Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Great Road Trip: St. Louis

From Kearney, Nebraska at 2am to Suwanee, Georgia at 12am, Saint Louis was our mid-way stop.

The Great Road Trip

On Monday, July 20th, we embarked on the beginning leg of our Great Summer Road Trip--Provo to Salt Lake City. Cousin Jarom, Uncle Craig, Husband Josh, Sister Darcy, and Sister's Boyfriend Tim caravaned to Salt Lake to help Craig and Jaclyn unload into their new apartment. Once each room of their apartment was sufficiently stuffed with boxes and furniture we headed over to the local grocery store, grabbed food for lunch and snacks, and left port of call--beginning our 2,000 mile road trip across the country.

"The first transport is away. Hooray!" (Star Wars quote, used 7,921 times during the trip.)

We spent all of Monday driving I-80 through Wyoming to Kearney, Nebraska. Our drive was interrupted every 2-3 hours with a driver rotation at gas stations. And at each gas station a handful of us would hop out of the Suburban ("Big Mama") and the Geo ("Tiny Tim") and throw the football back and forth across the lot.

We stopped in the middle of the night at Kearney, Nebraska to see Roger Simpson. Roger graciously met us at the nearest gas station and led us to their new apartment where we brushed our teeth, napped on the couch, and chatted with the ever charming host. An hour later we moved on to the next official stop: Saint Louis.

Funniest part of the leg: All day Craig had been quoting the scary bad dwarf in Chronicles of Narnia--the part where the dwarf is talking to Edmund: "Do you want some num-nums?!" Craig was very good at using the same creepy voice. As we were turning into the gas station in Kearney the Suburban made this crazy grinding noise. The four of us awake listened intently, trying to figure out what was wrong with the car. "What was that noise?..." Craig woke up from the back of the car and creepily said, "It was the sound of my desire for the num-nums!" We all laughed and laughed and laughed.....wish I had the audio.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I like change. Not the type that makes life-altering adjustments. I like the kind you find on the ground. The kind that transforms a black asphalt parking lot of ugliness to an enchanted treasure cove of delight and riches.

I began picking up change after Josh and I got married and the obsession grew quickly.
In an interview with BYU sports broadcaster Jarom Jordan, I explained that I began my career as a "changemonger" because it symbolized appreciating the little things. I appreciated money. Not in a selfish way--in a way that expressed that we all need to treasure, value, and save. My hope was that I'd be able to find enough change to pay off our future debts. With all the people who disregard change because they don't feel it has value, I wanted to stand up and care.

Each penny I find is a wonderful, unexpected shiny gem of excitement. It makes me really happy--like finding wrapped gifts lying all over the parking lot.

Finding change really, truly helps me enjoy each day I live. They're tangible pearls of good fortune.

On our road trip to Georgia this July I found a lot of change. Almost enough to do a load of wash at the laundromat. Here are a few places I found change:

numerous gas stations: $o.18

St. Louis arch: $0.01

Wrigley Field: $0.08

the subway in Chicago: $0.12

the parking lot of the Winter Quarters Visitor's Center: $0.01

a pile of swept trash at Wal-Mart: $0.25

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Here fishy fishy fishy.....

Last Thursday Josh and I finally went fishing. I say finally because I've had a fly fishing pole in my closet since the Christmas we got engaged--3 years ago. I've used it to occasionally to practice in the backyard, the driveway, and the local park. But no matter how many times I was taught where to position the pole, where to keep my hands and fingers, and how to cast the line--it didn't mean much at all until we got in the water.

Joshua's grandpa very generously paid for a hilarious guide and, by chance, a beautiful day along the Provo River in the canyon. With my neck-high waders, oversized boots, and very hot pink shirt I was ready to try my hand at fly fishing.

Joe, our guide, picked out the flies he thought the fish would be eating. Once we caught a fish, he pumped its stomach with this turkey baster-thing. Because the fish don't always swallow the bugs right away we were able to see exactly which bugs they were eating. Joe would change out our flies accordingly. Please don't ask what we fished with. Josh just told me what they were called and I didn't understand a word he said.

Joe had us fishing about 30 feet from each other. The poor guy would sprint wade to Josh when he caught a fish and then sprint wade back to me when I caught my flies on a rock. This was a repeated pattern for a good portion of the day.

I caught the first fish, well, minnow. I was actually rather proud of myself.

Taking the traditional picture.

Joe would set us up in the "perfect" spot (Joe really does know each perfect spot along the entire river) and point out the exact "lane" we needed to fish in. "You see that still area of water, they're waitin' for you right there..." I would always thank Joe for his help and then look back at the rushing water in front of me, wondering where on earth he had found still water in the middle of the river. With each cast I was just happy to have gotten it in the water and not in my hair or a tree.

Joe took us up and down and across the river. We found brown trout, rainbow trout, little snakes, minks, a horse, and a very dead sheep ("Shh...She's sleeping!"--Joe)

Joshua and I had a rather successful day. Together we caught about 20 fish. Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Broken Vow

On the day that Josh and I were married, I silently snuck my own vow into the ceremony: Never Share The Same Toothbrush.

Okay, no more suspense about this post. Here's what happened....

When we left for our two week vacation we took our "manual" toothbrushes and decided to leave the electric toothbrush (with its separate heads) at home. Once we got back on Friday, I couldn't remember which head was mine. We had recently bought new heads and I couldn't remember if mine was my favorite color green on the right side (which has habitually been "my" side) or if it was my other favorite color blue on the left side. I decided that Josh had accidently mixed up the toothbrushes and used the blue head from the wrong side.

Josh left the house early the next morning before I'd woken up. As I went to brush my teeth for the day I found that he had not brushed his. The toothbrush head had not been changed. Strange...for a man who wants to be a dentist. But I concluded that he was probably too tired to switch the heads and just used his Crayola crayon toothbrush that Santa had included in his Christmas stocking.

As we got ready for bed that night I asked him why he hadn't used the electric toothbrush that morning. "No, I did", he said. "Oh, then you switched the heads for me afterwards?" "No", he said again. "But...Isn't that blue head mine?!" "Nope", he grinned.

"OH SICK!!!!!!"

the end.