Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013

The end of 2013 was fantastic. Although, it didn't start off that way. 

We traveled to Payette, the Friday before Christmas, to spend the holidays with my family. The roads were clear until we got just east of Mountain Home. After that, it was pretty bad. We could barely see three feet in front of us. The weather starting clearing up a bit when we hit Boise, but the roads were still pretty bad. We were driving fairly moderate for the conditions, but we had car after car passing us a much higher speeds.

We must have just hit a patch of slush because it no time Ethan was crossing into another lane, and not by choice. We started sliding sideways and towards the concrete median. It honestly felt like we were in slow motion, because we had enough time to brace ourselves for the impact and Ethan had plenty of time to continually tell me we're going to be ok but that we were going to hit.

We hit the median on the right front fender, which then propelled us into a 360 (on the interstate) and hitting the back right fender as well. Ethan was able to gain control and get us pulled off to the shoulder (without ever having another car involved in the accident).

I was freaking out a little bit but when we finally got pulled off I lost it just a bit. My dad called seconds after we pulled off and I had to pass the phone off because I couldn't talk. We turned on our hazard lights and drove to an exit that we could pull off and assess the car a bit better.

My brother who live just a few minutes from the exit, met us and we decided our car should not be driven long distances, so we took the back roads and stayed at his house that night. We got everything worked out the next morning to get our car fixed and a rental car to continue driving to Payette. This was the damage:
We are both so grateful that we weren't harmed and that no one else was involved. We know we were extremely blessed because it could have been much, much worse. 

After that debacle, the rest of the year was great (maybe not so much for Ethan)! The entire break was full of relaxation and enjoying time with my family. On Christmas Eve, Derrick and his family, Cameron and his wife and Ethan and I all gathered at my parents house. We didn't do the tradition that I remember us doing all growing up, but we watched a little move about the first Christmas for the kids and then had fun talking and hanging out together. 

The next morning we woke up and Ethan was feeling pretty crummy. He was coming down with the flu, but that didn't ruin his morning once he saw he finally got the .22 he's been wanting! 
I could not wait for him to open it and see his reaction, that I made him open all of his presents first. 
It was then my turn to open my gifts. I was so excited when I opened this beauty! It's the 50 mm lens that I've been wanting (along with my amazing Steve Madden pumps)!
I know it may not seem exciting to others to get a muffin tin for Christmas, but I got this same William-Sonoma muffin tin two years ago from my sister, when I was living with her. I never wanted to take it to school because I didn't want it to get messed up from roommates. Long story short, my parents brought it to me before we got married, and we when got back from our honeymoon, it was gone. I'm so glad to have it again and see how much I love it!
The day after Christmas, my mom and I went shopping (since Ethan was dead to the world with the flu). I have really been wanting to find some maternity jeans since I only like the demi panel and the ones from Gap I tried on, I despised. So we were on a hunt. The first place we went was to Macy's. I tried on one pair and I was done. This whole body changing thing is really doing a number on my self-image. Luckily, my mom was able to find some great things and it was fun spending time with her. 

The next couple days, my mom was working and Ethan was still getting over the flu, so it was very laid back. We stayed in our pajamas most of the day and I occasionally put my make-up on. 

New Year's Eve came and with everyone feeling 100% again, we all decided to head over to Boise to do some shopping. We went out for a late lunch, and found out that all of the places we were wanting to go, they were closing early. We were able to finally find some jeans that would work for me from Old Navy, and then headed to the mall. Bath and Body Works was having their semi-annual sale, so I got some lotion for super cheap! Gap was also having a good sale, which meant some cheap clothes for baby boy Thomas!

Once the stores closed, we headed to Derrick and Kim's for the festivities. We had some great food and enjoyed our time together. We watched the Potato drop (it's a new thing Boise did) simultaneously with the ball drop. We ended our night with a New Year's kiss and headed home.
I'm so excited for this upcoming year and all of the changes and exciting things it will bring. Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Grandpa Yule

Fifteen years ago to the day,  my grandpa, Ralph Yule, passed away. At just 9 years old, I still have some amazing memories of him. My favorite would have to be when he would play the accordion as I danced around my grandparent's house. He would play for hours and I would dance and listen the whole time. My all-time favorite song he played is called the Clarinet Polka. It's not a song that is played a lot, but when it is, my entire body wells up with floods of memories of him and I can't help but smile. 

