Favorite Posts, On My Mind

Just…everything.

Katharine always keeps me honest about updating this here blog.  So, as always, this one goes out to you me dear K. Showalter.

I actually have been thinking of writing a blog for sometime now.  But I can never quite get the thoughts in my mind quite clear enough to have them make sense to the general population. Like the 5 people that actually read this thing care though, right? So, without further adieu…

Life since the marathon (my last post) has been crazy.  Lots of ups and downs.  But I guess that is just how life always is if you really think about it.  Life’s graph is all over the place.  Hopefully its trend is a net gain.  However, there are always highs and lows.  Life is not a linear equation. (unfortunately) .

Lets start with the ‘low’ first, yes?

Nate lost his job.

To put it simply, SUU got a new President who is ‘cleaning house.’  He didn’t like the fact that Nate is hired under his Uncle (the head track & field coach) so he X’d Nate with only like 3 weeks notice.  And, to put it simply, it sucks. Sucks real bad.  Nate has done SO much for SUU and specifically their track program.  Not just these past 2 years, but the past 11 years since he started their as a wee freshman.  I am definitely biased, but I have seen the track program make HUGE leaps and bounds in just 2 short years and a big part of that goes to Nate.  He is amazing at his job.

So, Mr. President Wyatt, you really messed up.  You just fired one of your best employees.

I’m sure that’s what most wives would think after their husbands got let go…but I’m for reals serious.  Nate is amazing and I’m so sad to see him pushed out after doing so much good.

I guess the big man upstairs has other plans for us.  I just wished we didn’t have to get redirected in this way.  It’s kinda nice having an income 🙂  But we really are fine!  Promise.  No donations (under 100 dollars) needed.  But for reals!  We are totally fine. Though if anyone has any job leads, even outside of coaching, definitely let us know.  Nate is one of those guys that is good at everything.

 We are both surprisingly calm about it all.  Sure, if I think about it too much I wanna say a few ‘choice’ words to those responsible, but for the most part I don’t even think about it.  I just hope that wherever we need to go next happens fast…I’m not the most patient of persons and this whole waiting for a new job/deciding what to do with our lives is like torture for me.  But, I will wait.  And I will (most of the time) be a good sport about it 🙂

Phew.  The ‘low’ out of the way.

Now the highs!

2 big highs lately.

Portugal & Baby Ames.

Portugal was amazing.  I have dreamed of Portugal my whole life.  Weird place to be dreaming of, I know.  But my Dad served an LDS mission in Portugal.  Then my older brother got called to Portugal on his mission (very rare to go the same place as your Dad).  And THEN while my parents were picking my brother up from his mission…I went on a date with this guy who told me he had served in Portugal as well (that guy turned out to be my better half…aka Nate).  So, Portugal is a pretty big part of my family.  Nate’s parents are just the nicest and they paid for most of the expenses and took us back to Portugal!  Nate hadn’t been there in 8 years and it was my first time ever going – it was better than imagined.  I could write like 10 posts about it…but, I will just let the pictures do the talking.  But first…a little list of the places we went and some of my favorite things we did…

Places we went (in order):
-Provo (ran marathon then stayed with my in-laws for a couple days before flying out)
-Odessa, Texas (dropped off Ames at my parent’s)
-Boston (had 24 hours here before our flight)
-Lisbon (capital of Portugal)
-Sintra
-Baxia de Banheiro
-Cascais
-Lagos (in the Algarve which is the southern most part of Portugal)
-Coimbra (specifically the University of Coimbra….oldest University in Europe)
-Guimaraes (first city in Portugal)
-Porto (second biggest city in Portugal, about an hour away from the north border)
-Azores Islands (Stayed on Sao Miguel which is one of 9 islands)
       +Ponta Delgada
       +Furnas
       +Sete Cidades
-Dallas (met my family there to pick up our babe.  Stayed a couple days on my uncle’s ranch)
-Salt Lake City (stayed with my in-laws one more night)
-Finally back to Cedar City (one day short of being gone 3 weeks)

