02 December 2009


Due to not being invited to anyone's house, we decided to have our own Thanksgiving. I was stubborn for quite awhile in claiming that I would NOT make it. The plan was just to go out to eat. However, I could see from Jeremy's sad pleading eyes that really he wanted the full blown meal. Just kidding. His eyes weren't that sad. But I could tell that secretly he wanted me to remove the neck, liver, lungs and heart from a dead plucked bird and place it in the oven for hours on end, and possibly even make some other food to eat as we devoured the poor creature. When I succumbed to his silent yearnings, he brainstormed the other food items he desired to consume. Off we went to the store, followed by Jeremy's promises to help me cook the meal. I didn't believe he really would--but he did and did a wonderful job on roasting our bird friend!

We entered Smiths with the plan to only buy a tiny bird. We found a lovely boneless turkey roast for $12...but sitting right next to it was a 14-pound turkey for $6. With the full realization that turkey sandwich leftovers are the best part, we picked the latter.

My mom sent me cookies.

It was fun. We really enjoyed running alone the shoreline trail in the morning (translation: I was really happy I managed to get Jeremy to run on yet another holiday with me). We didn't put the turkey in until 1:00--at which point my family in Moscow was already eating. But it worked out for us. Candlelit with a centerpiece and all. I am very glad we finally had a holiday by ourselves that we actually did something for. Sooner or later we're going to have to officially think of ourselves as a "real" family, and this was a good place to start. Another couple joined us for pie later on.

The next day I got to ride in the buggy for the first time! I was impressed that it didn't officially break this time. I picked the right day to come :) I got to go on a lovely mountain bike ride on the trails as well, beat the heck out of a tree rather than a puppy, and even drove the buggy myself. I was super proud of myself for not stalling it because I CAN'T DRIVE A STICK!!! I got to play with a puppy. I like dogs. A lot. Although this dog was frankly the most boring puppy I had ever met in my life, and I will not be buying a dachshund. Even though I called our apartment owners to try to talk them into letting me have a puppy last week. And even though I asked Jeremy if we could move over Christmas into an apartment that WOULD let us have one...going so far as to look at specific apartments. It would have to be a good dog to be worth it, not a tiny boring wimpy dog. Either way, Jere said no and so did the owners.

So that was a fun learning experience. I had another fun learning experience last night when I learned that I should not donate blood at work. Or maybe ever...but that's okay. It was good to try it once. It's actually a rather cool process. I should have picked a blood drive with a t-shirt though, just for proof in case I never give it another chance. I also learned that I will NOT be going to grad school next year. Bummer. I'll figure something else out. Maybe I'll work. What an idea!

21 November 2009

Second Outing at 5 Mile Pass

Today we took out second outing with the Ninja 750 powered buggy. Not so much drama this time which is good. The new axle and shocks worked really smoothly.

Sam and Michelle taking off:

The buggy:
From Buggy Build 2.0

From Buggy Build 2.0


-the 720p videos will be up shortly as well. You can see the HD cam mounted on the rear roll bar.

07 November 2009

Satisfy the Craving

Today I made "Better than Sex" cake even better.

Betty Crocker titles their website's recipe "Better Than Almost Anything Cake." Maybe they don't agree with the standard viewpoint...makes me think they've probably never tried it. It was AMAZING. So rich I couldn't even finish my piece. Crazy! Typically the cake starts with a box cake, but instead I used my best-ever made-from-scratch chocolate cake recipe and topped it with homemade hot fudge sauce rather than the canned stuff. Yum yum yum. If you live nearby, we still have plenty. Stop by for a piece. We're willing to spread the love ;)

Also, I wanted to mention that it's been quite beautiful here lately and I'm loving it. I hope winter never comes. I could die happy going through the rest of my life and never seeing snow again, I think. Speaking of dying, I wanted to mention that I love cemeteries. Love them. I've been thinking about that lately. The Provo cemetery is one of my favorite places to run, but I hadn't been there in a long time because you can't go there at night (I guess I should specify that I only like cemeteries during the DAY--they creep me out in the dark because I am one of the most paranoid and easily scared people you will ever meet) and recently it's been dark by the time we've been getting up to go running in the morning. However, I got the chance again one afternoon a week ago or so and remembered my previous sentiments.

