Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Grand Finale

Well, we have moved from our beloved Provo, Utah. Greg and I would tease a little about getting out of Utah, but we are really going to miss some things about that wonderful place. We will miss the people for sure! We both hate goodbyes though, so this is a "see ya later" type of situation. We hope to keep in touch and see some of our friends and family as often as we can. We really left with a "bang!" Hence, why I am calling this the grand finale, that is what it felt like! We got to have Anne, Bart, Carolyn, Reed, and Grandma Jones in town as well as visit Sandy and Skip. Everybody came to celebrate Ben and Amanda's wedding....congrats to the newly married couple! I think they will find that the institution of marriage is definitely the BEST!

We went on climbing trips, took vacation from work, parties, our favorite food, and visits from our friends!

So, here is our last couple weeks in Utah...picture form!

Let me introduce you to Greg and I's FAVORITE burrito place. Mountain West Burrito in Provo, UT. It's your hole in the wall kind of a place. You would never think to stop there and get a bite to eat. It is associated with a weird smoke shop and in a gas station at a weird location. But...the have the best burritos we have ever had!

 Greg decided to go big, frankly, looking at the pictures right now...I wish I had too! Mmmm...on the left you see the "giant size" that Greg got, and then I got the regular size. He always gets steak, I always get chicken. Both are amazing!

 Here he goes....
 More then halfway done....he is looking full, huh?
Finished! Last bite. Gut buster!? I think so, but right now it looks totally worth it.

Anticipating the arrival of Anne!
I was as excited to see my in-laws as I would my own family whom I have known my whole life. They are amazing. They are the kind of people you get advice from, look up to, laugh with, and enjoy some R&R. Anne arrived the Saturday before the wedding weekend. She enjoyed some time with Sandy and her mother in St. George before coming back to Salt Lake City for the wedding festivities. But, Greg and I got to spend a little time with her before she left. We decided to go on a hike. My camera on my phone doesn't do it justice, but you have an idea of what a beautiful hike this was here:

 Always wanting to climb....
and always makes it to the top!

Ben and Amanda's Wedding!!!
I tried to do them in order, but, it didn' seem to work out that way....well, you can see how fun the two days were. Amanda and Ben were smart to plan the wedding backwards...with the reception the night before and the wedding the day after. We had a stress free and fun fiesta the night before and then a small short dinner after the wedding. Then...the honeymooners were off!

 Ben and Greg, they have been close their whole life. Greg adores Ben..or Benny is how they call him in the Sloat family!
 Yeah! The anticipation of waiting for a bride and groom to come out is a lot of fun at the temples.
 Fiesta! It got a little chilly but we had the BEST food, the most enjoyable company, and it was a great occasion to celebrate. I like the laid back atmosphere of the fiesta. I'll admit, sometimes I bail on things I don't want to dress up for. I would have never bailed on this, but for future parties/receptions, I think a low key dress expectation is the key.
 Bart and Amanda dancing. They had a traditional Mexican dance where you pay to dance with the bride or groom...a great little cash gift for the newly weds. they come!
 A little smooch!
 Greg, Anne, Bart
 Ben, Anne, Amanda's dad, Amanda
 Possibly the greatest wedding cake every! A traditional Mexican Wedding Cake called "Tres Leches" and if you haven't tried one like this, you want to.
 Pork, beef, and chicken tacos with a pico de gallo type dish, sauces, heated tortillas, beans, rice, and the most delicious fresh assorted drinks you could hope for. Greg and I might have had 20 cups of that cant elope stuff before we left.

 More handsome Sloat men!
Aunt Sandy and Grandma Jones
 Sandy was our host for the week and weekends that Bart, Anne, Carolyn, and Reed were in town. She is amazing! A very gracious and wonderful host. We were really excited to have Grandma Jones there too! Grandpa Jones wasn't feeling well, but he let us borrow his sweetheart to attend weddings and enjoy her company. I don't think Grandma Jones has every said an unkind word! She is the essence of kindness.

 Siblings...all great people! I am so lucky to have such a perfect group of in-laws.
 The handsome Sloat brothers!
 Carolyn, Me, Greg, Reed
 Me, Greg, and Reed
 Guests at the wedding, you can see what a beautiful night it was. The park was amazing!

