Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Camping '11

Despite my love of camping, it turns out we only seem to get around to doing it once a year. Last year we had an interesting night where we broke the camping rules of the canyon and slept over in a camp spot that was only open until 10.

This year we were smarter. We started out a lot earlier than we did last year, and took our car all the way up past the regular camping grounds and up into the unknown mountain paths. We were very pleased that our little car made it all the way up!

We found a super cute little spot to set up our tent and got started with a fire. Here is a vid of our camping experience!

And here is a video of the drive down the canyon in the morning.

So there you go. For more pictures, visit my facebook page! Yay!

Missy's First Bath

Quick backstory, I watched like 10 Youtube videos to prepare for this momentous occasion. haha. Missy did very well! We love our lil' kitten baby!

* Fate made us Sisters, Hearts made us Friends *

Whitney and I had a shopping spree day! The two of us had never hung out one-on-one before, and both wanted to get to know each other better. It was a very successful day, both for the shopping and the bonding.

I picked up Whitney at about 2pm and we headed for Murray to the new Home Goods store.

Home goods is awesome! The feel of it is a lot like Gardner Village-ish, a lot of really home-made type things and personal touches. I really liked a lot of things there! Also, there were really great prices on a lot of stuff! Whitney bought a napkin holder. After Home Goods we drove to the nearby D.I. to look around. The D.I. in Murray/Draper is AMAZING!! The Provo one is so picked over, but this one was full of great stuff! I found a napkin holder, a candle holder, and a Halloween decoration that I bought, along with some AMAZING thrift items that I was sorely tempted to buy to give out to people for Christmas. Whitney and I decided that we should have "Thrift Store Christmas" where each family member has a tiny budget to buy something hilarious. Besides all of the funny items we found, there actually were a ton of great things to buy. Whitney found some cute Christmas decorations! We ended up wandering around D.I. for a pretty long time, but when we'd made our purchases we headed off to IKEA! 

Ikea is a magical place. Unfortunately, it was getting pretty late by now and Whitney and I were both super hungry. After going through most of the display rooms at IKEA, we took a break to go get pizza at the nearby NYPD Pizza place. It was pretty good, but not truly authentic NY pizza. Nice try guys!

After our yummy dinner we rushed back to IKEA to finish our browsing, and we both found some great deals! I bought a shelf and an egg timer, and Whitney found an area rug for only $20.00!! She also got an end table to use as a nightstand for Richey! IKEA has stuff for waaaayyyy cheap, and wandering around the displays gives you awesome ideas for your own house! 

We had a great time and fortunately didn't get bored of each other! We chatted the whole time!

By the time we got back to Provo with our purchases it was around 9:30 pm. We had been hanging out for like 8 hours. 9:30 really isn't late for a Friday night though, and since Steven had his friend Kyle over, Whitney and I decided to keep hanging out! I helped her drop off and assemble her purchases at her apartment, and then we made a Walmart run to get screws to install the new shelf at my place. By the time I dropped her off it was about 12:30. haha. Awesome. 

I had such a great time hanging out with Whitney. We've never had that bonding time at other family events and really didn't know each other that well. During the day we both admitted having felt apprehensive, like maybe we wouldn't get along or something, but happily we both totally hit it off! New friends! I couldn't stop telling Steven about it for the rest of the weekend. :) :) :) I'm so glad that Whitney lives so close. Let's hang out again soon!


"A phobia (from the GreekφόβοςPhóbos, meaning "fear" or "morbid fear") is a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognized as irrational."

I HATE spiders.

 "In the event the phobia cannot be avoided entirely the sufferer will endure the situation or object with marked distress and significant interference in social or occupational activities."

Spiders are EVERYWHERE.

" As the sufferer approaches a phobic stimulus, anxiety levels increase, and the degree to which escape of the phobic stimulus is limited has the effect of varying the intensity of fear."

They are even in our HOUSE.

In our ROOM!

I hate them.

Things that make spiders terrible: 

SHAPE: They are small, making it easy for them to hide anywhere. 

LEGS: The way they creepy crawl all over every surface; ceilings, walls...nothing is off limits to a spiders legs. 
EYES. Who needs 8 eyes? That's just wrong. Monstrous!
FUR: Makes 'em look like little wolves.
WEBS: Anything that can shoot a sticky string out of it's butt and then crawl around on it should die. 

But the absolute WORST thing I can think of about spiders is the way they MOVE. 


