Thursday, March 31, 2011


Thursday, March 31, 2011
I spent the last few days in Denver for my annual Higher Education Users Group (HEUG) conference.  I love getting together with other functional IT people from PeopleSoft schools around the world to see how they use the delivered product and how they've modified it in other cases to meet their needs.  I always come back from this conference excited and full of ideas.

The only problem is I didn't really take pictures - the only pictures I took this week were for Flat Noah (I'm helping out Mandy's son with a school project)... so I don't have much to show!  I guess all I'll say is that outside of the conference I had a good time hanging out with my co-workers Jami and Mark.  The highlights were:
Mad Greens!!!
We decided Mad Greens should expand to Boise - I even sent them an email asking them to!  It is a delicious salad restaurant... you pick from lettuce, spinach, or mixed greens, then pick a meat, and add on veggies and other toppings.  We all loved it.  In fact, Jami went back again the next night for dinner!  It was also really nice that they had all the nutritional information (calories, etc.) right on the menu.  I got the Edgar Allen Poe - baby greens, apples & pears, walnuts, blue cheese crumbles, and flank steak with port wine vinaigrette.  Mmmmm, wish I was eating one right now.  A special thanks to Mark's hygienist for suggesting it :-)

 The Tattered Cover
Mark knows I love buying books, so visiting the Tattered Cover was his suggestion.  Seriously the coolest book store I've ever been in.  I could have spent hours there wandering the two floors of both new and used books.  I loved how they had staff recommendations all throughout the store.  I ended up buying 3 used hardback books and 4 new paperback books.  Good thing I got a bag at the conference that I could use as a carry on for the plane - my books would have pushed me well over the 50 pound limit for my suitcase!  Mark and I would have loved going back again the next night.  It's probably a good thing for my wallet that I didn't.  I think I would consider flying back to Denver just to visit this bookstore again.


Sticky Dirt

Last Saturday a group of us hiked Table Rock...It's been a while since I last hiked it, so it was nice to get out there again.  The only problem was that it had been a little rainy the couple days before we hiked, so the trails were kind of muddy.  We probably should have stayed off them, but we were all excited to enjoy the spring morning.  I loved how Luke described the trails as "sticky dirt"!  The picture above is probably only about 1/3 of the group.  We were the first ones up and it was a little windy at the top so we headed down not too long after we reached the top.

Anyway, we all had a good time hiking and chatting, and then met up afterwards at Boise Fry Company for some bison burgers and delicious fries.  One more picture from the day - my cousin Todd with his son Alex.  I loved how Alex pulled his hat down over his face to keep warm!


I love my book club

I know I've blogged about book club before, but our book club dinner really has become one of my monthly highlights.  Since I last posted about it in December, we've read Night, The Art of Racing in the Rain, and will be reading The Tiger's Wife this next month.  We ate at Sa-Wa-Dee (Thai food) for our March book club meeting - I love Thai!  And the book we read (The Art of Racing in the Rain) was one of my favorites that we've read too.  So fun.  And the people are all really great.  We're going to miss Lance this summer while he is away!

Anyway, thought I'd post a couple more pictures from the evening.  Carsten ate the flower that came as garnish on Brooke's plate, and you can't tell from the picture but Lance got a flaming chicken!


Friday, March 18, 2011

Thank you friends, family, and social networking

Friday, March 18, 2011
Just thought I'd share a quick example of how my small social network helped me this week!  A couple days ago, I posted both on facebook and my blog about how I wasn't feeling well.  In a matter of hours, I had multiple people reaching out to me.  My neighbor Sue brought me a couple doses of some over-the-counter cough syrup.  One of my ward members Bryce asked if I needed my home teachers to come give me a blessing or if I needed someone to run and get anything from the store.  My sister and niece brought me lunch.  My dad brought me dinner.  I got an email of concern from my mom and my aunt.  Thanks everyone!  I am definitely starting to feel better :-)


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not in Stock

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I have been shopping at the same Albertsons store (on Ustick and Five Mile) for pretty much my entire life.  I remember shopping there with my mom when I was younger, and it has been my sole grocery destination since I moved into my house over 7 years ago.  I probably stop in there 2-3 times a week on average, and I recognize all the store clerks (just as they recognize me).  There are some I like more than others, and will often stand in a longer line to get my favorite clerk (I almost never do self checkout - I feel like I am paying a "premium" for them to scan and bag my groceries!).

Anyway, I have always loved my Albertsons because they carry everything I ever want and I know pretty much right where everything is.  I can be in and out with my cart of groceries very quickly.  I did, however, recently ask that they carry a new product... I fell in love with the Greek Gods honey flavored greek yogurt, and wanted them to carry the larger containers instead of just the small, individual-sized ones.  I was certain they would comply with my request, seeing as I'm a regular customer and the fact that the small ones were almost always out of stock (I assume because everyone else loved them too).  I even printed out a request sheet and gave it to them.  MUCH to my dismay, a short time later they completely stopped carrying the Greek Gods greek yogurt all together!!!  What???  How rude.

