Saturday, December 27, 2008

Just the Two of Us!

Christmas came and went and it didn't feel very different because I worked the morning and then it was just the two of us, so the day seemed no different than any other. However, it was still a wonderful day and we got used to spending Christmas Day as a little family. We would finish up one activity and then say, "Ok! What should we do next!?" We felt like we should be doing something special and different, but couldn't come up with how you celebrate with only one other person:). Well here is a little of what we did anyways:

Ate yummy Dibs for Christmas Eve dessert and felt like we were French people enjoying their Bonbons!

Took care of sick people:

Opened up presents:

Raced the RC Cars that we got:

Watched the crazy snow and had a mini snowball fight (sorry no pictures of the fight):

and lastly, talked to our families on the phone and ate a delicious Christmas dinner of stuffed chicken and holiday tatoes! (sorry no pictures here either, but it was good!).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Fiber Optic Christmas Tree

Last year we were away for Christmas and in the process of moving into our new house, so we didn't get out any decorations for the holidays. This year I have to work Christmas Eve and Day so we are spending the holidays just the two of us at home. As a result, we had to splurge on some Christmas decorations so we could get into the spirit of the holiday! We started out early in December at Wal.Mart searching for the perfect tree. We stumbled upon this fiber optic tree and since Brandon loves anything fiber optic we took it home. Here is a picture...
And this one gives you a better idea of the colors...
Well, this tree was really fun to have around the house and we liked it, but it just wasn't a full on Christmas tree like we were both used to having. It's the small kind that you place on a table and it just might look a little funny if we place ornaments on it. So back to the store we went. To get a tree that fits more into our minds of Christmas. Now our home is decorated for the holidays! Sorry the lighting is bad. It was hard to get a good picture that captures the lights and decorations of our tree.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Brandon's Car

Every time I walk by Brandon's car I see this...
I laugh out loud each time. It's hilarious because he keeps shoving that light back into place and then while we are driving we hear a loud klunk in the front of the car and it's out again. This poor light is hanging by only a cord, but the car has many years to go. Hopefully the light can hang on!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

IT's GoNe!

For the last 2 weeks or more I had been contemplating chopping off my hair and donating it. I have donated my hair to Locks of Love a few times before, but it's still so nerve racking every time. I searched the internet and looked at other's haircuts trying to decide what I wanted. I was thinking that the shorter the better, but not too short. I've never had a haircut shorter than my shoulders so it was time to try it out.

On Sunday, I decided this was a go and I was planning for the big chop off on Monday. I went to Platinum Salon (this was recommended to me) and realized they were closed. Such a bummer. I had finally gotten up the nerve to get it done and now it was going to have to be postponed. Well I still went through with it and I am glad I did. Now, it is so so so short. It's crazy that all my hair is gone. Total chop off was 13 inches (over an entire foot). Some cute kid is going to have a nice head of hair now, which I am happy about.

Brandon likes it. He had this enormous smile across his face when he saw my new look for the first time. It was a fun moment.


Monday, November 10, 2008

The Big 8 Tag

8 Favorite TV Shows (I don't actually watch TV very much, so these are in order of most watched):
1) Man vs. Wild
2) Destroyed in Seconds
3) Anything interesting on the Animal Planet
4) Mythbusters (These first 4 are the ones I have gotten used to watching because Brandon often rules the remote.)
5) Deal or No Deal
6) KSL 5 News
7) 24 (When it comes back on)
8) The Pretender (on DVD)

8 Things I did yesterday:
1) Went to Church
2) Took a nap
3) Returned the Redbox
4) Made a roast in the crockpot
5) Dishes
6) Watched funny YouTube videos with Brandon
7) Watched a little TV
8) Thought a lot about chopping off my hair

8 Things to look forward to:
1) First Anniversary next week!!
2) This Holiday Season (I love the Holidays)
3) Going to CA (home) for Thanksgiving
4) My 1/2 Marathon season coming this spring
5) The Wasatch Back
6) Being a real live NP in 2 years
7) Straight A's this semester (maybe)
8) A new haircut (I think I am looking forward to this one though I am kinda scared)

8 Favorite Restaurants:
1) The Olive Garden
2) China Garden (Best Chinese in Provo!)
3) Tucanos
4) Cafe Rio
5) Papa John's Pizza
6) The Happy Sumo
7) Magleby's
8) Sizzler's Salad Bar

8 Things on my Wish List:
1) A little baby!
2) A maid
3) A Truck
4) That I was done with my Thesis
5) That we move to CA when we are done with school
6) That I could run the Boston Marathon
7) A cute haircut
8) No more cold weather or snow starting New Year's Day

8 People I tag:
1) Lauren Davies Heal
2) Angel
3) Liz
4) Anna Tew
5) Kathy
6) Heather
7) Cory
8) Everyone that wants to. It's a fun one! (Thanks Ali)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

The hit around our home this weekend has been the cinnamon rolls. I have found that Shirley's Bakery in Provo, UT makes THE BEST ones. I wish I knew the recipe she used to make her dough soooo fluffy and soft and good. It's a real treat to have these because we get to enjoy the deliciousness without doing all the work.

The closest recipe that I have found to Shirley's Bakery is very good, but it's A TON of work. I would only recommend trying this at home if you love to bake because if you don't, you won't want to enter the kitchen anymore after making these rolls (lots of standing and messing and cleaning). Here is my recipe:

1/2 cup warm water
2 pkg yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 pkg vanilla instant pudding
2 cup skim milk (room temp)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
8 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, melted
2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup butter, softened

In a small bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar. Stir until dissolved; set aside. In large bowl, mix pudding with milk. Add 1/2 cup melted butter, egg, and salt. Mix well, then add yeast mixture and blend well. Gradually add flour and knead until smooth, adding a little more flour if needed (this is a soft dough). Place in a very large greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double in size. Punch down and cover and let rise again.

Roll dough out on a large floured surface to a rectangle about 34x21 inches in size. Brush the 1 cup melted butter over dough. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over butter. Roll dough up and cut into about 24 rolls. Pat each roll as you place it into a large greased pan (this helps keep rolls in shape). Let rolls rise in a warm place about 20 minutes. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until done.

Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth; beat in vanilla and milk. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Frost rolls while still very warm.

For the freezer: After cutting the rolls, flash freeze on a cookie sheet, then wrap for freezing (Ziploc works well here). Before you go to bed, take out the ones you want, put them in a pan, place in the oven with if OFF and the light on. In the morning, bake as usual.

Tip: After baking 15 minutes, place foil over them and bake for another 10 minutes more. This keeps the rolls from over browning and they stay soft.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I feel a bit out of character posting this. Who knows why, but I love Nickelback. I have always pretty much enjoyed all their songs, not just the hits. When I found out that my dAd really likes them as well I thought it was kind of funny. Now, I just think we both have pretty good taste!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fusion of Art and Science

The Body Worlds exhibit is in Salt Lake City at The Leonardo Museum. Brandon and I decided to go up and see it. It was awesome! I loved it. It brought me back to my anatomy lab days of working on the cadavers. I remember teaching in the anatomy lab and always sharing Elder Russell M. Nelson's (Cardiothoracic Surgeon by Profession) speech entitled The Magnificence of Man (click the title to read or skim the speech). It is such a neat talk about the human body and magnificent creation that it is.

If you haven't seen Body Worlds or know anything about it, here is a little sneak peak at what you would get. If you don't like to look at cadavers in any way, I suggest you stop here.
This is the Archer. The forearm muscles are amazingly dissected on this cadaver. The forearm muscle unit is one of the hardest to learn because of how many muscles are actually in the forearm with long-4-word names.The vessels around this heart are so intricate. I guess they inject a dye into the bloodstream and then dissect all the tissue off, leaving only the vasculature. The entire process is called plastination. The capillary network is so tiny and amazing. Our bodies are the coolest.
This one is the Hurdler.
The soccer player isn't actually at the Salt Lake Exhibition, but I found the picture while searching for others.
The Horse Back Riders. I wonder how many hours it took to dissect this entire piece. Horses have great musculature.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Random Stupid Moment

There is something about the cold air that can make a person undergo a real large brain tweak or in other words, a stupid moment. I learned this today while eating dinner.

I was very cold this afternoon and decided that I needed a nice warm bowl of Campbell's Vegetable Soup for dinner. I checked the back label for directions in heating up this delightful meal for two. I was confident that I knew what I was doing. Brandon watched over my shoulders while I dumped the contents into the pot and heated it up. He groaned a little at this choice in meal, but decided he didn't have anything better to cook so he would just deal with it.

I was very confident the back DID NOT say to add 1 can of water. In fact, I checked the back label over to make sure I didn't need to add water because I can never remember which canned soups need water added and which ones do not. After 7 minutes or so the soup was boiling and we were good to go.

I made it through half of my bowl when I realized that something didn't taste right. I wondered if we really were supposed to add water because it tasted very thick and concentrated. I pulled the can out of the garbage and searched the back label all over once again. THERE, VERY TOP IN LARGE CAPITAL LETTERS READ: 1 CAN SOUP + 1 CAN WATER.

No wonder it tasted wrong and why didn't I see that before and why did it take me so long to realize it tasted gross. I added a little water to my bowl and nuked it for a minute. I finished it off with a much better taste.

This is what I learned besides coldness making me stupid, I deserved it because just before I had been on a rampage venting about Questar and the stupid and dishonest company they are. I won't go into details, but too bad you can't choose your gas company.

