Monday, December 10, 2012

Seattle/Vancouver trip

To celebrate my newfound health, we went on a weekend trip to Seattle and Vancouver. Although very rainy, it is beautiful there and we enjoyed some time away together.

We loved Horseshoe Bay above Vancouver and the picturesque drive to get there. We took some hikes in the parks, despite the rain, which were sooooo worth it.
 I even got Ben to go on a big suspension bridge across a ravine with waterfalls on both sides. Cool, huh?

Delicious food is always a BIG part of traveling for us. I had to have some sort of seafood every day. We tried out some "Diners, Dives, and Drive-In's" recommendations in Seattle called "Pam's Kitchen" (food from Trinidad), which was Awesome, and "The Crab Pot"

The weather cleared up for a good hour for us to enjoy the views from the Space Needle. Then we got to our hotel and realized the view from our room ion the 32nd floor of the Crowne was just as good.

The area was very reminiscent of Twilight that we thought it appropriate to walk downtown to see Breaking Dawn, part 2 one of the nights.

A Mystery

So, I was plagued with a mysterious illness for the past 4 months, causing me continual belly pain. It was no fun and made it difficult to do most things beyond the essentials most days. I'm sorry if I was less of a friend or no fun to be around. It took loads of energy to just get through work and I often curled up on the couch all evening. On good days, I might get a little cooking, cleaning or Relief Society stuff done but that was all. I went through the whole gamut of medical tests, procedures and consults that 5 doctors came up with... but got no answers. Apparently, I was completely normal... just always in pain.

However, today I am happy to report that I am now 2 weeks free of pain!!! I  don't know what happened or how it decided to resolve itself but I am very thankful for each day. Was it a lesson of patience? Maybe a reminder to not take normal daily living for granted? A warning of things to come? A test of faith? Whatever it was, I hope I learned it well!

I wanted to thank all my family and friends who were so concerned, supportive, and offered up many a prayer in my behalf. They helped me endure and helped me heal, I am certain. Ben was a supporting sweetheart and very understanding through the seemingly endless process. I love you all!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weird Movie Memories

When you think about the movies we watched as children, it's amazing we didn't turn out weirder.  I actually went back to watch a few as an adult and they were odd and sometimes disturbing. Were we, as children of the 80's, just oblivious to what was going on? I don't ever remember thinking any of these were weird as a kid. I was flipping channels the other day and came across Edward Scissorhands and after 3 minutes, I was completely weirded out. Maybe some of these creepy-ish movies would something to revisit for this Halloween week-without having to watch something truly gory or scary. Here are the ones I can remember off the top of my head:
Dark Crystal
Return to Oz
Secret of Nimh
Edward Scissorhands
Little Shop of Horrors
Monty Python Search for the Holy Grail
Encino Man

Can you think of any other random, weird movies you watched as a child and now wonder how it ever got popular?

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I got a great birthday present this year from Ben. He gave me a voucher for a tandem paragliding adventure! I used it today and it was soooo fun. I LOVE being up in the air and this was a perfect way to experience it. It was so relaxing to just float there in the air, moving along with the breeze and enjoy the surroundings from up high.

You really don't get super far from the point of the mountain (since that's where the good air movement is) and it wasn't scary at all. Going early in the morning helps keep you away from any pockets of air and sudden movement. I definitely will go again! Maybe I could even learn to do it on my own...seems kind of like flying one of my kites.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I had a pretty good birthday this month. It was over Labor Day weekend so I got to enjoy 3 days without work, which was a great way to start. My husband and I enjoyed a lazy, kick-back morning, then he took me to a Vietnamese Noodle House I had never been to before and the food was amazing! I am a lover of soups so the Pho and Bun were right up my alley. Perfect choice, babe! We both really enjoyed all the flavors.

My gut was a lot less painful that day, thanks to a merciful God, so I was itching to get outside and go walking or something, despite the fact that it was raining all afternoon-evening. My in-laws and husband were kind enough to join me on a walk around when it slowed to just a drizzle. Don't you just love the smell in the air in Utah when it rains?

