Friday, May 29, 2009

Houston, take care of my Jon.

Jon at Hampton Beach in NH... couldn't resist this

Ive been putting off writing this post for some time now because I have a tendency to rationalize that by not thinking about a situation somehow makes it not real, but unfortunately the time has come to face reality. We are extremely blessed that Jon was offered an internship in Houston, TX with Deloitte (especially in this economy). We are hoping that this will lead to a full-time offer at the end of the 10 weeks that he will be there.

What's the downside?

Well, unfortunately, I have to stay here in Utah. This was a decision that we had to make together and with the Lord. Trust me, it wasn't easy. If I went to Houston I would risk not getting a job for the summer and then not having a job in Utah when we came back. I'd rather have a stressful 10 weeks rather than a stressful year. I am lucky to have my job and I really like it (most of the time ;-)...). another downside... I am now the "ward widow" hehe.

The upsides?

There are a million! (Sorry that this next paragraph sort of turned into a list) Obviously, the likelihood of a full-time offer (that would be awesome!). Jon's parents have been kind and willing to let Jon stay with them for the summer so he doesn't have to pay rent at an apartment- he'll just have to earn his keep by doing yard and computer work :-) If I can't be there with him- there's no one I would trust more to keep Jon out of trouble :-). I get to visit in June and July (14 days until I see him next!!). I am thankful that my boss has given me so much time off- this wouldn't fly at Comcast. Jon will be able to learn new skills, make good contacts, learn the bus system (hehe) and he'll be able to spend a lot of time with his family (I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous). He is also going to the gym w/ his family and has a personal trainer for the 10 weeks he's there. He's going to get buff ;-) That's a plus for me too! I have my 10k (that i'm dreading) coming up in July and I'm working hard at getting ready for that- that helps the time go by.

At the Red Sox game- Jon cheering for a homerun

Even though I'm missing Jon like crazy already and he's only been gone since yesterday (Thursday) morning, I am so excited for him. I'm "sordik" proud of him ("sordik" is carpet talk for: really; a lot- but w/ a huge emphasis). He has worked so hard and has accomplished so much.

On the train heading into Boston

Love you, pettie swie.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our trip to the "Shire"

*Note: We know this is a long and probably boring post. To save any readers from miles of reading, we'll give an overview and over the next few days post more pictures and stories.

Our trip in a nutshell:

Wed the 13th: got into NH around 4pm and then spent time with my dad for the evening.

Thurs the 14th: we slept in and hung around the house and I showed Jon around. Jon previously hadn't been feeling well so we took the day easy. In the evening we saw Star Trek with my dad... IT WAS AWESOME! :-)

Friday: We headed out to Boston. We drove down to Billercia, MA to take a train. On the way, we got rear-ended at a stop sign... the guy admitted that he decided to go while looking down. We were lucky. We were in a rental car and we only had 2 small scratches next to all the other scratches the car came with. We parted ways and headed off to the train station to take the commuter rail. We missed the train by about 10 minutes and had to wait an hour for the next one.

Anyways, once we got on the train we headed to the museum of science and an old couple who we helped give directions to gave us $5 tickets vs $20/person they usually are-YES! We also were able to go to the Omni Theater (world's largest IMAX) in the museum and I fell asleep...

Jon and I went to Fire & Ice for dinner. If you ever have the chance to go- we highly recommend it. It's like a Mongolian bbq mixed w/ the entertainment of Benihana's. We then headed out to the North End of Boston (little Italy) and we walked around Fanuiel Hall and Quincy Market (shopping places). We ended the evening by getting some authentic gelato, yum!

On the way back to the subway that takes us to the commuter rail and back to the station- we had to go through.. can you guess?? Boston Garden (home of the Boston Celtics). Jon was ecstatic! We had a great time that day.

Saturday: This was the race day. My sister Shannon, her husband Ron, my friend Charlene and I all signed up to run a 5k that was being held in town. I was so excited to be able to run with family. No one really ever had an interest to do it w/ me up until now. The race started at Bedford High School. We all met there and got checked in. My nieces, Madison and Serena also came to cheer us on! Jon was able to spend some time with them while we raced. It was really fun. I shaved off about 2 minutes from my last 5k I did :-)

Later on in the day I hosted a BBQ at my dad's house. All my siblings and their families were able to attend: Shannon, Shane, Scott, Leah, us, Dad, and Charlene. It was really nice to see everyone. We got to catch up, tell old stories, eat good food and laugh a lot.

Sunday: My home stake was having a stake conference broadcast that day. We decided to meet up with Scott and his family in the morning and carpool out to Concord, NH. I saw a lot of old friends and ward members that I haven't seen in a while and got to introduce Jon to a few people and of course show him off :-) The conference was great. They talked a lot about provident living and having hope. During one of the talks, the sound went out on Salt Lake's end. The Stake President was about to start reading close captioning, but the sound came back on. We missed a few minutes of the talk, but it all worked out.

Afterwards, Scott, his family and us went out to Shane's house for lunch. We had a fun time seeing some of our nieces and nephews and catching up. Then for dinner we had dinner w/ Scott's family.

