To my indecisive friends:

"To avoid choices allows one's being to slowly erode."



Happy Thanksgiving

I was trying to figure out what to write for Thanksgiving so I googled Thanksgiving blogs. At a website, they had 5 tips. They were the following:
1. Discuss your favorite parts of the holiday.
2. Share personal anecdotes.
3. Collect recipes.
4. Offer tips for entertaining.
5. Offer up your own thanks.

Most people are doing number 5. I think I will be an overachiever (as always) and do them all.

1. My most favorite part of Thanksgiving is the family. This is the first Thanksgiving I have not been with my own family. This was two years ago.
This was last year.
This year I get to spend it with this crazy family (not the Warnicks though).

2. I couldn't think of a good story, so I texted Dad, Mom, Michelle, Matthew, and Flannel (Nathanael) and every single one of them responded with the same story! So here we go... We live about two blocks from an Indian reservation in Mesa. Dad was practically a bank for the Indians who lived there. They would bring him their per capita and he would hold onto it and give it back to them in small amounts so it would last them longer. Once they would run out, he would loan them money (as long as they promised not to buy alcohol, spray paint, or drugs with it) and they would repay him. So we were pretty good friends with a lot of the Indians. We decided to invite them over for Thanksgiving dinner. We set up tons of tables in the backyard, made two turkeys and lots of other Thanksgiving goodness. The time to eat arrived and we waited... and waited. Two people showed up! We had leftover turkey for a year! It was absolutely insane. Needless to say, they were not invited back the next year.

3. My most favorite Thanksgiving dish (which happens to be one of my favorite foods) is green bean casserole. Super simple. And I love it. Here is the recipe:
2 cans (10 3/4 oz.) Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup milk
4 cans cut green beans
French Fried Onions

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix soup, milk, beans, and half of the French fried onions in a 9 x 13" casserole dish.
3. Bake for 25 minutes or until hot.
4. Sprinkle with remaining French fried onions. Bake 5 minutes. Watch carefully!

This is how we feel after we eat it.

4. Entertaining tips. Hmmm. One year we learned Scottish dances. They were awesome.
5. And now for a list of my wonderful goodnesses in life (in no particular order):
  • The gospel
  • Family
  • Sam
  • Google
  • Internet
  • Blogging
  • Rain
  • Love
  • Being psychotic
  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Making lists
  • Bowling
  • How Sam smells
  • Humble people
  • Sleeping
  • Eating
  • Birthdays
  • Reading
  • Twirling
  • Sam
  • Swinging in a hammock
  • Playgrounds
  • The beach
  • Feeling pretty
  • Smiling/being smiled at
  • Caring
  • Giving hugs
  • Writing things down
  • Going to the temple
  • Writing in my journal
  • Sign language
  • Singing super loud
  • Saying hi to people
  • Golf carts
  • Talking to strangers
  • Reading the scriptures
  • Praying
  • Having smart friends
  • Tutoring
  • Sam
  • Blowing kisses
  • Yogurt
  • Watching movies
  • Caroling
  • Racquetball
  • Coloring books
  • Roller coasters
  • Having hope
  • Wearing sunglasses
  • Being comfortable
  • Sleeping on the ground
  • Being warm in a cold room
  • Wearing necklaces
  • Going to church
  • Eating healthily
  • Pedicures
  • Walking fast
  • Playing in the snow
  • How everyone is beautiful
  • Calculators
  • Sam
  • Watching conference
  • Trusting people
  • Being a friend
  • Giving gifts
  • Slouching
  • Flying
  • Watching gymnastics
  • Feeling peace
  • Breathing
  • Childhood memories
  • Talking
  • Memories of Rachael
  • Scotland
  • Writing letters
  • Wearing costumes
  • Laughing
  • Sam
  • Purses
  • The feeling of accomplishment
  • Getting emails
  • Swimming
  • The smell of trees
  • Looking at clouds
  • Long walks
  • Late nights
  • My car
  • Rocking chairs
  • Being busy
  • Playing first base
  • Funny people
  • Shoes
  • Grape juice
  • Sam
  • Driving
  • Teaching the gospel
  • Being depended upon
  • Friends


I am a bad person

On Tuesday in class we were talking about B.F. Skinner and reinforcing behavior and someone brought up the example of children crying during sacrament meeting. I guess the correct thing to do is to take them out so they do not disrupt people and then make them stay in one place instead of running around and playing. That way, you are not reinforcing their behavior.

