Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Temporary Retirement...

If anybody actually reads this or expects frequent updates, I apologize. I like to read. I like football. I like my wife. I like to sit outside and look up at the sky. So writing this blog takes a backseat to many activities. BUT, here is the latest installment....
This past week was a fun one, full of family, friends, football, food, and flying kites. Kensie and Mitch (In case I have never clarified, Kensie is my wife Kassidy's sister, and Mitch is her new husband. I don't mean new, like he replaced an old one. I just mean that it is a recent marriage!) anyways they came out here to VA to get more presents...I mean have a wedding reception out here in VA so all the home friends and family could come congratulate them. There was a LOT of chocolate. I guess that's what happens when your wedding colors are green and brown. I suppose I should be thankful that they chose brown food and treats to serve instead of trays full of broccoli, spinach, and asparagus. Regardless, I now hate chocolate even more than before. But, it was nice having all of Kassidy's family together again for a while. We played some games, tried to see which newly married couple could gross out the younger brothers worse, told some stories and jokes, and essentially enjoyed life together. Also we watched new moon. I get it. Edward loves bella. Six-pack boy loves bella. And Bella REALLY wants Edward to kiss her. Good show.

Thanksgiving ROCKED. Me and Kassidy's little brothers got up at 6am to go to the 'hardcore players' turkey bowl an hour early. The swamp we played in made for some fun sliding around with a ball flying around somewhere in all the mess.

 After fully wearing ourselves out, we went back to the house to put up some lights, hang out, but mostly nap. Then...WE ATE. I can't even describe the eating. It was amazing. All the boys dressed up like Indians, wearing only loincloths and headdresses, and all the females wore pilgrim attire. After the meal we had a HUGE battle, which, despite the superior artillery in use by the pilgrims (girls) the indians won by utilizing their intellect and sneakiness. Kassidy and I hurried back home to meet Kassi, some girl out visiting cory. We ate some more.

Friday morning dawned VERY early, and we (now with my family) loaded up the bikes and kites and headed down for a cold season weekend at the Outer Banks. We got in friday afternoon and enjoyed a nice brisk walk to the end of the dock and back before bundling up inside against the whistling winds and watching a movie.

We got up early on Saturday and headed straight to the beach for some quality kite air-time. The breeze was a little light, but luckily one of our kites came with a dvd which helped us to hone our skills even in the light wind.

The storm a few weeks earlier had washed a lot of cool stuff up onto the beach in addition to wreaking havoc on most of the beach side gazebos and docks. We had a lot of fun jumping off busted up stairways and collecting ocean crap.

Sunday morning we went to church with the TINY beach branch and hustled home to fish and fly some more kites. Overall the weekend was amazing.

But, even without the beach, the kites, and the beautiful weather, the weekend would have been perfect. Why? Only one thing to say...  26-23. In case that reference is too obscure for you, allow me to illustrate...

Ok, my wife is harassing me to go to bed, so until next time...peace, love, and victory.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The dreary details...

Well I just realized something. Most of my posts, I really just want to talk about the food I ate, but I have to describe the event/activity I was participating in to put the meal in context. This post is just about the everyday life of a couple deep in love, but I am writing it to let you guys know about the excellent cooking that's been going on at our house lately! We've been on rotating cooking assignments, and Pop's been trying out the cookbook that came with our new microwave, creating such delicacies as cashew chicken, swiss steak and stuffed peppers. Kassidy and I made Chicken Parm last night. And life is generally good.
The CA trip wore us out a little, so Kassidy and I skipped work on Monday. It had the potential of being a nice relaxing day, but we spent most of the evening in urgent care while they re-hydrated Kassidy with a couple IVs. Wednesday we went to the new TGR ski movie at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. It showcased some amazing skiers, but the format of the movie left us wanting.

Regardless, the skiing was inspirational and really got me excited about getting in shape and getting back out to Utah SOON. The funny part of the night came when Kassidy showed the bouncer her ID and he refused to let us in. I pleaded with him, telling him I could be her guardian since I am her husband, but apparently that doesn't fly. Finally, after a long, drawn-out discussion with the manager, he X-ed our hands and let us in. I love my wife.

