Monday, March 31, 2008

Let's be clear

Today I was minding my own business reheating some food from this weekend when two girls from HR were talking about their weekend. Amazingly, they went shopping. I was tuning them out but then I hear "You know, I think, like, all men secretly like shopping with women." I couldn't hold it in any longer and I told them they were way wrong and needed to get real and stop kidding themselves. I just wanted to be clear that men do stuff they don't want to do with women because we know it makes them happy which makes us happy. We make a lot of sacrifices that way and we know women do to. But that doesn't mean we actually enjoy it. If I started a list of all the things I'd rather do than go shopping, I'd probably be at work late tonight and since nobody wants that you can use your imagination. There are plenty of things we can all enjoy together. Shopping for dresses just doesn't happen to be one of them so don't kid yourself.

Appreciation #6

My appreciation this week goes out to Piper Jane Breinholt. Piper has inspired me in so many ways, mostly because she is such a fighter. Every time the world tries to tear her down, she puts it back in their face by only growing stronger. She is so important to me and is just so special, sweet, and innocent. Her reason for coming to earth is so clear, she is here to make everyone around her a better person. Also, no one else could look this cute in a bunny hat.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Happy Day

Everything went smoothly on Saturday. I was pretty drugged up and once again acted like a fool but it was all for a good reason. The doctor was able to retrieve three eggs and all were fertilized correctly and the sizes are where they need to be. This is very exciting news. The transfer will be on Tuesday so please continue to keep us in your prayers. Thank you to all of you that had us in your prayers and thoughts on this fast Sunday, it truly means a lot.

Some of the things that made me feel better this weekend are:

Waking up to wonderful caramel apples sent to us by Doug's parents and made by Christa's Candy Apples. So yummy.

These four lovely ladies brought us dinner, treats, and a selection of chick flicks to watch. The girls ended up staying here all night chatting while Doug went to play Halo with the guys. It was a win win situation.

Our friend Holly came over Sunday and made herself comfortable in the kitchen and cooked up an amazing mexican feast and a dessert that was out of this world. She actually had to ask if I liked chocolate...what?? She soon realized the answer when I served myself.

I hope that everyone was able to enjoy their weekend as well.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Good Trumps The Bad

My most recent news on the baby making is this. I have three eggs that are looking great and ready to extract. This time they are much bigger so we are hoping for the best. Doug and I are going in tomorrow morning to extract the eggs and take care of business. Then we need every ones prayers that all of the eggs fertilize. That way, we can transfer them all back in and hope for a miracle...or two...or dare I say three. The plan right now is to have them transferred this Tuesday but we will keep you updated. I am very nervous but I have a good feeling about all of this. What is suppose to happen, is going to happen.

So, things to keep me distracted and happy are celebrating more birthdays with friends;)

Last Saturday our friend Nikki Kelly turned the big 30.

Many friends were there to celebrate.

Also exciting is that Nikki is pregnant and so is her old roommate. Sara Jane's husband, Nathan wanted in on the fun as well.

Cameron Kelly planned Nikki's party as a surprise and it actually worked, she was surprised. Nikki loves chocolate chips cookies, as she should, so everyone brought their own versions of cookies and they were judged by Nikki. I have to brag that I tied second place with Caitlin Mulcock. They were so tasty because I added extra chocolate. The Herrick's can agree because I brought them to their house after the party. Per Heather's request here is the recipe:

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Combine flour and baking soda, and set aside. Cream butter. Add vanilla and sugars, and beat until fluffy. Beat in egg, cocoa, then milk. Mix in dry ingredients until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto nonstick baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.


Also, Happy Birthday Kim Calder. Bring on the Golden Years.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why We Love Carl

In honor of today being Carl Hardie's Birthday we thought that we would show a small slide show showing you all the reasons that we love Carl.

This video is rated M for Mature and might not be suitable for children under 14.

