Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I promise we're not criminals.

Between the two of us our criminal record is clean, our only fault with the law involves parking violations and speeding tickets (all of which have been paid on time) ...and you still want to do a background/criminal check on us? And for how much?

No, we're not trying to get hired anywhere, we're just trying to keep from being homeless. This past week we found the apartment we've been on the hunt for. A quick look was all it took, we snagged an application from the landlord and left happily. Later on when we filled out the form, we were pleasantly surprised to see fees for criminal/credit/background checks on the both of us. We thought it a little silly, but I guess you never know who will become your tenant, and what he/she has done previous to their meeting. So now the decision for a new little place is in the hands of the our potentially delinquent record and college-status credit scores, matched with employment that ranges from religious freelance to mortgage companies. I'm sure that's quite an interesting job for whomever it is that checks out all of these individuals and their lives. Anyway, we're keeping our fingers crossed and hopes up for this new little dig to become ours soon.

On another note, I thought this little clip was a fun evolution.

Monday, February 17, 2014

P is for President.

Happy President's Day. Thanks to some inspired men, including many of our early-day presidents, we've got a pretty incredible nation and constitution.  Hats off to those presidents and politicians who set our nation up on lasting principles.

Jumping back to this weekend we journeyed into the foreign parts of Seattle for some authentic Chinese food. Yes, we got a few looks from almost everyone in that restaurant, as we don't have a hint of Asian blood in us, and everyone knew that. We may have been the only eaters ordering in English. Our bill was written in Chinese - the food was tasty and the buzz of the Chinese language hummed around us.

These crazy bamboo sticks were planted along the entrance. 

We left rainy Seattle through the stormy, snow-covered mountains back to Wenatchee land. It was a successful Seattle weekend. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy V Day!

I love how grand the mountains are on the Wasatch front.

Happy V Day to you all! This will be a short post today, because I'm  en route to meet up with my valentine in Seattle. 800 miles for 8 days is a little too long for our liking, but we're making it work!

Utah has been amazing and full of incredible moments with the amazing people down here and projects I'm working on.

Here's a quick rundown of some sweet points from the week. 
Our presentation and work with Adobe has been so exciting this week.
Grand things are coming!

Although I grew up with biscuits and gravy for breakfast,
donuts are my favorite morning treat to share. 

There's something I just love about the frontrunner train.

My favorite Bridget is an artist that we all love to be
around. She rules the Fromm home. 
I haven't been to the Jordan River temple since I was 12.
It's magnificence glowed in all forms this last Tuesday.
Sacred Gifts, the Art Exhibit I worked on is still up and
there are still a lot of people in attendance! Woo Woo!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Love is in the air.

It's not about the cards and candy, right?

I'd like to think Valentine's day symbolizes something more than chocolate boxes and fluffy bears.

In fact, my fondest Valentine's Day memories include early morning breakfasts of pink biscuits and gravy, a sweet note from mom, topped with a small gift. What a great way to spend my childhood V-days, right?

So yes, I'm a fan of Valentine's Day. It's another holiday I can celebrate, create traditions and enjoy! And I am all for traditions.

Single or not, consider making this a sweet day of traditions and love. Here are some fun ideas that you may have noticed throughout the internet atmosphere:

Breakfast. I'm partial to biscuits and gravy until I saw this lovely crepe V-day breakfast that I feel like is worthy to try.

I believe sugar cookies are the main staple for V-Day fun, and these were some of my favorite personalized messages of sugar I've seen.

Kelsey's Kitchen from the Cooking Channel highlighted these pretty little things.

Dinner may include going out, but if you're looking to take it easy at home, here are some fun, easy ideas to a hearty dinner.

If you've got kids running around your house, you may record some of their one-liners about love and V-day like Small Fry captured last year. It may be a fun tradition to capture this holiday each year.

You've got less than 24 hours to finish your plans for V-day. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Stand by her side.

He was her hero. She was his biggest fan.

There's not much more you can say about the sweet relationship John and his sister, Taylor, had.

Christmas 2012
I thought it'd be appropriate to share a snippet of an experience that emulates their bond.
We flew home last year when Taylor was in the hospital. It was a weekend I will never forget, filled with love, sadness and hope to be with her again. The following week we felt enormous support from family and friends, who comforted the Donaghy home with kindness and love. 
And then came the funeral. After the family viewing, we were all escorted to a room while guests were seated. It wasn't too long before I noticed John wasn't there anymore. His absence continued, so I went to see if he was okay.  I found his best friend who directed my eyes to the front of the church, and then it all made sense to me. There I saw and witnessed brotherly love in full effect. John stood confidently next to Taylor.  He greeted guests kindly, but he never left her side. He recently told me, "I just couldn't let her be alone..."
Daily Skyp Session

I've thought a lot about this experience and what "standing by your side" means. I know that for John, "standing by Taylor's side" was a day-to-day thing. He had comforted, laughed and served Taylor all of his life. Whether near or apart, he made time for her, and she cheered him on with every endeavor.

What a gift it is to have witnessed and felt of this unconditional love. It has been the sweetest way to celebrate Taylor's big day today, to feel inspired to stand by others and help them know that they too, are not alone.

