Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Truth Tuesday

  • One of my favorite sounds in the whole wide world is frogs singing at night. I guess they're more croaking than singing, but whatever, I'm trying to make this sound whimsical. 

  • The only time I sincerely enjoy grocery shopping is on scorching hot summer days. The grocery store is always nice and cool. Especially the soda and beer aisle. I always make sure I take a leisurely stroll down the beer aisle when it's piping hot outside. 

  • My old email address is crazy8fatbutt@aol.com. To make a long story short, my mom made it for me when I was fourteen or so and she thought she was super hilarious. It's one of the more embarrassing things in my life when people find out about this old address. And now I am confessing it to the world. There, maybe it will no longer embarrass me.

  • My brother, the missionary, (who leaves tomorrow) would like a million fake "Dear Johns" from girls. If you are not a creepy missionary stalker and would like to send him one, lemme know. 

  • I had Oreos and milk for breakfast and I've felt awful about it all day. No more treats and lots more veggies for me for the remainder of the week. 

  • I promise sometimes I'm actually healthy. 

  • I've been on a scary movie kick. I need more good suggestions of things to watch (please no gore just for the sake of gore and please no cheesy endings that ruin the entire movie). 

Welp, have a good Tuesday/practically Wednesday

This random photo is me at Bear Lake this past weekend. There will be a post in the near future about that excitement so watch yo back. 

Elder Keller

My brother moves to California tomorrow and will live there for the next two years. He will dedicate his time to serving others and spreading this message.

I never thought it would be so hard for me to watch my brother go on a mission. I'm actually a bit embarrassed because, I mean, people go on missions everyday. It shouldn't be this big of a struggle for me. Plus, it's just two years. I can write him letters and send emails. I can even skype with him on Christmas day. All the same, I'm really going to miss Ronnie Jace, my one and only brother.

I loved Jace from the day he was born. Not only is he my little brother and one of my longest-kept friends, but he gave me an important title. He gave me the title of big sister.

I was so excited when my mom was pregnant with Jace. I waltzed around declaring myself the big sister. My parents didn't find out the sex for any of us kids so it was always a constant guessing game on whether my mom would have a boy or a girl. But I knew from the beginning that I was going to have a little brother. Anytime someone would say to me, "Are you so excited to have a little brother or sister?" I would respond by telling them I was very excited to have a little brother.

After Jace was born, I took it upon myself to protect him and keep him happy, as any good big sister would. I was convinced the only person that could bully him would be me. Which I did all growing up.

 My childhood friend Catherine and I would lock Jace out of our wooden playhouse in the garden almost daily.

"What's the password," we would ask in demanding voices. J

ace would say passwords in his gentle little voice and even when he got the password correct, he still wasn't allowed to pass.

"Sorry, we just changed the password."

He constantly wanted to play with me and my friends, but when my friends were around, I was just too cool for my little brother. One time, when Catherine and I were making our pretend radio show where we discussed different animals (this was a common occurrence), we took a break to get a snack. We left our cassette tape and recorder on the couch. Jace usually sat and listened to us record, but we never let him talk even though he begged many times. When we returned from our snack, we found Jace guiltily holding the microphone. He had recorded his own segment on hermit crabs (his favorite animal). At the time, I was angry. Now I'm so glad he did it. I'm glad we have his cute little voice recorded. He had trouble saying his "r"s as a child so he can be heard in his timid voice saying, "I weally wove hewmit cwabs. Maybe I'll buy two ow fwee." Even in my high school years, I managed to pick on Jace here and there. He was a freshman when I was senior. I don't think he realizes how much I worried about him and asked guys my own age to look out for him, but that still didn't mean I didn't tease him ruthlessly when passing him in the hallway between classes.

Along with all the mean things I did to Jace growing up, I feel like I also tried hard to be nice. Jace was very shy when he was little. I, however, was not all that shy. At times I was overconfident and bossy. So I took it upon myself to be Jace's voice when he was too afraid to speak. There were countless times I would coax him to answer an adult or just answer for him if he didn't want to.

 Since we were just little all the way up to when I got my driver's license, I sat by Jace on the school bus. I remember once when I was in middle school, I went to sit somewhere else one morning. I heard Jace's sweet voice, "Kelsey . . . please sit by me." I'm sure I rolled my eyes, the way most thirteen year olds do, but I plopped down next to him in my regular spot.

