The Livingstons

The Livingstons

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Camping Trip With The Livingston's!

About a week ago, Greg and I went on a really fun camping trip with his family (except Jocelyn and Chris- they are still in Florida unfortunately). It was so much fun! We went up to the Uinta's and camped at Mirror Lake. It was a short trip, so we just stayed the night one night and then got up the next morning and hiked to another beautiful lake. I LOVE camping. It's one of my favorite things to do. We fished a lot, ate s'mores and a delicious pork dinner mixed with onions and yams in a dutch oven, and just had a great time being with each other.

The night we were at Mirror Lake, Greg caught a fish for us to eat. Lauren wanted to eat one of the eyeballs (according to her bucket list). She actually did it. It was disgusting. But I was pretty impressed that she really did it! I think she just about gagged. Later on, Greg and I were laughing a ton as we went to bed. Well, actually, I was laughing a ton. I pretty much was hogging the entire tent and Greg was smooshed up against the side. It was so funny. Probably not that funny to everyone else because I was being pretty loud while everyone was trying to sleep. But it was so funny to me!

Here's just a part of Mirror Lake, where we camped. It was beautiful. And mosquito infested. But it was still great!

What a stud. That's my husband right there.

Here's some of us getting ready for our hike in the morning up to Wall Lake.

And here is the gorgeous Wall Lake! To the left, there were some pretty sweet rocks to jump off into the lake, but the lake was FREEZING, so we didn't end up doing it.

Cute Sammy. He loves to fish!

The girls (Alisa went right up to the lake and started fishing as soon as we got there).

Once again, my handsome hubby.

Shaun and his new girlfriend Susie. She's really cool and super nice. It was fun to have her come along on the trip.

So, here is a picture of one of the ten fish Greg caught that day. I was so jealous and really frustrated. I ended up catching one fish. Greg's just a natural I guess. It was fun though, even if it was super frustrating. Greg and I walked down this creek and fished all along it. It was beautiful.

My fish was micro, but Greg's was decent. At first it was hard for me to pick up the fish because I was a little bit grossed out (as shown in this picture) but I eventually got over it and gutted it a few minutes later with Greg's help.

Notice the fish are kissing in this picture. How romantic.

We had a ton of fun! I'm really glad we got to go on this little quick trip with Greg's family. It was kind of a spur of the moment trip, but it was definitely worth it!

Alisa is a HIGH SCHOOL Graduate!

So, a couple of weeks ago, we had the privilege of attending Alisa's high school graduation, hence the name of this blog post. It was so exciting for her to finally be done with those dang high school years and move onto a new chapter of her life. She will be attending BYU Idaho in the Winter, which is awesome because that's where Greg and I met! I know she is going to love it up there.

At every single graduation I go to (which really hasn't been THAT many), I always take way too many pictures during the actual graduation itself, and not enough afterwards with like family and friends. This graduation was no different. And unfortunately, my camera died right after the graduation and before I could even think to start taking pictures of Alisa and the family. But, good news is I know Lance took a lot of pictures, so it's all good. Here are some of the pictures I did end up taking.

You know how at high school graduations it's a mad dash to see who can get the best seat on the uncomfortable bleachers so you can sit there for 2 hours in the blazing sun? Well, Greg, Shaun, Lauren, and I didn't get in on that race. Instead, we got there a little bit late and ended up sitting on the grass next to the bleachers, comfortably shaded by a huge tree. I'd say we were the lucky ones.

I just love Park City High School's colors. I think it looked really good as the grads walked out onto the field.

They read out the graduates' names and they stood in this long line to get their picture taken. Alisa's in the middle of this picture (if it wasn't obvious enough).

I thought this was a cool picture I took, even though it's not the best quality. And Alisa's hair is kind of on her face (sorry to point that out). But other than that, it's pretty sweet, with the PC in the corner and all.

 There's everyone who decided to sit on the hard bleachers the entire time. I'm sure their butts were not too happy after sitting there for a while.

She's so cute! And so excited to finally be done with high school!

This was super cool when all the grads threw their hats up. I don't think we did that at my graduation. I wish we would've because it looks awesome!


And this is where my camera died.

Anyways, it was a lot of fun celebrating Alisa's big day with her. I'm so proud of her and the hard work she has put in to finishing her high school years and getting that diploma! Congrats Lisa!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Truly an Inspiration!

Today, my Marriage and Family teacher, Brother Brooks, told our class an amazing story of doing the right thing while going through hardships. It has truly inspired me, and I want to share it.

Brother Brooks told us about a time on his mission, where he got a new companion. The first day he was with him, my teacher woke up to find his shoes were already shined (something my teacher did himself, and quite often). In addition, he smelled a warm breakfast waiting for him. Brother Brooks said he had never had a warm breakfast in his entire mission, and that he immediately thought very highly of his companion. They were together for 2 months, and every single day, his companion would have shined his shoes for him before he woke up and already have a warm breakfast made for my teacher to come to. Naturally, my teacher thought, "Wow! This companion must have come from such a great family with high values! I thought I knew all the General Authority, but I must've missed one, because this guy's dad must be a General Authority!"

