Friday, December 31, 2010

Tribute to Grandma

I know I just posted, but I forgot something. The Kansas City Star did a tribute article to Grandma. I got a text from my cousin on Christmas morning that it was published. It was such a treat to read that on Christmas, a day where I was really missing her. Christmas was always celebrated at Grandma's house. We'd have our Christmas morning at home, and then head over to Grandmas for presents and dinner with everyone there. They were such fun Christmas's. Two Christmas' really stand out to me. One was the year that Grandma made me a beautiful purple quilt. That year I was really into purple and she made me one to match my recently painted purple room. I think I was about 12. The other year was the one when we all received her cookbook. What a beautiful gift. It is still one of my treasured possessions that I have used often, especially when I moved away to college. Here is the link to her tribute, it's short, but very well done!

Grandma's Tribute

Look out 2011! It's going to be a BIG year!

Happy New Year!

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. We got to go up to Idaho and see Eli's mom, grandma, sister, brother, and niece. It was so nice to spend some time with them. We even got some family pictures. We were really spoiled this year. Thank you to everyone. We especially loved the presents for Caroline. She got some really nice books and cute clothes! Eli read her one of her new books the other night and she was kicking while he was reading it. I think she'll be a reader, like her mom and dad. We got to see the rest of Eli's siblings the day after Christmas and that was really fun too. We got to stop by and see my sisters new puppy! He's so cute! We had a great Christmas. Hopefully next year we'll get to see the Missouri folk for the holidays!

I can't believe it's the end of the year. This year has been so challenging and great at the same time. We had a miscarriage at the beginning of the year, which was really hard, but we're so happy that everything is going well with Caroline. Eli graduated from BYU in April (he's so smart!), and spent the WHOLE summer (no exaggerations here) applying to medical schools. That was so time consuming and I'm really proud at him for being so disciplined and putting all the effort into it. I know it got really monotonous and boring for him. Then, he spent a lot of time in the fall traveling to interviews. It's kept him really busy! He's now a seasoned traveler and can navigate new cities and airports easily. Here's all the cities he went to this fall: Louisville, Des Moines, Omaha, Washinton D.C., Galveston, Lubbock, Houston, Salt Lake (well, that didn't require much traveling), and in January he is going to Portland. I missed him a lot when he was on his trips. We were so grateful to be accepted right away at Louisville, so we know we at least have a school to go to. Way to go Dr. Eli!

This year we also were able to take some fun trips. We went to Disney Land with our good friends and had a great time! We also got to go up to Yellowstone in August. That was really nice. I went home to Missouri a few weeks ago, although it was short, and for a sad reason, it was still so nice to be home for a while. I hope that wherever we move to it will be closer to Missouri. We joked that Caroline decided to stick around with us because she thinks we're big travelers who have a lot of fun. I was five weeks along when we went to Disney Land. We do have a lot of fun, but we usually don't have the money or time to travel too much. We probably won't be able to take her to Disney Land again for a long time, so I hope she enjoyed it. I didn't even go on any of the fun roller coasters, so we'll both need to go on those next time.

Tonight we are going to ring in the new year at my sisters house with my other sister and her family. It will be fun. Belchers know how to throw good New Years Eve parties. I wish we could have it with Phil and Michele and the Belcher cousins. Those were always a blast. I'll try to get a spoons game going in their honor, hopefully there will be no blood or broken tables tonight.

We are so excited about 2011. It's going to be a big year for us! I turn 25, we'll have our Sweet Caroline, we'll be moving somewhere, and Eli will start medical school. There are lots of changes on the horizon but we're really looking forward to them. We've been so glad for the time we've been able to spend in Utah since we got married, we've been able to spend time with lots of family, more of Eli's than mine, but we loved it. It will be bittersweet to move away, but the closer it gets the more excited I am. We are looking forward to having our little baby in 2 ½ months (can you believe it?!!) and starting our family. We hope all of our friends and family have a great new years too!

Eli, Cherie, and Caroline

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I am so excited for Christmas this year. I was just telling Eli last night that for some reason I've felt more joyful and excited about Christmas this year than I have in the past. And not just about parties and family and presents, but I've felt so grateful and happy about celebrating Jesus' birth. It really is the most miraculous and joyful thing that has ever happened! It is because of his birth that we can live and be happy and be with our loved ones forever. I am so grateful for that. It's not that I'm never excited about it at Christmas, but this year it means so much more to me. I know it has something to do with being pregnant and having deaths in the family recently, but I can't help but feel that joy. I hope all of my friends and family will take some time to think about the truly wonderful reason why we celebrate. Go read Luke 2, think about what the Savior has done for you, and be happy, because he loves you!
In other news, I am tired! Eli had to go to work at 6 this morning, so I drove him. But, it has been snowing since yesterday, and “it doesn't show signs of stopping” so the roads were pretty bad this morning. I got up at 5:30 and took him to work. A drive that usually takes 10 minutes round trip took 30, then I came home and got ready for work myself and made it here in 35 minutes (different from my usual 15). I'm very glad that we both made it safely though. The snow is beautiful and now I want to go home and make some rolls and soup for dinner. I think we'll go to the temple this afternoon though.
Last Friday we went to see the drive-through Christmas lights at Thanksgiving Point with our friends Steve and Brooke. It was fun. Very Christmas-y. I think tomorrow night we'll go walk around the lights at temple square with Annie and Cindy and their families. Then hopefully, weather permitting, we'll leave to go to Pocatello on Thursday to spend Christmas with Eli's mom and grandma. This is going to be a great Christmas.
We went to the doctor yesterday for a checkup. Caroline is kicking and moving all over as I type this. I think she knows I'm thinking about her. Everything is going great. My blood pressure, blood sugar, weight gain, and everything is perfectly normal and good. We got to hear her heartbeat, she moves a lot, and I don't really have any complaints. I've been able to sleep well and don't have any aches or pains to speak of. I'll be 28 weeks tomorrow. We are so excited for her to get here. Last week at my work Christmas party I won one of those new flip video recorders. We were really excited because now we don't have to buy a camcorder. It's pretty cool. We haven't had much time to play around with it yet, but once we do we'll put a video up.
That's about all I know for now. I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas. I hope we all get a chance to thank our Heavenly Father for sending his son to us. Drive and travel safely!Love,
Eli, Cherie, and Caroline

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Grandma

As many of you know, my Grandma recently passed away. I was able to go home for the funeral and see all of my family. I feel like writing a bit about my Grandma.