Also, when my friends weren't around, Jace was my very best friend. We had all kinds of games we played together. We were constant companions. Many of our childhood days were spent jumping on the tramp, riding bikes, climbing the crab apple trees in our pasture, and digging in our sandpit. I also easily convinced Jace that dancing in the front room with me was fun. In our dress-up clothes, we had two tutus, a pink one and blue one. Jace always wore the blue one (as I remember it). We would get dressed up and I would turn on and turn up some music in our front room. There we twirled around, the armchairs and piano were our audience. This soon became one of Jace's favorite things to do. He would go put on his tutu and ask if we could play dancers. I guess I should mention that Jace was three/four at this time. If you were imagining him being, say, 12 then this might be a little weird.

Once I graduated from high school, I distanced myself from Jace a bit. We were living in different selfish worlds; high school and college. However, once Jace reached the end of his senior year and decided he would go to a year at USU and then serve a mission, I became excited. I started thinking how much fun it would be to go to college with my brother. Then I realized that I was not the cool big sister but the embarrassing older sister who was married. I would probably rarely see Jace around USU. However, Jace proved me wrong. My brother instantly got very involved at school and even joined a fraternity, but that didn't mean he was too cool for me, the way I had been back when we were kids. There were many times we met up for dinner or went out to a movie. Not only that, Jace would often show up to our townhouse unannounced.

 "I just wanted to say hi," he would say as I answered the knock at the door.

Then he would sit in our living room for an hour or two and we would chat and laugh about things. One Saturday morning, he even showed up to surprise me with a Mr. Bucket he had thrifted. All the pieces were still there and it was nearly in perfect condition. My Mr. Bucket had been one of my favorite toys as a kid. I felt extremely special that day that Jace had taken the time to bring me such a special gift.

 I don't think he realizes how much I've appreciated our relationship in the last year. We have always been close, but I feel like we are now closer than ever.

So now you understand why I am having anxiety about this mission thing. I'll be the first to admit I'm a drama queen so I'm sure it won't be so bad, but I really will miss my little brother. It's crazy to think when I see him again after tomorrow, he will be almost the same age that I am right now.

Elder Keller, you will be one heck of a missionary. Every time you get out of bed, I'm sure the devil will be nervous. I guess I can give up two years of goofing off with you so that you can bring truth and happiness to other families out there who are currently searching for peace. You are one of the kindest people I've ever met with the biggest heart. How grateful I am to call you my brother. Thank you for giving me one of my favorite titles: big sister.


These are just some pictures I had handy on my laptop. So don't you fret, next time I visit my parents' house, you better believe I'll be digging up that photo of Jace in his tutu. At least I can share embarrassing stuff about him while he's gone and he'll never have to know, right?  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Logan Love: Ephraim's Grave

I've had a long-time love for bears. For our honeymoon, we went to Glacier National Park. There were bear warning signs plastered everywhere. I searched and searched for a bear in the bear-infested land and never even saw one. Bummer. I've always wondered where my odd obsession with bears stems from and I think I discovered the source.

As a little girl, my grandma would tell me stories about Old Ephraim. He was a massive grizzly bear who roamed the land as far as Soda Springs, Idaho down to Weber County in Utah (that's a lot of land for a bear). Old Ephraim is kind of a local bit of folklore. He was also known as Old Three Toes due to a deformity on one of his paws. He reeked havoc on farmers, devouring their sheep and chasing off sheepherders. Many tried to catch and kill him and it took a long time for anyone to succeed.

Frank Clark, a farmer from Malad, Idaho decided to make it his mission to catch the bear. He had trapped and killed many grizzly bears. Clark tried for a long time and failed. He found a pool where Old Ephraim went at night so he dropped a trap in the water. Each time, the following morning, the trap would carefully be lifted out and set aside. Clark was amazed with how smart the vicious bear was. Finally one night, Clark succeeded. Shrieks of terror woke him up so he left camp and soon found the bear with the trap clamped on his paw. It took seven shots and I think it about gave Clark a heart attack, but he finally killed the infamous bear. Later he said he regretted killing Old Ephraim.

Up Logan Canyon, near the site where the last grizzly bear in Utah was killed, there now stands a huge monument. The stone structure is 11 feet tall, the same height as Old Ephraim. This song is engraved on the monument:

Old Ephraim, Old Ephraim, your deeds were so wrong;
Yet we build you this marker and sing you this song;
To the king of the forest so mighty and tall;
We salute you, Old Ephraim, the king of them all.
I had always wanted to visit the monument, but it never happened. Finally, last weekend, I did it. I even wore my bear shirt for extra celebration. The fact that we also chased sheep down the road was another dramatic touch (since Old Ephraim's favorite snacks were little lambs). My family drove down from Idaho to join in on the fun. Huge props to my lovely mother for loading the ranger and four-wheeler on the trailer all by herself. Talk about Superwoman. I also better give a shout out to Jace and Alexis for following the ranger the entire way on the four-wheeler. They ate our dust. Quite literally as you can see from that last picture.

