Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding

Yes, I totally woke up at 4:40 a.m. to watch the whole thing.  And I mean the whole thing, not just the ceremony.  Let me tell you why:

I have a major girl crush on Princess Kate.  I want to be her American BFF.  Kate has never handled herself with anything less than perfect poise and grace.  She is so down to earth and utterly queenly at the same time.  The royals are lucky to have her.   I love that William and Kate love each other and that their mutual adoration is obvious.  Oh, and I totally want Kate's hair.

The wedding was so gorgeous and perfect and totally lived up to the hype.  William and Kate are so in love, and love, my friends, is a beautiful thing.  Here are the things I loved most from the royal wedding:

Victoria Beckham's heels.  Where can I get a pair of these?!  Those heels will make any girl's legs look fab.  And how awesome is she for wearing these heels while seven months pregnant?!  The answer is super awesome.  David Beckham is looking pretty swell, as well...

Pippa's dress.  It was so simple and so fabulous.  Her figure is really fabulous, too!  Someday soon I hope to look that good.

Kate's dress.  It was a complete show stopper.  I thought it was absolutely perfect and very Grace Kelly-ish.  I love Kate's modern elegant look (especially the pleats!).  It is so her vibe.  How cool is it that a commoner wore the Queen's tiara?!  Kate is just so classy and her whole wedding day reflected that. 

The fairy tale feeling.  I feel kinda bad for posting this because William isn't smiling here, and in reality it seemed like they both couldn't stop smiling.  But this is completely the best photo of the two of them.  William and Kate, and the whole wedding, really, seemed like something out of a Disney movie. The best part of this fairy tale is that everything, especially the loving glances between the couple, seemed incredibly genuine.

Two kisses.  True story:  When I was younger and there was kissing in a movie, my mom would often rewind it and watch the kissing again.  I just wanted to skip that part completely.  But now the kissing parts in movies are totally my favorite.  And real life kissing parts are even better.  Thanks, mom! 

Kate's reception dress.  Love the angora shrug and the jeweled belt.  Also, I secretly like that it looks like Camilla is wearing a nightgown - haha!  Thanks for bringing sleeves back, Kate!
All photos from here except Pippa's is from here.

Sweet moments:
Kate looking completely calm and poised as she walks down the aisle.  She definitely has an inner Char.
William waiting to see Kate in her gown while Harry turns around for a quick peek.
William telling Kate that she looks beautiful when she meets him at the top of the aisle.
William saying to Kate's father, "I thought this was supposed to be a small family affair."
William and Kate constantly looking at each other and smiling.
The prayer that William and Kate wrote for their wedding. 
Kate's soft emotional voice as she says her vows.
Kate's "Oh, my!" as they step onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace and she sees the massive crowds.
William saying, "I love you" to Kate just before he kisses her for the second time.
William and Kate looking like a normal just married couple driving a decorated convertible (except said convertible is an Aston Martin!).

You know I think that my wedding was the most perfect wedding in the history of the universe, but I do believe that William and Kate's wedding topped it.  Barely.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

23 months

Because we all know that 23 is the best day to get married and also the best anniversary month to celebrate. Or something like that.  I really can't believe that next month will be two years for us!

* There is a new non wedding post underneath this one if you're tired of our wedding.*

These photos are from my brother W.

W and K totally have the self photo thing down pat.

Everyone loved playing in the fountain.  And no one even fell in!
I have no idea who watched all the kids during the actual wedding because their parents were all inside the temple.  Was it the grandparents on the other side?  If you know how this worked out please let me know.  It was like magic.

LOVE all the pink dresses!  

These girls totally ham it for the camera.  They are way more grown up now, but are still as adorable as ever.

I have no idea what was so hilarious as we came out of the temple.  Also, check out those ginormous perfect shade of pink roses!

This is kind of a paparazzi shot.  The hand getting the crowd back, the flowers blocking my face...
I also like this photo because I look way skinny.

It's like a rock concert for babies.  Except they don't have any lighters.  And there's not actually any music.

I was holding T's hand crazy tight the entire time.

With Elder Teixeira, who married us, and his wife.  They are such wonderful people!

It makes my heart glow how much W and K love their girls.  Their newest baby, E, isn't in any of these photos, but I feel like she should be because she was born on our one year anniversary.

I was ridiculously giddy once the actual getting married part was over.

People wrangling is hard.

LOVE these people SO much!

A close up so you can see everyone's pretty faces. 

The roses were so big that a few of the blooms snapped off.  This one is for niece M to match the other nieces.

Check out the post directly under this one - it's new, too!