I can barely tolerate a spider holding still, but when all of their long spindly legs begin to creepy-crawl along at that fast pace, it makes me hysterical.

I have a hard time getting through Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets because of the Forbidden forest scene with the spideys. I don't think I've ever even watched it all the way with my eyes open. It's made worst by that awful sound effect they put in of the spiders crawling!! That scritch-scratch-screetching noise! Yuck!!

There won't even be pictures of spiders to illustrate this post, because I'm too afraid of what kind of images will pop up if I google them. 

This might happen if I even see a  picture of a spider.
Steven thinks I am crazy. Whenever I see I spider I usually scream for him and distance myself as far as possible until he has disposed of it. If I happen to catch it crawling across the ceiling or wall after I notice it, I am often brought to the point of tears by my fear of it. I realize it's ridiculous, but THAT'S WHAT A PHOBIA IS!!! 

Just the other night Steven noticed one above our bed. I ran to the living room for safety and lo and behold there was an even BIGGER one hanging above our entertainment center!! I was surrounded! It was horrible. 

The other night we had dinner and games with our good friends Christie and Todd in Spanish Fork. Christie and Todd love Halloween and anything associated with it. They have these "pet" spiders that live on their back porch that look like small orange crabs. Everyone kept trying to get me to look at them. THIS IS NO JOKE PEOPLE! I WILL CRY!! 

I think all spiders should die. I don't buy the excuse that, "Oh, but they kill bugs!" 

You know what else kills bugs? 


TAH DAH! Use this. 

The only downside to Raid is that in a house with a kitten and a turtle I feel weird spraying pesticide all over the walls. But you bet we have a huge bottle of "Blag Flag" ant, roach and spider killing Raid under our sink, and SO HELP ME! ALL SPIDERS IN MY HOUSE WILL DIE!!!

I hate spiders. 

Just thought I'd share. :D 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The only words I know come from Disney movies...

For my voice lessons this month my teacher, Emily, gave me a song to learn that is in French. French has got to be the most screwed up language ever. She always has me try to pronounce it before she tells me how it actually sounds, which usually ends up going something like this.

Me: DAN's Ooon so-meal....
Her: Dah zonn Soh-may.
Me: Oh...ok...
Her: Keep going
Me: Shar-mate tone image?
Her: Shar-MAY Tone-ee mah-juh.
Me: Oh, of course.


Yeah. It's kind of frustrating.

It's a gorgeous song though, and after having had it for a couple weeks I've pretty much got the first and second versus down! Steven is probably wary of hearing me sing it over and over at our little keyboard. haha. Sorry hon! Gotta practice!

For your listening pleasure, here is the actual song sung by an actual french-woman. :)

Our car

When we bought our third (maybe fourth) hand car last January we were hoping it would last us 3 years or so. I guess we're optimists. We bought a 1998 Hyundai Sonata for $1700 from a local car mechanic who works at a place called "Honest1 Auto". True story. "Honest1 Auto".

We never agreed on a name for our little carriage; I wanted to call it Storm or Thunder cloud because of its greyish color, while Steven insisted we name it Optimus Prime. It's a HYUNDAI SONATA, NOT A SEMI TRUCK! Lol!

THIS is Optimus Prime. NOT our Sonata.

Anyway, the first break-down came on Wednesday July 6th when Optimus-Storm-Cloud (I just now made that up...) decided to fart black smoke and make grinding noises when Steven tried to start it up at his work.  We had it towed to a place in Springville the next day (they were the only place in the area that had free towing) and after about 4 days they basically told us we should scrap it. They even offered to haul it to the junk yard for us! They thought we could get about $300 for it. Oh wow.

The next day we had it towed to a place in Salem called "Stone's". DO NOT GO TO THIS PLACE!!!
After two weeks wherein they "didn't know what was wrong" with it and repeated changed the date and time that it would be done, we hitched a ride to Salem to pick it up. We were greeted by a large dirty man in a dingy nasty little office that was part of a greasy garage, who greeted us by saying, "Hi kids! What are you here for?"


I was inwardly livid but kept my composure somehow as he went on to tell us that: "You sure are brave if you're going to drive that car out of here"


We were then charged $1400 and given the warning to "check it for leaks daily" because it could basically fall apart in the next WEEK, and if it does "our warranty on the valves is void" because it OUR FAULT FOR NOT CATCHING A LEAK!!! WTF????

I was outraged.

That was parts 1A and B.

Part 2: I had this great car coupon for a bunch of free services for a place in Orem. I set up an appointment for the Monday following this last place.

