Thursday, March 27, 2008

Paris, Versailles, Verona, and Venice

Over Thanksgiving 2007 my sister Amber and I went on a European holiday. It was really awesome. I had never been outside of the country before except for to Mexico and Canada and both of those were just over the border. I know it's old news but I wanted to post some of my favorite pictures since back then I didn't have a blog.

This is a view from inside the Louvre
This is from inside Notre Dame...You see that tower from everywhere I tell you.
Notre Dame from the outside.
The Eiffel Tower with a bit of a Carousel and the Moon! Could it be a more Parisian image?
Amber and I took a million pictures here, it is at Versailles on the million acres. This was part of Marie Antoinette's village and it was like the opening scenes of Beauty and the Beast!

This is taken on top of the Arc de Triomphe. I love Sacre Coeur in the back.
This is Amber after we climbed a million steps to the top of Sacre Coeur. On the way down Amber got a hand full of bird crap from the rail.
This is a beautiful street in Verona (taken from on top of the 2nd largest Colossium type stadium in Italy), we ate under one of those green shades where, once again Amber had a run in with the birds. Her coat fell in bird crap.
I'm taking a picture from the window in our shower as Amber sticks her head out of the other window in our Venice hotel.
Is this not the epitome of what you'd think Venice is? Laundry hanging across the buildings? I love it.
On the last day of our trip Amber and I just wandered the streets of Venice aimlessly. It was so relaxing and beautiful it might have been my favorite day. This picture is from that day and I love it. I love the pealing, chipping building, I love the plants in the windows, I love Venice.

Well, these are just a FEW of the hundreds of pictures I took...not to mention the ones that Amber took. Some say that pictures are the best souvenir, which I'm pretty sure Amber and I agree with, but just so we didn't have any regrets we made sure to buy PLENTY of souvenirs as well.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Weekend, Easter and Otherwise

This was a kind of crazy weekend for a few reasons. Shawn had two friends come in from out of town to stay with us, I had to work on Saturday at an Easter event with 4,000 people, many of them were cranky, Shawn and I both had to speak in church and Shawn's sister Amy and my brother Joel and their families came over for Easter dinner and of course, the Easter Bunny came and hid eggs in the yard while they were distracted playing video games in the basement. Top it all off with the fact that I had to take Shawn to the airport for a work trip this morning and yeah, I'd say it was kind of crazy.

This picture is of Shawn's friend "Worm" and me. We went to the batting cages on Friday at Boondocks. The one below is Worm and Shawn. After the batting cages we went Go-Karting. I don't think Shawn even knows that I took that picture, it was a lucky shot because I just held the camera up behind me, the 16 year old running the show had already buckled me in.

And then a bunch of Shawn's friends and I tried to pick a movie. I tried to tell Shawn he could just go play with his friends and I'd stay home but he wanted me to go. The problem was trying to find a movie we could all agree on. Who knew none of them would want to see Penelope???

Sucks being the only girl. As it turned out anyway they picked Shutter which I wouldn't see because the older I get the more I can't handle the horror genre. Weird right? But I seriously can't sleep, I freak out. It's just not worth it. Horton Hears a Who was playing at the same time so I went by myself while they went to Shutter.

On Saturday I worked and it wasn't all that fun. I got locked in a trolley by myself for 1/2 hour. Fun for me. Then I went home and worked on my talk, Shawn and I got groceries and Easter supplies for the next day. After that we went bowling with a bunch of Shawn's friends where I somehow bowled the ball into the side of my own knee. OUCH!!! It still hurts. But I think it's such a deep bruise you can barely see the black and blue. About two frames later I dropped the ball behind me as I swung/swinnged whatever it is. What the heck? It felt like I was living the bowling scene in a terribly predictable movie.

On Sunday we both spoke. It went well, I'm pretty sure. Do people tell you you did a good job just to be nice? Who knows. I spoke on the actual word Resurrection and what it means for us. Shawn spoke more on the resurrected Christ so it was pretty nice that we didn't really over lap. Everyone came up for dinner, Kim made mashed potatoes and deviled eggs (which I can't wait to get home and eat more of), Amy made cupcakes and I made ham, corn, rolls and a salad. There was PLENTY of food. I think I made Joel take home 3 pounds of ham. Literally. I guess I'm just not sure how to cook for that many people.

I totally forgot to take pictures of the Easter Egg Hunt. Sad. But the kids really did have a good time. There were gummy "Easter Bunny Teeth" in some of the eggs and Courtney stuck them in and it was pretty hilarious. Easton was really funny while he was hunting. I held him up so he could snag a bag of sour watermelons from the branch of a tree and he said through laughter, "oh that Easter Bunny, I never thought he would put that candy up there!" in a very sing-songy voice. Joel and I thought it was pretty funny.

