Tuesday, February 28, 2012

democracy rules

because it means that we get to celebrate presidents day by not working.
we started our day off with a run through our new neighborhood and around
the cemetery (our old neighborhood).  i generally don't love running, but i'm
training for the ogden half-marathon, and we're doing ragnar with some of
richard's co-workers this summer.  this was literally the first successful run
we've been on together since we were first married.  mostly because i hated
being left in the dust...but that's the funny thing about training...no dust.

we ended the day in style.  and with nosebleeds.  but the good kind.
my parents took us all to the jazz game, which was fabulous, of course.

thanks, in part, to the least obnoxious family in the world who sat in front
of my sisters.  grandma potty-mouth, her daughter with the wandering eye,
and the young geography whiz were definite highlights of the night.

these kids sure know how to have a good time.
thanks, mom & dad!

they lost, but we tend not to take it as personally as we used to.
it sure didn't keep us from having fun.

oh, baby!

congratulations are in order for our friends, the johnsons.
they've been going through the adoption process, and just
the day before their dinner/silent auction fundraiser they met
with a birth mother who surprised them with this sweet card
telling them they are going to be parents of a precious baby girl
in a few short months.

we were all on the verge of joyful tears most of the night.  to tell
the truth, my emotions were heightened for a few reasons...this
was my first experience with a silent auction, and i was in a major
bidding war that had my heart a-racing.  i was a little worried that
richard wouldn't be thrilled when he found out how much i was
bidding, but he unknowingly gave me the go-ahead, so i did what i
had to do to win this amazing giant candlestick.

jenkins scored some pretty sweet booty, too.

richard provided the entertainment for the evening while we
all dined and spent.  he's really not in pain in this picture...i just
caught him mid-lyric.  he was thrilled to help our pals out.

my mom's family even came to enjoy the festivities.
my mother herself was m.i.a. because she was on the cougar prowl
congratulating the high school wrestlers that she's hunted all season.

her folks must have raised her right.

i'm a lucky girl to have friends like these gals, and i couldn't be happier
for mj...she's gonna be the hottest little mama on the block.  how lucky
is her little girl going to be to have two aunt rachels?  i know.

Monday, February 27, 2012

the greatest thing you'll ever learn...

is just to love, and be loved in return.

we broke away from our usual valentine's day routine this year,
mostly because our oven wasn't working and couldn't bake our
yearly heart-shaped pizza.  instead, we capitalized on the many gift
cards we received for christmas and enjoyed a SUPERDATE.
we pretty much hadn't had a proper night on the town since we moved
into our new house, but this night was special.

first, we went to dinner at the olive garden.  used to be one of our
faves, but now i feel as though i could make literally anything on
the menu (if my oven is working) for a lot less (money and calories).
that's beside the point.  the point is, we had a great time.

from the restaurant, we made our way to wise guys comedy club where
we burned dinners off by laughing our you-know-whats off.  the comedian
did a little magic, but mostly made us laugh until we cried.  definitely one of
the best we've seen.

after we got our laugh on, richard proved that he loved me by taking me to
see the vow.  he really wasn't looking forward to it at all, but i'd been
counting down the days.  we snuck our pretzels in, and enjoyed the movie.
its no notebook, but it was romantic enough for me.

the superdate took place the saturday before valentine's day.  we may love
each other, but we do not love all of the crazy people who make restaurants
a zoo on the actual day.  richard took care of dinner - we still had pizza!  he
picked up a pie from our new fave in our new neighborhood, the pizza runner.
we ignored the laundry on the back of our couch, and we ate while we watched
the surprising video gift i gave him (not really, i give him the same thing every
year), and a redbox.

richard reminded me over and over that night why i fell in love with him in
the first place:

he looked at me like i was beautiful, despite the fact that i was sweaty and
gross after working out.
he gave me gardening gloves because he knew how excited i am to start
our first ever backyard vegetable garden.
he chose a redbox that he'd vetoed  many a time because he knew i'd read
the book and really wanted to see it.
he didn't get mad when i fell asleep half-way through a movie that he
never wanted to watch in the first place.
he remembered what my favorite donut is and got it for my dessert, which
is impressive since i can't even remember the last time we had donuts!

oh, my man, i love him so!

and all that jazz

a little while ago i was having a bit of a rough time.  you could say its been
a bit of a quarter-life crisis.  i mean, my life is good.  i love it, in fact.  and
i would definitely say i'm a happy girl, but that's why this sad spell hit me like
a freaking freight train.  like a weepy, stupid freight train that not even
ungodly amounts of chocolate could comfort (for long, that is).

after a few particularly heinous days in a row, i was reminded that somebody
up there loves me, and wants me to be happy, when he sent me a tender
little mercy in the form of one mister raja bell.  yes, the "kobe killer" himself
was sitting in the middle of the ogden macey's grocery store (of all places), signing
autographs.  it was hands down the best cheese-run of my life.