I still remember the night he passed away. My parents had gone to a company Christmas party and my brother Nathan was playing the piano as the entertainment for it. I was in the shower when they got home and we were getting ready for bed. I was relaxing in the tub when everyone kept telling me to hurry. I got so aggravated. But I got out and was instantly in a bad mood. I got dressed and went out to the living room. That's where I saw my mom crying. I sat down knowing something was wrong and my dad proceeded to tell us what had happened. 

My grandpa had been diagnosed with cancer years before and it had finally taken him. My dad continued to tell us that he passed away approximately the same time my brother was playing the Mannheim Steamroller version of Stille Nacht. If you've never heard it before, it is an amazing song. It has also become one of my favorite Christmas songs. 

My grandpa was an avid kayaker and outdoorsman. After he passed away, the Missoulian wrote an amazing article about him. Here it is:

A kindly teacher, outdoor lover passes

Friends, family mourn death of Ralph Yule, who inspired all by example. Ralph Yule didn't do any preaching, except by his life and his example. "But boy, that was powerful," said Walt Hill, with whom Yule was a Boy Scout leader for nearly 25 years. Yule, who died Dec. 19, will be remembered at a memorial service at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3201 Bancroft in Missoula.

The memories, Hill said, are of a man of "deep wisdom, infinite patience and absolute kindness." He was a Scout leader who each summer took boys into the Mission Mountains -; along old Indian trails, to the top of peaks, to fields of wildflowers in miles-long meadows. He was a kayaker who built his own boats, and boats for others, and who ran the same nasty stretch of the Lochsa River every year on his birthday. When kayakers lost their takeout on the Alberton Gorge, he got them a new one -; through sheer stubborn persistence.

He was an accordion player who learned to play in Civilian Conservation Corps camps during the Depression, and continued to play at dances and in bands for the rest of his 80 years.

He took up telemark skiing at age 70, served on the Clinton School Board for years and built the Milltown Garage. For 12 years, he fended off the cancer that took his life.

"He was unsinkable," said John Salisbury, a friend and fellow kayaker. "He just had a buoyant nature. Part of that was stubbornness. Part of it was positive attitude and enthusiasm."

Born in Ray, N.D., on April 16, 1918, Yule made his first trips into the Rocky Mountains as a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps. He and his bride, Lola Liberty Osborn, moved to Missoula in 1947. Yule worked first as a foreman for Tucker Motors, then for Eino Wiemer's garage Milltown. In 1971, he built Milltown Garage.

Yule was known most for his love of the outdoors. "He knew it all: camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, skiing," said his son, Tom. "Every summer for 25 years, he'd take his Boy Scout troop mountaineering to the tops of the Mission Mountains -; six days, unsupported." Yule was the assistant Scoutmaster, the outdoors specialist. Hill was the Scoutmaster.

"Ralph knew how to get to places that nobody else did," Hill said. "Old Indian mushroom trails, unmarked cross-country treks. We saw reaches nobody else ever did. He was like a mountain goat scrambling over rocks."

Yule was at peace and ever-at-ease in the mountains. "He loved the wildflowers," Hill said. "In August, he would get into his garden patches in the Missions. There'd be square miles of flowers, and he'd have us sit right in the middle of them for lunch." "He looked for beauty."

Salisbury said he loved Yule's stories. "He knew all the legendary people in kayaking," Salisbury said. "And he knew all their stories, and all the rivers." He also knew how to get results. When kayakers lost their takeout spot on the Clark Fork River below Alberton Gorge, Yule went to work, talking to the railroad and power companies and other kayakers. Eventually, he negotiated a land sale and an access easement, and kayakers now use his takeout at Fish Creek -; they call it "Ralph's."

"Ralph's involvement led to a whole series of events, including the creation of the Missoula White Water Association and work by Fish, Wildlife and Parks to improve the put-in at Cyr and protection of the whole recreation corridor on the Gorge," Salisbury said. "He just went to work, and things started happening."

Yule didn't begin kayaking until he was 50, but his skill was known throughout the kayaking community. "He was a smart river runner," said Salisbury. "He was always friendly, and always willing to teach new boaters. And he was an innovator. He built his own boats, and his own backpacks."