Well, I decided this could actually be a good thing for me.  Maybe Albertsons knows what I really need.  The truth is, the Greek Gods yogurt probably wasn't the best thing for me... If you clicked on the link and looked at the nutritional information, you would have seen that my delicious honey flavored yogurt had 250 calories, 14 grams of fat, and only 6 grams of protein... probably not the top on a list of "healthy" snacks - somewhat deceiving, right?  So Albertsons choice to discontinue carrying my yogurt has forced me into trying new yogurts.  I already knew I didn't love the yoplait brand - my mom introduced me to yoplait greek yogurt a year or so ago and I didn't care for it.  I recently tried the Chobani greek yogurt, and decided I kind of like it (in fact I just ate a pineapple flavor for snack!).  This brand is much healthier too, ranging from 100-160 calories, 0-2.5 grams of fat, and 13-14 grams of protein.  It isn't quite as delicious as my Greek Gods yogurt, but figure I'm already sacrificing by eating yogurt instead of a chocolate chip cookie, so a switch in brands shouldn't be that much larger a sacrifice :-)


Miserable Night

I am a generally healthy person.  I think the last time I was truly sick (not counting allergies, food poisoning, or a 24-hour bug) was back in 2007.  Reading back over that post, I'm glad I don't feel that way again (I was SICK!)... but I did have a pretty rotten night last night.  This "bug" has slowly progressed over the last week from a few sneezes a day to a tickle in my throat to an annoying dry cough to last night when it moved into my head and I had a persistent dry cough.  I literally laid in bed awake for over 6 hours because I was coughing every ten seconds.  SO ANNOYING!  All I wanted to do was sleep!  This bug has drained me and I was so tired.  Finally around 1:30 in the morning I got up to raid my cupboards.  I found that I had 1 teaspoon left of cough syrup with codine from when I was sick in 2007.  I took it.  It didn't help.  Probably because it had expired years ago.  I also found some cough drops - one pack expired in 2005, the other in 2008.  I tried them anyway, and they didn't help much either.  I guess that's what happens when you don't get sick often - you don't have any medicine in the house!  Needless to say, I just showered and I'm off to Albertsons to find some drugs!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Visit with Lisa

Sunday, March 13, 2011
I had some really great college roommates.  We became so close in such a short amount of time and built this amazing connection.  I sometimes feel guilty for not keeping in touch with them as much as I should, but when we get together, it's like we have never been apart.  Everyone came to Boise in the summer of 2007 and we all got together in Salt Lake in the summer of 2009.  I'm thinking we're about due for another little reunion!  It's fun to see the direction that everyone's lives have gone and the adventures they are having.  And it's been fun for me to watch their families grow - I hope to join them in that adventure someday :-)  Congrats to Jessica for their new addition Isaac!

Anyway, in just about a year's period, I was able to visit almost all of my dear friends in their hometowns.  I visited Sunny in Rexburg in October 2009, Emily in Logan in November 2009, Jessica in Austin in March 2010, and Corinne (and Tim!) in Virginia/DC in September 2010.  The one place I didn't make it to within those 12 months was Salt Lake to visit Lisa... well, I may be a little tardy, but I finally went and visited this weekend!  It was so fun to see Lisa pregnant with her third little boy, and to hang out with her and her two adorable kids Myles and Marcus (Brock was on call all weekend so we didn't see much of him).

We had fun playing legos...

Having lunch at Arctic Circle with our friend Val...
Digging for worms in the garden and putting them in their "worm home" (an old flower box full of dirt)...

Making oreo milkshakes...
And even getting a little shopping in.  I fell in love with Gardner's Village (and want to go back when we have more time!) and I bought some yarn in this adorable little yarn shop.  Lisa started teaching me how to knit!  I think it will take me a while to truly get the hang of it, but I've started making a scarf. Hopefully it will look like a scarf when I'm done :-)  We also taught the boys how to play one of our college favorites - SkipBo!  It was a really great weekend - thanks for letting me come visit Lisa!


Weekend of Birthdays

It seems like everybody's birthdays are in March!  Jen, Andrea, Kris, Mandy, Beki, BJ, Diana, my Dad, just to name a few.  We started off the month of birthdays last Friday by throwing Kris a 40th birthday bash.  We somehow fit 20 people into my little house for a game night - board games, DDR, Just Dance, Rock Band, etc.  Kris was a great sport and wore her 40th birthday accessories we bought her.
When Kris arrived at work on Monday (her actual birthday) we surprised her with a little more fun - a decorated office and staff all in black :-)

Saturday night we had a joint party for Jen and Andrea - they both turned 29 (Jen on the 4th, Andrea on the 6th).  We went to the theater to see The Adjustment Bureau (I thought it was a great flick!) and then came back to my house for dessert.  By request, Jen had a chocolate satin pie and Andrea had an ice cream cake.
Thanks to Jared for getting trick candles :-)