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Thursday, January 31, 2008

FINALLY

TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT!!!!

When the season finale of Lost aired in November I remember being on the edge of my seat. Then they announced that it wouldn't return until February!!! That meant I would have to wait 3 months?!?!?! That is a long time to wait in tv world. But I have been patient and I am ready for some answers. In my opinion Lost is one of the best shows ever created. It is so mysterious, complex, clever and dramatic. One of my favorite things about the show is how the lives of all the characters are somehow tied together. In my life I know I am always intrigued when I make a connection with someone. Come on, I know I'm not the only person who likes to play "Do you know...." Whether it is meeting someone from a city I used to live in, or someone that attended the same school I did, I start to rack my brain as to who we might know in common! So just remember, it really is such a small world and you never know when the person cutting you off in traffic, or passing you in the grocery store, or sitting by you in the airplane will enter your life again.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Make It Go Away

Before Christmas Joe and I were so sick!!!! It lasted for days but when we went the the Dr.'s she said "sorry, there is nothing I can do for you, it is a virus, you have to ride it out, some people are having it for weeks." Ok, well luckily ours didn't go on for weeks and we were better by Christmas!! Well, last week I had this nagging cough and I was sneezing but I just assumed it was allergies because I felt fine. Then came Saturday, I felt achey and feverish. Can I just say fevers are horrible. They make you feel useless and non-human! I could barely move and every bone in my body was sore, even my fingers. I still have a horrible cough but I think my body temp has cooled down! So now I'm just hoping that it will all go away soon and I will be back to normal:)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thanks Mom and Dad

I am very lucky to have such wonderful parents! One thing I am especially grateful for is their insight to teach me to love the world of books! I remember from a very young age my mom would sit in bed with me at night and read to me. Maybe that is why I now have a hard time falling asleep unless I read for a few minutes! My Dad always took me to book stores which was a special ritual for us when we went out. I knew that if we went to the mall we wouldn't leave without going to the book store. They set such a good foundation for me so when I was old enough I would ride my bike to the library spending hours perusing the stacks of books and checking out as many as I could carry back with me! The library was my sanctuary and I was fascinated with all the possibilities. Fast forward to 2001 when I was a school teacher I knew I wanted to teach an older grade so that I could read chapter books to them. One of my favorites things about school as a child was when my teachers would read to us. I wanted to provide that same experience for my class!

This last week on our trip to Utah I luckily had a lot of time to read. The first book I finished was The Choice, by Nicholas Sparks.
I don't remember if my love of Nicholas Sparks started before or after The Notebook (which I read before the movie came out) but nevertheless he writes touching love stories that are easy to read and they warm your heart!
Next I read The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. My Mom read this book years ago and had always encouraged me to read it. Finally she mailed it to me and so I took advantage of a long weekend to delve into it. I couldn't put it down! I absolutely loved it! This book tells an intriguing story of a young girl living in the south during the 60's. Her mom dies when she is young and she goes on a quest to grasp any detail about her mother's life that she possibly can. She ends up living with 3 black women in South Carolina who are bee keepers. The world of bees fascinates her and is one where she discovers who she really is.

As we were waiting in the Salt Lake City airport I knew I had to buy another book so I purchased At First Sight, another Nicholas Sparks book. After that on my list to read is a "chick- lit" Berdorf Blondes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Let My People Gooooooooo

If any of you watched American Idol last night you will understand the title of this post. Can I just say THANK GOODNESS FOR AMERICAN IDOL!!!!! I truly love everything about this show. I love the auditions, the weirdo's, the sob stories, Simon's pouty lip, Ryan egging on the contestants in the hallway, the costumes, and of course the amazingly talented singers. After the auditions then comes Hollywood week, the finalists, and then the live voting shows!!!! But even though I love AI, this writer's strike is really putting a cramp on my tv watching. Right in the middle of the season we are forced to wait for an indefinite amount of time not knowing what will happen next. This is killing me! There are quite a few shows that I tivo and follow regularly so now I can only rely on Reality TV to get me by. Right now those are:

  1. American Idol

  2. Run's House

  3. Project Runway

  4. The Real Housewives of Orange County

  5. Crowned the Mother of All Pageants


Some of the shows I am anxiously waiting to return are:

  1. Gray's Anatomy

  2. Desperate Housewives

  3. Heroes

  4. Ugly Betty

  5. Dirty, Sexy, Money

  6. Jericho
One Tree Hill just returned but for how long, who knows!! What is a girl to do without her favorite tv shows? I suppose I could go to the gym.....nahhhh, I'll just catch up on some reading which I do love so I can't complain:) If anyone has suggestions for a good book to read let me know!!!! Recently I have read and loved the following books:
  1. I finished the Harry Potter series

  2. I finished the Twilight books

  3. A Thousand Splendid Suns (same author as Kite Runner)

  4. Something Borrowed

  5. Something Blue

  6. Baby Proof

Monday, January 14, 2008

Utah Here We Come

This January marks our 6th year going to Utah for Martin Luther King weekend. This year we are flying which makes me very happy. We usually drive (appx. 10 hours each way) which isn't horrible but last year scarred me for life!! We were driving back from Utah and made it all the way to Flagstaff AZ which was about a 7 hour drive. Well, we hit some traffic which is typical for a holiday weekend. It was snowing and the freeway is only 2 lanes so we ended up being stuck for 7 hours, on the road, no moving, dead stopped, in the middle of winter, and we had Maddox with us. It was so miserable. Not to say that we won't ever drive again but we found decent prices on plane tickets this year so we went for it. My brother Chris wanted to join us this year but didn't have money for a plane ticket. We told him he could drive the Tahoe up and pull a trailer back with the new Pitster Pro bikes which need to be picked up in Utah anyway. This is a great solution for all parties involved. Not only will Joe get his new bike soon we will also have transportation while in Utah.

In the past we have always made the trip by ourselves. This has made it easy for us to stay with friends. This year we have a big group heading up so we rented a house in Cottonwood Canyon. We are especially excited that the house has a hot tub:) This will be nice after long hard days of snowboarding. Flying to Utah will be me, Joe, Sterling, his wife Becky, Joe's cousin Amy and her son Gabriel. Driving up will be my brother Chris and our friends Alvin and Jessica.

To be honest I am not a big fan of snow boarding. Mountains and I don't seem to get a long very well. I think I am the only one on this trip that isn't excited about the boarding. Last year instead of snow boarding I got spa treatments:) I am looking forward to many things though about going to Utah. First....BYU.....my alma mater. It brings back so many memories being in Utah and driving around my old stomping grounds. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to attend college there. I hope someday my children will have the same dream I did of becoming a Cougar!
Some of my favorite restaurants are in Utah. Tucano's is a Brazilian restaurant in Provo that is to die for!!!! Joe was skeptical the first time I took him seeing as he served his mission in Brazil and is an expert on authenticity. Even he was impressed....very impressed and begs to go back each year!We also want to make sure and hit up The Pie which is a great pizza joint in Salt Lake City right by the University of Utah. It is a basement dive that you would never know existed unless someone pointed it out. But this little hidden gem serves up phenomenal pizza and is always open late. A trip to Utah isn't complete without going to The Pie (no low carb diets allowed)! We'll be sure to bring some nail polish or white out to add our names (again) to the wall:)
Last but certainly not least I can't wait to see my Utah friends!!! I am lucky to have made such wonderful friends over the years. Sadly we live all across the country and rarely get to see each other. Luckily many of my friends are located in Utah so I will try to see as many as I can while there!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy

This weekend my husband Joe, brother Chris, and friend Sterling built a dirt bike track. These guys are unstoppable once they get an idea in their head! But I can't complain, most of the time their ideas lead to something great (Season Tickets for the Phoenix Suns, remodeling a house in Parker, building our beautiful home in Gilbert, many fun vacations, and other things I'm probably forgetting).

For Christmas Joe got a Pitster bike. He rode one last year in Utah and had a blast! So when Christmas time came around my very picky husband said the only thing he wanted was a Pitster Pro. I don't really get the intrigue but I guess it is a smaller dirt bike that you can get amazing air on??? Well, Sterling got one too and they decided it would be great to build a dirt bike track!

Here is a pic of a Pitster Pro

Joe looking manly on the tractor

One corner of the track

Friday, January 11, 2008

Double Standard

In college I took a class on tolerance. I was prepared to learn about how we have to accept all people and all beliefs but the professor actually taught the exact opposite. His message was this....we all have the right to believe what we may but we should not back down from what we believe to be absolute truth. This country was founded on a belief in God. Why should we be ashamed of what we believe? Why should I be afraid to say that I believe in God? The same God that is in the Bible, created the earth, and sent his son to earth to be the Savior of the world. I shouldn't but our society today tells me it isn't PC to say Merry Christmas, to pray in school, and there is even talk about taking God out of the pledge of allegiance because it could offend.

