Monday, November 26, 2012

The Things I do for Film

The first weekend of November, I went on a whirlwind trip to Colorado.

Not for a short getaway with the husband. Not for a friend's wedding. Not for a funeral of a relative.

I went to Colorado...for Obama.

I'm unsure if I've mentioned this before, but I'm making a 15-20 minute documentary this semester with two other classmates on the BYU College Democrats club, mainly their co-president (Hannah), and we are exploring the stigma of being a democrat and a member of the LDS church. Hannah just so happens to volunteer regularly for the Obama campaign and was going to be a part of a canvassing trip to Glenwood Springs, Colorado from November 2-3, and this was an opportunity to see Hannah at work that we could NOT miss. The trip provided transportation, a place to stay for the night, breakfast, and lunch as well as good company.

The catch? We had to canvass for Obama, or we would've ended up paying for EVERYTHING. Neither I or my group member, Laura, were keen on forking over $100+ for this, so we agreed to canvas for a short time in order to have a free trip.

I guess it will be hard to continue with this post without expressing my political affiliation. I've always been a moderate, so canvassing for Obama really wasn't that bad. I'm not against either candidate, so I wasn't bothered to get people to vote in general and not push one candidate or the other (which I didn't do since that wasn't the goal of the canvassing, surprisingly enough).

The drive was 12 hours, 6 hours up and 6 hours back, and it really wasn't so bad. I spent that time catching up on my reading and sleeping. When we arrived at our host family's house, I crashed on the bed and slept for as long as my alarm allowed me. I woke up to a gorgeous Colorado sunrise and a beautiful landscape. The host family's house was nestled in the lower mountains of Colorado and surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful trees. Breakfast consisted of delicious bacon, scrambled eggs, toasted english muffins with "homemade" honey (the lady owned her own bees and collected the honey herself), and some delicious herbal raspberry tea. The house was so neat! I'm pretty sure they built it themselves. But too soon we had to get back on the road and to the campaign office so we could begin going around and canvassing.

After a quick orientation, we were off with a clipboard full of literature and a script of what to say, and, of course, a giant packet of people's names and addresses. Laura and I decided not to film the first part of the morning since we had our own lists of names to hit up. We, along with Hannah, were in the same neighborhood, but even with Laura's company (we didn't want to go our separate ways since we were nervous), it was hard to knock on someone's door and try and get them to answer a few questions about if they voted early and who they voted for. For those couple of hours, I felt like a missionary and could empathize their hard work. It was an experience that I think was necessary to understand just how hard it is for our subject and how much she's ben canvassing since she's basically a pro at it.

Once we were finished with the morning route (which Laura and I never did finish we were such weenies at it), we went to lunch at a Salvadorian restaurant. Once we finished, it was back on the road, but this time we focused on filming and less on canvassing. So we drove up to a rich neighborhood and followed Hannah around as she attempted to commit people to voting on Tuesday. It involved a LOT of running around, lots of wind, lots of sun, and lots of shaky handheld shots. Eventually I gave up on going handheld and used the tripod (I was the DP for this particular shoot). In the end, we got tons of awesome footage of failed attempts, good attempts, and some great footage of Hannah being herself, stuff that we hadn't really gotten previously.

The rest of the day went by quickly and soon it was 5pm and it was time to hit the road. After a quick stop to Wendy's for dinner, all that was left was a 6 hour drive to Provo with great company and interesting conversations, all of which were off-camera so you'll just have to take my word for it that they were IN-TER-EST-ING. When you get a lot of radical political minds together, some strange things start happening...

The trip was both great for my documentary and it was something I really needed for my soul. After all the stuffy readings and papers and being stuck in the editing lab or other classrooms, it was SO GREAT to get out and have a short adventure.

I promise to update you all on some other goings on in my life, but seriously, this semester will be the death of me. Just 8 more days! AH!

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Lovely Fall Weekend

This past weekend was the best weekend I've had in a while. It was exactly what I needed as far as getting a break from school and the demands of my life.

Friday, my only class was cancelled, so all I had to do was work and then come home and get as much homework done as I could so that Saturday was uninhibited by such mindless tasks. It was supposed to rain (and it did rain), so I walked to school to the sounds of "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me", the wonderful NPR show that informs me while making me snicker.

Here are some pictures of the walk home, the weather slightly drizzly and the atmosphere cool, wet, and full of autumn air.