I think I like them so much mainly because my father does. I remember walking through a particularly beautiful one once--full of chirping birds and nests full of eggs and flowers and trees and sunlight--and having him tell me how peaceful he feels they are. I totally agree. It's a sad peaceful feeling, but comforting nonetheless. Knowing that they are happy now. That they have gone on to a better place. I especially love when there are interesting tombstones, or when there are pictures of loved ones or temples on the carefully carved granite. I just think that they're beautiful... And while they might be sad for some, they provide a way of connecting and remembering those that have passed on. My father always said he wanted to be buried in a sack and have a tree planted on his head. I think that would be nice. I would like to become a part of the earth again someday. I think it's ridiculous that we try to preserve our dead useless bodies for so long. If they're not helping anyone (organ transplants, cadavers, etc) they might as well become part of the living entity that we live within once more. The only reason tombstones are good is to serve as a memorial for those of us that are still here. But if you really think about it, couldn't nature do the same so much better?

Jeremy and I have realized that we are both looking forward to moving on to the next stage of our lives. For him, that should be Medical School. For me, who knows what is in store? I am applying for grad school, but med school takes precedence. So maybe my sought-after degree. Maybe a job. Certainly a dog. I would love to also have a cat. With luck, possibly even two bedrooms.

Also, I like songs with "happy chords." I suggest you all go listen to Michael Franti & Spearhead sing "Say Hey."

28 September 2009

First Interview

I just bought a plane ticket to go to St. Louis for an interview on Nov 3 at Washington University Medical School. Cool. Its my first (of hopefully many) interviews to get into med school. May it prove fruitful.


23 September 2009

Why Baby Humans Make the Worst Pets

  • Baby humans are not very furry.

  • They cry, and their cries are not as cute or pleasant as those of other mammals.

  • Every other pet you can simply go out and buy. You have lots of options to choose from. To get a baby human, you have to GROW it yourself. In fact, it takes two people to initiate growth of a baby human. You have to wait nine months until it is done growing. During that time they like to punch and claw at your insides. You even have to pay someone to supervise getting the baby human out of your body. Apparently it hurts. You only get one choice of which one is yours. It tends to look like you. If you're ugly, this might be a problem.

  • If you don't want to grow your own baby human, it is very expensive. Lots of people and lots of laws get involved.

  • Baby humans take several years to learn to go to the bathroom in the correct manner. Puppies and kittens and even rats can be taught in a matter of weeks. Baby humans require a sack strapped to their private parts, so they can poop and pee it it and get it smeared all over themselves only to have you clean it up, throw away the sack, and put a new one on.

  • Baby humans require clothing. Usually.

  • Baby humans require expensive protective equipment, such as car seats and strollers rather than leashes. Some people choose to leash up baby humans, but it is necessary that they first must be able to walk. This business of learning to walk can take a baby human up to a year.

  • Baby human beds tend to be more expensive than dog beds, and take up less space. Also, baby humans cannot get into their bed by themselves.

  • You cannot leave a baby human at home alone.

  • Baby humans do not sleep through the night. Therefore, when you have one, neither do you.

  • Baby humans cannot automatically swim. Or breathe underwater.

  • Baby humans are picky about food. At first they like to suck it out of you. Later they like to make a mess when you feed it to them. If they don't like it, they won't eat it. They are not okay with eating the same thing every day.

  • The better-behaved your baby human is, the better a person people think you are. This can be very stressful if you have a misbehaving baby human.
I want a puppy.

19 September 2009

15 September 2009

The Resistance - Muse

I had to stop studying for an hour and a half today so I could dedicate all my attention to listen to Muse's new album The Resistance I bought today.

It was awesome.


10 September 2009

Buggy Stuff Again

So last week Sam and I went to the shop for a few hours after work. We were able to finish the wiring and finish welding the frame. There were still a few leaky hoses to deal with. Tonight, we changed the spark plugs, cleaned/fixed the carbs, refitted the coolant lines, and improved the fuel line. We cranked the engine over and nothing happened. We knew we had spark, nothing was leaking so we couldn't figure it out. We found a wire dangling when it shouldn't have been and plugged it back in. This time it started. It ran on all cylinders and started up quickly. It sounds a little rough still because we need to adjust the exhaust a bit. Otherwise, everything is great. So that feels good. Every thing else is pretty minor, like putting the racing harnesses and the floor in.

It should be drivable soon.


24 August 2009

New Haircut

Just to correct, I think it was around 60 pounds of meat. Quite possibly more. Gross. The house still smells AWFUL!!!

I interviewed for another internship today. I think it went well.

Also, this is me:

Mission Beach, CA

Tuesday 18 Aug 2009, from the balcony of 2735 Ocean Front Walk, near Lifeguard stand #10, minutes before sundown.

We got back from our week-long trip to San Diego. It was really nice and we had a really great time. We stayed on a beach house on the boardwalk behind lifeguard hut #10. We made a trip to Disneyland, but mostly stayed near the beach house eating, napping, watching movies, and playing in the waves. We also had some fun riding my parents scooters illegally. On the way home we stayed overnight at Alexandria's aunt's house in St. George. It was a nice way to break up the drive home.

