Monday, June 20, 2016

*Monday Memos*


 (If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge) 
Weekly recap of my rather crazy, insane, but fun and rewarding life!

dear monday, I now have my harp lessons on Monday's for the summer and so today I got out on my run fairly early.  Surprisingly, it was a little chilly and I had to wear a long sleeve shirt over my short sleeve. I warmed up by mile two and tied it around my waist, but I was surprised how chilly it has been in the mornings even when the daily temp ends up in the 80's or 90's.
I saw these guys heading up our street as I was leaving.  They seriously think they own the streets.
I was a little bit excited for my harp lesson because I had two weeks to practice this time and I felt good about my songs.  However, when I went to play them for my teacher, I struggled a bit. No idea why, but I did.  I CAN play them, but they didn't sound like I practiced as much as I had. I was even starting to get a blister/callous on my finger.  I am still really enjoying learning the harpWhy didn't I do this years ago? 
I had to run several errands after my lessons including finding a screen protector for my phone so I don't shatter it again!  Happily, I found one and now it has some protection from the abuse it is sure to get from me. I also ran to Costco and TJ Maxx for some gifts etc.  I put Dave in charge of dinner since I would be gone most of the day and he BBQ'd some chicken.  Taylor headed to Bear Lake but had a hard time leaving the finals game so he could go.  :) 

dear tuesday, today I ran out west for a change of scenery.  That's always good for me.  
I did a lot of odds and ends around the house, including trimming some of our bushes and trees.  Dave isn't usually too thrilled when I get trim happy, but today he actually brought me out some better clippers than the ones I was using.  I love to trim the shrubs.  It's therapeutic somehow.  Haha 
Mr. Cat was having a great time hiding in the bushes as I was trimming.  He's thinking he needs to keep his long tail as far away from me as possible.
I also made some chocolate swirl banana bread.  I will include the recipe because it's really delicious and if you are like me, you always have brown bananas waiting to be made into something tasty.  

Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

Yield: 1 (9-inch) loaf
[I like to double this recipe]


  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 very ripe, darkly speckled bananas, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (or regular milk plus 1 tsp vinegar)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Melt the chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl for 30-second increments, stirring between each increment, until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the batter.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper then grease the parchment paper with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients just until combined. (The batter will be thick and chunky). Remove 1 cup of the batter to a separate bowl then add the melted chocolate to the bowl, stirring to combine.
  6. Fill the loaf pan with alternating scoops of the banana batter and the chocolate batter. Using a knife, swirl the batters together.
  7. Bake the bread for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.
dear hill repeats, today I started on my hill repeats and realized I didn't have my music.  I can run without my music, but do hill repeats without it?  NO WAY!  Luckily, it was Dave's day off and so I called him and he brought it to me.  Whew!  That would have been brutal without my tunes!  He also brought me some water and I needed that maybe even more than my music!  HOT DAY!  I was only going to do 12 repeats but challenged myself to do 15 and somehow managed!  The only thing I love about hlils repeats are when they are over!   Well, that and what I had for breakfast after.
  Guacamole on sunflower wheat toast.  Mmmmm.... so good!

