Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Tom!

Happy Birthday to my amazing brother Tom! What do you get the guy who has spent the last few years giving away practically everything he owns to live out his dreams?? A shout out on his little sisters blog, that's what. Tom is the best big brother a girl could ever dream of and I hope he knows how much I love him. Sending you birthday wishes and kisses Tommy boy!

A note to family: you can donate to Todd's AIDS Vaccine ride here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Adam (the movie)

We rented a heap of movies last weekend. Some were good some were bad, but one sticks out. I had no expectations for Adam, which is why I probably liked it so much. I found it very moving. And Rose Bryne's character had the most gorgeous wardrobe. I loved every outfit. And I loved this movie.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Let them eat cake

It's not just cake, it's birthday cake and there is a difference. After watching my other weekend birthday plans disintegrate I holed myself up under a blanket at home for 3 days straight. By Sunday evening I was hallucinating about winning the Gold medal in women's curling, or you might just say getting a little stir crazy. Yeah, that's less embarrassing. BD agreed to let me out for a few hours to play with my family and so I could finally have my birthday cake and eat it too. I strongly believe that all that matters on your birthday is that you get to eat cake. Your birthday hasn't officially happened until you have blown out your candles. Despite this WICKED cough I've been battling I did have a wonderful birthday weekend and felt incredibly loved by family and friends. I feel spoiled by them all, which I suppose is exactly how you are supposed to feel on your birthday. Mission accomplished.



Being sick this weekend has provided me with lots of downtime. I think I've watched more Olympic events over the last few days than I have in my entire life. I got sucked into the riveting 3+ hour women's curling event between USA and Great Britain on Saturday afternoon. There was even a bonus round! Lucky day! This just begs the question, how does one get involved in women's curling? As a youngster I failed magically at soccer, softball, and basketball. But curling was never even an option for uncoordinated pre-teens like myself. If it had been, I might currently be lead sweeper on the USA women's curling team. I'm thinking this is the sport for me. There are no hills in which to kill yourself at high speeds, no crazy maneuvers where you are expected to invert your body in mid air, no helmet required, and no ridiculous spandex costumes... it's the perfect non-sporty sport. Who's with me?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pancake Love

On the menu for Saturday morning breakfast were Buttermilk Pancakes so we could test out my new frying pan, a birthday surprise from BD. The maiden voyage proved that it cooks a mean pancake. And it's heavy enough to give any potential home invader a serious head injury if needed. Consider yourself warned. I might keep it under my bed. Shortly after BD and I were married it came as a big shock to learn he hadn't been taught the correct way to eat pancakes. Meaning, he didn't cut his stack with an "X" before pouring the syrup. Huge penalty that we have since remedied. The "X" marks the spot technique allows the syrup to seep down into the middle of the stack for a more evenly distributed syrup:pancake ratio with every bite.

OK, maybe that's just a Richman thing. But still, old Saturday morning habits die hard.

Friday, February 19, 2010

They say its your birthday, We're gonna have a good time

Today is my Birthday and I called in sick. I'd like to be telling you that I'm instead pulling my best Lindsey Vonn down the slopes at Alta. But the truth is, I'm actually home, sick. It's not the best way to spend a birthday, I realize, but I'm determined to make the most of it. I'm not going to let a little cough keep me from having the best birthday ever. You only get one per year, you know.

  • I've got a full bottle of DayQuil from BD
  • I'm milking a delicious pot of brothy soup from a dear friend
  • I have a DVR full of Bones re-runs to keep me company. (Since I gave up my trashy dramas last year, I'm new to this series and the re-runs skip around all seasons. I'm all sorts of confused about the storyline, but that Forensic Anthropology stuff is fascinating!)
  • I have a box of frozen Junior Mints to keep my spirits up
  • I get to spend the day in my jammies :)
  • See? Best. Birthday. Ever.
Don't worry mom, I'll be back on my feet by Sunday to claim my lasagna and giant piece of chocolate cake!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hey Mister

