Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dinner Last Night

We are in New Orleans for Thanksgiving and went out to dinner last night. While at dinner, I shot by straw wrapper at Damien and hit him right in the chest. When he tried to shoot me with his straw wrapper it hit me and then bounced up and over the divider between the tables and hit someone at the other table. Then all of a sudden this head popped up from the other table and it was a Catholic priest. Damien hit a priest with his straw wrapper. We were laughing so hard!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Job Offer

Damien got a great job offer yesterday with Fast Enterprises!!!

We went to the Idea Pitch final at BYU yesterday, which was fun to watch the top four teams give their business idea pitches. While we were waiting for it to start, Damien got a call from the company letting him know that they had just sent him an offer. We were both very excited because he has had quite a few interviews with no job offers. Of course, we still need to decide whether or not we are going to take it for sure.

I also finished my business plan this week and my group presented it to my professor, an angel investor, another professor, and our class. It went pretty well, especially because we were one of the first groups to present. I am so glad it is over. If you want to see the really cool homepage Damien made for my business plan you can click here.

Overall we had a great week! We celebrated by having dinner at P.F. Chang's last night! Yum!

Next week we will be in New Orleans visiting family for Thanksgiving and we are really excited to see them!

Monday, October 12, 2009

To Grandma's House We Went

Two weekends ago Damien and I went up to my grandma's house in Bountiful to spend the weekend with her. While we were up there we got to help her pick nuts off her walnut trees. If you don't know how walnuts grow or how to get them to the form we usually see at the grocery store than you would find it quite interesting. I never would have known if it weren't for my grandma.

Walnuts grow on large trees as green spheres. When ripe, the green outer fleshy shell has to dry and crack off or you have to peel it off. If the green shell gets moist inside before it falls off then the green shell turns a dark brown and becomes very moist. The oils from this will stain your fingers a brown color so sometimes you have to wear gloves when handling them. Once you get the green shell off then you are left with the hard brown shelled walnut like you see at the grocery store. You have to crack the brown shell off and pull the nut out to let it dry. When you pull the nut out it is still very moist and pliable and not ready to eat. Once the nuts are dried they are ready to eat or freeze for later use. I absolutely love the fresh walnuts from my grandma's trees! Damien and I helped pull nuts out of shells while Grandma cracked the shells open for us. And of course she sent us with a bag full of them. I absolutely love the walnuts from Grandma's trees!

Another funny thing happened that weekend too. We took our laundry to my grandma's as well and Damien decided he wanted to be helpful so he went inside and switched a load from the washer to the dryer and put a new load in the washer. I came downstairs a bit latter and Damien said, "I need to show you something." He walked me over to the washer and lifted the lid. I looked in and all I could see was pink. He had thrown our red rug into the washer with our towels and a pair of his underwear. The rug had never been washed before so the red dye turned everything a pink color. I just laughed. It was nice of Damien to try and help!

Friday, October 2, 2009

October 1

Yesterday, October 1, was Damien's 25th birthday! He had a very enjoyable birthday, but the best part was the surprise I pulled on him.

Weeks before his birthday, Rita emailed me to get some gift ideas for Damien because he was refusing to send her any. He said he didn't need any birthday gifts because they are flying us out to visit for Thanksgiving. So I sent her a few a list of things he wanted. We continued our secret emails back and forth. She order a few gifts and had them sent to the house. As most of you know, we live above our landlords' garage and so we use the same address as them. This worked out wonderfully because I had them put all packages that came to the house in a closet inside their back door. That way Damien had no idea that I was having all of the gifts held back!

One day Damien came to get me from school to go to yoga and informed me that Rita had given him Mexican Train for his birthday. One of the packages slipped through and was set out on the back bench when Damien got home from school. And of course he opened it minutes after getting home. He asked me how his mom knew that he wanted Mexican Train. I had to lie and pretend like I didn't know anything about it.

All of the rest of the packages were held though and so the few days before his birthday I went and got the gifts from the closet and hid them in our apartment. The morning of his birthday he woke up and went and got in the shower. He thought I was still asleep, but I jumped out of bed and took all of the boxes out of their hiding places and had them all set up on the table. When he came out of the bathroom he was so surprised to see all of these gifts waiting for him. He had a huge smile on his face! The days before his birthday he was sad nothing came in the mail for him because he thought everyone had forgotten his birthday. Little did he know I was being sneaky and hiding them so he couldn't open them before his birthday!