Ben gave me an awesome present, too... a tandem paragliding adventure! I am very excited for this. I am hoping to use it this coming Saturday (weather and health permitting). I love flying. I'll post after that-promise.

My sisters were all out of town for the weekend so we got together at a later date and they did a "choose your own adventure" experience. They asked me 3 random questions and my answers (green, few, fancy) dictated what we did...keeping in mind what they know I like, but it was all a surprise to me. What they came up with was perfect! They picked me up (just a few of us) and we went up the canyon to have a picnic dinner among the (green) trees. After that they made reservations at a (fancy) restaurant at top of a ski lodge for a fancy dessert. We each chose something different and sampled all the desserts. My choice was the best, in my mind (buttermilk panna cotta in a strawberry-rhubarb soup).

Plus, the company was terrific. Those girls can always make me laugh soooo hard, we had a blast. Thanks to my sisters!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Passing Summer

I haven't had much to say on here this summer. Probably because I have been writing on 2 other blogs. My readers have certainly dwindled here. Sorry! If you want little updates onto my life and thoughts as they have been, come see what I've been doing over there.

First, I joined an online summer art therapy the form of a blog. The teacher would post an assignment each week and then we all had to post about our project and experience. It was really quite fun. Here are some links to my projects:

We had to pick a symbol to represent ourselves and make a visual representation of it:

We had to improve some kind of space in our surroundings:

We made a sort of dream catcher that represented the supports in our life:

We had to take pictures of things during the week of unexpected beauty:

I have also been "sort-of" diligent in my goal to post a new soup every week (I missed a few this summer due to illness). Come check them out:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

 I love berries. Now that summer is here, I eat them every chance I get. The 4th of July is a perfect day to let them shine because the are also so patriotic. Enjoy the beautiful day and celebrate our great freedoms today!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Going Grey

Remember that green accent wall in my kitchen? It's not easy being a green wall...especially when you are injured and the paint they patch you with turns out to be NOT the same green. Woah, weird! Why would I have a can of different green paint sitting in my closet?  Well, at this point, my husband confessed that he never really liked the original color of green and especially detested the new color of the patch green. He would rather have grey. Hmm...hey, I happened to have a pint of grey paint in my closet too, except I know why I had that. It was supposed to be for my mother's remodeled basement but never got used.
I had to consider it for a day, but I slowly let go of my attachment to the green wall. Our wall then became grey. Ben was very impressed with my painting skills. I finally found something in the home improvement I knew more about than he did!! He wouldn't let me paint green stalks and white flowers in the corner on the wall, though. humph. Kimi would have like that. After I had stared at it a day or two, I decided I really liked grey. I liked it so much that I wanted to paint the adjacent wall grey too! And so it is, that our dining area is updated and lovely. Hooray!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I frequently get the itch to take a respite and explore something new. I would go on vacation every couple months if I could. Whenever I get the question "what would you do if you had $10,000?" the answer is always "Travel"!  I also LOVE having a hot new travel partner who is so sweet to always take care of all the luggage, let me use his frequent flier miles and got us a great discounts on the hotel :)

 Ben and I finally found a little time between work schedules and school to take a week off. Ben has traveled a lot but had never been to Hawaii, and I have a brother that lives there with his adorable family.
We spent a couple days in Waikiki in a beach hotel amongst all the tourists. The Japanese food and Hawaiian ceviche there were amazing, Pearl Harbor was interesting, and the beaches were crowded. Then we headed over to the North Shore to stay with my brother.

There we got to see much more of the gorgeous nature that covers the island. Spending an afternoon on a sandy beach with only a few other people, boogie boarding, and watching the little girls play in the sand was much more our style.

We saw the beautiful botanical gardens and waterfall, ate fresh shrimp right from the water, had "Shave Ice" as well as some macadamian nut pancakes at the Hukilau Cafe. yum! We ended the week on a breezy beach watching the sun slowly set over the big waves as the last lingering surfers made their way back to shore.

