Wednesday, December 30, 2009


We had a wonderful Christmas this year! We had a lot of fun activities planned leading up to the big day, and had a great time with all the people we love.

Our families were very generous ... and we bought a vacuum with what they gave us (amongst other presents!). It's fantastic ... I never knew a floor could be so clean without actually cleaning the carpet!

Our favorite presents from each other this year ... Jeff got everything golf related including a new driver (I had help picking it out :)!), and an I-Pod stereo for his office. And Jeff shocked me when he surprised me with a beautiful diamond band. I LOVE presents that sparkle like this one! His excuse was that he wanted to make it a very memorable year for me since next year we'll both be focused on buying toys for the little guy. What a sweetheart!

Christmas ended a very wonderful and eventful 2009 ... we're excited for what we know 2010 is going to bring to our family!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Temple Square

Five years ago Jeff asked me out ... and took me to see the Christmas lights on Temple Square. Apparently it was a pretty good date seeing how things turned out :)! And each year he takes me back ... just the two of us to enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights. I love it!! Each year I am taken aback by the beauty and reminded of the real reason why we celebrate this time of year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fabulous Florida

Destination: Sanibel Island

Last week we went to Florida ... and had so much fun! We stayed in a beautiful resort, spent hours in the sunshine (85ish all week!) and as much time at the beach as possible.

Here are a few of our favorite things and then I'll let the pictures show the rest.

*Tandem biking - it was our first attempt ... and very fun!
*The beach ... need I say more?
*Shelling on the beach - their beaches are crazy, they are literally COVERED in shells. It actually hurt to walk around on them in a lot of places. I haven't seen anything like it.
*Our dolphin cruise - they were everywhere!
*The everglades - we saw an alligator sunning himself. Jeff was really hoping for some action, but he was pretty content just chilling in the water.
*Great restaurants with really fun names like The Island Cow and Matzaluna
*Just being there together!

Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We're off!

After the first "real" snowstorm of the winter we are heading off to Florida! I'm not going to lie ... I have been really wanting the snow. Who wants anything but a beautiful white Christmas? However, 80 degree weather for a week? Here we come!

So baby magazines call this a "babymoon" ... the last big trip you take before the little one makes a grand appearance. Who comes up with this stuff? I don't know, but I'm willing to go with it!

So bon voyage for a few days!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Jeff and I are headed to Florida next week (YAY!) so I decided to get ambitious and start packing now, since most of the clothes I am packing are for warm weather and we don't need them right now. Wow. The things you don't think of when you book a warm-weather vacation when you can still fit into your summer clothes :)! Luckily I have a couple of skirts with stretchy waists ... otherwise I am really not sure what I would be wearing! Let's just say I had a private try-on session in the comfort of my own home when Jeff was safely at church meetings tonight ... it really was quite comical. Sadly there were a couple pair of capris I was certain would be fine with the belly-band. WRONG :)! Back to the skirt idea!

Oh well ... I'll just keep my fingers crossed that by next summer I will be back in them all ... and for now enjoy the round belly and getting to eat what I want without people wondering if there is something wrong with me!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Gas Station Phenomenon

We just made our quick trip to St. George for Thanksgiving Day. It was so much fun! Everyone had a good time and ate lots ... and all have a lot to be thankful for! I always enjoy seeing everyone.

Since I didn't take any pictures, my post actually comes from our drive home. We stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom. And as I was walking back to it, I looked around.

Wow. The things they sell at these places ...

I really want to meet the person who stops for a bathroom break and some M&Ms and says to themselves, "Well, look-y here! I think I'm gonna need one of those fake leather jackets with an eagle embroidered on it ... and BONUS I can get Mom some crystal for Christmas while I am at it!" Strange ...

There was a plethora of other junk too ... it all just made me laugh :)!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am Thankful

I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately with traveling, the upcoming holidays, thinking about everything we need to do before before March, etc. (I'm a planner ... so I stress about things months in advance). Then I stepped back and realized that this is NOVEMBER. The month of GRATITUDE. And I am being selfish and stressed and not taking advantage of the opportunity to express my gratitude! So just like last year ... I am going to be thankful for something different each day of the month ... so you're going to get a catch up on gratitude for the first half of the month!!

