Friday, June 27, 2008

Smooth, Smelly (Good), and Pink

As if my mom did not do enough for me on my birthday, she told me she still had one more surprise for me. She took me to get my very first pedicure! We went to an Aveda salon. I LOVE Aveda! I use their makeup, hair products, lotions...and the best part is that they are environmentally friendly (which is the main reason I use their products, although my hair and skin have never been so healthy).

So pedicures are amazing! I've have now given in to the part of me that is so high maintenance and it feels good. Our pedicures were only suppose to be 50 minutes long, but our estitians went 20 minutes over (we didn't pay extra in case you were wondering). HEAVEN! The whole experience was so relaxing and stress free. The environment was heavenly. We had our own private room. The workers kept asking us if we needed refills on our drinks which were given to us while we were waiting. High class treatment from the beginning to the end. I loved every moment of it!

Doggie Friday: They grow on ya

While Gordon and I were camping, Abbi and Briggs had a vacation too, although they might not have thought of it that way. They stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Hardcastle (Gordon's parents). Aunt Jodi was who agreed to take care of them for us while we were camping; It's easy to volunteer when it's not your house they will be staying in. At first it was rough for them. I'm sure they felt like they were being abandoned or passed around. LeeAnn said they whined at the front door for a few hours, but then slowly started to warm up to their family. When we got home, it was like they had always lived there. They were very comfortable. Jodi said they pretty much ran the house, which is what they do. They did not like it if they were confined to one area; they need their freedom.

Gordon's family did not want them to leave (however, Jodi and LeeAnn both said that the novelty would wear off). The most surprising to me was Gordon's dad who's first words to me were "Hi Jessica...You can't take 'em." I told them that they could watch them anytime we needed them too. Their home is now their vacation home.

I think it broke Jodi's heart a bit that they adjusted to our home so quickly (as in right as soon as they got back to their home). To me, that was a relief. They recognize our home as their home.

I missed them terribly, but it sure was nice to have a break and sleep through the night.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!!

Good day to be born. I have had such a wonderful day. Although I had to work (I usually take the day off on my birthday, but everyone was working too so I decided I could work) it still was wonderful. I work with my mom (no she did NOT get me my job, I did on my own merits) and she had surprised me this morning with a delicious chocolate cake with fudge frosting!

This evening I spent my birthday in good company. Several of us went to a sushi restaurant in Ogden called Tona. The sushi was delicious! It was fun to experience sushi with friends that had never had it before. I think everyone enjoyed themselves. I don't really care if they liked the food or not, it is my birthday and sushi is my favorite!

My birthday cake from Gordon...ask him the story behind 'Merry Christmas'

I was given such amazing gifts! Gordon bought me a heart rate watch that measures my heart rate, calories burnt, and other stuff too. His family must have known I was getting it because they got me accessories for the watch. I am so excited to start using it! Watch out Jodi, the competition is on! I no longer need to pretend that I am burning just as many calories as you. I'll now know my true calories, good or bad.

I don't say it often enough but I have such amazing friends and family. Today wouldn't have been so wonderful if it wasn't for them all. This was one of my favorite birthdays.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I had no idea this place existed

I went on my first real camping trip this weekend. Five days and four nights of hard core camping. Ok, hard core camping to me. Gordon said it was "road side camping" but I didn't take a shower for 4 days!! That is hard core.

We went to Payson Lakes. There were three lakes within a mile radius of our campsite. I had never heard of this place, but apparently it is a well known place because it was packed. We had so much fun! We went with three other couples, Marc and Katherine, Richard and Rachel, and Joel and Bonnie. Full camp site. Our days were full of fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and relaxing. Our nights were full of late campfire conversations, smores, and the best hot cocoa I've ever had. We also had some entertainment from Richard who serenaded us with his guitar (he's amazing!). The food was yummy. We ate like royalty. Camping food is my favorite kind of food. Burnt hot dogs, hobo dinners, dutch oven chicken, potatoes, and cobbler, and some really yummy minestrone soup.

Gordon spent most of his day fishing in the trees.

The boys collected firewood on the way down from a hike. Over-achievers.

Katherine's sweet tan line!

My favorite hike was Grotto Trail, a short but beautiful hike up to a waterfall. We did this hike twice; the second time we decided it would be fun to swim in the waterfall. VERY COLD! It never sees the sun. I'm use to cold water (I've been going to Bear Lake for 24 yrs!) but this was breath taking cold. I didn't even care. I was dirty, and it was refreshing.

On our way up to the waterfall

The Payson clan

I really enjoy camping. I never thought I would say that. I wasn't quite one with nature, but I was as close as I wanted to be.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gettin' old doesn't look so bad...

