Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weekend Round up in Washington D.C.

Brant and I got back last night from visiting friends that are now living in D.C. I hadn't been there since I was a toddler- it was so neat!

Here's how it went:

Saturday around 3:35 pm ET - arrive at Ronald Regan airport. Brant's long time friend Phil and his wife Megan picked us up at the airport and we got started right away. First stop- The National Air and Space Museum.

As you can imagine, there was tons and tons of history about flying, airplanes, spaceshuttles, etc. here. Since we had just over an hour to spend there before it closed, we had fun taking in as much as we could. Obivoulsly, Brant was a great fountain of knowledge here and I think he named every single airplane we saw and gave histories on the space shuttles and missiles.

Amelia Earheart's original red plane

While at the museum, we met up with Dustinn and Val and their sweet baby Bradshaw (more long-time friends of Brant). After the musuem closed, we had dinner at Potbelly that night and had fun chatting and playing catch with with everyone. It got late quickly so it was planning and to bed to be ready for the next day's activities.

Sunday we we up and out early to catch church with Dustinn & Val that started at 8:30am. It's such a small world- wouldn't you know it- we ran into Nate and Amy Langley! Nate and Amy were once in our branch here in Utah (and lived in the apartment acorss from ours for a short bit) but now living in the D.C. area going to law school. So fun to see old friends.

After church we headed back to Dustinn and Val's for a quick nap and pizza lunch (thanks again guys), and then we headed out to see the monuments. Thanks to Val who so kept offering to take pictures of us- she was definately patient with us (me) as she played photographer with us wanting to get cool photos of everything. It was a gorgeous day- the clouds definately added character to everything. My mom is going to like this picture of the Washington Memorial since she's got a picture of my brother, sister and I in front of this monument almost 25 years ago (mom- if you send me that sweet pic, I'll put it up on here).

If your familiar with the D.C. area, you'll know that we got around to everything pretty easy on their public transportation (aka The Metro).

After passing by the white house (first picture of the post) we headed to see more. Such a pretty memorial to Ambraham Lincoln.

Yep- 100% certified dorks here :) By the way, does this shot below remind anyone of anything? Perhaps the Hawaii temple...?

Afterwards, it was back to Phil and Megan's place for all the friends to meet up for some excellent cooked beef/ Cafe Rio typle dinner courtesy of the Coplens.

It was getting pretty late afterwards, so we settled for a trip to the Jefferson Memorial. It's kind of hard to tell, but can you see Jefferson here between the columns? This is actually the back view of the memorial.

Then it was back to Phil and Megan's place for the night and planning for Monday Morning festivities- a tour of the Pentagon!

Can you believe that Dustinn has a sweet job at the Pentagon?? There are 23,000 people that work in that building (that's a small city!) and Dustinn was super nice to take time away from his desk to take us on our own personal tour. It was very high security- we both had to show two forms of ID at the gate and then check-in with the security inside who took down our social security numbers, took photos, and made visitor passes out of them (too bad they wouldn't let me keep it as a souvenir). Unfortunately, no photography is allowed on Pentagon property.... with the exception of this mock podium when you first walk in- which was ok since it was a neat little place.

After a good bit of time spent at the Pentagon, Dustin ended the tour outside with the 9/11 Memorial. These benches represent each person that lost their lives in the attack. It was super interesting to learn about this memorial- each bench was facing one of two directions. If it was facing the pentagon (east I think), it was a person who lost their live that worked in the Pentagon.

If the bench was facing west (?) or the direction of the sky, it was a person who lost their life as a passenger on the flight. It's hard to see, but individual names are engraved on the end of each bench.

Thanks for a super neat tour, Dustinn!

The last photo of the trip in front of the Capital (Brant was a good sport whenever I asked him to be in my pictures). This was about the same time frame that votes on the $700 billion bail out bill was being voted on.

Thanks for being fantastic hosts to Dustinn & Val and Phil & Meggan- we had an awesome time!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fun Halloween Ideas

Since I've already copied the previous post on Prop 8 without permission from the owner, I'll go ahead and mention that I like how Jenifer is keeping track of Halloween ideas. For tons of cool, new, awesome, collaborative ideas, visit her blog here.

Proposition 8

We've had lots of discussions at work lately about voting and the issues at hand. My co-worker, Andrea, phrased thoughts well about Proposition 8 on her blog. I hope she doesn't mind that I re-posted it here to help raise awareness. If she does, this post may disappear quickly ;)

The people of California voted in March 2000 that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California.” Because four activist judges in San Francisco overturned the people’s vote, Proposition 8 will be on the California Ballot this November. California's outcome will affect the decisions of other states.

