Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Do you want to hear my New Year's resolution?  Probably not.  And I won't force you to read through all of them although I will mention some in this post.  But I will say that I really love making New Year's resolutions.  I do it every year.  Not that I expect myself to keep all of them, because really, who does that?  But I totally get the point of evaluating yourself and being honest about where you are and where you want to go.  I can dig that.  I tend to make my list of resolutions while sitting in church, usually between meetings on scraps of paper that I keep in my scriptures.  That works well for me because then I can pull those papers out each Sunday and think about my resolutions.  Which are slightly different from goals if you think about it - more of an optimistic, introspective, and can-do approach I think.

Some of my resolutions are really basic and unimaginative, of course.  Like resolutions to go to the temple once a month or read scriptures every day or exercise three times a week.  But my favorite resolutions are the ones that really challenge me to do something hard or maybe even a little uncomfortable, all in the name of becoming a "better" or "more interesting" or "well-rounded" person.  Like past resolutions to talk to at least one random stranger a week (like the checker at the grocery store or the person next to me on the treadmill at the gym) or to get a passport and travel outside of the U.S. (this has turned into an all-time favorite resolution that I have been very successful in keeping but that at one time I thought there was no way I would ever achieve).  One of my more interesting resolutions for 2010 is to try my hand at new recipes this year - especially international ones - by making something different for dinner at least once a week.  Which may or may not be accomplished depending on how motivated I am to cook for just me and Paul after a full day of work.  Maybe that resolution will be modified to a once-a-month resolution.  We shall see. 

Other resolutions I've been tossing around are community-related - like a resolution to attend community events like concerts in the park or outdoor movies or something.  I really want to get to know my new stomping grounds in the Bay Area this year.  I also want to be more involved with the people from my new ward at church this year because in the past I have been really bad about attending social events like dinners and parties and service projects and such. 

Anyway, last year I made up my list of resolutions and then asked my dad, my sister, and Paul what resolutions they had made.  Each told me seperately that they were perfect (or some other joking statement to that effect) and proclaimed that they didn't need resolutions.  And since lots of people don't make resolutions and I was getting a little ribbing about my yearly practice of making them, I threw out the scraps of paper where I had jotted down my thoughts.  Now with two days left in the year I find myself really missing those lost aspirations for my own personal betterment.  And I'm not going to let it happen again this year.  I've got my list all made out.  I may add to it periodically throughout January. 

And if you are a resolution-maker yourself, I've got your back, okay?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Catch-up

Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you all made it on the Nice list this year. We have been having a great holiday spending time with family and each other, playing Wii, going to the temple with my sister for her first time, shopping for extra last minute surprises, holding Baby Emma, and hanging out with friends.
I just noticed on my sister Jennie's blog list that it says "House of Nash" updated 1 week ago.  That's kind of lame for me.  Especially since I complained to my other sister Jessica that when I got up on Christmas morning there would be no blogs to read since nobody would be blogging Christmas Eve.  Jessica surprised me though by posting a poem on her blog that she wrote just for me called "On the Corner of Memory and Santa Claus".  And before you go thinking I am lame for checking blogs first thing on Christmas morning, just know that I have a really bad habit of waking up at 4 in the morning Christmas Day that hasn't abated despite my advancing age.  The rest of my family has always made me wait until at least 7 a.m. before I can start rousing everybody and rustling them into the living room.  A girl's gotta have something to read while she waits, right?

This year we spent Christmas Eve and morning with my family, then headed down to Paul's parents' house for a ham dinner with Paul's siblings and more present-unwrapping. And now that presents have been opened, I can finally post a photo of what we gave people this Christmas:

I literally spent days in November sewing aprons and making bottled apple pie filling for the women in Paul's family and for my sister who just had the baby. I am not much of a sewer or anything, so these took me forever - way longer than I thought they would or I would have just gone and bought them - but the aprons did turn out pretty cute.

We also took family portraits for each of our families.

The Nash Family:

The Casebolt Family (with my grandparents and aunts):

Me with Baby Emma:

Me with my sisters and niece.  People tell us all the time that we definitely look like sisters and I have always been kind of suspicious of those comments until I saw this photo.  I really do think we look a lot alike here.

