Friday, December 26, 2008


Gabe & Erin's dog, Wanda, is doing amazingly well after recovering from a horrible accident and losing one of her legs.  Watching this dog you don't even realize that she was close to death at one point and has survived multiple surgies.  She gives me courage for all injured animals and people.  Something can be said for the spirit of animals and their positive attitudes despite the circumstances!  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gift Wrapping Advice for Men

My mother sent me this article written by Dave Barry. Very appropriate for this time of year:

Gift Wrapping Advice For Men
This is the time of year when we think back to the very first Christmas, when the Three Wise Men; Gaspar, Balthazar and Herb, went to see the baby Jesus. According to the Book of Matthew, they, "presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet overlooked theological fact: There is no mention of wrapping paper. If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have written, "And lo,the gifts were covered in 600 square cubits of papyrus which was festooned with depictions of people crafted in snow." And Joseph threw the wrapping away but Mary commandeth him, saying, "Stop dear husband! Discard notthe papyrus! It shall be useful in our later years!" And Joseph did roll his eyes. And the baby Jesus was more interested in the papyrus than the gold, frankincense or myrrh.

These words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics:
1. They were wise.
2. They were men.

Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off. This is not just my opinion: This is a scientific fact based on a statistical survey of two guys I know. One is Rob, who said the only time he ever wraps a gift is "if it's such a poor gift that I don't want to be there when the person opens it." The other is Gene, who told me he does wrap gifts, but as a matter of principle never takes more than 15 seconds per gift. "No one ever had to wonder which presents daddy wrapped at Christmas," Gene said. "They were the ones that looked like enormous spitballs." I also wrap gifts, but because of some defect in my motor skills, I can never completely wrap them. I can take a gift the size of a deck of cards and put it the exact center of a piece of wrapping paper the size of a regulation volleyball court, but when I am done folding and taping, you can still see a sector of the gift peeking out. (Sometimes I camouflage this sector with a marking pen.) If I had been an ancient Egyptian in the field of mummies, the lower half of the Pharaoh's body would be covered only by Scotch tape.

On the other hand, if you give my wife a 12-inch square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a C-130 cargo plane. My wife, like many women, actually likes wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of mental illness. If it were possible, my wife would wrap each individual volt.

My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills like having babies that come more naturally to women than to men. That is why today I am presenting:


*Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped. If, when the recipient opens the gift, neither one of you recognizes it, you can claim that it's myrrh.

*The editors of Woman's Day magazine recently ran an item on how to make your own wrapping paper by printing a design on it with an apple sliced in half horizontally and dipped in a mixture of food coloring and liquid starch. They obviously smoke crack.

*If you're giving a hard-to-wrap gift, skip the wrapping paper! Just put it inside a bag and stick one of those little adhesive bows on it. This creates a festive visual effect that is sure to delight the lucky recipient on Christmas morning. Imagine the conversation:

YOUR WIFE: Why is there a Hefty trash bag under the tree?
YOU: It's a gift! See? It has a bow!
YOUR WIFE (peering into the trash bag): It's a leaf blower.
YOU: Gas-powered! Five horsepower!
YOUR WIFE: I want a divorce.
YOU: I also got you some myrrh.

In conclusion, remember that the important thing is not what you give, or how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Lucy my Lu

I'm lucky my husband has a knack for taking pictures because our dog, Lucy, is well documented! I have to share a few photos... Good thing we don't have kids yet because I have a feeling they will feel like the paparazzi are after them :)

Xmas Tree Hunt 08

This was the first year we hunted for our tree with NO snow on the ground! My first thought was this will be easy. Little did I know that even though the trees are easier to get to we would still spend the same amount of time haggling over the perfect tree. I felt like the higher we climbed or the deeper in the forest we went we might find one with a halo of light surrounding it saying "Here I am the best Christmas tree ever". Not enough branches. Too tall. Too small. Too brown. Too Charely Brown. But regardless of which one we picked I think we would have loved it the same as soon as we got home and decorated it....which is exactly what happened! Zach used our new wedding chain saw (timber!) and it was easy for both of us to carry after dealing with firewood all autumn. Lucy had a GREAT time to say the least! She managed to sniff everything within a 5 mile radius of our tree. Good job gang!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving to All

Zach, Lucy, and I had a wonderful trip down to Reno to visit with family and friends. There is always lot's to do and little time to accomplish everything but we managed to have two Thanksgiving dinners, take a drive up to Tahoe, do a little shopping, and I got to babysit my nieces, Callie and Avery. They grow up so quickly so it was a good opportunity for me to get to know them a little better before they are off to college! And I can't believe we don't have any good photo's of Callie. Everyone did a wonderful job cooking and we ate and drank more then we needed but had a wonderful time doing it :) I wish we could visit them ( and Lake Tahoe!) more often.I am so grateful to have such a wonderful family and am happy we could share this holiday together.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Michael Pollan

We were lucky to have Michael Pollan speak in our community last night on the importance of our health. Americans are so obsessed with weight control and nutrition and yet we are one of the unhealthiest nations on earth. Why is this? This was one of the main discussion points in Michael Pollan's lecture last night. Author of "The Omnivores Dilema" and "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto", he has a great understanding of the importance of eating wholesome, locally grown foods, that support our health and our communities. Why is it that we think imitation food is better then the real thing? Why do we think we get better nutrition out of a vitamin then the real source of vitamins/minerals in the food themselves?

He had some good words of advice when confronting choices of what to eat:
• Quality is better then quantity. You get more nutrition (& taste) out of an organic tomato then you would out of a commercially grown tomato that is filled with pesticides/chemicals to make it bigger and grow faster. The price might be more for the organic tomato but it's likely going back into your community instead of a corporations pocket.
• 5 ingredients- Anything more is probably not food
• Do you know what all the ingredients are? Can you pronounce them?
• Food is perishable. If it doesn't mold or rot it probably isn't good for you, i.e. Twinkies
• Eat around the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where the produce, dairy, whole grains live.
• Sit down to a meal. Eating on the run causes us to eat more of things that are not good for us.
• Would your great-grandmother recognize that as food?
• And finally, enjoy eating- eat with friends, family, and neighbors. Make it the social and cultural experience that is suppose to be and you will find you eat smaller proportions and slower, while enjoying the company of those you love. Isn't this why Europeans are so skinny?

I appreciated hearing Michael Pollan speak and am encouraged to support our health and well-being in our own community through co-ops like Idaho's Bounty and starting a garden next summer!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Well Wishes to Wanda

I found out this morning that my sister Erin & her husband, Gabe's dog, Wanda, was in a horrible fight with another dog. Wanda is an Australian cattle dog and only about 30 lbs. Sweet natured and once a professional frisbee dog. The other dog was a 60lb pitbull and belonged to their roommate. When Gabe found Wanda in their home she was lying in a puddle of her own blood barely alive. He rushed her to the vet and after some grueling decisions and a night of agony, Wanda is luckily on the road to recovery. I'm so saddened for their family and know that their dogs are like children. We are wishing Wanda a speedy recovery! xoxo

Bright Future

I am elated that our new president elect is Barak Obama! After a moving acceptance speech I found myself in tears, relieved that our future leader of the United States is someone I believe in, support, and admire. I am so grateful that the majority of US citizens feel the same.

Hooray for the United States! Here is to a bright future ahead!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Monday, November 3, 2008


I have to admit I was not really into Halloween this year until...about one hour before when Zach and I decided to dress up and we started getting trick-or-treater's. 30 kids in about 20 minutes! I didn't realize how many little tot's where in our neighborhood until they started showing up in swarms. Knowing most of their parents it was funny to see them watching the action in the background, enjoying their little monsters and princesses racing around for little pieces of candy. Zach and I recycled our costumes from last year that we used on our Grand Canyon trip down the Colorado. We spiced them up a little but managed to make "Napoleon & Dynamite" look pretty good. Our friends- Sarah, Jenna, and Willie where a skit from Saturday Night Live (Celebrity Jeopardy- Turd Furgason, Alex Trabeck, and Sean Connery).

I have found memories of being a kid in Reno, racing around on rollerblades trying to get the most candy. And I'll never forget when I got kidneystones one year and couldn't go trick-or-treating. Luckily, my sister Erin shared her candy with me.