Grandma Tena was the only grandma I had. My other grandma passed away when I was four, and I do know that she was a wonderful woman and grandma, I have very few memories of her. Grandma Tena was so great she probably equaled about 4 average grandma's. She lived only 10 minutes away and we were at her house almost every day. I remember there was a little picture framed in her hallway that said, "There's no place like home, except Grandma's." That was so true. It was our second home. We never knocked, the door was always unlocked, and we knew it was a place where we were safe and warm. Grandma was always cooking something delicious, making a beautiful quilt, or preparing to do some kind of service for someone. You would usually walk in and find her in the kitchen, in her sewing room, or outside watering her flowers. Grandpa could be found watching Westerns on TV, in his wood-working room, or mowing the lawn or tending the garden.

At Grandma's funeral, she requested there be a time for her children and grandchildren to get up and share a memory of her. I found that to be the hardest thing. How do you single out one memory? I know some of my friends had grandparents that would take them on vacations, or something big like that. Grandma and Grandpa never took me on a vacation. They never spent a lot of money on each of us. But what they did give us was a perfect example of how to live. Grandma was never happier than when she was cooking for her family, cleaning her house, or making something for someone. She always said her greatest joy came from her children and grandchildren. She woke early, was productive every day, and always made anyone who came to her house feel special. She would go to the ends of the earth to make you a quilt in your favorite color, or make you your favorite kind of pie. Grandpa worked hard; for years he ran a farm and worked full time at the Ford Factory. He retired, and you could see the satisfaction that came from a life of working hard and providing for your family. They were happy with their modest home and made it a beautiful welcoming place. I can't even remember the number of times I went to garage sales with Grandma, or went with her to get her hair done, or to take Meals on Wheels to senior citizens in Kearney, or spent the night at her house with my sisters or cousins, or sat on the back porch just talking in the summer evenings, or eating a delicious meal at her house. On my first day of Kindergarten, Grandma came to our house early in the morning to curl my hair, and helped me put on the pretty dress she made me just for that special day. There's no way to describe how big of an impact Grandma and Grandpa had on my life. They made my childhood seem magical.

I am sad that Grandma is gone, but my sadness is mostly selfish. I'm sad that I won't see her, or that my children won't get to have the same experiences with her that I did. But I know that she is so happy to be with Grandpa again, and her brothers and sisters and parents and friends, and Jesus and Heavenly Father. She lived a long, productive good life. She was married to Grandpa for 63 years. They had joys and pains, times of sunshine and times of rain. We've decided to name our little girl Caroline Virginia Rhoads. Grandma's first name is Virginia. It must be said that she never liked the name Virginia, and she went by her middle name of Christine, or even shortened to Tena, but I have always thought that Virginia is beautiful and there are already other grandkids and great-grandkids named Christine. I hope that little Caroline will have parts of her Great Grandma in her. I hope she enjoys the simple things in life, and that she loves serving others and that she can be happy and satisfied without having to have lots of material things. I hope she's hard working, faithful, loving, and giving, just like her great-grandma.

I have always wanted to be a home-maker and full-time mother. I have never wanted a career or have aspired to be a CEO or anything like that. I do value education and I am so glad I was able to go to college and get a degree, and maybe someday when my kids are in school and do not need me as much I will get a Masters in Library Sciences, and work in that field. But my goal has always been to have my kids, stay home with them, teach them, love them, make them breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and make our home a welcoming loving place. I think I got that example from my mom and Grandma. Grandma got such joy from it. She was the best example to me of the satisfaction that comes by living your life for others. It was really hard for Grandma as she got older to not be able to do things for herself, let alone for others. Her independent spirit was hard to give up. She was always thinking of others and serving until the end. When I called her in October and told her we were having a girl, my mom told me she got so excited. She asked mom to get out a pattern for a baby quilt and her embroidery things. She started on one square. She didn't get very far and her stitches weren't as even as they are on some of the other baby quilts she made earlier, but I know that she wanted to do things for our little Caroline. I will make sure that Caroline knows about Grandma and Grandpa and what they've done for me, my siblings, and my cousins. We all loved Grandma and Grandpa so much. I can never thank them enough for the impact they had on my life. What a blessing they were to me. I will always miss them and I look forward to the day when I can see them again.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I feel compelled to blog more, especially about the baby, but there is not much to report. She is growing (so am I) and she kicks a ton! I guess I don't really have anything to compare it to, but she really does seem to move around a lot. She is usually the busiest for a couple hours in the morning, from about 7:30-10, when I get to work and I sit down at my desk. She especially moves a lot when I drink a green smoothie. She also moves a lot at night, when I lay down. That's always fun, because then Eli gets to feel her. She also moves a lot when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Last night I got up at around 3, and when I laid back down she went nuts. It makes me worried that when she gets bigger inside of me, the kicks will probably keep me up a lot. But I don't mind. It was funny though, because we went to the first BYU men's basketball game last Friday, and then the one against Utah State on Wednesday and both times she was kicking like mad. I think it was all of the noise, because it was so noisy in there. It's a really neat sensation to have a human being moving inside of you.
We go to the doctor on Tuesday. They'll do another ultrasound and I'll meet with the doctor. Remind me to ask about a flu shot and birthing classes. Those are my questions for him this time. I always have a couple of questions and then I forget. But I will remember this time.
In other news, Eli has started his new job and likes it. Last week he was gone from Sunday afternoon to Wednesday in Boise, Rexburg, and Logan. He works for a company that goes to other companies to do health screening for their employees. He takes their blood pressure, weight, height, cholesterol, blood sugar, and stuff like that. He likes the job and now that he is done with applications and most interviews he has more time to work.
He has one more interview in Houston on the 3rd of December.
Well, I gotta go. It's our weekend to help clean the church.

