Saturday, June 30, 2012

birthday wishes

 i am a big fan of having a summer birthday, particularly because i have spent almost every birthday from the last fifteen years with my sweet family in my favorite place: hebgen lake, montana. and i can't wait to be there in just a short month!

it's the best.

i also enjoy bugging my husband by frequently asking him what he is going to do for my birthday. last year he pulled off one of the best birthday surprises ever [showing up at an efy dance, sneaking into and decorating my room, gorgeous flowers... you get the idea], so i'm expecting big things.

he likes to respond with "i have no idea" but i think he is brewing up something great in that brain of his. he asked me to come up with a list of ten things i would love to be "surprised" with for my birthday so he at least has some direction and some ideas. i've put some thought into this and compiled a list of sorts, and i thought it would be fun share. maybe you can get some ideas for your upcoming birthday!

so there is my list. i'm particularly fond of number eight, a good love letter is always a winner with me. [we just watched pride and prejudice so maybe anj can get some inspiration from that]. for some reason i have a slight obsession with venus razors and yellow just happens to be my favorite color. that cute patterned dress is on sale at anthro and i think it is so fun! as for number nine, i'm always looking for healthier ways to take care of my hair and apparently these curlers use way less heat. hooray! i probably couldn't tell the time to save my life on number two [did you know i struggle with time-telling?], but i really do think it is adorable.

if you could pick one, which would you choose?

p.s. does anyone have a good blowdryer recommendation? i haven't had one in about a year and i think it's time i find a good one... let me know if you love yours!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

colorado in flames

first off: andrew and i are safe and sound and so blessed to have been able to stay in our little home. however, many others were not so lucky.

over thirty-two thousand evacuated
over one thousand firefighters fighting the flames
hundreds of homes destroyed by fire
six thousand acres up in smoke
predicted to be contained july fourteenth, still weeks away

it is truly a tragedy.

on saturday the flames began in the forest, and they thought all the homes would be safe
 it was crazy to see smoke billowing from the mountains just miles away, literally all day long.
 tuesday there were major shifts in the winds and suddenly the fire began overtaking the neighborhoods  up in the mountains, then more wind shifts caused the flames to spread every which way and people began to be evacuated left and right. 

i worked all day tuesday and there was a period from about 1-4 when you literally couldn't see out the windows because it was so smoky, and no one came into the restaurant. our view from work..
 smoke was everywhere. 
  it was so eerie to see the sun glowing red from behind the smoky clouds.
 after a few hours of smoky-awfulness it began to clear a bit and the restaurant was hit... mostly by evacuees with no where else to go. i began to worry if i would even have a home to go back to after hearing that they had evacuated all the way up to air force academy, which is right across the freeway from us.
we kept taking quick breaks to run outside and see how the fire spread, and as i drove home from work the mountainside was dotted with spots of orange all over. i realized that they were homes burning. it honestly just made me sick inside to know that people were watching their homes burn down and nothing could be done about it. 
(picture from
once anj and i were home we turned on the news and just saw picture after picture of the devastating fire. we kept the news on in case any pre-evacuation notifications were sent our way, considering the fire was right across the freeway. the winds had shifted the fire more southernly, so for the moment we figured we were probably safe. nevertheless, we started putting items we knew we wanted to save in a laundry basket in case the notice came.

it was really interesting to have to think about what we would take with us if we were told to evacuate, knowing that whatever we left behind might never be seen again. many only had minutes to gather what few precious items they could as the winds sent the fire raging into the previously safe neighborhood.

the blueish area is the mandatory evacuated area and the yellow star is where anj and i live.
we left the t.v. on for quite some time and when they talked about how they weren't sure if the main highway I-25 could even break a fire of this magnitude i got a little nervous.. (we are right on the other side of that highway) but after saying a prayer with anj i felt comforted and was grateful to know that if we did have to evacuate i would be able to be with what is most important.. my sweet husband. 

