Monday, February 28, 2011

Benjamin Franklin

"Empty the coins of your purse into your mind and your mind will fill your purse with gold"
Benjamin Franklin
He is one of my favorite fathers of our nation. When I was young my family visited a museum and we saw everything that had been his, such as his porcelain bowl that his wife gave him. I was especially impressed that he invented the library, fire station, and the difficult to counterfeit dollar bill.
I also loved how he wanted to improve his life; he would set goals and little sayings to live by.
So I read his biography (a HUGE book) and I was so impressed by his ability to relate to people and negotiate.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Magazine Cuisine

My parents are so cool!
They started this thing called Magazine Cuisine where if you read the entire Ensign, initialing each article, then you get $20.00 to eat dinner out!
This month we took a spontaneous trip to Riverwoods mall after going to the temple. We really needed some time to just talk and have fun so we window shopped and ate Chinese food :)
Danny and I want to continue the tradition. For us, we weren't doing very well on our personal scripture study though we studied together daily. We have friends whose marriages are struggling and they could receive many answers through reading the Ensign and being spiritually fed; then they together will be emotionally fed. Then their marriages are double strengthened by having a night out together as their reward! When Dan and I are older, we want to make newly married couples one of our "organizations" that we donate to :) For now, we'll completely enjoy spending time together on our special night out and being spiritually uplifted.


Whew! I have CRAZY dreams --- whatever is my worst fear comes alive at night. This morning I woke up and all my muscles were tight and my eye was twitching (ok, I'm not psychotic or anything, it was just a stressful dream)!
Some of the adventurous ones that don't involve death or infidelity:
I've fought off star troopers when Darth Vader wanted me to be his daughter
Jumped out of windows into swimming pools (though I'm not one who has that feeling of "falling" in dreams --- luckily!)
I have been in crazy car chases with people shooting at me
I hosted my cousins (from Utah) when they traveled the plains
The world has ended (multiple times)
We watched Eagle Eye (which I loved though it was intense) and I basically reenacted it in my dream

I love it when I'm scared (after an intense movie) and Danny sings me to sleep :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I have this most amazing friend named Alexi Bullock. She is my favorite.
She threw a moustache party for her husband and it was a blast! As "payment for using my oven to make brownies, she cleaned my apartment till it sparkled." Who does that?
I love her inspiration! Here's her anthropologie installations (her ideas of what we should do in our house next...)

France --- Claire Cotrell

reminds me of our chickens :)



Whew! Can you handle 8 posts at once!
I've been storing them up forever.
But journaling is so important!
It helps me remember and appreciate and not take things for granted.


Dillon opened his mission call and my hands were shaking for him!
Would our childhood dream come true!
It did! He's going to Moscow, Russia on June 29th, 2011!
Dillon will be such an amazing missionary! I am so excited for him to teach the people I love so much! Here are some pictures from his mission president's blog :)
These people Dillon will love so much!

 So many babushka (grandmothers)!!!

 The horrible fires made it so hard to see! When we were there it wasn't quite that bad!

Time magazine
I have friends serving in Moscow, the Lawrences are the Area Authorities there (that's who brought my mother into the church), and Dan and I may live there next summer! What a perfect place for him to serve!

Ukraine Temple Dedication

I saw this video about a week ago.
I love the Russian people!
I love understanding a little of what they say.
I love their accents.
I love their testimonies.
I love their devotion to the gospel.
I love how the gospel changes their lives.

This made me cry! I felt the spirit so strongly!

I have a friend, Yulia, from Samara Russia (where Dan served his mission) and she was there! She performed! She now can go to the temple of the Lord!
I love her conviction and how the gospel is everything to her.
She is the "Eden" of the Samara branch; she sings beautifully, dances, and loves missionary work.
Nearly every picture on her facebook has something to do with the gospel!
What an example Yulia is to me!


the long bus ride!

so many of her pictures are with missionaries!

 In the church building Dan and I visited. She LOVES the temple and the book of mormon, can you tell?

to top it all off, she's hilarious!


I am so excited!
Dan's friend is the #5 bobsledder in the world and he's taking Dan and Rach bobsledding!
According to his father it feels like being in a HANGING BLENDER
I dont know if I can get up the courage to go because
I hate roller coasters
I hate the feeling of falling
But somehow I am SO EXCITED for Danny and Rach to go! I love this friend of Dan and I can't wait to take pictures. What a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Oh, and we're staying at his cabin in Park City and shopping the outlet malls!

A flood...

