Monday, March 31, 2008

Staying Positive

I've been thinking that between waiting on grad school, school being insane (don't get me started on this week), and an extreme lack of sleep over the last, well, 3 years really, I have kind of negative and overly stressed. It's really a waste, because there are so many little things that make me happy if I stop for a minute to think about them:

First, the Cubbies are back! They were on ESPN2 today, which was great because we usually don't get to see them out in Utah. Last summer we were in Indiana so we got EVERY game, it was amazing. They lost today, which is sad, but only after Fukudome hit a 3 run homerun in the bottom of the ninth to tie it up and send the game to extra innings. Gotta love baseball.

Scaring Chris. This sounds insane, but Chris and I like to jump out of random places and scream to scare each other. For some reason its so funny when I do it to him, but less funny when he does it to me. Either way, it makes me laugh really hard. I must still be 10 years old.

The end of the semester is so close! Oh, I cannot wait. I'm going to Spring term and taking 9 credits, which is a little crazy, but Spring term is so much better than Fall/Winter. I love how Campus and Provo empty out as student leave for the summer. Its warm and sunny and EMPTY and relaxed. And this semester has been so busy, I'm ready to be done and never look back, ha ha. Its weird though, because if we go to Tennessee this will be my last full semester at BYU (after this Spring, I'd just finish my last two minor classes Independent Study).

Laughing with Chris. Luckily, Chris has the capability to make me laugh regardless of the mood I'm in. He has a genuine sense of humor; it is so different than mine, which is more sarcasitic and ironic. Its refreshing.
Accidental naps. Sometimes I think I'm going to lie down for a minute and end up sleeping for 2 hours. While this always makes me 'mad' because I just lost precious homework time, I really love it because I catch up on the sleep I've been missing so desperately.

Little puppy. This is ridiculous, but Chris got me this stuffed animal puppy for Valentine's Day and I think she is so cute. "Little Puppy" was the best name I could come up with, but for some reason I have a tendency to become attached to stuffed animals. So does my little brother--my mom worries she didn't get us enough stuffed animals as kids so now its backfiring.

Laughing out loud to jokes in political science that no one else seems to catch. My poli sci professor has my kind of sense of humor: dry wit. Sometimes he makes jokes about political things, really subtle dry jokes that sometimes sound serious. And I laugh, loudly. And often I'm the only one who does. The other day I laughed out loud at a joke he make about introducing Adam Smith to the Soviet Union. I was the only one.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Welcome to Relief Society

Well, I've been a real slacker with the whole "what did you learn at church today" thing. But that doesn't mean I give up. ha ha. Today I is different though, as its not about something specific. Last Sunday night as we got back into town from Idaho, we called the 2nd counselor in our Bishopric (he had called earlier), and asked when he wanted to come talk to us. He said that night would be best--it was 9:00 at night. Oh, great, I thought; Chris had 2 callings already, what are they going to do now. Turns out is wasn't for Chris. He called me to be 2nd counselor in our ward's new relief society presidency. Surprise!! I didn't even know our current president was leaving.

As for what 'I learned in church today': First, when the Lord says he will take you weaknesses and make them strong, He isn't kidding. Being in the Relief Society presidency completely exploits all my weaknesses (I'll spare you the details). I only pray those weaknesses become strengths (sooner rather than later, please). Second, sometimes things you think you don't want have the potential to become the answer to prayers. For a while I've felt like I'm struggling making friends in this new ward. Its hard for me to approach new people and strike up a conversation, so its my weakness that is preventing me from getting to know people. I'm looking forward to getting to know more of the girls in my ward and feeling a little more "at home" there.

So despite the unexpected nature of this new calling, I'm exciting for a new challenging experience. We'll see how it goes. . .

Saturday, March 29, 2008

SYS: Save Your Skin

The last couple of days I've been working on a research paper for my Medical Sociology class about how society influences people to tan, which in turn leads to an increased risk of skin cancer. I've been reading scholarly article after scholarly article about how tanning leads to skin cancer, and its starting to freak me out. Tanning is rampant in our society. And as the weather starts to warm up, tanning salons will fill with people (mostly women) looking for that perfect bronze glow. Most people know the risks, but just assume "It won't happen to me." Sorry, people, but it will.

