Saturday, December 18, 2010

Making Office Walls Pretty

I've taken my own sweet time deciding where pictures and art should be hung in the house. I've decided it's better to be patient and wait to see where everything belongs than to punch a bunch of holes in the walls throughout the house. My brain has been formulating a plan for my office wall ever since I saw an article in my favorite magazine, Real Simple, about random placing of photos to create a border look. I knew I could do that! And without John's "supervision," thank you very much (meaning he has to hang everything for me when I need it to be straight. And it has nothing to do with my inability to properly do math from a tape measure). Since these pictures only had to line up against each other, and since John now owns four-hundred levels, I knew this was a task I could master on my own.

The entire project resulted in a lot of fun and wasn't nearly as time-consuming as was expected. In Typical Micah Fashion, I have been thinking about this for months. It will just sometimes randomly pop into my head. It's a wonderful feeling to have it come to fruition, be done, and work as well in reality as it did in my brain. Sometimes my brain can come up with some pretty interesting (and impossible) tasks. It's always fun to see who or my brain. This border of photos, however, is awesome. I think we both won. I love how it looks random yet planned all at once. The sizing of the pictures worked out pretty well, leaving only a quarter-inch gap on one end and a half-inch gap on the other. I wish I could take more credit for that, but it was pure luck. But why does each picture have a special place on my wall, and therefore in my heart?

1) I found a beautiful painting in one of my favorite stores, World Market, and took a picture of it to remember. A few months later, I was going through photos that I wanted to print at Costco and stumbled upon this one. I decided to print it to see how the colors worked, and everything turned out pretty well! I love how bright, vibrant, and happy it is. For me, it is an energizing image and certainly belongs in an office!

2) This picture is of me and my best friend, my sister. Though this photo is almost four years old, I needed something on here that proves I can get tan! I think she is so pretty, and she is certainly a wonderful friend. We were discussing the other day how nice it is to have sisters and mamas for can be casual with no obligation to spend time together if unwanted! It's really the perfect relationship. And I am so appreciative of T'liese being in my life! She deserves a place on my wall.

3) Ahhhhh, the Caproni. I saw the original airplane in the Boeing Museum of Flight last month in Seattle. It just touched me to see something so old and representative of what we currently fly! This was the first airplane with movable control surfaces. The Wright Brothers simply used their bodies to move their airplanes...this was the first to utilize ailerons and a rudder instead. It's amazing to think how little things have changed in the hundred years since. When I saw the poster in the gift shop, I knew it had to be mine.

4) Another picture with my sister, and this one added a dear friend, Cassie. We went to Cancun three years ago and had a blast. Really, it was one of the best trips I've ever experienced! Girl chat, a beautiful hotel, ocean access, and tons of laughs. What more is necessary to enjoy Mexico? I have nothing but great memories of that trip and wanted to be reminded of it every time I look up from my desk.

5) I'm rather partial to this building, as it was where I married my hubby over two years ago. This picture of the Mesa Arizona LDS Temple was given to me by temple staff on my wedding day. It's simply one of my favorite places in the world, and nothing but pure happiness and peace comes from attending. It's a blessing to live so close to allow visits any time we want.

6) A cork board. You know will be impeccably neat and orderly when I finally hang things on here. But a few items exist that are best kept in plain my visiting teaching list as a constant reminder. Once I find some cute tacks, I think this will hold some pretty fun, and organized, information.

7) This picture of me and John is one of my favorites. I love the representation of Arizona through the many cacti in the shot. It was taken by our wedding photographer during our shoot just a few days before we got hitched. The Mesa Temple is in the background. Thanks to my sister, Charloe, I only paid for cleaning costs of my wedding dress and returned it to her after I was officially married. John in a tux makes me melt.

8) My first trip to Oshkosh as a non-working employee was a treat. Well, I suppose it could be considered work that trip, too, since I flew a Beechjet full of people to the airshow held every year in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. But once I was there, I had four full days to wander at will and enjoy the show. My previous trips involved working booths and talking to tons of people. This picture of an F-86 Sabre exemplifies the freedom to love airplanes and fine airshows!

9) I'm a fan of history and am particularly fond of the Revolutionary War time period involving stories of our founding fathers. My visit to Washington DC a few months ago provided my first opportunity to see the real Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Though I couldn't take pictures, due to some crazy talk about "protecting the original documents," I was able to buy postcards. I also found a postcard for the Wright Brothers applying for the patent of their airplane design...and I knew that would go along nicely with reminding me of remarkable events in our nation's history.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Future Heart Throb

Since my husband was working from home today, I tried to stay out of his hair. What better thing to do than crash my sister's house for the morning? It's her own stinkin' fault for moving just seven miles away from me. Do you have any idea how quickly an old Ford Taurus can do seven miles?

We may or may not have made cookies. Christmas cookies. I don't believe it's necessary to comment on the cookie-making status as it has nothing to do with the true focus of this post.

And here he is. The true reason himself. Mr. Evan, my sweet nephew. Isn't he adorable? Just when I think he can't possibly get any cuter...he does. And my heart swells like the Grinch after an attempt to steal Christmas is made. I love this little man. He was lots of fun today since everything I did made him laugh. I watched him while his mama went Visiting Teaching (to deliver some cookies that may or may not have been made by us earlier that morning). Since he was happy and I had him to myself, I decided to take lots of pictures. And certainly...the renderings don't do justice to this sweet little man. Girls in Nursery will swoon. His third-grade crush will ask for his hand in marriage...twice. And HE will get invited to Senior Prom by about six women. SIX! I'm just fortune-telling here, folks. You just wait until I'm right. He really is all that, and I'm not afraid to say it. There's nothing better than getting him to laugh and squeezing him tight shortly after.

I like him. Cookies or not.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas...Just Another Excuse To Bake

I love cookies. And I really love Christmas cookies. Often, these are simply just regular cookies made during the Christmas season! It doesn't really matter what type of cookie is made during this time of long as it involves baking small amounts of dough and topping them with incredible treats.

Finding things in the store usually leads to me imagining how I can transform it into a decadent dessert. This time of year leaves no shortage of selection in the candy could go crazy, and I usually do. I stumbled upon some Hershey Mint Truffle Kisses and knew they had to be melted on top of chocolate cookies somehow. Luckily, I had just the chocolate cookies recipe. After they came out of the oven, I topped them each with a delicious kiss and waited for the residual heat to do its magic. I thought the kisses would retain some of their trademark shape, but soon I had nothing but a mint truffle puddle in the middle of each cookie. It was so pretty! Amazingly, I let them cool before trying them. Good grief, they were yummy! Something about this season almost demands mint and chocolate to combine!

Tears almost came to my eyes when I found the new Reeses Mini Bites, much to the dismay of fellow shoppers around me. I knew they would be the perfect topping to tiny peanut butter cookies. To my surprise, I only purchased one bag and didn't eat a single piece of candy until they were topping the beautiful, bite-size cookies. These melted slightly as well after being placed on a warm, mushy cookie. But after cooling and setting, they could still be identified as cute little Reeses Peanut Butter of my all-time favorite treats. It made my life easy that they were already unwrapped. Who has time to unwrap a million pieces of candy for cookie toppers? I like candy in general and am not too picky when it comes to sugar. Removing the wrapping only made me happier.

I boxed up several of these cookies in various containers...some were shipped to my Uncle Gary in Utah to thank him for his generous Christmas present. Others were tucked away in a festive Christmas bag to make a five-state journey to reach family in Arkansas. One more package went to my sister for letting us park my car at her home while she took us to the airport for our vacation.

Needless to say, the batches of cookies didn't last long. In fact, I dare say they were a hit. And both versions have already been requested for the upcoming Annual Christmas Snack Table Party this coming Saturday. I think I can oblige. As long as I have another excuse to make more cookies, staying in the Christmas spirit really is a piece of cake.

