Stories from the lives of Jared, Stephanie, Aubrey, Hannah and Dani Or, Jare-phanie-brey-nah-ni

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rewarding Success

    Woohoo I did well on another Accounting quiz. It only feels like forever when I'm going through the lesson, but it's so nice to see my entire day was not wasted! Now I have plenty of time to enjoy the cold, gloomy weather...bitter sweet...

    But there are so many things to reward my success with. Yesterday though, I ate the rest of my rocky road ice cream. Last night, Jared and I finished off the last two thin mint Girl Scout cookies...so delicious.

    Now, I am back to rewarding myself with some YouTube time! Jared showed me a Conan O'Brien clip and I about died thinking it was so funny! He's out talking to a group of people who play baseball in the 1864 style. Click HERE to see the clip!

    Conan also does a spoof on Rebecca Black's Friday song which I find hilarious and it fits perfectly with today. Click HERE to see his song about Thursday!

    I will admit, I watched Rebecca Black's video and I agree with most people that it isn't really that great of a song. But it was brave of her to do it and put herself out there. I really hope she is coping well with her video being the most disliked on YouTube.

    From watching her video, I moved on to watch some of Justin Bieber's songs and then to Lady Gaga and I ended the day watching Adam Lambert videos. Really, it was all just to waste time, but I would rather look at it as rewarding my good efforts in school!

    I'm trying to think of other rewards though that might be better for me. I love chocolate, but it always goes too quickly. If I open up one of the cases of Dr. Pepper for one can, the whole pack will be gone in two weeks. YouTube might end up melting my brain in a few weeks.

    After talking to an awesome friend, Suz Cox, I started thinking about Netflix...free trial for one month. Sounds good to me! I can watch movies and TV shows that Hulu won't let me watch! This will be great!

    I just have to remember that Netflix is a reward...not a distraction from school work and studying...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gross People Make Me Grateful

    Have you ever looked at a person and thought to yourself, "I am SO lucky not to be that person!"?

    Today I spent two and a half hours in the Davidson County Driver Services Center and had that thought CONSTANTLY. 

    I first got there after having a good morning of spending time with Jared and getting my I-9 all worked out so I can start training Monday. The place was packed and there was a pretty long line just to get a waiting number. 

    Sometimes I am a patient person and I was feeling pretty good this morning. It didn't matter there were 25 people who were in the same category that would be helped before me. It also didn't matter that things were moving slowly. What did matter is the people all around me. There was no escaping the grodiness (grodiness=a form of the word "grody" which is a synonym of "gross" or "repulsive") 

    The first seat I could find was a space away from a normal looking guy. He kept to himself, I kept to myself, it was good. The problem started when he asked me to look over his "stuff" while he went outside really quick. So I "watched" his "stuff" until he came back smelling horribly! He had me watch his precious possession (a falling apart folder full of wrinkled and torn papers) so he could go smoke a joint in his car! 

    I am SO thankful I do not smoke or do anything grody like that. I am SO grateful Jared doesn't either. This guy was breathing all over me as he sighed with impatience. It didn't help that the smoke smell was just a cover for his natural terrible smell. 

    In the row in front of me, there were two guys who looked like they were friends and both took the morning off work to get something changed. I'm not sure what they were there for, but I saw a lot of crack and I realized after a few minutes that they were VERY "friendly" with each other. 

    I am SO glad all my pants cover all the parts they need to cover and I'm glad Jared's do too. There are few things worse to see than too much skin. 

    Also showing WAY too much skin was a young woman across the room. It's a pretty reasonable Spring day. It's about 55 outside and the sun was out. That does NOT make it O.K. for a heavier-weight young adult to wear a tank-top that came down too low and some short SHORT athletic shorts. I would also like to mention the shorts were white and showed more than they should have.

    It's great she is comfortable with her body, but I am so glad I am modest in what I wear. Even when I'm alone around the house, I always have several layers of clothing on. Sometimes even a jacket when the heat is too slow to kick on. 

    This isn't grody, but I saw a guy hit on a rather pretty girl while we were all waiting to get our licenses. It was more embarrassing to watch, but they swapped numbers and I stopped having to hold in my laughter at the awkwardness. 

    Woohoo I don't ever have to deal with awkward pick-lines or weirdos trying to get my number! Jared gave me pretty shiny ring that I thoroughly enjoy flashing around if I catch some crazy eye-ing me.

    Along the lines of showing too much, tattoos just aren't attractive. Whether it's just one on your shoulder or a whole canvas on your body, it's gross. There was a guy there with his fraternity symbol or whatever on his neck. His NECK! Who would want a needle around that area! It's ok though, his girlfriend matched him with her sorority symbol in the middle of her cleavage. GRODY!

