We just got our engagement pictures back (taken by the wonderful Ethan Runyan) and I, of course and excited to share them! School started on Monday, well kind of.... I am student teaching this year and it has been a crazy adventure so far. The week before school started, I went to a full 8-4pm work week (unpaid) filled with professional development classes and setting up the classroom. Then on Monday and Tuesday this week, I got to meet the cute little 1st graders I get to work with this year! First graders are full of energy and this year is going to be a blast!
Now that school has started, the free time that Forest and I have, especially together is limited, which means that wedding planning is going to be much harder..... thank goodness for us though... we kicked butt this summer and got tons of stuff planned. We started with a venue for the ceremony and the reception, then we met with the officiant, designed and purchased invitations, started making a guest list, hired a photographer, and many other smaller things to get ready for the wedding. Planning has been a little stressful, especially because weddings are EXPENSIVE, but overall its's been fun to plan something that is ours and something that is for us. The unfortunate part is that we have to figure out a cake, flowers, and my wedding dress, and that is all there is left to plan.... which is sad since we have 9 months less to the wedding. With the schedules we have this semester and next, I am sure that the next 9 months will fly by.
There are some exciting things going on in the next few months (including: other weddings, student teaching, med school interviews, dress shopping, and other fun things), so the wedding will be here in no time.
Thanks for reading....
It has been a while since I have posted, but with school, work, and wedding planning things have been a little crazy.
It's been almost two months since we've been back from Thailand and I think I am "Travel sick" (if that's even a thing). I have been on a lot of vacations in my life, but nothing even comes close to the experience I had in Thailand. The little things from Thailand that made it so amazing include: Forest being able to navigate everywhere, being surrounded by a completely different language, having 7-11 be our main source of snacks and drinks, and of course traveling somewhere so different from home and being with Forest.
Next June, we are going on our honeymoon. We decided that after all the wedding planning, student teaching, med school admissions (Forest), and a really hard school semester, a cruise would be the best option for us. Don't get me wrong, Thailand was amazing, but we walked over 60 miles and it was a bit tiring. Although the Caribbean cruise isn't quite as adventurous as our trip to Thailand, I am looking forward to relaxing..... but I am craving another adventure!!!
I know lots of you have traveled and I would love some suggestions on where to go next!
Well the wedding countdown begins today which seems crazy since most people don't have this long of an engagement, but with graduation around the corner, it will come quick. Of course, I am crazy excited to plan a wedding, but because we have such a long time, I need to pace myself. Therefore, I am starting here.... sweating for the wedding, because like every bride, I want to look fabulous for the wedding.
Although I want to loose weight and feel more confident at my wedding, it's more than that. When I was in high school I woke up at 5am every morning, went to practice and ran and danced for hours. My eating habits consisted of: Panda Express, McDonalds, Sonic, Mexican food, and diet coke. All of this food I was consuming was obviously horrible for me, but I didn't see the effect it had on my body because I was working out for 4-8 hours a day. When college came around, I stopped dancing and stopped being pushed to work-out, but my eating habits stayed the exact same. The "Freshman 15" is real people. College is tough and picking up fast food in between classes is soooo easy. About a year ago, I decided I was sick of being the "picky" eater, so I tried to eat healthier and started cooking. Well that's all fine and dandy, but there was two problems: first, time, and second, money. I am a college student which means two things: I am always busy and I am broke, so having the time to cook food and have the money to buy the food was really tough. I worked really hard last summer and dropped 10 pounds, but when school started up again, things plateaued.
Flash forward to today..... I want to finally make that push to being all together healthier. I saw a quote somewhere a few weeks ago and it has been stuck in my head. The quote read, "be as you are". When I hear the words "be as you are" I think of being yourself, but not only being you, but being the best you. I think that especially with women, body image is such a big deal, you don't want to be too skinny or too big or too muscular or too wimpy, but I think you should be you. So I guess my goal is to be myself, and be the best version of me that I can. To me this means that I won't ever have tall, thin, legs, because that isn't how my body works, but I want to feel comfortable in my own body and I want to feel good about myself as I walk down the street.. or the aisle next summer. I want to be healthy and feel healthy and make food and lifestyle choices because I want to not because I am trying to lose weight.
