Lots to come….soon!

Ack!!!! As Kristiana over at Orange Juice just reminded me ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s been almost a MONTH since my last post!! I finally got back to good ol’ North Cackalack last Wednesday and have been trying to readjust me and Amber ever since :S There’s SOOOO much for me to blog about I’m frankly overwhelmed at where to start! I just got my 390!!!!!!!!!!!!! “favorite” pictures from my trip up–and seriously that was with me being super super picky about which ones I put up!!!! Soooo….soon you’ll be flooded with all sorts of picture-y bloggy goodness…along with a complete overhaul to the look of my blog…hopefully sooner rather than later. In the mean time here’s my pitiful excuse of an entry to tide you over till the goodness to come ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

18 Months Old

On August 15 my baby turned 18 months old. She’s not really even a baby at all anymore. It’s crazy how fast it’s all flown by! Everyone absolutely adored spending time with her while we were home and of course she got spoiled rotten! My mom let me borrow her camera so I could take some fabulous pics of my little lady. Enjoy!


Amber’s first Camping trip did not go the way I envisioned. Instead of a joyous time with lots of wonderful memories, fun, and laughter, there was a terrible accident the first day right after we got there. My family’s dog was killed and I was the first person to see him. ๐Ÿ™ It was very traumatizing….I still shudder when I think about it. I posted a blog before this one as a tribute to him. I’m just so thankful Amber was too little to have a clue what was going on. She just went around patting everyone on the back and saying “Ooohh!!!” As she gave them hugs. She helped everyone soooo much! I don’t know what we would have done without my little ray of sunshine! It also helped that we had friends of the family camping with us so there were people who weren’t as affected by what happened that we all needed to be cheerful for and put on a good face for.

Even though that did put a huge damper on the whole trip and there were as many tears as there were smiles I’m happy to say that there still were smiles. Here is a recap of the good times!

Amber and “Meow” She thought Adelaide was a cat and it was hilarious!

Strutting her stuff and talking on the phone–like always!

First marshmallow! Fun and messy times! I enjoyed the smores….soooooo tasty!

Star Tripping–seriously awesome!!!! You look up straight up at the stars and spin around about 20 times with people in a circle around you and then they flash you in the eyes with a flashlight and you go completely limp and fall. (of course they have to catch you!!!) it’s crazy–try it sometime!!! (but not you Paulina–I’m afraid it would make you sick!) ๐Ÿ™‚
Yet another thing I love about Wyoming is, especially when you’re up camping, you can see more stars than anywhere, you can even see the Milky Way in all it’s glory. The last night we were up there I saw 7 shooting stars and one was huge!!!!

My brother Ryan discovered that his camera had time lapse settings on his camera and the boys decided to play around with that. Cool and creepy pictures followed! (the picture I’m in was supposed to resemble one of those old creepy family portraits, I’m pretty proud of how very creepy I look!)

One of her favorite things to do was “drive” Ryan’s Jeep

In Wyoming we still like our guns, thank you very much!!!!!!!

We all had a blast at Middle Piney Lake. It was completely gorgeous! I couldn’t get over how deep blue the water is.

Pic taken by Ryan (go figure)

We also went on a scenic drive where we saw graves from the Oregon Trail in this valley

Cuddling while Dad cut down more trees (it was all standing dead wood for any tree huggers out there ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Horse shoes are always a good time!!!! Even Amber thought so!

*tyra bank voice* “She can do a fiiiiierrrce fierce picha!!!”

That’s my girl! John Deere in one hand, dirt in the other!

I had lots of fun with mom’s macro (my camera is dying ๐Ÿ™ so I had to steal everyone else’s while I was back home for pictures)

Even though it wasn’t what I was hoping for, Amber had a blast and I do have several wonderful memories to keep from it as well.

Tribute to the Sweetest Puppy

Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair. But I am a sincere believer “that all things work together for good”. So it comforts me to know that the terrible accident which took you from us served some purpose…even though I’ll probably never know what that purpose was.
My favorite memories of you were both from when we first got you as a tiny puppy. Mom really didn’t want a puppy but Dad wanted to get you before I got married so you would be my puppy too. The day after they brought you home I was very sick. They all had to go somewhere and didn’t want to leave you alone so I offered to watch you even though I was sick. I wasn’t looking forward to chasing a puppy around, but thought I should since I would be home anyways. Instead of being bad you came and curled up on my back while I was laying on the couch and fell fast asleep. We both slept that way until everyone came home. I knew then I absolutely loved you!
My other favorite memory of you was the first time we brought you up camping. We were going for a walk and all of a sudden 2 big dogs came running out of the forest and towards me. Instead of running away you ran in front of me and started growling at them. LoL! You were so cute!
Everyone who met you loved you, but how could they help it? Usually so mellow and other times crazy, faithful to a tee, and friendly to everyone. You were everything a good dog should be.
I was a little nervous the first time I brought Amber to stay with you. Neither of you had ever been around dogs or babies, but you both loved each other instantly. You were so amazingly gentle with her–especially when she wasn’t gentle to you! You’d let her crawl all over you, pull on your ears, and take your toys away.
You were so much more than “just a dog” and you will be very, very missed!!!!!

Southwestern Wyoming

On August 7th we decided to adventure a little closer to home. One thing I love so much about Wyoming is all the wildlife you see everywhere. On our way out we saw a group of wild horses. Of course we had to stop to show Amber!
She hitched a ride on Grandpa’s shoulders up to the Indian Petroglyphs
The sandstone is covered with Indian carvings
One of my favorites was this little guy

Amber thought they were pretty cool!!
One of my favorite things about where I grew up is that you can see for MILES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our next stop was Boar’s Tusk which is the inner core of an ancient volcano
While Amber played in the dirt (go figure)

Us older kids climbed up into the middle of the volcano

Crazy picture taking ensued

To get back down we slid on rocks the whole way–it was way fun and so much easier!

