Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas and What-Not

***Caution! Pictures are not necessarily organized.***

Christmas at our house was pretty laid back. We woke up early, well, early for Nik and opened presents and ate breakfast. Nik got me a Nintendo DS with the game Big Brain Academy. Awesome game. He also got me the new Fall Out Boy CD, which I love. I got him a bunch of little things. A blue base ball T shirt from Old Navy, a U of U hoodie, (probably the hit of the bunch) new shoes for work, red plaid slippers, some uncirculated Presidential Dollar coins (they are in a vault tube and everything. If you do not know what they new Dollar coins look like click on the title link), and some stocking stuffer toys. *Cause he did't get many toys for Christmas, we agreed to let him buy Rock Band the next day.* We took our time getting ready, knowing that it would be the last time it would be chaos as soon as we stepped outside.



First we went to my parents house to see the haul over there. The boys were spoiled as usual, but I can't say much because mom and dad got us a new digital camera. Which I love! It is possibly the bestest camera in the whole wide world. We got the parentals a new board game called "Urban Myth", we have never played it before, but it looks like fun. I am hoping to play it tonight at the Shindig.



After a couple hours at the Dumas household we trecked to the Thelin watering hole. All the kids were meeting at Al and Jeanne's at 2:00 for food, gifts and fun. We were all spoiled by each other and our hosts. Nik and I got a gift card from Emilee's family along with a very accurate depiction of Nik and I sitting on our red couch. This was sculpted out of clay by Em and her kids. It is really awesome! We gave Audrey and Danny "The Simpson's Movie", Kara a Barbie doll and a Snow White puzzle, and Christopher some cool blocks that connect easily. He is only one and a half.



Al made all the kids (and me) these amazing keepsake boxes for pictures. Mine was filled with pictures my parents picked out of me growing up. Some of them are really cute! The rest of the boxes will receive installments of "The Photo of the Month Club" from Al and Jeanne. They are great photographers and I look forward to seeing the pictures. We also got these great pottery pitchers done by a friend of theirs. Lou made this comment too, but its true that even though they were handed out at random, everyone seemed to think that theirs fit them the best. Mine was the skinniest. More straight up and down. I love it. It also missing the artist stamp, cause, you know, I can't be branded :)

After the festivities winded down, we went to visit Talina and David at her parents house for a few minutes before they headed back to Provo. It was good to talk to them. I am hoping they make it to the shindig tonight too.

Christmas with Charlie and Kaytee was held a couple days early at the Flurer residence and involved much spoiling. We all got Pj's as usual and the girls got the Willow Tree Nativity Shepherds. They are so beautiful. I hope I have a place to put them out next year. Nik got some tools and a calendar. It was a crazy fun time. Oh, and Gerald brought the best BBQ sandwiches I have had in a long time. And some great sweets from Schmidt's Cottage. Great place.

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Nik and I both had to work the rest of the week, so it was back to the grind stone pretty quickly. Friday night Nik and I went on a search for a new frog, but the efforts were fruitless. No new frog yet. That same night we had a few friends over to play some games. Of course Nik wanted to show off Rock Band so we played a couple songs then got to the Mutant killing. We have a long standing tradition of playing these X-men games with Jake and Lisa when Jake is in town. We play other times, too, but we make it a point to play with Jake. This time it was Jake, Lisa and Brock that came. Brock is a new comer to our house and to the games. It was interesting to play with someone new. We missed Fat Jeron though.




We got together again on Sunday, this time at the Slade's. There was a bigger group of us this time, so we played Werewolves. If any of you have played the game Moffia, it is very similar. It is so much fun. I think Nik and I might get it for ourselves soon. You have to have at least 8 people to play though, so that might be a issue. To me the game feels kind of like a Murder Mystery, and you all know how I feel about those! We had a blast last night and were there WAY too late. Probably not a good idea since we have to stay up late again tonight. At least we don't have to work tomorrow morning.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New addition!



I know this is old news by now, but I just had to brag about my beautiful new niece, Sofia Caroline. She was born Friday morning and was a healthy 7 lbs 11.5 oz. and 21 inches long. She is possibly the most beautiful baby in the whole world. Nik and I were just dying to see her all day on Friday and had to wait till after 6 o'clock when we both got off work. Luckily we were able to sneak in and hold her for a few minutes each amongst the mob of visitors. This baby is definitely loved. We were teasing Kersten at the hospital that this must not be his child, it was just too cute, but then Lou pointed out that that would entail infidelity on her part, and we couldn't sully her good name, so we took it back. Great job Ten!
I love this baby so much already, I can't even imagine what her parents are feeling. I feel so blessed to be a part of this child's life, right from the beginning. I was going to post more pictures I took at the hospital, but Blogger is fighting me, so I just got the two. I am sure more pictures will be posted soon. If anyone is anxious for more Sofie action, check out the links to Amy, and Lou on the right hand side of my blog.

Congratulations Laurie and Kersten!





Sunday, December 23, 2007

My attempt at Christmas treats

Ok, it's time for another update.  I mentioned earlier about Mom and I making Christmas cookies, but I have made some treats of my own in the last few days.  Mom gave me the idea, and even let me sample a finished one.  I don't know what to call them...maybe Pecan Toppers.  Yeah, that sounds good for now.  So, to make these Pecan Toppers, (oh, mom got the recipe from her mom, and I think Grandma got it from Aunt Tammy, before that, I don't know) you take the square waffle pretzels, lay them out on a foil covered cookie sheet, place the little square bite sized Dove Bars on each pretzel, then a pecan half on each of the chocolates.  Heat the oven to about 250 degrees and put in your pan.  Make sure you watch them so they don't get all liquidy, but they do need to be nice and soft.  When you can smoosh the pecan into the chocolate just a little, they are done.  Take them out and let them cool.  When they are solid again you can move them to another location, like a zip top bag or a Tupperware-esque container.  I made these candies to give to my neighbors and visiting teaching ladies.  The ones I visit.  Only I made them a little different.  I used Rollo's instead of Dove Bars.  Its the caramel addiction, it gets me every time.

The first batch turned out great!  The melted just right and look spectacular!  So much so that I decided I would make another one.  This one didn't work out quite as well.  The oven was just as hot as it was last time, they were set up the same as last time, but for some reason, they would not melt right.  When I checked on them at the time they should have been done and checked one to make sure, the chocolate just cracked and the carmel spilled out.  Bummer.  So I put them back in.  A few minutes later I go back to check again, with the same results.  Double bummer!  Frustrated, I turn the heat up by a miniscule amount (just enough to make myself feel like I had done some thing) and return the pan.  Now, maybe what follows could have been prevented if I had been keeping a closer eye on the candy.  Maybe not.  While I am sitting with Nik watching TV I suddenly realize that I smell something a little burn-y coming from the kitchen.  Shoot!  I race to the oven and grab my pan out (safely of course) only to find that I am too late.  Every one has melted to the point of pecans sliding off and caramel oozing all over the pan.  I am crestfallen.  I just ruined all these candies!  I let them cool on the pan and later that night I pulled one off to try.  Surprisingly, not bad.  I can taste a slightly "dark" essence in the caramel, but other than that, no harm done.  They do not look pretty, but hey, beauty is only skin deep.  

So I put them on the bottom of the bags I have given out.  This allows me to give out way more than if I had scrapped that pan.  Plus, I can just eat any left overs.  That is the best part.  

Ok, I have to go to Tithing Settlement now.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Job!


Hello all!  I just wanted to share my good news with everyone!  Today I got a new job!  I had an interview with Granite Credit Union this afternoon and by the end of the interview I was offered the job.  Now, I know this sounds a lot like the last time I got a new job, but I am hoping this is different.  

I heard about the job through Mason's girlfriend Ashlee, but I don't know if I will work at the same branch as her.  The pay isn't as high as I would like, but it is a good start.  The best part is that the benefits kick in much sooner than the last job.  And I get all those great bank holidays!  I was thinking when I got out that Noah must have prayed for me too.  He has some pretty strong prayers.  Thank you to everyone who helped me keep busy during my down time and prayed for me to get another job.  I am really glad to be employed.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Cookies!

Yesterday I was able to do something that I haven't done in years.  Make Christmas cookies with my mom!  When I was little, it seemed like mom made these traditional cookies every year, but their production has slowed in the past years.  