Love my pasty white skin

I've been blessed with pasty white British Isles skin, what researchers call "Fitzpatrick Skin". My junior year of high school I fell susceptible to the socially constructed view of tan as beautiful. I bought a 25 tan pass (yuck!) and started going once a week. I eased my way into it, and I actually started to TAN. This was a first for me, as I have a tendency to go from red to white to red to white. Tans are rare. The sad thing is, everything people love about tanning is true: I looked great, I looked skinnier, felt better about myself, etc. A number of weeks after I began my tanning campaign I had an appointment with a dermatologist (acne check-up). In the course of the appointment we got on the subject of moles and I mentioned I had a weird one on my back. As he looked at it, he noticed my tanner-than-natural skin. He had two things to say: first that mole on my back was dangerous, it had to be removed and sent to a lab immediately; second, how could I possibly decide it was a good idea to tan? He wasn't kidding about the mole, he sliced it out that day. That week I was a wreck. How could I have ignored the warnings? Even if you don't have "Fitzpatrick skin" like I do, tanning is a stupid thing to do, and I am usually a very rational person. Over the week I prayed to Heavenly Father that I wouldn't have cancer, and I promised I would NEVER enter a tanning bed again. At the end of the week I got a call: all was clear, but don't go tanning anymore.

I didn't go tanning for a long time--not even for my wedding. Last summer however, I fell again. Chris and I were going to Lake Michigan for our anniversary and we both wanted to look "good". So we decided to try JUST ONE visit to a tanning salon. The result: Chris's back was roasted; I was untouched, but racked with guilt. I had promised, then had broken that promise. That alone reaffirmed my conviction to never go tanning again, not to mention my poor husband's red back.

However, I like to have a little color just as much as the next girl. When the sun comes out and I start wearing shorts its nice not to have blinding white legs. Luckily, today's world has very acceptable alternatives to cancer-inducing beds. Self-tanning lotions have evolved a lot. Orange streaks are completely avoidable. My favorite is Dove Energy Glow. It doesn't make me look super tan, but it gives a little tint of color--me looking super tan is gross and unnatural anyway. Also, it doesn't leave streaks or show up orange. Just put a little on every night and you gradually get a little tint. Lots of products these days work that way. So avoid the tanning salon, use sunscreen, and check out the beauty section of stores to find a product that can give you a HEALTHY glow.

P.S. Interesting note for vacationers: tanning in beds before going on vacation is NOT SAFER. You may not feel pain from a sunburn, but you are just as likely, or more likely, to get skin cancer. Use sunscreen, please.

Reason #231 why you should wear sunscreen:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

(Disclaimer: NO decision has been made about graduate school. These are just a few of the 2 billion thoughts that have gone through my head the past few days.)

When it comes to insignificant things, I'm one of the worst decision makers on the planet. I can't ever decide what movie to watch, where to go out to eat, what to have for dinner, what to wear (like today, for example). I think it drives Chris crazy sometimes. But the big decisions, the ones that really count, usually come easily to me, probably thanks to the help of a loving Heavenly Father.
BYU was a no-brainer for me. I had been planning to be a Cougar for longer than I can remember. It was the only place I even applied to--no other school was worth the application fee.
But sometimes you plan things, things you think are supposed to happen because they seem to work perfectly. When I entered BYU as a freshman, my plans were set. I had a missionary who had just left. I was going to marry him. But in the mean time, I had two years to become a brilliant history major, study abroad in Europe, run a lot (I would never say I wanted to do something as insane as a marathon), and learn how to be an independent woman. It was coming together perfectly. Then funny things started to happen. I was signed up to live in the dorms (that would keep me away from any returned missionaries who might try to woo me), but I got a strong feeling that wasn't the right place for me. My sister-in-law told me about an off-campus apartment complex, so I pulled out of the dorms and decided to live there. A month after arriving at BYU I met Chris in that apartment complex. And somewhere between the day I first laid eyes on him and December I realized I wouldn't be able to live without him. Somewhere in there I learned I could never be a history major and fell in love (for some strange reason) with sociology. My plans were falling through. What about the missionary? The brilliant historian? Europe? I thought things had been planned perfectly. Its funny how un-perfectly things were working out. But the new spontaneous plan was making me happy. It was what I wanted. I wanted Chris; I didn't really know love until I knew Chris. So I made the decisions, and 'Dear Johning' the missionary was an easy decision (compared to some girls I know). And it has worked out beautifully. I have, thus far, become everything I really wanted to become all along (including, believe it or not, the 'independent woman' -- in a married woman kind of way;-)

