Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Young Women Logan Temple Trip!

We have the best group of young women in our ward! I seriously love them all! As a presidency, we gave them a summer challenge. They had a chart with over 200 spaces to fill in. Every time they went and did baptisms in the Temple, they got to put up a sticker, and if they brought in their own family names, they could put up 2 stickers.  When the chart was full, we promised them a trip to the Logan Temple in Utah. The girls were incredible! So many of them made temple attendance a regular part of their lives. Bailey researched a ton of her own family names, and went to the Temple EVERY SINGLE WEEK! I think she only missed one week, but then made up for it by going twice another week. We had girls visit temples in several other states, and 2 girls did baptisms in another country. Needless to say, it didn't take them long to accomplish their goal. Together they performed over 1000 baptisms!
We took 15 girls to Logan to do baptisms in that beautiful Temple. It was a great day! We kicked it off with breakfast in the church parking lot. They we gathered into cars and headed to Utah. We took pictures of the girls around the Temple grounds, and then went in and did baptisms. When we were done, we went to eat at Chuck a Rama, and then headed home.

Mark and I had Bailey, Madi, and Emily in our car. I love these crazy girls!
Who wouldn't want to ride the gas station dinosaur while wearing dresses?!?
The beautiful Logan Temple!
We got there first, so I took lots of pictures of these beauties on the Temple grounds.
Eastview Ward Young Women
Savannah, Vanessa, Sophia, Elle, Dacee, Madi, Madi, Sammi, Brooklyn, Hannah, Emily, Bailey, Taeloni, Joneichea, and Ashley
My little family
Lunch was great, and we thought after they ate that much, they would fall asleep in the car. Nope! These three were as hyper and crazy as ever on the way home!
We had to stop and take a picture of an Aggie bull for Madi to add to her statue picture collection.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Logan Temple with Dani!

Dani has been one of Sawyer's best friends since middle school. She recently got her mission call to Sydney, Australia! So exciting! She leaves in February, so it will be over 3 years that her and Sawyer won't see each other. She is going to be the best missionary! Mark and I had the chance to go to Logan and go through the Logan Temple with her. So proud of this cute girl!

Conference/Birthday Weekend

We had tickets to the Saturday morning session of General Conference. It was the first time we had ever been, and it was a super cool experience. When the prophet walked in and everyone stood and went totally silent I got chills. Coolest thing ever! We were at the session when a talk was given in a language besides english for the first time. The only thing that would have made it better is if Sawyer had been with us. I guess we'll just have to go again!

Conference center 
Tabernacle Choir
Salt Lake Temple
When we left, we walked right by Sister Dalton!
Hahahaha, I took a selfie with the crazy protesters!
 Sunday we were back home, and it was my birthday! Mark and Bailey sent me on my traditional scavenger hunt. I found lots of fun things, but at the very end, I found out I was having Lasik surgery to get my eyes fixed! I'm SO excited! I'm having it done in January.

Bailey gave me a birthday pedicure!
Then she gave Oreo a pedicure! Oreo was very willing, so now she has beautiful purple nails :)!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Razor Riding!

We went to Island Park with Jason and Michelle for a razor ride. It was SO fun! We were a little worried about getting poured on, but the weather ended up being great! The leaves were changing, and everything up there was beautiful! Thanks for the fun adventure Jason and Michelle!

Jason and Michelle
Me and Mark with our cool hats! :)

We got a little muddy!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Top of Utah Marathon!

The last full marathon I ran was when Bailey was still in a stroller. When Sawyer left on his mission I decided I was going to run one. I guess it was my own little way of supporting him. I wanted to do something physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging just like him. I wanted to be hard working, dedicated, consistent, and stick to a schedule, just like he has to do. I spent 18 weeks training, and then ran the Top of Utah Marathon in Logan. My original goal was to finish in 4 hours and 10 minutes. I was doing pretty good with my training, until my longest 20 mile training run. I had a really bad run, and for some reason that totally messed with my mind. My confidence was shot, my anxiety creeped up, and I changed my goal to just finishing. I didn't care how long it took me, I just wanted to cross the finish line. For some reason I just had this mental block that I was going to make it to mile 20 and then not be able to go any further. My crazy mind was over thinking everything! A few times durning the race I could feel the anxiety and panic creep up and I would have to calm myself down. Bailey was waiting for me at mile 16, and ran with me for 6 miles. She wanted to help me get past that mental block I had set for myself. She helped a ton! I got to mile 21, and felt pretty good. She got back in the car, and was just going to run the last mile with me. They didn't think they could get her to that spot, so she ended up getting out again at mile 23, and running the last 3 miles with me. They knew I wanted to cross the finish line holding 'Elder Varvel' so Bailey carried him the last 3 miles for me, and then handed him off to me right before the finish line. I'm happy to say that I had a great race, and still managed to reach my original goal. I finished in 4 hours and 7 minutes. I was tired and sore, but I can honestly say that I never hit the big wall that I was so worried about. I guess I need to have more faith in the training process. And, just to toot my own horn a little more, I ran my fasted half marathon, and completed a full marathon this year at age 40! Woot woot! You're only as old as you let yourself get!

Coming down home stretch!
I did it! 26.2 miles!

