Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Happiest.

My heart is so full. I am filled with so much gratitude and love and hope and happiness and all the good things rolled into one. I could just burst :) I don't ever want to forget today and the way I am feeling right now.

So many life changing things have happened while on my nightly walks with Landon... going on walks while we were dating and discussing pretty serious topics and finding out we're a perfect fit, going on a walk in the mountains and being proposed to, going on walks every night throughout our marriage and discussing all sorts of important things, making big decisions, and strengthening our relationship. Well tonight was no exception.

I am so grateful for my husband and for our life. I am the happiest.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Parents Visit and a Birth-Week.

A few weeks ago my cute parents drove from Utah to visit us for a week. It was SO good to see them and have them all to ourselves. When we visit Utah it's pretty hectic and there are tons of people so I always leave feeling like I didn't get to spend enough time with my parents, so I'm really happy that they visit us once a year!

They came over Memorial Day weekend, which just happened to be my and my dad's birth-week! We were both born on June 1st, so my birthday has always been about celebrating with my dad. I can't even explain how much it meant to me to be able to spend our birthday together. It has been a rough 9 months for our family, but especially for my mom and dad.

Last August my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was the worst news I have ever gotten and it was really hard for me and the rest of my family. But my dad is amazing and through the whole experience he trusted God and was able to remain hopeful and positive. He decided to have surgery to remove the cancer and was able to recover pretty quickly and be back to work. It was SO hard for me to be in Oregon during all of this because I couldn't see him and see that he was okay.

They had to wait a few months after his surgery to check and see if the cancer was gone. Most forms of prostate cancer are pretty mellow and really not a big deal, so we were all hoping to hear good news... But, my dad still had cancer, which means he has the rare form that is actually aggressive. The next step was radiation treatment for 8 weeks, 5 times a week. Again, it was hard for me to be away and not know how he was doing but he was able to stay really happy throughout the whole thing, even though the radiation makes you pretty exhausted.

My dad finished up his radiation treatment at the beginning of May (WOHOO!!) and to celebrate my parents decided to visit us :)

The first thing we did was take them sailing. It was a beautiful day, but not very windy. I wasn't complaining though because I wanted their first experience sailing with us to be calm :) they loved it and it was just so nice being outside on the water together--just talking and relaxing!

The next day was pretty rainy, but you can't let that stop you in Oregon! We drove down south to Mollala River and walked along the trail. Quality time like this with my parents is PRICELESS to me. I grew up spending time with them in the outdoors so it felt like my childhood to be with my parents on a hike :)

The next day was Memorial Day and it didn't stop raining all day... Awesome. So we went to the mall and walked around and got some yummy sees chocolate. Then we went over to our neighbors' for a rainy BBQ. I'm telling ya... If you changed plans based on the rain here, you wouldn't do much! It was so fun to hang out with our close friends and have my parents get to know them more.

Tuesday through Thursday I had to work so my parents decided to stay at a bed and breakfast on the beach. It was also their 42nd anniversary so it worked out perfectly... But I have to admit I missed them!

Landon had to work Friday but I had the day off so I got to have some one-on-two time. Now that I'm married and the fact that I'm the 8th of nine kids means that this kind of alone time with my parents is RARE. Oh man, I just love them! We drove down to Silver Springs and hiked over four miles and saw 6 waterfalls. Pictures and words just won't do it justice, but it was stunning. And a big shout out to my dad who hiked the whole way... And it was a pretty decent hike with a lot of steep switchbacks! He is a trooper!!

Saturday was the big day, our birthday! It was a beautiful, sunny day so we decided to go sailing. I can't think of a better way to spend the day.

We actually got some wind and were able to show my parents some tacks, gibes, and go pretty far up the river. It was a birthday miracle!

After sailing we went to Outback for dinner and then came home for presents and brownies. Landon surprised me by telling me he was going to take me out on a special birthday date the next Friday so he could celebrate with just the two of us :) He also got me a cell phone case and told me he would take me shopping for some clothes on our date.

