Saturday, October 18, 2008

Washington D.C. and Baltimore

Ann and I flew to D.C. to attend her friend Katie's wedding on August 30th. While there, we were able to explore both D.C. and Baltimore while staying with friends of Ann's in both cities. We dashed through the capital mall, took the train to and from Baltimore, and ate some crab cakes (along with boatloads of other stuff) in Baltimore. The east coast feels like a foreign country, especially compared to Jackson, but we had a great time exploring. Thanks to Ann's pals Alex in Baltimore and Jon and Julie for housing us; we loved seeing the cities from your perspective.

new year = new students

I met my third class of graduate students at Teton Science Schools on August 24th. The biggest class yet of 24 students, is outgoing, smart, and motivated to absorb as much as possible in their 50 weeks in Jackson Hole. Things won't be the same without my friend Kevin Haspela around but Josh and I are excited to take on this new group of motivated students.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sandy visits!

My Mom visited! We had so much fun galavanting around town - I love my Mom!

Wetsuit wiggle time

Swimmin' in String Lake

Rendezvous hill climb

On a whim, I decided to ride in the annual Rendez-vous mountain hill climb. It is a mountain bike race that consists of a climb from the base of the mountain in Teton Village up to the top of the gondola; about a 3,000 foot elevation gain. It kicked my butt but was fun all the same. Don't look for me in next years race, I think once was enough.

Graduation Day

It is hard to call this an "update" since it is a month old but we recently graduated 16 students from the Teton Science Schools graduate program. They were the second full class for which I was the Director of Research. As usual, it was a bitter sweet event as the students moved on but I also had to say goodbye to my good friend Kevin Haspela.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Recent Happenings

I apologize for not updating this more frequently. I'm going to try to do it once a week...keep me accountable!

Events of the weekend...

- Listening to bagpipe music (the Scottish Festival took place very close to my cond0)
- Picked up my roommate Susannah from the airport (She spent the summer in South Africa and is now returning to be with her family in Portland since her Dad's pancreatic cancer is worsening.) She looked more beautiful than ever and it was fun to hear her stories from Africa and update her with all the Jackson news. I'm sad to see Susannah go, but I'm so blessed to have Shauna Petersen as a roommate. Before she left, Susannah, the girls and I had a night on the town. For me, the night ended at a random Reggae concert.
- Watching Les Jeux Olympiques! We're Olympic-junkies! In high school I was voted, "Most Likely to be an Olympian." Perhaps trampolining is my calling...
- Dale did a 4 mile long 2,800ft elevation gain mountain biking race! He finished in the top 20. Sexy!
- Church, one of the best First Baptist sermons I have heard
- Went to String Lake for some canoeing and another attempt at doing an open water swim. I do not swim like Michael Phelps.
- Hung out with John and Embere. Wonderful company.
- Worked last night...

My Mom comes today! She'll be here in about four hours! Yipee!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ironman 70.3

Dale and I joyfully finished the Ironman 70.3 triathlon in Boise.

Comments about the individual legs:
- 1.2 mile swim
Ann's thoughts: VERY challenging, choppy water, maybe next time I will try to do an open water swim before the race (in my defense, it snowed all day yesterday and it was June 11th)
Ann's reflections on Dale's experience: if he hadn't been simultaneously puking and swimming, he would have a more favorable impression of this leg

- 56 mile bike ride-- Rock on baby!

- 1/2 Marathon
Juicy oranges = heaven sent
Tough to have to run past the finish and do another loop
Happy to be done and have so many fun and loving people cheering for us

Here's the link to my pictures...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Graduation Pictures

Jill's Biggest Fans
She's tougher than a boiled owl.
Proud Papa and Jill
Jill & Al
Siss and Sass

Jill, Dad, Grandma Jean & Grandpa Harold
Jill participating in a Wisconsin tradition-- sitting on Abe Lincoln's lap after graduation

Quelle joie!

Being engaged has been such a joy! I can't wait to be married to Dale.

Recent happenings:
First pre-marital counseling session with Pastor Scott Iken. Over a meal of fajitas and chimichangas, Dale shared some of the reasons he loves me (and later, reasons why I love him). I feel confident about our relationship because our foundation is our desire to love and serve God and one another. Additionally, Dale has a huge heart, he is ridiculously good looking and he's the least annoying person I know. :)

Wedding dresses. I tried on my Mom's Priscilla of Boston dress as well as my Grandma's dress. Both are BEAUTIFUL and caused some of my North Oaks mothers to shed a tear when they saw me in the gowns. I considered wearing one of their dresses, but I decided that I wanted a more contemporary look. Despite the fact My Mom had had surgery the previous week and was wearing a HUGE red cast, we zipped around town and looked at dresses at Brides of France in Edina, David's Bridal at Har-Mar, The Bride Center in Oakdale and finally, we ventured to The Wedding Shoppe on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.

Initially, trying on the dresses (which ranged in price from $300-$4,000) was stressful for me. I want to look and feel stunning, but even if I had billions of dollars, I couldn't in good conscious spend even $1,000 on a dress. However, Misty, our Wedding Shoppe guru, guided me to the dress I have chosen. It fits beautifully, it is elegant yet a little edgy. Wow factor rating: 10.

Graduation. In addition to looking like a babe, Jill was in Madison's top two percent. Jill makes me so proud; my heart swelled when they announced her name. I also really like her boyfriend Al.

