Thursday, December 15, 2011

I need to paint

I found a blog that I love! Its this young mom who lives with her little daughter in Italy where her husband is going to grad. school. I love seeing her works of art. I love that though she doesn't think it's anything amazing, I do. I see that she is actually painting. I miss that. I need to do it often -- especially when I have Milah and am not working. I would love to become engrossed in a great work of art that makes me forget the entire world. But I always seem to end up copying something I've seen. Its like I appreciate others' art so much that I just want to do a work of art like theirs. I don't know how to overcome that, but I think the best way is with knowledge. I need to know where the shadows fall. 
I love this girls' description of how art makes her feel and getting back into painting. 
"I tried sketching a bit last week. I played around with some watercolors too. I didn't make anything beautiful, I just remembered what it felt like to let my mind go and feel the paper under the tip of my brush. I liked that feeling. I liked looking at the dark pencil lead drag across the page. I liked making circles and feeling my fingers, then hand, then arm loosen up. It felt something like waking up in the morning." via 

I love this post about contemporary and abstract art!

And I loved her final BFA show in the HFAC at BYU last year!!!
Maybe you remember this installation?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Baby baby :)

Ok, so I've started looking at baby stuff :) -- so fun!
I thought this was brilliant and I'd love to make one.
Especially it would be really useful in big cities etc. And I never want to use the toddler seats at restaurants etc. ug!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Christmas is around the corner :)

And finally, maternity sweaters

Cant wait to make this!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Unclutterer -- Marking Items

I liked these ideas

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reasons to Keep Clutter

Today I was talking with my mom on the phone and I said "I'm not a packrat," but as I continued to think about what I'd been telling her I started to question that. 
I do keep clothes from when i was 12 years old (some of which I still wear). I don't want to get rid of these clothes because I just think that someday I could use them to make my baby some clothes instead of buying fabric.
I have 6 bottles of almost used smelly lotions because it seems like a waste to throw them away.
I have stuff from family/friends that I won't use EVER, but I feel obligated to keep. I realized that I have moved a few of those said objects with me 6 times! One of these, for instance is like 4 copies of a church movie that I were leftovers from when my Dad was a Bishop and I thought I'd give them to my visiting teachees for Christmas -- well I'm actually doing it this year! Can you believe I've moved those with me 6 times???
So I realized I am a packrat, but since I love things to not look cluttered at all, all those objects/clothes are tucked away neatly in tupperwear containers under my bed/in cabinet space throughout the house. 
When I get home I am surely getting rid of it. 
One of my greatest motivations to get rid of things and simplify my life is the blog @
She gets asked so often "what to do about other peoples' stuff" that she made this great diagram: 

This helped me identify a lot of things I have that I didn't even realize was unnecessary. 

One of my other favorite tips was her decision tree to buy a shirt/blouse: 
Maybe I'll use this when deciding to keep a shirt/blouse :) One of my favorites is the "drop it like it's hot" for a hoddie -- because I have this really old "brigham young university" hoodie that looked great on me when I wore it on the coast when I was 14; but now it just really needs to go, you know why? Not because I don't wear it but because it just looks too horrible to keep wearing!

I realized how many of these "reasons to keep clutter" (via go through my head when I'm organizing/going through old stuff.
1. I paid good money for it.
2. Someone might want it.
3. It would be a waste to throw it away.
4. I just need to buy more storage totes.
5. That used to be special to me.
6. That was a souvenir from…
7. I might need it later.
8. I just need a bigger home.
9. It’s a book! (or a cookbook!)
10. It was on sale.
11. I could make something with it.
12. It belonged to my grandmother.
13. When I have more time, I’ll use it /read it / finish it.
14. I don’t have time to go through this stuff.
15. I’m too tired.
16. I’ll do it later.
17. It’s a sweet baby item.
18. Someone who loves me gave it to me.
19. I worked hard to write/study/make this.
20. I want it to stay in the family.
21. It’s not my clutter, it’s my spouse’s/child’s/roommate’s.
22. I need to wait until I have a full weekend to do it right.
23. I’ll keep it until I have a garage sale.
24. It might be valuable one day.
25. It might come back in fashion.
26. It’s vintage!
27. It’s a collection.
28. My child made it.
29. It makes me feel secure.
30. It shows how smart or talented I am.
31. It proves I was here.
32. Why bother? It will just get cluttered again anyway.