Well, the weekend was laid back. We had planned to go camp again, but lost motivation when we woke up saturday still dead tired. We hung around the house and went over the Kassidy's family's home to watch the BYU game. It was a good football weekend, with BYU, TCU (hey they might as well win out and make the conference look good since we aren't doing it) and the Redskins all winning! I also got some perverse pleasure out of the Bengals victory over the Steelers, which is odd because I normally like the Steelers. Hmmm...
Church was good. Now we're both back to work. I substitute teach right now while I look for a real job, so it doesn't really count as work.
And that, is the life of Kassidy and Jo on a week when we don't go on any real adventures. Time to kick the trips back in gear so we get some good stories to tell I guess...

Ooops. I'm Back!

So somebody once told me that you have to do something 21 days in a row for it to become habit. Therefore, you can't blame me for the HUGE gap in blog updates this early in my blog writing career. It's just not a habit for me yet!
Anyways, there's a lot to update I guess. So sit down, get comfortable, pop open a mountain dew and do some eye warm-ups to prevent the strain sure to come from dancing those pupils across the page. Here comes a long one... ('that's what she said' jokes unnecessary)
Well, we had a cool visitor on the night of Thursday November 5. Kalai, on his way back from a Penn State concert decided to crash at our house before his flight home from Dulles the next morning. He got in way late so there wasn't a lot of time to chill, but it was nice to feel like we were able to help out such a good guy. Hopefully his show schedule out here on the east coast will pick up soon!
Early early early on November 6, Kassidy and I awoke and headed to the airport ourselves, where we met up with Jake, Kolby and Dan to fly out to Sacramento for Kensie and Mitch's wedding. Even though we were dead tired, we spent the long flight in an intense trivia battle, with my only real challenge coming from the dark and mysterious strangers in seats 14d and 28a. We survived the flight (despite a heartfelt lecture on the Right to Recline by the 5 foot tall Asian dude in front of me. Apparently it's one of the constitutional amendments that I forgot to read.) and disembarked in Sacramento on a beautiful California Friday afternoon. Actually I think it was raining, but a trip to CA sounds way better when I say the weather was sunny and beautiful. Oh well...

We dropped off our bags at the hotel (Kassidy and I got a HUGE suite) and headed straight over to help Bustle Butt (my mother-in-law) and her sisters get the church pavilion set up for the reception. Picture me on ladders with a staple gun, hanging branches and other crap by satin ribbons...(i'll give you a moment to get the picture in your mind)...and you basically were there for the entire day. Finally, around 1am California time, which was 4am to my body, we were set free to get a few hours of rest. Not that I'm complaining of course...
Saturday dawned bright and beautiful and I spent several leisurely hours relaxing in my King sized hotel room next to my wife, gazing out the window at the spectacular vista spread before me. Rows upon rows of splendid mountains, interspersed with lakes, rivers, and soaring eagles unfolded in the distance as I contemplated the benefits of spending the day fly-fishing, over stretching out the skiing muscles and launching a few ski-base jumps in the nearby cliffs. Then, the dreaded knock on the door came and the dream wilted away with the realization that there were no mountains, rivers, fly poles or skis, in fact there wasn't even sun. I was in California, but it was another overcast day in Sacramento. As I rolled out of bed, harshly snapped out of my wistful day-dream, I stretched my over-worked stapling hand and slowly slid open the curtain only to be greeted by a view of 2 freeways, some used car lots, and one bright spot on the landscape, a Del-Taco!