This was a really special Christmas for my family because it is the first one in 21 years that there was a baby in the family. Also, next year will be really different since my family will be spread far and wide with Jessica in Uruguay. So in two years when we all reconvene for another Casebolt Christmas there will have been a lot of changes.

Anyway, it really is the most wonderful time of the year in a lot of ways and we have been enjoying this last bit of break before work begins in January. Now its time to get to work on that list of New Year's resolutions, right? Anybody?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bah Humbug

Sorry to everybody out there who loves Christmas music by the following artists, but can I just say that Karen Carpenter, Harry Connick Jr., and Mannheim Steamroller drive me bonkers?

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Okay, so I am a little behind on posting about this, but I really wanted to wait until I actually saw the little tyke first and got to hold her.  My sister Jennie gave birth to her little girl Emma on December 8th.  She is the first grandchild and the first niece in my family.  Emma was born at 5:06 am and weighed 7 lbs, 4 oz. and was 19 inches long.  She is a tiny little thing.  You can see more photos of her at Jennie and Ryan's blog, Horne Happenings.  But these are the ones that we took the other day as a preliminary kind of a photo shoot.  I really need to practice more on Emma though to figure out how to photograph a newborn. 

One of Emma's eyes is still a little swollen so she gets a funny little squint going that is really funny.  But sometimes she can open both eyes all the way. 

Emma with her Aunt Jessica who absolutely adores her.  Jessica said that she is going to teach Emma how to swim and how to speak Spanish.  She said that I get to teach her to litigate.  Obviously, Jessica is already vying for favorite aunt.  Jessica wants to be called Tia Jessica instead of Aunt.

Emma with her Aunt Amy. 

Looks to me like she is going in for a little snack here.  Sorry Emma-girl, better see your mama. 

She really is a sweet little thing.  I love how she grunts with her entire body and sometimes gets cute little hiccups.  She has the cutest yawns.  Jennie says that she is a really good little baby and doesn't fuss much except for at night and even that has been getting better.  Her feet are teeny-tiny.  We think that she has Ryan Horne's lips and chin but she definitely has Jennie's strawberry blonde hair, even though she doesn't have much of it yet. 

She loves to scrunch up her little legs underneath herself and keeps pulling her arms out of her sleeves so she can hold them closer to her body.

Mama hard at work.

We love you Emma!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Life is a Highway

Today Paul and I drove from California to Utah in record time.  It took about 10 1/2 hours from our place to my parents' house.  Along the way we saw this sign which makes me laugh every time because my sense of humor is not very sophisticated.

We also listened to the Glee soundtracks (both of them) two and a half times, singing along with most of the Rachel and Finn songs. 

We ate an entire batch of salted brown butter rice krispie treats rather than stop for lunch.  My friend Sarah from law school got me hooked when she brought them to our "New Moon" viewing event, which was disturbingly fun even though the movie made me cringe.

Finally, when we got really bored, we attempted to quote quasi-ambiguous lines from Christmas movies and made each other guess which movie we were thinking of.  Wanna try?  Here's what we came up with:

1.  I want to make shoes!
2.  I'm gonna give you to the count of 10 to get your lying, yellow, no good keester off my property before I pump your guts full of lead.  One, two, ten .... Keep the change you filthy animal.
3.  She wore the dress, and I stayed home.
4.  You want the moon?  Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. 
5.  Bright light!  Bright light!
6.  Yippee-kai-yay...
7.  I want to be a dentist.
8.  I must get that hat back! Think nasty, think nasty, think nasty!

Scroll down for answers...

Ready for the answers?
1. Elf
2. Home Alone (technically though, this quote is from "Angels with Filthy Souls")
3. White Christmas
4. It's a Wonderful Life
5. Gremlins
6. Die Hard
7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
8. Frosty the Snowman

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Losing our minds

Since neither of us is working yet and we are finally totally unpacked, we have a lot of free time on our hands.  So this morning we decided to try out a local donut shop that a girl I met at church told me about.  It has reportedly stirred up some controversy with mental health groups which is why it came up in our conversation.  And you know how I like controversy.  Donuts too, for that matter.