Damien and I will continue his birthday celebration with sushi tonight for dinner (while I enjoy some teriyaki chicken or something a little more normal) and next weekend we are going rock climbing at the Quarry.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yoga & The Farmers Market

Damien and I are taking a yoga class together at BYU right now! The class is good because it sets time aside for us to practice yoga three times a week. We have it Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. We have a different teacher on Saturdays then on Tuesdays and Thursdays which is a good thing. I like Amy, the Saturdays teacher's style of teaching better. We talked to Amy after class last Saturday and found out that she grew up around New Orleans. What a surprise! We haven't met very people from the south here at school, let alone New Orleans. It was fun talking to her about the culture down there. It is hard for us westerners to understand the southern culture because it varies so much from ours. But it is fun to be a part of the friendly, easy-going culture in the south. And I might end up being the TA for that Saturday yoga class which would be fun!

On another note, go to your farmers market if you have one. Damien and I have been to the one at Pioneer Park here in Provo the past two weeks. They have quite a few more vendors than they had last year. We have gotten some delicious yellow squash, peaches and grass-fed beef from there. The way I have been preparing the squash has been so good! Here is what I've done.

Steamed Yellow Squash and Onions

1. Slice the squash into medium sized slices, about 1/4 inch thick.
2. Roughly chop a small onion or half of a large onion.
3. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan on medium heat.
4. Place a layer of squash down in the pan. Sprinkle with some salt and then spread about half of the chopped onion on top of the squash.
5. Repeat with another layer of squash, salt, and onion.
6. Place a lid over your pan and let vegetables cook. Stir every few minutes. Let it cook for about 20 minutes or until the squash are tender or done to your liking.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Quick Update

We made it back to Provo safely and got all rearranged in our apartment. School started last week and I can't wait for it to be over! Damien and I are taking a yoga class at BYU and it started last week. We had a great 3 day weekend, but I will have to post about that later!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Two Years

Damien and I have been married two years today! I can't believe it has been two years already because the time has flown by. We have enjoyed the past two years and I couldn't be any happier.

It's always fun to look back at pictures from the courtship. This is the evening we got engaged.
For those of you who don't know the story I will give you a shorter version.

I was leaving the next day for Sacramento to go to one of my best friend's weddings! I really wanted to be engaged before I went so I could show Val my ring! Damien told me earlier that day that he didn't want to propose that day because he wanted it to be a surprise, although I already knew we were going to get engaged soon. He told me we needed to talk and looked all sad as we drove to Manito Park (one of our favorite parks in Spokane to walk around). He sat me down on a rock and said, "I don't know how to tell you this, but I don't like where our relationship is at right now." I am freaking out thinking he is going to break up with me when he says "I don't want you to be my girlfriend. I would rather you be my wife." And he whips out the ring and asks me to marry him.

It was pretty crazy because one minute I am thinking he is going to break up with me and the next moment he proposes. He thought it was the best thing ever that I was freaking out. It all worked out though.

While getting our bridal pictures our photographer had us put our foreheads together for the picture and Damien came in really fast and bonked my forehead. This is the aftermath picture! Silly boy!

Thank you for a wonderful two years. I look forward to many more fun times. I love you Damien!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Blue Mountain Beach

Damien informed me that my last post was too long and people wouldn't read it because it was so long. Thus I will be doing a couple smaller posts to get all of our latest adventures in. This post is about our long weekend trip to Florida.

We took a long weekend and drove about 4 hours to the beautiful Florida coast. We were able to rent a condo with Rita and Tricia, and our good friends John and Debbie. The weather was nice and sunny most of the time and the beach was great! I didn't know that some of Florida's beaches were so nice. The sand was really fine and soft and the water was a beautiful clear blue-green. Off the beach, the water was pretty shallow for a ways out there so we could go pretty far out.

We arrived in Blue Mountain Beach on Thursday afternoon after a stop at the gas station, Krispy Kreme, and Wendy's.

Damien and I spent quite a bit of time at the beach. It was especially fun because we found a pair of goggles at the pool and took them down to the beach with us. We were able to see all kinds of ocean life in the shallow water with the goggles. Damien was like a little fish and we couldn't get him to get out of the water because he was searching for little creatures and fish. While we were out there these little white fish followed us around swarming our legs and nibbling at them. We also saw some small schools of dark fish darting around, some long skinny fish with long noses (not sure what you call that on a fish), and some white fish with yellow fins. Damien also found a few hermit crabs and sand dollars.

With the child-sized goggles on.

Damien looking for creatures.

We had to get a bit of sun!

The BIG hermit crab.

Little baby hermit crab.

Pretty little sand dollar.

One of the mornings we were able to rent bicycles and take a ride to this place that has delicious muffins in Seaside were The Truman Show was filmed. The muffins were delicious and it was a fun town to walk around!

