What have Dane and Bridget been up to over the Christmas holiday? There seems to be something brewing in the kitchen...mmmm...... The elves are hard at work, creating something yummy, With a few mistakes, but lots of success, this is going to be good! "Interesting...nice detail work, Bridget." Ta-da! What ocean scene would be complete without a life-preserver? And a school of fish jumping out of a wave? If you are planning on going for a swim, don't forget to leave a marker, so boats can see you, Watch for the buoys, so you don't get out too far away from shore. Oh, and watch for sharks...these waters can be scary! What should we do with the extra frosting? BUGS!!! There will always be someone hungry for bugs! (These are the only kind of bugs I really like.) A big thank you to Emalei for the pictures and Dale for his book, "Hello, Cupcake!"
So, I meant to mention this in my last blog, and I guess I forgot. This is for all of you who read Dane's post about winning the trip to Disneyworld...um, did you watch the movie? Cheers to all of you who figured out it was a hoax. Yeah, the trip is too. Sorry to burst any bubbles out there. I wish it were true also!
Dearest family, friends and blog, this is Bridget? Do you remember me? Yeah, it has been a while. Now, I am not going to make any promises that I can be perfect at this, but I hope now that school is over, I should be better at this. (yup that's right, school really is over...) I have so much to catch you up on and I am going to do my best to fill you in while not making this post a novel:
So, I finished student teaching, I am almost officially a certified art teaching in the state of Utah, I just need a few forms to be filled out online. I love it! I had no idea how much I would love being a teacher. The hours are long, but I come home from the day happy and laughing from all that has gone on. Thank you to all who supported me!
I was called to jury duty, well this was my third time, but the first time the trial has actually gone through all the way and I got to sit in the jury box and feel like I was in a movie while they selected the jury. I, unfortunately, was not selected, but it was a good experience. And to be honest it felt a little like an experience Dane and I had a few weeks before that:
We went to a murder-mystery party put on through BYU. It was so fun! We went up to Springhaven Lodge in Hobble Creek and were assigned to be "ambassadors" from Germany. Each person in the audience was an ambassador from somewhere, we interacted with the characters, and then at the end got together with our countrymen to figure out who did what in the murder.... Guess what? We figured it out! Yeah, that's right, go Germany! So, they gave each person a bottle of Martinellie's sparkling cyder as a reward. We felt cool.
For some reason, I couldn't help but remember the counceling that went on during the murder-mystery party when I was sitting on the stand waiting for jury selection....he he. I know, it really would not have been anything like that, but what can I say, my imagination was going wild :).
Well, that is it for now...mostly because I don't have anymore pictures to make this interesting, but don't worry, there is more to come!
Bridget and I entered a contest at a gas station a few weeks ago, and we got a call today that we won!!! They told us that they would send us an e-mail, and that I (Dane) was the person who won! Bridget and I entered separately to increase our chances of winning, and I won! We will be going to Disney World In Florida on January 9th to witness all the changes they've made for me!!
So, I just wanted everyone to know how happy I was today to fill up my car for $18 today. Yup, that is right, $18. It felt so great. It is hard to believe that only a few months ago we were paying more than twice that. It makes me want to go for a drive, and be grateful that I won't have to sell my first child to cover gas costs.
So, here is a little update on the fundraising for Mia. FIRST of all I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been helping out and pitching in, even if it is just a little bit.
This week, my sister-in-law, Abbie, is hosting an auction of donated items to raise money for Mia and her family. I have donated several items including a hand bound book, watercolor paintings and also custom painted shoes. There are tons of other great things like Swiss chocolate, hand made greeting cards, a doll, baby accessories, and more! Please take a few minutes to check it out! It will be up only for this week. Instructions on how to place bids are listed on the blog.
For those of you who read the Daily Universe, (I am not sure how many of you there are out there....) and for those of you who don't, I would like to draw your attention to today's first page. This article was written about my amazing sweetheart and the efforts that he has decided to take to make a difference in the life of a baby who we don't even know.
A few weeks ago, we were introduces to the story of a 3 month old baby, Mia, the daughter of a family friend. She was in need of a new heart with lack of funds to get her there. Abbie, Dane's sister, has really been the front-runner of the family and really helped us all get excited to help out Mia. Although we gratefully found out that baby Mia has gotten a heart, her parents are still in great need of funds to cover medical costs. Several blogs have been started and other efforts are being made to help raise money for her, Abbie is going to do a run-a-thon to collect money, and Dane was so inspired to ride his bike! He has started a Facebook group: "The 'Help baby Mia' bike-a-thon."
