Thursday, January 31, 2008

4 Things You May (or May Not) Know About Me

Four things about me that you may or may not have known (in no particular order):


Four jobs I have had in my life:

1) Personal Assistant
2) Geneva College, Spanish Conversation Aid
3) Christian Day Camp Counselor
4) Itinerant Elementary School Counselor for SLC school district


Four movies I would watch over and over:

1) Pride and Prejudice (any version)
2) Any M. Night Shamylan movies
3) Grease
4) Napoleon Dynamite


Four places I have lived:

1) Abington, PA
2) Phoenixville, PA
3) Pottstown, PA
4) Ogden, UT


Four TV Shows that I watch:

1) The Office
2) The Hills
3) House
4) Law & Order (any)


Four places I have been:

1) Jamiaca
2) Bahamas
3) Mexico
4) Cheyenne, Wyoming


People who e-mail me (regularly):

1) Ben
2) My mom
3) My dad (photoshows:)
4) random friends here and there-not that my friends are random, but the emails seem to be :)


Four of my favorite foods:

1) Tastykake Kandycakes (peanutbutter...mmmmm...)
2) dark chocolate
3) Carnitas
4) Enchiladas


Four places I would rather be right now:

1) In bed
2) reading in bed
3) holding my nephew
4) Heaven


Four friends I think will post responses in comments:

1) Crystal
2) Steffers
3) Bethie
4) Natta


Things I am looking forward to within a year:

1) Dad & G'pa visiting
2) Roebuck family visiting
3) Getting a job closer to home
4) Stacey & Chris' impending nuptuals...:)


So that is only "4" of each of those...you know I could go on and on and on about anything Jane Austen, or mexican food, or my friends & family...so, let me know if you want to hear it & I could never delay any pleasure of yours willinging. haha Mr. Darcy says something like that to Elizabeth Bennett...I AM currently re-reading P&P and watching the 6 hour A&E version with Ben...and again, I could go on and on...but I'll save it for another post. :):):)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

So No One Even Tried To Guess...

Our mystery guest was none other than the funny, witty, talented and caring...



...BRETT!

Brett is one of my best friends from P'ville High School. We have been through a lot together, he is like a brother to me and he was a groomsman in our wedding. He lives in NY city and I rarely see him, so you can imagine how THRILLED I was when he called last Saturday to tell me he was flying into SLC airport on Sunday for a free-lance gig at Sundance Film Festival. He works in the film/TV industry, filming and editing film for different things like commercials and documentaries. So, when he got the chance to be flown to UT for Sundance, it was an added bonus to visit with Ben & I...or rather, it was our bonus!




So, we had about 6 hours to spend with our friend and were able to bring him up to the house, show him around Ogden, have dinner, and see his pics from his recent trip to Spain before returning him to SLC to his hotel and job. It was wonderful. There is nothing like a surprise visit from such a dear friend to liven up a long weekend! (hint hint)

Brett, thanks for NOT forgetting to call me and tell me you were coming...this blog may not have been as "sweet" if you had forgotten. ;)

We are now looking forward to a visit from my Dad, Mark and my Grandpa, Bill next month and from the Roebuck family in March. Anyone else want in? We love visitors! :):):)

Monday, January 21, 2008

I think I figured it out!

And it wasn't really hard at all...I'm just a goof! Anyway, here we go...

Don't worry, I really did have fun!


video

video

And so did Marissa! She is really too funny!

Another Snow Day

So we both officially have today off anyway...but we've gotten about 8 more inches of snow. CRAZY! Ben is still really happy and claims that he doesn't mind all of the shoveling...we'll see if he stays that course as this year goes on. :)

This weekend we went sledding with Scott and Marissa and we have some pics to show you of the sledding hill. I want to put some videos up but have to figure that out first...any tips natta?


Scott, Ben & Marissa climbing the "hill".


This is a view of Pineview resevoir, only it is completely frozen over and covered in snow. There are lots of ice fishers though!

We stayed till after sunset. That is Snowbasin's peak that the sun is setting behind and completely blocking with it's gorgeous light!

