Tuesday, January 29, 2013

From Books to Baking

I would just like to say I am LOVING my new year’s resolutions.  Ryan and I posted them all over the house, and it is so nice to constantly be reminded of this year’s important goals we have set.  I am really enjoying one resolution, in particular, and it has to do with books.


I am reading like crazy!  My goal was to finish one book a month for a year, but I am wondering if I should be upping that number to 2 or 3. 
This month, I have read:

1.       How will you measure your life (amazing)

And am almost done with:

1.       Living Successfully with Screwed Up People
2.       Keep Calm and Carry On
3.       The Millionaire Next Door

It is such a wonderful feeling to wake up earlier than usual, eat a quick bowl of oatmeal in my slippers and sweats, and hop back into warm covers to read a good book. It is still quiet outside and everything seems so peaceful and calm. Then,  I realize that my little slice of heaven must end for a while, and that hopefully I can roll out of bed early enough the next day to read to my heart's content.

"Keep Calm and Carry On" comes from an amazing story.  Check it out:

That slogan definitely has struck a chord in my heart the last few days.  And the book is just as uplifting.  I am learning to let go of things that aren't in my control, and to be a positive, hopeful person through all of life's challenges.  

I feel terrible that I may be describing my life to be some kind of miserable wreck - it is not at all!  Ryan and I are happy, we have wonderful friends, have a warm home, supportive family, get to spend more time together than the past, and are truly looking forward to the upcoming year.  But sometimes I just need to vent about the times that are hardest for us mostly me,(and that outlet tends to be through writing on this blog).

Lately, I am finding that cooking and baking take my troubles away for a few moments. I have loved the "Mumford & Sons" pandora station that accompanies my cooking escapades, and feel so satisfied pulling the perfectly baked bread out of the oven.  The favorite recipes tried so far are:

1. Whole Wheat Bread
2. Sweet Potato Hummus
3. Lemon Yogurt Bread
4. Granola
5. Aloo Gobi 
6. Spring Rolls & Hoisin Sauce
7. Kettle Corn
8. A new chocolate chip cookies

These may or may not have all been cooked within a week's time...maybe a little over.  But still, it's madness! Ryan doesn't seem to mind :)  Up next on the menu: Sweet potato fries, homemade hamburger buns, and black bean burgers with all the fixins.  Feel free to stop by, I'm sure I will make too much as usual!  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lucky China

Whenever we get the chance, Ryan and I take off up to West Haven, Utah to spend some time with my Aunt and Uncle, Vickie and Rod.  They are a hoot!  We have adopted them as pseudo parents (whether they like it or not) and truly enjoy the relaxing, familiar, and warm atmosphere we feel in their beautiful home. 

Saturday afternoon we decided to brace the cold, hop in a chilled car and find a yummy place to hunker down for lunch.  Costa Vida is the usual choice, but we decided to branch out and try a well-known China Bistro, aka “Lucky China.” 

Ryan and I have been weighed down with stress.  And there have been both happy and disappointing happenings in our life right now. 

The happy: Ryan was asked to interview in Maryland at the Uniformed Services School of Medicine on Valentine’s Day!!  Hip Hip Hooray! And an answer to months of prayers.

The disappointing: After a very promising discussion with my manager at work, it turns out I will NOT be hired on full-time. 

But it is time to practice taking on the bad with the good, and the good is extremely good! 

At the end of our Chinese food adventure, we opened our fortune cookies to find….   

At this point, we take what we can get.  And our "lucky" fortunes made us excited for the rest of the day :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


We did it!  

If you take a gander at our bucket list to the lower right, you will notice just a few things Ryan and I would like to accomplish at some point in our lives.  And last night, we scratched one off of the list.

No, we didn't take a ballroom dance class or bike the Oregon Coast real quick, but we did do something musical...

We played our first real mandolin-guitar duet! 


Ryan's talented uncle made him, (MADE him), a mandolin for Christmas.  It is truly remarkable, and beautiful.  Something that we are going to cherish!  Ryan is secretly very musically gifted, and has been able to learn several songs in just a few short weeks.  It has been an exciting thing for me to watch, because one of my dreams has always been to play instruments and sing with my husband - I am pretty lucky he is also incredibly kind and extremely good looking ;) 

For FHE (one of our resolutions) we chose to learn a duet for our activity.  A hymn seemed to be a proper choice, and it was one of our favorite hymns at that: "Come, ye children of the Lord."  

I couldn't help but daydream to a future day when Ryan and I play songs and sing with our family.  Music is really special and I hope we work hard to make it important and meaningful to our kids as well. 

I am so excited to accomplish more bucket list bullets and add more to-dos in the future - it is so fulfilling!   

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Of Reservations and Resolutions

Ryan and I were in Oregon for a whopping 24 days, and when the time came to leave we were torn.  Right now, we are both graduated, both part-time workers, and both completely in the dark about our future.  If we had wanted to, we could have moved to Oregon over Christmas break.  Leaving all that is familiar and comfortable behind us in Oregon with our families was harder than expected, and arriving in Provo to a whole list of uncertainties was disheartening.

I will admit, I was the one who was having some reservations with leaving Oregon and returning to the “land of the unknown”.  I was definitely not demonstrating any kind of faith or hope whatsoever.  But, just like always, as soon as Ryan and I started unpacking and organizing, cleaning and planning for upcoming days and weeks, the comfort of simply being together set in.  Luckily, Ryan is the type of person who is completely optimistic and brave with hard situations and circumstances, so facing our (slightly brighter) future began to seem more bearable.  

Something that helped refocus my doubting thoughts were our goals for 2013 – and there are many!  We spent a significant amount of time thinking about the different areas of our lives that we want to strengthen, and areas as a couple that can grow.  Just so you know, and so that I am held accountable, here are a few of mine:

1.       Read 1 book per month

2.       Choose to swim as an exercise activity

3.       Dust off “old talents”

4.       Study the B.O.M. with a specific theme in mind

5.       Be a better friend

6.       Stay calm and patient in stressful situations 

Ryan and I both struggle to narrow down our goals, since I have a few more not listed above!  But, it is so exciting to reflect on the past year and revamp for the next, one can’t help but go goal crazy.