My point of this is to say that I want to eat healthier and I want to work-out more and be a healthier person, but I want to be able to be myself while doing it. I don't want to be tied to a diet because I want to look good for the wedding, but I want to make lifestyle changes that will help me feel good, look good, and stay that way. I posted two pictures below, one is from March and one is from May after our Thailand trip. In Thailand, Forest and I swam a ton, walked a ton, biked a ton, drank a lot of water, and ate healthier portions and smaller portions. When I left Thailand, I felt good about myself and my body, because I had done all this exercising and my body was hydrated because of all the water. When I got home, I could tell that I had lost weight and I did, but the fact was, I wasn't even trying, which started my thinking about lifestyle changes rather than temporary changes.
Thanks for reading!
If any of you have awesome work out plans or delicious healthy recipes please share!!!!!!
the picture on the Right is March, the picture on the Left is May after walking and eating healthier.
After walking 50 miles in Bangkok, we decided it was time for some beach days. We flew from Bangkok to Phuket which is an hour plane ride. (P.S. once you are in Asia, it is REALLY cheap to fly everywhere else in Asia. We spent 5 and a half days in Phuket, and it definitely felt like more of a vacation, Although seeing Bangkok was an amazing cultural experience, I was ready for the beach. When we got to Phuket, we checked into our Airbnb (airbnb is awesome for traveling cheap!) We had a closet, dining table, fridge, and a kitchen, which was awesome! The first day, we explored Patong which is the city we stayed in while in Phuket. The beach was a 5 minute walk from our house, so of course, we had to watch the sunset over the water. In Phuket we also went on tours to Phi Phi island, Khao Lak, Phuket city, and James Bond Island. (more about these places below.
Also, I would love to hear from everyone reading! Comments, suggestions, stories of your own, go crazy!
Phi PHI ISLAND
Phi Phi island is absolutely breathtaking. We took a speedboat out to the middle of nowhere, and suddenly huge rock formations with tons of green vegetation started popping up (these rocks are Phi Phi Ley and Phi Phi Don). Not only was the scenery and water beautiful, but our tour guide was awesome! If you are ever in Phuket, I definitely recommend going to Phi Phi island. The water is clear, blue, and perfect swimming temperature, and you can sit in the ocean and look at the wonderful vegetation surrounding you.
Also, we got to eat a lot of pineapple this day..... it is DELICIOUS!!!!
Khao Lak Adventure
After our day in Phi Phi island, we went to Khao Lak National Park and did some adventuring. Our first stop was at a sea life conservation center. They had a ton of animals, but mostly turtles. They had all ages of turtles from 3 days to 30 years. Next stop was the waterfall. Unfortunately, it was pouring when we got to the waterfall. We got out of the van, got soaked, and got back in the car. After the waterfall, we went bamboo rafting. Bamboo rafting was way cool. The rafts are huge and you sit on the back of them while a rafter pushes you down the river using a giant stick. After bamboo rafting, we went to ride the elephants... AKA the moment we had been waiting for since we booked the trip. Elephants are amazing animals and it was so cool to have the experience to ride one. After our elephant ride, we watched a baby elephant perform. She played the harmonica, hula hooped, and danced. After her performance, I got a elephant massage.... and by elephant massage I mean a baby elephant slapped by butt with her trunk lol! After we left the elephants we went to monkey temple. There are tons of monkeys running around, and they try to steal your food. Of course, we had to try feeding them, so we bought a basket that had corn, bananas, and peanuts in it. When the monkeys grab food out of your hands, it is crazy how close their hands resemble ours. It was nice to see the monkeys roaming free and doing as they please. This was a really fun day, we got to see a lot and do a lot.
bABY TURTLE AT THE SEA LIFE CONSERVATION
tHIS IS US TRYING TO STAY DRY AT THE WATERFALL, BUT WE GOT DRENCHED ANYWAYS.