And Paul and I have really been looking forward to California's many donut shops for a long time now after experiencing the dearth of good donuts in Utah.  Seriously, you cannot find a decent donut in that state.  Except maybe the blueberry donut at Mad Brooke's in Layton.

So Paul paused the 70's horror flick he was watching ("Empire of the Ants", which he said was about radioactive giant ants that killed people) and we went to this place called Psycho Donuts.  And while they weren't the best donuts I have ever had, they certainly made the donut experience more interesting with their wild flavor combinations, inventive naming, and the friendly girl behind the counter dressed in an orderly's uniform.  Which is the reason behind the controversy I guess. 

Names like "Cereal Killer".

Or "Headbanger's Evil Twin" which had raspberry filling "blood" oozing out.

Or "Mood Swing", "Glazed and Confused" or "Jekyll and Hyde".

Here are some of their other creations:

And I love how their sign for their holiday hours (which you can't see really well behind me) talks about when the shop is "in lockdown" and how there is a note on the door that says "Push, Dummy". 

I think they should add more half-and-half options like a vanilla and chocolate donut with names like "bipolar" or "split personality", but those are probably even more controversial.  Or maybe they already have it and that was the "Jekyll and Hyde" donut that they were already out of.

Anyway, I get a huge kick out of trying bizarre places and doing random things, and this was just about as random as it gets.  Although I couldn't bring myself to buy the "Hamburger Donut" with sesame seeds on top and strips of bacon in the middle of a glazed donut.  Gross.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The first thing I think when I hear the name Martha Stewart is "she went to prison", not "she is an amazing cook" or "she created a business empire".  But I made her recipe for marble cupcakes this past week and they were delicious. 

And I have been feeling very Martha Stewart lately, and have been on a big baking kick.  Not because it is the holidays or anything but just because I like to bake.  And I found this really amazing recipe for soft gingerbread cookies, which I made to take to "Cookie and Movie Night" with Paul's cousins.  When I walked in with a big red platter of iced gingerbread, I have to say that the reactions really were just what I was hoping for. 

So even though it is sort of out of character for me and blogging about food might be boring, and I know I just posted about fruit pizza a month ago or so, I couldn't resist posting the photos I took of these gingerbread cookies.  I found the recipe here and I completely admit that her cookies are even more beautiful than mine - her piping skills are way better.  But mine turned out pretty nice too, so I thought I would share:

Soft and Spicy Gingerbread Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg (*note - I was too timid to do a full 2 tsp of both ginger and cloves so I only did 1 tsp of each, but having made the recipe now I think it would be great with the original amounts, albeit with more spice - its up to you); blend into the molasses mixture until smooth. Cover, and chill for at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm. Let cool for 10 minutes on pan. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Frost or decorate when cool with Royal Icing and sugar.

They really did stay soft and chewy and were delicious even without the icing.  I highly recommend adding this recipe to your holiday collection.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tis the season?

When is it too early to start wearing things you (sort of) give yourself for Christmas?  And what do you mean you aren't supposed to give yourself something for Christmas?  I'll bet lots of people do this.  Just not openly.

Because I may or may not have done that this weekend.  Paul looked at me disapprovingly and said "Amy..." very stern and threateningly, which was adorable, but I pretended like I didn't know what he was talking about.  That's it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thinking about the past

I'm not sure why I started thinking about these things this morning, but the idea has been running around my brain, so I thought I would just go ahead and share some of my biggest regrets and some of the things I have no regrets about.  As a disclaimer, it seems like a lot of people do think it is a bad thing to have regrets in life, but I don't think its necessarily a bad thing.  I have learned a lot from the things that I regret and they motivate me to do things or try things I sometimes hesitate at.  Like the fact that I regret not doing Study Abroad in college has pushed me to travel lots and live in Germany for a summer working for a law firm.  I may not have done that had I done Study Abroad.


