Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend Getaway

This past weekend Jordan and I went on a little getaway just the two of us. It was our first vacation-like trip since our honeymoon two years ago! We have been so busy with life, work, school, and not to mention moving across country last year, that it's been difficult to get away just the two of us, even for a weekend. Granted, I have been on several trips with girlfriends to California, and home to Iowa for a wedding - all without Jordan! It was SO nice to take this trip up north in Arizona. It was also in celebration of Jordan passing both board exams and our anniversary last month.

We stayed in a small mountain town called Pine in a cabin at Pine Creek Cabins. I highly recommend these cabins! When you call or e-mail to make reservations, the owners are very nice and might even cut a deal, like they did for us. We stayed in the cabin called Juniper. It had a kitchen, living room, fireplace, queen bedroom with a jacuzzi! It was a lot nicer than I expected. We even had a back porch with chairs and a picnic table and grill. We arrived Friday evening around 7:30pm and went to one of their local restaurants called "THAT Brewery." I had a strawberry blonde beer and a spicy black bean burger. Jordan had the beer sampler and the fish special. I would definitely recommend this restaurant, but maybe not the other we ate at up the road in Strawberry on Saturday evening. Both restaurants had a very "small town" feel that was very relaxed and not too fancy!

Saturday morning we got up VERY early - 5am and headed 30 miles up the road to a gravel/dirt road that would take us another 15 miles (hour) to the Fossil Springs trails. Unfortunately, the shorter route, just a mere 3 miles from where we were staying has been closed since 2012. The reason we got up so early is because they close the road to Fossil Springs around 7/8am once 100 cars have past through.  It made for a long drive and somewhat of a long day, but we really enjoyed our time at the springs. There were multiple trails and creek access areas with very clear water and waterfalls to swim in. We even jumped off a cliff into one of the creek areas. Don't worry, it was one of the shorter jumps, compared to what other people were doing! We got back to our cabin around 3pm, got ice-cream, sat on the back porch, took a nap, and went to supper. We were so exhausted from the day that we were in bed by 9pm!

Sunday morning we enjoyed coffee and bagels and listened to an audio sermon on our church's website. It was nice to still listen to our pastor while out of town. His sermon's are amazing, and can be found online here: Afterwards, we packed up and left town. I had heard about a place called Tonto Natural Bridge that was only a few miles down the road and on our way home. It turned out to be one of the most amazing sights we had ever seen! It's believed to the world's largest natural travertine bridge - pictures do not do it justice. We hiked under the bridge and along the creek there for a few hours and took lots of pictures as always! It was a great unplanned surprise to the last day of our trip. On the way home we stopped for lunch in Payson and then saw the movie "The Giver" at the theater there. It was nice to save a few bucks by seeing a movie in a small town, rather than Tempe. It was a great movie - very thought provoking.

Even though it was just a weekend trip, we had a wonderful time and felt like we did a lot, saw a lot, and ate a lot! Jordan is a great vacation buddy, and I look forward to many more trips with him.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Greatest Gift

It certainly has been awhile since I've written anything. I feel wishy-washy about blogging. At times I think it's great to share my life with friends and family, yet I worry that people might not really care to read what I have to say. How's that for honesty?

However, I would really like to share something my husband did that warms my heart and makes me proud. In my last post, I mentioned my friend from work, Nastassia, who we have been bringing to church with us the past couple of months - well, recently on the way home from church we were talking with her about the Bible and what the word "gospel" means. We found out that she does not own a Bible and told her we would get her one. A couple weekends ago I was in Iowa for a friend's wedding. I was gone for five days and tried to call Jordan once each day. During one of our conversations I found out that Jordan went to Barnes and Noble and picked out a Bible for Nastassia. I was so surprised that he went and did that on his own! I had assumed the two of us would go pick one out together, or I would go look by myself sometime. I guess I really shouldn't have been so surprised. Jordan has always been so thoughtful and caring. The Bible he picked out for Nastassia is the English Standard Version, the version that our pastor/church uses. It's a really beautiful bible. I brought it to work last week and gave it to Nastassia. She was so shocked and kept saying, "wow! wow!" She thought we were just going to find her a used or donated bible, not get her a brand new one to be her very own. We really hope she keeps asking questions and that God would give us the words to draw her to a relationship with Christ. It is really neat to see God work in the lives around me, as well as my own life.

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." Proverbs 3:3