“Yes” to Proposition 8, (1) Restores the definition of marriage to what the vast majority of California voters already approved, (2) Overturns the decision made by the four activist judges who overwrote the people’s vote, and (3) Protects what children are taught in public schools about “same-sex marriage” being the same as traditional marriage, and prevents other consequences to Californians who will be forced to not just be tolerant of gay lifestyles, but face mandatory compliance regardless of their personal beliefs.

As the LDS Church writes, "the Church's opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility towards homosexual men and women" but protects the family and the rights and moral agency of all people on a legal level. Currently under California law, domestic partners shall continue to have "the same rights, protections and benefits" as married spouses (Family Code 297.5), including tax write offs, families, etc (emphasis added).

In other words, if marriage is redefined to be between any two consenting adults, it takes away the rights of adoption agencies, churches, schools, and other organizations whose moral beliefs go against same-sex partnerships. Basically, it removes the choice to govern their lives and actions according to their moral code.

The Protect Marriage Coalition has asked for out-of-state volunteers to organize 800 calling teams to help with this effort to protect the definition of marriage between a man and woman before November's vote. To donate online, visit the Protect Marriage website.

For more information on Proposition 8, go here, here, or here.

This post is courtesy of Andrea and Along the Path

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Canning, anyone?

Last week I went to the Lindon cannery to fill one of our branch's cannery assignments. Call me a geek, but I'm a total fan of going to the cannery- I've been all three times that our branch has had assignments (Brant was with me one of the times, the rest he was on trips).
There's just something about using no brain power but still being productive after comming home from a day's work (and that has nothing to do with cleaning or cooking. Maybe that's why I like couponing so much too). We've built a pretty good food storage of our own so far and will be going back next month for family canning. Along with the cream of mushroom soup and applesauce we ordered, we'll be getting frozen raspberries, blackberries, and peaches that I'm hoping to make into jam. Anyone out there want to have a canning/ jamming party? Anyone is welcome- especially those that actually know how to do it :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I get a lot of questions having a husband who has a career as a pilot- the top four:

How long is Brant usually gone for?
It depends on the month and the routes that Delta gives to Skywest to fly for them. He'll be gone anywhere from 2 nights a month to 16 nights a month.

What is his route?
He doesn't have any set route- its different every month but is generally in the area of the west (California, Oregon, Montana, etc.) Every once in awhile he'll go to Atlanta, Canada or Mexico.

How does his schedule work?
Skywest awards schedules on a bidding system that is based on seniority. Having worked for them for a year and some change, right now his seniority is still somewhat low and the only way for him to get Sundays off it to be on reserve (which generally means he will be on a two hour callout to get to the airport). At the beginning of the month, he may have an absolute empty schedule that fills as the month goes on (and yep- trying to schedule anything around his schedule is daunting- sorry to our friends who we've had to bail on at the last minute because he got called on a trip!) You also gotta love those 4am calls from Skywest telling him to be at the airport in 2 hours and will be gone on a 4 day trip.

I couldn't stand my husband being gone so much- how do you do it?
What makes up for him being gone is that fact that he absolutely loves his job and looks forward to going to work (although the hardest part of the job is being away from home). It makes it easy that I'm an independant person and have work, church callings, the gym, extracurricular classes and sports, etc. to keep up with while he's gone (its not like I sit around at home twiddling my thumbs waiting for him to get back from a trip). Before we were engaged, I actually asked a few wives that were married to pilots (one of them being my age) what is was like being married to a pilot and they ALL had the same response- they LOVED it! Saturdays and Sundays are the biggest bummer when he has to work because those are my days off (I spent the first 8 Sundays of our married life going to church ALONE) but I love hearing about the different crews that he flies with and the stories he has. My m.i.l. is also married to a pilot so we get to swap stories (if your looking for an exciting travel blog, her husband- of course aka Brant's dad/ pops/ my f.i.l.- posts about his international travels here).

Any other questions?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend Review

Friday- consisted of pumping ourselves up for when we go to watch The Dark Knight (whenever that ends up being) by re-watching Batman Begins. Before the KLAS tech team's magnificant rendition of the movie during the KLAS Conference, neither Brant nor I had any desire to watch it. We've changed our minds since.

