Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Okay, so I’m a bad blogger. Once again, I’ve let a promise to update the blog more often fall through. My apologies! I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting another installment of the Jon & Jenn Do Utah saga, so as promised nearly 2 months ago, here it is: We’re still enjoying Utah. The end.

Just kidding! I mean, we ARE enjoying it, but also here are some highlights from the past month or so:

-- I went home for Easter and had a nice weekend with the family. It was good to see everyone, especially the little kiddos. It was an entertaining Easter in that my parents had a pipe leading to their septic tank break, which left us without running water for part of the day and also led to most of the family sitting out in the front yard watching the men dig up the pipe and replace it all before dinner.

-- While I was home for Easter, Jon took Romy camping with Ben, Sara and the huskies. They went on a hike one of the days; Romy is becoming a very good little trail dog. She strays a bit, but rushes to catch up with you once you’re getting too far away for her liking.

-- Jon and Ben built boxes to act as stairs for Romy to go outside through a downstairs window, so that we don’t have to take her out the front door every time she needs to go out. (We don’t have a back door… what I thought was the only drawback to our house until I discovered we don’t have central AC… read on to hear about that fiasco.) Anyway, she’s taking to the stairs very well! Perhaps we’ll get a doggie door for the window eventually and we won’t have to let her out at all and she just take care of it on her own… we’ll see.

-- We had a couple very warm days at the end of April. On one of these days, I got home from work to discover the temperature in our house had crept to 89 degrees. I could not allow this to continue for my own sake, but also for the sake of my pup. Poor thing shouldn’t have to sit around in that heat all day! While I knew that we had a swamp cooler, I didn’t really know what it was. My first inclination was to walk to thermostat, set it to a cool 68 degrees, and then let it do its magic. Boy, was I way off base. When Jon got home that day, he went downstairs and pulled the portable swamp cooler out of our little basement cubby. Let me tell you – this thing is not easy on the eyes. He pulled it upstairs and into the kitchen where he used the removable sink nozzle to start filling it with water. Still confused about how this contraption was going to make my entire house reach 68 degrees, Jon began to explain how this machine would basically pull hot air in and, through vaporization of the water, send cooler air back out – basically, the opposite of dehumidifiers used back east. After doing some research, I discovered swamp coolers are quite common out west because of the climate being so dry. There are such things as roof swamp coolers that are directly connected to your water supply and end up producing very similar results to those of central AC, but this is not what we have. We do not have a roof swamp cooler, let alone central air conditioning, and that was when I realized that this portable thing would be the only means to cooling off our house. It was not a happy moment. After filling it with water, we wheeled (yes, it’s on wheels) it over to be positioned beneath the ceiling fan in our dining area thinking the fan would help send the cooler air around. As we moved it, water sloshed around everywhere, which only deepened my hatred for this thing. Once in place, we turned it on and it was so loud we had to turn our television volume up practically 5x higher than normal. By that time, I was pretty upset. Eventually, the swamp cooler did aid in cooling the house off somewhat. To appease me, Jon also put his window AC unit in our bedroom so that it could at least be nice and cool in there for us to sleep comfortably. After those few warm days, it did cool off for a while and we tucked the swamp cooler into a little corner upstairs to keep it as out of plain sight as possible. Lately, the weather is warming up again though and we’ve had to use it. I’m really not sure how things are going to go this summer when it gets to be in the upper 90s here. We might have to invest in several oscillating fans. The good thing is the basement/lower level stays pretty cool regardless, so we always have that safe haven. (Wow… that story was a blog post in itself.)

-- At the end of April, Jon and I started doing the Insanity workouts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLK28BHJDd8). It has been really hard, but we’re sticking with it and it’s going well. We are nearing the end of the first month and I’m really proud that we’ve even made it that far! I think we have both seen good results in our ability to better complete the workouts and we’ve both lost a bit of weight.

-- During the first weekend of May, a fine lady named Christina paid us a visit. She arrived on Thursday evening. I picked her up from the airport smelly and sweaty post-Insanity workout, but she was still happy to see me. :) We hung out at home that night. Friday morning, I had to go into work briefly (I have been super busy at work over the past month or so) and then we went to Park City for the day. We walked around Main Street checking out the shops, then enjoyed lunch on the patio at Wasatch Brew Pub. We also went to the Utah Olympic Park where the 2002 Winter Olympics were held and saw some pretty neat stuff there. We went to dinner with Ben & Sara that night at an Italian place called Cannella’s. Saturday morning, we drove up Emigration Canyon to get breakfast at Ruth’s Diner (famous for their mile-high biscuits). Then we toured Red Butte Gardens (very pretty) and stopped by their annual plant sale where Jon & I bought veggie plants to start our garden. We took it easy that night watching the Jazz game at home, then went up to Ensign Peak to see the Super Moon, which was really cool to see over the mountains. Sunday, we did the full Ensign Peak hike in the morning, went to the Great Salt Lake marina, toured a bit of downtown, saw The Five-Year Engagement, then went to Red Iguana for delicious Mexican dinner and margaritas. It was a wonderful visit and I hope she comes back soon! :)