During their time together, however, Brother Brooks learned a lot about this young man who was his companion. The young man was an only child, and the only member of the church in his family. His father was very well off, and had much money. When the young man was 17 years old, he had a couple of friends who were LDS who went to early morning seminary every morning. The young man was so intrigued about why they did this, and wanted to find out what was really going on, so he went with his friends to seminary for a couple of months, and found out the Church was true.

When he went to his father and mother to tell them that he had received a testimony that the Church was true, his father said, "Well, son, we have raised you to be able to make your own decisions and choose the path you wish to follow during your life. We will allow you to get baptized, but just know that we do not support this decision, and we do not agree with you that you have found the true church. Also know this, that if you get baptized, I will take you off of my will." (In his father's will, the young man was to receive a very huge amount of money). The young man said, "Well, dad, I hope that you will see differently and that you won't do that, but I still want to be baptized." So, the boy got baptized, and the very next day, his father took him off of his will.

A couple of years later, the young man turned 19 and was taught that every young man was to serve a mission for the Church. The young man went to his father and mother to tell them that he wanted to go on a mission. The father asked, "Well, what is a mission?" The young man told him that the Church wanted every young man to go on a missions to preach the Gospel and bring others to Christ. The father asked, "Well, what do you receive for going on this mission?" The young man replied, "We don't get any money out of this. In fact, we have to give up all we have and pay for our own missions." The father started to laugh a little bit, and said, "Well, where do you get to go?" The young man said, "We don't get to choose. The President of the Church prays about where we should go, and then tells us where the Lord needs us to go." By this moment, the father was so surprised and laughed as he said, "So, you are so stupid enough to give up your money, your time, your girlfriend, your job, and your family to go on a mission where you have to pay with everything you have to go and you don't get to choose where you get to go?" The young man said he wanted to go. The father then said, "Well, son, we have raised you to make your own decisions, whether we agree with them or not, so you can go. But know this, you will not receive a penny from us. And also, don't come home."

The young man still decided to go on his mission. Before he left, he received a blessing from the bishop of his ward that included these words: "As long as you serve during your mission full-heartedly, with every ounce that you have, every single day, your mission will be the influence on your family for them to join the Church." This young man believed in this blessing with his entire heart, and went out into the mission field, not knowing when or how his parents would come to realize what he already knew about the Gospel.

My teacher explained that after hearing this story, it made complete sense as to why this young missionary was so willing to serve, every single day. He had a light about him, and believed in the power of God. He knew that God would bless his life some time in the future, if not immediately. He sent a letter every single week to his parents, expressing how much love he felt for them and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His letters went unanswered for the entirety of his mission.

As his mission came to an end, the young man contacted his bishop from his home ward and explained the circumstances of how he could not return home and that he didn't have any money or any job to come home to. The bishop told him that he would gladly take this missionary into his home until he got on his feet. The bishop told him that he would meet him at the airport to pick him up when he returned home.

The young missionary finally went home and got off the plane to go meet the bishop. But the bishop was no where to be found. He went and found a seat in the airport and told himself that the bishop just must be running late and that he would be there. He didn't have a single cent to make any calls or get anything to eat, so he just waited for a while.

Finally, as the young missionary was growing worried, he saw two people walking towards him out of the corner of his eye. It was his father and mother. He felt his heart sink; he felt miserable. He was so appalled that after all of the letters and prayers and everything that had happened, his parents had shown up to the airport just to tell him how much they despised him, and that he really was not welcome home.

The father reached this young missionary, opened his arms, and immediately embraced his son in a warm hug and said, "Son, I am so proud of the mission that you have served. Welcome home. About six months ago, your mother and I started taking the missionary discussions; we were so inspired from your letters. We have decided that we want to be baptized, and we were wondering if on the way home, we could stop by the church and have you baptize us. The bishop is already over there, filling up the font, and there are others from the ward there waiting to celebrate with us." The young missionary said, with tears in his eyes, "Yeah, I think I can do that."

What an amazing story! It brings tears to my eyes because I know that this young man had so much faith in the Lord, and that He would provide and bless his family. I truly know that as we follow God's counsel and do everything that he asks of us, even submitting our will to His, we will be eternally blessed and happier than we could every imagine. It may be tough sometimes to do the things that He asks us to do, but I know that if we desire to please God more than men, we will have the greatest pleasures in life.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

We Went Hiking

Yesterday, Greg and I decided to go on a hike up in the Uinta's, kind of in between Heber City and Mt. Timpanogos. It was beautiful! In total, we probably hiked about 5 miles, round trip. We hiked up to a gorgeous ridge and up to the summit of the mountain. It overlooked Heber Valley and gave such an incredible view of Mt. Timp and the gorgeous other mountains nearby. It was a tough hike though! The last part (the hike to the summit) was pretty vertical, and it took a lot of effort. But it was totally worth it! Here are some pictures!

