Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Holidays!


Christmas is the surely the greatest time of year. On Christmas Eve we had a "Jerusalem supper" with Laura's mom, step dad, and sisters. It was great...we had flat bread, cheese, olives, grape juice, and dried apricots...yummm...tasty. That night we read Luke Chapters 1 and 2.

Christmas morning we opened presents. This year we decided to donate money to charity for at least one of our presents. I decided to give money to a charity called Global Impact. They are all about helping people out of poverty and providing basic essential health and food services. Laura suprised me with a ceramics class which we will take together in a few months. Oh...and I hope you all notice how cute Laura is. We are sooo excited for the upcoming birth of our new baby boy Miles. Only seven weeks to go!

That afternoon we went to Laura's grandparents' house and had fun talking (well, listening to Laura's grandma talk) and they fed us some famous split pea soup and chili.

Then it was on to my parents' house for ham, cranberry relish and Christmas steam pudding. We exchanged gifts, played games, and I lost a chess game to my intellectually superior brother-in-law Ian.

Holiday Fun

With five full days off work, we had time to spend relaxing and playing. We had so much fun talking and spending time with family. It was also fun to have a giant snowstorm on Christmas. Although, I'm pretty sure the day after Christmas alone I spent over two hours shoveling snow off the driveway. It must have snowed at least a foot.

Thank goodness for a warm living room. I pulled out the original 8 bit 1986 Nintendo and played of my all-time favorite games. After much toil I made it past the metroids, whereupon I did away with the Mother Brain and made the galaxy a safer place!

We're happy and well, and we wish all of you the happy holidays you deserve!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


For Alvin's 30th birthday, we headed south to Kolob Canyon and Tuacahn Theater in St. George. I felt rather devious planning the whole trip because Alvin didn't know a thing about it. Saturday morning, October 18th, I snuck up behind him, blindfolded him with my pink bandana, and announced, "You're being kidnapped."

I escorted him to the car (already packed with clothes and food for the weekend) and said he could take off the blindfold when he guessed where we were going . . . or when we got there. With some time to contemplate while we drove on the freeway and some hints, Alvin finally pinpointed our destination. His surprise was my best reward for all that careful planning. "Whoah. That's big," he said. Then for the finishing touch: "What about Primary on Sunday?" he asked. "I got you a sub," I told him, as nonchalant as I could manage. (In the past Alvin has taken days to decide who to call and make the phone call to get a substitute for his Valiant 10 class).

We stopped in Kolob Canyon, which is actually the northern section of Zion National Park, to hike up a slot canyon. The yellow-green fall leaves were a striking contrast to the glowing red-rock walls towering above us. And the canyon was deliciously cool.

Next on the itinerary: Les Miserables at Tuacahn, the outdoor ampitheater near St. George. The story of Jean Valjean is laced with themes of forgiveness, frustrated hopes, sacrifice, and redemption. The music and story were so emotional and moving. Great set, too, because they incorporated the rocky outdoor landscape into the battle scenes. If that wasn't enough, you could glance upward and feast your eyes on the magnificent Milky Way. Alvin enjoyed feasting on our licorice: Red Vines and Twizzlers. When I gawked at him chomping on 5 pieces at once, he said that was routine.

The only glitch in our trip was the campground. We got there at 11 pm after the musical ended, only to find that the campground gate closed at 10 pm. Ehh. We hopped the gate with our tents and sleeping bags and found our spot in the dark.

Sunday we went to church in what was probably a characteristically "St. George" ward: a lot of seniors who were very tan. Before starting the 5 hour drive home, we took a stroll in Snow Canyon and saw a baby owl! On the way home we stopped in Provo for dinner with my parents. Thanks, Mom, for the taco soup.

What a fun weekend. Short, but a great mid-autumn getaway. Thanks for being born in October, Alvin.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hungry Man

Alvin's back from Tulsa! Maybe I should pack him a bigger lunch to hold him over until he gets home from work.

Whenever Alvin hugs me and our bellies hit first, I think,
"Whoa! Alvin's getting a pot!" Then I correct myself, "Oh yeah, that's me." And this squirmy little boy inside me! Only 4 more months to his birthday.

By the way, I don't think Alvin could lose his six-pack if he tried.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I went to yoga this morning, and I have to admit that my favorite part is the very end: every yoga session ends with savasana, or corpse pose. I think it feels best after a good yoga workout, but I'm going to tell you how to do it so you can all try.

First, you lay on the mat on your back, arms at your side, palms up, heels together, toes flopped out. Then you close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing: slow and even. Earthy yoga music helps, but it's definitely optional.

Today during savasana, we imagined the sun slowly rising over our toes, then up our shins, and on to the rest of our bodies. While laying there, you try to release any lingering tension in your body. Even relax your eyebrows and let your tongue fall away from the roof of your mouth.