If I think that your lifestyle or beliefs are wrong I don't need to condone them. I of course should treat all people with respect regardless of their choices, beliefs, lifestyles, etc. but that doesn't mean I have to accept choices or beliefs that I believe are wrong. Well, thank goodness we live in America where we have the right to choose. I am grateful for those rights on a daily basis, I just wish our world wasn't so PC crazy!

Here is a great article my husband came across that brings up the fact that society and the media must be PC EXCEPT when it comes to Mormon's. Sounds like a double standard to me.

Better duck — if you're a Mormon
By
Doug RobinsonDeseret Morning News
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008 12:58 a.m. MST

I missed the memo that said it's A-OK to make disparaging and often erroneous statements about Mormons. Apparently, they are fair game. Sure, these are hypersensitive times, when name-calling or perceived bias against any group will get you the Don Imus treatment, but you get a free shot with Mormons. You can say what you want about them with impunity. If you denigrate a racial group, you're racist. If you denigrate women, you're sexist. If you denigrate Mormons, you're hip. No one would openly suggest that you shouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton because a woman can't lead the country, especially an ornery one. Nobody would dare say that you shouldn't vote for Barack Hussein Obama because he's black, or of Muslim descent, or because he has a name that sounds like a terrorist. One Clinton worker even apologized for alluding to Obama's use of drugs as a youth, so apparently it's wrong to disparage former drug users, too. But nobody is shy about saying you shouldn't vote for Romney simply because he's a Mormon. It doesn't even register on the PC-O-Meter. Just like that, 6 million Americans have been virtually disqualified from running for president. They've been rendered second-class citizens. They're foreigners living in America. They face a glass ceiling.
How un-American is that? It would be one thing if most of those who oppose Romney did so because they disagreed with his politics or character. But Romney is one of the few candidates who has no character issues, a "squeaky clean" man who has a distinguished record of accomplishments, success and service, with no divorces, no affairs, no scandal. The only thing opponents can say about him is that he belongs to a church they don't understand. A Harvard law professor called Romney the most qualified of all the candidates and "the perfect candidate for this moment in time." But there is his Mormonism, he noted. Even the self-styled PC chief of police, Al Sharpton, once jumped in on the action, saying, "As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways." Mormons don't believe in God? For his penance, all Sharpton had to do was endure a family home evening in Utah. It's open season on Mormons. A few days ago, Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard stated on ESPN and in the newspaper that part of the reason fired coach Cam Cameron failed was because he got stuck with a Mormon quarterback — not a rookie quarterback (which he is) but a Mormon quarterback. "And you'll have a hard time finding a leader anywhere in sports who was as unlucky this year as Cameron," Le Batard said, noting that because of injuries, Cameron was forced to play "a United Nations huddle of a Mormon quarterback, Mexican receiver, Samoan fullback and some guy named Lekekekkkkerkker." Now Mormons are foreigners? Ignorance makes no difference. You can say Mormons have four wives or that they aren't Christian, and no one cares. Imagine the uproar if Le Batard had written that the Dolphins suffered because they had to play a black quarterback for part of the season? Or a Catholic? The Salt Lake Tribune has had a field day for more than a week since learning that Mike Leavitt and some of his like-minded cohorts met early in the morning to discuss Mormon theology and governance while he was Utah's governor. What if it had been a Bible study? Nobody seems to mind when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says his religion "defines me." Or when Obama says his church guides "my own values and my own beliefs." People worry that Romney will take his orders from his church leaders. They don't worry that Obama will take orders from his church, whose "10-point vision" includes two references to its "non-negotiable commitment to Africa," with no mention of America. Oh, and the church statement begins by noting on the Trinity United Church of Christ Web site, "We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black." It's a different set of rules for some out there. You can print newspaper cartoons disparaging Mormons. You can harass their families as they walk to their biannual conference with all sorts of foul language. When someone commits a crime, you can note the criminal's religion, but only if he's Mormon. You can make them a one-liner on Leno. Good luck reconciling all this with the paranoid political correctness that's so in vogue. Meanwhile, the most politically correct presidential election field ever assembled — a woman, a black, a Mormon, a Baptist, etc. — has gone politically incorrect, but only when it comes to you know who.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Asia de Cuba

Last night we had reservations at a local hot spot called Asia de Cuba. It is a trendy restaurant located in the Mondrian resort in Scottsdale. It can also be found in London, New York and Hollywood. The atmosphere is tres chic and the prices are mucho mucho. But it was definitely fun to try something new. We got there a little early so we sat in the Red Bar, also located in the Mondrian. It looks like something you would see in US Weekly. I was waiting for a local celebrity to walk by any minute. But I guess a Thursday night isn't the night to see someone famous.


