Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Travels and Tales

So, I need to record some significant things and the pictures will have to follow. It is so much faster to write than it is to download the pictures.

Spring semester has been wonderful and challenging for me. I, again, took my students to the Ropes Course, which was a lot of fun (I do have pictures) and I have great students. I am learning a lot as I teach a new course. I teach about how to recognize and write a sound, strong argument. Everything that I read and teach filters into the rest of my life and, especially this semester, the readings, writings and students are on my mind constantly. Cody is plugging along in his classes and, despite his wanting to quit most days, he has not. I am starting to understand and appreciate how hard it is for him to be in school. I am grateful for his willingness.  I told him it has been a lot more painful to watch him go to school than it ever was to go to school myself. I pray for him a lot! He continues to be an incredibly helpful and loving father and husband. Those two roles come easy to him.

Jane is a beautiful growing toddler. She loves to be outside and play with the neighbors. She enjoys dancing, reading books,watching various Disney movies, and playing with us. She smiles and laughs and has, in the last two weeks, started to talk incessantly. It usually starts in the morning before we even get her out of her crib and continues on throughout the day. She has a lot to say. I just wish I understood what it is she is saying. She is waving and blowing kisses now. When we ask for kisses she will open her mouth wide and aim for our cheek. She loves to cuddle and loves her "bear-bear." Lately, she is really good at poking at her food and throwing it on the ground. She is less good at actually eating the food. Sometimes I have to take very deep breaths or call for Cody.

We had a friend, Janna, visit recently. Cody met her in Alamo right after his mission and has since been friends. She is from Germany, but has been staying in Alamo for months now. She was a pleasure to have and Jane was a big fan of having another person to play with. Cody took her to the sand dunes and we were able to visit the art gallery, take two trips to Jamba Juice, and help her fill her cravings for American candy bars. She also came to class with me and another friend, Tryrel. One night we went to a local restaurant where they had an open mic night. Janna is an excellent musician. She sings and plays guitar and piano. We couldn't convince her to grace the stage that night, but we enjoyed a few performances. We are glad that she was able to come and we look forward to seeing her again in Alamo and hopefully someday in Germany. 

We recently returned from a very rigorous trip. We first went to St. George to see my mother graduate. She earned her BA in Elementary Education. My brother and I went to the commencement and really enjoyed the valedictorian speech. He made everyone in the audience really laugh and had a great message...Don't take your plans too seriously because they will most likely change, and that is okay. My mom walked right after the commencement and we got together as family afterwards to celebrate with eating.

Cody left with Jane and Janna to travel to Alamo, NV Friday. I stayed in St. George and prepared to fly to California. I woke up at 5 am Saturday morning to travel to Las Vegas. The airport was stressful, but I had an uneventful flight to Stockton, California. I usually sit next to someone that talks, but this particular gentlemen was content with sleeping through the short flight. I arrived at 9:45 and expected to be picked up by a shuttle that I had already arranged. Well, no shuttle. I called to find out how I was going to get from the airport to my rental car ten miles away. Thankfully the man that was supposed to pick me up arranged for a taxi to pick me up. The taxi man was a very nice Asian gentleman. As he drove me through Stockton he explained that South Stockton is a dangerous place. He told a few frightening stories about people getting lost and getting jumped by gangs. As I looked around, I had little trouble believing the stories. As we traveled north, the view began to be more pleasant. At the rental car place I waited for an hour for a car. I finally was able to start traveling toward my grandparents house in Lincoln, CA around 11:15am. I drove for about an hour and a half and finally made it to my grandparents house. My lovely grandmother had a delicious lunch ready and I was able to take a short nap before I showered and got ready to drive another three hours to Anderson, California where my dear friend Junnel was getting married. The drive to Anderson was lovely. I took the scenic route and enjoyed taking in views of my former life in Northern California. Truly, I took for granted the rolling hills of green grass and the rivers and the mountains that were so familiar to me at one point.
The wedding was at a beautiful ranch. The river cut through the property and where Junnel and Jeremy exchanged vows, there was water behind them. I was able to see two friends from high school, Alyssa Cordova and Brittany Degan. They are as lovely as ever, and I enjoyed hearing about their jobs, their schooling and their lives right now. I was able to meet Brittany's fiance and Alyssa had her darling younger sister with her. The dinner and traditional wedding events were held in rustic barn on the ranch. The dinner was great, the company was better and I was able to see my friend dance with her sweetheart and interact with all her family and friends that love her. I had to leave earlier than I would have liked because I still had a three hour trip back to my grandparents. I got in around 11:30pm. My grandmother had a favorite dish ready for me to eat and despite it being so late, I ate it up. I slept until 3:30am and then got ready to drive to the airport. I turned in my rental car before 5 am that morning, waited for my 6:50am flight and was in Las Vegas by 8:30am Sunday morning. My wonderful sister in law Trina was willing to drive me to Alamo in my car. She and Paige traveled to Alamo with me, where I met up with Cody and Jane again. The horrible part was that we still had a ten hour drive to Rexburg ahead of us. I wanted to stay a couple of days to visit with family and recoup from my traveling, but after a nap, some dinner and some visiting we were headed to Idaho. We made it as far as Jackpot, NV that night and decided it was probably safer to spend the night and start heading back in the morning. Jackpot was not paradise, but we were grateful for a cheap hotel room and internet--I had to communicate with students for Monday class. Anyways, after trying to sleep with Jane's feet in my face half the night, we woke up to the smell of cigarette smoke and the ceaseless noise of slot machines. When we finally made it back to Idaho, we were all glad to be home! Connie had her sweet baby girl as we traveled home. We are glad Charlie is here, but we sure are sad we missed being able to see her.

Now that I have finally unpacked from our trip, kind of caught up in my lesson plans, and cleaned my house it feels like I might be able to manage life again.

Mother's Day was great. Cody got me some new clothes with his "plasma" money and I got some delicious chocolate from my ward. I love love love being a mother. This mother's day I was especially aware of the mothers in my life. I want to be like them when I grow up.

Sorry this post is slightly disconnected, but I wanted to catch up. Enjoy your week!

I will post pictures of everything eventually.


  1. Wow!!! what an adventure!!! so glad that it was safe. yes stockton isn't a very safe place :/ let us know if you need us to watch Jane so you and Cody can go on a date. miss you guys!

  2. I'm glad we got to see you all. We miss you. Jane is beautiful and sweet! See you soon!!


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