Tuesday, September 30, 2008

5 Friend Tag

Thanks again Kim!

5 years ago I....
1. just started college & had no idea what I wanted to do
2. was dating so many different people at one time it was hard to juggle them all
3. was a bit of a party animal
4. had a missionary out
5. stayed up late almost every night

5 things on today's 'to do' list
1. go to the dentist
2. attend staff meeting
3. clean house (specifically bathroom, but I always find other areas to clean in the mix)
4. do laundry
5. go to the gym for boot camp

5 snacks I enjoy
1. tropical flavored Starburst
2. rootbeer
3. cut up fruit/veggies
4. chips and salsa
5. anything with peanut butter

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire
1. buy lots of designer products (makeup, clothes, purses, shoes…the list is never-ending)
2. build the house of our dreams in the area of our dreams
3. buy Gordon a Moab toy
4. donate to charity (pretty much just tithing)
5. help out my family where they needed it

5 places I have lived
1. Ogden, UT
2. Smithfield, UT (I wish to forget those few months of my life)
3. Kaysville, UT
4. Layton, UT
5. South Weber, UT

5 jobs I have had
1. hostess/server at Cracker Barrel
2. medical receptionist for private practice doctor
3. medical receptionist for private practice podiatrist
4. medical receptionist for clinic
5. volunteer coordinator for health department

Rules: Each player answers the question themselves. At the end of the post the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment letting them know that they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person that tagged you know when you've answered the questions on your blog.

I Tag:
Mom Hardcastle
Lindsey P.
Jessica T.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Looked Out The Window And What Did I See...

Living the apartment life you run into some very interesting people. We have had our share of different neighbors and we’ve only lived in our apartment for a little over a year. This particular story has to do with a neighbor that now no longer lives there (and this only happened 5 days ago). We have been very suspicious of this said neighbor. They always had random people coming in and out of their apartment, but we never suspected drug dealer. Instead we suspected prostitute. We felt really bad for the neighbor’s child, who is adorable and always wanted someone to talk to, which we couldn’t blame her because her parent was a night owl so they slept during the day and lived it up at night. A few weeks ago we noticed this neighbor had a boot on their car. We suspected that they weren’t paying their payment and the bank put it on. In addition to the boot, we noticed that this neighbor was slowing moving items out of their house…in the middle of the night. Suspicious, yes. Then this happened. Last Thursday I had arrived home early from work and took some time to hang out with my dogs before heading to the gym. There was a lot of noise outside and my dogs were restless. As I looked out my window I saw this neighbor, their daughter, and two grungy guys all staring at the boot on the car. One grungy guy said to my neighbor “I can get that off” to which they replied “Good, then I’m gonna take my car far away from here so they can’t find it.” Then the grungy man proceeded to remove the boot, illegally! I called Gordon and told him the situation to which he replied “call the cops.” I refused knowing that they would suspect me because I was the only neighbor home. Instead I decided to take a picture (which would have been much worse if they saw me do this then call the cops). I just thought it was funny to look out my window and see a Matt (Gordon’s little bro) look-a-like struggling to remove this boot (Matt isn’t grungy per say, but this guy looked a lot like Matt when his hair was long, even Gordon agreed). I left for the gym and when I returned Gordon told me all the drama that had happened while I was gone. The cops came because my landlord called them. He was the one to put the boot on the car because this neighbor had not paid rent for the past few months. There was a lot of yelling and inappropriate language being used. Then Gordon said he lost interest in the situation. Never a dull day at the four-plex!

