Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My BFF is Married

This past weekend was a pretty big deal.

Jared William got married!

I know, you didn't think it was going to happen, but it totally did.  The festivities started with the reception on Friday night.  You may be thinking that having the reception before the wedding was a secret ploy to get gifts without having to go through with the marriage.  But don't worry, they did in fact get married the next day.

The great thing about having a good friend get married is that I've never been to a wedding where I ran into more people I knew than I did with this one.  (I only got pictures of a few of them.  I'm a bad kid.) The first person I ran into was my friend Kayli.  The bride and groom were busy talking to people that weren't me.  (Who does that?)  But Kayli and I made sure to get a selfie with them.  Kayli even pointed out where Jared was so that any viewers of the selfie wouldn't be confused.

Isn't that some helpful pointing?
We did eventually get to hang with Jared and Breanna.  They even consented to a picture with Robyn and I which must have been difficult considering how many pictures they had to endure over a few days.
Do you see all the preciousness?
We also ran into our good friend Jackie.  Her husband wasn't able to attend, but we were glad to add to our selfie collection.
Jared showed me the most important wedding gift he received.  He got a totally legit Katana.  It's basically the second coolest weapon behind a lightsabre.
I had to get a picture holding it.

And I got a picture with the sword and the groom.  But we were looking at the photographer, since the pictures she takes are way more expensive than the ones with my phone.
Near the end, we helped clean up and we were awarded with roses from the tables.  So I took credit for it and told Robyn I got her flowers.
The next day was the day of the actual wedding.  It was in the Salt Lake Temple, and it was beautiful.  After the sealing, we all waited outside for the happy couple to emerge.  Jared dipped his new bride and everyone cheered.

The back of that kid's head will forever be an important part of the memory.
Between the wedding and the luncheon, we had about an hour so we decided to walk over to the Church History Museum.  I made Robyn pose next to a picture of the Nauvoo Temple, because that's what I do.
When we got to the luncheon, I got to give the best man speech.  I've never spoken at a wedding before, except for my own.  Jared told me I was the keynote speeker, so I took a good ten minutes and shared some stories about the happy couple.  I did my best to share both funny stories, and stories that illustrated who they are as a couple.

After it was all over, we decided to get a picture of all the friends that were in attendance.

Getting the friends picture meant that I handed my phone to someone else, which meant Dave got a hold of it and this happened.

It was a great day.  I was so happy to celebrate it with them.  I'm so happy to have Breanna as a second BFF.  Now they just need to get back from their honeymoon so we can all have some good times as married folk.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Haunted Dates

As you know, (or at least you should know if you follow my life with the rabid obsession that I assume you do) I have an annual tradition of going to a haunted house every October with my little sister, Mellen.

This year was no different.  However, there was a small complication.  Mellen was very pregnant and little Adalyn was going to come out any minute.  I was a little nervous, and part of me thought we should call it off.  Mellen assured me that she would not give birth in a haunted house.  I told her if I had to deliver a baby I was keeping it.  She didn't actually agree to those terms, but she seemed confident enough so I went with it.

We had heard that the Castle of Chaos was supposed to be pretty good.  I bought a Groupon that said that it was good starting October 1st at the Castle of Chaos. We drove up there the first weekend in October, all ready to get scared out of our minds.  There was a nice man there letting people know that it wasn't open.  He said, "Sorry, we tried to get the Groupon site to say it won't be open today."

I agree that the Groupon site should reflect that.  However, the castleofchaos.com website also said they were open.  Oh well.

For most people, they would have come the next weekend and not worried about it.  Unfortunately, if we came any later, Mellen was going to give birth and I was not interested in delivering a baby.  We decided that the Haunted Forest was a tried and true haunt, so we'd go there.

That's when we learned that where the Haunted Forest was supposed to be was a car dealership.  Luckily, Google knew where it had moved to.  We found it and had a great time.
You always have to pose being tortured.