i truly do feel so blessed for the safety we have been able to have as this fire rages so close-by, and for all of those willing to help fight the fire; many homes have been lost, but many were also saved. my heart aches for those who have lost their homes, and i am so grateful to have comfort and safety at this time. what a reality check to be so close to a real live natural disaster! the fire has been partially contained and people are beginning to return to their homes, but we need some rain, so send a prayer for colorado springs our way. 

thanks for all the love and support.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

sunday reflections

some random reflections and thoughts on the past week or two...

after having no power for four days, i realized how much we take electricity for granted.
i have never been so excited to turn on the bathroom light and be able to see in the mirror. 
wildfires are hitting all over our town, and families are being evacuated left and right.
again i am so grateful for safety, comfort, and electricity.
 this month i've managed to find myself at costco eating samples for lunch not once, but twice.
have you had their chickpea and spinach patties? the perfect snack.
 my amazingly awesome husband sold four security systems in one day. his manager who is the best salesman around hasn't even done that. i am so proud of my anj, and in celebration of his feat i took myself to get a pedicure. 
(it was heavenly.)
the most amazing thing about anj is that not only does he pretty much sell well consistently, but on the unusual day that he doesn't he still has an amazing attitude, which makes me even more proud.  
 post-pedicure pic.
anj is also just really cute. i love when we match for date night. and wearing his comfy red v-neck all day. and that he took me out to a tasty steak dinner that hit the spot so good. sometimes you just need a perfectly cooked filet.
stove top s'mores are tasty, but they'll never beat a real flame.
 german pancakes are a perfect sunday breakfast.
 especially if you add ripe summer berries and nutella. yum.
madeline barnett? i have a feeling it is only the beginning.
 i've been really into the sunday braid lately. today's version below:
we like to rock the accessories. big watches. cuff links. statement necklace. keepin' it classy.
when i got this shirt i had a feeling it would pair well with my fave jcrew pencil skirt. a perfect match!! Yippee!
this week we 'celebrated' two months of marriage. i can't believe how fast it has flown by, and how truly wonderful it has been. two months down, forever to go. i can't wait!

happy sunday to all!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

and now presenting.... juju

i have a fabulous job.
in fact it is something that i have always wanted to do.
i'm a waitress at gunther toody's diner, but i'm not just any old waitress....

i'm juju
(probably my favorite new hairstyle)

i get to wear red lipstick to work. i get to do my hair. i get to introduce myself as juju. i get to say things like "howdy doody", "what's shakin' bacon", "see ya later alligator", "thanks for cruisin' in". i get to wear a pink bowling shirt and pearls. i pretty much have a fifties alter ego when i walk through the doors. i love it and i want to share a little taste with you... 

so now, the many faces of juju:

wait there's more!

we are required to have pins to decorate our shirts.
 a little taste of the diner, jukebox and all.
 our famous deal nights... mondays and wednesdays are always busy!
my girl 'peewee'. 
 red lips required. 
 everyone loves the red booths. 
our "break table"... i guess we didn't take the sign to heart. 
lulu, dee-dee, and juju at our finest.
 at every table.
 a good waitress has a rainbow variety of pens and stickers on her book. 
the creepy children sticker was given to me with the book... 
 my lucky pin from mike!
gunther toody's specials.
 humorous fact: when you walk out of the women's bathroom you may be worried for a minute, never fear... they just put that men sign there to trick you. 

welp. i think that gives you all a pretty good idea.
i truly do love my job, and last night i hit my first $100+ in tips! yippeee. 
i love the crazy people i work with, i love being juju, and i love checking a dream off the list!

if you live in colorado springs come see me! 

and as i sign all my receipts... 
thanks for shakin' with us! 
love, juju

Monday, June 18, 2012

a new decade for dad

holy cow.
my dad is officially the big 5-0!
that makes me feel old!

okay. not really. but because i just told the whole world that my dad is fifty, i owe him so i have compiled a list of fifty reasons why my dad is awesome. in fact, the awesome-est. here we go

FIFTY reasons why my dad is awesome.