I know I know, I promise pictures next time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Neil Diamond

Can I just say how much I love Neil Diamond? I really do. Let me tell you a story about me and Neil.

I never knew him when I was growing up. I'm sure I heard a song or two of his on the radio, but I didn't know of him. When I was a freshman at BYU my sister Annie was driving me somewhere and was listening to The Jazz Singer soundtrack. I really liked it so she burned me a copy. Thus began a beautiful friendship. When I went home that summer I bought his two-disc gold album. Later I found out about his Christmas albums. Yes, he is Jewish, but his Christmas albums are great. In fall of 2005 I dragged my sister Alaina to his concert in Omaha. It was awesome! The best concert I've ever been to. I'm pretty sure we were the youngest people there, but it was great. In 2008, I had a birthday party for Neil. It was really fun. We had a lot of people come, played some Neil Diamond trivia, and had a birthday cake for him. Now I just found out he has a new album of covers of his favorite rock songs. It is officially on my Christmas list.

This sentimental post about Neil was inspired by last Friday. I was driving to my sisters house, and it was a beautiful day. Once I got off the freeway I rolled down the windows and turned up my Neil Diamond playlist. It was such a good feeling. How can anyone not listen to Sweet Caroline and not feel good? So good in fact I want to name our baby Caroline (see previous post). Or listen to the song "Hello Again" and try not to remember a time you were apart from the one you loved. I know its cheesy but, it almost made me cry. I was going to Annie's to hang out until it was time to pick up Eli from the airport. He was only gone for one night to interview in Galveston, but that song made me realize how much I missed him.
Here are some of my favorite Neil Diamond songs everyone should listen to at least semi-annually:
Cracklin' Rosie
Kentucky Woman (especially you, Emily!)
Forever in Blue Jeans
Love on the Rocks
Cherry, Cherry
The Story of My Life
Crunchy Granola Suite
Two-Bit Manchild
and of course
I'm a Believer

Now, go make yourself happy and listen to Neil Diamond. And think of me!


Choosing a name is really hard. We have our favorites, but I'm so worried I will pick the wrong name for her. Here are the ones we are considering:
June (possibly my favorite)
Caroline (as in Sweet)

Eli mostly agrees with those. I also really like the name Iris, but Eli said she can only have that name if she grows up to be an optometrist.
Eli likes the name Sidney, but I'm not crazy about it. I think it's a really nice name, but it just makes me think of Alias and my sister Cindy said it when people say that name she thinks they are just mispronouncing hers.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Good News!

Eli and I are happy to share some good news. Actually, two pieces of good news!
First and foremost, we just found out today that we are having a baby girl! Well, we didn't just find out we were having a baby, we've known that for a while, but we did find out it's a girl today. We are so excited! We were thinking a boy, but all of my sisters were right, and I couldn't be happier. The due date is March 16, 2011. Spring is such a nice time to be born. I'm 20 weeks, so exactly half-way. We are so excited!

The second good news is that Eli has been accepted to University of Louisville School of Medicine. It's a great school and Louisville is a neat city. Our really good friends Emily and Kyle live there and it would be a great place to go. We still have a lot of schools to hear back from, but it's nice to know he got in and we have somewhere to go!

Well, that's all the good news for today. We're going to a ward Halloween party and I have to go finish my soup for it. It's Tomato Basil!
Have a good night!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Well, this is a busy week for Eli. He is currently in Washington D.C. for medical school interviews. Today he had one at George Washington University and Thursday he has one at the Military Medical School. Then he flies to Nebraska to interview in Omaha (it's not much of a secret that I would love that). I am sad that he is in DC at our friends house without me. And, he does have some free time so he gets to go to some museums and monuments. LUCKY! I'm also sad that I couldn't get work off and Annie got to go to Missouri without me. No awesome pumpkin patch in Omaha. But, I am liking my job and it's good to keep busy.
I am currently reading the book Fast Food Nation. It's really interesting. I'm only about 1/3 of the way done, and so far it's mostly about the history of fast food, but it is really interesting. I feel like being on a "health journey" (isn't that lame sounding?) is slowly happening for me. I've read a lot of different books and tried a lot of different things. Now that I have more knowledge, I have started making better choices. That doesn't mean that I never eat white bread (I made mom's rolls last week) or that we will never go out to eat, or to fast food again (I've been craving Taco Bell and Olive Garden like crazy), but now I think about it a lot more before I do those things. It's starting slowly, to where if I do eat a cheeseburger, even though it is really good, in the back of my mind I remember about the fat, the meat, and the effect it has on your body, plus the way the animals were raised and what they were fed. I think anytime you are looking to change your diet, you do have to go slowly. And, you can't make anyone change their mind about food, it's something you have to do for yourself. After reading a lot about cancers, heart disease, and obesity and the data of thousands of scientists regarding our diet and its effect, I want to be better. When we have children I want to teach them to eat the right things. I want to be able to learn how to make delicious healthy food. I'd love to be able to come up with a packet of recipes that Eli could give to his patients someday. It is scary to think of how many of our fellow citizens work so hard, but don't have time to cook and eat right. But that's not even half of the problem. If you really want to find out about the food Americans eat and where it comes from, you have to do a lot of searching. This information is not widely known, and information really is power. I'm trying to live more by the Word of Wisdom, that is to eat more grains, fruits, vegetables, and to eat meat sparingly.
A couple of weeks ago I went with Annie and Cindy to a Green Smoothie Girl class. It was fun to go out with my sisters and we learned some neat things. She has done a lot of research herself, and has come to the conclusion that the best diet is 60-80% whole raw plant food, with only 5% animal products (That includes all meat and dairy). I am starting to agree with her. I'm nowhere near that right now, but I'd like to eventually get there.
Sorry to go rambling on about this. I wasn't intending to when I started writing, it was more just an update.
I miss Eli. He'll be coming home on Saturday with Annie and her kids. I wish I could be with them all right now. Oh well, we don't always get what we want in life, and sometimes we have to work instead of play. Being an adult is sometimes not much fun.
My new favorite thing is this cheap candle I got at Wal-Mart. It's Spice Cake scent and it smells just like fall. I love it.
I really need to stop, this is just ridiculous.
Have a good day everyone!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New things going on