Now the point of all this is the current decision on the table. Chris and I had everything worked out perfectly. He would go to Purdue. We would stay here until I graduated in December and then go to Indiana, where he would start school in January (Purdue was the ONLY school that would let him do that). We would be in a familiar place, have family in town and in nearby Chicago (not to mention the proximity to Wrigley Field). It was the perfect plan--until we didn't get into Purdue. What?! How could that be? It was the PERFECT PLAN! It jolted me; I had no idea what we were going to do (still don't, actually). Today, the main debate is between the old and the new, the easy and the hard, BYU and Tennessee. The thought of staying at BYU is a comfortable one, but also a heartbreaking one. It is easy: no moving, stay near family, stay by all these Mormons (sad, but true), stay somewhere we know we can deal with. But I just feel like we (Chris, especially, but also me and our future family) deserve better than that. The education and opportunities Tennessee has to offer far exceed those offered at BYU. And by 'far' I mean FAR. It would be an adventure: a wonderful, horrifying, exciting, frightening adventure. The thing is, 80% of me really wants to go to Tennessee. However, the other 20% of me is very VOCAL. It is so scared to even consider trying to move to a strange place, so far away from everything I have ever known. Honestly, more than anything else, it hurts my heart to think about being so far from my mother. (Yes, I'm a baby.) I am really close to my mom and love her so much and the though of being permanently away (yes, there are airplanes--but tickets are out of our price range these days) is really, really hard. Don't get me wrong, Chris is my priority, my everything, and if Tennessee is right, we will go to Tennessee and have a wonderful experience. I just keep wishing the University of Tennessee was somehow magically in Eastern Idaho.
Well, this was complete blabbering on my part. The point is decisions are hard; sometimes harder than you expect them to be or want them to be. And what is even harder is that the right choice is quite frequently the harder one.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

And Here We Have Idaho . . . .

This weekend we took a quick trip to Pocatello to see my family. All of my brothers went too, so it was a big party with the whole family there. I handed in my research paper Friday morning, so it was nice to not do ANY homework or even think about school all weekend. While up there, we went to two of my high school friends' wedding receptions, the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo (it was AWESOME!--Chris's first rodeo;-), Coldstone, had lots of family time, and celebrated Easter. I love going home and seeing my parents and being together as a whole family. Some pictures:

The Rodeo

Me and my mommy; I have a feeling she won't appreciate this picture

Chris always was a chick-magnet

Friday, March 21, 2008

Final Grad School News

Unfortunately it isn't as good as the past news! We didn't get accepted Purdue. It is a weird twist in the road because Purdue had always seemed like an obvious easy choice. We were kind of subconsciously planning on it, I think. Well, the Lord has something else in store for us; hopefully we'll figure out what it is exactly! Now we weigh the options between Tennessee, BYU, and U of U!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grad School Saga Continues

Chris got another letter today, this time from BYU. He got in! Its about time. So we can add that one to the list of considerations. There is some annoying news, however: Chris talked to Purdue yesterday and they said we might not hear a decision from them until the end of APRIL! That is crazy; Chris told them he needs to know before that, and the lady said she would "check on" his application. We really can't wait that long; it would drive us crazy & the other programs need to hear back before then. So hopefully we will hear back from her soon. But its exciting that he got into BYU!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Stressful Times~Lucky Me!