"He's an unsung hero to a lot of folks out there," said Hill. "We'll miss him."


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Announcement/reveal pictures

I got the pictures back from my friend Whitney that took our pregnancy/gender announcement pictures and I love how they turned out! It was snowy and cold, but Whitney was a trooper and got some great shots. Here are just a few of my favorites:
 



Thursday, December 12, 2013

The bump

Here's my first official "bump" picture. I'm not very good at taking pictures every week, but I'll post some occasionally. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

18 Weeks

Well, it's official (and has been for a while). We are pregnant and have a little mini Ethan in May!

We found out back in September that I was actually pregnant. I was positive I was pregnant, but after many negative tests, I decided to take a test. I wanted to be sure before I told Ethan again (that's a whole other story). I went to the store to pick up some tests and hid them in our downstairs bathroom. The next morning I woke up before Ethan and went downstairs. In less than a minute my suspicion was confirmed! It was positive!

I wanted to wait so I could do something fun to surprise Ethan. I designed a little announcement that I said was for my friend Brennan's client, and then secretly took of video of it on my computer. Here's the video:
Here's the announcement I showed him:

(I know it's a little blurry, but I don't want to have to go remake it a bigger size.)

I ended up showing him the test so he finally was able to believe me!
Here's a little questionnaire to give you all a little snippet of how the pregnancy is going!

How far along? 18 weeks
How big is baby? I think they said it was about 6 inches long (I don't remember how much they said it weighs)

Total weight gain/loss:  7 lbs. It's a little rough on me, not going to lie.

Maternity clothes? No maternity clothes yet. I've looked for some jeans but I have no found a single pair I like. Why do they not have pocket details?!

Sleep: Depends on the night, but I would say 98% of the time I sleep great.

Best moment this week: Warming up to the idea I'm having a boy. :)

Movement: Not yet.

Food cravings:  I don't have cravings, but I do allow myself to have other stuff besides a chicken caesar salad when we go out to eat. :)


Food Aversions: Nope, and never did. :)

Gender: It's a boy

Labor Signs:  Nope, which is good. It's a little too early for that.

Pregnancy Symptoms:  Thankfully I never got sick! I would say the only symptoms I had was a tender chest (getting elbowed in basketball was 1000x more painful than usual thanks to that!), and I was absolutely EXHAUSTED! But I found out I had low thyroid and that's actually helped a lot. Other than those, no real symptoms for me and I'm not going to complain!

Belly Button in or out? It's still in.

What I miss:  Basketball. I took a pretty hard hit so after our last game, I decided it was probably better that I stop. It kills me to not go play pick-up ball!

What I am looking forward to: Seeing what he looks like. From the ultrasound it looks like he's going to look a lot like his dad!

Upcoming appointments/events:  My next appointment will be my 20 week appointment

Milestones: Finally telling everyone I'm pregnant. 

I told you he's a mini Ethan. He definitely has his nose and his eye position. He may end up having my chin though.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Say what?

Surprise, it's a boy!

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to the greatest guy I know! Ethan turns 24 today. We started off the morning with some cinnamon rolls and his birthday bucket (minus an actual bucket).
The picture quality isn't fantastic, but I couldn't get a picture with my actual camera before he broke into the Yoohoo.

It's going to be fairly low-key. Ethan has homework and then it's off to Idaho Falls for grocery shopping and a birthday dinner.

I'm also excite for today because I called up my friend Whitney to see if she would be able to get us in to do a little mini session for some new pictures I can use for our Christmas cards. She (thankfully) was able to do them at short notice and I'm so excited to get some new pictures.

It'll be interesting to see how they turn out though since it's been snowing all morning! I can't wait to see how they turn out though!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I see throwback Thursdays all the time on Facebook, and while I never do them on there, I thought it would be fun to maybe do one every so often on here. Let's go back to the year 2011 where this hunk came to visit while I lived in Arizona and we took a trip to the temple lights, although in this picture you can't tell the lights were even up. Love this guy!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Blogging hiatus

Well, after traveling, our internet being out and a 6-hour power outage, I'm finally able to write! (Unfortunately, I don't have a single picture to go with it.)