The place in Orem is called A AUTO REPAIR and is on State Street. When I called to set up an appointment to use my coupon to get a free oil change and air conditioning inspection they were SO nice!
When I went to drop off the car I was met by a cute little air conditioned office with leather couches, a massage chair, music playing in the backround, magazines to read, and a window that you could use to look into the garage and keep an eye on the work. SO NICE!!! The customer service was AMAZING! While doing the air conditioning check they noticed that our ac wasn't working. They didn't just fix it and then charge me, they came in and told me EXACTLY what was wrong, EXACTLY how much it would be to fix, and EXACTLY how much time it would take. It was a night and day difference from the place in Orem.

Unfortunately, while checking the oil they also noticed that our motor wasn't mounted correctly and was wobbling all over the place. When I explained about the recent car repairs we had done and the place in Salem, the guy at A Auto shook his head and said that Stone's was notorious for basically screwing people and that he wasn't surprised that they hadn't pointed out the wobbly engine. Had it gone unnoticed, all the work that we just paid them to do on the valves would have been destroyed. WOW. Talk about unprofessional!!!

I was so grateful for our coupon and for the honesty and integrity of A Auto Repair! We ended up having them fix all the damage, costing us around $400 dollars more even with the coupon. THIS time  I felt it was worth it, even if just for the customer service! They also said that we have a great little car and it really does have a lot of life left.

This is what our car looks like, except ours has a lot less paint 
Yay Car!

Part 3: Fast forward about a week after we had the motor mounts fixed...
Steven got rear-ended on the way home from work.

Fortunately, our little Storm trooper really IS a sturdy little thing, and the only damage was to the rear bumper, and it wasn't even that visible! The insurance of the driver who hit us paid to have our car fixed, and in the meantime we've had a SWEEEET rental car! Free of charge to us!!


Now we just have to figure out how to get people to systematically smash the other sides of our car so we can get it all fixed up for free while driving around new cars. >:D Mwah hahahahahahaaaa!

Ok, I kid.

So there you have it, the saga of our car. We should be getting it back-new bumper intact-tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Richney's New Home

Steven's family made up names for all of their married kids and their spouses. Steven's oldest brother Richard and his wife Whitney are Richney, his next brother Ryan and his wife Michelle are Rychelle, and Steven and I ended up as...wait for it...Stebekah.

Unfortunately, as awful as this sounds, they do actually save time when we are referring to each couple, and they've stuck.

On to my post...
Richey and Whitney (who from here on out will probably be referred too as "Richney" because of the time it saves...) recently moved to a new apartment here with us in Provo, and on Thursday June 23rd we got to go over and check it out and enjoy their hospitality with dinner and a movie!

Richney's new place is so cute! It is still a two bedroom, but the way it is set up is just so much more homey! Plus, Whitney has a great sense of style and decorating, and although they weren't completely moved in yet, it already had so many unique touches of "Richney" that it felt like their home and not just any old apartment. We were happy to settle right in to enjoy the evening together.

Whitney's cooking is DIVINE. She is like Betty Crocker and Paula Dean's love child. Everything that I have ever eaten that she has made has been exquisite, and this evening was no different! Whitney made us these LUSCIOUS Philly cheese steak sandwiches. Oh my goodness. They just melted in your mouth. I was so bummed that my stomach filled up with the goodness of that steak before I could finish my sandwich. Thankfully Steven is like my own personal garbage disposal (not that the sandwiches even closely resembled garbage...bad analogy....) so he was able to finish mine off for me so none was wasted! It was YUMMY!!! I wish I could magically be endowed with the desire and patience to actually cook. After a year of marriage with me Steven is beginning to figure out that all I can make is a variety of egg dishes and one kind of "fancy" chicken meal. haha.

After the dinner part of the evening we watched Kung Fu Panda which neither Steven nor I had yet seen. It was pretty funny actually! I guess I'd never had a huge drive to see it just because it sounded so corny, but we had some good laughs! Mostly at the old turtle. He was the best part.

After getting a look at their new place with it's nice new soft carpets and cupboards, and kitchen counter space, and hallway with storage cupboards....I became incredibly jealous and began zealously searching ksl and CL for available apartments in our price range. haha. I love decorating, and liked imagining a new place to spruce up. Alas, our current housing situation is really the only thing in our price range that works for us right now. We shall stay put in the Crescent Arms back building for a while longer yet. Plus, they don't check to see if you actually have pets or not. haha. Sneaky sneaky! 