Debbie and John ready for the ride.

I'm getting ready to go and not sure what Damien is doing.

Riding to the Starbucks and then the muffin store.

Seaside, Florida

Enjoying our muffins! Yum

We stopped at a little gallery/craft store on the way out of town. Damien was enjoying the little chair hammock.

Another morning we went to IHOP because Damien had been wanting to go really bad. We thought we knew where it was but ended up passing it by about 10 miles and had to turn around to find it. Breakfast was good and they forgot to bring our drinks right away so we had free orange juice that morning!

And they just happened to have a shopping outlet mall close by so we did a little shopping there. I found this fabulous Kenneth Cole leather purse that was originally $265 and I got it for $45. I don't mean to brag, it was just a really good find and I am always looking for a good deal!

Our trip was a nice break and we enjoyed our time at the beach. If you are ever down in Florida rent a condo (we used this website to look for a condo) and stay somewhere along the beach between Destin and Panama City because those are supposed to be the nicest beaches, but I hear that Pensacola is also nice!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


My mom flew down here and spent the past week with us. We had so much fun! Here are some of the things we did while she was here.

1. My mom and I did some shopping on Magazine Street where they have lots of fun boutiques. We went into one store selling Vera Wang wedding dresses just to look at them. They were beautiful. We also stopped by Sucre and had a chocolate!

2. We walked around the French Quarter and of course we stopped at Cafe Du Monde and had a few beignets! My mom loved them!

Mom enjoying her first beignet.

Rita and Tricia enjoying their beignets and coffee.

This guy sang us a song by James Brown while walking along the Mississippi River walk.

3. We had dinner at Maximo's in the Quarter with Maw Maw and Paw Paw. It took an hour and a half for our dinner to arrive so the manager said the whole meal including dessert was on him! While there, my mom got to try crawfish.

The crew (left to right): Me, Damien, Rita, Tricia, Maw Maw, Paw Paw, and Mom.

Our chocolate covered gelato dessert!!!

4. My mom and I walked a few mornings and we got to take her to the New Orleans Athletic Club to work out.

The yoga room.

The swimming pool and stretching/boxing area is up above on the second level.
5. We took a tour of the plantation Houmas House. We took a little detour on the way there and ended up on a tiny little road wide enough for one car to barely drive on it. The detour made for a fun trip though and on the way home we barely missed hitting a rabbit crossing the road.

It was pouring rain when we got there so we all had our hoods on.

The chandeliers were beautiful and the ceiling and walls were hand-painted by the gardener.

The map on the wall in this picture is a map of all of the plantations in the state of Louisiana right before the Civil War. The map was found under some of the floor boards in the Houmas House. They think that it was hid there at the beginning of the Civil War so that the Yankees wouldn't find it. Most other maps like this were probably burned because there aren't many left today.

Here our tour guide Judy played and sang a song on the Steinway piano. It was one of the few pianos of that brand actually manufactured in Germany.

The music box still plays and the company that made it is still around today. They now make machines to manufacture chocolate.

Some of the beautiful silverware.

The spiral staircase.

The kitchen with lots of old kitchen gadgets.

The gardens were huge and very well kept.

6. We ate a lot of different places while my mom was here! We had Indian, Thai, Italian, Southern, American food and lots of dessert!

Mom, Me, Damien, and Tricia at the Creole Creamery. They are known for having unique flavors of ice cream like lavender basil and avocado. They also have really good "normal" flavors too including my favorite which is caramel chicory chocolate. They are also known for their $22 Tchoupitoulas challenge. The Tchoupitoulas has 8 scoops of ice cream and 8 toppings. If you finish it on your own then you get your name on the plaque. A few missionaries in the area have their names on the plaque!

7. We had a party with all of our friends and family so that they could meet my mom. It was a blast! We played ping pong and had a pinata.

Appearantly our pinata is a Backyardigan. Damien picked it out. He loved moving the pinata up and down while I was swinging at it! I got a few good hits on it though.

We were pooped after the party! Lots of preperation and enjoyment.

8. We took a ferry ride across from the city of New Orleans to Algiers and back. The view of the city was beautiful!

9. While walking down Royal street in the Quarter we were able to witness an interesting little scene. A police car had its lights on following this car. The lady driving the car was trying to pull it over to the side of the road but was so drunk that she ran into this pole on the sidewalk with the front of the car, managing to slide the side of the car around the pole, and then backed up into the pole. She finally stopped the car and this very feminine, hip police officer gets out and tells the guy in the car that he will not allow that lady to drive the car. It was hard to take the police officer seriously because of his high pitched voice, stylish glasses, and neatly styled hair.