Friday, July 23, 2010

North Carolina

Earlier this month Chase and I were flown to Raleigh, NC in order for me to speak at a 5-Stake Youth Conference held on East Carolina University's campus. It was such a treat, especially since neither one of us had ever been to the Carolinas. I loved the Southern hospitality that was extended to us throughout our stay. We extended our trip by a day before and after the Conference so that we could see a bit of Carolina. It involved a bit of driving but here are some snapshots of our adventures.

Fort Macon, a Confederate fort built on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Siege of Fort Macon by the Union during the Civil War took place from March 23 to April 26, 1862.
Kitty Hawk where the Wright brothers altered life as we know it. Really, as we learned more about the first recorded flight in history we realized that this was quite the life altering discovery.
There's a monument seated on the hill where their plane took off from.

This is the track and markers of the how far they reached on the first four flights.
It just so happened that we visited Kitty Hawk during the 32nd annual Kite Festival. I even got to fly my own little kite along side some wicked huge kites! Chase and I both loved the picturesque campuses of both ECU and Duke. We had fun taking "artsy" shots around the campuses.Chase and I are fans of the show "Man Vs. Food" so we had to venture to one of Adam's picks in Raleigh before we flew home. Our trusty Jeep Liberty and GPS unit that we affectionately call "Vicky" (short for "Victoria" since we used the female British voice to navigate us). We drove over 800 miles on this trip so we were grateful for a trusty car and navigation system.
The trip was a nice vacation for us both and a great opportunity to once again rub shoulders with the youth. I loved the opportunity to have Chase on the trip with me, not only because he line danced at both of the dances that were held, but because he helped me meet so many more people than I would have on my own. I hope we have more opportunities like this to travel and speak.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just thought I'd share...

So as stated in a prior post, this summer is full of baby showers. I attended my cousin Jane's shower on June 12 at the Grand America Hotel and I thought I'd share the theme and decor from the shower because I loved it! And shoot, I know I'm not the only one having to host baby showers here in Provo and wanting new ideas.

The color scheme was so classy. Shades of green (predominately the mint shade) and pink.
The theme for the shower was children's books, specifically the book entitled Someday by Alison Mcghee and Peter H. Reynolds. I love this book actually because my mom gave it to me at one of my bridal showers. It's a tear jerker :) On the tables though were various children's classics like Beatrix Potter books as well as pictures of Jane, her sisters, and mother.
And the flowers were to die for. So there ya go...some fresh, classy ideas for a little baby girl shower. I'm anxiously awaiting little baby Miller to arrive any day now!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Recipe

So as I stated before, I am in love with all the produce that summer blesses us with. On Sunday Chase's grandparents were so generous and gave us two very large zucchini from their garden. We were so excited because it allowed us to whip out one of our favorite, easy summer recipes. I thought I'd share it with you, my loyal readers, in case you too find yourself with zucchini this summer and are tired of just making zucchini bread.

Stuffed Zucchini

1 med-large zucchini
1/2 lb. of thawed, uncooked ground beef or sausage (we prefer hot sausage...so good!)
1/4 c. mayo
2 tsp. onion flakes
2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt or Lawry's salt (we prefer the Lawry's salt)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. pepper
2/3 c. spaghetti sauce
Parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese (I think I am now more a fan of the mozzarella)

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise (like you would if making twice baked potatoes). Scoop out the centers leaving 1/4" shell (again just like with twice baked potatoes). Place the shells in a shallow baking dish.

Coarsely chop the zucchini centers and mix with the next 8 ingredients. Spoon into shells. Top with sauce and cheese. Bake 30-45 minutes at 375 degrees.

If you don't have a garden with zucchini growing within, it is definitely worth going to a farmers' market to get some zucchini. I haven't had success finding large enough zucchinis at the store. Farmers' markets or your grandparents' garden are where it's at :) Enjoy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I love summer!

I love summer!! I love summer for a lot of reasons, but this summer I've really come to appreciate the fresh produce that is abundantly available during the summer.

This Saturday we really took advantage of the season. Chase's sister Dayna told us about this co-op called Bountiful Baskets. To learn more about them go here. Anyway, we signed up to pick up our first basket of produce on Saturday and we were thrilled with the results. For just $15 ($19 if you are a first timer) we got all of the following:

A head of lettuce
10 plums
10 peaches
6 limes
A large bunch of bananas
A cantaloupe
2 mangoes
Asparagus
Cauliflower
Grapes
Roma tomatoes
2 squash

I think that's everything. What a steal! Thanks Dayna for introducing us to this. We will definitely be taking advantage of this again. The cool thing is they do this co-op in tons of cities here in Utah as well as in Idaho, Wyoming, Texas, Arizona, Washington, and Nevada. So really, you should check it out.

