Monday, April 2, 2012

Good News!

Well, I really wanted to make it a goal to update the blog at least once a month, but I was waiting and waiting to write the next post in hopes that I would have some good news to share, and… well, I do! Jon got a new job! He was offered a job as an Environmental Analyst/Geologist for JBR Environmental Consultants, a firm based out of Sandy, Utah and he started March 19! Wahoo! Yay for being grown-ups! How perfect of the job offer to come right as ski season nears its end and we no longer need free skiing and rentals. The man upstairs is really looking out for us! ;)

Since our last post, we’ve been staying busy with work and life in general. We’ve done quite a bit of skiing (especially Jon) and continue to enjoy Utah! My job is also going very well. We’ve also had a few visitors. At the end of February, Jon’s parents came out to visit. Highlights include:

-- Went night skiing at Brighton the night they arrived. I skied the blue trail mentioned in an earlier post and it was a much more successful run this time around! ;)

-- Went to The Pioneer Museum and Museum of Natural History. The Pioneer Museum is all about the first settlers here in the valley (i.e., Brigham Young and his ump-teen wives) and it was more just a collection of all the stuff they left behind. Some of it was very interesting, and some of it was kinda weird – i.e., a room full of porcelain dolls staring at you and wreaths made from real human hair. The Museum of Natural History is one we’d been to before, but it was still cool a second time. We especially enjoyed the elaborate description of the rock cycle given by one of the guides – oh wait, that was Jon.

-- Jon & I learned how to play Pinochle and we played it a lot.

-- Jon & Sara both got brand new cowboy/girl boots for Sara’s wedding! Now it’s my turn.

-- Ate lots of delicious food.

About a week after Jon’s parents’ visited, we got a visit from Andrew Schmidt! I will let Jon give the highlights of his trip:

Boom. Dr. Schmidt has two goals in mind for his visit to Utah: ski and drink. When he landed I still had to finish a day of work at the ski shop, so Andrew went with Ben for take your little brother to work day. What ensued was a 12 pack priming the pump for a liquor store purchase over $100 of beer - like taking a starving person to the grocery store. We were ready for three straight days of “bluebird” skiing. I borrowed Atomic Bent Chetlers for Andrew, I was on my favorite ski - The Rossignol Sickle. First day was Park City - hitting Jupiter bowl and some other cruddy tree runs - searching for a little late season powder. Although he was stoked, I wanted to show him real Utah powder skiing - but the weather was too warm and dry. So I suggested a slope new for me - Powder Mountain. Another new for me - Snowcat skiing. We decided to take a few warm up runs before the cat and got separated immediately in the massive terrain of Powder Mountain. We meet up hours later around lunch time and headed straight up to the cat. We started down our 2000’ run and we were in partly shaded areas hitting some partly heavy powder. I stopped after a little and spotted a little bowl - up slope. I knew it would be good cause as we tried to hike up, the snow got deep. I traversed, while the good doctor tried to climb straight up a snow filled cliff unsuccessfully. It was worth it, we finally found transplant-acceptable powder turns! We were both beat after that. Our third day was capped off at Solitude with Jenn, Sara, and Ben - and more trips to the bar between runs. It was in the high 40’s that day, and although conditions were not the best, there was no better company to be with on my last ski day of the 2012 season.

Okay, back to moi. Meaning Jenn.

After Andrew’s visit, I went to Chicago for a long weekend over St. Patrick’s Day to visit one of my best friends, Geoff, and my friends Jen, Jason & Ashley, who were also in Chicago visiting from Baltimore. It was great to see everyone and celebrate not only St. Patrick’s Day, but Jason & Ashley’s engagement! One major highlight I’d like to include, and yes, it is more major than the engagement: I started reading The Hunger Games on this trip and became obsessed. Oh, I also finally saw the movie Ever After.

The week after I got back from Chicago, Jon’s friends Will and Sam from WVU came out to visit over their spring break. Highlights include:

-- Will brought me a growler of Almost Heaven from Mountain State Brewing Co. (one of my favorite beers ever) all the way from WV and it was glorious, and very, very appreciated. Thank you sir.