This reminded me of when I was about ten years old. Imagine my family sitting on the third row in sacrament meeting. All ten of us. Suddenly Adam (the youngest) starts crying. Emily asks Mom if she can take him out and Mom lets her. Emily carries Adam out and sits in the cultural hall smiling to herself. No one knows, but Emily had pinched Adam to make him cry so she could leave. Yeah, bad person.

To-do List

This is my to-do list!

I love Thanksgiving Break!


A whole new world

Arica put this on her blog and I cannot believe how amazing Nick Pitera is. I am just... Arica put it well... I am floored.

Tuesday Thyme: Yeast

Does anyone else have an impossible time getting their dough to rise? Yeast requires a warm, moist (sorry everyone who hates this word) environment. I learned a technique to help this process. It is called a proofing oven.

How to make a proofing oven:
1. Put boiling water in an oven-safe bowl on the floor or bottom rack of the oven.
2. Turn oven to 175 degrees.
3. When oven has heated, turn oven off.
4. Oil a plate and put prepared dough on it, cover with plastic wrap, and place in oven.
5. Leave the dough in there for as long as the recipe says to let it rise, or leave it in for about 30 minutes.
6. Before baking, remove the bowl of water from the oven.
NOTE: Once you take the dough out of the proofing oven, it will continue to rise.

We have the worst oven ever and it still worked!

Now, my most favorite new recipe. I took these to a party and everyone loved them.

Soft Pretzels

4 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ¼ cups warm water
3 ½-4 ½ cups bread flour
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 cups water
½ cup baking soda
kosher salt for sprinkling

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes.
2. In your mixer, combine 3 ½ cups flour, ½ cup sugar and 1 ½ tsp. salt.
Make a well in the center, add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix with dough hook. Add more flour if dough is too sticky. Knead 3-4 minutes.
3. Cover dough with plastic wrap, and set in on a greased plate in proofing oven to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes.
4. Gently punch down dough. Before shaping, start preheating the oven to 425 degrees, using convection bake setting.
5. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each one until it’s about 15-inches long and the thickness of your finger. Twist each into a pretzel.
6. Mix water and baking soda in large pan. Bring to a boil.
7. Dip each pretzel in boiling soda water for 5 seconds. Place on greased baking sheet, lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and bake for 8-10 minutes.

8. Serve with mustard, honey butter, cinnamon sugar, cream cheese butter, or whatever you want!

I Like to Move It

Sam and I went and saw Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and it was hilarious! I recommend it. This little guy was so cute:

Cute. Not to be confused with Li Shang and his hot cartoon body:

But of course Sam is my man of choice.



Hugging Dead People

At my great-grandfather's viewing, I hugged and kissed his body. Sam thinks that is weird. But it's not like it was an open mouth kiss. Is that gross? I really want to know if other people do this too.


While watching House...

Sam: To me, eyes are like bubbles!
Emily: So you can pop them?
Sam: Yeah!

We have very intelligent conversations.


Sad Night in Provo

Yes, we watched the game. Although I do feel that U of U has a better team this year, it was unfortunate how we handed the game to them. By "we" I mean Max Hall. It seems he transferred to University of Utah near the end of the 3rd quarter. He single-handedly lost this game for BYU. I made a sign for the U fans and made Sam get in the picture. I did not tell him to thug it. He's a little odd.

This is how all of the Ute fans should be feeling.

When I have children...

He will wear this:

She will wear this:


Another victim of the economy.

Lots of people know already, but Icon Security is merging with Pinnacle Security. "Merging" is probably the worst word they could have chosen to describe what it going on. Most Icon corporate employees are losing their jobs. I am watching it happen daily. Being fired is probably the third worst feeling ever. I hope I never have to experience that.

Thankfully, I will be able to finish my internship there and not get an incomplete in my internship class for not getting all of my hours. Sam can work for any security company he wants and lots of people are trying to recruit him so we will just see how that goes.

The chance of finding a good job after graduation is really starting to worry me though. I don't think I am smart enough to get a good job, but my problem is that I think I am the bomb dot com. I feel like my personality makes up for my lack of experience? Maybe? I need to learn to be okay starting with an entry level job. That is the place to learn anyway. I don't want to be under-qualified and lost when I finally do apply for better positions.


Tuesday Thyme

I have decided that I will be posting cooking tips, recipes, etc. This will happen weekly. On Tuesdays. Tuesday Thyme. It will be a party!

Also, I am going through a phase where I am trying crazy new recipes. If you want to try something out but you are scared, send me the recipe and I will test it for you! Or if you live close, let's make it together!