I am so touched every time I think about her story and the miracles that have taken place so far to preserve her life. I am even more moved by the love that people have shown in their desire to help. The people in this world amaze me sometimes!
Abbie is planning on having an auction, and I will be donating some painted shoes to be auctioned. Stay tuned at wehelpmia.blogspot.com for more updates on the auction!
Now that the election is over, I feel a slight degree of relief. I have felt confusion and sometimes frustration to hear people's misconceptions, unkindness and lack of tact. People that I have respected have essentially made fools of themselves trying to make their opinions known. At times though, a ray of sunlight has shown through this darkness. People have kindly expressed their opinions, even if they expressed opinions I didn't agree with. Others have tried to bring out the kindness in others by asking them to say one nice thing about the Presidential Candidate that they weren't voting for.
My intention in this post is to tell of the good that has come from the campaigns.
Today in my American History class, my teacher allowed fifteen minutes to discuss the election from the day before. I love this teacher, and I admire her for her ability to convey history without coming across as biased. She started the conversation by telling of her upbringing in rural Mississippi. She is now likely between 55 or 60, so she grew up in the thick of segregation. She told horrifying stories of lynchings, and told of the day to day life in a segregated world. Then, without telling us which candidate she leaned towards, she told our class of the magnitude it is that America had just elected an African-American president. This was highlighted by the fact that we are in the middle of the slavery lectures in our class. She told of Jesse Jackson (A man I don't entirely respect and who also wasn't of the greatest help to Senator Obama in his race) and how he was in the heart of the Civil Rights movement and how he was present when MLK Jr. was assassinated. Then she told us how he was weeping at Senator Obama's acceptance speech, and what that must have meant to him.
She told of the humility it took for John McCain to concede and give the speech he did. If you haven't heard his Conceding speech, please watch it. She told how important it is to do what both candidates made clear in the speeches Tuesday night...we need to unite as Americans. Our voice can still be heard. She emphasized that it is time to abandon the "adolescent tendencies" that a lot of people adopt. (I couldn't agree more with that statement!) She also made it clear that as students of history, we (and this includes all who are reading this post) need to rely on RELIABLE news sources. NOT youtube, and definitely not biased news sources. She referred us to watch the Lehrer news hour, and stated it as a reliable, non-biased news source that uses respectful Political Analysts that respect other peoples opinions.
Lastly, she called on us as her students to support the man that has been voted in as our new President. To transition to my opinion now, I whole heartedly believe Barack Obama's promise "to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too." I also appreciated when he said "I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree." In my personal opinion, Senator Obama made a great speech with a lot of promises to every American. Most importantly, he promised to listen to us. I hope that every American sees that Senator Obama intends to listen. What an important thing to have in this free country of ours.
May I say "hats off" to both candidates for excellent Election Day speeches. Hopefully we will see more of the respect among the American people that was shown to us by Senators Obama and McCain tuesday evening.
One of the greatest things for me about student teaching, is the time I have to reflect and focus my thoughts on art and on being creative all day. Well, sometimes not all day...but compared to taking classes this is heaven. I love having time to make my own art! and I am really getting excited about this shoe stuff. I finished some more yesterday, probably my favorite ones so far. As, they are the art I am working on these days, they can be found here, on my art blog. enjoy.
This is a few days late, but hopefully worth the wait. Dane went to a ton of work to get the first ever, married student homecoming activity planned. It was last saturday and it was so fun. We started planning it a few months ago, but it was stressing me out, and Dane wasn't stressed at all, so I asked him if he wouldn't mind, me turning it over into his hands. He was great about it and has spent many long hours at the BYUSA offices working out all the kinks and details. So, here it is:
The event was called "Blue and White Laughs". BYU Catering did a beautiful job setting up the tables.
Dane did a great job as our M.C. for the night:
During dinner, we had a special guest artist, Mindy Gledhill. She is an LDS artist who sings both religious and secular music. Dane always told me that basically every missionary in his mission fell in love with her through her voice...in a very missionary-ok-way of them. (What's ironic about that is Mindy is from a town in Dane's mission!) She brought a few friends to play the piano and guitar for her. It was awesome.
Here is the pianist, Mindy, Dane and me:
After dinner and desert, we had some more great entertainment from Comedy Sportz, a local improv group. They were HILARIOUS! And, for one of their final skits, they even acted out a day in the life of Dane and me. They asked about what he had been up to the day before and some of my interests. Here is a little video clip. I am not sure it will be nearly as funny for you as it was for us, but just to let you know what was happening, Dane told them I was an artist (the dark haired guy is me, and is painting a painting of Dane at the beginning.) Dane is played by the lighter haired guy and told them that he has been doing a lot of bike riding lately, and thus drinking protein shakes for breakfast. Later that night, we went to a chinese restaurant for dinner....
