Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Scenic Utah

We arrived in Moab Sunday afternoon, and check out our room:
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It was huge! With a pretty landscape painted on the wall! We were pleasantly surprised. There was also a roomy kitchenette, but the door was locked. That was okay with me, because I had no intention of using it...I'm on vacation!! Lol.

So, we rested up and hit the road again the next morning. Of course, we didn't travel far; not at first, anyway. Our first destination was Denny's. And our second destination? Arches National Park, of course!
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The place is absolutely gorgeous. My dad took us there when we were kids, and I can't believe it took me so long to go back. It's amazing that we have such incredible, majestic scenery so close to home, and yet I don't take the time to appreciate it very often. Hunter has been so good for me in that respect; we have visited so many national parks and other gorgeous places since we've been together. He loves the outdoors and appreciates nature the same way my papa does. I absolutely love travelling, and I also appreciate the gorgeous sites...but I would never actually go anywhere if it weren't for my dear hubby. He is my inspiration and my motivation. :)

Anyway, so while we were in Arches guess what...I actually hiked! And it was strenuous! Of course, strenuous by my standards isn't much, but still...you should be super impressed. This is an activity that does not occur very often. We even have photographic evidence:
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We were pretty exhausted at the end of the day, so after visiting Arches we headed home. Home sweet home! It's such a bittersweet experience, to come home from a wonderful vacation. There is something reassuring and comforting about returning to your own abode; I always feel a sense of relief. But I'm also filled with an ominous dread at the thought of returning to work. Ugh...why can't vacation last forever?!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

On the Road Again

We spent the entire day driving from Ruidoso to Moab. Not very exciting, so I'm going to post more Ruidoso/family photos. Enjoy.
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Also, I'm happy to announce that our friends the Jacksons have (finally) started a blog...woohoo! Yay, Jacksons!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Prolonging the Good-ness

We were supposed to go back to Utah today, but last night the weather looked like this:
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We were gonna go to Moab, and then to Henrieville for a few days before returning home. However, Hunter made a call and fortunately, he was able to change our reservation. We get to stay in Ruidoso another day! It's a good thing, because when we got up this morning it looked like this:
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Naturally, the cold was no deterrent for the kids...my husband included. They had all kinds of fun outside, in the freezing cold!
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Of course, Hunter came prepared with his new snow toy:
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Despite the freezing temperatures, I have to admire the beauty of the snow. Overnight, Ruidoso has transformed into a breathtaking winter wonderland. Secluded in these forested mountains, nestled in snow and fog, relaxing and spending time with loved ones...I could live here forever. My worries, stresses and woes seem so distant and irrelevant, as if they no longer apply. I wish this perfect day would never end!

Good Times for Everyone

I didn't post yesterday...I was so full of yummy food, I couldn't move! Hunter's sister Joannah and her husband Phil did the majority of the cooking, and it was AWESOME! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Must...find...leftovers...

As it turns out, I have managed to do a few other things besides eat and sleep. For example, I went outside! And yes, this is a major accomplishment...it just so happens that it was 35 degrees when we left the house this morning. And this house has a wonderful thing called central heating...and a fireplace...and I'm reading a great book, so yes; tearing myself away from the wonderful blessings of comfort and contentment was rather a chore. But I did it, and I survived! Hunter and I went to the park with his sister Ginger and her family. Here are some of the highlights:
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The super-cute kid is Garrett. Don't be fooled by his cuteness, though...he has an amazing (and frightening) ability to transform himself into a Sharp-Tooth Dinosaur. Every good aunt knows about Sharp-Tooth Dinosaurs...they are super scary and if you ever have the misfortune of encountering one, you should definitely run for your life. Here are a few shots of the Sharp-Tooth Dinosaur in pursuit of his prey:
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Did you notice his sharp claws, and can you hear his fearsome roar? I have to go now, I'm trying to find a good place to hide...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Return to Ruidoso

After two days of driving, we finally arrived at our Thanksgiving destination: Ruidoso. The first thing we did was unload the car. The second thing? Well, see for yourselves:
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The last time we were here, we came on the bike...so we had no room for anything, let alone our RC buddies. Hunter was pretty excited to get out of the car, stretch his legs, and put his truck to the test. The truck was also happy to get out of the car and stretch its 'legs'.

We are looking forward to spending a few days of joy and Thanksgiving with Hunter's sisters and their families. The best part of the holiday season is being able to spend time with family. The other best part is that we both have cool families, so we don't have to pretend to enjoy being with them...we actually do enjoy it. Three cheers for being related to cool people! Yay.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Revenge of the Blackmailee

I'm not sure that's even a word, but there you have it. As you may have seen, my mean-ole-brother has posted a few 'less than flattering' photos of myself and my sisters. This equates to war. Oh yes, bring it on!!!
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Now wait a sec, it seems my ammunition isn't that great. These pictures are actually pretty cute!! Okay, I'll keep trying...
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Hmmm. Looks like I'll have to do more digging...