After presents we played a game... But I had to BEG my dad because he hates board games. I tried the whole, "but it's my birthday..." trick but unfortunately he could say the same thing! Bummer. So we came up with a compromise that my dad would try the game and if he hated it after the first round we would stop. Well, he loved it! Power Grid is a game that uses a lot of brain power so it is right up his alley :)

Sunday morning before church we had to say bye and of course I cried. It was really hard to watch them drive away after spending such an amazing week with them. They are so cute and such good examples to me of faith, having a strong marriage, and just living a happy life. They have been through some pretty hard things, but through it all they stay strong and grow together.

Thank you so much for coming to visit mom and dad! We love you so much!

Monday, June 10, 2013


Well, let me start out by saying... Our lives were never in danger at any point yesterday, okay mom and dad? :)

I am always blogging about our adventures and the fun things we do... And that may give off the impression that our lives are "perfect." So I think it's important for me to share the not-so perfect things too, like capsizing our Hobie yesterday. Yep, probably one of the craziest days of my life.

After church we decided to take the boat on on Vancouver Lake. The water is a lot warmer in the lake than the river so we could wear shorts and t-shirts instead of our wetsuits. And oh my goodness, the lake is gorgeous.

And don't even get me started on how fun it was to be on the hobie! That thing screams across the water! We were going SO fast. We both trapezed off the boat and got completely soaked, but it was so intense and crazy fun.

After a few hours, we were ready to be done. I was really cold at this point because even though it was warm outside, the wind had really picked up and we were soaked. On our way back to the boat dock we had a big gust of wind and the boat started tipping too much. Everything happened really fast... I saw Landon slide off the boat and then the next thing I know, I was slipping too and slammed into the shrouds (ouch!) before falling in the water. So this is what the boat looked like (I wish I had pictures but my camera isn't waterproof.) 

Landon was completely prepared for a capsize. He had watched youtube videos, talked to people who have capsized their Hobies, and we had a "righting line" that you can use to get the boat right side up. The basic idea is to stand on the float that's in the water and lean back on the righting line and it will pop the boat back up... Like this:

Easy right? Nope! After thirty minutes of trying that, the boat was not budging. In the video you can see the sail and the mast are on top of the water... well our sail and mast had sunk causing the mast to get stuck in mud at the bottom of the lake. We were feeling pretty hopeless when out of nowhere two kayakers came to the rescue. The lake was completely empty and it was getting late, so it was a miracle they saw us tip over and came to check on us. They asked if we needed a ride back to shore and if we wanted them to call for help. We weren't sure what kind of "help" they could get, but I figured it was better than spending the night on a tipped over boat so I told them yes please!

Even though we knew help was coming, we wanted to get the boat up ourselves. We tried everything and it just wasn't working. We were sore and bruised and so cold. 

We were both pretty beat at this point and decided to sit down on the float and try and generate some body heat by cuddling... Then we heard the sirens... Oh my gosh the kayakers had called 911! We could see a firetruck and two ambulances on the shore. We were SO embarrassed and seeing them didn't really comfort us because we were in the middle of the lake.

After another half an hour of waiting/trying to get the boat up we heard a power boat... WOHOO!! The EMTs  helped us onto their boat and then we were off. It was so sad cruising away from our boat not knowing what was going to happen to it. They took us to a different dock where more EMTs and firemen were waiting for us, meanwhile the two guys on the power boat went back to our boat to try and right it. At the dock, we denied service because we were completely fine, just a little cold and tired. We also found out that the one of the two kayakers who came to our rescue fell in the water and couldn't swim, so the wife had to call 911 for us and for her husband! When the lady saw us she came and gave us hugs and just kept saying how worried she was about us and how glad she was that we were okay. What a sweetheart! We are so lucky they came to the rescue.

Anyway, we stood and watched on the dock and prayed the power boat would be able to flip it. The firemen were seriously SO nice and didn't make us feel dumb at all. They just asked us questions about our boat and chatted with us. We watched them with no success at flipping it for twenty minutes. At one point we were going to ride in the firetruck back to the boat dock where our car was so we were sitting in the truck when I heard, "roger that, the boat is righted." We couldn't believe it!!! But, the guys on the power boat didn't know how to sail and couldn't get our boat back to the dock, so the firetruck left and we walked back to the other dock to wait for the power boat to pick us up. 

