Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Recipe: Roasted Asparagus Soup

This may be my favorite soup I've tasted!

Roasted Asparagus Soup

Recipe: Green and Green Beans Salad with Wild Blueberry Dressing

Our delicious dinner: 

Greens and Green Beans Salad with Wild Blueberry Dressing

As I write this, I’m sweating in humid, positively sweltering, I just want to jump in a pool, July weather. A fresh salad with fruit is just what I want to eat for lunch these days (in addition to yummy, ice packed smoothies).  I’ve been on a blueberry kick pretty much since blueberries came in season and I often add them to my salads. I created this salad yesterday after a long day walking through New York City (my legs were so sore!).  The salad was marvelous as was lying down in the comfort of my air-conditioned apartment afterwards.  I knew I had to share this recipe with ya’ll.  I just wish the air wasn’t so humid. It’s simply not curly hair friendly! 
Blueberries. Flickr: brx0
Salad Ingredients:
½ pound small fresh green beans, trimmed
½ cup blueberries
1 head red or green leaf lettuce, roughly chopped
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup raw pecans

Dressing ingredients:
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 medjool date, pitted

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl of ice water until chilled, and then drain again.

To make dressing, purée 1/2 cup blueberries, almond milk, tahini, lemon juice and date in a blender; add more almond milk, if needed, to reach desired consistency. Transfer to a large bowl, add lettuce and green beans and toss well. Transfer salad to plates and scatter, blueberries, onion and pecans over the top. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Welcome Eden, our newest college student!

We ate dinner tonight at our house and Miss Milah sure loves her auntie!

Our little cougarette!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Best Week Ever -- Our Little Angel


Can I say this has felt like the best week ever!

Life has just seemed happy. SO happy. 

I think it's because I have this desire to be acceptable to Heavenly Father. 

And I see things working together for our good; often in the moment you don't recognize them working together for your good, but this time I do. 

One of those things...Dan has an interview with Bain tomorrow! Yep, Bain. Where Mitt Romney got his start; one of the biggest consulting firms. And it's for the Boston office. It is an incredibly competitive position (they don't even hire from BYU usually, just Harvard and Yale and Wharton etc.). How we would love to return there to Boston! 

Milah and I moved back to Provo today; Dan will join us in Hebegen, Montana at Yellowstone this Thursday. I get to welcome Eden to BYU tomorrow. I get to see my family for my birthday. Madison and Jerry get married Tuesday. And the renters here made my house spotless when I came back! It was so so happy to come back to our gorgeous, cheap, little house in Provo with our good friends. And best of all? They left me a beautiful lily and roses and snap dragons flower arrangement, not just cut flowers. It smells so so good! 

I realized this week the importance of going to my own ward for all three hours at church. That is what made our Boston experience so good; some of the interns traveled as a couple each weekend and went to a random ward. Dan and I had actually planned on doing that a lot more, but we didn't. We loved being in our ward and the saints helped me learn about being a great mother. The men helped Dan figure out he wants to be a consultant and helped him get his interview and prepare for it. 
Besides that we would have missed out, I saw how hard it was for the primary president to coordinate when most everyone was out of town at our Boston ward. I see how easy it is to come up with an excuse about how you don't agree with the teacher, or you aren't comfortable, or your baby needs you in the mother's room (and you don't turn on the speaker), or something that could keep you from truly feeling the spirit and becoming more converted (and sometimes even keeps you from going) to all three hours of church. But the Lord needs us there. He needs us to lift the saints, to be perceptive, and to learn from the spirit so we can help and serve those saints who need us. I testify that we will be blessed and that His light in us will increase as we fulfill our covenant -- to attend our church meetings --  that is a prerequisite to the blessings of the temple. 

Dan said he feels like he could learn from Milah about eternity. She knows a lot about Heavenly Father. I spent time playing with her tonight and she was giggling and room was a beautiful mix of cream and white with soft lighting (I love how both of our married bedrooms have been like that). Then I hummed "goodnight my angel" and rubbed her tummy. I felt such immense joy!

These words of scripture stuck out to me this week: 2 Ne 7:7-8. For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed." That's what Dan will do in his interview tomorrow. Also, I thought of my missionaries -- Dillon and Eva :) 

Our Prodigy...

Just kidding! But she sure does love music and I love to see our 4 month old at the piano :) Hopefully it will be a life-long devotion...and I am serious about that!

Sight reading already!

How she made this face, I have no idea!

Well hello down there!

She is so smiley!

Jammin' to me singing/playing hymns

Look at those hunka-chunka thighs!

Oh Milah, You Make Us Laugh!

Packing Up!

Milah is my great little packing buddy :) Who wouldn't want to look at those dang cute smiles while packing! 

Last day at our Boston apartment!

