Dec 8, 2008

December happenings...

These pics are from my work Christmas party. Wait, I probably haven't given a work update yet, have I? A good friend of mine from college, Kim Ryan, is a social worker for a Harmony Home Health & Hospice and she and the other social worker are pretty swamped, so she talked to her boss about hiring a part-time social worker to help out. I started about a month ago and so far it's been great. I work from home, the pay is good, and I schedule my own hours so it's super flexible. Dan's work is flexible too, so he's been able to take her to work for a morning every week, then between Dan's mom, sister-in-law and a couple of close friends the schedule is working out great. Although I hadn't worked in hospice before, I had worked in a skilled nursing facilitiy and also with cancer patients at UCI, so those jobs have really have helped with the learning curve! Our Christmas party was in downtown SLC at the Wells Fargo building, on the 23rd floor. It was really nice. We had Sienna with us and weren't prepared to hike all over temple square in the freezing cold, but we did a drive by. You can see I took a couple of pics of the temple (out of the sunroof!). Neither turned out great, but fun to see some of the lights!

Me & Kim
Sienna in her adorable Christmas dress (one of the FOUR my mom bought to choose from!)

The fam at the Ryan Shupe & the Rubber Band Christmas Concert! We missed you Jeff, Carolyn and the boys and Nelly!

Just because she's cute

I went to dinner with some of my close girlfriends a few weeks ago to celebrate Christy's birthday (which was on November 17th). We ate at the Bohemian in Midvale--super tasty! Happy birthday, Christy! Love your guts! (I still can't believe it's been 13 years!)

Nov 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

It's funny that now that we live in Utah and we're not on vacation, I forget to take pictures. Here's the few pics I took over the weekend. Of course they are all of Sienna. :) Actually, it's not like I really had a proper Thanksgiving dinner to take pictures of anyway, since I spent Thanksgiving puking. :) Good times, good times. Ya, Dan and I both got sick with a nasty bug. Smelling all the food cooking and having to cook stuffing while I was nauseated was the worst! All is well now and we're both feeling better. Most of all, I'm grateful that it didn't last more than a couple of days (and, of course, for leftovers)!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be thankful for. I am grateful for an amazing husband, and a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I am grateful for an eternal marriage. I am grateful for my family (mine and Dan's alike). We both feel so blessed to have wonderful parents who love and support us unconditionally. I know it's rare to have such close relationships with all your siblings and Dan and I both feel very lucky that we have the kind of relationships we do with our family members. I am grateful to live in a country where we have political and religious freedom. I am grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am grateful for the knowledge I have that families can be together forever. I am grateful my Savior Jesus Christ, for scriptures, for a living prophet, for the joy that comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the holiday season, which makes me take an inventory of my life and helps me to realize how abundantly blessed I am. Last Sunday a friend of mine gave a talk in our ward. She shared stories of what life was like growing up in the Dominican Republic. She spoke of the poverty and the hardships her family experienced. She also shared memories of Christmas, and how she was always so excited for Christmas and could not wait for the few pieces of fruits and nuts that they would receive. She said that she and her siblings were just as excited for Christmas as her children are today, only her children would be greatly disappointed if all they got was a few grapes. Her talk focused on being grateful and content with what we have, and for not always wanting more. She also spoke of the importance of teaching our children to be grateful. I am grateful for her talk and am recommitted to doing better this Christmas season, and always. I want to give more, to want less, and to appreciate more fully the blessings that I have in my life.

Nov 23, 2008

Random thought...

I went to a boutique the other day and on the door it had a sign that said "I'm so glam I sweat glitter." I thought it was pretty funny.
On an entirely different note, I was working on editing a previous post and I finally posted it today. If you want to check out some details about the gourmet club I'm in, keep scrolling down past my novel about Prop 8.

Nov 20, 2008

Take a stand!

I have received a few emails from people regarding prop 8. Although it is a difficult issue, this is an issue that I feel strongly about. I'm saddened that it has caused so much contriversy, so much division (both outside and within the LDS church) and so much hatred. This isn't about intolerance or descriminating against gays, although many feel that it is. I think it's quite ironic that those who feel that it is an issue of descrimination feel perfectly justified descriminating against members of the LDS church, and against those who are in support of Prop 8. I believe that Prop 8 is about exercising the right to stand up for what you believe in and to fight against something that you feel will ultimately threaten your right to practice religion freely. It's about the consequences we believe will inevitably come if marriage is redefined as anything other than between a man and woman.

Because I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I believe in a living prophet of God. Traditionally, the LDS church maintains a very neutral position when it comes to politics, simply encouraging its' members to study the issues, and to pray to help them to be guided to vote for issues and leaders who will lead us with integrity. However, during this election, for the first time in 20-30 years, the leaders of the LDS church felt strongly that we needed to be involved. We, as members of the LDS church, needed to invest our time, effort and means to help this to pass. It must be pretty important then. For me, it's so black and white. Even if I don't fully understand all the details, I know enough. I know that we have a living prophet, who prophesies, knows, understands and sees things that I can't. If President Thomas S. Monson believes that this needs to pass, I believe him. There is a really good article about Prop 8, the sanctity of marriage and why the LDS church became involved. Click here to read it. My mom and I were talking the other day about how the division line between good and evil has become so blurred. More than ever, it's time to choose a side, to take a stand, and to make sure that we are standing on the Lord's side of the line. Do your part by spending just a couple of minutes signing this petition and sending an email to your Governor and legislators.

This is from an email I received regarding Prop 8.

Urge Governor, Legislators NOT to oppose Prop 8
We have arrived at a most urgent time in history. Some elected officials in California - the governor and a number of legislators - have decided that the vote of the people means NOTHING. For reasons known only to them, they have indicated that they want the vote of the people concerning Proposition 8 overturned. To date, 44 legislators as well as the governor are petitioning the California Supreme Court to declare Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Although I fail to see how something that is in the constitution can be unconstitutional, this is what they are advocating nevertheless. I have never - EVER - witnessed such blatant disdain from elected officials towards a majority of their constituents as is the case concerning the sanctity of marriage. What we must do is to let our voices be heard-NOW. I am not suggesting we should take to the streets as the marriage opponents are currently doing. We must make our voices be heard directly by every legislator in California - both in the Assembly and in the Senate - as well as by the governor. We have voted on this issue - TWICE - and it is high time the government of the people, by the people, and for the people be restored TO the people. Take Action Now!

Click here to take action now and write to your California Governor and Congressmen.

On another website you can sign this petition, which will be delivered to Governor Schwarzenegger.

Proposition 8: Governor Schwarzenegger Respect the Voter's Will
If you are a California citizen, please act immediately to sign this petition to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who is urging the California Supreme Court to overthrow the results of the recent free and fair election which passed Proposition 8, defining marriage as between a man and a woman. His actions as governor in attempting to negate this vote are an insult to the voters of California and undermine the rule of law. We will deliver this letter with your signatures to his office as a means of saying that the voices of the voters should neither be disregarded, nor silenced.

Please pass this petition on to your friends and urge them to sign it by clicking here.

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,
Since election day, you have made comments urging the California Supreme Court to overturn the citizens' will in passing Proposition 8 in California defining marriage as between a man and a woman. This was passed after a rigorous election process by a healthy margin of 52% to 48%.
You have recommended that the state Supreme Court declare the initiative unconstitutional and said, "The important thing now is to resolve this issue." The election passing Proposition 8 did resolve the issue, according to the most basic tenet of our free society, which is based on the "consent of the governed."

When Thomas Jefferson put that language about "consent of the governed" in the Declaration of Independence, it was not just a nice-sounding phrase, but the keystone of the Declaration and, indeed, the entire revolution. It captured the fundamental reason the colonists had decided to leave the British Commonwealth, and why they were willing, as the Declaration put it, to "pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor" to the cause of independence. The hallmark and foundation of this country is the "consent of the governed."

James Wilson of New Jersey, who signed both the Declaration and the Constitution, wrote that "the only reason why a free and independent man was bound by human laws was this - that he bound himself." In other words, he consented to be bound by them, because he participated in the process.

To try to overturn an election is an insult to voters and undermines the democratic process. As governor, it is your responsibility to support and defend the California constitution, which now reads that marriage is between a man and a woman and the foundation processes of our country that are based on "consent of the governed."

We urge you to:
-Publically accept the results of the ballot initiative as the will of the people
-Publically recant any suggestions that the California Supreme Court should overturn the voice of a free and fair election.
-Condemn the recent assaults upon the First Amendment rights of supporters of Proposition 8. We echo what the Protect Marriage coalition has said, "Amidst all this lawlessness, harassment, trampling of civil rights and now domestic terrorism, one thing stands out: the deafening silence of our elected officials. Not a single elected leader has spoken out against what is happening." We look to you to speak out against those who would silence free speech by targeting donors, disrupting church services and vandalizing property.

Your Name & Address Here

Click on this link if you are in agreement and would like to sign this petition

Nov 19, 2008

Gourmet Club

Some of my friends from college started a gourmet club last year. Lucky for me, they had some people move, when I moved to Utah I was asked if I wanted to join them. I had to post some pics from the last couple that we've had. It's pretty incredible (and although I do love it, I have to admit that I do leave feeling pretty incompetent!). The pictures really don't do them justice, either. You can see more pics and get all the recipes at our blog My friend Sunny does a great job keeping it updated. The first gourmet club I attended was hosted by Shelly & Lindsay. The theme was "An Asian Occasion".
The invitation was adorable--a box with a couple of felt fortune cookies with all the details inside. Such a cute idea.

They went all out with the decor and the food. Everything was so tasty! Lindsey even taught us how to make sushi, which was surprisingly pretty easy. The take-home gift was a sushi mat, which I'm excited to try. I have to mention how incredible the lemon pie was. If I ever have to choose between anything and chocolate, I would always go for chocolate, but I will tell you, I took one bite of this pie and couldn't stop. It was incredible. Here's the recipe.

Lemon Supreme Pie

1 unbaked deep-dish pastry shell (9 inches)
Lemon Filling:
1 ¼ cups sugar
6 Tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp. salt
1 ¼ cups water
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
4 – 5 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
½ cup fresh lemon juice
Cream Cheese Filling:
11 oz. cream cheese, softened
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ cups whipped topping
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy duty foil. Bake at 450 for 8 mins.
Remove foil and bake 5 mins longer. Cool on wire rack.
In a saucepan, combine ¾ cup sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in water; bring to a boil over medium –high heat. Reduce heat; add the remaining sugar. Cook and stir for 2 mins or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat; stir in butter, lemon peel and food coloring if desired. Gently stir in lemon juice (do not overmix). Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping and
lemon juice. Refrigerate ½ cup for garnish. Spread remaining cream cheese mixture into pastry shell; top with lemon filling, Chill overnight. Place reserved cream cheese mixture in a pastry bag and place a dot on each piece. Store in the refrigerator.
Yields 6-8 servings

Thanks for a great night! There's nothing better than hangin' out with friends and eating amazing food!

For our November gourmet club, Amber & Heather hosted another incredible evening! They did such an amazing job. Their theme was "ATaste of Fall". Here are some more pics from the night.

So painful...

So, So be in Southern California and not play on the beach! I'm not even kidding, my feet did not even touch the sand. How sad is that!? It's ok though, since we weren't going to play on the beach. At least I got close enough to take some good pics of the sunset. Dan's cousin and his wife were sealed in the San Diego Temple, so we took a road trip to be there for the special day. We got there Friday afternoon (after staying in St. George at my friend Robyn's Thursday night) and then headed back to Utah on Sunday, so we really were there for just 1 1/2 days. We went to the sealing, Disneyland, had a bbq with friends, made a quick stop in San Clemente to see the Syed's, and went to our old ward before heading back home. Unfortunately, I didn't take too many pictures of friends and ended up with just some random pics from the trip. It was such a short trip, it was just a little teaser. We definitely plan to go back sometime soon to spend some more quality time with friends and spend more time at the beach.
Sienna's first trip to Disney. She just loved it. ;)
The girls fussing over Sienna (yes, this was staged :) Jake Sim chillin' in a Bug's Life at California AdventureSienna and her boyfriend Corbin(and me & Mel)My bff JeniSan Diego TempleAndy & JamieLittle Samson holding Sienna. Love those big brown eyes!
Our first apartment in San Clemente
The sunset from our old apartment in SC

We couldn't leave California without a stop by Wahoo's. Kalua pork bowl...Hm....

Can you tell that Sienna loved her first trip to Wahoo's?