this jazz man has had a place in my heart since he first played for utah, back
when i was in high school.  he was one of the first celebrities that i ever yelled
at, which was just the beginning of an embarrassing habit.  i digress...
i about lost it when my camera died, but luckily i could buy more right there,
so i waited in line again and posed for this snap shot.

its silly, but that little encounter, on a random grocery store pit-stop, was just
what i needed.  i cried on the way home, and it makes me want to a little right
now, too, thinking that heavenly father knows me so well.  he knew it had
to be something way out of left field to snap me out of my funk.
he reminded me, via raja bell, that you can't keep a good woman down.
i love him (and raja) for that.

feature films for fools

my uncle tony has been in the utah opera chorus for 18 years.  18 years!
i learned this just last month when i went with my mom to see him in
rigoletto at the capitol theater because there was an entire article about
him in the program.  what can i say, i rub elbows - and share dna - with
some pretty important people.

the show was a hit to say the least.  if i could sing like those folks, i probably
wouldn't give myself such a headache when i belt it in the car...and i would
also probably make a lot more money than i do, too.  anyway, it was a great
night, and very educational.  i learned that

a) tony hates it when people call phantom of the opera an opera.
b) i'd better not tell my uncle what my favorite "opera" is.
c) before we saw the show i thought i knew the story of rigoletto from
 watching the feature films for families version when i was a teenager,
but, in fact, fff has no idea what the hell they are talking about.

thanks, uncle tony & aunt kris, for the tickets!  it was fun to have a night
on the town with my momma...even if she did stiff our waiter on his tip.
not really.  she tried.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

returning to the station: the austrain

it feels like its been far too long since we've seen this sight,
but we're glad we haven't had to lay our eyes on this kid for
the past two years.  austin got home from his mission last
month, and we didn't get one decent picture from the airport,
but we were definitely there.  wouldn't have missed it...

mostly because we love him. but going down to st. george to welcome
him home also meant that we got to spend more time with these

while we were visiting, we took liz and dale on our first ever double date.
i can't believe this is the first time we've gone out with just them, but its true.
we certainly made up for lost time.  we started out by introducing them to
a teppanyaki grill, which they loved, of course.

and we finished the night with a sweet little visit to menchie's.
we might just need to make a tradition out of taking them out
for their christmas gift. hands down, this was more fun for us than
watching them open a gift in the living room.

additional memories that were made on this trip:

hunger games on cd in the car
family pics on the slackline
richard dropped his teeth-whitening bomb
megan and i talked gardens and recipes

and we got our first pic of all the boys together.
would i say that this weekend was a smashing success?  absolutely.

i don't know haws they do it

yes i do...they're amazing.

this is tyson haws.  richard met him in chile while they were both serving
the big guy, and they've been good friends ever since.  we've visited them
many a time at their old home in mesa, az.  we have yet to visit them in the
new, bigger place.  they had to move on to bigger and better things
seeing as how they've expanded since i first met them 5 years ago...

back then they were just a family of three, and that beautiful little
heartbreaker in the blue dress was the only baby in the fam.  they've
since added jensen, brighton, and ridge to create the greatest little
family in the world.  maryann there on the right is tyson's sister, and
we love her guts, too.

it was so fun having them stay with us - even if it was just for the night.
we played a game of tribond (which they introduced us to years ago), and
just caught up on all of our crazy lives.  i really look up to kimberly and
tyson for raising such adorable kids.  they are incredible examples for us,
and i'm glad to have inherited their frienship when i married richard.

book club: extremely loud & incredibly fabulous

our book club might not meet quite as regularly as others do, but when
we get together you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be an affair
to remember.  our book for the month of december was extremely loud
and incredibly close, which movie i have yet to see.  i think i'm the only
one who really, truly liked the book, but i'm the one who chose it, and
i'm ok with that.

because the book takes place in manhattan, we decided to give our meeting
a nyc theme.  pizza was the main course, with anna's delicious waldorf salad
as the side.  karen whipped up some virgin manhattan's for us all, even
serving them in martini glasses (when i said it i meant it...fabulous), and rachel
jenkins provided "key"-shaped cookies that more than somewhat resembled
male genetalia, but i think that just added to the occasion, and oskar probably
would've taken a picture to put in his book, so it fit.

our numbers have steadily dwindled, which completely baffles me, but
i'm thankful for the other three who've stuck it out with me.
looking forward to our meetings makes my boots a bit lighter.

remnants of symphony

richard had a special visitor last month. 
he's pretty special to me, too, i guess.  because when you get right down
 to it, he's the reason richard moved to west point, and eventually
it was his mother who convinced richard i was worth a drive to slc.
life will never be the same, thanks to one mr. riley zaugg.

the original r&r, together again

look at these stooges.  gotta love 'em.