1. Jeff. If you know him you know this doesn't need an explanation. He is just incredible ... I don't think there are words to describe the things he does for me and the person he has helped me to become. And I'm so incredibly lucky to have him in my life.
2. My new little man. He's going to be wonderful, I just know it ... I'm excited to meet him.
3. My family. They always encouraged me to be my best, taught me to save for a rainy day ... and are already volunteering to help with the little man on the way :)!
4. The gospel. The ability to know the truth is almost unimaginable for some people. But to have the gospel, and have had the opportunity to be grounded in that truth is irreplaceable.
5. Friends. We are very lucky ... we have friends who are always there for us and who truly care about us.
6. My job. It's hard. I don't think that is a surprise to most people ... but I'm incredibly lucky to have one, especially one that is rewarding.
7. The girls I work with. They are so supportive ... and fun. And they do thoughtful things like bring in cupcakes to celebrate finding out I'm having a boy.
8. My calling. I get to work with the YW. They are funny, sweet and challenging at times ... but I love it and them ... and the ladies I work with.
9. Ellie. She's the original baby around our house and capitalizes on it in any way possible. She's a great snuggler and thinks she is quite the watch-dog.
10. Sunshine. Nothing makes me happier than feeling it soak into me. I step outside during the day just to enjoy it ... and it makes me really excited to go to FL soon.
11. Traveling. We live in an incredible world. I love that I have had an opportunity to see some pretty amazing places.
12. Great clothes. I'm a sucker for cute clothes ... as you can imagine the maternity piece has been a whole new world for me. But I LOVE cute clothes.
13. Chocolate. It's been a real life saver for the past 5 months or so ... or the last 27 years :)
14. The Temple. I love that we have the opportunity to attend the temple regularly and the blessings that come from it. It's one of my favorite places to be.
15. Christmas decorations. I can't tell you how excited I am to decorate for Christmas!!! And the lights! I LOVE Christmas lights!
16. Books. Reading is one of the most relaxing things in the world to me. I love getting lost in a good books.
17. Nature. I love being outside. It's so relaxing and makes the rest of the world melt away.
18. My education. I'm a big believer that it is important, and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to get a great one.
19. Sleep. I don't think I have ever been so grateful for sleep :)! And since I am predicting a shortage come March-ish ... I am stocking up now!
20. Savings. I was taught early to save, and I'm grateful for the security it makes me feel.
21. Mom. Sometimes we get to go out just the two of us ... it's the best time ever! We chat (okay, gossip) and laugh ... and always SHOP!
22. Our town. We moved around a lot, so I got very used to home being wherever we lived. And right now it is Spanish Fork. I love it! It's quaint and small ... and I feel like we belong to a community.
23. Kicks. I never thought I would be so excited and relieved to feel myself get kicked from the inside out ... but I wait for it everyday (let's just say he doesn't have a "normal" schedule for that kind of thing)
24. Priesthood Blessings. I was fortunate enough to grow up with them, and lucky enough to have access to them anytime I need one now. What a comfort and blessing!
25. Service. I'm grateful to receive it ... and to give it (and to teach about it today!)!
26. Thanksgiving Day. A whole day to celebrate all of our many blessings!
27. Foot rubs. Jeff gives great ones ... and there is nothing like a good one after a hard day shopping :)!
28. Coupons. I LOVE a great deal ... especially on Christmas gifts. Sure makes the budget go farther!!
29. A fun Thanksgiving Day with the in-laws. Always fun to get everyone together!
30. Peace. There isn't much of it these days, but to get to feel it is priceless.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Pregnancy + All-day Conference in Heels + Long flight home =
VERY swollen feet

I even remarked to Jacqueline at one point that my shoes were feeling a little tight. It wasn't until I was in the car I looked down and discovered it is because my feet were enormous and had no business being in those shoes! Jeff and I both got a really good laugh out of it :)!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A trip to Moab

A couple of months ago, Jacqueline and I were in our offices and got to brainstorming. We don't generally have down time for things like this so we started getting pretty creative. We decided that it would be really fun to plan a surprise weekend away with our hubbies (we also planned Megan's baby shower ... but that post will come after the party ... clearly it was a very productive brainstorm session!). After a lot of website surfing and discussing activities and weather we decided on Moab! It was a great decision because it was so nice down there!

We decided to keep the boys in suspense and gave them a couple of clues a week for a month. They were so confident at the end that we even stopped those (please keep in mind they thought of everything between St. George and Carlsbad, California ...) and just let them think about it. Drove them nuts :)! They were pretty psyched when we finally told them and let them get packed.

We were pretty adventurous. Naturally, Jacqueline and I had a whole itinerary planned. This is funny I know, but if you know us, not surprising :)!

We stayed in a really adorable B&B called the Cali Cochitta. We highly recommend it - totally cute! Friday night we grabbed dinner and then played cards. Let's just say that Nerts is not my best game ever.

On Saturday we rented 4-wheelers for half the day. It was SO much fun! We explored, ate a picnic lunch and spent some serious time in the warm sunshine. Then the boys went to the driving range (any trip with the two of us both out of town includes some work ... so we hurried while they were gone). Then we caught dinner at a delicious Mexican place.

