Thursday, February 20, 2014

Highlights of 2013

It's once again time for our annual "highlights" blog. Our main highlight, our trip to Hawaii, is covered in a separate blog, so this will briefly cover everything else. I think it is obvious from our pictures that Jeff had a very, very good year in 2013.

In January, Jeff and his friend Kevin went on a trip to the Rose Bowl football game in California.  On the way, they stopped in Las Vegas.  Jeff was extremely excited because he got to see a concert by one of his favorite bands, The Killers.

Jeff and Kevin did a lot of fun things in California.  They went to a USC basketball game, and even hit up Disneyland.  Unfortunately, Disneyland was extremely crowded, but it was all decorated for the holidays so that was fun.

And of course, they went to the football game.  The Rose Bowl teams were Wisconsin and Stanford, and Jeff became a Stanford fan for the day.
In March, Jeff and I took a weekend trip to Sun Valley.  I hadn't skied there since I was in high school, so I was really looking forward to skiing at the world-class resort.  Jeff and I stayed in the Sun Valley Lodge, which is where a lot of celebrities have stayed.  Jeff and I joked the whole time, asking where our "butler" was.

Unfortunately, the snow was not very good at Sun Valley that day.  There were a few good runs, but not too many.  I still had fun though, and tired my legs out by the end of the day.  After skiing I relaxed on the deck of the lodge and enjoyed a snack in the sun.  It was a good day.
In June, Jeff went on a business trip to San Antonio, Texas.  I had never been there, and when we researched San Antonio and found out how many fun things there were to do there, we decided to make a vacation out of it.  It was hot and humid, which was hard for me but didn't bother Jeff at all. 

We of course had to visit the Alamo.  I watched a movie on the story of the Alamo before going, which made it so much more interesting.
We also went to Sea World - did you know there is one in Texas? 
We went to a world-famous waterpark called Schlitterbahn.  The waterpark was absolutely fantastic - very big with long, fun rides.  Unfortunately, we made the mistake of going there on a Saturday, and the lines were ridiculous.  We were there all day and only got to go on 5 rides.
We also went on a tour of an amazing cavern system near San Antonio.  This was actually our favorite thing we did on the trip.  After walking around in the cavern system and admiring all the formations, we even tried our hand at panning for gems.
In July, my sister had her baby boy, Grant Thatcher.  I now have a niece and a nephew! I love being an aunt.  I don't have any good pictures of Grant from when he was first born, so below is a picture that was taken in December.  He is so cute!
Also in July, I had a big change in my life.  After doing public accounting for 9 years, and being with my last company for 7 years, I took a job in the tax department of URS Corporation.  It's a big change for me, but so far I am so happy with it.  I enjoy my work a lot more, and the work/life balance will be so much better.

In August, Jeff and his two hiking buddies (Steve and Scott from his work), hiked Kings Peak in Utah.  Kings Peak is the highest point in Utah, so Jeff was excited to be able to mark it off his list.  It was a long hike, about 30 miles.

Jeff did a lot of hiking in 2013.  He put in a ton of miles!  Below are highlights of some of his hiking trips.

The following pictures are from the Baron's Lake hike, once again done with Steve and Scott.

The pictures below are from the Coffee Cup hike, which is outside of McCall.  I was actually with Jeff for this one - and the scenery was beautiful.

One of Jeff's all-time favorite hikes was one he did with Steve and Scott in Oregon, called Eagle Creek.  The hiking was fairly easy, and the scenery was gorgeous.  They encountered multiple waterfalls along the way.

Jeff also hiked a loop in a mountain range in Idaho called the Seven Devils.  It was a more strenuous hike because there were lots of fallen trees to make your way around.

Another activity Jeff got very involved in during 2013 was fishing.  He was a late bloomer this year, as he really didn't get into it until Labor Day weekend.  But once he got started and discovered how fun the fishing was at the Payette River in Cascade, he was addicted.  He went to Cascade as often as he could during the fall, and fished, and fished, and fished...

He caught a lot of big fish.  He even got two of his fish mounted by a taxidermist.

My niece Holland "caught" a perch on Labor Day weekend (my dad caught it and then let Holland reel it in).  She was very excited.

Jeff's mom came to visit in September.  We took her to a Boise State football game, and then to Cascade for the rest of the weekend.  She also likes fishing so that was fun for Jeff.
In December, Jeff and I had another Christmas party.  It's hard for me to tell as the host, but I think everyone had fun.  I made some yummy food and we played a party game called "Wits and Wagers".  But of course most of the party was focused on getting quality time chatting with good friends.

And finally, I am so glad to live near my family.  It is great to be able to spend time with them.  In May or June, Jeff and I went to Holland's first-ever ballet recital.
I had a mother-daughter weekend in Cascade, which was great.  I am so lucky to have such a fun mom, who I consider one of my best friends.  I have just as much fun, if not more, doing things with her as I do with any of my girl-friends.  The picture below is us doing the Goose Creek Falls hike near McCall.
During Labor Day weekend, my parents, my sister, and my sister's kids came to Cascade.  There was lots of fishing (of course).  We also had a fun dinner at the park model.  Jeff, my dad and I went on Goose Creek Falls hike.
During Christmastime, my mom and I decided to have a baking day.  My sister and her kids stopped by.

Of course, there were many other fun times with my family, I just don't have the time or room to talk about them all. :)

Thanks for the memories, 2013!