The day started with talking ourselves in to actually making the cookies.  It's always easier to say you want to make cookies than to actually start to do it.  But we did, and started with the Almond Lace Wafers.  These are made by melting butter (lots of it) in a sauce pan with sugar, almonds and a tiny bit of milk, cream and flour.  When this is a syrup you spoon it on to very greased cookie sheets and bake for 8 minutes.  Remove and let cool till you can lift the edges with our ripping, turn out on some paper towels and VERY carefully roll up on the handle of a wooden spoon.  They are still very hot at this point.  if you cook them too long (which we did at first) or if you let them cool too long (which we did) or not long enough (which we did) they will crack and shatter.  At that point the only thing you can do is eat the pieces.  Oh well!

In between batches of ALW we mixed up a double batch of sugar cookie dough.  This is the same recipe we have always used, and surprisingly, it is the one from the Cookie Press book.  Don't mess with a classic.  We decided to put these through the press, as opposed to chilling and rolling them out (may not have been easier in the long run).  We used the Christmasy designs and did many variations on them.  I brought mint-chocolate Kisses and mini chocolate chips which we used on the Wreaths and Trees (respectively).  The wreaths look like Thumb Print cookies.  Its pretty cool.  

We stopped at two types of cookies for the day, the sugar cookies took most of the day!  Mom says she wants to make Mexican Wedding Cakes too, but that will be later.  I was sent home with a tupperware of the finished product.  I considered giving them out to my neighbors, but I think I will just eat them myself!  I really wish we had pictures of us making them, and since I don't have my camera yet, I don't have any pictures of the finished ones either.  Oh well.  They taste amazing, so that will have to be enough.  

Thanks mom for letting me help you make cookies this year!  It was so much fun!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007



I've Been Christmas Tagged!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
It is always more fun to open wrapped gifts, plus, I LOVE to wrap them, so I go for paper!

2. Real tree or artificial?
We had a real tree for a long time when I was little, but eventually got into the fake stuff, and we inherited a fake tree, so thats what we use now.

3. When do you put up the tree?
When ever we get around to it.  This year it was the first week in December.

4. When do you take the tree down?
When ever we get around to it.  

5. Do you like eggnog?
Not at all.  I even tried some Eggnog ice cream to see if maybe I had grown out of my distaste for it...nope.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Well, I don't remember the big gifts, my mom says i had to have a Popples when I was little, and I still love that Popples, so that was probably my favorite as a small child.  When I was in high school mom and dad gave me some Mall gift certificates and I bough a sweet-awesome winter coat. That I still wear.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, as of last year, I have two. I was given my first one last Christmas from my Step-mother-in-law, a Willow Tree one with a cool metal stable and star.  Shortly after Christmas last year Jeanne gave me her Chile Nativity and that is the one we put up this year.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
This year it is Nik, but normally he is easy to buy for.  And he got my present weeks ago, and everyone says it is so cool, I am nervous for the little things I got for him!

9. Easiest person to buy for?
My mom is pretty easy to buy for.  I can always think of stuff to get Mom.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I do neither.  I love receiving the cards, so I guess Mail.

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
Muppets Christmas Carol, hands down.  I also enjoy The Year Without a Santa Clause ( "They call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch, turs to snow in clutch.  I'm to much!  Da Da Da-Dum!)

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
When ever I find something good.  I try not to do it too early though, cause what if they get it for themselves before christmas!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Um...I cant remember.  I have been told I have received recycled gifts before, but usually its from my girl friends, and I asked for them.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
I am really looking forward to mom Almond Lace Wafers this year.  She hasnt made them in a long time, and they are to die for!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
I really like clear on the tree with lots of colorful ornaments, but I like the colored ones on the windows.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
I love the Christmas Hymns, and it never seems like we get to sing them all.

18. Travel for Christmas or stay home?
I really like to travel, but only to St. George, which is filled with family.  I like staying home with Nik now, but the day before and the day of are filled with running around the valley to visit all the family here.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph, Olive.  I love how people think they are all original when they mention Olive.  

20. Angel on the treetop or a star?
Mom had an angel, we have a santa hat.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
We get to open Grandma's on christmas eve, but everything else is Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
I HATE being cold.  And it can't be helped.

23. What I love most about Christmas?
Being with my husband no matter what we have going on outside the house.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Giving Thanks a Month Late



For those of you who don't know already, I lost my job last Friday. Merry Christmas.  Well, I am on the fence about what to do now.  Get a temp job over Christmas because everyone is hiring, or do I hold out for something that might be a little more permanent.  Decisions.  
This time at home, reflecting on the finances has made me realize how much we already have.  Now, not having a job is going to make the monthly payments a little tight, but it could be so much worse.  
For example, we both have coats, hats scarves and gloves to get us through the cold.  
The light in the kitchen burned out yesterday, and we had light bulbs in the pantry.
I amy not like cooking, but we actually have the makings for quite a few good meals.  Even if it is spaghetti a few nights a week.
We have plenty of blankets so we can turn the heat down. Save a bit of money on the bills.
I have great parents who are willing to let me do my laundry over at their house a couple times a week.  And feed us all the time.  Lots of food coming from my parents.
There are lots more things, but those are a few of the ones I have been thinking about recently. Oh, and I am very grateful that Nik got that raise a couple months ago, so at least we know we can survive off his income if we have to.
Thanks to everyone who has helped us out so far, and to those who have prayed for us!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Fasion A-B-C's

I stole this from Lou's blog, and I hope someone steals it from me!

A: What accessories do you wear everyday? Wedding ring and CTR ring I got at 16, a Nightmare watch my brother gave me (almost everyday) and usually my pearls, to Nik's dispair.

B: What is your beauty routine? Face wash, day solution, moisturiser (the TimeWise set from Mary Kay, my salvation), straighten hair, goop hair, makeup  in the car.

C: What was the last item of clothing (for yourself) that you purchased? I got a couple new shirts from Down East Clothing, at Seagull Book.  I love them!

D: Do you use a dresser, closet, or both? Both, I guess.  Most of my clothes are in the closet, and I keep my unmentionables in a dresser drawer.

E: What type of earrings are in your ears right now? small diamond ones I got for my high school graduation.

F: What type of figure do you have? Relatively short, skinny, but well proportioned. 

G: Do you wear glasses? Only at night.

H: What type of handbag do you carry? Its a messenger bag that has the Muppet Show logo, Nik gave it to me.

I: What is your ideal of style? alternative trendy

J: What jewelry are you wearing right now? afforementioned rings, pearls and earings

K: Do you wear knee-hi stockings? I dont wear stockings

L: Do you *have* to wear matching lingerie? underware yes, lingerie, no.

M: Do you wear makeup? Every day.  If I dont have time to the whole shebang, I just put on mascara. 

N: Do you wear nightgowns? Nope. I wear an oversized Utes sweatshirt and my favorite pajama pants.

O: What outerwear do you put on when going out on a typical winters day? My coat, scarf, little gloves.

P: What is your favorite perfume?Little Black Dress from Avon.  You cant get it anymore. :(

Q: Is your motto "quality over quantity" when it comes to clothing and accessories? Um, yes? I only buy both if they are on sale, so sometimes its quality, and sometimes its quantity

R: Do you wear rain boots? No, but I would love too

S: Do you wear socks or slippers when your feet get cold? I like slippers, I have a great pair that Vivian gave me years ago that I have just about worn out.

T: Do you have a set of travel luggage? We use Nik's mission stuff, and it works just fine!

U: What is your daily uniform? Jeans and a tee shirt.  If I can find a shirt that is cuter than the standard Shade, I will wear that, but its usually a shade.

V: If you are married, did you wear a veil with your wedding dress? Yes, I considered not wearing one, and truthfully, probably the only reason I wore one was because we found it cheap at D.I.

W: Do you wear a watch? Everyday. If I remember!

X: What item of clothing always makes you feel eXtremely beautiful? Not a lot right now. As long as my pants are not falling down and my shirt covers my whole belly

Y: What is your favorite type of yarn? The soft kind.

Z: Do you prefer zippers or buttons? Zippers on jeans, buttons on Blazers, 

Sunday, November 25, 2007

St. George Vacation


Warning!  This is an extremely long post!  Continue at your own risk!