We got home to discover that the freezer door popped open during our vacation, consequently thawing several pounds of frozen meat. We walked in to an overwhelming and gagging odor of incubating bacteria. It smells awful. It still smells awful. We got home on Sunday at 2:38 PM. We walked in our house at 2:39. We stopped cleaning at 4:35 PM. It involved removing everything from the fridge and freezer. We loaded a three garbage bags with rotten meat and washed the containers of everything else we didn't throw away. All the shelves came out and were scrubbed. Afterward they were liberally coated in Lysol spray. The fridge and freezer were sprayed and scrubbed with Tilex Mold and Mildew. Its basically just bleach. Then we moved the fridge and mopped up the juice on the floor. We then mopped the floor...twice. We opened the windows and ran fans outside all night. We sprayed air freshener and vacuumed everything as well. It still smells. Its really bad. Hopefully it goes away soon. I can't take it much longer. The beach house was musty, but way better than this.
Poppy, we brought the rats with us.
The twin beds we pushed together. We actually liked this set up. Alexandria made her bed. I let mine breathe a little. She also couldn't steal my sheets as she had her own set. Still, our bed at home is so much more comfortable.

08 August 2009

Explorer Sport Utility

This weekend we decided to test out both the sport and utilitarian value of our new Ford Explorer. New is figurative as it is new to us with over 150k miles. No matter that the AWD is broken and the door handles sometimes need persuasion, for what we paid for it, it was a sweet deal. The AWD transfer case will be swapped out for an 4x4 transfer case from an F-150 in the near future. This will allow 4hi and 4lo for snow and dirt, as well as a urban behaving 2wd all connected with a nice manual shifter. This will solve some of the recurring issues with the AWD system. Anyway, back to this weekend.

First we went camping at Dry Canyon campground in Diamond Fork Canyon. It is a really nice tent-site campground replete with bathrooms and running water. The water of course runs down the creek adjacent to the camp sites. It is only potable (by which I assume that it meets the requirements to be placed in a pot) after filtering it. This gave us a great opportunity to test our the Katydyn water filter Alexandria's parents got us for Christmas. It worked well. Pure mountain spring water bottled at the source. This trip allowed us to test many things besides the truck and the water filter. It was the first time we've been camping together after the time we met on the ward campout. We finally used some of the gifts we got as wedding presents. During the experience we were able to identify other things that we may need as gifts to make camping a more pleasant experience. Below is a picture of the campground

The coordinates of the campground are N 40 04.831' W 111 21.792' as provided by Sam and lead you directly to the bathroom of the campground.

We stayed the night and it was really great. The weather was really nice as the sun was out and the predicted rain did not fall. Due to rain earlier in the week, the humidity was low and the canyon was about 65 F. That night it probably dropped to the 40s. The next morning we got up and ate pop-tarts. We packed up camp and I snapped a few pictures.
We drove up Diamond Fork Road for about a mile and arrived at the Three forks trail head. There were several guys gearing up to take dirt bikes out on another trail. We packed our backpacks with our freshly filtered water and changed into our swimsuits. We started hiking to the Fifth Water Hot springs. It is about a 2.5 mile hike to get to the springs. There are several warnings along the trail advising hikers that nude bathers might be present. There were none, in fact, we saw about five families hiking the trail that morning. The springs are located adjacent to a mountain creek right after a water fall. The springs and a portion of the creek flow into pools to create a nice warm pool. In all there are three hot springs pools along the creek.

You could smell the sulfur on the way up the trail but the springs themselves were quite bearable. We hiked back down the trail and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Alexandria also used this break to apply some deodorant.

After lunch we got in the Explorer and drove about 10 miles to the Wardsworth Trailhead. The first few miles were on a narrow paved road but then we left the pavement for a dirt and gravel road that wound through the mountain between groves of Aspen and Birch trees. Apparently our GPS prefers paved roads as it estimated our arrival time as an hour and a half later. After defying the sound advice of the British lady giving directions several times, I was surprised to learn that the outd
ated NavTeq maps loaded in the system actually had the off-road trail we used to get to the bike trail. Once the GPS realized that we were stubborn enough to descend the face of the mountain on gravel switchbacks, the arrival time was set for only a few minutes later. We got to the trail head and could smell our brakes. Once we add the 4wd transfer case, we'll be able to put the truck in 4lo and have a controlled descent without toasting the brake pads. We arrived at N 40 11.735' W 111 23.505' Alt=6050' and unloaded our bikes. We intended to bike up the mountain about 3 miles, turn around, and head back down. The ride up for the most part was uneventful, as was the downhill portion back to the car. It was the middle section that turned hairy as our 6-mile ride turned into an 11 mile adventure.

