Saturday, December 26, 2009

Faliz Navidad, a todos!

Merry (belated) Christmas from the jungles of Coasta Rica! We're having so much fun we barely noticed yesterday was the big day. More to report later... Adios!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

On My Mind...

1. Wyatt bought a heated blanket for me. I was apprehensive of the idea at first (images of my home and body going up in flames). However, my eyes have seen the light! I LOVE this little gem. I literally laugh with glee each night as I get into my toasty warm bed.

2. In reference to the story of the birth of Christ, Joseph doesn't get nearly as much attention as he deserves. Not that Mary and Jesus don't deserve the attention they get. I just think that it took a lot of faith, support, love, and courage to do what Joseph did. I have come to have a great love and appreciation for him.

3. We had a 10-day (or around 10-day) streak of clear blue, sunshiny skies. It was bitter cold though. It made me miss Chicago terribly. I prefer "sunny and cold" over "rainy and warm". Because when it is "rainy and warm", warm is really like 45-degrees. Which is still cold in my book. And when you're getting rained on in "warm" weather you end up getting wet...and cold. So really it's not "rainy and warm" but it's "rainy and cold".

4. I may be calling the kettle black since I am not one who typically speaks grammatically correct. In fact, Wyatt is constantly correcting me. I guess I'll blame him for this point. It hurts my ears when a person says, "He took a picture of Wyatt and I." Me, it's ME! "He took a picture of Wyatt and ME." It drives me crazy when people use the word "I" incorrectly. Rule of thumb; drop the other person to determine how it sounds. You wouldn't say "he took a picture of I."

5. Equally as bad is when a person gets the order mixed up and says something like, "Me and Wyatt are going to the zoo." Be courteous and put the other person before yourself. :)

6. Along the same lines of grammatically incorrect is when a person says, "I could care less". Really, you could care less? How about you couldn't care less?

7. I like life best when Wyatt isn't stressed about school. Life is still good when he's stressed about school. It's just more good when he's not.

8. I really like the Christmas song "Silent Night". It took me several years to really appreciate it. Each time I listen to it now, I get a little misty eyed. I think it captures the spirit that was probably present at Christ's birth the best.

9. I've decided to graph my level of happiness compared to what day of the week it is:

(note: Friday's are my day off from work)

10. Someone in my office stole some customer samples off my desk while I was at home last night. They were there last night when I left work...and they weren't there when I arrived this morning. Usually I'm the last to leave at night but last night was an exception. This is the second time something has mysteriously walked off my desk. Why does this only happen to me? My coworkers are going to think I'm sabotaging my stuff for attention...

11. My husband is smart. He earned straight A's again this term! Let's hope our kids inherit his brain.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Tomorrow is my hands-down, all-time favorite holiday! What other holiday is centered around food? Okay, I'm not that shallow. There are other reasons I love the day... Like family, football, movies, lounging, mingling, eating, cooking, sleeping, relaxing, laughing, and eating (again).

For FHE on Monday, Wyatt and I watched this video. And then afterword we both listed off the things we were grateful for. Once I started, I felt like I could keep going, and going, and going... I love how addicting being thankful is! So for the purpose of "feeding my fix", I'm going to list of some of the things I am thankful for:

my family
the gospel of Jesus Christ
my friends
my home
indoor plumbing
my oven
my microwave
my fridge
my education
my job
my eyebrows and eyelashes (I would look pretty weird without)
my teeth
my contact lenses
my car
my elbows (eating would be difficult)
my knees (Wyatt laughed at the image of me running without any knees... it would be funny)
mail (snail mail especially!!!)
my computer
my library
OPB (aka: NPR)
my taste buds
RICE PUDDING (still battling a four-month addiction)
my YW calling
my imagination

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Note to self...

become the First Lady. Then you will always look cute and NEVER have to shop again! Just look at how fashionable you'll be...

Mrs. O

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sesame Street turns 40!

