Saturday, October 22, 2011


Today is my mom's birthday! She is an awesome lady and I love her so much!

Last night, my grandfather (mom's dad) passed away. They think he had a massive heart attack or stroke. It was instantaneous. One of my cousins found him on his lawn mower down by the bridge near his house a few hours ago. That is so Pop.

Tomorrow is my grandmother's (mom's mom) birthday. She passed away a few years ago. Now she and Pop are together and tomorrow they'll party it up.

We are completely blindsided, but we'll get through it. Please pray for my family and send good vibes our way.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Daddy's Girl

In this post I'm going to be mushy and tie together a General Conference talk with tonight's episodes of Up All Night and Modern Family. Enjoy...

Daniel's doing some telethon thing tonight involving talking to doctors/alumni and softening them up so they'll be more likely to give MCoW money, so I've been holding down the fort by myself for the last few hours. We have a list of shows we watch, and Wednesday's line-up includes NBC's Up All Night and ABC's Modern Family. To briefly sum it up, tonight's Up All Night was about the baby's birth, and at the end the dad decided he was going to be a stay-at-home dad instead of taking a few weeks off and then going back to work. It was just a small portion of the episode, but to see this (fictional) new family and the joy this man exuded touched my heart. I mean, I love Will Arnett and all, but there was something so much more to his character tonight. And maybe I'm over-analyzing way too much, but maybe I'm not. I hear new babies (even ones on TV) make people do/feel crazy things.

Fast forward several years to tonight's Modern Family, where the dad takes his oldest daughter to his alma mater to get her excited about college. Basically, she gets invited to a student mixer and the dad embarrasses her in front of all her new friends and he realizes that he can't let his not-so-little girl go. She's about to go off and be her own person and he can't stop it. And then he made a joke and they slid down a hill on cafeteria trays, but I saw my own dad in those few moments of panic. I left for college two weeks after I graduated from high school. I seriously dated one of the first RMs to ask me out and I brought him home three months later. I married that RM less than a year after that. I remember calling my dad and telling him that Daniel was coming to visit NC for a long weekend. It was hard for both of us. He felt like he was getting replaced, that he wasn't going to be as important to me now that I had someone else who could take care of and provide for me like he had (of course I didn't know that at the time). I didn't understand what the big deal was and I was upset that he wasn't happy for me (he really was, but it was still scary). That weekend was tense between Daniel and my dad. My mom explained everything to Daniel before he left (and while my dad wasn't around), and it all made sense, but sometimes I wish Daniel and my dad's first meeting would've been normal and not in his bishop's office! But that's a story for another time...

Watching those two shows tonight reminded me of a talk from this past General Conference, "Love Her Mother" from Elaine S. Dalton. Check it out below, it's definitely worth watching. Daniel and I aren't parents, and we may not be for some time, but we both thought it was great advice.

The most important thing a father can do for his daughter is to love her mother.

My dad helped me pick Daniel. I wanted my spouse to love me for me. A man who fights for me and realizes that I am precious. Someone who takes care of me and protects me. And so much more. My dad does all of these things. And not just for me, but for my mom and my other siblings too. Daniel loves me more than I know. He is such a good, kind, tender man, and I am so lucky to have someone so great sealed to me for eternity. He knows how to make me laugh. He holds me when I cry and usually doesn't know why I'm crying to begin with. He tucks me in and kisses me on the forehead. He cooks me dinner. He takes a cold shower after I've used all the hot water. He lets me choose what we listen to in the car. He lets me be silly or hormonal or weird. He never yells or says unkind things. He listens to me even when I sometimes tune him out. He likes to hold my hand. He lets me call him silly pet names. He lets me wear his robe. And above all, he loves his Heavenly Father and his Savior. He bears his testimony often, and he always encourages me to pray or read my scriptures, even when it's so much easier to turn out the light and go to sleep right away. And one day, when we have daughters of our own, he's going to be the most incredible father to them. Because he loves me. And I love him. And together, we'll be just fine.


Sunday, October 16, 2011


This weekend we took a trip up to Minneapolis to spend some time with Jeff and Kendra before the AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) annual meeting. We stayed in the heart of the city and did fancy city-things like take a taxi to dinner and get lost. I think I was most surprised by the actual city-ness of the area; who would've thought the skyline would be nicer than Milwaukee's? Saturday morning we walked down to the river/mill district and enjoyed the sunshine. We found an old mill that has been converted into a museum and everyone and their baby (literally) were having a photo shoot. It was a pretty cool place for pictures, so Jeff snapped a few of us and we had an impromptu shoot. He makes us look so good...

I touched up this one for Facebook, but this right here is the au naturale version

I really like this one, but it's an unflattering shot of Daniel's hair and it makes him sad to look at it

After walking back to the hotel, we dropped Jeff off at a meeting and took off for the Mall of America. Oh. My. Goodness. It was the most intense shopping experience of my life. We probably saw half of it and we were there for more than 4 hours. There was so much to see and so many people and there was literally every store I could ever imagine.

A store dedicated to Christmas tree ornaments? Check.
Marshall's? Check
Best Buy? Check.
Lego store? Triple check.

2.5 story Lego transformer and helicopter with Lego man

Lego dragon that wound around the store

Daniel and Lego Woody

(Not pictured: Lego caveman and mountain lion)

After the mall we went back to the hotel and then took a taxi to the original Buca di Beppo. It was delicious and we were able to get seated right away even though we didn't make a reservation. We walked back to the hotel after that and got a feel for the nightlife of Minneapolis, then played cards and watched the re-broadcast of the BYU vs. Oregon State football game, but the connection was yucky so we mostly played cards.

