Monday, August 25, 2008

What do you do when Mexico is only 2.5 hours away?

Noah had to work in Tucson last week, and we decided that I should go with him, we could stay over, and head down to Nogales, Mexico the next day before heading back. It was a lot of fun, and here are some of the things we did while we were there.
This is the San Xavier del Bac Mission near Tucson, AZ. It was built by the Jesuits in 1692, and is beautiful. It was crazy to be driving along the freeway in the middle of the desert and see this amazing structure sitting right in the middle of an Indian Reservation. It looks like it was transported straight from Europe to the south of Arizona. There is work being done on it right now, as you can see, to restore it. Some of the people working on it are from the same team that did the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.
A closer view of the exterior of the building.

Some of the interior of the building.

The courtyard outside the building.
We also went to explore a place called Colossal Cave outside of Tucson. It is a dormant cave, but very cool to explore. It was the same type of cave as Minnetonka that I saw when I was at Bear Lake, but the caverns were much much smaller and it was more like walking through narrow hallways of formations.

Noah and I entering the park where the cave is...

The entrance to the actual cave, which smelled AWFUL. I had to not breathe through my nose almost halfway through the cave, because the guana (bat poop) smelled the place up. The entrance was especially stinky because they said may other animals also used that part of the cave...gross.

This is about the size of all the pathways through the cave. It was really neat because at time you had to bend down or scooch (is that really a word) sideways around a formation...because it was a dormant cave, it didn't matter if you touched the formations, so it made exploring fun.

An shot inside the cave. Sadly, there was a lot of destruction to the small formations before the cave became protected land and the work began to excavate parts of it.
Finally, Mexico! I have always loved Mexico, and of course Noah gets all giddy being there, too. While Noah insisted we find somewhere to eat where the locals would actually hang out and we did explore downtown Nogales, my favorite part of the visit was being right across the border where all the tourist-y stuff is. I love a good flea market, whether you actually need anything or not. So after eating at a very clean and nice food court at a big mall, I made Noah turn around and go back to the tourist end of town. He enjoyed the flea market as much as I did, and we scoped out some things we might want to get on our next trip down there with my parents in October!

The wall...this wall is all that separates the two countries. It is very thin and you can look through it in lots of parts. There are even holes big enough to hand stuff back and forth. It's amazing to look at the houses on each side of the wall. It is crazy the difference between the two sides.

This is the US/Mexico border from the Mexican side. These crosses are for some of the many people who have died on their journey for a better life.
Last quick story...when we arrived at our hotel in Tucson, it was 92 degrees in our room! We cranked the AC and left for a few hours. By the time we went to sleep, it was a perfect 72. Noah wanted to leave the AC on because he loves sleeping in a cold room. Well, I felt like I was camping all night. I kept trying to cover my head and snuggle into Noah as tightly as possible. When we woke up in the morning, it was 59 degrees! The AC wasn't on auto, but in the ON position. We were freezing!!!!! Noah definitely got his wish!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Precious Memories!

Memories...I hope you will play along.Here are the directions:

1. Add a comment on my blog and leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot just do anything you remember! One for each of us if you can... otherwise just for the one who you had the memory with.

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you.It's actually pretty funny to see the responses.If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ode to Giselle

When we were in London this summer we came across this statue and Giselle posed for the picture, it has become one of my favorites of the trip.

Today I got to wake up and sing happy birthday to Giselle and then we went to Einstein Bagels for breakfast/lunch (it was after 11am) and later on tonight we will be going out to eat at the Olive Garden then eating cake at Nik and Anissa's. I am so happy to be able to celebrate her birthday with her today. I wanted to post a few of my thoughts and feelings for my sweet wife on her day:
I love waking up every morning just to look over and see the cutest, sweetest, person lying next to me and to feel such strong feelings of love for her. It inspires me to go out and do whatever I have to do that day to get back and see her once again! I love falling asleep in the arms of the person I know that I'll be spending all eternity with and that I wouldn't have it any other way. I love how determined and dedicated Giselle is, when she set's her mind to something, there's no turning back. I am grateful that she will be such a great Mom and that the time to be a mom is right around the corner. I have learned so much from her and from how she is. I can't even imagine what life would be like without her. I truly believe that she is a constant inspiration for me to want to be a better person and to always be worthy of her. I love Giselle's sense of humor! I double love that she has slowly learned to love my sense of humor! I also love that she cares so much for my Mexican culture and has such a strong passion for wanting to learn Spanish and to understand that half of me that is so important to me. I love everything about Giselle and I look forward to the many more birthdays in our future.
Happy birthday Giselle!! I love you so much!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Belated Bear Lake

Well, everyone already knows that I was able to spend some time with my family at Bear Lake after the 24th, but I left my camera in Utah, so these pics are a little belated. I also just wanted to put up pics of everyone's kids that they didn't have, so they could see them. Enjoy!!!

The Buti's...I love these girls and I was so excited to be able to spend so much time hangin out with them as Mommy #2!


The Gunner-boys! I loved to watch these boys play endlessly in the sand, working hard and running around...and the more running around Noah did, the more booty we would see. Crack kills, Noah!

Sweetest smartest Jack boy! I'm sure those diapers were fun to clean up after all the sand my sweet boy ate on that beach, haha...


Hiking Minnetonka Cave! 40 degrees, rock formations, 888 kind of hike! I love being with my sisters so so so so much! I just wish my sweet hubby could have been there with me.

Enjoying swimming in the pool as well! We did get to enjoy 1 day with Grandma, Grandpa, Rob and Great-Grandpa...

Billie Jo did awesome her first time ever on a wakeboard, and Chelsea was pro enough to even pose for the camera. Olivia also rocked the wakeboard, but I didn't get a picture :(


Everyone loves the tube!!! (Except me... I have no interest in being bounced and thrown into the water, I dunno why!) Rick is on the left, Tim and Olivia on the right...everyone being thrown around like crazy! The kids liked the tube until it would go nose down, when they vowed never to do it again, haha.

*If you didn't get my e-mail, brothers and sisters, you can download a compressed folder of all of my pictures of your kids and our adventures at

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

First Looks!

Well, I was sad because I left my camera in Utah and am waiting for it to be shipped to me!!! I didn't think I'd have anything to post for a while, but today Noah and I went to the doctor for the first time. We were surprised by having an ultrasound (I didn't know if this Dr did one or not...) and so we have a little surprise for you. Here is our first peek and yours at Baby Rasheta! It's just about an inch long, so they gave me a due date of March 10th!!! We found out quite a few friends are having babies around the same time, so we are really excited!!!If you can't tell, the head is on the right with the little legs o the left... what a cute little grape, huh???

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Finally!!! My instrument rating!

After a very long wait I was finally able to complete my test on Thursday. I passed and I am now officially an instrument rated helicopter pilot! The FAA examiner was very pleased with my test and told me several times that my approaches were very solid. For the past several months I have been flying "under the hood" wearing a vision restricting device that allows me to only see the instrument panel and not see outside the aircraft. I wanted to show you a picture of what I've been seeing every time I flown since about November of last year. I'm so excited to finally be able to see outside when I fly!!!