Riding the elephant. The trainer let us sit on the elephant instead of the seat! way cool!
GETTING AN ELEPHANT MASSAGE
Monkey mama and her baby
FOREST FEEDING THE MONKEY PEANUTS
The city tour was only a half day tour which was nice because we had time to do our own thing in the evening. This tour had a lot of beautiful view points, but it was raining so it was hard to see the city from the view point. During this tour we got to go to the cashew factory, Big Buddha, and a temple that blows up firecrackers after a prayer. The cashew factory was interesting, we had no idea that cashews come from a fruit, so it was cool to see the process. Big Buddha is a really amazing statue. The marble and height of Buddha is amazing. The temple we went to had a big ceramic vase that they put firecrackers in, every time someone would pray, boom firework!! The fireworks are crazy loud because the vase traps the sound in.
After the tour was over, the rain had finally stopped, so we went to the beach for a relaxing swim!
me standing next to big Buddha! this guy is huge!!!
viewpoint of the city
james bond island tour
Our James Bond Island tour included, of course James Bond Island, Canoeing through caves, and swimming.
James Bond island has a giant rock coming out of the middle of the ocean. James Bond: The man with the golden gun was filmed here, therefore this place was pretty touristy, but cool to see.
The canoeing was the best part of this tour. We went through caves and then came out in the middle of the caves where their were mango trees and water. I get a little claustrophobic, so going through the cave was a little nerve wrecking, but definitely worth it.
MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN
thE GUY THAT CANOED US AROUND CUT A HEART IN A LEAF AND TOOK THIS CUTE PICTURE.
LAST DAY :(
Our last day in Phuket was exactly what we needed. We were able to spend the entire day at beach. It was a great way to end our trip, we relaxed, and swam, and ate delicious food.
I never posted any pictures of food, so here they are!
The food is delicious and way cheap!!!
this was the best meal by far! cashew chicken
mango fruit shake. They crush up mango and ice in a blender! super healthy and delicious.
We got this drink in Bangkok at the skybar. It is called the "hangover" which is named after the drink they make in the hangover part 2. it was crazy expensive... $20!
thanks for reading!
Let me start by saying, if you can survive a self-guided bike tour in a foreign country together, you can get through anything life throws at you. When we started planning out our trip to Bangkok, we realized that our hotel was within walking distance to everything besides the main temples. Of course, seeing the Wat Pho and the Grand Palace was a must, so we looked for ways that we could get over there for little money. We came across a company that does bike rentals, tours, and self-guided tours. We considered going on a tour, but we weren't crazy about the idea of being on someone else's schedule, so we decided to do one of their self-guided tours. The self-guided tour was perfect, we could go at our own pace and it went everywhere we wanted to go. Keep in mind, Forest and I aren't bikers at all, so the 17 mile bike ride was not easy.
The first obstacle we ran into was finding the rental shop. It turns out, the shop is a small building in the center of a food market. The owner set up the GPS on Forest's bike, because I had learned that Forest is apparently amazing at navigating (you learn something new everyday), then we started out journey.
30 seconds after we left the rental shop, we realized that this bike ride was going to be pure chaos. For starters, in Thailand, they drive on what us Americans would call the "wrong side of the road". Trying to adjust your brain from right side to left side was extremely difficulty. When you turn right you have to wait for the light to turn green and yield to traffic, which seems odd because that's the protocol for a left turn in America. Also, there are no laws for bikes in Thailand, and they don't have many bike lanes. If there were bike lanes, they were filled with motor scooters and tuk tuks. The thing with Bangkok is the roads are completely insane, but somehow there are never any accidents. Drivers are extremely aware of themselves and the things around them, so the streets somehow flow with ease.
