Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Butlers

In February started the beginning of a companionship that is going to last forever and ever. Amy and JJ went on their first date. I have to say that I do take some credit in this wonderful union, but I was mostly just encouraging Amy to ask JJ to this institute dance. Now, they are very happily married.

The reception was wonderful. The couple was so incredibly happy that it radiated from them and many times I found myself nearly in tears, grateful for their happiness. They danced at the end of the reception and it was even a more tender moment. The smiling never ceased and was partnered with a lot of hugs and kisses. Its a moment I will remember for a very long time. I wouldn't want to be any less happy at my own wedding reception (when that day finally comes) than they were.

Sadly most of the pictures I took did not turn out but here are some that I found decent enough to share.

These were fun! Displayed on a table were pictures and the sweet Valentine's cards they made for each other.
A mutual friend and Amy's sister sang for the first 2 songs. I had never seen them kiss before! 
I was so happy to see old friends at the reception! Ya, we are kinda goofy sometimes.
I love JJ's cowboy hat!
 This was a picture taken of Amy and I at the luncheon (the day after the reception) they had after they were married in the temple.
I think its safe to say that they like each other.
I also got to decorate their car! My friend, Annalee, thought of a cute poem and wrote it on a window.
"Roses are red, lemons are yellow, Amy just married a charming young fellow."
Good byes before the honeymoon.

I am so happy for them!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Red Hills Ranch- Day 52

This week has gone by really fast and I have a lot to tell you all about, but I'm too lazy to walk back to the bunk house and get my camera to copy pictures onto my computer so you'll have to wait. :) For now I am just going to share some word vomit.

Yet again I am at an end and a new beginning is about to start. I'm honestly scared for this new school year to start for a number of reasons. It seems as if all of my plans have not been falling into place at all and my back up plans are falling apart too. I guess you could say that this new school year is going to be an adventure just like my summer has been. Isn't that what an adventure is; doing something that you aren't sure what the outcome will be? I mean mine might not be venturing through a lush jungle encountering large insects or animals that would like to have me for lunch and then being saved by a handsome man with intense vine swinging skills, but I am venturing into the unknown. I have never felt so unprepared in my life because all that I envisioned has vanished. I don't like feeling unprepared.

It was hard leaving Utah yesterday. I mean once I got back to Wyoming I was fine, but saying goodbye and knowing that this weekend I would only be home for half a day made it worse. I miss the familiar roads, my view of the mountains from the kitchen window, my little Angel who has the sweetest face that will wipe your cares away, my best friend (my mom) who is always there for me and loves me, my dad who just knows how to solve anything and his hugs that literally squeeze the blues out of you, my brothers who are growing up so fast and I don't get to watch, the canal road that I used to always walk down when I needed to think or just be alone, and dear friends that still come to visit my family even if I'm not there. I never really realize how much I miss being home until I get there, then I can't seem to leave without feeling somewhat torn inside. It was so nice to just lay in the grass in my backyard. It was peaceful letting the sun's warmth soak deep into my skin, feel the cool grass against my back, watch the cotton clouds roll by, and close my eyes to listen to the wind blow through the trees. I think I could have laid there forever. It was one of those moments where everything going on in life that seems to be closing in on you disappears and you can see the happiness and brightness all around you.

But I am going to miss RHR as well. Today was my last full day here in the "wild" country. I'm going to miss a lot here too; the dust clouds after a truck drives by, the vibrant red hills that seem to jump out at you especially as the sun is setting, the infinite amount of stars that you forget are there, the wild flowers, the silence, the Cook family, the crew, and just feeling like you are the only person on earth. But it will be fun to look back. I have met some pretty interesting people here. Like today I met an 80 year old lady who used to dance for ABT! She probably was the coolest person I've met. I also met a lady who is a journalist for The Washington Post, the physical trainer for the Bucks, and I've met a lot of people who work with the politicians in Washington, D.C.

At least I know that after the first step into the dark things get better; not easier but better. And I am incredibly blessed with wonderful people who are there to cheer me on :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Red Hills Ranch- Day 48

So looking through my photos I realized that I have forgotten to share some other wonderful times that I have had up here at RHR. I figure it would be a good idea to post them now before school starts.

Well one evening, just a few weeks ago, some of the crew and some friends went on a night hike up to Jenny Lake. We started the hike around 7pm or so. It was fun to hike as the sun sunk deeper and deeper behind the mountains and the air got cooler, not warmer. The hike up was good, but the way back down the mountain was spooky. No one had brought flashlights (ya, even the boy scout was unprepared) and sometimes it was hard to see the path. I didn't dare look anywhere but at the path because my imagination would kick in. I started seeing things or maybe it was just that I was nervous. Miraculously we all made it back to the truck and the 6 of us piled in the peach (Laura's truck). Four of us sat in the bed of the truck, which had the shell on, and it was actually really fun.

Even though the hike was scary, I got some cool photos.

This last one was probably my favorite.

Today I watched a movie with the crew during our break and when I went outside this is what I found...

 These kids, especially the boys, are so active and adventurous. I wish I was more like them. They aren't afraid to get hurt and try new things all of the time. Well the kid tied up is Colten, the eldest son. Colten got out of the ropes fairly fast, but it was so funny to watch and it brought back some fun memories from my childhood.

Then I looked over my shoulder, to the east-ish, and this is what I saw...

 The fire was super small yesterday. You can kinda see flames in this photo, in the middle. Luckily its pretty far from here.