If you feel like re-living our wedding check out the other months: four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, the whole wedding, a year!, 13, 14, 15, 16, 1921 and 22.  As always there will be more next month, along with my wedding memories.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The latest goings on

Alternate Title: I'm So Vain, You Probably Think This Post Is About Me

We went to the D.C. temple last night for the first time.  It is gorgeous.  It feels like you have to drive through the woods to get there, so that was fun, too.  There were so many tulips and the temple seriously looked like it was glowing.  I couldn't stop smiling.

If you come at the temple from the freeway (a different way than we came) you go around a bend and all of a sudden out of nowhere this is what you see:
(photo from here)
I'm sure it has caused a few accidents.  As I recall, as you go around a freeway bend in San Diego, the temple suddenly pops into view as well.  Both temples are both show stoppers.  Anyway, we were glad we went, it was good for us.

I have had my nails painted bright red (well, red orange-ish) for the last two weeks.  I love them this color.  Every time I look down, they are just so much fun!

The nail polish color perfectly matches my new H&M dress that I bought in NYC.   Oh, what?  You didn't know I went to NYC recently?  Well, I did.  I'll blog about it soon.  I think. 
You can't tell where my nails end and the dress starts.  Oh, and I love these shoes.  You might remember them from their unique Christmas wrapping.  They are so fierce and surprisingly comfortable.  Also, my toes are not the same shade as my nails... Is that a faux pas?  I don't know.  Please discuss amongst yourselves.

Every week I make some kind of desert.  The last four have all been disasters.
  1. First was maple spice bars that I imagined would taste like spice cake.  But they SO did not.  We each ate one then threw the rest away, they were so bad.  
  2. Second was lemon graham bars.  I thought these would taste like lemon bars but with a graham cracker crust.  Not even close, though the crust part was good - it's hard to ruin a graham cracker crust.   
  3. Next was chocolate chip cookies.  I used a new recipe.  T liked them, but I only ate two.  They were so not winners.  They were very flat and very bland.
  4. This week was mini chocolate bundt cakes.  The cake part was fine.  But the mini bundt part wasn't.  I greased three of the molds by hand and did the rest with PAM since it was faster.  Only the three that I greased by hand came out of the mold.  The rest tasted fine, but literally had no shape.  Oh, I also ruined the frosting.  I can only make frosting if I follow my mom's instructions exactly and this time I tried to wing it.  Did I mention that I don't really like chocolate?  Disastrous (for me at least - T liked them just fine, even though it was essentially a bunch of big crumbs with drippy frosting on top).
You might ask why I keep making things that I don't know if we'll like.  The reason is I have 62 dessert recipes and 18 pie recipes bookmarked online and countless recipes marked in cookbooks to try.  I've got to start making a dent in that list.  Here's hoping that next week I can break my yucky streak.

We dyed raw Easter eggs tonight.  We dyed them raw because neither of us likes boiled eggs or egg sandwiches.  And since there are no little people about we don't have to worry about cracking the raw eggs.

You better believe that I'm going to make T hide them for me to find tomorrow.  Egg hunts are the best.  So is T for doing this for me.  We did this last year, too.  What?  It's not just for little kids.  Though, I am kind of bummed that I'm missing the big dying and hunt party with all the grandbabies in my family.

Last Saturday T and I went to the National Museum of American History on the National Mall.  That will get a separate blog post next week. 

And now you're all caught up on our ever so exciting lives.

Monday, April 18, 2011

That's the reality, people.

In downtown D.C. it is $4.89 a gallon. Note to self: NEVER run out of gas in the District.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Best Day

I wrote this in April 2010 and am just now posting it...

Our life is pretty fabulous.  It's definitely not perfect, but it's still pretty amazing.

The first best day of my life I'm sure was with my mom.  I don't remember one day specifically, but I have so many happy memories wrapped up in my mom that it seemed like every day was the best day.  It's like Taylor Swift's song "The Best Day."

If you want to see the video that Taylor made for her mom click here.

I love best days because you don't have to decide which day is the absolute best because they all are...

In high school when I won every single award at the senior banquet.
The last day at USC with the freshman family.
That one day during winter break January 2008 when I finally told T  I loved him back.
Christmas Day 2008 when T asked me to marry him.
May 23, 2009 when I married T in the best wedding in the history of the universe.
Then most recently a perfectly lazy and blissed out Saturday.

Anyway, to quote a four year old: "We have the luckiest life."  We really do.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

U.S. Capitol

Cousin K is here in D.C. interning at a senator's office. Yesterday was her last day and she gave me (and some others) a tour of the capitol. It was awesome!!! Oh, T couldn't miss work, so it was just me.

The tour started at the senator's office in the Hart building then we took the little subway to the Capitol. The subway is really tiny. You can probably only fit 8 people in a car and there are only three cars. The visitor's center was built in 2008 (I think). It was built underground so it wouldn't obstruct views of the capitol. There are some big sky lights so it's not dark and claustrophobic like.

