Monday, December 31, 2007

Long Overdue

No, the baby is not overdue yet, although I have a feeling she will be overdue by the time she decides she is ready to enter the world.  What is long overdue is this post!  Michael and I have had a crazy holiday season, to say the least.  Without going into too many gross details, I'll try to make the long story short and sweet (well, sweet probably isn't the word to describe it).

The day before Thanksgiving, Michael stopped at home after work to change clothes before meeting me at his parent's house.  When he opened the door, mail in hand, he heard a noise coming from the kitchen.  He went over to the doorway and hit the mail against the fridge and...wait for it...a rat scurried from out from our "makeshift pantry" and out of the opposite doorway from the kitchen to the dining room.  AHHH!  (a month and a half later and I am still completely grossed out!).  Needless to say, we stayed at his parents house until the management "took care of the problem" and an exterminator came to spray the entire apartment.  When we were finally comfortable that the coast was clear, we went back to our apartment.  Two nights later, Michael woke me up a little after midnight and told me that he kept hearing noises, that he couldn't fall asleep, etc, etc (this is the day before his first final, by the way), and when I asked him if he wanted to go back to his parents house, he said yes without hesitating.  So, at one in the morning, we packed up our bags (again) and headed back to his parent's house...where we have been ever since.

We spent the next three weeks trying to figure out what to do...we obviously couldn't live in our apartment anymore if Michael can't get any sleep (I apparently do not have any trouble falling asleep these days), so we hired a lawyer to figure out what our options were.  This may sound a little extreme, but our management company had been very unresponsive in the weeks prior as we tried to communicate with them about getting the rodent situation resolved, so we had to take more severe matters into our own hands.  So, the day after the exodus from our apartment, I called a lawyer and we went to the courthouse that afternoon to file a "tenants' assertion".  That got their attention.  We pretty much let our lawyer take it from there--she had to negotiate with the attorney for the management company, yada yada, and we ultimately moved out of the apartment...the day before we took off for the holidays...all in the midst of Michael's stressful finals and work schedule (I swear that boy didn't sleep for a month straight!)  I had a birthday somewhere in the middle of all the chaos...I spent the day working and then I went to pack our apartment while Michael took his last final...a super fun way to ring in my 24th year!  (we did celebrate a few days later, so it wasn't a complete bust)

So, the good news is: we survived the last 5 weeks.  We moved out of our apartment and into the Wheatley's basement for the time being.  We aren't sure where we are going to move next...or if we are going to make that move before the baby arrives (which is my current stress, although I have given myself the holiday to take a vacation from my problems, and am not planning to think about it until I go home).  We somehow managed to get some Christmas shopping done before Christmas morning--a Christmas miracle!  And, for the last week, I've gotten to have my husband back!  (Michael always jokes that law school/the LSAT/finals, especially are a jealous mistress--ain't that the truth!)  The final details of our settlement with the management company haven't been completely worked out, but they asked if we could be out by the 31st of December (which we are) so I am confident that the rest of the details will be worked out shortly.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Perfect Pie Crust Apple Pie

This Thanksgiving I was assigned to make an apple pie. I've made one apple pie in my life, two years ago, and it was the recipe on the Splenda bag for Michael's diabetic grandpa. (Does that even really count?) Well, either way, I am a legit apple pie baker now! I even made my very own pie crust--a first for me. And the dish was such a hit, I was handing out the recipe left and right before the night's end! If you are looking for a new apple pie recipe, look no further. You won't be disappointed!

Here's what you'll need:
3/4 cup sugar
1 T all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash salt
3 1/2 cups peeled, chopped cooking apples
1 (16-ounce) jar applesauce
1 T lemon juice
2 T butter, chopped into small pieces

Crunch Topping:
3 T all-purpose flour
1 T sugar
Dash salt
1 T butter, at room temperature

Pie Crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp fine salt
3 T granulated white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold
12 T butter, (1 1/2 sticks) cold and cubed
1/4 cup to 1⁄2 cup ice water

For the crust:
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the shortening and break it up with your hands as you start to coat it all up with the flour. Add the cold butter cubes and work it into the flour with your hands or a pastry cutter. Work it quickly, so the butter doesn't get too soft, until the mixture is crumbly, like very coarse cornmeal. Add the ice water, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together forming a dough. Bring the dough together into a ball. When it comes together stop working it, otherwise the dough will get over-worked and tough. Divide the dough in half and flatten it slightly to form a disk shape. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

On a floured surface roll each disk out into a 10 to 11-inch circle to make a 9-inch pie.

