Wednesday, February 29, 2012

St. George Memories....

So, exciting news. Dave and I decided on Monday that we are going to be spending all summer in St. George!!! I am SO excited. Since we are going to AK too that means that it is going to be a great summer. Dave will be working for his dad, but I may just be working on my tan...actually I need to find a job but we are leaving a few times during the summer for trips and things and so I don't really know how that will work out. We shall see. If anyone needs someone with not many skills but a lot of heart for like 4 months down in St. George I am your girl. I'll let you know how that works out for me.


So, now that we will be spending plenty of time in St. Geezy this post doesn't make much sense, but last week I was really sad because we were supposed to go to St. George the week after President's Day, but we didn't end up going for a few reasons. Mostly, school, gas money, and since Julie was sick and wasn't going to run the half marathon anymore we figured it didn't really make much sense to go down, even though we wanted to. So I was looking through my camera and found these pics from New Year's, and thought I would post them to satiate my longing for the sun during this dreary Provo winter (does anyone else hate February as much as I do? It is the worst month of the year by far. No contest).


When we were down for New Year's this past December we went out to Snow Canyon to do some caving and little bouldering with Matt and Julie and their kids. Now, caves and small dark spaces make me nervous enough as it is, but with four kids all under the age of 7? I was a little panicked.

 But I was vastly outnumbered by cool, calm, and collected people so we took all of the kids down into this cave. When we got down there we found out that I had a friend in Jake, though (he's 6) because he kept saying "It's time to panic, everybody PANIC!" It was so funny. And Matt was like, "nobody panics in this family Jake" and in my head I was like "actually yes I know for a fact that at least one of us might" but I didn't say it.


Once I got over my claustrophobia issues it was pretty cool down there, though! And kind of cold, as you can tell by my stupid pink nose. I had never been somewhere that dark before.

Then we went over the the sand dunes and did a little bit of bouldering. It was plenty hard for me, since I have never rock climbed outside of a gym, but I think they just made it easy so that I could do it!



These pictures would look cooler if you couldn't see Dave standing on the ground next to me and gauge how (not) far off the ground I was. I made it onto the top of that rock, though!

I can't wait for more fun this summer! The prospects of another Provo summer were a little dismal--not that summer here isn't fun, but that is what I have done for the last two years so we needed a little change. What will grown-up life be like when you can't bounce back and forth from your parents' houses during school breaks?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Scotchies

Do you have a go-to treat? Something quick and simple that you can make in like 5 minutes when you just need a little...something....to get you through the evening? My fallback indulgence has definitely been Scotcheroos lately. I love them! My grandma made them all the time when I was little and they just make me happy. And they take roughly five minutes and like four ingredients....they're the best! But you know you make them too often when Dave will just call "Scotchies?" from the other room because he recognizes the smell of the peanut butter and corn syrup on the stove! Oops...maybe I need to cut down a little...I only make them in 1/3 batches as a time. And sometimes I put them in a bread pan when my little Pyrex is dirty, so sue me:

They're not fancy, but they get the job done let me tell you.



For those of you who were not blessed to grow up with this simple-yet-delightful treat, here is the recipe (this is for a full 9x13 pan, I usually do a third of this for my little tiny dish):

1 cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Karo Syrup (I always get the fat free or whatever...it makes Corn Syrup feel less guilty)
3 Cups of Rice Krispies (of Crispy Rice if you are like us and buy Malt o Meal)
1 Cup or so each of chocolate and butterscotch chips

Cook the peanut butter, sugar, and Karo syrup over the stove on low until the sugar crystals have dissolved. The only hard part of this recipe is making sure it doesn't burn! Try to make sure it doesn't bubble at all. But even if it does, it's pretty hard to screw these up.

Take of the heat and then add the Rice Krispies.

Spread into a greased pan and sprinkle the chocolate and butter scotch chips over it. Leave them for like 5 minutes and then come back and the heat from the krispy mixture will make them get melty. Spread over the top with a spatula.


Monday, February 20, 2012

10 reasons that Mondays off are the best!

I LOVEEEEEEEE having a Monday off!!! It is seriously the best to not get the Sunday Saddies like I always get around 8pm on Sunday night. Now they're just the Monday Saddies. Even if we don't do anything that exciting, here are 10 simple reasons that having a day off during the week is the best:

1. Waking up without an alarm. Or, if you're weird like me, waking up with an alarm a respectable hour and then laying in bed for like another hour. I never get to do that on any other day....so I definitely love doing it when I can.

2. Taking as long as you want at the gym. And then as long as you want to get ready. Usually I give myself like 30 minutes to shower and get ready...not really long enough to look that cute.

