Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Most of my friends and family already know this, but.....I'm engaged! The boy popped the big questions just after our 2 year anniversary. I am in the middle of trying to decided all the crazy details of a wedding, but really, I just want to take some time and enjoying being engaged. With that, I thought I would share our story on here and have it written (or typed) out somewhere, so, here it goes.

Chris and I met when we were both in college at the University of Nevada, Reno. We were both in a political club in 2008. Chris had been in the club for a while, but that was the year I was finally able to join since I didn't have a crazy school schedule my final year. We hung out in this club with other people each week and during events (like the picture below, which was from a political rally just before the 2008 elections). Chris said he had a crush on my way back then, but I was so focused on working and trying to graduate college that I didn't really have a lot of extra time and, let's face it, I was a bit clueless. Chris asked me to get a cookie with him one day, but I had to work and he never asked me again, so by the end of that school year, I had graduated and moved (briefly) to Colorado and we fell out of touch.

Then, one day in 2012 (November I think), I commented randomly on a post Chris made on Facebook, and we started talking, which led to a very long conversation on chat which went on for days. At the time, I was finishing my Master's Degree and starting my first year of teaching and I was well, a bit depressed. I had just moved out of my parents house and was living with friends. I had to commute to work everyday and was pretty busy with that so I didn't really have a lot of free time to talk to friends. When Chris and I started talking, it was so nice to have someone to talk to and he was so easy to talk to. I could open up to him so easily and he said the same of me. We finally started hanging out more and going on little adventures around the area, like hiking. We both had many things in common and didn't have many friends, especially ones to go on adventures with.

This would have been the perfect start to a relationship, however, Chris was dating someone at the time. It was a very rough time for me because I had strong feelings for Chris, but I really needed a friend at the time, so I tried to just be friends with him. After about a year and a half of hanging out as just friends, I started to wonder if I could be just friends with him. I was so torn up about it at this time. I was really hurt and I didn't want to put him in any uncomfortable position and make him choose between me and his girlfriend. I started to pull away a little, but he just kept hanging on. Finally, I told him how I felt and he held me as I cried. I knew he has a girlfriend and I told him I was going to be around less. After about a month of not talking to much, he finally asked me to hang out with him. That day, he broke down and told me that he and his girlfriend were done. He said it had been a long time coming and he knew that she wasn't that one in his heart any longer. The next day, he kissed me and asked if I wanted to be his new girlfriend. I was hesitant (but also super excited) for the simple fact that he had just ended a relationship. He told me he hadn't really been in it for a while and he and I could take things slow. So we started dating in 2014, as seen below at a Reno Aces game.

 From then on, we were inseparable. It was so nice to be able to give all of myself to someone I shared so much in common with. He told me he loved me September of 2014.

After about a year together, I was being kicked out of the house I was staying at with friends. It was a very quick move out and I didn't have a lot of time to search for a new place, so Chris said I could move into the extra room in his house. So after only a year of dating, I moved in. It worked out well and we even got a little kitten together. Hallow (pictured below)

We met each other's families and spent last Christmas in Portland, OR with my sister. Chris has been so supportive of me and really been a rock for me (and whatever other clique terms you can think of), but really, he makes me better. I am less anxious, worried, and stressed when I get to come home to him and we both challenge each other and get each other to go on adventures and take chances,

Finally, July 3rd, Chris said we should go for an evening walk up by the observatory that overlooks our little town. I said sure and we arrived there just before sunset. We sat on this little bench and looked out over the city. Chris gave me a letter and got down on one knee and proposed. Unfortunately, it was really windy, so he did have to yell a bit, hehe. I said YES, of course, and then we told our families. It has been such a great time to just be engaged and enjoy planning a wedding, which will take place sometimes next fall.

That's our little story, abbreviated of course, but I hope you enjoyed it. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

The last few days of a road trip.

So far I have shared my first few days of our summer road trip with you. We went to Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Went to Rocky Mountain National Park and then stayed in Boulder, Co that evening. After this, we were off to St. George, Utah and a huge change of scenery: from the tops of the Rockies, the the desert southwest. We wanted to hit Zion National Park during our adventures, so heading south and making a loop on the way back home was the best way to do that. We stayed an evening in St. George, Utah and tried not to melt. It was 114 degrees F that day, which the boy said was the hottest temperature he has ever experienced in his life. We stayed in the hotel room during the hottest part of the afternoon and got ice cream later that night, however, when you are dealing with temperatures this extreme, it never really cools of enough. My advice: Lots of sunscreen and lots of water.

