Monday, June 27, 2016

Timehop Made Me Do It

Sometimes, Timehop is one of my favorite parts of the day. I love it for the same reason I love clicking through all of my Facebook profile pictures in one sitting, or going through all of the family videos that my mom posted years ago. Memories, you know? There's just nothing like it.

Other times, though, Timehop pulls out memories that are best left forgotten. Like this status, which I supposedly posted five years ago:

What does that even mean? Why would I even say that? Five years ago may have been half a decade, but I'm pretty sure that it was past the poking prime, and weren't we all grateful for that? Addicting. I have no explanation.

Anyway, the next day, Jaron and I decided to make a "Facebook once a day" rule for ourselves, lest we fall into the dreaded poking addiction once more.

As a result, this weekend we realized that we had some free time on our hands, and decided to be spontaneous. So, at 8:30 pm on a Friday night, we threw some things in the car and drove to a nearby canyon to spend the night at a first-come-first-serve campground. We had camped there with a group of friends last summer while we were dating, so it also served as a bit of a walk down memory lane.

We drove up and around all the twists and turns of the mountain, and my husband fearlessly drove us through a river to get us to our most adventurous destination. (I, on the other hand, held my breath the whole five seconds until we were on dry ground. Even though I knew that we had made it through in a much smaller car last year, it was equally as terrifying this time around.)

Most of the campgrounds were filled by the time we got there, so we continued up into the unrestricted camping area and pitched our little tent by the side of the dirt road. After we had pulled out some camping chairs and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows on our little camping stove, we spread out a blanket and laid down to face the millions of far-away stars. As we breathed in the fresh mountain air, we watched for satellites and shooting stars, and wished on them as they streaked across that velvet sky.

In the morning, Jaron fired up the camping stove and made us the best oatmeal I've ever tasted. I guess you could say that our breakfast was pretty in-tents. (Bet you never heard that one before.) And then we symbolically said farewell to our rock-throwing 12-year-old neighbors by packing up our things and driving down to the trailhead that we had planned to hike.

If ever you have a chance to check out the Silver Lake Trail, I highly recommend it! The hike is about 4.5 miles round-trip, and ends at a little lake nestled right in the middle of the mountains. There's a trail that goes around the lake, and there's some trout for fishing as well. A few parts get a little steep going up, but it's definitely approachable. We saw several families making their way up, and quite a few backpackers who had spent the night were on their way back down in the morning.

When we got up to the lake, we took our time wandering around and exploring the surroundings. We ran into a couple of friends while we were there, and spent a good long while taking in these incredible views. Who knew Utah was so green?

(This is the only shot I got of him with his arms and legs down after I told him to look "pensive.")

It looks like our spontaneous packing up and taking off paid off for us this time around. And even though we forgot sunscreen and are now suffering the consequences, this was much better than Facebook. 

Thanks, Timehop.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Happy Girl

Last summer, I did something a little crazy. I woke up before some college students are even going to bed, and I left to run a half marathon that I had not, by any definition, trained for.

In retrospect, one thing has become very clear: that was not the wisest decision I have ever made.

As I ran, I had a lot of time to think about that decision. In the passing of enough time and footsteps to get you through 13.1 miles, a lot of thoughts can be brought full circle. Especially when your body gives up at mile three, and deep thinking is the only thing that can possibly pull you through the next ten miles.

In a mild form of desperation, I began to congratulate fellow runners as I passed them. Joining the rhythm of my breathing and footsteps were a few words of encouragement—a "Good job!" to one, a "You can do it!" to another. Deep down, I think I was hoping to convince myself that the same things were true for me.

By some Heaven-sent miracle, my desperate move worked. Suddenly, I was excited to move a little quicker as I searched for the next runner that I could encourage along the way. It pulled me.

After a while, I heard other runners referring to me as "Happy Girl." Well, you can't help but smile when someone calls you something as cheerful as Happy Girl, so the next, "Hey, way to go!" came out just a little bouncier.

And so I went, all the way to the finish line and some really stiff joints.

