June 26, 2011

Wedding Fun!

Since I am, apparently, really terrible at keeping up with this blog lately, I've decided to dispense with my promised "Pre-Wedding Festivities (and crafts)" post and skip right to the wedding stuff- sort of.

Aaron and I got to Manassas just over a week before the wedding, so we had lots of time to help getting everything ready for the wedding.  We made 2 kinds of paper garlands, assembled the favors, and went to the temple with Natalie when she went for the first time.

Natalie had her actual wedding at the Washington DC LDS Temple and a family dinner at my parents' house on Friday.  At the wedding, Aaron and I sat with Doug and Austin (and Cassie and Mariko, of course) and my sweet mother cried as she looked at all four of her "babies" all grown up and married.  It was a beautiful ceremony and I'm so excited for my little sister!

That night at the family dinner, we ate food (obviously!) and Chris's friend, Chris, and I gave toasts to the bride and groom.  While they were changing into their going away outfits, a bunch of us sneaked out to the front of the house to decorate the car.  (Side note- we needed the keys to the car and no one had a spare, so we asked the parents to figure out a way to get Chris's keys without letting him know why we needed them.  So Chris's mom just asked for the keys.  And he handed them over.  Not even a little bit suspicious.  Silly boy...)  I think we did a pretty good job.  Of course we filled the car with balloons and covered it in streamers, but among other things, we also gave them each a sparkly hat, some Martinelli bottles, baby bracelets, and instead of noisy cans on the back of the car, we used wind socks.  It was pretty sweet.  Unfortunately, the photos were not on my camera, so I can't show off our great work.

The next day, several of us headed out to the reception site at Prince William Forest Park to start setting everything up.  We put up the garlands that Aaron and I made, moved tables around, and got everything ready for the reception.  We even had a photobooth where people could come pose and I took pictures, which got put up online later so that people could see their fun photos.  When the Longs (ah!) got there, they were super impressed with our decorating- it was very much in Natalie's style and I hope she really loved it, since we made a big effort to make it how she wanted it.  And Denise Beatty wasn't only the photographer, but she came and helped with the decorating too!

The bride and her "bridesmaids"
The favors
The reception hall
So congrats to Chris and Natalie Long!  I know I'm a few weeks late in writing about it, but I hope you are happy together!  Isn't being married the best?

June 12, 2011

The Great American Road Trip- 2011

We are very behind on posting our recent adventures, so I'm just going to do my best to catch you up on all we've been up to recently.

On May 20, we had to be out of our apartment in Provo.  It was insanity trying to finish all the packing, loading the car and the storage unit, and cleaning the apartment to check out.  Especially since Aaron was at work until about 3:00 that day and I had to be at work before 6:00.  Yikes.  We ended up getting some great helpers (our home teachers and their wives) to help Aaron with the last minute cleaning while I was at work.

My (former) coworkers at the Covey are awesome.  They threw a little party for me in the box office while the show went on.  I really do miss working there, although I have to admit I don't miss working late in the evenings!

Anyway, Aaron picked me up after work and we spent the night at our friends' apartment (Mike and Michelle- thanks for letting us stay!) since we had checked out of our place.  First thing in the morning, we headed out toward Arches National Park.

We spent the day hiking in Arches.  The weather was beautiful and the scenery was magnificent too.  Aaron and I had a really good time.  The sunburns we both got weren't so fun, but it was worth it!  (Remember you can click on the photos to see them bigger.)

The next day we went to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  It's one that a lot of people don't know about, hidden in Colorado.  It's actually really neat.  It's a huge canyon (obviously...) and you have to get a permit to hike into it.  It's apparently really difficult and dangerous to hike down there, even for really experienced hikers, so we decided to just go around the rim.  There are various lookout points along the rim that you drive to, and most of them have a short hike from the parking lot to the actual lookout platform.  It was awesome.  We were really impressed with the view at each point, though we had been hoping for a little more hiking than we got.  That's okay though, because in the middle of our last hike of the day (a 1.75 mile hike)  it randomly started hailing on us.  We were almost to the end, so we rushed to the lookout point and almost immediately started running back toward the car.  Of course, 5 minutes later, the hail and rain had stopped and the storm clouds were blowing away.  So strange.

About halfway between the visitor's center and the highest point in the park

The other 3 days were mostly uneventful, as we were pretty much just driving.  Although we did get to see Aaron's brother, Steve, while we were in Columbus, Ohio for the night.  But we mostly just listened to a lot of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.  We got through the first 2 and a half books of the series before we arrived in Manassas on May 25th.

Stay tuned for the next installment of our moving adventures: "Pre-Wedding Festivities (and crafts)"