(these pictures were taken before Carl became EQP)

Happy Birthday Carl

Birthday Celebration:

Carl will soon be cooking for us while wearing his new pimpin velour track suit

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Holiday Stress

Tamara's upset with me for not posting for a while and, as usual, she's right. We had a great Easter and, I'm sure like most of you, I had a great Easter basket. Apparently growing up Tamara always got an Easter basket and it never occurred to her that would ever change. Well, I unfortunately haven't come through yet on Easter. I can only do a certain number of holidays a year and Easter baskets haven't made the cut yet. Fortunately, Tamara takes care of herself. My first basket had a big Milk chocolate bar that looked awesome. One day I came home and when I opened it it was half empty. Turns out Tamara had eaten half of it but kept on wrapping it like it was new. This year she also helped herself to some of my chocolate eggs. I'm so confused about this Easter basket thing.
We were married on February 18th and I told her she could pick our anniversary or Valentine's day to celebrate but if she wanted both I would probably blow both of them. I could only do one Fortunately she picked our anniversary and on V-day (which is a made up holiday anyway) I just have to bring a card (which I signed this year as opposed to last year) and get dinner. Totally manageable. But I've come through on the anniversary so far. My dad gave me some great advice to not outdo yourself every year but to set a precedent and do the same thing ever year. I think it's genius and I share it as often as I can.
One of the reasons I limit my holidays is stuff comes up that saps my romantic energy. Tamara taking shots takes extra effort from me (which is obviously supported by me) so something else has to suffer, like Easter baskets or chocolate on V-day. I have to keep a reserve in place for times like this. Imagine if I blew all my efforts on some roses in February.
One of the things sapping our energy right now is not knowing where we'll be this fall. We'd love to be in NYC but we still haven't heard from Columbia and it's hard to stay positive about it at this point (I still can't believe I share my rejections with the blog but I guess we're pretty open about less important things). Occasionally I'll think about making plans to ship our stuff cross country and then I realize I can't plan on it and why put all this energy in if we don't need to.
I'll try to end on a more positive note. We fulfilled many of the things from Stuff White People like. We had a dinner party, talked about moving to San Francisco (Stanford), I'm on a mac, living by the water (in LA), talked about traveling abroad before school, I wore shorts, wore some cool t-shirts with funny sayings, bought furniture (from our now-deceased neighbor), and received an aluminum water bottle from work's greening efforts. It was a pretty stereotypical week.

Big Birthday Day

Today is a very big deal. Three very special ladies in my family all have March 25th as their birthday.

Connie Finck (my mother)

Melissa Finck (my sister-in-law)

Aubree Sayer (my niece from my sister)

Happy Birthday ladies, we love you.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Fun

We were able to enjoy Easter Sunday with some of our NYC Family, the Breinholt's, the Hardie's, and the Bennion's.

After a long week, it was great to relax and enjoy yummy food and great company.

I also participated in an Easter basket exchange with a group of 22 women that my friend Kari was able to put together. It was fun to get to know a new friend named Mia from Tennessee. It turns out that her brother is in my ward, what a small world. Thanks again Mia for the basket and thanks Kari for putting it together. Here is what I got in my basket, I just loved it and can't wait to make some Bisquick's.

We don't have cute kids to show pictures of so I thought that I would show you a couple of our nieces and nephews all dressed up for Easter.

I hope that everyone was able to enjoy their Easter.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Our friend Bonnie Clowney made us this Easter Picture and we thought it only fair to share

Happy Easter

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Child's Prayer

Last Sunday two girls in our ward song the most beautiful child's Hymn, A Child's Prayer. It reminded me of the prayer that is in my heart this week:

Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer every child’s prayer? Some say that heaven is far away, But I feel it close around me as I pray. Heavenly Father I remember now something that Jesus told disciples long ago: “Suffer the children to come to me.” Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.

During this time of trying to have a baby of our own through IVF, I have found myself on my knees everyday with this same simple prayer. This experience has humbled me to a point of feeling like a little child. Oh to be like a child again with your whole life ahead of you. I was the one that always played with dolls dreaming of the day for a family of my own. I have to believe in the second verse of the song:

Pray, he is there; speak he is listening. You are his child; his love now surrounds you. He hears your prayer; He loves the children. Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heaven.

Many people have asked why this happens to so many great people. I have very dear friends that have been struggling with the same problems and my heart breaks everyday for them.

Two girls with infertility issues were talking together and one asked the other, "What do you think God meant when he gave us infertility?" and the other answered:

"I think he meant for my husband and I to grow closer, become stronger, love deeper. I think God meant for us to find the fortitude within ourselves to get up every time infertility knocks us down. Frankly, if the truth be known, I think God has singled me out for a special treatment. I think God meant for me to build a thirst for a child so strong and so deep that when that baby is finally placed in my arms, it will be the longest, coolest, most refreshing drink I've ever known."

