Sunday, October 2, 2011

Life Lately

Well, we're back full-force into the school year - well, Nick is at least :) I have to admit, I haven't missed homework one bit so far. This is a super random posts with jumbled pictures we've taken between our camera and phones... sorry in advance for the iPhone pics. 

Between both of our jobs and Nick's night classes, we usually just count on seeing each other on the weekends. Nick is a trooper though -- I don't now how he lives on so little sleep! 
But the good news is that Nick absolutely loves work. Every day I get to hear crazy stories about mouth surgeries  -- these aren't just cavities and root canals I'm talking about, either. The dentist he works for does a lot of cosmetic dentistry and mouth restorations, so Nick is getting a lot of hands-on experience with really intense surgeries. We're so grateful he has this job because  he gets to learn so much before he actually goes to dental school.
We also love the dentists he works for and their office staff -- such great people. They had a 10-year anniversary luau party for their practice at the beginning of the month:
And speaking of jobs... I got a new one! I've been working at Epic Marketing, a full-service marketing agency in Draper for about three weeks now. I'm working as an Internet marketing specialist/account coordinator and I really love it so far. My work also had a bbq/get together a couple weeks ago and it was fun to meet the families with everyone I work with at the office. It was the day of the BYU v. U of U game, so we had a little office rivalry going on, as you can see from everyone's outfits. 
And on a side note, I got this very expensive piece of paper in the mail a few weeks ago -- so I guess that means I'm really an official graduate now! 
A few other random events:

Nick's good friend growing up was in SLC with his engineering firm working for the Dew Tour. He was actually the one in charge of designing/building the motocross track and was able to get us VIP passes to one of the motocross events. I had never seen motocross live and it was actually pretty amazing. Scottie and Aaron tagged along with us and loved that we got passes to the VIP booth for the event. 
The other cool part about the VIP booth is that we were chatting with Pink (the singer) and didn't really even realize it at first -- I guess her husband was on of the motocross racers. Nick snapped this pic of her after we realized who it was. Haha.
It was really fun to meet Eric for the first time -- I always hear childhood stories from Nick about all of his good friends growing up. We're excited that he'll be back this winter for the Dew Winter Tour!

We also went up to Idaho Falls for our nephew's baptism. We hadn't seen these little guys since our wedding so we were excited to get a chance to see them -- they've grown up so much over the past couple years! And this was the first picture Nick's mom has had with "her boys" in quite a while, too.

Last weekend I got to go to the General Relief Society meeting with some good friends in my ward. It was my first time every going to the RS Broadcast and it was so great -- I especially loved President Uchtdorf's talk. It was such a perfect day outside, too. 
The weather this weekend was also incredible, so in between Saturday conference sessions we drove the Alpine Loop, which is one of our favorite things about fall. The leaves were incredible -- pictures never do them justice! 

I wish this season would stay around a little longer each year!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Family Reunion in Kona

Yep, the Gerszewski family is finally at the stage where we require family reunions to get us altogether in one place. With Marissa and Dan across the country for medical school, we don't get to see them near enough as we'd like to. In fact, our entire family hadn't been together since my wedding back in 2009! We were so excited to find out that there was a week this summer where all of our schedules aligned and we could plan a family trip. And, of course, we were even more excited when we convinced my dad that Kona would be the perfect place for it. 
My dad and brother are involved with a partnership in two Kona vacation homes about five minutes from downtown. We could actually even see the temple steeple from the backyard! It was so fun for all of us to be in the same house for the week, and not all in separate hotel rooms. 
The house we stayed in had amazing views and we got to enjoy the sunset every night at the dinner table. Having the pool right outside was great too! 

It was our first time to the big island -- it is so different than the typical "tropical" Hawaiian islands we're more familiar with, but it was beautiful nonetheless. What's crazy is that you literally can see almost every climate just by driving around the island. If it were a different time of year, we probably would have seen snow at the top of the mountains, but we did get quite the climate tour. 
There's everything from miles and miles of lava fields, to barren desert land (it seriously looked like the middle of Wyoming!) -- and an hour drive later we saw beautiful tropical beaches and seaside cliffs. It was pretty incredible. 
We loved seeing the waterfalls, too. The fist one we visited, Akaka Falls, was probably one of the tallest I've seen... and so loud, too! This picture probably only captures about half of it - I think it was about 400 feet tall.
And during our second stop at Rainbow Falls, three crazy boys, along with dad, decided to take the trail to the  top. The falls looked so much bigger with them standing at the top! Crazy boys.
On our tour of the island we also stopped at the Volcano National Park. Luckily we  got there right at dusk so we could still see some of the crater -- I'm surprised this picture even turned out with how dark it was. Oh, and it was freezing, too! Hence the family huddle. 
We also got to walk through a lava tube, which was really fascinating.  We didn't really get to see any volcanoes in action, but I guess that will give us a reason to come back eventually :)
We also stopped at what is called the Place of Refuge to see some old Hawaiian temples and ruins. We learned that the island natives used to have a really specific class system with strict rules about mixing with royalty, priests, men and women, etc - and breaking these rules usually resulted in death. However, if people could make it to the Place of Refuge, they were cleared of their so-called crime. Pretty interesting. 
And while we were there, we came across these two gems. I mean, have you EVER  seen anything like them? We probably stood there laughing for a good ten minutes.  I now get that they're made to be lava rock/ beach-friendly, but wow. These things look like they belong on the moon. Haha.
And now to one of my favorite parts of the trip -- snorkeling with manta rays! Ironically Nick and I had seen something about this on the travel channel several months ago and were so fascinated by it. Apparently Kona is the only place in the world where you're able to these creatures -- mostly because they've been conditioned to show up to the dive site almost every night. For 20 or so years, people have been putting lights in the water near the coast where there is a high concentration on plankton, which is what they feed on. So now that manta rays know that when they see light, they'll get to eat. It's not 100% guaranteed that they'll show up on any specific dive, but they claim to have about an 85% success rate, which is pretty incredible.
We got to wear these (not so) awesome looking wet suits because the dive happens after the sun goes down and it gets prett chilly. It's a pretty popular attraction, so there were a lot of boats with a lot of people out there. Luckily, my little brother had his waterproof video camera with him, otherwise it would be way too confusing to explain. 
About half of the people there were actually scuba diving about 40 ft to the bottom of the ocean floor, and each one of them had a really bright light, which you can see in the video. All of the snorkelers were at the surface looking down at the divers, and the Manta rays and other fish were swimming in between. I felt like I was in an acquarium! About 30 seconds into the clip you can see a manta ray in the lefthand corner swimming in circles -- which is actually how they always swim when they're eating. We got to be out in the water for about 45 minutes and we all loved it! It was definitely a check off my bucket list.

Can't forget about the beach! This is what we spend most of our time doing. The water was incredible and there was some awesome snorkeling right by the beach.
Of course, the boys had to keep themselves busy by building sand creations. Giant pyramids have kind of become our beach tradition thanks to Aaron and his crafty skills. 
And of course, we had a blast with these little munchkins. They grow up so fast when we only get to see them twice a year!
The hardest part of vacation is having to pack your suitcases to leave, and realizing you actually have to get back to real life! We had such a great time though and already can't wait for out next family trip. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yep, We're Still Here

I might have just taken my longest blogging hiatus to date. It's been a strangely short but busy summer for us, and I can't believe September is right around the corner! While I never like to see summer come to an end, this time around it's not as bittersweet because school won't be starting up again for me this fall! Here's a little recap of what we've been up to this summer:
-I "officially" finished my last internship credits for school and have been working full time since June
-Nick finished up spring classes in June and spent the next month and a half studying to take the DAT 
-Nick also started a job as an assistant at a dental office in American Fork and he really loves it. We get to drive to work together now, which is great! 
-We just got back from a trip to Hawaii with my family which was a perfect ending to our summer -- more pics to come from that

And now for some picture recaps:

My baby brother graduated high school and became an Eagle Scout. He started college at U of U this week -- I can't believe he's all grown up! 

The Yagers came to visit! We hadn't seen them since January when the moved to Sacramento. It was so fun to be reunited again -- one day we'll get Chelsea and Nathan here so we can all be together again! 
 We met at The Pie in SLC for dinner

And then went to Kiel's mom's house to make s'mores. Check out these GIANT marshmallows! 
 We got a little snap happy with them...

I found a new... well, additional favorite treat location in Provo (in addition to Yogurtland, of course) - the Awful Waffle! They have the most authentic crepes I've been able to find in the valley. Nothing can really beat eating a crepe in Paris, but these taste pretty similar :)

We finally got to go boating this season! With our crazy summer last year, we didn't make it out on the lake, so we were so excited to be out in the sun this time around. We even brought my dog, Kona, for her first boating adventure! 
I love my dog -- I wish I could keep her in Provo! 

My best friend, Lindsey, got married! All five of us met at her family bridal shower and then did some shopping and got dinner in Salt Lake. We hadn't all been together for a long time and it was so fun to catch up. She was a beautiful bride!

My sister came to visit! Her little family drove out from Wisconsin for Dan's month-long break from medical school. She hadn't been to Provo since spring of 2008 and it was so fun to have her here.

We ate at one of my favorite restaurants in Provo, La Jolla Groves. The interior is so unique and the food is always delicious. We definitely don't get enough sister time living so far apart, and even though she was only here for a day, we loved it!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Week in Paradise

For the past year or so, Nick and I had been planning on taking a graduation trip this spring. However, when we found out he'd probably have to take spring classes to stay on track for graduation next year, we discovered he probably wouldn't be able to take a week off. So, being the amazing husband he is, he let me leave to paradise without for a week to take a little mommy-daughter trip to Oahu.
If you know my family at all, you know we have quite the travel bug. Throughout my life I've come to find that there is a HUGE difference between traveling and vacationing. My dad is definitely a traveler, and not a vacationer. This was the first trip my mom and I had taken together, and we both agreed we needed some serious real vacation time which included excessive time at the beach and at the pool.
Two sights I don't think I'll ever get sick of: Waikiki beach and a classic Waikiki sunset. Amazing!
I decided to try out to see what kind of deals I could find on hotel rooms. I was a little apprehensive because it was my first time ever using it, but we ended up getting an awesome room at the Marriott beach resort for a killer deal. The location was probably the best of all the Waikiki hotels I've stayed in -- and the pool was amazing too. I can definitely say I'll be using Priceline more often!

 Loved all the vegetation in the courtyard and at the pool
I'm a huge fan of tropical flowers. Plumerias are my ultimate favorite!
 What we did almost every day on the trip. We spent almost all day at the beach and then topped it off with Yogurtland. I kind of have an obsession with frozen yogurt.
 There's definitely something to be said about Waikiki's nightlife. There's an endless selection of restaurants and more luxury shops than I've ever seen on one street. And, lucky us, we were there on the night of the "Spam Jam." Yep, Spam. Hawaiians love it. I don't think I've ever even tasted it. They blocked off the entire main street to set up the festival devoted to this processed meat. It was quite the event.

 All the local restaurants had a food booth with all-Spam recipes. I wasn't daring enough to try any, but everyone on the street looked like they were loving them!
 On Sunday we went up to Laie for a few hours to go to the Temple. They just finished renovating it a few months ago and the exterior looks amazing!

 We also met up with our good friends, the Blau family, on Sunday. My parents have known them since before I was born and their family is some of our dearest friends. Seriously some of the nicest people I've even known. They have an amazing house in Kailua and were so nice to have us over on Sunday for dinner. 
They even have a DOG! Little Reese was my friend for the weekend. I've been dog deprived lately.
 Our plan was to fly home Sunday night, but as you know if you've ever flown standby, you're never quite sure if you'll make it on the flight or not. There had been a cancellation earlier so our scheduled flight filled up unexpectedly. The Blaus were so nice to let us spend the night and the following day at their house. I felt terrible for leaving my lonely husband at home longer than expected, but the extra day in Kailua was amazing.
I got to spend the whole day in the pool reading a book. I can't remember the last time I read a book for fun!
 The week of R&R was just what I needed to jump back into real life for the upcoming summer!