Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Outdoors Time

I've been slacking on my blog. But at least here are some pictures of us on a hiking trail in our neighborhood.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Domestic Questions

Note: I was in the mood to pose for dorky pictures, so here you have it.

My fabulous sister-in-law Kathryn sent me a year's subscription to Better Homes and Gardens, and I'm loving it. I spent Saturday turning its pages and dreaming of Portobello Mushroom Curry with Green Rice, and maybe someday having matching furniture and a yard. I think my mom is going to pass out when she learns I read Better Homes and Gardens. Anyways, after reading it, I've been on a domestic rampage for several days. I deep cleaned my living room, tied baby quilts with the teenagers, and tried cooking with some new ingredients. In the process, I had some questions come up that I've never had to consider before. Among them:

  • What is the proper method for peeling a butternut squash? (for fun, I'm including a picture of me looking perplexed by this. Oh, and I'd already chopped off a chunk of it - it previously was a normal-shaped squash).

  • Why do we dry Ancho chilies if we're just going to rehydrate them again?
  • Can a newborn get a poison ivy infection if one of the girls tying it had a poison ivy rash? And for that matter, why didn't the girl ask about it until we'd finished tying it?

Yeah, I don't have much to talk about. Anyways, for fun, here's a picture of one of the quilts (before sewing the edges). It is tough to see, but it has monkeys and says "I love bananas."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Rob!

You guys have all heard me rave about my husband enough on this blog, so I'll keep it short. Rob's birthday is today, and I'm really excited to have a chance to just let him know how much I appreciate him. I love being with him, and I think the feeling is mutual - he even likes to be with me so much that I haven't been able to sneak away from him to buy his birthday present yet because he's wanted to come along every time! Even when I told him I was going to go clothes shopping (I was sure that one would work, but at least I got a new shirt out of it!). I'm so lucky to be married to a guy that is so kind, smart, fun, motivated, grateful, spiritual, thoughtful, supportive ... need I go on? I really didn't know people as wonderful as him existed, and I don't know how I got lucky enough to marry him. Happy birthday Rob!

Friday, April 18, 2008


So I just experienced my first earthquake (5.2 magnitude). At least in theory. Does it count if I slept right through it? I kind of wish I had woken up so I'd know what it felt like. Hmm ... scratch that. I love sleep. Who knew Indiana had earthquakes?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My nails are painted red, and it weirds me out

Those of you who know me well know that I'm not a girly girl. When I was a little girl, I'd run around with the boys playing Ninja Turtles during recess. I even got in trouble periodically for beating up on them too much. Or so my mom tells me - I forgot that detail. My utter lack of interest and skill in playing competitive sports disqualifies me from being a true tomboy, but I've never been really comfortable in uber-feminine realms either. I don't own hairspray or eyeliner, and I only have one pink item of clothing (a jacket that I positively adore - go figure). Not that I think anything is wrong with eyeliner and hairspray. It just doesn't interest me.

So the activity with the teenagers last night was a little out of my comfort zone. Prom is coming up, so they did a hair/makeup/nails night to try out ideas for the dance. :) And don't worry - I was not the one giving them advice. That would be terrifying and comical all at once. I'd planned to just kind of hide in a corner and maybe break out a nail file, but then I noticed that one of the girls wasn't really being included in the other girls' conversation, and came up with an idea to make her feel appreciated. I asked her if she could do my nails because I'm awful at it. It was a great opportunity to get some one on one time with her, and I'm glad I did it. She's a cool girl, and I like talking to her. :) But now my nails are bright red, and it confuses me. But hey, although it is more feminine than I am used to being, at least I get to think about a new friend I'm making every time I look at my nails!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Brendan!

I love this picture of my younger brother. It shows so much of his personality - the fact he is wearing a "super-dad" t-shirt (on his mission no less, even though he doesn't have kids), the fun-loving expression on his face, and his ability to make an ordinary day interesting (in this case with a pinata). He is turning 22 today, and I'm excited that on his next birthday, I'll be able to call him because he'll be back from his mission in Mexico!

I don't even know where to start with a tribute to my brother. I love that we have had such a good relationship. We've really only had one fight that we can remember, and it lasted 20 seconds and was the result of sleep-deprivation on the way to 5:50am seminary (he still teases me about it, though). Growing up, we had similar interests that allowed us to spend time together - we'd play Ninja Turtles together, watched the same shows, and both participated in marching band. We even got along with similar people - he stays in better touch with most of my high school friends than I do!

Brendan is the kind of person who recognizes good opportunities and good deals. He is really proactive, and always seems to be able to come up with something interesting to do. He's great to travel with for that reason - I loved our "sibling road trip" to attend our cousin's graduation, and the times we met up in Denver and Seattle after I left for college. He has a great sense of humor. He's completely himself, and doesn't know how to be phony, and it is really refreshing to be around.

Happy birthday, Brendan!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Done with classes!