This weekend Nik and I were lucky enough to take a trip to St. George for Thanksgiving.  It was a rare chance to see my aunts and uncles down there, and my family was going as well, so it was even better.  

We left Wednesday night around 7pm and had a traffic filled trip that put us arriving just after midnight.  That wasn't as bad as it could have been, but for a mid-week trip, there were tons of cars.  Thats what we get for leaving on the busiest traveling day of the year.  We were staying at my Cousin Lacey's house cause she has tons of extra room.  We found out on our way down that she has a cat.  So, yeah.  Nik was pretty stuffed up by the next morning.  We stayed up talking to Lacey and went to bed late.  Thanksgiving dinner was at 12:30 at Aunt Debbie's house  Or, at least that was the plan.  I think we ate around 1:30.  We were expecting as much, so no harm done.  Just let me say, Dinner was amazing.  We had all the Thanksgiving staples, along with all the St. George staples, so I was in heaven.  Mmmm....Dixie salad....Anyway.  We sat and talked for a while after dinner and somewhere in there decided that we would all go to Enchanted the next night.   It looked like it would just be the girls till my uncle Kelly spoke up and said he wanted to come too.  So then it was the girls plus Kelly...and my dad.  He's always up for a movie.  Later that afternoon my family went to my cousin Eric's house (where the other side of the family was having Dinner) where we caught up with how tall my younger cousins are, how tall their kids are, and the latest movie news.  Unfortunately, Eric and his wife Noel have two big brown dogs.  Which did not help Nik's allergy problem.  Needless to say, he was having some problems by the end of the night.  We didn't stay long, and Grandpa had some Claritin-D, so he was able to sleep that night with no problems.  

The next day I avoided Black Friday.  Meaning, I did not get up at 3am to stand in line at Wally's World for the latest Mattel toy.   My mom, however, went to J.C. Pennies with her sister around 7am to catch the deals.  Which I guess there were plenty of.  After that they came and pick me up to go to the Michael's sale.  We missed the good coupons, they ended at 9am.  They were still having a good sale of yarn, which brings me to my next topic.  I have decided to make scarves for the lucky winners of my Pay it Forward game.  I finished one yesterday during the game and left it there for my Cousin Lisa.  So, one down, two to go!  We did a bit more shopping, stopped at Grandma's for lunch then it was off to the Santa's Workshop craft fair that is held down there every year.  I went with two aunts and my mom.  And a younger cousin.  We had a great time looking at all the booths.  This was the first time in all the years we have gone that either my mom or myself actually bought something.  I didn't spend as much money as I could have, and it took great will power to pass up the home-made fudge booth, but I did it.  While we were at the Fair, Nik and Jeff went to Target to get Transformers, but came back with Oceans 13.  You'll have to ask Nik why the change.  When we all met back at home it was time to go to the movie.  Phone calls were made and a destination was settled upon.  When we got there, it was sold out.  Bummer.  Even more of a bummer was that ALL the theaters in St. George were sold out.  No movie for us.  It was back to Grandma's.  We just visited after that.  

Saturday morning dawned with the smell of rivalry in the air.  The entire days events were being scheduled around the University of Utah vs. BYU football game.  It was settled that we would congregate at my Uncle Russell's house because he had just purchased a big screen TV for the event.  That is a remarkably Dad thing to do.  We had a good time watching the game surrounded by my younger cousins....the game was fun to watch anyway.  I brought my crocheting and worked on above mentioned scarves during the game.  I was being teased that I jinxed the game by bringing my blue and white yarn to the unanimously red house.  Personally, I think it was the reffs.  Sad game.  Sad game.

We chose to head back home after the ball game and after a second stop at Frost Top and gas tank fill up, we were on the road.  Our decision to leave on Saturday was two fold.  Our friends were having a game night at their house, and one of our friends that goes to school in DC was going to be there, so we wanted to see him if we could.  Also, I really wanted a day at home before I had to go back to work. 

We arrived at the game night after is started, but we were not late.  Yay for us!  We played this great game called Werewolves.  It is like Murder in the Dark, and Nik says they used to play a version of it on the mission with Angels and Demons.  We had a blast. 

Over all the vacation was fantastic.  I got to see tons of family and spend tons of time with Nik.  Which is ultimately the best part of a vacation.  I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, and I want to hear all about them!

PS- Happy Birthday Lou!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Naked Day!



This is what we reffer to Nik's birthday as now. It was his one wish. Naked day. And I obliged to the best of my ability. I will spare you the details, but I will say that we kept the house very warm.

Nik and I slept in this morning, then I cooked breakfast. In the afternoon we made a list of things to do and on the top was a trip to Wally's World. There we purchased a Chocolate Silk pie in leu of a birthday cake. I was going to make one, really, it just didn't happen. But Nik got to pick out the pie, so all is well. While we were at WW we had the oil changed on my car. There is a Goodyear right next door and I had a coupon, so it was great. Since we are driving the length of the state next week and I was a couple thousand miles off my recommened, it needed to happen. I can tell that my car feels better now. All full of oil. After WW we stopped at home for some quick games...of the video variety, and then off to the Flurers who were holding our towels for ransom. Well, not really, we washed them over there the night before and they were not dry at midnight when we left, so they dried them again for us and we picked them up today. After that it was back home and more games till we decided where we wanted to go for dinner. We were ready to leave before we made up our minds, so we just drove down State till Nik suggested Mimi's Cafe. Dinner was awesome and they even brought him chocolate pie with a candle. No singing, but thats ok. Later in the evening Spence and Jess stopped by for pie and we got to sing Hapy Birthday to Nik. I was glad to have them there, I would have felt funny singing off key by myself. They had something else to be to later, so they didn't stay long, but it was good times anyway.

We are currently just chilling and playing Viva Pinata. I have had so much fun today with my husband. He is always asking me if I love his birthday. Which I hope means that he loves his birthday. But I do love his Birthday. I love getting him presents, I love how he is always smiling because he knows I will let him get away with more for these 24 hours. Nik is such an amazing man. I am so lucky to have him in my life. He is smart, and funny, and so creative. I know he doesn't want to grow up, but he is doing it anyway, in his own ways. He tells me he loves me multiple times every day, and it makes me feel so good. I hope he had a great day and knows that I love him so much! Happy Birthday Baby!

Windex Anyone?


It was a day like any other. The weather was clear, my car had a full gas tank, and I got to work on time. About 10:00 I hear a *thump* from just outside my office door, in the lobby. And I think, "ha, i bet a bird just hit the window." But I was hard at work, so I didn't bother to check if out. No sooner had I thought this than the receptionist Shea, suddenly stands up and says, "A bird just flew into the front window!" I was immediatly interested. (You should know that the front lobby area is all windows. So this was very noticable.) We both ran to the door and found the stunned finch lying on his back on the concrete out side the office. After studying it for a while and discussing what we could do for it, we decided the best thing to do was to get some tissues and move it onto the grass and the shade. I wanted to bring it home and keep it forever, but I figured that would not be the best choice since I was at work and had no way of containing it until I got home. And even after that. Not to mention all that stuff mom used to say about not knowing where it had been and what diseases it might be carrying. Oh well. Maybe next time. So Shea picks up the poor bird and moves it next to a bush on the side of the building. We took turns checking up on it through out the day, till finally we checked and it was not there. I have no idea what happed to our little birdy, but I am imagining that it came out of its window enduced haze and flew home to tell his friends and family about how he has discovered a patch of solid sky. I am sure he has some sort of Chicken Little-esque nick name by now. But I am pulling for him. It won't do any lasting mental damage.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Iron Chef Michael Symon


Now, I know that this name may not mean anything to most of you, but to a select few, it is the future...of Iron Chef America. last night was the conclusion of The Next Iron Chef on the Food Network. Nik and I have watched this show religiously from day one. Luckily, we have had some partners in crime, Lou and Ten were just as engrossed, so we had some one to talk to about it. We were addicted to this show. There have only been a few Food Network "reality" shows, The Next Food Network Star was the last one they did, and I have to say that the lady that won has a pretty good show. You go Amy!