Who do you think wore it better?
I actually think the new location is better than the old.  It's in a more rural area and really feels like you're in a forest and not just a grove of trees in the city.
Aren't we so cute?
The forest isn't as done up as it used to be.  There is lots of area where you're just walking on a dark path wondering if someone is going to jump out at you.  But truthfully, I think it works really well.  The old Haunted Forest had more things to see and more "scary" areas.  But there's something creepy about just walking down a dark path.  The lack of things jumping out at you makes the ones that do jump out more scary.  I really liked it.

We had a great time at the Haunted Forest but I still had a Groupon for Castle of Chaos.  

As predicted, Mellen had her baby and she was not up for going to any more haunts in the month of October.  Luckily, Castle of Chaos was open until November 14th.  So we decided to make a go of it on the last night it was open.
We tried to get a selfie with the sign, but the phone couldn't make out the bright words in the dark.
But we did get a selfie with the grim reaper as he hung over the door, so there's that.
Castle of Chaos has a thing where you can sign a waiver and the actors are allowed to touch you and move you.  They say that if you do that, you may get separated from your group.  We decided to go with a no touching policy since we came together in order to actually be together.  However, we quickly discovered that it's designed around people being touched.  The whole thing is super tiny.  If you're not being dragged around by the actors you just walk by other people being dragged around.  We quickly learned that there isn't much there for people who don't want to be touched.  We walked through the whole thing in 15 minutes.

I get that the program is designed around the "X-scream Hands on" as they call it.  And it actually looked like those people were having a fun experience.  But, I don't think they should offer anything besides that since there aren't really any scares for people who aren't participating in that.  Several areas were completely abandoned because the actors (I assume) had gone off with someone already.

Oh well, I guess we just weren't meant to do 2 haunted houses, especially not in November.   Maybe we'll try the Castle of Chaos again in 3 or 4 years after they've gotten more established in their new location.  For now, it wasn't too great.

It was fun hanging out with Mellen, and the Haunted Forest was really good.  The Haunted Date was still a success despite the attempts to thwart our good times.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Colonists, Pirates and Murder

Robyn and I recently had the opportunity to solve a murder.

It wasn't a real murder.  It was just a pretend murder.  Pretending that people were murdered is fun.  You should try it some time.

Anyway, our friend Jackie and her husband Giuseppe hosted a murder mystery party.  It took place at a tavern in colonial times where colonists and pirates come to drink their cares away.  Naturally, I was the governor of the colony and Robyn was a pirate wench.  We had to be mortal enemies for the night, but she was sure a cute pirate.
Do you see the preciousness?  I especially appreciate that this tavern had the Proclamation to the Family on the wall.
It was super fun.  Each character had secrets that they knew and could trade those secrets for other information.  Throughout the night the story unfolds and different character's motivations are revealed.  I did solve the mystery.  It was my BFF Jared W.  I always knew he was a murderer.

Jared is the sailor in the lower right.  His fiance, Breanna was the Governor's daughter, so he was begging for my blessing the whole night.  I finally told him it was okay to marry her even though he was a murderer.
I have to admit that I probably wouldn't have solved the mystery if Giuseppe hadn't shared some clues that helped me put the pieces together.  So, though I was one of 3 people to solve it, Giuseppe should really get the award.

But there was an even more important award available.  We all voted on the best costume, and Robyn won for her excellent pirate attire.
Aren't you so proud of her?

So if you need a mystery solved, I'm your guy.  If you need a good dresser, Robyn is your go to girl.  (Clearly that title would never go to me.)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Seventh Anniversary Travels

Every year during fall break, Robyn and I take a short trip to celebrate our anniversary.  We take turns planning the trip, and this year I was in charge.

We decided to head into southern Utah for some outdoor festivities.  Our first stop on the way down was to Pando Forest near Fish Lake.

Pando Forest happens to be the oldest and largest living organism on the entire planet.  The entire forest consists of one Aspen tree that has spread its roots far and wide and sprouted other trees from that same root system.  Which means that every tree in the entire forest is part of one vast living organism.
We did the Doctor Creek Trail which goes right through the forest.

Sometimes I have to hug the oldest living organism on the planet.
The forest was really pretty.

