Sunday, August 31, 2008

The One with Rain Rain Go Away

Being from the northwest I should be pretty acclimated to rain. Not today! We washed the car yesterday and now it's all dirty again. Utah rain is dirty. And, we were planning to hike Utah's second tallest mountain (Mt. Timpanogos) tomorrow for a "fun" labor day activity, but the weather forecast says it'll be rainy, stormy and lightningy (lightningy?) Not very good hiking weather. Maybe it'll clear up like it did on our wedding day. Rain rain go away, come again another day. Just not tomorrow.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The One with Rachel the Cat

Why do cats do the things they do?
Rachel likes to go behind the blinds and bask in the sun, then when she get too hot she rolls her fat self over and brings two or three of the partitions with her and stays in that position for a half hour or so.
She also likes to perch herself on the windowsill and stare outside; watching and waiting for me to get home.
Usually she rests both of her arms on the windowsill so she looks very "official" and "important."
I don't remember where I found this picture on the internet, but it looks just like Rachel, only much fatter and we haven't gotten her to do this trick yet.
Edited to add: Just minutes after I posted this last entry, Rachel went and did her other funny thing so I had to take more pictures. She likes to straddle the armrest of our couch. Both arms and both legs are wrapped around it. Check out the expression on her face, she's saying, "What? What did I do? Are you looking at me? Why are you looking at me? Do I amuse you?" Too funny.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The One with the New Look

I've decided my blog was too dark, so I'm reverting to the default Blogger template. I really like how bright and happy it is now.

I don't have much to blog about today so I'll just make a list of things that come to mind.

1) Gas prices are going down. It's under $4.00 a gallon right now. When I was in high school I freaked out when prices went above $1.25.
What happened to the good ol' days when you could fill up for $12? Gone gone gone.

2) Every time I log onto Facebook I get really nostalgic.
I see people getting married, having babies, graduating from this or that and I feel like my life is boring. Then I sit back and realize everything is all good. I'm happy where I am right now!

3) I'm just about finished watching the entire series of the Gilmore Girls on DVD.
Cute show. I love watching entire series on DVD after they're finished airing. Like Friends. And That's 70's Show.

4) I'm counting down the days until I head out to Scrapfest in Minnesota.
It's an annual scrapbooking event put on by Archiver's. I'm helping teach some classes and hosting a crop at one of the Archiver's stores near the Mall of America. So, if you're in Minnesota September 12th-14th, stop by the madness that will be Scrapfest 2008.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The One with Jen's Baby Shower

Jen is a "ticking time bomb" :) It's been so fun to watch her grow! We threw her a baby shower today during lunch - which was a little odd with three guys there... j/k. Marlene made an amazing (and delicious!) duck shaped cake.
Jen isn't finding out whether it's a girl or a boy, so we were all pretty creative with our wrapping. I put my present in a blue striped bag with a pink card, and Alisha put her present in a pink bag with a blue card, and others went with grays, greens, yellows, reds, oranges - pretty much any color besides pink and blue.
Here's Jen enjoying her yummy pound cake! The best present she got was a "100% boy" onesie from Richard. Maybe he has x-ray vision and can see what's going on in there.
Courtney was fortunate (or unfortunate?) enough to get the entire duckie head.Here's the American Crafts gang (minus Marlene who was taking the picture). Left to right we've got Jen (and her baby bump), Ben, Richard, me, Alisha, David.
We can't wait to see Baby Simmons in less than a month! Congrats to you from us Jen!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The One with My All-Time Favorite Movie

If there was one movie I had to watch over and over every day for the rest of my life, it would be Elizabethtown.
123 minutes, released October 2005, directed by Cameron Crowe

There's not really a big plot line - it's mostly a series of sweet moments, each capped with the right song at the right time. The music is a really big part of my attraction to this movie. It's so different from anything I listen to on a regular basis. It's sort of folk/small town/country music. Also, the chemistry between Orlando Bloom (Drew Baylor from Oregon) and Kirsten Dunst (Claire Colburn from "Loo-uh-vul" Kentucky) particularly draws me in.