 I am laughing because it looks like they are leaving instead of arriving, I am not sure how these pictures got flipped! You get the point though. Here they arrive at this beautiful park where the reception was held. We were excited to see them!
 Grandma Jones and Amanda. Amanda was a very gracious and easy going bride. She definitely wasn't a bridzilla! She was laid back and went with the flow which meant a relaxed, fun, and stress free wedding day.
Love this pic....
me, Greg, Amanda, Ben, Bart, Anne, Reed, and Carolyn

Congratulations Ben and Amanda!!

Remember were I worked. It was so crazy how I even got the job I did. But I will always consider it a miracle because it was always what I needed when I needed it. I had the most amazing co-workers and manager. We are like a little family at American Fork Hospital, especially in patient access. I started as a temp, but as soon as that was over, my manager kept me by giving me another position. When I needed a different schedule for school, it was never a problem, when I need to get more hours, no problem, when I needed to work less hours, again, no problem! Over and over I got what I really needed, even if I had to cut hours, my manager made sure I was still with the required hours per pay period in order to keep all of my benefits which included medical, dental, vision, HSA matching, life insurance, renters insurance, and tuition reimbursement! What more could I ask for??!! I couldn't! It worked out great. The move to Utah turned out great, I have taken all pre-reqs for nursing and met my husband! Not to mention I made some life time friends and got into a whole slew of hobbies I will always enjoy too! Before I left we had a little combined Happy Birthday, good-bye party! I got a balloon, food, candy, and movie tickets. It was a fun day!

Now, I want to give you a tour of the last 2 1/2 years I have been at American Fork Hosptial!
Here is the front entrance, our schedule has looked a little like this since we got married. I work Monday evenings from 4:30pm to 1:00 am. For a couple of months, Greg would pick up Monday shifts and just pick me up at work when he is done. But the kicker about some of these months were that he worked in Sandy on Tuesdays at 5:50am. Ouch...I would get home around 1:30 on Tuesday mornings and need to be dropped off at work again at 5:15am so Greg could make it to work on time. I didn't even have to work till 9:30 am. So, I didn't even need to be there for 4 more hours! I kind of talked him out of that job, we missed having a little extra mu la but doing that routine a couple times a week. I would sit at my desk at try to sleep and then walk around a zombie all day. I had school on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Then work during the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Since summer has rolled around it has been more work and NO SCHOOL! Greg would frequently drop me off for work, drive home, bring me a snack or my running clothes when he was on his way to work, I would run to Applebee's (only a 3 mile run...sometimes I would take detours to extend the run) and pick up the keys, drive back, and hang out for a couple hours until Greg got off or drive home and come back later to pick him up. We would get away and run, climb, go to movies, and visit friends whenever we could. It seemed we have kept to ourselves a lot because our schedules have been opposite, so we love a little quality time when we have it.
 I worked in two places at the hospital, outpatient services and the ER. Here are my two entrances!
 Little American Fork Hospital...I was born here!
 Front lobby...were most of the people I talked to walked in to.
 Hello last 2 1/2 years!  We rotate to different desks a little bit. I mostly worked at the 4th desk.

 During the last 9-10 months, I worked the Monday nights in the ER and once school was over, I picked up a few more. This was an interesting and welcome new view for me. I got to see a lot of interesting things and I enjoyed seeing the patients get treated by the different health professionals.
My dear friends, we would have so much fun at work everyday.
 They wrote me the NICEST I said before, I love all these people, so I don't plan on this being a goodbye!

 Mmmm...mmmm! We have had some good parties and food since I started working here. I will definitely miss those. But! When I come to visit! I will bring some goodies to enjoy for old times sake...

 My balloon...attached to it was the chocolate and movie tickets.
 A frequent scene in our neck of the woods, we are all the greatest of friends, and could be found chatting, giving advice, sharing news, and helping each other through rough patches in life.

