Thursday, December 31, 2009

make like a Christmas tree, and get lost 2009

another year has passed us by, and with the closing of 2009 comes reviews and remembrances of the past year and resolutions for the year to come. amber has bestowed upon my shoulders the awesome, yet daunting task of recapping our wonderful holiday season, as well as very briefly looking back at the entire past year. i accept this great responsibility with honor, yet also with trepidation. i only hope i can do '09 the justice it deserves. i thank amber for the opportunity to serve. she is such a good delegater. :)
as we stated in a previous entry, we have been looking forward to this Christmas season since well before thanksgiving. Christmas has always been the best time of year. we loved the december ensign and the lessons we learned from it. Christmas is a thinning of the veil. it's a peek at what heaven could be like. it is an on-going remembrance of Christ and thus goodwill towards others naturally ensues. and the fact that presents are involved definitely doesn't hurt the joyous season. :) i have found that in my old age the most joy comes from the giving of presents though. it was definitely true this year. in my extreme ocdness and complete nerdiness, i had everything i wanted to get for amber exactly planned out shortly after halloween, and had it all bought in the few days following thanksgiving. this left me a long and tortuous month of trying not to convince amber to just open all her presents early. i'm just one of those people who should never buy presents early and should actually wait till the last minute.
the month was a good one though, full of Christmas movies, carols, going to find the perfect tree in the middle of a blizzard, hanging lights and decorating. all of our neighbors in our little apartment complex took off for the holidays, leaving the place all to ourselves, free to blast alvin and the chipmunks singing "Christmas don't be late", wailing along at the top of our lungs. Christmas eve unfortunately found us a little under the weather, both of us having spent some time in recent days bent over our porcelain throne. so we spent the evening alone, watched "it's a wonderful life", read luke chapter 2, then crashed early so that santa could pay us a visit. we awoke with childlike jubilation as we ran out to raid our stockings for candy and tear open our once beautifully wrapped presents. santa was good to us (i guess amber's merits over the past year earned me a place on the 'nice list' too), bringing us new dvd's, books, games, a hoody for scott, and an slr camera for amber (which she will use to take awesome football pictures of scott).
we then headed over to scott's brother's house for the bryson family gift exchange, where amber got a camera bag to go with her new camera and scott got new football gloves, and they both got a brand new wii! it was then off to amber's parents' house for a wonderful Christmas dinner, games, visiting and the mcclellan family gift exchange, where we got a new game invented and crafted completely by amber's brother daniel. after a long day of celebrating with family, we hurried home to play with some of our new toys, amber with her camera and me with the wii.
new year's eve found us in a slightly tough situation, us wanting to celebrate the moment with friends and a kiss at midnight, but amber having to work early in the morning. we headed up to our friends' the rasmussen's house, who were hosting a big party. we ate, played games and had a great time there til 10:30, then headed over to the maughan's place to quickly catch the ball drop, drink a little sparkling cider, and start the year off right with a kiss, before heading straight home to bed.
what a year 2009 has been. our first full year as husband and wife. crazy if you stop and think about it and the many wild adventures we took. we got to see my little brother get married, took a trip down to texas for a bryson reunion, attended the mcclellan reunion in colorado, traveled over to northern california for my grandma's 90th birthday, and saw 4 nieces and nephews born into the family. now a new year begins, full of endless opportunities. our resolutions have been set and we are ready to be better people.

the three musketeers - alexandre dumas

quick blog to end the year. positives - loved the action of the book. good, exciting story. negatives - way too much time spent on the financial worries of the musketeers. horrible morals of most of the musketeers, with the lone exception being athos, who rocks. in review, i have to say i enjoyed the book even more than i did dumas' other great work, the count of monte cristo. i know most critics may disagree, but the musketeers just had so much more excitement. anyways, happy new years!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

dearest day of turkey and other stuff,

we must offer our apologies to you, monsieur thanksgiving. we have not treated you as you so richly deserve. in days of yore, you touched our hearts and we looked forward to you with eager anticipation. but this year, for some reason, our thoughts have raced past you and on to your holiday cousin, Christmas. we have unjustly treated you, our friend, and for that we are deeply sorry. we are sorry that we took no pictures of you this year, and thus this boring and bland blog. we are sorry that we almost didn't even blog about you at all. we know we haven't treated you right, but we hope you can forgive us. we'll change! please take us back!