The Next Iron Chef was a short series that started with eight chefs from various parts of the country that had been challengers on Iron Chef America before. I love ICA too, so nothing about NIC could disapoint. All the Chefs either had restaraunts of their own, or were sous chefs for high end restaraunts. The origional contestants were as follows: Traci Des Jardins (out too soon), Jill Davie, Chris Consetino (looks like JD) , Gavin Kaysen (whiner), Morou Ouattara, Aarón Sanchez (stuck up), John Besh, and Michael Symon. It was an intense 6 week battle involving such challenges as: creating airline food for the largest air bus in the world, cooking out doors with just a grill and some essentials (what they were given was chosen for them by a competator), presenting six, one bite of thier signature dish, making deserts from such quality ingrediants as cat fish, tripe, lamb, etc, and the final battle which was a real Iron Chef battle in Kitchen Stadium with secret ingrediant Sword Fish. Symon even survived the crappy judges...stupid long haired Bon Appetit critic.

Since day one Nik and I had been rooting for Chef John Besh. He was amazing on his first Iron Chef appearance, against Chef Batali (I think) and we were so excited to see him here. And he did really well! Won a couple challenges, and was never in the bottom 2. And at the final battle, it was Besh against Symon. I will admit, after a couple battles, I was hooked on Symon as well. So it was really hard to decide who I wanted to win. In my heart I still wanted Besh, but when Symon's picture was revealed, I was not disapointed. That night they also revealed that Symon's Iron Chef coat was designed by viewers and would be revealed at the begining of the new season of ICA. I am excited. That is one cool thing about ICA, all the Chefs wear the signature light blue with red/orange trim, but they are all a different design. This should be good (Trust me, I know what a big nerd I sound like here, but the Food Network is my guilty pleasure, and it could be worse, I could be telling you about One Tree Hill, or how the final season of Gilmore Girls comes out on Tuesday...hint hint, Christmas).

I hope that even if you did not see this series, you can relate to the excitement I am feeling right now. I can not wait for the new season of Iron Chef America and Chef Symon's debut.

Late Post for Pumkin Carving


The Monday before Halloween Nik and I went over to my parents house to carve pumkins. We did this for two reasons: 1) my mom had just had surgery and was not getting out much, so we were her entertainment for the evening. 2) there is no room in my house for pumkin carving. It would have been a pumpkin-guts mess all over my living room floor because my kitchen table is doubling as a storage unit. So it worked well for everyone.

I was incharge of getting everything set up and cleaning out the pumpkins. Nik thinks its gross, and I really could care less, so it was no big deal. In fact, both of them cleaned out pretty quickly.

True to form it took me about 20 minutes or more to decide what I wanted to carve. I am a real stickler to getting it right the first time, so I think about it long and hard before hand. Nik decided on a smirking and had it done in about 15 minutes. He then helped me with the art for mine. I decided on a panda with some bamboo, and I can't draw pandas, so that was Nik's job.

The first picture is of Nik's creation, and the pic to the right is mine. I think they both turned out great. I know it is a little late in the season for this post, but I haven't had as much free time as I thought I would have, so deal with it. :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I Voted! Despite it all!


Last night Nik and I did our civil duty and voted in the city elections. We knew that our voting location was the Christian Center on 7th east and 43rd south. We also knew that we were not registered in this new district. But we went anyway. We stood in the half and hour long line just to find out that we were right, not in this precinct (spelled that wrong). We were told that we could vote provisionally, and that would also register us in the new area. So we go over to the two old fogies at the short-bus table, Mr. I Invented Voting, and Ms. Where'd I Put My Pen, were more than happy to help us get even more confused about the process. Mr. I told us that if we were still registered at the old house then our votes here would probably not count. So we were in limbo untill nik called the Voting Hotline (or something like that) and the nice lady said that we were in exactly the right spot and if we would have gone back to the other place our votes would definitly not have counted. I ran into a friend of mine whom I haven't seen since high school, so I was able to pass the time talking to Nate. In the meantime, Ms. W. skipped over us a couple times, and voided my voting envelope. It set us back some time. So we voted. Voted for the only thing we were allowed to. Refferendum 1. Or should I say against, Nik and I were against this stupid school voucher law. I am so glad it didn't pass. Utah school systems are not ready for something like that. Utah government doesn't like to give school systems money. It only took us an hour from the time we got in line, to the time we walked out the door. I am glad we didn't have any other time sesitive plans.

I hope everyone else had a easier time voting.

Hey, I posted down there!

I just wanted all to know that I finished a post i started a while back, so it posted down a couple, and I wanted credit for doing my Tag thing. So, everyone, check it out. Thanks.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Moment Of Truth!

Hello all! Its time to announce the winners of my Pay it Forward contest! Since my party last night was a bust, I had Shea, the loveley receptionist here at Zeit Company, pick the winners this morning. And here they are!

In no particular order:

Laurie


Lisa


Kathy...Mom


Yay for the winners! I considered giving fun-size Play-doh as the gift, since I didn't have many trick or treaters last night, but I will pick something better. In the rules is says that the winners promise to do something similar (in the Pay it Forward spirit) soon as well, and I hope to figure out what to give out by the time they do! Lisa has already done it, so she is off the hook, unless she wants to do it again! I have high hopes for Lou and Mom though. Don't let me down!

******--------*******--------********

I would just like to discuss trick-or-treating for a moment here. I was so excited to live in an apartment complex because of the high possibility of trick-or-treaters. I was sorely disapointed. I got four, count'em...4, door knocks last night. Granted there were at least three kids each time, but still, thats not even my whole complex, not to mention my neighborhood.

I even had cool Play-Doh instead of yucky candy to hand out, and it seemed to be a hit, but still, I was lacking the numbers. I still have a bucket full of fun-size Play-Doh at home. At least I know Nik will be entertained at church. I am substituting for the 9 year-old girls in Primary (yes, I worded that funny)and I am thinking I will bring that as the treat.

Thank you for participating in my little game!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Last Chance!

Count down: eleven hours and 56 minutes left to comment on my PIF post for your chance to win! Come on Dad! I want to see your name in there! Right now it is between Mom, Lou, Nik, Lisa, and Heather. English family, tell Jeanne and Charlie, I want as many people here as I can get! Flurer Family, tell the girls, I am sure they would like a chance to win. As it stands, I am still at a loss as to what to send, so it will be a suprise for everyone! Oh, and I found out I am one of the lucky three from my Cousin Heather's PIF and will be receiving lovely foaming anti bacterial soap from Bath and Body Works. I can hardly wait!

I am having a Halloween party at my house tonight so I will have one of my guests pick out the lucky winners!

***---***---***---***

It has been a while since I have posted anything worth while here, so I hope you all forgive me. My new job has turned my world upside down. I am constantly behind on laundry and dishes. I have only cooked dinner once in the two and a half weeks I have been employed. My house is a mess and I am having people over tonight. I desperatly hope I can get it cleaned before people start coming. I only have about an hour...maybe less.

Last night we went to a Halloween party at Al and Jeanne's. It was quite a shindig. Nik and I were late since he doesnt get home from work till after 6, and I had had a bad day at work, so I work, so it took a little time to be ready to go. I had a lot of fun. I heard some fun stories from Al, and everyone (well, almost everyone...Kersten) was dressed up. Em was Jack Sparrow, and it was a stricking likeness. I think she should consider a career change ;) I forgo'd my Harley Quinn costume, even though I am way excited to have it, I just didn't want to mess with the face makeup. Instead I was a Punk Rock Angel. I thought it was pretty cool. That is what I am today at work too. Minus the wings. Nik was a Young Hue Heffner. I was impressed how many people got that right off the bat. I wanted to be a Bunny, but it was a family party.

Well, I guess that is all for now. I have a little more time today at work, so maybe I will post again.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

One, Two, Three, TAG!

I've been tagged (and I have nothing better to do)!

A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.


1. I love singing along with the radio and CD's, but I cannot sing. Just ask the lady that sits next to me in Ward Choir. And don't ask why I am in Ward Choir.

2. I have a horrible memory, except when it comes to stupid stuff. Then I remember it all.

3. I moved 14 times before I was 8.

4. I would love to have laser eye surgery, but when I think about the precedure, I gives me the willies.

5. I am envious of my Cousin Lisa's life. I know it is hard, but she gets to be a stay at home mom, and take lots of pictures all day long. I feel like I have no free time anymore. Stupid job. I know she will say its not all it looks like, but still.