The End.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Yesterday was Brandon's Birthday! I asked him what he wanted and he said nothing. I couldn't think of anything that he had mentioned he wanted so I decided to fill his birthday up with things he loves. Maybe I will get him a good present down the road when I think of something great.

Once Brandon got home from school, we started his birthday cElEbrAtIOn!! We went for a fun bike ride on some trails up Provo Canyon.
Then we headed home to make his favorite dinner. Pasta Alfredo Special. This homemade meal is really the best there is!!
For Brandon's favorite dessert/birthday cake, I made little cheesecakes with raspberries and blueberries for the toppings. Everything was so good!
Lastly, we watched the Discovery Channel and it just happened to be Man vs. Wild. A crazy show of killing an alligator and then eating it. I would only watch it for Brandon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


This is the 2008 STG Marathon Poster!
It's finally finished!! That is what I was saying the last 10 miles of the race when I was being brutally hit by the non-stop pouring rain and the miserably cold head wind. I felt so good until mile 16 when my goal time (03:40) pacer passed me. I let myself get into this mental rut and started noticing the major cramping coming from my right hip. Everything just plummeted down hill from there. At mile 23 I decided my 12 minute miles were just as slow as walking so I opted for a fast walk. After only about a quarter of a mile into walking I figured I didn't come here to finish like that, so I picked my aching legs up and started a slow jog. Through the tears (which were thankfully unnoticed because of the heavy rain), I finished in under 4 hours. I would have been doubly crushed if I hadn't. My official time was 03:58:24. The worst ever out of my four marathons.
I attribute it to the poor training (or lack thereof) and the cold, wet, torturous rain. Therefore, it's only half my fault. When I finished I told Brandon to never let me do that again. I take that back. It has been only 2 full days and my sore body has quickly recovered. Running is my passion. I will be back.
Before the race. It was raining, but you can't tell.
The only picture Brandon got of me was at the finish. I guess I was too fast for the camera!
(You don't want to see me anyways. I will describe it to you: soaking wet, frowning, hurting, cold, miserable)
The first thing I did when I finished was get my wet clothes off and put on warm clothes. I was shivering (my lower lip was an uncontrolled quiver) really bad and getting muscle spasms in my quads.
Finished and cleaned up!
I didn't notice this until I was finished. I looked down the back of my shoe and it was covered in blood. My sock was covered in smeared (wet) blood. I had 4 big friction burns on my left heel.
I didn't notice this one until I got home. It wasn't just on the back of my shoe. The front mesh is covered in blood from my baby toe (friction burn there as well). This is HARD CORE!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I really should be studying, but instead I want to blog. It has been nearly three years since I set foot in that BYU Testing Center. I was really nervous while walking from one end of campus to the other so I could enter that dreadful testing center. In fact, I was so nervous that I had to call Brandon to make sure I remembered everything I needed to bring with me. How could I forget- a pencil and my BYU ID card. It really has been a while. Well that ended today when I walked in to take my first real test in Graduate School! Oh, it felt weird. Floods of memories came back while I walked up the stairs to the triple doors area and then into the small room where you request your test and lastly into the giant room with rows and rows of desks. I sat in my usual area for tradition's sake and whipped through my test. It wasn't bad, at least I don't think. Maybe I will be saying different when I find out what I get in a week. Anyways, it feels more official now that I have made it through my first test. I guess I am 2 years closer now to being Connie, NP. Oh joy! By the way, the pictures are downloaded from the BYU Testing Center page. They are for all you fellow BYUians and BYU Alumni to reminisce about this building.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

LOOK what IKE did... Brandon's Family's house in Texas. Brandon wanted a post made about this, but refuses to come on here. I haven't been on the blog in so long because school and work have overtaken my life. Oh yeah, and the marathon that is now only 3 weeks away has taken some of my life as well. Since it has been a while, I figured I should just post something. I thought about letting everyone know about the bee who decided to sting me on my neck (directly inferior of my thyroid gland to be exact) and it hurt really bad, but I didn't think it would be very interesting in the end. So, here I am posting about the damage of devastating Hurricane Ike for Brandon.

Brandon's family lives in Spring, TX which is approximately 30 minutes north of Houston. They were not in the evacuation area, but were still going to get some of the high winds and rain. Nobody was hurt in our family, just our house. One of the big pine trees in the back yard fell right on the house and damaged the roof and back wall. Also, the power is out for their entire neighborhood and I think it's even more in the entire Houston area. It is estimated that they will be out of power for 2-4 weeks. Yikamolee!! Hopefully they can get power back a lot sooner than that. I'm so glad we have a prophet who consistently reminds us to put together our emergency kits and food storage and I am especially grateful when we obey that command.

I guess it's going to be a bit tricky to get the tree off the house (especially without power) because we don't want it to fall and break anything else. The plans are in to use another tree and rope to lift it off the house. Here are some pictures of the fallen tree: