I LOVE fall... I have decided that it really is my favorite season. It is the excitement for the holidays, the crisp weather, new sweaters and coats, a new beginning, and of course, the beautiful Utah colors... Unfortunately, my favorite season never lasts quite long enough, as winter sneaks right in, and stays far too long. I love snow, don't get me wrong, but there is something about Fall.
Last weekend we went camping. I was terrified that we would freeze to death. I wore, no joke, 6 layers to bed. It was heavenly. I love camping...I am so grateful for this beautiful Earth.
...I love taking pictures with Evan, but seeing that there are only two of us around here, we are SO sick of seeing pictures of us like this, this, and this... The "take it yourself" doesn't work out so well, resulting in... not so many cute pictures of us. so I asked my little sis, Maddie to take a few shots of us the other day and they turned out alright!
Cafe Rio Pork Salad... Perhaps one of my favorite things! I found this recipe, made it today and absolutely LOVED it! Try it, trust me you will love it!
Here's what you will need for the whole salad:
Tortillas Cafe Rio Cilantro Lime Rice (recipe below) Black or Pinto Beans Cafe Rio Sweet Pork (recipe below) Lettuce (NOT iceberg, use leafy green or Romaine) Diced tomato, onion, and cilantro (pico de gallo) Guacamole (optional) Tortilla Strips Cafe Rio Cilantro Ranch (recipe below)
Just Like Cafe Rio Sweet Pork
2 pounds pork (we use boneless pork rib meat, a pork roast doesnt quite get tender enough) Coca Cola (NOT diet) enough to cover pork 1/4 c. brown sugar dash garlic salt 1/4 c. water
Put in Crock Pot on Low for 6-8 hours (I just did it overnight)
Drain off the juice, shred pork, (removing fatty peices).
Sweet Pork Sauce: 3/4 cup coke 1 can sliced green chilies 1 can enchilada sauce (I use Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness but any will work) 1 c. brown sugar
In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.
Put shredded pork and sauce in crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours or until serving. That's it! SO good! I couldn't believe it!
Cilantro Lime Rice
I just cooked the rice in my rice cooker, then added:
4 TBS melted butter Juice from 2 limes 2 tsp sugar salt to taste chopped cilantro
Cafe Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing
1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK) 1 c. mayonnaise 1 c. buttermilk 2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro 1 clove garlic juice of 1 lime 1 jalepeno (just remove the seeds)
Mix together in a blender. Dressing will thicken a bit in the fridge.
School is back in session, which means I see Evan a whole lot less than I wish I did, but I am slowly adjusting to it. It always takes us a bit to get adjusted to a new schedule. Evan gets used to going straight from an all night work shift to an all day school shift, leaving limited time for homework, sleep, and well... me. But he does it. I can't believe it, and I love him so much for it. He kills himself to support and serve me. He sacrifices so much. Seriously... I feel so lucky to have him.
School is back for Evan...not for me. I love it. I can't believe that I am finished and will not be going back! It is a great feeling! I was really scared to be working...and only working. It sounds so pathetic, but I have had really bad anxiety about every job I have ever had... I couldn't figure out why. I hadn't been to my desk job for months...I just stopped going, I couldn't face it. I was feeling so bad about myself and about my contribution to our marriage. I was not happy. Well...with major answers to prayers I ended up with a new job interview. That wasn't really the answer I wanted. I didn't even want to go to the interview. I didn't want to get the job because I was terrified. (so crazy... what has happened to me??? haha) Well... I was offered the job. I took it. And I can't believe how much I love it. I am so happy and so grateful for it which I have never felt about a job before. I feel like I am making a difference in so many aspects. I can't believe I get paid to do something I love this much. I know you are wondering what made this great change in me, well...I am working with troubled teens in a drama therapy program and doing weekly field trips with them. I love it.
We have been busy...thus the neglect of my blog. But we are having fun, and so in love along the way.
My brother Tanner got to show off his pride and joy last Saturday at the Steel Days Car Show. This is his 1963 Ford Thunderbird. He has been so working hard to restore it... Check out how awesome it is! Evan must have been telling quite the story, but I had to show proof that he was here...
I never feel like I have anything too exciting to blog about, but I guess I will just work with what I've got!
Summer has been awesome so far! We went up to Idaho a couple of weeks ago to visit Evan's sister and see her new baby boy, Wyatt... He is adorable and it was so fun to see them!
Our fabulous Garden has been growing around here which we are so happy about... and here is a picture of our cute little house... We've spent some days in SLC... We went to the aquarium in Sandy which was SO cool... and to the planetarium at Gateway. This weekend we went down to Las Vegas for my best friend Becca's wedding! It was so fun and so beautiful! I love these two SO much and we are SO excited for them! Becca had a Dippin Dots bar at her reception=AMAZING! I wish I had more pictures to post of us, but when it's just the two of us hanging out and having a blast, we don't have a photographer to follow us around!
And I had to post a picture of (my niece) my Nina girl eating oreos! I can't get enough of her... So, that's our lazy summer so far...
Graduate of Utah Valley University with a Bachelor of Science in Music...
President Monson spoke at my Graduation and Presidents Uchtdorf and Eyring were there too!
I kind of bumped into them before commencement began backstage and they told me congrats...
Playing in an orchestra for, lets hope, not the last time! I can't believe that I am a College Graduate! I hate to admit it, but I never really thought I would finish! I am pretty proud of all that I have learned in the past 4 years!
Here are a few highlights:
-Left home to attend Southern Utah University (scariest and best thing ever!)
-Met some of my BEST friends there
-Had some of my most challenging and growing experiences
-First Kiss as a Freshman in college (I have come a long way!) haha
-Scholarships at SUU for Viola
-Played in the orchestra for Collin Raye
-Symphony Orchestra performed one of my pieces!
-countless recitals, solos, and concerts that my parents came down to see...
-Principal Violist as a freshman
-Failed my first math class
-Retook my math class and did well!
-Found a change was needed... moved home and enrolled at UVSC
-Found out the Math class I retook didn't transfer to UVSC...
-Took 2 more math classes at UVSC which almost killed me
-Lots of dating
-Almost changed my major to Digital Media
-Moved to Carriage Cove
-Started dating this cute guy named Evan
-Interned in LA for I AM LEGEND soundtrack
-UVSC became UVU
-Sang WICKED with the Symphony
-UVU String Quartet
-Had my most amazing growing experiences as a Violist with an amazing teacher
-Got engaged to Evan!
-JR Viola Recital
-Cowboy Poetry Concerts
-Married my LOVE
-Interned in LA for ANGELS AND DEMONS soundtrack
-learned how to be a good teacher
-SR Viola Recital
-Finished my last semester of school
Plus many more amazing things that I forgot! College really was the best of times!
Now I am on to new and better things... like... what now???
A few weeks ago: ME: What are we going to do for our anniversary? Evan: I don't know, what do you want to do? Me: I don't know... you could surprise me. Evan: I'm not really that romantic... Me: It's not too late to change that.... (Silence)...
We dropped the subject....
On our Anniversary I was surprised when Evan came home a little late, (let me remind you, he works from 1 AM to 9AM) with 2 dozen gorgeous roses (he was late because the store wasn't even open yet), news of a weekend getaway, and he built me a garden box that I had been wishing over for weeks. I was surprised. SO surprised in fact, that I hadn't done anything for him yet, since we hadn't really talked about it...
We went up to Logan for the weekend and stayed at the Anniversary Inn... We had talked about wanting to go there sometime, and it was really fun... We stayed in the Grand Bridal Suite which was really nice... We also got to tour all of the other rooms and there were some pretty crazy ones! Word to the wise: don't stay in "Arctic Journey." The penguins are a bit much...
Anyway, it was a wonderful, fun, relaxing weekend....
And I never really doubted Evan's romantic skills... He is always romantic, but life gets a little crazy sometimes, and doing something really special meant so much!
Wow! Time really does fly! It seems like I got married a month ago, but today is our one year anniversary... I am pretty lucky to be married to the coolest, most loving, hard working, most fun, best friend, (and attractive I might add) person I have ever known!
One year down...forever to go!
Here are some photos that I never posted from our beautiful reception in Wisconsin...
I am back from an incredible week in LA. I can't even begin to express how incredible these experiences were...
This is Grammy award winner and principal Violist, Brian Dembow... Armen Ksajikian This orchestra is incredible! Hans Zimmer and Bruce Fowler were up all night finishing the last touches on the orchestration, the copyists were just printing out the music before the session, and the orchestra sees the music as they are recording...and each take is perfect! It is such an awesome experience... This is the biggest Bass section they had ever had at Sony Picture Studios... (which is really saying something since every big movie since "The Wizard of Oz" has been scored here)... 12 basses! wow...This is in Hans' personal studio...It was quite exquisite, and a completely different feel from James Newton Howard's studio...
I have a picture with Hans...but not on my camera, so i will get it soon...
Anyway... Go see Angels and Demons... the movie is amazing and the music is better ;)
Just a few Ama-ha-ha-zing things that have been going on here in Cali...
-Hanging out in Hollywood, meeting with the Professional Musician local 47, and going to the headquarters of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers to name a few... -Hanging out at the Pier and the Santa Monica beach... oh yeah, and did I mention, We are here for the scoring sessions (yes the soundtrack) for "Angels and Demons"? yeah... We are hanging out with Hans Zimmer... I like sorta-kinda like living my dreams...