We were feeling SO relieved and SO grateful that our boat was up and we were safe, but unfortunately our crazy night wasn't over... Once we got back onto our boat Landon decided we should take down our mainsail and just use the smaller sail so we could take it easy. The wind was absolutely crazy at this point and the sun was setting. The last thing we wanted was another capsize! But since the mast was stuck in the mud, the mainsail got stuck at the top of the mast and we couldn't bring it down. So we let the main all the way out to de-power it a little. The waves were so big that they were rocking the boat side to side and we really thought we were going to capsize again. Talk about stressful!! Luckily the power boat stayed right behind us to make sure we got back safely, but I'm sure they wouldn't have been too happy if we tipped it again! :) So after a stressful 10 minutes we got back to our boat dock... Which I should mention isn't a boat dock at all... Just a sandy/rocky area without trees. 

a little blurry, but the only picture I could find. Via

At this point it was pitch black... we were freezing, exhausted, and just wanted to be home. Landon tried to take down the mainsail for another ten minutes and it wouldn't budge (story of our lives!) so we had to try and get the boat on the trailer with the sails up... not very easy. Landon went back to get the car while I tried to keep the boat from moving with crazy waves and crazy wind. If our main would've been down this wouldn't have been a big deal, but oh man that boat wanted to move! So I planted my legs the best I could and stood behind the boat pushing it. Every wave that came caused the boat to slam into my knees... Over and over. They are still bright red! 

my battle wounds :)
Landon got the trailer into the water and then helped me with the boat to try and turn it to get it on the trailer... And you guessed it, no such luck. The wind was just too strong with our sails up and we couldn't control the boat.

Luckily Landon is a problem solver and was able to position the boat and the trailer in a way that would be easy for me to keep control of the boat while he took the mast down... With the sail still attached. Kinda crazy! So I planted my feet again and kept the boat from moving while it slammed into my knees for a good ten minutes. Landon took the mast down (HORRAY!) and then we carried the heavy mast and soaking wet sails onto the shallow water. 

After the mast was down, it was really easy for us to get the boat onto the trailer and take everything else down. It took us about an hour and it was now past midnight! It had been about 5 hours since our boat capsized... talk about a long night. We got into our car and were SO happy to be driving away with our boat! But... we got to the end of the road and saw a huge metal gate... They had locked us in!

I was ready to cry. There was no way I was sleeping in my soaking wet clothes in a freezing car. We were bruised, sore, tired, cold and definitely ready to be home! Thank goodness for Landon... He always gets us out of the scariest situations. He was able to disassemble the gate and get us out of there! I have no idea how he did it without taking the lock off... He's amazing! 

On the ride home we couldn't stop talking about how grateful we were to Heavenly Father for all of the little miracles that allowed us to get home safely and with our boat... The kayakers, the firefighters and EMTs, being able to get back to the dock safely with the crazy wind, Landon being able to think of a solution to get the boat back onto the trailer, and our ability to stay calm throughout the whole situation. I am normally a paranoid mess in stressful situations, but for some reason I was able to think clearly and do the things I needed to do without freaking out. And holy cow, I am so grateful for my hero Landon who was able to problem solve and get us out of the sticky situations. He's unbelievable. 

We got home at 1 in the morning, had dinner (we were starving), took a warm shower (my lips were still purple), and watched Hercules to try and calm down after all the excitement. I only got 5 hours of sleep last night... but at least it was in my warm bed! 

So, our lives are definitely not perfect and yesterday was probably the craziest day we have ever had. This was a learning experience for us and essentially that's what trials are. Heavenly Father can't just fix all of our problems for us... We wouldn't learn and grow that way. But he can and does help us through them, even though we don't always recognize it. 

Wow, that was a BOOK. If you read this whole thing you deserve a cookie! I just didn't want to forget any details of our memorable day. We are pretty much exhausted and taking a little break from our adventures to give our bodies and minds time to recuperate :)

Landon cleaning off our poor, muddy sails
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