As we neared the top, we met another group of novice bikers who were also riding the trail for the first time. We thought they were experience bikers as each was on an expensive bike, it turned out t
hat they had walked most of their uphill climb. We were about to turn around and head back down the way we came but instead decided to follow them on another trail around the mountain back to the car. It was supposed to be longer but a much more mild downhill ride back to the main road. The owner of all the bikes, and an avid mountain biker of two-years, looked at the map I had brought and decided that we should turn left on an ATV trail to cut across the mountain. Mind you, we were on a clearly blazed trail at the time, but we followed thinking that the biker was somewhat experienced. As we were faster than their group, we went on ahead on the smooth ATV trail. After two miles, we realized that the trail looped back on itself and led nowhere. Now lost and not wanting to retrace our ride up the hill, we found a narrower trail cutting across the ridge with obvious horseshoe prints. The trail was shared by bikers, hikers, and equestrians, so we figured it would lead somewhere good. It did not. The trail dissipated, the bushes overgrew the way, and we scratched ourselves up trying to follow through the bush. I finally decided it was time to turn around when we got to the very end of the ridge and it just dropped off. Judging by the rapid branching of the trail and the abundance of cow poop I suspected that the trail we had followed was carved by a herd of cattle grazing. My suspicions were confirmed as we encountered a puzzled herd of cows on our way back. Although I didn't tell Alexandria, there were times when I had to stop and look for our own tire tracks to get back. She would have freaked out even more if she had known.

The cow trail, perhaps sometimes used by the rancher lead back the other way across the ridge the same way we had come on the ATV trail. There was a stock pond used for the cattle at the place we were going to turn around. We figured that the cattle would most likely go to the pond to drink and that this trail would le
ad us back there. We followed it and in fact were able to return to pond where we had started our adventure. From there we turned down the trail we came up. In the end, the downhill trail was not that bad. Certainly not bad enough for us to chance taking another way down. Fortunately, the weather stayed cool durning our entire ride and we didn't run out of water. Below is a picture of the proposed trail and the way we actually went. The difference should be clear. We were quite tired by the time we got home and had done all of that in less than 24 hours. It was a fun trip though and we would definitely camp at Dry Canyon again, bike this trail again, and make the hike to the springs again. The off-road adventure may be put on hold as they are planning some road construction soon. I really hope they don't pave the roads up there, as that would be no fun.


02 August 2009

Rat Antics

This is a video of our rat poppy in our fern narrated with Alexandria's best Nick Jr./Sesame Street Voice.
We still don't know how she got up there.

22 July 2009

Application Process

Dear people,
So, It has been quite some time since my last post. Summer has been going well for me. I have mostly been working in the welding shop as well as doing research in the Biophysics lab on campus with Dr. Dixon Woodbury. Our research focuses on the proteins of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Specifically we are working with SNAP-25. SNAP is an abbreviation for soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion attachment protein.
Apart from work and school I have been putting several hours of work into the buggy each week. Currently frame is done, the wheels and suspension are on, the steering is set up, and the engine is in place. Now we just have the small detail stuff to put on. Its the kind of stuff that takes time but doesn't seem very impressive. I hope to have it drivable before fall semester starts. That is possible.
Yesterday my MCAT scores were released. I was happy with them and they should be good enough to get me into my first choices. We would like to go to UC Davis as they have a great Food Science grad program that Alexandria is interested in. My next choice would be UC San Diego. I am going to apply to most of the UC medical schools as I have residency in California. We are interested in completing medical school while using the Navy HPSP (Health Professions Scholarship Program). This program pays for tuition and fees while also providing a monthly stipend. Afterwards, I would serve active duty in the Navy Medical Corps for four years with a rank as a commissioned officer. It will allow us to finish Medical school without debt, which is great but, I also think that serving in the Navy Medical corps will be a truly rewarding experience.
Anyways, thats my current life situation.