On Sunday we tried to go to church ... apparently it was stake conference or something because there was NO one at the building. A for effort - right? Then we headed out to Arches National Park. It has been years since either of us had been there and Jacqueline had never seen anything like it, so it was extra fun. It was beautiful! We hiked back to Delicate Arch. Boy ... I hike SLOW now! But we got some great pictures of all the park highlights. Then we headed home ... tired and very rejuvenated!

My mom was sweet enough to invite all of us over for a home-cooked meal when we got home so we felt very spoiled!

Now for some pictures ...

The pretty B&B:
Ready to ride our 4-Wheelers:
At Arches:
Underneath the Delicate Arch (promise it's us!):

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Verdict is In!

We had our ultrasound yesterday morning and found out ... it's a BOY!! We're so excited!! It was so surreal to be in that room and be looking at pictures of him. We both have our favorites - Jeff's is when he gave us the peace sign ... and mine is when he was sucking his thumb :)!! So cute already!

I'll admit, because everyone else thought it was a girl, I just assumed it was too. So I was SHOCKED to find out otherwise! And then I looked at Jeff (who was pretty surprised himself, but looking mighty proud) and I realized ... I have the opportunity to raise a son like my incredible husband ... what a responsibility and an honor! And I can tell they'll be a lot alike ... he was quite the little jokester when we were trying to get good pictures of him :)!

I can't even describe how overwhelmed and emotional I feel ... and so very blessed. I can't wait to meet him and then to see him and his daddy together, I just know it will be (and he will be!) the sweetest thing in the entire world.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What do you think?

So 1 week from today we find out how our baby is growing, how things are looking ... and if it is a boy or girl! YAY! We're very excited (and a little nervous ... about health ... not gender)!

Everyone keeps asking if we have any intuition one way or another on the gender ... the answer is nope. None. Not at all. Nor do we care - we will be super happy either way.

So since we don't have any idea, we'll throw it out there for you - what do you think we're having? There is an official poll on the side ... please mark accordingly and we'll let you know the official results next Tuesday (providing baby cooperates and we get a good look!)!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How cute is Halloween?!

As you can tell ... she is thrilled that the groomer put this bandana on her :)! Oh well ... I think it's adorable!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What a Morning!

This morning started off a bit crazy! You know those days when it seems like everything is going the wrong way? That was exactly how I felt this morning. I woke up thinking that I had forgotten to sign an important international document that is needed for a visit from a government official this morning at work ... so I was rushing around trying to get ready as fast as I could, knowing I had to still run a couple of errands this morning as well ... and I am the only admissions person in the office today! Stress! Luckily I did find out that I had in fact signed the right paper yesterday, so I could breathe a little easier.

As I am trying my hardest to shove breakfast down my throat (because I still have a lot of places to go before work) I realize that the cute outfit I am wearing ... I TOTALLY wore it LAST week! No time to change ... luckily I don't think anyone will notice. And it's a bit excusable with my current lack of a waist line and clothes that look okay on me...

So I rush out the door with Ellie (more on her in a bit), and head to Albertson's to get some water and snacks for our on-campus visitor. Everything is going well and I suddenly have the brainstorm that I can cut out one of my stops by cashing the check I need to cash right there! Not so fast ... no one can cash a check there until 9 am! What they heck?! Back to the car ... and on to the bank.

I got on the wrong road ... so I way overshot the bank, and took more time! How do you over shoot the bank in a town the size of Spanish Fork you ask ... please keep in mind how long it took me to realize I wore the same outfit also ... enough said.

Luckily I was the only person in line at the bank. Things go well except that I pulled way too far away from the machine, and in the process of sending the little round thing back, almost dropped the money I had just gotten out of the open car door. Thank goodness I didn't ... I'm not sure I would have realized until it was MUCH too late!

On to take Ellie to the groomer (hence the reason she was with me). We're on our way there and I am thinking that things are starting to go well and I am calming down from my rushed state. I was wrong again ... the road to the groomer's is CLOSED! Don't you think the lady could have mentioned that?! So I had to take a major detour. Ellie didn't mind ... she HATES the groomer ... We did eventually make it in and the lady checked her right in so I could run. Poor Ellie was watching me pay for it and barking and whining with a look that screamed "I thought we were friends!"... it was so sad!!

Finally on my way to work ... and I stop at a red light and ALMOST drive right through as if it is a stop sign not light! It is a good thing I even made it here alive and well...and by 9:15 as planned.

The bright spot of the morning? There was a note left in my purse from my cute husband telling me how much he loves me ... and suddenly the morning was right again :)!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Enjoying Fall

We've had the most beautiful fall weather lately ... we just love it! I'm not sure it could get any prettier with the leaves changing and the sun making the mountains look like they are on fire. We decided to really enjoy it this last Sunday, so as soon as we got home from church we packed up the car with all the fixings for a dutch oven dinner and headed up Hobble Creek Canyon. We had so much fun!! It was so pretty, and the weather was perfect. Dinner tasted delicious ... Jeff is a master dutch oven-er. We played Frisbee in the fallen leaves and took a walk down to the little river. It was so relaxing and fun ... easily one of the best days I've had in ages!