For those of you who don't know, volleyball is just about my favorite game in the world to play--more than any sport, board game, anything. I played in middle and high school and a little here and there at BYU, but not as much as I wished that I could have while I have been here. It has been my dream of all dreams to some day be on an intramural volleyball team.
This year, I had my chance. The girls in my ward set up a team, and I was the first to sign up. We started off the season with a pretty good start and actually won a few games. I was ecstatic- not really expecting to win anything, but just have a good time. (winning is a lot more fun than I thought it would be:). )
Anyway, so the tournament came about last week and we had a lot of good games behind us: a few loses, and some good wins. We won our first game and just kept winning. Before we knew it, we were faced with tonight's game, which we found out that if we won, we would only be ONE, yeah ONE, game away from winning the tournament in our devision! We were excited and I was not sure if I was expecting to win or lose. The other team was really great and we fought hard. Lost the first game. Won the second. And then WON the next! I still cannot believe it!
We will be playing for the championship on Saturday at 11:00. If we win, we WIN! If we lose, it is double elimination, and we will have another chance to play a match and win! Go team!
I never, ever, thought that we would ever come this far, but it has been really great! I love volleyball!
Welcome fall! Last night after a wonderful event on campus for married students at BYU planned by my dearest (about which a post is soon to come!), as we walked to our car, it was the first night in a long time that I thought, "ooh, it is a little chilly out here, I should have brought a jacket." The cool crisp air of fall is finally here! I love fall. I love everything about it. I love the colors, the sweaters and going out of my way to step on a leave that looks particularly crunchy.
I do feel a little gipped though. Is it just me, or does fall seem a little late this year? I guess it is on the 10th of October, but how did it get so cold all of a sudden? It was really warm, meaning in the 80's, all September and now it is supposed to snow today?!! What?!
I am remembering all too well what winter felt like last year as I now sit next to our heater with my cold little toes trying to absorb every ounce of warmth that they can.
Last winter was so cold, and I am NOT ready for that kind of cold yet. I have barely started getting familiar with some of my light jackets this week, and have too many of them to just skip to the cold for now. As I get older, I think I am becoming less tolerant of the cold. So sad. I sometimes can not understand how I not only, survived, but enjoyed the winters in my mission. I remember it being cold, but always thinking it wasn't that bad. Are you crazy Bridget?!!! You rode your bike in the SNOW for almost 6 months?! Who was I?
Anyway, I am heading off to meet Dane at the BYU vs. New Mexico football game a little later today and have been told it is supposed to snow/rain. I am excited to wear a coat, but not excited to have cold toes. I need a little bit more of a transition time. That is what fall is supposed to be...right?
Last night while preparing dinner, I pulled a green pepper out of the fridge to chop and put into the mix of things. This green pepper seemed a little different than any old green pepper because when I held it, I could tell that there was something inside. "Hmmm...maybe the clump of seeds got loose?" I thought. I pulled it open, and quite literally, out POPPED a baby green pepper! It was so cute, I squealed and had to show Dane. I let it sit on a shelf all day today because I have never seen anything quite like it before. And for some reason, I felt that I should bog about it too.
Okay, so hopefully all of you know that I love BYU football! I love going to the games, I'm in a bad mood for days after we lose or do poorly. And if I love BYU football, that means that Bronco Mendenhall has to be my hero! As head coach, he has turned this program around since he's been here. The man himself. He's freaking tight!
So, this brings me to my post. Today at work, my boss came to me and told me that we needed to escort Bronco to a conference call for the press, and then take him down into the Marriott Center to speak in this morning's Homecoming Assembly. After beating a co-worker at paper/rock/scissors, I got to go! I met him at the Marriott Center and took him to a quiet room where he could talk. At this time, the Homecoming Assembly had already started, with the marching-band playing and the Student-body President hosting. By this time, I had already had the chance to shoot the breeze with Bronco and talk about common acquaintances we had. He was so chill and asked me about my life and studies.
Anywho, so I am watching the assembly, and to my horror they announce that Bronco was there to talk, and called him out on to the floor! I was still upstairs with Bronco and he was still doing his conference call! I was freaking out because the host's were standing on the floor waiting for Bronco to come out!! YIKES! Bronco leads with courage and power!