So that's that. It was a fun weekend. Hope I didn't bore you with the details. Now Shawn's gone until Thursday so if anyone wants to play let me know. Although hardly anyone who reads this lives near me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm a Boy

For any of my sisters out there they know exactly what that means. In true Sechrist fashion...or is it from the Olson side?...we exaggerate and use this phrase to describe dun, dun, dun a hair cut, a trim no matter how insignificant.

Well this time I mean it. 6-7 inches is no trim friends.

I took in a picture of Jessica Simpson, whom I am not a big fan of but she does have good hair. I knew of course that I wouldn't look like Jessica when all was said and done but there were many elements of the cut that I liked. The bottom was blunt but there were layers at the bottom few inches, it seemed to have more layers throughout the back and longer straighter lines in the front. Please don't be confused, not an A-line thank offense to any of you with them they are just SO not me. Anyway, I also liked the length. It skimmed her collar bone.

Here is my hair (ironically I hate looking at my hair this day but this picture bests shows its damaged state) at my bridal shower in Utah with sisters-in-law Kim and Lindsey...

My hair was D-A-M-Damaged folks. It was time and I knew 2 inches wasn't gonna cut it so I thought, collar bone length it is. Problem:evidently Jessica has a longer neck than mine therefore her "collar bone length" is about 2 inches longer than mine, and sadly I fear that my hair is now at "cute" length. Kill me now. No lie. I'm a boy.

My nephew Easton (4 years old) assured me that I am in fact not a boy because a) my hair still looks like a girl and b) I have makeup on. He then kept encouraging me to go wash my face off. Thank you Easton.

I'm sure you're all dying to see pictures of my new 'do but I can't do it. Not yet. Give it time to sink in.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tagged by my sister-in-law Kathleen

Five Tag

FIVE Things I was doing 10 years ago...
1. Participating in the chorus of our high school musical, Annie
2. Pining for my latest crush...Spencer Bush I think...
3. Getting an A in Geometry, I really liked Geometry
4. Getting jealous of my friends who had turned 16 and already had their license
5. Can I change this to 4 tag?

FIVE Things I was doing 5 years ago...
1. Attending Rick's College
2. Pining after my latest crush Aaron something
3. Gaining a lot of "college" weight
4. Visiting Joel and Kim in Provo
5. Getting an A in American Sign Language, I really liked American Sign Language

FIVE Things I would do if I became millionaire...
1. Pay off school loans
2. Pay off Shawn's credit card
3. Let my parents retire
4. Let Shawn's parents retire
5. Travel the world with Shawn

FIVE Jobs I've had...
1. Laser tag instructor
2. Shoe Sales Associate
3. Subway...Eat fresh
4. Portrait photographer
5. Garden Activities and Guest Services Manager at Thanksgiving Point!

FIVE Snacks I enjoy...
1. Salt and Vinegar Chips
2. Cheese and Crackers
3. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
4. Black Raspberry Pie
5. Peanut Blossom Cookies

FIVE Places I've lived...
1. Hoffman Estates, IL
2. Shrewsbury, PA
3. Rexburg, ID
4. Provo, UT
5. Draper, UT

FIVE Things I did yesterday...
1. Cleaned a bathroom
2. Laundry
3. Put my kitchen cupboards back together
4. Pack lunch for Shawn and myself for today
5. Went to Costco

FIVE Things I hate doing...
1. Mustering up the energy to go to the gym
2. Waking up
3. Smelling vomit
4. Dealing with pushy sales people
5. Paying bills

FIVE Biggest joys of the moment...
1. All things Shawn
2. Knowing the Gardens are opening soon
3. Watching the tulips and daffodil leaves come up a little more every day
4. My resolve to eat better and be more active
5. Having the Joel Sechrist's up for Easter dinner

Who haven't I tagged yet? Nicole and Mindee

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Recipe from Hell

I've been wanting to post this story since Sunday but I forgot to take a picture of my meal and I think without a photo you won't get a full understanding of what Shawn and I went through, nevertheless I'll tell you about it. (I found this picture on-line, it doesn't look exactly like mine but it's very close. The one that looked the closest I had to buy the rights to so yeah, you get this one.)

On our flight back from our honey moon I purchased a Martha Stewart Living to read on the plane. It is always fun to look at those and plan on projects I'll rarely start if ever complete. This particular issue had a section on dumplings and how nearly every culture has a different variation of the dumpling. There was a Turkish version called "Manti" which I decided I just had to try because it looked really colorful and pretty in the picture. Plus the ingredients were interesting, including mint, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaves, fresh parsley, ground lamb, Greek yogurt...