    The last grody thing I will mention is the LARGE women who wear their pants too tight, the guys who wear their pants too tight, and also the guys who wear their pants too lose. The last thing I want to look up and see is a big woman walking around in pants that show everything. My skinny jeans are tight, but there is still some space to get them on and off comfortably. Some women don't have ANY space. 

    Guys who wear skinny jeans just look silly. If they have long hair, they might be mistaken for a girl on a regular basis. On the other end, if I don't want to see something that tight, I sure don't want to see something loose either. When guys have to hold their pants up by the crotch when they walk, buy a belt! If they lost weight, go buy a new pair! It's not attractive showing your boxers or briefs, I don't care to know which ones you are wearing!

    All in all, I am grateful I am not a white trash woman, addicted to smoking who doesn't dress to match my body. It's clear to see I have standards and I strive hard each day to live within them. I respect myself and my husband and I do my best to take care of myself. When I go out in public, I put on regular clothing, not just a clean pair of pajamas or sweats. I take the time to do my hair and my make-up. 

    I'm not saying I'm better than all those people. They may be very nice and have great personalities. But I will say, based of first impressions, I am VERY grateful not to be them.

Monday, March 28, 2011

    Apparently, I've had a mystery list of things I've wanted to do or have done. I've never written this list down, or even realized it's been a list! It seems I've had a collection of ideas in my head of random activities for several years and am just now acknowledging them. 

    One, I can successfully french braid my hair. It takes a few tries and my arms start to ache from all the random muscles I use, but I can get it done! Now, I'm not saying it looks great or anything :) It just gets the job done and is easy to recognize as the "style."  CHECK! In fact, it was because of this great feat that I first became aware of this random list.

    Two, make a classy dessert. I made pie once and even wrote about it here, but it wasn't a normal pie...just a random creation that had bits from a pie recipe. Some day, I will make a great dessert that will look pretty, taste great and be something special.

    Third, watch every movie Jared and I own. This one might take a while to finish. There are a few movies Jared has that I just don't feel like watching. And I'm still finishing the stack of movies my mom brought during her last visit, but for some reason, I want to watch every movie in this apartment. This doesn't mean I have to be awake during the whole movie though :) Jared falls asleep during movies all the time, so I can too!

    Fourth, I want to burn one of my school books that I will never use again, or ever have hopes of selling. People talk about throwing all their notes away and burning books in bonfires. I've thrown the notes away, but I haven't burned a book...yet

    Fifth, I want to drive a really, REALLY fast car. Jared got to test drive a Nissan Leaf today, and I am so jealous! But it got me thinking, I want to drive something awesome, and around a track or whatever. I feel the need for speed at times, but poor Bob Dixon (Jared's car) just doesn't cut it...no offense to Bob Dixon. He's been good to us. 


    Sixth, the apartment will one day look better than the day we moved in. I clean the apartment in segments. So the living room and dining room/space looks great, but the kitchen and bathroom has junk all over the counters. One day, ALL of it will be clean and put together and look awesome. Even if only for one day...


    Seventh, I want to own a pair of shoes in every color I like. So far I have pink, blue and green. White, brown and black don't count...everyone has those colors. I will be searching for purple, gold/yellow, silver-ish, and maybe red. 

    I'll stop my list here. I believe this is a good stopping point, because some of those look to be a little impossible. Who would EVER let me drive their fast car!? And I'm not a good enough cook/chef yet to even try making a super cool dessert. Oh well. This is why it's the list I've never acknowledged until now. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Confessions

    First off, I will confess my gravest of all sins. On my bracket, I put BYU to lose last night. I'm such a terrible person, I know and I admit my faults and I hope to someday be forgiven for this scandal. I suppose I got so caught up in my greed for a bag of MnMs that I had a slip of judgment and strayed from my allegiance to my family and school. I supported BYU though during the game. Even made a sign while we watched the game online.

See! BYU!! Go Jimmer!

    Another confession, I'm already excited to be watching soap operas when I'm home taking care of a baby. (Don't get excited, that's not going to happen for quite a while) I miss watching Days of Our Lives with my aunt, Hayley, and it'll be so fun to watch other people have crazy, insane lives that make me look normal! :) Jared won't watch them with me, so they will my guilty pleasure during the day when he's at work. 

   Third, I don't like Orlando Bloom. There may be people who think he is good looking and a good actor. I think he's just a pretty boy who I don't find very masculine. I believe this very strongly while watching Pirates of the Caribbean. I've had a little marathon as I envy Jared's family going on a cruise to the Caribbean this week. Orlando Bloom is such a girl in all the movies...and it doesn't help he's some weird elf in The Lord of the Rings movies either...  