dear lunch with russian missionary parents, I was so excited to go to a Russian restaurant in Sugar House with the other missionary parents who have children serving in McKay's mission.  The restaurant is authentic Russian cuisine.  It is called The Galley Grill.  I always love meeting and talking to the other parents.  I learn so much!  This is the second time we have met for lunch but this time Dave was able to attend.  There was only one other dad there and so I think Dave felt a little out of place.  Last time we had a lot more dads.  I was so excited because I ended up sitting next to Elder Lyman's mom!  He was McKay's trainer and McKay thinks the world of him.  I was so happy I got to meet his mom.  The best part (besides trying out the amazing food) was that two sister missionaries also came who just returned from the mission a couple months ago.  They both knew most of our boys.  Both of them knew McKay and so I asked them about how he is doing especially with the language, and their response was, "He is very talented."  Haha  They said he doesn't struggle with it and when Dave asked how long it actually takes before they felt they had mastered the language, they both said, "Never!".  It is a tough language and I guess most missionaries never feel they quite get it down. It was so fun to pick their brains though.  Many of the moms asked about how dangerous it really is over there and since they both responded by saying that they would let our boys inform of us that when they got home because they aren't supposed to share most of what happens over there, we all took that as it's time to start praying even harder!  lol  What they didn't say said much more than anything they could have said!  They said the people are very cold if you meet them on the street, but once you get them inside their homes, they are the warmest people you would ever meet.  They also told us the food we were eating was very close to what they ate over there.  And they said that American food doesn't taste good to them anymore because it is so bland compared to Russian food.
The parents
Elder Turner's mom, us, Elder Lyman's mom, Elder DeSandre's parents, Elder Sebastian's grandma, Elder Barr's mom, Elder Tracy's mom, Elder ? mom, Elder William's mom, the sister missionaries.
Some of the food!  Borsh, bread, cabbage rolls, pickle plate, pelmeni
The sister missionaries
The menu
Our waitress on the right.  She is from Russia and was speaking Russian with the sisters.
Cool decors from Russia
With Elder Barr's mom Ali.  Our boys were in the MTC together and so they are celebrating the ONE YEAR mark this week!  Happy Hump Day boys!
The food was much better than I expected.  We also got to sample some of what the others ordered.  The Bitochki and Neapolitan cake were really good.  I wanted to try the Blini because McKay loves those but they were out. They are like a crepe.
 It was a really fun day!  SO glad we could go!

Right across the street was my favorite store Home Goods combined with a TJ Maxx, (my other favorite store) and so Dave was kind enough to let me go check it out.  Of course, I felt rushed and couldn't really shop because I knew he was waiting and bored.  Sure enough, he came in when I was checking out, more than ready to go.  I found a super cute basket for my kitchen counter, so it was worth it.  We were going to stop at Nielsen's Frozen Custard on the way home, but we are both trying really hard to cut back on the sweets and calories and so we passed.  This menopause metabolism thing is really messing with me!  Besides, he was trying to get back so he could go put stitches in one of his counselor's daughter's leg. We met them at the clinic.  I sat in the car and studied Jesus the Christ while he did it.  It took a long time.  Poor girl!  I made dinner and then I had to go to a RS board planning meeting.  The meeting went almost two hours but I got to meet some new neighbors that moved into the hood that are FLDS or former FLDS.  Such cute girls and so sweet.  
dear clean windows!  YAY! I scheduled some professionals to come and clean my outside windows.  I rarely do that, but every time I do (unless it's rains the next day or two), I am always so giddy because I LOVE clean windows!  I have some big windows in our family room and I love when they are clean, but since they are so high and hard to get to, I only clean them about four or five times a year and risk my life when I do.  So, it's a huge treat for me to get them cleaned.  I didn't have them do every window or it would have cost me a fortune, but the 28-30 they did makes me so happy.  The only down part is I had to then clean the inside of all of them.  But they look so shiny and bright now! Because the timing of when they showed up, I ended up missing my Women's Forum meeting.  Oh well.  Hopefully they will email what I missed.  I wasn't feeling up to par but went visiting teaching and then after dinner we all watched the NBA finals.  Go LeBron!

dear throwback thursday, my cousin Mike (the one in the hard hat pretending to be one of the Village People) has been posting a lot of oldie pictures of my childhoodThey are so fun to see!  We spent a lot of time together when we were younger and me and my brother were very close to him and his brother Bill.  I love my parents in this one with my mom sitting on my dad's lap.  I am in the middle sitting all chill in a lawn chair.  My Uncle Rich is next to me.  My bro Jerry is in the front middle and my cousin Bill is on the far right.  FUN!