3. Unlimited foam-rolling time. Have I talked about my foam roller yet? Dave got it for me for Christmas and it is one of my favorite possessions. Here is what it looks like:

Gaiam Restore Foam Roller - Green (18")



You basically just lay on it and roll your muscles over it and your body weight rolls out knots and junk in your quads and other tight muscles. It is AWESOME! But I never have much time to use it on a normal morning after I run.

4. Eating meals at home. This is dorky but I hate always having "cold lunch" at school. So I love having whatever I want at home with the help of the microwave, fridge, or toaster. Today it was Captain Crunch.

5. Unlimited access to my Valentine's Day candy. Mike and Ikes and Hot Tamales are better at a constant volume.

6. Obviously hanging out with Davey.

7. Daytime TV....can you say Giuliana and Bill marathons???

8. Knowing that when you have to go back to life tomorrow, it is only 4 days until the next weekend.

9. Using Outback giftcards at some random time like 4:30pm

10. Having an extra day to catch up on all of the stuff you put off on Saturday and Sunday...

I adore days off!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's Not What You Get

So I am taking a Women's Literature class this semester, and I am really enjoying it. I like hearing all of the varied opinions that come up in our class--I have a hard time when people say things about BYU students being closed-minded lemmings because I totally disagree. There are lots of very liberal and interesting girls in my class, not just the stereotypes that people try to pin on BYU. I love this quote from Aristotle that says:


"The mark of an educated mind is to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it"

I definitely think that I can hear things that maybe go against what I believe without it like destroying my testimony or worldview or whatever. But something happened on Friday that kind of bothered me. There is a girl in that class that loves to talk about how much she hates Relief Society and how all the girls in her ward just care about getting married, and how we should use the church to enact social change. I thought the social change thing was interesting--maybe something that sounds potentially problematic to me, but I was willing to hear her out. But then she said "I hate Relief Society. I sit in the back with my ipad and it entertains me and I feel like it is a waste of time for us while the men are in priesthood."

Well DUH it is going to be a waste of time for you with an attitude like that! For one thing, newsflash, we learn the same things as the men. Ask your home teacher what they talked about last week--yep, the teachings of George Albert Smith, just like we did. And for another thing, if you feel like RS is not as enriching as you would like it to be, what are you doing to change that? Sit in the back? Mmmhmm, way to blame the organization of Relief Society for your lack of involvement. Did you read the lesson the week before and come prepared to contribute meaningful insights? (If she did, kudos to her...I always forget, admittedly). What about thinking about how you could make this meeting better for the other sisters in your ward? Hmm? I bet your ipad will be there after the third hour.

So I commented. Did she care? Probably not. But I just don't like people blaming the church for issues that they are doing nothing to improve. Other girls have complained that RS is lame because all their ward does for activities is fix hair (which I kind of highly doubt). Well then volunteer to organize an activity that is more meaningful to you! I am sure that your activities leader would be overjoyed for the help. 

And then someone mentioned that youtube has a whole Relief Society channel with interviews and question and answer sessions with Sister Beck! How cool is that? And so the teacher pulled it up and we watched this video and I felt a teensy bit vindicated because it was exactly what I was trying to say (and the girl next to me was even like "hey, that's what you were saying! I think my pride just cancelled out my good intentions with the previous comments though).





What about you all? What have your experiences with Relief Society been? You can disagree with me, and I promise I won't write a whole blog post about you :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day III

Well it's Valentine's Day so I figured I'd let all 23 of you followers out there that I do indeed love that wife of mine. It's our third Valentine's Day together so I thought I'd celebrate through three different types of poetry. I know it's amazingly cheesy, but please bear with me.

HAIKU
She’s from Alaska
Married this Japanese boy
Now Alaskanese

ODE
What a wonderful day is this Valentine’s Day
While the birds chirp and sun shines above
Though I’m chilled to the bone in a wintery way
I’m warmed when I celebrate love

What a joy I receive when she looks right at me
My mind becomes all just a blur
Her face and her smile are all that I see
It's how I know that I love only her

LIMERICK
There once was a folk dancing hottie
Who did everything graceful embody
For her heart I pled
And soon we were wed
(Sorry if these poems seem gaudy)

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I honestly forgot I ever did that; it was just an experiment. Seeing as they are annoying and also pretty fruitless I will be removing them.

Commonly Confused Words...

....are something that is required for 7th and 8th graders to learn about, and therefore, the topic of my lesson this morning at AFJH. And as it turns out, they were pretty good at picking up the difference between "Its" and "It's" and "Hear" and "Here." In looking over the practice sentences that I had them write, here were some of my favorites:

--You're being possessed by me (correct use of "you're" but creepy...)
--My dad gave dessert to my mom for Valentine's day." (Sweet--good man, dad)
--And, instead of writing 10 practice sentences like they were supposed to, one student just wrote this "Your mom is awesome." (At least he used the right "your." And my mom says thanks.)