The last 24 hours have been crazy. Humorous, in fact.
We came home late Saturday night and our apartment was flooding from the water heater breaking on the third floor. The resident managers were laughing "As if Radon poisoning wasn't enough, we just had to send you out with flooding :)"
It's funny how hard things make Danny and me tough it out together so well.
He's been nice to arrange our closet in our living room in such a way that it still seems clean!
I couldn't find my social security card in the mess! But finally I did.
But in the rush, I just saw my drivers license in my wallet and grabbed it. But when I drove to SLC to set up employment, I found it was my old voided drivers license!
I realized I forgot my ski pass too!
Unfortunately that didn't matter because the canyon was closed because it was too busy! It was such a gorgeous day and Rach and Dan had waited all day for me to go to 3 meetings in SLC so they could ski! I felt so so badly to wreck that gorgeous day!
The freeway was stop and go all the way home.
Then a friend came over to tell us about her business and tried to recruit us to be part of a network marketing scheme!
All while cramping...
By the end we were just laughing! What a CRAZY day!
I AM WORKING ON PLANNING and today should go much better :)

How grateful I am for love.

I am so grateful for Danny's pure love for me!
Last night I woke up cramping and I was so happy to curl up with a warm Danny to comfort me!
It is bliss. Each night as I fall asleep I am so grateful to be married to the most wonderful man in the world. He amazes me daily!
We are watching the Pursuit of Happiness in little 10 minute increments before bed. It helps me realize the competitiveness of the financial world and appreciate his efforts to succeed amidst huge competition!
Baby you're amazing!
Ya Lublyu Tebya

Night out

Danny and I had so much fun on our night out this week! We went to Color Me Mine on a long-awaited date :)
We had so much fun looking through books of ceramic painted pots and finally found the most beautiful Iris -- and it became the inspiration piece for our new apartment.

We laughed and painted for hours!
I love that Dan loves painting. He is really very creative --- his creation was a pointillism vine. Genius.

I love that he loves my hobbies!

my dear friend Lexi ( showed this to me).

We want to do an instillation in our home as our fun do-it-yourself project.
IT looks like this:

I love purple! I realized half the clothes I wear to church are purple.
It makes me feel gorgeous.
And reminds me of being "royalty," a literal daughter of God.
I've always wanted a lavender bathroom.
So our apartment will be mostly white with living plants and wood and PURPLE accents.

When we first saw our new home I fell asleep thinking about decorating it (and about my dear, sweet Danny--of course).
This home reminds me of some of my favorite homes in Europe.
It's old.
But looks new inside.
It's nearly all white and has old, honey-colored wood floor.
I love its wavy glass blocks that let light stream into the entryway.
I love its vintage oven
And I love its back yard! I can't wait to lay on the grass under the sun! When we eat lunch outside right now, we have a 3ft. strip of green right by University Parkway (we tried it on Saturday :)).
I can't wait for Dan to grill in OUR BACKYARD!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I discovered this blog that made me think about life. This girl is amazing! And this blog her mother writes touched my heart! Thank goodness for heroes like Mary! It puts our own life into perspective and gives us the will to move forward.