I agree with her completely.

No, God never meant for me not to have children. That's not my destiny; that's just a fork in the road I'm on. I've been placed on the road less traveled, and, like it or not, I'm a better person for it. Clearly, God meant for me to develop more compassion, deeper courage, and greater inner strength on this journey to resolution, and I haven't let him down.

What has helped me through all this is when people I love are so generous. This has been such a hard week but the amount of calls, notes, dinners, treats, flowers, and e-mails have been overwhelming. Thanks to my friend Andrea, who inspires me. Thanks to Annette and Christina, Doug has not gone hungry. Thanks to Miggy and my mom, I got my chocolate fix. Thanks for the Dix family, Becca, and my parents our home is filled with beauty. I can not say enough about how much I love and miss my parents.

God has heard and continues to answer my prayers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Proud to be an American

I just want to put it out there so that there is no misunderstanding, I am proud to be an American. I am proud of the red, white, and the blue and what it stands for. I am proud to place my hand on my chest and say the pledge of allegiance or sing the National Anthem. I am proud of what this country has offered my family and me. I am proud to say that I have worked hard and been as honest as I can in my daily activities. I have loved my family and friends and have tried to lift them up to the best of my ability. Most of all I am proud of the soldiers that are out there putting their life on the line everyday so that we have the freedom to do as we choose.
My heart is breaking after hearing all the comments that have been said these past few months. Have we all forgotten already? Just six years ago we were joined together, handing out flags and shouting from the roof tops "I am proud to be an American." Now I am hearing that this country is selfish, predigest, greedy, and going to hell. I do not agree. I am not perfect and never claimed to be. This country is not perfect but sure better then anywhere else that I would want to live.
I hear all the time at church, "Don't base the church on what people do, and base it on the gospels and principles that it teaches." Why can we not do the same for our country? Standing up and preaching sermons against America and picketing funerals of soldiers that gave their live for us is only making matters worse, not better. Why would anyone want to focus only on the bad? This country offers freedom, education, ways to earn a living, and to participate in any religious group that you feel is correct. We have offered more money and help to other countries than any other country. Why choose to live in a county, and then tear it down? This country is not going to hell no matter who is elected president. In the end it is going to be left standing proud. I say, if you are going to continue to bring us down, if you hate this country so much, then pack your bags and leave. We do not accept haters in this country of the USA. I am proud to be an American yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Last night Becca and Carl Hardie cooked a huge spread for St. Patrick's Day. This is Becca's favorite holiday so it is no surprise that everything was perfect.

Starting with the table setting

Also, there was great company. One of Carl's old mission companions was in town with his wife and one of the oldies, John Clowney, was in town as well. We were so excited to see him and are waiting for his wife Bonnie to be meeting up with us this week.

We also learned something new. Becca grew up eating corned beef and cabbage as her St. Patrick's Day meal, but apparently that is not authentic. Purely American. So this year she did a lamb stew. Supposedly it is more authentic and very tasty. The bread was an Irish Soda Bread. The dessert, although not Irish, was played up with the green aspect including green whipped cream, mint chocolate chip ice cream and thin mint girl scout cookies. The candy bar crumble consisted of twix and snickers and the hot fudge was homemade. All I have to say is: Oh my goodness, it was amazing. Becca out did herself.

As always, good times were had by all.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Appreciation #5

My appreciation this week goes out to a mystery man that I met at church today. As many of you know, Doug serves in the bishopric of a singles ward so I attend that ward with him. After class today a gentlemen that I did not know and have never seen before walked right up to me and said "I just have to tell you that I think you are one of the most beautiful women that I have ever seen." He then went on to ask if I was new in the ward. I started playing with my hair on purpose trying to show off my wedding ring until he finally realized what I was doing. He got a look of pure embarrassment on his face then said, "can we just pretend that this never happened" and walked away. I did not see him again but I appreciate any man that has the confidence to walk up to a complete stranger and give such a nice compliment. Doug got a good laugh out of the story then followed with "well, I agree with him". Thanks again mystery man for helping my husband along with his romantic side. The moral of the story is: I still got it.