The Friday before Thanksgiving we took a red-eye flight out of Salt Lake to Charlotte, NC to spend the holidays with all of Ethan's family. The flight was long, but I fortunately slept the majority of the trip. We got in about 5:00am, but for some reason, we had to wait about 45 minutes to get our bags. I was tired and grumpy and I was over traveling. Luckily, Ethan's mom Sarah came and picked us up and I was able to take a little nap on the way home.

The entire week was awesome. It was low-key and relaxed, no plans it was perfect. We spent a lot of time talking and hanging out which I loved because I got to know his family better. We don't get to spend a lot of time with his family, so it was awesome to be able sit and talk.

Each of the families were in charge of a couple different dishes for Thanksgiving dinner. I chose to do the pumpkin pies, finger jello, and the veggie tray. The veggie tray was less than desired during the actual dinner, but it eventually got eaten through the next couple days. Two of the little boys, however loved my finger jello and the pumpkin pies were a hit too! I felt pretty good about my dishes.

During the actual dinner, we each had time to say what we were thankful for, and I have to say, that was probably my favorite part of the entire trip. It was very special and a time with them I will truly cherish.

We flew back Saturday after Thanksgiving, where our friends Austin and Brennan came and picked us up. We stayed the night at their place and had a great time with them. We miss them and their adorable little Lainey. She is growing up so fast and she totally loves us! Even after months of not seeing her, she smiles and loves playing with us. We drove back Sunday night and it was back to real life after being gone for over a week.

That was, until today, when we woke up to a power outage that spanned about a 20-40 mile radius around Rexburg. I couldn't go into work and the school was closed, so we spent all morning in bed catching up on some much needed sleep! The power came back on about 1:00pm, so we got ready to go to work.

We also received some exciting news!! Ethan went to Portland the week before Thanksgiving for a job interview. We heard back while we were in Charlotte, and they offered him a position!! We don't know where it would be yet (they have places all over the country), and we have until January to make the decision, but we're so thankful for this offer and we hope to get a couple more!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful- Part three

Today I'm thankful for the testimony I have of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I'm not one to get very religious with people, but that doesn't mean I don't know they're there.

There have been many times in my life where I have turned to prayer and have been comforted. There have been many times when I didn't think I could keep going, but He was always there to lift me and to help me keep going. I find it so sad when people don't believe in a higher power. It makes me wonder what they have to look forward to.

I truly don't know where I would be without my testimony, and I'm thankful I'll never have to know.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful- Part two

Today I'm thankful for this family of ours:
I can't imagine anyone being more blessed than Ethan and I. I mean look at all of the family we have that love and support us. I have always had an amazing family that I love and look up to, but when I got married, I got another entire family to call my own. I'm so grateful for both of our families and for all they do for us. I couldn't imagine being more blessed than we are with the family that we have. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week of thanks

This week, since it will be Thanksgiving, I thought I would do a week of things that I'm thankful for. Obviously there are more than a weeks worth of things I'm thankful for but these will be a few of the bigs.

Today I'm thankful for this guy:
He is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. He is the most loving and kind person I have ever met. He puts up with me and all of my crazy. He supports me in what I do and he is so patient with me.

I don't know if there is anyone in the world that could handle me like he does and because of that, I'm so grateful for him. I'm not the easy person to deal with sometimes, but he sticks by my side and loves me unconditionally. He is truly my best friend and I'm excited for our future together.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Catching Fire

Wednesday afternoon, I was checking my Facebook when I saw my Visiting teacher announce she had two free tickets to see Catching Fire that night. It was a pre-premier premier (in St. Anthony, Idaho of all places). 

I passed her up because I didn't know if Ethan would even want to go and I didn't know what he had planned. I texted him to let him know about it and he asked me why I didn't get them. I then got back on Facebook and told her I totally wanted the, and also texted her letting her know if they were still available, I would take them. 

Why no one else really jumped on them I have no idea, but I was so excited because I got to go on a date with Ethan and see a movie I've been looking forward to for a while now!

We made it to the theater about 30 minutes early which was right before the floods came in. We got great seats and had an awesome time. 

The movie was amazing and we can't wait for the next one to come out. I haven't read the books, which I kind of like because the movies are a complete surprise! 