-- This highlight is still part of Christina’s visit, but it gets its own bullet. On Saturday, whilst driving to Ruth’s for breakfast, we passed a yard sale where I saw something. It looked like Fabio. AKA: I can’t believe it’s not butter. Thinking my mind might be playing tricks on me, I made Jon turn around. Sure enough, these people were selling a life-size, cardboard cut-out of Fabio. As if that weren’t funny enough, later on while Jon was visiting Matthew McKinney in Ogden for the collegiate bicycling nationals, Christina and I passed the yard sale again on our way to grab dinner. Fabio was still there… the wheels in our heads started turning and thus a plan was hatched. On our way back from getting dinner, we stopped and purchased Fabio. They wanted $15. Not much of a negotiator, I said ok if they also threw in this old Bingo set (which I just so happened to need for work – coincidence, much?). We collapsed Fabio, threw him in the backseat, and brought him back to the house where we eventually (after doubling over in laughter for a good 20 minutes) decided to set him up in my shower to shock, surprise, and scare Jon whenever he got home and decided to use the bathroom. We were practically DYING of laughter and could not wait to see Jon’s reaction. Jon got home later that night and we all started watching the Jazz game. We were drinking a few beers, but Jon never went to the bathroom. We started watching the movie Horrible Bosses. He never went. Christina and I, both trying to keep straight faces, were texting each other while in the same room wondering if Jon’s bladder was gallon-sized or something considering we had both peed at least twice in the time we were waiting for him to go. FINALLY, when the movie was over (people, we’re talking like 4 hours of drinking and no peeing… what the hell? AND having to keep a straight face? UGH!), I was starting to think it wasn’t funny anymore, but rather somewhat infuriating. So, out of desperation, I asked Jon to bring me a q-tip from the bathroom and finally we were able to get that reaction we’d been waiting for. It was hilarious.

-- Jon & I dug up an area in our backyard and started a veggie garden! We have two varieties of tomatoes (jetstars and early girls), red peppers, green peppers, jalapenos, and sugar baby watermelons. I am super excited about this little project. It will probably be a month or so before we start seeing some crop, but I am amped to have our own fresh stuff! I also started some herbs indoors including mint, parsley, basil and dill. We also started some spinach inside to see if we can get it going then move it outside later in the season. Very fun! We also plan to plant some flowers in our front and backyard, probably in a week or so. Our landlord has a landscaper coming out this weekend to kind of get things cleaned up and then we should be able to get started.

-- This past weekend, we went with Ben & Sara to a food tasting at Kimi’s Mountainside Bistro where their wedding will be held in July. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere is just awesome! There’s just something about being way up in the mountains that oozes contentment and instantly makes you feel happy and calm. Their wedding is going to be super fun and we can’t wait! After trying all the food, Ben & Sara made some executive wedding decisions while Jon and I hung out on the patio, sitting next to a fire, wrapped in the fuzziest
blankets ever, and soaking in the mountainside. It was lovely. Sadly, no moose (mooses? meese? No?)  appeared though I was hoping they would.

That kinda catches us up to now. Both of our jobs are going very well. I have been riding my bike to work about 2 days a week and I really enjoy it. Jon is working on building me a mountain bike, so I can try that out soon. He has been mountain biking a couple times a week, too, and he’s identifying trails that will be good starters for me. :) We are also looking into joining a local social sports club this summer – kickball, bocce, and volleyball are the options we have. I think volleyball would be cool, but I’m afraid I will suck tremendously. The bocce league games are held in the park right across from our house, so that might be the winner. We also discovered recently that our closest bar, The Garage, has a really great patio complete with cornhole! FUN. :)

We are headed back east this weekend to visit with family and friends and I will be helping to celebrate Sara’s last days as a single lady at her bachelorette party in Baltimore. I am excited to see some friends, but it is another compressed trip (Fri-Mon), so it will be hard to see everyone. We will be back again in October for the Shetler-Anderson nuptials! Also, my parents are coming out for a long visit in June, so we’re looking forward to that and starting to make plans. So far, a trip to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone is planned and I’m very excited!

Well, this is another incredibly long post… I guess I would avoid that if I were to post more often, huh? I’ll try to remember that. Love and miss you all. :)

P.S. Does anyone have use for a cardboard cut-out of Fabio? I have one for $15...