A little blip of this memory came to my mind while I was on a run this morning. Quite honestly, it was probably the longest one I've been on since the above-mentioned half marathon, and it was less than half its length. But the happiness was just the same. Running is that way for me--no matter how long it's been, the happiness comes back just like riding a bike.

So here's to reviving Happy Girl. I think I'll start off by stretching these newly stiffened joints.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Innocent Ears

Happy Belated Husband Day!

Since it's just the two of us, I have decided to make the holiday slightly more fitting for our circumstances. Throughout the day yesterday, I wished Jaron a happy Father's Day, Pre-Fathers Day, and Husband Day. In the end, I guess it doesn't really matter what we call it as long as we're celebrating the wonderful man that he is. I mean, just look at him.

Anyway, yesterday at church, we sat behind an adorable little family. Right before the service began, this couple and their three kids came and sat down and got settled just in time for the opening hymn. As the organist played the prelude, Jaron and I opened the hymn book and got ready to sing the opening line to "O My Father," which I found quite fitting, considering the holiday we were celebrating.

Apparently the little boy in front of us didn't find it quite so fitting, though. Or at least, he didn't seem to appreciate our rendition of it. I can hear your thoughts already: "How is this possible? Both of them sing so masterfully well!" Well, if you don't believe me, just continue reading and you'll believe me even less.

When the congregation began the first line, we joined in: "O my Father, thou that dwellest...," but we didn't make it any further than that. As soon as we started singing, said little boy turned slowly to face us, gave Jaron a look that appeared to be something between extreme distaste and fear, slapped his hands over both of his ears, and turned to face forward again. His hands would periodically come down, but as soon as we started singing again, they shot back up to protect his poor, innocent ears.

Just in case that was unclear: our singing was so bad that a 3-year-old covered his ears so that he wouldn't have to hear us anymore. 

It was the funniest part of the whole day. I laughed so hard I cried, and struggled to maintain composure for the remainder of the meeting. Jaron took it in stride, though from the expression on his face, I think his pride may have been a little wounded.

But who knows, maybe next year's Father's/Pre-Father's/Husband Day gift will be a couple of basic voice lessons for the both of us.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Speaking in First Person Plural

The other day was a day just like any other. I had gotten to work a little later than I should have, run off to class slightly less prepared than I typically prefer to be, and when the day was done Jaron picked me up and we came home together.

We discussed our days, what each of us respectively had done or left undone in work and school, and started talking about plans for the rest of the week. We needed to go grocery shopping, do our laundry, and were hoping that it would work for us to go on a little adventure that weekend. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Then, all at once, it dawned on me: I had spent the last half an hour speaking in first person plural without even realizing it. For at least 30 full minutes, I was speaking with the assumption that all of my plans were united with another human being, and so was he. Whether it was the newness of the concept, or just a particular inkling that drew my attention at the time, I can't quite say. But I can say that I have thought on the topic quite a bit since then.

Quite honestly, I think I'm still mulling it over. However, I have realized that, in a way, a piece of a 23-year-old dream has come true. I always loved to imagine being married and having someone to make all of my decisions with--in my mind, it would be so much easier if I could talk things over with someone who was equally invested and affected by the results of said decision.

That aspect in particular, I'm learning, is relatively nonexistent. Big decisions about jobs, school and housing are just as hard, if not harder, when two people are involved than when there is just one. However, I am also learning that there is more value in those decisions, and there is more fulfillment in watching them unfold. There is something to be said for being united with another individual in a goal, in dreaming together, in hoping for the same things.

In the end, I think that's what speaking in first person plural is all about. It's about laughing and loving and lifting and living--together. It follows the emotions expressed in the proverb, "Thee lift me and I'll lift thee, and we'll ascend together" (We'll Ascend Together). While there may be more weight to pull, it is a much richer experience to ascend with someone by your side.

We don't know much--we're brand new to this whole marriage thing, so I certainly don't claim any special knowledge in the matter. Still, I do believe that there is power in living in the first person plural, and I look forward to the adventures through it all.

And we will fly.