in our defense, it hadn't seemed like the holiday season had begun yet. neither amber nor i had any change in our work schedules (the extra holiday pay will most definitely make us merry, but that's a whole two weeks away). also, my parents were going through a complete remodeling of their store down in texas, and it was hard not to stress long distance with them. and in addition to that, we were suffering through our own tragedy - our neighbors and friends, jake and katie maughan, were moving, leaving us for the company of dead people. could i possibly be any more boring that the conversation of a corpse is preferred to mine?! sad. we only jest. kinda. we are happy for our friends and their rent-free apartment located over a mortuary, but we are definitely sad to see them go.

well since i, scott, am the one writing about our thanksgiving adventures, i must bore you with what i consider one of the best and most essential parts of thanksgiving - turkey bowl football! the saturday before thanksgiving, the above mentioned jake maughan organized the second annual turkey tourney, an eight team, double elimination, flag football tournament. if you know me at all, you could expect a recap of every play of each and every game, but i'll spare you the agony and keep it brief - we won. we repeated as champions and once again took home the five foot tall trophy, a trophy once used to recognize the wonderful dancing prowess of a young girl, now meant to signify that we just rock.

now i hope you didn't misunderstand my rantings earlier and think we had a bad thanksgiving. while amber and i hardly felt we were in the holiday spirit, we definitely had a great day with food and family. the day started at amber's parents' house for a wonderful turkey dinner. we then played games and visited while more and more family trickled in for the festivities. from there it was over to my brother's house for dessert, more games, and more visiting. then home for a long night of trying not to explode from our overindulgence. a very, very good day. really our only complaint is that it was over much too quickly. the next day it was sadly back to business as usual.

senor thanksgiving, we are sorry how we treated you and we want you to know we love you, but you have to realize that Christmas is what the people pay to see. you're the appetizer, the undercard fight, barney rubble, the "ah ah ah...". Christmas is the entree, the main event, fred flintstone, the "...choooo!!!". there's nothing wrong with being who you are. you're still very special. you just have to accept it and be happy with your lot in life. now if you'll excuse me, i've got some lights to hang. :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jane Eyre

I finished another one of the "girly" books off of our 100 greatest books list. :) I've really enjoyed most of these classics and I'm kinda glad that having Scott not wanting to read the "girly" ones, has given me the opportunity to read them. I'd seen the movie Jane Eyre as a kid, and always thought it mysterious and interesting. The book was pretty mysterious too. I wondered whether it would end happily and it did, with kind of a weird twist at the end which always makes a book good. I've always thought it kinda funny how in the book they say how plain and ugly Jane is but when they make movies of the story, the actresses never look ugly to me. So the whole time while reading, I was picturing a pretty girl even though the description says otherwise. :) Anyway, loved the book! :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

the jungle book - rudyard kipling

yes, it's another boring book report. i'll keep it short and quick so don't worry. :)
i suppose it's been a while since i've watched disney's version of this story, but i know it wasn't quite like the book. instead of one, long story about our hero mowgli, the book was actually a collection of short, random stories, only half of which were about the boy raised by wolves. the other stories were random adventures of other jungle inhabitants. the only one of these stories that i recognized was the story of rikki-tikki-tavi, the mongoose, and his battle with the vipers of the garden.
like most stories that i first learned from cartoons, the book was much less childish than i was expecting. from a macho man's perspective, such as i obviously have, i liked it. it was kinda cool seeing mowgli wrestling with giant snakes, bringing about the death of a tiger, commanding the elephants to destroy a village, leading his wolves in a war with the red dogs, and the rest of his adventures with his friends baloo, bagheera, and kaa. not the most compelling and moving book by any means, but a fun read.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Scott's First Pumpkin Carving

So last Halloween we were a little "busy" with wedding plans and all and didn't have a lot of time to celebrate. This year we got to carve pumpkins. :) This was Scott's first experience carving pumpkins. I couldn't believe he'd never carved a pumpkin! So we kinda "cheated" and bought a book with patterns. I have to say though, I thought it was a lot more fun with a pattern, our pumpkin looked so good! :) We got together with some friends and started carving away. However, the first one took so long to do we had to do the second one another day. Here are some pictures though to document Scott's first pumpkin carving experience. :)

It was a little messier than he thought...