6. I am excited to have an apartment I can decorate. And by decorate, I mean rearrange furniture and hang pictures. I love finding art and nick-nacks to put around, and plants, and furniture. I can't wait to have a house so I can go all out.

There. I was tagged first by Lou and then by Lisa, and I am pretty sure that everyone is all tagged out, so this will be the end. If someone was missed and feels strongly about posting a tell-all about themselves, don't wait for someone to tag you. Be a trail blazer!

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Husband Controls the Radio


Saturday night Nik and I were running errands and in the midst of it all we stopped to get dinner at Take Five Drive-in. It's pretty good, for future referrence. While we were waiting for our food Nik was listening to the faint music playing in the dining area and by the time we got back out to the car he had a song stuck in his head. That song was "Welcome the Black Parade" by My Chemical Romance. I really like this song too, but I only have it on my iPod, so his pleas to listen to it were falling on deaf ears. We tried to find it on the radio but no such luck. I tired of the radio soon and put my CD back on. After stopping at Albertson's Nik confessed that he still had the song stuck in his head so he used his Force powers and we turned the radio back on and low and behold, it was playing on X96! Not 20 seconds in! It was quite amazing. Neither of us had high hopes cause we haddn't heard that song for some time. Needless to say we crancked up the volume and sang our hearts out. We have been meaning to tell everyone this since it happened and could never remember. I hope everyone enjoyed Nik's control over the radio. Please check out the title link to YouTube to check out this great song. I know, the video is a little weird, but please listen to the whole song, it is reminicent of Queen, so that makes it really good!

Also, I have heard that the instructions to my Pay it Forward blog are not exactly clear. Yes, you must comment to win. You do not have to have a blog, so tell all your friends!

Also, also, my mom is going in for surgery this morning, so please remember her in your prayers!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Considering a career change


"I wish I were a glow worm, a glow worms never glum, cause how can you be grumpy when sun shines out your bum."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pay it Forward


I am taking this great idea from my cousin Lisa who recently did it on her blog. My mom won from Lisa (so you know it works!), and even though I didn't, I am going to Pay it Forward anyway! I am not sure yet what the prizes will be, but I promise it will be good! Here are the rules (I stole them from Lisa's, who stole them from her friends blog...thats like paying it backwards...or something):

1. I promise to send 3 lucky comment makers a gift as soon as I get around to it (with in a three week time period of the end of the contest). It will not be a leg lamp.



2. I will choose 3 winners randomly out of... a hat or something... based on a one entry per person rule.



3. Comment winners must be willing to "Pay It Forward" by offering a similar contest to others, somewhere, somehow (I know not all of ya' have blogs - c'mon, jump on the bandwagon, people!) *YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A BLOGGER TO JOIN! ANYONE CAN COMMENT- BLOGGERS, SPACERS, EMAILERS, FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS, HUSBANDS, KIDS, DOGS, GECKOS, ETC.*



4. Comments must be a little interesting to read....I'm not gonna count a "count me in" comment. Give me something funny, something new I may not know about you...I'm talking quality information here. Maybe why you would like to PIF...or how you feel about the challenge altogether. Or just something entirely preposterous. You know utter nonsense always makes me happy. :0) If you have been lurking around my blog not commenting, now would be a good time to make yourself known.



5. I know some of you are related to me but that doesn't mean you shouldn't enter. I think you will still like what I am giving away, and the drawing will be completely random so your chances are no better or worse.



6. Now for the time line. Given that it is about half way through October, I am going to cut this one short! You now have until 11:59 on Wednesday the 31st to post your comments. Thats Halloween people, so don't slack off! I will announce the winnners Thrusday November 1st here on my blog. Good Luck!

*Remember! If you win you promise to Pay it Forward in some way!

Monday, October 15, 2007

First Day of the Rest of My Life

I am, as we speak, nearing the end of my first day at my new job. I am happy to be employed and I like the environment, but I have been very bored today. I know, it takes a while to get in the flow of things and I have done a few orders by myself, but I spent most of the day on the internet. Oh, and my PC has Vista on it, so it is taking some getting used to. Its not as bad as I have heard though.

It looks like my job will be to help answer phones and input orders from clients who are ordering from our catalouge. There are a few things I have to remember and I am glad I am not afraid to call the client for more information if needed. I am really looking forward to getting in the thick of it all and knowing all the ins and outs of the company. Everyone has been really nice and willing to help me. Especially this guy josh, he is like my sensei. "Take the cricket from my hand..."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Welcome Back!

I have received a few comments regarding my lack of blogs since I have been back. I would like to explain that I am holding off on the trip stories till I have all the pictures from the trip. I can tell a few stories, but I think that most people will have heard them by now, but I will high light for those I don't talk to on a regular basis. Forgive me if this is a little random, I can never remember what order everything happened in.

First of all, this trip was my first time on a plane. Ok, for my moms sake, that is not true. I guess I was on one when I was really little, but I don't remember it, so it doesn't count. Regretably, the first experience was not the best one. The plane was dizzying small, and it was night out, so I couldn't see anything. I made it through alive, though only just. We had a layover in San Fran for two and an half hours. We were prepared and found our gate early and took a nap. A about nine, plane leaves at nine thrity, I decide to double check some things about our seats and find out that we are at the wrong terminal and need to be across the whole airport in less than half an hour. Needless to say, we almost didn't make it. Stupid sescurity. Anyway, they were paging our names and everything. It was a really close call. And we didn't even get to sit next to each other.

Once on the plane we were relaxed till we realized we did not rememer the name or address of the resort we were staying at. After making through customs we asked a nice taxi service to help us. It if were not for this man, we would never have figured it out. He even let us use his cell phone. Even in the taxi on the way there I was still a little skeptical, but we met a great couple from Seattle who had internet on their Blackberry and he was able to check my blog and the link I posted to find out that not only were we going to the right place, but that ther were staying there as well! Turns out they had the room next to ours. We became pretty good friends with these guys and they even bought me an amazing terracotta painted frog to put in our nursery (when the time comes).

We made it safe to the resort and met our friends at the pool. Everything was great until we pulled out my lap top to download the camera so we could take more pictures. The computer couldn't find the hard drive...again. The last time my lappy was out it was for this same problem less than a month ago. Bummer. This new perdicament led us to persuading the front desk people to let us down load the camera to their lobby computers and then putting them on to Spencers iPod cause Nik's is formatted to a Mac. The only time we have regretted anything about a Mac. Well it worked, but those are the pictures I still need to get before I post any. Jess got some of the best ones.

The rest of the trip was awesome! No one got sick, and we all got along great! I will tell my picture related stories when I have them.

On the way home we had a stop in LA and got to eat at this great restaraunt in the airport called L.A. Roadhouse. It was amazing! Best BBQ Pork sandwitch I have ever had! We had a couple hours there too, but we didn't know that when we got off the plane from Mexico, so we had to book it across another airport (seriously, the WHOLE airport) just incase I was wrong about the layover. The flight in to SLC was smooth, but the plane wasn't much bigger than the first one, so I was still a little anxious, but I did get to sleep a little, which is good.

Ok, those are the stories I don't have pictures for, so as soon as I get those pics I will tell you all about the trip its self!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Don't Worry!

Ok, I know this is going to look weird, but we just got to the resort and it is awesome! I already have so many tales to tell! I just wanted to let my mom know that I made it ok and that I am going to have fun! Thanks for talking me through it!

oh, and all the web sites here are in spanish!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Begin Countdown!

Well, it is now hours before our much antici..p...p..(say it! say it!)...pated trip to Mexico. We have arranged the lovely and talented jeanne to take us to the airport at 4:00 in the morning. It was absolutely great of her to offer to take us. She is even tending Cute Ally before comming to our house to sleep for a few hours in hopes of saving her some time in the morning. I am very greatful. I am starting to get nervous now. I was doing fine all day, and it wasn't even a very hectic day. But now that it is down to where I need to get a couple hours sleep before getting up way too early tomorrow morning, it is all becoming more real. We are packing our carry on and dividing up the money. I have a bunch of stuff I will have to throw in a bag in the morning after I use it, but that is normal for me when I travel. All this does not seem to phase Nik. He just threw a bunch of clothes in the suitcase and asked me what I was already packing so he didn't have to worry about it. I hope he has everything he needs! This is the first time I have not packed for him.