    At the risk of being attacked the next time people see me, the last confession I will make is:Some of the movies I watch with Jared (his manly movies like Rocky or The Patriot) I really like. I enjoy action/fighting movies. Blood in movies doesn't mind me (I close my eyes if I feel sick) and swearing isn't a big deal to me. To clarify though, I like SOME, not ALL. Godfather will never be among my list of movie suggestions...NEVER!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Too Much Time On My Hands

    Jared and I got married and left Provo, UT before I finished my classes to get my stinkin diploma. So, I am finishing them online, Independent Study from BYU. I was so excited because I could do school stuff at home! All I have to do is go through these lessons online, sometimes I have to write and submit a short paper or do a quiz for a grade; no sweat. I have a midterm or two and a final for each of the three classes. That's less than what I had to do when on campus!

    Things were great. I had all day to get things done! I could work half the day on school (reading, making flashcards, writing papers) and have the rest of the day to have fun! I was loving this whole "Independent" idea! I could choose when and where!

    The problem started when I began to get a life. Jared and I were moving around a lot looking for an internship so he could graduate. Then I started working and didn't have lots of time to work on school, other than weekends. Now that we are settled in Nashville, I've just lost the motivation to work on school!

    Have no fear though, I've been working on finishing them. Just not as much as I should though. Good news though, I finished one class and I just have the final two left. Not including the midterm I took today (and totally passed!), I have a total of 3 exams left. Not too bad!

    I have so many hours here at home where I can dedicate myself to school. Still, I find myself on Facebook constantly. Or I am on Hulu watching some of my favorite shows like Castle or Bones. I even watch re-runs just because I don't want to do school work! I will sit here all day on the couch day dreaming and before I know it, it's around 5 and I start thinking of things to do for dinner!

    Independent Study relies too much on independence. Where are the deadlines! I never thought I would say this, but sometimes, I feel the need to go to a class or to the library to study! There are too many distractions here at home. 

    For example, all I can think about now is cleaning. Thinking about how I'm going to move everything out of the way so I can vacuum. Then I think about making the bed all nice and pretty with the decorative pillows and such. Then I sit on the couch and realize the blankets are all over the place, so I take the time to fold them carefully. 

    This morning after I did a quick review of the material I would be tested on, I put in a movie and started dazing off. I got hungry about 11:15, so I made macaroni and cheese. Facebook was always open and I have my Gmail open too so I can send little messages to Jared while he is at work.

    But now I can enjoy a short break before figuring out a whole new system. I have to factor in work in a few weeks. Even though it is only 20 hours, and some of those are on Saturday, that is less time for me to work on school. Guess I'll have to buckle down...

    ....Nah, I'm sure I'll still find time to procrastinate! I have til May to finish everything! No sweat!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Raging Rantings

    This day started off wonderful. I got a formal job offer from Bank of America! I'll start training in two weeks to be a part-time teller. Not too bad! We're going to build our savings so we don't get too far in debt when life gets harder and this wonderful bliss we are currently in. :)

    Once I filled out the stuff I needed to and scheduled an appointment to get finger-printed (there goes all my dreams of robbing a bank and getting away with it), I was feeling pretty confident with how things were going! I was makin plans to study and have a productive day. Then I made a crucial mistake...

    I have yet to change my driver's license to my married name and now we are in a new state with my license fixin' to expire in June. Shoot...so I look online to figure out what I need to bring and what I'd need to do to change my name and get a Tennessee license. 

    I couldn't find anything helpful on their blasted website! Just a bunch of jibberish that just confused me. So I get this wonderful idea to call someone like an operator who can answer my simple question of "what do I need to bring?"

    After being on hold for HALF AN HOUR and having a simple headache turn into a full blown migraine, Jared was such a sweetheart and found the information I needed online.

    This morning was so wonderful getting the job and I had such high hopes. Because everything was going so well, I was going to look into changing my license and spend most of the day studying. NOPE!

    I spent a total of an hour on the phone to only hang up in the end. I have some very mean words for the people at the DMV and I'm sure there will be another mean post about how incompetent and rude they are. 

    Now the rest of my day will be filled with a bitter attitude until Jared comes home and gives me a big hug while I burst into tears. 

Other rantings:
    These darn gaggles of gooses outside are driving me nuts with their irritating noises. Can't they just find a spot to land and be quiet?
    There are some big, fat bumblebees outside that make me terrified to sit on our patio furniture while I study. Competing for the same space is also a wasp that lingers close to the screen door as he develops a plan to get in the apartment. As soon as he comes in, I'm running out. 
    As much as I love Spring and having everything look beautiful again, I'm sick of the birds. Glad they survived the winter and all that, but after watching The Birds a few times throughout my life, I don't like them.
    I still can't get over how rude and irritating and inconsiderate the DMV was/is. When I get there Monday after being finger-printed and I hear one phone ring and no one picks it up, I will flip out. Might even end my awesome streak of not swearing aloud (as opposed to in my head).
    The maintenance crew here is so loud. It's like they have to either be right outside my door or right under my patio when they start yelling at each other across the courtyard. They must be competing with those silly birds on who can be the loudest.   