Isn't it beautiful up there? It's always hard to decide which color of leaves is my favorite ... Sunday I said yellow, but looking at this picture I think it is just the mixture and contrast of all of them!
Jeff cooking dinner for us ... he's a pro!
Ellie enjoying the leaves. It was seriously all I could do to get her to hold still long enough to take this :)!
Us ... so happy to be outside enjoying the fall!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Our First Purchase...

Most people probably go out and buy something sweet and tiny when they find out they are expecting. Not us :) ... until today we hadn't purchased anything. But today we made our first official "baby on the way" purchase .... a car seat! I know, kind of a big first-item. But we were really concerned about getting this one done ... and we found the one we want on sale. So, we are now official owners of the Britax Chaperone ... in Savannah! Maybe we'll shoot for onesies or something for our next purchase :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sitting ...

Tonight our friends Stepper and Bill let us watch Wyatt ... their impossibly adorable almost 2-year-old. Yes the "technically" asked us to watch him so they could go see a play ... but I say let with the utmost sincerity. He is so fun and easy to watch it makes the whole night just fly by. He really prefers to play with Jeff exclusively, which I think is just precious. Each time I take a car (his favorite item) he would look at me sweetly and then after a few moments take it gently back and hand it to Jeff :)! Quite comical, really... and again so fun to watch them interact. Apparently playing cars isn't my strong suite. Getting him to eat his fruit, however is. So it gives me hope that when Jeff and I are actually the parents we'll make a good tag team. And to top it all off Stepper made us homemade soup and homemade bread ... really, we were spoiled tonight!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Everybody loves a preggo ...

I never realized before how much everyone loves it when someone is preggo. The second people have found out that I'm pregnant they have just showered me with good wishes, advice, books, offers of items to borrow...the list goes on and on. It's really fun!

Just today this very nice girl was subbing for our office manager who is out of town. She must have picked up from something I said that I am expecting, because before she left she gave me her favorite baby magazine and told me all about free things you can sign up for.

It's so nice of everyone! And if you are one of the people I am referring to, please know how much it means to me and how sweet I think it is! I am certain you made my day ...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Last Saturday Jeff and I decided to celebrate the start of fall by visiting a Pumpkin Patch! It was really fun! We went to the Red Barn in Santaquin - a very cute place if you haven't been. First, we went on a "hay ride" out to the pumpkin patch. However, this is the only downfall ... there isn't actually hay on this ride. It's a big wagon being pulled by a tractor. Fun all the same ... but hay-less. I just want to share this information just in case you decide to go down and have your hopes up for hay.

Then we picked out this fall's most perfect pumpkins!

Then we rode back to the Red Barn and looked around the little gift shop. I found the most delicious-smelling fall candle. Cranberries and Cinnamon ... every time I inhale it makes me happy that the air is crisp and the the leaves are changing.

We also indulged in a little of their homemade ice cream - they have a lot of treats if you don't feel like ice cream they all looked equally delicious!

Overall it was quite fun and a great way to usher in this new season!

Sorry there aren't any pictures, I assure you they are very cute. But Blogger won't let me upload them ... annoying! I'll try again tomorrow, but for now this will have to do!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Deep in the heart of Texas ...

This last weekend I went to Texas to visit my best friend from college, Yissel, her hubby Matt and their brand-new bundle of sweetness Levi. We had SO much fun!! We chatted and caught up, oohed and ahhed over Levi and all of his cute squishy-ness and shopped! It is one of those times where the soul gets rejuvenated ... there is just nothing like a best girlfriend!

One of my very favorite parts was chatting with her about this upcoming life change. Since she just had Levi two and a half months ago she very vividly remembers this phase and we think a LOT a like, so I started to feel more normal.

She took me shopping for her version of "maternity" clothes and we giggled over stuffing my shirts, cheered for jeans that still button (yes I bought them!), were grossed out by the acutal maternity store that smelled weird ... and then of course admired cute baby clothes.

And the best part? She let me be a part of Levi's life for those few days. I didn't just admire him ... I helped feed him, burp him, soothed him when he cried, held him when he slept and helped give him a bath! Now I know all of these things are very minor in the grand scheme of what will be coming our way with our own litte one, but it made the biggest difference to me. I felt so ... capable. She taught me without making it seem like she was teaching and showing me that if she can do it so can I. She dispensed her best "experience" on me and before I left gave me two of the books she thought were most helpful. She was so thoughtful and knowing me and how I was feeling gave the best thing she could ... a little more confidence and excitment all at the same time.

