Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mom's Birthday

Growing up, my mom hated her birthday. We always knew to stay clear when that time came around and be perfect angels so she could enjoy her birthday as much as possible. I think it had to do with getting older, but I have always just known she doesn't like it. The older I got, the more my mom seemed to enjoy her birthday. Since I have been away for the last 7 years, I haven't been able to celebrate with her. I know she said she didn't mind, but I also knew it would mean a lot if we were there this year. When Derek and I were planning at the beginning of the year, we realized he had a free weekend the weekend before mom's birthday and so we decided to surprise her. About a week before we were supposed to go up and surprise my mom, Vickie called us and told us Buffy and Chloe were going to be in Melbourne for the week. So we drove up to Melbourne on Friday and got to hang out with Buffy and Chloe for a day. Buffy and I shared YW ideas and we got to play with Chloe. It is so cute how much she loves her uncle Derek! She is so funny and perceptive... I have loved watching her grow up!

They are too cute together! 

After we surprised my mom during her birthday lunch at Five Guys. Her reaction was priceless! Then we went and did some cardboard boxing and kite flying. It was a great breezy day so we took advantage of the beautiful weather and time together.

Flying Kites

Showing Mom how it is done

Seester Time! The sun rays looked pretty cool too.

Man, I just love this kid!

While we were there we had to have like 5 photo shoots and take tons of pictures. We wanted to get a good picture of all of the girls so we had Derek take the picture. Luckily, Derek always takes tons of pictures when you hand him a camera because he caught this incredibly funny and candid moment between us. It really sums all of us up in a picture. 

Sarah is always fixing us up and mom and I are in another world laughing.

And the serious shot.

Afterward, we went and got Cantina Dos Amigos takeout and the boys watched some basketball. UM had a big win so Derek was a very happy camper. Sarah is incredibly talented and made a Betty Jean Jeopardy game. The teams were pretty unfair, Dad and Ryan vs Me and Derek, but we ended up making it a game. It was really fun to learn more about my mom and for her to share memories with us. 

Time went much too fast, but I am so glad we had the chance to go home and be with Mom on her birthday and see Buffy and Chloe. Being here in Florida is so awesome and I am so happy we are here and able to go home when we can. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I am not much of a cooker. It's not that I am bad, but I just don't like to spend so much time cooking then eat it in like 5 minutes. But I have been venturing out of my comfort zone lately and cooking more. I read on my iPad while things are cooking and I actually do the dishes (instead of letting them pile up). Below was one of my recent successes, homemade chicken noodle soup. 

This soup was sooo yummy! Even though its not cold, sometimes it is just nice to eat some homemade soup. 

Tonight I decided to cook a Humpherys classic meal, Chicken Adobo. I actually didn't like think meal growing up. I think it was because it was my sisters favorite meal and I wanted to be different haha. Or maybe I like it now because my food taste has changed so much since I left home. Anyway, now I love it and it is a go-to meal for me and Derek. It's fast, filling and super cheap to make! My mom got this recipe from a BYU married student ward from when my parents were there, thus making it tried and true. I figured there are a lot of people out there in our situation who could use a good, fast recipe so here it goes. I have never shared a recipe or anything like that before so here is my first shot at it. 

Chicken Adobo

Ingredients for Sauce: 
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic

Cube 4-5 chicken breast and place in a sauté pan. (I always go heavy on the meat in my recipes) Cook chicken on medium/medium-high heat until the outside is white.

While the chicken is cooking mix all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. I always use more garlic because I like it and you can use a little less white vinegar if you don't want the sauce to have that kick. Make sure you get all of the ketchup mixed well before mixing into the cooking chicken. 

Stir sauce into pan and let the chicken and sauce cook together for 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over white or brown rice. 

IT IS THAT EASY!! I don't add a veggie, but you can add broccoli or green beans on the side. I mix all the sauce rice and chicken for a delicious dinner! 

Hope you like this recipe. Let me know if you try it :) Have a great week everyone!