1. he is the most generous person i know.
2. he is kind.
3. he has an uncanny ability to make anyone gullible and believe whatever he makes up.
4. he is a hardworker.
5. he understands numbers like no one's business.
6. he has a passion for traveling.
7. he served a mission.
8. he served a mission in korea.
9. he helped build the chicago temple.
10. he's been to every state in the usa. probably twice.
11. he is an awesome fisherman.
12. he has amazing eyesight - he can spot fish in deep rivers, eagles in dense forests, amazing!
13. he does crossfit.
14. he is funny.
15. he takes me shopping for the best produce whenever i'm in town.
16. he makes the best mozzarella tomato stacks.
17. he is a great young men's president.
19. he looks great in sunglasses.
20. he often wears sunglasses.
21. he is a grilling master.
22. he makes the tastiest mustard marinade.
23. he read me the hobbit.
24. he rocks plaid button-ups.
25. he is a great boat driver.
26. he still skis on one.
27. he is a handy man.
28. he is the best at working the fastpass system at disneyland (or he was until Dave and Wilson's epic day of all fastpass epic-ness)
29. he walks me through all my car problems.
30. he's a pro at volleyball. :)
31. he's a pro at packing school lunches.
32, he let me and j drive the bronco - the coolest car ever.
33. he got my mom a mini cooper for her fortieth birthday - the second coolest car ever.
34. he understands the stock market.
35. he's a venture capitalist - 90% of people don't know what that is.
36. he always takes us to tasty dinners when he visits in provo.
37. he likes sports.
38. he's a good listener. when i call home and my mom isn't around he always listens to my crazy stories!
39. he knows his tools. in the garage and in the kitchen.
40. he could probably survive in the woods for a long time.
41. he has great sense of direction.
42. he takes us to montana.
43. he has an large, old coca cola bottle full of coins that often come in handy. it is quite heavy.
44. he's a man of few words but he makes his word count.
45. he has facebook. (and instagram)
46. he loves all of us and shows it in his own ways.
47. he truly can do anything.
48. when it comes to trying foods he is fearless. and encourages us to be fearless too. it works sometimes.
49. he is the best storyteller i know - ask him about aguba aguba wa!
50. he takes such good care of everyone around him, especially his family, and he has truly made his fifty years of life count!

if you made it through all that, hopefully you learned something new and great about my pops.
he really is the best, most generous man and he is such a great example to me and andrew. we love him so much.


happy birthday dad.

sure love you. hope this new decade is a great one!

p.s. did you notice there wasn't an 18? don't worry. it's right here. just seeing if i could getcha... it's something my dad would do.

18. he chooses the right.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

growing up

it is truly amazing how fast time flies.
how things change.
how quickly life seems to move, when looking at it once it has already passed.

i was able to go home last week, and what a treat it was.
i am so grateful that i have a family that loves to be together, loves to support each other, loves to have dance parties in our kitchen, and loves to party in general.

watching jenn graduate was wild. she truly has grown up into an AMAZING young woman. she is kind, she is smart, she is well rounded, she is athletic, she is beautiful. i was so glad to be there to watch her walk across that stage and take that diploma that represents the end of one chapter of life and the beginning of the next. i am also so beyond excited to have her with me in provo come fall. hopefully she'll want to hang out with her old-married-sister...

can you believe we have gone from this and this...

to this...

To this...                                                              ...then this! 
 four years apart
 but two very similar hearts. 
jenn was a dream
 and i loved being there to support her!
 the ladies...

congratulations jenn!

graduation wasn't the only adventure at home...

 pupusas with the boys at jennifer's taqueria
 family volleyball taking a wrong turn...
 dave being a ham on top of the ladder
 late night slurpee runs
 staying up til two watching endless home videos..
eating cinnamon roll pancakes
and lots of celebration of this girl!

(and now she is in italy!)
seeing this.....                          and this....                             and this...               and eating this...