Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Wes!!!

Since today is Wes' 30th birthday, I thought I would share with him and all of the blogging world 30 reasons why I love him!

1. His creativity knows no bounds. You have only seen a glimpse of his capacity with the recent postings of Hagrid’s Hut and The Settlers of Catan board.
2. No matter what I want done around the house, he makes it happen. He’ll work tirelessly until he finds a way and he even makes it look nice…not just functional.
3. He is quite hilarious; sometimes this is on purpose and sometimes not.
4. He gets along with everybody, no matter how difficult others might find them to be.
5. He is open-minded and never tries to push his opinions onto other people.
6. He is a fabulous cook. However, he still acts as if the five meals I know how to make are the tastiest, best meals in the world.
7. He’s not afraid to try anything new.
8. He’s a blast to watch movies with. He loves everything. We’ll spend an hour after a movie analyzing the characters and plot together. He’ll watch chick flicks with me and he even likes them.
9. He is always trying to improve himself. He feels no shame in his efforts to make himself a better person. You should see the number of For Dummies books we have from him trying to learn new skills.
10. Along with the above-mentioned For Dummies books, he has a constant quest for knowledge. He often asks people about things and won’t tell them how much he already knows about the topic because he’s afraid they’ll clam up if they think they’re boring him or telling him stuff he already knows. He says this is a good way to learn more from people.
11. He’s so unbelievably happy about becoming a father.
12. He loves to organize the house, something he’s shared with me. We often go on organizing tangents. You should see our closets and drawers. It can awe and amaze.
13. He loves our Christmas decorations, watching Christmas movies, and listening to Christmas music. All of which, I tend to start doing before Thanksgiving most years. So, he’s sweet to endure it.
14. He watched Gone With the Wind with me (a true test of a man’s love) and he STILL agreed to name our daughter Scarlett. (I know Scarlett O’Hara isn’t the best role model, but I love her!)
15. He’ll listen to endless stories about my students, co-workers, or lesson plans and he actually looks interested.
16. He loves to read, we’ll also spend hours dissecting character motives and story plots from books.
17. He’s writing a novel and he’s already written 40 typed pages. He gets up every morning at 5:30 AM to write. Who does that? I love it.
18. He loves creating motivational techniques to help us do things we should do. We recently did a chart to read scriptures together everyday for 20 minutes. Last weekend, we completed 21 days straight of this and celebrated by going out to dinner.
19. He is obsessed with light and his ability to control it. He has installed and/or wracked his brain on ways to install lights all over our apartment. We have them under our kitchen cabinets, under bookshelves, dimmers on our lamps… If I would let him install track lighting into our RENTED apartment, we would have those over every picture in the house as well.
20. He loves technology and is very good at showing me how to use it to make everyday tasks easier and more convenient. He’ll use it to find solutions that would otherwise not be possible. Like when he went to Europe last year for a month. We knew talking was going to be very difficult due to the frequency he would be switching countries and the time difference. However, he discovered Skype. Which allowed us to talk overseas for free…and we could see each other via web cam.
21. He loves to have friends and family over. He’s a great entertainer.
22. He gets very excited about things. If I tell him something I want to do or something that I think is funny or cool…he gets really into it. That makes life so much more fun.
23. He is such a salesman. He tries to sell me on stuff all the time. If he’s decided we need some (usually expensive) piece of technology, he’ll research it, get all of his facts straight, and organize his argument. Then, he’ll approach me about why we need to have this item and how much it’s going to change our lives for the better. I have to always be on my toes when he’s telling me about something, so I don’t get duped.
24. He loves a good strategy game. Although, he can be super conniving at them! Our friends, Shelby and Ted, called us Hitler and Mussolini because of our Settlers of Catan tactics.
25. He’s had such a broad range of experiences. He used to work on a cattle ranch (cow farm, right Myrna?) every summer when he was a kid, he did jeep tour guides in Alaska for the summer, he sold satellite dishes in Kentucky for a summer, he lived in Mexico for two years, he’s visited high profile businesses in Europe, he worked in Houston at a Fortune 500 company. He’s exceptional because he is successful at all of these different situations while still standing out as the unique and wonderful person that he is.
26. He’s a problem solver. Anytime I have a concern, whether its something around the house, work, or life in general, he does not relent until he has come up with the best solution for my problem.
27. He gets me into these lovey dovey books and TV shows because he watches them. For example, he got me watching Vampire Diaries and he bought me Twilight (which I had no interest at the time in reading). I now love both. I think his ability to enjoy these types of media is why he can be such a romantic and sweet husband.
28. He loves smart, witty people. He just thinks they’re wonderful and hilarious. He really likes the show Castle because that guy is always getting under the female detective’s skin and he just thinks that is great. He also loves Damon from Vampire Diaries and Ben from Lost for the same reason.
29. His faults are so minute. For example, his two biggest vices are his love of hearing his own voice and his obsession with the ergonomics of every chair he comes in contact with on a daily basis. He complains about the seat in our cars (both of them are sub par in his eyes), our desk chair, our kitchen chairs, the chairs at school, etc. They all make his back hurt and cause him (and subsequently me) never-ending pain, turmoil, and frustration. But seriously, if those are the two biggest shortcomings a husband has, then you’re doing pretty good.
30. Last, but not least, the thing I love most about Wes is how much he loves me. I have countless faults and he RARELY brings them to my attention. He’s constantly telling me how much he loves me, how wonderful I am, how funny I am, how smart I am, etc… No one else in their right mind would think that highly of me. So, although, it took me a long time to convince him I was the one he wanted to spend eternity with, it was worth every second, minute, and year I spent getting him to fall in love with me.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hagrid's Hut

