Post April 15th

The past two weeks have been filled with impromptu breakfasts for lunch, picnic dinners in the park, sleeping in and other glorious stolen minutes. We have basked in laziness and soaked up the company of spring.

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Time with Ryan always serves as the best possible breath of fresh air. I like to think that we are the opposite of the norm; we tend to have fewer arguments the more time we are able to spend together. I guess that is probably because I am a cranky gal when there is a shortage of time with my best friend (don’t ask Ryan about my behavior during busy season, I turn into Methuselah).

IMG_2579It seems too good to be true that for the first time since we met (was it really five years ago?!) neither one of us is in school or looking for a job or studying for one board exam or another. I hardly know what to do with myself. This summer is already shaping up to be one of my favorites yet.

P.S. If you happen to find yourself in the Berkeley area, please do yourself a favor and stop by The Cheeseboard. I am taking a stand and boldly declaring it to be my favorite pizza in the Bay Area. At least for now. 

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Peace and Scones

Two of my very favorite weekends of the entire year are in April and October. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we have the opportunity to spend almost an entire weekend every six months listening to living prophets teach us divinely appointed truths. The peace and comfort I receive every single time is literally manna to my soul.

IMG_2141This spring session it was just Ryan and I, no family or friends. As much as I crave family time during conference, it was pretty nice. We spent the afternoon snuggled in our bed listening to joyful messages and contemplating how we can improve as a family.

IMG_2144Also, there were definitely goodies involved. Every since I can remember, my sweet mom has always made scones three times a year — Christmas and both General Conferences. It was only natural for us to continue the tradition and it is something I plan on doing for my own children someday. Sweets for the soul and the body: now that’s General Conference.

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As we listened to the messages and munched on those fried pieces of heaven (peanut butter and honey for her, jam and powdered sugar for him) it was so evident to me that the very most important things in life were in that very room with me – my husband and the gospel. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to know who I am and where I am going. What an invaluable gift.

27 Birthdays Down

Late the evening before his birthday, Ryan let it slip that his plans for the morning centered around fresh doughnuts and hot chocolate. Truth be told, he was kind of giddy about it, and I can’t say I blame him. So in true awesome-wife fashion, I went to bed with grand plans of waking up early before work and surprising him with the best dang doughnut Concord could provide.

Long story short, I did what I always do: I hit the snooze button 3 times too many and woke up right at six. Which may sound early, but I normally leave for work at six-thirty, so I was kind of screwed. Thus I made an ever-important decision:

Shower or doughnuts? I’ll spare you the suspense and tell you the pastry won. Poor coworkers. Lucky husband!

IMG_2096I threw scrubs on and headed to the nearest corner grocery store. No time for high-class bakeries, unfortunately. As I made a mad dash to the bakery section, I noticed that the glass case was empty. Not a single doughnut. My heart raced and I kind of got a pit in my stomach. Yes, I really am that dramatic.

Then, I noticed two apron-wearing ladies way in the back of the kitchen pulling what looked like freshly made bundles of doughnut joy out of a few huge ovens. So I made a fool of myself calling out for them. They ignored me. But I would not be thwarted, so I waved my arms and yelled until they looked at me. What happened next is a blur, but somehow they iced two piping hot doughnuts for me and I was out of the store and back in my little house in less than four minutes, flat.

IMG_2113I stuck a candle in one, lit the sucker and ran upstairs to my sleeping 27-year-old. As is only appropriate, I woke him with an Aretha Franklin inspired version of “Happy Birthday” and bunch of birthday kisses. And I still made it to work on time, but only just barely.

Because we both had to work, we made that evening pretty low-key. Indian food and Ryan’s favorite TV show, Shark Tank, summed up our awesome party. But then again at our house we believe that all you need is Chicken Tikka Masala and a hearty portion of naan.IMG_2116

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Saturday meant calendar-wrapped presents and other birthday activities. In between conference sessions we unleashed our inner granola and headed to the Berkeley Potter’s Studio to throw a few clay pots. You see, when Ryan and I were first dating, I took a ceramic class. Needless to say, I was terrible. Ryan however, was awesome (it was soooo annoying). He is literally the only reason I passed that class. So I thought it would be fun to relive our glory days. Let’s just say we were both more than a little rusty.

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Later that evening we had a little grilled pizza party with friends, complete with 1,000 toppings and fresh mozzarella. Bliss. Then the birthday boy indulged in a little cheesecake and we called it a night. Are you noticing a trend? Fat and happy, that’s how we do birthdays around here.

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Happy 27, Ry! You are truly the greatest light in my life.

China Beach and Croque Madame

Late last week I decided to do what I do best and play the part of third wheel by tagging along with my friend and her husband for a Friday adventure in San Francisco. (Side note: Not to toot my own horn, but I’m a pretty great third wheel during busy season. And I’m not too embarrassed about it, either). The day’s main attraction, China Beach:

IMG_1839Imagine this, you are driving through homes that had to have cost more than our country’s current debt when suddenly you find yourself in the cutest little cove you ever did see. With a perfect view of the Pacific and our friend the Golden Gate, the spot is ideal for afternoons spent wishing it was warm enough to wear a swimsuit.

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IMG_1909Surprisingly, there weren’t that many people hanging around; besides a few brave souls baring their winter white in bikinis, it was rather quiet. We did meet an intense fisherman who was catching crabs like nobody’s business, and that was pretty cool, I guess.

IMG_1899IMG_1922In an attempt to make up for my third-wheel status, I played paparazzi for my friends. Their baby girl is practically my favorite person these days and I couldn’t help myself. I mean, could you?

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IMG_1930After a while our bellies started grumbling. So we considered the fact that San Francisco is home to the best food on earth, swung by the financial district to pick up a certain accountant and headed to a little french lunch.

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I really, really wish I could remember the name of the restaurant (Peyton, a little help here?) because my life was changed by their Croque Madame. If you have never had one, find the nearest French place and order one, STAT. This is the stuff that food babies and dreams are made of, people.

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All in all, it was a pretty terrific day. My spirits were revitalized with a little ocean air and my belly left happy. What more can a girl ask for?