I'll Rest When I'm Old

Gordon and I have not had a weekend, or weekday, to do nothing in a very long time. It feels like we have been going non-stop since May. Summer is always a busy time, but I thought once it was over things would get back to the boring ol’ days where we played the “What do you want to do? I don’t know, what do you want to do?” game. WRONG! Once again our weekend was jammed packed with events that demanded our presence. Friday night we got together with Gordon’s mom’s side of the family to celebrate Grandma Petersen’s birthday. We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner. It was nice to see Grandma out of the care center and hanging out with family. Saturday Gordon opted to stay home from my nephew’s football game to catch up on homework while I went to represent both of us. His games use to be so fun…when they weren’t always winning by such a large margin. Needless to say his team is undefeated and my Saturday this weekend is already booked with his playoff game. After the game I went with my mom over to my Grandma Burton’s to see how the painting was going. Some of my family has been helping with the makeover of my Grandma’s house. There was still much to be done, so instead of offering a helping hand I rescued my Grandma from the mess and took her to get her hair done by a friend that is a stylist. She loved getting pampered and her hair turned out adorable (Thanks Jessica). The Ogden Greek Festival was going on that day and I had been talking about it all week long, so when I got home Gordon was in desperate need of break from his homework so we ventured over to the festival for some authentic Greek food and pastries. We had the usual, but to be daring we each tried something new. Gordon had his regular Gyro and rice, with the addition of . I had . We weren’t impressed with the food and would rather go to our favorite Greek restaurant instead, but it was the experience that we were after (at least that’s how I keep it positive because the experience was a bit of a time waster too). From the Greek festival I went to the Relief Society Conference in Salt Lake City with LeeAnn and Jodi. I was spiritually fed leaving the conference with a stronger testimony of relief society and reaffirmation of my Father’s love for me. After church on Sunday I went to my step-mom-to-be’s bridal shower. It was a different bridal shower, being that we all had to wear our favorite sport’s attire (Brenda’s a sports fan). My sister and I are daddy’s girls so we wore our Green Bay Packers gear. It was nice to finally meet her side of the family. Of course my side of the family was much louder and more inappropriate than hers, but you can’t really expect any less from us Fraga’s. We played games, visited, and watched Brenda open up her gifts. She was very embarrassed the entire time (she’s very shy and some of her gifts were a bit personal. If anyone should be embarrassed it should have been my sister and me. It’s our dad for heaven’s sake!). After the shower I went over to my mom’s for our bi-monthly dinner date. There I was finally able to relax. Next weekend is only 5 days away and I’m already very busy.
Grandma Petersen is 75!
He doesn't even try to smile anymore. Our cute pictures are officially over.
He's growing up so fast...he's so much taller and bigger than me. Oh, and he's only 12!
Go Packers!
(we're a blended family, Brenda is a Steelers fan)

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Whole Experience

I went on my very first vacation with the Hardcastle’s. Seems weird that it is my first vacation with the whole family since Gordon and I have gone on many vacations with my family, none the less it was my first. We ventured to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a 3 day, 2 night vacation. We stayed in a condo at Teton Village (thanks Grandma and Grandpa Hardcastle). Our amenities were two twin beds pushed together to make one giant bed. I thought it was comfortable, besides the fact that even though we had two beds, we managed to sleep on one or in the crack between the beds (sorry Gordon). We got up to Jackson late Friday night so we didn’t get to do much besides sleep, but Saturday was a full day. It’s tradition for the families to wake up really early (before the sun comes up) and watch/listen to the elk. Gordon told me that we watch them mate, which I thought was weird. His mom said we listen to them mate, also weird. When we found a spot with lots of elk, neither of those things happened. We did hear them, and apparently they make this noise to mate, not while they are mating and boy was that a relief. It was a new experience for me with more than just the elk. Regardless of having nice warm comfortable condos not far away from the elk, we had breakfast outside in the freezing cold rainy weather. I was not thrilled with this idea. I sat in the truck waiting for the rain to stop, which it never did. So I braved the rain and snuggled close to Gordon for warmth (and umbrella coverage) while I waited for a very delicious breakfast (thanks Greg). Next it was off to town for window shopping and photo ops. After shopping, Gordon, his dad Kim, and I went for a hike, if you can call it that. We wanted to go for a hike and planned for a 3 mile adventure, but the rain had other plans. We drove for an hour to get to Brooks Lake, hiked for 18 minutes, then ran for 10 minutes back to the truck. None of us were dry. My sweet husband had a rain jacket and refused to put on his hood because I didn’t have one. Dumb, but I sure appreciated the gesture. After drying off, we had dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Hardcastle’s condo with the whole family. On Sunday Gordon’s parents had found out what time sacrament meeting was at a local church so we attended that and went home.