This past week and this coming week are insanely busy for us. Chris and I both had 2 midterms last week. He also had a whole bunch of really difficult Organizational Behavior quizzes due, a new missionary district, new work schedule, and stressed out wife to deal with. I had the two midterms and 2 papers due. And a possible aortic aneurysm didn't help me focus. However, the real bane of my existence lately has been a 15-pg research paper that is due this coming Friday. I cannot wait for it to be OVER so I don't have to deal with it anymore. It is a group paper, so as you college students know, group projects can be a pain. But it is finally coming together and I think we may actually have something to turn in on Friday!

All this stress has me really wishing BYU gave us a Spring Break. I feel so overwhelmed; things are so busy its hard to relax for a minute. Things are so crazy its hard to enjoy life in general. I have to remember how lucky I am and remember to TALK to my husband (I have a tendency to go into "the zone" when I'm stressed). So in honor of St. Patrick's Day, and with the intention of remembering how lucky I am to have what I do, here are a few things I am grateful for and/or lucky to have:

1. Chris: yeah, yeah, I have to say that. But really, I am extraordinarily lucky to have a husband as supportive and loving as Chris. Amidst all the craziness, I haven't done the dishes in, well, probably three weeks. Things in our house were getting a little unhealthy. Last night while I worked on my research paper Chris did ALL of the dishes; it took him THREE HOURS--not even kidding. Not only that, but he heals my emotional break downs and makes me laugh when I want to cry. I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through college it I hadn't found him during my first year here! Chris really does make me the luckiest girl in the world.

2. BYU: as much as I HATE to admit it, I know I am so lucky to be at BYU. A lot of people would love to have the opportunity I have. It is a great university that provides a great education accompanied by great people. School may be stressful, but it is a real blessing in my life. And if it weren't for assignments and grades I would LOVE it; lectures and learning are something I really enjoy.

3. My jobs: I have two jobs, each working for a professor at BYU. They are both really good jobs that I enjoy for different reasons. The job with the Biology Professor is fun. It can be a tad repetitive at times but Dr Cates is one of the nicest people on the earth. He is really funny and over the last year I have come to understand what the heck he is talking about and what he needs. I'm a little worried about what he'll do with himself when I graduate! My job with the Sociology professor is all computer (so far, its going to change as soon as I get this first project done). But it is really great to build a working relationship with a respected professor and to get some experience in my major field. The greatest thing about my jobs, however, is that they are flexible. Both of my bosses understand student needs and always allow me to adjust my schedule, or not come in at all, if I need extra time for an assignment for project. Again, I don't know how I'd get through college without these two great bosses.

4. Family: I just happen to have the greatest family in the world. And since I got married I was lucky enough to have it double. I am so grateful for all of them: Mom, Dad, Michael, Camie, Jason Brady, Pat, Lisa, Becky, Sarah, Jenny. We are so blessed with a family who loves us and supports us the way our family does. And what is also great is how much FUN we can have when we get together, no matter what we do.
5. My mommy: More specific than family, I am very lucky to have the mother I do. My mom is the best friend a girl/woman could ask for. We can always laugh and talk no matter what (almost, some times fatigue sets in;-) Its hard to really explain, but I'm just lucky to have my mom and I am eternally grateful for her. Love you mom!

6. The Gospel: its the only way to find true happiness, no matter what the world tells us; thats all there is to it.

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Small Scare, but All is Well

The last 24 hours gave us a health scare that made us appreaciate each other and the Lord a little more. It all turned out fine, and was really no big deal; but that is a lot easier to say in hindsight! So yesterday I went to the doctor for a regular check-up and the nurse practitioner started feeling my stomach. She got this weird look on her face and got a doctor. They both felt a strong pulse in my stomach, stronger than I guess is normal. They told us it would be good to get an ultrasound to check my aorta to make sure there wasn't an aneurysm. 'Aneurysm' is a scary word when it comes out of a doctor's mouth! We scheduled an ultra-sound for the next day (today) and went home nervous.

An aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the aorta, which is the artery that feeds blood to the lower half of the body. An aortic aneurysm, if large enough, requires surgery in the abdomen to fix it.
All day today I was very nervous. In what turned out to be a huge mistake, I looked aortic aneurysm up on WebMD and learned way TOO MUCH. That was about the time my brain ran away with me. Before I knew it I was planning what I would say to my professor if I had to get emergency surgery and wondering if BYU would let me withdraw without any W's. Finally, we made it to the appointment. The ultra-sound lady did her thing. It was making me nervous because she kept going over 'the spot' over and over again. Finally she finished up. Thankfully, she said she didn't see anything to worry about. She sent the results to the doctor, and later we got a call from him, officially saying there was nothing to worry about. We have been so worried the past day, and we are so grateful it turned out just fine!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Quick Tag

I've never done one of these, but thought it would be fun. . .

1. Where is your cell phone? My coat pocket. . . I think

2. Your hair? No comment

3. Work? Research and computers

4. Your father? Jedd

5. Your favorite thing? Shoes . . . and Chris

6. Your dream last night? I dreamed of getting ready for the day, then woke up and had class in 15 minutes; so I didn't actually get to get ready. . . ironic

7. Your favorite drink? Water or Chocolate Milk

8. Your favorite car? I want a Honda Pilot or CR-V

9. Room you're in? Dr. Cates's office, at work

10. Your fear? People touching my sternum

11. What do you want to be in 10 years? An accountant, business manager, doctor, psychologist, teacher== a mom

12.Who did you hang out with last night? My husband and class notes

13. What you're not good at? Doing the dishes

14. Muffin? No, thanks; I'm allergic

15. One of your wish list items? Vacuum

16. Where you grew up? Pocatello, ID

17. Last thing you did? Went to my Medical Sociology class

18. What are you wearing? Jeans and a Cubs t-shirt--its one of those days

19. What aren't you wearing? Eyeliner

20. Your pet? Hopefully a chocolate lab some day when there is room for one

21. Your computer? Old school

22. Your life? Stressful, but blessed

23. Your mood? Stressed

24. Missing? My mommy

25. What are you thinking about right now? That 15 page research paper I have to do

26. Your car/truck? Hyundai Accent

27. Your summer? School, relaxing, work, going to Olympic Trials!

28. Your relationship status? Taken

29. Your favorite color? Purple

30. When was the last time you really laughed with meaning? Last night.

31. When was the last time you cried? Sunday night's emotional breakdown (thank you, education).

32. School? BYU

33. Least favorite weather? Blizzard

34. Soup? Corn chowder a la Chris

35. Movie? The American President

Monday, March 10, 2008

So, What Did You Learn in Church Today?

This is a question I remember being asked frequently on Sunday afternoons as we ate lunch after church. As a child, this puts you on the spot; but it also encourages you to think about what you learned. In honor of this tradition, I thought every Sunday (or Monday, as time permits) I would share 'what I/we learned in Church today'. One thing that is cool about the LDS church is that everyone learns the same lesson, or close to the same lesson, each Sunday; so if you have something to add, leave a comment!

Yesterday in Relief Society we had a lesson on repentence from the Joseph Smith manual. The basis of the lesson was the story of when Martin Harris borrowed the 116 pg manuscript and lost it. (I don't have my manual with me, so this is all by memory). Upon finding out the manuscript was lost, Joseph cried out to Heavenly Father, taking complete responsiblity for the loss of the pages because it was his calling to keep them safe. It was interesting to me that he never blamed Martin Harris. I would have blamed him. Why didn't he keep a better eye on them? Why didn't he keep them in his hands every moment of every day? Weren't they important enough? But Joseph new is was his mistake. He kept asking for permission to do something the Lord didn't want him to do--and the Lord took this opportunity to teach him a lesson. I think it is interesting how the one of the first steps of repentence is admiting you did something wrong in the first place--not blaming someone else (Martin Harris!) or deciding it wasn't that big of a deal anyway. Like when I miss reading scriptures or we skip FHE, a often pull out the excuse "School and work are so busy, and they are important; I just didn't have time today." Ummm. . . what about those 15 minutes spent watching E! News? Or the half an hour it took to 'organize my binder'? Sometimes you just don't do it right--but that doesn't mean you can't do it better next time.