Jennifer’s mom has several beautiful villages that she puts out at Christmas. She created a Hogwarts scene but had trouble finding a Hagrid’s Hut. With my permission Jen volunteered me for the job of making one.

In the various Harry Potter movies there are different Hagrid Huts. I used this one as my muse.

Cardboard framing.

Here are the first attempts at the roofing and the walls. The fitting, trimming, and gluing of shingles took a full season of Pushing Daisies before it was completed.

I thought the roof worked well; the huge rocks on the wall did not. I was particularly pleased with the little windows up top. Per Jen’s suggestion I soaked the wood and then molded it with a paperclip to dry curved.

The second attempt at the wall went much better. Jen painted the rocks and well . . . they rocked.

The door was a lot of fun to make and I feel, really added something.

This handle took the time of one general conference talk to carve and paint.

The finished door.

Imperfect as it may be: Hagrid’s finished hut.

After flying it from Utah to Georgia, through the Muggle airports, it arrived safely to its new home at Hogwarts

Broomstick view of Hogwarts. Mission accomplished!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

XX Chromosomes!!!

Hello everybody!!! After much shopping and splurging, I am now home and able to tell all of you that Wes and I are having a girl! We are super excited! Everything in the ultrasound looked like a healthy baby girl.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Big News in Two Days!!!

Alright, everyone...we find out on Tuesday whether we're having a boy or a girl. Check back and I'll make a post to let everyone know which it is Tuesday night!!! Yea! Now I just have to try to stay focused through two full days of school.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sleeping Hazard

When Jen was feeling extra sick during the first trimester, I slept on the air mattress for a few nights. Something changed from night two to night three; for some reason my air mattress felt distinctly different.

I think something is wrong.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

3D Catan Box

So as most of you know, Jennifer and I like Catan a little bit. We (Jen might say Wes) decided to make a 3D catan board. It is a work in progress and lots of people have helped get it up and running. Especially the Munns with their late night/early morning contributions. Surprisingly this post is more about the box in which it resides. Due to a very large catan board that I had preciously constructed. Jen and I (reluctantly) agreed to only make the game if it could fit in the box below.

It was just an empty box on sale from Michaels. Well this clearly wouldn't suit my needs. So I decided to make some modifications as follows.

I cut the front off and started to add shelves.

I hinged the shelves to provide easy access to the hexes.

Fortunately everything fit.

Then I had to create a way to put the front back on and still make it removable. Pegs on the top and bottom did the trick nicely.

I grooved out the front to allow the hexes to fit more comfortable. Actually this was the original reason I wanted to modify the box.

Now, from the outside it looks the same, but you know what's inside.

Mike, Jeralynn, and Talon are playing the game with Jen and myself. There you have it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Bigger News...

