Huntsville, AL and Planting Tomatoes in the Dark

I am making the most of my time in the south.  That’s right.  I am living in Mississippi while my husband does one of his internships.  Where in Mississippi, you ask?  About an hour away from Tupelo (the birthplace of Elvis, people).  We are living with my husband’s wonderful parents, and let me tell you, it is great to be here.  We want to see as much as we can of the south before we leave (and eat as much southern cookin’ as we can possibly eat).  On her day off last week, my mother-in-law took me to Huntsville, Alabama and we walked around the botanical gardens.  The flowers were beautiful.  It was so nice to be outside. Everything was lovely.  We got some great gardening ideas (and by we, I mean my mother-in-law, because I do not have a green thumb). We also ate at the tea room at the gardens.  The desserts caught our eye so we decided to have lunch there.



Huntsville Alabama 3

And just to prove to you how absolutely beautiful the south is…

Alabama Horses

Alabama Horses 2

These images illustrate my family’s complete and total dedication to their garden.  Tomato planting in the dark.

Iuka Mississippi

Iuka Mississippi 2

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park, Taggart Lake Trail

Most of our time in Jackson Hole was spent at Grand Teton National Park.  Being poor college students, we spend a lot of our time on vacation hiking.  It’s not that we are particularly granola, it’s just the most fun activity we can do for free.  We preemptively pop a few Advil so our old creaky bones don’t ache too much and head out on the trails. Don’t get me wrong, we really enjoy it, but if we had more dinero to burn, we might throw a few more activities into our repertoire…such has rafting or horseback riding.  You can even go llama trekking. Yes, that’s a thing.  And I would highly recommend it (even though I’ve never done it) just so you can brag about it to all your friends.

We also visited the National Elk Refuge.  Although the refuge can have up to 7,500 elk visiting during the winter…we did not see a single one.  We did, however, see antelope, coyote, moose, and deer.  We will have to check the elusive elk off of our list some other time!

On our first day at the park, we hiked the Jenny Lake trail. It was a beautiful, clear lake and it was close to the parking lot.  It would be a great hike for little ones.  The trail goes around the lake.  It followed the road for a while, so maybe not a good hike for those who want to get off the beaten path.

Grand Teton National Park 2

Grand Teton National Park 3

Grand Teton National Park 4

Brandon used his wildlife spotting skills to find this cute little guy right off of the path.  Some hikers ahead of us walked right by him.  Get a load of those ears!

Picnic Jackson Hole

I took a break for a picnic with this handsome fella.

The next day we did the Taggart Lake trail.  It was a little more challenging, but still doable for two couch potatoes.  It makes a nice loop and only took us 2-3 hours.

Grand Teton Nation Park 6

Grand Teton National Park Moose

Some pictures from the elk refuge.

Elk Refuge 1

Elk Refuge 2

Elk Refuge 3

I would recomend following up any healthy, outdoor activity with a high calorie food, such as pizza.  Wouldn’t want that food baby melting away.  I would miss it too much.

Jackson WY Pizza

Jackson Hole, WY

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Last fall my husband and I traveled to Jackson Hole, WY.  Without fail we ALWAYS plan our trips the weekend of some hugely crowded event that prevents us from finding hotel rooms.  Oh well! I guess you could say we have a special knack for it!  We really were trying to plan and prepare.  We went the week after labor day, you know, to avoid the crowds.  We ended up being there the weekend of “Lotoja”, a cycling race that starts in Logan, Utah and ends in Jackson Hole, WY.  There were zero vacancies within a fifty mile radius of the city. We ended up staying in Tetonia, ID, which was about an hour drive from Jackson.  It wasn’t so bad, but we could have used that extra time to explore the beauty that is the tetons!  You live and learn.

Travel tip of the day: when planning a trip, be sure to check ahead for any events that might interfere with your travel plans (namely marathons and bike races!)


Jackson Hole, WY

Jackson is a great little touristy western town, adorned with many, many antlers. There are a lot of restaurants and some fun shopping…and by shopping, I mean window shopping because, if you’re like me, you just can’t spend 300 dollars on a fur hat or novelty knife made of…you guessed it! Antler!  We had a lot of fun wandering around.  We visited the farmer’s market, a delectable pizza place (we wanted to go to the chuck wagon, but were limited on time), and enjoyed a rodeo.    The rodeo is held every Friday and Saturday during the summer season, so hit that up if you visit! Most of our time was spent in Grand Teton National Park, but that’s another post for another day.