Kitchen supplies. Kae Bjorklund, Laurie Chalmers and Brenda Glassow threw me a surprise engagement party complete with a cake and gifts! I received a hand mixer, mixing bowl and a variety of kitchen spoons. While sitting in a wheelchair with her leg fully extended, my Mom and I navigated tight store displays as well as the china departments at Galleria. Her in/out of the car gymnastics routine will soon be ready for Beijing 2008.

I am so blessed.

Details still in the works:
Suit or tux?
Ann Hallstrom Gentry or Ann Klosterman Gentry? Thoughts?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wedding Plans

Here are some answers to your post-proposal FAQs:

When are you going to get married?

We're thinking about November 29th, 2008. The logic: this summer = too soon, next summer = way too far away, this fall = the best option. Dale and both of his parents are teachers and Jill will be doing Teach for America in Chicago so Thanksgiving break seems like a reasonable idea. Also, this date would hold special meaning because it will be Dale’s parents’ 40th wedding anniversary.

Where are you going to get married?

We hope to have the ceremony at First Baptist Church in Jackson, WY. We know and love Pastor Scott Iken, and we've been going there since we moved to Wyoming. Hopefully the reception will be at the Teton Science School in Kelly, WY. It's a beautiful log cabin and the food is tasty. We're thinking that our wedding in Jackson will be teeny tiny (just immediate family). However, we want to celebrate with everyone so we tentatively plan to have receptions in Jackson, Minnesota (pencil in January 1st) and Idaho.

We'll see...

Engagement Pictures

A delicious feast at the Blue Lion restaurant.
A bad picture of BEAUTIFUL rings. Top ring: white gold etched with the outline of the Tetons. Bottom ring: white gold with sparkling diamonds. I love them and their meaning. Good work Dale!
Radiating happiness.
A kiss. I love that man.

Alerting the Press

A few hours after the proposal, Dale and I called our parents and sisters and shared our big news.

Prior to asking me, Dale had called my parents to get their blessing. Apparently this phone call was on April Fool's Day, but his intentions were no joke. Upon hearing the news, my parents yelped with joy. My Mom started to cry (duh) and I imagine she did her jumping-for-joy dance. They love Dale.

Jill's response: "Hey Bro!" I thought that was cute. Jill/Al and Robin were excited and I'm so happy we got to share our joy with them.

Yesterday I got a letter from Dale's Mom that shares the sentiments his parents initially expressed on the phone. The card reads:
Dear Ann,

Jim and I were thrilled to hear of Dale's proposal to you and your accepting. We both think the world of you. I don't think Dale could have found a better person than you and we'll be proud to call you daughter-in-law. Welcome to the family! We'll look forward to hearing about any future plans.

God bless and our prayers are with you,


I couldn't possibly feel more accepted and loved by them.

For the rest of the weekend we basked in our happiness. At the beginning of the following week, we started to tell other family members, friends, etc. I spent just about every minute of Monday and Tuesday on the phone. In addition to the overwhelming support that we have received from friends and family, I feel confident that AT&T is also thrilled about our recent engagement.

I told one of the developmentally disabled clients that I was engaged and she responded, "Yes, I would love to be your bridesmaid!" We'll see...

I feel incredibly blessed to have Dale. Furthermore, I am so blessed to have such supportive friends and family members. Thank you.

The Proposal

Saturday, April 19th, 2008: The Date of Our Engagement

On Saturday morning, Dale and I leisurely cooked a delicious breakfast complete with a diverse fruit platter (Kathy Hartley, one of my other mothers and creator of the earth's most aesthetically and palate pleasing fruit platters, would have been proud). After breakfast, we went out for coffee and basked in the surprisingly warm Wyoming sun. As I sipped on a coffee with cream, Dale suggested we walk along the banks of the Snake River and I agreed.

We got down to the river, held hands, walked and talked.

As we conversed, Dale became alarmingly sentimental and spoke about how the happiest moments of his life have taken place along the Snake River. (Dale's hometown of Twin Falls, Idaho is on the river; Pocatello, Idaho, home of Idaho State University, Dale's alma mater, is on the river; where Dale asked me on our first date and where we had our first kiss).

Then, he got down on one knee. He said heartfelt and wonderful things about me and us. I don't remember any of the words he spoke. I can only remember how he made me feel. My heart was beating faster than a hummingbird's and my body was overflowing with glee. Words cannot capture my joy.

He asked, "Will you marry me and make me the happiest man in the world?"

Rings appeared.

I joyfully responded, "Yes, I would love to marry you." We kissed.

A perfect proposal. If there had been an orchestra on the river banks, the music surely would have swelled.

Bone Marrow Drive

Emily Trapp recently sent this to me...
Bone Marrow Donor Drive in Honor of Kay Trapp
May 12
2:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Turtle Lake Elementary School- Shoreview, MN
Turtle Hall
I know that many of you do not live in the Twin Cities, but if you want to forward this on to parents, friends, or whomever you think would be willing to go that would be great. It is a painless process, just a cotton swab to the inside of the cheek and filling out a little paperwork. If you would like more details or directions you can check out or feel to contact me. The more people that join the registry the better chance my mom and other people who may need a transplant can find a match!
Thanks ladies!

Monday, April 21, 2008


OMG We're engaged!!