We got dressed and headed over to Kassidy's grandma's house for the wedding.
I would describe it, but I can't really remember. Everything about the weekend is kind of overcome by my memories of the gestational glory of the wedding food and the 3 Del-Taco/Carl's Jr. trips I took. I remember the wedding was brown and green, I think there was a wreath, I remember a photographer, and I'm positive that my wife looked sensational in her duties as maid-of-honor. Kensie and Mitch got married as I chilled with my excellent new cousins Jordyn and Kaden. My camera was violated with pictures of Amy and Janna's cleavage and, I believe, some butt cracks. And the two love-birds were joined happily ever after.
Later that evening, after some last-minute prep, came the reception. After standing still for two hours only a month earlier, greeting and fake-smiling and holding in a massive dump at my own reception, I was NOT excited for another. I had forgotten that when it's not your wedding, all you have to do is EAT!!!! and it ROCKED!!!! I ate about 34 brownies, several tons of cupcakes, and even some chips and salsa. The price of partaking in that delicacy? Posing for 4 pictures with the Bride's family. Sweet huh?! I freaking LOVE receptions when they aren't mine!
Saturday night after the reception, we had Amy and Todd come over to watch The Hangover (still as hilarious as it was the first time).
Well Sunday morning rolled around and the time came to get back on the plane. I self-medicated in the most ghetto of ways (6 tylenols and 3 ibuprofen) and survived the flight back, again winning several rounds of Delta  Trivia. And we were back in VA, only slightly worse for the wear.When I think back on the trip, several feelings emerge...Janna rocks. Amy and Todd and their family rock. Ele rocks. Wedding food is tasty. Sac-town is NOT scenic (although oddly enough, northern CA still really feels like home to me).
And, we're home.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


So, we're heading to Sacramento tomorrow morning for Kensie (Kassidy's sis) and Mitch's wedding...
Should be fun. Will report when we get back!


Kalai Concert

Wednesday night rocked. Crust discovered that Kalai (one of the most talented, excellent musicians ever) was giving a FREE concert at Marymount University, about 20 minutes away! We all loaded up the soob and drove over. We got there, and the concert was set up in the cafeteria! Kalai was just chillin there working on some things, and waiting for us to be ready. There were literal 10-15 people there. It was the most intimate, cool, amazing concert experience I have ever had. And he is GOOD!!!!!!! He started off playing a little bit, then just broke into conversation with the (tiny) crowd. He was HILARIOUS! He was talking about immodest women and how he always liked to unwrap his christmas presents, and just everything was SO funny. I'd say a majority of the concert really was him just talking with us in the crowd and telling jokes. If you ever have the opportunity to go to his concerts, DO IT!!!!!


The First One...

For our 4 week and 1 day anniversary, Kassidy and I decided to head out to the Shenandoah National Forest last weekend for a night of camping and some hiking to enjoy the most excellent fall flora. We woke up early and headed out, loading up with firewood and snacks for the trip. After only about an hour of driving, we arrived at the entrance to SNP and Skyline Drive. We wound along the top ridge of the mountains, pulling over (what seemed like) every 20 yards to stop and capture more photos of the picturesque country landscape rolling out in front of us from our perch high atop the hills.

 When we finally arrived at Matthews Arm campground we set up camp. (thanks to crust and dave for the tent loan, and pop for the bags and pads). Since it was only about noon, we headed out on a trek to find a waterfall or two. In our halloween costumes.

The hike was so amazing, with brightly colored fall leaves covering the trees and most of the trail, it was like walking through an Ansel Adams picture that had been colored in by a  young Robb Havassy. It was BEAUTIFUL. We finally got to the waterfall and spent a while relaxing on the cliff overlooking an eastern valley.

Upon arriving back at camp, we realized we had forgotten some essential creature comforts (yes we are wussy campers) and so we drove to the nearby camp store. While there, we discovered a small black bear wandering through the woods! I took several pictures from what I deemed to be a safe distance, and went in to the store to buy our goods. When we walked back out, the bear had climbed all the way up to the top of a 100 foot (estimate) tree. I stupidly thought two things. "Whoa! I didn't know bears could climb trees like that! I mean i knew Koalas can, but not real bears." and "Hey, this is a good chance to get really close and get some good shots." So up I strolled to the base of the tree, thinking, well even if he comes down to attack, I am really big too, so I can probably take him. Man you should have seen me running when he started sliding down that tree like a fireman down the pole! He was fast. I was scared. I ran like I'd never run before. End of story.

