Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

We got an early start yesterday to make it to the sunrise service my parent’s church organizes at 7:00am on Easter morning. The service takes place in Wilderness Park up in Arcadia and is a beautiful way to start the holiday. It’s also the location where we took our engagement photos- so a special place for a couple reasons. Trumpet music opens the service and shortly after doves are released. Easter, in all Christian churches, is one of the most special celebrations of the year, but I particularly look forward to the natural beauty that comes along with the service put on by Our Savior.

After church we drove down the hill and into Monrovia for brunch at the quirky and delicious Peach Cafe. We all indulged in a decadent breakfast and warmed up with coffee on their outdoor patio. The rest of the morning was made up with reading the paper, naps and a little prep for Easter dinner. We had the traditional HoneyBaked ham with two kinds of potatoes, salad and some yummy Stone Brewery samplers. It was a relaxing and family-filled Easter and the first I’ve been able to spend in Sierra Madre in almost a decade!

This past weekend was also brought my first day off in three weeks! Needless to say- I’ve been looking forward to this time off for awhile!  Luckily April is almost at a close and then life in the admissions world should slow down significantly. I’m coming up on a month at USC and I’ve learned A LOT in the short time that I’ve been on board. It’s been challenging stepping into this role at such a critical time in the admissions process, but the other staff and students have been so welcoming and patient. I’m curious to see what my typical day-to-day will look like come May, and am looking forward to getting more comfortable with all the new projects and material. Also hopefully getting to attend a couple football games in the fall:)

Dave got back last Tuesday from his cross country road trip with our lovely new Honda Civic. We’re so thankful to have such a generous family and the car is already coming in handy. Even though I take the metro to and from work each day LA is such a car-centric city and this will give us the ability to explore more and hopefully soon find a place of our own. Dave and Alan drove together from Portland to Denver, stopping in Philadelphia and St. Louis for baseball games. They also had the chance to check out the Budweiser Brewery and City Museum in St. Louis.

They did a lot of driving making it from Maine to Colorado in just 4 days. Last Sunday, after a long drive through Kansas (Not so exciting) Alan flew home and Dave spent the night in Boulder hanging out with Jeff and Seth before hitting the road again on Monday. He drove to Cedar City, Utah outside of Zion National Park on Monday night so he could get to the park at dawn and spend a few hours hiking. He ended up waking up at 5am and driving to Zion getting there at 7 only to find out the park doesn’t typically open until 8! Luckily the gates were open anyway and Dave was able to get in and take a 7 am shuttle to the trailhead.

For those who have not been to Zion National Park it is a heavily visited park in southern Utah that comprises mainly of the Zion River winding through the massive, dramatic sandstone cliff-walled canyon often in narrow areas. Because of this geography and popularity, the only way to travel into the Canyon is by a free shuttle bus operated by the park service. The system works fairly well at keeping car traffic out of the canyon but really bottlenecks park visitors at the visitors’ center at the bottom of the Canyon. Getting there really early turned out to be a good move as by the time Dave left, the park was packed, even running out of parking spaces. This was on a weekday in April so imagine what it might be like in the middle of the summer!

The two most popular hikes in Zion are the Narrows which is a hike through the river in the narrow part of the canyon and Angel’s Landing. Dave was not interested in getting his feet wet, so he chose Angel’s landing. The hike was difficult, including a lot of elevation gain in a short distance and some hand over hand climbing at the end over a narrow ridge between two 1500 foot cliffs. The views of the winding river and the dramatic sandstone cliffs at the end were well worth it though! Here is a pic he took of the Zion River Canyon from the top of Angel’s Landing.

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After the hike Dave finished the drive passing through Las Vegas (no stop over for gambling unfortunately) and onto Sierra Madre in just over six hours. A long journey finished and now some much needed rest for both us… me from work and him from driving!

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Already April

A few weeks ago I got some very exciting news from USC when they called to offer me a position as an Assistant Director of Admissions! I started at the end of March and am really excited to be back in the world of higher education. I think USC will be a dynamic place to work and we’re happy to finally know what city we’ll be in for the next couple of years! As anyone who’s ever worked in admissions knows April is a CRAZY month and I’ve been put right to work. I’m doing my best to learn all there is to know about my new office and will be traveling to admitted student events over the course of the month. Last weekend I was in the bay area and I’m headed to Texas next weekend. Starting a new job is always a little overwhelming, but I really like my colleagues and they’ve been great about sharing information and making me feel welcome.

At the end of last week Dave traveled back to Maine to visit with family and retrieve his mom’s old car. Melissa is investing in a new vehicle and generously offered us her old model. Dave and his dad are driving the car across country later this week. They’ll be stopping in a couple cities along the way to catch baseball games and Dave’s thinking about stopping at Zion to do a little hiking if time permits. Dave was in Maine to celebrate his dad’s birthday last weekend and was also able to go skiing with friends.  In the next few days he’ll be packing up some of our stuff from storage and then on Wednesday they’ll head out west.

We don’t have a ton of things planned in the near future, but are excited to be back in California for Easter. It will be the first time I’ve been home for the holiday since college and am looking forward to sunrise service in Wilderness Park, family brunch and The 10 Commandments. It’s not the most thrilling of times, but we’re happy and healthy and life aint bad:)