Spencer & I created a new blog- thecroslandcrew.blogspot.com. If any of you would like to be invited please let me know! We are going to keep it private, so email me or give me your email some how. Hope all is well!
So here is a copy of an email I sent to Suzy describing some of my Chinese adventures! It was such a great trip! I went with one of my good friends Marian, and I was there from April 16- May 3. We were flown over to watch my cousing Jen's children while she and her husband went on a cruise to Europe. Marian went to tend some of Jen's friend's children, as they too were going on the cruise.
They didn't end up going on the cruise because of the volcano, but it was a blessing in disguise as I was able to fly home along with Jen & Kevin to my Grandfather's funeral. That was a very sweet time. I then went back to China, and that is when the following adventures took place!
We were in Beijing for two nights, and saw Tienaman Square, The Forbidden City in one day and went on a "rickshaw" ride (a bike that a man peddles) throught the Hutong or old Chinese streets. That was really fun and cool. We walked probably 10 miles or more that day. The next day we went to the Great Wall and the Summer Palace. In the morning we had a driver & guide pick us up, Jenni helped us arrange everything. But the driver decided that we had to go and see some factories like a Jade factory and that it would be impossible to do that. So we called Jen & Kevin--they tried to work things out, but they were not cooperating. So, Kevin had us get out of the car and get in a taxi. He said, "Get out, get in a taxi, don't say anything to the other driver, given the phone to the taxi driver & I will negotiate a deal." That is what we did. Kevin spoke with the cab driver and then the van passed us. Jenni was on the other line with the guide people, and they said they would cooperate and take us where we wanted to go. So then we stopped the taxi, payed him a little bit & got back in the van. It was really a crazy start to the morning, and made it a little more exciting.
I hope that makes sense, but this trip has been full of too many exciting or unexpected things. First the volcano erupting, then Kevin and Jen having their cruise cancelled. Grandpa then passed away, and we were able to come home for that funeral. I think it was a blessing, and all part of the Plan...Heavenly Father is in the details.
Coming back to China, Marian lost her wallet, which had her bus ticket in it to Beijing, so then I had to return mine, lose about 20 yuan, and then we bought plane tickets. One of our flights to Guilin we had scheduled on the wrong day, so we had to change it, one of Marian's tickets was under the wrong passport number, so that was a little frustration. Its kind of funny the crazy things that happened, but we have also enjoyed our trip! We can look back and laugh at most of it!So after getting back in the van, we then went to the Great Wall of China. It was awesome!!! We probably hiked 3 miles at least on the Wall, and it was actually quite steep and a lot of stairs. It is incredible to think of how they built that! We rode an Alpine slide down from the wall on tobagans, and we got to the wall on a ski lift. The tobagan was a highlight! We had to stop at a factory, and then we went to the Summer palace. We hiked another 1.5 miles, and ran up the side of the mountain like little goats to get to the top of the palace. It sits on 716 acres, and is on a steep hill. That was another fun trip. At the end of that day we felt like we were going to have awesome calf muscles! We slept well that night, and got up early again, ate our big complimentary breakfast at the Courtyard by Marriott (I love Marriott!!) Went to the Temple of Heaven and then hailed a taxi to the Airport to fly to Guilin.Once their we expected our contact "Ping" to be at the airport, but I looked over and saw a Chinese man holding a sign that said, "Jan Bangerter". It was kind of fun, so we walked over to them, and he took us to Yangshuo which was about 1.5 hours away. It was a beautiful town in some outstanding mountains, but it was a tropical, hot area. We went to our quaint little hotel called the "Snow Lion Resort". It has a Swiss lodge feel to it. We there met our guide Ping, and her cousin Kenny who would be showing us around.That night we went on the river and watched the comerant birds catch fish & the little Chinaman with his bamboo hat catch them on the Li River. It was really neat, and we have some awesome pictures of everything! Then we tried to find a place to jump in the river, but we couldn't find a clean shore. The mountains were lit up for a night show and that was beautiful. A little side note.