After a very warm day, we knew we would have to get up early the next morning and head to Zion NP. We were at the park by 7:00 am and it was already warm and becoming crowded. I had never been to Zion before, but I was so excited. The colors of the rocks are stunning and what a lovely place to be before the sun is too high. We arrived at a good time to explore before the heat got to us.

Zion is so different from Rocky Mountain but spectacular just the same. Here are some of my pictures from the morning in the park!

 The way into The Narrows
 Don't feed the wildlife.

Here is my advice for visiting Zion:
  1. If you can, don't visit in the summer. Not only is it extremely hot, but it is also very busy and crowded and there is a line for the bus that takes you around the park. We only waited 30 minutes, but could have easily waited much longer.
  2. Bring your own water bottles and make sure they are reusable! The national parks are no longer selling plastic water bottles (good for them!) so bring your own or plan to buy a reusable one there. Also, make sure you bring PLENTY! 
  3. Watch the weather. Not just for heat, but flash floods as well. Flash floods come quickly and could easily funnel straight into the canyon, leaving you with no way to get out. Check the park postings for more info. and if they are expecting rain. 
  4. SUNSCREEN! I am a freak about sunscreen and my family and friends will say the same thing. I always have it with me and always have it on. I even have 2 bottles in my car at all times, just in case. I hate being sunburned and in a place this sunny, it happens quickly.
  5. Do not feed or try to pet the wild life. Keep the wild life, well, WILD. We say many people trying to put the squirrels. Just don't so it.  

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Rocky Mountain National Park

I love visiting our nations National Parks, especially since 2016 is the year that the park system celebrates 100 years! The boy and myself decided our summer road trip would be to Rocky Mountain national park and to Colorado (see previous post for the first part of the trip). Well on day 5 of our trip, we got up early and drove into the mountains to visit RMNP. I had only been here once before for a quick trip, so I was so excited to see the mountains and wild life. It is really magnificent to go from 100 degrees in Denver, to a much chillier 65ish in the mountains and there was snow! SNOW! I love taking a break from the crazy heat.

The views were spectacular, there were waterfalls all down the mountain sides and we got to see elk! The mountains have always been my favorite place to escape to. I grew up around the Sierra Nevada and my family and I were always going on trips up into the mountains. The mountains feel like home to me. There is a lot of quiet reflection to be had up where the air is cooler. I'm such a mountain person and my heart will always belong in the mountains.

I found so much inspiration on my trip, that I can only show you my pictures to explain it, and even those don't do the actually park any justice. So until you can go and see for yourself,hopefully these pictures will be enough!

          Look! This elk has a pretty necklace! I've never seen one this close before. It was so thrilling.

 Isn't he cute?!
                                  I could stare out at the mountains forever!
                                                                 So many wildflowers.

As you can see, we are both supporting the San Francisco Giants, even at 12,000 ft. above sea level.

 A large elk herd.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Road Trip Fun

This summer, the boy and I took a road trip to Colorado so that we could go to Rocky Mountain National Park and so that I could show Chris Denver and the surrounding areas. We also were able to hit the Utah and Wyoming state capitals as well, and take a quick stop to visit my grandma in Vegas. It was a great week long trip! We started by heading east towards Wyoming. The first night we stayed in Evanston, just across the Wyoming border. It was a cute little town with a pretty park.
Here is a picture:

The next day we stopped in Cheyenne for a quick view of the capital complex then off the Fort Collins, CO. It was so pretty in Fort Collins and we stopped at the farmers market and truly enjoyed this town. (We also walked around....a lot!)
                                               Downtown Fort Collins

                                                      Dessert at The Chocolate Cafe!                  

Houndstooth Reservoir

Day 3 was off to Denver! I really love Denver and it has such a nice downtown. There is so much to do. However, we arrived in Denver to 100+ degree weather. We went to the aquarium to escape the heat and stayed indoors during the hottest parts of the day.
                                                                Denver Convention Center

                                                        Pretty Lights in Larimer Square.

                                                  Capital Building
                                                                    By the River!
                          At the Aquarium with my new friends, Mr (Mrs?) Piranha.

After Denver it was off to Rocky Mountain National Park for a full day of fun! I will post about that soon and the end of the road trip, plus some road trip tips soon! Enjoy.