Friday, February 7, 2014

11 Degrees at the Arrowhead Exit

Waking up to the sun in Quincy, WA.
Yesterday I made the voyage from Washington to Utah with Momma Cindy. From the picturesque sunrise we welcomed in the early morning hours, to the fun car conversations, we made it safely to Utah. Along our adventure, we stopped at one of my favorite rest stops, at the "Arrowhead Travel Plaza", outside of Pendleton, Oregon. (It's an experience all should consider on this 800-mile route).

On the off ramp of the exit stood a man with a sign that said, "Anything will help". I looked at the temperature to see the number "11" claiming the outside climate. 'BRR. How could he be standing out there?' He looked so tired and cold. My mom and I were determined to help him out and snagged some McDonalds at the rest stop. With gas in our car and a breakfast for our friend in hand, we started towards the exit. He'd begun walking from his spot, so we followed him, waved him down and handed over the food. He gratefully accepted the warm food, and we noticed that he had another cup and bag in hand. Someone else had dropped off some food for this fellow too! We could tell he was so happy and overjoyed with these donations.

This is one of the reasons why Arrowhead rest station is 
so amazing - They have giant, stuffed animals
throughout the place...and wolf t-shirts.
As we drove back onto the highway,my
mom said,

"There are good people in this world."
"Lots of them," I added.

I know our news and media outlets forget to highlight these small and sweet moments, but yesterday was the perfect example of good people, trying to better the world, even if it was only by the gift of a McDonalds' meal. I'm not praising our efforts; it was as much a gift for us to serve him, as it was for him to receive some warm food. But, it was sweet to feel apart of a collective effort in helping someone in need.

We're excited for the Winter Olympics and the inspirational stories of the athletes. Their passion, talent and hard work truly motivates us to reach our potential.

1. Papa Dave's birthday this week. He turned the big 56! He's an amazing father (in-law), friend, mentor and example of kindness, love and generosity. He truly recognizes the good in others and genuinely tries to serve those around him. He's also full of life and fun... Yes, he's a big kid, and we love him for that. We wish you the best year.

Dad was just so excited to blow out the candle on the beautifully sprinkled cupcake that Lil' Taylor had decorated.

2. Seattle Seahawks, Champions of the Superbowl! Washington is happier than ever, with the big, superbowl win. Over 700,000 people attended the parade on Wednesday and millions of fans across the nation went to work on Monday happier than ever.

The before and after picture of the Seahawks cake.

3. Adobe Presentation - We presented our pitch and strategy to Adobe today and it was amazing. They were impressed and excited for the upcoming phases of our project!

Here's a video that inspired part of our presentation. Yes, I know it's old, but it's still fun to watch a good ad at work.

4. No stormy travels - On our way to Utah, it was predicted to be snowy, with harsh winter conditions on the roads. There were a few snow flurries, but Utah's forecast of snowy weather held up for us. We literally drove into the Provo area, and then the snow started to come. We felt so blessed and grateful. All the prayers from our family and friends for great road conditions and safe travels were answered!

5. Legit Peanut Sauce - We're lovers of peanut sauce, and this week we found a great recipe that's quick, easy and delicious. Here's the recipe. I modified it a bit from this one. Also, it's very mild and won't burn anyone off.

o   1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk “light”
o   1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
o   1 cup creamy peanut butter
o   3 Tbsp. soy sauce
o   1/3 cup sugar
o   2 Tbsp. white vinegar
o   ½ cup water
o   1/4 tsp. sesame oil
Combine all ingredients except sesame oil in a medium saucepan and bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes over low heat. It's important that you whisk frequently, so that the mixture doesn't burn to the bottom of the pan. (Don't worry about the thinness of the sauce)
Remove from heat, stir in the sesame oil, and let the sauce cool for at least 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it cools. 

Serve immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 month, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Night in Jail.

Last week ate dinner with a new friend of ours. For now, we’ll call him Anthony. During our meal he opened up to us about the past year and an eye-opening trial that changed his life. 
After a fun night with his friends, Anthony was pulled over for drinking and driving. He spent the weekend in jail, and said, “I wanted to cry in there. I was with a bunch of gangsters - this wast me. But honestly, being in jail wasn’t as bad as leaving it. I walked out to see a teary-eyed mother. I asked the officer if I could go back in. I couldn't face her. He just laughed and said my family was here to pick me up. I was broken…. My mother was broken. I let her down. I let my family down.”
We listened to Anthony’s every word. He spoke of family, respect, love and forgiveness. He fully accepted his consequences and never blamed anyone for what he did. It was his choice, but it wasn’t his last choice, and he was determined to start a new year off in a positive direction, one that involves honoring his family name.

After Anthony left, we thought about his story, his terrible experience, but more than that his humility and willingness to change. He said one thing in particular that we thought was pretty wise, 
“Ya know, sometimes hard things happen to us, because we need that reminder to get back on track and change directions a bit. It’s sad it works like that, but this next time I’m going to try harder so that it won’t be like that, so I can always remember to honor the most important things in my life, no matter the effort it takes.”
It was an enlightening night. His story inspired us to be a little better, to put others before ourselves and choose our faith, our family and our friends above anything else.