Monday, June 30, 2008
As part of my body for life program...I go to the gym. This story begins when I started out on this machine that, when I worked out on it over the winter, did crazy things to my legs. Like cool/crazy.
Here is the story about my legs: I have always been jealous of those soccer players that had legs to die for, with a very visible line, you know....so I worked out over the winter and got a line!! I remember being so excited. Then I stopped going to the gym as often and lost it! So, I want it again.
Back to the present: I sit down on the machine and start working out on my leg machine that is going to turn my fatty legs into the hottest, mini-skirt (even though I don't wear them) legs. A trainer comes up to me and says..."Just so you know...and I feel it is my duty to tell you...this machine is all about the bulking up and isn't really used for toning." I then respond, "Oh, I know...I WANT to get bigger."
The fact of the matter is 'no' I didn't know that, and 'no' I don't want to get bigger.
I walk away laughing at my response. Sometimes lying to make myself feel less stupid is just....funny!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
These are in no particular order, but I wanted to list my top favorite things that I have done so far this summer.
1. Hangin with the family-I was able to go home (the San Diego home) and go through the temple with Brendon!! Jamie and Jordan were both able to pay a visit. It was awesome having the whole fam there!
As some of the boys (Jordan and his bro's) went to the US open, we went to the Birch Aquarium. Then the boys took off and just the girls went to a condo on Coronado Beach. GIRL TIME!! WE relaxed on the beach during overcast skies, but it didn't matter. We were at the beach! It was awesome. It has been a while since I have been home for Father's Day, so it was cool being with my Daddy. What a sweet little vacay!
2. Demolition Derbies. Utah is famous for the most amazing summertime activites, including cars crashing into each other. My parents planned their vacation to visit me around the demo derby schedule. With these pics...do you blame them?
3. Utah town days: including Strawberry Days, Peach Days, Onion Days, Radish Days, Logan Days, Days of 47....to name a few! Some have rodeos, some have demo derbies, most have fairground fun stuff. Here are some pics from Strawberry Days in Pleasant Grove.
I have many other things in store for the summer....seeing that it just started. I am also studying like crazy for my GRE! YIKES. Looking back, I really should have paid more attention during my basic math classes. I still have to use my fingers when adding 8. Other then that....just living life to its fullest.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Earlier this year, I highlighted an article talking about the link between vaccinations and autism. Though I didn't have a strong opinion either way, I found an article this morning that was interesting. It talks about spreading out vaccinations for children, so they are still getting them, but not all at the same time. I liked it so much, I thought I would share. This method could definitely be something worth contemplating. The article was taken from CNN.com.
Should I vaccinate my baby?
By Elizabeth Cohen
CNN Medical Correspondent
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Five years ago, Kathye Petters-Armitage's first child received the exact vaccinations on the exact schedule recommended by her pediatrician.
Hannah Polling's autism was found to be "significantly aggravated" by her childhood vaccines.
But when she gave birth to her second child, Petters-Armitage had a change of heart.
In the intervening two years, she'd read a lot about concerns that vaccines cause autism and decided to ask her pediatrician to give her new baby fewer shots spread out over a longer period of time.
"I wasn't a hundred percent convinced there was a link between autism and vaccines," said Petters-Armitage, of Santa Clarita, California. "But I didn't want to be one of those parents who found out the hard way."
Pediatricians say they've seen a dramatic increase in the number of parents who, like Petters-Armitage, want to make changes in the vaccine schedule set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, a schedule once considered by many pediatricians to be sacred and largely immutable.
Many of these doctors say even though they might disagree with these parents, they are making changes.
"If a parent says no to an intervention, including a vaccination, I have to accept that," said Dr. Arthur Lavin, a pediatrician in Beachwood, Ohio, and associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "I share with them what I know, but ultimately, it's the parent's decision."
Dr. Kenneth Bock, a clinical instructor in the department of family medicine at Albany Medical College in New York, put it this way: "It shouldn't be my way or the highway. We can't say one size fits all. One size doesn't fit all."
In an article on CNN.com in March, two CDC doctors wrote, "Although some may call it a 'one size fits all' approach, the recommended vaccine schedule is flexible."
The following is a list of vaccine changes that parents have requested and that some pediatricians have agreed to make. It does not include a discussion of the pros and cons to each approach, or a discussion of whether vaccines and autism are even linked, but rather a list of some approaches being used by some pediatricians and parents.
1. Delaying the first hepatitis B shot
Currently, newborns receive hepatitis B shots before they're discharged from the hospital.
"I've never understood why we give this at birth," said Dr. Richard Frye, assistant professor of pediatrics and neurology at the University of Texas Medical Center at Houston.
Hepatitis B is spread by having sex with an infected partner, by sharing needles, by sharing razors or toothbrushes with an infected person or by contact with blood or open sores of an infected person.
"I don't know babies who have sex or share needles," said Dr. David Traver, a pediatrician in private practice in Foster City, California.
Lavin says that instead of giving the hepatitis B shot at birth, he routinely gives it when a baby is 2 months old.
One exception: If a mother carries hepatitis B, her baby must receive the vaccine and treatment for hepatitis B infection.
2. Not doing some shots at all
The pediatricians interviewed for this article were unanimous on this point: Not all diseases are created equal. Some diseases for which children are vaccinated are easier to catch than others, and some are more deadly.
For example, Petters-Armitage told her doctor she wasn't as worried about chicken pox or rotavirus as she was about diseases like polio and pertussis. Even though she says he disagreed with her, he abided by her wishes and didn't give her second and third children vaccinations for chicken pox and rotavirus.
The pediatricians interviewed for this article advise parents that if they're concerned, they should sit down and discuss with their pediatricians the severity of each disease before proceeding with vaccinations.
3. Checking for 'titers' before giving booster shots
For many vaccines, such as chicken pox, children receive boosters to "boost" the immunity received from a previous shot. Some children, however, might not need the booster because they had an adequate immune response to the first shot.
Pediatricians sometimes will do a blood test to check a child's titers. "Checking titers" refers to measuring the amount of antibodies in the blood, an indication of whether the person is immune to a certain disease. Checking titers isn't routine and sometimes is not covered by insurance.
"If you came to me and said you wanted to check titers, and you'll pay for it, would I do that for you? I would," said Dr. Laura Jana, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
4. Spreading the vaccines out over a longer period of time
This is the hallmark of the Sears Schedule, an alternative vaccine schedule developed by pediatrician Dr. Robert Sears.
Sears' patients bring their babies in for shots seven times between the ages of 2 to 9 months, never receiving more than two shots at each visit.
Under the CDC schedule, children come in three times during that age range, receiving sometimes five shots at one visit.
5. Splitting up combined shots
Several vaccinations are combined into one shot. For example, measles, mumps and rubella are put together into one injection called MMR, and diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis are put together into one shot called DTaP.
MMR is available as three injections, but most doctors don't have them. If you want to separate out these shots, you may have to get a prescription and find a pharmacy that will order them for you and then give them to the doctor for injection.
Some doctors do offer the shots separately. Sears gives measles, mumps and rubella shots separately and at three different ages. Lavin said he's received so many requests to separate out the MMR, he's ordered the separate shots.
Pertussis is not available separately, so even doctors like Sears, who offer an alternative schedule, give the DTaP shot.
The pediatricians we talked to said the key is to talk to your doctor about whether an alternative schedule is best.
"It's a talk. It's a whole appointment," Traver said. "Call the receptionist and say you'd like to make an appointment with the doctor to discuss immunizations."
Another consideration: what's best for your child. For example, in the case of Hannah Poling, the federal government found that vaccines she received as a toddler "significantly aggravated" an underlying illness that predisposed her to symptoms of autism. The "vaccine court" ordered that her family be compensated financially.
It's not entirely clear what family history would put your child at risk for vaccine problems, but Frances Page Glascoe, a professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, says parents should look back at least ask the question.
"I would look at Mom, Dad, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins who had developmental disabilities, including language disorders and autism spectrum disorder," she said. If parents find such a family history, "that would cause me to discuss an alternative vaccination schedule."
Jon Poling, Hannah's father, says it's clear to him now that he should have been more wary."We have autoimmune disorders on both sides of the family, and Hannah had multiple febrile infections with ear infections and horrible trouble with eczema," he said. "All of those are red flags that a child is at risk."
Monday, June 16, 2008
Don't you love it when you are browsing CNN and you read the sentence "Dinosaur mummy holds many secrets" and your brain reads "Dinosaur mommy holds many secrets"? Yeah, me too.
Just like the time that my mom said, "Would you like to go eat" and I said "Tiger Meat??"