Well, it's been a while since I blogged. Even though our day-to-day lives seem pretty event-less, when you look back on a few weeks you realize that a lot has happened. In the past couple weeks Eli has done his first three interviews, and he has 5 more in October. I got a new job that I really like. We've spent a lot of time with family, and we've gotten on a better schedule of going to bed earlier, which is always helpful.

Eli's first interviews went well. He flew out to Louisville, KY. He got to stay and have fun with our friends Emily and Kyle (Thanks again!). His interview went well, and they took him around and got to do some pretty fun things. Then he went from Louisville to Des Moines, where my Mom picked him up from the airport and took him to dinner. When I heard where they went I immediatley got jealous. They ate at HyVee, a local grocery store. You may think, "yuk. Chicken strips and macaroni salad," but HyVee has an awesome salad bar and almost any type of food you can imagine. His interview at Des Moines went well too. Then about a week after he got back he had an interview at the University of Utah in Salt Lake. He feels like it went really well. The U would be a great choice for us because of in-state tuition and we already know where we'd live and how things would go. But, the lame thing about the U is they don't let you know until April, whereas the other schools can tell you starting October 15th. So, I guess we won't really know for sure, 100% where we are going until April.
He has interviews next month at George Washinton University in D.C, the Military Medical School, Texas Tech., University of Nebraska, and Temple University in Philadelphia. He is becoming quite the seasoned traveler. I'm really proud of him.
My new job is really good. I am a receptionist at Mercedes-Benz of Lindon. I really like it. I work from 7:30 am to about one, M-Th, and until 4 on Friday, then from 4-7 on Saturday. Although I do not love getting up early, I do like getting things done earlier in the day, and then I can come home, rest if I need to, make a good dinner, and go to bed early. So, it's good to be gainfully employeed again.

That's about all. We hope to start hearing back from schools soon, hopefully with some yes's, so we won't have to keep buying plane tickets. Prayers are gratefully accepted.

Monday, August 30, 2010


So, this summer has been a summer of applications for Eli. He has worked so so so hard and I'm really proud of him.
Eli applied to a lot of schools, and each school sent him their own secondary application. Each application had their own essays and other things they wanted to know about him. He had to spend hours researching each school and painstakingly writing out each essay, trying to convey the right message about him. On good days he could get 2 applications done in one day, but usually it took longer. It was very stressful, because he knew that how he answered could be the difference between an interview or a no.

But, I am so proud of him because he is done! He has finished all of his applications, and he has started to hear back. So far, he has 4 interviews! I'm so proud of him! Of course soon, we'll start hearing more no's, but it's so exciting he has 4 already! The interviews are at University of Nebraska in Omaha, George Washington University in DC, a D.O school in Des Moines, and at the University of Louisville in Kentucky! The great thing about all of these places is we either have family or really close friends in each area. My sister lives in Omaha, and my parents are 3 hours away from both Omaha and Des Moines. Our good friends Emily and Kyle just moved to Louisville where Kyle is working on his PhD, and our good friends Jake and Heidi live in DC and Jake is going to law school at George Washington. We're really excited. I'm really proud of Eli and how hard he's worked. I just wish we could fast forward to January and February when we can find out where we'll actually end up.

Be sure to tell Eli good job, and we'll accept any prayers you might want to include us in. We just need to get in somewhere!

Disney Land

Okay, a disclaimer first of all. I don't have pictures. I still need to ask Brooke for them, we decided to just carry one camera around rather than two, and their camera took better pictures, so, sorry, no pictures today.

How do I even describe Disney Land? Magical doesn't even cover it. Maybe it's a defense mechanism of mine, when people say that something is amazing I always think it can't be that great. Maybe it's because I always wanted to go to Disney Land but never went. Anyway, I went into it thinking it would be a fun trip and that Disney Land is probably cool, but it's not going to be magical unless you're a kid. Boy was I wrong. It exceeded every expectation. Every detail of it was seen to, I just can't even describe how much fun it was! But I will try.

If you're not interested in a day by day breakdown of our trip, then don't feel obligated to read.

So, we left on Thursday morning at 5! Steve and Brooke picked us up. We got all loaded and hit the road. Brooke's parents were kind enough to let us borrow their hybrid car, so we gas was so cheap. We had fun driving. Brooke and I decided that Steve and Eli were more excited about going on a trip with each other than they were about going with us. When we got close to California, they sat in the back and watched Step-Brothers (edited) together and laughed and laughed. Then we were all listening to an episode of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and we could hear them laughing in the back seat, then all of the sudden it was only Brooke and I laughing, we looked back and the little boys had fallen asleep at the same time. It was so funny. They were like two little kids. So, we got to our hotel, which was not the nicest, but it was cheap! We got unpacked, then went to swim for a little bit. Then we got dressed and went to Downtown Disney. It was so cool! The whole place was so cool. We ate dinner at the ESPN Zone. That was a really cool restaurant. While we were there, we got to see LeBron's decision on a bunch of tv's, specifically, a the biggest screen tv I have ever seen! That restaurant has tvs in the bathroom stalls. Eli loved seeing wall to wall sports of all kinds.
That night we went back to our hotel. We had been given a handicapped room on the first floor, which is fine. The shower, however, had a backed up drain, and leaked all over the floor. So, the hotel generously upgraded us to a bigger room on the third floor.