Line a 9-inch pie pan with half of dough. Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the apples, applesauce, and lemon juice. Spoon the apple mixture into pie pan and dot with butter. Cut remaining crust into strips; arrange in a lattice design over top of pie. (my lattice top needs a little work, that's for sure, but the crunch topping is very forgiving)

For crunch topping: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Using a fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over top of crust. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for about 45 minutes, or until crust and topping are golden brown.


Monday, November 05, 2007

T Cakes

I saw this painting when I was at the National Gallery two weeks ago and I knew I had to have it! (Ok, so I settled for the print.) Baking cakes--baking anything, really--is one of my most favorite things to do! My mom is the queen of cake-baking and somewhere along the way, she must have instilled that passion in me. I love baking so much, in fact, that one day I hope to open a bakery that will be called "T Cakes". Not sure when exactly I will put this plan into action, but I've already got a couple investors lined up! ;) For now, I will put this print in my kitchen to inspire me...and one day, when the time is right, I will move it to decorate the walls of my bakery.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Just Two Pregnant Ladies Loose in the City

Last weekend, one of my closest friends from BYU came to visit! Hooray for visitors! Heidi arrived late Friday evening and we had a lot to pack in before she left on Monday morning. We started Friday night with a trip to Wegmans so I could show her the grocery store (if you can even appropriately call it that) that I have been raving about for a year and a half. We stocked up on snacks for the weekend, including HobNobs and Havarti cheese, a few of Heidi's favorites, and had some dinner and one of Wegmans' many in-house dining options.

I am due in Feb. and Heid is due in April, so she isn't sporting the huge baby bump that I am quite yet.

Saturday, we started the day off with a trip downtown to the National Gallery to hit all the highlights, including a new exhibit by Edward Hooper. It's always great to go see some art with someone who really knows a thing or two about it. I have gotten pretty good at faking my knowledge of art, but this time around, I let the art history major do most of the talking. ;) I had the greatest time at the National Gallery and am going to make it a point to go much more often!
After the National Gallery, we walked around the Mall and stopped inside the Air and Space Museum to see the Treasures of American History exhibit and also the Smithsonian. After the morning full of museums, we stopped for lunch and then headed to Old Town Alexandria to take a water taxi along the Potomac to Georgetown. It had been rainy for three days straight when Heidi arrived on Friday, but by some miracle, the rain held out on Saturday morning and the sky completely cleared into a perfect day by the afternoon! We couldn't have asked for better weather for the boat ride -- it offered a great view of the city and very interesting information, I thought. When we docked at Georgetown, we walked around on M Street and did a little shopping and then met Michael for dinner. By dinnertime, my feet were killing me and I was pretty exhausted, so I talked Michael into giving Heidi and me a driving tour of downtown DC. There's something about the view of the monuments at nighttime that I just can't get enough of!

On Sunday, after church, Heidi and I went to Mount Vernon to visit George Washington's old stomping grounds. (Although, between the wars and becoming President, he really didn't get to spend much time there.) I haven't been to Mount Vernon since my sixth grade east coast trip and I definitely appreciated it a lot more this time around.

On Monday morning, we fit in a quick trip to Arlington National Cemetery to see the changing of the guards before heading to the airport. It is a pretty amazing ceremony! An impeccably uniformed relief commander appears on the plaza to announce the Changing of the Guard. The relief commander walks out to the Tomb and salutes, then faces the spectators and asks them to stand and stay silent during the ceremony. The relief commander conducts a detailed white-glove inspection of the weapon. Then, the relief commander and the relieving sentinel meet the retiring sentinel at the center of the matted path in front of the Tomb. All three salute the Unknowns who have been symbolically given the Medal of Honor. Then the relief commander orders the relieved sentinel, "Pass on your orders." The current sentinel commands, "Post and orders, remain as directed." The newly posted sentinel replies, "Orders acknowledged," and steps into position on the black mat. When the relief commander passes by, the new sentinel begins walking at a cadence of 90 steps per minute.