Monday, December 13, 2010

To Arkansas We Went

We took full advantage of me not being constantly on-call this past weekend. My husband found $27 tickets to visit his brother and family in northwest Arkansas, so we hopped on a plane last Thursday for a three-day stay in beautiful Bentonville! It was a lovely weekend spent with Steve, Amy, Ben, and Mikey.


Our Allegiant Airlines MD-80 arrived in Bentonville shortly after 8:00 PM on Thursday evening. Steve was there to pick us up for the fifteen-minute drive back to his home. They live in a beautiful neighborhood, complete with a playground, pool, and nice neighbors! Amy and Ben had stayed up to greet us. She is such a beautiful, sweet lady! Steve and Amy are really neat people.


Steve had to work. It didn't stop Amy, John, and I from having a wonderful Girls Day Out! We drove through downtown Bentonville and discovered a cupcake bakery. The nice thing about being on vacation is that it's even easier to talk people into stopping for a cupcake...even at 10:00 AM! We then went to Walmart so I could get a few things I hadn't packed. We decided to make cookies later that evening and also bought supplies for that. Then we went to a nice mall. John wandered Borders while Amy and I got our pedicures. What an incredible treat! It was only the second one I've ever had, but I felt like a million bucks afterwards! We tried to grab lunch at Mimi's Cafe but didn't want to wait half an hour in line for a table. The food court ended up being lunch instead, and we topped it off by sharing a delicious Snickers caramel apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Soon, it was time to head home before the boys got home from school. John and I decided to take a nap while Amy took their dog for a walk around the neighborhood. When all the boys were home from work and school, we watched a movie, played games, made cookies, ate dinner, and had a nice visit.

It might not be common knowledge, but I smashed my finger in the door about three months ago. I mistakenly thought it would be fun! After the first month, it was usable though ugly and blue. Just these past three weeks, however, it has slowly started to fall off and catch on everything. When my pedicure specialist saw it, he said he could fix it! I've had to baby it so much so it wouldn't get worse, and therefore I was all for his magic on my fingernail! He first glued it, then used filler to make it even with the rest of my nail. I feel like a new woman not having to worry about that stupid nail any more! If you're ever deciding if smashing your finger in a door is a great idea, I advise against it! It's nice to have it repaired for now.


It was cold! It was only made worse by the blowing wind! We ended up staying inside most of the morning to keep warm. It wasn't hard keeping busy because Amy had purchased everything to make gingerbread houses! It was fun assembling them, and even more fun eating them! It was soon time for a late lunch out with the adults only. We were all in the mood for Mexican and decided On The Border would be perfect. It was nice to get away with just the four of us and converse. Have I mentioned how much I like Steve and Amy? We stopped at Krispy Kreme on the way home to grab dessert for us and the boys at home. John and Steve also popped into a store to rent a PS3 game to play that evening. Can you believe they didn't want to go to a Christmas concert with us?! Amy, Mike, and I went to the concert alone and sure enjoyed ourselves. The talent was amazing, and there is nothing better than hearing music dedicated to this season!


As a high councilman, Steve had to speak in another ward at 9:00 AM. John and I got ready to go with him to listen for moral support. He is a fantastic speaker, and I really enjoyed his talk. He told some stories from his and John's childhood, and I always love hearing more about that. We then came home to delicious pumpkin spice muffins made by Amy. After a late breakfast, we got ready for their church at 1:00. They have a really nice ward, and almost everyone works at Walmart Headquarters. All three meetings were nice, and the smell of Crockpot Stew when we came back to the house was even better! Amy and I had a nice conversation while Steve went to meetings and the boys watched a movie. Soon it was time to be dropped off at the Bentonville terminal to catch our flight home. My sister picked us up late last night, and we walked through our door around 11:15 PM.

The entire weekend was so nice. John and I don't travel for fun very much, and it's always nice to see new places while visiting fun family. We really enjoyed ourselves and appreciate greatly Steve and Amy's hospitality! And we got out of the state before the need for camouflage and no teeth struck us!
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