Our friends, the Hanewinkel's, are in town to visit from good ol' California. They came to celebrate their daughter's first birthday (and Misha's birthday too) with some of their family (and friends) in Utah. During the festivities we somehow started playing the Wii. I suppose it's the new 'pin the tail on the donkey'. As we all took turns, Bryan's grandpa wanted to join in the fun. I decided that getting old doesn't look so bad. Even though he has bad eye sight and hearing, he had a ton of fun playing Mario Cart. It didn't seem to bother him at all that he lost every time and could never stay on the track. He was having a good time with his family and that was all that mattered to him. And he gave us all a good laugh, which was all that mattered to us!

(although this video is sideways, it's still very funny! He is the player at the bottom right side of the T.V.)

Here are some pics from the birthday party and our lunch date.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Doggie Friday: The Best of Friends

Since our new additions, there has not been a whole lot going on in our lives. They are our lives! Well, really they are my life because Gordon’s life right now is summer school, which is a whole other post! So I decided that since all of you are so in love with them (and how could you not be) I would post about them every Friday so that my blog does not turn into the dogs’ blog because I'm sure I could post about them every day. I must give props to this idea to Annie, Gordon’s cousin. She created Baby Friday where she does basically the same thing, but her post is about her son. I hope she’s not offended that I’m using her idea for my dogs.

A lot has happened in the lives of Briggs and Abbi since last Thursday. They had their first play date last Saturday. My friend Amanda brought her dog Rosco to meet Abbi and Briggs. At first it was rough. Abbi has a hard time with other dogs because a bigger dog a couple of years ago bit her. But as the date went on they calmed down and seemed to get along. We ran into a duck at the park. They were so curious...they wanted to play with it but the duck was too scared.

They also went to the vet yesterday. I think that was harder on me than it was on them. It's amazing how much I care for them. I have only had them since last Thursday, but already they are part of my family. When they had to get some blood drawn, they took them out of the room. I think they did that more for me than for them. When they got their shots, I couldn't look. I'm not going to lie, I teared up a bit when I heard Abbi wimper. The vet experience, as tramatic as it was, turned out fine. They are in excellent health, and now, thanks to me, they are up to date on all immunizations. I feel like such a great parent. The vet and the workers at the animal hospital were all so impressed with Abbi and Briggs. They kept complimenting me on how well mannered, sweet, and beautiful they are. I felt like a proud mother.

It's so fun to watch the two of them interact with each other. Briggs is such a sweet big brother. When we were finishing up at the vet, Briggs reached over to Abbi and "kissed" her on her nose. It was like he was telling her that everything was ok. It warmed my heart. It's so fun to watch them play together. I captured a few playful moments on camera. Take a look...

Abbi is one tough cookie. She reminds me a lot of myself. As little as we are, we sure are spit fires.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I just couldn't say "no."

I have been friends with my friend Mandi since the ninth grade, and ever since then I have been envious of her little Yorkie dogs. I am such a dog lover, of all kinds, and these little doggies were no exception. They are not your typical small dog. They are friendly, love to cuddle, and do not bark at everyone and everything. I would always tell her parents that if they ever wanted to get rid of them I would be more than happy to take them off their hands. So when I received a phone call from Mandi about two weeks ago telling me that her parents were needing to get rid of the dogs I jumped on the chance to be their new family. It was not that easy, however.

Gordon already has a dog (big boy Simon, a lab/husky mix). Every time I even mentioned wanting another dog he would simply say "Jess, we already have a dog." I would try to rebuke, but I would end up agreeing, but not because we already had a dog, but because we didn't have time, both of us being in school and working full time. But things have changed now. I'm graduated; I now have LOTS of time to care for a dog. So when I got that phone call I made the decision that we were ready for some pets (yes, I made the decision, Gordon was against this idea but wouldn't tell me no. It was to his surprise when he came home from work and I said to him "I'm going to get the dogs" and that was it). Well...we are now the proud owners of two beautiful Yorkie Terriers.

This is Abbi and Briggs. Abbi is 2 yrs old, and Briggs is 5. They are adorable. At first they were unsure of their new home, but now (2 days later) they are feeling right at home. They have gotten use to the creeks and cracks of our apartment, and last night, slept through the night without a whine or 2 am pee break. It was awesome!

Gordon is still not thrilled about them, but he is definitely falling more in love with them each day. Just last night as we were getting ready for bed, I came out into the living to find all three of them asleep on the couch. Priceless! They love Gordon. When he does his homework, Briggs will jump up onto his lap and sleep. Abbi is always right behind him, but since she is so small, Gordon needs to help her up. So cute!

The dogs are our pre-test. It is not too far in our future when Gordon and I will start our family. These dogs are a great precursor to kids. I have never had my own dog. I have always had a dog growing up, and I would say that they were my dog, but I had no idea how much work they are! I would always just play with them while my parents did all of the work. I never had to clean up after them, bathe them, or share my bed with them! Gordon was so surprised that I got up with them in the middle of the night. I cherish my sleep time, so for me to forget about myself to care for them is a big deal. Gordon also keeps telling me that he has never seen me act the way I act when I'm hanging out with our dogs. I'm a very happy person, but with them, I'm ecstatic all the time! They are two small blessings in my life.