I absolutely love it when the mountains are engulfed by the misty clouds on rainy days like this! I couldn't stop smiling as I walked home because of the weather, the fact that it was the weekend, and later that evening Ryan and I had a fun date ahead: using up his gift card to Panda Express and watching "Clue".

 Here are the mountains again from the same spot as before, except 5 hours later. So lovely to be near them all the time!

 Everything is set up to be eaten! Let the date begin!

 Artsy close up of the fortune cooke and chopsticks. Mmm, I do love fake Chinese food!

Ryan has never partaken in any kind of rangoon, so we got their cream cheese rangoons to eat and enjoy. they were good, but not as good as the crab rangoon found at Fermosa's in Columbia, MO!

And we rounded off the rainy day with "Clue", a favorite of ours and a perfect movie for those rainy days and the upcoming Halloween holiday.

Sometimes, I like going out for dates. But recently, I've been craving staying in, cuddling, and watching some good, classic movies. 

Saturday morning was the Homecoming parade, and we couldn't miss out on those blue pancakes again! So we went, ate our fill of blue pancakes and watched as people paraded by, throwing candy and waving. Here are some highlights.





















The last picture is of mushrooms we saw growing in a cluster on the walk home.

I was going to write descriptions for each picture of the parade, but I kind of like having you all guess what each float/display is for and/or what you are actually looking at. So have fun looking and tell me what you think something is for in the comments if you would like!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My College "Bucket List"

I have an unwritten college "bucket list". I put bucket list in quotes because I'm not anticipating dropping dead the second my hand touches my diploma, but I'm metaphorically dying and becoming a real-world dweller once I graduate. Thus, the college "bucket list". I haven't actually written down each thing I want to do, but I do have a mental list of things that my friends have done or that I've seen in the university-produced paper or just general things most college students need to do at least once before graduating.

Here are a few examples: really have an all-nighter, eat nothing but ramen for a week (this one makes me sick thinking about, but I've seen some creative recipes using ramen on Pinterest, so I'm willing to bite the bullet and do this with those recipes in hand), go to a homecoming dance, participate in "Llama Caroling" (I think this is BYU-specific), and attend at least 1 game of each collegiate-level sporting event.

I have finally started attempting the last item of the examples list. This past Friday, my boss gave me his tickets to the football game against University of Hawaii. And, believe it or not, we went. Neither Ryan or I are really big football fans and Ryan, in general, isn't a sports fan. So the fact that we actually went is kind of a shocker. But Ryan knew how much it meant to me to actually attend a football game without working concessions and so we went. We had really good seats in the seated section of the stadium (so no bleachers!), we were facing away from the setting sun, and the weather was PERFECT! 70 degrees and breezy, absolutely gorgeous. Though we didn't stay for the entire game because BYU was decimating U of H, it was a fun experience and I'm glad that I can finally say I've been to a BYU football game!

 The teams on the field (the team closest to the camera is Hawaii). When we arrived, a Hawaii player was severely injured and the cluster of people in the middle right of the picture are the coaches/aids helping the poor lad. He was taken off the field minutes later on a gurney.

 Everyone very attentive during all of this.

 Halfway through the first quarter, we went to get food. We both ate Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches and got Cougar Tails (16-inch maple bars). Here's Ryan with his Cougar Tail, happy as a clam.

 I tried getting a good picture of Y-Mountain while the sun was setting, but the stadium lights kept getting in the way. Despite that, isn't it pretty?

 Here is Squaw Peak(?) in the sunset light. I think it's Squaw Peak. Utah-valley experts, correct me if I'm wrong.

Just another fun view of the stadium and our view from our seats.

 Time out for the teams. Here is team Hawaii probably talking about how badly they're getting beat.

 We're so happy!

 Half-time show with the Cougar Band. They had a neat 007-themed mini show for us. The color guard were dressed up in trench coats and sunglasses to illustrate the theme. This was actually my favorite part of the game (which is funny because it wasn't even the game!)

 Another shot of the Cougar band. They were really sharp and a lot of fun to watch.

 The almost-full moon rising was really cool to watch when the game wasn't interesting enough.

 Another shot of the moon rising above the stadium.

 A really bad picture of the Cougar band in the risers, playing the Fight Song because we got a touchdown (at least, I think that's when I took this picture).

I decided to take at least one picture of the Cougars in action. Go Cougars!