Wes told all of you about our exciting new job starting July of 2010 at ExxonMobil in Houston, but we both agree that the bigger news is...that we're having a BABY!!!  We were holding off to make the announcement until after my first trimester, but there have been leaks via Facebook and other people's blogs (I still love you Shelby, Dad, Sabrina, Aunt Belinda).  So, who wants to hold off on such exciting news anyway!  I am due March 27, which will be 4 days before our 4 year anniversary.  We are ecstatic to finally be expanding our family!

Here are our baby pics...I wonder which one the baby will resemble more?  Either way, it's going to be a cute baby!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Houston-Internship Summer Snapshot

I realized two things tonight--yes, two things in one night. First, I haven't posted anything for a while and second I haven't posted any pictures from my internship with ExxonMobil's Gas and Power Marketing group in Houston. So here are a few random pictures from the experience.

Jennifer drove down with me (1600 miles) and dropped me off, only to fly back to Utah to finish teaching school. The long distance was helped by playing Peggle (a great game) with Jennifer over Xbox live--made possible by Spencer Wilde (thanks for the Xbox loan) and frequent phone conversations.

Here I am about to enter the Exxon building. I worked on the 35th floor.

After I was made official, I headed up to my office.

Yay for my office...which lasted three weeks and then I was moved out to a general work area with about 50 other people. I got to talk to more people there and I got a window, actually there were windows on all three sides of the open floor.

So I wasn't right by the window but I was fairly close. Houston is home to some great restaurants (Barbecue, Cajun, Vietnamese, Mexican, Crepes, et cetera).

I had never eaten a spring roll before but it was good. One restaurant I went to several times called Bourays served Vietnamese food and Mexican food. 'Yes, I'd like the Egg Roll Vermicelli and the quesadilla wait, let's just go with the pork burrito and a fortune cookie.'

This was one of my tougher days at work. Nothing like a grueling day at a charity golf tournament.

I did Meals on Wheels (bringing food to people) during work hours as well with fellow interns, Jenny from BYU and Alex from Missouri.

Finally Jennifer came down (Yay!!!) and we had a lot of fun. I won us free Astros tickets from an Exxon drawing that put us five seats behind the dugout. The Astros won and they did fireworks. After the game I saw a baseball player carry a three foot snake in from the field and scare one of the officials.

And we worked over the Museum of Natural Science...lots of butterflies, dinosaurs, diamonds, and Terra Cotta warriors. This is an Allosaurus from Wyoming.
Anyways, another 1600 miles later and we are back in Utah. Jennifer is already teaching school and I am spending every waking second working on my graduate thesis...or, well...I'm about to. My final year of MBA classes starts on August 31st, yay! Oh yeah, Exxon offered me a job (double yay)!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Awkward Family Photos

I have discovered the most fabulous website.  It is called  It is hil-ar-i-ous!  I have clocked many hours scrolling through the pictures and the comments.  The readers of are some pretty witty people.  To accompany this post I would love to post some of my own awkward family photos, but I am still in Texas, so those will have to come later.  Take a moment to stroll over to the site and see a few funny pics.  They'll make you laugh.

Below, is an example picture from the site.  This one is kind of bitter-sweet...poor girl.  Although, I love that the frog legs are straight up in the air.  They get even better.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Maybe a McWorld would be better than I thought...

On our recent trip out to Houston, Wes and I drove through some of the ugliest and most boring parts of our country.  One of the worst was Southern Wyoming...okay THE worst was southern Wyoming.  That is some dry and ugly and brown land.  I'm sorry to any Wyomingites who are reading this.  There really are some pretty parts, just not where Interstate 80 runs through.  Denver had never looked so beautiful to me.  Anyway, I am straying from my point...McDonalds.  While we were in the dusty state of Wyoming, we came across the coolest McDonalds I have ever seen.  Allow me to demonstrate.

This is the first thing we noticed upon walking in.  I don't know if you can tell but this is a rock waterfall.  This McDonalds had 5 installed in their dining area.

They also had 5 flat screen TVs around their dining well as somewhere else...

They did NOT have flat screen TVs in the women's restroom, I checked.

Not only did the kid's play area have these adorable miniature "saddle seats" that are apparently equally fun for kids and 29 year old men alike.  They also had...wait for it...4 stations of X-boxes.