Putting on the pattern


Carving away...




Finished products



Being a little silly...


So on Halloween we actually spent celebrating our 1 year anniversary. Since our anniversary was on Sunday we went up to Salt Lake Saturday night, saw a movie and went out to eat and stayed in a nice hotel with a cool whirlpool tub. :) I can't believe it's been a full year since we got married. It kinda feels like the year flew by so quick but it also feels like we've always been together. And it's so amazing how I could love him so much when we got married and now a year later I love him even more than that.:)

Just a few pictures of the weekend...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

grandma bergstrom's 90th birthday

i've never really known my extended family. while most of them come from the great state of california, my family has always called texas home. this has always made us kind of the social outcasts of the group (jealousy is an ugly thing). because of my parents jobs growing up, our vacations were always limited to one day excursions, which always eliminated trips to see family. weddings always meant the visit of an aunt or two for a day, but a real family reunion is a foreign concept to me. so when i heard that everyone was getting together for my grandma's 90th birthday, i made sure that me and amber would be there.

the trip started right after amber's flag football game (which if you haven't heard about, you NEED to read the previous blog!) the game left us in high spirits, but a little drained. we drove with my brother and his family in their 12 passenger van, and i had promised to drive through the night since i'm a night owl anyways. unfortunately the excitement of the trip left me unable to sleep soundly when i needed to, and i quickly started to fade behind the wheel. my wonderful wife saved us all by fighting her own urge to sleep and talked to me throughout the night.

a short ten hour car ride later, we found ourselves passing sacramento. we made a quick stop at my other grandma's ranch and got to see about a million hummingbirds. it was pretty cool. we then continued our journey to the bergstrom family reunion. we met up with my immediate family at our hotel, said hi to everyone, and then quickly crashed in our room for a short nap.

before too long we were up and on with the day's activities. i had to say goodbye to amber as she and the girls went off to san francisco to see wicked. the guys had planned to play some basketball at the church, but a wedding ruined our plans, so we just went back to the hotel and watched some tv. but we now turn to field reporter amber bryson, who brings to us the story of the women and their crazy adventures. amber...

Thank you Scott! So, there were I think 17 of us. It was me and all of Scott's sisters, aunts, cousins, and mom. It was kinda sad grandma didn't make it and a couple cousins, but it was still a good sized group of girls. We took the San Francisco Bart all the way from Dublin/Pleasanton station to the Civic Center station. Riding the Bart was fun besides getting a little motion sickness from sitting backwards. :) We had to get off the train at one point to grab a quick dinner and then back on, which caused a little worry when we lost a couple people in our group. They were found quickly though and we were on our way again. :) We made it to the theater all in one piece and found our seats. I really did love Wicked. It was fun, entertaining, the music and singing was beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the fact that I could barely keep my eyes open to watch it, I was just a little tired...:) It really was a good play though, and I'm glad I got to go. The ride home was a long one and the train was a lot more crowded, most of our group had to stand. But again, we all made it back safe and sound. :)

thank you amber. isn't she wonderful? we now turn to ollie williams with the weather. ollie...

it's raining sideways!

sounds rough ollie. do you have an umbrella?

had one!

where is it?

inside out, 2 miles away!

is there anything we can do for you?

bring me some soup!

what kind?

chunky!