It was a fun evening and although I might not go to a football game again, I'm glad that I had the experience of rooting on my team and seeing them win big!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Life as a Senior (in college)

As of the beginning of this semester, I am a senior at BYU. A senior! It hasn't really sunk in yet, but I guess that's because I'll end up being a super senior: I won't be graduating until this time next year, thus making me a senior+1 extra semester. But I'm okay with that. I have no idea what I'll be doing after graduation. In a perfect world, I'll find full-time work and support Ryan through the rest of his college years. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I'm taking 5.5 classes. That .5 class is the credit I'll be receiving for the work I'll be doing on the capstone this year: I was asked to be the editor for this capstone:

I'm really stoked, but it will also be making my life a little crazier than it already is. Just how crazy is it? Well, let me describe the other 5 classes I'm taking!

Philosophy 110-Intro to Philosophy
This is one of my last general education classes. I wish it were my last, to be quite frank, but after this and the other genEd class I'm taking, I'll have two left. BLAH! This one had me very nervous at first because I had no idea what it was going to bring and I never thought I was that good at philosophy. Turns out that the material is really fun to read, but the classes are a little roundabout when it comes to discussing said material. The homework is frequent, but predictable: each Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday there is a reading/questions due. Because it's predictable, I can schedule out when I do these assignments ahead of time and stay on top of it. As of right now, in fact, I have all my Philosophy homework due until next Thursday. There are a couple of midterms and a final and a few medium-sized projects, but other than that, it's pretty standard and a lot of busy work.

Theatre & Media Arts (TMA) 291-History of Film, Part 1
This is one of the required basic classes that I have to take for my major. It's all about film from its genesis around 1895 to just after WWII, I believe. Currently, we're still in the silent film era so all the films we watch are 90ish minutes of fast-walking people, sleep-inducing music (because it's soothing, not because it's boring) over rough edits. Some of my favorites so far have been "Nosferatu", "The Last Laugh", and "Strike!", all for varying reasons. I'm excited to start watching "talkies" around mid-October. This class also has predictable homework: each Tuesday there is a write-up due for the reading that week. The write-up isn't supposed to be longer than 1 page, so it's not difficult. There is a midterm and a final, but I've heard it isn't as scary as it could be. There's also a research paper that you do with another person, but again, I'm not too concerned.

English 312-Persuasive Writing
Here is where things get a little messy. This class is all about writing a rather large research paper (12-15 pages, not including bibliography) and guides you through how to analyze writing on a methodological level instead of a content-driven way. Right now, we're learning how to synthesize ideas and eventually we'll use that technique to synthesize ideas to help develop and support our own, original idea. Though there aren't too many assignments in the class, I'll be writing the research paper while I'm writing two other research papers, editing a capstone, and editing my own 10-minute documentary. So these projects are piling up around the same time. This one I will have the most fun with since I get to choose the topic more freely than the others, though I'll probably end up writing about film anyways since that's what I know best. I'm a big fan of the instructor for this class: he makes references to Harry Potter and "Psych" and looks like a mormon version of Jason Schwartzman.

TMA 295-History of the Moving Image
This class was supposed to be easy. I didn't know quite what I was getting myself into until 4 weeks into the semester when an official syllabus was finally given to us. This class is also required for me to take in the Media Arts major, but had I known the work load, I would've waited to take this until a more lenient semester. There are 2+ page write-up journals due every Monday and Wednesday on readings that are around 20-pages a piece, and we have to read a 200+ page book about the modern Promethean myth and give a 15-minute presentation to the class as well as write a 12-15 page research paper on roughly the same topic. Sure, we'll be watching some fun films like "I, Robot" and "Ironman", but this class is the one stressing me out the most because of the unexpected workload. The professor, Sharon, is awesome despite all of it. This week she accidentally brought pictures of her colonoscopy instead of the class roll.

TMA 274-Non-Fiction Production 1
I actually have no idea what this class is called. I just know it's the biggest documentary production class they offer besides doing a doc capstone. I LOVE this class. Sure, it's a 4-hour long class every Tuesday night, but the professor, Ben, is very captivating. He knows his stuff, like the difference between 8-bit and 10-bit and what that even means, why certain formats are better than others, etc. He goes off on random tangents about unrelated things and he has an opinion on everything. I definitely wish he could teach every class I take from now on because I know I'll be interested in the content. In this class, we are divided into groups and we come up with, develop, and execute a doc idea during the span of the semester. Right now, we're still in pre-production, trying to get our idea off the ground and making sure our "story" is solid. I say "story" because in doc you can have a perfectly planned out storyline but it can all go down the drain based on how reality works. People aren't that predictable, but in documentary, we LIVE for those moments of unpredictability. Documentaries survive on crises. Anyways, there are a few assignments here and there prepping us for the BIG assignment AKA filming. In the end, we'll have a polished product that can be submitted to festivals (hopefully).