After the ceremony, it was time to hightail it to the airport so that Heidi could get back to Reno. Thanks so much for coming, Heid! We had the greatest time. Come again soon!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A long time coming...

Eighteen long months ago, it seemed like we would never get here. It seemed like lightyears before we would get to be with Lindsey again. But, today my parents went to Guatemala to pick up Hermana Stimpson! (I would give anything to be there for that reunion!) They are spending this week in Guatemala with her, visiting some families that she taught and touring the area, and then they fly back to the US next Tuesday! Lauren will get to spend some time with Lindsey and my parents, during their three-hour layover in Salt Lake City. So jealous!
Wow, our family has changed since then...Tessa was in Tonga the day Lindsey went to the MTC--that's why she's not in this picture; Dean was probably still in school in Montana. I remember Lindsey's last words to Lauren as they hugged goodbye, "Don't get married while I'm gone."...uh...oopsies! There are two more brothers-in-law that Lindsey will get to know (I'm pretty sure she met both Ben and Duffy before she left)...and then she will have a new niece in February!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It's a Girl!

Michael and I found out this week that we are having a little, baby girl! I went in for another ultrasound--this time at the radiology center, where they have a much bigger machine--and the doctor gave me the good news! All is well with the baby...they checked, and took pictures and measurements of every body part to make sure the baby is healthy and growing like she should...both feet look good, both hands appear to have all the right fingers, her heart has all four chambers, her heartbeat is strong...but my favorite part was seeing her face. It looked like she was trying to suck on something and the doctor said, "Oh, she's swallowing." I would rather not think about what it is she is actually swallowing, but I can say that she has the cutest little lips ever!

It really is fun to be able to call her a "her" now, instead of an "it". And, now that we know who we are buying for, we can let the shopping begin!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Our Family Album

"I did something kinda wacky. I used photoshop at work today to composite our faces together to see what our kids would look like... see? "Our Family Album"."

Ok, no I didn't. I may be good at some things, but Photoshop definitely isn't one of them. (you get bonus points if you can name the movie, though)

So, instead, I just imagine in my head...what would happen if you took a little bit of this...
...and mixed it up with a little bit of this little musher (the one on the right, though they are clearly both mushers)...

...or maybe if you took some of her features (on the right)...that great, curly hair and sparkling personality (to match her sparkly swimsuit)...

...and added them to this little boy's big blue eyes and cute, little mouth (that opens wide enough to fit an entire cupcake in at once...I think that's what he's eating, anyway) ...

What would you get?

I suppose we will find out soon enough...well, not soon enough for me, but we will find out in February what the first Taryn/Mike combination will come out looking like. "Baby Tike" is expected to arrive on February 13th! Not sure yet if it will be a girl tike or a boy tike, but we will find out at my doctor's appointment this week. After perusing through some of Mike's baby pictures, I am praying that all of our children look exactly like him...such cute, toe head blonde hair and the cutest, mushiest little face!

I really did think about trying to find a website that would mix pictures of me with pictures of Mike to create what our children would look like, but I was a little scared that the outcome would terrify me! (I've seen what they did to Brad and Jen in US Weekly back in the day, and if they can't create a beautiful child with two of the most beautiful people as the parents, then what hope do the rest of us have?!) So, until February, I will just daydream about what our baby will look like and hope for the best!

Fun Quiz

Which Twilight novel character are you?