I think part of me wants to live the "small town" life where everyone knows everyone, houses have picket fences and wrap-around porches, and you can hear crickets and see the stars at night. There's a lot of that stuff in this movie which is another reason I love it.

There are also some really great quotes in the movie, such as: "If it wasn't this, it'd be something else." So true.

This movie definitely doesn't appeal to everyone - I've recommended it to friends and family who watched it and weren't as impressed as I thought they would be. I guess I hyped it up too much. If you do decide to see it, make sure you can watch it all the way through with no distractions and in a quiet place where you can really get into the music. And take into account if you plan to watch it with children that it is PG-13 for a reason.

"Lovin' life. Lovin' you."

Monday, August 25, 2008

The One with Michael Phelps

"It was the obvious cover shot. Whenever Sports Illustrated group editor Terry McDonell talked about Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps' quest for eight gold medals, he was asked if the mag would do "the picture."

"They always said, 'You know, the one like Mark Spitz with all the medals,'" McDonell laughed. "It was certainly an idea that occurred to us."

On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated will unveil its exclusive photo on newsstands across the country. On the cover, a grinning and bare-chested Phelps, 23, displays eight medals splayed across his chest in a nod to the man whose record he broke.

"It is not lost on me that the Spitz picture is one of the most popular and iconic photos in all of sports," McDonell said.

McDonell said the cover was a way to visually and instantly portray the "dominant" story of the week.

"This is about Michael going forward, this is an image that our readers and others will remember.""

Chris and I were able to watch about 5 of his 8 gold medal wins. We were so nervous during the last relay event that I think we held our breath the whole race (not really cuz I can only hold my breath for about 20 seconds...). Both of us are 23, the same age as Michael Phelps, but I think he's a little bit more fit. Just a little. Anyways, here's my small tribute to this amazing athlete. Go USA!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The One with Chris' Breaking Dawn Review

Chris has a blog where he lists reviews of all the books he reads. This is his review, not mine. And if you don't want to know anything about the book, don't keep reading.

Title & Author: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (756 pages)

Genre: Fiction—Adventure & Romance

Completed: 22 August 2008

Summary & Review:
This is the long awaited final volume of the Twilight Saga. Early on in the book Bella and Edward finally get married, but Bella decides to remain human/mortal for a little while to enjoy the, er, physical aspects of their married relationship. While enjoying their honeymoon Bella realizes she is pregnant. Yep, pregnant, with a half-human/half-vampire baby that almost kills Bella when she delivers it. The only way Edward can save her is to turn her into a vampire. Bella adjusts quickly to the life of an immortal and life as a mother. But, this newfound peace doesn’t last
long as the Volturi decide the new hybrid baby is a threat and come to destroy the Cullen clan.

Paige had a pretty mixed review about this book, but I know she was happy that at least Bella and Edward got married and that Bella was turned into a vampire. I was glad about that, too. It would have made the whole series kind of pointless if Bella and Edward didn’t get to “ride off into the sunset” as vampires. But, I would have to say that this was my least favorite book of the series. I thought the action aspect of the plot was a major let down—the story built up your anticipation for a huge, apocalyptic final battle between the Cullens and the Volturi, but nothing happened. Not only was the action aspect kind of a disappointment, but the relationship between Bella and Edward really took a supporting, rather than starring, role. That relationship and the interaction between those two has been the backbone for this series and has been what has drawn so many fans to the saga, so to see it play such a minor role in the bulk of the plot was a big change. Also, why were there so many typos? And I’m not even talking about misspelled words; I’m talking about major grammatical errors. I’m sure that drove Paige, Ms. Editor, absolutely nuts, since it even bugged me. I guess they must have rushed to get this book out, probably someone (The publisher? An agent? Meyer herself?) got a little greedy and antsy for the big pay day. But I'm glad Stephenie Meyer tied up the series.