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Reading over the issues that our current presidential candidates have, I am less and less impressed with what they have to say about the future of education. Perhaps something that isn't as 'important' as other things...I would like to see more statements and support of programs that will enable children, regardless of ability, to excel and progress in their education without being limited to proving their educational smarts based solely on standardized testing. Standardized testing is only one step of this puzzle and does not provide a complete picture of the capabilities of the student. Although standardized testing is important for teachers and the government to see how the educational requirements are being met, there needs to be a plan in place that tests students based on more than just something that is crammed for and easily forgotten. I found this article about what our candidates think about education in America.
Education Week: Candidates Are at Odds Over K-12
But McCain and Obama Both Back NCLB Goals
By Alyson Klein and David J. Hoff
The presumed November matchup produced by the long presidential-primary season that ended last week offers contrasting approaches to K-12 policy, along with some common ground on the basics of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican nominee, and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, who last week secured enough delegates to claim the Democratic nomination, both express support for the NCLB law’s goals and its use of testing to measure schools’ success.
But Sen. McCain would promote market forces as a way to spur school improvement, and would likely seek to freeze education spending as part of a review of the effectiveness of federal programs.
Sen. Obama, meanwhile, promises to search for new ways of assessing students and to invest significantly in efforts to improve teacher quality.
Although education wasn’t a prominent issue in the Democratic or Republican primaries, it could emerge more clearly in the general-election campaign, one political scientist said last week. He pointed particularly to the potential for a sharper focus on where the candidates stand on the requirements for testing and accountability under the NCLB law.
In the past two presidential elections, the Democratic and Republican nominees supported the idea that the efforts to improve schools should include regular assessment of student progress and measures to hold schools accountable for increases in student achievement, said Patrick J. McGuinn, an assistant professor of political science at Drew University in Madison, N.J., who has written extensively about the politics of the NCLB law.
“The country hasn’t had a great debate about the costs and benefits of test-driven accountability,” Mr. McGuinn said. “We’re ripe for it right now.”
Changes in Testing
On May 28, in his most extensive education speech of the primaries, Sen. Obama reaffirmed his support for the goals of the 6-year-old federal law, saying they were “the right ones.”
“More accountability is right,” he said at Mapleton Expeditionary School for the Arts in Thornton, Colo. “Higher standards are right.”
But, Sen. Obama added, the federal government must provide enough money and other assistance to help substandard schools turn around, and he advocated improving the assessments that are the cornerstone of the law’s accountability system.
“We also need to realize that we can meet high standards without forcing teachers and students to spend most of the year preparing for a single, high-stakes test,” he said.
During the primaries, Sen. Obama never criticized the NCLB law with the same ferocity as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, his leading opponent for the nomination, or other Democrats candidates. Mr. Obama was not yet in the U.S. Senate when Congress passed the bipartisan measure in 2001 at the urging of President Bush.
Sen. McCain has said that he considers the NCLB law a “good beginning.”
He adds that the law needs to change to improve the way special education students and English-language learners are assessed. But he hasn’t suggested that he would change the way schools are held accountable for student performance under the law, which requires reading and mathematics tests in grades 3-8 and once during high school.
Sen. McCain has also said he would endorse federal programs that give parents broader school choice, such as vouchers for private schools, including religious schools.
Such initiatives are popular with Republican voters, but Sen. McCain’s strong support for the NCLB law isn’t widely endorsed by voters from either party, said one former Bush administration official.
Sen. McCain “is putting himself in a difficult situation by embracing NCLB so wholeheartedly,” said Michael J. Petrilli, the vice president of national policy and programs for the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, who served in the U.S. Department of Education during President Bush’s first term.
“Everybody has acknowledged that the law needs some reworking,” Mr. Petrilli said, “and he has created this huge opening for Senator Obama, who can now embrace the ‘mend it, don’t end it’ platform, which is going to sound like the common-sense platform.”
Still, some important new supporters of Sen. Obama will likely be urging him to recommend significant changes to the law.
On June 4, the day after Sen. Obama said he had the delegates to secure the nomination, the National Education Association announced it would endorse him in the general election. The 3.2 million-member teachers’ union is one of the most vocal critics of the NCLB law’s emphasis on testing.
While the NEA waited until Sen. Obama had essentially locked up the nomination before making any endorsement, the 1.3 million-member American Federation of Teachers was an early supporter of Sen. Clinton and worked actively on her behalf.
Because neither national teachers’ union supported Sen. Obama during the primaries, he may have the opportunity to be a “different kind of Democrat,” said Joe Williams, the executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, a New York City-based political action committee that contributes money to Democratic candidates.