You're Esme Cullen - Your maternal instinct to take care of people and be kind draw people towards you. You're compassionate and loving, yet firm when you need to be. You appreciate hard work and value the beautiful results of your dedication to any project.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

I found this quiz on my friend Kathy's blog. If you haven't had enough Twilight-series fun, try it! It only takes a couple minutes to take the quiz. Enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Book Signing at Borders

This past Thursday, Stephenie Meyer's book tour brought her to Fairfax, VA. As many of you are well aware, the third book in her Twilight series, Eclipse, came out a little over a month ago and she is touring the county to promote its success. It was a pretty hilarious experience! I went with some friends from my ward--Jessica, Mareille and Yanni--and I ran into my friend Kathy there too! Jessica had the clever idea to make us all t-shirts for the occasion. They said "Vote Edward Cullen 2008"--catchy, huh? A little play on the hero of the book and the ultra-political zone that is Northern Virginia. While our t-shirts were quite original, the idea to make t-shirts was certainly not. The average age of the attendants of this book signing was about 15 years old--hilarious! It's been a long time since I have been around so many screaming teeny-boppers...the last time was probably when I went to an N'Sync concert when I was 15 years old. Tons of young girls were already at Borders when I got there after work and some of them had some of the weirdest t-shirts I have ever seen!

Borders opened at 9am that morning and people were lined up since 5:30am to get a numbered ticket for the autographing friends got there at 8:30 in the morning and still got 130th in line. When I got to Borders at about 5:30pm, I heard the next number for the autograph line was 800! There were probably 1,000 people at Borders for this event--second only to the last Harry Potter event they hosted. My friends got to Borders shortly before I arrived and staked out a great spot right in line with the podium for the Q&A. Some little punk teenagers were trying to box us out of our spot and we had to be very assertive about holding our ground. Telling some of these girls to "back off" was probably one of the most fun parts of the evening! hee hee.

Finally, Stephenie Meyer arrived at 7pm, did Q&A for about 20 or 25 minutes and then got to signing. She would sign as many copies of Eclipse as you put in front of her, and she would personalize them (i.e., first name only) and if you brought her earlier two books, she would only sign her name in the cover. Apparently they have done this a few time and the system her team had going worked pretty well and kept the line moving. By the time my friends and I were at the front of the line, we decided that each of us would take the picture of the girl directly in front of us as Stephenie signed our copy of Eclipse...although it didn't work out quite so smoothly for me. While I was taking Kathy's picture (a great one, by the way!), I lost my place in line and had to cut back in. As Stephenie was signing my book, I slightly leaned over the table so that Mareille could get a picture with both of us in it (no posed pictures with Stephenie allowed)...and the "handler" who was giving each book to Stephenie was yelling at me to not lean over the table...when I finally figured out that she was talking to me, I apologized and stood up straighter as Mareille still attempted to take our picture with my camera. Apparently, my camera was on play mode, so Mareille quickly switched to her own camera. By that time, Stephenie had signed my book and the "handler" was yelling at me to keep the line moving...and then actually PUSHED my back out of the way! It all happened so fast, I could hardly react! Anyway, the picture on Mareille's camera didn't turn out as bad as I imagined, given the circumstances, but I think it is kinda funny...I am smiling, but really I wanted to turn around and deck that girl! (She's the one with her cleavage hanging out.)

So, the actual signing portion of the evening was a little bit of a bust for me, but the rest of it was pretty fun... fun to be there with my friends, LOVED Stephenie Meyer--she was so great when she was answering questions, so fun and so down to earth, totally someone that makes you feel like you could be best friends-- and, we went out to get ice cream at Cold Stone afterward, so that made everything better. It was also fun to run into some friends from BYU that I haven't seen in years!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Fenway or Bust!

Back in the spring, when some friends (and Orioles fans) asked me if I could get my hands on some tickets for the Red Sox/Orioles series in Boston over Labor Day weekend, I decided that Mike and I would meet them in town for the game. (I'm not usually one to miss out on all the fun, at least not if I can avoid it.) On Friday night, Mike and I flew up to Boston to kick off our Labor Day weekend--our last weekend of freedom before Mike gets back into the swing of law school. On Saturday morning, my uncle Mike and cousin took (my) Mike golfing. After they got back, we had some lunch and then (uncle) Mike took us down to the Channel 5 station, where he is a the principal sports reporter for WCVB, to give us a tour of their brand-new, state-of-the-art HD set. It was pretty awesome...Mike gave us the inside scoop on how all the components work together to create a successful newscast. I had no idea how much went into what looks like a simple, seemless news broadcast!

