March 23-28: Spring Break 2016
I love Spring Break. It's usually short for our district, but it still allows me some time to relax with family and get enough motivation to return to school to battle the endless hours of state testing.
This also commemorates the week last year when Andrew came down to California to meet my family; now he is my family. Wow, it's amazing what can happen in just one year.
We started our trip on Wednesday after work, and surprisingly we were able to drive all the way to California in one straight shot. That allowed us to spend all day Thursday just chilling with my family, doing errands with my mom, and napping after an exhausting trip.
On Friday, our grand plan was for us two to drive down to San Diego to go to the temple there. We were all dressed up in our church clothes, got up early to drive down, and we arrived there just before 10 am to find that it was CLOSED! Oh man, we would manage to choose one of the only weeks in the year the temple is closed for maintenance! Well, since we had driven all that way, we decided to spontaneously change our plans and go to Sea World instead. We changed in the car, bought tickets online, and started our Sea World adventure. Since I had only been planning on going to the beach after attending the temple, I had only brought a bathing suit coverup. I didn't feel comfortable going around Sea World in a coverup, so our first stop was the souvenir shop for some shorts and a shirt for me, and then naturally Andrew wanted a matching shirt :) It turned out to be a really fun day. We saw all the shows and touched different animals like manta-rays and sharks in the tide-pool pools. By 3 pm, we had basically finished doing everything we wanted, so we drove to Coronado beach and laid in the sun for about an hour before driving to get some food and return home.
Saturday's plans were to explore LA and Hollywood with my family. The Holocaust museum was our first stop. (PS: don't visit this museum. It was poorly structured in the way that you felt so isolated and bombarded with information. The "Museum of Tolerance" is the more effective and engaging museum about the Holocaust in LA. We found this out about a week later). Then we explored the Grove (I think...). I was a beautiful, outdoor mall. I started counting all the dogs I saw and Sarah started counting all the little girls with American Girl dolls off to their tea party. (There is a crazy American Girl doll store at the Grove. And I mean CRAZY! First, they have 3 or 4 floors full of dolls and accessories. They have the beauty parlor where they can do your doll's hair, a hospital where they can fix your doll, a restaurant where you can schedule to have a fancy meal with your doll. It's insane.) Our next adventure was driving around Beverly Hills in search of Taylor Swifts house. This was probably my favorite part of the day. We laughed a ton as we made songs and pet names for T-Swift (my little Tater-tot was our personal favorite). We drove around, got lost, looked at all the ginormous houses, followed tour buses and tried to listen in to what they were saying ("And this house belongs to George Cloony's aunt...she is in the music business...kinda..."), and lots of other ridiculous adventures as we drove around. It was a lot of fun. Our day continued with watching Zootopia at Disney's El Capitan theater. They showed us animals before the show: a rabbit, fox and (my personal favorite) a sloth! The movie was really, really cute. I highly recommend going. And finally, the day ended with an always-delicious meal at Alvera Street. Yum!
Alright, our last day in California was Easter Sunday. I always love coming home and seeing my ward family. Church was wonderful, and then family came over afterwards for an Easter feast. It truly was a wonderful vacation.
Welcome to the official first day of spring! After going to the Provo City Temple dedication, we changed into our shorts and flip flops, opened up the patio door, and started grilling on our new BBQ. (Thanks to those generous souls who gifted us Target gift cards for our wedding).
I loved witnessing the dedication of another Utah temple. The speakers were inspired, as many of them spoke of the horror they felt at finding out a fire had destroyed the Provo tabernacle over 5 years ago. On speaker explained, "In that moment, many people wondered, 'Why had God not stopped the fire before it destroyed everything?' He could have, but our limited minds/view could not imagine what God had planned for that building, and what he has planned for us. 5 years after the fire that destroyed its historic beauty, this building now stands as a beautiful and sacred temple."
It is hard to see the end from the beginning. When hard things happen (the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a plan that has fallen through, financial struggles, complicated and unhappy relationships, illness, etc.), we often wonder, "Where was God? Why did he not stop this disaster and save me from this pain?" However, we often fail to see that God has bigger plans for us. Sometimes he has to burn the tabernacle to make way for a beautiful temple in us.
I say that, and I BELIEVE that, but I also know that it is much easier said than done. But today I am especially grateful for my knowledge of the gospel and the hope and faith I can find through Jesus Christ. I can lean on him through the ups and downs of my mortal journey, and hopefully I will allow God mold me into the woman I should be.
Feb 29-March 6: Foodie Week
This week, I had a goal to cook something delicious and new every night (unfortunately, I made it to Wednesday before caving for a sushi night outing). I really enjoy cooking, but I feel that sometimes I get stuck in a rut with my recipes. So these were the recipes we tried this week:
Well, we also ate out a few times this week, and these are some gems we found:
Andrew and Maichael
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