Well Halloween night camping after the bear chase was fairly uneventful. We devoured our delicious tinfoil dinners, watched Taken on Kassidy's laptop, and fell asleep to the sound of the gentle rain that had begun shortly after retiring to our tent. Sometime in the middle of the night, that peaceful, gentle, comforting sprinkle of rain became a torrential downpour, and our rain fly failed to perform its duties, leaving us thoroughly soaked through. We drove home happy as could be. Soaked, but completely content. And that, my friends, is how the adventures begin...


A Small Disclaimer For Our First 'Small' Adventures...

Anybody who knows me is familiar with the traveling obsession with which my family is afflicted. Since I was young, I have been lucky enough to see, visit and experience some of the most amazing cultural, historical, and diverse locations on earth. South Africa, Hong Kong, Dubai, Puerto Rico and Egypt top the list of international destinations I have arrived at, and I have been fortunate enough to explore to beauty of almost every one of our United States. I bring my camera everywhere, but have almost no photos to show for my decades of travel. The few pictures I did bother to take are almost exclusively inanimate. Photos of astounding foliage, geological wonders, and scenery, but lacking any sign of a living soul within the boundaries of the viewfinder. My journeys were fun, but I was always content reviewing the pictures my sisters took of our family in these exotic locales. Reflecting upon this today I realize that it is because I didn't really care if I had memories of my travel partners. I live with my family, so I didn't need any photographic evidence of their existence, and the friends who occasionally accompanied us on these excursions were people I saw with sufficient consistency that I had no need to snap a pic of their faces. I was far more interested in the location than the company.
In the last month however, I have probably taken more pictures than in all the previous years of my life combined. And it's because I finally found a face I want to see ALL THE TIME! Kassidy is the most beautiful girl alive, and makes every picture better. I finally understand the concept of placing posing people in front of beautiful vistas, and I can see now how it adds to the beauty of the photo. Since my photography style has changed (along with my entire theory of life and love) in the last month, AND since this is a blog dedicated to the adventure team of both Kassidy and I, it is only fair that the ONLY adventures I chronicle on this blog belong to both of us, and take place from October 2, 2009 forward. My point in this rambling, nonsensical post is to explain that if you are looking to delve into the individual history/excursion training of Kassidy or Jo solo, you are out of luck. We are starting fresh. We are starting small. And we are loving every adventure we share, no matter how insignificant or simple it may seem!!


And so it begins...

The past month has been one of significant change in my life. I have been tamed. I am a fallen soldier. My days of flirting, womanizing, and general scoundrelizing have officially ended. And I couldn't be happier. There were plenty of days that I spent under the impression that I would never be married, and I would instead move to the Mexican coast and live out my life in a Corona commercial. My reasoning was that I would only marry the perfect girl, but nobody's perfect so I just couldn't figure out how that was going to work. Little did I know, I was not looking for a perfect girl, but rather, the perfect girl for me. Well, I found her and wasted little time in making her my wife. The joy, happiness, excitement, adventure, and genuine contentment I have found in a married life with Kassidy exceeds and possibility of description, so I will leave it at this...BEST. DECISION. EVER! I love this girl, she loves me, and life/eternity is GOOD.
The other major change I have made in the last month, required a tremendous transformation. A genuine renovation of my entire coolness paradigm. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I scoffed at the notion of a blog. Yes, my life is spectacular, but sharing it with the world would only take away the time I would have to do, see, and experience more cool things. However, the sheer beauty of life with Kassidy is something the world deserves to see. My only hope is that our readers will be able to avoid the trap of depression and melancholy sure to accompany the realization that our life is more amazing than most can hope for, and instead they will be inspired to live how they want, do what makes them happy, and realize the perfection that is life on an incredible planet filled with an astonishing variety of inhabitants, each with a unique ability to bless and improve our lives.
And so begins the most cheesy, exaggerated, fantastic, fact-based blog ever to be written. Enjoy!