Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving getaway in Durango, Colorado

Man, Thanksgiving was awesome. Amy and I went to Durango, Colorado to an award-winning b&b called Apple Orchard Inn. It actually wasn't terribly expensive; the place was top-notch; and we were treated like royalty. Since Amy and I don't really have family here in Utah (other than a sister of mine and her extended family), we wanted to do something fun and unique without having to drive or fly all the way to Texas or Kentucky -- where our families both live.

We'd heard about this bed and breakfast and -- from the photos we saw -- we fell in love with it. It's nestled in the beautiful San Juan mountains of Durango,'s as picturesque as can be. Lovely rocky mountains covered with evergreen-conifer trees, water falls, little rivers, streams, rapids, etc... and quaint & idyllic farms with fat animals and beautiful fruit orchards are EVERYWHERE. Durango is a snow ski/tourist town, and it's simply one of the loveliest places to visit in all of North America.

Here's the cottage Amy and I stayed in. It had a nice country front porch with a swing and two rocking chairs.

Our cottage was called "Wolf River".

Here's the view from our front porch. There are about eight cottages, I think. Ours was at the end of the cul-de-sac. Towards the left (but out of view) is a duck pond and the main house.

This is the view of the duck pond and the main house directly across from our front door. The dining area is there on the left side of the house behind that tree. It has floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides, except for the kitchen side. The owners, Celeste and Jon, live in that house, and they rent out several of the rooms in the house for people who'd rather do that than rent a full cottage.

Your breakfast or dinner is cooked for you right when you walk into the dining area and sit down. We had apple pie on Thanksgiving, as well as Belgian waffles topped with cinnamon apples that were grown right there on the orchard. There are apple trees on the entire premises, along with aspen and fir trees.

Everything is from scratch and is gourmet, as Celeste received culinary training in Europe.

While you eat, you can talk with other visitors and watch the ducks, mule deer, and hummingbirds feed outside right from the dining area.

This is the west side of the facade of Wolf River. There's a stony creek (that is connected to the duck ponds) that runs in front of each cottage.

Wooden bridges pass over the stony creek in front of every cottage. This place was right out of a Thomas Kinkade painting.

A duck pond and the "back 40" of the orchard behind our cottage. Mule deer were constantly playing, foraging, and bedding down back there. Elk and Black Bear sometimes pass through also, though not very often.

On the southeast side of our cottage was this cottage and the view of the main house to the right.

Apple Orchard Inn was perfect for just meditating and kicking back.

Amy's version of heaven was hanging out in a bath robe by the fireplace, her skin smothered in baby oil or lotion, and kicking back with a book on an oversized wicker easy chair. That fireplace was so warm we had to turn it off every hour or so. She was never far from her favorite chair. The girl was lovin' life.

See what I mean?

Just when you thought things couldn't get more perfect, it started snowing on Thanksgiving Day around 12:30 in the afternoon. The whole scene epitomized holiday coziness.

Amy and I decided to go out and brave the snow for an afternoon tea. Celeste bakes delicious cookies every day, and so we headed over to her kitchen to swipe a few.

About two or three hours later, this is what it looked like outside. This apple tree was completely covered about an hour before Thanksgiving Dinner. It continued snowing well into the night.

Awwwww yeahhhh! The private hot tub on the patio. Ours was the only cottage to have a private one. What a perfect getaway only six hours from home.

Amy was loving it.

She took many more pictures with her newer, nicer SLR. She'll be posting those soon, hopefully.

And finally, here's a video. There are more videos we took, but they need to be rotated 90 degrees...anyone know how to do that? Some are also over 100MB (Blogger only allows up to that size). Any suggestions for posting those?

More soon!

Amy's Halloween Costume

I'll let her explain.

BYU Football home games

So, Amy and I went to some BYU football games this season. We were 11 and 1 before we played Utah last week. Booooo!!!!

We were at the NM and San Diego games...and kicked trash. Nothing like BYU football home games.

Here we are in the north end zone for the SD game. I've uploaded a video too.

People kept asking me what I was doing in the stadium in civilian clothes instead of being in uniform with helmet and pads...I don't know what their problem was. I guess they saw that I was obviously all ripped up under my hoodie and thought that I should have been on the field sacking SD's quarterbacks. It happens...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oil Changes

Seriously, is it that I am way behind on getting an oil change that I have missed the jump in price? Does anyone know of a place that is cheaper than $30-45?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tips for Healthy Snacking

I can't tell you how much I love this site. It is such a cute idea. You can just cruise the site yourself or do it for like an FHE activity or something.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


*you are getting the short version, my journal gets the long version :-)

20th - learning opportunities

21st - a season that helps you to focus on what you are grateful for. it REALLY helps sometimes

22nd - friends who you know you can hang out with and you know they won't try to compromise your standards or put in situations that are uncomfortable

23rd- the Plan of salvation, forgiveness and hope that our Savior brings

24th- half days of work ;-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I am thankful for......

18th - getting to use gift cards on things that you want and don't really need :-)

19th - Advil, Kleenex, heating pads, hats, naps .....

*yeah, I know this is a lame one, but they are self explanatory and I really am thankful for them*

Monday, November 17, 2008

I've got some catching up to do...

OK I am behind on posting my "gratefuls" but I will give you the short version so you all aren't bored to death with reading a 25 paragraph post.....