Photo op in front of Jackson’s most celebrated decorating accessory.



Window shopping.  It was so hard to walk out of that store without this flattering hat.  And yes…I am one of those annoying tourists that poses for pictures with store merchandise.

Oh wait…here I am doing it again at the rodeo.  I’ve got to stop doing that!




This four year old girl is showing those macho cowboys how it’s done!


What’s better than an action packed rodeo set against the backdrop of the Tetons?

Until next time!





Goodbye Wandie

Wandie was a dog that my mom and I raised as a guide dog puppy.  She was a handful!  She got into everything! She loved dumpster diving, socks, stealing potatoes out of the pantry and eating them raw,  picking off Christmas ornaments from the tree one by one and destroying them….just to name a few of the mischievous things she did.

She never really outgrew her puppy phase, but as she got older she became more loveable.  Her trademark move was resting her head on your lap and looking up at you with those big eyes.  She was a smart one too.  She could learn a new trick in a matter of minutes.  That’s probably why she did so well at guide dog school, but she flunked out because she LOVED to play with other dogs. I begged and begged my parents to keep her after she was dropped from the guide dog program.  She turned out to be a great family pet.  I think I loved her MORE because she was a pill and had lots of personality.  You had to laugh when we had guests visiting and she would come trotting in the family room with their shoes in her mouth. I always considered her my baby, but my parents DID do all the work.  We will miss you and your little white muzzle, stealing raspberries and strawberries from the garden!  You are the best, Wandie!

Lame Computer

I’ve been really sad that I have not been able to update my blog lately (about 6 months…).  We have a computer that does not deal well with complex processes (anything more complicated then web browsing and itunes).  Our tax return is earmarked for a brand new laptop and I am so excited!  I can use it for school, photo editing, and blogging.  Since I haven’t updated in a while, here is a picture of our dog, Hobbes. We got him in February and he is so cute, but sometimes a little naughty.

Thanksgiving Weekend

I’ve been looking forward to this break for so long I was almost dreading the end of it before it even started.  I know it’s sad, but I have been loving any time away from work lately.  Those four wonderful days with Brandon and our families didn’t disappoint either.  We fit in some serious gluttony, a Utah football game, and a shooting expedition.  All in all, a success (except for the flat tire, but hey…we needed new tires anyway).

Hope your Thanksgiving was equally wonderful!

My Relationship with Winter

Winter is a comin folks!  My relationship with winter has not been a good one for a long time. During my grade school years it meant a possible snow day, which was always welcome.  Sledding with friends and neighbors and making awesome snow forts with my brother.

When I went to college “winter” took on a whole new meaning. Walking to campus in below freezing weather in one of the word’s windiest cities. Yeah, that’s right.  Chicago has nothing on Rexburg, Idaho. Along with subzero temperatures comes smooth and invisible ice for slipping on…in front of crowds of fellow students.  I didn’t want to leave my apartment unless absolutely necessary for nine months of the year.  Cabin fever, guys.  It’s real.

It is my hope this year to make the best of it…I made a pro/con list.

Things I don’t enjoy about winter:

  1. Being cold.
  2. Short days.
  3. Snow.
  4. Snow.
  5. Snow.
  6. Snow.
  7. Driving in the snow.
  8. Cleaning snow off of my car.
  9. And…snow.

Things I do enjoy about winter:

  1. Hot chocolate.
  2. Blankets.
  3. Cuddling.
  4. Hot Baths.
  5. Soup.
  6. Football.
  7. Boots.
  8. Bundling up.
  9. Snow shoeing.

If I just focus on the good list and ignore the bad list I might be able to repair my broken relationship with winter.  If I do THAT I might survive til spring.  There’s a Scandinavian saying that goes, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.” That will be my mantra this year.

But I still think these people be CRAZY!

polar bear plunge, polar bear club


Wonderful World of Blogging

Here it is.  I don’t know if you know this, but I come from a family of computer savvy dudes.  I did not inherent this talent.  The ability to speak computer must only be passed through the Y chromosome in my family.  But here I am…starting my own self-hosted blog. There have been some rough moments.  I’ve experienced about 20 stress headaches through the process of setting it up. The sad part is that it really wasn’t that hard, I’m just totally clueless.  But I did it!!!  I figured it out on my own and I feel pretty bad-A.  Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

P.S.  This is me and my scruffy lookin husband at the game last week.  Go Utes!