thank you ollie. now back to our top news story. amber returned to the hotel very late, and very tired. she had been up all thursday, didn't get more than 30 minutes at any one time all night because she was worried about me, and then was up pretty much all friday with family. my poor wife. :(

well we slept in pretty well saturday, had some breakfast, then watched the texas- oklahoma football game (hook em horns!) after that, we put on our yellow shirts (that was my family's color) and headed to the park for pictures. we found a beautiful spot and took some great pictures. then we had some excitement that i'm not going to get into here, but if you want a good laugh, send me a text. all i'll say is watch out for those frisbee golf players. :) that night we got together at a local pizza place for some good food, good games, and good company. we sang happy birthday to my grandma and celebrated the life of a woman who has raised a pretty good family, if i do say so myself.

we were up early sunday morning and headed off to church. as a surprise for my grandma, every member of the reunion, roughly forty of us, got up and sang 'teach me to walk in the light' as a special musical number. sunday evening found us at cousin brenda's house for dinner and goodbyes. we left the next morning and were home monday night.

although the vacation was way too short, it was very enjoyable. it was nice getting to know all those unknown relatives. i hope we can do it again before grandma hits the century mark.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

winning isn't everything... but it sure is nice

the ball seemed to hang in the sky forever. with it hung all the hopes and dreams of the team. the win rested solely upon the hands of mrs. amber rose bryson...

what a game it was. one for the ages. a tightly contested battle between two equally matched teams. the msw babes' stellar defense had been suffocating all night long, only allowing one fluke touchdown when a receiver slipped behind the safeties. other than that, the girls shut down their opponents completely. their lone problem was in finding their offensive rhythm. deep into the second half of the game, the girls had yet to get into the endzone. that was about to change.

the girls stood at midfield, fourth down, less than three minutes left, with the game on the line. our qb dropped back to pass, but feeling the pressure of the rush, decided to scramble for the first down. after narrowly avoiding two or three tackles in the backfield, she pressed the turbo button and ran all the way for the tying score. exciting. but that only left us with a tie. we wanted the win. so it all came down to the extra point.

amber lined up wide to the right. she knew their zone defense had holes, and she knew where they were. on the snap, she ran a short fade and sneaked into the back corner of the endzone. the qb had hoped to run it in, but seeing amber all alone, she let the ball fly. the ball seemed to hang in the sky forever. with it hung all the hopes and dreams of the team. the win rested solely upon the hands of mrs. amber rose bryson.

she did not disappoint.

amber's extra point catch gave the babes of msw their first lead of the year. but the drama wasn't over yet. the girls still had to play some more defense before this one was over. the girls quickly intercepted a pass and returned it for a td, but then threw an interception on the extra point try which was taken all the way back for three points. this gave the ball back to our opponents who were only down four points. there wasn't much time left, but thanks to a few too many penalties by our team, our opponents were able to drive all the way down the field. half a yard from a touchdown, our opponents took the final snap of the game. to no suprise to anyone, the amazing defense of msw stepped up once again and forced the incomplete pass for the win.

the crowd of 50,000 stormed the field in celebration, carried the team off on their shoulders, and the fan riots went on through the night. well maybe not, but at least one proud fan stormed the field to kiss his hero, his wife.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

one flew over the cuckoo's nest - ken kesey

i will always remember one of the first lessons taught to us in my college psychology class so many years ago - while only a select few can claim the privilege of earning the diagnosis clinically insane, the fact is that we are all crazy. i couldn't help but consider this as i read this thought provoking story of an "institute of psychology" and the colorful characters that call the asylum home.
the conflict of the story resides mainly in two characters. first, the big nurse, who has for a long time been the head of this particular ward of the asylum, and who has grown a bit corrupt with the power of her position. her opponent for the story is mcmurphy, a good ole southern boy who likes to gamble, enjoys drinking, and loves to fight. he is a newly committed patient who quickly decides that he doesn't agree with the way things are run and will do his best to change it. this power struggle grows more and more severe until the shocking climax.
i must say that i was captivated by the book. unfortunately, the book was very graphic and mature in it's content and i must not recommend it to any impressionable readers. it is most definitely not a bed time story for the kids. but it is an interesting study of psychology, the abuse of power, what drives men to give up on trying to function in society, and what could possibly inspire them to come back.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Home makeover: Brysons' kitchen edition