And to the three people who did not want this to happen, just avoid my blog on Tuesdays. Sorry, friends.

The rest of you, check back on Tuesday for some cooking awesomeness!

Redeeming qualities of the English language

There are a couple of words that when I hear them I get so happy.

1. Corpulent - large or bulky of body; portly; stout; fat.
I was studying this word for a vocab test once while I was visiting family in Vegas. My aunt said, "That's not really a word you can use in a sentence." Oh yes, I can! "Aunt Nanette is corpulent." She did not say it had to be a true sentence! It has been my favorite word ever since. (She is tiny, just in case you were wondering.)

2. Awry - away from the expected or proper direction; amiss; wrong.
I remember when I finally realized that this written word was the same as the word I heard pronounced uh-rye. Whenever I would read this word, I would think it was awe-ree. Yeah, I realized that is was not on September 13th. Of this year...

3. Via - by a route that touches or passes through; by way of.
This word is distinctly connected with punch balloons in my mind. And punch balloons are hilarious to me.

4. Onomatopoeia - in language, the representation of a sound by an imitation thereof.
This word definitely has its fill of vowels. And whenever people say "onomatopoeia" they feel smart. It is just a big word for something small, like meow.

5. Lackadaisical - without interest, vigor, or determination; listless; lethargic.
I used this word once when I was young, and I tricked everyone around into thinking I was really smart. Being verbose pays off!

I dare you to use all of these words today!

Definitions are all from dictionary.com.


Zhen Hao Chi

Let's move on from today's earlier post.

Tonight I tried out a new recipe I found online. It was sweet and sour chicken. It was delicious but not very healthy. I really want to try to eat better. I have some ideas for how to make this recipe much healthier (baking the chicken instead of deep frying it).

Sam made the salad and I made the dressing. Poppy seed dressing. I made it! Woo-hoo!

Can I cuss myself out? (Emily)

Most of you probably know that I am a completely immature brat.

Today in my cooking class we each made our own apple pie. We were able to leave class as soon as we were done and cleaned up instead of staying for the full three hours. My teacher said that one time someone made their pie in 20 minutes so I thought for sure I would be able to be done in a hour. That would give me 15 minutes to get home. I asked Sam to have macaroni and cheese ready at 12:15. So I finish cleaning up at 12:45 because I am a freaking perfectionist. I put my pie in a grocery bag (we were cooking them at home) and began the walk to my car. I was almost to my car and my stomach and leg felt a little cold. The apple pie juices came through the bag and dripped all over my white shirt and jeans. It was a disaster!

I happened to be on the phone with Sam at the moment. This, of course, means that I displaced all of my anger and frustration onto him. And then I hung up on him.

So I got home and put the pie in the sink and went to clean the apple pie juices out of my car. Then I changed my clothes and put some mac and cheese in a bowl. I ask Sam what was wrong with lunch. It looked and tasted weird. Don't worry, he put 3 tablespoons of butter in it! He actually followed the directions! It was so nasty. So I had one bite of lunch, threw the pie in the garbage, and went to my internship. I am cranky. (Please read the first line of this post again. I know.)

This brings me to another slightly related topic. I used to never say "crap" or "sucks." Instead I would say "stinks" and "oh man" type of things. I didn't even say "freaking!" Then I met Sam. He isn't a potty mouth or anything but we just talk differently. Or used to at least. Now we are the same. Back to today's disaster... I almost swore at Sam! (See the first line of the post.)

I don't know why he married me.


What I will NEVER do when I am pregnant

All semester I have been working on a group project for my psychology of gender class. It is a group of 4 girls and 2 boys. One of the girls was a complete flake. Let's call her Jessica. So Jessica only came to one meeting and did not participate in planning the research at all. On Monday we all planned on getting together to run through our presentation since we were presenting on Tuesday morning. We get to the meeting... no Jessica. So we check our email and ten minutes before the meeting started she sent out an email that said, "Sorry guys. I won't be able to make it to the meeting. I am not sure if you knew, but I am eight weeks pregnant and nights are not good for me." We had no idea she was pregnant!

The next day was the presentation so we emailed her the part she was presenting. The next morning in class we waited to present last because we were waiting for her. She never showed up! So finally someone presented her part for her.

During peer evaluations, all three of the other girls rated her as inadequate (the only options were adequate and inadequate). Being rated inadequate by two people lowers your grade. Later that day we get an email from Jessica that says, "Thanks for being so understanding guys. I know I don't deserve full points, but you didn't have to rate me that way... I tried to help all that I could, but I really am sick, and unless you've been pregnant, you probably don't know what kind of sick I am." [This is copied directly from my inbox.]