We will take lots of pictures and I hope to be able to email some of them while we are gone, but if not, I will post the good ones when we get back! Nik and I will both have our phones (off) in case of emergency, and will be checking our messages at least once a day. Please call if anything important happens, we would like to be kept informed. For my mom: I will call you when we get to San Diego (if its not too early) to let you know everything is fine. Oh, and I forgot to tell you to water the small plant in the frogs cage at least once while we are gone. Thanks!

Thanks again to every one who helped us prepare and who listened to our worries and overthinking-ness. It was all appreciated. Pray for us while we are gone, and don't forget us!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Ok, I will cut to the chase. I have a job. I received the call this morning from the company I had that great interview with, with an offer to start the monday we get back from our trip. He offered me more than I was asking with a possibility of a dollar and hour raise in January. Which will be here sooner than I think. I was more than happy to accept his offer. It is such a relief to know I have a job to come back too. After everything that has happened in the last few days, this is a sign to me that it is ok to go to Mexico. That and seeing where we are staying! Back to business. I have been so stressed about what we were going to do if I did not get a job soon. Nik had some savings but not enough to support us for very long. I am very excited to be able to finally help support my family. Nik has been under such pressure to get maximum hours at work and I know it is taking a toll on him. It might even be one reason he ended up with strep. I really hope that this is a great job and that I can stay there for a long long time. I do not want another Alpine experience. I aired all my concerns at the interview and he seemed pretty sure that he could meet all my expectations. So we will see. The atmosohere was really great and he seems like he will be a great boss. I hope I get along with the other employees quick so I can have some friends at work! The only thing I don't really know is what the dress code is like. If I remember right Dave (previously referred to as "he") was wearing jeans and a plaid shirt, but I could be wrong. Overall: I am really excited and I think I can enjoy the vacation more fully not worring about our financial future. Thanks for all the prayers and support from everyone. Now, pray for Jason!

Sick Day

For all those I have not told already, Nik has Strep Throat. Great huh? I don't want to sound like I am blaming Nik's sickness for all this, but I am set back a whole day with my preparations for Mexico. I had so much to do yesterday and I didn't get any of it done! Anyway, Nik woke up yesterday with what he described as a bruise in his throat and some pretty bad back pain. But he went to work any way. The little trooper. It was only about an hour and a half later that I got a call from him asking me to come get him. 20 minutes later when I got to work he was laying on the couch in the back room. He felt a little warm, but he was saying he was cold. We started home and at just the right time Nik requested i call some people to give him a blessing. The only person I thought would be available was Kersten. Bless his invalidness. We headed right over there and got a great blessing Ten and a great lortab as well. Nik was in severe pain by now and was just laying on the couch.
It was hard to watch him knowing I couldn't do anything to make it better.

When it seemed like the meds were taking too long to kick in I started rubbing his legs and he was able to fall asleep for a little while. Ten kept me entertained while he slept and I made a couple Dr. appointments. When the first time rolled around 2:45 Nik was in the height of the Lortab and so we opted to give it some more time and waited for the 4:00. He was back in emense pain by this time and it seemed to take longer than normal waiting for the doctor. When we finally got in we were pleasently surprised that even though he wasn't Dr. Henry, he was a doctor that knew Nik from a check up/physical he had when he was in scouts. His name is Bruce Callister. He was great! He asked Nik about his symptoms and took his temperature and before he even had tests done, he was writing prescriptions for antibiotics. "Well, it looks like you have strep. You have a fever of 104 and your throat looks terrible." He even gave me a prescription in case I get symptoms as well. With my luck I will be getting what Nik had on sunday when we are getting on the plane saturday morning. I have started taking the meds just in case. I will NOT be sick in Mexico! The Doc also gave Nik a small script for Lortab so his back pain would go away long enough to sleep. Its probably the only reason he has slept at all in the last 24 hours. He spent most of yesterday evening asleep and was really only awake long enough to eat half a bowl of soup and take a hot bath. He is in the process of a lortab induced sleep now.

Unfortunately, being the hypo I am, I had a hard time sleeping as well. Every time Nik rolled over I would wake up worried he was going to be sick or that he needed my help with something. We both woke up around 5:00 and were in and out of sleep tll about 7:00 when Nik got in the tub again. So now I am up. I have so much more to do today, plus I am meeting a friend for lunch. I am glad we got Nik's meds yesterday, I would not be able to leave him alone with out them.

Thank you again to Lou and Ten who let us stay at their house way longer than we intended to, and helped me out a lot with Nik and let him take over their couch for several hours.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Quik brag!

Hey all, I just got a link to the place we are staying in Cabo. Feel free to check it out and drool!

http://trendwest.com/resorts/cb/

Job Offer(?) and Burnt Dinner

So I gave up on dinner tonight. I had planned to make a mock sweet and sour chicken with these frozen popcorn chicken pieces we got from Costco and a sauce packet from the grocery store. I was going to make rice and stir fry some veggies to go with it. I had to stop at the store for some milk and as I was checking out (self check out) my milk spilled! Stupid supposedly sealed milk. When I got home I had to start the dishes to get a frying pan clean. I had Nik help me with the rest while I started the chicken cooking. When it is in the oven I start looking for the rice cooker and then the rice. I found the cooker just fine, but could not locate the rice. I looked for 10 minutes with no luck. I even called my mom to see if she found it while she was cleaning my kitchen last week. Nothing. About the time I get off the phone with Mom I see that it is time to turn the chicken. Guess what. Burned. Yep, our stupid over heating oven burned the chicken in almost half the required cooking time. At this point I was done. Nik is eating CocoaNilla Rice Krispies right now. I know that I could have found something else to make for dinner. Rice a Roni per haps. Nope. Not tonight. The fates were conspiring to have me not cook. Maybe I will manage one home cooked meal before we go to Mexico. Maybe.

But before all this happened (way before) I had a job interview. I got the call on Friday in the AM. I was barely awake when I wrote down the day and time. It was Dave from Zeit Company. Ziet Company manufactures awards. You know, those cool plexy glass engraved numbers that say stuff like "Employee of the Month", "First Place Company Golf Tournament", and "Don't Worry, It's Just a Rash." Well, I would help make those! Well, kind of. I am actually not sure which position I was interviewing for because they had two open and they were both ones I would have put an application for. I guess he knew, cause he was asking a lot of questions. Dave said that I would start in customer service (receptionist) helping out with the stock awards, but that when I have a good feel for what the company does and how it runs, I will have the opertunity to move into the custom department. That means graphic design. I won't go into the details, but he was very nice and gave me some great professional compliments. It was nice to hear from an employer that I was a marketable resource. By the end he all but handed me the job. He said that he would like to offer me the job and that he would be calling me by friday. Sweet huh! I had Nik give me a blessing this morning and eveything just felt so good through out the whole interview. I hope I am not just over excited about a good day. I want to be at a company that I can stay with for a while. I am going to be praying hard in the next few days.

Oh, and I would have posted the link to the company's website, but it is boring and not really worth your time.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

One week and counting


By this time next week Nik and I will (hopefully) be on a plane to Cabo San Lucas. After a two and a half hour lay-over in San Diego. With only one week left I am starting ot get a little nervous about getting everything together ontime. We still don't have anyone to take us to the airport at 4:00 in the morning. I am doing my best to catagorize what needs to happen in the next week, but I have not written anything down, so who knows how many times I will go over all this in my head. Nik and I are going to talk about it today and hopefully that will give me something to do this coming week. I am fine with doing the majority of the preparation my self, I mean, I am home all the time, but I don't think I can come up with everything that needs to happen, by myself. Well, wish us luck and pray for me. I am so nervous about going!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Photo Memories

I decided to take an idea from Amy and I found a few pictures that mean a lot to me and I am going to do a short tribute to them. I will try not to bore anyone.

Nik and I have a lot of pictures like this and this is by no means the first one. I like this picture so much because I think it was taken the day he came home from Atlanta. He had been there on a painting trip for Laser Quest and he was there like 4 days longer than he was supposed to be. Also, he almost missed my birthday. I think it was only like 2 days away. I was very excited to see Nik again. And his hair was SO long! It was nuts! I have never seen it that long since.

