We found snow!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Today, the day after Christmas, we found snow. Oh how I miss it. We are currently in Spokane, Washington. I love the northwest... I really don't know how else to say it. Today we went snowmobiling in search of the good ol' white stuff. Despite having to dig out a few stuck machines, rolling two snowmobiles, and dislocating my knee, we had an incredibly epic day of riding. The sun was out, the snow was perfect, and the company was even better. I'm only slightly limping, and my knee is only slightly bruising and swollen, and it was totally worth it. I will just need to take it easy so I can heal up for snowboarding next week.

I loved watching Russ experience "true riding" today. He had been on a snowmobile before, but going with my wonderful father is a whole different story. Russ did awesome, and I think he may have found a new hobby. 
 Before the ride. Excited and happy to be in snow.
This is me on top of Mt. Kalispell enjoying the absolutely gorgeous view. Oh, and this is moments before I attempted the steep climb one more time before the end of the day and ended up rolling the machine on top of my leg. All for the love of the sport, right?

Other than snowmobiling, we have been catching up with family and friends, eating, playing games, and eating even more. I have especially LOVED spending time with Brittney and Stuart. I miss them so very much. We also got to talk to Jace on the phone. He is serving a mission for our church in Kobe, Japan and we get to talk to him on the phone twice a year--Christmas and Mother's Day. I think the phone call pushed 4 hours. He sounds great, and speaks Japanese which is so random; honestly, he could be speaking gibberish and I wouldn't know any different. But it was fun to catch up with him. We miss him like crazy, but are so proud of him for his dedication, unwavering faith, and optimism.
The family gathered around the phone on Christmas Eve, talking to Jace who is so very far away.
I love my family.

Hope your holidays have been just as enjoyable as ours, and hopefully a little more injury free.

Kids say the darndest things

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our friends have these two little girls, Abby (age 5) and Avery (age 4, as of today). They are adorable, we love them, and they love us. Abby even left her mom and came and sat by me during church last week. Every time we are at their house they color us a picture... usually something along the lines of my little ponies, puppies, or flowers. You know, typical 5 year old stuff.

Tonight we went to Avery's birthday party. It was fun eating her funfetti cake and mickey mouse chicken nuggets and watching her open her dress up high heels and polly pockets clothes. The highlight of the evening, however, was this:

 {Please notice what the red arrow is pointing to}

At first I didn't notice this little surprise and I just said "oh Abby! This is such a nice painting of you, Avery, Russell, and I!" And then she said "and look! you have a baby inside you!!" Oh yes, it appears I do.

And no, this is not an announcement. Just a funny story.

{On another note, I'm really glad I caught this moment. It makes me smile.}

NO! Not the buttons! Not my gumdrop buttons!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This weekend, our friends Brandon and Megan had us over to make gingerbread houses.

We began the evening with some wonderful Wasul and discussion on how to build the houses. We ended up each making individual houses and the night turned into a clear manifestation of our individual creative processes. It was a lot of fun and needless to say you can probably judge who the creator of the following two houses were.

"The Lewis Home"

"The Man Cave"

So at the end of the day, whose house would you live in?

For pictures of the Chapel/Barn house and the Nativity by Brandon and Megan, keep an eye on http://brandonandmegan.wordpress.com/.

Merry Christmas!

From a proud Fictionist fan.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ok like he said.

I'm really excited for Fictionist. These guys are like my brothers from other mothers (and one literally is my brother-in-law), so I've missed being around for all the many accomplishments and news accompanied with the band while I was employed by them (which, by the way, was an awesome job). But since I've been gone in Texas some really exciting things have happened! The list is as follows:

a) They band is back in the studio! Check out these awesome clips live from the studio on the "blog" tab at their website.
b) As Robbie mentioned in the video, the band has been nominated for the Best Independent Song in a Rock n' Roll album! This is huge. The song nominated is the title track from their latest album, Invisible Hand. If you would like to vote for them, go HERE.
c) Three tracks from the latest album, Invisible Hand, will air on the PBS series, Roadtrip Nation. The song "Wakes" is featured in episode 1 and 4, "Tightrope Hill" in episode 1 and "Noisy Birds" in episode 2.  Go HERE to watch the series online.
d) They just rock.

July 25, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Our wedding pictures finally arrived last week! I know the day was like forever ago, but I thought I would share a few of our favorites. I apologize in advance for the mass amount... but picking between more than 400 shots was tough! Anyway, thanks again for everyone who came. This day flew by way too quickly, but thanks to pictures we are now able to relive this perfect day.
All pictures by:
 {And for the record, she was totally great. We loved her!}

How we know we're not ready to grow up...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

When telling Russ about the meeting I had at work today about the Cafeteria Plan, he turned to me with a slightly confused look and said "is it food?"