Have we mentioned how much we love our apartment? The minute we walked in and looked around, we wanted it. (I won't mention how close it was to our wedding and how desperate we were to find a nice, clean place in our price range!) We love it though. We love being in a BYU ward, we love our neighbors, we have great landlords, we love our carpet, ect... :) It's hard to believe we've almost been here for a year! ...and we are still putting up this or that to make it more "our place". :)
This last week, Scott and I found a project to work on. We have this big, open kitchen which I love, but not being the best interior decorators we didn't know what to do with it. We had numerous possibilities I suppose...but on a cheap budget, no good ideas...we finally had decided we wanted to put up a nice shelf on the big open wall, but all the shelves we found that we liked were almost $60! We kept looking around though and found just a wooden shelf at Roberts for 50% off so it was only like $15...so much better! We bought some paint and brushes for less than $5 and started our first real crafty project. We felt so clever! :) It was fun and I think we did a pretty good job if I do say so myself...besides forgetting to rinse out our paintbrushes between coats that is...oops!
Anyway, we put it up on the wall and here it is...what do you think? :)
Now all we need to do is figure out what to put on our little shelf...any suggestions? We're thinking maybe some cute block letters saying different things that we can change for holidays or something? I'm also thinking one of our next projects needs to be to replace these old gross curtains that were already here before us. Anyone have cheap, easy ideas for making curtains or other decorating tips?? :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

amber's friday night lights

this is a first. i do not believe i have ever written about a football game i hadn’t played in. as funny as it sounds, i must say that i don’t particularly love watching other people play football. if there’s football to be played, i need to be the one playing it. but all that changes when i am given the chance to watch the most beautiful girl in the world play my game. yes, you guessed it – it is now amber’s turn to lace up the cleats, strap on the gloves, and get down and dirty playing some football! (okay, so no cleats and gloves, but i’m trying to talk her into it. :) )
i have to admit and apologize that i am not nearly as good of a fan as amber is for me – i completely forgot to bring the camera to the first game! i am ashamed. but i hope i partially made amends for my failure by taking plenty of pictures at game number two.
amber was invited to play by an old college roommate who was getting a team together for byu intramurals. the team consists of amber, her friend, and a handful of girls from the byu social program. i’m sure these ladies have numerous wonderful qualities and strengths, but football is not one of them. :) of course i’m a biased judge, but amber is definitely one of the only players who has any idea how football is played. unfortunately for the team, the ladies signed up late and were placed in the upper division, so the first two games haven’t quite gone our way. we’re still awaiting the lab results on some drug tests for steroids on some of those teams.
in the meanwhile, amber is having fun getting out there and running around, getting some exercise, and being part of a team. the team has some huge quarterbacking concerns (huge), so amber has yet to get a catch, but she has most definitely shined on defense. she is an excellent rusher and has forced numerous bad throws from the opposing quarterbacks. her biggest defensive highlight came in the first game as the other team ran a designed handoff to the left. amber chased the play down and made an amazing diving grab of the flags, stopping the play for a loss. i was personally out of my seat and five feet in the air out of excitement.
well the season is young and there’s a lot of football to be played yet. the girls definitely have potential and should get better as the season goes on. i must say that i love watching my beautiful wife play. i am so proud of her and love her so much more than she could ever possibly love me. thank you amber for being the thrill of my life. :x