This  popped up on my Facebook memory page from when I spoke at Colleen's ward in Bountiful.  I just love this.  For one, I miss these guys so much!  They used to live in our hood and our kids basically grew up together.  Colleen has always been such a dear friend and we have been through a lot together.   And two, I am holding some Dick's Bakery eclairs and donuts!  My fave!!!  I miss them too!  :) 

A friend posted this↓ that was also a Faceook memory of many moons ago.  We called ourselves the Lunch Bunch and then Mert moved and we kind of quit going to lunch.  This particular day, we cleared out Taco Time...I mean completely cleared it out.  We were SO loud, everyone left!   No joke!

dear mckay's hump day!  OH WOW!  It's so hard to believe he has been out a year.  It's crazy how fast it came because of how slow it feels!  It took so long to get here so fast. Only one more year until I will be able to hug this boy!
He has been such an incredible missionary and has been such a great influence for good for the people in Russia.  I couldn't be more proud of him.  One down, one to go!!!
люблю тебя
This was from a video a Russian man posted.  I took some still shots of it. 
We also got a nice letter from Pres and Sister Perkinson this week with some great pictures!  Transfers were this week, but he is staying in Ussuriysk.

dear long run, Robin and I were only supposed to run 8 miles today, but we ended up going 9.5.  We stopped at Old Grist so I could get some water and she could take a potty break.  While I waiting for her, I was drooling over their raspberry rolls with cream cheese icing.  Oh man!  They looked SO good!  I mean, SO good!  I was so tempted to go back after our run and get one, but I have been REALLY trying to cut back in the treat department.  This lovely metabolism change my body has decided to try out, is making me have to all but cut out all good stuff!  It is very frustrating.   

I ran a bunch of errands after and then tried to get a bit caught up on my Jesus The Christ study group.  I decided to go outside and hang in the hammock while I read.  It was great.  Until it got too hot and I was forced back inside.  This week has been really hot and next week is going to be even worse.   Cheesy selfie!  hah

Mr. Cat is having a hard time taking the heat as well.  This is a first for him to lay on this table.  Not sure why he chose to do that, but he did.

dear living aquarium!  
Dave had a medical meeting at the Living Aquarium on Saturday and so after my run (which was pathetic - I was slower than a turtle!) we grabbed the boys and headed for Draper.   We had to be there by 10 a.m. and while Dave did his classes, the boys and I checked out all the displays at the aquarium.  It was fabulous.  There is a Discover Utah one that was really cool and a South America one that Taylor felt right at home at.  They even had an anaconda and some piranha's.  Pretty cool.  They have a new Asian display that has cloud leopards in it but they were sleeping up in a high corner most of the time.  But it was still awesome. We also checked out the shark area and saw a couple of 4D movies that sprayed you with mist or water from the chairs while watching the filmThat was something new to me.  Very fun!  Dave was missing out.  We ate lunch in their cafeteria (it was SO good!). I had a turkey pesto sandwich and Dave came and joined us with the lunch he got from his workshops.  My old college friend Maureen Cook came up to me at lunch and surprised me.  Her hub was also in the classes.  It was fun to see her again.  

After lunch we watched them feed the sharks, but I was not impressed.  They made it out to be something really exciting and I didn't even know they had already fed them when they told us it was over.  
 The unremarkable feeding the sharks is the bottom right photo.↑
The clouded leopard(s).  This is also the most we ever saw of them.
Penguins and otters. These were my favorite.  Those otters were showing off big time, but I didn't get any good pix of them.  So entertaining.

Taylor in the South America section.  It smelled like it and looked like least that's my opinion which is really worth nothing because I have never been there. :0) Bryce saw a mouse run up a tree in there. 
The anaconda!!!  And the piranhas!  A toucan bird and some kind of lizard.
Me posing with the parrot!  He didn't have much to say....
South America.  I'm with the poison dart frogs.
This bird is a pheasant.  The most gorgeous one I have EVER seen.  In fact, the most gorgeous bird I have ever seen.  I tried and tried to get a good photo of him because he was absolutely stunning, but to no avail!  Fluorescent feathers of every color of the rainbow that were metallic and so pretty!
Scenes from the shark tank...
I stole these off my boys Snapchat.  They always get better photos than I do.
I can't even imagine what a tooth ache would feel like for this guy!
We be posing with the penguins!
A couple of Taylor's Snapchat posts.  He is so hilarious.
When Dave got done, I took him on a quick tour of the aquarium but the boys went and sat in the car.  Dave was impressed with the place.
This is the view Dave had all day in his meetings. I think it would be hard to pay attention to the speaker with that as a backdrop!
Pretty WILD day!

We hit Nielsen's Frozen Custard on the way home.  Mmmm....  We all shared a bumbleberry almond concrete. They are huge and no one was really hungry. 
I ran and finished up some Father's Day shopping and then Dave and I headed to Shad's reception.  It was gorgeous. Everything about it was just so lovely. 
I am in love with the cake.  Interestingly enough, my niece that is getting married wants me to make her one very close to this one.  I am excited for the challenge and pray it won't be another fiasco like Weston's!  
dear father's day,  
Dave's parents came to our church today.  It was a really good sacrament meeting.  After church we headed to my Dad's house and had a BBQ.  It was very yummy.  We took funeral potatoes and a red velvet cake I made the night before.  My bro and his fam showed up and then the cousins came including Winston.  That boy is so stinkin' cute!  I just love little kids. I seriously can't get enough of little kids and animals.  haha  Maxx was also there.  
The fun never ends at my parent's house
The many faces of Winston!
Winston said he wanted to take our picture.  We pretended to pose for him but we discovered later that he actually KNEW how to use the camera on my phone!  We were dying laughing when we saw these pix on it!  Horribly unflattering, but they make me laugh.  He's a smartie!

Missing Sky, McKay and Tyson

We then headed to Dave's parents but they weren't home and so we waited for them to get back.  
Some of us took a little nap while waiting. ↓ hahah   

We came home and watched the NBA finals.  It was a great game!  Some how the Cavs came back and won the championship.  I told Taylor to not get his hopes up because I was sure Golden State was going to win it.  But LeBron pulled it off!
Taylor was pacing back and forth when things got real intense at the end.

ღ°ღ˚ HAPPYღ FATHER'Sღ DAY!ღ˚ღ˚ 
 First to my amazing and wonderful Pa! Love you Pops! Thanks so much for blessing my life every day! ღ

And also Happy Father's Day to the father of my boys! He is such a great example and strength to our family! Love you Dave!

And Happy Father's Day to my incredible father-in-law whom has been so generous and caring and treats me like his own daughter. Love you tons!
 What a blessing you all are!!! ღ
I am very blessed!
So grateful I was blessed enough to be his daughter.  I love my Pa!

dear random, I have to say I would LOVE one of these!  WOW!

A friend posted this ↓ on my Facebook wall.....
I said that I would chose the purple one!  Seriously, how could I pick only one?  I want them all!  haha  I do like the hub caps on the truck though!

I found some old quizzes that I took a while ago and forgot to post.  These are kind of fun.  I have pretty much quit taking them because I have worried that they are hacking my info.

A few pictures from the Ogden Half Marathon that they emailed me. 




Dawn said...

I saw wild turkey's at Tonya's cabin and thought of you! haha...not because I think ;you are a turkey but because you always see them. ☺ Pretty cool that McKay has been gone for a year....he'll be home before you know it.

Lot's of fun going on. I think it's a good thing that life is busy...otherwise it might be boring. Sometimes I want a little boring. ;)
What cute fathers you have in your life!

You make me smile! ☺

Audrey said...

I can't believe that McKay has been gone for a year already. It seems like just yesterday you were so sad and worried about him leaving. I love hearing about how he is doing. I think it is so cool that you got to have lunch in a Russian restaurant with missionary families.

I have never been to the Living Aquarium. You are the second person recently who has said how good it is. I'll have to check it out.


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