I loved the awesome summer area they had for us to eat outside! Looks like a jungle.  
This is in the back office....this is Kaye. We would chat as much as we could. She is a fabulous, gorgeous, fun, athletic, energetic, and talented woman. Hopefully we can find Mr. Right for her someday! She deserves a prince charming to come sweep her off her feet. work mom, there on the left. We could be found on a blanket in the "back yard" of the hospital reading books, but mostly talking about life and eating our lunches. All of us would talk about anything and everything, all these ladies are the ones who threw me a giant bridal shower and were so excited when I met Greg. They all helped me through some rough dating years, I am a little tender hearted when it came to break ups and disappointments. I never thought it could be so worth it to find such a sweetheart and it is hard to really recall those memories, although it gives me some profound empathy who have had some similar experiences. When I brought Greg in, they were all in love with him and were asking me before we had announced our engagement when we would get married! They definitely know me well! They could tell just by how I acted and how happy, confident, and excited that Greg was going to be a keeper.
This is my manager, besides being one of my tremendous friends as well, she bent over backwards for me in order to help me keep a schedule through school and then when I went back full time, she went out of her way to get me the hours I needed to keep my benefits. She is a one of a kind manager!


Greg has been working for Applebee's throughout his college career, and kept us afloat while he was looking for a full-time job. It was the perfect job for a college student! the end of about 5 years of working as a server, he was excited to throw all those black shirts and pants away! They have been used and worn out! Thanks to Anne, Greg didn't have holes in his shirt like he did in his pants.

 Nice! I never even noticed it either....
And they are gone! :)

Behind Aunt Sandy's house is some gorgeous areas. Earlier, I shared photos of a hike we took with Anne. Here is a little walk we went on and all we had to do was walk out the door and go up the street a block or too! Look at the beautiful scenery! It is hard to see, but the mountains are just beginning and they were breath taking!

 Trevor, Brie Howell, and Greg
Brie is a friend of mine from a microbiology lab and class. First, I noticed how cute she was and how cute she would  dress...she has a really cute sense of style, maybe she can give me some tips! But, I really noticed how nice she was to everybody and how genuine. I got to thinking...MMMM...I want her to meet Trevor. So, on my last day of school before I got married, Trevor was in town! I invited him to class. Sneaky, huh? I warned her a little bit though. She wasn't sure she was going to come to class (they were pointless lectures) but I told her I was bringing my brother and I wanted them to meet! So, they ended up seeing a devotional together while I took a test and then he invited her to dinner with us. They have kept in touch here and there...and now they keep in touch a lot! Nothing like having a really cute, nice, and fun "friend" around, right?

 Skipping rocks...tried to get some action pictures, but an iPhone camera is so SLOW!

Now, for our biggest hobby and what people will more often then not finding Greg and I doing or trying to find time to do! Climbing. We had a few great trips before we left Utah. We usually try to meet up with our friends, Joe and Andy. They are Greg's two closest friends. I am not a photographer, but I hope someday I will be able to take some really neat shots. All of these pictures are of Joe Rawlings and Greg in American Fork Canyon.

 American Fork Canyon is so amazing....

 Way up there!!! This is a difficult climb and this was Greg's first go.

 Now, the next week we went to Maple Canyon. Andy, Joe, Greg, and I were there the first day. I drove back at the end of the day and Greg stayed with his two best buddies to camp and climb for an additional days
 Andy with Joe belaying.

 Again, more beautiful hikes!
 This is called, "the Box" it is a long walk in there and tons of climbing routes.

 It is always possible to make it outside, even though that is where we would rather be. We spent TONS of time here at "The Quarry" a climbing gym in Provo. Not a bad place to climb in the winter and when you can't make it outside.

Now, for the last hurrah! We went up American Fork Canyon again! I had Greg drop me off at the top and I ran 7.7 miles down- in exactly 1 hour and 58 those downhill runs! But, I was more sore then I can ever remember being, I am guessing you work muscles a little differently when running downhill. I met up with Greg and his two friends, Andy and Tommy to do some climbing.

 So it look real? Can you tell it is just a small boulder???

 There were only a few climbers there but they were climbing some tough routes! It was neat to see them climbing 13a/13b routes!

 Getting ready to warm up...
thinking about it....
 should I??
 climbing a ladder....
 but, I was tuckered out from my run.
I thought Greg took some cool shots here...

 Getting some '"beta" as they call it in climbing...meaning talking about the tricks and "need to knows" of the climb.
It was a really fun day! We went out with a bang! Now for the next adventure/chapter in our lives!

Look...we even packed the car. (What a joke, huh? At first it was organized, then it became rather ridiculous!)

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