Sometimes Mr. has an unexpected break in his day. Sometimes I'm lucky and Mr. surprises me at work and asks me on a lunch date. Sometimes I am able to accompany Mr. for a lunch date. Sometimes Mr. takes silly pictures of us walking backwards without stopping. Sometimes I trip and we laugh. Sometimes this helps pull me through the week. Thanks Mr.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of a 40 day period of fasting known as Lent. There are variations of Lent between traditional Western and Orthodox Christianity, but the same basic tenet of sacrifice applies. In a very modern interpretation, the 40 days of Lent boil down to giving something up. Whether it be chocolate, TV, caffeine, whatever you would deem as a sacrifice.* The whole purpose being to prepare the believer for Easter and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. BD and I have decided that together we will give up meat during Lent this year. In our own religion we have strict guidance on the matter that says meat is "For the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly; And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine." Key word is sparingly. Meat of all kind is readily available to us, and pretty cheap too. Meat used to be a special occasion, Sunday dinner sort of  meal. Now it is not uncommon for us to eat meat for two, sometimes three meals per day. So today begins our meat fast to help us on the track to sparingly. Because a perfectly cooked filet, every once in a while, is really good eats. And for that I am very thankful indeed.

Here I am branding a calf at HPR during the summer I worked in Montana. I actually worked as kitchen help, cooking and cleaning for the real cowboys, but every so often they allowed us city folk to get our hands dirty.

*According to Wikipedia, when observing fasting or abstinence during Lent, regard must be paid to the fact that Sundays are Feast Days, so there is no fast or abstinence. The days from Ash Wednesday to the day before Easter Sunday, excluding the Sundays, are forty, corresponding to the number of days Christ spent in the wilderness.

What about you? What are you giving up for Lent?

Monday, February 15, 2010

So Philly of SLC

President's Day is one of those overlooked national holidays that sneaks up on you on Friday afternoon when your boss asks you why you are still working, it's a long weekend, so go home already young lady. I love you, Mr. Washington and Mr. Lincoln. One really has to take advantage of this particular holiday because there is a dry spell in days off until Memorial Day, 3.5 months away. On brother Dan's recommendation we lunched at Moochies and ordered up a 12 inch Philly cheesesteak, which Dan says is the best he's had out west. He should know since he spent two years tracting in the hoods of Philly and surviving on a diet of water ice and cheesesteak sandwiches. Moochies is a total dive, but the cheesesteak was pretty darn good, I have to admit. A cheesesteak, a really good cheesesteak, is about the only time I'll allow fake yellow cheese anywhere near my plate. It's unexpectedly good in this combination. What's also very unexpected is the accompanying heart burn. Hooey.

Our family holds a soft spot for Philly ever since Dan toured us around his mission area. I loved the street murals that colorfully decorated the buildings all over Philadelphia neighborhoods. They are really beautiful and well done. SLC is the proud new home of this beautiful mural "Ave Maria" (Hail Mary). It gives such needed flava to our downtown and reminds me of the street murals in Philly.
 As for the guns and ammo shop out front...that's all SLC baby.

Valentine's Weekend: Part II

Friends K&C invited us over for some impromptu homemade sushi and tempura. Eat your heart out Takashi! We rolled eel, crab and shrimp with all the fixins. It is really quite fun to roll your own sushi. Each roll is your own masterpiece, and for that reason it tastes so much better. The tempura was pretty good too, although I'd like a second chance to improve upon my technique. I have very little frying experience and it can be tricky to get the batter to the perfect consistency and then fried until crispy yet soft in the middle. Even still, we didn't leave much left over. Our Valentine's were in heaven!

Valentine's Weekend: Part I

Valentine's weekend was most delightful {and not over!}. I hope yours has been lovely as well. There are still some traces of burning plastic when I turn on my oven, so I didn't do much treat baking this Valentine's. However, we seemed to make up for that by eating enough delicious food for a small army of cupids. Friday night we were lucky enough that B&K's friends cancelled last minute on their Valentine's reservation at Log Haven. It was very unfortunate that we didn't have any other plans and so we had to join them. You know, as a favor. That's what kind of sister I am. Log Haven has a triple chocolate ganache dessert that is unbelievable. UNBELIEVABLE. I'm still fantasizing about it 3 days later. Thanks B&K!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Heart Breakfast

 We hope your Valentine's Weekend is going eggsactly as planned :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

From the Archives, way back when

A couple years ago for my birthday Mom gave me a giant book filled with nearly everything I'd ever written in my life. She had saved the best stuff from my 3rd grade cursive practicing to high school reports to college papers. This book is full of priceless treasures. I love to peruse through it every so often and chuckle at the funny things I would say, my terrible spelling, and my creative little mind. Since we've had a couple of snowy days this week I thought I'd post this little treasure, "White Sight" from April 1991, age 9.

