April 29, 2014


At the end of March Andy turned 30! I can’t even believe he is thirty, this is still shocking to me. I always thought that when people turned thirty they were old, I guess as you get older your definition of old changes.

Since he was turning 30 (kind of a big deal) and we are going to be moving 800+ miles away (also a big deal), I decided that I wanted to do something extra special for him. I went back and forth with the idea of skydiving or throwing him a surprise party. I even told him one day that I thought about throwing him a surprise party but decided not to because it would have been too hard. I told him I wanted to go sky diving and kept talking about it (in case you haven’t noticed, I really want to go sky diving). When I started looking into sky diving I quickly realized how expensive it is and thought it would be better to save some of that money, so I decided to throw him a surprise party instead.

2-3 weeks before Andy’s birthday I reserved the gym at our church building for the party. On the days he stopped somewhere to pick something up on his way home from work I would print out invitations (of course I deleted any trail of said invitations off of my computer) and run them to our friends and neighbors homes. He almost caught me on more than one occasion while I was out making my rounds. One day he decided to stay at work a little longer. Naturally, I beat him home so I grabbed a few invites and headed out the door. As I was backing out of the driveway he called to ask where I was and I told him I was at home. I quickly ran to our friends, dropped off the invite, and headed home. As I was unlocking the front door to go back into the house Andy pulled in. I quickly let myself in, locked the door, threw my shoes off and started doing the dishes. If I had been 5 seconds later getting home he would have known I was up to something.

One day he fell asleep on the floor, I grabbed his phone and started scribbling down names and phone numbers. The next day I text everyone and asked for their e-mail address so I could send them the party details. Once the texts were sent, I deleted them from my phone. I proceeded to communicate with everyone through my work e-mail (Andy doesn’t have access to it).

One night when we went to have a game night with Andy’s co-workers I purposely left my book in the car. Later I asked Andy if he could go get my book for me. While he was outside I distributed invites to all of his work friends. Hehe. I thought I was so sneaky.

The week of his party arrived and I got permission to take shorter lunch breaks so I could get off early on Friday to set everything up. During my lunch breaks I would run to the store to pick things up for his party, communicate with friends who were coming to the party and order pizza. 

As the day of the party began to approach I started to get nervous, I thought he had figured out he was having a surprise party. All I had told him was that I got him on his birthday and that he could do whatever he wanted the day after his birthday. I also told him we were going on an adventure, he would be blind folded until we got there, and his parents would be there for the adventure. Up to this point he told me he thought we were going sky diving, but I didn’t believe him.  I printed out a fake sky diving invoice complete with the logo and contact information of a sky diving company in Utah. I planted the invoice in a stack of papers I had asked him to go through and even left it sticking out quite a bit, as luck would have it he didn’t notice it.

On the day of his party I knew I had to do something to convince him he was going sky diving. I talked with my co-workers, did some research on sky diving, and then composed a script. One of my co-workers called Andy to confirm his sky diving jump. Unfortunately, Andy didn’t answer the phone so my co-worker had to leave a voicemail. In the voicemail he said his name was Josh (this was the name of one of employees according to the company website) and that he was calling from Sky Dive Utah and he was calling to confirm his jump for tonight. He instructed Andy to wear loose fitting clothes and athletic shoes.

When Andy listened to the voicemail he got excited and tried to call the phone number back but the call would not go through (you cannot call into our work phones). So Andy hopped online to look up Sky Dive Utah’s phone number and he called them. He spoke with a woman and she told him that they didn’t have any jumps scheduled for that night and they didn’t have anyone by the name of Josh who worked there. I received a frantic text from Andy asking me to call him as soon as I saw the text.

I called Andy and he told me what had gone on. He told me he was super excited to go sky diving and that he was sorry he ruined the surprise. He asked if I knew what was going on and I told him I did and he asked if he needed to worry about anything and I told him I had everything under control.

After work I headed to the party supply store to pick up some balloons, withdrew some money from the bank so the neighbors could pick up the pizzas I’d ordered, and then headed to the church to setup. Setting up took a little longer than I thought it was so I called Andy to tell him I was on my way home from work but was stuck in traffic.

When I got home Andy was ready to go and told me that I needed to hurry. I quickly changed and put on some makeup while he put some gel in his hair (I told him I wanted him to look good in his pictures and that he should do his hair). Then we hopped into the car and he put his blindfold on.

I purposely drove around several round-a-bouts multiple times so that he didn’t know where we were headed, then I hopped on the freeway. As we were going down the freeway he asked how fast we were going (he was trying to figure out where we were). I told him what the speedometer said and he started guessing roads (lucky for me the speedometer doesn’t work properly so we were going faster than what it said so he didn’t guess the freeway). I got off on the first exit we came to and started taking back roads. I asked him what he thought we were doing and he said, “We are doing something exciting! We are either going sky diving, hang gliding, or parachuting!” The blindfold stated hurting his head and I told him we were almost to where we were going.

