Saturday, November 9, 2013


We were lucky enough to tag along with our friends the Hedges as David went home to visit his family in Huntsville.  What a BEAUTIFUL area!  We had to redeem it, because the only memories Ryan had of Huntsville was during/after his marathon…and this trip definitely made his feelings more happy towards this town.

If you think in your mind what fall looks like and feels like, you would picture Huntsville.  A little chilly throughout the day, a picture perfect conglomeration of all fall colors, the smell of fallen leaves, a little foggy in the morning…

When the icy grass melted away in the morning, we set out to pick some apples around their yard.  It took only 15-20 minutes to fill 8 bags of delicious apples!  We then got to witness, and even participate in the process of pressing the apples:

You will never taste better apple juice than this :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Halloween Party

After last year’s craziness, we were surprised anyone RSVP’d for the annual Halloween Party!  Luckily, we have some pretty awesome friends who are braver than we would be :)

We had some impressive costumes this year:

Popeye & Olive Oil

Lance & Sheryl

Bank Robbers

Mary Poppins & Burt

Kate Middleton & Prince William

Scary Joker/Clowns/Jesters

Our activities were absolutely hilarious.  Last year we got a little carried away with our “Fear Factor” theme – which led to a few green faces and many upset tummies.  I guess that’s what happens when one of the activities we name “Throw Up Throw Down”…so this year we were a little kinder.

Transylvania Twist:  Shakin’ our hips till the box was empty of chocolate eyeballs!

I Got Worms:  With a blindfold, sticking your face in messy, sticky noodles trying to find gummy worms…amidst cold hotdogs

Ghost:  Much like chubby bunny, but with a twist!

Monster Mash:  The mashed potatoes were our weapons and our spouses the targets

Scramble: Who could keep the raw egg between their chins and make it to the other side?

Make or Break: Will your spouse get a raw or cooked egg to the head?

Costume Contest: Popeye/Olive Oil, Kate/Prince, Mary Poppins/Burt

The overall winners this year were the SUNDWALLS!  What a fun time. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New York, New York!

The Big Apple.  The City that never sleeps.  The Empire State.  The Capital of the World. 

There’s a reason why there are so many names that accompany this great city, and we finally were able to experience it!

Ryan, Mindy (Ryan’s mom) and I decided to create a memory together and spend a weekend as a traveling trio!  We flew through the night on Friday only to find we would not be able to check in until later in the morning…so, we dropped off our bags, put on our walking shoes, and made our way through the heart of the city!  We walked up and down Broadway, found a cute little cafĂ© for breakfast, and made our way back to the hotel. 

Nap time :)

The amazing Ian and Ashleigh Cropper just happened to be in NYC that same weekend, so we met at Penn Station and rode down to a fun little restaurant in West Village, and parted ways to fit in the rest of our plans for the afternoon.

We walked around the Rockefeller Center in amazement (the ice skating rink, all the shops and stores) and then made our way up to the “Top of the Rock.”  The elevator went up as fast as the Tower of Terror in Disney Land!  It was amazing!  We went up 67 floors in seconds!  From the top, the views were incredible.  Definitely the best way to see the city.

Next, we made our way over to Broadway St. to watch a Broadway show on Broadway St!!  A bucket list item of ours!  Lion King was absolutely amazing.  I am amazed at what people can do – amazing dancers, singers, and creativity with various scenes, especially the stampede.

Afterward, we stopped by Carlo’s Bakery (I was way too excited) and stopped and got pizza at this little hole in the wall – everyone is right!  You cant go wrong with pizza in New York!

The next morning, we woke up with just a few minutes to throw on some clothes and make our way to the local branch a few blocks away.  If it wasn’t for the missionaries we saw across the street, we would have never seen the building!  It just looked like any other apartment!  What a neat experience that was.  It was a tiny group of people, but they seemed so close.  We even lucked out and got to hear their primary program, all ten kids!

After church, we decided to eat at Sardi’s – a special place in Mindy’s heart.  Over 25 years ago, she and Dave were flown to NYC for an award and after seeing a Broadway, walked across the street to Sardi’s to meet up with an older couple who had taken them under their wing.  It was so special to eat there with her, and Ryan and I want to carry on the tradition!
After lunch, we walked through the BIGGEST street sale I have ever seen.  Down blocks and blocks of Broadway, all you could see were scarves, jewelry, bags, food…it was a sight to see.  We stopped and got a few trinkets, and made our way to Central Park.  This was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  We rented a few bikes and rode around the entire park.  It was beautiful!  And huge!  We made a few stops here and there, and took a detour to ride by the New York Temple, and really enjoyed the fresh air and green scenery – not much of that going on in the city.

Afterward, we rode all the way down to the Financial District, where we saw the famous Bull, walked down Wall Street, saw the NYSE, and by that time we were ready to be done with the day.  We made our way back up to our hotel, which just happened to be right next door to Korea Town, and Mindy and I decided to be brave and eat with Ryan at a legitimate Korean Restaurant.  He was in heaven :)

There are a lot more things here and there that we did, but overall these were the highlights.  It was such a fun getaway, and we were so lucky to spend it with Ryan’s “one hip mamma” as he liked to call her throughout the trip!  Until the next adventure!

(Get ready for picture overload)

Little Folsom

We were so excited last week to announce to the world that WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!  It is such an exciting time of life.  I have been keeping a journal the last few weeks, so I will post those shortly.  But, we wanted to include our little blog in on all the fun :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fall Update

So Lauren and I have been going full bore for the last few weeks. After our killer vacation to Mexico (which we still need to write about), we got ready for school and work. Lauren is thoroughly enjoying her new job working for BYU IMG Sports Marketing and they seem happy to have her (who wouldn't be!!!!).

She has also been super busy helping out in the ward. She was recently called into the relief society presidency and is also busy working on ways to reach out to sisters in need. We both got new callings which brought us out from the forsaken realm of primary and inserted us in the heart of the action. It's been really fun. We're getting to know a lot of outstanding people and learn from the examples of great leaders. We're coming to love serving in the Oak Hills 7th ward.

I started graduate school and it's great. It's fun to be back in classes, doing less busy work and being in control of my course of study/pace. One of the highlights is TAing for my favorite undergraduate course, neuroanatomy. Teaching others about the brain has already been super fun and it's only been a week. Maybe this will influence whether I go into academics someday.

In addition to grad-school fun, I have two interviews for medical school; one at University of Texas San Antonio and the other at University of South Florida. Lauren and I are pumped and feel fortunate for the opportunities that have come to us. Hopefully other schools like Uniformed Services, University of Utah, and Oregon Health and Science get back to us soon! We feel blessed to receive interview invites so soon, considering there were only two last year and one was in February.

Also, I am training for my first (and potentially last) marathon. I think I'm going to run in the Huntsville marathon, a nice little town in northern Utah. 26.2 miles downhill (4000ft elevation drop) should be pretty nice in late September! Training is slowly teaching me to enjoy running, but I look forward to getting back in the gym and putting diversity back in my exercise routine. Hopefully Kelly and Eric will be able to tag along and enjoy the run. We were originally planning on running in the Top of Utah Marathon but because of recent events we won't make it.

Unfortunately, there was a stint of sad news in the family. Lauren's maternal grandma, Verna Allen, passed away earlier this week. We look forward to gathering for her funeral and celebrating her life. She was a very sweet women and hope things will be OK for her surviving spouse, Verlan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Allen family that's mourning this loss.

All in all, we've been very blessed over the past few months and have learned a lot in 2013. We look forward to the remainder of what this year will bring and hope to chronicle more of the small pearls we encounter along the way.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Can we have one??

We want kids - can't ya tell?