Thursday, May 28, 2009

My moment with God

Sunrise from a sailboat.  Everyone in the world asleep except me.

Grandpa Joe

Joseph Kenneth Marks
November 4, 1921-May 10, 2009

On May 10th, 2009 my Grandpa was relieved of his physical ailments and returned to our Heavenly Father.  It's a very bitter sweet loss.  I am selfishly sad to not have my grandpa with me in this life, but I am so so happy for him to be done with this part of life, and healthy again and back with his parents and daughter.
My mom's family was so blessed to have been able to have all six kids and my grandma by his side for his last moments on this earth.
I'm so glad I'm blessed with such a wonderful boss and company to have been able to take time off to go to Salt Lake to be with my family.  Even though it was an occasion of mourning, it was so wonderful to be able to spend time with my grandma, immediate family, and extended family I rarely get to see.  It was so fun to talk about the fun times with Grandpa.  Of course there were so many stories, as Grandpa was so involved in all of our lives, and such a character.  Being a retired AA pilot he and my grandma were able to do a lot of traveling, and made it to all the important occasions (and then some) in our lives.  All my friends growing up knew Grandpa Joe, and loved him.
I was also lucky to be only a short 3 hour drive from my grandparents' house while I was in college.  It was so nice to be able to pop in on my frequent trips to Utah, and have my grandparents all to myself.
Anyone who's ever spent any time with my grandpa will describe him as being happy, and always laughing.  Even despite the trial of his stroke twelve years ago, he never complained, and was always content to just be with his family.  I will always cherish the times I was able to sit and watch Law & Order with him in his family room. 
Everyone loves you Grandpa, we'll miss you, but we know you're watching over us and smiling.

Typical Grandpa being a goofball.
This was one night I was staying in Salt Lake before heading back to Rexburg and went to dinner with Grandma and Grandpa.  I thought his hat was so cute.

Grandpa on his 86th birthday.

Such a perfect couple that I admire so much.

My last time with Grandpa, Christmas 2008.

As I mentioned, it was so fun to spend time with my extended family.  I always have so much fun when I get to spend time with my aunt Kate, and cousins Trish, Brooke, and Kim.


Kim, Trish, Brooke, and me, doing Grandpa's famous rabbit ears pose.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm back

Duck Beach was so fun, as expected. I'm feeling overwhelmed, however, with posts to catch up on.
Eventually you can expect to hear about:
•My dad's trip to NY (forever ago)
•Utah
•Maine
•Duck
•More Australia
•Boston (this weekend for Maddie's 1st birthday!)

Until then...



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Scroll down...

I uploaded another Australia post but it's towards the bottom of the page.

Someone has a problem...

WOW. Really?

Really "Anonymous"?  You came back?  Two months after I posted you're bringing this up again? Even worse-if it's true that no one "cares what I have to say," then why in the world do you waste your time coming back?  A little ironic, no?  
(Psst!  I never claimed to be an impeccable speller, or an entertaining writer...so sorry to disappoint.)
I just wanted to wish you a little more happiness in your life.  If my insignificant little thoughts on the media made you angry enough to call me ugly names, including a word so disgusting I don't even use, I can't even imagine what you would do if someone did something actually offensive.
My friend Natalie is so much better with words than I (maybe you'll enjoy her blog!)  Here's what I'd say if I had her eloquence.

I miss her





Thursday, May 14, 2009

In SLC for the week




Hope to catch up next week before Duck.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Headed back to the city

Maine was great!



Friday, May 8, 2009

Tweet tweet!

Oh yeah, and now I twitter. I have no clue what I'm doing but you can follow me at www.twitter/raehope1
If you tweet please leave me a comment with your info so I can follow you too!



Testing


I'm a little behind the times, but I just found a blogger app for my phone. Woohoo!
Here's a photo of my latest NY guilty pleasure, the Treats Truck. BEST PUMPKIN CAKE EVER!!!! And the chick who runs the joint is the nicest person. Ever. A rarity in the city.



Thursday, May 7, 2009

Australia: Day 2, Sunshine Coast

Oh wow, I feel like it's been a year ago that I went to Australia.  I wish I was super on the ball and would have gotten up all my photos within a week of coming back but.....it's just not realistic.  It takes too long, and my internet is no bueno.
So.....slowly but surely I'll get the photos up....
Our second day we woke up and left Brisbane to drive up the Sunshine Coast.

Our first stop was the Glass House Mountains.  Like everything else, my pictures don't do the mountains justice.





Macadamia nut fields.

The next stop was the Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter.  There were pictures of and signs about Steve Irwin and his family everywhere.

These were the hugest turtles I've ever seen!  Honestly, if you crouched down on all fours and got in a ball you'd be smaller than these guys.

Crikey!


We couldn't get enough of the koalas.



Obviously not real, but this replica showed how big real saltwater crocodiles can get!  Yikes!!



The kangaroos were really tame so we took a million photos with them.  I crouched down next to this guy, and what happened was totally unexpected.  Luckily Karen kept snapping the camera!

Saying hello...

becoming friends...

making me laugh...and then...

suddenly he starts convulsing and making strange noises like he's about to throw up or something!  My face pretty much shows my reaction.  Karen and I got a huge laugh.

So I found another kangaroo to box with.



A red panda.  Doesn't really look anything like a normal panda.


I love that gorgeous coat.

Watching the crocodile be fed.  YIKES.



Next up was stopping by Nambour, home of The World's Largest Pineapple, which apparently makes the list of the World's Largest Roadside Attractions.  This is my first attempt at a jumping photo.  I had to post it because I look like such a dork.
I got a pineapple smoothie here that was unREAL.  (Ask Karen, I didn't stop talking about it the whole trip.)

Pineapple field....mmmmm.  Heaven.

Next was Noosa.  It was nice to finally get to see the beach!  This cute town reminded me of Laguna Beach.  This is where the endless shopping began.  I got an amazing maxi dress (my latest obsession) and a few other souvenirs. 

Karen enjoying the view.

I loved this old couple.  I wouldn't mind spending the next 50 years with a man and Australia.

We finished the night with what seemed like an endless drive to Hervey Bay.  I'm not exaggerating when I say I don't think I've ever been as tired as I was while driving that night.  I finally had to pull over and make Karen drive.  We had some difficulty finding the Hertz to drop off our car (ridiculous street signs) but finally found it after getting some directions and made it to our hostel for the night.
Next up...Fraser Island.