Saturday- started with my Chick-fil-a's B1G1 free chicken biscuit coupon at University Mall. Then a high-powered trip to the gym, followed by lots of home cleaning/ organizing and a trip to the Mt. Timp temple. After a quick trip to the grocery store for survival food (as we like to call it) we hit up Trafalga for their batting cages; I hit 5o balls, Brant did 100. We were bummed their that photo booth wasn't working so we settled for a game of Deal or No Deal- the arcade style where instead of playing for money (or for fun like the home DVD version) you play for tickets. I ended up with 6 tickets in my case! Afterwards, I was wondering what it would take to get on the actual show (did you hear that someone finally won the million- and they were from Utah??) My goal this week is to find out if Deal or No Deal is taking applicants- and crossing my fingers that if they are, it turns out better than when I applied to be on The Apprentice a few years ago (in other words, after hours taping and editing and adding cool effects to my audition video, no word back from Mr. Trump :(

Sunday- church, nap, coupon clipping, and another round of tin-foil dinners (the home style version cooked in the oven). They were delicious courtesty of Brant!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


"Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote."
-William E Simon (quote courtesy of Gordon Gossip).

This morning at work we got into a discussion about voting. And when it came right down to it, I hadn't the foggest idea if I was even registered to vote in Utah (I think they do it automatically when you renew your driver's liscense, but I don't remember receiving any kind of confirmation for it). The last time I voted was when I was 18- when Bush was running for his first term as president. I wore my "I Voted" sticker so proudly that day. Then, 4 years later I was on my mission and asked our mission president if we could vote as missionaries (which I'm sure I could have done absentee, but it would have been a pain trying to do all that while on a mission). So...here I am another 4 years later (I know, I know- there's more voting that goes on than just during presidential years) it just seems more exciting to be able to cast your own vote for the president.

So, back to this morning at work....after our conversation, I came back from being away from my desk and found a blank voter's registration form (courtesy of Jenifer). So, if you live in Utah and you haven't registered to vote, I'm going to make it easy for you (if you live outside of Utah, you can easily find the same thing with Google).

Here's the link to download the form http://elections.utah.gov/VoterRegistrationForm.pdf

Here's the problem with...

Everyone talks it up way too much. Since this non-fat fro yo shop has come into town, all I hear is that its "so, So, SO good" and "I heart Red Mango". Well, last night we decided to go check out this fabulous joint that they call Red Mango with some friends of ours. I wasn't sure what to expect with my first encounter with the frozen yogurt; except awesome-ness.
But I never got it. All I got was a funny, foreign taste in my mouth. Maybe I would have liked it more if I hadn't have had such a high expectation for it.

So I'll say it now, and never again. I don't love Red Mango. I don't "heart" Red Mango. I don't even like Red Mango.

There you go, John & Rissa- I said it. Next time we're going to McDonald's for the .99 soft serve ice cream cone.

Monday, September 15, 2008

On the Schedule for November

The other day in the mail we received the calendar of events going on at the Scera. We were surprised to see our downstairs neighbor, James Arrington, on the schedule to put on a one man show called Farley Family Reunion (but somehow not so suprised to see him doing something like this- he's quite the character!) His show isn't till Nov 13-15, but it looks like a gut-buster (at least, thats what the description in the schedule says).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Low Key Weekend

We had a pretty low key weekend- watched a couple movies, worked out at the gym, took a Sunday walk... actually, I wasn't even going to post this, but after Brant got off the phone with his parents this evening, I was informed that they were anxious and ready for a blog update.

They may be glad to know that the weekend highlight was Sat night when Brant took me on a cute date to Carrabbas (I think he was trying to make up for the fact that he's been on reserve and didn't get called into work last week... all the while me going to work every day. It really is feast of famine with his job). In the car on the way to the restaurant, we realized that we had both missed our Saturday afternoon naps, so after dinner we skipped the movie and called it a night.

Short post, but thats the end.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


If you live in Utah County and have ever noticed that big concrete building off I-15 at the American Fork exit, that would be Noah's. You'd never guess it by the outside, but its a fantastic place to hold events! We just finished up an internal company conference there that took place all day yesterday and today and they've got the neatest facilities. You can rent out racquetball courts, a billards rooms, theatre rooms, board rooms, etc. on an hourly rate. They even have an ice rink on the roof during winter. I'm looking for an excuse to rent this room and have a fiesta.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday Tip- When a friend owes you money

Question: Last month I ran into a woman from my walking club at the grocery store. She didn't have enough to cover her purchases and borrowed $30 from me. She still hasn't paid me back, and though I hate to make a big deal of it, I'm on a tight budget. Should I remind her or let it go?