How do you keep clear of clutter?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Really Good Salad Dressing

I made this last night and it was REALLY good!

Applebee’s Oriental Salad Dressing

Yield: approximately 3/4 cup.
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
4 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I just had to post this again...I make it all the time!

I am the most spoiled, luckiest girl in the world!
Daniel woke up early Saturday morning and cleaned our tub, sanitized our counters, and dusted while I slept in.
We made the greatest yummy pancakes!!! While I was jumping around, listening to fun music. 

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)

  • And I wanted to make Dan Magelby's syrup -- Even though ours was more like caramel it was soooo good!
  • 1 stick butter
    1 Cup sugar
    1 Cup buttermilk
    1 T. vanilla
    1 T. corn syrup
    ½ tsp. baking soda

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our apartment right now

I had fun decorating our apartment yesterday. We love our blue living room! 
A few of my favorite objects are...
Hydrangeas. These ones look so real! And I really wanted to use hydrangeas for my wedding but they are way pricey. Well, I finally just bought hydrangeas but I bought ones that look and feel (just don't smell) real! 
The gold mirror -- that is from the beach cottage before the remodel (the beach cottage is where Dan and I went on our honeymoon). 
And finally, the roman shades because I made them! It was such a fun experience finding the perfect fabric. 
I also love the cottage-y feel. I love the modern feel; I love the formal feel and I always have trouble choosing what style to go with. But when I went home and saw our house as blue and cottage-y I thought I'd do the same in our happy home. It is so inviting and yet gives some rich color (which is needed in our home because so much is white -- which I love). 
It's funny because every time I go to the store I want to buy white and cream colored things. But it's way better to buy color-rich decorations because that's always what I want in our home is more color :)
Thanks for all the happy memories of going to Hobby Lobby and helping you decorate and seeing what is beautiful and putting things together to decorate our home beautifully Mom! I saw a mother and daughter there together yesterday and it just made me reminisce about all those fun times where we put the entire center piece together on the aisle floor. I did that yesterday too and I think people thought it was weird, but oh well! I got ALL things I love and won't need to return ANY of them! That was my goal per Danny's request (we've had trouble returning things before). 
I love having a happy home that brings the spirit and is beautiful. It is a way for me to "create."

One year from today...

I just read one of my best friends' blogs about how a year ago we had no idea where we'd be in 1 year. I just had a thought that in 1 year from now, we will have spent time somewhere for Danny's internship next summer and may be in Russia. I will have a nearly 6 month old baby! And other than that, I hope to have lost my pregnancy weight (or most of it :)). I hope to have a happy home and have built an even more strong relationship with Danny. Thank goodness I can say that much -- that's the most I've been able to say about myself in a year from now at any point. But yet life seems so undefined! We will hopefully be planning a trip to Europe to go backpacking. Dan will be nearly graduated. I may or may not be graduated.  But it's fun to think about :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

My "Special Place"

I've always wondered what my special place where you go when you're "escaping" contractions.

I thought it might be on the beach with the sun shining on me in Hawaii.

Or like my mom's -- moss that you can put your feet in.

Or something from Pride and Prejudice like my new favorite painting by Paul Ferney

Isn't that beautiful?

But today when I practiced relaxing in preparation for childbirth, I tested out all these places and found one that suited me perfectly. After having bad dreams lately, I decided this place had to be a SAFE place with no concerns, nothing on my mind except how much I love Danny and this baby.

And the place my mind stuck to was our honeymoon in Monterey Bay!

It is the best of all worlds but most of all I chose it because it's when I'm most at ease, most safe. Each night, I have this special way I curl up facing Danny and he wraps me up and I know I am safe there. It's when I am most relaxed. That was my happy place! It actually delighted me :)
And we are in a cool, misty place, under a big white feather blanket with a canopy of white over the bed. Exactly like our honeymoon suite!

The beach house has soft grass and a lemon tree that's weighed down with lemons in the back yard where I can go see soft, green grass and moss. It has the sound of the ocean which is so soothing without me feeling vulnerable and exposed. The waves crashing on rocks are too cold to go jump in (which is also comforting to me)

and I can walk along the shore discovering new plants and animals
You're supposed to imagine being there with your baby and talking to your baby. I imagined showing our baby the otters and how much he/she loved the playful otters.
And I imagined walking to the farmer's market and tasting all different foods and visiting the beautiful Thomas Kinkade gallery -- just like we did!

I was shocked that that was the place I most imagined loving going!

