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.

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