Needless to say, my boss, Ron Clark went out and informed the audience that "Bronco is upstairs telling the media that we have already clinched Saturday's game!" to the pleasure of the crowd. I did'nt have too much time to get Bronco down, so I told him it was time and booked it down the elevator. We had some time to chat a little more about his days at Oregon and such. Then I took him to my boss, Ron. They took him right out on the floor and he spoke for about 3 or 4 minutes. He was a natural. After that, I took him back to his truck outside of the Marriott Center and said goodbye. We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. Then he took off. It was SO tight! He was nice, chill and easy to talk to. What an experience!
So, on my way home from school today ideas were running through my mind of what I would post on the blog as soon as I got home from school. It has been a while, and we definitely have a lot to post about, so I was very excited. I logged on to post, and what do I find? My husband has beat me to the blog! I wasn't planning on writing about his new bike, so I am just going to go ahead with this anyway!
About two weeks ago I came home from school on a lovely warm fall day to find my house was not quite my house as I had left it in the morning...there was particle board being attached to the sides, and lots of stuff going on around the yard. To Dane and my utter joy there were men putting up new siding on our little rental house. We had been told almost six months ago by our landlord that this was the plan, but we hadn't heard much and didn't know when to expect it. Anyway, for those of you who might have seen our house on the outside, in broad day light before last week, you may remember that it was not much to gloat
Yeah, the paint was pealing off, large holes had formed (that birds had made into homes, mind you) and I was a little worried about the stability of those back porch posts to be honest.
Anyway, we made guesses with our neighbors what color the siding would be, Dane and I said tan, and Brian and Aleta said blue. Guess who was right?:
Doesn't it look great?! I know that it really isn't that big of a deal, but it is nice to come home to a little bit more beautiful place than before!
So, a few weeks ago I went on a bike ride with a friend from my ward. For those of you who may know my ward, it was Mike Smith. He has a road bike, and I had my ever so faithful "Silver Stallion" mountain bike from my mission. After this bike ride up the Provo River Trail, I caught a really bad fever...and the only cure was MORE BIKE RIDING! I have been riding my bike to school ever since Spring Semester started back in May.
Recently I have decided that I want to pursue my dream of being a Commercial Airline Pilot. I will transferring to Utah Valley University (UVU) in January to pursue a major in Aviation Science, with an emphasis in Professional Pilot. All but one of my classes will be out at the Provo Muni. Airport.
So, back to bikes. I decided I wanted to commute out to the airport (when the weather is good), and this desire was fed by high gas prices, a poor economy, and our current financial position.(a second car was once an option that I debated). Anywho, with a new found love a bike riding, I invested in a road bike. I've now had it for one week and have logged 50 miles on it...I went for a twenty mile ride this morning up the Provo River trail, and one other long ride out to Springville and back last week. I will be doing the Provo River Trail with Mike Smith again Thursday morning! I am very excited!
Now, for all you who worry "excessively" (and you know who you are! :) ) , I wear my helmet and have a flashing red light beneath my bum. I feel very safe, and I try to plan routes that don't have very much traffic.
Now, I am trying to come up with a suitable name for my new bike. Any suggestions are very welcomed! Thanks for reading our blog!!
This is a picture of Bridget and I, with the beloved "Silver Stallion" on the far left.
This is my new bike! Please post any name suggestions you may have!
So, It's been a while since I posted, so I thought that I should post this morning to show everyone something pretty tight. So, a few weeks ago, Bridget and I ran into one of her friends from her major, and she had the sweetest shoes! They were hand painted with a custom design. Bridget told me she could do it, so I gave her some ideas. Below is the result. Today is the first day that I will wear them. I am very excited! If anyone is interested, Bridget will paint you a pair for $90. We also can buy the shoes, or you can send us a pair. If we buy your shoes, that will be included in the price. CHECK IT OUT!
I wanted a snowboarder on my shoes... go figure.
I have Pilot's Wings and wedding rings on the back. The man's ring
looks just like mine, but the other ring is nothing like Bridget's. It was easier though.
So, amazingly enough, I was able to get up today and be somewhat productive. I got some research stuff done and now have time to blog, but what to blog about...hmmm.
As Dane and I still have a lot of catching up to do now that we can actually get pictures off of our camera, I was looking through some of the pics and decided to write about our pizza
making. Yes, we love pizza, and we love our pizza stone. We have made some great pizzas over the last several months and I thought that I would share with you some of our favorite recipes:
Rachel Ray's "Blackened Chicken Pizza: with yellow tomato salsa"
1 Tbsp steak seasoning
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or a few drops of hot sauce (option for the spicey lovers)
1/2-3/4 lb chicken breast, sliced thin
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
All-purpose flour or corn meal for dusting
pizza dough for 1 14" pizza (you can buy the dough mix or make your own)
about 1/2 lb shredded cheese of your choice (again monteray jack is an option for the spicey)
2 small yellow tomatoes seeded and chopped finely (roma tomatoes also work)
1/4 C chopped red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbsp cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
the zest and juice of 1/2 lime
salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Heat a large skillet over very high heat. Combine grill seasoning and other spices above on a plate. Press chicken into seasoning. Add oil to screaming hot pan and cook chicken about 2 min on each side. Remove from heat and chop finely.
