December 25, 2009

ONE year with the ONE I love

It is hard to believe that we've been married for ONE YEAR already. The time has flown by super fast! This year has been so full of love, laughter, travel, adventure, and growth. I have the happiest, healthiest, sweetest marriage. I couldn't be more blessed!

I gave Ben a sear for grilling with our initials "BS." The initials represent us and it is something that will last our marriage. I wrapped it in paper that I wrote words about our year on. I made the funniest card for him...just imagine a picture of Ben when he was about 3 years old, squating with two feet on the toilet seat, holding his wee wee to aim in the toilet, a smile wide across his face. Inside I wrote: "You've got mad skills! That's why I married you." Clever. I know. :)

Ben totally showed me up on the whole gift thing and planned a backpacking trip to the Dominican Republic! We got off the boat from the family cruise in Florida and hopped on a plane to the DR where we spent 12 spectacular days.

Doing something that you love with someone that you love = happiness

Ok ok we finally did realize we were crazy once we were lying in a bed with Winnie the Pooh sheets, dying of heat, in a strangers home whom we had known for an hour, in the middle of a foreign country, in one of the most dangerous parts of town...

We met this sweet little lady, Ada, on the airplane. When she learned that we were going to get off the plane and find a place to stay the night, she insisted that we stay with her. She wouldn't take any payment and kept saying the Lord would bless her. She even served us breakfast in the morning and drove us to the bus station. Thankfully it worked out to be safe and sweet.

So that is where our adventure ONLY began...
After a 3 hour bus ride, seated like sardines, we arrived in a little town, El Cedro, located on the northern shores, where we then took a 20 minute motorcycle ride to a bed and breakfast on Playa Limon (Lemon Beach). We were the only tourists staying there, we had miles of beach to ourselves!

Our daily walk to the beach consisted of palm trees and wild horses:

Man's best friend, "Tigre," lived at the house we stayed at and he was our guard dog. He would take us to the beach and stay with us, chasing away any strangers or animals, and guarding our things from the local fisherman that were sometimes around while we swam in the ocean.

One day we climbed a nearby mountain...from the top we could see rolling hills, and endless ocean. It was just us, the swings, the breeze, and the open blue sky.

Another day, we rode a paddle boat through a lagoon which lead to the ocean:
After 5 nights at Playa Limon, we packed our backpacks and made our way south to a little fisherman village, Boca De Yuma. We stayed in such a pretty Italian owned villa.

On the day of our ANNIVERSARY we went horseback riding to a secluded cave with a natural spring of clear water which we enjoyed swiming in:

Afterwards, we were still feeling a little adventurous and we SWAM to a little island we could see from the shore:

We had a romantic ANNIVERSARY DINNER at a little restaurant overlooking the Caribbean Sea. We shared the Dominican Republics national fish, the Butu, for dinner...absolutely delicious!
After a few days in the southeastern coast we headed to the capitol city, Santo Domingo to finish out our adventure! We made previous arrangements to meet up with close family friends of the Snarrs, Kay and Cheryl Briggs, who have been living there for the last three years serving the church. We met at the LDS Temple, in the heart of the city. There we were able to witness a beautiful sealing ceremony of a family from French Guyana, and Kay was the officiator.

Kay and Cheryl were generous and kind to let us stay with them in their beautiful home right next door to the Temple. There we were close to the city and sites.

We visited the Christopher Columbus home:

Modelo Market:

Old Town Square:

The first Christian Cathedral in the New World:

Columbus Park:

Downtown Market:

All in all, it was an adventure, with my adventuresome husband. A great way to wrap up 2009.

December 24, 2009

LFO: Larsen Family Reunion 2009

Believe it or not Ben and I had our first date at the Larsen Family Reunion in Rexburg, Idaho back in June 2008. I was attending BYU-Idaho and Ben was visiting from LA and told me to "permanent marker" him into my schedule. I ended up at a cabin meeting all his relatives and playing games with all of his cousins until 3am. So it was such a sweet experience to reunite with all his relatives again, yet this time married, at the Larsen Family Reunion on the Carribbean Seas 2009!

Uncle Dallin and Uncle Randy were in charge this year and took about 100 of us on a crusie to Jamaica and Haiti. We had so much fun catching up with the relatives at the dinner table, playing games in the lounge every night, climbing Dunns River Falls in Jamiaca, taking Snarr family photos on the beach in Haiti, enjoying shows on the ice skating rink or auditorium, laughing as Tony and Abby were on stage for the newly wed game, watching the guys play in the volleyball competition, Uncle Rick in the belly flop competition, Ben in the scavenger hunt, young Palmer in the rockcliming competion, and most of all spending quality time with so many of our family members.

