Friday, October 30, 2009

Annual Ward Cook-off

Witch and ghost make merry on this last of dear October’s days. ~Author Unknown

About a year ago Parker and I got called to be our Ward's Activity Chairs. It has been quite a calling! This calling definitely has a learning curve but I think we are finally getting the hang of it! I have been super stressed this last week trying to get everything taken care of and ready-to-go, and Parker, being the wonderful guy that he is, reminded me that the nature of our calling is that we don't have much to do for a month and a half and then have one really stressful week. And it was worth it! Our activity this month was our Annual Ward Chili (or Chocolate) Cook-off. Members could bring a chili/soup or chocolate dessert and we had a costume competition as well. I tried really hard to be Betty Crocker and make a soup for this event...but it was somewhat of a disaster. Needless to say, my culinary skills have long way to go. But, I did enjoy everyone else's food!

I am always so impressed with people's creativity and energy for costumes. I LOVE Halloween and all the festivities that go along with it, but I find that my enthusiasm for dressing up is usually lack-luster--As you can tell by Parker and I dressed in our stand-by costumes that we borrowed from our sisters. (By the way, thanks Alicia & Rachelle for helping us out with those!)

Luigi, Princess Peach, & Baby Mario (She HAND-MADE their costumes!)



(Isn't she the cutest?! You should have seen her waddling around--ADORABLE!)

We had a really good turn-out and I think everyone had a great time. I'm already thinking about the things I will do differently next year to make the activity even better...

p.s. I have a few BAGS of small pumpkins and gourds that we used for decorating. If anyone would like some for their fall decorating (we still have all of November people!) then PLEASE let me know!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Quick Trip

Last weekend we took a quick trip to Vegas. Ryan & Amanda live in Henderson and they are always so nice about letting us come visit. Ryan got tickets to the U2 concert (with the Black Eyed Peas!) and invited Parker to join him. From what I heard, the concert was amazing and the guys had a really great time. What did Amanda & I do while they were gone you ask? We ordered super yummy take-out from the Cheesecake Factory and spent the evening in our comfy pajamas having a great time talking and catching up.

Most of the time when we visit we are running from one thing to the next--there is always so much going on. But not this time! It was so nice. We finally had a chance to just hang out. Awhile ago, Ryan & Amanda introduced us to a show on the travel channel called "Man vs. Food". The host travels around the country and goes to great local food stops--NO food chains or big fancy restaurants. Each show he visits a new city and goes to 3 local eateries and showcases what makes them unique. At his 3rd and final stop he always does a food challenge, hence the "Man vs. Food" title. We have really enjoyed watching this show. The host, Adam, has a great sense of humor and watching all the food he gets to try just makes us want to travel for the food! Well, a couple of months ago the show went to Vegas and Parker has wanted to try out those restaurants ever since, and this weekend we finally had the time! We went to Hash House A Go Go and it was fantastic! This place has a unique blend of breakfast and lunch dishes. We got fried chicken and mashed potatoes with bacon (all of it with a maple syrup sauce!). Our huge meal also came with scrambled eggs, fruit, and the best biscuit I have ever had. (Sorry to talk so much about the food...but it was amazing!)

Just in case you're wondering, Hunter's favorite word is "more" :)

The meal was so big that Parker and I shared a plate. And Parker got to get his picture taken next to Adam's "Man vs. Food" photo.

We spent the rest of the afternoon doing some window shopping and then went back to the house for some munchies and a movie. It was a really quick trip but we had such a great time and loved getting to spend time with everyone. Thank you so much Ryan & Amanda!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Dodger Birthday

Yesterday was Parker's birthday and we had such a fun time celebrating! I didn't plan it this way, but it ended up being a Dodger themed birthday--which Parker loved! (And I'd like to note that this years cake was a vast improvement from last years cake!) We started the day off by opening presents; Parker didn't want to wait until later :) And then, unfortunately we're all grown-ups now and can't spend our days playing like we'd sometimes like to, we had to head off to work. It's days like this that really make me miss being a kid!

We got together later for a yummy dinner with the Ainge's at Tepanyaki's. We are all so busy these days, but we were so grateful that everyone was able to get together for dinner. We got distracted by our entertaining chef and the amazing food and forgot to take some pictures--I will do better next time!

Later at home we were suprised with some Birthday Carolers who came to serenade Parker with a Happy Birthday song :) (I took a 2nd picture so you could see the pumpkin they carved for him.)

I just want to thank everyone for celebrating with us and for making Parker's birthday so special!