So. That's what I have to look forward to this semester. There are LOTS of little assignments due each week, and so I spend my days planning ahead and making sure I stay on top of it. This schedule, on top of work 8-noon each morning, has me at school until 7pm Monday-Wednesday. Those days I just stay as focused as possible and pray that Thursday comes swiftly, which it does. Thursdays and Fridays are the days I try and get as MUCH homework due the next week done so that I don't have to do as much on Mondays-Wednesdays since I have very little time to do homework those evenings. I try and keep my bedtime consistent (10pm) and I wake up each morning at 5:25am to have Jillian Michaels kick my butt. My schedule is tight, organized, and ruthless. But I find myself thankful each day for everything I have and the opportunities I'm given.

Tonight, I got my homework done early for today and I've awarded myself an evening of free-time. I don't get this very often, but when I do I try and make the best of it. So here I am, blogging. I think now I'm going to watch a documentary for fun! What a novel idea!

P.S. If you want to donate money to the capstone, click on the green "Mirror Portrait" link in the video when it's buffering. That will take you to the kickstarter page where monies can be given. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Self Motivation

I've always prided myself on self-motivation. I was the one pushing myself to get good grades in high school (though making my parents proud was another good motivator), to be a better athlete when I was in team sports, to be a better musician, and now in my life, to be a better wife. I rarely needed an incentive to do well, and I am grateful for that.

Over the summer, I found myself lacking in the self-motivation department. Once Spring semester was over, I guess I just stopped caring because there wasn't anything to motivate myself about. I was wrong.

I may not be severely or any kind of overweight, but weight is something that weighs heavily on my mind, metaphorically speaking of course, and pun kind of intended. I may have posted something like this before in a previous blog entry, and I know I talked about it in my short personal documentary I made for my documentary class last semester. Well, I hit my highest weight after the two trips Ryan and I took this summer, and it did not feel great. For the next week or so while we settled down, I was a mess. So I decided to buy myself another work out DVD and, well, get to work.

I chose Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred, which guarantees fairly good results after 30 days. I had a month before school started, so I figured this was a great way to kickstart my fitness and then I'd continue doing something else once school started. Only trouble was...when was I going to do these workouts once school started? At the time, I was looking for a job to fit the 8-noon slot I had cleared away in my schedule (I have since found it), and then that left little time after all that to work out, and would I even have the energy?

Ryan gave me the solution: Just wake up earlier.

Huh. I hadn't woken up early to work out since PT when I was in the Army ROTC. And even then I had questionable attendance. Would this really work? So that's what I did all of August to prep me for the rest of the year: woke up at 5:30 in the morning to do a 20-30 minute workout with Jillian Michaels so that I could have plenty of time to shower, eat breakfast, and do all the other morning chores I'd been doing since I first got married.

I was nervous at first, wondering if my self-motivation would be enough. It was tough at times when it seemed like I wasn't getting any results on the scale. I could feel a change in my endurance but I couldn't SEE my body getting thinner or my weight getting lighter. During week 3 of this experiment, it was very discouraging. But then week 4 happened, and suddenly, I was seeing results! That was a nice boost and motivation to keep going.

I have now gotten up early for 6 weeks and have since changed DVDs (I'm now doing the Ripped in 30 workout, similar to 30-Day Shred, but better in certain ways). It hasn't even been a problem. I love the way I feel after working out and I love that I actually feel more awake than if I slept in (which I've done 2-3 times).

I no longer have a "goal weight", or at least not a goal weight in the sense that I want to be so-and-so pounds by so-and-so time. Yeah, I'd love to be back to my pre-wedding weight or even my ROTC days weight. But I'm finally realizing that working out is so much more than looking good. It's about feeling good, and though I'm still a little jiggly in areas I'd rather not be jiggly, I love that I feel so much better about myself. I go throughout the day and KNOW that I have done something to combat this weight issue that often crosses my mind.

As a side note, it's nice that I get it done right off the bat: that way I'm not dreading a workout after my long days (Monday-Wednesday has me going from 8am to around 7pm without significant breaks). And it's nice that my body is still slightly asleep so it doesn't quite know what I'm doing to it. Yet.