Lay on the mat until you're ready to get up - yoga is all about being in tune with your body. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Flying Solo

Alvin left this morning for a week-long job training in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Assuming he made it past airport security in his steel-toed boots, he's scheduled for daily classes in job safety. I looked at his schedule, and I think they'll be watching a lot of movies - maybe about past industrial accidents in his company.

What am I going to do without Alvin? His last business trip was only 3 or 4 days, and that was a year ago. This is an entire week! At least I have Amber and Ranger to keep me company. If I get too bored and lonely, I might do something drastic, like get a short haircut. Alvin's pretty lucky that I've put up with long hair since we got married.

Yesterday we drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon and Guardsman Pass to see the fall leaves. The colors are spectacular! Autumn in Utah is fabulous.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Laura!

5 reasons I'm glad that Laura was born.
1. Laura is an Angel.

The world is surely a better place with her around.
She is the most thoughtful and considerate person that I know. She is genuine, kind, and loving and has improved the lives of those with whom she has come in contact. I can't tell you how many notes of gratitude, encouragment, and love that she has written to others (it is definitely a lot).

2. She makes me laugh and she is so fun to be around! Sometimes we get laughing so hard we can hardly stop.

3. She puts up with me.
4. Sweet mountain biking fashion. Need I say more?

5. She's talented, adventurous, and beautiful. I can't believe how lucky I am to be able to wake up next to her each day.

Happy Birthday Laura!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Can you guess what we're having?

The ultrasound this morning was so cool-there's actually a distinct person inside me. What a cute profile. Look at those strong, Scottish legs.
Have you figured it out yet......?

It's a boy! We are so excited to have a boy, except we'll have to repaint the pink baby room. I really have no idea what to do with a boy, because I grew up with only sisters. At least Alvin's teaching me how to throw a frisbee. That's going to take a LOT of practice. Another milestone today: I started feeling the baby move and kick . . . or was that just digestion?

Sunday, September 14, 2008


My sister Amber got a puppy, and since we all live in the same house, he's practically ours, too. Except we're not obligated to feed him or clean the carpet when he forgets that he's being house-trained. Ranger, a.k.a. Pooch, Puppy, Goober, or Dog, is an 11-week-old beagle. My aunt warned us that a dog would chew up all the furniture (which he does), but since Amber claims Alvin does that anyway (which he might), we had nothing to lose. Plus, a puppy guaranteed immediate cuddling, which a year and a half of attendance at the singles ward has failed to produce.

Summers End

Summer has come and nearly gone and the fresh cool air is a welcome reminder that Autumn is nearly upon us. The harvest has been good this year and we have been busy preparing for the coming winter. However, the most exciting news of late is that Laura is having a baby in February! We are both very excited. Laura is also excited that she has been feeling really well since the end of the first trimester. We find out if we are having a boy or girl in three days. It hasn't sunk in yet that I will soon be a father and I'm sure I don't know what I'm getting myself into.


This year we grew six kinds of squash, five varieties of peppers, peas, beans, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, radishes, onions, garlic, kohlrabi, tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches and pears. We almost drowned in tomatoes but luckily we found some good salsa recipes and friends to help us use them up.

I am happy to report that I finally graduated! I finished and submitted my geologic map and thesis. What a great feeling that was. Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of fun, but it was sure nice to submit the final copy after all that work. Speaking of work....I have my first real post school 8-5 job. I work in Salt Lake doing geology related work. It's a great job.

The Great Outdoors
Laura and I had a lot of fun this summer. We were able go on some great trips and we have also had fun hiking and rock climbing. Here are some photos.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Ta dah! We’ve been married exactly one year! I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s been the best year of my life. Thanks to the best man of my life. Here are just a few of Alvin’s qualities I love:

Optimistic: No rain or storm can dampen Alvin’s positive outlook on the future. He’s like Candide, believing that we live in the best of all possible worlds. His enthusiasm is impossible to resist. He keeps the mood light and fun in our house.

Gallant: We went rock climbing in Moab. Recognizing my inexperience and lingering fear of heights, he never climbed too far ahead of me, and he turned around and shouted back encouragement and instructions about the best route.

Brilliant: Alvin points out fascinating geological facts about hills, valleys, rocks, and canyons wherever we go.

Artistic: You’d never know his ’88 Accord is really a rust bucket underneath that gleaming white spray paint.

Ambitious: Alvin put in thousands of hours to not only finish his thesis and geologic map, but do an outstanding job.

Romantic: Can you believe he wrote, memorized, and recited a poem for me on Valentine’s Day?

Generous: He consistently lets me win at out favorite board games, like Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride.

Natural leader: He recruited and directed the manpower and equipment to move a piano to our house—within hours.

Imaginative: During dinner, Alvin very accurately compared a buckwheat dish to cockroach shells.

Herculean: He bench presses me.

Kind hearted: Even though he's sure ducks are the dumbest creatures on the earth, Alvin always fed my sister's pet ducks. After we set them free at the river, he went back to check on them and take them more bread.

Happy Anniversary, Alvin!
Love, Laura