This pic might give you a better idea of how steep the hill was, but don't worry the bank at the bottom was steep enough to keep the sleds from going over and into the road...that is if we even made it all the way down on the sled. :)

This was the view of the peak directly across from our sledding hill as the sun was starting to set and the shadows from the mountain we were on were casting through the valley and onto that peak. Pretty awesome to see in person...let us know when you are ready for it. :)

We also had a surprise visitor this weekend, an East Coast friend, someone who was in our wedding party and who was in town this weekend for business...any guesses? If you know what is happening in Utah this week and are familiar enough with those in our wedding party, you may be able to guess...I'll post with a pic later to confirm or deny your suspicions, but let me know if you have a guess. :) In the meantime we'll be deciding what to do with the rest of our snow day (besides petting cats). :):):)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Snowy Utah

Ok, so, it's about time Ben blogged. I'm glad Esther covered our trip home, we both loved seeing our families and friends. Nothing like that Pennsylvania people flavor that we've been missing so much.

UTAH TRIVIA: people here are very timid and shy. And they're terrible drivers ( I know, every state says they have bad drivers, but coming from PA, NJ, DE, NY, MD area, we've seen a lot and can testify that Utah is much worse). So that combo is really bad, because NOBODY HONKS THEIR HORNS!! You can see an almost iminent accident about to happen, and no horns go off. So , in a bit of a social experiment, we're honking when people deserve to be honked at. He he! Just passing around the PA flavor!

So, we were sad to leave PA, but what made things easier for me when we arrived was the boatload of snow that was waiting for us. Flying past the Rocky Mountains cloaked in snow on our arrival to Salt Lake was pretty thrilling, so I'm glad Esther put those pics in the last post. From about mid Dec to mid Jan, there was a snowstorm every few days. Each one was a couple inches, but last week we had a doozy. This storm parked right over Ogden, and when I got back from work there was 16 inches to shovel!

So on our lawn, the snow has settled down to about knee deep. The sidewalk is fun, almost like a tunnel because the snow is waist high. I'm loving it,and most people around here love it too. Most people ski, snowshoe or cross-country ski, and if you don't do any of those, you still like having drinking water in summer. So everybody at least appreciates the snow. One wierd consequence: There's many times more snow in the foothills and mountains, and the moose are having trouble finding food. So they're making their way into the northern parts of Ogden, munching on people's bushes. Needless to say, we are on the lookout for stray meeses at the Van Buren house, leaving nose smudges on all the windows (we are, not the mooses).

So, below our some pictures of all the snowy goodness. My buddy Chris from PA came out for a few days, and we skied at the real small resort closest to Ogden (Wolf Mountain).

This is Chris posing in front of the Wasatch backcountry. The mountains that border Ogden are making the shadow behind him.



Snow rocks!! There's a Dinosaur park in town that has life-size replicas of dinosaurs that you can walk through. But this snow guy is my favorite so far.

At Snowbasin, the snow is waist deep!And the parking lot has some awesome snow mountains!!

This is my neighbor buddy enjoying all the snow. He had some rockin forts built. They undid a lot of my shoveling... I'm getting old.And the pad all decked out in a foot and half of freshness.

Other than all the snow enjoyment, we've been trying to settle down and relax a bit. We'll be gradually checking out a ministry called Teen Parents, and we hope to help provide transportation for the teens involved from Ogden to the churches they meet at.

There's also a small possibility we'll take on a doggie for a few months....a budy's budy in the Air Force is deploying for 4 months and needs someone to watch his 1 year old Lab/Collie mix named Cody. So it may be a chance to see how a dog would fit into our lives, but we haven't committed yet. Will keep ya posted!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Over My Christmas Break I....

...visited PA and spent lots of time with family and friends. We played the Worst Case Scenario game at Dad & Gingers, had the first good pizza I'd tasted in almost 6 months with my mom, I played Disney charades with Trav, Jake, Alec, Brook, Meg & Dad, we got to be aunt & uncle to Logan, finally saw my sister Kate's super-cute first apartment, finally saw Stacey's engagement ring (it's gorgeous!!!!!), ate at the Warrington bagel shop (twice) with mom & dad Hardy, played Rock Band for XBOX with Kel, Care, John & Aj (Care & the boys rocked drums/guitar while I rocked the mic with Kel...hehe), I visited with Natta, Vonne, Jon, Bethie & Phil, we saw the Goods, the Schnitzels, the Thickenings and had Chubby's cheesesteaks with some of the Pilgrim crew, ate at Victor's Italian Club in Reading with the Hardys, visited with the whole Hardy clan Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, went bowling at Phoenix Lanes, I saw Ben feed Logan (so cute), Meg cut everyone's hair, Mom & Dad Hardy threw a New Years Eve bash with TONS of food and APPLES TO APPLES (see pics)....and then we got a few hours of sleep before we flew home to Utah...








