Thursday, May 31, 2012

mommy's time to visit

My lovely mother came to visit us this past weekend. The stay was way too short. It seriously felt like she was here for just an afternoon. We did so many fun things when she was here and it was splendid to feel like my life was slightly normal and familiar again.

She spoiled me rotten as good mothers always do when their kids are grown and out of the house.

On Saturday we went shopping at Walmart to prepare for Brett's birthday party and got pedicures in that very Walmart. Who knew that place was a one stop shop? 

 I decided on a bold pink color to celebrate the oncoming summer! Go big or go home; everything's bigger in Texas; and all those other big sayings.

That night, my mommy and I went to see the Rodeo at the Fort Worth Stockyards. I'd never been to a real Texan rodeo before and it did not disappoint.
 Some cowboys preparing for the coy lassoing competition.

 Them cowboys getting ready for the bull-riding competition. See the guy to the left wearing the caged helmet? He was the only one who stayed on the bull for longer than 8 seconds. This was my favorite event of them all.
 My mom and I making Brett's banana carrot cake. It was so delicious and so moist!

The finished product.
We had guests over to celebrate Brett's birth on Sunday. We had a vunderbar Mexican meal with pineapple, mango, taco salad with a lime vinaigrette, and turkey enchiladas, plus the cake.
 Brett blowing out the candles.

Monday was Memorial Day, and sadly Brett had to work. My mommy, Annabel (our friend Stephen's fiance) and I went into Dallas and visited the Sixth Floor Museum and the JFK Memorial. The Sixth Floor Museum is in the exact building and floor where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK those many years ago. The museum presented all the wonderful things JFK did during his presidency, and went full into the assassination, the suspected conspiracies behind it, and the funeral. It was really interesting and we got to look out the window and see the exact spot where JFK and Governor Conally where shot. Creepy!

The JFK Memorial. The simple, open square design represents the openness of JFK's spirit as it rest in its grave. 

My mommy and I also watched Sarah's Key and Anonymous. Anonymous was great even though it attempted to disprove Shakespeare as the true writer of all his plays, but Sarah's Key was disturbing and depressing. See it only if you want to have nightmares about your little brother rotting in a locked closet. 

On a better note, on Tuesday we went out to the pool and then I took my amazing mother to the airport and said farewell. It was too soon, but I get to see her again along with the rest of my family in a few weeks! 

Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

my lover's day

My lover turned 25 today!

Happy Birthday to the most wonderful man in the world! I love you with all my heart Brett!

We celebrated on Sunday with a birthday dinner party and homemade cake and a couples's massage this morning. Pictures to come plus a recap about my mom's trip to visit!

Happy May 30, the blessed day of my better half's birth!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


This is week two of my journey doing Insanity!

I've never sweat so much in my life. I like it though.

The whole thing takes 60 days. After these days of torment are over, I'm going to be one ab-alicious, toned mama walking down those California beaches. Or more like the Texas pool.

Insanity really builds up my endurance, which is good because I have about zero of that. Dancing doesn't really make one build endurance because dances usually last 2 to 10 minutes, which really isn't that long compared to a 40 minute Insanity workout of constant, intense movement. I'm especially glad that my endurance will be high, because after these 60 days are up I'm going to start running for real. Like actually be a runner for once and stick to my running goals. Hello half marathons and full marathons and then ultimately Ironmans! Yes, I will do an Ironman in my life. Just you wait.

If you're looking to get in great shape, try Insanity. It's hard, but it's totally worth it.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, May 18, 2012

texas and gratefuls

Texas has been interesting so far. It is 500,000,000 times better than our time selling in Minnesota last summer, but it still has its up and downs.

We do not have Internet in our apartment right now because of really frustrating circumstances that involve us having to move apartments in a week and a half. Half of my work I have to do through the Internet, and the websites I need to access don't work on my phone. So I sit in the clubhouse computer lab pretty much all day while Brett goes out selling door to door, which I must admit is a much worse job than mine. I also get incredibly homesick after the sun goes down and Brett's not home yet. It literally hits everyday exactly at 7:30pm when the sky is growing dark. I could never live alone.