Sprinkle corn meal onto pizza stone, or pan and stretch dough to make crust.
Mix ingredience for the salsa. Scatter chicken, salsa and cheese over dough*.
Bake 12-15 min, or until crust and cheese is golden brown.
The next two are our inventions and very yummy!
BBQ Chicken Pizza (inspired by CPK)
(sorry, no picture, but it is really good)
1 chicken breast
1 C bbq sauce of choice
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C shredded cilantro
1/2 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
Grill the chicken breast and chop finely. Then coat with 1/4-1/2 C bbq sauce. Spead remaning sauce over pizza dough*, sprinkle chicken, onions and cheese. Bake 10-12 min (450 degrees). Sprinkle fresh cilantro and enjoy!
Margarita (inspired by Abbie)
1 can pealed, diced tomatoes, partially drained
6-10 fresh basil leaves (the basil is the key to making this yummy!)
mozzerella cheese (you can use shredded or use that yummy mosserella that comes in the ball, if using the ball, 6-8 1/4" slices)
Spread tomatoes over pizza dough*, scatter basil leaves and sprinkle cheese. Bake 10-12 min and enjoy.
*One tip that we have found very helpful is to let the pizza dough bake at temp for 2 min. before adding sauce and toppings. This make the crust less soggy and helps it to be a better pizza all around!
Yes that is right, Dane and I have officially known each other for one year, today. I know, all of you who are like, "What?!" I kinda feel the same way. I cannot believe it has only been that short of time. I really feel like we have been together forever, like my life began, for real, when I met Dane.
For those of you who do not know the story (I am assuming there are not many), and those of you who would like to hear it again, here goes:
One year ago today, I had been invited up to Park City to reunite with some friends from my freshman year at BYU, Dale Smith and Jessica Fallon (now Garrett). Dale and I had kept in touch since we both had returned from our missions and hung out a little. It was a beautiful
summer day and we had plans to hang out at a hotel where Dale and his little brother, Dane, were waiting for there parents, who were coming into town for a family vacation the next day.
I was excited to swim and hang out with good friends, with no idea how cute the little brother would actually turn out to be, and how not little.
We spent a fun day in the pool, (I, unfortunately, was on the phone for a good portion of the time trying to get car insurance....not making a good impression...) and the brothers made
dinner for Jessica and I that night. At this point, I was glad to have hung out with Dale, thought Dane was fun, but didn't expect him and I to ever really hang out at a later day, even though I was secretly wishing he had a crush on me. We called it a night, sort of, and as Jessica and I were about to be heading back to Provo, Dane asked for a ride, as he had to work the next morning at the BYU Bookstore.
If you ask me, this is where our story began. Dane introduced me to some of his music, bought ice cream for Jess and I to share, and we bonded enough on the car ride home that Dane
suggested we hangout that night.
At her apartment, with Michael Bubble and Josh Groban serenading us in the background, Jessica randomly became Dane and my ballroom dance instructor. We danced the night away, and seriously become more hyper than I remember being in a very, very long time. I don't know how it happened, but somehow we had out shirts stuffed with pillows as we glided, not so gracefully across the carpet. I was so impressed at this point. I could not believe how easy it was for me to be myself--my weird self around this boy that I had just barely met. Jessica and her roommates all thought we were crazy and couldn't believe that we had just me that day.
Dane was inspired and knew that we had a future in our dancing carreer.
He insisted we become dance partners and that we must practice again. Suavely, Dane retrieved my phone number, asked me out, and that next Saturday, we doubled with Jessica and a friend and continued our dancing (our first official date, according to me).
I think Dane knew, he had to move fast and roped me in that night. Yes, he did kiss me on the first date, and after that, we were completely hopeless. We both knew at this point that there was nothing else in the world worth spending our time with, we became attached at the hip, and saw each other everyday after that until we were married. (Well, technically, we did not see each other the day before we got married...we were still recovering from Christmas-time-flue/mystery sickness.)
I am so happy that we found each other on that beautiful summer day, one year ago. Ours is a story that even I have a hard time believing when I look back. Everything went so quickly, but I knew then and still know that it is so right. I have never been happier, or more in love than I am now. Thanks for a great year, my love!