Later that evening, Cameron, Anthony, Char and Kristin picked us up to go to the Red Sox game. Mike (back to my husband) had never been to Fenway Park before, so he was pretty excited about visiting such a historic ballpark. Little did he know, there was going to be a lot more for him to be excited about by the end of the night. The Red Sox played a great game, ultimately beating the Orioles 10-0. I wouldn't been satisfied with just the win...but rookie pitcher Clay Buchholz had other plans. In his second Major League start, Buchholz pitched the 11th no-hitter in Red Sox history at Fenway. The excitement and tension was palpable in the ninth inning as the entire stadium stood, cheering every pitch.

Here Jason Varitek, the catcher for the Red Sox, hoists pitcher Clay Buchholz after the final pitch of his first no-hitter as teammates start clearing the bench to congratulate the 23-year-old rookie. He is just the 21st rookie to throw a no-hitter, and the third to pitch one in one of his first two starts.

As we walked to the car, and even as we waited in an hour of post-game traffic, we were all on cloud 9, still not believing that we were actually at a no-hitter! What an unbelievable night!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Gang's all Here!

Ok, ok, I know this information is old news...but I've been busy. And I have all these cute pictures to post! During our last weekend in Montana, the whole family was able to get together! (well, almost the whole family...Lindsey wasn't able to make it, but she'll be home from Guatemala before we know it!) Tessa flew in Thursday morning, Ben flew in Thursday afternoon, Duffy flew in Thursday night--we were making airport runs all day long! As soon as the gang was all here, the fun could begin. The boys started Friday morning with a round of golf on Eagle Bend. The girls decided to make lunch for our boys and got this great shot when we delivered their sandwiches! (Mike didn't get the memo on the blue shirt, I guess.)

On Friday night, I tried my hand at fish tacos for the first time. Not as intimidating as I thought it would be...they were awesome! Dean walked in the kitchen and saw the pot of oil for frying and said, "Whoa...are we frying something?! I don't think this family has every deep fried anything!" (Growing up with all older sisters, he hasn't had many opportunities to eat homemade cooking that wasn't mostly least not at our house. He's right, I can't think of one time that we have deep fried something in our own kitchen...hee hee.)

On Saturday morning, bright and early, we hit the lake to get some skiing in on the glassy water. At 8:30am, the sun has just come over the mountains, and it is not exactly warm yet. You'll notice how I am bundled up from head to toe. The boys said the water was warmer than the air, but I was still to wussy to get in...not until it warmed up, anyway.

After the boys skiied, Richard, a friend of my parents who is kind enough to pull us all behind his boat, took us out on his other toy--a ski boat he has had since he was a teenager! Check it out! I think that vintage look is coming back!

When we cruised across the lake, it felt like we were almost sitting right on the water. It was super-fun...until we ran out of gas in the middle of the lake...then we had to wait for someone to come and tow us. What an adventure!

On Saturday night, we had a little dinner party and a good friend of my dad's, Tabo, came over to teach us all how to make sushi! It was so much fun! My dad made some beef tenderloin and my mom made some green beans wrapped in prosciutto and a salad to round out the menu (we have been eating well this summer!).
I'm hoping to remember all the things we learned from Tabo about sushi to host my own sushi-making party! It was so yummy! Happy Sumo's got nothing on us!

After a long day, and a fun-filled weekend, we sat out on the newly-extended patio and enjoyed the new fire pit. What a perfect way to end our fabulous summer!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Oh, Canada!