No one could have asked for a more fun trip, or for a more thoughtful friend. I just hope I can be a mommy like her ... beautiful, smart and confident!!

Thanks for a fabulous weekend, Yissel ... I miss you guys already!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Now Featuring ...

A very cute friend of mine - Stepper (who is adorably preggo with her second) is doing a week of "the bump" on her fun-to-read blog. And rumor has it ... I am to be featured! The perks of being preggo go on and on! I felt so honored to be included - she was so sweet to think of me!

How it works is each of us selected gets a day to be featured ... and I believe mine is Wednesday. I answered questions ... and even sent in my very first bump pic. It doesn't look bump like ... more lumpish at this point. I am very excited to move to official-looking bump status. But I'll take this for now :)

If you want to read up on me and the other moms-to-be check out: (I don't know how to do the cool link thing ... sorry!)


Saturday, September 12, 2009


The day just the two of us is "expected" to become just the three of us!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Las Vegas!

For our anniversary this year we decided to go to Las Vegas to see Phantom of the Opera. We're not really Las Vegas people (hate the strip), so we decided to stay out at Lake Las Vegas, which is about 20 min. from the strip. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton ... oh my gosh it was fantastic!! I highly reccommend it to anyone going out there - it was quiet and so nice. And FANCY!

Here is our very pretty hotel room and the fancy grounds:
First we did some shopping ... and then we hit the pool (it was SO hot outside) ... they also had a lagoon (part of the lake) that had white sandy beaches and a waterfall!
Then we got ready and headed downtown for Phantom. It was so amazing!! They didn't let you take pictures in the theater, but it was like a movie set. I couldn't even believe the special effects. The cast did an incredible job ... we were so swept up in the story! Absolutely amazing!!

Now, I have to brag about my very thoughtful husband. We set it up so each year we take turns giving an anniversary gift. This year was my turn to give Jeff a gift ... so I framed pictures of Ireland for his office (which he had been wanting). He loved them!

But Jeff is not to ever be outdone ... when we were in Vegas he came into our room looking mighty sneaky. He gave me a bag with a shirt I bought in it ... when I looked inside to get the shirt out, there were two pretty pink boxes tied up with brown bows. He suprised me with a matching earring and necklace set! Now, this isn't an ordinary set. Many months ago I found them in People Stylewatch ... and I showed them to him and told him how much I loved them ... they are so classy! From just the designer name ... he tracked down the boutiques they are sold in (only in LA and NY) and the designer herself ... got in contact with her and picked out the exact ones I wanted!! She shipped them to arrive in time!! How sweet is that?! I don't know which I was more excited about ... the set - which is gorgeous (this picture just doesn't do it justice), or the the trouble he went to! Just another reason why I love him so much!

So pretty!!

Overall, we had a wonderful weekend ... I love getting away and hanging out just the two of us!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Anniversary ...

We've been married 4 years today! Wow ... time really flies! I'm a lucky girl. I know I talk and brag about my sweet husband a lot, but I think he deserves it! I was thinking last night and this morning about how I felt the night before we got married, and all I can remember is how excited I was - I could hardly stand it. And I am so happy still today. He's quite the guy, and feel so blessed to have him in my life.

I love you babe!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Point Gardens

Last Tuesday we went to Thanksgiving Point gardens. They were SO beautiful ... I can't believe I have lived here for 9 years and never been. What they have done there is just amazing. We had such a fun night wandering around and chatting ... enjoy some of our pics!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Taken care of ...

Yesterday while I was at work I came down with a stomach bug (not suprising considering EVERY girl in the house connected to my office had it within the last week). If you know me, you know there is nothing worse to me in this world than that! So I decided to cut my losses on my work day and head home.

My dad has been working from home this week ... which translates to our house since it is much, much quieter during the day. He was shocked at how I looked when I got home. But in true Daddy-style he promptly called my hubby and mom to report to both of them and then trotted off to the store to pick up saltines and Ginger Ale. My mom insisted that when he came home he bring Ellie so I could sleep in today.

Gratefully I slept most of the afternoon. As soon as he left, Jeff arrived to take care of me for the rest of the night. He also ran to the store to get Jell-o and Corn Chex (a must if you need to eat plain, dry cereal).

Kristie called Jeff and provided dinner for him so there weren't any food smells in our house either, which was so nice!

After lots and lots of sleep I am feeling much, much better ... and well cared for. Thank you everyone!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


On my top list of things I don't really like to do ... camping! However, this last weekend we went with a big group of friends and it was really fun! We started the evening off with Navajo tacos - delicious - and finished it chatting around the campfire eating all kinds of goodies.

The next morning we ate a huge breakfast ... and I mean huge (we were definitely not going to go hungry that is for SURE), then we cleaned up and went home.