  • Not doing Study Abroad during college - I always wanted to, but I just never found a way to make it happen.  Looking back, I see all sorts of ways I could have done this if I had just pushed hard enough or sacrificed a semester of school to work and save money.
  • Majoring in Finance as an undergrad - Not that it was a bad major, but I think Communications (a major which I never even considered) would have been much more up my alley. 
  • Not practicing the piano more while growing up - I'm not sure why I thought it was so boring, because every time I sit down to play a song now I find myself thinking "wow, I wish I had more time to practice because I really like playing the piano."
  • Deciding against buying a piece of art from one of the artists on the streets of Paris - it was so cheap and so cool and so parisian (well, maybe not so much, but it sure seems like it to us).
  • Losing touch with good (even best) friends - it just happens sometimes I guess with the different directions we all take in life.  But it shouldn't and I hate that it has.  And it has been so wonderful to reconnect with some of them through Facebook and blogs, but I still kick myself for all the missed opportunities of being there for each other over the years.
  • Every time I looked in a mirror and thought "I am too fat" or "I wish I was prettier" - Was I an idiot?  Yes I was.  Because other than a few really awkward years I was really cute growing up.  And in college.  And heck, I'm a freakin' babe now.  So I don't know what I was worrying about.  It took some work, but I don't ever think this about myself anymore.  It is so not worth it. 
  • Losing my retainer - I am facing the humiliating possibility of getting braces again.  It makes me want to cry.
  • Hurting Jessica's feelings the night before I entered the Missionary Training Center - I still don't remember what I did, and she may not even remember this, but she had written me a letter and brought it in to give to me in the basement at our aunt's house where we were staying.  I said or did something mean and hurt her feelings.  She tore up the letter into tiny pieces in front of me and threw them away.  I took the pieces out of the trash and with me to the MTC, but couldn't ever figure out what they had said.  I still wish I knew and get a little choked up over this incident.  Losing my retainer makes me want to cry, but losing her love at that moment makes me cry.  And I kick myself every time I hurt the feelings of someone I love now and look back at this moment.  It seems so small, but it is probably one of my biggest regrets.

No Regrets

  • Working for free for a law firm my 1L year of law school - A lot of first year law students stress out about finding a job that pays, but they are hard to come by.  I opted to work for free for a really amazing firm in Germany and had one of the best summers of my life. 
  • Skipping 8th grade - Made the decision in less than a minute when the Junior High Vice-Principal, Mr. Whale, told me that I had that option or I could be bused more than an hour each way every day to attend the gifted school.  If I hadn't skipped, I would have graduated in '99 - same year as Paul.
  • BYU - I harbored this secret desire as a senior in high school to go to Stanford (I am still a little giddy of the fact that I am now working for a firm that is literally less than a mile from the Stanford campus, although I am not in awe of it like I used to be back then), and I really wanted to go to UNC for law school.  But BYU was so good for me and so good to me.  I had great experiences, amazing professors, good friends, and met the love of my life. 
  • Getting married at age 23 - I thought it was too young and that I wasn't ready for marriage.  But Paul was right about us and so right for me and I'm glad we got married when we did.  Even though he was only 22 and I really wanted to wait until at least after his birthday in June so we would both be 23. 
  • Missing almost three weeks of school my last semester of law school - I still got good grades, I still graduated and I still passed the bar.  It made it possible for me to spent a week in Costa Rica and Panama relaxing, a week in Florida competing in Moot Court, and a week in Boston attending a law conference and seeing New England.
  • Buying Paul's Canon - Having a really nice camera rocks.  We have had more fun with that thing than any other toy we have ever owned. 
  • Any time I ever spent neglecting homework to spend it with friends - I always did fine in school and even if my grades had slipped a tiny bit it still would have been worth it.  Because those moments don't ever come back but the memories I made and the relationships I built have stayed with me.
Neither list is comphrensive but that's it for now.  How about you guys?  Feel free to share.  Or not.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Kids on the Block

Well, hmm, this is why I like to blog more frequently than once a week - I end up with too may things I want to write about and can't find a cohesive way of composing a blog post.  So I'll just skip over a lot of things with a broad "Thanksgiving was fun and spent with Paul's family" and "We made it to California after being stuck at Donner Pass for three hours" and tell you about the latest.

It is now official - today Paul and I drove to Oakland to take the oath to practice as attorneys.  So we are lawyers.  Insane, right?  I felt so, just, ... full swearing to support and uphold the United States Constitution - you know, proud and humbled and hopeful all at once.  One of the judges who spoke said that this was a "mountaintop moment - when your dreams and realities come together" and I got a little verklempt.  It was very cheesy of me. 