There are a few problems with Martha. 1) her things always look really colorful and pretty in the picture 2) when preparing one of her recipes you need to go to 6, yes 6 different grocery stores to gather all of the ingredients therefore 3) your ENTIRE Saturday needs to be dedicated to purchasing ingredients for the meal and 4) your ENTIRE Sunday needs to be dedicated to preparing the meal.

The thing about manti is they are really small, allegedly the smaller the better. As in, Turkish people have a saying that goes something like; a woman who makes a great wife can make manti so small 20 fit on a spoon. I'm paraphrasing. Anyway, you make the dough from scratch and cut it into 1 1/4 inch squares then spoon in 1/4 teaspoon of this meat mixture and fold in all 4 corners and seal the seams. (I'm telling you the measurements because I need you to understand how small these are) Not too complicated right? Ok, and then repeat...110 times.

Two hours later our food was prepared, and then it had to cook for an hour during which time I had to make 3 kinds of sauces type substances.

I invited Beckie and Steve up for dinner and we ate and for the most part enjoyed our first ever Turkish meal. I don't think Beckie liked it but I'm pretty sure the rest of us thought it was good, and it was a fun experience because how often can you say you made something like that from scratch? Well if you're me, not too often.

So basically that's it, that was our Sunday dinner. Shawn was a good sport and he helped as much as a man can with intricate little things. Their fingers just don't work quite like ours do they?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tagged by Mendy Leigh

What is his name?
Shawn Daniel
How long have you been married?
Hold on, let me count…40 days.
How long did you date?
4 months until we got engaged, I know…Yikes.
How old is he?
Who eats more?
Well…he might eat more in one sitting but I think I eat more often.
Who said "I love you" first?
He did!
Who gave the 1st kiss?
He did. Similarly to my sister I was trying to give the signals not to. At first I wanted him to but then I started to freak out and didn’t want him to
Who sings better?
Probably me but when he thinks no ones listening he sounds like a sweet song bird ha ha ha.
Who is smarter?
Well, it depends on the subject. Shawn knows lots of things, he reads lots of news and facts and things. He also is a far better speller then I am. But I usually do math in my head and he whips out his calculator…
Whose temper is worse?
ooh ooh me, that’s who. Shawn probably has the least temper of anyone I have EVER met. I promise I’m not exaggerating.
Who does the laundry?
We both do, but we’re still pretty new at this so I’m sure in time I’ll be doing it more. ¾ of the time we still do our own.
Who does the dishes?
I do them most of the time.
Who pays the bills?
Again, we’re still new…we mostly do our own. But Shawn does more because more of them are in his name ie…mortgage, water, gas etc…
Who mows the lawn?
HOA baby, they don’t charge us that monthly fee for nothing.
Who cooks dinner?
Both of us, we both work full time so it wouldn’t be entirely fair for just one of us to do it.
Who drives when you are together?
Almost always him.
Who is more stubborn?
Definitely me, like I said, he is EXTREMLY easy going.
Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?
Um, I think it’s a tie. This one is tough.
Whose parents do we see the most?
We see mine a little more because they come out here. Shawn’s parents don’t really come to us. Who has more friends?
Um, close friends? Shawn probably has more, he has a very tight group of friends there are like 7ish of them.
Who proposed?
Who has more siblings?
We both come from families with 8 kids.
Who wears the pants?
Well his friends tell him that I do but I told him that if they tell him that one more time he’s not allowed to hang out with them anymore so yeah, you tell me.

I tag the Beckies on my list, Clark and Voss. Hit me with it big time.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wedding Photos

Here are some, she said that she's still working on the rest.

There are some that I like. All of the ones from behind are absolutely amazing for how large my butt is. I never knew I had a giant butt until now. Also, pay special attention to picture #86. Why is my hair the same color as the ribbon on my bouquet? Interesting.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Peer into My Trashcan

The cleaning lady keeps skipping my trashcan at work. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because she wants me to recycle. I want me to recycle too but the only recycle bin we have at work is for paper. The point is, look at my trash. Not a whole lot of variety in there eh?

We have a refrigerator at work that keeps the beverages at the perfect temperature. When I pop the top there is a thin layer of icy froth floating, awaiting my first sip.

12 fluid ounces of bubbly zero calorie refreshment run over my tongue and down my throat. I got four 12 packs for $8 the other day...what a day it was.

My name is Whitney and I am a Diet Coke drinker.