Splash Pad

There are fun splash pads like this one all around Boston. With my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints there are a group of women who get together and do something fun and social. Last week we went to Walden Pond, this week to a fun splash pad in Boston.

We went by the splash pad on a 3.5 mile run, where we did 5 errands! Luckily I didn't take time to get us both in bathing suits, since Milah cried when I even touched her toes in the cold water (though it felt really nice to me!). 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Milah waking up from her nap -- by Dan

She is so cute, and I am in awe if her growth. I love how she stretches and moves her hands and arms erratically. When her arm brushes by her mouth she will start sucking on it and put her hand in her mouth. She still brings her legs up past vertical, so it took her about 20 seconds to completely kick the sheet off her body.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Milah's New Tricks

 Milah loves being an airplane!

She can stand like this only holding onto Dan's thumbs for a minute or so!

She grabbed her crab toy and put it in her mouth to get to know it better!


Dan and I both commented if you told us we would live with bedbugs we wouldn't have believed you. When I was little Eden and I would sometimes say "Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" and I'd shudder at the thought. I thought that was only in Africa or some third world country. Nope! We've had them all summer. I wasn't sure they were really bedbugs but I had all these mosquito looking bites that were super itchy. I just held out, but we've found a few of the actual bugs and they are definitely bed bugs. But we know that we'd just have to find somewhere else to live for 5 weeks or however long so it's not worth it.

Bug count: 1 large, dead budbug on sheets; 1 tiny, alive bedbug on blanket; 1 largest-I've-seen-yet cockroach overturned in the middle of our hallway after finding the bedbugs (luckily I nudged him with my sandal before trying to pick him up! He flipped over and almost ran under the bookcase before I stepped on him! I grabbed him with toilet paper and threw him in the toilet bowl and came back a minute later to see him trying to crawl up the side of the bowl with his entrails in dragging in the water). Then, to finish the day, after biking home in the rain I took off my soaked shirt and found a huge, soaking wet, gray spider flattened to the inside of my shirt over the right shoulder. He too came back to life after a minute and I had to quickly smash him in my shirt. :) Weird day, huh?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Milah Mornings

Hi Grandma Lala! Thanks for the darling sleeper :)

Hi Grandma Missy (I haven't heard your official name yet...I just know you're not Grandma Holbrook :)) thanks for the fun crab! 

She can grab the beads on the front and makes him rock back and forth -- and she loves talking to herself in the mirror. It makes her positively giddy and she blows bubbles like crazy!

The Freedom Trail

We took a great tour with the first guide for the freedom trail. He knew his stuff and loved acting the part as we traveled around Boston shouting "Huzzah!" I especially loved remembering about the Sons of Liberty and the Boston tea party, which my mom taught us about in homeschooling when I was young.

Our favorite fountain in Boston, where a man often plays the piano. Today we saw a Shakespeare Festival with a stage set up in the park. 
The funniest thing was that Lexi accidentally left her water bottle and collapsable umbrella on the table when we ate lunch and when we passed by again later we saw a water bottle and an umbrella! They were still there hours later...or so we thought. Someone had switched out an old umbrella with tape on it for her newer umbrella. We decided their reasoning must have been "It's not stealing if you trade one umbrella for another"! Well later is was absolutely pouring rain so we were very grateful for the old, taped umbrella. Still, we couldn't stop laughing every time we saw it. 

Our favorite place along the freedom trail was this graveyard where Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, James Otis and others are buried. The funny thing is that there are about 10,000 people buried here one on top of each other; some in vaults etc. but not nearly that many tombstones. Besides the famous people, the hill used to wash all the tombstones into the street and the caretaker would come place the tombstones around the graveyard in some random place, that's why so many are cracked and broken. 

Along the freedom trail, statue of Benjamin Franklin, right next to the little church referenced in National Treasure. It was fun to hear about "one if by land, two if by sea" and the original story.

 Milah's diapers have been changed everywhere :) including park benches -- which seem cleaner than the public bathrooms to me!
Getting a Canoli at Mike's -- a really famous canoli shop. 

Ok, so this image is from the internet, it wasn't that fancy.

Pouring rain! We took refuge from the absolutely pouring rain by eating dinner at a really picturesque Italian restaurant looking through a charming window with cute live flower pots out at the pouring rain -- what a fun atmosphere!

My personal favorite experience of the day was 
Ta da da...playing a Steinway piano! That's always been one of my dreams! Vivian took us for a special tour upstairs. I found that I loved the sound of this baby grand, but the 9' grand with the light touch just let my fingers fly over the keys and the full sound vibrate through the room. Oh what a dream, it seemed unreal to be playing a 9' steinway.

A Spontaneous Photo Shoot

We found ourselves at Cambridgeside Mall with spectacular lighting, a coordinating daddy-daughter-cube-art, and a lot of Milah smiles :)
Here's what we got: