Sunday, August 26, 2012

San Francisco

This summer I got to go to San Francisco to visit Lauren for her birthday. We had a fantastic time! Here are the highlights in picture form:

Crafting extravaganza in Lauren's apartment, complete with card-making, sewing, sewing machine surgery, and frosting cupcakes.

View just a couple blocks from Lauren's apartment.  This is looking toward the bay and the financial district... I think.

Gorgeous flowers.

Saint Grace's Cathedral (I'm pretty sure that's the name)

China Town

Farmer's Market...

complete with fresh flowers...

and lots of fruit and veggies!
At the end of Pier 39 (and my most unflattering prego picture yet)

Looking back at the city from the end of the pier

One of the most fantastic people in the whole wide world!

And the lucky girl who got to hang out with her for the weekend.

(Lauren caught my true personality in this one.)

Sourdough bread store... can't remember the name, but super famous and super delicious.

Fisherman's Wharf (we saw the sign, smelled the smell, and kept moving onto...)

Ghirardelli Square for a quick peek in the chocolate factory.
Nate and Lauren, thank you for a very memorable weekend!

Boating in St. George






Boy's Backpacking Trip to White Pines Lake

The Richards boys + Bret decided to do a quick backpacking trip this summer to White Pines Lake. They got off to a rather late start and didn't end up making it all the way to the lake. I guess the weather that night made it a little rough to sleep, too, but they still said it was a lot of fun. Here are some pictures!
Jackson, Bret, Drew

Dad, Drew, Jackson, Bret

Summer Catch-up Journaling

This post is boring. Don't bother reading it... unless you want details on our entire summer. Then by all means, go right ahead...

Somehow our summer got so filled up with fun stuff that I completely neglected documenting it. Since this blog basically counts as our family journal, I'll try to hit all the highlights so we can remember them a few years down the road.

* Arts Express Summer Conference and Tanner Dance Teacher Conference
I went to the BYU Arts Express Conference to count for the professional development required for SACB staff. It was mostly elementary school teachers in attendance and the conference focused on how to use the arts more effectively in the classroom. It was super inspiring and motivating. While there I learned about the Tanner Dance Conference being held the following week, so I applied for a scholarship, got it, and found myself spending the entire following week dancing and gleaning ideas for planning fabulous creative dance classes. I loved networking with like-minded dance teachers and getting a nice refresher of ideas. Attending these conferences inspired me to offer some trainings for elementary teachers in San Angelo to help them learn how they can use dance as a teaching tool in their own classrooms. My attempts to set something up through the Region Service Center failed, but after mentioning it to a principal I work closely with I suddenly had 6 schools requesting me to come do trainings for their staff! I am so excited (and nervous).

* 4th of July Festivities
We went hiking to Dog Lake up Big Cottonwood Canyon in the morning with Mom, Dad and Jackson after eating some tasty scones. After that Suz, Rob and the girls came swimming with us at my parents' house and then we all went up to the cabin for dinner and the traditional Oakley Rodeo. Perfect 4th!

* White Pines Lake
I'm not really the right one to document this, but the Richards boys + Bret decided to do a quick backpacking trip up to White Pines Lake. Two years ago, Bret, Meg, Drew, Dad and I backpacked to Red Pines Lake and had a blast. This year they guys got off to a rather late start and weren't able to make it to the lake before it got too dark. Unfortunately the weather that night made sleeping a little rough, too, but they said they still had a lot of fun.

* St. George
We spent the weekend with my family in St. George. We went boating, ate at the Brick Oven, and went to Tuachan to see "Hairspray." It was FABULOUS! If you haven't seen a show at Tuachan I highly recommend it! Even Bret, who doesn't like the movie version of "Hairspray" and was a little skeptical, thought it was great.

* Wardle Olympics
Somehow in the 3+ years I've been a part of the Wardle family I have managed to miss the Wardle Olympics each year. Bret's family has been doing this ever since he was a kid. Each child (now each family) has to bring an "event" or game for everyone to participate in. We brought a game where you tie a nylon around your head with a potato hanging down in one "leg" in front of you, then swing it around trying to knock down a row of water bottles. It was really fun. We also really liked Rachel and Jeremy's Human Hungry Hippos game and Jake and Amy's Diaper Dodgeball. At night, we had a talent show (more like a talent-less show) on the back porch. It is hard to explain what our "talent" was, but I'll try to find a video of it... basically we created a mini-me (our baby) using my torso, Bret's arm, and my arms as the baby's legs. And we had a funny script that we prerecorded to sound like our baby talking about the dilemmas of deciding whether or not to be a dancer, a baller (aka basketball star), a karate master, etc. Each section was accompanied by some sweet, uncoordinated dance moves.
I should also note that the night before the Wardle Olympics was the Wardle family reunion at the Steadman's house, complete with waterslides (awesome!) and zip-lines (major ouch).