When we arrived at the church someone propped the doors open and met us at with a video camera. They welcomed us to Sky Dive Utah and asked Andy what he thought he was doing today and he said, We are going sky diving!” We led him to down the hallway to the gym and we told him he could take his blindfold off. The room was wall to wall with family and friends who all yelled, “Surprise!”

*Sorry the video isn't the best quality, it was made with a cell phone.

The surprise party reveal.

Andy was so surprised and very happy! He was so caught off guard by everything that he almost started to cry. He wasn’t really sure how to react.

The rest of the night consisted of eating food, playing games and sword fighting with balloon swords.

Later that night Andy told me that was the best birthday he had ever had. He said he was nervous and sad about turning thirty but the surprise party made everything better.

I want to thank those who helped me pull of the surprise party and thank our friends for coming to celebrate!

In case you were wondering, I did apologize for lying to Andy and leading him to believe he was going sky diving. He was very understanding.

April 27, 2014

Young Women's Spa Night

On Wednesday March 26th, we had a spa night with the Young Women. We put on mud masks and then gave each other manicures, pedicures, and massages. It was a really fun night and I think the girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It’s nice to get pampered every once in awhile.

Ashley and Me.

Another shot of me & Ashley.

April 23, 2014

Big Changes Are Headed Our Way

*Sings* Ch ch change

If you couldn’t guess from the title of this post and the opening line some major changes are coming our way. Several months ago Andy had a big meeting at work. During the meeting it was announced that the company would be consolidating some of its teams and departments. They gave the employees a time frame and said they could either relocate to the company facility in Oregon, find another job, or take a severance package.  As luck would have it (yes, I consider it luck), Andy was one of those affected by this announcement.

We have done a lot of thinking and praying over the last few months and have decided that Oregon is where we need to be at this point in our lives. We are very excited for the change!

I’m excited about:

Being closer to my family.
Living closer to the ocean.
About being in a new place, I literally do not know anybody in the town we will be in.
Trees, lots and lots of trees. In case you couldn’t tell, I love trees.
Not living in such a dry climate.
Being outside the Utah “bubble.” Missionary experiences here I come.
Having a fresh start.

Things I will miss:

My job. I absolutely love my job.
My friends.
My ward.
Having the mountains in my backyard. I really like hiking.

As of right now the plan is to head to Oregon at the end of May. We don't have a place to live yet, but we are hopeful that we will find one soon.

April 22, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me

This year my birthday wasn’t very fun, I spent the day home sick with the Plague. Okay, it wasn’t really the Plague but I sure felt crummy. I had a fever for 3-4 days and I was incredibly tired. I don’t remember a lot about my birthday that entire week is kind of a blur. Andy and I did grab a bite to eat and I picked out a new purse for myself. That weekend I started to feel better so we did a little thrift shopping and I found some awesome stuff. We also went to see Divergent at the movie theater, I loved the movie. The movie is slightly different from the book but it was still really good.

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who called to say happy birthday, it helped brighten my day! Maybe this next year will be more memorable and won’t be spent sick in bed.

April 16, 2014

St. Patrick's Day

As a kid, I loved St. Patrick’s Day. My Mom would dye all of our food green and I would pinch all of the random strangers at the store who weren’t wearing green and laugh, I know I was a naughty kid. As an adult St. Patrick’s Day is just sort of another day for me. This year I woke up, got dressed, and arrived at work before I realized it was St. Patrick’s Day. I realized it was St. Patrick’s Day as soon as I saw the guy who sits next to me; he was dressed as a leprechaun. He was even sporting a red beard; he said he has been growing it out for the past year. One of my co-workers pinched me really hard; I wouldn’t be surprised if it bruises. I guess it’s true what they say that karma will come back to get you. I pinched lots of people, therefore I got pinched. Hopefully I will remember to wear green next year.

April 14, 2014

Pi Day

Have you ever heard of Pi Day? Can’t say that I had heard of Pi Day before coming to Utah. Pi Day is kind of a big deal down here. Lots of workplaces order pie for the employees and people invite their friends over to eat pie. Friday night our neighbors (Aaron and Jessica) invited us over to eat pie and play games. They made a strawberry balsamic pie and some sort of custard/cream pie. Both pies were amazing! I’m going to have to get their recipes.