Rating: 8.0

The One with More Rafting Pictures

After capsizing on a size 1 rapid, there was no way I was going to help paddle through this size 3 rapid. I held on for dear life. Jay on the other hand risked it all and "rode the bull."Ahhhhhh!
We made it!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The One with the Ruined Shoes

I bought these shoes a month or two ago because there was a "buy 1 get 1 half off" sale going on at Forever Young Shoes in University Mall.
They're super comfy, but they get super dirty super easily. Last Sunday I washed them off pretty good so they looked new then I set them outside to dry. And they turned yellow :(They sure look nasty compared to the store photo! Maybe I'll wash them with bleach and hope the black doesn't turn yellow too...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The One with Skandar Evans

We're going to name one of our future sons James Skandar Evans and call him Skandar. If he hates it, he can always go by James or Jimmy. The boy who plays Edmond on The The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is named Skandar Keynes, that's where I got the name.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The One with Kelly Neidig

I love her landscape paintings. The stripes of color particularly catch my eye. Find more about her here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The One with the Moved Up Twilight Movie Release Date

Chris informed me last night (how did he find out before me!?!) that Summit Entertainment has decided to move up the release date of the Twilight movie from December 12th to November 21st. They claim it doesn't have anything to do with Harry Potter being pushed back to next summer (bummer!). So, I've updated my countdown widget and now I have three less weeks to wait.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The One with the Yorkie Puppy

We were THIS close to getting a Yorkshire Terrier puppy yesterday. When I'm around cute animals all rational thoughts go out the window. I'm an animal lover and our second-bedroom-turned pet room proves it. I see a cute rabbit, I buy it. A fellow co-worker has a free chinchilla, I take it. A bird is nice to me, he becomes a 30 year investment. And nothing ever dies! I've had my silly beta fish for three years!We went to Robert's to get some more glue dots because all of the things I stuck on the right half of the wall fell off. I guess there is a difference in brand quality. As we were finding a parking spot I saw some people selling puppies. I couldn't resist. We walked over and I instantly fell in love with the runt of the litter. He was only $1200...yeah, not so much. Plus, I'm never home during the day and Chris starts school again soon so he would be all alone. And, Rachel the cat didn't do too well when we brought Sneakers the dog over. She hissed and her tail got all spiky. She gets along fine with all the animals that we here when we brought her home last September. We haven't gotten any new pets since. And all the pets we have now are smaller than her. Yorkies are actually smaller than cats when full grown so I'm hoping that some day when we do get a dog (it's inevitable) she'll get along with it. Anyways, I wish this little guy was mine.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The One with Submitting Your Projects!

If you or someone you know is really creative, you/they need to get published! Check out scrapbooktrendsmag.com/submissions.html to see what we're looking for. I'm most excited about our newest magazine - handmade. It's right up my alley! I may not scrapbook tons at home, but I'm always making things by hand. Here is some more information about handmade and the things we're looking to publish in the next issue:

February/March 2008 Call

We are now accepting submissions for hand-crafted items that are not necessarily made with scrapbooking supplies! This includes general craft and sewing projects. We also have some new sections:

Love is in the air – cards, gifts, treats, books, etc. for your friends or a special valentine.
Valentine's Day Décor – spruce up your living space with fun love-themed decorations.
Altered onesies & t-shirts – for babies, boys, and girls.
Bloom & Grow – anything and everything to do with flowers, from stamped florals to altered flower pots, from appliquéd roses to wall art, felt/ribbon flowers, and everything in between.
Font Fun – show us your coolest creation (altered book cover, artistic piece, card, bookmark, etc.) that puts the focus on interesting typography – use die cut letters, stickers, a printer, stamps, letterpress, wooden/metal letters, or whatever you'd like.
Framed – Fixed-up antique frames, framed pieces that you've made, decorated frames.