These girls were as cute as can can you resist those big brown eyes and little hands when they want you to hold them??

Graduation for Kimi

My little sister graduated last week. I was so proud. Maybe it's the big sister in me. Maybe it's because she calls me her second mama sometimes. Maybe because I used to call her my clone because she always wanted to do the same things I did when we were younger.  I love that girl. I love her creativity, the artist in her that sees things differently, the overly-caring spirit and love she has toward everyone, and her silly sense of humor. I love how dedicated she is to her wiener dog and that she learns many life and psychology lessons from her. She is one that doesn't realize how beautiful she is. She tries so hard to make everyone happy and is selfless in so many ways. She always bring random humor to keep us laughing. Her imagination is unparalleled, which is probably why she is the favorite aunt for our nieces and nephews. She'd be my favorite aunt too...
    She graduated in psychology with a minor in art form the University of Utah so she can go on to become an art therapist. That's totally her personality. I didn't get to go to the ceremony because it was during work and we were crazy busy, but I threw her a family party that evening. I made lots of fun food, and forgot to take pictures of that, let alone the party. oh well. She thinks we spoil can you not when she is so deliciously fun?
Congratulations Kimi!!!! I love you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Remembering Grandma

   As I pulled out the iron to touch up a pillow case that came out of the wash a bit too wrinkled, I caught myself thinking about my Grandma DeLaMare. I chuckled as I decided that was exactly something I might have teased her for doing years ago. She was the epitome of "proper" to me. Her Victorian style home decor, complete with lace tablecloths, doillies and covers on the arms of her armchairs, was always dusted and clean. She would decorate each month by putting out her assortment of ceramic pieces appropriate for each holiday and dressing the stone goose on her doorstep. She taught me to write a proper thank-you note. She reminded me how address people correctly and politely. She would rebuke me if I dared to wear slacks instead of a skirt to a baby shower at her home or on a Sunday. I remember her exclaiming how shocked she was that women don't always wear nylons with a dress  to church. Almost every time I came to visit, she would steer me in the kitchen and show me her oven to make sure I knew how clean it was, because I told her once as a 5 yr old that her oven was dirty. She collected enough of 2 kinds of formal china so she would have enough place settings for her entire family (around 50 people) to eat on for Sunday dinner or other events. I got a thoughtful note in a birthday card every year that would arrive on the right day or just before...never late.
   And then I got thinking...that sounds a lot like my mom, too. My, she is a lot like her mother. And really, that's not a bad thing.
   But, oh, I am beginning to see myself as well. And not just because I iron pillowcases. The one thing I was adamant about having on my wedding registry was china. Not just because I was told to get it (like my friends that haven't used theirs in 10 yrs since they got married), but because I wanted it and knew I would use it. I love to cook and entertain with food, just like my grandma. I like to make things look nice and composed. I dress up to go out to a concert or dinner, or wedding receptions (when I see so many people there in jeans or shorts). I write thank-you cards and put personal messages in them.
   What would the world be like if we didn't have grandmas and moms to remind us of etiquette,  courtesy and respect. Dismal, rude and uncouth, I would venture to guess.  I am so glad that some of her has rubbed off on me. I miss her tonight.

Friday, March 23, 2012


My poor little blog. I admit to neglecting you while I spent way more time with my soup blog, even though some days I get more visitors here than I do there.  Lol. But, I feel like cooking is more exciting that my life right now. Probably the most interesting thing that has happened to me in the last month has been a colonoscopy. I am all for preventative screening and going under anesthesia for unpleasant experiences but I responded all wrong. You all don't want to hear me complain about my ailments and weird you'll have to be content knowing that I am content with my less-than-exciting routine of: going to work every day, coming home to a wonderful, albeit busy, husband. I still cook a lot, read books and cooking magazines, clean, buy food, watch cooking shows, try to gather visiting teaching reports for 2 weeks out of every month and sing in the shower.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Seafood Buffet

