Friday, April 13, 2012

Washington D.C.

Now that I have discovered how great Washington D.C. is, I just can't get enough of it. Britt, a friend from NC, and I headed up to visit another friend Jaclyn the weekend before Valentine's Day.  Jaclyn forgot to mention our activity for Friday night would be attending her Church's Valentine's Dance. I survived and enjoyed the rest of the weekend.  We spent Saturday in the city and went to church with her on Sunday before heading back to Durham.  It was a fun weekend!
 We just couldn't stop jumping while we were there!!

30 before 30

It is hard to believe that I turned 29 a couple months ago.  I still feel like I am a young 18 year old who just graduated from high school - I realize though that I am a young 29 year old who has her whole life still in front of her.  I have loved and enjoyed my life up to this point and look forward to the many more wonderful experiences I am going to be able to have.  I must admit, 10 years ago I would have described my life at 29 completely different from what it actually is currently, but I am enjoying how it is and look forward to seeing what the future holds.  It have had to readjust my mindframe to my current life since it is so vastly different from what I thought it would be, but I am trying to enjoy every day. 

I have been inspired by some friends who did something similar to put together a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30.  I LOVE making lists and checking things off, so this is exactly what I have done.  I tried to put things on my list that I would not do/accomplish if I didn't have a little extra push.  Here is a sampling of the list:

Already Accomplished: 1. Hike 30 miles on the Appalachain Trail (ended up doing 70); 2. Visit 30 national parks (includes monuments, parks, battlefields, etc.); 3. go to a UNC football game; 4. visit exotic island; 5. watch sunrise over the ocean; 6. go to a symphony; 7. bike to Apex on the American Tobacco Trail

Working On: run 1/2 marathon, finish house quilt, go to Durham Bulls Baseball game, read Christmas Carol, finish and frame needle point, hike Mt. Rogers, learn to make danish (mormon bread), bike to the top of White Top, read 5 Newberry Medal winners, read the Book of Mormon, have a fancy dinner party - these are just a few more of the 30. 

It has been lots of fun so far working on the different goals and I have had several friends help me accomplish these goals.  I look forward to working on these throughout the year and ending this decade of my life with a bang.

Junior Nationals - Myrtle Beach

My nephew, Matthias, competed in the National Junior Olympic Cross Country competition this past Fall in Myrtle Beach.  He came in around 70th out of 250 boys ages 9-10.  He were/are so proud of him.  He ran his heart out and did amazing.  Jamie, my brother - his dad, told him he could come to the nationals if he won the state of Utah's race, which he did.  I look forward to see his progress with his sports and all the other areas of his life.  I have the best nieces and nephews and love them all very much!!
 Matthias is the 5th boy from the right side in the brown shirt and white shorts, I believe both of his feet are off the ground. This was the very beginning of the race!
 I tried to get an action shot, it is a pretty blurry but I thought pretty cool.  Matthias is the blur on the far right.
 At the finish line - great job Matthias!!


I LOVE Thankgsiving - it is probably my favorite holiday.  It occurs during my favorite season, it is a time to reflect on what you are grateful for, I get to spend time with my family, and eat yummy food.  This year I was the only child to come home - Mama and Daddy please remember that!! =)  We were planning on going to an Aunt and Uncle's home for Thanksgiving but due to illness in their family, at the last minute - 9pm the day before Thanksgiving, it was decided that we would stay home.  This meant a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up food for our own Thanksgiving meal.  In the end, it worked out wonderfully, we had plenty of food and were able to spend a quiet, peaceful day in Bristol. As usual, we went up to White Top and picked out a beautiful Christmas tree, the day could not have been more perfect.

Halloween 2011

The kids were super cute this past year, if I am allowed to say so.  They had a great time trick-or-treating and Sarah was able to make it the whole night.  Several homes in Steve's neighborhood had "treats" (particular types of beverages) for the adults, if you know what I am talking about, that was a first for me.  I was grateful to benefit from their efforts in collecting bag fulls of candy!

Creeper Trail - 2nd Trip

My friends in NC loved biking on the Creeper Trail so much we came up for a second trip. Although, we had a few more surprises this time around, mainly snow!  It was a cold wintery day with a snow covered While Top but everyone still seemed to have a great time and wants to come again.  By the end, my fingers and toes were frozen but we all made it back in one piece.  We also visited the Carter Family Fold for a second time and got our dancing in.  It was a fun weekend with great company!

The Proposal (not mine - maybe one day)

Have any of you seen the movie, The Proposal?  Well, there is a scene in the movie that is hilarious.  Sandra Bullock is out in the woods with her future grandmother-in-law and they are doing a ritual type dance around a fire.  Catie did the same dance once for my mom and myself, it was the funniest thing and we laughed so hard we cried.  Well, this past fall when my mom and I took the kids camping we  re-enacted the dance.  I wish I had a video to show you but David, Mary, and Sarah got the biggest kick out of dancing around in the woods and my mom and I had a hoot being silly. 

Newest Lifelong Goal - AT

Mama Dunn Sr. and I went to Virgina to see a friend who recently returned home from a mission for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from Brazil.  On our way home, we drove within miles of Harper's Ferry - which is famous due to John Brown - and it is the headquarters for the Appalachain Trail Conservancy.  I have recently been reading up on the AT and hiking the trail in its entirety.  I have always loved hiking and would love to hike the whole trail.  At first, I wanted to be a thru hiker, someone who hikes the whole trail at one time.  After reading and considering my lifestyle, I quickly realized this would not be feasible, so my latest goal is to be a section hiker and hike the trail throughout my life and eventually hike the whole thing, approximately 2,200 miles.  I hiked my first section in March - pictures to come.  We stopped at the headquarters and bought my first few maps of the trail and snapped a few pictures.  It was rather exciting.  I love goals and planning - thinking about either of these makes me giddy. 

North Carolina State Fair

Sarah and I were able to spend a day at the State Fair and see all the fun animals.  There was one tent with sheep that we went into and this really cute eleven year old let Sarah get into the cage with the sheep.  She loved it.  I also found a little shed/house that I want to attempt to build some day with my own two hands!!  I better start learning carpentry now! =)

Mt. Mitchell

Mt. Mitchell is the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River standing at 6,683 feet.  I had the chance to summit the mountain on a beautiful October day with a few friends from NC.  We made the 11 mile round trip trek in about 7 and half hours.  The fall colors were in full bloom and the sun was out and shining.  We could not have asked for a more lovely day to climb the mountain.  My favorite quote of the trip, "after a half mile, I knew this was going to be bad." My friend Jonathon said that after we got back to the bottom.  We all made it and had smiling faces on top.  It is so wonderful to be able to enjoy the beautiful creations God has provided us - I feel such a peace and calm when I am out in the woods!


I am back - at least for now! =) Hopefully, I will get us caught back up to at least the beginning of this year.  Back in September, my family ran our third Ragnar race up in Washington D.C.  It was a wonderful experience - aside from the a lack of sleep, sore muslces, running in rain, etc.  =) It was just as much fun as the rest we have run together.  I know it sounds crazy to run for a straight 30 hours, but being together and cheering everyone on while they run, gives me a thrill that is hard to explain.  We accomplished another 200 miles and enjoyed the beautiful sights we got to see.  Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment!!