I didn't know what to expect about Asia de Cuba but the decor is all white with pictures of roosters on the wall. I found this pic online which was taken during the day so the ambiance is definitely different and you don't see any roosters:)The food is obviosly Asian Fusion mixed with Cuban flare. We went with another couple so we decided to order a couple of appetizers and entrees to share. We started off with the Tunapica which is one of their signature dishes. It is tuna tartare picadillo style with spanish olives, black currants, almonds, coconut, soy-lime vinaigrette and wonton crisps. I don't like sea food but I did have a little nibble. It was ok but still tasted like fish to me. Everyone else absolutely loved it!!!Our next appetizer was the asian spiced pork spare ribs. They consisted of a sweet soy glaze, roasted corn and avocado salad, and red onion escabeche. This dish was absolutely mouth watering! The ribs were divine and the avocado salad was scrumptious!!! Next came the plantain fried rice with avocado salad which we couldn't get enough of. Imagine fried rice with sweet pieces of fried plantains, topped with a delicious guacamole on top. Now for the main dishes!!!! The first was a grilled strip steak which came with gingered chickpea fries, calabaza melon slaw, and citrus ginger soy. The steak was perfect and the slaw was yummy but the chickpea fries were not my favorite. The next dish was a Butterfish. I can't find the description anywhere but I can tell you that this was a table favorite! And I quote "it is like a dessert," "it melts in your mouth." I had a little bite and it did taste good but it still tasted like fish to me....of course. It came with an edamame salad with lime and chili powder on it which was quite yummy and tempura peppers. Well, after we were done feasting the dessert menu came. We couldn't help but pass up the 5 spice flan. It came with carmelized oranges and was a perfect way to end our meal!!!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

To Do in 2008

Well I am not much of a New Year's resolutions person. I probably should be, but there is something about making empty promises for the sake of doing it that just doesn't motivate me. Maybe I need to work on my long term goal setting skills:) But as I was laying in bed last night trying to fall asleep I did think about things I would like to happen in 08. So these are not resolutions but hopes for 2008.
1. Get pregnant:) I know....audible gasps are being sounded across the states. We aren't trying yet but I would really like to at least be pregnant sometime this year! I've never really been ready before now but I feel ready for that next step. Obviously there are forces beyond our control that will determine if this will happen or not but we are trying to at least financially prepare for us to be ready that way.
2. Sell our house. What you ask? Why sell the house we have slaved over to build. Well the purpose for building our house is 2-fold. 1st we would love to have a beautiful custom home that we live in BUT we also try to invest our money. This house has definitely been an investment and luckily our land alone has gone up in equity since we bought it. If we could sell this house we could take the money earned and put it into building it all over again. Thus nice house with a smaller house payment. Who can complain about that:) But until then we will just love living in it!!!3. Go on a trip outside the US. Our 4 year anniversary is in March and every year we try to take a big trip. Our honeymoon was to Brazil, 1st anniversary-Costa Rica, 2nd-Florida Keys, 3rd-MexicanRiviera Cruise, 4th-Undetermined. I REALLY want to go to Europe. If Joe had his way we would go back to Brazil. We'll see where we end up but as long as I need my passport I'll be happy:)4. Get my Real Estate License. I don't plan on quitting my job anytime soon but it would be great to have this little tool under my belt. I am quite content with my Bachelor's from BYU and my Master's from UOP but Real Esate School will keep me busy and help me learn a new skill without going back to school full time.
5. Well I can't think of anything else. That is a little pathetic only 4 resolutions....I mean hopes for the New Year??? I'm sure there are more great things I would like to accomplish and when I remember I'll be sure to post. But overall I know that I would like to be a better person this year, and keep my house cleaner, and go to the gym more often, and ................ (sounds like resolutions to me:) )