I absolutely love seafood. Which is particularly sad because I live in landlocked Utah and don't get good seafood as often and I would like. One of my favorite things to do on vacation (if it is by the ocean) is to make sure I eat some kind of seafood every day.
My cute Ben took me to Deer Valley's seafood buffet for a Valentines date last week. YUM!
My goal was to try a little bit of every kind of seafood offered and I did! Luckily they give you little portions so you can try many things.  I got to have oysters on half-shell, 2 kinds of crab legs, shrimp with incredible cocktail sauce, mahi mahi in a coconut sauce, barely seared tuna, scallops in orange ginger sauce, herring, salmon, trout with a lavender almond sauce, clams and mussels in a butter-wine sauce, calamari salad, and of course some eel and yellowtail sushi. They have lots of other things like fruits, cheeses, prime rib, breads, salads, and other sides but I only dabbled in those and focused on the more important seafood. Wow, was I full afterward. Thanks honey for a fantastic time!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Day

My sister challenged me to list out a day in my life for a blog post. I guess she is curious how I really spend my days... the rest of you don't have to read this unless you want to.

6:45 wake up when Ben gets up and has a coughing fit, try to rest more since my alarm won't go off for another 15 min. have a weird dream about going to church in a movie theater.
7:00 stumble upstairs to use the bathroom, eat only a little cereal (still kind of full from the Seafood Buffet last night)
7:15 lay back in bed and read scriptures
7:30 get up and shower, dress, put on makeup and do hair, brush teeth
8:00 make my lunch of a few leftovers
8:10 decide to go into work a few minutes later since my first patient cancelled, text Dana
8:11 start a load of white laundry
8:20 fill up and turn on dishwasher
8:30 read a few emails
8:35 pick out shoes and jewelry, fold up blankets on the couch
8:40 think about all the things I want to accomplish this weekend
8:45 drive to work
9:00 Clock into work, greet Dana
9:05 She fills me in on the new medication Bydureon injection she learned about at the rep dinner last night and how to administer it-ugh, does not look fun to do OR to teach.
9:20 answer work emails, got phone messages
9:30 finish paperwork on charts from yesterday
9:45 discuss and look up inpatients that might need to be seen
9:55 file charts
10:00 help Dana download and install a barcoding font on our computers so we can code our documents for the new paperless system we start in April.
10:20 look up a pump download from a patient at home, called him to discuss
10:30 analyze results of a survey I'm doing and emailed director about it
10:50 our patients (a couple) finally show up late and throw a fit about the registration process and had to convince them to stay and still get their education, promising them to be out in an hour. We each take one of them. I teach the husband about his type 2 diabetes, kind of fight about what he could do for exercise, why pies and cookies aren't good breakfast foods and that there are other meal options besides fast food.
12:00 my coworkers decide that noon is a good time to schedule a meeting. We sit around and discuss the ADA expo for a whole hour... the 3 women there talk about the same thing over and over again. It could've been over in 15 min. and I really didn't need to be involved at all.
1:00 my next appointment came in crying and frustrated. I reassured her about all her great efforts in lifestyle changes and how you can't base everything on your weight. We make some tweaks and she agreed to try the regimen for 1 more month
2:00 I finally clock out and eat my lunch. In the middle, I call an omnipod patient for a follow up (for my contract job)
2:30 clock back in and work on my charting, answer phone calls
2:50 look up the requirements for abstracts for submission to the ADA scientific sessions, text ben and missy. Post a question about LASIK on facebook
3:00 My next patient comes. Make her do a survey while we waited for my coworker to finish her downloading session. We analyze her pump download and blood sugar records; made goals
4:00 set up a temporary phone message on our phones saying that we are closed for the holiday weekend
4:05 last patient comes. Download his trial sensor and he decides he wanted to order both a sensor and pump. Help him fill out the paperwork.
4:50 fax in the paperwork for the devices, look at my phone messages and decide what is emergent enough to take care of before the weekend. Finish charting.
5:00 Say good bye to Dana, clock out.
5:05 call Ben on my way home
5:10 stop at Smiths to buy some Mucinex for Ben, also grab a little produce since we are very low at home. Make friends with the self checkout attendant because you have to show ID to buy Mucinex now, and the grapes ring in wrong.
5:30  Get home and greet my cute husband, talk about our plans for the night and this weekend
5:45 make dinner (spaghetti with homemade sauce and salad...had to be fast tonight)
6:05 help Ben hang up all the washed clothes to dry
6:10 eat dinner
6:25 put on a skirt, brush teeth, help ben find recommend
6:40 drive to the temple
7:00 do initiatories at the D&C 88 while I wait (awesome stuff in there!)
8:30 drive home and talk about possible remedies for Ben's horrible cough
8:50 make hot chocolate for us both and heat up the heating pad
9:00 snuggle a bit on the couch while we watch Harry Potter (3rd one) on TV for a bit
10:00 put Ben to bed, say prayers, take pills
10:10 watch the rest of Harry Potter while I had a little cup of ice cream and almonds, while doing my computer stuff (checked my email, facebook, blogs and wrote this...)
went to bed, goodnight!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Raclette Party