Emily Post's Anwer: Whether you "need" the money or not, this woman should pay you back. Chances are it slipped her mind. But you shouldn't be shy about asking for it: Call her up and politely remind her of your loan. Then tell her it would be great if she could either bring it to your next walking-club meeting or pop a check in the mail. If she still fails to repay you after two or three weeks, don't be embarrassed to ask another time -- and make a mental note not to lend her money again.

My personal opinion: First, decide if its worth it. I have a friend who is in a situation where she lended money to one of her friends (who is in a less fortunate financial situation than my friend is). You souldn't feel guilty for asking for your money to be returned (actually, you shouldn't have to ask at all!) and yes- she should pay back 100%... but is it worth is to remind her that she still owes when you know she needs it more than you do and if you can live without it? Tough call.

If you decide that it is worth it to get it back, like E.P. mentioned above, it has probably slipped her mind. Try something along the lines of "Hey, let's go to a movie. If you want to just pay for my ticket, we'll call it even from the other day."

Tuesday Tip - Thankless Task

Call me old fashioned, but I'm BIG on writing thank you notes. For example, I was very appreciative of what we were given for our wedding and spent many months after our wedding writing every single person who gave us a gift and included a personal note, special to each person, in each one (I still feel bad for the tag that got lost off of the tea kettle and muffin tin that I couldn't sent a thank you note to. If that was you- thank you!). That's why I appreciated this from Emily Post:

QUESTION: I attended a wedding four months ago and gave the couple a check as a gift. The check was cashed, but four months have passed and still no thank-you note! Isn't that too long? (this can be applied to baby shower , bridal shower gifts, etc. too).

ANSWER: The most common complaint-by far- from wedding guests has to do with overdue thank-yous. When a guest goes through the effort of thoughtfully selecting and giving a gift and then nothing happens- sometimes for months- he begins to wonder! "Was the gift ever received? If it was, why hasn't a note been written?" Thank-you notes should be written promptly-at the very least, within three months of receipt of the gift. If you haven't received a note three months after the couple received your gift, it's okay to ask the bride, the groom, or one of their parents if the gift was received. With any luck, a gentle nudge will get your point across and you'll find out if the gift was received and appreciated.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tin Foil Dinners, the Women's Expo, and plant self pollination

Friday Night: Camping in our portable Harrison house (shown above) with friends Rissa and John, cooking scrumptious tin foil dinners, roasting traditional smores, Rissa burning her hand while toasting marshmellows, sitting and socializing by the campfire, hitting the hay.

Saturday Morning: Up and about, John and Rissa cooking a fantastic breakfast of french toast and sausage, Rissa burning her hand...again, a lazy walk around the campsite enjoying the weather after axeing plans to tube the river from fear of the water being too cold.

Things we learned from our first camping trip:

(1) Camping just a few miles up the road in Provo Canyon turns out well for a one night trip
(2) We need to invest in a battery powered pump for our air mattress (thanks, Harpers, again for letting us use yours)
(3) Don't forget to bring trash bags and a lattern (another thanks to the Harper's for knowing to bring those items), bring a second sweater or blanket for nights.
(4) Its much nicer to have a pair of glasses rather than having to worry about contacts (good thing we just got Brant a pair a few days before).

Thanks for a fun camping experience Rissa and John! (That's a gas stove that Rissa got at a bridal shower before they got married. John says its the best bridal shower gift he's ever gotten :)

Saturday afternoon Laci and I headed over to the Utah Valley Women's expo. It was fun to go and see everything. I'm definately a supporter of woman entrepreneurs businesses (which a lot of the businesses that were there at the expo were). We both made a free card from Close to My Heart and couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy a cute new headband and pair of shoes.

Saturday evening- while attending the adult session of Regional Conferece, we sat next to Kris M. who just 30 minutes earlier had gotten home from finishing a half triathon. I thought it was super neat that she had just done that - I want to do one now (well, with the right preparation that is). I'm gunning for next spring.

Saturday Night- Kyle and Amanda were in town and dropped by for a little bit to say hi. Among other discussion topics, Brant has been a little bummed at the lack of pollination that his plants have been getting. Kyle jumped to the rescue because, apparently, there is a way for a plant to pollinate itself...with the help of some fine point tweezers WHA-LA. (don't worry, I was skeptical of it myself, but here's Kyle determine with the tweezers...)