The view looking up.

I really just wanted a bunch of photos of me and Cousin K but thought that since she was technically working that would probably be very unprofessional... So these are just photos of the building, and next time I go with T or visiting relatives I'll try to get a bunch that actually have people in them.

The original Supreme Court Room was in the capitol. Those are the original Justices' chairs.
This room is not in use anymore, but most are. Everything in the capitol is just so beautiful - the walls, the tiles, the paintings, the columns... I love it.

The original clock in that room still works!

Throughout the capitol there are two statues representing each state. Utah has Philo T. Farnsworth in the Visitors Center Atrium and Brigham Young in the old Senate Chambers. The old Senate Chambers are much smaller than I expected. The acoustics in that room are strange. Cousin K told us that people used to think John Quincy Adams was sleeping during senate sessions - but the acoustics are really just such that when he put his head on his desk he could hear what was being said on the opposite side of the room. So he was really just evesdropping! Haha! She showed us and it was amazing. We all leaned over and heard Katie speaking in a normal voice from across the room but as she left that area we couldn't hear her any more. Cool!!!

The hallways are painted so beautifully.

Cousin K knew SO much about the building. I was so excited because I am kind of a history geek. She told us things like: The actual front entrance to the capitol faces east because that is the direction they thought the city would grow (away from the Potomac). Up until Regan, Presidents were inaugurated at the east entrance. Regan was sworn in on the west entrance so he could face California, his home state. Cousin K showed us original pillars that survived the fire the British set in the capitol during the war of 1812. There are SO many cool things about the capitol that I can't even tell you all of them – you will just have to come visit!

Cousin K leading us.

This chandelier was really impressive. It was donated by a Methodist (I think) church back in the day and is now worth $250,000.

In the rotunda there is a statue of Ronald Regan. It's extra cool because around the base of the statue there are chunks of the Berlin Wall.

Cousin K telling our tour group about the rotunda.

The people in our group had a ton of questions and Cousin K fielded them all so well, covering everything from the history of the building to how the Senate works to how to get an internship and how the Senator's office works. Basically she was an amazing tour guide. Oh, and everyone seemed to know her! The policeman, interns from other offices, secretaries – everyone! It's actually not that surprising because Cousin K is very friendly. But I'm glad that everyone knows how awesome she is!

Looking up at the ceiling of the rotunda.
It is really impressive. This isn't a great photo but, George Washington is there in the middle with Lady Liberty and Victory on either side. The rest of the circle is 13 women representing the original 13 colonies. You can only see the back of three women - these women represent the three states that seceded to the South during the Civil War. So Brumidi, the artist, painted in a historical diss.

A statue of George Washington that is supposed to be the most true to his actual features.
It was done after he resigned his commission as General of the Revolutionary Army.

We went up a narrow original staircase. That would have been cool to begin with, but this staircase has a story: When the British torched the Capitol during the war of 1812 three British soldiers got stuck in this stairway. The walls had collapsed on either side of them inside the staircase. They knew they were going to die and they used their bayonets to carve three small crosses into the stairs that you can still see.

I did ask one of the other interns to snap just one photo of me and Cousin K at the end of the tour.

Cousin K hard at work taking calls from the constituents. There were a ton of calls because this was yesterday - remember the budget issue had not been resolved yet. And let's be honest, it's still not.

We received tickets to the Senate and the Senator Cousin K works for was going to be speaking in an hour so after the tour I ran out to the car to add more money to the meter. Since it was raining I got soaked going to the car, but luckily I had an umbrella in the car for the way back. Since Cousin K is a staffer she doesn't have to wait in the line to see the Senate in session, but because our group was with her we did have to wait in line, and we ended up missing the Senator speak. Instead we heard the Senator from Wisconsin speak.

The Senate Chambers are different from what I expected. It is pretty small and the person who is speaking does so from the front side facing the front center (where the President of the Senate sits) instead of speaking from the front center facing the crowd (if that makes sense). Also, there weren't any Senators listening! Just some staffers then one other Senator came in half way through. It looked like he was going to speak next because he had an easel and posters, one of which had a graph that was titled "Obama's Wall of Debt."

I'm so glad I got to go on a tour given by Cousin K. She was amazing!!!