I guess this is a self-gratifying post about how pleased I am with my self-motivation so far this semester. Work-outs aside, I have set up a homework system where I do my assignments 2-3 days before they are due, so as to free up my weekends and make my nights a little more manageable, especially on my long days. The days get long, but I am so glad that I have this self-motivation within me that keeps me on track, and I hope, I HOPE, it never leaves.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy (Late) Anniversary!

Two Sundays ago was our wedding anniversary. Can you believe it's been ONE WHOLE YEAR? It sure hasn't felt that way to me. But, alas, despite what I might've felt, we went and celebrated our first year in roughly the same area that we celebrated our initial marriage: Park City. It all started Saturday August 4th. I expressed wanting to travel to Salt Lake City to see a movie that was only showing there: "Beasts of the Southern Wild". Ryan was down, and so we traveled up there in the afternoon (after we finished our chores: laundry and grocery shopping), and caught a 4pm showing.

When I was looking at movie theaters in Salt Lake, I had no idea that the one I chose was anything like the way it was. I don't have any good pictures, but basically I chose the Salt Lake City version of the Ragtag cinema theater. At the time we went (and I think it's still going on), they were having "Castles in the Sky" where each week they would show a new film made by Miyazaki for a month or so. All summer, they were also showing a classic movie on 35mm film each week. How cool is that?! I'm glad I got to go and to also see "Beasts of the Southern Wild", which was a movie I was intending to see at the Sundance Film Festival this past year but didn't get to.

Sorry about the photo quality. I forgot to bring the actual camera, so these are from my iPhone 3GS (not even the 4S, which has 8 megapixels).

Waiting for the movie at the little area where they had chairs and tables for eating. Their movie food menu was spectacular!

Here we are in the theater, me sporting my handy dandy glasses. The seats were apparently a recent renovation, and they were comfy!

After we were finished with that, we traveled from Salt Lake to our cozy bed and breakfast in Kamas, a little outside of Park City. The drive was scenic, which was annoying the first trip since it was around 7pm by the time we got there and we were STARVING. But that was quickly whisked away when we saw the suite we were staying in.
 This was the bed in the first bedroom, where we ended up sleeping. This bed was seriously the most comfortable bed I've ever had the pleasure of sleeping in.

 This was the door from the first bedroom leading to our private parlor room, a place we would've used more often had we reserved this place for two days, not the one.

 A cute dresser/vanity area and lovely little lamp. The housekeeper told us that sometimes people stay here for weeks, and I can easily see why they would.

A different angle from the bed and looking at the different doors. The second door lead outside, I believe, but we already had the parlor room door that lead to our private section of the porch.

 The toilet, which wasn't something spectacular, just nice that we had our own private bathroom.

 A mirror picture! This mirror/window thing is a good example of the decor that was throughout the B&B. Because the house was built 115 years ago, and the part we were staying in was the oldest, it had a very rustic 1800s feel to it.

 A washer and dryer for those extended stay people. How great is that?

 The sink with my curling iron sitting in it. The sink size was my only complaint because I enjoy the luxury of having two sinks/mirrors in our bathroom with lots of space to set things.

 Our lovely shower with two, yes two, shower heads. It was hard to get the temperatures to match perfectly, so for fun, I made one slightly cooler for when I would get overheated by the first one.

 This is the second bedroom bed, which we didn't use. I bet it was as comfy as the one we stayed in.

Some more of the decor/art work that was found in the rooms. I wanted to steal the lantern since we sort of collect those now.

Aaaand our towels/bathrobes. If we had time Sunday morning, I would've lounged around in that bathrobe all day.

After our quick tour, we headed up to Park City to eat, thinking that Kamas didn't have anything to offer. Apparently, they do, but we didn't know that at the time, so we endured starvation for another 30 minutes while we wound our way through the mountains and into historic main street.

At first, I was thinking we should try something adventurous and classy, but the moment we got sat in one of those fancy restaurants, my tummy was sad: all they had to offer were things of a sophisticated nature. At this point in my hunger, I was definitely craving something classic like a steak and mashed potatoes, and a LOT of it. I have no doubt in my mind that elk steak is delicious, but my taste buds were sad when I saw that was their only meaty option. Plus, it was $45 for that elk steak. So we got up, embarrassed, and headed down main street to try again.