I just love this picture -- and this wonderful man! :)

Sometimes I re-post posts I love -- Pumpkin Pancakes

I am posting these without having tried hopefully they're good, but they sound just like what Danny would love -- moist. And what I would love -- pumpkin. I have to say I've never like pancakes either! I LOVE waffles a lot and would always beg the family to make waffles. They are crispy and hold more syrup in their little holes without getting soggy. But alas, we are poor college students (money's not the problem because i have a waffle maker) the problem is... with little room for extra pans that we'd use thrice a year. So Maybe I'll try pancakes one of these mornings!



I feel I need to be honest here.

I don't like pancakes.  Finally. I said it.

It all started with:
A.) My undying love for dare ANY other so-called "breakfast" food try to compete!
B.) Syrup sogginess.


This was probably around the time I began to understand the divine-ness of cereal.  Let's imagine my mother introducing pancakes to me.  The "cool" thing about pancakes is that you get to pour this sugary, maple goodness all over it, after it's been soaked in butter.  Then you dive right in. Sound delectable?  Not to me.  Here is the (possible) conversation that took place that fateful, soggy, day.

Me: Mom do I have to eat these?  It takes like a sponge. (after I've just poured half of Aunt Jemima all over my pancakes)
Mother:  April, you can't have cereal everyday for the rest of your life. It's time for something new. Something adventurous.  How will you ever be able to appreciate other cultures if you don't even like pancakes?
Me: Grossss...I think I hear the Jetson's calling my name.  Where's the dog?

So there you have it.  Pancakes and I have had a history.  And it's not been pretty.  I swore I would loathe pancakes until the day I died.  Until one day...


Yesterday.  I had a leftover can of Pumpkin Puree from when Sarah and I were into a "Mookies" obsession.  "Mookies" are delicious muffins that look like should try them. 
So anyway, this can of P.P just kept staring at me until finally I decided I just had to do something with it.  I was flipping through the "Parents" magazine when I came across a recipe for...Pumpkin Pancakes.

I could at least try them.

Maybe pancakes have changed in the last 23 years. Maybe they taste better. Maybe there's no soggy syrup or calorie laden butter involved.  Maybe, just maybe.  Plus, I loved that it was under the "Healthy Eating" section and they added, "Veggies for breakfast? Yes!" Most of you think that sounds anything BUT good..not me. I thought it sounded delicious!  Then again, I feel that pumpkin could make anything taste good.  Even pancakes.

The result was astounding.  A hallelujah chorus sang.  My heart leapt with joy.  Mitt Romney became President.  Seriously I believe these pancakes are miracle-workers.

Only Mitt Romney did not actually become President. Yet.

You will want to try these.  For Shiz.  They are moist and pumpkin-y (but not too much) and Andrew said this morning that they were so good he didn't even need syrup.  Miracle.

Here they are..adapted from "Parents" magazine:

Pumpkin Pancakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 T. maple syrup ( hint: if you put it IN the batter they don't get soggy!)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 T. cinnamon
1/3 cup canned pumpkin

Add ingredients dry to wet.  Use 1/4 cup to put batter on skillet.  Make sure pan is hot before adding batter.  Allow to cook 3-4 min on each side.  I doubled the batch so Andrew could grab some for breakfast on his way to school.  Store remaining, uneaten, tasty pancakes in airtight container or ziplock bag. Place in fridge.  Will stay good for about 5 days.  But they prob won't last that long :)

So there you have it.  The true story about how I came to like pancakes.  Add some pumpkin, hold the butter and syrup.  Become a believer.

Friday, October 7, 2011


I am very anti-clutter. Though I love my things, I hate having them out of place. I love seeing open spaces and walls.
My freshman year, I had one picture on my wall in my entire dorm room -- no tack boards or posters or sayings or calendars, just one picture. And on my desk I had a collage of things I loved such as quotes, a favorite picture with each of my parents, and then a few framed pictures on the top shelf. No pens out on the desk, not even my school notebooks. They were all tucked away out of sight in their proper places. I love love loved it!
My roommates thought I was crazy!

Flash forward 5 years...I'm pregnant and that means you're tired and you have more stuff; but I cherish the moments when my home is uncluttered, everything in its space. If I ever get to spend an hour throwing away miscellaneous papers, I just LOVE the feeling! IT's so freeing! I love simplifying and getting rid of things.