After we stuffed ourselves with pie we went over to Andy’s friend’s house for “Nerd Night” as I like to call it. All of the guys and their wives sat around and played Magic. For some reason I am not intrigued by the game and have no desire to learn how to play it. For me, “Nerd Night” was kind of boring but Andy really enjoyed himself. He loves Magic and is always coming up with new decks and wanting to buy more powerful cards.

April 13, 2014

An Opportunity To Serve At Chick-fil-A

I’m not one who likes to eat out very often; I’m a kind of a food snob. When I do go to eat out typically find myself wondering why I even wasted my time and money eating out because I could have made something tastier for less money. On this particular day (3/14/14) as I was sitting at work I felt like I should go out to eat. I text Andy and asked him if he wanted to get lunch almost instantly he replied and said “Yes, see you at noon.” As I was sitting at my desk I thought to myself, “We should get Chick-fil-A.” I think Chick-fil-A tastes good but it does not react well with my body. For some reason the feeling persisted, “Go get Chick-fil-A.” When I got in the car the first words out of Andy’s mouth were, “Let’s go to Chick-fil-A.” Chick-fil-A it was.

As we walked up to the restaurant I noticed a man sitting at one of the outside tables, this man didn’t look much older than me. As I looked at this man it was as if I heard a voice saying, “This man is hungry, get him some food.” We walked into the restaurant and I asked Andy to get a table and told him I would order the food. While I stood in line I noticed a second man who looked very much like the first man. This second man walked outside and sat down with the first man. The two men had each ordered a very small bowl of something.

Before long I noticed a third man, he looked similar to the first two men but appeared to be much older. As he walked up to the cash register he handed the cashier a coupon for a free bowl of tortilla soup and that was all he ordered. I thought to myself, “That’s what those other two men ordered. That can’t possibly be enough food."

I ordered mine and Andy’s lunch and walked to the table. I looked at Andy and said, “Did you notice the man sitting outside?” He hadn’t noticed. I said, “There are three of them and they are hungry. Would you like to ask them what they would like to eat or would you like me to do it?” He said he would ask them. I told him to order whatever the men wanted. He promptly got up and walked outside to see if they men would like some food.

He quickly learned that there were four men in total. One man was from Washington and one was from Portland, Oregon. The men had been hopping trains and were trying to get to Colorado. Andy asked if they would like a sandwich and they said yes. He ordered each man a full on meal and took the food out to them. They were so excited. One of the men said, “A drink. I haven’t had a drink in days.”

It made me really sad every time someone in the restaurant looked at these men, they looked at them with disdain and like they didn’t belong. I grew up being taught that you shouldn’t judge another person, especially by their appearance. People experience different things in life and you likely do not know what is going on in the other person’s life. Some of the best people I know have had a similar appearance to these four men. I was reminded that day that in God’s eyes we are all the same. I am no better than these four men. Who am I to not help them? I am really grateful for the opportunity that I had to serve these children of Heavenly Father. That was the best $30.00 Andy and I spent all week.

April 12, 2014

A Relaxing Weekend

This past weekend we had planned to take a trip to Las Vegas. During the course of the week Andy and I both felt incredibly tired, Daylight Savings will do that too you so we decided to stay home instead. We talked about going on a hike but decided against that idea when we looked outside Saturday morning. The wind was really blowing and Andy said it was incredibly cold, so we ended up staying home. We cleaned the house, watched a movie, and just enjoyed each others company.

Sunday we went to church, came home and made dinner. We made one of Andy’s favorite meals, Dill Chicken with salad. We also made these cute owl cookies. We ran dinner over to the neighbors, their baby has been in and out of the hospital. And we took some cookies to the families that Andy home teaches.

Eat cookie had its own personality.

Asian Owl.

Angry Bird.

This One Was Just Cute!

Our weekend was simple and relaxed, it was just what we needed. Sometimes it’s nice to just slow down and take a break.

April 11, 2014

Laser Tag

On Wednesday March 12th I got to go play laser tag with the Young Men and Young Women in our ward. I had a blast! One of the Beehives in our ward (Lauren) stuck with me most of the time. She is so fun! I just love her! Most of the Young Men Leaders ganged up on us several times.

I think out of the girls I had the best score, I placed 18th out of 40. I tend to always place last, so I was pretty proud of my score.

April 10, 2014

My Aloe Vera Plant Gets A New Home

Several months ago I became the proud owner of an aloe vera plant. My aloe vera plant has been good to me, there is nothing like putting fresh aloe vera on a sunburn. Recently my aloe vera plant really started to grow and the roots started to come up out of the pot. Andy and I decided that it was time to get a bigger pot for our plant. I went to Target to see if I could find a cute pot but I didn’t find what I was looking for.