Has anyone else enjoyed the Sesame Street Google Doodles as much as I have this past week? My most favorite is Cookie Monster, and Oscar, and Count Dracula, and Bert and Ernie, and Big Bird, and... Yeah, I still might have a lot of growing up to do.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Trunk or Treat 3.0

Here it is. The moment everyone has been waiting for! Okay, that's not entirely true. I'm pretty sure that everyone, besides Wyatt and me, couldn't care less about what we dressed Wyatt's truck as for Trunk or Treat this year. Even so, I'm going to share our hard work with the world. (This is what happens when two people don't have any kids or pets to dress for Halloween.)

Clearly Wyatt was too exhausted from decorating his truck with a giant (homemade) octopus, he couldn't muster the energy to dress-up himself. I was a lone scuba diver that night...navigating the sea alone.

I jetted off to Utah the next morning for a long weekend of visiting friends and family. I helped my brother Harold and his lady friend (aka: wife) Jeanna ring-in their 4th decade in life. That's right, my oldest brother is 40! Yikes! :)

"40 Sucks"

If I look as good as these two do when I'm 40, I'll be ecstatic!

Jeanna's birthday was on Halloween so we spent the entire day celebrating! She made sure that every trick-or-treater over the age of 12 that graced her doorstep sang Happy Birthday to her. She is a smart lady.

We also carved pumpkins. I have to give a shout out to my creative niece and nephew. Their pumpkins are the Reese's and "burning sun" pumpkins. Compare their talent to my simple smiley face. And to think I stared at my blank pumpkin for a good 15-minutes before I came up with that one. I'm pathetic.

And if you're super observant, you'll notice something different about me...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

WANTED: Summer Jobs

Wyatt and I have the opportunity to take advantage of our 'no kid' status next summer and embark on an adventure. However, we're not sure what adventure we are going to embark on. So I thought I'd reach out to my bloggy readers and see if any of you knew of any summer job opportunities for 2010. Yeah, that's right. We're going to throw caution into the wind and be totally irresponsible, impractical, and irrational!

Please contact me if you know of (or know someone who knows of (or know someone who knows someone who knows of (you get the picture...))) a seasonal summer opportunity that includes the following:

an income (even if it is for peanuts)
an job/income for both Wyatt and me
something that includes free room (or inexpensive housing)
something out of the norm and exotic (moving to Utah Valley is not out of the norm - think NYC, San Francisco, Idaho ranch, fishing charter in Alaska, Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, etc.)

Thanks in advance!

On a different note, Wyatt and I went to Hood River yesterday! I am feeling extremely smug because we were blessed with PERFECT weather (it rained ALL day Friday and today but not a cloud in the sky yesterday)! Happy day! We went to our favorite cookie shop to purchase an array of tasty cookies. Then headed over to another fruit stand for their Edelweiss Festival. I had such a pleasant time. Something about eating German sausage beneath the canopy of fruit trees, feeling the warm glow of the afternoon sun on my skin, and listening to the sounds of the accordion drift through the air. It was quite dreamy. I just love our little tradition of going to Hood River each fall to enjoy the colors and fruits of the season!

apple pick'n

wagon full of apples

engagement picture mockery

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mom is Rad

My mom is rad. Let me explain…

My friend (and old roommate) Liz from Chicago got married in Boise this past weekend. Ever since I received the news that she was getting married I wanted to go. Boise is a mere seven hours away, so I felt like it was doable. However, as the date drew closer, the more I dragged my feet on committing to the occasion. You see, Wyatt has school and work on Fridays. And the wedding was scheduled for Saturday morning…which means I would need to:

a.) have Wyatt drive to Boise with me leaving Portland at 2am (an hour added for time change)
b.) leave Wyatt behind and comfortably drive to Boise on Friday
c.) not go

The answer seems clear, doesn’t it? B. Did I mention how much I hate road trips alone?