Today I read a post that really made me think Unstyled Life 
I especially love this part: "You’ve heard time and again that you can’t take it with you, that in the end the stuff doesn’t matter. You know that, logically, because it’s an obvious truth. But until you pull every lastthing from the recesses of an empty home and lay it out to catalog, you really have no idea.
Old tubes of mascaras. Eyeshadows. Almost empty bottles of aspirin. Expired lotions. Moth eaten sweaters. Uncomfortable sofas. Bills, paid and unpaid. Unread books. Shirts that don’t fit, are no longer in style, or you never really liked. Someone will one day run their hands over your possessions and make an assumption you won’t be there to refute.
I find it disconcerting that someone will find an empty Impressionist address book on my desk and wonder when I became a fan of Cézanne when, in truth, it was a gift from a friend I will never use. If they open my hall closet by the front door, what will they think of my piles of art and ill-fitting coats? Surely those who love me will realize I only wear the red one, even though it’s three sizes too big. And what does it say that I never took the time to alter a coat so that it fits my form in a flattering way, that I let the cuffs drag my knuckles and the waist swing wildly when I walk?
They will open my makeup drawer, pause, and then say, “I don’t remember her ever wearing green eyeshadow.”"
I love this other lady's thoughts on simplifying -- her blog has so many ideas of how to de-clutter. This post is one that made me think as we are acquiring baby stuff and thinking of moving a few times before we have a second baby.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happiness :)

mmm potstickers...

Red Velvet Cookie with White Chocolate Chunks

Really Cool Kid Art

Monday, September 12, 2011


I have been craving red meat for the last week or so -- always wanting a hamburger. But I know I hate the taste but mostly the chewiness of hamburgers (I was vegetarian and at age 5 swore off hamburgers. The next time I tasted one I was 18).
Well Saturday I went to the dentist's office and went to Dan's strategy luncheon all numbed up (this meant I hadn't eaten much in the last 15 hours) so I took a few bites of Dan's hamburger and it tasted so good I made my own after I had already eaten a hotdog.

What? Yep, for the first time in my life I ate an entire hamburger! 
I also ate a whole hotdog in the same sitting! 

I couldn't believe it!
What strange cravings you get when you're pregnant!

And on to the morning sickness...I sure am feeling it as of late! 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Yummy delicious deserts!

This model home I get to sit in today is one of my very favorites -- definitely my favorite in Utah County!
In it is this super fun book called Small Sweet Treats.
Today I found some of the recipes I am so excited to try! 

1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c superfine sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lg egg yolk
3/4 c finely ground lightly toasted almonds
raspberry or strawberry preserves, or orange marmalade
powdered sugar (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt; set aside. 

In a mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg yolk, beating until well combined. Mix in the flour mixture and nuts until the dough is well combined. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and place on a parchment -- or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Make a depression int he center of each cookie using the handoe of a wooden spoon or your fingertip. Add 1/4 tsp. preserves or marmalade in each indentation. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees F until very lightly browned; cool slightly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired. Makes 24 cookies. 


2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 c brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/3 c molassses
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 c finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 c finely chopped pecans
Sugar, for rolling the cookies

Line two baking sheet pans with parchment paper or Silpat; set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ground ginger, grated ginger, and salt; set aside. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, butter, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for 1 minute. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and pecans and mix until combined. 

Use a small 1-inch diameter ice cream scoop or a teaspoon to form 1-inch balls with the dough and then roll each in the sugar. Press the dough down with the bottom of a glass. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Something I learned from my Mom and Daddy:


If I don't, I'll spend my whole life thinking when I am married, when I am more spiritual, when I have this baby, when the baby can hold her own bottle, when our kids are all in school...

A Realization


I often (once a week/every other week) step back from life and evaluate my choices, my path, my values, and my goals. This is great, but usually accompanied by a little crying, sometimes a blessing, and always lots of talking with roommates (in the past) or Danny dearest.


In addition, I have a unique quality where I choose a new focus about every 3 months and give EVERYTHING to that goal. Often it involves succeeding in classes each semester, when I was younger it involved doing a beautiful drawing or painting, perfecting a skill such as piano etc. Well, I have been working with Ivory for 3 months and hit that time where I felt ready for some change.

I did the discovery process yet again and Danny taught me something amazing. For this stage of my life, I don't choose only one thing to be completely devoted to. Truthfully, at this time in my life nothing is quite worth all my focus (e.g getting "toned" or extremely in shape, painting a gorgeous painting, selling ___ homes). He pointed out something that I had never thought of before. And, you know, you are completely going to laugh -- but this was a REVELATION to me!