Mary is the bravest, most courageous person I know. I have sat in stadiums and watched her as she warmed up and prepared herself to run the powerful 400m countless times. I have watched her battle the toughest opponents head to head and toe to toe in hundreds of soccer games. I watched her sing, dance, act, night after night never missing a line~never cowering on stage.
But what Mary faced in choosing brain surgery was sheer terror. Knowing that you will put your life~your physical abilities~your future~in the hands of a man you barely know takes pure guts.
On the morning of surgery, Mary was afraid. She had held her head so high and so confidently all those weeks before, but this was the moment~this was her having to leave usand walk out onto that battlefield, alone. We held her and prayed with her and encouraged and reassured. But it was still her battle. She had to let go of our hands and go out to wage the fight of her life.
We couldn’t go with her~we couldn’t take her away~we couldn’t fight her battle. We could only wait on the sidelines and keep our faith and chins up.
Mary is a champion! She never had any complications the entire surgery. She had great vital signs. She came out strong and ready to continue to wage the new battle of recovery.
In such a humble way, her first words to us were, ‘Look what we did! Look what we did! I can use my hands~I am talking~look what we did!’
She never once took any credit for her courage. She was never a martyr. She continued to try and convince us thatwe fought this battle with her. That she didn’t do it alone. Of course, she’s right. She had all of our combined faith and prayers. She had angels surrounding her. She is so right. None of us are ever truly alone.
Mary is strong and brave and courageous. Mary is mighty. Mary is our miracle.
If you look up the name ‘Zane’ it means ‘Beloved; Gift from God.’ It’s true. He is both.
Zane gets Mary. He has the patience of a Saint and the wisdom of age. He loves Mary’s many strengths and understands her recent challenges.
Zane was not intimidated by Mary’s illness and the uncertain future she faced. He not only helped her make the decision to choose surgery, he stood by her side and held her hand as she went through every step of it.
He took time away from school to be with her at UCSF. He listened and learned firsthand from among the greatest surgeons in the country, in one of the best hospitals. *His professors should give him extra credit for all that he has learned and experienced with Mary’s rare AVM! It’s probably one of the best internships he could take on.
From the moment he saw Mary after surgery, he was completely comfortable with her. The first thing he did was go right to her incision. Even her strong Dad couldn’t do that! He loves her incision! He is so proud of her. He took care of her every moment along with us, and when he left on day 5, we weren’t as strong of a team without him.
He helped her transition to home. He knows just when and how to give Mary comfort with just the right touch. It wasn’t until Zane was with her, back here at home, that Mary really laughed and smiled. At that moment~in our kitchen~I knew Mary was ‘back!’
Zane is beloved. He is a gift to Mary. He is a real life hero in her miracle story.
It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings
She’s home! She survived this ‘impossible’ surgery without complications! She has her sense of humor and her voice and her beauty!
But Mary still has a long road. Her eyes are still sensitive to light and to movement. The 9 hour surgery took place behind her left eye. Consequently, both eyes were swollen shut for 5 days.
In order to reach Mary’s AVM, they had to cut through a muscle in your left temple that affects your jaw movement. So speaking, chewing, biting, swallowing, talking~all still uncomfortable.
Food tastes bad again. And she still battles nausea. And she is still in pain. Not just in her head, but all over. The doctors said that with such a long surgery, it’s normal for her to hurt everywhere. Her pain could last 2-4 weeks.
She speaks quietly and so we try to listen carefully so we don’t have to make her take more energy and efforts to repeat herself. She likes the room dark and the noise level quiet. Her brain needs to rest and recover. The pattern of blood flow through her brain for her entire life has abruptly changed. It is working very hard to adjust to its new route.
The eloquent part of her brain was invaded by these life saving hands. It’s the area that controls her speech going out but also her understanding of speech. It also governs smell and taste. Her brain is compensating overtime to still manage all of these duties~and it’s doing a wonderful job! She really is still Mary in every way.
Because of these unique challenges and because we wish for Mary to complete her recovery with the greatest of success, we are asking for no visitors for a while. Mary needs to feel safe and comfortable and in control of something~her day to day environment. Home is quiet and predictable.
But Mary isn't taking all this laying down. Oh no. She was walking on the treadmill today. Today she cooked us a gourmet lunch of sauteed salmon and brown rice. She will soon begin an online class through BYU. Mary is the hardest working patient there is!
Oh. And she has 50 staples in her 8 inch long incision~from the center of her forehead hairline, across and down to where it almost touches her ear. Yes~50.
Don’t get me wrong~Mary is very proud of her incision! In fact, she doesn’t want the scar to fade. Someday, she wants to ‘show and tell’ her story.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


This child is so so cute! What a great thing to have your child known for. And man, he gets into it! After a night of fun playing with cousins Ciera and Dane *we played battleship, foosball, an I Spy game, and spoons* I just enjoyed another good laugh!
Thank goodness for kids in our lives!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Danny and I are sitting here enjoying really good pancakes and listening to music. During the intro of a relient K song I asked "What's the title of this song? Think office supplies." And he said stapler! He's so awesome :) it was "staples."
O how I love Saturday mornings with my Danny :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Reminds me of Alyssa

When we were dating, Dan created a pandora station.
It's called "reminds me of Alyssa." I love this station it plays Maroon 5, Lady Antebellum, and fun dance music. The funny thing about it is that it goes through phases where it will play ONLY country and then only dance music etc.
So today I said, "Man, reminds me of Alyssa goes through weird phases"
Dan didn't know I was talking about the station and just though I was talking about myself and said, "It reminds me of Alyssa"
Since then he figured out that I was talking about the Pandora station and we decided that it really does mirror my life :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I saw this picture this morning from and I just couldn't stop thinking about it! I love the color green. I thought about making a room that was colored this green so we could have spring even in the winter. I love living things! I love life! I love the mystery of this picture.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Duck sauce!

One of the most memorable art exhibits. I would love to make one someday! It came to BYU a year or so ago and I still think of it periodically (every time I see a packet at Taco Bell etc.). All his works were titled "untitled" and were all latex balloons, stacked lawn chairs, and garbage bags. I thought it was appropriate because he didn't really "make" any of the works. I think it would be cool to make a duck sauce sculpture!