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

the complete sherlock holmes, vol. 1 - sir arthur conan doyle

"elementary, my dear watson." undoubtedly you could name the speaker of these famous words even if the answer wasn't given to you in the title of this blog. while those exact words were never actually spoken by the most famous detective of english literature, they do go a long way in describing the resident of 221b baker street and his unparalleled eye for observation, making the obscure seem obvious. this particular collection of his most famous adventures consisted of 23 short stories, as well as 3 longer ones. it began with 'a study in scarlet', which was well written and an intriguing story, but left me very disappointed for describing the people of my religion in a very radical way. i did discover that the author later deeply apologized for his very inaccurate portrayal of the mormons, but it's sad that his erroneous description will forever hinder the cause of the gospel concerning those impressionable readers who take the story as based on facts.
after my initial disappointment, sherlock soon regained my favor over the course of his many adventures. they were simple, easy to read, and fun. i found it enjoyable trying to solve the many mysteries as they played out before me, striving to do so before holmes would reveal all at the end of each tale. although i found all the stories to be good reads, i must single out for recommendation the final story of this collection, and most famous of sherlock holmes tales, 'the hound of the baskervilles'. while each story before it presented its fair share of intrigue and mystery, 'the hound' had me completely captivated, eagerly turning the pages to discover the next little twist of the story. if you read but one tale of sherlock holmes in your lifetime, make it this one.
as the adventures of mr. holmes and dr. watson drew to a close, amber and i began to watch the television series 'monk', about an ocd detective with a very similar gift of observation and deduction. between the book and the series, i find myself striving to look closer at the world around me, seeking to realize some great answer to an unknown question. the only thing i have been able to deduce is that i think my milk has gone bad. i guess we can't all be detective geniuses. :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Kite Runner

I really enjoyed this one. It was a little sad and not the most upbeat happy book, but I think it was really well written and a much easier read after reading the Scarlet Letter!! :) This was a story about a boy who grew up in Afghanistan and then came to live in America when things got tough there. He ends up going back to his home town though to resolve some issues and it describes a bit about the war and everything that was going on there. At times I was reading about things happening to these fictional characters and it was sad to realize those kind of things probably did happen to real people. The story kind of ends different too, it doesn't really resolve everything but they leave you with a little hope that it could eventually have a happy ending. It was definitely intriguing. It makes me want to read his other one someday soon...A Thousand Splendid Suns!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

football has begun!

the fall 2009 season of flag football has officially begun. in the inaugural game of the season, the diamondbacks (no longer affiliated with uss but still graciously endorsing the team for free) played the team named ‘top gun’, but better known as “the cops”. fear and trepidation filled the boys in blue, not only having to shake off the rust of the off-season and the nerves of the first game, but also suffering great unease as to whether they’d all get parking tickets for winning. because of this anxiety, the diamondbacks played shaky offense, with a couple drops and miscues here and there, giving our respected opponents a chance. but ultimately that chance was squashed as the donuts caught up to the poor police officers and the tidal wave defense of the diamondbacks was just too much for them, as they only made it past midfield once or twice the entire game. the game mvp had to go to the entire d-line crew who sacked, hurried, cavity searched, and in every way harassed the opposing qb all night long. well done. the game went final with a score of 24 to 0, appropriately getting a "donut". special thanks must go to our beautiful and devoted fans who looked absolutely lovely in their matching shirts, showing us much needed support. after the game, players and fans then rushed to their cars and proceeded to leave as quickly as they could, while remembering to obey all posted traffic signs. if you see any of our faces on a most wanted poster, ignore it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

McClellan Family Reunion

So a couple weekends ago, Scott and I went to Colorado for a fun camping trip with my side of the family. It was lots of fun. Took a total of about 11 hours driving there and 7 1/2 hours driving home (amazing the difference having kids makes the length of a drive! ). We caravaned there on Thursday with my sisters and their families, but decided to stay a day later and drive back Sunday by ourselves. :)
The reunion included volleyball, a talent show, a temple trip, SPUD, more volleyball, singing and good quality time with family. I have some of the most adorable nieces and nephews ever. They sang and performed there own puppet show, it was so cute. We enjoyed our trip and being with family. Here are some pictures of the fun weekend...
The Family (I can't believe how much our family has grown...31 out of 41 were able to come, not bad, but we definitely missed the 10 that weren't able to make it!)

The Talent Show


"Popcorn Popping" video
video

The Hiatt puppet show

My brother Daniel juggled- He would juggle fire if my parents let him! :)


Lot's of volleyball...


Scott was helping me serve in this one...I know how to serve, but they didn't want to wait til I finished putting up my hair into a ponytail!


My niece loved wearing my shoes and walking around the campsite.


Playing an intense game of SPUD


We had to create our own shade cuz there wasn't any at the campsite, I thought we were pretty clever! :)


S'mores are a must when camping...


