Monday, July 12, 2010

Best Birthday EVER!

Technically, it's not my birthday until the 20th, but stars aligned and the universe consented so my birthday came early this year. And it was a AMAZING!

Recipe for the best birthday ever:

1-Mother who loves you and your kids and will take them for the entire weekend-that means overnight people. Yes, she is a saint.
2-Air mattresses cuz you'll be camping in none other than beautiful Jackson Hole, Wy
1- big Splash from the snake river where you will white water raft and talk to a giant polyenisian who will turn out to be none other than Haloti Ngata
3-4 Smores cuz you'll need more energy after all your sweet hikes
1-Loving husband to share your birthday, to laugh with you and whine at you that you are making him bushwhack down the mountian and he doesn't have hiking shoes on

Jackson Hole has a special place in my heart. I lived there for 3 summers before I entered wedded bliss. I worked and played and cried and laughed times of my young adult life maybe. I love, love, love Jackson. I love the smells, I love the hikes, I love the antler arch, I love it all! I never get tired of seeing the beauty of the Tetons. I feel at home in Jackson. Every turn, every store brought so many fond memories back. I reminisced and reminisced as I ran 6 miles (my farthest ever!!) in Grand Teton National Park. It was so good to be back.

Our first day we hiked to Phelps lake. It's been 10 years since I have been there so getting to the rock that we used to jump from was a little adventurous. Nevertheless, as I made Paul bushwhack down the mountain we found a nearby trail and 30 feet later we turned a small corner and there was our rock. How is THAT for planning. The water was freezing and the people there were weird, which is exactly what I expected. So fun!

This is Paul jumping into Phelps. It doen't show, but that is a 15ft drop! I can't lie it's a little scary at first.

Day 2-we went for our run in the park. There were several times where I was really overcome with the majesty and beauty. The primary song "I feel My Saviors Love" came to my mind again and again. I have always felt closest to Heavenly Father when I am alone in the mountains. I feel clarity of thought and peace. Cheezy I know, and I loved every minute! Afterwards we ate breakfast at my very favorite place The Bunnery, then headed back to camp for our whitewater rafting trip.

Whitewater rafting is one of the key things I wanted to do there and we were surprised to be with a group of entirely Utahans. Tyler, our river guide, was the best I have ever been down with. He spun us, told all the dorky river stories, helped us have water fights with other boats and (most importantly) kept us all in the boat :). I felt a lot safer when he had Haloti come sit right behind me. The sheet size of that mans hands...all he needed to do was scoop me out should I fall in. He was super nice and totally humble about the whole NFL thing. At one point on the river they were all talking about rugby then football and I said, "Oh, you play football too?". Yes just said "Yeah". It wasn't until the bus ride home that it came out that he played for the Ravens. Paul was totally star struck after that. He remembered 10 years ago we sat in front of him at a BYU game and blah, blah. To me he was just a giant, NFL player who was on our boat who could splash people with a paddle 15 ft away. When I saw that I was so grateful he was on our boat. Haha.

Can anyone look good-forget that even comfortable in a wetsuit? I had to document this nasty display for posterity. Paul suit is (ahem) a little tighter than we anticipated in certain areas. Wha ha ha ha.
After that long and tiring trip we ate at Merry Piglets another sentimental and delicious place.

Day 3-We hiked to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. There were so many kids everywhere that I started to miss the girls a little. I imagined how much fun they would have seeing the water fall (getting to it would have been less fun). The hike was great and the view was just as I remembered it. I tried to really take it in.



After we rented a canoe and set out on the lake. It was a little windy and choppy, but still really fun and still amazingly beautiful to see. This jaunt concluded our trip. We headed back to celebrate the 4th with Mom & the girls.


It truly was a perfect birthday and a great 4th of July. We made a pit stop at the firework stand for our share of illegal fireworks that we took back to Abredeenland and set off. The girls loved them (an so did we)! We all just laughed and "ohhed" and "ahhhhed".

We talked on the way home about making this a yearly event so you better mark your calendar Mom!

Happy Independence Day America and Happy (early) Birthday Me :).


Tiffany Bills said...

Happy Early Birthday girl, glad it was fun-you deserve it!
Love all the pictures, they made me smile ;)

I'm still trying to decide what to do for you...I'll holla at you soon! haha

Christy said...

just reading it makes me want to RUN to Jackson and play!! A peice of my heart will always be there :)

i love the pictures - you documented perfectly the love of that place!

dude...when did your boobs shrink???

andreyandjami said...

Damn Girl you look'n good in them wetsuits!! And Paul....Oh Who is your Daddy?

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Paul and I have been married 10 years. We have two beautiful little girls, Kylee and Aubrey. We are blessed with a great family and amazing friends. Life is good!