The next morning, we got up bright and early and headed to the park. We had our park hoppers, so we started in Disney Land, went to California Adventure, and back and forth! The favorite rides were Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, California Screamin', Toy Story (The coolest ride), and Soarin' Over California. The food was so good. We had the most delicious corn dogs ever for lunch! We had pineapple ice cream, delicious wraps, pretzels, and other really good food.
The shows were so amazing! We saw the Muppets 3-D Experiment. The best show was the new Colors, in California Adventure. I don't even know how to describe how awesome it was. They had a whole light show on water shooting up, but it was more amazing than anything I had ever seen. Then we ran back to Disney for fireworks and Phantasmic, and then we went home. It was great!

The next day, Saturday, we slept in a bit, then went to the beach. It was great! It was kind of a cloudy day, but still warm. We played soccer, saw some dolphins, and did some body-boarding (Or boogie boarding, I can't remember what it's really called). That was so much fun! We had a blast! Then we went home, cleaned up, and went back to Downtown Disney for dinner. We ate at the rain forest cafe. It was delicious. Then we got packed, slept and left the next morning after we went to church. The drive back was good. Once we got past Cedar City we drove through this pretty valley where it had just rained and saw the brightest most beautiful rainbows. There must have been about 5 or 6 of them!

It was a wonderful trip. We had so much fun with Steve and Brooke. It was better than I could have imagined!

A Good Summer

Well, I had the best of intentions about blogging EVERY day, but I didn't do it. What can I say, I'm just not a very dedicated blogger. Sorry. Well, let me fill you in on the summer. I believe I'll do this in a series of posts, a trick I picked up from my sisters. So, this first one will be about our diet.

I'm sure you're all dying to know about our diet and how it is going. Well, our trip to Disney Land was the end of the diet. I mean really, who can stick to that in the happiest place on earth? Not us. And, since we've been back, it's been hard to be as strict as we were. But, I am happy to report that we have seriously cut back on our sugar and refined flour intake. We eat way more fruits and vegetables now. Neither of us have gained any weight back either, so that's good. Now we are more aware of what we eat. We've even tried to cut back on our meat intake. The next thing I'd like to do is cut back on our dairy. I don't know if I'll ever be able to give up cheese and sour cream (my favorites), but I'd like to cut it down to couple times a week. So, that's the deal. I think in a while we might go back to cutting out the sugar. My new favorite thing to eat is quesadillas. I use whole wheat tortillas, refried beans, a little cheese, green peppers, and fresh guacamole. I love it. In fact I'm having it for lunch again today. So, to sum up, we've changed our habits. My goals this week are to try making my own whole wheat bread, including grinding the wheat, and try to make my own fruit leather. I just need to see if I can borrow the dehydrator from Eli's grandma. I'll let you know about those things!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I got behind

Hello everyone. It's been two weeks (tomorrow) and I am loving it. The only time I felt tempted was today when we went t WinCo today for the first time (really cheap) and I saw they sold Tillamok ice cream! Luckily they were out of my favorite flavor. Anyway, I don't remember a lot of the stuff we've eaten lately, other than the Baked Lemon Asparagus Risotto, Curry Yogurt Chicken, and Lemony-Almond Green Beans. I'll put those recipes later. And just know that I DID take pictures tonight, but now I can't find the cord to connect the camera to the computer. So, sorry. I did try.
We had a fun weekend though. On Friday we had a birthday party for Eli's dad. On Saturday I went swimming with my sisters and their kids. That was a lot of fun. I was really bummed when I realized that it was the end of June and that was my first time swimming. Working full time over the summer really sucks. Eli and I got a new calling in the ward. We get to be nursery workers together. We're really excited. We love nursery. We're getting all geared up for our trip to Disney Land with our friends Steve and Brooke. I am so excited. I've never been to Disney Land before, so I am really looking forward to it. Woohoo! It's going to be so much fun!

If you guys want to read a good book about health, you should read The Culprit and The Cure by Dr. Steven Aldana. It has more than anything scared the pants off of me about the statistics of lifestyle diseases in this country. I'll look up some scary facts and post it later. Anyway, let me put those recipes on here now.

Curry Yogurt Chicken:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2/3 c. plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt
1/4 c. light mayo
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tblsp. fresh minced ginger
Juice of one lemon
2 tblsp. curry powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne (optional)(I didn't use it and it was fine)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Place chicken in baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
In a med. bowl, combine yogurt, mayo, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, curry powder, and green onions. Pour over chicken and turn to coat chicken on all sides.
Bake uncovered in preheated oven until cooked thoroughly, about 25 minutes.
Serve over brown rice.

Lemony Green Beans with Almonds
1 lb. thing green beans, trimmed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 ground pepper
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tbls. olive oil
2 tblsp. slivered, toasted almonds

place beans in a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle with 1 tblsp. of water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook in microwave on high for 3-5 minutes until beans are tender-crisp. Drain beans and return to bowl, toss with salt, pepper, juice, zest, and olive oil. Top with green beans.

Baked Asparagus and Lemon Risotto
1 1/2 c. aborio or carnaroli rice
1 tblsp. olive oil
1 med. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ob. asparagus, cut int 1/2 in. peices
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c. evaporated milk
juice and zest of one lemon
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 c. chicken or veg. broth
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded

bring 5 c. water to a boil and add rice. Boil rice, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes, then drain thoroughly.
While rice is boiling, heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over med-high heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring about 3 min. or until onions are tender. Add asparagus, and cook, stirring, about 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs, then add evaporated milk, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, and broth. Stir in drained rice and asparagus mixture until well combined
Spray a 9'' springform pan or cake pan with a removable bottom with olive oil spray or nonstick cooking spray. Wrap a sheet of aluminum foil around bottom to catch drips. Pour rice mixture into pan, smooth out into an even layer and top with cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top and cooked through.

