Monday, May 27, 2013

Geography nerd takes a hike.

Today was Memorial Day! It is always so nice to have a holiday from work and a beautiful summery day to spend with my husband. Especially when we get to spend it outside together.

Yesterday--Sunday--we had a fun family picnic with lots of the Holloway's. Jared and I started playing a game with 3 of the young boys, aged about 3, 5, and 6. The game consisted of them standing on one about 5 feet from me. I, or Jared would bounce a kickball at the ground and then the boys had to catch it. Probably one of the most simple games I have ever played, but they LOVED it. Soon, five other kids ran over and wanted to play with us. We moved our game out into a large grassy field, and Jared and I started punting the ball as high as we possibly could. This provided an opportunity for shrill screams from the girls as they crouched on the ground with their hands covering their heads waiting for the ball to drop. The boys, contrarily ran around arms outstretched trying to catch the ball. It was hilarious. The older girls soon started hogging the ball to themselves, and the younger kids started getting sad because they were not getting a turn any more. I reasoned with the girls about being fair and immediately the three year old ran up to me and said, "You're going to be the coach!". Cries of agreement rippled through the rest of the cousins.

Sure, why not? I'll be coach. A coach that occasionally gets bored with being coach and runs into the crowd, grabs two kids around the waist and runs pel-mel in between the other kids and intercepting the ball. A coach that won't let a real game happen--with scoring and rules etc. Since it was Sunday I didn't want to get into competition and feelings hurt so I said no when they asked if we could play soccer. I will have to play soccer with them some other time. Jared and I eventually wore ourselves out when each kid asked us to be twirled...

So today was a holiday!! And it was a perfect day. Jared and I both woke up early, and having planned the night before to have breakfast and leave a quick as possible, we actually accomplished our goal and were on the road by 9:00 am. Hooray!

We had no idea where we ought to hike, but wanted to try some place new. We drove up to Draper--by way of the pass that goes over the mountain rather than around on the I-15. There were gobs and gobs of bikers climbing that huge hill. We even drove past a team of cyclists speeding down the hill in the opposite lanes. I exclaimed, "oh man, my dad would love this! He'd be all, 'what kind of bike is that, what is that one, oh that is sooooo cool!'". Sorry dad, I didn't see what any of them were, but I'm pretty sure I've seen that team ride by when you were out here once before. They wear green and black.

So, back to finding a trail. Long story short, it took us 20 minutes, but we found a trail and started walking. We had no idea where it went, if it was even a public trail, or what kind of terrain we would find. We were pleasantly surprised by the following spectacular trail. Turns out it is called Corner Canyon Park. I very much want to go there again.

Mount Timpanogus. The snow is melting! Almost ready to be hiked!

Wild flowers, so pretty. 

Draper temple

We ran into some other hikers who said the trail we were on connected with another  that Trail-headed at Jacob's Ladder. Never been, but we will have to try it sometime

What a beautiful day. 

Yours Truly.  I was loving every minute of this hike. It went from rolling hills with deep water carved gullies to rugged, steep mountain slopes with sagebrush.

The smell reminded me of being a kid and going on hiking trips with my family.

I'm so happy that now I have this man in my family to share these new adventures with. He makes me so happy.  And he looks so good in his hiking boots. Those were one of the best things we ever bought--perfect for Utah. One day not long from now, I know I will miss getting to drive <30 minutes to spots like this.

Snack break

One of the greenest summer's we have had so far. The rain makes every day that much more beautiful. 

Being myself. Weird. 

Oh hey. 

I don't even know. But he looks pretty great doing what ever it is he's doing. 

Look at those cool rocks. 
We paused on this rock (below) and recovered our strength with a few snacks and water. While we sat reposing and planning a backpacking trip to Europe (ASAP), we heard a loud "Boom". The sound shuddered the air and was followed by 8 others. They were spaced out equally, and though we still don't know what caused them, we think that it was either dynamite in the Geneva rock quarry, or a cannon.

At this exact moment, Jared is singing, "I'm a maniac, Maniac! 

The best part of this morning hike was spending it with Jared. He is now in Billings, and tomorrow, he begins his week of shadowing. I'm really looking forward to hearing from him how it is going. Also because it's going to be lonely without this guy. He makes me smile. 

The Spice of Life

Who wants to know what has been happing in the life of the Holloway's recently?

**pause for raise of hands...

Jared has been unreachable these last few weeks, since he was so busy prepping for the upcoming DAT exam. Occasionally he'd holler at me from the den about how many apples Nancy has now, if Polly increased her ratio of oranges to apples by 3/4, and Nancy has a 2/3 ration of oranges to apples. Or something like that (quantitative reasoning). Anyways, I'd grab up a pen and scribble on paper all that I needed to know, then set about solving the problem. After coming up with an answer, I'd holler it back at Jared, whereupon, he'd come walking out of the den, scratching his head and asking, "What? That's right. How did you do that?"

Jared dear, God gave me the answer so you'd pay attention to me. Also, I'm a genius.

No, not really. But going over those questions helped him understand the "reasoning" of the problems, and boosted my confidence since clearly my entire brain has not yet turned to mush from lack of use.