Sent from my cubicle.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I've gone sky diving and I like to rock climb, but this is a whole different level. My Grandpa shared this video with me, and I'm glad he did because it reminded me of how good it feels when you accomplish something you may originally have been too scared to do. Don't worry mom, I would never be this extreme, but it is inspiring... I need to go on an adventure.

There can be Miracles

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This weekend we had mom and pop McLaws come visit. While driving around town, my mother in law commented that all these cute couples blogs are 80% the wife and 20% the husband. I would have to agree as Camille is an incredibly steady blogger and I'm glad because she is really good at it. So here is my 20%
The title is a line from the song in the Prince of Egypt. So imagine that song accompanied by six killer whales performing a show of epic proportions. I don't know if it was because I had my cute niece asleep in my lap, the music, or I just love whales, but that show just made me think about all the miracles in my life and how grateful I am to have them. Yes, the Shamu show at Sea World blew me away. I loved going to Sea World with Benny and Lucy.
I mean look at that face! How could you not have a great time! I couldn't believe it, but Lucy passed out during the show and slept through Shamu.

Previous to the Shamu show, we saw a Sesame street Christmas. It was a musical show with all the sesame street characters singing and dancing. The contrast between the two shows was huge. Sesame street didn't mention Christ at all as the reason for Christmas. They skirted around the real reason and focused on Santa and gifts and family. I really admired Sea World for focusing on Miracles, Christ, and the reason for Christmas in their main show with Shamu. There are few institutions that still do this and I am glad to see that Sea World does.

When we weren't at Sea World, we were playing rockband and cleaning out Nordstrom Rack. Benny loved singing "Don't let me down" and Anthony can really jam on the drums. We loved having them visit, and can't wait to see them again.

Here is the first part of the show for those of you who can't come down to see it. I'll pay $1 million dollars to anybody who weighs 18,000 lbs and can do a front flip on cue.

From our kitchen to yours...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Please note the following

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pandora: I love you and the station I created. (Ray LaMontagne + Wilco + Dave Matthews = Beatles. Who knew?)
Glee: I look forward to you every week.
Wicked: I want to see you sometime. Glee's episode two weeks ago made me addicted to "Defying Gravity" via Youtube.
Visitors: WE LOVE YOU! Keep coming! Marcella left on Sunday and my parents get into town tonight!!
Weather: You are fantastic right now -- 65 and sunny.
Work: I wish it wasn't so slow, but then again, I have been very up-to-date on my friends' blogs.
Camera: I don't know where you went...
ShabbyApple.com: You have beautiful dresses, but I'm not sure I want to keep the dress I received in the mail yesterday. Exchange? Possibly.
Turkey in my freezer: I'm excited to roast you and eat you this Thursday.
Friends: I am so grateful to have made some here in San Antonio
Letters from Jace: I love them.
Traffic: I hate it.
Sea World: We love you. We have now attended the fantastic park that you are 3 times since we bought our season passes about 1 month ago. We especially want to see your Shamu Christmas Miracles show again.
Christmas music: I started listening to you earlier this year than normal, and I like it.
Kashi: I like your frozen meals (especially the Southwestern Chicken number you created)
Running: I have a love/hate relationship with you.
Wedding Picture DVD: I want you... like now. I have been so very patient.
Christmas decorations: why are you so pricey?
Thanksgiving: You are one of my favorite holidays, and even though I should do it more often, I love that you make me stop and think about what I am grateful for. So many things. Watch this.
Life: You are good.

Workin' for the Weekend

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I know it's Tuesday, which I think officially makes it "mid-week," but I still can't get over this weekend. It was everything a weekend should be... relatively unplanned, laid-back, stress-free and no tax accounting involved. It consisted of:
Hanging out with/making new friends
Hiking in a park
A smidge of holiday shopping

Oh and plenty {and probably too much} of this:
I've always been kind of anti video games, but our apartment complex gave us a Wii as a "welcome gift" (I agree with my sister when she said, "random!"). I found this little time zapper of a game for 60% off on Amazon (score!) and two days later Russ and I found ourselves taking a ride through Beatlemania. This really is as close to my childhood dreams as I have come (I literally used to dress up as Ringo at the age of 10 while my two other girl friends and I recorded ourselves playing Beatles songs along with their cardboard guitars). Thank goodness I followed my dreams. Although, we better slow down or else we will have beaten the whole game before Thanksgiving.

To be honest, I shouldn't really complain about this workweek... I'm taking my first vacation day this Friday when we get our first visitors! Russell's cute sister Marcella and her family of 4 are coming down to play with us and our friend Shamu. I can assure you that updates will come as needed.

Until then, I will keep on workin' for the weekend.