I enjoyed spending time with Gordon’s family. Gordon had told me about the Jackson Hole annual vacation and all the different things they do. I am glad to say that I experienced the whole thing, although I would have like to do a bit more hiking and stay longer. Maybe next year.

The Elk
Us listening to the elk, so early in the morning!
Part of the Teton Mountains
I'm still shorter than him and I'm standing on a rock!
The "bearded" brothers
It wouldn't be a Jackson trip without this photo
The Hike
Beauty after the storm
There's a story behind this picture. Gordon HATES getting his picture taken. He says his smile always looks fake. Whenever he is having his picture taken he hums out loud to keep himself smiling. I take so many pictures when we're out that he has decided to not even really try to smile anymore (he doesn't like me to post those pics). This picture is different. He is full on posing! I still cannot believe he let me take this picture and keep it (he doesn't know I posted it yet)!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In Waiting

That title is appropriate on so many levels right now in our lives. The biggest I cannot say yet but I hope to let you all know soon! We have been very busy lately (mostly Gordon with school. Oh how I do NOT miss the homework!) but we’ve made some time for a little fun with family and friends. These posts have been waiting to be published for over a week (as you can see from the date 9/8. I hate using the computer at home when I’ve been using one all day. Home is a sanctuary and I’d like to keep it that way).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Weber State, Weber State, GREAT GREAT GREAT

This weekend Gordon attended his first extracurricular school event. We went to Weber State’s homecoming football game with Weber State’s biggest sports fans Katherine and Marc. Those of you that know Gordon know he is not a big sports fan. He didn’t marry the biggest sports fan either. However, I do love to watch football! I’m am one of those fans that hoots and hollers, screams at the ref if he didn’t make a good call, and cheers very loud for my favorite players (I also run up and down the football field, but that’s only at my nephew’s game). Gordon does neither of those things. He claps at all the appropriate times, and never hoots or hollers. He is great company, not because of his fan status, but because of his height! He caught a water bottle and 2 footballs at the game (although a very upset mother in front of us made him feel bad for ‘stealing’ the water bottle from her daughter so he ended up just giving it to her). Besides the guilt trip, it was a great game with Weber winning Dixie State (and there were fireworks too).

That's the closest to purple that Gordon would wear, or had to wear.
Again, he's not a sports fan.

Before the game we added a little culture to our lives by attending the multicultural fair in Ogden. I have never heard of it this fair before, but Katherine needed to go to get some extra credit for a class and our friends Richard and Rachel were manning a booth so we decided to broaden our ways and attend too. We went through a time machine and got a card with instructions to visit every booth and experience that time in history, then get sticker and move on. Needless to say, we only visited the booths where we got free food (yep, poor married folks do that, plus we didn’t eat dinner that night). We were surprised how full we were with rootbeer floats, pumpkin muffins, dutch-oven biscuits, and hamburgers, chips, and watermelon by the time we left. The booths weren’t anything special and really didn’t expand our views on culture but the entertainment sure did. We caught a few minutes of a Buddhist church presentation where there was drums and dancing. Very interesting to watch. I wanted to go visit their temple, but they announced that they do not do these rituals there so I changed my mind.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Best of Both Worlds

It was just going to be another typical evening at the gym: turbo kick for 60 minutes, abs, then go home. My sister in law, Jodi, had different plans and oh what a great plan it was! We both love the show Gossip Girl (think what you will, I love it!) and we both love the gym so she decided rather than rush home and miss the first 10 minutes of the show we would combine both of our loves and use the treadmill while we watch our show. Brilliant! So instead of the measly 300 calories I normally burn, I kicked it up to 450 all while watching my favorite show. Go ME! So every Monday night you will find me at the gym working hard and watching my show. Thanks Jodi. You are a genius! It feels good to be back (and by back I mean working out for more than hour. How did we let ourselves get in a rut?!) And to have you back. Best gym partner ever!
A very good combination!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Four-Wheelers instead of Wave Runners, Oh MY!

This weekend we took what I think may be the last trip to Bear Lake for the year (although we’re trying to talk my mom into going up in the winter so we have somewhere to stay that is close to Beaver Mountain when we go snowboarding). I have never seen Bear Lake or Garden City so deserted. It was wonderful! There was no waiting in a long line for milkshakes, or rushing to the beach early in the morning to claim your spot. One of the biggest differences was seeing four-wheelers instead of wave runners and boats. Weird. It was the first time my parents brought up their four-wheelers and left their wave runners behind. The small change of temperature brings new fun. I had no idea how many trails there were to four-wheel on up there. Gordon and Tim were gone most of the afternoon on Saturday exploring them. My mom, the dogs, and I hung out at the beach. It was the perfect sunbathing weather. We laid out all afternoon without getting hot!

I know I have said this before, but Bear Lake is truly one of my favorite places to visit and I do not hesitate to say that it is my home away from home. Even if I only go up there for a few days it’s my retreat from the world. I’m grateful for the opportunity I have to live so close to my favorite retreat where I can take a break from everything and spend time with my husband and family.
The 'tanner' looking spots on his face is dirt from four-wheeling. Dirty Boys.
Instead of sand, we stood in sea-shells! LOVE IT!
Gordon found these particulary big shells for me. He came up to me and said "I found some really big shells!" I thought he was going to propose to me all over again! (For those of you that don't know Gordon proposed to me at Bear Lake on the beach. Short version: We were looking for seashells, which is one of my favorite things to do, when he told me "Jess, I found the biggest shell" and when I turned around he was on one knee, ring in hand asking me to marry him! Oh, he's so dang cute!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Happy Tears

Last night my dad invited us to a mandatory dinner. He told me it was to celebrate my new job. He told my sister it was to discuss tickets for a Green Bay Packers game. My sister and I didn’t discuss the reason for the dinner when we had talk on the phone earlier that day so we didn’t know we were told different things. My sister wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to make it. My dad not only bugged her all day about coming, but asked me to find out why she might not come and bug her until she agreed to come. I didn’t think anything of this. When Gordon got home I told him we were going to dinner with my dad. The first thing he says was “I bet you he’s going tell us he’s getting married.” WHAT?! Why would that be the first thing that pops into his head? My dad has been known to invite us to dinner spur of the moment so it wasn’t out of the ordinary for us to be going. I told Gordon it was to celebrate my new job (“me, me, me” as my family would say). It wasn’t until Brenda’s son got out of my dad’s car when I started to think he had something very important to tell us. When we sat down I noticed that Brenda was not using her left hand. She kept it “hidden” in her lap. She did this for 30 minutes! Then in the middle of conversation, my dad looks at each of us and says “I’m going to need you, you, you, and you to stand with us on October 11 when Brenda and I get married.” HOLY COW! There were smiles all around the table! My sister and I were in shock! Our dad is getting married! My dad has dated a few girls since my parents got divorced but never once thought about marriage. And Brenda has never been married before and didn’t really care if she ever was. But I have never seen my dad so happy. He’s been radiating happiness ever since they met. I could not be more excited for him. Brenda is a wonderful lady and treats my dad like the amazing man that he is.

So on October 11 I will be standing proud along side my husband, sister, and nephew to “give my dad away.” I never thought I would be going to my parent’s weddings (since in most cases they are already married before you are born). That’s something I don’t wish for people, but I feel very blessed to be able to watch my parents become happy again and find the love of their lives.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My 8 Things

I’ve never been tagged before, so a big THANKS goes to my cousin Kim for “tagging” me with My 8 Things.

