It's that time of year again...

Last year Jared and I were able to take a roadtrip of a lifetime, we had a phenomenal time and still can't believe we were able to take off for a whole month just to tour around the western United States.
A dream of mine has always been to lounge on as many exotic beaches as I can, and this is coming from someone who, up until last week, has never owned a passport. That's right, I've never been one step outta this country, but I dream and dream!
So since we got married we have half-planned several exotic vacations, that just never ended up working out. But, this summer, it is happening. I get to use my passport, we are going on a cruise!!
Originally we were going to go to Playa del Carmen, Mexico to an all-inclusive resort for a week, but after airfare doubled, we looked at other options. Cruises didn't really appeal to me, because I feel like everyone takes the same cruise to the same places. But during my vacation searching I came across a cruise titled "5 day exotic eastern Caribbean cruise". Exotic! That had to be different! Then come to find out, there was a dip in airfare to Miami the same time as the cruise, so our vouchers we got from Louisiana would totally cover it. And since Jared and I came "this close" to moving to Miami, we decided it deserved to be part of the vacation too, so we organized the whole thing. On September 1st we fly to Miami, and stay at a Miami Beach ocean front hotel, then on the 3rd we board the ship and head to Grand Turk, Caribbean, Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, and Nassau Bahamas. Then back to Miami on September 8th to fly home.
I have never taken a trip like this and I can hardly wait, it's only 46 days away!!!
Plus, between now and then, we have a huge event, Jared's brother Ethan is marrying his sweet fiance Kaytlin, next month, so we get to go down to Salt Lake and spend time with Jared's family, which hasn't been all together since 2006, and some of whom we haven't seen since Christmas of 2010. I have a whole new nephew to meet and everything!
So we are pretty excited, and I am totally in full planning mode. We are picking our beach excursions today, so snorkel trips, sting ray encounters, and parasailing are all in the future!
Aside from this, life has calmed down. Last weekend Jared graciously came with me on a Young Women's campout, where he presided as the priesthood leader. That was a ton of fun. Then Saturday we headed downtown, our favorite place, and watched a huge bike race. Biking is incredibly popular in Boise, and there are a ton of bike race tours that come through, and neither of us had been to any. Here's how it went.
Oh cool, there's the huge motorcycle police lead, and here are the bikers, oh hey Jared take a picture of me....
now that is a startled face, they came by so close to the place we were standing, the could literally take off a hand or arm if placed at all over the railing. So I stayed firmly behind it the rest of the evening. Then it started pouring and we saw a bunch of bloodied up bikers from falling on the wet pavement. Needless to say, attending bike races is definitely a great activity. Oh and look, a rainbow over Jared's office building. Semi-ironic.
and this squirrel was high comedy. Last week, Boise was the hottest place in the country. Really. Hotter than Texas and Florida and everywhere else in the United States, we made national news. While we get to curl up in our lovely air conditioning, all a squirrel has to do is plank the fence to find a little bit of shade. He didn't even run when I came like a foot away to take a picture. He evaluated it was too hot, and he would take the risk I guess.


Busy busy busy

Holy moly it's been a crazy month! I feel like I haven't just sat down and breathed in 4 weeks.
Some of you know, some of you don't, Jared and I spent a week with my boss' kids in June, and after their parents came back I knew I had to quit my job. I know I was very blessed to find this job, and we were able to get a lot out of it (furniture, free groceries, and good pay), but it was not a good fit, and definitely a toxic environment to work in, and it really was meant to be short lived. So now I have a few prospects, and I might even start my own business, lots of possibilities, and I'll keep everyone updated on what I decide to do.
Last weekend we were able to go to Louisiana for Jared's extended family reunion, and to see his grandparents. I have never met this set of grandparents before and really wanted to make sure we saw them this year. So Friday we got up at 3 for a 5:30 a.m. flight to dallas, then we were going to rent a car to drive to Shreveport. When we got to the airport though, they asked for volunteers to give up their seats because the flight was overbooked, so we did, and we only got to Dallas 2 hours later, we each got a $400 flight voucher and $18 each for food for the day in the airport. It was a sweet deal!
So we got to Louisiana late Friday, then Saturday we spent the day at the Masonic lodge where the whole extended family (like great aunts and uncles and second cousins and everything) had a big lunch, then an auction to raise money for the next family reunion. We got a huge bag of pecans Jared's grandpa shelled himself, a Cake pop cook book, a huge lantern/flashlight, and Jared's sweet mom got us a big green polka dot beach bag. That was so fun!
Sunday we woke up and went to church, then we all went to an Alligator farm and exotic petting zoo. I had a ball. I love animals, so feeding goats, camels, zebras, deer, kangaroos and ostriches was totally up my alley.
That night we went to the Harrah's casino for dinner at the buffet, and were totally impressed with Jared's uncle Terry who won over $200 playing the slot machines.
Sadly, we had to leave Monday to drive back to Dallas and to fly home. It was a quick trip but it was so fun!
Then Wednesday for the Fourth of July, Jared had the day off so we rented a jet ski and headed to Lake Lowell for the whole day, and brought our friends David and Vicky! It was a gorgeous day and the water was warm and the jet ski was so fun. We grilled for dinner and made sandwiches for lunch, and just relaxed and tanned. We even took Lily on the jet ski for a little ride, she didn't like that, but she loved swimming, when we would come in on the jetski she would jump in the water and swim out to us. So cute!

So to recap, we spent 4 days in Louisiana, got home at 1:00 a.m. early Tuesday morning, then spent 10 hours jet skiing on Wednesday. Then Thursday I woke up at 5 to drive down to Salt lake to see my family. Jared had to work so it was just me and the dog.
We went out to lunch, then just hung out as a family at my Grandparents house, then my mom took me to this awesome craft store called "The wood connection" where you buy unfinished wood projects to paint and decorate your house with, so I have a lot of crafting to do in the near future! Thursday night my mom's parents came to my dad's parents house and we had a big dinner. We were able to get pictures with both sets of Grandparents, which was so great. My wonderful Grandpa Bunch has been very sick with ALS or Lou Gherigs disease, and we are not sure how much longer he will be with us, so it is always great to spend time with him.

Friday morning my family left, and I spent the day with my mom's parents. They live in Reno, but since my grandma has been diagnosed with Leukemia, they have been staying in Salt Lake so she could be in the Huntsman cancer center. After 3 or 4 rounds of Chemo, she recieved a bone marrow transplant a few months ago and has been doing a lot better. They took me out to the Lion house for lunch, and we walked around downtown and then they took me to the huntsman. What a gorgeous hospital, I am very grateful there is such a great facility in the west to help those with cancer.
That night I went back to my dad's parents house and spent time with my Grandma, and helped her a little with her Etsy site. She sells aprons and religious finger puppets, go here to check it out! it's called Carol's imagination. So cute!
I left Saturday morning and got home in the afternoon, and of course we had something else fun planned. Our friends got us Boise Music Festival tickets, so we headed just around the corner to this huge outdoor concert where we heard Karmin (she sings that "cheerio" song on the radio), Smashmouth, Kellie Pickler, and LL cool J. It was so fun, and it felt like all of Boise was there! Then after that we went and saw Battleship. I totally loved it! it was so intense and the graphics were cool, that's one I would see again.
So finally I have a restful Sunday...well in between Young Women's Presidency meetings (oh yeah...I got called as first counselor, how great is that!?) and dinner at family's house. I'm looking forward to a week at home, and figuring out what I should do with my life. If you have any ideas or advice please let me know....=]