May 1-May 3, all of the days that we have been traveling have been a HUGE Chinese holiday, so everywhere we went there have been thousands, and probably close to millions of people! It was crazy dodging in and out of crowds of people!Our last day was a Sunday, but there is no church here. We enjoyed nature and beauty around us, and had a little Sunday school on top of the Moon! Moon hill. We hiked that in the afternoon after he floated on a bamboo raft down the 'dragon' river. That was really fun...and we took some great pictures! There were little waterfall parts and people would be below them taking pictures and then try to sell you one. We said now to the first 4, but then on the 5th and 6th we each bought one. They are kinda fun. The hike to Moon hill was beautiful and hot! We also got in a great work out their, and are going to have awesome legs! It felt good to do all of that walking, hiking, toning this weekend. After that full day, we went back to Yangshuo had a nice dinner and then took a taxi to the airport. Oh, I forgot to tell you the best part!....we also rented scooters and drove them all around the countryside and saw rice patties, and other farmers, water buffalo, we weaved in and out of traffic, and all over the place through crowds and we survived! We had the real China experience doing that! Our Guilin trip activities only cost $50 each! We were impressed that we did all of that for so little. The exchange is 6.8 RMB or yuan to $1.
So I decided I better write an update of my life...and my engagement story! I have been dating Spencer Lee Crosland since the first of November. It has been such a fun time getting to know him, watching him interact with others, learning from him, and being with him! We have been able to go on some fun adventures together, and had time getting to know each other as we traveled. We started "hypothetically" talking about marriage when I received a call from a travel nursing agency in December and we discussed the possibility of me leaving to go and do that. And what would happen in our relationship, especially if things continued to go as well as they had. From the very beginning we wanted to take things slowly, and didn't want to rush into anything, but this "hypothetical" conversation got us kind of excited! I just really enjoyed being with him, and the fun part was that he liked me too! We have seen each other and/or talked to each other everyday since we met, and everything has just been so natural and fun!
Well, I guess we started talking about things, still somewhat hypothetically, but we were more serious in January. We still were keeping things kind of on the "DL". When people would ask me how the boyfriend was, I would respond, "Things are going well." But I wouldn't give any more detail. Even to my mom and dad, and Suzy! They would try to get things out of me, but I would just say, "Oh we talk hypothetically, but we're not rushing into anything." I think they could tell I was holding back....
So, last Saturday night, February 13, we went and looked at rings. We didn't have any plans to get anything, we just thought it would be really fun...little did we know that we would be getting something that night! IT was fun, but kind of crazy all at once, thinking, "Is this really happening? Are we really getting married?" I've said from the beginning that I just wanted to enjoy this no matter what happens...and I sure have! My parents came to Utah the 13th and 14th for a Cryer family party. I asked Spencer if he spoke with my dad and he said, "No, I will probably go to Melba this coming weekend." So I thought nothing of it...little did I know that he had spoken with him and my mom on Sunday morning. They also denied talking to him, or that he had asked to marry me. They all did a pretty good job keeping a secret, I actually think Mom and Dad didn't call me for a few days so they wouldn't blow it! Tuesday night, February 16th I got a phone call from him & he said, "Jan, I got out of class early!" I said, "Sweet, come on over, I have some news I want to share."
The news was that I received a letter from BYU that I was accepted into the Nurse Practitioner program. Well, he called about 15 minutes later and said, "Jan, I was so excited to come here your news, that I peeled out and got a flat tire." I responded, "Do you want me to come save you?" And he said, "I would love it if you came & saved me." So I drove the pickup over to UVU, and there he was with a flat tire. I parked the truck, with the lights shining on it, and got the jack out, when suddenly fireworks started going off...I then looked at him and said, "Oh look, for us." And I gave him a little kiss and went back to work to change the tire. I then went to turn off the pickup, when I saw his brother Marshall and he was crouched down behind the car, I thought that I would sneak up on him, but then I thought he saw me and I changed my mind, turned off the pickup, and walked back to help Spencer. At that moment I saw him kneeling on the ground and holding a box. I quickly stopped, exactly where I was. He looked up at me and said, "Jan, will you marry me?" It took me a few seconds to respond, because I was so caught off guard & absolutely shocked! But I did say "YES!" and I gave him a big hug. He then said, "lets see if it fits." As he was saying that, Marshall, his brother came out with the video camera, his sister-in-law Kristin and brother David came out taking pictures and their daughter Claire. Par, his roommate was the one who lit the big, awesome, illegal, Wyoming fireworks also came running up.
It was such an exciting, wonderful, perfect moment, and I love that I was so surprised! We spent the rest of the evening celebrating, watching the video and calling our family. My sister Natalie was the first to hear the news, and then we told everyone else the story. We are so excited, and June 25 will be our wedding day, in the SLC temple. We both feel so blessed, and so happy. We have grown so much in like and in love, and look forward to our life together!
Well, back in June sometime, I had a wonderful get-away with my siblings and a couple cousins. We had some fun adventures, cleaning out the house, yard, putting in a new pump, moving cows, racing, building forts, laughing, watching movies, swimming in the ponds, building fence...everything fun a ranch has to offer! I loved it!