I didn't have enough time to snap pictures of all the little kiddies at the door but did receive some adorable pictures from my sister, Addie, and her little ones dressed up! Avery was "Daisy LaDuke" and Callie was a "Yale cheerleader and Ariel".

Friday, October 10, 2008

Morning Traffic

On my way to work this morning I was stopped by what is typical for this time of year, a herd of sheep moving down the street directly at me. I love watching them as they move like a school of fish around obstacles (like my car!). The expert ranchers control them with their dogs, whistling, calling, stopping for a nod with the hat and "howdy". It's a nice distraction from the usual morning routine. This weekend is the annual "Trailing of the Sheep" where the sheepherders take their flocks right through downtown as on lookers cheer and celebrate a long tradition of Basque sheep herders in the area.

Winter is closer than I thought, 3"-6" of snow is expected today. It seems like we went right over fall into winter, never a bad thing in this town as everyone has 'ski fever'.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Fall is here! The chill in the air, the orange, red, and yellow leaves, pumpkins, Halloween, Thanksgiving, firewood...We are lucky to live in an area where the seasons are very true to form. I thought I would share some of the beautiful pictures Zach took yesterday while working.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


We have been busy 'nesting' these past couple of weeks and getting ready for cold weather by cutting up firewood for the long season ahead. A long process of getting the truck & trailer ready, our new chainsaw (Zach's favorite gift from the wedding), the dog, gloves, boots, snacks, glasses, and then we are off to search for the perfect trees to cut for winter. The forest service allows people in our area to cut their own firewood with minimal requirements. The tree needs to be visibly dead but otherwise it's fair game. It turns out to be a win-win situation for the forest and the standard home-owner because the process keeps the forest clear of dead wood debris that can fuel forest fires when they happen, and we get to keep our house warm this winter at a low-cost. Usually it is Zach, Lucy, and I fending for ourselves trying to agree on which tree to cut, which way it will fall, how far away the truck should be, and if it will get caught up in any surrounding trees. I tend to think I find the perfect tree every one we see but Zach is clearly more selective and we end up driving around for a few hours until we find the perfect spot. Lucy, manages to help by retrieving what ever limbs we toss aside.

This past weekend we joined friends at Petit Lake to gather wood together and also help a great family out with some fallen wood that is surrounding their cabin. With 10 of us the process went fairly quick and we worked together like a well oiled machine. It reminded me of the time Zach and I were in Bolivia watching this small community of people repair a damaged dock on Lake Titicaca. They lined up side by side, old, young, man, and woman and lifted these heavy rocks to get the job down. But with all of them working together the job didn't seem so daunting. Well we managed to fill the back of a pick-up truck, and a trailer full of wood within two hours! A lot of our speed was due to the previously fallen trees that littered the ground but still a majority of the work is in cutting, carrying, and stacking the wood. Afterwards, we were treated to a nice boat ride around the lake to watch the sunset before we built a warm fire outside to eat dinner around. Winter here we come!

Zach, Willie, and Ryan afterwards on the boat.
Jenna & Lacie gathering
Willie stacking.

Thanks to Jenna for the pictures!

Kathryn & Zach
Willie & Matt

Friday, September 12, 2008

Boston 2008

Posted by PicasaZach and I had such a good time out east this past weekend! We were lucky to stay with our dear friends, Jon & Regina, in their great apartment for four nights. They managed to play tourist with us and parade us around Boston on the Freedom Trail, harbor cruises, great restaurants, and a RedSox game. Zach's first visit to Fenway lived up to tradition while the Sox pounded the Tampa Bay Rays. There is so much history and team spirit in that baseball stadium it is hard to walk away and not be a Red Sox fan!

We also attended a beautiful wedding for our friends from Idaho, Taylor & Lauren in Scituate, MA. Beautifully set between two identical New England beach cottages, that had a boy & girl theme, the bride and groom where lucky to just miss the rain storm from Hurrican Hannah. It was a gorgeous setting surrounded by white hydrengenas and a small distance from the Atlantic ocean. We enjoyed the food, the band, and the friends. Taylor & Lauren are a great couple and have a wonderful future ahead of them!