I remembered another recipe I made over the weekend that was so delicious, but I don't have time to type it out now. I'll do it later, but it was beef stir-fry with sugar snap peas and it was so good. It tasted just like beef and broccoli, but better.
Well, that's about all. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Delicious Tuesday and Wednesday

Okay, these recipes are very delicious. And I want to apologize in advance because I forgot to take pictures. I promise to tomorrow.

So yesterday I had:
breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: leftover soup from the night before
Dinner: Brown rice risotto with broccoli (recipe to follow)

Eli came home today, I was so glad to see him. He had a really good time with his mom and grandma, got to see his sisters play, and got to shadow a doctor. It was a good trip for him. I'm just sad I couldn't go with him.

Okay, here is what we had today:
Breakfast: Green smoothie
Lunch: Leftover rice, hummus with carrots, and a juicy juicy plum
Dinner: Green Chile and Cheese Quesadillas and Zesty Black Bean Dip

These quesadillas were so so so so good! I was really so impressed. And, I just love the way this kind of food fills you up. I feel full, but not stuffed, and I don't get tired after I eat, like I always used to do. Here are the recipes for the rice, quesadillas, and dip:

Brown Rice Risotto:
(I used the electric pressure cooker, which cooks rice very quickly. If you don't have one, just modify it by adding time to make it cook on the stove top, or if you use a rice cooker, add the broccoli in a steamer basket, or straight into the rice, when there is about 5 minutes left. Then just stir in the cheese.)

1 c. brown rice
2 c. chicken broth, veggie broth, water, or a combination of each, just as long as you have 2 c. of liquid
As much broccoli as you want, I don't measure, just enough to have a piece of it with every other bite or so.
Some shredded Parmesan cheese.
a little bit of olive oil
1/2 tsp or so of salt
1. Put salt, rice, liquid, and oil in the pressure cooker (or whatever you are using), secure the lid, and set it to high. Cook for 20 minutes.
2. When timer is done, release the pressure, add broccoli and cheese, return to high and cook for 3 minutes.
This recipe is sooooo good. I usually make risotto with aroborio rice, which is still delicious and a good kind of rice, but I was out last night and just decided to use brown rice. I'm glad I did.

Now get ready for this. Your tastebuds will love it. Green Chile and Cheese Quesadillas from Dr.Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Diet:
2 tbls. olive or veg. oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 md. onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
3 poblano or pasilla chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. Summer Salsa (recipe included below)
Non stick cooking spray
8 corn torillas
8 ounces reduced fat Monteray Jack cheese

Heat oil in large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions, and chilies. Cook, stirring, until vegetables begin to soften. Add water, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salt and salsa.*

Spray a large skillet with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Place one tortilla in hot skillet, top with one-fourth of the cheese and one-fourth of the veggie mixture. Top with a second tortilla. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. **

* Upon reading this recipe to type up I realized I forgot to add the water and cover it. I just kept it sauteeing on medium-low heat for 12 minutes. I loved it. I'll try it next time with water to see if I notice a difference.
**You can make way more than 4 quesadillas with this. Just don't use as much of the veggies. I like to use less because you can taste the flavor more. And there's less stuff to spill when you flip them. Maybe I'm just not a good flipper. I'll have to work on that.

Summer Salsa:
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
juice of 2 limes
4 red or green (or combo) jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely choped
4 med. tomatoes, chopped
1 c. fresh or frozen(thawed) corn kernels
1 med. rip avocado, peeled and diced
1 c. fresh cilantro.

Place chopped onion in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, squeeze lime juice over it, and set aside for 15-20 minutes. Add chilies, tomatoes, corn, avocado, and cilantro, and stir to combine Serve immediatley, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (trust me, it won't last 3 days!)

Zest Black Bean Dip

1 tblsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 med. red onion, chopped
1 med. red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2- 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
juice of 2 limes
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. mild chili powder*
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cayenne, or to taste
2 tblsp. water

Heat oil over med.-high heat in large, heavy skillet. When oil is hot, add garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring until onion is translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a food processor (or blender) puree beans, lime juice, cilantro, chili poder, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne, and water until smooth. Transfer puree to a bowl, and stir in onion mixutre. Cover and chill at least 3 hours **. Bring to room temp. before serving
*we were out of chili powder, so we used chipolte chili powder. This gave it a smokier flavor, but also very spicy. We think it would be better with regular chili powder.
**We ate it immediatley. It was still good. I liked to dip the aforementioned quesadilla's in it. This is zesty, like it says, but it has a great flavor. I think I'll make it next time I have a party.

Well, that's all. I hope some of you try the recipes. I have the whole next week planned out. We are going to have some great meals. I'll keep you posted, next time with pictures!
It's been a week without sugar or flour. I've lost 5 lbs, Eli's lost almost 9. I feel so good and I love it!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sunday, Monday

Okay, I missed a day.
Here's what we had Sunday:
Breakfast: Green smoothie (I will explain a green smoothie further down)
Lunch: Salad. I put the bean salad I made over some lettuce. I also added some chicken that we grilled the other night.
Dinner: Chicken Tortilla Soup, Here's the recipe:
Chicken (however much you want, it’s good without chicken too.)
4 oz. can chopped green chiles
3 cans great white northern beans
2 tsp oregano
1 can rotel tomatoes
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbls. Oil
½ tsp salt
½ onion, chopped
14 oz. chicken broth
3 cloves minced garlic
3 c. shredded Monterey jack cheese
12 oz. sour cream.