Hope you have an adventurous week because I know I will :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Red Hills Ranch- Day 47

I can't believe today is over! It was the craziest day up here. We had the horse sale and the senator is here. That's right, Senator Herb Kohl owns the ranch I work on. He is the greatest guy! I have only heard wonderful things about him and just my own personal interactions with him have been good. I could go on about him, but its late. All I have to say that if you ever get the chance to meet the senator of Wisconsin, DO IT! He is great.

This week I went on a horse ride and I didn't take my camera like I told myself that I would. I was frustrated, but I don't really know how successful I would be trying to ride and take pictures at the same time. Anyway I was thinking about it and seeing all the possible shots I could be taking when it occurred to me that a picture of what I was seeing would be a disappointment. Photographs are wonderful to hold memories but they miss so much. No photo could capture the say the fields swayed as the wind picked up.No photo could capture the rhythm of the horses hooves across the dirt path. No photo could capture the sounds of the birds and the crickets in the crass. No photo could capture the feeling of the horse underneath you, throwing his head, breathing heavily. After that I wasn't so mad that I forgot my camera. I just wish that there was some way to share these wonderful experiences with you. I really have the best summer job in the entire world! And I work and interact with some amazing people too. God has greatly blessed me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Red Hills Ranch- Day 44

Yet again it is time for school to start. It's perfect timing for me, I think. I'm ready for it to be cool enough to wear a jacket, hike a canyon when the trees are changing colors, and do something other than pull weeds and water lawns.

It is always nice to say that you learned something from a good experience or one that is not too pleasant to think about. This summer has been a tremendous learning experience for me. For the most part, I'm not completely sure what I have learned. I think its going to be one of those times when you discover why things happened the way they did long after the experience. One thing that I have learned though is that one of the only things you can expect in life is the unexpected. Life has never taken the turns I thought that it would and just like the novel I am reading, I think I have the end all figured out and then it takes me on an unexpected turn. My leap into the dark has been painfully hard, but now that I really don't know where life is going to take me, I try to lean on the guidance of our Father even more.

Well on a less serious subject, Carrie and I had a grand ol' time over the weekend. We hadn't seen each other since the beginning of May. It was so wonderful to see her. Our adventures together definitely brought out our inner child.

 First Carrie showed me around the place where she works and we talked with an old friend of ours before he left for work.
Okay, so we walked into a lot of shops just looking around, but the toy store obviously got us the most excited.
Cutest giraffe ever, right? Poor guy wore a sign saying, "My legs hurt. Don't sit, just pet me."
First of all, awesome shopping carts (if only I was small again). Second, Star Wars is just cool.
Carrie did some hunting on our adventure. Don't worry the deer lived, she missed by a long shot ;)
We also found our true callings in life. Too bad it cost money; oh well.
It was so nice to spend some time with my dear friend. I've heard about all of her adventures with our other friends but it was nice to have her all to myself!
This is Moe. He has the coolest job in Jackson Hole, driving the stage coach around the Square. He let us go on a few rides with him. Carrie even got a turn to drive the team of mules.
Carrie was proposed to at dinner! I'm not sure if they've set a date yet, but I'll be sure to let you know when I find out.
This lovely picture is dedicated to our dear friend, Brian. We even found CHACOS! One day I plan to have my own pair.

Hope your summer has been as much of an adventure as mine!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Red Hills Ranch- Day 31

Dooms day came earlier than expected, which was a relief! Turns out that its all a-okay. I feel kinda ridiculous making everything a big deal. I don't mean to...just part of my personality I guess. I'm a worry wort.

So what can I learn from this? First of all, attitude is everything! I did not have a good attitude and it made everything more gloomy, I was not my usual self, and I wasted a lot of energy worrying. Second, I need to remember that everything is in God's hands. I knew that and always will I just need to trust in Him that He will take care of me. Thirdly, life comes with unexpected events, that's the only thing you can expect. And I have so many people who care about me and love me so I have no need to worry.

Now all of life's problems, or I guess road blocks, haven't been solved or smoothed out, but having one less is definitely a relief and a blessing. Now all I have left to do is work and wait...just wish I was more patient. :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Red Hills Ranch- Day 30

Well today still had its ups and downs, but that's life right?

Sadly, it didn't rain. The weather is so unpredictable here. Last night lightning struck so close and I was grateful to be inside.

My greatest accomplishment happened this afternoon. I have been around horses quite a bit and I would say that I am decent on a horse (emphasis on DECENT). They still make me nervous just because I don't feel like I am in complete control and they are just like any other animal and can be unpredictable, but I love horses all the same. I rode a horse twice a year growing up at my grandpa's ranch and at a friend's house, but I haven't recently until my trip to Manti in June and when I came up to Jackson. Anyways, so today I went on a horse ride with some of the crew; they are all much more experienced on a horse than I and so naturally they don't want to just walk the whole way and not only sped up to a trot but a GALLOP! Okay so this probably isn't a big deal to a lot of you, but I have never galloped on a horse before. I know I'm chicken, but like I said before, horses can make me nervous so whenever I was on a horse and he started to speed up I would pull on the reins. Well I'm 19 years old now, a big girl, and sooner or later I needed to experience galloping. Today was that day. I galloped for the first time and it was AMAZING! I had to stop and re-adjust the stir-ups so I wouldn't fly off but man... it is so graceful and smooth. I almost felt like I was flying! I didn't want to get off, just wanted to keep going. So I think I will volunteer to go on more rides now and hopefully get even more familiar with these beautiful animals.

 Oh! Red Hills has a website now! Its for the annual horse auction/sale but you should still take a peak :)