Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Plan of Happiness

I don't do this often by way of my blog, but allow me for a moment to reflect on what is so precious to me--the gospel--if you will.

This past weekend, on their way to an away rotation of residency down in Pheonix, the Gassins made a pit stop in Provo and I couldn't have been more thrilled as an aunt and sister in-law. It's weekends like last weekend that help me realize more clearly how much the Lord's Plan of Happiness is centered on families, as Sis. Beck described this past August to us as Seminary and Institute teachers. It makes sense right? It is with families that we experience some of the greatest amounts of joy and happiness, hence the title--Plan of Happiness. I mean think about it, the 3 pillars of His Plan--the Creation, Fall, and Atonement--all revolve around families. In quoting Sis. Beck:

"The Creation of the earth was the creation of an earth where a family could live. It was a creation of a man and a woman who were the two essential halves of a family. It was not about a creation of a man and a woman who happened to have a family. It was intentional all along that Adam and Eve form an eternal family. It was part of the plan that these two be sealed and form an eternal family unit.

"The Fall provided a way for the family to grow. Through the leadership of Eve and Adam, they chose to have a mortal experience. The Fall made it possible for Adam and Eve to have a family, to have sons and daughters. They needed to grow in numbers and grow in experience. The Fall provided that for the family.

"The Atonement allows for the family to be sealed together eternally. It allows for families to have eternal growth and perfection."

If you're interested you should look up her talk here. I'm just so grateful for my knowledge of the Plan and the opportunity the Lord has given us to have moments with our families for eternity. Stay tuned for pictures of our joyous moments as family.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Farewell Fishers!

This weekend we finally got to see our friend Nate! He finished up his 5 month "law enforcement program" in Virginia and joined his wife Lydia for a weekend in Provo. Sadly we only saw him for a weekend because they moved Monday for San Fran. I'm super excited to now have two reasons to visit San Fran--my brother Chip and the Fishers. We spent the weekend bidding these two farewell first with a dinner out and then with a party at Chase's parents.
P.F. Changs
Here's a pic of about half the crew that came out for the party
At the farewell shindig, I was suckered into doing a "cupcake shot" (i.e. eating a cupcake all in one bite). After my nacho eating victory I have a reputation to uphold. Sadly, Rod won. And Miles lied.Our ward has been described as a revolving door. This resulted in me venting Sunday night at the party that I think it's going to become harder and harder as these next 2 years continue on to watch friends leave. I tease that I may start asking people when they move in how long they plan on staying before we invite them over for dinner or games. I'm not really serious, but I don't know how many goodbyes I can take! Okay, I'm fine...enough venting for one post. Now, maybe everyone understands why I need a dog :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pirates sing "Arrrrr"

Well it seems like every other week a new food joint pops up in Provo, usually serving burgers or pizza. One such establishment that has appeared here in the past 6 months is Pirates' Island. I never had a huge desire to try the place, but when I found out that Thursday nights are karaoke nights I suddenly had an urge to go. Last night we finally had a Thursday night open so we invited some friends to join us. The pizza was okay, but the entertainment was priceless! Sadly, the lighting was not so good, so the videos below are hard to see. For those wanting these videos, don't worry, they appear lighter on programs like Quicktime. Here's a recap of the night:

The Breadys

Karls came along for the fun!

The whole group (minus me, I was the photographer most the night)
Solene had a sweet one shoulder shrug going on all night. I couldn't get enough of her dancing!

Lia and Kirsten rockin out to Dixie Chicks

The following video depicts the music selection of Eric Bready--Lady Gaga's "Just Dance". He requested back-up dancers so Quentin Aten and Vinissio Herrera stepped in as well as little Solene. Watch Solene's sweet moves as well as Vinissio's near the end of the clip.
The computer generating the music for the karaoke was over heating so we had to keep waiting for Eric's Lady Gaga to play. Eric decided to entertain the crowd with a dance move. I think he said it was a combo of Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson. Watch out! (I apologize the movie is sideways.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Beautiful Bride

On Saturday, March 6, my friend, Kim Crane, one of the girls from my beloved 3200 David John freshmen floor, was hitched to Josh Larsen! It was so exciting to see Kim so happy. Here are some shots from the fab reception/dinner that was held at the Old Historic Salt Lake Hardware Building--such a cool location!
Josh's groom's speech was so touching. Chase and I really were impressed by the tradition Kim and Josh have of telling one another why he/she loves the other that day. We've started the tradition ourselves actually. I love it!
I loved seeing Kim so happy!
Congratulations Larsens!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekend Adventures with Daddio

Last weekend was tons o fun with my dad in town. We made sure to hit up the Malt Shoppe...
The heavens graced us with some snow, so we were able to enjoy some night skiing at Sundance last Friday...
(The rental shop was grateful my dad opted for a helmet :) The taller you are the harder you fall!)