If you haven't seen it yet, or weren't planning on seeing it, I highly recommend you check it out. It's amazing!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Goodbye my good friend

Today I said goodbye to one of my long time friends and companions.
Mali, my trusty Chevy Malibu, was finally sold today. We've been wanting to sell her ever since we got the truck, because we didn't need three cars. Although it was a little sad to see her go.

Mali and I have spent many years together. We went to high school together, we went to college together and we traveled many miles together. She's heard me sing to the top of my lungs and cry my heart out. We've driven across the country to Wisconsin and back, Arizona and back twice, Colorado a few times and many trips in between.

She had her issues, but what car doesn't after 229,000 miles? Realistically though, for how old she was, and how many miles, she still ran and decently I may add.

So this is goodbye my dear friend. Thank you for all of our years together.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Magical

First off, I wrote this post yesterday, but I must have forgotten to publish it. Oh well.

I have a little bit of a love hate relationship with winter. I love that it brings the holidays and warm clothes, hot chocolate and good food. What I don't particularly care for is the snow and cold and the terrible drivers on the snow.

But, as I walked out my door one morning to go to work, I saw this and it was almost magical to me.
There was a blanket of white and it wasn't snow! I wasn't sad that it was getting colder and I wasn't dreading the snow. I got into my car, plugged in my phone and listened to my Christmas music just a little bit louder that day. The holidays are upon us!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The final season

This weekend I officially played my last game of my last season of basketball at BYU-Idaho. It's mostly bitter not so sweet. Basketball has been one of my biggest outlets for the last 12 years and to know that this was realistically one of the last times I will ever play organized basketball.

One of the most unfortunate things about the last game is that we got massacred. The team we played literally had the game of their lives. I have no idea if that could ever happen again for them. One of the girls had 33 points alone, with another girl having another 20. That's almost unheard of, and it just so happens to be game we play them.

I didn't really know have to feel after that game other than flabbergasted that that had just happened. It wasn't until a little bit later that it really hit me that I was done. All of the hours, sweat, tears, bruises, and concussions from the past 12 years were now over.

It's really just bitter. I still don't really know how to feel. I'm definitely going to miss it, and I'm so thankful for all of the friends that I have made over the years through this amazing game, and I can't imagine what I would have done with out it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Peace

I saw this quote today and fell in love with it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Early mornings

I'm not a morning person in any sense of the word, and I'm getting further and further from a night owl as well. I would love to go to bed at 10:00pm and wake up the next morning at like 9:00am. I feel like that would be perfect! And realistically, I don't have it that bad. I go to bed usually before midnight and wake up between 7:30-7:45. That is, until this week.

For some reason, both Ethan and I have been struggling in the mornings. Just this morning I woke up at 4:35am! I was ticked! It's one thing to wake up and go back to sleep, it's another to be awake that early for a good 30-45 minutes. The rest of the mornings have been the same, maybe not the time, but we're waking up way before our alarms and neither one of us knows why.

All I have to say is I hope to start getting a full nights rest and no longer have it interrupted by earlier than wanted mornings!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Roller skating

I mentioned before that Ethan is in an IBC group that has taken over the bowling alley at school. Along with the bowling alley, they have also brought back roller skating to the school to bring in a bit more revenue.

Ethan had to be there from 6:00-10:00 tonight as part of his assignments. I was already up on campus for basketball practice, so I decided I would go visit and hang out with him and help in any way I could.

I could not believe how many people were there! I figured they'd get maybe 50 people or so. Oh no, they had about 165 people come! They were almost at capacity, and they had people waiting because they were out of skates in certain sizes.

Right when I got there, I could see they were lagging behind on getting the skates sterilized and tied together so they could be put back in the boxes they came (they have them by sizes in the boxes). I just started taking the skates that people were done with and got right into getting them tied in their pairs. I think the group liked having me there and I was glad I could help them out, even if it was just a little bit.

Towards the end of the night, it was starting to calm down and Ethan and I decided to go skate. I've actually never been roller skating in my entire life (that I can remember), I was always a rollerblade girl. But I put the skates on, and after a couple loops I was good to go!
It was awesome to finally have a date where it was just the two of us. We had a lot of fun, and we can't wait to do it again!