We had a fun dinner party tonight, the Swiss traditional way...with swiss raclette cheese. You might compare it with an upscale fondue. You use an iron that looks like this.

You put cheese in these little shovels and melt it under the heating element and scrape it out with a wooden spatula to pour over the food option (potatoes, steamed vegetables, bread, and bratwurst)

We also grilled pineapple on the top grill of the iron. It's delicious. Especially if you appreciate good european cheeses. Ben's parents had a bunch of cheese left over from a dinner they did so we decided to throw our own. We borrowed their iron and invited over some friends. I, of course, got caught up in the food making and chatting with friends that I completely forgot to take pictures. Yup. that's me. We had a great time, though!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New glasses

So, my sassy red glasses are officially lost. I searched high and low and have not been able to find them for 2 months. This means my eyes were got really tired of contacts since I had to wear them every moment I wanted to be able to see...which happens to be a LOT.
   I finally broke down at Christmas and went to get new ones. My father-in-law happens to work at an optical shop and hooked me up with some awesome new glasses! You can't really tell in the picture but they have subtle brown and black stripes on the outside and dark purple on the inside. I was temped to go again with red, but then if I ever found my last ones...I'd have two red pair, so I went darker this time. How do you like them?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Choose your own adventure birthday

Kimi had a birthday this week. Missy and I wanted to do something for her and she opted for a surprise.
I texted her 4 random questions and she unknowingly choose her own adventure:
Out or In (she chose: In)
Fancy or Comfortable (she chose: comfortable)
Exotic or American (she chose: exotic)
New or Familiar (she chose: new)

So, we stayed in, wore comfy clothes, made a blanket tent in the front room like we used to do all the time when we were little, had an exotic meal (Ethiopian food) and watched a new movie with just the girls. Missy made a yummy toffee chocolate cake. We had a blast.

I had a lot of fun making the Ethiopian food. I'd had it before at a restaurant so I kind of knew what to expect. To explain, it is a large thin pancake like bread, with little piles of each kind of stew. I had chicken stew with hard boiled eggs, lentil stew, vegetable stew, and a cottage cheese/lemon mixture. They are all heavily spiced and delicious. You tear of pieces of the bread with your hands and grab parts of the stew to eat it. It is also very filling, we found out.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I had my first experience rolling my own sushi. I have watched the sushi chefs make it behind the bars and it didn't look too hard. Ben happened to have a sushi mat and a nice rice cooker so now I had the right supplies. I think I did pretty good on my first try. We only did california rolls and a shrimp rolls to start with before we tried the expense of sushi-grade fish. Now we are excited to try more...