Help Heal Hela

Monday, June 27, 2011

It has been a whirlwind of a weekend, I tell ya. We are all moved into our house! Well, I guess "moved in" is a loose term, considering there are boxes and random items strewn about. But we are here, and we are so happy. We absolutely love the house, and even more, we love that we are together. Those 5 hard months we spent apart were worth it.

But honestly, amidst all of the craziness of moving, only one thing has been on my mind. It's not the decorating, paint colors, blinds (or lack of them at this point), or the mass amount of landscaping we have ahead of us. No, it is my dear friend Hela who had a brain tumor and is now recovering from massive brain surgery. I've known Hela since the age of 9. We played on soccer teams, served in ASB, went to concerts, dances, and many more fun events together. You know, one of those kind of friends. The ones you will never forget. She is an amazing girl with a heart of gold and is much too young to be dealing with a trial this large if you ask me. So could you do something for me? Just keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers. I know they work.

I love this picture. It is me with some of my best friends. Hela is to the right of me in the back row. Isn't she beautiful?

The Longest Day of the Year

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Who here is as excited as I am that summer is here?! I'm seeing trips to the lake, hikes, swimsuits, barbeques, hot dogs, family, and lots o' fun in our near future. There is something so exciting about the summer solstice and making the most of the longest day of the year. Here are a few ways we have welcomed summer into our lives:

We closed on our house! It's quite a scary feeling being in charge of getting the biggest check of our life to the title company. This also means we signed our life away. But, looking on the bright side, once the funds go through tomorrow, that little blue house is ours!!
I bought Russ a new swimsuit for $5 at Old Navy in anticipation for our many family trips to the lake in the upcoming weeks.
Made a delicious meal to celebrate summer. This Ravioli with Apples and Walnuts recipe from Real Simple is a must-try meal... trust me. It's quick and tasty, and always brings a smile to our face.
And last, but not least, we took advantage of the cool evening and walked up to Rock Canyon and watched the sun set on this longest day of the year. What a beautiful sight to behold.

And how about you, my friends? How did you say goodbye to spring and hello to summer? Anyone have exciting plans for this lovely season??

Bar Gelato?! Yes Please.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Maybe it's the fact that our little temporary one bedroom apartment does not have A/C and a cold treat sounds so refreshing, summer is in full force, or the fact that I just have a major sweet tooth... but these little bars of goodness look ahh-mazing. Can someone please convince bar gelato to be sold in other states than California? I will buy them. I can promise you that.

We Did It!!

I am so happy to say that Half-Marathon #3 is over and done with!

Natalie, me, and Marcella (from left to right) literally cheering for joy  

This was such a great weekend. I loved spending time with my husband and our family. I loved creating new memories. I loved pushing myself to the limit. And most of all, I loved accomplishing another goal.

At the beginning of the year I had made a goal to run another half marathon, and by golly, I did it! I started my training in Texas, and quite honestly, was feeling great about my progress. I felt faster and stronger than I have ever felt in my life. And then we moved to Utah, and added about 4,000 feet to the elevation. Ouch! Talk about feeling like wheezy McGee! Just about the point where I felt like my lungs were no longer burning during every run, it was time for the big event. We drove the 3 hours north to Bear Lake, adding another 1,000 feet to the elevation. Let me just say this race was HARD. Then again, I'm not sure when running 13.1 miles will ever be easy. That will be a good day. Long story short, I didn't quite hit my "goal time." But considering the circumstances, I feel I did really well. I knocked about 5 minutes off of my last half marathon time, which in and of itself, is something to be happy about.

I am also extremely proud of my two sister in-laws. We all accomplished something that we each struggled in our own individual ways to achieve. I am especially impressed with Marcella, a mother of 3 kids (her youngest is 6 months), and before yesterday had never run longer than 6 miles. But she did it, and even crossed the finish line with a smile. 

Each time I finish a race I think "What next?" Now that we are in Utah where there are multiple half or full marathons almost every weekend, I hope to run another by the end of the summer. Committing this goal to the blog-o-sphere will make it hard to back out. :)

And that my friends, is why runners are insane. We finish one painful experience (I mean literally painful -- it hurts to walk today), and think "when can I do this again?"

PS. Thanks for waving at the camera, Nat. Practicing for Miss Utah??