10th - I am grateful for opportunities that surround us all the time. Sometimes it takes a little nudging from the Spirit to recognize them. Sometimes as we work really hard we finally see them. And sometimes, you see them all along. How great is it to know that you can "be-do-have" anything you want!

11th - I am grateful for such a wonderful family. I absolutely LOVE my siblings and parents and we are so close. I couldn't imagine life without them.

12th - the Internet. 'nough said :-)

13th - I can't remember if I said this or not but, whatever. I really am grateful for people who work hard at sharing their talents. There are so many wonderful programs out there from people to have followed their mission and passion and touch people's lives everyday.

14th - I am so thankful for long distance friends. :-) They don't seem so long distance when I can look at their blogs, call, chat, email etc. I love it!

15th - I love it that Dusty just chips in and helps when I need him to and even just because he wants to. He is so great about that. He never complains and really wants to share the load that's on my shoulders. There is nothing more sexy than your husband with an apron on or a vacuum in his hand. Yeah Baby!! haha Just kidding........kind of :-)

16th - Friends who feel comfortable enough to touch my husbands underwear, discuss it and then request that I go get mine so we can discuss that too. Priceless know who you are ;-)

17th - Pictures. I love having pictures that will tell stories and help you treasure memories for years to come!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunday Gratitude

Today I am grateful for people who reach beyond what others would consider limitations. We had an amazing blind piano player in Sacrament today and it touched me so deeply. Not only the song and the Spirit that it brought but what it meant for the piano player to accomplish such a task and what it meant for his challenges and triumphs in his life. I learned a great lesson today and I am grateful for that.

I am also grateful to have no-pressure relationships in my life. I LOVE the kinds of friends where I can actually be myself. I love the kinds of friends where you can talk about whatever is on your mind and not be judged. I am thankful for laughter and wholesome fun. I am thankful for listening ears and empathetic hearts. I am grateful for the strong women in my life who teach me everyday. (just in case you didn't know if you are a woman and you are reading this blog, that probably means you!) I have been blessed with many people in my life where I can just be myself. They are spread out all over the country (and in other countries) and I know they are just a call, chat, blog away :-)

I am thankful for the great power and testimony that can come from honoring the Sabbath. I am thankful that even though nowhere around me had a hymn book on Sunday and I forgot my own hymnal that I knew the words to all the songs in Sacrament on Sunday. To me that was a real blessing. I LOVE to sing the hymns and I felt an extra need to sing on Sunday and was able to do it with ease.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Just Humor Me....

When ever you go to a restaurant (or at home) and you ask/get something on the side like salad dressing, butter, sour cream etc., why do you do this? Do you end up using all of it any way? Is it a way to still get the flavor but not intake as many calories? Is it just a habit? Why did you develop the habit?......

Like I said I really want you to humor me. Really take a moment to think about the psychological reasoning behind his. (I do it too so you will get my answer later.) I want to hear from you. I am doing a study of sorts and I think you all can provide some great feedback. Thanks!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Week of Gratefuls

I have to do this by the week.... So, here goes.

Saturday - I am thankful for the warm home that I have, the abundance of food on my shelves. I am thankful for a mindful Heavenly Father that blesses me even if I am not doing my very best...He knows my heart and my potential. I am thankful for that!

Sunday - I am grateful that Heavenly Father doesn't compare us to each other. I can't even explain how grateful I am for that. He loves me just as he loves you. Wow! I know that I am a special person with unique talents and gifts. I have a mission here on earth that is mine and mine alone. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are there every step of the way and they love me for me!!

- I am grateful for chapstick! Yes, chapstick. It feels so good when your lips are dry and cracked to put a good ol' coating of chapstick on them!! Ahhhhh

Tuesday - Good books that inspire. The library has been my best friend. I LOVE reading and am such a book nerd. I thoroughly enjoy visiting the library and spending a lot of time there. Of course, the best book can be read at home, the Book of Mormon. :0)

Wednesday - I was glad to be able to exercise my right to vote. It was a great privilege. Even though my choice wasn't picked, my vote did count. Probably more on this later....

Thursday - Cozy...I love Cozi, the online organizer (thanks Heather). I love KOSY 106.5. And I love getting comfy, cozy as soon as I get home and snuggling up with my sweetie after a long hard day.

Friday - I am grateful for the feeling you get after a great workout. I went to the gym everyday this week and it feels GREAT! Not seeing the results I want yet, ;-) but it's great to be taking the steps towards a goal.

Saturday - (skipping a head a day...) I am thankful for giving people. I want to be more of a giving person. I do my best, but I could do a whole lot better. I am grateful for the example of my mother and mother-in-law and so many others around me who are exemplary people and who serve with all their hearts. (someone gave us BYU football tickets for tomorrow's game...and it sparked the thought...)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Teaching Kids About $ Moola $

I think that this is a topic that our generation and every generation before us got gypped. I am not blaming it on our parents, cause they didn't learn it in the home either. I am a lot more aware of things that I want to teach my children as I grow. This is a great article that helps you break the topic of money, savings, value etc. down to children's ages and helps you see what you can be teaching and letting them experience them even as young as 1-2 years old.

I love any article that helps us take big topics and break it down into stages for parents and makes learning fun. Enjoy!