Sunday, July 31, 2011


here's hoping you all just had an absolutely fly weekend.
husband & i made our triumphant return a few hours ago
from a simply great hansen family reunion, where 
your eighth favorite blogger tried to :
1. keep up with the names of what
felt like two hundred people.
2. try NOT stuffing myself with food &
gaining 17.7 pounds like i seem to do
at every family reunion i attend.
3. get NOT 68 mosquito bites.
4. take some pictures to show y'all.
5. get any child under 5 years old to NOT scream
& cry til next thursday every time i came within 5 feet of them.

let's just say that there were some things on this
list i just failed miserably at, hands down, while
other things on the list went fairly well-ish, & i'm-a
gonna go ahead & leave it up to you faithful four &
a half readers to figure out which was which. but
it all seriousness you four & a half, we had so. much. fun.:

see those sheets of paper? with those little
lines on them? yeah. those are the names
of all the people on this side of family.

cousins showing each other the snake they 
caught & were keeping in their backpack!

oh man. cute new little nieces & nephews. 

a definite highlight of the weekend was when
lizzy graced us all with her amazing, simply
amazing cupcake skills (remember that 
goal i had to NOT gain 17.7 pounds
this reunion? these pictures will hopefully
give you a couple hints as how that goal
eventually panned out):

patient little tunas waiting to get some german 
 chocolate frosting on them.

lemon blueberry muffins with lemony zesty frosting,
chocolate oreo cupcakes with buttercream frosting,

strawberry lemonade cupcakes:
lemon cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting.

these cupcakes were literally a dream come true.
lizzy is so talented! totally happy that i
can now claim some relation to her.
& i DARE you not to be inspired
by her confectionery delights. 
 they're just beautiful.

long story short, this weekend 
was just a wonderful time, like so many
family reunions tend to be
(& i can't resist sneaking in just a liiiittle bit of
whipple [eighth favorite blogger's maiden name]
loving i noticed in the cafeteria):

i wish i had a lemon blueberry cupcake right now...

Friday, July 29, 2011

have a great weekend!

husband & i are heading about
an hour & a half north this weekend
for a family reunion. we're excited!
it'll be a nice getaway.

in the meantime, check out
this great picture of james dean
& elizabeth taylor, a picture
shot, perhaps, while they
were filming this movie
together. anyways, i like
it. see you all soon!

James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor

get a couple of chinese speakers together & next thing you know...

well folks,
the other day we had a little get-together 
for all us chinese teachers who work over
at the missionary training center.
you hear a word like "mtc" & you
think we might be a pretty rule-following, 
quiet, & mellow bunch, right?
well if you thought that, 
you might be wrong.
(well, i mean, i guess we might be like 
 that at work, kind of. at least the rule-
following part). 

we had a blast together
barbecuing, chatting (in chinese,
of course) & of course
based on the following
pictures you might just say that the 
 slight overachieving attitude of 
someone who sticks with mandarin
chinese long enough to be able to converse
somewhat in the language & then goes
around trying to teach it to a bunch
of 19-year olds does in-DEED
transfer over into other aspects of
their life. like seeing who can do
what kind of really cool jumps
& tricks into an actually somewhat 
 tiny swimming pool:

(see if you can spot the jumpers
in these pictures!)

(husband has been kind of adopted into
our little mandy family...& he did a good
job of holding his own in the pool!):

backflips! front flips!

the pool felt amazing on such a hot day!
fun fun fun.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

let's all take a time out for a little hobby lobby lovin'.

so while i haven't really ever mentioned it yet,
i kinda love hobby lobby. it's just a joy of a store.

so when one enters that store & immediately
spots on a shelf display a ceramic pumpkin
perfect for ushering in the fall harvest season, &
that ceramic pumpkin just happens to be
emblazoned with the first letter of their new last name ,
well... just don't let a thing like that
slip by unnoticed.

thanks, hobby lobby, for all you do for me.

so much hiking happening!

tonight i met up with a few good friends
to hike Y MOUNTAIN.
(husband had band practice for their
upcoming show tomorrow night which,
hey, i might just blog about!)

provo has been so unbearably hot
these days that nighttime hiking
seemed the best (& really only) option.
in related news, it started sprinkling a few
minutes after we started up the mount
& by the time we reached the top itself 
the rain was coming down pretty hard, so,
hopefully you'll appreciate the sheer &
absolute wetness in these upcoming pictures:

you can see some of the
fat raindrops!

at the top.

SO WET. but we were so
sweaty from the hike it all
balanced out.

little sister's first time to the top! our tired faces:

& the view from my apparently
capture-it-well camera.

we then engaged in a hilarious
tradition all first-timers to the top
of the Y must endure: laying headfirst
down the mountain to look at the
view upside-down. it's actually kind 
of scary to sit backwards & then just
lean out into the steep darkness &
then when you're finally leaned down
the city looks like the sky & the sky
becomes the landscape. anyways,
first was little sister in a photo taken
from an admittedly somewhat
unfortunate angle but hey, 
documentation is documentation:

than evan:

oh it was so, so funny.

so much hiking has been happening
around here for me lately.
hopefully new york city will have 
some great big mountains to hike!!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


oh man.
i'm finding so many funny
things here on the interweb
lately i've been hankering to try.

let's just say that


Saturday, July 23, 2011

the matter of words.

husband & i hit up a truly astounding
installation art exhibit here this morning.

such stunning contemporary pieces
examined"the nature of language &
its effect on our lives."

the exhibit, 
featuring the works of three artists, 
 also explores language as landscape 
& tensions between the printed
word & the technological word.
love it, right?

among the obsessively, colorfully
highlighted bibles & the minimalist,
modernist pieces of book that
i'd hang on the walls of my house
in a hot second (see more),
the commanding presence in 
the room was claimed by the
mountainous, beautifully-near-
chaotic sculpture of books 
smack dab in the center.

the sculpture had five sides & i wish
these pictures did more justice to how
BIG & TALL the structure was.

it's so great comparing the
huge sculpture overall with
getting in there a little closer
& trying to notice all the
millions of fun little details.

those are ALL BOOKS!

the artist builds this sculpture up from
donated books in the area & 
takes it all down again once the exhibit
moves on somewhere else, where
he finds new books to build it
all again.


a growing family!

husband & i are so excited to announce
two new additions to our family!

these two were found right off of ksl with little
to no hassle, paperwork, & waiting. we
had been searching & searching, & right when
our eyes met we knew we had found the ones
we wanted to join our family.

our first:

with his proud papa:

& our second:

it was love at first sight
for her & her mama!

& a family photo of us all together:

we can't wait to spend some
quality family time together
out on those busy, crazy
streets of new york. as for
right now, they've taken an
instant liking to their new
home here in provo.
we're so happy these little
bundles of joy have joined
our growing family!


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