Our last stop of the day was the amazing Killpecker Sand Dunes. They are the second largest moving sand dune system in the world, second only to that in the Sahara Desert.

Amber loved playing in the sand

While I got to go for a ride on the 4 wheeler–Woo Hoo!

Another thing I LOVE about Wyoming is the bright blue sky!!!
this pic wasn’t edited or enhanced at all

My Ansel Adam-esque self portrait

Again–another amazing day!!!!!

Red Cliff

Picture Ryan took up at the Cliffs

On August 3rd we got to go pick up my brother Ryan from Red Cliff Bible Camp where he’d been on staff all summer. Red Cliff was a fixture in my life the entire time I was growing up and I went every year, twice a year, from the time I was old enough to the time I graduated high school.

Because my Dad had recently purchased some “big boy toys” (a flat bed and a chainsaw sharpener) we went up early and spent the day pretending to be loggers. It was wonderful being back up in *my* mountains! By the time we went to pick up Ryan it was getting dark and it was raining, so I wasn’t able to get any pictures of camp itself or the gorgeous new log expansion, we got plenty of picture goodness earlier in the day though, so here are some of those!!

Littlest Twilight Fan…..Amber recently has decided she’s too old for board books and would rather flip through “real” books instead.

She loved sitting on the four wheeler and going for rides. Here she’s giving it gas to make it roar ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s my girl!

Have to get the dirt on juuuuuust so…..my little tomboy loves dirt and was completely filthy by the time the day was done!

We had a fun day! On a side note I never thought I’d get sucked into the whole Twilight pop culture phenomenon…but alas, I too have fallen prey to the addiction that is Twilight. I read all 4 books in the time span of 2 weeks (that’s like, what?? 5,000 pages????) and after reading them all I must admit that I am a fan…now don’t be too concerned…I’m not about to go buy a life sized poster of Edward or anything, but I must say that for something I once ridiculed for being silly I was very impressed with the whole series.

Wyoming’s Big Show

So as you know by now I recently deserted my (poor) hubby and went on a visit reminiscent of Jane Austen’s era where you showed up and stayed for a month at the least. I had a wonderful time and we got to do so many amazing and fun things!!! I love Wyoming more than anywhere else in the world and it will always and forever be where I think of as *home* even if I never get to live there again.

We started off the visit with a bang with the Sweetwater County Fair. Out here on the East Coast county fairs are non-existent or lame, to say the least, but back in Wyoming (where, granted, the local excitement is a trip to Wal-Mart…no I’m serious, trust me I worked there for 3 years, I know) the fair is one of THE big events of the year. (or maybe it just seemed that way to me because I had no life….Nah….) I mean, after all it was the second place I ever saw my husband and why we started dating ๐Ÿ˜€ so maybe it’s just dear because of sentimental reasons…(stops and realizes that I’m rambling)

In any event! It’d been 4 long summers since I got to go to the Fair and I was super duper excited to be back!!!

Here are some of the highlights!

My Favorites: The Fabulous Food!!!!!!!!! Gyros (my fav is the beef) and funnel cakes that are to die for!! Yummmmm…..
Concerts!!! I love country and this year they had Phil Vassar and Emerson Drive (amazing and we got to meet them and get autographs too!!!! It had been way too long since my best friend Heather and I had gone to a concert together and it was so much fun!!!
The Zipper!! I’m not really one for carnivals..when it comes to rides I like full-on full-scale scare you to death adrenaline rushes. (more on those to come later) But this ride is one of the best I’ve been on…all theme parks included!!! (and boy I’ve been on some crazy ones so trust me that’s saying a lot!) This year I got to ride twice and the second time Heather and I were the only ones on the ride and the guy operating it apparently thought we were cute *kudos to us old ๐Ÿ˜‰ married ladies for still having it* because he spun our cage around before and after the ride and it was so crazy I couldn’t walk straight after we got off…what fun! ๐Ÿ˜€

Amber’s Favorites: Her first balloon (funny how for toddlers it always is something seemingly “small” like that)

And of course all the Animals!!!! She adored the petting zoo and this big guy was her favorite!

Other fun stuff included being in a magic show..

Amber’s “second” boyfriend…

And her first ride

It was all so much fun and a great way to start off our visit!!!!!!

What I didn’t expect August 1, 2002

  • You don’t expect to meet the love of your life in Wal-Mart
  • You don’t expect to meet him at all at the age of 17
  • You don’t expect that he’d be one of the few guys who didn’t hit on you
  • You don’t expect that you’ll want to marry him within a month
  • But have to wait years
  • You don’t expect that when you have your lives together all planned out things will start to come apart
  • And you’ll fight for a year and nearly breakup
  • You don’t expect that him joining the military will save your relationship, when you fought tooth and nail against him doing just that
  • You don’t expect him to call you from boot camp and tell you he wants to marry you as soon as possible
  • You don’t expect to agree
  • You don’t expect that at 19 years old you’ll become a Mrs.
  • You don’t expect that you’ll go from living in the same house your entire life in Wyoming to moving 2,000 miles away to Washington DC where you don’t know a soul but your new husband
  • Especially not when you were the little girl who cried when she spent the night at Grandma’s house 5 minutes away
  • You don’t expect to look back 7 years later and laugh about all you’ve been through and marvel at God’s perfect hand in writing your love story

  • But then you realize that life is often not at all what you expected….

  • Most of the time it’s so much more!!!!