My awesome helpers and cheerleaders!
I ran this with Brad Whitehead. I found out part way through the race that his Teacher's Quorum boys came to Logan to surprise him. Coolest thing ever! We have the best friends and neighbors. So many people were there to support us! Thanks Savannah, Bailey, Payton, Mark, Jason, Jimmie, Darren, Corbin, Ben, Brad, Marlee, Alex, Bruce, Laura, Makenna, Brett, Jim, and Julie! You guys are the best!
My family is the BEST! Whenever I get crazy ideas, I always have them there supporting me 100% of the way. I can't tell you the number of times Mark drove around town the past 18 weeks bringing me water on my long training runs, or riding his bike on race courses to make sure we were all doing okay. I mentioned my longest training run didn't go so well. I got back and found this sitting on the counter from Bailey. I got little notes from her throughout the whole process. Training for this and running it was a really hard thing, but it was made a lot easier by awesome people!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

1D Concert!

After 9 long months of waiting, it was finally time for the One Direction concert in Phoenix! 9 months is a long time to wait to redeem a Christmas present, but it was totally worth the wait! 5 Seconds of Summer opened up for One Direction. They opened up for them last year at the concert we went to in Las Vegas, and we really liked them back then too. They are very talented guys! As much as Bailey enjoyed them, she kept saying, "Ahhh, I just want One Direction to come out!" I didn't bring in my good camera this year, so we didn't get any good pictures. I brought it to Vegas, but they almost didn't let me through with it, so I didn't want to risk it this time. I was bummed when I got in, and realized that a lot of people had nice cameras, so I probably could have gotten away with it. One Direction was fantastic! It was a great show! Those boys sure don't disappoint!

Almost inside! 
We were inside 2 hours early, so we had plenty of time to check out the stadium! 
This smile never left her face! 

Liam! He had a broken arm.
Louis and Niall!
Louis and Niall!

Louis! Bailey was so happy when he came out, and he had cut his hair. She thought he looked like a dirt bag when it got so long. 
Zayn! Bailey found him VERY attractive at this concert.

Such a great show, and such a great trip!


Bailey got One Direction concert tickets for Christmas, and after a long 9 month wait, it was finally time to take our trip to Arizona! Not only was One Direction in AZ, but so were the COUSINS! We had a great trip! We got their on a Saturday afternoon, and headed straight over to Scott and Amber's house to visit! They live on a little farm, and it was so fun playing with the animals!

Yay! We finally made it!
Chloe and Nathan taught Bailey how to catch a chicken!
She did it! So funny! 
Nathan and his chicken friend! :) 
Collecting eggs with Chloe! 
That's a lot of eggs!
 On Sunday we went to church with Scott and Amber, and then went back to their house for a big, yummy dinner. Kim and Russ, and all the other cousins came over! It was the first time all the cousins have been together since Lake Powell. We were missing Sawyer, but we had fun taking pictures with the monkey to send him! It was fun to catch up with everyone!

Chloe, Bailey, Elder Varvel, Bella, Sydnie, Brooklyn, Cali, Noah, Nathan, and Clayton
Bailey, Sydnie, and Brooklyn
The cousins did a little night swimming.
We ran a couple times while we were there. We aren't used to the heat, and at 6:30 in the morning it was almost 90 degrees. We ran at two different parks, and other than the heat, it was fun to be somewhere different.

We found this cool snake on one of our runs!
On Monday we went to a couple fun places. Our first stop was the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch. It was a really fun place! They had all kinds of animals to feed and pet.  There were miniature donkeys, deer, goats, ostriches, ducks, prairie dogs, and lorikeets.

The donkey's were so cute! They would start braying really loud when we walked away. 
Bailey making friends with the donkeys.

There were tons of deer, and they were really fun to feed.
These guys were a little scary! 

Prairie dogs 
The ducks were fun to feed. You just had to make a fist with an opening at the top. A whole bunch of ducks would just start shoving their beaks in your hand at the same time. It was pretty funny!

Cute little goats!
The lorikeets were our favorite. Once you got in the area, they would just come land on you. You didn't even have to take the lid off the food. They would take it off for you. 

Sawyer is getting a little lorikeet kiss!
 Bailey was so funny! One bird landed right on her head! Once the bird got off her head, and she got a little more comfortable with them, she started taking selfies with the birds. She got some pretty funny pictures!

Don't even think about it bird! 

This may be our favorite picture from the whole trip! Bird selfie! This little guy was happy to play along!

After we finished at the Ostrich Farm, we went to Butterfly Wonderland. It's has the largest butterfly atrium in the United States. 

Watching a 3D butterfly movie.
Right when we walked into the atrium, a butterfly landed on Bailey. 
There were butterflies EVERYWHERE! It was so hot and humid in the atrium, so we only stayed in there for about 20 minutes.

They also had a little aquarium area. We hung out for awhile to pet the sting rays.
That night we went to a park by the Gilbert Temple to have dinner and hang out with the cousins. It ended up being too hot and humid, so after we ate, we went to Kim and Russ' house. We went scorpion hunting! So cool!

Clayton and Bailey
 Scorpions glow when black light shines on them. Russ had a black light, so we went out and found tons of scorpions! It was pitch black, but we could see the ugly things once the black light was shining on them. We started collecting them in a cup. So gross!

This is what they looked like when the light was on them! 
 On Tuesday morning, we took Bailey to do baptisms at the Gilbert and Mesa temples!

The Gilbert Temple opened earlier this year, and is gorgeous!
Brooklyn got out of school to do baptisms with Bailey.
Beautiful girls!
Mesa Temple
Then it was off to the One Direction concert! That needs to be a post all it's own though!