Monday: We had the opportunity of going to Shannon's work. She works at the Exeter Inn. She works with people trying to set up banquets and helps them organize all the details. We had dinner in their private dining room w/ Shannon's family. The food was amazing and not to mention, very fancy! We stayed the night in one of their rooms. We even got the "swanky" chocolate as Shannon called it. People who go here pay the big bucks to stay there and depending on how important they are- they either get 2 cookies or the box of chocolates... we got both :-)

Tuesday: After our breakfast, we headed off to the beach (a few miles away from the inn). Shannon was really thoughtful and left a lunch for us at the front desk when we checked out (thank you!). So, we walked around the beach for about an hour and then had lunch.

Later that day we headed back to Dad's house and I went on a 3.5 mile walk w/ my friend, Charlene, and Jon was able to spend some time w/ Dad. I never get to see Charlene, so it was really nice to get caught up. We've known each other since 7th grade and are still really great friends.

That night we had dinner w/ Charlene and her husband, Rich. We had a great time hanging out and getting to know one another better. Once we got home, my dad was waiting for us and we went out and saw Wolverine. It was a really good action flick.

Wednesday: We hung out at home in the morning and later we met up w/ Scott and Shane for lunch w/ my dad. This night was the Red Sox game! We went w/ Shannon and Ron. None of us had been to Fenway, so it was really fun to experience it all for the first time together. We of course had to get fenway franks! What's a baseball game w/o hotdogs? We had a lot of fun cheering and listening to Jon commentate!

Thursday: We slept in because we got in so late the night before (2 AM!). I woke up to Scott running a chainsaw outside hehe... this last winter my dad had a ton of trees and branches fall down and they are still getting rid of a lot of the debris from it. So, Scott was over getting rid of some of it.

We took an opportunity to visit the grave site of my mom and older brother, Eric, who passed away as a little baby.

Later that day we headed to my nephew, Hunter's little league game. He did pretty well. Although, I'm not sure the teams keep track of score- so I couldn't tell you who won :-). After we had dinner w/ Scott and his family.

Friday: We headed to Canobie Lake Park. It's a small amusement park that I worked at the summer after my freshman year of college. Shannon had two free tickets to go and was nice enough to offer them to us. Thanks! The majority of the rides were spinners and we both aren't the biggest fans of too many of those- but we had a great time.

Later on, around 4pm, we picked up two of my nieces, Madison and Serena, from their after school day care, took them home and played a lot of games with them. We even made home made pizza for dinner before Shannon and Ron came home. We played a lot outside and both the girls were showing us all of their gymnastic moves on the trampoline. We spent the rest of the evening there having dinner and watching a movie.

Saturday (Crystal's birthday): We met Shannon, Madison, Serena, Scott, Angel (Scott's wife) and Hunter for breakfast w/ my Dad. It was our last hurrah before we headed home to finish packing.

We got home last night at 9pm and our friend's Nate and Jess picked us up (thank you so much!) we then went out for ice cream to celebrate my birthday. it was a nice ending to a great vacation.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We made it!!!

We're in NH and I couldn't be more excited. We were picked up on the 13th from our apartment at 3:30am by a nice shuttle guy and headed to the airport. Our first flight was fine and our second flight.. our seats weren't next to each other :-( Sad! I had to sit next to some old guys. They were those people in the airport that I can pick out and say "they look like they're from NH" hehe...

We'll share more when there is more.. but for now, all of our plans have seemed to fly out the window due to unexpected allergy problems for Jon (poor guy). So, we're just flying by the seat of our pants and spending time w/ family and helping my dad around the house and fixing the lawn mower... you know... the things that matter more than if you were able to go to Boston or not.

PS: The 12th (after my half day of work) I ran 6 miles outside! I won't lie- I felt pretty good about myself :-) I'll post the route on the work-out blog in a few days... for those who care ;-)

Friday, May 1, 2009


So, Crystal brought up a great idea to me for our date this weekend. After looking at a post by our friends, Nate and Jess (and Jess' sister who started it), she asked me if we could have a ratatouille date.

Our Ratatouille date would consist of us watching the Disney movie Ratatouille while making the same dish that they serve at the end of the movie. Normal ratatouille is more of a stew, but Jess' sister found one that is made the same style as the movie. After making (and eating - Yum!) it we saw them make it at the end of the movie and the whole process looked the exact same.


Here are the beginnings. The dish consists of a bed of tomato sauce and spices and such. Then there are alternating yellow squash, zuchinni, eggplant (yeah, you read that right), and red bell pepper. It's covered with some wax paper and goes into the oven (sans the movie of course).

While that was baking we made couscous to act as a bed for the dish. After it was done I plated them using a couple rounds in our kitchen. Look like rice cakes - but they taste a lot better!

Here is the finished dish just out of the oven. Looks good, eh?

And here are the final dishes, topped with some goat cheese. The thyme on the plate was just for color and removed before we ate them. I tried doing something with plating the leftover sauce but it was too thick to do anything interesting with. Oh well. We still feel like real chefs!

It was a great meal and a great date.

p.s. - Crystal wanted me to add that as you can see in that last picture, she found fresh thyme at a store.