To get to Ephraim's Grave, go up Logan Canyon and turn at the Temple Fork turnoff. From there, follow the signs leading to Ephraim's Grave. This August, it will be the 90th anniversary of the legendary bear's death. Another interesting bit of information: Old Ephraim's skull is on display at the USU Library. It's been to the Smithsonian as well, so his noggin is kind of a big deal.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Let's run away to red rock and water

I'm longing for some exploring in a land where I am not required to shower. I want to wear my bathing suit 24/7 and not get odd looks from my peers. It also sounds pretty enticing to run off somewhere with no amount of cell service. 

Sounds a lot like Lake Powell. Has it seriously been over a month since we went with the Weller fam? My, this summer is flying. 

Also, BWell is kind of weird. Good thing I love him . . . 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Best: Ladylike

cardigan: Target, dress: F21, wedges: Target, necklace: American Eagle, bracelet: Millie Made

As a grade school child, I was a total tomboy. I came home from school covered in grass stains, tardiness from recess was a constant occurrence since I stayed out after the bell to play the whole "next point wins" in games of pick-up basketball, I was one of the only girls allowed to join in on the boys' games, and I wouldn't even openly admit to thinking certain boys were cute until I was, like, fifteen. I guess you could say I was a late bloomer. 

However, I am also the oldest in my family and for a long time, was the only girl. This resulted in my mom always dressing me up and fluffing my hair. I was very cooperative of looking cute, but still, there were many times I asked, "Why, God, could I not be a boy?" 

I can now say, I'm proud to be a woman. Girl power. I even like putting on dresses and feeling like a lady. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a mean game of pick-up ball every now and again. 

Happy Sunday! Maybe I'll blog again soon. . . but no promises.   

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

That time I almost met Robert Redford

One of the many pretty views at Sundance Resort

Okay, not really. But a girl can dream. A couple weekends ago, Brian won a weekend getaway to Sundance Resort since his Allstate agency is doing such a grand job. I was proud of him, and way stoked to get away for a couple of days to stay in the mountains. We drove through Park City on Friday night where we stopped for dinner. By the time we got to the resort, it was pretty late so we went up to our cozy cabin and decided to watch a movie. Luckily, in the lobby there was a library of Robert Redford movies (he owns Sundance Resort) so we checked out Butch Kassidy and the Sundance Kid. 

The next morning, we went to a big breakfast, courtesy of Allstate. All the other agents who won the trip were also there. We enjoyed fruit, waffles, and biscuits with gravy out on the deck of the lodge where we enjoyed this view:

Everything was so peaceful until a lady who works with Brian often approached us and said, "Did you see Robert Redford last night? He's staying at the resort this weekend. I saw him."

At that point, my heart started racing and I had to stop myself from freaking out. I love Robert Redford. Even though he's now old enough to be my grandfather, I think he's one of the loveliest men in Hollywood to ever live. Just sayin'. I immediately started interrogating her, asking where he was, what he acted like, how long he was staying, what he was wearing . . . you know, just your typical stalker questions.

Needless to say, I kept my eyes peeled for the remainder of our stay, but saw no Mr. Redford. The best I could do was the collection of DVDs from the front lobby.

But we did go on an epic hike to see a waterfall instead. That lightened my spirits quite a bit. A popular hike for the area is the hike to Stewart Falls. Except the majority of people pay to ride the ski lift most of the way up, so I'm not sure if you can really call it a hike. BWell and I are cheap wads, so we searched the forest for the unmarked trail. We wandered for quite some time, but eventually got on track and made it to the falls. It was scorching hot that afternoon too. So after being covered in dust and marching our way through the high 90 degree weather, we gladly hiked up to the higher fall and took a little dip in the pool. Talk about an instant cool down. Ice ice baby. That's how cold the water was.

I'm still thoroughly convinced I live in an area with some of the best hiking in the country (and the best part is that no one else has caught on, so I get most of the trails to myself), but I'll admit that this hike was pretty darn cool. Provo Canyon, you got me. And BYU peeps, you really ought to start bragging up this Stewart Falls hike over that whole climb to the Y. I would much rather see a waterfall at the end of my hike over getting to look at Provo City. But that's just me and I'm weird. But seriously, Stewart Falls was breathtaking..

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Truth Tuesday

Oh, just me being all American Girl on July 4th. 

  • I suck at blogging nowadays. If you haven't noticed. But I made a new header and other shenanigans and I really like it. So that's nice.  

  • For some reason, I always go in a panic after the 4th of July passes. It seems like the summer always whizzes by after Independence Day, so I start going bonkers thinking of all the things I need to accomplish before summer ends. Some things on the list are: float the river, go camping, go on a horse ride, put lights up on our patio, make it to a carnival, and play night games. What's left on your summer list? 

