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.