Standing among the trees with the slowly falling leaves was super relaxing.  Robyn needed to do her zen pose.
After Pando Forest, the plan was to continue south and head to our cabin.  Unfortunately, we had no signal so the GPS on our phones wasn't working.  We figured we'd just start driving around the lake and hopefully find some place with a signal.  It was a super scenic drive and it was really pretty.  But it was also in the wrong direction, so we added a good hour to our drive.  Oh well, it was fun.

We got a picture of the lake out of our little drive.
Eventually, despite our detour we made it to the cabin.  It was a super cute little cabin in Duck Creek Village, Utah.
Doesn't it look so fun?
The next day we went to Zion National Park to do some hiking.

The drippy, mossy walls at Lower Emerald Pools

The waterfall coming off of the middle Emerald Pool (onto the Lower Emerald Pool)

Robyn at the Middle Emerald Pool

Posing with the mountains

It was very important for Robyn to take lots of pictures.

It was also important to do the signature Robyn pose.

As we were walking back to the car, this deer was just chilling and didn't care that we were there.  I've never been that close to a deer before.
The plan for day 3 was to go to Bryce Canyon National Park.  Unfortunately, it rained all day long.  We decided that hiking through mud didn't sound very fun.  And we thought the flash flood warnings sounded even less fun.  So we had to find things to entertain ourselves.
We found a German Bakery with delicious pastries.  It also had a carving of the Bread Spirit.  I've never heard of a bread spirit, but that sounds like the coolest ghost ever.
We did do some walking in Duck Creek Village.  It was wildernessy enough to at least feel like we got some nature in.

We did lots of reading.  Doesn't she look so smart with her reading glasses?
That evening I had planned to have hot dogs roasted over the fire for dinner.  The vision in my head was that I would make a camp fire, we would sit around it and chat while it got dark.  We'd eat our hot dogs outside and have a grand old time.

That's not quite what happened.  In the true story, I went out in the rain and built a fire.  Robyn stayed inside and yelled that it was cold.  When the fire was big enough to roast hot dogs over, she ran outside to participate in the roasting.  She roasted hers as quickly as she could and then ran back inside.
Isn't she a cute little hot dog roaster?
You should know that even though it was raining, it wasn't nearly as cold as her attire would have you believe.
This was the actual proper attire for hot dog roasting.

Despite the rain changing our plans, it was really quite a successful trip.  The most exciting part was that my sister totally made a person while we were gone.  (Well, it was really a project that she'd been working on for 9 months or so.  It wasn't all done while we were gone, but she completed the project during our trip.)

On the way back, we stopped off at the hospital to meet our new niece, Adaline.
Do you see the preciousness?

So with plenty of nature, plenty of time with my love and a precious new niece, it was a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

When the Dentist Becomes Your Super Needy Friend

Have you ever had a super needy friend?  You know, that friend who needs constant reassurance that you're still friends.  They have to confirm and reconfirm that you're going to hang out.  Even when you've confirmed 2 or 3 times, they're not completely sure.

For me that super needy friend is my dentist.

I'm going to tell you the tale of my most recent neediness from the dentist.  I should note that the dentist is always at least this needy, but this one just seems worse because it happened in such a short time period.

Remember a couple weeks ago when I had a root canal?  Well, I'm currently sporting a temporary crown on that tooth, and I get the permanent crown put on tomorrow.

The dentist has contacted me no less than 4 times to make sure I'll be there.  It started with this email:

Note that not only do they remind me that I have an appointment, but they ask me to confirm.  It's as if they are saying, "Remember we said we would hang out?  We're still gonna hang out, right?  Promise we're still friends, okay?"

Naturally, I clicked on the link and confirmed my appointment.  The next day I got a text from them.

Confirming once is just not sufficient for them.  "Yesterday you said we would hang out.  Do you still want to?  Do ya?  Do ya?  We're totally friends, right?"

Luckily, this time around 2 confirmations were sufficient.  In the past, I've had them call me to confirm.  I should note that I've never missed an appointment.  It's not like I'm some sort of flight risk.  I'm not sure why they need so much reassurance.  After the 2 confirmations it was time for the reminder email.

"I'm not gonna ask you again, because you told me twice.  But please remember to hang out with me, okay?"