~Partners in crime~

So remember a few posts back when I got a kitten? Well, my bestie best friend of all time, Xanthe, played a large roll in said kitten coming home, and just 3 weeks later she got a DOG!!! Yaaaayyyy! Xanthe and her husband David got a beautiful black puppy from a shelter. Saving animals is so important and I am so glad they now have a little animal baby too! Hooray! Best friends forever!!!

And now, a little nostalgic post about my best friend.

Xanthe and I have been friends since one fateful day the summer after 5th grade when my family moved into her home ward and we had the same primary teacher. This particular teacher let us have lessons out on the grass and always brought treats! Xanthe and I bonded over some chocolate-covered cinnamon gummy bears, and our friendship has held together ever since---much through the help of various food items that we both enjoy consuming such as whole pickles, cheetos, cookie dough, pink frosting, Nesquick and of course the chocolate malts at S.O.S. Drug Store on Main Street in Provo.
Xanthe has been my best friend through all of the hardest trials of my life. She is the best kind of friend; one that will listen and be sympathetic, but tell you to your face if you are being stupid. And boy has she had to put up with me through a lot of stupidity! I don't know what I would do without her. I am so grateful that she is still my friend (12 years and counting!) and that she lives near me right now so that we can hang out and gossip about our young married lives. (All the while still plotting how we will someday live in the cliffs at Lake Powell...)

Life would be so empty without our family and friends, and I feel truly blessed to have such a great best friend to keep me going when things get tough!
I love you Xanthe!

And if the above link will see a FABULOUS pic of Xanthe and I when we were about 13 years old at Lake Powell. :D BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!

A Date Night in Salem

The last post was about new friends, and this one is all about old friends!

As I've mentioned before, a big bonus to marrying my high school sweetheart is that we have a lot of the same friends from our teenage days.

One such friend is Melissa Griffin.

On Saturday June 11th she hosted a "Bonfire" activity. As Austin (another friend and one of Steven's groomsmen) put it, "I have learned not to actually expect a bonfire whenever a girl plans a 'bonfire' activity". Austin, unfortunately, was right. A more appropriate description would have been a camp fire. This is not to say we were disappointed, because that would be a lie. In fact, the activity as a whole was a complete success! Located out in beautiful Salem, just down the road from the exotic Hare Krishna temple, Melissa's family has some property with a large fire pit and a great sprawling field. We played ultimate frisbee until the sun went down, and then enjoyed hot dogs and S'mores over the fire. It was also the first time we'd seen our friends Lauren and Kyle since they got married in May. It's nice to have MARRIED high school friends now, especially ones who went through the whole missionary thing. :) We love our friends from High School! I am so grateful that so many still live close. It makes Utah County seem a little less dull to me. Now I just have to hope they don't all graduate and move away too fast!

Dinner at the Creek's

Married student wards are, oh, about a BAJILLION MILLION times better than any other type of ward. Our ward consists of mostly newly married people in their first few years of marriage, some with little babies and toddlers. Most of our fellow ward members are still in school and working crappy jobs, while living in tiny apartments in downtown provo that were built in the 60's. There are a lot of people that we can relate too, and after a year of living in the ward we are finally making some real friends.

One such couple are Dorothy and Matt Creek.

Dorothy became my personal angel in church one day when she noticed me sitting by myself in the hall and stopped to talk. She took the time necessary to really hear about what I was going through and be that listening ear and shoulder to cry on. She truly followed the example of our Savior by looking out for me-someone she had never met or spoken too before. Shortly after that day in church, she and her husband Matt invited Steven and I over to their apartment for dinner and games.

The Creeks live just two apartment buildings away from us and had all kinds of funny stories about their apartments of the past. There were some really crazy experiences with landlords of their past, and it made me feel extremely grateful that Steven and I have always had warm, safe places to lay our heads at night!

We played a word game that was kind of like a mix between Scrabble and Banana-grams. I don't remember the name, but it was pretty fun! You start by laying out a four letter word and everyone has a deck of letter cards. You lay your cards down as fast as you can and change the four letter word to any other word to get rid of your letters. As long as it's a real word it counts! We were grateful for their sense of humor, as all four of us kept being tempted to lay down all the cuss words we could think of. ;) Some how in the spur of the moment, the only 4-letter words we could think of rhymed with Duck or Stick. XD haha. MADE YOU MIND-CURSE!

Wow. We are so mature.

So anywhoo, young adult married wards are the best and we are grateful to have made new friends! Yay!