This is my beloved cat Ebony. I got her as a kitten from my aunt who accidently breeds cats. Ebony was pretty skittery and only friendly on her own terms. But she loved me and slept on my bed everynight. Sometimes I took a second chair when it came to room on the bed at night. It was worse than sharing a bed with Nik! Kidding! My family definatly had different views on Ebony than I did, and ultimately it was those views combined with Nik's allergies that decided her future. One of my favorite memories of Kitty was when she was still a kitten. My mom and I were down stairs folding laundry and this huge! moth comes flying in the room. Now neither of us is really scared of moths, so we didn't think much of it. Suddenly, in dashes the cat and in one fluid movement she is in the air, level with the light bulb, grabs the moth in her teeth and is down on the floor eating it. Litterly happened in less than 3 seconds. It was awesome!

This is the first picture of me and Nik EVER! It was taken on our second date. Vivian had just got a new camera for Christmas and we went to Quick Wits with her, Jake and her brother Andy. Vivian was taking pictures of everyone and I was talked into posing with Nik. Obviously Nik is better at it than me. It is an entertaining picture and I love that we have something from that early in our relationship. Oh, and that is one of the guys from Quick Wits in the back ground. I forget his name.

Thanks for taking this walk down memory lane with me. I hope to find some more great pictures to share soon.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Happy Birthday me!


Today I turned 23. Is there something about the odd years that make it seem older than it really is? Mom says that the odd years are the hardest, but I think she was referring to the toddler years. I remember 19 being so much cooler sounding than 18, and 21 is such a difference from 20. Twenty-three doesn't seem too impressive, but this year does have its possibilties.

Anyway, today was a great day. Nik took the day off so we spent the WHOLE day together! I was so excited to have Nik all to myself today. He even called himself my slave. Pretty cool huh? Nik even made me breakfast this morning. Jeanne commented that it was pretty amazing that he was up that early. He made me french toast and bacon and it was so good! I think he will be in charge of the french toast making from now on. After breakfast we went shopping. Nik got me a new pair of long pants at Plato's Closet. I was glad he was there, I like it better when I get his opinion on clothes. After that we went to IKEA because we have a good sized gift card there. We went through the whole store and came up with some good stuff. Little stuff, but good. We even ate lunch there. They have some pretty good food. Nik loved the meatballs. After the shopping spree we went to see License to Wed. I don't recommend it. I will admit that it was funny, and had some good lines. But I don't even think I could quote it if I wanted to. Either way, it was good company.

I received so many birthday calls and text messages today, I felt so loved. I am so grateful for places like FaceBook that allow me to be in contact with so many of my friends that I lost touch with earlier. My grandma Mitchell even mailed her gift on time so I got it today. Grandma is always good for a bag of candy and this year was no different. This year is the year of the Sweedish Fish. They are good but not my favorite, so anyone who would like to share, I am more than happy.

Now for presents. Vivian gave me a book called "Stich'n Bitch, the Happy Hooker." Pardon my French. It is probably one of the best books for crochet patterns and advice. It has easy to read instructions and really cute and creative patterns. I am really excited to have it. Jeff gave me a great Nightmare Before Christmas watch. It was in a coffin shaped tin and he even decorated the wrapping paper himself. It is pretty sweet. Mom and Dad gave me an undisclosed amount of cash to help me have fun on our Mexico trip. Mason took credit for getting me a cool beanie that has head phones built right in. I just hook my iPod to the attached cord and ta-da! Music! It is a little small, so we will see if it works when it gets cold. Nik gave me seasons five and six of my beloved Gilmore Girls. I am so excited because some of my favorite episodes are on those seasons. Amy just stopped by and gave her present of Gilmore Girls season One. This is great because you just can't have a series with out the first season. It's what started it all!

Well, that is my day. I am glad to have shared it with all of you. Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday wishes and to all those who thought about sending me birthday wishes.

ps-I am glad to hear that Kersten's back surgery went well, and that he will be returning home tomorrow to be with his family.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hot dogs, Marshmallows, and Birthday Presents


Tonight we were honored to attend a very sophisticated hot dog roast for Amy's birthday. I use the word the sophisticated loosely, but there was great company! I love roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. It was such a great mix of activity and family, we don't aften get to see the Murray's. Since Nik and I were not able to go to our show, we we happy to make Mimi's party part of our evening. I have posted the pictures I took on the gallery site that I posted the link to earlier. I apologize for the quality of the photos, my camera was very sub-par tonight. I did adjust some of the pictures and they look quite a bit better. Some were completely dark and i got the people to show. Just another reason I need another one! *wish* Anyway, it was a great night and we all wish Amy a very happy birthday today!

Concert?

Tonight Nik and I had the oppertunity to go see They Might Be Giants at the Depot bacause I won tickets on the radio. We were so excited to go and have been looking forward to it all week. Today Nik drove his own car to work so he could meet me down there after work. See, it is a free show for 101.9 The End and they gave out WAY more tickets than there was room in the venue, that ensures a full house no matter what! Well, all day today we have not been able to make a decision on when to get there and whether or not we had a shot to get in. Neither of us can really make a decision and it is down to the wire. I am trying to give the tickets away now because we are really passive. I don't know if we would really have a good time if we are not excited for the show already. I feel bad about not going. i was so excited to have won the tickets and now we are not going. I keep thinking that this will be a once in a lifetime chance to see TMBG and especially for free. I think one of the things is that they are not one of "my bands". Not one that I listen to all the time or even used to listen to. I just know they are a big deal (or used to be) and so I am sure they put on a good show. Well, anyway. We are not going to the show and I feel remotely guilty, but I guess that makes room for two people who really wanted to see them. I hope we can find a deserving couple to take them off our hands.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Toothbrush update

I would like to report that the day after posting about my possessed toothbrush, I purchased a new one. Nik also performed a simple exorcism using modified "holy" water. I guess it worked, because the "spirit" has not come back to haunt my new toothbrush...yet.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Anyone know a good exorcist?


For the last few days I have had a very odd presence in my house. Well, in my bathroom to be specific. And, no, its not Nik. Although, his presence in the bathroom is often odd. Two days ago I was innocently watching TV in my living room and suddenly my electric toothbrush turned on. It was just sitting in the toothbrush holder next to Nik's, vibrating away. It took me three tries to get the thing to turn off! Besides this somewhat isolated incident, almost everytime I use my toothbrush and put it back in the holder, it will turn on again. Sometimes it does it when Nik puts his toothbrush away. I have decided that it is possessed. I cannot figure out why this keeps happening so I am begging for help! Does anyone know a good toothbrush exorcist?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fiesty Red-Head


So it is time for a self esteem boost. Today I am going to talk about all the things love about me. And maybe some things that help make me better.

**I love my read hair. Nik always calls me a Fiesty Red-Head and I love it. I agree that I am fiesty and I have always loved my unique red color.
**My dark features. I agree that my skin is (very) pale but I love that I have dark brown eyes and dark eyebrows and eyelashes instead of the traditional blue eyes and blone brows and lashes. I think it gives my face more definition.
**I really do love my body. Of course I can come up with reasons I am not perfect, but overall, I am pretty satisfied with the overall look of it. Plus Nik likes it too, so that helps.
**I consider myself relatively intelligent. Unless I spelled that wrong, then the rest of this statement is null and void. I know a few big words and can usually use them correctly. I have a good memory for song lyrics, but usually not anything else. I did well in school and feel I can express myself pretty well.

I guess I couldn't come up with as many things as I thought, but I do have a few things I am grateful for.

**Good friends. I just got a long email from my best friend down in Provo and I was so excited I read it twice. I also got a call from a good friend from high school that carried into college. We are going to have lunch to celebrate our birthdays. I love my friends. I dont know what I would do without them.
**My mom. I was hardly ever home when I was dating Nik and I am so glad we still live close so I can visit her. I have been over three times this week already. I actually had to stop myself from just going over there today after the Comcast guy left. I had too much to do today and I have used the "i was at moms" excuse to not get anything done too many time.
**Nik. I am so grateful for my husband. He is amazing. He tells me everyday hoe much he loves me and how lucky he is to have me. It is a real help to me emotionally to hear that. I love Nik so much. He is amazing.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bittersweet Day

Today was a bittersweet day. A couple things were good about today. One: I got to babysit sweet Ally baby! We had a great time and she even laughted at me. Real laughs! I love it when she laughs. I got to watch her yesterday too, so she even remembered me. We like to dance to the music that plays on one of her toys. She thinks I dance funny. I agree. Two: I got to see my mom today. I had left a basket of laundry in her washer the other day and I came to get it today and she had even folded it for me. It was great! I didn't get to stay long, but it was fun to talk. My dad came home after a while but he had lots of work to do downstairs, so I just got to say hi. Three: I got an email from the Passport people saying that my passport had been processed and I would be recieving it on september 17th. Yay! I was so worried that I would not get it on time to go to Mexico with our friends. Now we just need to find some plane tickets in time.