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

First Days of Spring

    Jared and I had another fabulous family night! Even though we don't have a kid yet, we enjoy spending time together and learning from each other. (Plus, it's a great excuse for me to have a treat!)

    After a hard day of me studying, Jared came home from work and I made a quick dinner of pancakes and eggs. Can't get much faster than that! Jared took a few minutes to gather his thoughts for the little "lesson" and we had a great time talking about gospel topics. 

    I was in charge of the activity and we both had decided on the treat. Just as for St. Patrick's day when I made the brownies as cupcakes, Jared saw on the box that we could make them as cookies too! 

 Jared had a fun time "licking" the spoon :)

We both had a fun time!

One of the best parts was taking them out of the oven and smelling the wonderful brownie cookies!

    We just relaxed the rest of the night and watched Pixar shorts. I absolutely LOVE those little clips they have now before Pixar movies. Jared has this Pixar Shorts collection dvd and we watched it. I think they are hilarious and Jared thinks I'm hilarious for cracking up at them!

    The running tally for movies watched for the other person is still at: Jared 4     Stephanie 4

    We're having a fun time too doing the March Madness! My family does it where each week we pick what teams we think will win and we get points for the ones we get right. Each week, the points are tallied up and the person with the most points that week gets a treat. The overall winner at the end with all the points counted up gets a 1 pound bag of a treat! I somehow got lucky and totally won last year, so I'm hoping I can get a treat again this year. I came in second this past week by 3 points. 

    I also had Jared do a bracket because if one of us wins, we will share with the other person. I believe in the law of consecration when it comes to sugary goodness! :)

    P.S. Jared, that shaved lamb is so funny looking :)
All sheared and purple...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just Another Manic Monday

    It's always sad on Monday mornings when Jared has to leave for work and I stay home to study. The weekend was totally great and makes me wish we had Spring Break! But it's just another Manic Monday :) (Turn my playlist down at the bottom of the page so you can hear the video better)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Another Holiday, Come and Gone

    Saint Patrick's Day is such a fun little holiday. It can be celebrated by everyone, not just the Irish...or people in Ireland...or just Catholics. 

    A brief history about the day. Saint Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders. He was told in a dream to flee from captivity and return to his home, Britain, where he joined a church and studied to be a priest. He was called back to Ireland as a Bishop and one of his teaching methods (folklore) was to preach about the trinity using the three leaves of a shamrock. Even though the original color associated with him was blue, green has become more popular throughout the centuries. The wearing of green was mostly meant to wear a shamrock on your clothing. 

    Enough of history, it's just a fun tradition to celebrate! Being here at home gives me plenty of time to think of ways to celebrate, some ideas come close to insanity. 

    For the first few hours of the day, I cut out little shamrock confetti. No stencil or anything. I just got paper, scissors and a green marker. I made enough to scatter all up the stairs and all over the floor! Most of them are about the size of a nickel. 

I think they are cute and look pretty good for silly, free-hand cut outs!

    Later, I got ready to make the dessert for tonight. My grandma gave me tons of little cupcake things for several holidays, and one of the packets had shamrocks on it. What a great idea! But I didn't have any cake mix...or a car to go get some....Have no fear! I made brownies in those little cupcake cups! So I made the brownie mix, put an overflowing tablespoon in each cup and I let them cook into perfect brownie bites! (Turns out though when you put more than a tablespoon in a cup, you have to let it cook longer or the batter doesn't cook and the middle of the brownie caves in)

    Once the brownies were all done and cooled, I started coloring the frosting. It would be silly to not have a green dessert for Saint Patrick's Day, but what could I do! I couldn't color the chocolate brownies...the brown would have covered the green! But once again, have no fear! I just made green frosting! I got out our cream cheese frosting, put in some food coloring, and voila!

A scrumptious green dessert!

Look at those cute little shamrock cups!

    I had the decorations all done, the dessert ready for eating. Jared was getting off work soon. Time to work on dinner! I didn't have much that was green and the idea of coloring our chicken green sounded pretty gross to me. But what else was there? There was pasta! And green beans! I cooked the noodles, put the coloring in and mixed them all together. The green beans were easy; just had to heat them up! The sauce was red...I failed in that aspect. If I had used the Alfredo sauce and colored it, it would have been the exact same dinner we had Tuesday night! Never have the same dinner twice in the same week! 