On Creativity

Monday, November 16, 2009

By no means do I consider myself an artist, but I have always loved CREATING. There is something so satisfying about starting a project with random scraps of something, a blank canvas, a silent room, or raw ingredients and ending with a work of art, beautiful music, or a hot, fresh meal to enjoy. I feel accomplished.

Recently I have felt like I was letting some of the talents I have developed over the years slip away. I needed to be creative again. So, with some help from my friend Sada at work, I have created some really fun projects via Heritage Makers during these mega slow times at work. The result is nothing jaw-dropping or life-changing, but it is creating something.

First page of my "recipe swatch book"

I have also really missed making MUSIC. We don't own a piano, so playing gets pretty tough to near impossible. However, just yesterday after church we got pulled aside, and I was asked to be the "ward accompanist" at church. I couldn't be more happier.

So here's to creating.
Get out and make something happen -- it feels good, I assure you.

He says it best:

This Is It

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lewis & Lewis give it 5 stars.

No seriously, totally awesome movie. It's like the MJ concert you never got to see.
That man sure knew how to dance.

Go see it!

The Green Drink

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I made this the other day, and was surprised when I liked it. A great way to start my day!

1 cup orange juice
1 apple, sliced
1 banana, sliced
tons of spinach
1/2 to 1 cup of ice

pour orange juice into blender, add apple and banana. stuff as much spinach as you can into the blender. blend. add ice, and blend a bit more. voila, green drink. you can always add pineapple or peaches, however berries not so much.

Give it a try -- you might just surprise yourself.
picture and recipe found HERE

H, A, double L, O, W, double E, N

Friday, October 30, 2009

Last night consisted of a full-fledged spider factory for my entry in the baking contest for my work Halloween party. They are chocolate macaroon bodies with chocolate covered pretzel legs! Petty time-intensive, but thanks to the help of Russ, I got them done and won SECOND PLACE out of about 15 entries!

Recipe found HERE [Oh, and I used M&M's for eyes]

Great husband, eh? Oh, and I apologize for the poor picture quality...

The infamous Halloween decorating contest at work. (See previous post about the party planning committee). Well our hallway turned out fantastic, in fact it looks like I work in a haunted house. Spiders drop from the ceiling, there is scary music in the background, cobwebs, bloody fingers, bones, etc. As expected, my team went a little overboard, but we won! Here's a snapshot of one wall:
Not your everyday accounting firm, eh? I feel like my work could really be "the Office." Either way, this is a haunted forest.

Tonight we are going out with some friends for dinner and to see THIS at Sea World.
And tomorrow we have an official Halloween party to attend! For as much as Halloween is NOT my favorite holiday to celebrate, this is looking like it'll be a great weekend.

Hope you all have a very

Mail from a little country called Japan

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I got a letter from my brother who's serving a mission for our church in Japan. It made my day/week/month. It's pretty funny how he can say something for the sake of saying something, without knowing how much it applies to MY life, right here, right now. Good ol' inspiration, I guess.

Jace with his trusty bike, Kevin.

We have come so far. "We" as in my family. We have all been learning valuable life lessons--some hard, some not so much. But either way, we are all growing. To quote my wise little brother:
"I love hearing about you and B and thinking about where I am. We are all over the world now! Doing completely different things, all with incredibly different facets and details involved, yet with all of the different lessons yielding the same result, and that is helping us become like our Savior. So cool."
So cool indeed, my brother.

So here's to life.
Here's to growing, learning, struggling.
Here's to taking on new adventures.
And here's to remembering how blessed we are to be in a world sorrounded by those people we love.

Don't Mess With the Party Planning Committee

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I somehow got roped into being on the party planning committee here at my work.

I want out. I don't like staying after work decorating the hall with garbage bags and construction paper to make a "haunted forest" just so we can beat the audit team.

Honestly? I could care less who wins the competition.

But I'm kind of scared of speaking up. After all, I am the new girl, and something like this might happen:

Don't Let Me Down

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tuesday night we saw Rain.

They were incredible.

A few times throughout the night I closed my eyes and I felt like my wildest dreams had finally come true. And by wildest dreams I mean seeing the Beatles perform live. But alas, that is impossible, as two of the "fab four" have passed on. Someday, my friends, someday.

Either way, watching as a group of 4 random guys perform a decade span of music in honor of one of the greatest bands of all time gave me chills. It was amazing to see how nearly 3 generations of people were so influenced by one single band.

Everyone was dancing. Everyone was singing. Everyone was on their feet.

I didn't think it was possible, but seeing "Rain" and the influence the music had upon the whole theater (upon the whole city, actually, as this band has sold out the Majestic Theater for 6 nights straight) has made me fall even more in love with the Beatles than before.

The music is so nostalgic, so inspiring, so timeless.

{Image found here}

Doesn't this picture just make you want to be their friend??