Of course, I was terrified for my life, there was scooters weaving in and out of traffic and we had no idea where we were going. All of the sudden, Forest makes a sharp turn down a small alley way. The alley way was extremely small and was packed with people and junk. As we continued on the path, we kept going through alley ways that helped us get a pretty good idea what life in Thailand is like. We rode our bikes straight through alley ways that have houses, children sleeping on blankets, and people cooking food in their houses. It was a great experience to see the culture and see what living outside of the city looks like.
Next, we went through markets. We started with a clothes and trinket market. This section of the tour was extremely difficult to get through. The markets were filled with shoppers, scooters, trucks, and hand carts, so trying to push our way through with bikes was tough. The next market we went to was a spice market. Thailand has so many different spices. It's crazy!! They have huge bags of spices everywhere. Right after the spice market was a fruit market. The fruit market was fun to see because there were big baskets of whole fruit and tons of sliced fruit. They always slice the fruit in really interesting ways. For example, the pineapple (which is amazing!!!) was always cut in a star shape. It was so fun to see all the food and markets and it was nice to be on a bike since it would have been a lot of walking otherwise.
After the markets, we finally made it to the temples! We had biked 7 miles in the heat and we were extremely hot and getting tired, so taking a break to see the temples was really nice. The temples in Thailand are absolutely beautiful! The architecture of the buildings is unreal and the Buddha statues are a sight to see. The best statue by far was the reclining Buddha located in Wat Pho. This statue is massive. From the front side you can hear what sounds like rain drops hitting a tin roof. When you go to the back side, there is a line of boxes meant for donations. The sound we were hearing was a constant flow of coins being dropped in the donation boxes. Outside of the buildings are beautiful waterfalls and scenery. It was really fun to see the temples, they are so different from any religious building I had ever been in, so it was quite the adventure. Also, you can't show your shoulders or your knees, but it was also 90 degrees, humid, and we were bike riding, so I had to put a jacket on when we went in the temples, which was horrible because it was so incredibly hot.
After the temples, the GPS was telling us to go around a park and then across the river. Now this is where the real adventure starts. The king of Thailand passed away in October of 2016, and the Thai people have a one year mourning period. The funeral happened to fall on the same day that we were doing our bike trip. As soon as we pulled out of the Grand Palace, we saw swarms of people wearing black. We assumed it was for the funeral, but didn't think it would cause too many problems. Obviously we were wrong, because every road was blocked off, there were hundreds of cars, and thousands of people. Things got crazy and Forest and I were getting frustrated. The temperature got hotter and we kept going in circles trying to get out of the barricades for the funeral. After about 20 extremely stressful minutes of trying, I started feeling really sick. I hadn't eaten much, it was really hot, and we had biked 8 miles. I didn't think I would make it and we couldn't find our way to the river so we ended up turning back and going home the same route that we came. As we started going, dark clouds came over the city and I was secretly praying it would rain. All of the sudden I felt a large drop of water hit my head, and finally it was raining. The rain cooled things down and helped me get through the bike ride. We were both absolutely drenched. When it rains, it rains really hard. After 15 minutes the rain stopped and we finished our bike ride.
The bike ride through Bangkok was a crazy adventure. I am glad that we found this tour because we got to see a lot of really cool parts of Bangkok, but I also wouldn't mind if I didn't go on a bike ride for a long time. 17 miles through Bangkok in the heat was a success.
P.S. we have GoPro videos from the bike ride, but I haven't put them all together. I'll post the video when I finish editing it!
thanks for reading!
When you step foot in a foreign country on the first day, you are overcome with excitement. As you start walking down the street you feel thankful that the long plane rides are over and you are finally here. The streets are crowded and you bump into someone, as usual you apologize for running into them and the person gives you a blank stare. Then you realize that they don't speak English and they have no idea what you just said. No one can give you directions, you are constantly converting Thai Bahts to Dollars to get a feel for how much you are spending, and absolutely everything is foreign.