Thanks a ton to Mom & Dad Hardy for taking us to and from PHL and for allowing us to use their car while we visited. We truly had such a lovely visit with everyone...but it is never enough time...so you'll all have to come and visit us!


Ben says....plus it's snowy here.
The above pic was our first view of Ogden and Mt Ogden from the airplane when we flew into Utah. Snowbasin ski resort is on the opposite side of the mountain and if the wing wasn't in the way you could see our house...stupid wing :)...the below pic is of the Weber canyon...this is the way we drive to see our friends Nathan and Jamie, where we had Thanksgiving or to go to Cheyenne, Wy...plus you can see our pastor's house in this pic! Check out the view of the next mountains in the background.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ok, I know it's been a month...

When I last wrote we had just had a friend from Philadelphia visit and I had had my first Utah skiing experience. WHAT A DAY! Ben, Cheri & I had never skiied in powder and the day we went to Snowbasin it was snowing so we were so excited to see what the difference to East Coast ice skiing would be. The bunny slope was fun and gave us some confidence...except for when I skied directly into ungroomed powder to see what it would be like and was sent directly to my butt. It was a soft fall so I was laughing but realizing that I was not going to be a powder skiier right out of the gate. We then endeavored to take a 2000 foot gondola ride to the top of the mountain feeling confident enough to make our way down on what I expected to be mostly green (easy) slopes with a few blue (intermediate) slopes as connectors. I quickly saw that the truth was that there were NO greens and what I would later be told was no easy way down from that point. So we started down and I started noticing how everyone else seemed to be having a really easy time manuvering even some of the really powdery spots. Not long after, on the first big slope, all three of us took our first big falls and had some trouble getting up from the quicksand likt powder. After getting up I was a little shaken at how difficult it seemed in comparison to blues in the east...but determined to prove myself. I very quickly found myself buried in the powder with one ski comepletely burried and one sticking straight up with one pole in hand and the other about 4 feet above my head, out of reach. Every move seemed to dig me deeper into the powder, soft and beautiful as it was, it was my enemy as I struggled to get up, get my skiis off and climb the last 20 feet or so down the slope. Oh, and my other pole, well a nice young (maybe 11 year old) boy climbed up in his boots to retreive it for me while I struggled in the powder. What a sweetheart. I was considering leaving it there. :) This falling and getting up pattern continued for Cheri & I about 3 times on each slope until we finally reached the bottom and I told Cheri she could go home and tell her friends and family that she came to Utah, fell 2000 feet down a mountain and survived. hehe We were exhausted and spent for the day...making our way into the lodge to peel off the snow crusted layers and relax. And what about Ben? Well, we lost him after the 2nd or 3rd slope and he waited at the bottom for us for about 40 minutes. He says he fell a few times, but he really couldn't have been too bad b/c he wanted to make a few more runs on the bunny slopes before retiring for the day. I was really proud of him. It seems he is a natural skiier since he had been once in the alps and once in NY before this being his second time in Utah....Cheri & I had much more experience in Eastern skiing but that didn't count for much.


So we went home and were consoled by Rascal....and our friends at the dinner party we had that night....needless to say I was exhausted that week and still sore for a while.

Oh, I should tell you that I later found out that ski conditions that day were not ideal as it was snowing, was early enough in the season that there wasn't much grooming done (bumpy slopes), not all of the easier slopes were open and as beautiful as it was, that powder was not typical for intermediate slopes. That made me feel a little better...I'll be skiing again for the 2nd time in Utah this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes. :) Pray for me to enjoy it as much as I used to. ;) haha



This is one of the many Christmas displays in downtown Ogden in December. This is rodeo santa...so cute. :) Just thought you might like to see a little bit of western Christmas spirit.

Later I'll post about our trip to PA for the holidays....I'll just say we had an absolutely WONDERFUL time with everyone. And we miss them all already!