Deadline: 11:59pm (Mountain Time) on Monday September 15th, 2008

Please send submissions to creations@scrapbooktrendsmag.com.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The One with White Water Rafting

Today was awesome. Peter, Cami, Andy, Nick, Chris, me and Jay left for Jackson at 10am and arrived with plenty of time to spare.
Here ya go Andy and Cami. U R 2 Cute!
We loaded up the bus and made our way down to a dock on the Snake River.
We were assigned a guide, grabbed a lifevest (which came in very handy!) and an oar then headed to the water.
The first fifteen minutes or so Carsten, our guide, told us how to maneuver the raft and what to expect. Don't let his smile deceive you, he is a mean and nasty guy... :) As we were talking to Carsten, asking him questions and figuring out our limits, Jay decided to let him know that commercial rafting stinks. No jumping from cliffs, no diving off the raft, no jumping onto other boats to "pirate" them, etc. So, being the naive rafters that we are, he told us that at the next eddie (Million Dollar Eddie to be exact) we were all going to run to one side of the raft. And we did. And we capsized.

Honestly, I was more scared than I've ever been in my life. I was frantically flailing my arms trying to get above water but all I could feel was the raft above my head. I was stuck under water! Just when I was getting ready to breathe in icy cold water and sink into an untimely death, I emerged under the raft in between the seats. I screamed and asked someone, anyone, to find my shoe. I already lost one pair of cheap sandals this trip, I didn't want to lose one of my nice Pumas! luckily Jay found my shoe and Chris pulled me out from under the raft.

There are eight different rafting companies that take people on rides down the river. The company we went with today is the ONlY one that hasn't capsized a raft this season. Until today. But, our capsizing was intentional unlike all the others. The best part is we capsized on a size 1 rapid.

Before we tipped over I asked Carsten straight out, "Are we gonna tip over?" "No." liar!
I brought my camera despite the fact it's not waterproof. I wrapped it in two bags and stuffed it in Peter's shorts. It survived the capsizing and Carsten took this picture at one of the calmer parts of the ride.
Some of the other highlights of the trip: Cami "riding the bull" (the front of the raft) through the rapids and falling off over and over and over (and over and over and over) again trying to get back on. Andy almost drowning in a 75 foot underwater waterfall. Pushing each other off the raft. Being invited to a party with Carsten with free beer! - but we don't drink beer. Overall, A-plus ride, totally worth every penny.

Here are the Evans boys and Carsten heaving the raft onto the pile to head back to the start.
I wish I could have taken more exciting pictures of the rapids, but I didn't want to ruin my camera.
And another one of these.
We made some infamous Taylor-family Cincinnati Chili for dinner. It was delicious!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The One with the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone

We've got four dogs hanging out with us this week. Oodles of poodles!
We left early yesterday morning to reach our final destination of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. Did you know that Yellowstone was the very first national park in the United States?

The drive to Yellowstone took us right through Grand Teton National Park. The mountains are amazing! Everything is so flat and uninteresting and then WHAM! Sharp and jagged edged mountains come out of nowhere.
Here's another one for Nicole. My father-in-law and brother-in-law.
Oh my goodness it hurt so bad trying to take this picture! The sun was right in our eyes.
We've got so many pictures of us like this. Some day I'll find them and compare them all to see how we've aged through the years.
We pulled over a couple of times to take pictures of the beautiful scenery in Yellowstone. Here is a pretty waterfall.
Here's Jay walking the dogs. Get it? J-Dawgs? Nevermind.
We reached Old Faithful just in time. I couldn't believe how many people there were waiting for the geyser to erupt.
Sooooo many people. My dad would not like to be here :) Happy birthday Dald!
We walked around the geyser pools and pondered about what the person who discovered these things was thinking.
This is the only place like this in the world.
We walked around long enough to see Old Faithful erupt again.
The river is so unusual. Check out all the poofs of steam coming out along the river's edge. Where else would you see something like this?
We got a different view of the Tetons on the way back to Afton.
We stopped in Jackson for dinner. There was one of these antler arches at every corner.
The sopapillas for dessert at the Merry Piglets Mexican restaurant made the whole trip worth it.
Today we're white water rafting down this river.
I'm a little nervous after all the accidents I had tubing down the river at lava hot springs. I hope I'll be back tonight to post something about it...