up the schedule and there were sessions up until 12pm. We were going to drive close and find a hotel so we would be sure to make a session.

Around 7pm we hit Santa Rosa, NM. I needed a break since pregnancy and traveling were not agreeing with each other. We stopped at the truck stop which had a restaurant inside. Sean had a bunch of grading with him he needed to get done so we sat and graded while we ate. As we were sitting there, we overheard a trucker and waitress talking about the road closure. Sean asked them what they were talking about and sure enough the highway we were taking had been closed about 3 hours previous due to a winter storm. Since the road had been closed for so long, all the hotels in the area and surrounding cities were all booked. Luckily for us (and I say luckily very loosly) the city set up an emergency shelter at the old middle school gym. Everyone was provided with a lawn chair, sheet and shelter blanket.

Here I am grading Sean's tests while sitting on my lawn chair.
We estimate there were about 50 people who stayed at the shelter. This is another time that pregnancy did not agree with my surroundings.
They provided us with sack meals that consisted of a container of apple juice, an orange, two pieces of white bread and some mystery meat. One of the mystery meats was some sort of turkey patty. The other was a cup of chicken stuff. I could stomach the bread but the meat, not a chance. Did I mention that today was our 5th year wedding Anniversary? Yeah, they say you should make number 5 was.That night was rough. The doors into the gym were heavy so every time someone went through they slammed shut. People started leaving around 5am in the morning. We were sleeping near the door and each time someone went through there was a draft of cold air and a slamming noise. At 7am I finally got up and we decided to get on the road. The roads were pretty bad. Here is a shot out the car window. The worst part about it, we were in my car, a 97 geo prism. This is not a vehicle made for snow, or hills.We ended up not going to the Albuquerque temple. First of all, we did not have any chance to shower and get ready and spent the night on lawn chairs. Second, the road conditions were really bad so we did not want to chance prolonging our driving into the night time.

We continued on our way, having some moments of tense white knuckle driving. We decided to stop in St. George and stay with Sean's brother Patrick where we were able to get a hot shower and a soft bed to sleep on. The next morning we got up and finished the drive to Lehi.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

So I am going to jump ahead of my back tracking and post about Halloween!! Mostly because I can't access the pics right now for the next post and I have pics from Halloween.

Ok. So for Halloween Shantelle and I decided to host a Halloween party for my side of the family. It was our first annual Minute to Win It Halloween Party. It was great. Everyone was able to come! Ryon and Jana were going to be in town so it worked out perfectly. We set up a photo session station so everyone could dress up.

Mom was a clown and dad was a magician.
Ryon, Jana, and family are "travelers". They came down from Idaho and did not have time to prepare costumes (they are headed to Mexico for family vacation the next day).
Justin is a dead pirate, Ali is Cleopatra, Paige is a cute witch, Meg is a cat and Ty is a dog.
Shantelle, Josh and Family were from Peter Pan. Josh is Captain Hook, Shantelle is Wendy, Brayden is Peter Pan, and Brooklyn and Brynlee are Tinkerbell.
Here is my cute little family. Sean and I dressed up in our Renaissance costumes as an homage to the Texas Renaissance Festival we miss. Samantha is a cute little lady bug.
Celeste and Nate are sports players and Sadie is a little Minnie Cheerleader
Here are all the cousins! Top Row: Brayden, Harrison, Samantha, Hannah, Paige, Carson
Bottom Row: Simon, Brooklyn, Ty, Sadie, Meg, Brynlee
We all had a blast. Some of the games we played were:

Ready, Set, Hike- Hike 10 toilet paper rolls into a bucket

Face The Cookie- Starting with a cookie on your forhead, get the cookie in your mouth without using your hands in 1 min.

Spare me- Using a wrapping paper roll, shoot down pins with a golf ball

Bubble Blow- Blow a bubble and using only your breath, blow it across the finish line. Get as many points in 1 min

Defying Gravity- Keep 3 balloons in the air for 1 min

Caddy Stack- in one minute, stack 3 golf balls on top of each other and have them stay for 3 seconds.

Suck it up- Using a straw, transfer M&Ms from the table to a balanced stick on a bowl, stack as many in one min.

We had so much fun and the boys got really competitive. Most of the games had kid alternatives so the little ones like Brayden also had fun. Nate was our overall winner!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Welcome Back to Blogging

So if you look at the blogging history for our blog, you can see that we have not blogged in a really really long time. And, we definitely don't blog often. I want to change this. Since we have Samantha I want to be able to chronicle pictures of our beautiful family more than just uploading phone pictures to facebook. So, I am going to start at the beginning.

I was born September 22, 1983.....just kidding. Let me start at the beginning with little Samantha.

Let me start a litte further back. For those of you who don't know, or need a recap, Sean and I now live in Utah. Last September, Sean decided to look for a teaching job out west. He spent a few days working on his resume and then got on a teacher website and saw a job posting at a charter school in Lindon. It turned out that his college bishop was the brother of a board member for this charter school. Sean made a phone call then got a phone call for his resume. Later that day, he got a call from the school and a scheduled skype interview the next day. The interview went really well and since they needed to fill the job immediately, he had a job offer that Saturday. A week later he was moving to Utah. He moved into my parents basement while i stayed in Texas to sell our house. Sean flew out for Thanksgiving with his Mom and we painted two rooms in our house. We were lucky to be able to sell the house December 28th. Sean flew out December 22nd and we packed everything up, closed on the house, and got in the car to drive to Utah. Our trip back to Utah is a story itself....but that is for another blog.

So, you are probably wondering, how is all of this "starting with Samantha". Well, it was the week of Christmas, just a few days before Sean flew to Texas, that I decided to take a pregnancy test. I didn't really think that I was pregnant, but I was "late" and had one in my drawer. I took the test, hopped in the shower and after the shower I looked at the test. Two lines. I was shocked. It hasn't ever looked like that before. I took a picture and sent it to Sean who was already at work. He immediately called and said "who is he?". We laughed and were both pretty speechless. (if you are trying to figure out how....remember Sean visited for Thanksgiving). I told Sean that on my way to work I was going to purchase the more expensive pregnancy test, the one with the digital read out to be sure. The first time I took it, I got an error message. Had to wait another hour. Took the test again, and yes, I was pregnant!!!

Here is the ultrasound picture the doctor did at our 8 week appointment. The baby is growing!!That is all for now, next blog will be our funny journey from Texas to Utah.....while 5 weeks pregnant.