Alex and I went for a nice little Sunday drive last weekend, Aspen-hunting. I love love love golden Aspens in the fall, and a few weeks ago we drove up Mt. Logan but the leaves hadn't turned yet. Alex has been really sweet, helping me on my scavenger hunt to capture some golden aspens for our wall. This time was about perfect. We ended up at Old Ephraim's grave, I'd never been up there before so that was neat. Kind of freaky how big a grizzly was, but I guess that's what makes it a cool monument! We've had fun exploring all the backroads in Logan's canyons, it's pretty amazing what you can access just a few miles away from home!
I've really slacked on this blog. Never fear! I am posting for the second time this year... ahem.
So here we are, in Fall again. Well sort of. If you call 80 degrees Fall. I suspect we are getting screwed out of lovely Autumn again this year, where Summer heat turns straight into Winter's blizzarding death. I have to say I am anxious for sweaters & scarves and cute boots weather!
(obviously Kelli is writing this :)
Alex is busy in school this semester, working part-time with the refugees, and helping train someone to take over his position come January. He got a job offer in London (Hurray!) which we regretfully turned down (boo.) but think that the Salt Lake office will be a better fit for the type of Accounting he wants to do. Plus, we are more likely to return there after he finishes his Masters program.
Can I just tell you I'm THRILLED to spend a few months in SL? Logan, I love you, but I'm boredwitchu. But as far as housing, who knows where we are going to live- suggestions welcome.
I am NOT in school this semester, though it's hard to admit I miss that structured schedule in my day. I have had many a craft adventures and cooking attempts. But whenever I cook something, Alex comes home and makes it better. So I'm kind of resigned to relinquishing my title of homemaker supreme, and being merely the cook's helper. (HA). I've been doing more photo sessions, which is just fine by me, I'm officially business-licensed, so pretty much- it's legit. (www.kellidee.com) I'm hoping to get in a few more sessions before the snow forces me inside for the next six months. Bleh. I've also been working with the School District the past year as the 'Refugee Liaison', which keeps me pretty busy at the beginning and ending of semesters, and with home-visits and ESL tutoring in between.
Baby Sow is now a General Grade 2 on Halo Reach. Just Sayin.
We've spent tons of time at the Star Valley Cabin this year, as opposed to other years where our visit were far and few between. Apart from the Harris Stomach Flu Epidemic of 2 weeks ago, I would say our visits have been fabulous. Alex has been teaching me to golf. Sometimes I am slightly competitive, and other times it's like I've never held a club before. Hopeful I can get more consistent! It's nice because generally no one is around, so I don't have an audience. :)
(Hike to Periodic Springs)
um THAILAND and CAMBODIA were amazing. But, that's another post. Stay tuned for photos. They are EPIC, and there are so many that it has been daunting to sort through them all. But, I will soon, promise. Sawateekahhhh!
It's April... we'll leave it at that.
Alex's trip in October taught us that we don't want to be apart like that. Ever. Again. Plus, I just refuse to be left behind on any more foreign excursions.
Thanks Skype, for getting me through :)
We had a fabulous Thanksgiving with the Mortensen's, and spent Chrismas with the Harris's. We saw DAvid Archuletta in a Christmas Concert with MoTab, and it was fabulous.
Alex got broken into our Christmas story & candle lighting tradition... with help from Caleb, the shepherd boy :)
We made an awesome gingerbread house, reminiscent of Peach's Castle...
I love the footed pajamas Alex gave me, and it's fun to punish him for being mean by putting them on :)
With the XBox being our latest family addition, we play Halo 3:Reach in our freetime(yes, we do). But I've realized I'm never going to be considered "good", so it kind of sucks some of the fun out of it. My gamertag is BabySow... add it now. :)
Alex and I jumped into another semester of school after Christmas, and our class/work schedule has been absolutely insane. We both took on 18 credit hours. Alex has had a lot of exciting things going on, and has been interviewing for different accounting internships someday in the future. It amazes me how great he is with people, and I'm excited to see where his ambitions will take us.
I don't know how to catch up on everything that's happened. It was exciting to head down to Spanish Fork this last week to see Shanna's new baby, we just adore all of our nieces and nephews. Welcome Claire, sweet baby girl!
Alex turned 24 in February! He got a pet fish we named Jerry, who passed into the great fishbowl in the sky just 2 weeks later. We just aren't ready for that kind of responsibility I guess! He's loving being able to remind me that he is 2 years older than me now... even though I turn 23 in May. I guess he can have his fun for now...
I did the math, and between my classes and practicum (where I student teach in an elementary school), I spend 38 hrs a week sitting in class alone, factor in homework, work with the refugees, photo sessions, husband and family time... it's insane!! This semester helped put a lot in perspective for me. This will be my last semester of school (for now). I'm finding time here and there for my photography work and I just love every bit of it!
Alex has been learning to make various Thai dishes, and his Nam Tok is definitely my favorite. Looking forward to summer when mangoes are back in season for sticky rice! And my dear friend Jocie taught me how to make Creme Brulee, so I am pretty much set for life.
We're heading off to Thailand in May!! Right after our anniversary. I just can't wait, it's hard to stay focused with something so exciting so close. I've never been abroad, apart from the border of Mexico. We will venture into northern hill tribes and southern beach areas of Thailand, and also spend a week exploring the ancient ruins in Cambodia. With Alex's scholar program and my practicums, this school year has been so intense. This will be a much needed vacation! Don't worry, I will ride plenty of elephants.
Thanks for reading, hopefully I can do better documenting our various adventures!