We were ready for our hike!

The beautiful view of Mount Timpanogos

On our way up, we encountered a HUGE rockslide! It was nuts!

Walking through the Aspens

There were TONS of trees. It was amazing.

We finally made it up to the ridge (before our ascent up to the summit) and this was our view of Heber Valley!

Oddly enough, even though the weather has been SO HOT here in the Provo area lately, we found a little patch of snow (notice the snowball Greg is throwing in this picture).

Now it was time to start the vertical hike up to the top of the peak. 

I was DYING.

We eventually made it up to a huge rock pile (not the top peak yet, but close!)

All over that huge rock pile were THOUSANDS of ladybugs! It was a ladybug colony. It was pretty disgusting if you ask me. Greg kept saying, "Look how cute they are!" and I kept replying, "Yeah, if you get one ladybug on you, it's cute, but if there are hundreds swarming you, I don't think so." Needless to say, it was nasty, but Greg wanted to get a bunch of "cool" pictures of them.

This picture is deceiving; this wasn't the top yet. I wished it was, but unfortunately, no.

THIS is the top! We made it! It sure was tough, but we totally made it! Next to these rocks, we found a container that had a pad of paper and a pen with a bunch of names of people who had made it up there in the past. We added our names, of course! It was an accomplishment.

Coming back down was pretty scary. We found an avalanche shoot that just gave me the creeps (I am deathly afraid of heights). We actually hiked down to the right of what this picture is showing.

On our way down, we saw some really pretty flowers.

This was the trail. I'm telling you, it was like straight up one way, and straight down going back to the car THE ENTIRE TIME.

As we were walking down, I slipped on a rock and landed straight on my hip (I have a pretty big bruise there now) and as I tried to break my fall, my arm landed on the ground and slid right into a Stinging Nettle. It was not a pleasant experience, and my arm was covered with blisters. It went away later that night, but still, it did not feel good!

Greg and I had such a great time on our hike! It was tough, but completely worth it. We are so glad to live in an area that allows us to see and do such beautiful things!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Birthday Boy!

On Wednesday, we got the pleasure of celebrating Greg's 23rd birthday. It was so much fun! I really wanted his day to be special for him. But, let's rewind first. Last Saturday, Greg's family came down to Provo to take Greg (and me) out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse (which is one of the best restaurants out there, let me just say). We spent some time with them afterward at our apartment as well. It was really nice to be with them, and I know Greg really appreciated it.

Then, on Tuesday night, I prepped for the next morning: I made the dough for homemade cinnamon rolls and spent a while trying to prepare for his birthday. On Wednesday morning, I got up a little earlier than Greg and cooked the cinnamon rolls, made the frosting, blew up some balloons, and hung up a "Happy Birthday" sign. 
They may not look as good as they tasted. They were soooo yummy!

I got quite a few presents for Greg; they weren't necessarily the most expensive things I could find, but I wanted him to be able to open a lot of different things, not just one thing.

Earlier in the week, I let him open one of the gifts, which was the game "Taboo." On the morning of his birthday, I let him open another one (he kind of requested that he wanted to open most of his presents after dinner). I had previously gone to D.I. and gotten some video cassettes: Forrest Gump, Lord of the Rings #1, and True Grit (with John Wayne). They were super cheap, and I figured we could go get a really cheap video cassette player at D.I. as well. Who cares if it's a DVD right?
After we had breakfast, we both had class and didn't get home until about 3:15 pm. As soon as we got home, I started making dinner. I made Spinach-Chicken Stromboli, which has tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, spinach, chicken, and italian seasoning all inside some dough/bread and you dip it in pizza sauce. It is one of our favorites. We also drank some sparkling cider, and had dinner by candlelight (and partially the light from the sun).
 After dinner, we were soooo stuffed! We decided it was time for presents, and that we would wait on dessert. During present-opening time, I took so many pictures, and Greg was getting slightly annoyed (all in good fun), but I didn't really care. I wanted to have pictures to look at when we get older, and also that we can show our kids. I really value taking pictures; I think it is very important and jogs our memories when we see them.

Greg got some money from his grandparents and parents. He was thrilled. It was very thoughtful of all of them to send him something on his birthday. Then he opened all of the presents from me. He got a couple more board games, "Scattergories" and "Rummikub," a new teal plain shirt, a plaid teal and cream colored dress shirt, and some new cream-colored Vans. It was so fun watching him open all of those gifts!

By the end, he was done taking pictures.

But fear not! I took even more after the presents were opened! I had made Greg a cake- chocolate with cream cheese frosting. So, I lit the candles and brought out the cake while singing "Happy Birthday" to him. He made his wish, and we enjoyed our slices of delicious cake!
After we finished eating, we decided to finish our 1000 piece puzzle that we had been working on for about a week. It was very tough, let me just tell you. But here is our finished product!
I really loved being able to celebrate my sweetheart's birthday on Wednesday. He deserves the best. I love my husband so much! Happy 23rd Birthday, best friend!