“He’s earned his independence so that he can really decide which of the unions’ positions he really wants to embrace and which ones he doesn’t,” Mr. Williams said. “The conventional wisdom is the time that you’ve got to pander to the unions is during the primary. He emerged victorious without [their help].”
Monday, June 9, 2008
My favorite movie: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
My favorite episode: The Game
Links: Star Trek Website
Recent Article about how William Shatner feels about his experience. Taken from CNN.com.
STUDIO CITY, California (AP) -- One recent week, William Shatner did something he hadn't done for many years -- watched the original "Star Trek." It was kind of an accident.
In the "Trek" episode "A Piece of the Action," Spock and Kirk traveled to a planet modeled on 1920s gangsters.
Now, you might think that a bit odd. But Shatner rarely watches himself work. When it comes to acting, he says, he lives in the moment and moves on. Same thing these days with his work as Denny Crane on ABC's "Boston Legal."
This particular night, though, he was recovering from hip surgery and couldn't sleep, so he was watching TV. An old episode came on -- the one where the crew of the USS Enterprise visited a society that had modeled itself after Chicago gangsters of the 1920s. Kirk and Spock dressed up in pinstripe suits and held court as tough guys.
Watching, Shatner was more pleased than he expected.
"I haven't seen myself playing Captain Kirk in a long, long time," he says. "And I watched it now, from my perspective of 40 years later, and I thought, 'You know, that's rather good.' It's a starship captain trying to do the accent, the Noo Yawk accent, trying to play tough, trying to be one of the guys. It's not quite right, but it's what a starship captain would have done -- a decent imitation, enough to fool those guys but not the audience."
Shatner won't be playing Kirk in the upcoming reboot of "Star Trek" directed by J.J. Abrams. Leonard Nimoy plays an aging Spock, but the Jim Kirk character -- a young version -- is portrayed by actor Chris Pine. Shatner has said he's sad but not angry at the decision, which springs from the killing off of Kirk in the 1994 film "Star Trek Generations."
The recent late-night TV watching got Shatner thinking, though, about the character of Kirk and how it has endured.
"That was a good hero," Shatner says. "He made decisions. He was forceful. He was compassionate. He was the instigator. He fought hard and long physically and emotionally. He carried the dilemma of whether to intrude or not to intrude. It was all the classic forms of good Greek playmaking: The hero has the dilemma and resolves the dilemma."
Even the series' renowned cheesy production design, done on an increasingly tight budget through the show's 1966-69 run, didn't put him off."The actors were wonderful. And I didn't care about the sets or anything like that or the cheesy spaceship," Shatner says. "I think that's what happens in 'Star Trek.' Your eye goes past all the faults because you're concentrated on the actors and the plot."
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I found this article while I was searching for baby signing news. It has nothing to do with baby signing. BUT the title made me remember my days on the high school swim team. I personally did not find anything wrong with speedos...until I saw this hideously insane clip on youtube with this man wearing a thong-like cheetah speedo, who was roller blading down the street. The speedo pretty much looked like it was going to fall off....therefore I am not posting or linking this insane video...especially since it was a mockumentary on speedos...blech. Instead, I am pasting an article I got from CNN.com that was taken from Oprah.com that mentions a couple things learned in this life, including the fact that men should never....ever wear speedos.
I would like to say that I am grateful to the swim suit industry for developing a material that sheds water. I am sure that invention aided in the creation of full piece swim suits for our men and women participating in the Olympics. Thank you for that...
Those of you that know me...know I am really not that shallow! Having been all over the world where I experience different cultures of those who wear clothes and those who do not...who cares, really? I just love this article.
by Lisa Kogen
(Oprah.com) -- In 1977, my friend Brenda and I went for dinner at a little Chinese restaurant called Empress Garden. She had the lemon chicken, I had the shrimp har kow, and we each had an egg roll because in 1977 you could eat sugar and fat and deep-fried everything without its signifying that the apocalypse is at hand.
Our waiter placed the entrées in front of us and ceremoniously lifted the shiny silver domes. Brenda's chicken was crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside, lemony all over, and I knew in an instant that I'd made a hideous error in judgment --I should've gone with the chicken.
I tell you this story to illustrate my willingness to admit when I've made a mistake. In fact, I've rarely ordered a breakfast, lunch, or dinner I didn't regret; at this very moment, I'm wishing I had an iced tea instead of a Diet Coke.
