Sunday, February 24, 2008
Well...another few weeks have gone by and there is still nothing exciting to report so I thought that I would share the adventures we encountered this last Christmas.
Mike and I decided last summer that Christmas would be a great time to go visit his parents. So we saved up, bought some tickets and planned the whole trip out. We were scheduled to leave on December 23 and arrive in Manchester the following day (Christmas eve) at 8am. When we left on the 23rd it all seemed to be going as planned until we started nearing our connecting flight destination in Chicago. The weather was really bad and so we ended up landing in the O'Hare airport a half hour late. This meant that we had 45 minutes to reach our connecting flight to Manchester...normally you'd think 45 minutes would be fine but for any of you who have been to the Chicago, O'Hare airport knows better. It's HUGE and you have to take little trains in order to get to different terminals. Well, it was just our luck that the connecting flight was in terminal 3-- the farthest from where we were. So we ran as fast as we could and found the train station then hoped on the next train that came by. Unfortunately it was almost a 20 minute ride to the terminal so time was getting even shorter. However we met about 6 others all trying to reach the same flight as us. As soon as the train stopped we had about 15 minutes to make it to our gate and so our little group bolted out the doors and rushed to the customs line. However, it was too late by the time we got there. The woman at the gate said they had already boarded our plane and we would have to find another way. After this news our little crew of 8 (I was the only American) made it's way to the Scandinavian airlines desk(we were told they were the ones who would most likely be able to get us there the fastest) and tried to work something out. We ended up staying there for three hours until eventually we learned that the quickest we could make it to Manchester was to get there at 8pm on Christmas eve. Well...it was the best option at that point so we took it. The only catch was that we now had to fly from Chicago to Denmark and the from Denmark to Switzerland and then from Switzerland to Manchester. It was crazy!!!!!
Well...it ended up working out really good in the end and here is why. On the long flight (9 hours from Chicago to Denmark) it was so empty that we all got to have our own row. That's right...our own row which meant we could lay out and sleep across the seats. Additionally, the service was great! Seriously if any of you ever need to fly to Copenhagen, Scandinavian Air is the way to go. Anyway, probably the coolest thing was that Mike and I got to meet a neat guy named Ben. At first we were a bit annoyed because we were sitting next to each other in our own row with plenty of empty seats available and right before take off some guy comes running on coughing and hacking up a storm and he took a seat right next to me. Why?! There were empty seats everywhere?! Anyway, he was super friendly and he started chatting to me even before take off. Well, right away he found out I was from Utah and he immediately asked if I was a Mormon, I told him I was and he started asking all kinds of questions. Seriously....I have never had an experience like this before and I could tell by the questions he was asking that he had heard of the Church. Through the course of the conversation I eventually learned that his girlfriend is a Mormon and that she had been inactive but had recently been trying to go back. This was causing some strain on their relationship because Ben was a firm agnostic. We ended up talking for almost 5 hours about his beliefs and our beliefs and it eventually ended with him saying that he would try and find out more from his girlfriend and the missionaries (who happened to live next door to him). I wonder what happened with that and I hope the absolute best for Ben...but it was a great experience for me and helped Mike and I both realize the importance of always being prepared for missionary experiences.
Well, after that we ended up making the rest of our connecting flights (although we almost didn't in Switzerland...fortunately we were lucky) and we arrived in Machester at 8pm on Christmas Eve. Mikes parents were waiting for us and it was wonderful...so wonderful to see them and to be on solid ground after 24 hours of flying. We then made a nice four hour trip back to their house in Northumblerland and slept for what seemed like days. The rest of our time in England was fantastic! We got to see some great sights including the castle they use as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies and some cool roman ruins (Hadrians wall). The best thing, however, was just spending time with the family and enjoying the beautiful countryside. Seriously...it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and all in all it was such a blessing to go!
I have posted some pictures and I can't figure out how do make a caption for each one so I'll first apologize by saying please disregard our clothes. With all the crazy flights we had to take, our luggage was lost for about 5 days so half the trip we were wearing the same things. I know...GROSS! Anyway, the pictures show Mike, myself and his parents visiting some castles and some roman ruins as well as some pretty pictures of the countryside. :-)
Sunday, February 17, 2008
One more thing I forgot to mention. I have gotten a lot of people asking me about how the baby is coming along so I thought I'd quickly mention that things are going really well. I am now in my 7th month in getting bigger and bigger by the day! I must admit that I am excited for when I get my body back and I'm really looking forward to meeting our little boy. We still aren't set on a name but we have narrowed down the choices to the following (all of which include the middle name of Paul):
Jonathan (nickname: J or Jon)
Ethan (no nickname)
William (nickname: Will)
Benjamin (nickname: Ben)
We like the idea of being able to call him by a shortened version of his name. If any of you have suggestions please feel free to post what you think...I'd love the in-put!
Well, it has been awhile and so I thought it would be good to update this thing on what's been going one lately and, predictably, the answer is not a whole lot. Mike and I are settled down into a pretty predictable routine of school, work and weekends and there really isn't a lot of new or exciting news. However, we did do a couple things out of the ordinary this week. On Thursday we celebrated Valentines day and it was very nice. Mike and I both had to be gone until later that evening so we celebrated it in the morning. Here's the story: I alternate days of when I have to go in early (6am) to work and usually on Thursdays I don't have to be in until later. However, I lied to Mike and told him that I had to go in early on Thursday so that I could get up and decorate the apartment without him suspecting it. At first it started out well but then for some unknown reason at about 6am I heard someone moving around and then Mike's voice at the top of the stairs asking if I was still here. Luckily Mike was still pretty dazed from sleeping so I rushed to the stairs and told him it was 5:30 and that we needed to go back to bed. He seemed pretty confused but after a little scuffle (I accidentally pushed him over in his stupor :-) ) I got him back to bed and then finished my little Valentines surprise. When he finally woke up at about 7:30 he came down and the apartment was decorated and breakfast was made and Mike was still surprised! So all in all it was a success! I also need to mention that Mike was very sweet and bought me a necklace. Most people who know me know that I don't really wear jewelry but I secretly love fun necklaces. Mike was right on and he bought me a really pretty necklace (not too fancy, just right) and every time I have worn it I get lots of compliments. Thanks Mike!!!
The other fun thing we thing we got to do was go to the BYU vs. UNLV basketball game on Friday night. Mike got a bunch of free tickets and so we went with some friends and had a fun time. At first I was a little worried because our seats were in the "nose beed" section but it turned out really well and we had a great view of the action. It was also pretty cool because BYU killed UNLV and beat them by about 20 points. Go cougars!