8 TV shows I love to watch (we only get 2 channels on our TV (14 & 30). Good thing they run episodes of these shows on the Internet):
The Office
Gossip Girl
The Hills
Flight of the Conchords
Desperate Housewives
30 Rock
The OC

8 restaurants I love:
Ogden Pizzeria
Costa Vida/Café Rio
Paradise Bakery

8 things I am doing today:
Checking out a local senior center & their volunteers
Going to the gym where I will take a turbo kick class (YIKES!)
Cook dinner for my hardworking husband
Take the dogs for a walk
Catch up on my TV via the Internet
Clean up all my messes from the day!

8 things I am looking forward to:
Gordon graduating
Gordon finding the job of his dreams
Buying a home
Having too many volunteers (for my new job)
Going to the gym
Starting a family & being a mom
The snow
The weekend(s)

8 things I love about summer:
Bear Lake
Summer nights
Change of scenery & temperature

8 Olympic events I want to see: *This year was my first year of actually watching the Olympics and I wanted to see:
Opening Ceremony
Closing Ceremony
*I know there's only six but gymnastics includes many other events that add up to more than eight

8 things on my wish list:
New Coach purse and wallet (that is a never ending wish because once I get a new one I always wish for another one)
New furniture to put in my house
Land Cruiser for Gordon
Money (without working for it)
A new Subaru each year
Tour the world before we have kids (especially Europe)
My own cabin at Bear Lake

Now I tag: anyone that wants to do it (I hate being put on the spot)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I'm Not Swiss, But I Enjoy Their Days

The Hardcastle girls had our 2nd Annual girl’s trip this Labor Day weekend. We headed off to Midway, Utah for good ol’ Swiss Days. Two years ago I had no idea these days even existed. But I’m glad that they do because it gives me the chance to spend some quality time with my sister-in-laws and mom-in-law.

For this annual event we head up to Midway early Friday morning (if my mom-in-law had her way we would leave even earlier than we do so we don’t miss the ‘good’ crafts) and spend a few hours of wandering up and down isles of booths loaded with different types of crafts. The first hour I’m all gung-ho, then the heat sets in and all of the crafts start to look alike. This year wasn’t nearly as hot as last year, which I was indeed grateful for. Just like last year, LeeAnn and I both were on the search for craft ideas that we could duplicate ourselves, except this year I actually want to duplicate them. My mom-in-law has a great talent of making crafts. I, on the other hand, have a great church calling that requires me to make crafts (yep, I’m the craft coordinator). So instead of spending all my money on crafts that LeeAnn says we can easily make, I wait and spend it all at the outlets in Park City (although this year I did by this picture. I wanted it last year and didn’t buy it so when I saw it again this year and still wanted it, I bought).

Jodi, Me, and Mel (who is oh so excited to get her picture taken)

I wanted to buy this for Gordon, but they just didn't have his size

Last year I was much more ‘successful’ at spending my money and had way more shopping bags than everyone else, but this year I passed that torch to Jodi who bought something in just about every store we went into. I was real close to buying a ‘fancy’ wallet at the Coach outlet, but I thought my marriage was a bit more important then a matching wallet for my purses.

Aside from the shopping, we went to Baja Cantina for dinner where once again we had crappy service. I guess that will follow us in our tradition each year because last year we went to a different restaurant and had crappy service. The trip wouldn’t have been complete without a stroll on Main Street and a pit stop at the chocolate factory to get a caramel apple (and some doggie treats for little ones at home). Then it's back to our hotel for some TV and rest (which this year we didn't get a lot of although we should have by going to bed before 10pm!).

They both didn't know if I was tricking them or not because the smell was so sweet...

Abbi soon got over it and enjoyed the chocolatie goodness

I had a blast on this trip. It is so fun to spend time with my in-law family. It makes me grateful to have such a wonderful in-law family. So many people complain about their in-laws but I love mine like my own family. I can’t wait ‘til next year!
*While I played Gordon worked hard helping my step-dad finish his 'shed' aka garage. He's learning so one day he can build a massive one in our backyard*