    Jared came home and liked what he saw for dinner and he enjoyed my little decorations scattered on the floor. He had the genius idea of coloring our drink green too, to match our green dinner! The meal looked all icky and green, but it sure was tasty!

(Green noodles, green beans, and green milk. Everything tasted normal!)

    That was our Saint Patrick's Day! Simple, but worth a memory! We both dressed up in green to avoid being pinched (him mostly at work. I just have a lot of green, so all I had to do was get dressed for the day!)

    I hope everyone else had a great day as well! Holidays are here for a reason: to give us a break from daily routines!!

    The tally for movies watched for the other person is the same with: Jared 4    Stephanie 4
    We're going to try and keep it even for a while. See how long it lasts! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rapunzel with a cold

    Jared made an interesting comment as he walked out the door today, leaving for work. He said I'm a little like the fairy tale Rapunzel, being all shut up and away from society while in our apartment (on the second level). We even have to walk up a flight of stairs after walking through the door before we get to the living space! My own little tower.

    So maybe it is a little true. When he takes the car most days, I'm stuck here in the apartment. It's been too cold to do very much outside and I don't have many reasons to leave the apartment, except to walk down and up a hill to get the mail some days. The only other valid reason to leave is to do the laundry, but every time I go outside in the rain or cold, I come home freezing and sickly.

    Today, I woke up with a terrible cold. It has been forming slowly over the past week, but yesterday my voice started getting low and raspy (it does not sound sexy when it happens to me) and this morning Jared just laughed at me when I tried to talk and only half the word would come out loud enough to hear.

    So today, I am Rapunzel with a cold. Jared cracked some jokes and said I could go outside today on the patio. Woo hoo. And that I have permission to open our patio door :) So I guess he isn't a terrible person keeping me locked up in here. In fact, he doesn't even lock the door when he leaves!

    This means I should grow my hair out super long. I won't bleach it though like the Rapunzel in Tangled. I like my hair darker colors too much.

    But maybe I will throw caution to the wind and I'll open the door today! It's supposed to be mostly sunny and rather warm in the afternoon! Who knows, maybe some fresh air will help me get over this silly sickness. I'm supposed to be studying for a midterm next week, but my brain is not working fast enough right now. Slow and steady should win the race though (or pass the class).

    The running tally of movies watched for the other person has changed to a tie! Jared 4     Stephanie 4. 
    Jared is such a sweetheart and watched most of Bambi 1 and 2 with me. Some clever person on YouTube combined the two stories into a full movie and I love it. Even though we haven't officially finished it, it counts as a tally for him :) What a great husband!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hooray for Holidays!

    For those who didn't know, yesterday was National Pi Day! In honor of the fun holiday, I thought I would try something new and make a pie! I loved being in the BYU Daily Universe newsroom when there would be random but awesome holidays, like Chocolate Day and Pi Day because Kaye would always want to celebrate them.

    I was able to find some simple recipes that I had all the ingredients for (which isn't very much!) But I found a crust recipe that only needed: flour, cooking oil, salt and milk. I have all of those things! Started making it, and it seemed to be OK. Not as thin as I would have wanted, but it was the best I could do with only my hands! :)

    Next was the filling. I had forgotten Jared and I ate one of the last two apples the night before while watching a movie! But we have a bunch of oranges...don't worry, I didn't make an orange fruit pie! I just used that one, last, sad apple, which ended up being just fine! I mixed it with the sugar and cinnamon and put it all in the pie dish to bake!

 It looks so happy in its little home!

    When it came out, it looked and smelled so good! Almost seemed like a normal pie, which is really all I wanted.

It wasn't burned or anything! And it looks so nice on the wood table.

    If anyone wants the recipe, just let me know! I'm sure everyone has their own recipes, but this one was totally easy and if I can do it, anyone can!

    Now that dessert was made, it was time to start working on dinner. Jared wanted chicken and we got some green beans for a nice side dish so we thought we would just have that. But I found a small simple idea on the side of the green bean can! I made the decision to make what the can said. 

Ta Da! Chicken and Green Bean Alfredo! It's just pasta, chicken, green beans and alfredo. hahaha!

    So dinner was made, dessert was ready. All I had left to do was wait for Jared to get home and tell me I'm an awesome wife! :) Which he totally did!

Pi Day was a great success and I'm excited to make an even better pie next time!

    Dinner was super filling, so we had our little Family Home Evening before eating the pie. Jared was in charge of the activity because I did the lesson and treat.

We played a card game and ate pie when we had room in our tummies for it!

    This morning we woke up to a great view out of our patio window. The trees are blossoming and everything is looking so beautiful!