The {Mountain} Biker is Back

Friday, June 10, 2011

Before Russ and I met he used to do weekly mountain bike races. We then got married and moved to Texas where a mountain could not be found. Russ often talked about these races so nostalgically. I was sad I never got to see him in "his element."

Wednesday night was another affirmation of how much we love being back in the mountains. Russ was like a little kid on his new bike. You see, for the last few years Russ has often mentioned how much he would like a new mountain bike. I told him that if we ever lived in a location where the bike could actually be used, he could buy whatever bike he wanted. Hmm... maybe that was one reason he took this job in Utah?

Either way, it was worth it. Seeing Russ ride and compete, doing something he completely loves, made me so happy. And plus, how can I complain when I get to read a book on the grasses of Sundance with this as my view while I wait for him to cross the finish line?

Oooo! Speaking of races, tonight we are off for a weekend at Bear Lake where I will finally get to run my half marathon I signed up for a few months ago. I am filled with one part excitement, one part dread, and one part nerves. Welp, wish me luck!

Ruffled Flower Onesie Tutorial

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Is it just me, or is everyone having babies right now?! It's probably just me. One of my best friends from college, Elyse, had a beautiful little girl a few months ago. I figured it's better late than never to make Isla a little gift!

Looking at my blog it might seem as though I only make yellow crafts. This may be half true, but I swear I like other colors and do in fact incorporate them into my craft projects! I guess the only ones I actually blog about are yellow. Anyway, not important. You can customize to whatever your heart desires!

It has been a while since I made a tutorial. But this was a fun and easy little project that I just had to share with y'all! You can use any fabric you have laying around. I used a jersey material that I had found at Hancock Fabrics for sale. So really, all you need is fabric, thread, onesies, and of course a sewing machine might help :)

First you're going to make the ruffles. Ruffles are fun. I promise.

Is "ruffle-ness" a word? Well it is now. Anyway, now you've got your ruffle and all you have to do is sew it to the onesie in a rotating pattern to make your flower! Easy as pie, I tell ya.

And there you have it! A fun little ruffled flower onesie to give as a baby shower gift or keep for your own little ones (if you have them). I tied a little string of my oh-so-favorite divine twine around the onesie for the finishing touch.

When Isla's a bit older I'm sure she'll tell me how pretty she felt in her onesie. Now I wish I had one in my size. I guess I could just sew this ruffled flower to a pillow? A shirt of my own? A tote? Oh goodness, the possibilities are endless!

Happy crafting my friends!

Turkey Pesto Panini

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yesterday was one of those make-something-for-lunch-based-on-the-few-ingredients-you-have-in-your-fridge type of days. The finished product was so good that it was no longer a "scavenger-type" meal, but may be one of my new favorite sandwiches. I loved it so much I couldn't wait till noon to make it again today. I thought to take a picture mid-scarf mode, so I apologize for the half-eaten sandwich. But if your looking for something tasty (and quick!) to make, I highly suggest throwing this little guy together!

The Lewis Home Tour

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Welcome to the Lewis Home Tour! I have received requests to see some pictures of our new house. Since we're not in it yet, I thought I would meet you in the middle by showing pictures of the inside of the model home (which is exactly the same floorplan as our house)! One reason we were so excited about our house was the original builder had included about $30,000 worth of upgrades, that I'm sure we wouldn't have been able to afford, but we received at a huge discount. Some upgrades he did include:

Solid surface countertops (the model home had laminate)
Upgraded cabinets, carpet, tile, and 2 sinks in the master bath
Increased insulation throughout house, including insulated garage doors
 The lovely 3rd garage... oh, bless that man.

All walls in the house are white right now, which honestly, I am stoked about. I love the idea of starting with a fresh canvas. I also fell in love with the thick baseboards and doorframes, oversized windows, and craftsman style doors. Okey dokey, let's get this tour on the road!

In the picture below you will see the kitchen--he extended that right side out by 4 feet making it a bit more open.
So that's prety much it for the inside. Congrats to you if you made it through all those pictures! Another big selling point to us was the size of the yard and the view of the river, mountains, and horses, not to mention direct access to a huge trail that goes along the river. The big downside? None of the landscape is done. But, as my dad used to sing to me often as a kid, "you don't always get what you want." :) And plus, it'll do me some good to get down and dirty. Hello summer project!