On Saturday, we all piled in the car and took a day trip to Canada. Our destination: Waterton, a beautifully scenic town just on the other side of the border in the province of Alberta. Waterton Lakes National Park borders Glacier National Park in Montana to the south, together making up the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park--a world first.
We crossed the border at the Waterton entry, and the border patrol made everyone get out of the car so that the sniffing dog could search every seat! My mom has crossed the border at Cardston a dozen times and she has never had to get out of the car...note to self: go through Cardston.
When we got to Waterton, we took a two-and-a-half hour boatride down Waterton Lake. It was an absolutely gorgeous day--not too hot, not too cold, nice and sunny. (Three weeks ago, the temperature dropped 40 degrees or more and it started snowing; so, I guess we picked the perfect day to go!) On the boatride, we crossed the border back into the US, which has been cleared into a distinct divide on both sides of the lake.

They widened this divide after 9/11. At the time, the US wanted to build a fence and even include sensors; however, due to the amount of resistance that proposal received, they left it like this.

On the return trip, we saw lots of wildlife! We saw a golden eagle, a bald eagle (in Canada, no less) and a black bear cub! We were hoping that the mama bear would show herself, but no such luck. It was a really incredible trip! It was also really interesting to learn about how the glaciers formed the rocks over time and to see all the different lines in the sedimentary rock.

On the way home, we drove through Glacier National Park and on the road saw a family of Rocky Mountain Rams. What a day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Brother, the Hero

Last Wednesday, my 15-year-old brother, Dean, returned from a condensed semester at Cambridge University. After scoring incredibly high on the ACT, as a freshman, Dean was invited to participate in a study abroad type program at Cambridge for three and a half weeks. Dean chose to take Quantum Physics and Archaeology while he was there. Are you kidding me?! Apparently on the first day of Quantum Physics, Dean's teacher told the class that none of them would ever probably understand it..."no one really does," she said. In a letter home, Dean said he thought he was starting to get the hang of it, but decided to keep that to himself. When I asked him what kinds of things he learned in Quantum Physics, his answer was pretty much over my head--he talked about electrons, which I got; but after that, he lost me. (And I did take Physics! Dean hasn't even had a physics class yet. Show off.)

Dean had the time of his life in England! And, he was sweet enough to remember those of us back home...he brought all kinds of goodies back for us, including my favorite, HobNobs!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Wild Week of Wildfires

The Flathead Valley in Montana is surrounded by at least 6 raging forest fires comsuming nearly 200,000 acres. I took this picture last Friday evening--right before I took this picture, the smoke was so thick that it completely blocked out the sun. Mike and I had been out to dinner with my parents and when we got back to the car, no more than an hour later, the hood of our car was covered in ash. By Sunday, the situation had worsened and the governor of Montana has declared a state of emergency. Luckily, the fires are far enough away from us that we aren't in any serious danger, but the horrible air quality has limited our outdoor activities considerably.

Busy Work Week

I've been taking an extended vacation from my job this summer while we have been out west, but I did actually have a couple catering gigs last week to keep my busy. First, I helped with the food for a fundraiser for the hospital--my first paying job in months! It wasn't so much cooking that I was asked to help with, but more in a food presentation and maintenance capacity. The host, a neighbor and friend of my parents, asked me to make sure the food looked pretty and the trays stayed full. Not too stressful, but still a good experience.

The bigger project was a wedding reception for 200 guests that I was asked to cater. My mom volunteered my services to a family in her ward when she heard that they were planning to serve just the wedding cake to the guests. She thought I might be able to offer some other options and knew I would be up to the challenge. I compiled a list of the menu items I could offer and sent the three-page document to the bride to review. She came back with 7 or 8 items and I went to work!

The menu consisted of the following:

TURKEY AND SMOKED GOUDA on a mini dinner roll
CHOCOLATE FLOWING FOUNTAIN with fruit and assorted baked goods

The biggest party I have catered to date was for about 60 people, so my biggest challenge was to figure out how much food we needed for 200 guests. After two days of working around the clock preparing all the food, my sous chef (and momma) and I loaded the car with all the food and serving equipment and headed to the reception site. (When I get some serious start up capital for my catering business, my first purchase will be a refrigerated truck! hee hee) The food was a raving success!...or so I was told. I didn't actually get to see people eating the food, since I spent the entire party in the kitchen prepping additional trays to go out. It was an exhausting day, but it was a very valuable experience for me and a very gratifying day of work.