My responsibility in life is to be a great wife, do well at work, cook and sew and do artsy things as bring me happiness, live an organized life, have fun, and scripture study. All these things will be done in moderation and I will just do some each. I'll try to do my best in each and enjoy preparing for motherhood and being a wife and that is the most important. That is my goal! It's not to get an "A" but to live each day doing little bits of work, indexing, boating, skiing, my last class at BYU, selling homes, journaling, photography, read about investing etc. What a change of mindset!

I don't have to prepare to run a marathon, become a great wedding photographer, become a virtuoso pianist. I just should enjoy running, photographing, and music.

I am so grateful to have the best husband in the whole world.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stupid ways to lose money/why old apartments stink:

1. Get a $150.00 ticket for speeding
2. In trying to save money, we didn't run our air conditioner = 80 degree heat. It backfired bigtime. A couple days ago I felt like I had food poisoning. We assumed our beans went bad. Then today Dan opened 3 cans of tuna, which popped when he opened them meaning they were likely bad. And we are STILL discovering cans of food that went bad from the heat in our apartment.
3. Dan is an awesome mosquito killer! One night we closed our bathroom door and while I brushed and flossed my teeth Dan killed 16 mosquitoes in our bathroom alone!!! Then two nights ago we found 30 or so little spiders crawling on our bedroom wall. We tried to kill them all. Yesterday we killed some more but I still have a bunch of spider bites all over my legs.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

One of my favorite quotations yet!

I love this quotation because it applies so strongly to danny's career path.
Just one great idea can completely revolutionize your life.
Earl Nightingale, Timeless Wisdom p. 188


I love these pictures -- is it the color scheme? Or that everything seems home-made? Or that they're reading and contemplating? Because when I went home I had a realization of who I really am -- I'm not as extroverted as I've made myself to be. I LOVE snuggling up and reading a good book either in the sun or under a warm hand-made quilt. I realized that I've been pushing myself to live a high-stress life and I thought it would end after school or once I got married or once I had a baby but I have to make it end. I have to make time to paint and ponder and do the things I love! I have to develop the skills that matter to me. And I really enjoy working with people too, maybe it's just time to slow down.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yummy Zucchini Soup!

Cream of Zucchini Soup
• 1/2 small onion, quartered
• 2 cloves garlic
• 3 small zucchini skin on cut in large chunks
• 32 oz fat free chicken stock
• 2 tbsp reduced fat sour cream
• salt
• pepper

 chicken broth, onion, garlic and zucchini in a medium pot and cook on medium heat.

Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Purée: Add the sour cream. Using an immersion blender, purée till smooth.

Things To Remember

This is by Daniel
--Alyssa and I have been very diligent...just not at blogging. We have been thinking of how wonderful life is and all the little things we want to remember, so we will try and recount them:
- This past week we went to Cheyenne and had a blast. It was hi-time that I got back to frontier days rodeo. As my dad told me, I hadn't been for 23 years. :) The whole time there was beautiful and so much fun. We went to the Hales barn for a stake breakfast, watched the Thunderbirds fly right over our heads and amaze us and make me want to learn to fly! At the rodeo we saw some real cowboy actions, and saw a rider named Tow Mader. The Mader family must have joked for generations about naming someone Tow, and now we are all glad that finally some courageous parents stepped forward! (This is coming from the one who wants to name his first son Hercules Holbrook). Alyssa's Dad is singing the National Anthem at the Rodeo Finals on Saturday, which is no small show--proud of him and wish we could be there!
-Our little apartment has no screen on the windows, and only a little free-standing AC unit that we turn on when we can't fall asleep. Naturally, we open the windows many nights to try and cool down the house. Naturally, mosquitoes, mosquito-eaters, moths, and various other creatures come join us. Last night, after turning off the kitchen light and going into the bathroom to get ready, I saw a couple mosquitoes were following the light into the bathroom. I grabbed my favorite bug-mashing sandle and got 4 right away, but within the next few minutes 12 more mosquitoes came in and I got them all. 16 in the time it takes to brush and floss is by far a new high-score. :)
-Today after church we were lucky enough to go visit Drew and Aly Flack and their newborn Kylie! I don't think I have seen a baby this newborn since my sister Amy was born 19 years ago.
-On the drive home from Cheyenne we finally finished "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" after starting it on one of my first trips to Cheyenne almost 1 1/2 years ago! I think it took so long to finish because we would read a little bit, start talking about starting businesses or investment opportunities, and then after talking business for so long we would listen to music or already be at the destination or start a different book. We did finish in just one sitting "A Single Shard." It was an audiobook fromt the library, and we breezed through it. :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Not coincidence