A Breath of Fresh Air

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Another weekend, another walk in the park. Or the woods, mountains, or wherever Hunter manages to relocate me. This time it was Little Cottonwood Canyon, on a mountain-biking trail of death. Fortunately, we were not on mountain bikes. Our little RC buddies had to do all the work...that's the way I like it! No sweat and tears for Rachie; I'll have none of that!
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I'll have you know, we do not cheat when we take these photos. Our trucks are fully capable of crossing virtually any terrain, and believe me we put them to the test! I will admit that from time-to-time my foot may 'accidentally' assist my vehicle when he's in a tough spot. But don't tell Hunter, because he doesn't stoop to such levels. He insists on genuine, scalable performance, and he actually accomplishes this feat! However, it seems that my poor vehicle has a less-than-skilled driver, so occasionally I am forced to resort to drastic measures.

Here's another amazing photo-op...check out the detail on this bad boy! Doesn't it make you want to hop into the cab and take it for a spin in the hills? Ya, me too...lol.
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While I'm setting the record straight, I may as well admit one other thing. I can't take credit for all the gorgeous photos on this blog, and in my flickr account. Hunter is the photographer in the family. Most of the sweet shots are his. So, I must relinquish all my newfound fame and glory to its proper source: my husband. He is the genius behind the camera...one of the many reasons I still keep him around! :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Officially Sheedy

I'm happy to announce that I am officially a Sheedy now! You're probably thinking to yourself, didn't that happen a year ago, when she got married? It's true, Hunter and I celebrated our first anniversary a couple of weeks ago. So I've been living with a Sheedy, but technically I was still a Johnson. You see, I hadn't yet changed my name.

It's not that I hadn't tried. There is a social security office right down the street from where I work, so one day Hunter and I journeyed down there to take care of business. How long could it take, right? Ha! I sorely underestimated the power of the United States Government of America's uncanny ability to make a simple process into an unbearably inefficient waste of time. Little did I know, the social security office is even worse than the dmv. If you have the unfortunate occasion of going to the social security office, be sure to pack several meals, two or three large novels, and a gallon of hand sanitizer. Because you'll be trapped for days on end...and 99% of your cellmates have never heard of shampoo. It is seriously out of control, and I can't believe there is not a better way to do this. After waiting for an hour and a half, we were still at least an hour away from having our number called, so we bailed. Enough of this, we have to get back to work!

So. I did some research and found that you can make an appointment; I figured this would be the way to go. I looked up the number, called, and there was no answer. No message, nothing. So I tried several more times that day, and a few times later as well. Not a single response. How do you make an appointment with an agency that doesn't answer the phone? Freaky friday, this was proving to be quite a joke.

A few weeks later, Hunter and I were working in Murray and I decided to try the social security office there. Maybe the downtown office is just worse than others; after all, it's awfully close to Pioneer Park and all the homeless shelters/services in the area. So I thought I'd give Murray a shot...to no avail. Once again, I waited about an hour while an entire THREE PEOPLE were called up. There was no way on earth I could wait another 2-3 hours for my number to be called, so once again I threw in the towel. Who has time for this nonsense? Certainly nobody who has a regular job, who works typical business hours...the only time the social security office is even open!

I considered trying to complete the process by mail, but I had serious concerns. For one thing, we only have one copy of the marriage certificate and I would have to send it in with the other forms. Which meant that if I want another copy, I have to go to yet another government office and fill out other forms and la-la-la it would be a lot of work. Ugh. I would also have to mail in my original social security card. Now, I know the government is mailing my new card to me, and I have no choice but to trust that it will be delivered without any problems. But it makes me nervous to think my identity is floating around somewhere in the care of the United States Postal Service of America, just waiting to be delivered to the wrong person. I'm sorry to say, I just don't have a lot of confidence in the postal service. So, that being said, I'm not eager to mail my original social security card and increase the chances of my identity falling into the wrong hands. And to top it all off, the mail-in method isn't even guaranteed; there's still a chance that I would be required to go to the office and finalize everything. So, I'm back to square one.

Well I kept procrastinating the annoying ordeal, and it paid off. :) Our good friends the Hadleys got married several weeks ago, so Kasie and I decided to bite the bullet and go to the scary social security office together. We planned to do it on Friday, when work is a bit slower, and we figured we would be there for quite a while so we were mentally prepared. Friday came, and we nervously headed to the office of unbearable stench and much waiting. And we survived! It really diddn't take too long, either. I figured we'd be there around 2-3 hours, but it ended up being about 80 minutes, all told. Praises! We were soooo proud of ourselves! This is quite an accomplishment, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Random

Warning: extreme randomness ahead! The other day I was putting on some lotion, and look what came out of the bottle:
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I couldn't resist; I had to take a photo. Could it be the love child of our recent backyard visitors? I shudder to think.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Adventure in the Hills

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Yay for the weekend! We decided to celebrate our freedom from work by going for a walk in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Of course, we had to take our trusty RC buddies (so Rach wouldn't get bored and Hunter could test his new High-Lift truck), and we headed up the Donut Falls trail. This trail turned out to be rather technical, and rather fun! For the first time in the history of the universe, my truck out-performed Hunter's. Needless to say, I was pretty proud of myself...nevermind the fact that Hunter built both of them. Here are some more Kodak moments:
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The weather was actually quite nice, and we had a great time. It cracks me up that I could have such a great time playing with toys! But hey, I can justify it because these toys actually require a fair amount of skill. Someday, maybe I'll achieve some of that skill...lololol. Until then, I'll just keep having fun crashing my trucks...with style, of course.