I just finished my final for my class, and I'm excited to have a month and a half class-free break! Today I had a real lunch break. I usually spend my lunch break roaming the stacks of the law library, or typing away at my computer. Today, I roamed off to a little park near my office and read. It was really nice to be outside for a change, and I loved that things are starting to bloom here. I've really been missing the hiking and national parks that Utah offered, but spring in this town is absolutely gorgeous (lots of blooming trees), so I'm enjoying it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Me from A to Z...

I've been tagged by Lisa!

Me from A to Z...
A--Attached or Single? Very, very attached.
B--Best friend? Rob
C--Cake or Pie? Pie.
D--Day of Choice? Saturday – I get to sleep in, relax, go on day trips, take care of those projects that have been nagging at me, etc.
E--Essential Item? :) Google. I can’t handle not knowing whatever random thing me or someone in my office thinks up.
F--Favorite Color? I don’t really do favorites. But I’ve been really into brown recently.
G--Gummy bears or worms? Worms.
H--Hometown? Omaha
I--Indulgence(s)? Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked, a good book, Starbuck’s Caramel Apple Cider.
J--January or July? Hmm, if there’s air conditioning, July. If there isn’t air conditioning, January.
K--Kids? Nope.
L--Life is incomplete without? Rob (yeah, cheesy newlywed).
M--Marriage date? December 17, 2005
N--Number of siblings? 2
O--Oranges or apples? I prefer oranges, but I eat a lot more apples because you don’t have to peel them.
P--Phobias or fears? Hmm ... I didn’t think I was afraid of heights until I tried to hike to Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park. Turns out I’m very afraid of heights when you have to pull yourself along on chains for extended periods of time on a narrow rock fin with 1200 foot dropoffs. Wasn’t pretty. I actually broke into tears halfway through and kept repeating “I’m from Nebraska, I’m from Nebraska, this is too tall” or something to that effect. Yeah, embarrassing.
R--Reason to Smile? When I come home from a busy day and find that Rob has done the laundry/dishes/cooking/etc, which happens often.
S- Season? Fall is lovely, and perfect for hiking, so that’s my vote. But it is tough to beat the fact that in the winter, everything I’m allergic to dies (except for cats).
T--Tag 5 people? Whoever is in the mood.
U--Unknown Fact? Goats crack me up. I can’t explain it, but they are so goofy, I just laugh every time I see one.
V--Very Favorite Store? Borders, or just about any bookstore (yes, I’m a nerd).
W-Worst habit? Total political junkie. I can’t help myself.
X--X-ray or ultrasound? Um, X-ray?
Y--Your favorite food? McVities Caramel Digestives. Yum!
Z--Zodiac? Virgo

Monday, April 7, 2008

Makes me smile

Saturday night, I hung out with my friend Katie while our husbands went to Priesthood session. Her little boy is in the middle of potty training, and he is really into the incentive system. So into it, in fact, that I was surprised to walk out of the bathroom and find him standing there with a piece of candy to give me to reward me for using the big kid potty. :) It was fun being a toddler again.

Friday, April 4, 2008

General Conference Traditions

LDS General Conference is this weekend, and I am very, very excited. General Conference is still a bit of a novelty for me. My parents always had big callings that kept them occupied on Sundays, so conference weekend usually meant road tripping to the nearest relative's house and visiting (our relatives never really understood the going to church every Sunday thing and took a lot of offense that we didn't make weekend trips there). I think my parents checked out the videos from the library or borrowed them from a lucky friend with satellite, but they never made us kids watch them. As a result, when I went to college, I had no idea the four sessions were different - I thought they just replayed the same thing four times! I still remember the look of shock on a friend's face when she invited me over for Saturday morning session, and I said, "nah, I think I'll just catch the rebroadcast on Sunday afternoon." I remember being bored and going down to watch the Saturday afternoon session in my dorm's basement (thinking I'd have Sunday off as a result), and just being blown away by the warmth, wisdom, and power of the prophets and apostles. I've been hooked ever since.

When I lived in Utah for awhile, I discovered that there is a whole world out there of General Conference traditions. I remember being invited over for "Gordon and pancakes," participating in "ladies night out" during priesthood session, and that some people take shots of ginger ale or sparkling cider every time a speaker says "brothers and sisters!" I'm intrigued by this concept, and love that it gives families and friends a tradition to look forward to associated with Conference. I want to learn more about them.

Currently, Rob and I's traditions consist of watching the Saturday sessions on my computer while doing the "General Conference Snuggle." We do a potluck dinner with friends on Saturday night, and then the men go off to Priesthood session, and we girls sit around talking about politics and women's roles. Sunday, we usually get fed up with the constant freezing up on our laptop's connection, and go watch conference with friends.

What are your conference traditions?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Why I love my job

*picture from Harry & David website - I'm not nearly that artistic*

My job is not glamorous, and it can be frustrating at times. But I work with truly wonderful people. My bosses are grateful, thoughtful, and kind, and I'm grateful to be among the few that can say this. A recent example of their wonderfulness is that I recently wrapped up a huge and stressful project for one of my bosses. This morning, she brought me in the stack of candy pictured above. And this is just one example of the many times they have done thoughtful things like this. I'm grateful to work in such a good environment.