Minus the fact that I didn't sleep a wink all night (which Jeff can attest to ... when I can't sleep he somehow doesn't end up sleeping either ... weird!) we had a lot of fun. Ellie loved it ... she is quite the little camper ... she happily walked to the lake with us, entertained the kids, ate the leftovers and got exceptionally dirty!

I was going to post a picture ... but I keep forgetting ... so I'll just post this instead :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Of Toes and Sweet Husbands

I have these cute toes ....
Because of my cute husband. Last Friday he and Kolby surprised Kristie and I with pedicures at our favorite spa. We had so much fun chatting, catching up and relaxing! Then we came home to dinner on the table.

How sweet are they?

Thanks babe ...

Monday, July 13, 2009


It's that time of year again ... Girls Camp!! This year I wasn't the assistant camp director (whew!) but I can't resist going up for the last day. No matter how much I don't like camping, there is something about girls camp that is refreshing, spiritual and a bonding experience that can't be missed.

We got up there in time for the "Faith Hike." The girls were doing rotations, and we waited for them in the "Celestial Room" aka the camp lodge. Welcoming them and being there to hug them was such a great experience. The were obviously very touched. If you have never heard a group of young girls sing "As Sisters in Zion" you just haven't really heard it.

Then came dinner ... courtesy of the bishopric ... and some silly games.

Then came testimony meeting. The biggest memory I have of girls camp is testimony meeting ... and it has always been a defining moment for me. I only hope the things the girls hear and feel stick with them. And I hope they hear not only our testimonies of the gospel, but how much we love them and that we know how wonderful they are.

They are great girls. I even got hugged good-bye from a girl who is NOT a hugger to say the least. I love every single one of them!!

Friday, July 3, 2009


Sometimes our husbands like to get together and chat ... they talk about all sorts of things ... one being a big joke ... how to "domesticate" their workaholic, career-driven wives. As the wives we think it is pretty amusing for a couple of reasons: How are they going to domesticate us? ... And who has time to be domestic?

Well today folks, I was DOMESTIC.

A couple of things helped. 1. I had the day off ... which means I have 3 days instead of 2 to get everything done that I can't ever do mid-week and 2. Jeff had a golf "play-date" scheduled so I had a morning to myself

Before noon I (drumroll please) ... went to the gym, did the laundry (there were a few loads!), vacuumed, dusted, cleaned the bathrooms and the kitchen ... and still called a friend who just had a baby and chatted with a neighbor!

Amazing ... I know :)

I still like the team-work approach we generally take better (probably because I hate doing laundry and dishes) but I'm feeling mighty proud of myself.

Domestic Diva status here I come :)

Monday, June 29, 2009


To get into the spirit of Summer we decided to throw a little Hawaiian Luau Dinner Party for a few friends. We had so much fun! I love planning parties, making the invites, deciding on the food and having people over! I can't ever tell if everyone is having as much fun as I am ... but I sure hope so!

We ate Hawaiian Haystacks and grilled pineapple for dessert ... and then played a game that revealed a lot about each couple :)

It looks like dinner turned out good ...

Here are a few of our favorite people enjoying that grilled pineapple:
Thank you for coming ... and getting into the spirit of things and dressing up! Aloha everyone!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Each year Jeff and I try desperately to figure out what to do with our back "yard" - which consists of a cement slab and a dirt border.

And each year we end up with something different ... because whatever we did before didn't work out or last.

This year we decided we wanted planting boxes ... and we decided to MAKE our own. Anyone who knows either of us knows that we aren't exactly handy. So it was bound to be an adventure. We are very excited about how it turned out ... we think they look pretty good! Definitely the best thing we have come up with ... what do you think?

Honey ... I think we make a good team!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Is it Summer yet?

We have had a LOT of rain this spring. A lot! At first it was really cool ... and I love that everything is really green. However, it has gotten to the point where enough is enough!! Yesterday it was finally beautiful and sunny ... and warm! And today is the same ... yay! Keep your fingers crossed that it stays this way.

On another note, this weekend we re-did our backyard (I know, again!). This time it is really, really cool! We just have to plant a few more things, then I'll post pictures ...

I know with that little tidbit I will leave you hanging ... I'm sure you're just dying to see it :)

Monday, June 15, 2009


I must have a lot to say to the blogging world today ...

Driving home from the gym this morning I was behind our YM president. In the back of his truck were a big group of flags. Then I remembered ... in honor of Flag Day (yesterday) the Scouts were putting flags in our yards. When I pulled in there were a lot of them running around taking care of the flag-business. Please keep in mind ... it was barely after 6 ... on summer vacation ... and it was chilly!

They do this for several holidays throughout the year ... and certainly not all of them in the summer. Sometimes they are pounding those stakes in through snow and ice.