So I explained my predicament to my mom and she offered to drive the seven hours with me to Boise. Yipee! So she flew into Portland Thursday night and drove to Boise with me on Friday. That is why my mom is rad. Other details on why she is rad include:

  • It was her vacation from work - she could’ve very well spent the time relaxing at home
  • She overlooked my tendency to talk about myself nearly the entire trip
  • She and Louis (her husband who flew into Boise to meet us) treated me to dinner at the Cracker Barrel (one of my favs! (I think you may have just created a new opinion of me with that bit of information.))
  • They treated me to a 3D movie, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatball” (I highly recommend!)
  • They let me stay for free in their hotel room
  • They did a temple session with me
  • They took me to buy a pair of red shoes on Friday night and spent half the day Saturday driving around Boise to try and find a cheaper pair of red shoes…(I settled on a pair of $7 plum pumps instead)
  • Tolerated my grumpiness on Saturday after a restless night accompanied by a chorus of snoring…
  • They filled my car with gas
  • She let me eat half her crispy burrito at Taco Time without batting an eye
  • They let me pull the “youngest child card” even though I am 27 years old
It was a fantastic trip! I’m so grateful that my mom is rad and was willing to sacrifice her time for me. (Oh, and it was really good to see Liz too! But you know how weddings go…I didn’t really get to spend much time with her at all.)

Thanks momma! I love you!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Moto Momma

in case you were wondering, that's me on the back of the bike. we traded bikes with Wyatt's dad so I could have a more comfortable ride. Wyatt's real bike is the black one parked next to us.

I got to be Wyatt's Biker Momma last weekend. What a blast! Wyatt and I were both so excited the night before our trip, we had a hard time falling asleep. We took a short tour of Eastern Oregon with Wyatt's Pa, brother, and friend from church. I don't have much to say about the trip, just some singular thoughts:

I like Eastern Oregon, it reminds me of Colorado.

It got pretty steamy in our full moto gear cruising around in the hot, hot sun. I can't complain though, I had some eye witnesses tell me that Portland didn't see the sun until 2pm the whole weekend. I was feeling pretty smug for dodging the clouds. HA!

I like riding on the moto. It's fun to just relax and enjoy the ride.

Sometimes I wish Wyatt wasn't such a stickler about wearing full moto gear so I could feel the wind on my face and fully enjoy the sunshine.

I'm always grateful that Wyatt makes me wear full moto gear because it means he loves me and wants me to be safe. Even if I don't want to follow his rules sometimes...

I'm glad my shower on Friday morning was hot. It made it easier to take a shower Saturday morning knowing that the water was hot...even though the shower tricked me on Saturday morning and it was really FREEZING cold!

I like breakfasts at "taxidermist dinners". The biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and eggs were really good.

I like Wyatt's dad a lot. He makes me smile.

I like going on moto trips with Wyatt when he doesn't have any classes to worry about. I just wish his "summer break" lasted longer than four days.

our first and only camping trip of the year.

i LOVE waking up to clear blue skies!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Things I Have Made Recently That Isn't Rice Pudding

I think I'm pretty predictable. By now you've probably figured out that one of the most reoccurring themes of my blog is food. As of late, not only have I been into eating food but I've also been into cooking/baking food too. And that, my bloggy readers, is what brings me to the subject of this post: "Things I Have Made Recently That Isn't Rice Pudding."

I have mentioned my favorite cooking blog Smitten Kitchen a few times thus far. I think the reason I love it so much because she provides pictures. Not only pictures of the final product but the various steps along the way. The pictures make the recipes seem doable. Not to mention I love her commentary. (I told Wyatt that Deb (aka: The Smitten Kitchen) and I would probably be bff's if she lived next door. We do share one major thing in common and that is our love for food. I could actually relate to her excitement for tomato season. I too drool at the thought of the delectable Sun Gold tomatoes Wyatt's dad plants for me each year. I can hardly contain myself as I count down the months until I get to eat them again. I think it's the feeling most people have about Christmas.) Okay, major tangent...