While some things stink, we are still enjoying ourselves. We went to Dave and Busters on Tuesday with all of Brett's team as a celebration for hitting their selling numbers. We also had a mini date night last night where we ate Little Caesar's, made a couch fort, and watched the movie Contagion. I also got a much needed hair cut this morning, that I will post pictures of in the future. I've also had some girl time with the wives here which has kept me from going insane with loneliness.

 I just finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and am now on Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (duh). I really liked the message of The Alchemist: to realize that everything in the world is connected and that we all have "Personal Legends" or missions to fulfill in our lives that will bring us great happiness. I'm not sure what my exact "Personal Legend" is other than being a nice person and a good mother and wife. I would like to write a book someday and be a great influence for good on people somehow, so maybe that's a part of it too.

I have a giant reading list for this summer. It's filled with a lot of classics like Pride and Prejudice (yes, I am an English major and I still have never read this book, or any Jane Austen for that matter. My sisters-in-laws think I'm crazy), The Screwtape Letters, The Age of Innocence, As You Like It and The New Testament of the King James Bible. I also am really excited to read Mao's Last Dancer, which is one of my mom's favorites books and is a phenomenal movie about a Chinese danseur or male ballet dancer.

I am grateful for all that I have. I have so much to look forward to and so much that is wonderful right now in the present. My mom is coming to visit for a few days, and then it is Brett's birthday and then we are going to Lake Tahoe for a weekend to visit the Candland side of the family. So those are the exciting things in the future. But, in the present, I'm grateful that we have a car that works, a nice and safe apartment, and each other. I'm grateful that there are other wives out here who I have as company, and I'm grateful that stores are really close to where we live including Super Target and Kroger. I'm especially grateful that I got a scholarship for next school year that is paying full tuition; what a relief to not have to worry about that! I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father who is truly watching out for Brett and me. I'm grateful that the sun is shining today.

I need to focus on the positive more and count my blessings rather than add up the things that go wrong.
I am grateful for the good things and the bad things in my life. Even so, the good far outweighs the bad.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

my cool thai cousin

My lovely cousin, Jenna:

 is spending her summer in Thailand doing a humanitarian internship of sorts. She blogs about it, and I love reading about all of her adventures and her initial drags of culture shock. You should read what she has to say, because it is both eye-opening and entertaining. Her writing is very personable and clever and she shares some hilarious stories.

She is on my blog list on the right hand sidebar, so you should check her blog out and regularly read it. It's called Time for Thailand and it's the up close and personal view of a white Mormon girl's quest in strange yet wonderful Buddhaland. Try a taste.

Love you Jenna dearest! We miss you on your expeditions to foreign lands!

Monday, May 14, 2012

papa's big day

The day before my dad's birthday, and before all the family arrived, Brett, Bri and I went to Sophie's kindergarten performance! She sang songs with her class and all the other kindergarten classes. Among the music were love songs by the Beatles, Peter Pan songs and De Colores.

We had a party in Sophie's room after the musical extravaganza. Please ignore this appallingly hideous picture of me. I would have cropped myself out, but then Sophie would be suspended in mid-air and that would look awkward.

My Dad turned 50 while we were in San Diego. A bunch of our family came down to celebrate. It was magical. I could have seriously stayed for another three weeks, but unfortunately we could only stay for half a week. I have really missed my home, and still miss it right now.

On Dad's Birthday morning we had a "breakfast of champions" where we all ate my mom's delicious gourmet breakfast bagels.

Then we went down to the park (it's right down the hill from us) to do a boot camp my mom designed with some trainer friends of hers (my mom is a personal trainer).

She had a retired navy seal and some personal trainer students from a nearby community college set up workout stations around the whole park and we rotated every minute or so. It was so fun! The retired navy seal was hard on us and I liked it!

Before the rotation process began, the trainers and navy seal guy had my dad demonstrate every station for us such as:

 Down ropes
 Abs with ball-thingy
 This thingy
 More ropes and on and on. There were a lot of stations. I was greatly impressed with how able my dad was to do it all!
 We also did a fun hurdle race and tug of war at the end of the circuit workout-thingy (notice that I don't know exercise terminology very well). The girls won the tug of war! Hollah! At the end of everything, we made my dad do 50 pushups while we all shouted out the numbers. After all of the previous intense workout, my dad did it with apparent ease! He's the man!
The trainers + navy seal (he's on the far right).