But aside from the food thing and one very adorable guy in the early '80s who was all you'd want in a man except for the fact that he was also looking for all you'd want in a man, I am never, ever wrong.
Now, I'm not saying I always take my own advice or trust my own instincts. I'm merely suggesting that the world would be a much better place if everyone else were to do exactly what I tell them to do. Arrogant? You bet. Narcissistic? I suppose. But c'mon, admit it, you've had the very same thought kicking around for years. Still, I'm the one with the column -- so now without further ado ...
Everything I know about the world and how you (yes, you!) should live your life:
1. If you can't get a babysitter, for the love of God, stay home! I don't want to be sitting next to little Charlotte and Duncan as they fight over a Raisinet at the midnight screening of Atonement. You wanted kids, so suck it up, walk it off, subscribe to Netflix.
2. If your outgoing phone message is longer than, let's say, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian of the Year segment of the Oscars®, it's time to rerecord.
3. Calling to let your friend know you're running late does not excuse your constantly running late.
4. I'd like to say a few words to every crabby traveler who responds with disgust whenever a baby cries on an airplane. Perhaps you don't know how babies work, but there's been a study, and it turns out that giving a 4-month-old the stink eye doesn't actually accomplish anything. Either have a little compassion or a little Ambien.
5. Here's something for any gentleman who may be reading this: If you look good in a Speedo, you will look even better in virtually any other kind of swimsuit.
6. I am a cynic. I am a pessimist. I came of age with the Watergate hearings playing on the tiny TV in our avocado green kitchen. But every four years, I wrestle my apathy into submission, read up on the issues, and cast my ballot. You must vote. I don't care who you vote for (that's not really true -- I think you should be penciling in my name), but you've gotta get in the game.
7. One word: Floss.
8. Any man who begins a conversation with, "I don't want to hurt your feelings ... " is about to hurt your feelings. It's the kind of phrase that's never followed by, "... but I just don't think you're eating enough. Please have more lasagna while I get you a brownie." Other opening gambits that pretty much scream duck-and-cover include: "Don't take this the wrong way... ," "You can feel free to say no ... ," and the always popular "Look ... "
9. Enough with celeb gossip. The problems of Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears should not be competing for the headline space in our brains. We have to be smarter than that, and if we're not, we have to pretend that we are.
10. Get so excellent at something (long division, friendship, Parcheesi, removing cranberry juice stains, decoupage -- it doesn't matter what) that your genius will be impossible to ignore and your legendary expertise at removing cranberry juice stains while dividing six-digit numbers by 37 will either bring you glory beyond your wildest dreams or, at the very least, help you feel vaguely competent as you make your way through the world.
11. Allow me to demystify the entire real estate market for you: Gracious means ridiculously small. Quaint means a total wreck and ridiculously small. Spacious, airy, luxurious, and grand all mean ridiculously small.
12. I like a plastic bag and a bottle of water as much as the next self-involved me monkey, but it takes 430,000 gallons of oil to manufacture 100 million grocery bags, and if I were capable of doing even the most basic arithmetic, I'd say -- well, who are we kidding? I'm not capable of doing even the most basic arithmetic -- just know that we're in great danger of making Al Gore really, really mad.
13. Words matter. It's time to stop prettifying the ugly stuff. Spousal abuse means wife beating. Global warming means the Earth is toast. Enhanced interrogation means torture. And here's a bit of trivia for you: The Bush administration did not coin the phrase enhanced interrogation. Nor did it come from Jack Bauer on "24." Nope, it was the Gestapo that originated that little bon mot back in 1937.
14. To quote Elmer Fudd, "Be bwave, widdoe wabbit." Take a chance, wear your heart on your sleeve, ask the most attractive man in the room to dance, say what you want, demand what you're entitled to. There's a pretty decent chance that you won't get it, but who will you be if you never even try? Note: Only attempt the dance invitation if there's actual music playing.
15. Sometimes I worry that we've all become workaholics -- because getting through life can be really hard work. But (with apologies to the fine people who pay my salary every week here at the fabulous Hearst Corporation) we need to log off, go home, and remember what it is to have dinner, conversation, and sex ... not necessarily in that order.By Lisa Kogan from "O, The Oprah Magazine," March 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I was doing a little PR research and stumbled across this article. As some of you know, this is what I do for a living. I would have to agree with the author and find some of her comments very interesting. Hope you enjoy.
Do You Know What is Missing From Your Public Relations Plan?
"In my nearly twenty years of experience in the public relations industry the missing link to many publicity campaigns is positioning! I have found that by correctly positioning each book, product or service you can literally double your media exposure."
Friedman continues, "So what is positioning? Presenting yourself to the media in a way that immediately grabs and holds their interest in your topic."
It "positions" your topic with other similar topics in the news so that those reading your press materials can easily understand the subject and see how it compares to others like it. Even though positioning has been around for years, it is still an elusive fact for many people looking to promote their book, product or service. So what this means is that when you consider your press release, the rules need to be rewritten.
Marsha Friedman says, "You always need to put a well-thought out strategy, mixed with creativity into the presentation of your product and service to the media. Let 's face it. With the infinitely growing competition in the market, there 's a demand on businesses to get more aggressive about their promotion. Positioning is the missing link to your promotion that will really help you add lots of media successes to your public relations initiative." Here are some tips to position yourself:
1. Make sure that the materials you will be supplying the media with will present a good, clear communication of your message and it 's relevance in today 's world.
2. Take a look at what you are promoting and find the "pearls" - those pieces of information that set it apart. Or, those statements or assertions that are alarming or ground-breaking about your product and service.
3. Take a close look at the media and see how other items like yours are being handled and portrayed. Are they being treated well? Ignored?
4. Distill this information into a two page release jam-packed with information and an exciting headline. Keep in mind that you've got to grab and retain the attention of a very busy producer.
5. Don't require the producer or editor to use their imagination to see how the topic would be of interest to their listeners/viewers/readers. Give them an instant concept of the show or article you are suggesting.
6. Don't send out the same release to the different media. Remember that they are each looking for something different. A 20 minute interview on a talk radio show is not the same as a 5 minute television news interview.
7. Always include those special features about yourself (or your spokesperson) that make you an authority on the topic; why you would make a good guest (and not put the audience to sleep) and what questions could be asked during the interview.
8. You can be a bit more sales-y with your talk radio press releases, but always remember to give a clear idea of the show and why you are an expert to talk about your topic.
So there you go, some tips to really get your press release in order. But don't forget that without a relentless phone follow up campaign you may not be able to reap the fruits of your labor. Often times the media never receives your materials or was interested but just too busy to call for more information. Following up by phone puts you ten steps ahead of the hundreds of publicists desperately vying for their attention.
About the Author
For 20 years Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public relations as CEO of EMSI.
(Article taken from www.content4reprint.com).
Monday, June 2, 2008
There is something about being out in open country, gazing at the stars, camping next to a river and being in great company that makes me think, "Remind me why I have to be responsible, again." To celebrate a good friend's birthday, 8 of us went up to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We pulled in after everyone else in the campground went to bed. It was kind of nice...the solitude was peaceful. Driving to our spot where two rivers intersected, I could already see the stars....something I haven't seen for a while in the city. It reminded me of my time spent in Logan, where I could star-gaze every night in the summer!
We set up camp, went to bed...some of us snuggling for warmth. The next day, we woke up and went river-rafting down the Snake river. We had these awesome wet-suits and had sweet booties and jackets. The water was swift and made our adventure very short...but very sweet. When we hit some rapids, I felt like a super-star...having gone down the river before. But, all in all, every experience is a new one. I always picture myself giving up what I am doing to be a river-guide/traveler/adventurer, but then the whole 'responsibility' thought pops into my head. Thank goodness for weekends and amazing places, or I would go nuts.
After river-rafting, we all went to the Jackson Hole visitor's center and went on a hike around Taggart Lake, in Teton Valley. It was gorgeous. There was still snow on the ground...some of us got in snow-ball fights. Something I didn't even do when I had fresh snow to play with during the winter. The crazy b-day girl, Laura, jumped in the lake. I, however, was done being cold...so passed on that opportunity. We ate at a sweet authentic Mexican Food place that had 'Piggy' in the name. During our visit to the visitor's center, some of my friends bought star cards so that we could actually name the constellations that night. I did a pretty shoddy job trying to find stars...and was way too cold to step away from our bonfire long enough...but we did find Ursa Major, Cassiopia, Draco....That is all we could really identify. That night, everyone snuggled in the tent and it was so much warmer than the night before! We ate at Bubba's the next morning.
I can't wait to go back and experience such an incredible time where can feel completely rejuvenated and alive! Even if it is just for 2 nights...