Monday, April 11, 2016

to my sister on her wedding day

this past weekend was quite an event, as my little and only sister married the one for her.  it has been an up and down all around, and i figured since i gave a "toast" twice, i may as well put in to writing to forever immortalize the words i had to say to her on her big day.
clearly, a little rewritten to make more sense in blog format and not spoken word.
(i've also linked in particular pop culture references, as to make sense of them.  since the internet allows me to do so)
i don't know if there was any recordings of it, so here goes:

i'd like to start by quoting what we all think is probably on ben's mind right now
come on aileen
oh i swear what he means
at this moment, you mean everything
aileen and ben are married?  ew
leading up to today, i had plans to write an epic toast wrap that would hit levels of youtube gold.
well, since aileen asked me to do this on monday, I am sadly not able to give you the performance of a lifetime.  also, if you were hoping for a heartwarming sister of the bride toast, you may be at the wrong wedding.
aileen came in to my life in 1996 ruined it all at the same time.  I was perfectly fine being the only sister and she blew it.  She started off early, just a few days old, causing me to pass out cold on the hospital floor.  after that, everywhere I went, aileen shortly followed after.
she and i, believe it or not, never really got along for many years.  I challenged her young self with sarcasm and wit, which as she got older she took as part of her own personality.  so everyone, you're welcome.
aileen had many talents, questionable ones at that.  music, ventriloquism, dance and not sports were her forte.  she took all the AP classes I never bothered with, and as the years went by she quickly blossomed in to the nerdy young woman she is today.  as she grew, we finally began to find more things in common, such as tv shows and we finally liked each other's clothes and could actually borrow some of them from each other.  just as we were getting to know each other, ben happened.
i remember the day we all met ben.  aileen brought him home from a date, and my parents were in the living room and i was in the kitchen.  we heard the door to the garage close and two sets of feet come towards us.  aileen, with a boy following her, entered the room and turned to him and said "and this is my cat, mushu."  clearly, we know where the priorities are.
as aileen and ben grew together, then apart, and then back together, aileen really became her own individual person.
while i'm not 100% on being "bro" and "sis" with ben just yet, i do have some advice for him to work with aileen's habits.
1. if she's grumpy, feed her chocolate.
2. if she's tired, feed her chocolate.
3. if she starts talking sciency to you, do what i do.  stare at her, nod, and then just say "ok."
4. when in doubt, chocolate.  or even potatoes really.
while i don't understand how a former child ventriloquist and a man who enjoys magic tricks fell in love, it seems like a match that is meant to be.  and ben, if our only shared interests are an appreciation tim allen tv shows and ruining aileen's yawns with a poke in the tounge, i'd say we're off to a solid start.
and aileen.  if i can offer you any advice, it would be this:
don't forget to treat yo self in big ways and in small.  i hope your love for each other continues like 5,000 candles in the wind.  and always remember what is important in life:  friends, waffles, and work.  or waffles, friends, work.  doesn't matter, but work is third.  and don't only love ben, but be sure to like him too.
p.s. i don't excpect to be an aunt ANY time soon.
a few things i didn't get to say to my sister on her wedding day.
basically the mildly mushy stuff
6 1/2 months or so led up to this, and i am so incredibly proud of you.  while it was hard for me the day you got engaged, knowing i wouldn't be able to be there the actual moment you got married, i know this was the wedding of your dreams with ben.  somehow balancing your school load miles and miles away from home while having a wedding planned and somehow on your wedding day you were totally chill and we managed to pull it all off.  you've come a long way since being the 4 year old eating goldfish at my middle school basketball games, and have so much further to go from here.  i wish you the best, with your freshly 20 self and continuing to grow every day leaps and bounds.  the journey is just beginning for you.
i'm happy to have a sister like you.
well, not just like you, but one that is you.
you're more fun to make fun of now.  i mean...
now have a husband i can make fun of (because it is ben, and its really easy)  that takes some of the pressure off you.
also, thanks for not getting bitten by a rabid dog.  or having any crazy injury stories for me to share.
that's apparently my job in this family.
wedding day photography:

Friday, April 8, 2016

alaska 2016 - day 5

alas, the final full day in alaska has come to posting.
it was very much an action packed day, much like the others.
jenny split off to visit a family friend, so amy and i did our own thing in the morning, and then we hit the road to check out the wildlife conservation center out in girdwood.  on the way we stopped at a little quilt shop, which was fun.  no exciting alaska license plate pins though (just colorado so far, lisa)
there were lots of animals to check out, and after getting ourselves together, we began our voyage around the center.  a few of the animals included a wolf pup, lynx, one winged eagle, brown bear and porcupines.  oh!  and the foxes were adorable.  i could have watched them hop around forever.  we got super lucky and got to the bear zone right at feeding time, so they were up close and personal.
kayak eating bear? i think maybe.
oh those foxes...
we checked out the gift shop, where i picked up a pair of earrings as my alaskan souvenir (to go along with my clip for my camera bag to hold the strap on) and then we hit the road back homeward.
amy cooked up a delicious pork chop dinner and we chilled for the rest of the evening.
alas, the next morning it was time to head home.
all packed up to go, we headed in to anchorage and checked out a quilt shop (the quilt tree)
this one was amazing and oh so wonderful all at once.
so much fabric and goodness to look at.
i left with another souvenir (12 fat quarters of alaska batik fabrics) as any quilter would and should.
we checked out the toy store next door, and then walked in to a time machine and went in to a fully operating, still open, blockbuster video store.  seriously, it was weird.
amy took us to the airport, we unloaded our suitcases, and said farewell to the alaskan world.
it was a crazy whirlwind of a trip, and it felt like the last day went by SO FAST.
i cannot wait to get back up there again in the summer and see what else this state has to offer.
and maybe i'll actually own the appropriate footwear next time.
at least i now know what to expect!
that's a wrap on this chunk of travel adventures.
there will be a whole new round of posts coming very very soon.
i'm almost sure of it :)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

alaska 2016 - day 4

today was the day that amy had planned activities for. since we arrived, she kept telling us the reindeer farm is wednesday. wednesday is the reindeer farm. reindeer farm. 1pm. wednesday. well, here we are at the reindeer farm! this one was fairly local to palmer and we got SUPER lucky that even with it being weird winter hours we got the LAST tour before they opened in the spring. we arrived, and i was, yet again, wearing my target boots finest. luckily, they had loaner boots or i would have had to say farewell to my boots as they met their muddy poo-ey demise. the reindeer leader gave us a brief lesson on antlers and such, and then we went out to the pen to see them all. and even feed the beasts.
in the other pen were the elk, which were not to the same friendly level as the reindeer.
fluffy farm dog played with the reindeer, and the reindeer played back.
fluffy farm dog played with the elk, and the elk wanted to smother him through the fence with their hooves (or whatever their feet are technically called.)
this is a wild baby.
that evening we went and checked out the lake that is essentially in amy's back yard. it was frozen over, and while we weren't brave enough to tromp out across it, the dogs didn't seem to mind one bit.
alas, my next post will be the one to round up my trip to alaska.
it was quite the journey, so be pop in tomorrow for one more day of animal-y alaskan goodness :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

alaska 2016 - day 3

day 3 was our most adventurous day by far.
after the road to the exit glacier (creative name, right?) in seward was closed, we took day 3 and headed out to a local glacier about an hour from palmer.  the matanuska glacier took some time to figure out how to get to it, but after we drove a little further down the road we found the way to the entry point.  paid our dues and passed through the gate to drive closer to the parking area.  after getting baby to calm down a bit and wearing my target boots finest, we trudged around the self guided trek route and got closer to the glacier.  we treked around for about an hour and a half (i think) but could have easily spent SO much more time out there exploring and getting closer.  it would be way interesting to go back in the summer time (as luke keeps telling us we need to do) and do the same trek to see what it is like without all the snow.  and probably some better shoes as well.  but what do i know about footwear choice?  these are the same boots i wore when i was in rexburg.  in the snow...
this last one was the view from the parking lot.  crazy, right?
here we are, somewhere within the glacier :)
spoiler alert: tomorrow is reindeer farm day!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

alaska 2016 - day 2

day 2 was our big adventure of the trip.
well, more like furthest travel away from where we were staying.
we got up early-ish and headed out on the 3 hour drive to seward, which is a little coastal town in alaska.  we spent some time at the sealife center, checking out the fish, birds and other creatures of the sea.  it was a nice little center, with a lot of things to look at.  after checking out the area, plus the gift shop, we tried to stop at a little restraunt to eat.  well, it was closed as many things were with alaska's winter hours, so we went up the road a little bit to thorn's showcase lounge... and what a classy place it was.  the walls were decorated in steins, and it had an interesting vibe to it.  we weren't the only people with a baby in tow in the place, so that made it feel a little less weird.  haha.
there was a quilt shop across the road as well!  but it was closed because it was monday :(
curse you, alaskan schedules!
on the way there, amy mentioned these mountain sheep WAY up high that looked like little tiny dots. because of the angle we were at, they were hard to see on the way there. on the way back though, i was able to get this photo of them. keep in mind this is from the car with my 70-200 lens zoomed all the way to 200, and they STILL look like tiny dots. crazy how they just stood on the cliffs like they did.  if you're not sure what to look for, find the tree around the upper middle and the little white splotches in that general area :)
somewhere on the side of the highway with a mountain. something that alaska has a LOT of. day 3's adventure was an exciting one, so come back tomorrow!