Not only are we enjoying our produce, but we're taking advantage of the herbs I've been growing. Although my potted garden has not been as successful as I had hoped, we are enjoying the basil, parsley, and oregano that are hanging in there. Nothing beats a caprese salad with fresh tomatoes and mozarella cheese garnished with freshly-picked oregano and basil.
I hope everyone else gets a chance to enjoy the fruits of the season!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just What I Needed

So yesterday as I was on BYU's campus preparing to teach at EFY I checked my email and read some pretty disheartening news dealing with family matters. A pain I'm all too familiar with flooded my system once again. My mind raced with thoughts like, "When will this end?" and "Will things ever get better?" I lost all desire to be peppy and cheerful to the youth who would soon be entering my workshop. But the Lord knew this was going to happen and He knew I would feel hopeless. I know this because I witnessed His love yesterday through a tender mercy.

David A. Bednar once defined tender mercies as "the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ…”

The personal blessing of strength I received yesterday had to do with the fact that of the four lessons I taught at EFY, my lesson entitled "You Are Loved" that discusses how the Lord's hand is in our lives through tender mercies was the very lesson that I was scheduled to teach yesterday morning. I know it was not a coincidence that things worked out that way. The Lord knew I needed to be reminded of His love at that moment. To start out the class I had planned for the youth to sing "I Feel My Savior's Love". I'm so grateful for the Spirit's strong presence as we sang that simple Primary song. It gave me the strength to teach.

So to my readers, I encourage you, as we were once by Pres. Eyring, look each day for evidences of the Lord's hand in your life. Because He is very present in our lives. I know this to be true.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Another on going project

So I call this summer "The Summer O Babies" because already I have attended 3 baby showers, one of which I helped throw, and I still have 2 more showers that I know of before the summer is through, one of which I am also throwing. Due to this plethora of showers, I decided to undertake learning how to make cute onesies. I scoped out the designs of others and with the help of online tutorials here's what I've come up with so far:
Other designs that are cute that I don't have pictures of are a flat flower design for little girls and a lightning bolt , fish, or car for little boys (I've only had one shower for a little boy and I didn't take pictures of the finished products).
Next up is making suspenders to go with these onesies for my baby nephews...suspenders on babies, what could be cuter?!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Projects Overload

So while Chase was away I decided to undertake one too many projects. I almost completed them all (after multiple nights of working nonstop till midnight--leave it to me to procrastinate) by the time Chase returned. Here's a bit of what I did:
*With the help of an awesome home teacher and a neighbor, I was able to hang in our kitchen a valence I sewed with a $1 rod from Ikea.*While my mom was in town I add some beauty to our front patio area by potting some herbs and flowers. Sadly my flowers did not survive the overwatering of my next door neighbor who thought she was "saving" my dying flowers. The verdict is still out as to whether or not my aloe vera plant will come back after the overwatering catastrophe. Pray that it does because it has come in handy the past few years due to Chase's skin's tendency to burn.
(All these pictures were taken before the catastrophe)
*Also while my mom was in town I bought lots of fabric to make pillows for our bedroom and living room. For our bedroom I had purchased a new simple white duvet cover, and so I wanted to bring in reds and aquaish blues with pillows. Here's how it turned out:
I did this pillow for our couch in the living room.
Side note: I've determined I do not like stitching up pillowcovers after you've stuffed the pillow in.

*I constructed on one of our walls a collage of pictures and repainted a "C" (for Christy and Chase) that I got at TJMaxx.
(To bring more of the blue into our room, I used some of my leftover blue material and covered some wooden frames from Ikea.)
*I also found a beautiful framed mirror from Rod Works in Lehi to adorn one of our walls. (Ever since we moved in we have been looking for a large enough mirror for the wall opposite our bed.)
*After about an hour of peeling I was able to place this vinyl quote above the mirror. We both love this quote. It sums up our feelings for one another and it somewhat ties into our family motto: Leave people and places better than when you found them.
*Thanks to the Wilcox's (once again) expertise I was able to make a rod design of pictures Chase and I have taken on our various travels and added some accent to our large framed pictures in our hallway.
And that's a glance at the projects I completed to help revamp our house :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Two Years

Last Friday Chase and I celebrated 2 years of marriage. As tradition, we went and did sealings. This year we went to the Salt Lake temple, the temple where we were sealed. (Side note: So I almost passed out while doing sealings (this is the second time this has happened to me)! Anyone else have this problem?!)As we watched couple after couple come into the Celestial room, and then as we walked around outside we both agreed how lucky we were on our wedding day. See, we were married on a Wednesday. As a result, practically no one was around outside as we were taking our pictures, allowing for some great shots; we didn't have to feel rushed inside the temple; and it probably also resulted in no one getting mad at us as we piled in almost double the amount of people allowed in the sealing room. It really was a perfect day and I would tell anyone contemplating being married in the Salt Lake temple to pick a weekday!

Happy 2 years Chase! I love the picture below because you truly are my best friend that I need and want by my side always. Loves!