And how grateful I am! Every time I drive up and see the whole street lined with flags it warms my heart and makes me puff up a little in pride for our country.

And every time I see those Scouts (and their leaders!) out there, sacrificing time and sleep it makes me so proud to be an American. And so proud of them for learning to work hard and sacrifice for something greater than themselves.

I know none of them will see this ... but next time you see one of them doing their part to remind us how lucky we are please tell them thanks!

On another note, the YW & YM sang Battle Hymn of the Republic (also in honor of Flag Day). I'm sure I'm prejudice, but they sounded so wonderful. To hear the sweet voices of our girls ... and the robust boys sing so resolutely made me incredibly proud of them. They worked so hard! And sounded so convincingly like the future of our nation. They are great kids ... I'm lucky to work with them!


This morning I tried a spinning class. If you haven't tried it, don't.

Who ever thought: Let's put a lot of bikes into a dark room and pedal furiously ... and go NOWHERE!

Seriously. Not really my thing.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Running through the Rain

I'm not sure what happened to April showers bringing May flowers ... Mother nature seems to be running late this year since we are having June showers ... which I still have my fingers crossed that my flowers will survive and will still be alive for July sunshine :)!

On Friday night Jeff took me to Beauty and the Beast at the outdoor Scera theater. They did such a good job! They are a local group that puts on shows in the park ... it's such a fun summer-night time activity. Before we left I suggested that we grab the umbrella that is normally in the car, but had made its way into the kitchen (because it has rained all week!). Jeff said he was sure it wouldn't rain. Then when we got out of the car I suggested we grab a third blanket (the one that has one side that is waterproof). Jeff again said, no ... it won't rain...

During act one they had to stop the play for about 10 min. to let the RAIN pass :). It wasn't too bad and we were laughing through the whole thing.

Then in the last 5 minutes of the show the downpour started. Talk about a mass-exodus!! We were gathering up all of our stuff and running as hard as we could! It was so funny ... and downright fun! When was the last time you ran through a summer rainstorm?

In the end I am so glad we didn't have the umbrella or that extra blanket (even though it has been fun to tease Jeff about!) because then we would have been too prepared and might have missed the fun memory of running through the rain :)!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pointless Work

I have a big window right in front of my desk. Occasionally I find myself looking out it - a great office view is hard to find. And this one is of Mt. Timpanogos. However, today I wasn't admiring the stunning peak ... instead I was watching the crew who is working on putting in new water pipes around New Haven.

They are rather ineffective at times. Case in point: I watched a man on a large, tractor/Caterpillar-like machine moving little pieces of sod. I didn't know a machine such as that could grab onto little pieces of sod and move them three feet. I'm no expert, but the last time I checked moving sod was easier if you just got off the machine and picked them up and tossed them. This process went on and on ... and I probably could have walked out and done it in a third of the time. But then I couldn't have watched :)!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ireland For REAL!!

April was a bit busy ... Ireland ... then we were in Kanab for Jeff's sweet grandmother's funeral, and then I traveled two more times for work. And somehow May has just gotten away from me! But I really, really wanted to share all about our trip ... so here goes!!

Day 1: Wow ... talk about a long plane ride! We lucked out and were the last people assigned to seats (weird), and so we sat in the seats the stewardesses normally get on international flights. We had feet rests and everything! We sat next to an Irishman ... it was really funny to watch him talk to Jeff. Jeff clearly couldn't understand a word he was saying :)!

Day 2: We land in DUBLIN! . And check out our freakishly small-drive-on-the-opposite-side-of-the-road-and-car rental car. It was a bit scary (please keep in mind we were in Dublin ... their largest city). Every time Jeff went to signal he turned on the windshield wipers :)!

Here is the car we spent a LOT of time in:
Puny huh?!

Off to check in to the Clontarf Castle Hotel. It was pretty cool! There were authentic Viking castle remains that they built onto to become a hotel. This day we just walked around Dublin and saw a bit of the city. It's a pretty typical big city!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Ireland
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Day 3: Dublin part 2. Today we went to see Malahide Castle ... a restored castle from around the Viking period. It was SO cool. It was set on 100 acres of green pastures and was just so beautiful. We weren't allowed to take pictures ... so you'll have to settle for some of the outside.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Malahide Castle
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Then we went back down town and checked out Christ Church Cathedral. It was in the part of Dublin actually called "Viking Dublin" Isn't it beautiful?!
Then ... just because we are tourists we HAD to visit Temple Bar. It wasn't super exciting for us ... could have been because the bar scene isn't so much our thing. By this time Jeff was MUCH better at the whole driving thing ... and bonus we got to experience Dublin traffic!

Day 4: Leaving big-city Dublin in favor of the countryside. It was just so beautiful! Pictures just don't do it justice. On our way we stopped at Kilkenny Castle. Huge! Beautiful ... and imposing!