The best part is now,  Jared has finally finished the DAT! After one solid month of 12 hour study days, after an endless of supply of wife-made PBJ's, and after bringing home 20 additional library books, he can rest. All his hard work has paid off, and with the score he got, we will definitely be applying to several schools in the next few weeks. We are thinking about five schools which we should have a reasonable chance of getting into.

We celebrated with Star Trek last night, and home made peach crisp for breakfast this morning. It's mostly peaches anyways, so not too unhealthy right?

(side note: ST was incredible, and if you have not seen it yet, or if you disagree with me, I might rip off your bangs)

This next week Jared is taking a trip to Billings, MT to shadow his uncle and several other dentists at the same office and to rack up those shadowing hours. It will be a special experience, since J will be exposed to dentistry for 12 hours a day. I think he will learn a lot and I can't wait to hear the stories when he gets back.

I am going to keep myself busy with exercise, working on my book, and cleaning the apartment.
I plan to deep clean the entire place, and live off cereal, as well as canned and frozen goods so I don't have to go to the store. If I make anything blog worthy, I'll post it, although the likelihood of this happening in slim. Food just is not my priority this week. My co-workers were joking with me that they would come into the office each morning and find that I'd been camping overnight, since there is no reason for me to go home this week with Jared gone, and since my commute is so long. I guess it's something to I could never stay in the office that long. I'd feel like I was suffocating--I need fresh air!
our little basil plants :)

You know what else needs fresh air? Plants. Jared bought me a window box herb garden for mother's day, and 4 days ago I noticed a tiny little green speck--our basil is coming up!!

On Friday, I had the BEST phone run with Rachael. When she lived in Utah we used to run together, and now that she lives in VA, we found a new way to continue our runs. We call each other up, put in head phones with speakers, and off we run. She in her neighborhood, and I in the Memorial Grove canyon of Salt Lake. It is such a treat to have such a great friend!

 I'm looking forward to having some fun with Jared now that he is done with that confounded test. Good thing tomorrow is Memorial day! Stay tuned for photos.

Here is what we made on Friday to prep Jared for the DAT.

Gluten free cheesy bread and turkey Ragu (a red sauce with meat).

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blog Resurrected

Guess what!?!?!?!?!

I got a new computer. Finally. And it is awesome. And it is a Mac.

Jared said to me on Saturday, after purchase of said awesomeness, "Can I play with it a little bit too?"
I was always one, when after Christmas or a birthday, NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, could play, touch or man-handle my new things until I had broken them in. I'm still like this. Perhaps not my best characteristic, but we all have things about ourselves that we are not proud of. So, sorry husband, you'll have to wait. I still love you.

Here is picture of me and my mum from the best Wednesday I've ever had. She came out to visit and we spent the whole day having a blast shopping, chatting, and laughing. I miss her already.

So, since I'm a foodie, and now I've got a great new computer, here is the most recent deliciousness we sampled. This is an old favorite my roommate used to make for our apartment, back when I was single.

White Chicken Chili 
makes 6 servings

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cooked and shredded
1 Tb olive oil
1 white onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic
8 oz diced green chiles
2 15 oz cans Great Northern beans
4 C water
1 Tb "Better than Bouillon" chicken base
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 C plain yogurt

chopped tomato
diced avocado
1 C Monterey Jack cheese

In a large dutch oven, or soup pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add the chicken, chiles, beans, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, chicken broth (water and base mixed together). Simmer 30-45 minutes. Add the yogurt and cook another five minutes while stirring. Serve with cheese, avocado, and tomatoes. 

Note to chef: I boiled the chicken first, then reserved 4 cups of the water to use in the chili. 

And now for the  cornbread!
Preheat the oven to 400 F and place the cast iron skillet in the oven with 1 Tb butter. 

Sweet cornbread, tastes better than Jiffy+ cake mix
1 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C cornmeal
2 Tb sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 C milk
1/4 C canola

In a medium bowl stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder.  In separate, small bowl combine oil, eggs and milk. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Pour batter into hot skillet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

Also Haley came down from Logan so we could attend one of our best friends' weddings. This family has been our friends for the last 15 years or more so we were so happy to attend the wedding reception.
Sisters, sisters, never were there such devoted sisters

I'm gonna keep my eye on her

Monday, May 6, 2013

Already May

I have been getting into lots of trouble recently for not updating my blog. Ever. 

Please note: my personal computer just really isn't working great, and I have been trying to shop for a new one. However, shopping online for new computers, on a computer that doesn't want to work, usually gets me no where fast, so that search has been going on since February.

To justify spending the money on a new computer below is a list of other things besides this blog that require a new computer: 

I have a new business plan in the work
I have book to write
I need to use email/facebook to communicate with the women in my ward as part of my new calling
Jared needs my help with dental applications this summer, < 1 month away
TV shows while I ride my bike on my new wind trainer :).
Register for Bear Lake Brawl and other triathlons and races this summer
Email and skype my friends who live far far away.
More ideas and stitches for my embroidering phase/craft projects
Do something awesome with all the pictures on my camera.

Did I mention my family? I need to be able to skype with them's too, since it will be Christmas by the time I go home again.

For now here is shout out to all our homies, groupies, fans, enemies, old neighbors, friends, study buddies, running buddies and gang members across the world!

 Miss you lots, look for more updates soon!