Sunday, October 31, 2010

Baby Preparation

So this summer I had a lot of fun transforming the guest/junk room into a nursery. As most of you know, I have a growth in my abdomen that will emerge as our very own miniature human come February. Before I knew the gender, I started revamping the house since I knew I wouldn't have time when school started. One of the big projects was redecorating my doll house that my dad made for me when I was little. I was anticipating that we were going to have a little girl. At least the house has blue trim for our baby boy.  
 I decided to get pictures of my parents, Will's parents, Will, me, and Baby Cole when he arrives as a little family tree. We are still working on getting some of the photos.
 And I gave my old dresser some pizazz with a fresh coat of paint and a polka-dot design. Again, the treasure chest on top of the dresser was decorated when I had my premonitions about a girl-child.
This isn't quite the finished product. I am still going to do some paintings and create pelmet boxes above the blinds, but it's getting there. We bought a really cute crib set, but have yet to find a crib. While Baby Cole is young, we are going to use the cradle my dad lovingly built for his first-born child.   We're excited about Cole Emerson Lehmitz joining our family, but I am content to wait a couple more months to get used to the idea of motherhood. We are starting birthing classes this month and reality is setting in a little bit. Decorating for a baby is one thing, but actually giving birth and becoming a parent has left me feeling a little scared, but I just have to look at it as another grand adventure.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nebo Loop

Since Tiffani and I were overcome with a bad cold last week, we had kind of a lame fall break. While I didn't have to go to work for a couple of days, being trapped at home all day for 3 days straight was not too fun. You can only watch so many movies on Netflix, right? We did watch a cool documentary series on the National Parks, but we were ready to get out after a few days. Since we still didn't feel up to much, we decided to get out in the mountains to enjoy the beautiful fall leaves. We headed down to visit Tif's mom in Provo and, from there, we headed down to Nephi to take a drive on the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway. Here's some pics.

Surprisingly, these red rock formations are along the loop at a little stop called Little Bryce Canyon.

The rest of the pics just show the beautiful aspen and oak trees in their incredible, vibrant autumn hues.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Autumn in the Wasatch

We have had three main adventures over the past month to add to our travel log.

1. Dog Lake
Tif and I took our mountain bikes up Millcreek Canyon a few weeks ago and rode up the trail to Dog Lake along with some of the teachers that Tiffani got to know over the summer from her hiking group. The weather was perfect and the scenery, as it always is this time of year, was beautiful.

2. We also took a trip to BYU-Idaho to take Tiffani's youngest sister on a campus tour. The campus has changed quite a bit since Tif was there for school, including a brand new 15,000 seat auditorium, a new book store and cafeteria, complete with glass skywalks between buildings. After the campus tour, both Tif and I felt like we were ready to jump back into the university life with all of its fun activities. While there, we were able to visit Brother Anderson, the former Manager at Badger Creek. We also spent several hours with Tiffani's friend T-Bird exploring Kelly Canyon and the metropolis of Rexburg. I had know idea that Rexburg had 3 different Subway stores. We also spent a couple of days visiting Tif's Uncle Torrey and Aunt Wendy and their family in Idaho Falls. It was nice to relax, visit, play with the kids, and enjoy the Conference Weekend. (Sorry, we forgot our camera on this trip, so no pics)

3. This last weekend we took our niece and nephew and Tif's sister Megan on a little hike up to Donut Falls. The Wasatch mountains were beautiful, and we had fun carting the little baby boy on our back. I guess we better get used to that.
We tired little Bentley out, though, and his head bobbed up and down against his carrier on the way down. One of the coolest things we saw, we weren't able to capture on film. As we were leaving Donut Falls, a car was stopped on the wrong side of the road. As we approached, they rolled down their window and told us they had just seen a moose. Just when they said that, a giant bull moose popped up over the small hill overlooking the road, not more than 20 feet from our car. We were disappointed the camera was in the trunk with our packs, because it was such majestic animal. Plus, you never want to be that close to a moose when you're out of the car anyway.

Anyway, that's our most updated adventure. We'll try to follow with more thoughts, pics and blurbs again shortly.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cabin Fever

Like many of you already know, we love visiting Tif's family cabin in Boulder, Utah. In fact, many of you may have already been there with us. This last month we got down to the cabin twice, once with Tif's sisters and once with John and Christine Bishoff. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll spare you the text and get right to the pics.

With the sisters, we hiked up to Blind Lake on Boulder Mountain. Tiffani and I had tried to hike there on our honeymoon, but we went too early in the year and there was too much snow. We had a nice picnic at the lake and we even dared to jump in the icy water. Our swimming consisted of just that though, jumping in and jumping right back out.
This is Tiffani along the trail to Blind Lake.The next day, we didn't do too many hikes because Sarah was feeling pretty sick. So, all we did was visit the Escalante River and Devil's Garden to take some senior pictures for Sarah. Tiffani and I decided we should take some best friend school pictures too.