Sunday- was regional conference and my (weak) attempt at making Italian Chicken in a crock pot for dinner.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Such a bummer

that Stephanie Meyer's Midnight Sun (aka Twilight from Edward's perspective) was leaked on the internet. While I wouldn't call myself a die-hard Twilight fan, I'm disappointed that someone who is so passionate about something has given up finishing the rest of her book because she feels so violated as an author (can you blame her?). She's put the book on hold indefinitely because she is too sad at what has happened to finish it and went as far as to post online the draft of the story that she will never finish for all to read.

See what happened here and here (which includes a link to the indefinitely unfinished manuscript.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Now that my Emily Post book (has finally) arrived I can get on with Tuesday Tips (resuming next week)!

Extracurricular Class

Next Thursday Brant and I will start our participation in a parenting class that one of the KLAS executives' wives coordinated. She had taken the course previously and liked it so much that she's put together a class and invited the company and spouses to participate in a private course with the instructor. It will take place once a week for 2 hours every Thursday evening and continue for 2 months.

Her recommendation to me was that even though we don't yet have kids and won't be able to really apply the principles now, that we'll be ahead of the game when the time comes. When applying my mom's promting from the other day of the "20- Year Test" (meaning that in 20 years will it make a different if I took the class or not?) I think that this class is a good chance that it will have made a difference. So, I'm not sure what to really expect....but I'll keep you posted.

So. . .

In my attempt to cut back on over scheduling myself, what do I do? I sign up for my company volleyball team.

Go figure.

But at least this one doesn't start until November.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Chantel's Bridal Shower

Between work and the company softball game last Thursday, Dene and I threw our good friend Chantel a bridal shower (congrats Chantel!!) Is this not the cutest toilet-paper-wedding-dress- on-little- girl that you have ever seen? (Ignore the Grandma rug in the background...I'm working on replacing it...)

The chocolate fountain I invested in back in June for Brant's birthday has really come in handy (especially when your planning a bridal shower on just a week's notice). I've used this fountain 4 times in the past 2 months.

Dene, Chantel (the bride) and I. The only one that was missing is Christy or we'd have had a full Snowview #9 apartment reunion.

Team Building Activity

One of the things I like about working for KLAS is that they give each team a budget for team building acitivities. In the past, we've gone to lunch, painted at Color Me Mine, and done various other things. Last Wednesday for a marketing team building experience, we opted to go to Archiver's Clear Card Workshop and make these sweet cards (the two other gals and I that work on the marketing team are taking advantage of the fact that we currently have no testosterone on our team).

Next month? I'm pitching the idea of sitting in the studio audience of Good Things Utah for a team building experience.

An Important Lesson

Every month that goes by, I think to myself wow, this is a hoppin' month- next month, I'm sure, will slow down. And in my experience, I've learned- no, it does not. Between working a full time job, my church calling, visiting teaching, working out at the gym, playing softball/ other sports, taking extracurricular classes, filling cannery assignments, being a wife (cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, couponing, spending time with Brant and keeping up with his schedule...every day I have to ask him if he's leaving on a trip and for how long. Not even to mention that I gave up a long time ago trying to remember which cities he goes to on each trip), being a loyal friend, getting up early enough to ride my bike to work, etc. etc. etc. life ...just... gets... CrAzIeR. Oh, a disclaimer that right now, Brant really does more of the cooking and cleaning than I do (plus does things as they come up randomly like going to the post office for me to drop off packages and taking my car to get tested so that I can renew the registration)... but still- I want to pull my weight too.

At work, we're big on making "Stop Doing Lists" for the things that we may find ourselves doing at work that have little or no effect on the bottom line goals for the company. The theory comes from our company book Good to Great. So this month, I'm going to focus on a stop doing list in my non-work related life. Such as limiting myself to one Enrichment activity a month instead of all enrichment activities (as the Enrichment Counselor, can you blame me for wanting to support our card club, social club, recipe club, book club, and every other activity every month?) As well as not signing up for too many things at once (company softball teams, relief society volleyball teams, etc.) And, as hard as it is to say no to people, I'm going to make an effort to do it.

Don't get me wrong- I love doing all these things a ton and am happy that I get to do them- so much that I end up over scheduling myself. But let's face it- if I don't slow down... my sanity is at risk!