Keep in mind, it's been like 2 weeks since I was actually at the dentist, and it's been 2 days since I confirmed my appointment.  But just to be really sure, they sent me another text.
"We're totally gonna see each other tomorrow.  I'm not insecure about it at all, why would you think that?  See you then!"

Look, I totally get that people need reminders.  Especially with a dentist where your appointments can be 6 months out.  I appreciate the reminder service that they give, and I'd rather have too many reminders than too few.  My real beef is with the multiple confirmations.  It makes me wonder if there is a computer that even records the confirmations.  Maybe they just figure I'll remember better if I confirm it.

Oh well.  I'm looking forward to my snazzy new tooth tomorrow.  While I'm there, I'll have to make sure to tell my dentist that he's really nice and I really like him and he's super cool.  Hopefully if he gains some confidence he won't be so insecure.  But don't tell him I made fun of him on my blog.  He would never stop texting me then.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Needles are Terrifying

Every year my sister brings home flu shots for my family.  We all go to my Mom's house and she stabs us all with a needle.  It's kind of the coolest thing ever.  I get to avoid the flu, and I don't even have to go to a scary doctor's office.

The only problem is that, while I do get to avoid the office, the scariest part of a flu shot is that it is administered with a scary needle.

Look how scary it is.

She kept telling me to relax.  She didn't understand that she had a scary needle in her hand.
 Robyn was less terrified.  She just closes her eyes, and as long as she doesn't see the needle she's good.
But don't worry, I made sure to be terrified on Robyn's behalf.

This is what I looked like while I was taking the picture of Robyn above.
The moral of the story is that needles are terrifying.  But if you're not properly terrified, I will be terrified for you.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Another Bear Lake Adventure

You may or may not remember that we have some good friends who owned a house at Bear Lake.  You also may or may not remember how sad we were when they sold it.  Well, I have some good news.  We have a different friend that has a house at Bear Lake, so our Bear Lake adventures can continue.

This past weekend, we were invited up for a weekend of adventuring.  The old house was in Laketown, Utah on the south side of the lake.  This house is in rural Idaho on the north side of the lake.  We drove up after work on Friday, and by the time we got there it was very dark.  We were not expecting it to be quite as rural as it was.  On the way, we saw deer, rabbits, skunks and many a cow.  When we pulled up to the house, there were no street lights so it was very, very dark.  We arrived before the others, so we had to wait for them in the car.  Waiting in the car in the dark reminded me somewhat of the beginning of a horror movie.  When I told Robyn that, she was very unhappy with me.  It turns out that if I mention anything like that, she thinks she's going to be murdered, and then she's cranky at me for frightening her.

This is the cranky face she made.

Luckily, we didn't have to wait long for the others to arrive.  Once we all went inside, it was like a sleepover when we were kids.  We were all hanging out and chatting.  The only difference is that when I was a little kid I stayed up all night at sleepovers.  At this one, Robyn informed me that we needed sleep around 11 PM and we promptly went to bed.

I was super excited about our stay in this new area that I had never explored.  As I always do, I took my Saturday morning walk around the area to see what I could see.  Here are a few of the things from my exploration.
The horses thought I was a pretty big deal.  I pulled grass out of the ground and they thought it was amazing.

They were all begging to take a picture with me.

I found the last merry-go-round on Earth.  I even played on it for a minute.

I even met an Ent.

This emu also thought I was a pretty big deal.  He kept following me as I walked by his fence.
I didn't get to explore too far because breakfast time was quickly approaching.  But that was okay, because I knew that after breakfast it would be time to go to the lake and have more fun there!

Once we got to the lake, it was time for all sorts of festivities to begin.



Dancing (I think she was actually demonstrating how she paddled on the kayak)

Paddle boarding (P.S. doesn't it look like she's in the Caribbean?)
Yoga  (Because why would you do yoga on land when you could do it in the middle of a lake?)

Whatever this is.

I think one of the activities I enjoyed most was the conversation.  I sometimes forget what a well read group these particular friends are.  We discussed literature, politics, philosophy and all sorts of other things.  I've taken the liberty of making a professional quality artist's rendition of the conversation.

All in all, it was a great weekend.  When are we going to do it again?
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