Forest and I booked this trip in Novemeber, and by the time May came around, we were more than ready to go! We woke up and 3am and started our journey to Bangkok. After flying for what seemed like a lifetime, we finally made it. This trip was much anticipated, so the fact that we were actually in Thailand seemed unreal. We woke up and headed on our way to discover Bangkok. The first mission: convert our USA dollars to Thai Bahts. When we got to the bank to exchange our cash, they denied some of the money because it was either torn or had some sort of a marking on it. We exchanged what we could and went on to figure out how to use the BTS sky train. Before our trip we had done our research on the BTS sky train; the problem was the website wouldn't convert from Thai to English, so all we really knew is that it was cheap to use. Lucky for us, the train was not only really cheap, but it was easy to use and was our primary transportation method for our entire Bangkok trip. This saved us a lot of money that would have gone to taxi drivers.
Our plan for day 1 was to go to Lumphini Park. We had heard that the park was crawling with giant lizards and figured we should check it out. We got to the park and we were approached by a Thai man who spoke English. It was a pleasant surprise because this is the first Thai person we were able to converse with. He talked with us for quite sometime, telling us about the king and his funeral that was being held while we were there, he told us he was a fan of the Utah Jazz, and then he pulled out a badge that said Thai Police. He told us that the park we were about to enter was not a good place to be because of the drug abusers and homeless, he told us that it was fashion week in Thailand and asked if we were interested in going to the shopping center. We said sure and he talked to a tuk-tuk driver who gave us a great deal. When we pulled up to the shooing center, we knew this was a scam. He brought us to a custom suit tailor company. A man approached us sat us down, handed us cans of beer and asked what kind of suit we wanted. Since Forest and I are getting married, he needs a suit, so while we were here we decided to test the water. The man told us originally that a custom fit suit would cost $350. Of course, Forest and I said no and he kept lowering his price until we were happy. It may have been a scam to get us there, but Forest walked away with a custom fit suit jacket, pants, shirt, and tie, that we got for a great deal!
After being measured for the suit, we went back to the park. As expected, there were tons of giant lizards! (See picture below) The lizards are roaming wild and have blue tongues that split into two at the end.... crazy!
After the park we roamed around for a bit. It was insanely hot and humid and we were both exhausted and sweaty, so we stopped for lunch in an air conditioned restaurant.
Night time came and we wanted to take the boat to see Wat Arun (A.K.A the temple of dawn). The boat signs were all in Thai and the ones that weren't were crazy expensive, so we hopped on a boat that we thought was going down the river, turns out, we were on a free boat, heading to Asiatique. Since we weren't in a tight schedule, we stayed at Asiatique. They had food, shops, live music, and a Ferris wheel. Although it wasn't planned, it ended up being a fun night.
The first day in Bangkok was not what we expected, it was a crazy adventure, but was extremely rewarding to see the culture, architecture, and lifestyle of those in Thailand.
Thanks for reading! Bangkok bike ride post coming soon!
I am sure you are all asking what in the world is a mitt wife. Well this is the post that will tell all!
Forest and I have been dating for a long time, and we never really liked calling each other the typical pet names like "babe" or "Sweetie" so we started calling each other "homie" which evolved into "home". For a year or two we called each other "home" and one day, Forest randomly said to me, "you fit in this spot like a that mitt car from the commercial!" I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about so he pulled up the commercial for the Kia Sorento (www.ispot.tv/ad/7wMM/2014-kia-sorento-parking-spot-like-a-glove-song-by-bobby-day). Now the commercial actually says that it fits like a glove, but Forest had been calling it the "mitt car". From that day on, he started calling me Mitt and our whole lives became "The Mitt Lives".
It seems silly, but I love calling Forest my Mitt, I think it is unique and fun and no one else goes around calling their significant other Mitt.