12 July 2009

Mini Princess Apron

I discovered last week that DI sells clear grab bags of fabric for $3 each. It made me so excited! I bought 2 bags of fabric and 1 of ribbon and tulle and such and for 10 dollars got tons of decorations and probably 15-20 yards of random fabric to fuel random projects! :) Last night at the movie theater (we went to see Monsters vs. Aliens--very enjoyable) I saw the cutest little girl wearing a tutu made out of tulle tied to an elastic waistband and thought it was the most adorable thing ever and was thinking "I could make that, but I'd have to buy elastic." Today I saw a little 2 year old girl at church today that I really like and decided I would make her a cute dress-up apron with the stuff. It only took about an hour. She was asleep when I brought it over, so I hope she likes it when she wakes up. I'm really enjoying this new hobby. As fun as baking WITHOUT the dishes or the empty calories. Too bad I still bake... ;)

08 July 2009

4th of July

For the 4th we hiked the Y to watch the fireworks. We walked from our house so as to avoid traffic afterward. It was a good idea--it would have taken us FOREVER to get home. The fireworks were okay--some good pictures but a disappointing show overall. The moon, however, was beautiful.

05 July 2009

Recent Projects

I have been attempting to sew recently :) Gotta love the cow apron. It totally goes with my otto&sons internship.

07 June 2009

Link to buggy pics Picasa album

Buggy Build 2.0
Above is a link to the Buggy Build 2.0 picasa album. Yesterday Sam and I put in a record 13 hours and basically finished the front end. All it needs now is the steering components to be put it. It looks really awesome now and gives a perspective of how large it actually is.


18 April 2009

I know what I'm doing this summer!

I found out yesterday that I got the internship at Otto and Sons in West Jordan, Utah. I am very excited. I applied for four internships and interviewed for three (the other company turned not to be able to hire an intern). After being turned down twice and having Jeremy come home to me devastated, I decided that I was much better at getting interviews than jobs and tried not to get my hopes up too high. But it worked out! I start May 4th. It is a quality assurance position, and should be a good experience this summer and hopefully help me get a "real" job someday in the future.

21 March 2009

Family and Friends

Jeremy's birthday was last week. I got him a free gourmet burger at Red Robin and we went out to dinner, then we went to Sears where he was able to pick out some tools he wanted before coming home to eat the amazingly rich chocolate cake I made him. The balloons are Reeses Pieces eggs and the dots are M&Ms. His present from me was a new pair of Saucony running shoes :)

On Sunday my family came into town. They actually met us at church. My mom called me to find me and said they were in the building. Everyone was dressed up except for Andrew; he said he didn't believe the family would really go to church so he didn't bring clothes. He showed up in sweat pants and bright green shoes with his typical Andrew hair. The visit was really quite a fun one. My grandma drove up from St. George with three of my cousins, and my cousin Allison who goes to BYU met up with us. I was able to feed my family for lunch and EVERYONE for dinner. It was a LOT of food. Andrew, in particular, eats a lot :) I mean a LOT. We made pasta and salad for lunch and beef tostadas for dinner. Andrew ate about 8 peanut butter sandwiches, two donuts, some cake, and I'm sure more in addition to that. I was amazed that we were able to fit 12 people into our apartment and have enough seating and food for everyone, especially with four teenage boys. Below are some pictures of the experience, including one in particular of Andrew's crazy hair.

During the trip, Austin was able to get all of the clothes he needed for his mission. He goes into the MTC on Tuesday the 25th to learn Spanish and eventually end up in the Leon, Mexico mission. Andrew bought a long board from a pawn shop. We were all able to go out to dinner for Jeremy and my birthday, and we were able to spend quite a bit of time together. I spent a lot of time trying to get ahead on homework so that I actually could spend time with my family, and I think I did a pretty good job. Now I have some grading to catch up on.

I applied for three internships this week. Hopefully I'll be able to get one of them. Two are at Welfare Square in Salt Lake, and one is an internship for Nestle Stouffers in Springville. I would prefer Springville simply to avoid having to drive to Salt Lake. Also, there is a deal in my public speaking class where if we write an editorial and get it published in the Daily Universe, we don't have to take the final for the course. I submitted one on Wednesday evening and it showed up in the paper Friday. Yay!!! On Thursday I went to a gathering where my old roommate opened her mission call. It's still kind of strange to me that I'm turning 21 and definitely not going on a mission. Sometimes I still wonder to myself whether or not I want to go before I realize that I already made that decision. I was able to meet up with all of my roommates from last year except for one, which was really fun. She's going to New York, New York South. Bermuda is part of her mission, which is really quite neat.

Today was a beautiful day. We hiked the Y with our friends Zac and Jessica Weist. I posted some pictures for your enjoyment. Right now I am trying to make homemade Girl Scout Samoas. It is quite the process. Jeremy just finished fixing the tail light on our car. It was burned out and therefore our right blinker was going double time. Quite annoying. I guess that's about it. Look for another post in a few months ;)

14 February 2009

Valentines Day

Tulips for me from Jeremy
Roses from Jeremy's Mom
Cookies from my Mom
Three bouquets on our kitchen table (and our 100-year-old fern)
Jeremy and my gifts to him