I decided to try Lowes, the lady working in the Plant Department suggest that I buy cactus soil for my plant and a 10 inch pot. I started looking at pots and couldn’t seem to find one to match my living room. I asked her if I could spray paint a terracotta pot (I have never thought terracotta pots were cute) and she said, “Yes. Just don’t paint the inside of the pot.”

Next stop, the paint department. I found a nice can of purple spray paint and headed home with my new pot and cactus soil.

When Andy got home, he helped me spray paint the outside of the pot purple. Once the paint dried, we put on a clear coat and transplanted my aloe vera plant. My plant is loving its new home. It has grown a ton recently. I’m beginning to wonder if I should have bought a bigger pot.

April 8, 2014

Andy's Homecoming!

The day Andy came home from Oregon was a happy day because I got see Andy, spend time with my cousins, and eat delicious food. The day started with me cleaning the house in preparation for Andy coming home and then I drove to the airport to pick him up. He looked paler, skinner (not sure what he ate while he was gone), and happy. We headed straight to my cousins house, visited for a little bit and then went out to dinner. We found ourselves at Texas Roadhouse. I think one word will suffice to describe our time at Texas Roadhouse, delicious.

April 7, 2014

A Trip To Oregon

Andy recently spent a week in Oregon for work. It was weird to be away from each other, we had never been away from each other for more than 3 days before. It felt like time went by incredibly slow.

The Ocean

Andy really enjoyed his trip. It seemed like every time he called me all he could do was talk about how beautiful and pretty Oregon was. He saw old friends, met new friends, and made a trip out to the ocean. Yeah the trip to the ocean made me jealous. The trip was good for him but I think we are both glad he is back.

April 6, 2014

Healthy Food That Saves You Money

In February, I was asked to speak for 5-10 minutes during a our ward Relief Society activity. My topic? Healthy Food That Saves You Money. Below are photos of my PowerPoint presentation.

When I first started thinking about my upcoming presentation, I really wasn't sure what direction I wanted to take. One day as I was sitting at work everything came to me and I quickly scribbled everything down on a sticky note.When I arrived home that night and looked over the things I had written down, I realized that I follow a process in regards to obtaining and using food. This is my process...


Before I start acquiring food I organize my fridge and cupboards to see what I have. Then I make a list of the things that I need. If you don't know what you have, chances are you won't use it.
A lot goes into acquiring food but it is designed to save you money while making memories at the same time.

By glean I mean talk to people you know. Often times others have gardens and fruit trees that produce more food than they know what to do with and they are more than happy to let you come pick the extra crops. My pantry has several jars of canned pears that came off of my co-workers pear tree.

When I was growing up my Dad taught me to shop by price per ounce, you get the most bang for your buck this way.

Buy bread when it is on sale or at the day old bakery. Throw the extra bread in the freezer and pull a loaf out as you need it. I have found that if I pull a loaf of bread out of the freezer before I go to bed, it is ready to be used in the morning.

We eat a lot of fresh fruit and drink a lot smoothies. If we can't eat all of the fruit before it will go bad we like to freeze it and throw it in our smoothies or pancakes. Andy likes to eat a bowl full of thawed berries instead of ice cream. By quick freezing your fruit, it will have fewer ice crystals on it.

When we make soup we often make more than the two of us can eat. We like to vacuum pack our soups and throw them in the freezer so we can eat them at a later date. Vacuuming packing your food increases its shelf life in the freezer.

Another thing we like to do is dehydrate fruits and veggies. Andy likes crunchy things and this is a way to make healthy chips. We have found that our garden tends to produce more tomatoes than I can eat (Andy doesn't like fresh tomatoes) so we dehydrate them and season them and he loves them.

And the process just repeats itself.

*These photos are not my own so I cannot take credit for them. Andy found them from various places online. If you know who took the original photos please let me know. I would like to give credit where credit is due.

April 2, 2014

Surprise Party Gone Bad

On Sunday February 23rd we drove to Salt Lake for a surprise party. When we arrived at the location of the surprise party nobody was there. Neither of us had eaten dinner and Andy really needed the bathroom, not sure what to do we called up our friends Trent and Kirsten. Trent said to come on over, they had just finished putting dinner on the table and we could join them. It was a welcomed relief. Good food, fun games, and good company turned a disappointing evening into something fun!

April 1, 2014

Spending Time With The Cousins

On Saturday February 22nd we were able to spend some time with my cousins. Can I just say that I have the best cousins on the world? I really think I do. The evening was spent eating pizza, visiting each other, and playing games. 

When we arrived at my cousin’s house I was surprised to see my cousin Cade. Cade is 18 and lives in Washington, so I don’t get to see him very often. That was probably that last time I will be able to see him for at least 2 years. He is leaving in May to serve a mission in England. I was so happy to be able to see him one last time before he leaves.