I'm excited for when we get patio furniture so we can sit outside on the weekends and enjoy the wonderful weather and scenery! (And the pool is super close, so I'm sure I'll be over there tanning as soon as I can!)

    The running tally of movies watched for the other person has changed again! Jared 3     Stephanie 4. 
    Jared was super great and watched Kronk's New Groove with me on YouTube! I love Disney movies and that one is a favorite of mine!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Beauty and the Beast, Jr. (and more)

    The main reason Jared and I took the trip to Chicago this past weekend was to support his youngest sister in her Middle School/Junior High play. When we lived there while finishing our internships, she was debating about auditioning or not, so it was very exciting when she did and she made the play! She was the BEST villager/wolf/plate EVER! 

 Jared and Megan after the show

Megan being an awesome villager and Jared being Gaston :) What a hunk

    The whole family went on Friday night. Jared and I felt good after driving most of the day, so we were more than ready to watch the play! Laura went early with Spencer to get tickets and seats while Nicole, Jared and I waited for Tim to get home so he could take us. It was so fun getting there and seeing the lunch room filled with chairs for family and friends of the people in the play!

We were all so excited for the play to begin!

    As always, a couple things went wrong with the microphones and scenery, but the kids did a great job! Megan was the best part though! Of course!

    We are all so proud of Megan for getting into school activities and trying new things. She got sick of all the practices, but I hope she will try another play in High School.

    Other highlights from the weekend was going to some Japanese place for lunch with the family. I tried spicy tuna sushi and didn't like it. But we all had a great time being together!

Just finished our meals and were stuffed full with all the food!

    Another highlight was watching Nicole and Megan interact. Before going off on a shopping adventure with Laura, the girls and Jared, Nicole and Megan were in the car with me, talking about random things. One random thing out of Megan's mouth was "Do you dare me to run around the house?" (While it is windy and FREEZING outside.) Of course Nicole dared her but says "Run around the house backwards. Ready...Go!" Megan jumped out of the car and started running around the house backwards. We were in the car just dying from laughter when she comes around. Nicole locked the doors and yelled out the window: "I dare you to crawl around the house!" So Megan got on her hands and knees and began to crawl. Jared came out of the house in time for that and was able to get a quick picture to capture the hilarious moment!

She is such a funny person!

    Jared and I are back home in Tennessee now and still laughing at some of the funny things that happened while driving and hanging out with his family. Keep scrolling down to see some of the AWESOME billboards we passed in the car!

    The running tally of movies watched for the other person has changed to: Jared 2     Stephanie 4
    We watched The Shawshank Redemption last night. There are a lot of things I would have liked to skip, but the editing was good. I'd rather just skip to the end if I ever watch it again because that's where the good stuff is. 

 Jared driving most of Friday. So cute!

Me driving on Sunday

Hahahaha! This isn't racist at all!

Another city in the south

Can't forget about the White House sign!

Saw a great dinosaur place! Dinosaur World! With a dinosaur out front!

A warning for sinners speeding down I-65

But there is always hope and redemption!

(JESUS SAVES)

Haha we're either in the south, or in Utah :)

We saw these on another trip, but thought I would add them in here because they are fun. We had no idea there was a whole city dedicated to Jared's cousin Stuart!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Good Job Bob Dixon!

    We made the trip to Chicago on Friday and it was a great success! Made it in about 8 hours and only had to stop for gas twice! Jared drove most of the way and we LOVE our GPS Tom Tom thing. Left pretty early in the morning and I got the snacks the night before. We only went through half the treats, so we have plenty for the trip home!

    If there are any questions, Bob Dixon is the name of Jared's car. It's such a great 1998 Nissan Altima.

 (Not really his car, but it's the same make and color)

     He's been through some tough trips and it shows, but he is so amazing. We named him after our grandparents. His full name is David Bob Dixon from David Voegele, my grandpa, Bob Roush, obviously Jared's grandpa, and Dixon Call, Jared's other grandpa. 

    We also named the Tom Tom. It is Tina Tom Tom because we have the female voice and it fits in when we sing that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang song :) You can see for yourself if you want to:


    Just wanted to give a shout out to Bob Dixon! I'll put up more posts of Megan's play and the great billboards we saw on the way! I learn new things every day :)

    The running tally of movies watched for the other person is the same with:   Jared 2     Stephanie 3
    This is subject to change in the next few days because Jared got another movie in the mail that he is SO excited about.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Anticipating the Weekend!

    Jared and I are getting all set to drive out to Chicago for his sister's school play. It's her first one and we are so excited! As a former theater guru myself, it'll be so fun to see her in Beauty and the Beast! When my High School did that performance, I was the pepper shaker. Woohoo! Every night I got to shake what my mama gave me! Ok, not really, but I did have a fun few second solo with my friend the salt shaker and we got to shake some of the glitter off our costumes! :) 

    Anyway, there are still some things to do before we leave. And to Jared's dismay, they are all rather unnecessary, but I still want them done! For example. I don't want to have to do a lot of laundry when we get back, so I went ahead and did it this morning. 

 
Ta Da!! The Laundry Center is very small, but still nice.

    Another thing that is a necessity is finishing my flashcards for my Humanities 202 midterm next week. I sent in all my assignments (Thanks Rachel Scroggins for editing my papers!!!) and I had my midterm shipped to a school near here. Now all I have to do is finish my GIANT stack of flashcards!

 
Good thing I'm all set with my book, pen, Jared's lap top and some blank index cards.

    The next things on the list are the ones Jared doesn't really want to do. But he has no choice! We are going to clean the whole apartment tonight. I don't want to come home Sunday night to a messy apartment. I'd rather clean it now and have it be beautiful for when we come home! Jared gets to come home from work and find a nice little card telling him the chores he has to do (or else!!). Don't worry, they aren't anything too horrendous. And he can do them while I run out to the store tonight to get groceries that will sit in the fridge/freezer for Monday, because I don't want to go out shopping Sunday night. That's not me being lazy...it's keeping the Sabbath day holy. Even though on Sunday we will be driving and having to stop for gas, I try my best to stick to what church leaders say.

    The more things I get off my check list, the more excited I get about going to Chicago! It'll be so nice being to go and just visit, rather than live there again in the freezing cold weather. And I'm pretty sure it'll make me appreciate this little apartment so much more! :)

    The running tally of movies watched for the other person is the same: Jared 2       Stephanie 3

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Great Mardi Gras!

    March 8, 2011 was Mardi Gras Day and it's amazing how no one celebrates it, except for those who already know what it is. It used to be a whole season, but now it has turned into one day no one remembers. But that hasn't stopped me from having a little fun!

    Jared and I celebrated Mardi Gras the best we could with a budget and in only a few hours when he was home from work. So, I made crepes! For a wedding present, we got a crepe maker and had no idea when we would ever use it. What a great present we never thought we'd use! It worked great yesterday and we are so excited to use it more! 

    And crepes are so easy to make! Mix two eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 tsp of salt and 2 tbsp of melted butter. When that is all blended with a whisk, add in 1 cup of all-purpose flour and keep mixing. It's best to make this an hour or two before using it so it isn't all lumpy when you want to make the crepes. And it's simple! Just dip the hot thing in a little pan and pull it back out. Let the batter sit on the hot thing for a few seconds, and then they are ready to peel off. 


    Because dessert crepes are probably the best things ever, and that is what we did!

We had strawberry and chocolate pudding, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, bananas and peach jam for our dessert toppings! 
I even got to experiment and I made fried apples to put in the crepes!! Just got some butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar and I saut├ęd the apples for about 20 minutes.

We had a great time making our desserts and it'll be so fun doing this and more next year!

Jared was so great and did the dishes after I made the huge mess! :)
What a great husband! Look at him scrubbing away!

    Next year I'll have tons of green, gold and purple decorations all over the apartment! And I'll make a King Cake and maybe even Gumbo if I can get an easy recipe! It's times like these when I wish I was back in Mississippi celebrating the day in style! 

    Even though it's the day after, I'm still going to watch Princess and the Frog...it talks about Mardi Gras and I am thoroughly entertained by animated movies!!

    I pulled a head by watching Empire of the Sun which makes the running tally of movies watched for the other person: Jared 2     Stephanie 3

Monday, March 7, 2011

Recent Successes

    Friday Date Night was a success! On Jared's way home, he stopped and picked up Megamind and got a wonderful pepperoni pizza from Little Caesar's! We took a small break from eating at our table every night to enjoy our delicious meal on the couch while watching the movie. = Success!

    After the movie, the night was still young! One of the perks of our apartment complex is the indoor pool that is kept heated during cold Winters and chilly Springs. Hooray for a little dip in the pool when it's cold outside!! = Success!

    Saturday was a nice relaxing day, except for when we did laundry and worked out! Because I am totally lazy and don't want to walk down the hill to the Laundry Center every week, I wait until a day I have the car to do laundry. The wash cycle lasts about half an hour and the drying cycle lasts an hour. For the past few weeks, I have been trying to get healthy and make sure I don't "let myself go," so I've tried working out during the wash cycle. Jared got to come with me this time, and it was so great having company. I can quickly walk 3/4 a mile and run ("run" really means means "jog." ha ha!) the other 1/4 in 15 minutes! = Success!

