Thursday, August 27, 2009

Do you want to know a secret?

Magleby's Buttermilk Pie Recipe

Mix in Meduim bowl:
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

In a separate bowl:
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
2 T. lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. melted butter(added at the very end)
Two Pie crusts

Beat buttermilk and eggs, then add lemon juice and vanilla and whisk well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk. Add melted butter and whisk again until thick and no lumps remain.

Pour into two pie crusts and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Rotate pies and bake an additional 40 minutes. Rotate back to original position and bake an additional 30 minutes.

**Note: This seemed like an awfully long time to bake a pie. I covered them in foil about 20 minutes into the second cycle and probably ony let them bake another 20 minutes.

Serve with raspberries, boysenberries or blueberries and fresh whipped cream. You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Meeting an Inspiration

While thinking of things I'd like to do on my visit to Utah, I mentioned hiking the Y. In Provo, just east of the BYU campus is a gigantic Y on the side of the mountain. It's kind of an initiation to hike the Y and I think I did it twice during my years at BYU. I thought it would be nostalgic to do it and so we made the plan. When I got to Utah, Cara told me that Stephanie Nielsen would be hiking it on Saturday to commemorate one year since the crash. For those of you who don't know her story, she and her husband were in a small plane that crashed last year in Arizona, which killed the pilot and burned her husband on 30% of his body and her on 80% of her body. It was a miracle she survived. They had four kids at home and after 6 months in a coma she woke up and was moved back to Provo, where she used to live and her family was there to help. Apparently she used to run the Y every day which is a feat in and of itself, it is very steep and about a mile straight up. She wanted to hike it on the anniversary and I would not have missed it.

I have been following Stephanie's story since shortly after the crash and have found myself captivated by the courage of this young woman as she has fought for her life. I check her blog daily, the Nienie dialogues- the blog that she was famous for even prior to the crash for her honesty about motherhood and being a wife. Looking back into the archives I have caught myself wanting to be more like her, she is such a patient and innovative mother and such a romantic wife and now she is so much more. She is an inspiration and a hero, from her I have learned how to keep pressing forward even when it seems impossible. She will do great things in their life and I am honored to know her through her blog.

Stephanie was scheduled to start her hike at 7, and Cara and I decided to get an early start and began our hike at 5. We reached the top about an hour later and sat on the breezy mountainside admiring the view and picking out different buildings from our past. We saw the caravan arrive. Many people had come out to support her. A crowd gathered and once we saw it disperse, we started our descent. We kept talking about what we would say to her when we saw her and what could we do for her? We came up with the idea to write her name in rocks periodically down the trail to give her encouragement, so we put about 7 or 8 "Nie's" on the path until the crowd caught up to us. And then we saw Stephanie approaching. There was an ATV in front of her driven by her father with a photographer on the back and then she and her husband along with her kids Jane, Claire and Oliver and other friends and family. Cara and I stood on the side of the path cheering and clapping and she stopped walking for a moment to give us each a hug and say thank you. What a moment! It was so amazing and strange to meet someone I felt like I knew so well, but she had no idea who I was or what she means to me. We all cried and then we told her that she could make it and went on our way. I will never forget that experience and you know what? She made it up that mountain by herself. The greater mountains lie ahead of her but I have no doubt that she will climb them all.

Utah with Cara

So last Thursday morning I boarded a plane bound for Salt Lake City to visit my dear friend Cara. I met her my freshman year of college and we instantly bonded. We were bridesmaids at each others weddings and we have both kept in touch through the years although it has gotten harder and harder. She has come out to visit me and this was my second trip to see her, the last one being six years ago. It was definitely time for another visit and I am so happy that Jeremy planned it for my birthday. We both have three kids which makes it no easy task to have girl time, but Jeremy had it covered here and Cara got babysitters for the three days her husband couldn't be with her kids. We were free and 18 again as we reminisced the old days and chatted about how far we've come. We walked main street in Park City, went to the Salt Lake Temple and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, visited our old stompin' grounds in Provo, walking on campus and driving to see where we both had lived. We went to the BYU Bookstore and saw the movie Julie and Julia (highly recommend it!) went to the farmers market and we ate. Oh boy did we eat! We had Cafe Rio, The Spaghetti Factory, Grappa's (a fancy restaurant in PC), Chinese food and Park City's famous Chicken salad, complete with french fries and FRY SAUCE, cupcakes from the Sweet Tooth Fairy, Carmel apples and fudge from main street, chocolate covered cinnamon bears that are only found in Utah, and Magleby's. Dear old Magelby's which holds a special place in the hearts of Cara and myself. We used to go there and get Dr. Peppers and eat platefulls of their yummy bread sticks and then wash it all down with their famous buttermilk pie. And that's exactly what we did, we stuffed ourselves like Thanksgiving turkeys until we almost popped! The pie there is amazing and I have tried to replicate it more than once without success. I had asked for the recipe years ago and was told it was a family secret. When our waitress had heard of our plight and our history with the restaurant she broke the rules. She took a picture of the recipe on her phone and then copied it down for us. I am so anxious to try it.
Lest you think all we did was eat, you would be mistaken. We also worked our bodies to the bone. We hiked the Y (details in a second post), walked the trails of Park City for 5 miles, and then hiked Rob's trail for probably 6-8 miles and got a bit lost on the way back... My fit friend Cara never tired. My body, however, is not in the same shape and today I am so sore, but grateful that I could work off some of that food.