This morning we checked out of the hotel, drove Jeff and Kendra to the airport so they could pick up a rental car, and we went to sacrament meeting at a local ward. Daniel and I sat down and started talking about introducing ourselves when we see people visiting in our own ward and how it's awkward to say, "Are you new?" because they may not be new, you just might not be attentive, and I suggested saying "Have we met?" or some other form of that instead and literally 30 seconds later a member of the bishopric came over and asked "Have I introduced myself?" It was a sweet confirmation and we realized how lucky we are to be part of a church that is really invested in its people.

Daniel's brother, Mark, is serving a mission in Peru right now and yesterday we bought him the most amazing gift ever at Alpaca Connection...

It's an alpaca made of alpaca (we realize the horror of the situation), and it is seriously the softest thing in the world. Mark likes alpacas and has said several times that he is going to bring one home from Peru, so we thought we'd give him a chance to do so and decided this would be a good birthday/Christmas present for him. The store had several to choose from and we like Mark's so much we might buy another one for us!

The only downside of our trip is that somewhere along the way I got sick, probably from being in the chill yesterday. My nose is stuffy and runny at the same time and my sinuses hurt. We're leaving a little early tomorrow so I can pick up some medicine before work. It's okay though, this weekend was worth it :)


Sunday, October 9, 2011

An Ode to Steve Jobs, Riley Nelson's hair, and Some Other Stuff

This is a random jumble of thoughts that are not really connected at all. Just wanted to give you a head's up...

We know a guy who works at the Apple store and literally every single thing I have ever heard him say is about his job at the Apple store. Today during a lesson he bore his testimony about the impact of Steve Jobs's death. And there was a self-written poem involved. And it was not in any way related to the lesson. And that's all I'm allowed to say because Daniel thinks I'm mocking this guy when all I'm really trying to do is share a humorous anecdote. If you want more details, ask me when he's not around.

On Thursday I had lunch with a girl in the ward, Danielle, who works over in Froedtert (pronounced frayed-ert). She is really cool and even though her husband's a third year and she's a few years older than me, we're dealing with some similar issues and it felt SO good to talk to her. She gave me some good advice for med school and dealing with Wisconsin winters and I think we're going to try to have lunch together once a week.

This week I got my time off for Thanksgiving approved! I'm only taking half a day, but considering I got two weeks of Christmas approved two weeks ago, I was a little nervous asking for anything else. This means that Daniel and I will get to go to West Virginia and have some serious extended family time. I can't wait!

On Tuesday I'm hosting a little Halloween party for some M1 significant others (and Danielle) and I'm excited because I get to try out this recipe, I'll let you know how it goes. I also got some decorations at Wal-Mart last night, and while I had to wait in the check-out line from hell to buy it all, it was totally worth it.

Riley Nelson is the Sampson of BYU football. As long as he doesn't cut his hair, he will lead BYU to victory. I know Jake Heaps is the choice for the future, but it is so refreshing to see Nelson actually completing passes and running a few himself. It's such a contrast between him and Heaps! See for yourself...

Jake Heaps

Riley Nelson

I've decided he should be an Herbal Essences model after he's done at BYU.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Yay life!

What a difference a month makes. Here's what's happened lately...

* I AM EMPLOYED! Daniel stopped by the Employment Office at MCoW and talked to someone about finding a job for me; the lady he talked to encouraged me to apply for jobs and keep her posted on the ones I chose. I had several interviews and was basically offered my job at the end of the interview. The official job offer came a few days later and I started last Thursday (September 22). I'm an administrative assistant/receptionist/secretary for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). You can learn more about what that means by clicking here. I answer phones, take messages, schedule meetings, send e-mails, etc. and my computer screen is almost the size of our TV at home. I work on the second floor of the med school building, I park right across the street, and I have amazing health insurance. The best part is that Daniel and I ride up and back together every day, we have lunch together, and we work out most days after I clock out. Another perk is that I work closely with the doctor responsible for setting up summer research, so there's a really good chance Daniel will get paid to do summer lab work. Also, my boss is LDS and my 2.5 weeks of Christmas vacation were approved even though I won't have anywhere near that much vacation time until this time next year. I am so incredibly blessed!

* Daniel LOVES med school! He passed his first round of tests with flying colors and is so passionate about learning. He's discovered that he prefers watching the lectures on his own time instead of going to class, so he hangs out in the library for most of the day and goes at his own pace. He still goes to dissection three times a week, but he's Han Solo the rest of the time. He's shadowed a couple surgeries and has talked to plenty of people about what specializing. Right now he's leaning a bit towards cardiology or maybe anesthesiology, but he isn't even close to choosing. He's got plenty of time left, so there's no rush, and we just wish people would stop asking. He hasn't picked yet and he's still got plenty of time, okay?!

* Football (and other sports)! Unfortunately, BYU football hasn't been much of a powerhouse this season. We've pulled off a few wins, but most of the games have been ugly. Luckily, Wisconsin sports have been playing much better. The Packers are a force to be reckoned with, as are the Badgers and the Brewers. We definitely enjoy cheering our boys on each weekend and have enjoyed hanging out with friends at the same time. I've made these and these to show off my culinary skills and they've both been a hit. The cookie dough truffles are to die for, definitely my new favorite dessert!

* Fall. I miss Utah this time of year (did I really just admit that?!). The changing colors, football, Conference,  I took them for granted while we were there. Daniel promised to take me to Kettle Moraine soon, I'll bring my camera and take some pictures; hopefully they will convey the beauty of this beautiful (yet chilly) season. There's a frost advisory tonight, yikes! I am so not prepared clothing-wise, I desperately need some sweaters/long sleeve shirts for work. Maybe I can score some good stuff at Marshall's or Old Navy soon. I am certainly glad we have a nice warm down comforter for the bed!

Life is good right now you guys, it's feels good to be happy :)