As for the wife part..... As I am sure you all assumed, Forest and I are getting married!!! After almost 4 years of dating I am sooo ready to marry him. As I explained above, our pet name for each other is Mitt, so it makes sense that I would be called "the mitt wife", but wait.... there's more.
Here's the story.....
I knew that the time was coming, Forest would soon be proposing to me and I was anxiously awaiting that moment. I was getting my nails done, wearing above average outfits, trying to look better in general, to make sure that I looked good when he proposed to me. Forest's mom had invited my family and my grandparents over for dinner on April 23rd, and I assumed that it was going to be an engagement party, but Forest and his family assured me that it was a celebration for my birthday (which was in March), because our families couldn't find a time to meet before then. Forest and I are heading to Thailand the first week of May, and as the weeks went on, I started thinking that Forest was waiting until after our trip to propose to me and that I had totally read this family dinner wrong. Maybe it actually is for my birthday, I thought. On Sunday, April 23rd, I woke up and had no intentions of getting engaged. I showered, put a little makeup on, brushed my hair, put an average outfit on, and walked out the door. When I got to Forest's house, things seemed extremely normal. Around 2:30pm Forest's oldest brother, Kohl, said he had to run to the University to grab something for an art project (keep in mind, this is not an uncommon occurrence). When he left he took his Fiancee, Paige and his youngest brother, Kirk with him and said they were going to stop and get coffee. Of course, this seemed normal so I didn't think anything of it.
Forest and I started putting the final touches on our Thailand trip and were writing important information down, when his mom started yelling for Kohl. Of course, Kohl wasn't home. Stacee (Forest's mom) is an actor so she played this whole thing off like it was no big deal. When we informed her that Kohl wasn't here, she told us that she was so so sorry to do this because she knew we were busy, but she had food on the stove that she couldn't leave and this lady from KSL is selling her light fixtures and she said she will meet someone at the Salt Lake County Building across from the SLC library on her way back to Logan. We said we would be willing to go get them and went on our way. We were almost downtown when Stacee texted us and told us the KSL lady was running late and she might be 15-20 minutes. Frustrated because my parents were meeting at the Riekhof household at 5pm, I wanted to go wait in the parking lot at the county building. Forest insisted that we check out the library with our spare time. I kept disagreeing with him, telling him that I didn't want to carry light fixtures across the street, but he really wanted to go and assured me that the light fixtures were very small and easy to carry. So, much to my dismay, we head to the library and Forest starts reminiscing about Senior prom because it was held at the SLC library. After getting distracted by a used book sale on the first floor, I was hesitant to go up to the roof like Forest wanted, because I didn't think we would have enough time. (I obviously had no clue what was going on). We get into the glass elevators and ride all the way to the roof. Forest starts grabbing my left hand and pulling me to his right side (because he didn't want me to see the giant ring box in his pocket) and we start walking up the roof. Still unsure of what was going on, We make it to the top and I see rose petals (P.S. my heart is beating a million miles a second as I write this because it makes me so happy). When I saw the rose petals, I thought to myself that the roof of the SLC library was a romantic place to propose, then we continued walking and there were 3 candles (none of them lit) and I thought how weird that someone would leave that set up, that's when I realized that the wind had blown out the candles and that Forest was proposing to me. Of course, I started shaking and smiling because this was so perfect. Forest got down on one knee and said, "will you be my Mitt Wife for the rest of my Mitt Life??" In that moment the Mitt Wife was born. I was jumping for joy I was so happy, not to mention the fact that the ring he picked out was PERFECT!!! Forest thought out every ounce of this proposal. He even came up with his own little saying. All I can say is that I can't wait to be a Mitt Wife for the rest of my Mitt Life!!
We then got back to Forest's house and spent the night being celebrated by our families. April 23rd was the best day of my life!!! Now off to Thailand with my Fiance!