It was the perfect trip- a great friend with great food in a great place and everything exceeded my expectations. Thank you Jeremy for watching the kids and for doing fun things with them while I was gone and thank you sweet Cara and Gordon for opening your home and inconveniencing your regular schedule for me. I am so blessed to be surrounded by so many awesome people. This was a trip I will never forget. Turning 30 wasn't so bad after all.

Our Freshman Dorms- I lived at 2109 Davin John Hall

My sophomore Year- 686 E 700 S #3 The North Downs

The condo Jeremy and I bought after we were married- 114 W 400 S #24, the Oxford Square complex

At the Salt Lake Temple

Eating at Magleby's (I already want more!)

Hiking Rob's Trail

Friday, August 7, 2009


Jeremy loves me. He really, really loves me. So much that he wanted to make my thirtieth birthday unforgettable and spectacular and it was, it surely was.

In the morning he and the boys made me pancakes for breakfast, my favorite! Then I got my gift which was, get ready for this... plane tickets to Utah to visit my friend Cara! All. By. My. Self. And I get to go next week! He planned everything and I am so very, very excited!! Then he told me I had to be ready to go by 10 but would not tell me where or what we were doing. At 10 the doorbell rings and my mom (who had taken the day off at work) and my sister (who is here from Colombia) took me to get a pedicure and to Starbucks (I love their steamers). Then I came home only to be whisked away by my dear friend Angie to go to lunch at Cheescake factory and to do some shopping at the mall. The day would have been absolutely perfect had he stopped there. I was divinely happy and pleased with all of the work he had put into making everything superb. But not my Jeremy, I told you he really, really loves me...

I have to tell you that I am not a fan of surprises, I really hate them in fact. So all day I was anticipating what was to come next and having no clue really freaked me out. Jeremy and my friends and family had grown weary from the interrogations I was giving them in order to gain a bit of knowledge as to what to expect. So after some family time I was told again I had to be ready to go somewhere at 7, and sure enough the doorbell rings at 7... It was my friend Angie again and a babysitter. All was fine until I saw Jeremy hiding a bag full of pens and I knew, I just knew this meant a big party and I really didn't want to go. I explicitly had told him no party. No party, no party, no party. I hate being the center of attention (although some might argue otherwise) and I wanted to go hide under a rock. Reluctantly I followed to our clubhouse where my dear husband had invited about 20 people to welcome me into the next decade of my life. He had thought of absolutely everything, my favorite Chick-fil-a nuggets, wraps, fruit and veggie trays , crackers and cheese, cookies and a Costco cake (I love those stinkin' things). He had planned a trivia game with a prize (movie tickets!) and even had party favors (packs of fun sized candy bars). The napkins even had "30" on them, and he had bought a CD of hits from 1979 that played in the background. Oh, and quite possibly my favorite was the slideshow he had put together of photos of me growing up which was all fine and dandy up until oh, middle school age I would say. I really loved all my closest friends witnessing my awkward stage. I couldn't appreciate it all then because after all, I didn't want a party, but now I can see that he had hand picked every detail for me and spent hours and hours preparing so that I would have a great time. I know he didn't do it totally alone, so thank you to the friends and family that helped. It made my three-Oh a magical day and I am a lucky, lucky gal to have so many wonderful friends and family members that love me. It was an unforgettable one, that's for sure.

Oh, and I know you want my Jeremy, but he's mine :)

Pictures to come- I am waiting for them since I didn't have my camera.

A decade...

Ten Years. 520 weeks. 3,650 days. 87,600 hours. 5,256,000 minutes.

Today is our 10th wedding anniversary. It is crazy to think that Jeremy and I have been together for that long, and that we are not the youngsters we once were. Looking back at these pictures, we have changed so much, but it feels like just yesterday we were walking into the Salt Lake Temple together to be sealed. Three kids later and far across the country, we are still the youthful souls we were then, but much more in love and happier than I ever imagined.

Our Wedding Day-
Year 1- we lived in a condo in Provo and were both still attending BYU

Year 2- Jeremy graduated in April and I did in August.

Year 3- We moved to Bristow Virginia, to a little townhouse and learned we were pregnant.

Year 4- Cameron is born and we turn into a real family.

Year 5- We move into our house in Piedmont.

Year 6- We are pregnant with boy #2

Year 7- Gavin is born

Year 8- Still going strong

Year 9- Mason is born and our family is complete

Year 10- It only gets better with age!

Jeremy, you have always made me feel safe and have treated me with respect and love. I am so grateful to have found you, you make me a better person. Thanks for making the last 10 years so special and unforgettable. Love you babe!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A whole lot of nothin'

The last couple of weeks have been filled with everything I love about summer, sleeping in (relatively speaking), playdates, lazy afternoons at the pool, and hanging out at home riding bikes and reading books. It was an adjustment to have Cameron home all day, but now I can't imagine him being gone again. And thus begins the constant ebb and flow for parents of school aged children. The kids have learned so much this summer! Cameron has mastered riding his bike, and Gavin has become something of a fish, swimming out to us in the pool and diving down, I've got to get some video. But other than that, we haven't been doing a whole lot and it has been wonderful. It's 1 here and my boys are still running around in their underwear, just playing (ever so well) with each other. We've made forts and had nerf dart fights, we've made ice cream and pretzels, we've done all manner of crafting and coloring, we've gone to the drive-in and the water park, and we've just bonded as a family. Ahhh... I love it!