Poor Paul caught a cold the day after Thanksgiving and hasn't been feeling so hot.  But despite that, we have made some good progress moving into our new place.  Wanna see pictures?  You got it.  But just so you know, we aren't finished painting and unpacking (although we are getting there) so I only have bare "before" images for now.  Once we get squared away, I'll post some "after" photos.  And for those of you in the Bay Area, give us a call and come on by.  I'll bake some cookies.

It took us all day last Saturday to tape and paint the living room and kitchen.  But it looks awesome now and I'm so glad we decided to go for it and paint. 

Sleeping on an air mattress for a couple of nights before our belongings got delivered was not so much fun.

This is the view from the guest room.  Jr. olympic size pool you guys.  And 60 degree weather.  Anybody from Utah want to come stay with us for a few days?

This is our kitchen and laundry room.  See the built-in rack for wine glasses in the shelves on the left?  We are using it for our ice cream sundae dishes.

Our back patio rocks.  It overlooks the pool and provides storage.  Plus, it is just cool to have a patio.

Proof that we have been hard at work.  Kind of looks and feels like an early Christmas morning.  And you can see the color we went with on the kitchen and living room walls - Behr "chateau". 

My firm paid for a moving company (Bekins) to load a huge truck with all our stuff and drive it out to California.  I am SO grateful for that perk, because I did not want to carry couches and boxes and mattresses up to the second floor where we live. 

So that is what we have been up to for the last week.  Now that our internet is up and running, we are back in blogging form.  And really, really, really enjoying having our own place again after almost five months of being homeless.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Universe is generous and kind and good

This morning I was thinking that maybe I used up all my good karma to pull through on the bar.  Then I called the Gap store again (despite the fact that I called them five times last night until they pretty much asked me to leave them alone), and sure enough, they have my phone.  Bless you Universe, bless you Karma, bless you phone.  I'm back in happy mode.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Karma is broken

I am so angry right now guys and I'll tell you why:  I lost my brand new phone.  At the Gap.  I'm pretty sure.  But its the Gap at Park City which is an hour away and I have called them and called my phone (which I know for a fact was on with the ringer on full volume when I lost it) and they say that they can't find it.  Its not in my car, its not lost in the depths of my purse, its not in a pocket.  I was talking to my mother on it while browsing racks of clothes, then when she took another call, I kept my phone out and waited for her to call me back.  She called me back while I was in the dressing room changing, and I know I set my phone down on the bench afterwards.  That is where it has to be.  Or have been unless somebody took off with it. 

And right now I feel like a total moron.  Because I don't do this.  I am not normally a really flighty person about this kind of thing - locking keys in the car or forgetting backpacks/wallets/computers at home (sorry Jess, I'm not criticizing, I'm just sayin').  Although I have left my purse with my passport in an airport bathroom once and freaked out about it and had to hunt it down with the airport police after somebody took it to an airline counter.  But still, that was an isolated incident and I've been fastidious about this kind of thing ever since then. 

But what really gets me, is that in the last week I had a friend misplace her phone and another friend dropped his phone in the toilet.  Since they were both on Sprint and I just switched to Verizon, I offered my old Sprint phone to them as a replacement.  Because hey, I wasn't going to use it and it was a really nice phone.  And I'm a pretty nice person, you know?  So the way I see it, if karma really exists, the Universe owes me a phone, right?  Grrrrrrr...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Results are in ...

And we both PASSED the California Bar Exam!!! 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Some like it hot

This blog post is not about the movie "Some Like It Hot," (although that title does have something to do with the story I am about to share) but if you have not seen the movie, then I am devastated.  And you are missing out on the funniest movie of all time.  Marilyn Monroe with Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis dressed in drag.  You will be in tears.  Promise.  Although be forewarned that Ms. Monroe's wardrobe is quite scandalous.