I have decided that 7th graders are awesome. They are young enough to still think that you are cool, and even if they are sassy a little at least they do what you ask them to. They still haven't figured out that terrible truth that every teacher is waiting in terrified fear for her students to discover: if they don't want to listen to you, you really do not have it in your physical power to make them do anything. If you know anyone under the age of 18 who is enrolled in the public school system, please do not tell them this information.

Like, the fact that I am married helps me big time. I think they think that I am like 40. One of my friends (who is 23 like me) told me that her students thought that she was 35. Ha! I would be offended except for that fact that the older that you seem, the more they listen to you.

Anyone have any good plans for Valentine's Day? We are going to wait to go to dinner until Thursday to pass up the rush tonight. And today wasn't the best anyway since I am still getting over this dang cold. I feel kind of dumb that my last post was about running since I have skipped that for the past two days under the auspice of "taking care of myself." Oh well, I'm just tapering before the race, right?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Big Losers and Real Biggest Losers


So, a few weeks ago I got an email from my sister-in-law Julie asking if I wanted to run a half-marathon with her on Feburary 25th. This was on like January 30th, mind you. Seeing as she has four children under the age of seven and just had a baby in August and she was doing it, I felt like I couldn't really say no. I really have no excuse. So I started getting a little more serious about my running schedule and whatnot and now I am SUPER excited to be running my second half marathon in two weeks! At first I was a little bummed because it was the weekend after President's Day, when we had been planning to come down, but we realized that President's Day is actually a Richfield weekend so it would stink for Dave to drive me to St. George, drive back up to Richfield with his brother Matt, and then drive back to St. George and then back to Provo in like a two-day span. So even though we won't have a long weekend to spend in St. Geezy, this works out for everyone :) But mostly me, since Dave was sweet enough to change his original plans so I could run this race.

We are totally going to just do this for fun. At the time she told me about the race, I had been running about 7-8 mile runs comfortably on a weekly basis. But still, a month isn't very much time to get from 7 to 13 miles.  And since Julie is just getting back into the swing of running (although the woman did run a full marathon with only two months of training so I have no doubt she will school me), we have both just agreed that we want to do it for fun and not for time or anything.

 But the funny part of this whole thing is that Julie got a free entry to this race by her entry in the "Big Loser" competition at the Washington Rec Center. And she does NOT need to lose any weight at all! She just signed up for it because it gave her a really good deal on a family pass to the rec center. But the image of her showing up to the mandatory meetings and everyone just staring at this skinny girl just cracks me up! And the fact that the rec center had to call it "Big Loser" and not the Biggest Loser. hahahaha it just sounds kind of mean to me for some reason!
photo.JPG

Speaking of The Biggest Loser, look who we saw at the BYU/Stanford volleyball game last Saturday! Well, since the picture is atrocious I will tell you....Moses from the Biggest Loser!!! And Kaylee was there too but I didn't post her picture. We were sitting right by them but I was too scared to ask for a picture. I told Dave that it was because I thought that they deserved some peace in their hectic lives (but we both knew I was too scared.) So I stole furtive glances and took stealth pics. I am nothing if not a compassionate fan. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy Month of Love

Happy February, ya'll! The month of love, and I decided to decorate a little last weekend (slightly early? yes) I have Pinterest to thank for my little Valentine's display: I think the whole thing cost me like $4? Printable, felt for the garland, and foam ball and streamers for the little rosette ball. I had extra felt hearts so I made another garland and strung it on the shelf over our bed, but it keeps falling down and strangling us in the night. So that one was kind of a fail.


Wednesday thoughts:

 I play Words with Friends a lot now. I am actually really bad at it, which is depressing since words and reading and stuff are kind of supposed to be my thing. Oops. I play my grandma, Dave, and Tess. I can never come close to beating my grandma but at least Tess and Dave give me a shot. I have yet to win a game, though. It is kind of depressing.

I have a professor who used to be a nun. She swears and has a New Zealand accent. Sadly, hers is my most boring class. It doesn't really make sense, does it? 

And finally, I have discovered the amazing joys of Pandora again. I would recommend any of their pre-made channels! I am loving their "Love Songs" channel, and also their "Soft Rock" one. Both are the perfect level of volume and broad-appeal to play at work. Because lots of times my bosses will ask me to put on some music when it gets quiet in the afternoon, but I feel really awkward when I put on my Grooveshark channels and Taio Cruz or someone like that pops up. I feel like it's kind of like letting people read my journal. Except, I guess that is kind of what a blog is. But I don't read that aloud at work, see?