father's day

this morning i woke up to find this text from my dad sent late last night:

"it's father's day eve.
i can hardly wait.
mom is downplaying it but
i'm pretty sure she broke the bank on me this year.
hope i can fall asleep tonight."

so on this day, dedicated to fathers of all ages, here are a few of my favorite things about my dad:

1. this picture, taken on new year's eve. there were some families over at my house and we were all playing a game (probably mafia) when all of a sudden we realized that my dad had put these party hats on his head like this. not as a joke, just because he felt like it. and just kept playing the game like no big deal. and then he didn't understand why everyone was laughing. and this story might not have sounded too funny, but i swear it was in real life. trust me.

2. his unconditional love for panda express, chuck-a-rama, and mcdonald's milkshakes

3. the backpacking trips that he took me and jill on when we were growing up

4. how he refers to himself in third person (not infrequently), using the names big mountain ripper, big wave dave, the powder pig (accompanied by snorting sounds), the great white hunter, etc. 

5. the fact that he is such a good listener. seriously, amazing. i don't know where this skill came from, but i am so glad that he has it.

6. has anyone else noticed that he looks like a kid? i like to call it the genetic fountain of youth and am crossing my fingers that it got passed on to me.

7. how much he loves life. seriously, there are so many weird little things that he just loves way too much (polar bears, mt. everest, WWII information, his pigeons, hunting, skiing, etc.) and it makes me want to take part in life as fully as he does.

8. this guy loves to play. i know without question that if he didn't need to make money to support a family, he would be out playing all day every day. i think that i inherited this trait from him and learned to play just as hard (or harder....) than I work.

9. my dad genuinely loves people. in my family we always joke that anywhere he goes he makes a new friend. he loves finding out about people's lives and is better at it than anyone i've ever seen.

10. the 20+ voicemails from him that i have saved up on my phone from him. seriously, not an exaggeration. in fact, there might even be more than that. here are how my favorites start: "hey dani, i'm calling you from my new computer phone [smart phone]. that's what i'm calling you from." and a birthday call "mom is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder for all the pain you put her through 22 years ago. anyway, happy birthday old lady."

he's the best.

and to another notable father, mr. james l. everton:

i am so grateful to have you as my other father! i can't imagine anyone better to fill that spot. i feel so lucky to have married into your family and LOVE every member of it. you are such an amazing man and i will always be grateful for the example that you set for your little pal while he was growing up, because i think he turned out to be a pretty awesome man :)

life lesson learned this week: the primary is ROWDY. oh heck, this calling might kill me...


what's been goin on

(title from this awesome song)

so michael has been partying it up at ragnar with his family for the past 24-hours and i have been sitting at home, all alone. this is our first night of marriage that we have spent apart! i was thinking that it would be relaxing to have a night to just read like a maniac, not feeling guilty about neglecting michael. in actuality, i have  been waaay too bored for my own good. in fact, last night i went through every. single. wedding & engagement picture that we have (roughly 1,000) and ate a bit too much ice cream. pretty pathetic, huh?

in the meantime, my cutie husband is off running in this with his awesome family (a few of them, anyway):
the wasatch back.
i have never been more jealous in my entire life.
he was sick all last night but will be finishing his last leg really soon. that boy is hardcore. aaand pretty cute.
PLUS the bryce canyon half marathon is in exactly 28 days. i'm so excited!

life lesson learned this week: only two more finals weeks left for each of us until we graduate!! while this isn't necessarily a "life lesson," per se, it is something that really, really, really awesome. i can't wait :)


As per the fact that we have had several demands by an adoring public (Ashley) for a blog update, I feel like now is a good time to relate our adventures in traveling to the lovely utopia of Baker City, OR. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this thriving metropolis, I'll share a few morsels of information. Eat up:
  • Human population: 10,000 peeps
  • Cattle population: 100,000 cows
  • Home of the regal Baker Bulldogs, my alma mater
  • Home of Barley Brown's. the BEST restaurant I have encountered in my young life
  • Home of a bishop who likes to call strangers from the congregation to the podium in the middle of sacrament meeting to bare their testimony (poor little mikey)
  • The prettiest little valley in Oregon
  • Home of the dave and beth richards family (or as I like to call them, my favorite people on this earth)
Me and Michael set out on Thursday with high aspirations: leave at 9pm from Provo and arrive in Baker around 5am. After about a half hour of driving, I realized that this probably wasn't the smartest plan we had ever conceived. So we stopped at Michael's house and spent the night, recommencing our journey at 5:30am. After eating too much mcdonald's and drinking a lot of caffeine, we arrived at 11:30am.

Here are some of the great things that we did in order of appearance:
1. Watched Colten's baseball game (they won 30-2. ish.)
2. Went to Barley's. And in case you're curious, the jalapeƱo chicken pasta is just as good as I remembered
3. Played trivial pursuit for hours
4. Slept in (mmm… yes.)
5. Went to Sycamore Tree where we had a close encounter with a shrew
6. I watched Colten & Michael at the batting cages for about an hour while I read Peace Like a River (AMAZING BOOK! Thanks lynne, for the suggestion. This book is incredible).
7. Went hunting for a rock chuck (a massive squirrel) with Colten and Maddie and came home empty-handed
8. Came up with embarrassing stories about Kennan by request of his mission AP's (there are many. We finally settled on telling about how he dressed up like a girl when he was little and demanded to be called Katie for months at a time and the annual christmas up-chuck that he experienced because of excitement about Santa. And yes, this occurred through high school. Good times)
9. Made stromboli. Impressed my family. Put an end to the ridicule about cooking that I have been subject to since a failed meal years ago...
10. Went to visit dad in the hospital
11. Slept in (glorious)
12. Went to church
13. Played mooore trivial pursuit
14. Got up early again (5:30 Utah time) and left to go back to Happy Valley, just in time to wish colten happy coyote hunting. Turns out that kid is a redneck.

All in all I would say that the pilgrimage to baker was a smashing success. I loooved seeing my family and spending time with them.

My only regret is that Colten didn't shoot his rock chuck. Next time though…

Since coming back to Baker, I decided to become a gardener. An indoor gardener, as per the fact that we live in an apartment complex, but a gardener nonetheless. Therefore, I purchased a living basil plant, stuck it in a glass of water, which I diligently watered every hour on the hour, and then watched it slowly die. While Michael takes this as a sign that I am not meant to be a gardener, I have only become more determined to mother another basil plant to full health. And then I will harvest its leaves and eat them in my food.

Ps: Bentley. Wow. There are no words. Is anyone else a bit excited to see the showdown next week?
Pss: Is anyone else out there way too excited for Expedition Impossible? I have a countdown in my day planner to its premiere (9 days).
Psss: SYTYCD is baaaack!! Sigh.
Pssss: I clearly love summer tv a bit too much.

Life lesson learned this week: Marry someone who will do the dishes for you after you've made a mess of the kitchen and had a bad day. I did, and I could not be happier with my decision. But I'm pretty sure I married the best fish in the metaphorical sea, so sorry for all you girls out there who have to settle for 2nd best. Sigh. He's so great.