No, this post is about how last night I did something dumb.  I entered a chili cook-off here in Farmington.  I don't even like chili.  But it was for a church tailgating party and at the time I signed up the event director seemed pretty desperate, so I figured, "what the hey?", and wrote my name down.  Then I went home and googled "chili recipe" and got almost nine million hits.  Yikes.  I went with the first chili recipe that sounded interesting to me, a non chili eater.  It was for Maui Chili and called for pineapple and chicken.  It even has its own website.  (I only made 1/4 of the recipe and omitted the beer, for fairly obvious reasons.  Namely - church cook-off and the fact that I don't drink or buy beer in the first place.  I don't care if the alcohol "cooks off," because I still have my suspicions that that is a myth.  Paul suggested non-alcoholic beer.  I still said no.)   

It looked like chili.  It smelled like chili.  And when I tasted it, it tasted like chili.  Until the jalapeno peppers and cayenne pepper kicked in.  Then I couldn't taste anything.  Since I have never cooked with these two ingredients, I think I underestimated their potency and used a little bit too generous of a hand.  I panicked and tried to cool down the spicy-ness of my batch of chili with sour cream.  Then with an extra can of diced tomatoes.  Then with extra cornmeal thickening.  Nothing worked.  I don't think it tasted bad, but then, I am not a chili eater.  In fact, I kind of liked the pineapple and chicken part, but the tomatoes and beans burned baby.  It was mortifying.

At that point there was nothing I could do, so I talked my parents into taking two cars and made my mother carry the chili in, hoping that whoever was setting up the contest would assume she had made it, not me.  She had tasted it too though, and knew of its spicy-ness, so when I showed up I found out that she had made sure that I would get credit.  Turns out my chili was the first in line for judging.  I don't know how the judges could taste anything else after tasting my chili, so my guess is that the results of this particular cook-off were skewed. 

And that is how I sabotaged all the other chili contestants at a church chili cook-off.  And won first-place, not in the overall category, but for the Spiciest Chili.  That's me.  Spicy.  This is really terrible photo, but we only had our phones thinking that there would be no way we wanted to document this funny little get together.  Everybody was told to wear their school apparel, so that is why I am wearing my BYU Law sweatshirt.  Paul wore his U of U Law sweatshirt. 

After the awards were given (only 4 of them - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Spiciest, which is ambiguous and could mean worst, but lets not go there, and, just so you know, there were probably about 15 entries too, so don't think mine was merely a pity placing so that everybody got an award), a number of people went straight for my mouth-burner and loaded up on it.  The oldest guy (Brother Stoddard) there was in his eighties and he was super cute and came over to me to make sure he got the right chili.  I watched him eat two full bowls of it.  He saved me from complete embarassment.  Turns out there is a whole group of people who only eat chili if it has major heat.  Weird. 

One other quirk to share before I end this now rather lengthy blog post.  I also made a dessert.  And I always hold an unofficial competition at these kind of potluck type events (family reunions and such) that I don't tell anyone about where I watch to see whose dessert goes first and fastest.  Paul knows that I do this and I'm pretty sure he gets a kick out of it.  What can I say?  I was born with a competitive streak a mile wide.  Like that girl on Glee.  Its kind of a big deal to me.

Anyway, I kind of hover around the dessert table just to observe, but not conspicuous enough to draw attention.  And I don't tell anyone which dessert I made because that would be unfair to the other (unwitting) contestants.  I have a whole theory about how the winning dessert has to be different enough that it is not something that people will make for themselves, but not so unusual as to cause people not to try it.  I have to admit that the running was tight between my fruit pizza and somebody else's brownie toffee trifle.  But mine pulled out strong in the end.

Behold and salivate:

Okay, maybe three photos was a little unnecessary, but I just couldn't say no.  Paul took the photos, as usual.

All-in-all, it was a pretty interesting/weird/fun night.  But I don't think I will be entering another chili cook-off any time soon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Coming out of retirement...

Not me, just my name tag. See, when I got home from my mission over six years ago, I brought extra nametags and gave one to each of my sisters and my mother for when they went on missions. My youngest sister Jessica got her mission call today. I pulled it out of the mailbox (it came to our parent's house) and called her immediately (as promised). She was in the library at BYU and told me that I had better not be teasing her or she would scream. I swore that I wasn't teasing and she said "Okay, I will be home in one hour. You call mother. I will call father." I said (three times), "Drive SAFELY," just to make sure she got the message.