Our travels back to Idaho where anything but enjoyable. We left at 6am east coast time, got stranded in JFK airport (don't ever fly there if you can help it). We had to scramble to get on another plane out west, they lost our luggage, refused to bring it to us, and then as we are driving back from Boise in the middle of the night we hit an antelope! Hitting the antelope was the last straw for me and I couldn't help but shed some tears over the entire incident.

But we are back to Idaho and easing back into the simple up another friends wedding, and then perhaps some firewood outtings ;-)

Zac & Sara Song

My friend Jenna heard this song the other day by BenFold Five and I've been meaning to post it. Different spelling but pretty cute!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Banff Honeymoon

After a wonderful wedding it seemed hard to follow up with anything else but we had a great time on our honeymoon! Zach and I decided to do a road trip to Canada for a week with our dog, Lucy.
We started out with a night at the Nickums cabin at Fisher Creek near Stanley. The day after the wedding I was EXHAUSTED from all the activities of the wedding and could barely keep my eyes open. Luckily, Zach and Lucy had energy for our drive to Montana and we really enjoyed ourselves on the way.

Our first night camping at Swan Lake near Flathead Lake in Montana is gorgeous! I kept thinking it was just like a smaller Tahoe. The water temperature of Swan lake was unexpectedly warmer then Tahoe though. Then it was off to Glacier National Park via Whitefish, MT the next day. We enjoyed a long hike up Big Mountain, well aware of any grizzly bears that may be snacking on huckleberries or hiding in the lush wildflowers. Driving through Glacier National Park later along the "Going to the Sun" road, we devoured the views of snow covered peaks, high-mountain meadows, and local mountain goats. Amazing views! I think Zach took a picture of every inch of the park and our tour through it. That night camping was a lot more crowded then the previous night but we nestled in and were off the next morning to Canada!

Crossing the continental divide the day before the landscape was noticeably dryer on the road to Calgary. Suddenly our math skills were tested as well when we had to follow speed limit signs in kilometers and not miles...but don't worry mom we figured it out! Turning west from Calgary we headed towards the Canadian Rockies and into Banff National Park. Again the mountain peaks were outstanding and more grand then anything I have seen before. Who knew all this wonder and beauty was so close to home? We checked into our little hotel, the Juniper, which luckily allows dogs so Lucy-Lu could sleep happily next to us. They even provided a doggie bed and treats for Lucy to feel right at home. It was time for more hiking and again we warned constantly on the threat of grizzly bears. We tied jingle bells to Lucy and set out making sure to be as loud as possible so the bears were well aware of our presence. Elk, deer, big horn sheep, and large eagles crossed our paths but no bears. Obviously our bear alarm (Lucy) was effective!

Later Zach and I headed out from the historical Banff Hotel on our mountain bikes and moved along the Bow River. Lightly raining we had a good time (despite my forward roll down one section). We managed to make a short drive North to Lake Louise and visit the gorgeous glacial lakes. The water was such a magnificent Whipple blue I kept taking off my sunglasses to make sure that it wasn't them that were distorting the color. We hiked up to the tea house and enjoyed refreshments before our way back down. We followed up that hike by visiting the Banff Hot Springs that is open to the public and definitely used by many people. It was like sharing a bath tub with 50 of your closest friends. Wasn't sure about that at first but when in Rome....

Heading back from Banff we took an alternative route through British Columbia (again enjoying more lakes, streams, rivers, and mountain peaks). Crossing the border we headed down through Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint, and just before reaching Couer D'Alene we stopped at Farragut State Park and camped near Lake Pend Orielle. This camp spot was anything but quiet but we still managed to enjoy the beautiful lake.

After Lucy and I took a dip in the lake we headed down to Moscow to visit Zach's cousin, Lauren, and catch up over lunch. She filled us in on her new college life and even gave us a tour of the sorority house she lived in. Lucy was a big fan after about 15 girls managed to pet her non-stop. We headed farther south to camp at McCall that evening and enjoy our final night of our honeymoon under the stars.

To see our honeymoon route you can go here to see the map.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wedding Day

We had such a wonderful wedding and really want to thank all that made it special!

Nick, Jean, Bob, Sherri, Jeannie & Ben-First I want to thank our parents. We are so lucky to have your love and support and we really couldn't have done anything with out you!