During our discussion of repentence, we got into the topic of how sometimes people are afraid to repent, they think Heavenly Father is "mad" at them, that He doesn't want them back right now. Well, we have A LOT OF NEW MOMS in our ward and one shared this: 'Whenever I think about people feeling that way about repentence, I think of my daughter. I cannot imagine how I would feel if my daughter ever thought we didn't want her anymore, if she ever thought she couldn't come to us. We will always want her, we will always love her; it would be more painful if she really thought we didn't anymore. . . I think that is the way our Heavenly Father feels about us.' I thought that was an amazing insight, I've never really thought about it that way before . . . .

Friday, March 7, 2008

Add Another One to the List

Just an update. . . Chris got accepted to the University of Utah this week! It was good to get word of something, although the U of U was the one we were least worried about;-) We were kind of hoping we would get rejected somewhere so it would narrow our options down for us, but the remaining two are Purdue and BYU and we REALLY don't want to get rejected to either of those! So, still waiting . . .

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Well, today is 2 years to the day Chris proposed (and I said yes). Its crazy how much can happen in two years! And its crazy how time can feel like it crawling by and flying by at the same time.
But for those of you who haven't heard, here are a few funny stories from our "courtship" that are classic:

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face~~
The first time I ever saw Chris was near the beginning of my first semester at BYU (I know, I was a young one). He stood up with the bishopric, since he was executive sectretary, to be introduced. I assumed he was married, since I thought the whole bishopric had to be. I leaned over to my roommated and said "Its too bad the executive secretary is married; he is pretty hot". Ha ha--I sound really 18 years old, don't I?

The First Conversation~~
Our first conversation took place one Sunday night after ward prayer. We were at--I don't even remember what is really called, we called it "Snack and Mack"--where you eat treats and meet people. Well we ended up in the same apartment and struck up a conversation. I learned he served his mission in Germany, and since my brother was then serving in Belgium, we had a pretty long discussion about European missions and I told him some stuff my brother had sent in emails etc. A minute later, he asked about my family. I respond: "Well, I have 3 brothers. One is married, and the one on a mission. . . " Chris: "Oh really? where is he serving?" Me: "In Belgium, like we talked about" My head was really saying 'don't you remember the 5 minute conversation we just had about this?' That night I talked to my mom on the phone and told her I met a really cute guy, but he seemed kind of dumb (really, its true, ask her).
Ring Shopping:
Proposal Re-enactment (forgot the camera for the actual event):

The Proposal~~
Skip ahead 7 months and you'll reach the proposal. We had a really hard time finding a ring, but I finally found "the one" in Idaho one weekend. That Sunday, March 5, we headed back to Provo later than we wanted to. We got home kind of late and I was tired, so I was pretty upset when Chris told me he needed to go up Provo Canyon to do an astronomy project. He said it was due the next day, and I was VERY upset he had put it off until the last minute. But I agreed to go up with him anyway. On the drive up I realized it was cloudy and there weren't any stars visible. I mentioned this to Chris and he said "Yeah, you can also observe the clouds for this project because they rotate around an axis". Any 2nd grader has learned clouds don't rotate around an axis, but for some reason I believed him, and still didn't suspect anything. I think the Lord helps men when it comes to a suprise proposal, because this should have been blatantly obvious. (Oh, later when I contronted him about lying to me, Chris said it wasn't lying, it was "celestial deceit"). So we finally make it up the Canyon and he put a blanket down and I plop down on it to "watch the clouds". Well, its hard to get down on one knee and propose when the girl is lying down on the blanket in a bad mood. So he casually said trees were blocking his view and could I get up so he could move the blanket? I got up, still a little annoyed. Then he took my hands and got down on one knee. This is where things go fuzzy, but I remember tears and hugging and diamonds and the word "yes".

Well, two years later we are happily married, winding up college, and looking forward to new stages in our lives. But most of the time I still feel like that new freshman calling my 'married' executive secretary hot;-)

Monday, March 3, 2008

These are a Few of Our Favorite Things . . .