And Parker, thank you for being such a wonderful husband and my best friend. You work so hard and set such an incredible example for all of us. I love you so very much and hope you had a very Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Knock Knock

Here's a little joke courtesy of my sister Alicia.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Musings From an Insomniac

Am I the only one out there having trouble sleeping? Parker is convinced, and I'm fairly inclined to agree with him, that I keep myself up at night tossing and turning because I have too darn much running through my mind. I've always had trouble sleeping--usually going through a cycle of 2-3 weeks of little-to-no sleep and then my body finally exhausts itself to a point that it finally crashes and I get beautiful, wonderful, blissful sleep for about a week before starting the vicious cycle all over again. I'm also a big worrier/stresser. Little things. Big things. Doesn't seem to make much difference but they are ever-present in my mind! Something has to be done!
My wonderful, and may I say brilliant, friend Valerie gave me a fantastic idea. She noticed that after all their long days of work she and her husband were just heading home and crashing on the couch (don't we all?!) and things in their lives continued to pile up and she kept stressing because nothing was getting done. So she decided to take action, which may seem obvious to some of you, but I think it's pure genius. She made herself a To-Do list! And each night they try to get some things done on the list. Now, I'm not sure what the best form is for a To-Do list but I'm determined to try this new tactic--for the sake of sleep! I will report my findings for all of you in 2 weeks and let you know how this experiment goes.

If anyone has suggestions on how they've kept and managed a successful To-Do list, I would love to hear about it!

Friday, October 16, 2009

If Ye Are Prepared...

If ye are prepared ye shall not fear--D&C 38:30

For months I have been so excited about working on my food storage and emergency preparedness. I did a great deal of research on it earlier this summer. It's a topic that I feel very strongly about and have been making efforts toward our spiritual and temporal preparedness. I am proud to say that last night I finally got our 72 hour emergency kits put together! I had gotten the supplies back in June (I know! I'm such a procrastinator!) and it took me until now to finally drag it all out and assemble our packs. It was a pretty big project and Parker was so wonderful to help me put them together last night. It feels so good to finally have them done! If anyone wants help or suggestions with their emergency preparedness let me know--I would be glad to help!

"We can so live that we can call upon the Lord for His protection and guidance. … We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep His commandments." --President Hinckley

Monday, October 12, 2009

We Love L.A.

The Dodgers, thought to be the underdog in the playoffs, swept the Cardinals in Game 3 last week! YEAH! This picture shows Dodgers closer Broxton ( a personal favorite) after he pitched the final out in Game 3. Go Dodgers!! I'm not sure what's more impressive--that they came from behind to win or that I can actually watch these games and know what's going on! :)

Friday, October 9, 2009


Thank. Goodness. It’s. Friday. Has it been a long week for any else? I felt like Friday really took it’s time getting here. I found this picture earlier in the week and it made me laugh so hard! It had me cracking up while I was sitting at my desk and trying to stifle my giggles while I answered the phone. It had me laughing again when I sent it to my sister. And again when I sent it to Parker. So either it’s really that funny or else I’m just delirious from a long week of not enough sleep. Maybe both. Either way I hope it gave you a laugh—even a small one. And I hope that all of you out there have a great weekend ahead of you. I’m realizing more and more that I have the horrible tendency to get way too caught up in life and I forget to enjoy just living it. So here’s my challenge to all of you: Make sure you take time to really enjoy life, even if only for a few moments, before Monday morning dawns and we are back to our routines again.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Girls Night Out

One of our Fall traditions it a Girls Night during the General Conference Priesthood Session. We squished into a car with our Del Taco take-out and went out for a Girls Night. We stopped at Tai Pan (a really fun home decorating store) and looked at all their holiday decorations and then we went to Gardner Village. There are so many fun things to see and do there! The whole village was decorated for Halloween and it was a Little Witches Night so there were cute little kids everywhere all dressed up. We had fun browsing the shops and, despite the crowds, we really enjoyed the festivities.

Afterwards we went back to my house to have pie and icecream with Parker & Krug. They didn't mind being left out of the shopping but they definitely didn't want to miss the treats! (Krug especially!)

Monday, October 5, 2009

October Eves

"Listen! the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!"- Humbert Wolfe

One of the things I love most about living in Utah is the seasons. There is so much to enjoy every time our weather changes. We just enjoyed a great summer full of trips and outdoor get-togethers and have now really been looking forward to autumn and all the traditions that come with it. Over the weekend Parker & I went for a drive up the canyon, and these pictures just don't do it justice! The leaves were so bright and colorful and the weather was just perfect. We stopped at Sundance and walked around the grounds and had fun taking some pictures and enjoying the outdoors. Afterwards we enjoyed some hot cocoa and even got to watch the sun set. I had made it my goal to get these pictures posted first thing Monday morning and encourage everyone to take the opportunity to go for a drive as well. When I woke up, however, I discovered that there was already snow on the mountains! I'm hoping fall hasn't quickly passed us by...