We finished off the late night with a trip to Burger King, where I had the most amazing Whopper I've ever had (ok, I may or may not have been starving, so anything I ate was going to be amazing). But it really was good. What can I say I'm a cheap date, free skating and BK for dinner!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Chips and salsa

To say that I enjoy chips and salsa would be an extreme understatement. I remember growing up, my mom had the best salsa and I could sit there for hours and eat it until the bag of chips or salsa was gone (probably not my healthiest moments). I figured it was just a phase and I would grow out of eating it.

Fast forward years to now, that is still my snack of choice. Unfortunately I don't have my mom's salsa, but On the Boarder's salsa from Sam's Club fits the bill just fine. Paired with a red bag of cheap Calidad's restaurant style chips. Bam! It's heaven in a little plastic bowl. I tend to use a smaller bowl or I could eat and eat just like I used to!

I'm hoping one of these days I'll have a little garden to grow the tomatoes that I need to make my mom's salsa that I love so much, but until then, store bought will have to work. Although, now that I think about it, I basically drink her salsa so it may not be a great idea. Oh well. I just have to learn better self control or learn to love running!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I looked out the window..

And what did I see?
Snow. I saw snow.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Solving the mystery

For the longest time I have had wondered if I had hypothyroidism, or low thyroid. My mom had it growing up and she would tell me the different symptoms of low thyroid. For the longest time I swore that I had to have it because I felt like I was a walking textbook answer of someone with low thyroid. Some of the symptoms are:
  • Feeling tired, weak, or depressed- Check
  • Not being able to stand the cold- Check
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods- Check
I had some blood work done the other day and I asked them to look closely to see if I had low thyroid. Lo and behold I get a call today telling me they're calling in a prescription for it. I almost wanted to give a little, "I told you so," because I've thought for so long that I had this. It's not super normal for someone to be able to take a nap for 4-5 hours in the middle of the day and still sleep like I haven't slept for days at night. It's also not normal for someone to be cold in an office set to 78 degrees, and yet I did.

As happy and thankful as I am to finally have this discovered, it's also a pain because this isn't something that just goes away. You have it basically your whole life. Luckily, the prescription is cheap! Here's to hoping it will help!

Friday, November 1, 2013

New design

This semester Ethan is in the Integrated Business Core (IBC) class. His group was a little different because instead of creating their own business they were assigned to take over the bowling alley on campus. The first idea they had was to get a name and a logo made up for it. And who did they recruit? Me! I had some fun with it and I like how it turned out!

Happy Halloween


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Reveal cake

Yesterday, our friends, Cameron and Hannah found out what gender they will be having in April. They wanted it to be a surprise, so I volunteered to do a gender reveal cake for her. They had the appointment earlier in the day, had the doctor write it on the paper and they folded it up so they couldn't see it.

They brought to our house and I started on the cake. I just did a box chocolate cake and added a few things to make it a little bit richer. I made my mom's marshmallow frosting, that I forgot how much I LOVE, and filled it with pink frosting.
I then put the rest of the frosting (that I kept white) all around the outside of it. As we were getting in the car, I had what I call an "incident." I was holding the cake and leaning down to get in the car. As I did so, the cake rammed into the car frame and slid the top layer over. It definitely could have been a lot worse, but that's what kind of the started the fall of the cake. After that, it had a hard time staying centered, the frosting starting drooping, the pink started showing through, I had to recover multiple different times. Basically the cake was a disaster, but it held together while they cut it and it worked out.
Luckily, it tasted better than it was looking. They were so excited to be having a girl and we spent the rest of the night looking at a ton of cute little girl stuff! I'm so excited for them and can't wait to meet their little one!

*It was brought to my attention that I raved about the frosting, but I didn't give the recipe. You really won't regret this one.

Marshmallow Frosting:

Ingredients:
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 C boiling water
Directions:
    1. Put all the ingredients in the bowl
    2. Add hot water after beater starts
    3. Beat about 10 minutes or until real stiff (it should hold a peak)
  • *Best if going to be eaten soon. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The first snow

It's official, Rexburg has had it's first snow fall. It was mostly rain, but it definitely had bits of snow flakes! I didn't get a picture because it was so dark outside, but it was there and it fell on my head. I'm a little surprised it's held of this long considering it's Rexburg and it's the end of October.

