Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Honeymoon highlights-Pikes Peak

One of the high points of our trip (no pun intended) was summitting the mountain of Pikes Peak, at 14,110 feet above sea level. Not on foot, mind you, (because that would have killed us) but by cog railroad.

This is Pikes Peak, keeping watch over the delightful farmer's market we found. At the market we found handmade bowls that perfectly match our dishes, as well as a woven basket and wooden earrings made by impoverished women who are finding a livelihood by working for the organization Suubi my friend volunteered with.

Back to Pikes Peak: It took us 1.5 hours to get up to the top, and we dropped about 30 degrees in temperature on the way. We had a tour guide that informed us on all kinds of interesting things about the mountain, the wildlife, and the railroad. For instance, once you get up to a certain point on the mountain, the landscape is covered mostly by this grass-moss plant. We found out it grows laterally at a rate of 1-3 inches every 100 YEARS! That ground covering that spanned many, many acres was ancient! Another interesting fact we learned was about the aspen trees that grow all over the mountain and the whole area. They aren't really separate trees--when you see a grove of aspen, you're really looking at one tree.....it just spreads more roots underground and then sends a shoot off. It is one root with many shoots. The guide said the biggest aspen spans hundreds of acres, making it one of the largest organisms on the planet.
It was fantastic. The pictures really don't do it justice.
It was blustery and frigid at the summit. No trees or vegetation to be seen. The only living thing near the top was the occassional marmit-a big rodent type animal that looked like a crazy, furry large cat. On the way back down, I could barely keep my eyes open despite the amazing beauty! The lack of oxygen at that altitude got to my brain, and I pretty much shut down. Definitely worth the $31 to go up, and I'd do it again tomorrow.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Honeymoon highlights-Housing

The day after our wedding, we awoke in our lovely little cabin on Lake Pepin and found this outside our front window.....

....and this later that night.

After two nights there, we boarded a plane for the beautiful state of Colorado, where we found another lovely little cabin high in the mountains, somewhere around 9,000 feet above sea level.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kid Pic Slideshow

If you're interested, here's the slideshow we showed at the reception. It's a little longer, and it has music with it if you'd like.

One more perfect day

How do you sum up the events and emotions surrounding the time of your wedding? This is a hard task, and it is one I hope I won’t belabor you with.

Throwing a wedding on an old farm turned out to be a much bigger project than I ever imagined. I tried to keep it simple, and compared to most weddings, I suppose it was. It was a ton of work, but in the end, it was perfect (at least as far as I know)

I can't say thank you enough to all the people who helped make this event happen. The Blanshan side of the family was in for the long haul, with their help starting months ago. My family also made the effort to come early and pitch in. Quite a few of my dear buds from college flew or drove hundreds, some thousands, of miles to be with me that week, knowing I would barely have time to socialize at all. They all were also a humongous help, doing things I didn’t have time to do, reminding me to eat and sleep, setting things up, breaking down, etc.

It rained the night of the rehearsal, so we practiced in the garage. The day of the wedding--it was gorgeous! We had all kinds of people saying they would pray for good weather, and we couldn't have asked for better! Bob and I met early in the morning for a little time to ourselves, and I didn't stop for a moment after that until the wedding was over.

And it was perfect. Two weeks later, we still can't stop giggling about how wonderful and beautiful and perfect it was. Everything turned out exactly like I pictured it, if not better. The white chairs against the green grass, the red barns against the blue skies, orange flowers against tan tuxes, white tables in an old wood barn, surrounded by family and friends.... but what am I rambling about for? Let the pictures speak for themselves. These are a few of my favorites I've stolen off friends....it will be a while before the professional photos are in. And then you'll get barraged with more. :-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

He did it!

Congrats to little bro Taylor for graduating high school with honors!

Weddings, weddings, everywhere

Two weeks before my own wedding, I flew down to Texas to take part in the wedding of my dear friends Amy (Harris) and Matt Lohse. Amy and I were randomly assigned to be roommates during a summer internship at Mother Mayo in 2005, and have been great friends ever since. We both started dating our now husbands about a month apart, became engaged within ten days of each other, and got married two weeks apart.

Amy and Matt also just returned for serving 6 weeks in Cameroon, Africa for a med school rotation for Matt. Amy brought each of her bridesmaids back a beautiful custom fitted dress and we all wore them to the rehearsal dinner!

Matt and Amy are now moving on to Seattle where he will train as a general surgeon. We will miss them in Rochester!