A couple weeks later, we headed back to Boulder with John and Christine. The first day we spent hiking to Maverick Bridge and Phipps Arch along the Escalante River. There has been so much rain this year that the trail was overgrown with greenery, which contrasted beautifully with the bright red rock, white sand, and blue sky.

We arrived at Maverick Natural Bridge with no hitches. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures of Phipps Arch because we accidentally left our camera sitting next to Maverick Bridge. Luckily, we were the only hikers that had been up that way, and we found our camera right where we had left it on our way back down the trail.

To cool off, we walked for a ways up the shallow Escalante River.
Right by the trailhead, you can even see some remnants of an ancient Indian granary in the alcove of one of the huge cliffs.
The next day, being Sunday, we went on a few more low-key adventures. First we hit up the famous (at least to our family and our cabin guest) crevice along the Burr Trail.
There we got some pictures of John and Christine in the Birthing Tree along with some classic shots of the red/green contrast of the crevice and some goofy pictures in the cheeseholes of sandstone.
After the Crevice, we drove up to the old bridge across the majestic overlook known as Hell's Backbone.Monday, Labor Day, we had to head home. But before we left, we went on one more adventures, this time on Boulder Mountain. We visited three different lakes on our hike.

Deer Creek Lake
Green Lake... you can see where it gets its name
And Moosman Reservoir, where we even let John do a little fly fishing before we called it a day.
By the end, we were all tired, especially the pregnant lady. But we were also glad for the opportunity to get away and explore some more of God's wondrous creations that surround us.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bryce Canyon

A tradition in Will's family has always been to spend the 4th of July in Alton, a little town in southern Utah where his grandparents live. This Independence Day, we made the trek down as usual. On Friday, we spent the day in Bryce Canyon with Will's family and his cousin, Sondie.

We went on a short, 3 mile hike to see Sunset Peak, Sunrise Peak and much of the rest of the park. 
Along the trail, someone had gotten a little carried away making cairns. Instead of being a trail guide, they became environmental art.

Here we are at Twin Bridges. 
After the hike, we had a picnic. Sondie was a little afraid of the ravens, but she managed to gulp her food down anyways. Then we did a little bit of drive-by tourism and stopped at every overlook. This was one of the more popular ones. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yosemite National Park/Lake Tahoe

To round out our trip to California, we spent two days at Yosemite and a day at Lake Tahoe. Our first day, we spent in Yosemite Valley, riding our bikes around to see all the sites. The park is very visitor friendly and stunningly beautiful.

Bridal Veil Falls

El CapitanMirror Lake

Half DomeYosemite Falls across the meadow

There is even a historic pioneer chapel built by the early settlers in the valley. They hold services every Sunday, including an LDS sacrament meeting.
We camped overnight just outside the park off of a forest service road. The next day, we took on the ultimate stairmaster hike--Upper Yosemite Falls. I believe it gains just over 2,700 feet in about 3 miles, so basically, you are climbing a huge set of stairs. I'm no mathematician, but if each story in a building is ten feet, we climbed a 270 story building. The hike was intense, but the views were amazing.

Yosemite Valley looking towards the majestic Half Dome. I can't believe people actually climb the face of that!

Tiffani at the top on the overlook platform. She kept teasing me about my fear of heights, but when you look over the edge, you can see how you could get a case of vertigo.

We also noticed that there was a face in the rock at the top of the falls, or at least that's what we thought it looked like.
After we made it back down the trail, we went and checked out the more touristy lower falls. I suppose everybody goes there because you walk up a little paved path to see it. We learned however, that the intense hike to the top was worthy the effort, even though the lower falls were pretty too.

Yosemite Upper and Lower Falls

We then decided to drive across the entire park and up over the Sierra Nevadas to Nevada. We took a few additional pictures of the drive through the lesser-known part of the park.

Apparently the pass you drive through up through the mountains is one of the highest in the country, around 9,000 feet above sea level. They have to blast the snow off of it which dynamite to make it accessible for the summer times, sometimes blowing through drifts that are up to 30 feet thick!

We planned on driving straight through to Lake Tahoe and finding a campsite there, but we were so exhausted from the trip, the hike and the driving that we ended up getting a cheap motel room in the metropolis of Gardnerville, Nevada. After our fourth day of camping and traveling non-stop, the shower and the bed were heavenly. We also got to catch the U.S. world cup game with their victory over Algeria.

The next day we carried on the journey and circled Lake Tahoe. The water is so incredibly blue and clear. We also learned that Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the U.S. at around 1,700 feet. So pretty though!

We were going to camp the night there, but Tiffani, being in the early pregnant stages, wasn't feeling well, so we decided to make the long trek home that same day. Let me just say, after that drive, I am tempted to unofficially proclaim I-80 as the ugliest, most boring interstate in the country. Nevada is a whole bunch of nothing. Anyway, we made it home safely late that night, glad to be home, but glad to have been able to see so much more of the world.