On Sunday Sa Jan & Hay Dar Yar's family had us over for dinner. They are too sweet, and even though we tell them not to give us anything, they always insist. Like this red top she gave me, that came all the way from Thailand. Or the nasty 24-pack of bean noodle ramen that has been sitting in our kitchen for the past two months. The refugees are all so generous and we love them like family. The food is really scary though... you never know what you're gonna get. For instance this dish served to us to the left is chicken:
And then we see these LIVE chickens in the china cabinet:
"We had six yesterday, and now only two...." So yes, scary food. Haha, but fresh I guess!
School has pretty much swallowed Alex up, and work has done me in. We've been like living zombies the past few weeks, getting through everything we need to do, but we love every second we get to spend together.
Two hours until the Huntsman Scholar Banquet.
Two days until Alex boards a plane to Europe.
Three and half weeks until he comes home.
But, life is still good :]
Well. Alex says it feels like it should be the end of September by now... that's how busy we've been. Alex's Huntsman Business Scholarship program means school M/W/F 9-3, but that doesn't account for meetings he usually has until 5 or so. The first day of school he was informed they would be learning French 5 hours a week, so there goes Tuesday & Thursday. Don't mind the 200 pages of technical reading they assign everyday, or the 3 papers due each class period... add in the hours of work he tries to fit inbetween... we don't get a lot of time together right now :(
I really enjoy my classes, with several friends that make physics particularly more enjoyable. In my elementary music class we are actually learning to play (or re-play) recorders. I am pretty sure that I am the worst in the class. Today she made a generalized comment about how to prevent whistling... which I know was directed at me. I fail. Not to mention we have to sing solos/perform daily. Loving it.... pause.... not. But all my ESL classes are fantastic and I'm learning tons!
Labor day weekend was fun, with a Mortensen family shindig, featuring flying grasshoppers, and the Harris get together in Spanish Fork. We definitely got our family fix in. The tri-tip was a-mazing. Clark is quite the cook. And baby Soel is getting so big I can't believe it. I just want to freeze all my nieces and nephews in their cuteness. I don't know what I'm going to do when Traci takes all four of hers away to Dallas soon.
Hunger Games!! I finished the series. But I won't say anything to spoil it. I actually now have that sort of depressed, need more of the story feeling that comes with ending a book you really enjoy. But I'm delving back into Harry Potter, number four now, so all is well.
Alex is getting ready for the big Lotoja race this weekend. I'm very impressed, but can't say I wish I was doing it. It will be fun to cheer from the sidelines and be the official family team photographer :) (Brent, David and Melissa are also on board). I'm looking forward to a weekend at the cabin in any case. Things around here are too hectic. Going to school while being married is a lot harder than working was all summer. But it definitely is better in any case to come home to one another at the end of the day, no matter how late it is. La Dolce Vita.
Alex & I spoke together for the first time as a married couple in church on Sunday. I spoke for 8 minutes, and he had to fill the rest of the time ;) I always love hearing stories from his mission, they are pretty unbelievable, so I was excited that was his topic. I had to speak on reverence, we suspect because Alex is always teasing me and making me giggle during sacrament meeting...
We got to spend some time at the star valley cabin with the Mortensen's, and I caught my first fish! Alex got some good biking time in with his dad, and we came back in town to hit up the last night of the county fair. We had fun just walking around, and Alex was in heaven with the Thai bbq stand. He kept going back for more. Work is winding down for me, as the MEES, or migrant education, program of the ELC is closing due to lack of funds. I'm so sad, but have been loving the last 9 months. Alex luckily works with a different department, and I'm staying on as a volunteer, so we will still be involved with the families for awhile. School starts for us both on Monday, and Alex is getting so excited for his Europe trip. I'm slowly forgiving him, as he did after all surprise me with two new books today- Mockingjay & Ender's Game. He knows how to win me over. I'm in the middle of the third Harry Potter book, getting inspiration for our upcoming harry potter party (I'm determined to have one celebrating the new movie). My cousin Sara got married on Saturday, with a sweet little outdoor wedding/picnic/dancing in Ogden, and it was fun to see all of the family. It's strange how the older I get, the more time I wish I could spend with them all. We are so blessed to live by Alex's family and get to see them often. It will be interesting to see where we end up in the next few years....
We had a good time at the wedding. There must've been something in the lemonade...
Alex & I spent the last weekend up Island Park area (St. Anthony's) for a McClellan family reunion. It was really fun to see relatives that don't live nearby, and the little ones who grow up so fast. We had a great time playing CRUD (Alex showed no mercy to his new relatives), sleeping on a flat airmattress, and floating down a river towards a thunderstorm. That was the best part, with my niece shrieking the entire time, and two babies sitting on laps. What were we thinking. The power went out in a storm one night, and my dad entertained everyone with his infamous lighthouse/cats horror story.
What wasn't fun, was when we were all loading up tubes for the river, my little 2 yr old nephew Caleb wandered off and was missing for a good twenty minutes. With large canoeing ponds on the sides of the lodge, it was the most sickening feeling to scout out the edges and reeds calling his name. In the end, Shanna found her little boy had climbed into a relative's van, just ready and waiting to go. Can't tell you how happy our tears were! Still have a tight stomach thinking about it.
I also went with Sarah and my parents to check out BYU-I (can't believe she's already looking at schools!) and was impressed. I had a negative perception just because its Idaho, and freezing up there, but it was a cute little campus.
We are back into cramming hours for work so we can take another few days off for the star valley cabin with the Mortensen's this week. We have been so busy the past few months! Even at home, Alex has taken up Mario Sunshine with a passion. And yes, yesterday when he conquered a difficult level, my front tooth got chipped in the excitement. I'm busy reading away the harry potter series in anticipation of the new movie. Can't believe school will be back in full swing in just a few weeks. October is coming too soon.