Now I just need to think of a name to go on the business cards. Any suggestions?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Michael's First Day on the Job

It's a tough life, huh? Michael started his first day at his new internship at Kalispell Regional Medical Center on Monday. Imagine my surprise when he called me at 11am to tell me he was on his way home, finished for the day. I guess before he could really get started, he had to fill out some paperwork, take a drug test and get a physical. So, we tried to make the most of a beautiful day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I love going back to San Diego. Just flying into the San Diego airport makes me so happy! It didn't matter that our plane was delayed nearly two hours and instead of spending the afternoon at the beach, we had to head straight to Del Mar for a rehearsal dinner, running all the way to change, touch up makeup and hair and still walking in late to dinner. I was just thrilled to be back.

Our friends Kristin and Anthony got married on Saturday morning. Beautiful couple, beautiful ceremony, beautiful was the perfect day! After the temple, we had a few hours to kill before the reception and I took Mike to my old summer-stomping grounds--the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. While we lived in San Diego, my family used to spend almost everyday of the summer there, and I thought it only appropriate to take Michael to a place that holds so many of my childhood memories. It was a beautiful afternoon and although we may have gotten a little too much sun (and by "we", I mean "Michael), we had a great time!

Later that afternoon, we drove to Hemet, CA for the reception. It got about 25 degrees warmer the farther inland we drove, but the party was in a gorgeous backyard built for entertaining! They had a smoothie station in one part of the backyard and it was the perfect treat for a hot evening. It was so much fun to spend the weekend with so many friends, and many whom we don't get to see very often. It was a very short trip to San Diego, but we packed a lot in!

End of Summer...well, no, not exactly

Last Friday, Mike and I said goodbye, once again, to Utah. I thought I would have all this time to blog while I was not working, but Lauren and I were having so much fun that even checking my email became an every-other-day occurance. We spent our last few weeks in Utah going out to dinner (one of the things I miss most about Utah is how inexpensive it is to go out to eat!), going to a drive-in (that was quite an experience), going to the Oakley Rodeo (my first rodeo in at least ten years), sitting by the pool, reading, keeping up with our summer shows (So You Think You Can Dance and Top Chef) and just enjoying each other's company.

4th of July at Oakridge County Club

Oakley Rodeo

Matt Wheatley got home from Brazil and came to Utah with James for Lacrosse Camp

As we prepared to leave Utah, it started to feel like our summer was coming to an end. Luckily, all I had to do was quickly remind myself that not only were we planning to spend a quick weekend in San Diego, but we have the next internship in Montana for the next 5 weeks to look forward to. (and maybe we will get to do some fun things up there too!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Barbeque Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Yesterday when I was trying to think of what to make for dinner, I remembered these yummy chicken sandwiches that I found in my Rachael Ray magazine a few months ago. They are super easy to make and really tasty! Give them a shot!

Here's what you'll need:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and pepper
1 onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/3 cups barbecue sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (this is the key to make the chicken taste awesome!)
Hot pepper sauce
6 kaiser or French rolls, split
6 ounces shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, Provolone, or Mozzarella cheese)

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in a heavy pot with the onion, garlic and just enough water to cover (about 1 1/2 cups). (You could also use chicken stock for a richer sauce, or go half and half with chicken stock and water.) Add the barbecue sauce, vinegar and a few drops hot sauce and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred with two forks.

Boil the sauce, skimming occasionally, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the shredded chicken and heat through. Spoon the mixture onto the rolls and top with the cheese.


Monday, June 25, 2007

The Best Two Years!

Today is Michael and my two year anniversay. I can't believe how quickly it has gone by! (I remember thinking the same thing last year at about this time.) I remember something my Uncle Chris said to me the day we got married...he said, "You won't believe how much more you will love Michael next year, and 5 years from now, and fifty years from now!" At the time, I didn't think I could love Michael any more than I did that day. But now, I see the wisdom in his words. Here's to you, Michael.