Eventually, we went to a place we've been to in the past: The Eating Establishment. I was a little sad that we didn't try something new, but to justify my lack of adventure, I had never had dinner there: we ate breakfast at this place on our honeymoon and also for Stephanie's (Ryan's sister) birthday breakfast. Dinner was just as delicious, and they had burgers and steak and everything my tummy wanted!

 This was our view from our table. We sat outside since it was nice, but we started eating at 8pm and by the time we finished at around 9:30 it was chilly! Apparently cities up in the mountains get cold at night. Who knew?

 My delicious meal of parmesan-crusted beef medallions and grilled veggies. I also had fries on the side since I was craving good ol' classic fries.

 A quick view of the lunch menu where I almost ordered from. Definitely lots of delicious options.

Ryan got a delicious burger. I caught him post-bite and looking a little exasperated. But he did enjoy the burger!

We also ate a brownie sundae at the end of dinner, but it was gone so fast that I didn't get a picture.

We didn't linger around Park City long, since we were exhausted from the day. So we headed back and slept in the super comfortable bed at our B&B.

The next morning, the housekeeper, Sheri, made a veggie quiche and prepared us some fruit parfaits while we waited for the quiche to finish. While we ate breakfast, we chatted with her about our lives and she told us the origins of the B&B and her own life story. Since we were the only ones in the dining room for breakfast, we got a lot of time to get to know one another. She is a really neat woman who has endured a lot of trials in her life but makes the best of it. 

After breakfast, we packed up and asked Sheri where the best trail for a beautiful nature walk was. She gave us directions for a trail that followed the Provo river up the mountain, and so we decided to do a mid-morning nature walk.

 A wildflower. Sarah, do you know what it's called?

 Walking through the trees to the first area where there were pools of water, one that was festering and probably a breeding ground for mosquitos.

 The pool where Ryan's head is blocking the view is the festering one. But it was still gorgeous!

 I should probably trim my bangs. But we're happy and excited for more!

 There's that festering pool again.

 This was a strange fungus(?) that was found on tree branches from time to time. It looked a bit like the stuff from Spiderman 3 that attached itself to Peter Parker and made him into the dark Spiderman, whatever its name is...

 Some of the rather chilly Provo river peeking out from behind the greenery. There was a lovely breeze that came off the river that kept us really cool the entire hike.

 A cool tree full of what looked like birds nests, though it could just be dead plants.

 A small, mossy waterfall. This water looked clean enough to drink!

 Another small pool-ish little area of the river.

 What an awesome waterfall, despite its size.

 I got sap stuck on my fingers at some point, and Ryan decided to take a million (meaning 4) pictures of me washing the sap off. It didn't really "wash" off, but froze off. It solidified when I put my hands in the water and just came off. This water was frigid, I tell you!

 More plant life. I love this stuff!

 Ryan with a blade of grass. I think he took the word "blade" a little too seriously, seeing as he brandished the thing like an actual sword.

 This stuff looked an awful lot like ragweed, but I'm certain it wasn't since I didn't have any allergy problems on the hike. It was lovely in the sunlight.

 Ryan standing in the perfect clearing for a campsite. If I camped along this trail, this would probably be a great spot since it was close to the river (it was right behind me when I took this photo) and the trees protected it from the sun/other elements.

 There were a large amount of fallen trees along this trail. Not sure if this was a common thing, but it sure was strange to me.

 Trees and stuff washed down from the top of the mountain, and also a pretty view. I'm finding more and more each day that I adore Utah and its wildlife.

 This was the stick we used to get spiderwebs out of the way. Though it was small, it was really handy!

 Part of the mountain. We turned around at this point because the trail got a little more rigorous and we didn't want to exert too much energy on a Sunday.

Still happy and loving life after 1 year!

After we got back, we hopped in the car and drove back to Provo. Overall, it was a fantastic weekend and a great celebration of our first year of marriage! I can't wait for all the years to come and enjoy getting to know this guy each more every day.

Oh, I forgot! Gifts! The first year of marriage is the "paper anniversary" (as opposed to golden or silver and stuff like that), so I got Ryan "World War Z", a zombie apocalypse book he hasn't read yet, and a book of coupons where he can get things like dessert and fun dates from me. Ryan got me this giant poster:

He had it framed and ready for hanging when I unwrapped it.

If you're too lazy to click on it, it's all 7 Harry Potter books summarized hilariously in cartoon picture form. Each time I look at it, I find something new that's absolutely ridiculous or funny. He came up with this gift idea all by himself and it is PERFECT! I love it and I love him, of course.

And that's all folks! Thanks for reading!