She was so cute opening her call.  I have a photo progression to prove it:

No, she wasn't called to New Jersey.  That is a face of pure joy.  She is going to Uruguay.  Montevideo West.  Spanish speaking, of course.  I am SO excited for her.  So, so, so, SO excited for her.  And me.  Because when she finishes her mission, you KNOW I am going to go pick her up.  But mostly for her because this is a dream mission call.  She is the same sister who did study abroad in Mexico so her spanish is pretty good already.  She is pumped and has been running around the neighborhood to tell each of our neighbors.  She goes straight to the Argentina Missionary Training Center on March 11th, so she has a pretty long wait.

I'm so proud of her.  She is such a good person and will do such a good job as a missionary.  And I hope she takes my nametag with her, even though hers will be in spanish and say "Hermana Casebolt."  And I am going to miss her like crazy.

Monday, November 9, 2009


You know when you are driving down the interstate and see a car with its blinker on but the car never changes lanes?  And the blinker remains on for more than a minute and you think that the driver just forgot about it?  That may not necessarily be the case.  They may be listening to Enya.  Because the other day we had Enya playing in the car (e-confession - I really like Enya, so hate on haterz) and hit the blinker to merge.  The conversation went something like this:

Paul:  "Wait, do you hear that?"
Amy:  "What, ... is that really...?"
Paul:  "Yeah, it IS!"
Amy:  "It totally is!"
Paul:  "Perfect synchronization!  Wow."

We had huge moronic grins on our faces for the next couple of minutes listening to the blinker tick like a metronome in sync to Enya, never losing ground on her tempo.  As the song finished, Paul turned the blinker off and we both looked at each other with this the-planets-have-aligned kind of amazement and agreed that that was awesome.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A is for Apple

Today I went to my mother's first grade classroom and volunteered.  Paul went too.  We worked with my mother's students on their math - counting by 5's and by 10's, naming shapes, naming the days of the week, naming the months of the year, etc..  Turns out I would fail first grade because the kids had to be able to identify a rhombus, trapezoid, parallelogram, and hexagon in addition to the easy circle, triangle, and square.  I had no idea what the first two (rhombus and trapezoid) were and was admittedly a little foggy on the parallelogram although I could have figured that one out if my mother hadn't pointed to it first.  Both my mother and Paul were laughing at me over it when I expressed my confusion.  This is a rhombus (why they can't just call it a diamond, I don't know):

Anyway, Paul and I each took a student out to tables in the hallway to test them on the various topics.  After about 20 minutes of testing and rotating through students, I overheard Paul with a new student, a little girl, down the hallway.  The little girl was singing through the days of the week for him and he was struggling not to laugh.  I could tell because he was making a silent wheezing noise that is his old man laugh.  I don't think the little girl noticed because she was so focused on her song.  It was awesome and we had a great time with those kids. 

Also, today I climbed a tree - two actually.  Leaves.  Branches.  And me.  Not that I was up high or anything - they were just a couple of apple trees, but still.  When was the last time you climbed a tree?  It has been years for me.  Maybe since I fell out of one at my grandma's house in Texas when I was a kid.  Or since I ran off with my friend Jenny Wood in second grade to hide in a tree after eating half a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough while my mother was out of the room.  I'm not a very competent tree-climber and I'm certainly not as agile as I used to be.  Or maybe its just that proportionally trees are smaller now than they used to be and that makes getting good footholds and balancing on thin branches more difficult.  But gosh it felt really good to climb those trees.  Freeing and fresh.

We went down to Orem to help Paul's brother with some painting on the house he is remodeling, and I saw that his apple trees were pretty loaded down.  So I offered to pick the apples and use them since Paul's brother and sister-in-law still haven't put in their kitchen and the apples were just going to go to waste.  There is something so sad about letting all those beautiful apples rot on the tree and I just couldn't stand the thought.  Dave said "sure", so Paul brought out a ladder for me to climb up to pick the apples, but that just wasn't working - I couldn't get high enough, and a lot of the lower apples had been pecked at by birds, so I ended up balancing on the thin upper tree limbs to harvest the fruit.  Is it still a harvest when you didn't do any of the planting and nurturing? 