And since we're now on the topic of the SAVOR, I'll throw in this little gem: my 9 year old testimony from March 1991.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On kindness

Kindness is something I'm constantly working on. Kindness is one of those attributes that I wish came more easily. Sometimes I tend forget about about the other millions of human beings around me and focus solely on the bananas. Like last night at the grocery store I am on a mission for bananas. One single bunch of bananas, that's all, and I will not be distracted by cheese or by Double-Stuffed Oreos positioned strategically on sale right near the check stand. Shame on you for being so delicious. I am fast as lightning, one with my purpose, please put that kid on a leash, avoid possible eye-contact, hopefully I don't know you, no cash back, no I don't need a bag, k thanks bye. My eyes are puffy from tears. It's late. I'm tired. I need a hug. When I reached my car I had the distinct impression that I could have and should have been more kind. Universe: 1, Gina: 0. Granted, I wasn't exactly rude. Now I'm justifying. Maybe someone in that grocery store needed me to smile at them. I'll never know what kind of opportunity I missed because I couldn't see past the bananas. Of all things, bananas.

I need to do better.

Fortunately the world is filled with people who do exude kindness. Lately I've been affected by those seemingly small acts. Which are not so small if you are the benefactor. Fortunate for me, kindness comes naturally to others. Fortunate for me, others are capable of reaching out. Fortunate for me, there are people in my life who love me, who pray for me, who are confident in me. Fortunate for me, people see beyond the bananas. They write kind notes of encouragement, send me texts lined with :) and <3, leave things on my doorstep, and bring me seven layer bars from the Sundance deli. Because they are kind. I almost never deserve it, but I am indeed grateful for these acts of kindness. I'm eternally indebted. thank you.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Spinach Smoothie

Hear me out on this spinach smoothie, I promise this is not your average green drink. My BFF Ali shared this recipe with me last summer while visiting her in AZ and it has become a weekday breakfast staple for us. And sometimes a Sunday night treat as well. It's so incredibly simple, 3 ingredients!!! Not to mention very healthy, ~210 calories per serving. And it is soooo good. I can't stress this enough, IT IS REALLY GOOD. I even trust BD to blend this up, it's that easy. Did I mention that it tastes really good? And that it's healthy? I've shared this recipe with lots of friends and family, even my young women, and they have all loved it. Don't let the bright green color throw you.

Spinach Smoothie
  • 3 oz fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup pineapple coconut juice
  • 1 banana
Blend juice and spinach together. Add banana. Optional: add 1/2 cup ice. Makes one serving.
Smoothie Tips:
  • always add your liquid first
  • use frozen bananas for a creamy texture (slightly defrost before blending)
  • yep, the Blendtec is worth every penny 
  • get yourself some bendy straws for more drinking pleasure

10 Year Reunion {in the works}

Planning high school reunions sounds like oodles of fun...when you're 17. All kidding aside, this is a public service announcement regarding the Class of 2000 10 year reunion. It will happen. That's all I know. For now.
If you're even the slightest bit curious about your old classmates, join the FB page. And vote for what time of year you'd most likely attend. 

P.S. anyone else miss spellchecker in Blogger? I might need to repeat the 10-12th grades.

Friday, February 05, 2010

When BD cooks

W hen I got home this evening BD and I decided that we'd stay the night in. Sometimes Friday nights are just better at home, don't you agree? Plus, it saves money and I really like being in my pajamas. BD offered to cook us a pizza while I struggled with my first attempts at Facebook.* A few minutes later the oven is smoking and I look over to see BD standing over the source of the flame. All he said was "Ohhhhhhhhhh. Mmyyyyy. Gosssssh" very slowly as he realized what he had done. Apparently this is what happens WHEN YOU COOK A PLASTIC CUTTING BOARD.
We laughed. BD asked, are you going to blog about this? Um. Yeah. I love this man, even when he cooks.
Cafe Rio it would be. Oh, and honey, why don't you pick up some oven cleaner while you're out?