If you visit D.C. a tour of the U.S. Capitol should DEFINITELY be near the top of your to-do list. It is wonderful. The visitor's center gives tours. There are about 30 people per group and the tour guide speaks softly into a microphone and everyone wears headphones to hear him. I'm sure the guides know a ton. I haven't done a tour this way, but I would definitely recommend setting up a tour through your senator's office instead. Let me tell you why:

You can take the tiny subway! You don't have to wait in line to get a ticket or wait in line to get into the capitol. Yay, no lines! The tour Cousin K gave us was 1.5 hours. Our group only had seven people in it and Cousin K said it was the largest group she had ever given a tour to. We went places that the general tours didn't go. And because there were fewer of us we had the chance to ask questions. So definitely call your Senator's office in advance and do the capitol tour through them. I just hope all Senate office interns are as great tour-givers as Cousin K!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Have you seen the new Fox TV show called "Mobbed?"  It's basically a flash mob an episode.  I love it.  This one (the only one that is out and obviously the only one I have seen) made me laugh, cry, and worry about the outcome.  Watch it.  You'll like it.  Even if the intro is overly dramatic.

I really want to see an episode where someone uses a flash mob to quit their job!


You've all seen this, I'm sure.  It's Rebecca Black singing "Friday."  If you're not sure who she is or why the song is so popular click here.

But have you seen the Stephen Colbert's version?  He lost a bet and had to cover the song.  And he totally nailed it.  It makes me smile.  I actually kind of like his version.

I love the random people in costume in the background.  They are totally worthy of a David Hasselhoff video.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

More Cherry Blossoms

Like I said before, there are a TON of tourists in town for the Cherry Blossom Festival.  The main place to see the trees is the Tidal Basin.  We wanted to avoid the madness so we tried to get there early, before any of the tourists were awake.  Most tourists show up at the National Mall around 10 a.m. because that is when all the museums and shops open.  But monuments are open pretty much 24 hours.  We arrived about eight a.m. today and there were already a lot of people there, but parking hadn't got crazy yet and we found a spot in the second lot we tried.  Now here's a bunch of pictures.

These are from our drive around the East Potomac Park (to the east of the Tidal Basin).

The houses for generals at Ft. McNair along the Potomac.  We saw them much closer when we were on the Cherry Blossom Cruise.  They are done in a plantation style and are really gorgeous.

Cherry blossoms make everything prettier.  Even streets.

Soooooo many blossoms.  It was so cold, they could be mistaken for snowballs.  We learned our lesson from the boat ride - we both wore coats and hats.

We walked all the way around the Tidal Basin.

We saw so many couples getting engagement photos taken - it made me really happy. 

The Jefferson Monument

Looking out at the Tidal Basin from the Jefferson Monument.

More of the Jefferson Monument

The classic self photo.

Yay, trees!

One of the few cherry trees with pink blossoms.  The Cherry Festival logo that is on everything is a pink blossom, but we only saw about three trees with pink blossoms; all the rest had white blossoms.

So gorgeous.

The Tidal Basin overflowed a bit.  You can see the edge of the walkway in the water.

We were going to go back downtown to see the fireworks display for the festival, but T has priesthood meeting tonight and I don't want to go alone.  Maybe I can see them from the balcony?...  I'll let you know.

Oh, as we walked around the Tidal Basin we saw the FDR Monument.  I was not impressed.  It's all outdoor and just a bunch of stone walls with his quotes on them.  I think part of the problem is that I am not such a fan of FDR as a president.  I don't think he's as great as everyone else does:
  •  He cheated on his wife (the wonderful Eleanor Roosevelt) through his entire marriage - I think infidelity is always wrong.
  • His New Deal programs during the Great Depression were full of waste and not as effective as people think they were. For example the Civilian Conservation Corps hired young men to work in rural areas.  Often one set of men would be sent to dig miles of holes for telephone poles.  The next week a different set of men would be hired to fill all the holes that were dug the previous week.  This type of thing happened often within his New Deal programs. His programs didn't decrease unemployment as much as he claimed they would; unemployment rates only went from 25% to 19% his first two terms and didn't decrease further until the U.S. entered WWII.  I think there should be fewer government programs that create waste.
  • He proposed and received a huge expansion of government social programs - I believe in a small federal government and fewer programs.
  • He started Social Security without much thought to how it would affect future generations - I think it is the responsibility of the individual to plan wisely and provide for their own retirement.
  • He ballooned the national debt (from 40% of the GDP to about 125%) - I don't believe in deficit spending to get out of a depression. 
FDR did do some good things:  I think he was a good national leader and rallying person during WWII.  I think he probably did the job better than anyone else could have during WWII.   I like that he signed the act that created the FDIC.  I'm just not a fan of the vast majority of his social and economic policies.  So there you go.  I'm not an FDR or political expert by any means and if you like him, I'll still like you.  I didn't mean to make this all political.  No more political posts, I promise.

Let's end on a happy note.  T shaved his beard last night.  He looked really good on his way to priesthood meeting tonight so I took his picture. You're welcome.  He saw the picture and gave us the quote that is now at the top left of our blog.