1. Cook and dice chicken
2. Sautee onions and spices in oil until transparent.
3. Combine everything in crockpot.
4. Cook on low all day.
5. 1 hour before serving add cheese and sour cream, 1 c. at a time.

When I made it this time I reduced the amount of cheese and sour cream. I also used a bit more cayenne pepper, and I used chipolte chili pepper. It was really good.

Well, Eli is in Pocatello shadowing a doctor and visiting his mom and grandma. I sent him up with some leftover soups, salads, and fruits and veggies. I really am so proud of him for sticking to it and not complaining. It's harder for him because he really really really loves candy.

Yesterday I had:
Green smoothie for breakfast
bean salad salad for lunch
and Karen made this delicious soup, it's like the pasta faguli (sp?) at Olive Garden, but without the pasta. It was so good. I'm having it for lunch again today. It's full of veggies and hamburger and tomatoes and beans. MMMM!

So, let me try to explain a green smoothie. My sisters Ronda, Annie, and Alaina have been doing this for longer than me. I've only been doing them a few months. Basically, you have a fruit smoothie, but you just add greens. This is how I make mine: First I take a lot of spinach, kale, and flax seed, add water, and blend until smooth. Then I add a couple bananas (I make enough for Eli and I. I usually have 1 1/2 glasses, he has 1), and whatever other frozen fruit or fresh fruit I want. If you use fresh fruit be sure to add ice because it really is better cold. Greens are really important for people to eat, but we really don't get enough. This is a really easy way. The fruit you add masks the taste of the greens, which by themselves are not good. You can still tell that it is not a 100% fruit smoothie, but I really like them. Some of my favorite fruits to add are: peaches, kiwi (leave the skin on if you have a good enough blender and you'll get a lot of fiber), pineapple, and limes (Skin on too). Here ais a link to go to if you want to know more. Green Smoothie Girl and be sure to watch some youtube videos on it. Now that I've been on it for a while, I can always tell when I don't have one. I feel more tired and nauseous. It is really great for keeping things moving in your digestive track. Be warned that you'll be going to the bathroom more, but it will feel good!

So, that's all about all. Sorry this is not a very well organized blog post. I'm short on time today. I am also going to be trying out a lot of new recipes from the book, Dr. Gott's No Sugar, No Flour Diet. I'll be sure to post them.
I've been feeling great. It's been a week (tomorrow) and I've lost about 4 lbs. That's pretty cool.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

More info

Okay, so I started thinking that I would be boring everyone, but I got a comment from my friend who told me to keep it up. Thanks for the encouragement Heidi, I will.
Yesterday was good:
Green smoothie for breakfast
bean salad, lettuce wrap, and other snacks like veggies and a fruit salad
grilled chicken (Eli had the one from the Indian market that's marinated in their spices, but I just had mine in a more basic marinade, I just don't really like Indian food that much) and grilled veggies. I'll list the recipe for some good things below.
Today has been good. Eli is working all day, but I went garage saling (is that even a verb?) with Karen and her sister. I got some good stuff, one lady was selling Avon stuff for less than 1/2 off! Then I got our oil changed (the Jiffy Lube on state street closer to the mall has the nicest people and service. I actually kind of like getting the oil changed because they are so nice), and went to Sunflower market to load up on veggies and fruit.

I kind of made up this recipe based off of my moms version of bean salad. It's good plain, and also really good as a salad with a cilantro-lime salad dressing.
Bean Salad:
Black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 or 2 stalks of celery, chopped small, little bit of thinly sliced onion, 1 avocado chopped, juice of 1 or 2 limes, chopped cilantro, 1 can of corn (drained) a couple tomatoes chopped, and a 1 can of green chili's. I love this bean salad. Oh, and it's good on a salad, like I already said, but with chicken too.

Tonight we're having omelets, full of cilantro, mushrooms, peppers, and the like. I really like this way of eating because it's kind of fun to challenge myself to make delicious healthy stuff. Well, I gotta go meet Cindy. We're watching the boys for them tonight so they can go to a party.

See ya later!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 2

Yesterday we had:
Green smoothies for breakfast.
Almonds, beans, carrots and hummus, and a piece of whole wheat bread for lunch.
Grilled steak and grilled mixed veggies for dinner. It was delicious.

I also got my pilates DVD in the mail and we did that yesterday morning. I forgot how much I love pilates. Maybe I'll become a certified Pilates teacher some day. I have noticed having more energy, but I think the withdrawls are giving me headaches, but those should go away in a few days. Eli thinks he's already starting to lose weight. I was stupid and didn't weigh ourselves before we started, maybe I should today.

I think tonight we might go on a hike to Stuart Falls. I don't know if that can beat last weeks date of dinner at Olive Garden (we knew it would be our last time for a while) and games at Nickel City Arcade (that was a blast!). I know it will be fun though!

We'll keep posting.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


So, as I mentioned in the last post, Eli and I are trying to go off sugar and white flour. I got the idea from the book, Beat Sugar Addiction Now! by Jacob Teitlebaum. I want us to be healthy. I am sick of feeling tired after I eat something. We're only going sugar free for a couple of months, to sort of straighten ourselves out. After that we'll only have it in moderation, and avoid most processed foods. Anyway, to keep myself up to the challenge, I have decided to post about what we ate that day and what else we did, and any differences I feel or whatever I feel like writing about.

So, today, here is what we had:
Breakfast: Green Smoothie (I forgot the banana's today. It was pretty gross without it.)
Lunch: Cuban Black Beans, lettuce-wrapped turkey sandwich, almonds, and raw veggies.
Dinner: Creamy Southwestern Chicken, which was delicious, and a salad with cilantro lime vinagrette dressing.

Today I have felt really good. And it's only the first day. I had a sugar craving after dinner, when I saw hostess cupcakes in the pantry. But then I remembered that I had just eaten dinner, I wasn't hungry, and I don't need it. Eli is doing well too. I can tell he's not that excited about it, but he's not complaining.