Tom, "the pope" did an amazing job for his first officiant role and we were so impressed with the entire ceremony. He discussed the "the knot" and it's meaning in a marriage. He presented us with a bronzed knot for us to remember. It was perfect!

The bridesmaids & flower girl- Addie, Erin, Katherine, Ali, Mariah, and little Callie were so beautiful and sweet to together.

The groomsmen- Matt W., Grant, Wes, and Matt M. did a stellar job in supporting Zach and wow the toasts were so special!

DanO- the ManO- thanks for coming through with the music and cheer during the ceremony your such a great friend.

Helen and Rachel the flowers were so special and the amount of work and care you put into their growing is so appreciated we hardly know what to say! The centerpieces were gorgeous and I know everyone that took them home have really enjoyed them.

Megan, Katherine, Brett (and fellow helpers) the pies were a HUGE success! I've heard nothing but great remarks from everyone and can't thank you enough for putting up with me and making this thing happen.

Addie- thank you, thank you, for the beautiful stationery, thank you cards, save-the-dates, programs, menu's and table cards! You really made everything look beautiful and I know it was hard timing with Avery and we appreciate all your work!

Darleen- thank you for the beautiful jewelry! All the girls loved the earrings and I couldn't have been happier with mine.

Christian- you really helped us out with so many details, thank you, thank you, for the rings and the horseshoes! They really made our wedding special.
Galena Lodge (Erin & Don)- Thank you! Thank you! for making our wedding such a wonderful event. Your help and consideration for all the details really made this happen. The food was outstanding (as always) and the organization was superb!

To all our family & friends- Our day was made special with your presence and we are so happy you were able to join us. Thank you for making the long journey to celebrate with us!

I'm dying to get the pictures but luckily my friend, Davina, passed along a few that she took. Aahh, Jenna I just found some from your blog as well! Thank you girls for these!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bachlorette Bash!

Wow! It feels like it took me all week to recover from the fun we had in Stanley for my bachlorette party. We started out with a day hike near Alturas Lake up to beautiful Alpine lakes on Saturday. Megan, Kat, and I talked about everything we could think of and enjoyed the beautiful wildflowers, conversation, and scenery. Then it was off to Megan's cabin to meet up with ten other girlfriends to make sushi. By the end of the evening we were getting good at making new roll creations including wasabi potato chips, tuna, ginger, and rice. Yummy! More fun when we caravaned to the Sawtooth Music Festival. People dancing everywhere, including yours truly that managed to take the stage in a tu-tu, veil, and with my large blow-up doll (that we nicknamed "Pro-Zac"). I am still getting compliments on my running man ;-) The music was good everywhere in town so we continued on to the Kasino Club in Stanely, the traditional hang out spot for locals, and enjoyed more bluesgrass music by the Jeremiah Jones Band. Needless to say we had a lot of fun! Thank you Megan, Kat, Brett, Rachel, Janet, Jen, Jenna, Lacie, Lisa, and Davina for making me feel like I was in college again!

Friday, July 25, 2008

29th Birthday

I barely had time to remember my birthday let alone celebrate it! But it was a great birthday thanks to my dear girlfriends, my office, and my loving fiancee. First, I was treated to a pedicure from my friend, Jen. Then the girls and I went to a little place in Ketchum for fresh Chinese chicken salad and catching up on each other's summer activities. Back to the office for the remainder of the day and then celebrating with a few beers. Finally, it was out to dinner with Zach for a little recap of all the activities we have been enjoying this summer, the wedding (of course), and this weekend's events. So far 29 is turning out to be a great year!

Reno Garden Shower

I can't believe a week has already gone by since I was in Reno/Tahoe but I guess that is because we have been so busy with all the events going on this summer. I did make a quick trip to Reno to do some business in Tahoe, and attend a bridal shower at my aunt Carolyn's house. It was so great to have my cousins and relatives there that I haven't seen in awhile. My aunt and uncle have a great little house on Hunter Creek that flows into the Truckee river. The shower was a garden theme and it was a perfect setting. We had fun sharing questions and answers about Zach and I while eating delicous food. My uncle Bob made great fresh mojitos and a delicious peach cake from Whole Foods to wrap it up.