a day off

At work yesterday, we finished everything we needed to do for the whole week. Which means I had today off! So I relaxed, did laundry, and cleaned my guinea pig cage. Day off = housewife duties. I guess.

Anyway, I had enough time this morning to muse over the finer things in life. Like, does anyone actually eat anything besides the marshmallows in a box of Lucky Charms?

Yeah… that's why this is Michael's cereal, and not mine! Though as a kid, I do remember forcing down all the 'yucky bits' just to get to the good part. What a tough little kid I once was.

Today poor Juni became my "guinea pig" (haha) and had to model for me while I messed around with the new camera. I love it, but I'm still getting used to it.

anniversary weekend

This weekend was one of the best I've had- it was our one year anniversary! After our wedding we didn't really get a honeymoon, so I'm grateful that we at least had a couple days this year to just enjoy each other's company and have some fun.

We left on Thursday night and stayed with Michael's grandparents, since they live at about the half-way mark of our voyage. I was glad we had a comfortable place to sleep, since we originally planned on camping for two nights instead. And who could pass up grandma's homemade bread? =)

Friday morning we woke up early and left to go to Six Flags! But on the way, we had to stop at Walmart to pick up some things for lunch later in the day. While we were there, Michael gave me a BIG surprise- he walked over to the electronics department and told me to pick out a new camera (mine was over 4 years old, and that's pretty much ancient in the technology world). I was so surprised and was a bit resistant at first… but then I just decided to let him go through with his plan. I picked out a beautiful, sleek-looking Canon. Basically, I am spoiled!

I hadn't been to an amusement park for a few years, so I was really excited! Growing up, it was a family tradition every summer. That's the one real "trip" we would all take together, so going there this weekend really brought back some memories of my childhood.

Here we are after going on rides for about 5 hours… sweaty and sunscreeny. haha

That night we went camping at a nearby park. It was really beautiful there. Of course, the best part was making s'mores! The fire pit was a bit dilapidated though…

On Saturday morning we woke up early, packed up, and went to the temple. It was such a blessing to be there on our actual anniversary! It is wonderful to think of the many blessings we receive from being sealed there. Through righteous living, we can be together forever as a family!

After several hours there, we left to come home. But on the way, we stopped to do some Trail Riding! We went to a small ranch, who gave us horses and a trail guide who brought us deep into the forest! We went through creeks and mud, and over rocks and logs. Trail horses are really very smart, amazing animals. They need to have an amazing sense of where to put their feet, as well as a good brain to know what to do in certain situations.

The ride lasted an hour and a half, which went by quickly. It was plenty long enough to make me sore though! We both had paint horses (my favorite!). Michael's was named Diego and mine had a really strange name… Cocheese, it sounded like. I have no idea how to spell that.

Anyway, here's my cute little Cocheese…

We came home last night and Michael insisted that we keep the tradition of eating the top layer of our wedding cake. One year later… it's pretty gross. I don't know who came up with this tradition, but it's not one I like much. Michael didn't think it was too bad.

just another… year?!… in paradise

In just a few days' time, we'll have been married for one entire year. I know, one year really is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it is full of so many special moments and memories. And hey, we made it, why not celebrate it?

So here are just some of the things I love about being married to Michael:

1. I get to be with my truest friend for all time and eternity

2. he can make me smile no matter what

3. he listens to my hopes and dreams

4. he loves all the baked treats I make him

5. he encourages me to be my best

6. he's cute when he laughs

7. he never complains about picking up food for my piggies

8. he likes to snuggle

9. he listens to country music with me. and comes out to the barn when I ask. he doesn't know it yet, but he's slowly becoming a country boy.

10. he likes to surprise me.

11. he tells me I'm cute even when I'm not

12. he's patient.

13. he works hard to support our little family

14. he makes really cool websites

15. no matter how crazy I might be, he is always by my side as my best friend

Here are just a few pictures of us…

When we first started dating.

Engaged.

Married!

girl’s best friend

 

One of my very favorite things about going home is seeing my puppy.

 

When I was a junior in high school, my brother and I tried so very hard to convince our parents to let us have a puppy. At the time, we already had a dog, but he was getting old and had already suffered a herniated disc in his back. Despite our love for him, we wanted a dog who could run and play with us. My mom finally "instructed" my dad to take us to the humane (or as we later discovered, not-so-humane society) to LOOK at the puppies.

Once there, we peered into a cage that contained 3 puppies- 2 were obviously brothers, and the other was a husky mix. We first walked one of the brothers. He was sweet, but a little too calm for our taste. My brother and I went back and had a look at the second brother, who was all black with white front legs and white hind paws. "Look at his 'socks!' " I exclaimed. Maybe by now you can guess where this story is about to lead…

We took him outside and he was the boldest, most energetic puppy we had ever seen. As we went back inside, my dad started telling us how we had to put the puppy back. I held the little guy close as we tried to persuade him that this was the perfect dog and we couldn't just leave him behind.

"What a cute puppy!" A lady walking by commented. Both my brother and I knew that we couldn't put him back in his cage now, that lady would snatch him up and he would never be ours.

Being such convincing kids (maybe we should've grown up to be lobbyists) we finally managed to get our dad to agree to adoption.