A few simple pleasures we are grateful for in our lives:


1. Chocolate: Chocolate is something I enjoy so much I had to sign a contract with Chris to promise I would stop eating it because I was ADDICTED. I take chocolate in all shapes and forms, but my all time favorite is a classic Snickers bar. I cannot explain how good they are to me; its really probably not healthy for my mind (not to mention my body).

2. Hannah Montana: Ok, I have the musical tastes of a 12-year-old (we won't get into my fetish with High School Musical). But Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) has some really entertaining music. Its fun and has a good beat--I especially like working out to it. Another wonderful thing: no dirty lyrics! This is rare these days. Instead, her lyrics tout ideas like "Nobody's perfect, I gotta work it again and again 'til I get it right." I would take that message over "Hit me, baby, one more time" any day.

3. Our Bed: It is by far the best purchase we have ever made. Chris did such a good job finding it and it is so perfect. It is one of those pillowtop mattresses that is incredibly comfortable. That satisfaction you feel at the end of the day when you finally reach bed is even better;-) The only problem: it makes it really hard to get out in the morning!

4. Ziplock Zip n' Steam bags: Chris and I never got around to purchasing a veggie steamer, but while that plan is on the back-burner, I have really grown to love these Ziplock steamer bags. Just put the veggies (or a variety of other things) in the bag, zip it up, and stick it in the microwave. They are a little expensive, but I've discovered you can rinse them out and REUSE them, which is great (don't tell the Ziplock company about that one).

5. Provo City Library: This is a very recent discovery, but I'm very excited to take advantage of it. I got a library card this week and while we were there we realized you can not only check out books, but CDs, books on tapes, and DVDs (REAL DVDs--like movies you acutally want to watch that you would get at Blockbuster for $5). I'm really excited for this summer too so I can do some reading for pleasure instead of by force.


1. Cheeseburgers: While I perfer the sweet things in life, Chris prefers the greasy. While he is so good about eating healthy, his real craving is for big delicious cheeseburgers. On our Honeymoon we ate at a variety of places throughout the week--he managed to eat a burger at every one.

2. Hazelnut creamer: Chris has a really passion for hot chocolate--if you know his mom and sister Becky, you know its a family thing. One thing we've discovered is hazelnut coffee creamer. It tastes so delicious in hot chocolate and puts an amazing twist on a winter classic.

3. Chris is a SERIOUS Cubs fan, something that has actually rubbed off on me. So far from Chicago, he really depends on to keep him in touch. This summer we lived out there and got all the Cubs games on TV. I don't know what he'll do this summer without that--he'll be on even more!

4. Dogs: Chris has a love for dogs that has, once again, also rubbed off on me. He grew up with dogs, while I didn't, and he has really taught me the great aspects of a good dog. This might embarass him but he LOVES dogs, and I think it is SO CUTE (now he is really embarassed). His dog at his parents' house, Sammie, is a perfect example of a dog that bring real joy into your life.

5. Law and Order: SVU: While this show often scares me to death, Chris loves staying up 'til all hours of the night watching reruns on USA. The main characters are complex and interesting, and Chris says he "likes watching the really bad guys get caught at the end."

Chris AND Erin (We are one now, after all)

1. The Office: Its actually painful to watch when you first get started, but when you become accustomed to the humor it is painfully hilarious. We especially like the opening scenes, which are always original and so funny. And the theme music during the credits is classic; music for the soul. "Bears . . . beets . . . Battlestar Galactica"

2. Wimbledon: Roger. . . Rafa . . . Roger . . . Rafa. Tennis is so great, especially in a classic tradition like this. Watching the green grass wear away and British people eat strawberries and cream has become a July tradition, espcially when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are playing.

3. "Magic Mix": Magic Mix is a creation of Chris's brilliant culinary mind. It is breakfast potatoes, onions, green peppers, scrambled eggs, little smokies, cheese, ham, and Chris's special blend of spices all thrown into our largest pan and cooked together. Then you eat it in tortillas like a burrito. It may sound like your basic breakfast burrito, but when you cook it all together it is an entirely new world.

Happy March!

Hi everyone! We just wanted to wish you all a happy March. I love March; it is a sign that winter is ending;-) We also decided to "go green" on our blog in celebration of St Patrick's Day--enjoy!