Now for the one that trumps them all. The problem is that this one makes the other ones null and void. I found out today that I am no longer in the running for the IHC job I wanted. Bummer. I was so down. Luckily I was with Ally at the time so I didnt have much of a chance to get TOO down on myself. But it is hitting me now. I kind of stopped looking when I got the interviews with IHC. So now I need to start looking again. I am really bummed. I am wondering about this trip to Mexico and if it will really happen even with my passport coming in time. If you know of any full time job openings I am all ears. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Our family is growing!


On sunday we found our family would have another member! Before I give my mom a heart attack, I will specify that the new member of our family is a stuffed red eyed tree frog. We named him Terrance. Terrance the Tree Frog. He is so cute and he has spent everynight on our bed. We acquired Terrance as a birthday gift from Mom and Dad English. I am so excited that Nona spent the time researching places to find this special guy. Thanks guys!

Monday, September 10, 2007

New way to post

Today I got my best friend back. My laptop. I have missed him so much! He got sick and had to be taken to the computer doctor to get a new brain. But he is back good as new and anxious to be back blogging with me!

Along with his new brain, my laptop got some new program updates, the coolest of which is an iPhoto update that allows me to post entire camera downloads, or "events" to a website. In this case, it is mine and Nik's website. So I have posted a couple of the most recent camera events on the gallery portion of our website. These photos are available for the taking if there are any that you are interested in. Likewise, if there are any photos you know I have and you want, please let me know and I will make sure and post them so you can have them. It will be the easiest, fastest, and most sure way to get you these photos.

I am hoping that since this is easier than posting on the blog that I will post more photos of my life so you can all be included. I hope you all enjoy them!

http://gallery.mac.com/nikenglish#gallery

Friday, August 31, 2007

I am invisible

I have been sitting here trying to decide what to write for a while now, so I decided to check my email. The first one was from my mom, who sent me this wonderful story. I don't have kids yet, but I do have a husband, and I hope that it helps all you moms out there who wonder if it is worth it sometimes.


I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this?
Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a
Clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What
number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the
eyes that studied history and the mind th at graduated summa cum laude -
but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going . she's going . she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a
friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip,
and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was
sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was
hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my
out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean.
My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could
actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when
Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said,
"I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly
sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:
"To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are
building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would
Discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after
which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great
cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave
their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made
great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building
was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the
cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a
tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man,
"Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that
will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."

And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was

almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see
the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.
No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake
you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are
building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease
that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own
self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As
one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see
finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The
writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever
be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to
sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's
bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in
the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a
turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table."
That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want
him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say
to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if
we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will
marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has
been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.


The story had no author, but I think as long as take it to heart, we can all claim it as our own.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pork Chops


Tonight Nik and I have the pleasure of having my little brother Jeff over for the night. I use the word "little" loosely, Jeff is not little. he is probably about six feet tall and wears a bigger pants size than my dad, but he will always be little to me! With Jeff came pork chops. Sounds funny, but I mentioned that I didn't have anything for dinner with Jeff coming and she sent me with the pork chops she was going to make for dinner before my dad decided to take her out to dinner for their 26th anniversery tomorrow. So now I had pork chops...and no idea what to do with them. Nik got on the magical interweb and found a recipie for breaded pork chops that we were able to manipulate enough (meaning that we dont keep real food in our house and we had to find a way to make it work with what we had) to make. Anyway, Iron Chef Nikimoto was able to pull of some amazing chops and I paired them with some good old white rice. Jeff even ate the rest of mine. I dont eat much. Needless to say, this will be a regular in out house hold. Nik was very pleased with his creation and brings it up every once in a while to remind us how good he did. I love it when Nik cooks dinner. It makes it not so bad that I have to do the dishes before and clean up after :) Anyone interested in the real recipie can find it here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Oven-Fried-Pork-Chops/Detail.aspx. Enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Ten!

Tomorrow is dearest Kersten's 31st birthday. I think we can safely say that he is all grown up now, even if he doesn't want to admit it. Nik and I love to hang out with Ten and bask in his warm glowing loving warming glow. He is always good for a laugh and wont hesitate to tell you are doing something stupid, with the most tact possible. Our lives are better because we have Kersten. Thanks, from the bottom of our hearts. You are the best!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Life Update #2

Hello again from me! Since we finally have the net at home and I am (for the moment) unemployed...I have time to waste blogging again! Trust me, you should be excited. Given that I don't read my own blog, some of these things may be repeats, but just bare with me.

We are finally starting to feel at home in the new apartment. The living room is mostly in order and the kitchen and bedrrom are livable, but not all the way settled yet. The Comcast guy finally came yesterday, a week after our original appointment. That is another story, I'll let Nik tell it. Anyway, we have cable and internet now. That is great. And it couldnt have come at a better time. I feel like I can live in this house now without making adjustments to my living habits or daily schedule. Its great.

We have recently acquired an XBOX 360, and I hate to admit that I have had more playing time than Nik has. We have the game Viva! Pinata! and I am addicted. I had to pry myself away to come job search online. Which turned in to this after a while. Its a lot of fun.

Nik has been having what we hope are minor problems with his car and so we have been taking mine everywhere. Its not bad, I just never realized how much gas we go through as a couple. Its a good thing my car gets reasonable gas mileage.

As I am sure you put together from earlier comments, I have finished my stained glass jobs for the time being. I really enjoyed both jobs, but they were really waring and the problem solving was like nothing I have ever had to do before. I still think I would really like to do stained glass as a business in the future, but I want to be the one creating the designs, so I know how it all fits together.

Lou was really fantastic this last couple weeks. With all she had going on in her life, she still managed to produce a beautiful end table for us. I am really excited to incorporate it in our living room. I love having a designed piece in my house. It makes me look like I meant the room to look like it does, not that I just threw all the furniture I had in there and called it good. Even if thats what really happened. Thanks Lou!

Ok, I think that is enough of an update for now and hopefully I can resume my regular blogs from now on.

Monday, July 23, 2007

My life update

So I feel like it has been a long time since I have blogged because we do not have the internet at the new place. So this is a catchup of what has been going on in my life so far!

I was able to see the Harry Potter movie the saturday after it came out. We went with Lou and Ten and had a great time. I loved talking about the details with others who appreciate the story. Speaking of Harry, Nik and I attended a midnight release party of the Deathy Hollows at the U of U bookstore. It was fun! We even get 5 galleons to spend through out the store. And a $5 gift card for ordering the book online. Vivians husband jake met us there a little later, and it was great fun had by all!

We are now partially moved into the new place. Every room is still stuffed with boxes but we are making slow progress, and I have high hopes for finishing around Christmas. As I mentioned before, we are still without much tv and any internet. Nik hooked up the antenna the second day we were there, but only about 2 channels come in clear, and one of them is spanish. The others are quite fuzzy. I get to watch the news in the mornings though. That is important.

I misplaced my cell phone on thursday and we have searched everywhere numerous times to no avail. Nik, who has the interweb at work, was able to check the phone status online and saw that many calls had been made since the lost date. So, we stopped looking. I suspended the service online and will collect the insurance over the phone and should receive a new phone as well. Keep your fingers crossed.

We went to cute Christophers first birthday party yesterday! I was happy to see him again and to see him dive in to the cake. It was lots of fun.

Tomorrow is Papa Charlie's birthday and we will be going to his party. Nik says that he doesnt remember how old he will be, but suggested something like 87...I think he may be exaggerating. But only by one or two years. I am looking forward to tomorrow.

My job will come to an end on friday. I am both happy and sad. It has been a trying experience, but also a learning one. I am glad I got the opportunity to help Mike with these amazing windows, and hope to continue the craft later.

That is all for now, NIk needs his computer back!