Well, we're going to the library now.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

One week late

Okay, so I promised a blog in a week. That has turned into two, but after a 5 month absence, that's not too bad, right? So, here is what has gone on in the past two weeks.
I have been working full time at Zachary Douglass. It's been good. It's definitley nice to have a job where I get to use my degree. The press release I wrote was published on a few websites and will be in three industry magazines in July. So, that's good. It's a good company with a good product to offer.
Eli's been working on his applications. They should be ready to turn in by Monday or Tuesday. That will be nice because at that point, we've done all we can do, then it will be up to the powers that be. He's been working more at Stonehenge. We've been keeping a pretty low profile lately. We had a fun barbeque at Annie's on Memorial Day. That was really nice, there was a lot of kids and even Elle May (the dog) made an appearance and ran off with Phoebe's hot dog.
Right now Eli is at work and I am at Annie's. She is using Karen's Cricut to make some vinyl letters to put on her laundry room wall. It's taking a long time, but we are getting the hang of it. Phoebe is being silly and tickling me. Later, I will pick up Eli and we'll work on his essays and personal statement tonight. Sounds like fun!
In other news, I am trying to be healthier. We have been doing green smoothies almost every morning for the past few months. I really like them. I notice the few times I haven't had them that I feel worse throughout the day. I just bought on amazon the book Beat Addiction Now. I perused it at a bookstore one time and I really want to get on a better diet, of eating more fruits and vegetables and less processed food. And I also got the Mari Winsor 20 minute workout. So, now starting every monday, wednesday, and Friday we will be doing Pilates if anyone wants to join. I'm just sick of being tired a lot. Especially now that all I do is sit at a computer all day. Phoebe is being really funny. Annie was eating some chocolate covered raisins, this is what Phoebe said in her funny Phoebe voice: "Hey! What are you eating? ... "Oooh, can I have some f those?.... Hey Mama! Give me one!" We'll end on that.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

At Your Request

Okay, Cindy was right. It has been a long time. A really long time. I was even starting to notice. So, here is an update and a pledge: I will post at least once a week for the month of June. All right we'll start with the update of the big things. Now I'll feel like a lame-o because some big things have happened.
1. I turned 24 in February. Eli and I went to Tucanos and a movie. I had fun.
2. Eli graduated in April! I am so proud of him. He now has his bachelor's of Science in Neuroscience! That's a mouthful. We had a wonderful time. His family from Idaho came down for the graduation and we had a great party at home afterwards with my sisters too. He immediately stopped shaving, per my request (I really like short beards), and now he has a sweet beard. He is now finishing up his medical school applications, which are due in June, and working as a CNA. It was really cool at his graduation because his dad was able to hand him his diploma from BYU. It was a great weekend!
3. I am now finished with working at the elementary school. It was a crazy job and it had it's challenges, but I did enjoy it. Some of my favorite things that happened there were the fifth grade boys at recess who followed me around repeating everything I said (it sounds annoying but they were such funny boys), a sixth grade boy who asked if he could kiss me (I said no!), a girl in my class who reminded me so much of Eden who liked to talk to me at recess, the field trips I got to go on, getting to know a whole classroom of fourth graders, getting to sign a lot of yearbooks, and seeing some kids really improve their work because I helped them. I have learned a lot from it too. I think the school system has a lot of flaws, but basically it is full of teachers and administrators who genuinely care. I do think that if I ever have a child with special needs, I would not send them to public school because they are understaffed to deal with children who need individual attention all the time, but that's a post for another day.
4. I have a new job now that I am very very excited about. It is a new company called Zachary Douglass, The company, which is new, has designed and patented a photo editing software especially for funeral homes. It is an amazing technology and there are only three of us working there right now, but it is really taking off. I wrote a press release that was posted on a couple of industry websites last week and is going to be published in three trade magazines in July. I never thought something I wrote would be published at all, especially in a funeral home trade magazine, but I'm still really excited. I'm going to do more of their writing, and also the customer service and sales. I really love it. My degree is actually being used now. I thought that would never happen. I start full time this week and I think it is going to be a great job that I can keep for a long time, wherever we go, so that is a huge blessing!
5. We're still living with Eli's mom and step-mom and it is going so well. It's been such a blessing to stay here and save money for the applications to medical school, which is a very expensive process. It's been a lot of fun.
6. Eli's brother Josh graduated from high school last week. We're really proud of him. Even though I've only known Josh for a couple of years, he is really the little brother I never had. He even likes to tease and pick on me. Way to go Joshey!
I think that's about all. We're looking forward to the summer. We only have one trip planned so far, and that's a weekend trip to Disneyland with some friends in July. I'm really excited though, I've never been to Disneyland. We're also hoping to make it out to Missouri sometime this summer, and we're looking forward to seeing a lot of our family come out to Utah this summer in July. So, now that we've got the big things written about, my next posts will be more up to date and let you know more about our daily lives. I'm sorry. For a long time I did not feel like posting at all, but the time has come to start up again. So, keep reading!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I have awesome news. I no longer have to work at In-N-Out! I got a new job as a teachers aide for a fourth grade class. I love it. My last day at In-N-Out was last Thursday. I don't think it's a big surprise that I did not enjoy that job very much. The people were really nice and it was such a relief to get a job after a long time unemployed, but I'm much happier working a job that I feel as if I am helping to make a difference rather than just getting people burgers. But, the smells of the place always made me sick. So, I really like the school. I'm there from 9-2:30 everyday. I help out in the classroom, do playground supervision for an hour, and then I help some students who need extra help with science. I really like it. It's only been my first week, but I think I'll really like it. So, I give thanks everyday for the new job, I've been really blessed. I feel like I can actually use my degree here, which is nice. I love the kids too. They're really funny, and they like me too, which is good. Well, I've got to go. I'm a temple worker on Thursday nights, which I love, so I have to go get dressed. Thanks everyone.