I ended up with two very full bags of sweet apples - maybe 15-20 pounds I'm guessing.  They made our car smell so good for the drive home and they are already making my parent's kitchen all apple-scented delicious, and they haven't even been cooked. 

Now I'm not sure what to do with them.  I have a slightly crazy inclination to try bottling apple pie filling and giving it away as Christmas gifts, but I'm super intimidated by that notion.  I've never tried anything like that and I'm not sure I really care enough.  But then, I can't often resist a challenge, can I?

Monday, November 2, 2009


One thing that really creeps me out:  when people post on their blogs about how it was their anniversary and so they sent the tots over to their parent's house and went to a hotel less than thirty minutes from their home and then they post a photo of the bed in the hotel room.  That's it.

** Just so ya' know, I have nothing against hotel room photos when they are included in a travel blog post simply to show where you stayed.  In fact, I have probably done this myself and I am pretty sure I have chosen a hotel based on somebody else's blog post recommending it.  The aforementioned creepy posts have the sole, not-so-subtle "you know what happened here" quality to them that gives me the heebie jeebies.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Flashback

Halloween is my favorite holiday.  And it is not just because it falls in my birthday month and when I was born the nurses at the hospital decorated my crib with black cats and pumpkins, which they did.  When I was little, I would get so excited about trick-or-treating that I would make myself sick with anticipation.  It was the one day a year when I was allowed to wear make-up.  The entire world changed on Halloween night - sidewalks were crowded with princesses, ghosts, witches, vampires and cartoon characters.  Porches were lit aglow with grinning yellow and orange jack-o-lanterns.  The fallen leaves made spooky noises as they skittered across the sidewalks while I ran door-to-door with my increasingly heavy plastic pumpkin bucket.  And there was free candy.  FREE CANDY.  One of the most tragic memories of my childhood was the year a blizzard cancelled Halloween in Omaha.  I was devastated.

Last night Paul and I had a conversation that lasted all the way from Provo to Salt Lake about what Halloween candy we loved and what Halloween candy we hated.  We both agreed that Jolly Ranchers were the worst.  We also discussed candy trading strategies that we employed on our siblings in order to get the ideal mix of desirable candy.  For example, I knew people liked Butterfingers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (which I never cared for) so they were pretty valuable for extorting the Kit-Kats and Almond Joys that I wanted.  My mother always made us combine a portion of our haul to fill a huge "family" bowl.  I always threw in my Tootsie Rolls and Dum-Dums which I hated anyway, but I'd also add the peanutty Baby Ruths that I knew were my parent's favorites. 

When Paul and I got home last night, I went to the basement and raided my mother's jumbled and dusty boxes of photographs looking for Halloween photos.  Turns out my parents weren't so big on taking photos because I could only find a couple of Halloween photos, and I was a pirate in almost all of them.  But I also remember being Little Red Riding Hood, a Light Princess, a cheerleader, and a greek goddess.  The Light Princess costume was a response to losing my brother one year while trick-or-treating when practically every little boy in America dressed up as the 1989 Jack Nicholson version of the Joker from "Batman" and my brother ended up following the wrong Joker around the neighborhood all night thinking it was the friend we were trick-or-treating with until he finally came home on his own.  The next year my mother bought me a costume laced with Christmas lights and a battery pack so I looked like one of the Main Street Electric Parade floats walking around and was impossible to lose. 

Anyway, I have to confess that one of the things I look forward to most about when Paul and I actually have kids is being able to dress them up for Halloween and take them trick-or-treating door-to-door.  And I will take loads of photos.  And I plan to dress up too.  But, since we don't have kids, how about a Halloween flashback of yours truly?  (And yes, I do know this is super nerdy of me).

Me as a witch in 1983.  I had just turned three.  That's my mom on the right behind me holding my little brother Seth.

Me as a pirate in 1988.  I had just turned eight.

Same year with my best friend Toby who dressed up as a goblin.

Paul is supposed to stop by his parent's house today and look for some Halloween photos of himself.  If he finds some, you can expect an update.  Happy Halloween!