After the workout of all workouts, we went showered and got ourselves looking o-so-beautiful and went to the fabulous restaurant Urban Plates. I had steak, fresh veggies and pesto pasta and nearly died from happiness, or rather nearly passed into a food coma.

Then the crew went to see The Avengers. Loved it! I was rather bored at first, but it grew more interesting and more hilarious until I was completely satisfied at the end. Loved The Hulk and Ironman. Robert Downey Jr. all the wayyyy!!!!

After the entertaining Avengers, we proceeded to a delightful tailgate party in the parking lot of Petco Park in downtown SD to eat before the Padres Game.

 My wonderful family.

 In the stadium.
 We had pretty good seats!
 My love and Me.
And Sophie sporting the Padres logo.

The game was delightful, even though it lasted 12 innings and yet my family insisted on staying till the end, only to see the Padres lose 8 to 9. It still was extremely fun. Baseball games are the best, and I don't really care who wins and loses honestly.

On Saturday, we went on a hike at Torrey Pines national reserve and were led by our dear friend, Melba, who is a volunteer guide there.

 My cute cousins Brandon and Jessie (they are married, Jessie is not related to me, just to clarify)
 We explored an art bizarre at the top of Torrey Pines' notoriously long hill
 And then climbed down to the beach.

After, we furthered our celebration at my Nana and Poppop's house where we brunched.
 And lounged.
 And slept.
And ate ridiculously good cake.

We finished the day off with the beach and yet another fantastic meal at Roberto's Mexican Grill

And relaxed in our jacuzzi.

All of this in celebration of my Papa! I love you, Dad! You're the best ever and I am so lucky to call you my father! Happy 50th! May you have 50 more splendid years to come!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

i've been everywhere man

A lot has happened since I last blogged.

We are now in Plano, Texas which is right outside of Dallas. We are living in a beautiful, giant apartment with a gorgeous clubhouse that has about 6 pools, a theatre room, free gym with yoga and zumba classes (I nearly died when I found that out), and $2 fake baking (I might do it once, don't judge me). Brett is out doing his first day of selling security while I've been sitting out by the pool, working on my internship, and training in the office where I'll be an assistant. I do not envy him or any of the guys in his office at all. Selling is h.a.r.d. Honestly, I would rather change old man nasty soiled diapers than sell door-to-door. I'm so proud of Brett for toughing it.

On a better note, before we came to good ol' Texas, we did a lot of things and went a lot of places.

First, we stayed in our apartment in Provo for a few days and played with friends and went hiking as seen here:

 Brett decided that it would be fun for us to scale down this mountain here without any trail. It doesn't look big in this picture, but believe me it was huge and I was panicking every time a shrub hit my legs because I thought it was a snake. Thankfully, we made it out alive and have now deemed ourselves professional adventurers.

After our jolly time in Utah, we packed pretty much every inch of our life into every inch of our car. We even squished toilet paper, fabric softener, hangers and the like in there because we didn't want to buy anything once out in Texas.

Then we drove to Danville, CA. We set up what we called our "mobile command" in the car to pass the time. It consisted of a car electric plug in thing, a surge protector, speakers, iPad charger and laptop. That way we could watch movies as we drove. Well, Brett listened and I watched (Brett never wants me to drive when we are on road trips. N.e.v.e.r. Probably because I'm a terrible driver).

In Danville we did an array of fun activities. Number one being that we went to the Oakland Temple, where Brett and I sealed the deal (pun intended).

We also saw some of our friends, including the Greenans. Here Aubrey is with her adorable baby Teddy.

Brett and I also visited Dodge and Cox in San Francisco, where Brett met with internship advisors and learned about finance/trading/wealth management first-hand from equity traders and the like. It made him really excited to pursue a career in finance soon.

We also went out to Thai food with Brett's parents on a double date, watched movies, relaxed by the pool, ate some more, and so on and so forth.

After Danville, we headed to San Diego for a few days for my daddy's 50th birthday celebration! But, more on that tomorrow, because that's going to take a full-length post.

Blogging hiatus is over. Stay tuned for to hear about our San Diegan trip! Happy whatever-the-day-is-today!