Highlights:
-Not dying in the marathon
-SWIMMING WITH THE DOLPHINS!! (did this in Ponta Delgada in the Azores)
-Rental Car (It was a brand new Renault Scenic. so sad we can’t get them in the States)
-Chocolate filled churros
-Pastry/bread shops on every corner
-All the things made out of cork/cork trees in the country side (Portugal is one of the biggest cork producers)
-Vineyards
-Portugal’s countryside in general. SUPER pretty. loved it.
-Beaches in Lagos. Most beautiful turquoise water ever under beautiful cliffs. soooo coool
-Cave tours in Lagos. Took a mini boat and we drove in (as the boat pretty much scraped the edges of the cave walls) like 10 caves.  It was awesome.
-Castles.  Portugal has some of the oldest castles in Europe…aka a Moorish castle built in the 900s!
-Porto. It was like a stereotypical European city mixed with San Francisco. It was awesome.
-Furnas. Had naturally carbonated water with lots of different spouts that you could taste it from.  Each spout tasted different and was flavored naturally by different minerals.  Most were disgusting.
-Run around the rim of the collapsed volcano with the Green & Blue Lakes inside (Sete Cidades)
-Apartment in Lisbon. (Nate found a vacation rental home in the heart of downtown Lisbon.  We felt like regulars)
-All the super old historic stuff…which was like every building and road, everywhere we went
-The roads out of cobblestone and all of their different designs
-Never eating off of paper plates. EVERYTHING was on ceramic plates…no matter what.
-All of their roosters (not real ones, their rooster mascot 🙂 )
-Really cheap water bottles (1.5 L for like 30 cents!) though they didn’t have any drinking fountains
-Bread. all the bread. Suuuuper good. American bread is far inferior
-The little chocolate store we found and the brownie truffle thing.  It’s real mean that they were so good and I now crave them and can’t get them here
-How nice and polite everyone was there

Seriously everywhere we went was amazing.  It was better than imagined!  So glad I now have an accurate picture in my mind of my ‘fantasy’ place that I heard about all growing up!

boston.

boston

boston

apartment in Lisbon

view from our apartment balcony

Lisbon

Lisbon

Lisbon…setting up for a World Cup game viewing (which we went to)

Lisbon

Lisbon

Lisbon

Sardines…a Portugal specialty (don’t worry, this was Nate’s dinner. Not mine)

Sintra

Sintra

Sintra

Cascais

Lagos

Lagos

Coimbra

Coimbra

Coimbra

Coimbra

Guimaraes

Guimaraes 
Guimaraes

Guimaraes

Guimaraes

Porto

Porto

Porto

Porto

Azores

Furnas

Furnas

Furnas

Furnas

Furnas

Furnas – that corn was cooked in a gyser

Black beach in the Azores

Sete Cidades – See the Blue and Green Lake?!

Sea Caves boat tour

Swimming with dolphins!! 

Yeah….it was a real good vacation.  Big thanks to Kim and Kirk!!

And, last, but definitely not least…

Baby Ames.

He turned the big 9 months on July 15th.  It’s crazy to think he’s been out as long as he was in!  I definitely like him out a loooot better.  Here’s our baby boy in a list:

-Crawling super fast
-Standing on his own for 10+ seconds
-Walking all over using furniture
-‘The Point’…we aren’t sure if it’s a wave or what…but he will point and smile at you.  It’s more of like a ‘hey, I like you!”
-We ask him how big he is and he responds by putting both hands above his head
-LOVES…I mean loves to read.  When we grab a book off the shelf he starts to giggle and continues to giggle the whole time we read.  I love it.  His favorite book is “10 Little Ladybugs”
-6 teeth with a biiig gap between his front teeth
-Thinks he is much too mature for baby food.  He only eats real food these days
-LOVES water. to drink and swim in…and drinking while swimming much to my dismay.
-His ‘stink bug’ pose (or downward dog) is become less and less frequent and it makes me real sad
-He knows he is funny.  He chuckles at things he does all day long
-Likes to vibrate his lips
-Smackin’ his lips (especially while eating bread)
-Getting into everything and trying to climb up the stairs while I’m not looking
-Loves remote controls
-Still gives biiig kisses
-Opening and closing doors (can only open them if they aren’t latched)
-Turning the light off and on…again, and again, and again….
-All his roots in his hair are blonde…once we cut is hair he will no longer be a ginger
-Just being possibly the cutest baby ever created! (if I do say so myself)

We love you Ames Anthony!

So.  Like I said – lows and highs.  But you know, even though things really suck sometimes, life is still really, like really, good.  I got my boys, loving families, a roof over my head, a healthy body, food in my belly, and knowledge that everything happens for a reason.  I know that we are being watched over from up above and He only has our best interest in mind.  We have big things ahead of us – I’m excited to see how it all plays out 🙂