-- Took them to a Jazz game.

-- Took the WVU nerds, uh, I mean, kids, to the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry. Reachable only by dirt road (btw, the Saturn handled great), this quarry is the largest source of dino bones for museums all across the world. It is a big mystery as to why there is such a large concentration of bones in this one area and there are several theories, but nothing has been proven. So, we checked out their little museum and then did a little nature hike around the area to check out some really amazing points of interest like rocks, rocks, and more rocks. Oh, and rocks. There was also an old hippy man running the place and we were pretty sure he was on something, so we skedaddled before he could take us to see a “fossilized clam bed.”

-- Camped for our first night of the season! We camped in the San Rafael Swell, which was very beautiful, but unfortunately my camera died right before we set up camp, so I have no pictures to show how amazing it was. Before setting up camp, we drove around the swell to see some sights, including: an actual dinosaur foot print (no pictures), original pictographs from many, many years ago (like 20 I think… just kidding; again, no pictures), and the Little Grand Canyon overlook, of which I got two pictures before my camera died. No, I’m not bitter. What? I’m not.

-- Went for a hike near Spanish Fork, UT up to some natural hot springs called Fifth Water Springs. Very, very cool and very, very hot (literally). Many of them were sectioned off with rocks, so they looked like little hot tubs in the middle of nature. They were all positioned near a really nice waterfall, so the whole scene was super beautiful. We took a nice soak in the hot springs to relax before heading back down.

-- Ate. A LOT. Took them to Red Rock Brewpub, Red Iguana, and Ahh Sushi. This could be assumed, but we also drank. A lot. I am tired. ;)

-- Sam and I saw The Hunger Games after I nagged her to finish reading it while they were in Utah so I would have someone to go see the movie with. It was awesome!

They were all great visits and we are looking forward to having more of our friends come out! My near and dear Christina is coming in May, my parents are coming in June, and a bunch of our favorite kids are coming in July for Ben & Sara’s wedding.

Other things of note since our last blog post:

-- Romy has started staying outside of her crate while we’re at work during the day. She’s doing great! She is still the cutest dog ever. And don’t you argue me on that. You won’t win. She has bewitched Jon with her cuteness and he loves her almost as much as I do now. Almost. ;)

-- Been to a few more Jazz games. We’re excited to start going to see the minor league baseball team, the Salt Lake Bees, once their season starts.

-- Jon & Ben are brewing their own beer for consumption during Ben & Sara’s wedding weekend. The bottling phase was just completed.

-- I got to watch a surgery in the OR at the hospital where I work last week. I am fortunate not to have a weak stomach when it comes to viewing people’s insides. I thought it was awesome. I had to get all suited up with a hair net, booties, a mask and everything, and I really wanted to get a picture of myself, but I was too embarrassed to ask any of the nurses who are there doing that every day. Big deal, Jenn. Anyway, I don’t want to say a lot about the surgery because I don’t know if it violates patient privacy, but their story was being covered by local media, so that’s why I got to be in there. So really the patient agreed to share their story with the public, but I still err on the side of caution.

And that brings us to the present. Weather is getting a little warmer here, but we were surprised to find it snowing yesterday (April 1) when we left church. It turned to rain later, but the mountains definitely got some snow. We are done skiing for the season, though. We’re looking forward to warmer weather activities like more camping, biking, and outdoor happy hours. I have ridden my bike to work a few times which is great, and Jon’s office is only about 5 miles from mine, so we’ll probably be able to ride together to work quite a bit. Hoping to do that this week.

I am leaving on Friday to go home for Easter, thanks to my parents. Jon & Romy will stay behind and hold down the fort. I won’t be able to see many friends over that visit, but we are coming home again over Memorial Day weekend and I will have some time in Baltimore, so hopefully I can see some peoples!

Once again, this is an almost unbearably long post and I commend you if you made it through that. I will try and give an update sooner next time. Love and miss you all!