*You heard me! This 10 year reunion thing is just not going away. More on this tomorrow. Wanna be friends? {gag}

Thursday, February 04, 2010

New Life

Guess who's back? My gorgeous purple orchid that dropped all it's petals last November! I was devastated at the time. But she has totally redeemed herself. Just a few months later and she's sporting two gorgeous blooms on a brand new stem, one bloom just about to burst, and two other buds...budding. She's pretty much the Rock Star of all orchids ever to live, ever. Some people have kids. Some people have cats. I have an orchid. and I love her...

Speaking of love, I really loved this bullet list from Kami. There is so much cute valentine goodness out there right now. Like this and this and this. Whether you love or hate Valentines Day, you have to admit, it's pretty dang cute.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My favorite thing to eat, ever

  • 1 piece whole wheat toast
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • salt and pepper


I am certainly not a music aficionado, by any means. Believe you me, I cannot carry a tune, and therefore am the most unqualified person to discern the good from the bad. Case in point, I love watching American Idol (top 12 only) but think all of the contestants are amazing and deserve to win. Hence, my music tastes are broad. By that I mean everything from George Strait to Janis Joplin. Bob Marley to Celine Dion. Dolly Parton to Dave Matthews. I've gone through more music phases than Lady Gaga has costumes. What can I say, I like what I like.

This year I've added Keane to my music repertoire, and in a big way. This is the band that will define my later twenties. Three decades from now their music will take me back to this exact moment in life and I'll think about sailing in Belize with my family, BD pedaling his commuter bike, Sunday afternoon naps, and the crazy unexpected adventures we're having with starting our family. Keane is very much the soundtrack to our present. Music has the uncanny ability to transport you to a specific time and place. Fascinating.
There was a time when I would listen only to The Beatles. I took it upon myself to memorize every word to every song on every album. True story. I also went through a Grateful Dead phase, which I'm actually still in. Ahem. Jr. High was an awkward mix of Nirvana (R.I.P. Kurt) and TLC. Come to think of it, Jr. High was just awkward, period. I partly blame Eddie Vedder and flannel for that. Megan Turek had MTV in her basement and we spent countless hours waiting for "Waterfalls" (R.I.P. Left Eye) to come on. Those three girls dancing on top of the water blew our minds. By the time I was in High School I had been baptized by fire with Garth Brooks and country music has had a pretty solid showing ever since. The Dixie Chicks were a staple among my tight little group of girlfriends.
This picture (c. 1999) surfaced the other night during one of my organizational fits. I fought back tears as fond teenage memories came flooding in. All I heard was "Cowboy Take Me Away" blaring through the speakers of the Sigma. More important than the music, I'm grateful to still have my high school girlfriends close by. They taught me everything my 17 year-old self needed to know about drive-by's, ear piercing, tweezing, kissing boys, and skipping school. We've been there for each others' big moments such as marriage and babies and jobs. Not to mention the little moments too, like birthday parties and potty training triumphs and lunch. All of it a far cry from the glory days of high school football games. But if I have learned anything this past year, it's that life throws the unexpected. Bad things happen, people make mistakes, and none of it is supposed to be easy. Turns out, my friends continue to teach me what my 28 year-old self needs to know about the hard knocks of life. Because we all have them. No exceptions. Somehow we find a way to love each other through the good the bad and the ugly. Hmmm, here I was writing a post about music that somehow morphed into something completely different, but all the more relevant to the soundtrack of my life. In true form, I wasn't expecting that.

28 for 28

The evening commute is usually one of two things. One, a total drag where I miss every stoplight and become yet another frustrated commuter annoyed by all the other frustrated commuters in my way. Or two, a quiet similitude of my mind shifting from work mode to home mode and somewhere in the middle I am able to think clearly. During yesterday's drive home I had somewhat of an epiphany. It had suddenly sunk in (way down deep) that I'm turning 28 this month. And there are 28 days in February. And I was on 2nd South near 8th East. So there it was, written in the stars that I needed to blog about 28 things this month. Since my life revolves around the number 28, the universe speaks to me in this way. Surely, in the last 28 days of my 28th year, I should have 28 things to say about life, love, and the pursuit of such. Past, present, and future. Whether they will be of any interest to you, I can't presume. I've had much to share as of late but haven't made time to write the important things. Hip hip...

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