Itching for Adventure.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


As you can see from the picture to the left, I will go to extreme measures to feel adventure. To feel that adrenaline rush. To do something other than sit in an office all day.

Adrenaline junky? Maybe.

Man, let me tell you. Growing up is tough! Don't get me wrong, I feel very blessed to have a stable job, to be able to help provide for our family. But sometimes I long for the freedom of... well... not having an 8-5 job with a whopping 10 days of vacation for the year. Does that sound crazy?

Luckily the countdown to our European adventure is getting mighty small.

20 days.

I wonder if I will regret using 7 of my 10 allotted days for this trip. Probably not.

All in a (Satur)day's Work

Saturday, April 24, 2010

We have had quite the Saturday so far, and it's not even 7:00 pm yet. After a few months of doing some shopping around, researching, and going back and forth on what we want, we finally made a decision today. We are proud to announce that...


Thanks to Lori at Bassett Furniture (and the 30% off sale going on this weekend), we purchased this couch in brown leather. Please ignore the goofy couple actually sitting on the couch in the middle of the showroom. We were pretty dang excited, as this is definitely the biggest purchase we have made since we got married, and we really feel like we got a good deal. Unfortunately, we won't be getting the actual couch for a few more months (brown does not come in stock), but we are excited to add this lovely addition to our family.

What do we do to celebrate? Lunch at Costco, of course.

Oh yeah, and then we went shooting! A few months ago we told you about our friends Brent and Holly. Well Brent loves hunting. They have been meaning to take us out shooting for a while, so we found a range today and gave it a "shot." Ha... get it?

 This is Russ's "Man shot." He was excited to use Brent's AR-15. Russ was like a kid in a candy shop with Brent's gun collection.
This is Holly. She's going to have another baby! Please take note of Brent showing little Avery the ropes in the background. So cute.

Whew. What an exhausting Saturday. I guess it's all in a day's work, right?


Monday, April 19, 2010


Wow wow wow.

Now this was one heck of a whirlwind weekend. It was non-stop from the moment I said peace out to my office until 1:30 am Sunday night when we finally arrived back to our apartment

But so good.

A special thanks to all those who helped make this birthday weekend one of the best yet! I really felt so loved and cared for, and that is all that matters. It would be hard to say that this was the best birthday, because last year this happened:

... but dang, it was still amazing. Pretty crazy to think of all that has happened in a year. Well here's a quick rundown of this epic weekend:

How can this day not be fabulous when you start it off with an amazing strawberry french toast breakfast made especially by Randal and Argelia? Well that's what happened. And I have fabulous in-laws. Later we met up with MY mom who flew down from Washington for the weekend (definitely not a coincidence). We had lunch, caught up on life, shopped, you know, everything you should do with your mom. Oh yeah, and we picked up our race packets!

I think I'm beginning to see why people say "like mother like daughter"

We finished the day off with an amazing dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Perfect fuel for the big race.

After sleeping approximately 2 hours Friday night (definitely NOT on purpose), us three girls suited up, tied our running shoes nice and tight, and headed to the starting line. Honestly, I had no clue how this race was going to go with fighting training injuries, limited time to train, an extreme change of altitude (trained at about 900 ft above sea level, raced at about 4,300), lack of sleep, etc. To my astonishment, I beat my previous 1/2 marathon time by 9 minutes! I also came in 2 minutes faster than my "goal time." So I was happy. My feet weren't so happy, but I was happy. 

I must also give a shout out to my amazing sister and mother. Brittney dominated yet another race and my mom proved how amazingly in shape she really is! I feel so lucky to be able to accomplish such a huge goal with my family. We have definitely bonded on a whole different level.
The three McLaws girls. 
I must also publicly thank Russell and Stuart for having a tray with three large Diet Cokes waiting for us at the finish line. 
You don't even know how much that meant.

We most definitely cannot forget to mention Russell's awesome accomplishment. 
He had a blast in this race. I think I see road biking in our future....
I apologize for this picture. But Russell said people are drawn to disturbing things, so here you are. I really wasn't exaggerating when I say I get reeeeally bad blisters.

Ok moving on. The rest of my birthday consisted of a fabulous refueling lunch, watching a Fictionist concert on the grass under the sun, saying goodbye to my Mom, visiting friends, and more.

I feel spring coming on! Hallelujah.

Isn't she cute? I think so.

Natalie works at this dangerously delicious cookie shop in Salt Lake City called My Dough Girl. I'm still thinking about these cookies. And also about how cute Natalie is at all times.

So then Russ outdid himself once again and planned a surprise party for me at one of my favorite places to eat in Provo, Costa Vida. We then headed to Brittney's for an evening of fabulous treats and fun. It was so fun to see a bunch of our friends from Provo. We miss these people so much, and hate that we see them so little. But at the same time, I feel so blessed to have such amazing friends. What more could you want?