Anyway, here are some of the things I've made as of late:

Nectarine Galette
I have NO idea how to pronounce the latter word of this dish but could hardly resist the need (yes, I mean NEED) to make this. It's so beautiful. Plus it seems like nectarines are always overshadowed by their sister the peach when it comes to desserts. I had to bring them to the center stage. I've also been looking for the opportunity to brush-up on my homemade pie crust making skills.

The result was, well, if you'll excuse my pride - STUNNING! I have NEVER made a pie crust so perfect in taste and texture. The secret - I used a cheese grater (yes, cheese grater) to grate a frozen (yes, frozen) stick of butter into the flour mixture. I got this idea from the local newspaper the Oregonian. What a BRILLIANT idea! That was my huge issue before - trying to get the mixture to look like "coarse corn meal". Grating the butter into the flour automatically makes it like corn meal! I also learned that the less you mix/handle the pie dough the better the crust.

(the perfect pie crust - may have to enlarge to see the full effect)

The final product was, I'm sad to say, good. Just good, not great. The pie crust was perfect, the almond/sugar mixture was very tasty, it was the nectarines that didn't shine. Perhaps if they were more ripe... I don't know. Perhaps this is why peaches seem to get all the attention?

Next up, Ratatouille
Ever since the movie about the cute little chef rat came out I wanted to make this. Who knew that a cartoon could make something look so good? My oldest brother Harold served his mission in France said that it was in fact, not good. I dismissed his opinion since he has a reputation for not liking vegetables; and since he told me not to order the pizza while we were in Paris (which he did end up ordering and RAVING about as I tried to choke down my cooked brie pasta).

I decided now was a better time then ever since I have accesses to all the vegetables from Wyatt's parent's garden. As much as I hate to admit it, Harold was right. Despite it's array of colors that make it so appealing, it does not taste good. I tried. I really tried to like it. I wanted to, desperately! But leftovers don't lie and they sat in the fridge for nearly a week without any desire from Wyatt or me to polish them off. I can't tell you why exactly I didn't like it. I like all the ingredients otherwise. Maybe it's the combination of them?

Last, but not least: Tomato and Corn Pie
I've never had (nor heard of) tomato pie before. Again, it was the pictures that sold me on it. Plus the abundance of tomatoes that I have access to (Wyatt's dad planted 14 tomato plants this year). I again took the opportunity to improve my pie crust making skills and successfully made my very own tomato pie! Again, the crust turned out perfect (I love my frozen butter cheese grater trick!) and the final product was delish! Well, except for the part at the very end when Wyatt asked me if I used "old" cheese because he had a bite that tasted like old cheese. My heart sunk. I swear the cheese looked (and tasted) fine to me!

(Wyatt's winking. Not giving pirate face.)

Other recent food adventures include the Sun Gold tomatoes that I roasted (I knew I should've took them out of the oven when I checked on them!) and proceeded to char. What a disappointment when the air is filled with tomato-garlicy goodness, only to discover the culprit of the wonderful smell passed its prime 45-minutes prior. My only redemption is that I have two more weeks of tomato season.

I also spent nine-hours canning salsa with my friend Phoebe on Friday. "I'll be home at 5pm Wyatt." 6pm that night, "Um, do you want to come over to Phoebe's and have pizza while we finish canning?" We finally left at 11pm. It was quite the adventure and my it was my first stab at canning using a canning pot. Sorry I trashed your kitchen've got to admit, it was fun! Too bad we didn't take any pictures to document the day.