Some things happen and you know they cannot be coincidence.
Like last night Dan and I decided to check out a great lot for my clients and we ran into this neat neat lady named Lori. She introduced herself to us and we talked for quite a while. She offered that we could talk to her if we needed anything.
Then my clients (shannon and cory) came in this morning and she liked one home and he liked the other and they look very very similar on paper. So we have to find a model of each; but we only have a model of one of them.
So we walked by to look at a lot they may be interested in and once again, Lori's outside her home. She let them see her home (which is very important in purchasing a home by the way). It was beautifully decorated and nearly immaculate though she has 6 children! She gave them a much much better tour than I could have showing them how to move the island 2 feet and how to make your kitchen look bigger and how to finish the basement walls with arches and eliminate a hallway and how to create inexpensive storage and coat hangers. She was perfect! They connected with her so well! It was a God-given blessing to make them feel like they would fit into the community and love that home!
I am so grateful the Lord looks out for us in teeny ways that show us He cares.
What a glorious day!

My sister, Amy

Amy is cool.
I love her artsy side.
She is a better artist than me but no one knows she draws.
I love this picture but you have to see it at her blog because I don't have a copy.
I love the gorgeous green eyes! And the angle. And how everything's flipped.

I decided I think she would be an awesome "Blink" music producer (by the way, if you haven't read Blink it's a really cool book -- you should read it!). She sees talent where most don't recognize it. And she does so instantly.

An ENTERTAINING evening all around!

Tonight we came home from work and have had one of my most enjoyable evenings in quite a long time. It has been filled with laughter and spiritual moments as well as surprises!

I heard the music of a long-lost friend from freshman year in college, Caleb Blood.
I love his music because it is a mix of Regina Spector, Jack Johnson, Owl City, TJ McCloud, Katie Dellenbach, and Dillon Brown.
It has a lot of variety, catchy melodies, and charming words.

He's posted the entire tracks on youtube


I randomly ran into Owl City (Adam Young's) blog.
And I spent about 2 hours reading it.
He has a lot of charisma and is athletic -- he told an embarrassing football story that made us laugh out loud SO hard!

I found my favorite new poem:

I saw the autumn leaves peel up off the street, take wing on the balmy breeze and sweep you off your feet. You blushed as they scooped you up on sugar maple wings, to gaze down on the city below, ablaze with wondrous things.
Downy feathers kiss your face and flutter everywhere. Reality is a lovely place but I wouldn’t want to live there.
Weighed down by heavy lids and lunar lullabies, I knew you were wide awake because you smile with your eyes.
Downy feathers kiss your face and flutter everywhere. Reality is a lovely place but I wouldn’t want to live there.
From the green belt balcony, the wildfires look so pretty. Ponderosa canopy, I’d never leave if it were up to me. To the ruby redwood tree, and to the velvet climbing ivy: painted all mahogany, I’d never leave if it were up to me.
With a starry brush, paint the dusk venetian blue, because in the evening hush, you’ll never believe the view. And when the leaves return and their whisperings fill the night, they’ll freeze and burn where fire and ice collide.
Can you feel a silk embrace in the satin air? If we dissolve without a trace, will the real world even care? Downy feathers kiss your face and flutter everywhere. Reality is a lovely place but I wouldn’t want to live there.
The twilight deepens and the city is suddenly ablaze with shimmery enchantment. It’s getting dark but you’re still chasing rainbows and I’m rearranging lobby chairs on the hotel patio. Across the avenue, the garden carpet peels up and sweeps you off your feet, swinging you out over the edge of the veranda balcony, swirling and twirling you through the eventide. I look up and try not to smile because I rather admire you.
I guess I just want to say that if you ever need someone to keep you company, I’ll be right here.

I am so impressed in his willingness and eagerness to express his faith in his Savior Jesus Christ.
I really admire it.

I love his description of the world and how sometimes the ghosts in haunted houses silently long for daisies to spring up and the darkness to push away and how this is how he feels in the world; how he wants the Lord to be a part of his life and how he longs for his sins to be taken away.