Friday, February 1, 2013

College Acceptance

I realize now that I took so many things for granted when I was growing up. I grew up with awesome parents and siblings, I never wanted for anything and I had the world at my fingertips. Since we moved down here to Miami, I now see that not everyone has what I had. Working with the Young Women at church has been especially humbling. These girls fight for a lot of the things they have in life, and they are far happier then I ever was in my teenage years. Last fall I had the chance to help one of the girls apply for BYU/BYU-I. She has amazing parents who helped her get everything in and I got to help her edit her essays. It made me nostalgic for the days when I applied for BYU and dreamed of leaving home and growing up.

Last night, I was with my counselors and another girl from our ward watching Vampire Diaries and talking. I got a call around 10 and it was this same young women I had helped with her applications. She said, "Emily, I checked my application status and for BYU-I it says admitted." So of course I start yelling "You got in!!" All she could say was "I am going to college!" We were all clapping and yelling. Pretty much a magical moment. I told her to hang up and go tell her parents and since then I haven't stopped smiling. She is the first to go to college in her family and has so much ability. It is so awesome to see the opportunity and promise that education grants us. I will admit I struggled to get through college (took me 6 years), but I am so glad Derek and I made the sacrifices we did to help me graduate.

I am so grateful the church has colleges that provide opportunities for us to learn and grow. I am also grateful I had the chance to see a friend have the opportunity to go to college. Definitely a moment I won't forget.

5 Things About Me

So the 5 Things You Didnt Know About Me things has been going around on Insta. I caved and posted the other day and I thought it would be fun to post it to the blog too so I remember it. I added a little to some of them just for fun.

1. I have never broken a bone or had stitches, but I had a kidney stone in college. (It sucked hard core!) I was on a retreat for a BYU leadership camp up in the mountains. I can't look at BYU creamery buckets the same after yacking in one on the drive to the hospital. (sorry I'm not sorry for the detail)

2. I am seriously afraid of birds. I run from them at the beach. I also hate bird exhibits at the zoo and almost had a panic attack when I nannied and took the kids into the exhibit.

3. I met my husband when I was a kid and had a crush on him growing up. I remember waiting for him to ask me to dance at youth dances and EFY.

4. I had my first kiss at 16 (almost 17). It was on my front porch and very cliche. I thought I was going to puke I was so nervous.

5. I didn't break 100 lbs until college. I would have been in a booster seat until 10th grade by today's car safety rules. Thanks Mom and Dad for the high metabolism :)

Health and Happiness

If you know me very well, then you know I get migraines. These suckers stink! I don't know why I have been blessed with this trial, but it has definitely tested me over the last few years. I went to a doctor a few years ago and everything looks fine. He told me that most people don't get an explanation for their headaches which is just AWESOME! I actually started doing acupuncture for it about 6 months ago and that has helped, but I still struggle sometimes. Poor Derek is so patient with me when I hide under the covers for a few days until the headache passes and don't do anything around the house. As part of the new year, I decided to start doing everything I can to get my headaches under control.

 Not me, but I feel her pain

First, I snack a lot. I found hunger and dehydration are a huge trigger for me. I buy kids snacks and carry them with me everywhere (teddy grahams, fruit snacks, granola bars, etc). Whenever I feel the least bit hungry,  I snack. I have also been drinking more water. I love ice cold water (hate warm/room temp water) and I try to get my daily 8 glasses or as close as I can. I feel better doing these things and have more energy, so I figure it cant hurt!

 My snacks today

Also, I have started walking with a girl at work. Now, we aren't hardcore by any means... we just take 20 or 30 minutes a day and walk around our building. We catch up on work stuff, life and enjoy the sunshine. It has been so good for me to get out and enjoy the nice weather we have been having and get a little exercise. Since the summers are so hot, we probably wont be able to do this all year, but I'll take it while it's warm!

In general, I would say that I put my personal health/fitness very low on my list of priorities. Unfortunately a lot of other things seem to take up the time and energy I would use to take care of myself. I think that is just part of being a woman. Something that my mom has helped me see is that I am a better wife, friend, sister, daughter if I am happy and healthy. So I am taking baby steps and working toward being healthier and happier in 2013. I am no Jillian Michaels, but I am feeling better than I have in a long time and getting less headaches. YES!! Hope you are all reaching your health and happiness goals for 2013!