Then we went to the Rock of Cashel. These are the oldest ruins in Ireland. It began as a fortress and later became a center for the Christian church. It was up high on a hill and had an amazing view.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Rock of Cashel
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Then we came into the town we would be staying at ... it just took your breath away because it is a bay-town. So beautiful!!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Kinsale
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Day 5: By now we had already decided we were very much in love with the Irish countryside - and who wouldn't be?! This time, the nice lady who ran the B&B gave us some ideas for sights to see. First we stopped at the Bantry house. It was so cool - right out of an Austen novel (I was in the middle of reading Persuasian, so I really loved it!) The gardens were really cool, and people still live in the house. It was a self-guided tour ... so even though we weren't supposed to take pictures we did!
Then we were following our trusty GPS (seriously, best investment ever), and she led us up this little mountain "road." It was SO narrow - but we decided to go with it. In her effort to take us the shortest route, we went over the mountain. We got charged by a cow, and then got out where we didn't see anyone for ages. Finally we passed three men on mopeds putting a long. We were laughing so hard about the whole experience ... then Jeff decided Mother Nature was calling. So I got out to take a picture of the countryside ... and the mopeders PASSED us while Jeff was um, "standing outside." I really thought I would die laughing. Who would have thought they could catch up to us?! They ended up stopping at the top ... and even took our picture!
That evening we went through Kerry National Park. It is very famous ... but most of it wasn't as pretty as the normal country-side. However, as part of it there is the most incredible estate home, gardens, waterfall and lake. We loved it so much we went back a few times! That night we walked out to Torc Waterfall ... beautiful!
We stayed in Kenmare that night. The B&B was less than stellar, so we decided to cut our stay from 2 nights to 1. The town, however, is known for their lace. It was so pretty. We also learned that is what helped pull them out of the famine - making and selling their lace. Interesting huh?!

Day 6: Ring of Kerry. It is beautiful country - you get to see the rocky shores and the green fields, but it wasn't anything more beautiful that what we experienced just driving around.

We really wanted to make the Muckross House tour (which was the estate home at Kerry National Park). The day before we noticed that the last tour of the day was at 4:20, and we were running late because we were trying to get some laundry done (totally sketchy) We got there at a quarter after 4 and ran up to the ticket desk to buy tickets only to discover ... they changed the last tour to 4!!!

Day 7: The next morning, we were determined to make a tour at the Muckross House. We thought they only took cash (which was pretty typical for most places). So we were rushing around trying desperately to find an ATM to make it early - just in case they changed the tour time again, when Jeff suggested we just go and take our chances(remember this is attempt number 3). The tour was supposed to start at 10:30, and we ran up at 10:31 only to discover they had changed the time to 11 ... AND after all that effort ... they took credit card!! Luckily it was SO worth it. The house was beautiful - full of history and original furniture, drapes, etc. Queen Victoria and her husband Alfred actually came for a visit a few years after the home was built. Several pieces of furniture were made just for her visit. We got to see the actual room she stayed in! Then we saw the servants quarters ... man, life would have been hard doing that!
That night we stayed at the Lakeside Country Lodge. It was the first really cold, rainy day we had. After dinner we snuggled on their couch and watched the rain on the huge lake behind us. It was such an idyllic location.
Day 8: We started the day shopping in Ennis (the cute town we were staying in). We purchased our first souvoneirs (for us ... up to this point we bought something for everyone else). I got a Celtic symbol necklace (handmade) and Jeff got an "Irish History Ring" made by the same designer.

Then we drove to Doolin by the Cliffs of Mohr. We took a 1 hour boat cruise out to see the Cliffs. They were stunning - huge and majestic. There were these unique birds flying all around them, and the sun shone so brilliantly I could hardly believe how beautiful it all was. It's a good thing they were so amazing because the boat ride back was miserable! The water (their version of calm) was so rough, the boat small, and people getting seasick everywhere!
Once we got our land-legs back, we headed out to the Bunratty Folk Park. Around an ancient castle, they have re-created a park full of different houses through the ages, and in different locations around Ireland. It was really cool to see the different types of dwellings people lived in.

That night ... our last (sigh!) ... we decided to go out in true Midevil style. We went to a late-night banquet held at the Bunratty Castle. The hosts were dressed in authentic attire, we were only given "daggers" (knives) to eat with and served in the banquet hall. The waiters and waitresses doubled as our entertainment for the evening - singing and making jokes. It was so fun ... and the perfect way to end a wonderful trip!
We were sad to leave because we enjoyed it so much! But at the same time glad to be home! We have so many more pictures ... and none of them even do justice to the beauty! I will take the time to put together some "landscape" pics in a smilebox ... so look forward to that!!