    Also while working out, I did 10 push-ups. = Success!!

    Sunday was also a successful day. I love being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and being called a Mormon. Not only were the testimonies totally great, Jared and I both made comments during the other two hours! Jared spoke up during Sunday School and I made a comment during Relief Society. = Success!

    Sadly, the successful weekend did not want to spill over to the week. I am having such a difficult time getting motivated to work on school and all I want to do is sleep off my little head cold. But hopefully today is the day I hear back about a job from Bank of America! Then I will get to add that to my Success! list

    Also, I will be keeping a running tally of how many movies Jared and I watch for the other person. For example, I have watched Rocky, II, III, IV and Rocky Balboa and Saving Private Ryan (edited). To make up for all the man movies I've watched, he has sat through Enchanted, 27 Dresses, Wedding Planner, Gnomeo and Juliet and Baby Mama. He wants to keep track since the time we started dating, but that is so unfair because I can't remember what movies I watched in his apartment. I seem to have erased them from my memory (on purpose).

    Currently, my running tally is equal at:  Jared 2      Stephanie 2

Friday, March 4, 2011

A little birdie told me...

    A little birdie told me this morning to "WAKE UP, WAKE UP, WAKE UP, WAKE UP!!"

    For the past few weeks, a bird has been sitting somewhere near the bedroom window and chirps like an annoying alarm clock. Every morning a little around 6, he will chirp 4 times very loudly and quickly. He repeats these 4 chips for about half an hour.  I can handle an alarm clock going off at 6 in the morning because it has a snooze button, or the poor person waking up can turn it off. The only way to hit snooze or turn off this natural alarm requires an act against one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:13).

    But I can't let that annoying alarm clock outside ruin my day today! It's Friday!

    Today is a scheduled date night for Jared and me. We have planned this for a few days now and I don't know about him, but I am totally excited! It's nothing fancy, but it's the simple things that makes life worth living sometimes.

    I've been making our boring meals for the past two months. Jared has made a couple totally awesome meals and other times we've gone out to eat at cool places like Robert's Western World. Tonight though, we're sticking to the basic "dinner and a show" date. Except this dining and entertainment will be on a slight budget so we can still afford to live. We're doing a Little Caesar's pizza and stopping at a Redbox to get Megamind!

    The "dinner and a show" date is pretty standard and we've had some great nights involving that theme! Like a special trip to Chicago.

We took the train to Chicago to have a fun night out!

While in town we went and ate at the Italian Village.

And for a Christmas present we got tickets to see Wicked!!

    It's so nice to have a date again! Having life become routine and expected is just SO BORING! I would love some great date ideas to try out, if ya'll know any!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Home = New Hobbies

     My husband Jared and I moved to Nashville the beginning of the year. He is starting his career while I finish school online. This was great at first! I was totally motivated to get school done and out of the way! I loved spending time at home! There was so much to do, like clean and cook and work all day on school! Now, I'm singing a whole new tune. 

     School is still good, it just gets boring after a while. I can successfully carry on verbal conversations with myself, which was the first sign of becoming insane. The next sign was watching every show possible on Hulu, which means only the latest 5 episodes, thanks to Hulu Plus. The final sign was when I began contemplating reorganizing all the furniture in the apartment in every possible way. 

     Krisy Shaughnessy, a great friend, former roommate and fellow newlywed suggested I find some new hobbies. What a great idea! She suggested some hobbies like scrap-booking, shopping and knitting. While all good ideas, I've come up with a few myself! The Top 3 are listed below with explanations:

#1    First and foremost, I am starting this very blog! I don't know very much about blogging, so this will be entertaining for me and Jared, and it will be a learning experience! It's important to learn something every day, and sometimes school just doesn't cut it. I'm not sure how learning about Humanities will influence my future, but I can keep blogging for years! Most of this will be ramblings, but I promise to make them entertaining!

#2    Second, I will become an amazing juggler! In High School, I went on a theater trip and took some silly clown class with a friend. Who would have thought I was coordinated enough to juggle after only 45 minutes! I won a small prize for being the female in the class with the most potential of being a juggler. Hahaha the prize were my very own juggling balls! I have kept them over the years as a funny memory, but it is time to develop my talent! Once I am good, I will post pictures to show off my awesome skills!

#3    Third, I will be able to throw together a full course meal in only an hour. And it will be within a budget! Currently, I only know how to successfully make a few meals and some of them are random. For example, I can't seem to make waffles very well, but I am pro and making pancakes. Crazy! There will be updates of my progress and possibly pictures of failures and successes!

     This is all a learning experience, so please don't judge me! I appreciate comments on how to improve this blog and I would love tips about making it look great!