This was the definite high point of our drive through Wyoming.  Oh, and last but not least, the lovely little fireplace and sofas in the McDonalds.

Texas pictures coming soon...  

Thursday, April 30, 2009

O Broadband, Broadband! Wherefore Art Thou Broadband?

I didn't have internet yesterday. It was horrible. It was like I lost an appendage or something. In one day these were my problems, I couldn't:
  • See my wife's IM on Skype
  • Listen to Pandora Radio
  • Check my e-mail
  • Set-up an appointment with my thesis advisor
  • Distract myself with the online Halo community via Xbox Live
  • Watch a movie on Netflix
  • Check to see if X-men was coming to the I-Max this weekend
  • Set-up my cable installation appointment in Houston (online only discounts)
  • Look up some equations I needed for my thesis
  • Find a good creative writing book using Amazon's rating system
  • Download a writing program I needed
  • Check out blogs

Like I said it was awful. I was reduced to being productive, working on my thesis all day (minus the equations I needed), with the bright spot to my workday being a Wendy's run and an episode of the animated Batman(on a disc) for lunch.


I am happily connected to the internet and used it to:

  • Chat with Rodolfo from India to schedule my internet/cable installation in Houston taking advantage of online only coupons
  • Check my e-mail (Hey Babe, thanks for that Crate & Barrel spam)
  • Cancel my unsolicited subscription from Crate & Barrel
  • Use my online only bank to cut a check to Comcast
  • Send an e-mail to my future apt. manager to make sure I'm sending everybody to the right address
  • Not do thesis (don't worry I will)
  • I just got a response, I did send the right address
  • And OF COURSE, chat with my sweetheart on Skype
  • and the day is still young...

I know you would all be devastated without the internet because you wouldn't be able to read this non-whiney, non-materialistic post.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Shlumpadinka Spring Break!

Well, this was my first week back to school after a most fabulously relaxing Spring Break. I have decided to share the details with you because it's been a while since my last post.  Now normally my mom comes to visit for Spring Break, but this year we settled for talking every day instead (I'll take what I can get).

  •  Weekend before Spring Break - Read Gregor the Overlander (320 pgs.) as well as Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (309 pgs.)

  •  Day 1 Monday - Read Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods (358 pgs.) and literally did nothing else.  It was awesome.

  • Day 2 Tuesday - Read the penultimate Gregor and the Marks of Secret (343 pgs.)went to Barnes and Noble, bought Gregor and the Code of Claw, went home, read Gregor and the Code of Claw (412 pgs.) until 2:00 a.m.  (Because the next day Wes was going to be able to hang out!  So, I basically HAD to finish it that night!)

  • Day 3 Wednesday - Hung out with Wes.  Cleaned out kitchen cabinets and hallway closet, which felt very nice.  We threw away 7 bags of trash and sent 4 bags to the DI (which is like a Goodwill for our non-Utah readers).  How is this possible?  I do not know.

  • Day 4 Thursday - Hung out with Wes.  Cleaned the bathroom, watched some movies, and shopped.

  • Day 5 Friday - Hung out with Wes, went to Best Buy and bought Lego Batman. (an amazingly addicting XBOX game)

  • Day 6 Saturday - Played the aforementioned amazingly addicting Lego Batman for the majority of the day while Wes worked on amazingly "un-addicting" finals.  I finished up my Spring Break with a nice dinner and a movie...Wingers and The Knowing.

  • By the way, those Gregor books by Suzanne Collins, I definitely recommend.

    Saturday, April 18, 2009

    Mmmm! Fondue!

    Photo by Courtney Spears

    Dipping delicious goodies in chocolate, brilliant!!!
    Photo by Courtney Spears

    It turns out fondue is a fun way to party with our friends Kurt and Courtney Spears. We ate apples and focaccia bread with cheese as well, which was also good. Who needs the Melting Pot?

    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    April 1st & Easter

    This was the weather for April 1st. Hmmm.


    it was just a one day prank

    because we have been enjoying much better weather since then.

    We had a good time this Easter.

    We hooked our eggs up with sweet shiny accents.

    The Easter bunny left us this ridiculously good looking basket.

    Our neighbors provided these scrumptious hash browns.

    We provided the German Apple Pancake.

    Which combined splendidly for an Easter morning brunch.
    Happy Easter Everybody!!!