If you've made it this far, I'm sorry I'm always talking about food. It's just something I think about all the time. Even as I'm drifting off to sleep... Hopefully for your sake I'll have a kid some day and dedicate my blog to life as a mom and not as a pseudo chef.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hood to Coast 2009

What a weekend! I am one of the lucky 12,000 people that got to participate in the "mother of all relays" Hood to Coast. What a fantastic event to be a part of! For all those Hood to Coast virgins out there, let me outline a few key facts:

192 miles (from Mt. Hood to the Oregon Coast)
6,000 feet (of elevation descended)
1,000 teams
12,000 runners (12 runners per team)
2,000 vans (2 vans per team - 6 runners per van)
36 legs (3 legs per runner)
1,000+ HoneyBuckets (port-o-potties)
15-35 hours of running (depending on how fast your team is)
4 hours (or less) of sleep

I got a call from the Jamison's in my ward the week before the race to see if I would fill in for a last minute drop out on their team. Happy day! I am so glad they called me! (Since we don't know where we'll be living next year, I was beginning to think that my opportunity to run Hood to Coast was passing me by. Sign up for the race is 10 months before the race.) I was given the choice to run either the most difficult leg of the race, or one of the easiest legs. I decided to take the challenge and go for the hardest. Let me give you a visual of what my legs looked like...

Leg 5:

Miles: 6.08; Time: 53 minutes; Pace: 8:43.0

Notice the 400-feet gain in elevation? In case you're wondering...I did run the entire leg!

Leg 17:
Miles: 5.69; Time: 48 minutes; Pace: 8:26.2

Ahhhhhh....nice and flat. This is the route I ran at 2am in the the pitch black! For me this was the hardest of my three legs. Have you ever run in the deep dark of the night? It's hard to see your final destination...or how far you've come. I kind of felt like I was running for-ev-er! Not to mention my fear that I'd get abducted. Did I mention I was running alone (except for the runners that passed me) in the pitch black? Yikes!

Leg 29:
Miles: 6.11; Time: 55 minutes; Pace: 9:00.1

The first point I'd like to make on this route is that I climbed 600-feet the first 3.5-miles. The second point I'd like to make is that 300 of those feet I climbed in 1-mile! I assure you that as slow as I was going, I did "run" up the hill. (Thanks to my favorite run around Lake Oswego - which includes my nemesis McVay Hill - that prepared me (unknowingly) for Leg 29!)

Be sure to take note of my competition - "one of these things is not like the other." Who are these crazies that fly past me as if they're conquering an ant hill?!!!

What a feeling it was when I finished my three legs - I was so proud of myself! (Is that bad?) I was so nervous before the race because I didn't know what to expect and...well, you saw Leg 29! Wouldn't you be a little intimidated too?

I'm so grateful for the Jamison's and all the hard work they put into planning, coordinating, and figuring out the logistics. I'm especially grateful for Paul Jamison. He was the driver/manager of our van. He made us dinner after our first legs, made sure we were at each exchange on time, met us in the middle of our routes with water, ran by our sides while we drank the water, calculated our pace as we were running, cheered us on, and was simply our support. I can almost make a church analogy using Paul and his role as team manager. Seriously, it was such a comfort to have him waiting for me in the pitch black of night, in the middle of my 600-foot climb, and at the end of my leg. He was my personal beacon. Thanks Paul!

I also want to give a shout-out to my dear hubby! He was also a HUGE support! He made sure I had all the stuff I needed for the race, took care of all the chores at home I couldn't do, drove all the way to the coast to meet me, arrived at the coast 5-hours earlier than I did, brought me a dozen "job well done" donuts, and drove me home to Portland while I slept in the car. What a man!

Needless to say after it was all said and done, I was POOPED! I think I may have got a total of 4-hours of sleep in a 36-hour period.

It was a grand experience and definitely one I'd like to repeat! What better way to spend 30-hours than in a van, getting to know three strangers (I already knew two of them)? It really did give me a rush of adrenalin, a boost of self-confidence, and some nice bragging material. I'm trying to convince Wyatt to run with me next year. He's the only thing I think would make it a better experience.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rice Pudding

This is a picture of the rice pudding I can't get enough of. I have made it every Friday for the past month and could still eat it every weekend for the rest of the year. I'm even thinking of making it again today - which would mean I'd have it twice this weekend. In case you're curious and want to try something yummy (and easy) check out the recipe here Smitten Kitchen. Is this considered an addiction?