I'm actually quite pleased with how this Fall has been. I'm obviously still in scarves and sweaters everyday, but it's been pretty pleasant. The colors are beautiful, and the leaves are just starting to fall from the trees. Seriously though, the colors here are absolutely breathtaking. I love all the red, yellow and green leaves decorating the trees and roads.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Baked burritos

I was feeling in a funk of always doing the same meals (Since I've actually be trying to cook everyday). I saw a recipe for baked burritos that Brennan had pinned. I decided to pin it and she told me I wouldn't regret it. She was absolutely correct. They were fantastic! I completely forgot to take pictures, but the recipe is fantastic!
Recipe (and picture) found here.

Here is my modified recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 can of black beans (drained)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1½ teaspoon chili powder
  • dash of salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese of your choice
  • 10 tortillas
  • olive oil to drizzle on top
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400º. Lightly grease a baking dish with olive oil (I just sprayed Pam).
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking until the meat is cooked through, then drain off any fat if necessary.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.
  4. Stir in the beans, spices and add salt to taste.
  5. Top with a generous amount of the beef and bean mixture, add a little cheese on top of the beef and been mixture.
  6. Roll into a burrito by folding the left and right sides in and then rolling away from you.
  7. Place the burrito seam-side down in the baking dish and repeat process with remaining tortillas, cheese and filling.
  8. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, then bake for about 20 minutes until the tortillas are golden and crisp.
We topped ours off with our favorite salsa (On The Border) and it was absolutely delicious! A few other fixings they suggested were sour cream, cilantro and olives. If you visit the original recipe, she gives other fillers and options as well. Go check it out. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Juicy oranges

One food that I tend to forget that I love starting in the fall season is oranges. That is when oranges start getting good. I'm already on my second bag of oranges, and I have yet to be disappointed by one. They're not quite as good as the ones straight off the tree in Arizona, but they'll definitely work for me!

I'm pretty sure the past week each of my dinners have started with the meal and ended with an orange. It's like my dessert. I can't wait until the cuties start getting good so I don't have to spend so much time getting all of the white peel off the orange so I can actually eat it!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October babies

This has been an exciting month for both of our families! I got a fun birthday gift from my sister-in-law Jessica, when she had her first baby. They named him Emmett Thomas Strebel, and he is absolutely adorable!
Then today we were given another little nephew from my sister, Kara. He's still nameless, but look at all of that long dark hair. We had to give her a hard time because none of us know where that dark hair came from. 
I can't wait to cuddle and love on both of these little boys. It may be a while, but I know it'll be worth the wait!

My bucket list

I was looking through some of my old files from my old computer and I came across a bucket list I made in my Business 101 class. I got a laugh out of some of them, but some of them I really think could happen.
My Bucket List
(In no particular order)
1.    Travel the world (Rome, Italy, Ireland, Scotland-Just to name a few)
2.    Graduate from BYU-Idaho while maintaining my full tuition scholarship. (Check)
3.    Get married in the Salt Lake City temple with all of my family surrounding me. (Check)
4.    Go to Washington D.C. and visit the Holocaust museum.
5.    See “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway.
6.    Work for the NBA or a profession basketball team.
7.    Serve a foreign mission with my husband.
8.    Go skydiving and bungee jumping.
9.    Meet the Prophet.
10.  Build the house of my dreams and raise my family in it.
11.  Have my children know their grandparents.
12.  Go to a winter Olympics.
13.  Learn about my ancestors and do their genealogy work.
14.  Donate my hair to Locks of Love.
15.  Be wealthy but live modestly.
16.  Meet and marry a man who encompasses those things I love about my father and brothers. (Check)
17.  Become my mother when I have children.
18.  Attend the temple with my husband at least once a month.
19.  Pay for a random persons order.
20.  Buy my first car with cash.
21.  Visit the concentration camps in Germany.
22.  Learn to play the cello.
23.  Ride in a stretch hummer limo.
24.  Be in NYC on New Year’s Eve.
25.  Have a timeshare.
26.  Make it on the big screen at a sporting event.
27.  Be part of a flash mob.
28.  Go to the Harry Potter world in Disney World.
29.  Go to England with my parents and meet some of the people my dad baptized on his mission.
30.  Own a motorcycle
31.  Have season tickets for a professional basketball team.
32.  Go on a cruise with my husband and my best friend (with her husband).
33.  Make a difference in someone’s life.
34.  Be in two places at one time
35.  Tell my parents often how much I love them and appreciate them.
36.  Be fluent in a foreign language.
37.  Ride a camel in Egypt.
38.  Write a book about my life so my children and future generations can know about me.
39.  Go Parasailing.
40.  Ride in a hot air balloon.
41.  Take a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower.
42.  Go scuba diving with sharks.
43.  Kiss the Blarney Stone.
44.  Have President Uchtdorf fly me in a plane. 
45.  Go on the Balmoral cruise that retraces the path of the Titanic on April 12- April 20 in 2012. (Not happening, too late!)
46.  Have the strength to do the things that I want to do, especially in my older ages.
47.  Watch a sunset and sunrise in the same day with my husband on a beach.
48.  Don’t be afraid to take risks.
49.  Write a song on my guitar and have it published.