* "Wicked"
For Christmas 2011, my parents gave us a family gift: tickets to see "Wicked" when it came to Utah on tour. We got to cash those in and see it as a family this summer. It was fantastic. Somehow I enjoyed it even more this time than when I saw it in London. Sigh. I love musicals.

* Newport Beach
My family went to Newport Beach for a week-long family vacation and had a blast. We split up the drive by staying the night in St. George, where of-course we couldn't resist seeing another play at Tuachan: "Aladdin". It was great, but both Bret and I liked it least of the productions we've seen this summer. The genie was the best part, though. Very funny.
In Newport we stayed at a condo about 10 minute's walk from the beach. The apartment had a great view of the ocean, plus we had access to a pool and tennis courts. I think it was even better than staying right on the beach. We spent a lot of time at the ocean (not quite as much time IN the ocean - it was pretty cold) playing frisbee, sleeping, tanning (the first day), hiding from the sun in attempt not to get fried (the next several days), etc. We also took some bike rides along the boardwalk, visited Balboa pier, walked around the temple, ate at some tasty restaurants, ate some tasty home-cooked meals, watched a few movies, played tennis, went shopping, and just had a blast spending time together.
I feel like I saw my siblings all summer, but I really treasured this time together. My siblings get along pretty well, but being so much together for so long can bring out the best and the worst of those relationships (we probably picked on Jackson a little too much), but one of my favorite memories will be seeing Drew at his finest. He just started college last week and is sometimes too cool for us lame-o's, but one of the best mornings was playing tennis with him. He was so sweet to me and let me be lazy if I didn't feel like chasing a ball... and he didn't complain when he had to chase all of my balls! I'm so grateful to my parents for including us in this special family time.

* Cameras and Lasagna
I love all of my in-laws and feel lucky to have married into such a fabulous family. My sister-in-law Amy (married to Bret's brother, Jake) and I have a lot in common. We both like to craft and sew and we have both been into photography lately. She has a great eye for lighting and pictures and I had been fiddling a lot with learning my camera's settings so I can shoot on manual, so together we decided to register for a photography class. My mom decided to join us, too, and the teacher decided that three was enough, so we got our own private photography lesson. It was really helpful and I'm excited to hopefully take more thought-out pictures when our baby arrives. That evening we got to go to Jake and Amy's house in Stansbury Park, UT for lasagna and games. It was great to spend one-on-one time with their family and to see their fabulous new home.

* San Francisco
Early this summer the husband of one of my very best friends emailed me wondering if I'd be up for visiting Lauren for a birthday surprise. HECK YES! I know it was a birthday gift for Lauren, but I totally benefitted too! I flew out on a Thursday night and got to stay until Sunday. Lauren showed me around San Francisco - Ghiradelli, Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, Union Square, the farmer's market, etc. but by far the best thing was sitting in her cute studio apartment just crafting and chatting and watching chick flicks till all hours of the night. We realized we hadn't spent quality time like this since our Freshman year of college, and I can't explain how much I will treasure the time we spent that weekend. It reminded me how much I value true friendship. I feel like I am surrounded by people I count as friends - you know, people I care about and enjoy being around. But real friends, the kind that you can be your very truest self around, are few and far between. I am so grateful to have some very special life-long friends who have profoundly influenced who I am becoming and how I see the world.

* Baby Shower
My aunts and grandma were so sweet to throw me a baby shower before I left for Texas. They were so generous and it was fun to have a time to all be together. Suz master-minded the event and she and my grandma made it so very cute. The theme was "Cami's about to 'POP'" which of course lent itself to lots of cute sodas and delicious kinds of popcorn. I always feel a little embarrassed to have people gathering to celebrate me or a turning-point in my life, but I was truly grateful that they'd take the time to come and to shower our little one with gifts.
(Speaking of baby showers, one of my best friends, Melissa, was able to attend mine, and I was able to attend my friend Becky's a few weeks before. Hopefully someone will be around to help Melissa celebrate as she is also expecting!)

* Odds and Ends
Random things we did: see "The Hunger Games", babysit a baby down the street several days, go to the zoo, swim at my parent's house, make dinner for my family on Wednesdays and mooch dinner off of them on Sundays, see a midwife for a few fast and easy check-ups, become reacquainted with Costco and its wonderfulness, hang out with Mae and Grace (my little cousins), cut Bret's hair, eat too many bagels and carmelitas, teach a YW "Broadway Fit" class, watch the Summer Olympics
(Okay, those were mostly things I did. Bret did not see a midwife or teach YW.)

* Drive Home
There isn't anything eventful to write about this, but I feel like I should record that
1) Bret is great at packing
2) Bret is great at loading a car
3) Bret is a great driver
4) Bret is fun to be in a car with for hours on end
5) Bret is great at unloading the car
6) Bret is ESSENTIAL for moving into an apartment

So in a nutshell (or a very long blog post), there is our summer! It was practically perfect in every way.

Friday, August 17, 2012


This is what I'm teaching in Modern today. Yay!