Emily and Erin. The fantastic trio of Enclave 303. Wow that was a fun apartment. And double wow... I miss them like crazy.

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by. Perfect end to the perfect day.

Dinner with the Lewis's!!! Always a party. Argelia made yet another fantastic meal with fantastic carrot cake. 

 I was just a little excited about the Anthropologie gift card from the Lewis's, as you can see. And as always, little Lucy is such a great helper.

So then we left. All good things must come to an end. Such is life. After a loooooooooooong flight home, we finally show up to our little apartment at an obscene hour for how early we knew we had to wake up. Considering I was half asleep, you can imagine my confusion and utter surprise when I open the door to find this in our living room:

Let me explain. For the last month Russell has been helping his friend build a pie chest for Melissa, his wife, on Saturday afternoons while I would be taxing away. He also was working pretty late at work for it not being busy season. Or so I thought. He was really in Matt's garage building this -- an ingeniously designed desk where I can store my sewing machine, craft supplies, and more. That whole left side of the table collapses down to conserve space when not in use. He built this!!! For ME! Wow, I love him a lot. We are now just trying to decide what color to paint this perfect little craft desk of mine.

Lessons we have learned with this story? Russell is incredibly thoughtful and creative, and I am really gullible and easy to deceive. Apparently a whole slew of our family and friends were in on this secret, or at least knew about it. Thanks to all of you who helped Russell accomplish this little surprise and helped keep it a secret. 

It really was a perfect day.

The end.

10 Things that make me happy:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

1. The glorious fact that tax season is O-V-E-R.
2. Fun surprises on my desk from fun friends
3. The idea of going out to lunch -- such excitement for such little things! And here's the best part: lunch at Chipotle. Oh how happy am I.
4. Leaving on a jet plane. Ok not really a jet, but a plane. Let's talk a minute about a seriously needed vacation from work, Texas, and the daily grind. It's needed. That's all.
5. Waking up to rain.
6. Letters from my little brother.
7. Um, birthday?
8. My "tax season survival" kit that was attempted to be left in my car from Russell. Although it didn't quite work out, meaning he did actually put it in my car, but had forgotten that he was driving my car that day to get the oil changed and I was driving his, so really he gave himself his survival kit. But the thought was still cute.
9. GLEE IS BACK! (And yes, despite the craziness of work this week, I still managed to watch it. Totally worth it.)
10. We get to see our families! (And friends!) In T minus 8 hours!

Let's make a play list.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ok you guys, I just worked my last Saturday and am on the home stretch, for a lot of things. Busy season... vacation... race... etc. So now I need your help:

I am in the midst of building the ultimate race play list. Any awesome running/exercise songs I need to know about? What song(s) pumps you up???

Till The Sun Turns Black

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Today was another stuck-in-traffic-on-the-way-to-work day. And I mean bad traffic. But then this song came on and I was reminded of when my sweet husband brought this album home from me (Till the Sun Turns Black by Ray LaMontagne). It was winter. It had been a bad stretch of days (you know what I mean -- we all have them). I was making dinner and he walked in with a huge grin on his face. Apparently Russell loves giving small, thoughtful gifts as much as he loves receiving them. It was exactly what I needed. After dinner I put the CD in and listened to the whole thing. This song came on and I just laid on the floor totally entranced. I really don't know if I can explain how much I love this song. It's that beautiful.

This morning I was also thinking about how I have ONE MORE WEEK until the craziness of busy season is over. Oh how I can't wait. I'm tired, and quite burnt out. It turns out not having a day off since New Years Day is not good for one's soul.

In exactly one week's time I will be on a plane with my husband, headed to see family and friends. Oh yeah, and to run a half marathon with these two wonderful women:

Yeah, about that race. We'll see how that goes.

And also, it's spring here in Texas. Wildflowers are a bloomin'. They really are beautiful, and this short season has redeemed some of the scenic value for Texas. Although I've heard it doesn't last long. Soon it will be dreadfully hot and the flowers will die. Such is life.

And on that cheerful note, my lunch break is over and tax returns are calling. Thanks for tuning in as I assure you faithful readers that I really still am alive.

{For you music fans who just haven't gotten enough, I've also been slightly obsessed with THIS SONG by Muse. For real.}

Happy Easters!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

This is my Easter basket for Russell. I love how genuinely happy he gets from such simple things -- like Easter baskets with goldfish, yellow peeps, candy, and a homemade card.
(By the way, Natalie, do you like the bunny??)

Other Easter day activities consist of:
Sleeping in.
Watching conference. SO great.
Texting parties with family who live way too far away.
Russell spending time with his tomatoes. (See previous post)

Planned activities, yet to come to pass:
Easter walk with husband.
Chicken cordon bleu. (I don't love baked ham, so this is how I will integrate a traditional Easter dinner ingredient)
Probably playing Ticket To Ride. Oh how we love that game.

We hope your Easter has been just as great as you spend time with family and friends and
remember the real reason for today.