I was furious when I read that. So being the rude person I am, I responded: "I understand that you feel sick and you have another life besides your school life. However, we were grading you based on your effort on the project and not on how sorry we feel for you."

She has not been to class since.

So the point of this is that when I am pregnant I will try my best to never use it as an excuse to ignore my responsibilities or get people to feel sorry for me. I will not use it to get out of anything.

I know that some people get really sick when they are pregnant. And there are certain times when you do not feel up to doing anything and you just want to stay in bed. But Jessica did register herself for classes. She did not tell us that she felt sick at night. And she did not work enough for the grade the rest of us received. I am worried for her child if she believes everything should be fair in life.

Update: I have offended a good friend because of this post. I would just like to reiterate that although I do feel sorry for her and I wish she did not feel sick, I graded her on her effort on the project. Everyone has things going on in their lives. Her "illness" does not entitle her to a good grade.


Good, but not great (Emily)

This has been kind of hard for me to come up with. But here we go...

The following are things that are good, but when it really comes down to it, they aren't quite great.

1. Diesel prices

2. In-N-Out
3. Costa Vida
4. Obama
5. BYU Football


Our 11/11 11:11 Party! (Emily)

This happened eleven minutes ago. :-)

It lasted about a minute.

Happy 11/11!


Bring on the Rain

Has anyone else noticed how some people have the cutest blogs in the world? And a million people read their blog and they have insightful things to say that make people want to become better? Sometimes I cry that I am not like that. This is how I feel. The end.


Our Day at Disneyland (Emily)

Sam and I just got back from Disneyland.

We left after my last class on Friday and we got there on one tank of gas!

On the way there we saw a train. This was the conversation:
Emily: That's a really long train and you can see the whole thing! Usually you can't see the whole thing!
Sam: That means we're in the middle of nowhere.

True, true. There is a whole lot of nothing between Provo and Anaheim. The camera couldn't see the whole thing though.

This cloud looks like Arabic:
Then we saw Vegas:

We didn't stop the whole way there so we were pretty hungry once we got there and decided to go to Buca di Beppo for dinner. It looked like it wasn't too far away (on the map) so we decided to walk. It turns out it was 1.4 miles away and once we got there, we saw this:
So we were pretty hungry and we decided to go to a place called Morton's. It was delicious. Seriously the best steak either of us has ever had. The problem was that we didn't look at the menu before we were already seated. The restaurant was really nice though so we should have known. It ended up costing
So if you are ever in Anaheim, in the mood for steak, and someone else is paying, go to Morton's.

Our hotel was really inexpensive and only a 5 minute walk from Downtown Disney. It was so nice:

There were some interesting things about the hotel though. It was very old and apparently everyone used to be super short. Sam is 5'7" and he had to bend over to be under the shower head!

We went to bed pretty early so we could get to Disneyland early. We bought our tickets on eBay and I was a little worried that it was a scam but it wasn't! It definitely felt like a drug deal though. We met a guy (Dave) behind a restaurant in Anaheim in the morning and he gave us two park hopper passes. The passes were good for 8 days at Disneyland/California Adventure and we were required to give them back at the end of the night because they had already been sold for the next day so they were making about $800 on tickets that cost $204. It is a pretty good side job, it seems.

We got really lucky with the lines. We hardly had to wait at all. But we had two bad experiences. We were on the Indiana Jones ride about to start and the ride went out of order. Also, we were the next in line for Pirates of the Caribbean and it went out of order. We just stood in line for a little longer and then we went on that ride, too. This is how we felt while waiting:

They were recording for the Christmas show that would be shown on Disney Channel on Christmas day. We sort of saw the Jonas Brothers but I don't really care about them so we didn't stop. Then we saw Corbin Bleu so I tried to take a picture:

I am good at stealing pictures:

Splash Mountain was fun:

Sam got wet:

Star Tours was interesting. Sam loved it! :-)

Around 3:00 we went to California Adventure. We had some good times over there and watched the parade:

California Screamin' was fun both times we went on it:

We went on a water ride and both got soaked. I never completely dried the whole night. My pants don't look wet but that is only because you cannot see any dry place to compare them to. I was wet through my ungies.

Then we went back to Disneyland to watch the other parade.

I seriously kicked Sam's butt on Astro Blasters.
My score:

Sam's score:
We watched the fireworks too. Here we are waiting for them to start:

By the end of the night, our feet hurt so badly! (I hate my feet, so don't look closely.)

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