I also love that he clings to everything uplifting and beautiful and harmonious.
He longs to express the music he hears in his head, just like Dillon does. That is such a gift; an unbelievable gift!

He has built up his fame and is using it to convert the world to Christ. Our favorite song of his is MY HOPE IS FOUND
He is deeply DEEPLY religious. "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ" describes him well. Sometimes -- ALWAYS -- I think the gospel should be more prominent in our lives. My Christian friends did a much better job of saying they received everything because of the Lord and voicing that to everyone they knew. I am inspired to be a better missionary when I read his blog.

We ran into Adam Young (Owl City's) song for Taylor Swift and her song to him. And we of course had to investigate (Dan being Dan who checks facts and wants to get to the bottom of every story).

The surprise!!!
A girl from my work, Allison, calls me about 11 pm. I hear loud noises and friends in the background and I knew she was partying. I expected her to ask me to come pick her up or something.
But she just says "Cutie, how's it going? No really, how's it going? Life is crazy..." and a few other indiscernible things that aren't too meaningful. And then hangs up.
So, do I tease her about it on Monday at our meeting? I'm pretty darn sure she won't remember a thing from tonight...

Danny works with me!!!

Danny works with me! I love it! We get to spend all day together --- driving in the car together, eating, talking to clients etc. It is AMAZING.
Somehow I knew we would end up working together because I love business just as much as he did but I never thought it would be possible this summer!
It's such a sweet deal!

Two days ago I asked my manager what he was looking for in a new employee and he said "a mirror of you." I told him I had one and he hired Dan before even meeting him.
We all met together the next morning and got along SO well!
He offered Danny a position as a Sales Consultant (which is commission) OR to be the Sales and Marketing Coordinator (which is salary) --- whichever he chooses. And he's even allowed to do both!

We get to go to meetings in SLC and weekly sales meetings together, which is so fun because I have told him about all my co-workers and the hilarity that goes on at our sales meetings each week.
I am so excited!


The Lord knows better than we do -- he set us up in a position to succeed so much better than we ever could on our own. Remember last week how my scripture study was about the future and having faith in the future and Dan's future job and that it would work out? I remember reading how the Lord would pour out the blessings of heaven upon us AND HE HAS!

I challenge you to TRY IT YOURSELF this next week. 
Read your scriptures with a question in mind and the Lord will answer your question through the words of living prophets (or the Bible if you aren't LDS). Then watch to see His promises fulfilled and blessings poured out upon you. I PROMISE YOU IT WILL HAPPEN. He is there and will hear and answer your prayers!


Danny and I now work together. It's super awesome!
One of my favorite moments at work was this morning but I have to give a little intro...
A lady walked into the model home yesterday wanting to rent a home. I mentioned building and we started talking a million miles a minute about how the Hampton plan was our very favorite dream plan. It was full of excitement and we swiftly ran through the model home and she was off in 10 minutes to return with her husband today.

We met Cory this morning. He is just like Dan -- super great business man, smart, lives life for fun and adventure, and is very analytical. He is controlled in his emotions, yet has opinions.
Of course, Shannon and I squealed and delighted in house plans once again, talking about the great bargains and bonuses -- occasionally misquoting square footage or rounding sq ft very generously.
It was so cute because each of our husbands would quietly and politely correct us to the exact amount or square footage.
We were just 2 peas in a pod x 2
And it was one of my favorite moments of work

P.S. they'll get us the bikes we've been anxiously awaiting FOR FREE because he owns 5 canyon sports shops!!!

I love them! 

Stroking his eyelashes...

I grind my teeth most nights (lately) and last night I woke up because Dan was talking quietly and laughing to himself (but it was all in whispers). I looked over at him to see if he was awake --- and found him stroking his eyelashes between his thumb and pointer finger. 
Note. He did not do this slowly -- it was a very rapid rubbing. FAST back and forth and he changed positions and fingers.

He doesn't remember doing it but I told him about the experience and whenever I mention it he still bursts out laughing. Believe me, I've remembered like 6 times today :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

To Fly with Danny!

Elder Uchtdorf April 2011 General Conference
“There were also a few who seemed to be merely going through the motions. They had mastered the systems and the handling of the jets, but somewhere along the way they had lost the joy of flying “where never lark, or even eagle flew.” 16 They had lost their sense of awe at a glowing sunrise, at the beauties of God’s creations as they crossed oceans and continents. If they met the official requirements, I certified them, but at the same time I felt sorry for them.”