On a different note - Wyatt finishes up his summer terms of Organic Chemistry this Wednesday! Happy cheers all around! He has been busting his brains the past 12-weeks and is much deserving of a break! Not to mention our social life has been, well...pathetic. We get to play with friends again! T minus 3...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Birthday

Despite the fact that I didn't get to spend my birthday for free with the mouse - it was a really good day. Unfortunately there was little documentation taken of the day and the above picture is the most flattering one we have on file (we're really striking out over here).

There wasn't any one thing that stands out. Except for the part of my day where my loyal friend met me at the swim park (with her three kids) for our summer Friday ritual (despite the fact it wasn't even close to swimming weather) with a yummy gourmet sandwich and cookies. I am very grateful for her dedication to my 27th-year-in-life cause. (Did I mention it was also her anniversary?) My birthday was also filled with many birthday salutations - so thank you to all for making me feel special!

I ate a ton this weekend! Which you would think would warrant enough reason to stop eating but no... Why stop doing something when you're good at it? My stomach is going to have a rude awakening tomorrow when I'm not stuffing it full at every available minute. Sorry stomach...

Stay tuned for a later post on my recent obsession of Julia Child. I saw the new movie that highlighted part of her life and I really enjoyed it. (I think the other story about the Julie chick wasn't as exciting...) I am currently reading a book about Julia Child (a birthday gift) and am in love with her! She has such a cheerful persona - a very admirable trait! Did I mention she was in love with food? I think we might've been friends in heaven...

Friday, August 14, 2009


My good friend wrote me an email this morning telling me she was surprised that I haven't posted anything about my birthday yet... Let's just say I'm trying to "tone-down" things down. I had the thought the other day that I'm no longer a kid and don't need the attention that once accompanied birthdays...that I should act like any other respectable adult. But heck, who am I kidding?!!!!!


Please proceed to make me the center of your attention - I know I will. Thanks for all the birthdays wishes so far... I will be sure to keep you posted throughout the day on the glorious event! TTFN! I'm off for my birthday run...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heat Wave

I know that most of the webbed-foot Oregonians are melting this week but I just wanted to let the world know that I LOVE this weather! The Pacific Northwest is amidst a heat wave and temperatures are in the 100s! I have thoroughly enjoyed taking advantage of the local swim park (despite my fear of riding my bike there) and the Clackamas River Wyatt's parents live on. Now only if I could get out of working... Isn't summer wonderful?!!!

PS - Wyatt is grumpy this week. Which is a true testament to his Oregonian'ness. He announced on Sunday that I can expect him to always be grumpy if we move somewhere hot.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Police Man Pulls Bicyclists Over

Dear Police Officer that pulled us over while we were riding our bikes,

Really? You had nothing better to do today? It's not like we were fully clad in spandex and helmets. We obviously didn't know the rules of the bicyclist road. But I guess you thought otherwise with our swimsuits and flip-flops - I'm sure it's what most bicyclist wear these days. Okay, I can understand your desire to get the word out that bicyclist follow the same rules as motorist...but did you really have to write a ticket, for BOTH of us?! We paused at the stop sign! We looked both ways! It's not like we completely blew it! Don't you have meth labs to bust or drunk drivers to arrest? Just know that we don't like you. And we probably won't be going to Costa Rica in the winter like we planned since we each owe the City of Lake Oswego $250! Next time I think a warning will be sufficient.

Questioning your tactics to fight crime,

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Indulgence. That is what I experienced yesterday at Lake Oswego's Farmer's Market. I just couldn't resist the beautiful bouquets of flowers lined up calling my name, enticing me to buy one. I HAD to have one. And for $15 - why not? I purchased my much needed bouqet of flowers and defiantly rode my bike the four miles home. It wasn't until I got home and couldn't find a vase large enough that I second guessed my purchase...

Thank you Wyatt for smiling when I came home with my over sized bunch of flowers and not questioning my impractical thinking.