  • Our 4th of July was excellent. We were in a parade for BWell's business. Check out our awesome float here. Then we had a barbecue with Brian's family. Both his sister from Baltimore and brother from the Bay Area were here with their families so it was exciting to spend time with them. We also cooled off in the water during the hot afternoon hours. The night was completed by watching the fireworks explode over the lake while we were all on the boat. I captured the grand finale on my phone, so check it out

  • Speaking of video on Instagram, how does everyone feel about that? I was pretty thrilled because this means now I can delete my Vine. At the same time though, watching short, jumpy, out-of-focus videos kinda makes me nauseous.

  • I'm working on a story about student loan rates doubling and how this will impact students in our area. As I was looking up things online, I ran across so many things where Republicans were blaming the Democrats and the Democrats said it was the Republicans fault. And honestly, it all just sort of ticked me off. I don't care whose fault it is, just try to work together for ten freaking seconds and fix the problem. I know, I know, if I think I'm so smart then maybe I should run for office. My point here is basically that I think political parties are a horrible idea. If anything, I feel they just divide our country. I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican. I'm an American, dang it. 

  • On Friday night, we were in Idaho at my parents' house and there were tornado warnings. I guess there's a first for everything. Needless to say, we didn't need to bunker down but there were tons of "Wizard of Oz" jokes floating around. The storm did ruin our plans of sleeping on the trampoline though. Instead we took advantage of the storm by staying up late to watch The Ring and we ate tons of popcorn.

  • My brother leaves on his mission at the end of this month. I'm going to have an anxiety attack. 

  • My boss found this gem of a video today and I about fell over with laughter. Those poor children. Can I get a dinosaur costume like this somewhere? Talk about the best Halloween costume ever.  

That's all I've got. Happy Tuesday, friends!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Truth Tuesday

  • It's so hot right now. I'm hiding in my dark cool living room and all I want for dinner is salad and Otter Pops. Sometimes it amazes me that this weird area I live in reaches the hundreds in the summertime and then can be below freezing during the winter months. Talk about extremes. 

  • Want to scare off creepy guys? Maybe you should buy these hairy leggings. This is a real thing in China, guys. 

  • It amazes me how small babies are. My sister-in-law is having a baby and I've been putting some things together for her shower. Looking at baby clothes just blows my mind. It blows my mind even more to think that I once fit into something as tiny as a newborn onesie. Like, whoa. 

  • Imagine Dragons on Pandora is a good thing. Try it for yourself. 

  • I cannot believe Independence Day is this week. This summer is flying by. I'm excited for the fun in the sun with family as we celebrate one of my very favorite holidays. 

  • My current food obsession is chocolate shakes. I'm talkin' a real old fashioned shake here. Yum, so good. 

  • One day, I will own a pool table. 

  • I made Muddy Buddies for the first time yesterday. Don't ask me how I went for 22 years of my life not making those.

  • Brian and I recently went on a date to a monster truck show. It was intense and I should have brought some earplugs. I wore my best monster truck attire . . . camouflage pants, snap back, and my jean vest. At the end of the show, one of the trucks rolled over. While I was grabbing Brian's shoulder, gasping, and asking if the driver was alright, everyone around us was cheering. It's ridiculous what human beings do for entertainment sometimes. Oh, the driver was fine, just fyi.    

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tea Party or Succulent Garden?

I have had this longing to plant some succulents for a while now, but I was holding back since I didn't know how to take care of them. Luckily, they are pretty tough plants . . . not quite as sentimental as the rose bush I killed last summer. 

I wanted to display my succulent garden in a fun and unique way. After some brainstorming, I decided it was time to put some of my tea cups to good use. I don't drink tea, but I adore tea cups. Whenever I visit antique stores, I have to browse through the tea cups, plates, and other delicate china. I think it's sweet that something as simple as a cup can hold so much beauty. People used to care so much more about the little details. 

I found that I had two tea cups that would fit two of my succulents, but I needed a home for my cactus. It was my lucky day, because after the first stop at one of my favorite antique stores in town, I found a tea pot tucked away just waiting for me to find it and claim it as mine. 

I followed this tutorial on how to plant my succulents. So far, so good. They're not dead yet. It's fun to not only have some indoor plants, but I really am happy with how they are displayed. It adds a fun element to my kitchen. And now my tea cups are no longer gathering dust . . . just dirt!

Any other fun ideas of how to display your succulents? Let me know! I think this might be the next thing I try. I thought it was weirdly terrific. I mean, a succulent growing out of a dinosaur's back? How rad is that?