Danny is the most fun person to fly with! He has such a great enthusiasm It’s as if he could look down to the ground pointing to the beautiful snow-capped mountains and never grow tired of it! I love that he appreciates the beauty all around him. He knows he’s going where the eagles go and that he’s in the air!
One of his favorite comedy clips says “you are on a chair in the sky!”
I always love reserving the window seats and siting by Danny --- its such a delight to see how he loves flying every time and how he’ll never get tired of the experien

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I love music

I have discovered my favorite music station of all! It's Emily Rossum Radio.
It reminds me of rainy days...
and the Kiera Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice.
Try it --- you'll love it!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Just reminds me of oils class...

It reminds me of Sydney Bowman, my oils teacher. She would do these luscious, sumptuous oil paintings in color spectrums like the ones above. 

Stained Glass

I've always been intrigued by stained glass in kind of a love-hate relationship. I think it's neat and a little old fashioned but I've never seen a place I just love it.
I remember a man from Boston who was deaf who came to Shelter Cove, CA where my grandparents have a beach house. He taught us how to do stained glass and I was so fascinated as I watched him.
I knew from that day on that someday I wanted to make something out of stained glass. It didn't mean I had to master the art, but that I wanted to make a piece that was meaningful to me in some way.
I loved traveling Europe and seeing beautiful Rose windows and I also loved the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris -- it had amazing stained glass walls in the high Gothic style when the goal was to nearly erase all structural elements and instead use stained glass.
So I've told Danny I want to make a door with stained glass in our future home.
I finally figured out what I want to do -- it will be BEAUTIFUL! (And yes, probably much beyond my skill level, but what can't you do with Danny at your side?)

Happy Day

I am so glad for happy, sunny days. I love running to the gym and seeing the dew on the grass. I love seeing tulips all open and gardens that are thriving – especially with old men working out in those gardens.
I love being in beautiful places and being able to change model homes each day because I get to be in places that remind me of the temple; they are clean and not cluttered but harmonious.
I love Danny so so much! He does everything he can each day to make my life the happiest life in the world. He’s let me take our new Sonata for most of the week and this morning he moved all my stuff into the Sorrento, which was way sweet because there was a lot of stuff! He satisfies my every whim; when I wanted to get Sammy’s shakes last night because I was hungry and on my period and hadn’t eaten basically anything all day, he took me there and loved every second of it. I love memories of guessing each other’s favorite paintings in Sammy’s and driving with the blue lights of our brand new car, listening to fun music that both of us enjoy. I love how he’s always so happy to see me when I get home and that he gives me a hug and kiss and we go sit on the bed and talk; there’s never too much stressful stuff he talks about when I get home but just pure happiness to be with him where I belong.
I love what a hard worker he is and how much he enjoys thinking of business ideas; even when we go to Sammy’s we have an idea of how this could become huge and where it would succeed and how the people in a certain place would receive it. We wondered about the cars all decorated and parked outside of Sammy’s and whether they drove those cars even with flat tires.
I think it’s so funny that he often forgets lunch. Even when he makes it; I feel so badly on days like today when I see his lunch sitting on the counter when I know he wanted it so badly and just forgot. It’s funny because you think boys are always thinking about food; but he’s not always.
He is so hot! I loved seeing him this morning in his favorite blue shirt and tie; his hair fixed and he was just bursting with energy --- ready to go conquer the world!
I love how often he calls me during the day when we’re both at work. I’m glad no one minds when I talk on the phone and that Steven knows that Dan’s completely devoted to me as Steven is to his wife --- so he’s understanding about all the talking when Dan’s at work. It’s funny because the first few months of our marriage we hadn’t been apart longer than to use the bathroom so that’s established a pattern that we just expect to be together every moment we possibly can!
I love how much he encourages me and calls me “star player” and “playmaker” and knows I will succeed. And funny thing, even if I didn’t sign a home for months he’d still think I was succeeding; even if I didn’t work hard, he’d know I was succeeding in something else. How fantastic a life I have; how fantastic a love.

P.S. this is part of a new thing I'm TRYING to do each day called a feelings journal. You just write whatever you're thinking about. Part of it is to record your happy moments but also if it's something you're worried about, you just write about it until you have nothing left to write and then burn it -- so you don't spend time agonizing about it.