I remember a quote that has been around awhile, can't remember who said it but Nate sent it to me while he was on his mission in a letter. It was something like this: "...God does notice and watch over us but it is usually through another person that He fills our needs..." I have thought back to this many times as I realize what great people Nate and I have been blessed to have in our lives and our need to help others. We are so blessed to have the friends and family that we do and we know that life is so great because of the wonderful people that surround us. Lately we are especially grateful for our little brothers and some important decisions they have made in their lives.
Matt and Michael are off! Michael left to the Brazil MTC May 11th, while Matt is now waiting in the Provo MTC for his Visa to arrive still, he just arrived in Provo two days ago! We are excited for their next two years and so happy for their decisions to serve. Good luck buddies, we love and miss you!
Darren and his lovely bride Desi got married this week! What a fun time it is for them to be starting out as a married couple. Their sealing and the day all around was Beautiful! And we are excited they are living just down the street from us. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Jaynes!
So, you may have noticed we had a countdown to Thailand up on the blog weeks ago...then it suddenly disappeared. Well, our trip to Thailand with Natalie's sister Candace and her husband Devin got cancelled because of the political protests and violence going on over there. We were really bummed out, but were lucky to get a full refund. Since we already had the time off, Nat and I decided to find another deal and take a trip. We ended up booking a week long trip at an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic is beautiful. I've been to Hawaii, and I've gotta say that the D.R. puts up some stiff competition. The water there is bright aqua blue and crystal clear. It's green everwhere and you are really in paradise. Our resort, the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar, was simply amazing. We had a very nice room, and the pool and beach couldn't have been better. I think that the hole in the ozone layer must be directly over that island, because the sun gives no mercy to mine and Nat's white skin. Our first full day at the beach and pool, Natalie got sunburned worse than I have ever seen, which you can see her red lines in our pictures. I got burned too, though not as bad. We were much more diligent about putting on sunscreen and staying in the shade during the peak sun hours.
My favorite part of the trip was when we took a day to go on a Jeep Safari- my birthday present from Natalie. We rode caravan with about 15 other Jeeps and drove through the Dominican jungle and some little towns. I was glad that we got out of the resort and saw how people really live there. There was a lot of poverty. Kids running out to wave at you or ask for a dollar. We saw some amazing things... They took us to an area where pineapples, limes, mangoes, cocoa, coffee, papaya, bananas and other fruits all grow within feet of each other.
As I said, our resort was all-inclusive... meaning we got to eat and drink as much as we wanted, whenever we wanted. This is not good for someone that has recently recovered from bowel surgery and is feeling like a million bucks. I have never felt so full for such an extended length of time. I probably had 50 pina coladas! Anyways, it was an awesome vacation and a great way to spend my birthday with Natalie. Where's our next adventure? Hopefully Sweden :)
I survived my first full week back at work after my 6 weeks of medical leave. I was able to finish my time off with a day skiing with my brothers-in-law Matt, Michael, and Nick up at Solitude. It was AWESOME with lots of fresh snow. I gotta say It was bittersweet going back to work...On one hand, it will be nice getting a full paycheck, but on the other, I was getting quite comfortable being a stay-at-home husband ha ha. It hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be though, and I had a very nice welcoming when I went back.
Natalie and I have been working on little projects of our own. For starters, we (with the help of my Aunt Julie) officially became upholsters when we re-covered our kitchen chairs. We are happy to say that we have now retired from this profession. It was tough! Natalie gets props because she definitely did the lion's share of the work on this. Also, Natalie started an herb garden complete with cilantro, basil, and italian parsley. It's been fun to watch it grow from nothing. As for me, my project has been getting into shape. I have been doing the P90X workouts combined with running/walking on the treadmill at the gym at our apartments. In the past two weeks I've worked out every day except 2. That is quite the record for me. And, not to toot my own horn, I have doubled the amount of pullups I can do.... I CAN DO 2!!! It's the little triumphs that keep us going, right?
It's going to be a busy month getting ready for Darren's wedding, Matt and Michael leaving on their missions, and our trip to Thailand. I'm also getting signed up for some of my pre-med classes for the summer.