Who do you appreciate this week?

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I'm sure most of you have spent your weekend just like me so far- Friday night following the NCAA indoor track and field championships while cheering on my alma mater and Saturday cheering on my favorite professional runners at the US 8K championships in central park and finding brunch places in the village for your old running teammates. Josh McAdams, who I ran and roomed with at BYU, was running in the race. For those few of you not in the know, Josh was the US 3000 steeplechase champion last year and represented us at the world champs in Osaka. He'll probably be an Olympian this year if he doesn't get hurt. He wanted to take his wife to the village so I obliged. That's just how I roll on my weekends. If that's not what you've been up to, I really can't imagine what else you were doing but it couldn't have been as awesome as that. As you can tell, a lot of what I do in life I view as awesome. I highly recommend it.
I've had a few friends go on and run professionally (as professional as you can get) after college and it's awesome to see them succeed. It's hard to keep on running when I probably won't ever be in as good of shape as I was in college but every time I go to a race I still want to keep on training. Hopefully once I'm in school I'll have a bit more time and be able to . That's what you do in school, right? Have more time? That's how I remember it.
Either way it reminds me of a talk President Buckner gave back when he was a high councilor. He spoke about dreams and goals and how when we were younger we had these huge ideas of what we wanted to be and also had a different way of defining success. For some reason when we get older we lose those dreams and don't think we can achieve as much. Of course reality sets in, but where did our confidence go? When I was younger I was deciding which NFL team I would play for. Then it was which events I wanted to run the Olympics in. Now I don't feel like running local races.
Anyway, it's really cool to see friends fulfill their dreams and gives me some hope and inspiration. I'm not going to drop out and be a professional athlete, but I can still dream. And be awesome.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Yesterday I was on the phone minding my own business when my Gmail pops up saying congrats. I was so stoked to get into a school. For those of you not in the know I applied to business school and it's a really competitive year. I applied to four schools and just want to get into one. I'm being intentionally vague about which school because it might be in LA and Tamara doesn't want everyone to think we're leaving. We haven't heard from other schools so we haven't decided yet where we're going but we're excited to at least be heading somewhere.
I was trying to think of how relieved I was. One time we were at the smoots at the dinner table and Stella gets this awful look on her face like she's in some intense pain. She's cringing her face and clenching her fists. Everyone was concerned for a second when all of a sudden she passes some major gas and has this look of MAJOR relief on her face. We cracked up and so did she. I felt kind of like that.
In other good news, Tamara went to the doc today and only has to to take four shots for her next round of medicine. In not so great news they decided to pump all the medicine from the last time into one week. So, it should be a pretty sweet week. But the doctor was much more positive this time so it was reassuring.
More good news is we have some friends coming to town this weekend and should get some serious Halo playing done which should be great training for bus. school.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weekend Update

Even though it was pouring rain, so windy that it would blow you over, and the subways weren't working, we still managed to have a great weekend.

Friday night we met up with some of Jakes and Reagan's friends that were in town visiting.

We ate at a Thai restaurant called Lime Leaf that was very tasty and had live music. After diner we had to, of course, stop at Magnolia Bakery to munch on some cupcakes.

Saturday night we met up with Jeff, Caitin, Tracy, and Steve for a celebration dinner for Jeff getting into a master's program at Northwestern.

We ate at a French restaurant named Bistro Les Amis. Again, it was amazing and I highly recommend getting there in time for their Prix Fixed meal.

After dinner we were all off to another celebration. Our friend Carl Lesueur was turing 31 and graduation from the singles ward and Mike Mathews put together a rocking party.

And of course, a party would not be a party without one of Oscar's raps.

Sunday we enjoyed sleeping in (because we forgot to change our clocks), went to church, had a great nap, then went to dinner at our friend Leslie Short's home. This was great because Ann, Carly, and Neal were also there. Dinner with them is becoming a monthly tradition that we are very much enjoying. Leslie cooked these amazing stuffed peppers and Ann brought some very yummy chocolate dessert that she just happened to whip up. I wished that I had pictures but I forgot my camera.

So, it was another great weekend in the city with fun adventures, great good, and the best company that anyone could ask for.

There are more pictures of the weekend at Hall Photos.