November 30, 2009

Gracias. Merci. Danke. Thanks.

Thanksgiving this year was spent at Ben's parents home. Ben made the shrimp cocktail (that is a new tradition for me), and I made the fruit salad. Syd and Lee had a friend smoke the turkey so it was extra tasty. Thankgiving was everything it is supposed to be...filled with lots of good food and great company. Syds brother Derek, his wife Katie, and their two children Palmer and Meredith joined us, Ali drove down from school in Idaho, Spencer and Dawn flew in from their home in Oregon, and my sister Heather came from Provo...all to spend Thanksgiving at the Snarr home.

After stuffing ourselves with smoked, savory turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, carrots cooked in mustard and brown sugar, pie topped with whip cream, etc. (ok now i'm hungry for leftovers...) we played games. One clever game that Syd came up with and prepared was a memory game with pictures of all of us on the cards. And to top it all off we then put together hygeine kits for battered women and children.

Thanks to Thanksgiving this year:
I had a great time with family.
I laughed a lot.
I tried something new (shrimp cocktail).
I served others.

What more could I ask for? There is SO much to be THANKFUL for!

Black Friday: We saw the movie, Blindside. MUST see! It is a feel good movie, that will make you laugh and cry and is based on a true story.

BYU vs. UofU game: We watched it with friends Ladd & Katie!

November 09, 2009


It has been a while since I have picked up a book to read for pleasure. I always had school books to read (not that I even read those either). So as a suggestion from my mother in law I read this one.

The author, Elizabeth Gilbert takes you into her life, shares her struggles, and allows you to follow her journey to discover herself, true peace and balance. Elizabeth is witty and honest and she made me laugh, cry, and relate to her. I now have a better resolution to choose to be happy, to medidate, to love more deeply, to pray more fervently, to achieve a simple balanced life, and discover ME more fully. Gosh, that sounds like a lot to work step at a time. Right?

Throughout the book I gained insights and found quotes that seemed to be just what I needed to hear. One particular day, cruising along the Mexican Riviera, I was allowing myself to think about my situation at home: how Ben and I are at a crossroads and don't really know what the future holds for us or where we will be even next week, or how much longer he will have to travel for. Thought built upon thought until I felt sorry for myself, and allowed myself to complain...just a my wonderful hubby who works so hard and treats me so nice that he does not deserve to hear it. After finishing my complaint I sat back in my lawn chair and opened up my book to read. I read this:

"Here you are in India, in an ashram in one of th holiest pilgramage sites on earth. And instead of communing with the divine, you're trying to plan where you'll be meditating a year from now in a home that doesn't yet exist in a city yet to be determined. How about this you spastic fool--how about you try to meditate right here, right now, right where you actually ARE."

Umm hello!? Can anyone else see how this relates perfectly to me? Here I am on a cruise, having the time of my life and I'm thinking about home and complaining?? So immediately it was like I was bonked in the head and a lightbulb went on. I said "Britney, enjoy the moment. Life is a journey. It is exciting that it is a mystery, it is not monotonous, and you have a clean canvas to paint." So no more complaints will come from me. I learned my lesson. :)

Halloween, the Utes, and the 'lil Tank too

Ben attended the University of Utah for some time so he is very loyal to the Utah Utes. We hopped off the plane from the cruise just in time to make it to the Halloween black out game. So I guess you could say we dressed up for halloween this year...we dressed as Utes fans in all black. :) We were so lucky and got 3rd row tickets from Bens neighbor.

We ate hot dogs, drank hot chocolate, cuddled in the chilly weather, cheered our guts out, and were so relieved when the Utes won after a very close game.


On Sunday we were so happy to see Bens friends from Highschool, Geoff and Morgan while they were in town from Washington D.C. The last time we saw them was at our wedding...they were so awesome and made it to both receptions in Boston AND Salt Lake City! This time they have a new addition...Josh (aka the "tank"). What a cutie! Here he is mesmerized by Ben. But we also found that he is mesmerized by the football game on tv...such a boy! His parents seem to have the mom and dad job down and we couldn't be happier for them and their little family!

Oh and sorry Josh, if Ben is crushing you in his armpit.