By Saturday the snow was melted on the tennis courts, so we hit them up for a bit...
Despite the lack of pictures, we did chow down at Brick Oven and we enjoyed a day at Park City shopping for birthday presents for my mom. Hurry back Dad; we loved having you around!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reflection on Friends

I hope many of you had the chance to watch the CES fireside on Sunday given by Elder Rasband of the Seventy. If you didn't I highly recommend it. Watch it here. I was very touched by his words and would like to reflect for a bit.I truly have been blessed in my life with good friends. In high school I was encircled with friends not of my faith but who shared similar values and who never asked me to do anything that went against the standards of the Church.
(I wish I had some more pics specifically from high school, but alas, they are not scanned in on this computer)

Then my freshman year of college, by divine design I was placed on the third floor of David John at Helaman Halls. I will forever be grateful for the friendships I made that year. This weekend many of us had the chance to reunite for our friend Kim's wedding. Seeing all these girls again made me realize how remarkable it really is that I had the chance to meet and become friends with these amazing women. At Stake Conference yesterday our Stake Relief Society president quoted a plaque that she owns. It states: "Here's to good women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them." Here's to the women I met in freshman year and throughout college who are examples to me and to those who are already raising children...they're children are so blessed!
At college I became particularly close with a group of girls who will forever be a part of my life. These girls have stood by me through a lot (D&C 121:9) and I am continually grateful for their presence and influence in my life. I know Pres. Monson's words to be true as quoted by Elder Rasband last night: "The friends you choose will either help or hinder your success."
Elder Rasband also made this point last night when quoting Pres. Monson: "Friends help to determine your future. You tend to be like them." As I reflected on these words I immediately thought of my time in Idaho. The year I lived in Pocatello was a year full of growth. I attribute much of the growth I experienced there to the friends I made. They pushed me to be better and to stretch spiritually. I honestly don't think I would have been the woman I needed to be to teach seminary if it weren't for them. Plus, they helped me become the woman I needed to be in order to meet, fall for, and marry Chase.
You'd think once meeting your best friend for eternity you'd not see the need for making new friends. Sooooo not the case. When we entered our new ward I specifically remember praying that we might make couple friends. I have seen that prayer answered so directly and the blessings that have come from the friends we have made in the past two years have been heaven sent.
Please don't think these pictures are reflective of everyone I feel the need to thank. I know I have so many more to thank. Truly friends make all the difference in life!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Daddio In Town!!

  • I'm so pumped because as of right now my dad just flew into town. Many may think this is no big thing because many have their immediate family living nearby or have parents who frequent Utah, but not me! Since I've moved out here to Utah (almost 8 years ago) I have had a total of 5 visits from someone in my family (2 of which were for big events like my graduation and my wedding day). Don't get me wrong my family loves me (I think), it's just I usually fly to Texas rather then them coming out here. Majority rules, and the majority are in Texas. So, you can imagine my excitement when my dad called me last month to tell me he had some consulting work to do out in Salt Lake this weekend. So you better believe this weekend I will be:

  • Taking Dad out to Brick Oven (my dad loves Rootbeer)
  • Cooking a meal for the boys at home...gotta show off my cooking skillz
  • Indulging at the Malt Shoppe (anyone who knows my dad knows he doesn't pass up ice cream, ever!)
  • Hitting up Park City and Temple Square probably
  • Going night skiing with just my dad (Chase doesn't ski...probably some of the reason why I haven't been in the past 4 years)
  • Playing games at home...we have to introduce my dad to the card game "Set"; I think he'll love it!
Stay tuned for documentation of our fun weekend together as family!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Smash Burger

Friday night was date night for Chase and me. After reading about this new burger joint both on the Alders' blog and the Hansen's blog, I suggested to Chase we try it out, since he is a lover of burgers. So, we attended the Church Educational System's annual "Night with a General Authority" where we listened to a great talk by Pres. Eyring, and then following the broadcast, we went in search of this new establishment, Smash Burger. I texted Chelsea to find out exactly where it was located, and as luck would have it, they too were headed there. So we all ate together, and I must say, I loved it. Here's why I would recommend this place to anyone:

1. There burgers are soooo good. I really loved the BBQ burger with onion straws. So good!
2. There shakes are made with Haagen Dazs ice cream...yummy!
3. The seasoning on their smash fries is awesome. The seasoning is a mixture of rosemary, garlic, and olive oil if I remember correctly. Very delightful!
4. Their customer service is remarkable. They were so happy and friendly and came around consistently to see how we were doing. Two thumbs way up!

During the course of the night, Burke taught Chase and me a thing or two about skiing and business. That's what sparked this post. I felt I should help this new business out with a little promoting. Word of mouth is very influential so I've been taught! So go see for yourself how yummy this place is. It's located in the same shopping district as Sunflower Market and Plato's Closet.
Side note: Does anyone else think that on first glance the logo looks like Nintendo's logo for Smash Brothers? Maybe it's just the red font.