Here's our little "Socks"…

Socks and Barney…

We loved him so much from the start, but he was actually a very sick little guy. Just a few days after bringing him home, he couldn't seem to stop . Mom called the vet, who said to bring him in immediately. Socks was diagnosed with the deadly Canine Parvovirus, and was hospitalized for a week. Miraculously, he came home.

And now, nearly 5 years later, he is still my buddy. My dog always remembers who I really am and never stops loving me, even if I'm in a bad mood or make mistakes. Dogs see straight to your heart, and that's why I love them.

un weekend chez les parents

This was the first weekend of summer, and my job hasn’t started yet, so we decided to go visit our families! I haven’t seen my family since Christmas, so it’s been awhile. I also got to do some other fun activities while we were there, like go to the dentist. Ahhhh!

We got to see our dogs, Scrappy and Socks.

 

Michael also worked on our car with his dad…

I’ve got myself a cute little mechanic now =)

And we adopted a new guinea pig!

Ok, ok, he’s stuffed. But still cute!

La fin [the end]

Tonight my French professor had all of us from her Oral Proficiency class over for dinner. Each of us brought something, and overall we had quite a nice variety of foods. I'm not one to brag, but I do make some preeetty delicious brownies. So that's what I brought, and my prof even asked for the recipe! She makes a pretty mean whipped cream herself =)

We all joked around about our favorite professors' little quirks that we love so much… And retold some of the stories from skits we've had to act out over the years. We were all laughing so hard, but on the inside, I think we were all a little sad too. This was really the last time we'd all be together. Mostly everyone else there is graduating this semester. I'll still be here, finishing up my dual degree, which is honorable in itself, but it doesn't always feel quite that way. When you see everyone around you moving on to bigger and better things, it's easy to say "Gosh. I'm still just an undergrad!". Anyway, it was a great last memory to have with some of my French buddies.

In my post yesterday, I mentioned that I was sick… well, I woke up this morning and felt nearly completely better! There must be some magic fairy that goes around at night healing people. But last night, when I wasn't feeling so great, I watched about an hour and a half of Hannah Montana. Yeah, I just admitted that. I seem to do it only when I'm sick. But the best part of it all was that my best friend was sitting right beside me the entire time. (By the way, I'm sure that watching Hannah Montana isn't exactly his idea of fun. That must mean he loves me a lot <3 )

it’s over!

So, the school year is finally over! I say finally, but really it flew by so quickly. I took my last final today, and luckily it was easy. I didn't get to study too much for it, because yesterday I came down with some kind of bug. Yuck! Seems like since we've been married, I get sick easier.

My little study buddy helped me out some…

And look who came through the post!

en Europe… euh, pas exactement

Last night we went to the French Club's Chef Demonstration. A real French chef came and talked to us about French cheese- there are actually over 500 types! Another pretty interesting fact (mind you, I really know nothing about cheese) was that cheese will taste better when you leave it out (between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius), rather than sticking it in the fridge. The cold will stop the fermentation, or aging, process. A lot of more elderly people in France will leave the cheese out on their table until it MOLDS, and then just pick the mold off and eat it. It's all about the taste! I'm not recommending you do this, just telling you some intriguing facts…

I was thrilled that he gave the presentation in French… the bad part was that it didn't work out so well for Michael, who is fluent in English and several computer programming languages. I translated pretty well but there were still some cooking and "food property" words I didn't get, and since I've never had to translate to someone while I was trying to listen to the original speaker, I did miss a few things. It was fun to practice though and I felt pretty good about my French afterward.

After the presentation, we had an entire French meal! Well, really it was considered a "tasting", but it seemed like a lot of food. We had onion soup, a sort of chicken cordon bleu, gratin, and some vegetables.

It brought me right back to my stay in Europe. I really miss all the people I was with, the "adventures" we had, and the gastronomic experiences. The house I lived in had its own chef, whose name was Luigi. He sure made some delicious Swiss-Italian food. 

I haven't posted many piggy pictures lately, so here's one that really shows off Juni's cute feet =)

dog-gone good day

Today I slept in for the first time in a while- we got up at 10:20! All right! After that I did the normal Saturday thing… aka LAUNDRY, which is probably my least favorite chore, even though it's not at all labor-intensive. strange…

The best part of the day was this afternoon when we went to the humane society to volunteer to play with the dogs! We saw a lot of little sweethearts, including 3 beagles. One of them was there when we went last July (luckily this is a no-kill shelter). Michael enjoyed seeing "Harold" again, and he actually looked a lot healthier than before =)

It was easy to choose the dog I wanted to walk: the furriest one with the most energy, course! Her name is Gracie and she looks like some kind of Shetland sheepdog mix. She doesn't like chasing balls, but she sure loves playing tug-of-war with her leash and running after you!

Here she is before we tired her out:

We ran like crazy, and then decided to brush her, because she had a lot of extra hair and some matting. Here's what we got off of her:

And then we ran some more…

And then she was a tired little girl.

I love making the dogs happy, even if it's just for a little while. I could go there every day and never get bored. One day I'll bring a puppy home, but that won't be for a while!