This was just at the rest stop on the way home. Nothing special there, just a cool photo moment. :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

don't mess with texas

i now have the privilege of writing part 2 of our much needed vacation. amber wrote of the texas reception, but i must first return to earlier that day when kyle and i gave our wives a quick tour of grand ole abilene, including a stop at the grace museum to show off how cultured we pretend to be. after our fun with the cool sound effect wall, we quickly bypassed most of the boring stuff (stopping occasionally to make disparaging remarks with our sly wit when it was clearly required of us to make fun of certain art work), and found our way to the children’s area! we shot air at each other, played with the mini tornado, and pushed kids aside so that we could dance in front of the retro-colored-screen-thingy! good times. then, as a less than thrilling finale to the museum, we finished with the ‘historic abilene’ floor, seeing rooms through the ages and learning all about boots. exciting. i prefer shark skin myself.

the reception was that night, church the next day, and then monday, me, amber, and the whole bryson clan (22 in total) were off to san antonio. a short 4 hour drive later and we stood at the gates of schlitterbahn, the greatest waterpark in the world! say it slowly – IN… THE… WORLD! too bad so many people agree because the lines were way too long. fun day still, but awfully tiring. day two of our san antonio excursion found us back at schlitterbahn. this time we hopped the tram over to the other half of the park across town and quickly found the line for the ‘master blaster’, voted time and again by water ride experts (i believe they only offer that degree at yale) as the best water ride in the history of the universe ever! say it slowly – IN… THE… HISTORY… OF… THE… UNIVERSE… EVER! too bad so many people have read the scientific papers written on the subject because the line was about 2 hours long! and very deceptive. after an hour you think you’re almost to the end, then you walk up the stairs and you’re hit with the sad realization you’ve got another hour wait. i felt used, cheap, and dirty. but the ride was a blast, so it’s hard to complain too much.

we eventually found our way to the wave pool lazy river. i did forget to mention that we had purchased a waterproof disposable camera for the trip. for my ease, i put the camera into my swimsuit pocket (which is a great invention cuz i used to have to hold stuff when i swam – now my wallet and phone fit nicely into my pocket). well we get into this not-so-lazy river and i notice a camera floating by me. i smirk, check my pocket, then tore into a frantic spasm after the camera. having secured it, i made the brilliant move of putting it right back into my pocket, since it worked so well the first time. a couple laps in the river and again i notice it missing. i was sure it was gone for good this time, but just as i thought this, a plump little girl floats by in her tube, randomly taking pictures with a camera that looked an awful lot like ours. amber chases her down and asks if the camera is hers. she says no and promptly drops it back into the water and we watch as the current whisks the camera away. we chased it down quickly enough, which ended up not being as important as we wished it had – very few of the pictures turned out. oh well. funny story.

day three found us touring the sights of san antonio. first stop was the alamo (which is really nothing more than a boring museum, but don’t tell my texan friends i said so). we then wandered down to the river walk and had lunch at the hard rock café. amber and i then snuck away from the bryson party and drove over to austin to see her brother jarom, his wife linda, and their new baby boy jadon. jadon was a little shy around us, but was still way too cute. ladies, mark your calendars now – sixteen years from now he’ll be available. J

day four had us back at an amusement park, but this time it was six flags: fiesta texas. while we definitely enjoyed the much shorter lines, we definitely missed the water because it was hot! at our very first ride, the boy in front of us passed out from the heat. we kept plenty hydrated, rode some roller coasters, found shade as often as possible, relaxed often, and had an enjoyable day. we gathered at the end of the night and enjoyed a firework/ laser light show boasting of the greatness of texas. amber was so inspired that she was ready to drive a truck, ride a bull, fight for the alamo, or do any other truly texan thing to show her loyalty.

we headed back to abilene the next day and back home to provo the day after that. a lot of driving, a lot of walking, a lot of sun, and a lot of money spent (almost all by the parents – thank you so much mom and dad!), but it was a very fun couple of weeks. and i can now proudly say my wife is a true texan! she knows the four seasons of texas, has been to the alamo, got in a drunken bar fight and stabbed a guy with a broken pool stick, and has seen a prairie dog. yee haw amber! slowly - YEE... HAW... !