50.  Be spontaneous and never take life too seriously.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Beautiful sky

A couple nights ago, as I was driving back from basketball practice, I saw the sky and it was gorgeous. I was coming down the hill, that has a view of basically the whole town and it made me smile. And true to iPhone fashion, the picture doesn't do it nearly the justice it deserves!
I do love fall, but I'll sure miss these beautiful sunsets that seem to only happen in the summertime.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Skillet baked ziti

Yesterday, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I came across a post from Our Best Bites. I don't tend to try a lot of their recipes, because I rarely have the ingredients they use on hand. The picture looked absolutely delicious, so I decided to take a ganger.

I started reading through the recipe and looking through the pictures and I was getting more and more hungry just looking at it. I finally got to the recipe list and I was ecstatic! There were only two ingredients (that I felt were crucial) that I didn't have.

I immediately sent Ethan a picture and we decided we were going to have it for dinner. I had him pick up sausage and the cream so I could start it when I got home. It took about 30 minutes or so, but when I took that first bite.. oh my good heavens it was AMAZING! Seriously, I'm pretty sure I texted/called four or five people telling them they had to try it, within an hour of it being done.

I adjusted the recipe a tad because I didn't have something on hand, or I didn't want the added calories. A few things that were changed: I used a different sausage than asked for, I used canned crushed tomatoes in puree` instead of whole canned tomatoes that have to be pulsed in a processor, I used rigatoni, omitted the parmesan cheese and used dried basil instead of fresh.

The original recipe can be found here.
*I realized once I uploaded the picture to my computer how blurry the picture was, but I feel like you get the gist of how amazingly delicious it was. 

Here's the adjusted recipe:

1 pound turkey sausage U-shaped (I don't remember exactly what it was called)
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes in puree`
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt
3 cups water
12 ounces (about 3 3/4 cups) rigatoni pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
A heaping tablespoon of dried basil
ground black pepper
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
Directions from OBB:
Note: This recipe is to be cooked in a 12 inch skillet.  I recommend using one slightly larger if you’re adding the sausage as well.  Make sure your skillet is oven proof (no plastic handles) and has a lid.
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees.  
Heat 12-inch or larger oven-safe skillet to medium high heat and add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.  Remove sausage from castings and cook, crumbling with a spatula until browned and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.  (If you’re not using sausage, just add a little more olive oil and start with the next step, sautéing the garlic and pepper flakes.) *My note: I just had the kind of sausage that's already cooked and kind of in a U-shape, so I just had to warm and brown mine. If you use other types of sausage, you may have to take it out of the castings).*  Add garlic and red pepper flakes to sausage and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.   Stir in the canned tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes no longer taste raw, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the water, then add the pasta.  Cover, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, until the pasta is tender, 15-18 minutes.
Stir in the cream and basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and browned, 10-15 minutes (or just until melted, like, 1-2 minutes).  Serve.
It may sound a little time consuming and a lot of steps, but it's honestly SO easy. It will definitely be a meal that we do over and over again. I'm pretty sure Ethan said this is one of his favorite meals I've ever cooked. Happy and satisfied husband, check!