Thursday, May 21, 2009

No More Chapel

Since we got back from Utah, I've felt like we've been on a whirlwind...so busy! That's probably because I work full-time, so the few hours I have before bed is the only time I have to do anything, and I'm usually pretty tired by then.

Friday I went back to work. It wasn't a normal day, but a full day. Overall, it wasn't terribly hectic, but it was different and I definitely felt like it was a full day at work by the time I got home. As it was Friday night, I believe Mark wanted to treat it as our date night, so we went out and I caved-in and let him buy a Blu-ray Player. I figured that we have the big screen TV and are getting a surround sound system already, so being without a Blu-ray is just pointless. Let me tell you, it's been one of the best purchases we've made. We got a player that has a wireless internet connection to stream directly to Netflix and Pandora. So we can gather several movies onto our instant queue and pick what we want to watch that night. We can also go through the mail for the Blu-ray quality movies and it's just been really fun. I think we've watched something on Netflix almost everyday since we got it. Also, the Pandora allows us to listen to music that we don't have on CD that is of the genre that we'd like to listen to, but it doesn't have commercials or static like the radio would. Mark has really been enjoying that feature! (He can't wait to get the surround system hooked up for the music...probably even more than for the movies!)
Some highlights from the weekend were (1)figuring out the features of the new Blu-ray and get it hooked up to the internet, (2)the movie Angels and Demons, (3)Stake Conference (which had the Sunday Session being broadcast to several chapels in the Northeast Region from Utah), and (4)the important announcement after the closing prayer of Stake Conference.

Well, the announcement was this:
The Longfellow Park Chapel from our stake had a serious fire that morning. There were people packed in that chapel too for the Stake Conference Broadcast, but they were all evacuated before anyone was hurt. I guess that chapel was dedicated by David O. McKay back in 1955 and is one of the (if not THE) oldest LDS chapel in the area, and it was quite devistating for our stake to lose that building. Mark and I tried to drive by the building to see what it looked like, but there was so much smoke that filled blocks and blocks surrounding the fire that the police and fire departments were blocking off the roads that led into the area. We were surprised to see that the smoke didn't go up more and stayed in all the trees like a thick fog for several blocks.

Monday after work Mark wanted to go check out the chapel for our FHE. We stopped by, but I didn't have my camera. I tried to take a few shots with my phone, and this is what I was able to get:
You can see that the charred roof caved in on one side. There are now boards on the windows.
You can see the sky right through the windows because there is no roof and most of the inner walls are gone.
You can see that there was charring up the steeple and that there were other sections of the roof that are totally ruined.

After visiting the chapel briefly, we then went to the mall to get some more suits for Mark then to do the grocery shopping. He was going to be staring his job at the courthouse this week, and he will need to wear a suit everyday to work. We took advantage of a sale at Men's Warehouse of buy one get one free for a couple of their brands.

Tuesday Mark picked me up from work and we did the grocery shopping , forgetting the shopping list on the table at the apartment. Wednesday I had another prenatal appointment, and that night I was actually able to cook dinner and watch a movie at home. Thursday we got to bring dinner to some friends who just had their baby...and it was a good excuse to go see the new little girl. It was really fun to be there because we also had a recent convert of our ward join us for dinner, and it was just a great conversation with everyone there.


(left) Delys holding new baby Katelyn Mae Tyler, (center) Delys and John Tyler (holding Skylher, Angela's baby), (right) me holding Katelyn Mae.

Now it's Friday, and I'm not really sure where the week has gone, but I'm glad for a weekend. I'm hoping to do some "window shopping" on Craig's List and see what baby gear I can get for cheap. As for the Memorial Day weekend, we're not completely set on what we're going to do, but I think we'll end up going for a drive to Maine and Vermont since we've never been to either state, and this is a good chance to do it. All I know is that I am going to enjoy a Monday where I don't have to go into work, even if all I do is stay home and work on a sewing project, or finish my Mothers' Day gift to my mom. :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Trip to Utah

So several people have asked about our trip to Utah before I got the chance to really sit down and post. Let me sum it up by saying that we really enjoyed ourselves. We got to see pretty much everyone that we wanted/tried to see, and we even did a few extra things that we didn't really even plan on doing. By the time it was over, I felt like I had a long enough vacation...not one of those times where you wish you still had 3 more days before going back to work to recover from your vacation. Mark may tell you differently, but I was ready to come back and felt refreshed from seeing so much family.

Now, let me start by saying, doesn't this smile just melt your heart...or is it just me!
This is my nephew Cameron, and the last time I saw him, he was just starting to scoot and crawl. Now he's a big boy, talking, running and playing, and doing a fabulous imitation of Bolt's Super-Bark.

For those of you who would like a more detailed look at our trip to Utah, here is a long post with lots of pictures for you! (You are forewarned!)
Friday, May 8
Friday was Cory's wedding, which was the whole purpose for our trip out to Utah to begin with. We had to wake up pretty early to take a 6:30am flight from Boston to Salt Lake City, but that was our only option, and we were happy to be able to make it with plenty of time to get to the temple for the ceremony. Mark and I met the bride for the first time in the Sealing Room, but it was so good to see the love in her eyes that she had for our brother Cory.
Sadly, I didn't have my camera that day because it was in Mark's back-pack, and he assumed that I would get it out to bring it...and I assumed that he would grab it since it was his back-pack. Oh well...there was a lot of family there, on both sides, to enjoy the occasion. Several pictures were taken, and it was just a perfectly beautiful day. As the bride's side of the family were taking pictures, Mark and I got reacquainted with our niece Megan and nephew Cameron. Megan seemed to remember me, but didn't recognize Mark with his goatee. I don't think Cameron really remembered either of us, but Brian and Tiff did a good job of showing them pictures of us enough to know who we are. I was surprised to see how quickly both of them warmed up to us, but then again, I guess any kid would warm up to you if you got down and played with them by running around the flower patches.
After the ceremony, we went out to eat with some of the family before heading to the reception that night. It was so good to see so many of Mark's family that we hadn't seen since we left for Boston. Still, no pictures to share, but it was pretty fun. (Megan wanted to be with me the whole time, sitting with me at the tables, taking me by the hand everywhere she went, taking me with her when she wanted a drink...I have to admit, she made me feel loved!) Mark and I got to talk to the bride, Sarah, for only a couple minutes, but we were happy to find that she was such a nice girl...we still don't really know her all that well. They left for their honeymoon that next day, so we will have to wait until Christmas to get to really know her.

Saturday, May 9
Saturday we mainly just slept in to recover from a very long Friday. I worked on my Mothers' Day gifts for Mom and Mom-in-Law. (I can't post pictures because my mom hasn't gotten hers yet.) Mark helped his parents run a few errands. But the main event of the day was going to Joe Morley's BBQ in Midvale (or is it Sandy?). We met with Brian and Tiffany with their kids Megan and Cameron. Megan was being adorable again and wanted to make sure she sat by me. She even shared my dessert and happily declared that her favorite part was the chocolate fudge...yep, she must be Tiff's daughter!
After that early supper, we went to Brian's house for movies and games. The adults watched The Dark Knight on Blu-ray downstairs, but I watched Bolt with the kids up in the parents' bedroom. I had seen The Dark Knight before, but I hadn't seen Bolt, and the kids were practically begging me to watch it with them, so I consented. Now I know what Cameron is imitating when he does the Super-Bark...sooo cute!
After the kids had a bath and went to bed, the adults played a game of Mormon Bridge (and I had one of the WORST games I ever played...figures!), and we just had fun hanging out.

Sunday, May 10
Sunday was Mothers' Day, and Alex was speaking in Church. Since he just came home from his mission a few weeks ago, there were a bunch of visiting family at Church that day to hear Alex's talk. It was nice because that meant another opportunity to talk with family. They gave out Symphony chocolate bars (one of my all-time favorites!!) to all the women age 18+ in the congregation for Mothers' Day, so it was my first Mothers' Day receiving something where I actually felt like I deserved it. Yeah, I know that the baby isn't here yet, but I'm still the mother because I have to worry about the baby's health from day 1.
That afternoon we had a big BBQ in the backyard as a welcome home party for Alex. It was just convenient that Mark and I got the be there. I was given permission to invite my family too, so I called Aunt Sylvia and told her to see if she could make it, bringing Grandma Brown and Aunt Loretta if it all worked out. And they all came, even my cousin Ragan with her husband and 2 kids (Emma, who made fast friends with Megan, and Evan), and my cousins Logan and Rachel. I was so glad to be able to be with them for a little bit. I was afraid that they wouldn't be able to make it because they might already have plans for Mothers' Day, or it would be too difficult with Loretta's health quickly deteriorating, but they made it! It certainly made my Mothers' Day.

Evan looking very suspiciously at the camera
Ragan's husband Eric with daughter Emma and my neice Megan. (Emma didn't want to go home when it was time to go. She wanted to stay and play with Megan.)
The whole Crist clan, from left to right:
Logan, Aunt Sylvia, Ragan (Brown) holding Emma, Me, Rachel, Eric (Brown)
Mark and me with Grandma Mona Brown and Aunt Loretta
After the BBQ we went to G&G Dahl's house for a special "dress rehearsal" of Carrie Wetzle's. Her piano performance recital was going to be the following evening, and so we were glad to be her practice audience before the big event. We had about 15 people there, and she thought that it would be more people than who would actually show up at the recital. Great job, Carrie!!

Monday, May 11
Monday, Mark's dad wanted to take up to the Kennecott Copper Mine. It's one of those things that you probably wouldn't think of to go visit unless you're from Utah, but I didn't realize that you could visit it. I just figured it was private property and you just don't go there unless you work there. I was mistaken. I took a lot of pictures, but I'll spare you the most boring ones.
This is a view on the way up to the mine.
This is the view looking out into the mine.
This is the size of the tires used on some of the trucks that haul the ore from place to place.


Here's Mark looking out into the mine.



That night, Mark had an "interview" with a federal judge who was personal friends with Grandpa Dahl. Grandpa set up the time for the introduction, and it seemed to be a very good thing for Mark. Judge Kimball (I think that's his name) is not hiring, but he offered to be a contact and to give Mark a great reference if someone asked him. Hopefully this will make it easier for Mark to find a clerkship in Utah for after graduation. That's the hope, so we'll just have to see what happens.
While we were waiting for Mark and Grandpa to return, we decided to play In the Manner of the Adverb, since Mark doesn't really like that game a whole lot and I LOVE it. This game is a little grown-up for Megan to really be able to play, but she really wanted to participate. So her job was to go get the people who were called out of the room when we were ready for them to return. She started doing something really funny each time she returned, so I tried to get a video of it. OF COURSE the video was not as good as the first few times she did it, but this is what I got.
video
She'd come running to sit back with me in the rocking chair, tongue and arms flailing, and really made me laugh.

Here are a few pictures of Cameron and Megan who really know how to ham it up!


Tuesday, May 12
Tuesday we visited with Grandma and Grandpa Smith, hoping to catch Mark's cousin Bobby, but Bobby was at the VA hospital, and just a few minutes after we left is when Bobby returned. However, by the time he called, we were in a hurry to go to see Star Trek, so we couldn't go back over to visit. Oh well. I got a couple pictures of his napping son Ethan though.

After the movie, we drove down to Orem to meet up with my mom's sister, Aunt Peggy, and my brother Jeff's family for dinner at Sizzler. It was so good to see her and to chat with her. We were planning on her coming with us to Provo to see Jeff's new house, but she was just too tired right after work, so we said good-byes at the restaurant. At least I got to see her for a little bit though, that was great! No pictures though, sorry!
We then went to Jeff's house and met up with my other brother Rob and his family. We just visited and hung out for a bit. Here are some of the fun pictures I got of all the fun.

After Rob's family left, Jeff and Mary, along with Sarah and Daniel (who live with Jeff and Mary) taught us how to play a new card game: Munchkins. That was fun time, but all three of us girls were getting sooo tired. We didn't leave until about 11:45pm, but it was a great time.

Wednesday, May13
Wednesday we went back down to Provo to visit with our good friends Doug and Steph Carlisle. Doug was a friend of mine from middle school and high school. Steph was a friend of Mark's and mine from our freshman year at BYU. Steph and I were roommates as sophomores, so when Doug came out to visit me, he met Steph...and within the year they were married. So, needless to say, we're good friends with this couple, and I'm so glad we got to see them. Steph is due to have her third baby any day now (actually, I think past due now!), so it was so good to see how they're doing. Their oldest McKenna was so fun and wanted to show us her chickens. How many of you get to play with chickens everyday?
Then we went to another house in Provo to visit another one of my childhood friends, Jenny (Sorenson) Fosdick. She just got a new house a couple months ago that I wanted to see. She's blogged several pictures of it, but I really couldn't picture the layout. It was so fun to visit with them for a short time. It just so happened that I was able to catch both families on the same day, and both husbands happened to take off of work that day. So it all worked out. YAY!


That night we went to go see Miss Saigon at the Pioneer Theater Company in Salt Lake. I was a little nervous because I knew that there was going to be foul language and sexual content, but I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it was because I was expecting it to be worse, or maybe it wasn't really that bad. Honestly, there were a few scenes that were quite riske, but that's what you get when you tell a story about prostitutes and marines. I don't know that I would recommend the show to people, but I will say that PTC did a great job with it. The acting was good, the music is great, and they had a couple of pretty cool props and effects. It was a tragedy, so I cried, especially at the end...which usually means it's a good show.


Thursday, May 14
Thursday was our last day before heading back to Boston, and we were afraid that we wouldn't get the chance to see Mikey and Breanne Meservy...the two people (outside of family) that we miss the most by living in Boston. But...somehow the stars aligned and we got ahold of them. When we arrived Breanne had only about 10 minutes left before she had to leave for work, but we still got to see her. After she left, we visited with Michael for a while, then took him out to lunch, and then visited some more until it was time to go back to the airport to go home. Once we got to see them, I felt like my trip was complete.


Our flight home was less eventful than our flight to Utah, and we arrived about 45 minutes early. We still didn't get home before 11:30pm, but it was a good trip, and I honestly was ready to be home. Not very many vacations end with me feeling like I've had enough, but this one did somehow. It was a great time for both of us. It was great to see family and friends, and I'm already looking forward to the next trip out there. Thanks Mom and Dad (Dahl) for making it such a wonderful trip for us! It was so great to be able to stay with you for a few days!