Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Alumi, Hors d'Oeuvres, and Wine (ahem...water)

On Monday I had the opportunity to go my culinary school for a gathering of graduates. I picked up my great friend Jennifer from a nearby metro station, and we went together. Jennifer was in another class right before mine. I had the same internship as her, and then followed her to Just Cakes where we really got to know each other and remain good friends. We are slowly working on a business idea together which would be awesome if we got it up and running. Maybe someday.

Can I tell you how strange it was going back there? So many memories came flooding back- the smells, the voices, the commute. My Chef greeted me with open arm and exclamations, and I was delighted to see a couple of my class members there. I wasn't in school for a very long time, but it was a pretty concentrated and intense time, and we saw a lot of each other. We met my old instruction classroom to get settled in and hear why we were all there. We all had to stand up and tell what was going on with our lives, mostly in the way of pastry, if you were still doing that. A lot of people had started up big and successful businesses, restaurants, and bakeries all over the US. Others were back at their old jobs as web designers, dental hygienists, or staying home with kids, etc. Then we all went to one of the giant kitchen classrooms to chat, eat and drink. Yeah, the couldn't stop mentioning to drink up all you want and everyone just kept laughing like it was the first time anyone ever said it. Will that joke ever get old?

It was amazing to see what has come out of the students. One of my best friends was sadly not there, but I heard she is the executive pastry chef at the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront. I am so proud and amazed with her and the other students, yet I couldn't help but feel a little weird that I wasn't doing anything to prove how much I still know and how much I still love it. I would always tell my friends in school that as much as I loved pastry, I would love a family more. I was only 19 then, wasn't even dating KC, and they thought I was crazy. But here I am, working on my family and enjoying it much more than I would working most hours of my life in the basement of a hotel. I think the people that came out to this were the ones that actually had something to say. I don't want to feel inadequate since I know what I'm doing with my life is exactly what I should be doing, but it was interesting to see what I could've become. My life was competely taken over by the pastry arts for a couple years, and I was just beginning. I could tell that if I kept going, it would've consumed my life leaving no room for what I am meant to do. I'm so grateful for those couple of years, but now I know what is right for me. And I'm completely content with it.I loved catching up with my friends from that part of my life. It was a huge character building and learning time for me, and I'll never forget it. It was why I moved here after all. I love what I my life has become since coming here ever if it doesn't mean a tall chef hat, and hiring my own interns. They said these kinds of meeting will occur quarterly for all of us to network, find jobs, find employees, or just catch up. I think I'll just let the others have their parties with out me. That was enough for now.

By the way, the picture above is with my class at our first buffet at the end of our first of three phases. A lot of my family were able to come. I loved that day.

Here is Chef Francois, the founder of the school giving his spiel in his thick French accent.
My classmates Mike and Janice.
My friend Jennifer.
The beautiful spread of sushi that provided.
My plate. I asked which ones were vegetarian. I just like those better. I tried one that wasn't. You can't see, but I think it had caviar on it. There were other bite sized snacks there, but this was the prettiest.

Chef Mark, my instructor. I pointed out that someone had left lipstick marks on his jacket from all the hugs going around. He thought it was hilarious and made me take this picture.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pandas, and cheetahs, and owls, oh my

We decided to take a short trip to the National Zoo today. It's only a short metro ride from our neighborhood, and it's free. It was supposed to be a moderately hot, instead of deathly hot, day today, so we took advantage. It was still uncomfortable outside, but good fun nonetheless. The crowds were definitely out, but the zoo is so big that we didn't feel too extremely cramped. We usually avoid tourist attractions on the weekend, but we were fine. We didn't see everything there was to see there, but we made sure to see the famous Panda habitat they have. They have a 3 year old cub that is all the rage, because it was born in the zoo. It was actually conceived artificially and there is this whole exhibit on how they did it. I have to say, it's not unlike the human process. They even track her hormones for all to see. Very interesting. I remember when the cub was born. It was not long after I moved here, and it was all anyone talked about for a while. I guess it's big news since there are not many to go around. But I'm glad everything worked out for the panda family. The ones pictured are the mom and the dad.
I read that they open the grouds at 6 am. That is what I'm talking about. Anyone want to join me for an early stroll through the zoo? I bet a lot of animals are out since it's not as hot. I'm in.Anway, we had other stuff to do today, and since we didn't have to pay a dime to get in, we decided to save the rest of the zoo for another trip. We live so close, why make our feet ache, and stay in the blazing heat (though the mango passion slurpee on the walk home helped with that quite a bit), when we can just make the short ride another time. Maybe sometime in the fall. I'm sure it's a nice thing to do during that time of year. And we know they have Thursday night musical concerts we're going to try to attend one of these days.Sorry, we were too hot to make any of the pictures of us very interesting.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Babysitting Funnies

I tell you, kids say the darndest things. Yesterday when I was babysitting, cute wade and I were having a conversation. He has this habit of saying "what?" many times while we talk. Probably a habit of most 5 year olds. So, during one of these conversations, I got sick and tired of repeating myself three or four times. Usually what I'm repeating isn't even that important anyway, but he simply must know what it was. I don't mind answering his questions, or repeating them if need be, but it's when he says "what" before I even finish what I'm telling him that gets a little bit on my nerves. Here's a conversation for instance:

W: Can we put the candle in the cake now?
E: Well it just came out of the oven so we better let it cool down some more. (We made a chocolate banana cake for fun, but he insisted that we put one of those huge #3 candles he found in it so he could blow it out.)
W: Why do we have to let it cool down?
E: Well if we don't, it will prob...
W:(interrupting) What?
E: ...ably fall over and...Wade, you didn't even let me finish. If you would just listen you would've heard the reason why? You do that a lot. You make me say something over and over, when all you have to do is listen carefully and you'll hear it all the first time. (All in a kind motherly tone, of course.)
W:What? Hahahahhahaha. I was being silly.
E: Ha ha (slow, sarcastic laughing). Very funny Kiddo.

I couldn't help but crack a smile at this kid's wit, even though I was really trying to teach a lesson here. That is pretty quick humor he has.

Okay, one more. He's full of them. As some of you know (because we complain about it a lot), we have a coin operated a house. I know. Lame. But it's cheap, we deal with it, and it's better than going to the laundromat. Anyway, I was running low on quarters and, Wade's mom Jan, a great friend of mine, told me they always have ample change and I could always exchange any of my money for quarters should I be in need. So with my coin purse full, I took advantage. Wade was watching me curiously and asked what I was doing. I told him that I was just exchanging a lot of little coins for the exact amount in bigger coins. He thought for a moment and then said, "So thaaaat's how you guys do it." It was as if he just had all the money mysteries, where it came from and where it went to, all figured out from that point on. Yep wade, this little coin bowl right here on the counter is the money pot for all the world to come and trade as their hearts desire. If only it was that easy.

That kid.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


There's no way we can possibly express our gratitude for the outpouring of support and love we have felt from so many people that have seen this blog. Including family, friends, and complete strangers. We feel completely humbled to be the recipients of such support. Thank you so much to all those that have used space on their own blogs to help us. And for those who have emailed, or just told others you know. We have faith that with all that you are doing for us, we are bound to find the child that is meant to be with our family.

We are hoping to get the blog back to normal with it's more upbeat and everyday topics. And with the help of some very gracious friends and family, we will soon have a website with our profile that will provide information about us for prospective birthparents to view to see if we are right for them. I will link it to the side of this blog if you need to refer anyone to it. We know it make take quite some time for all this to run its course, so please just keep us in the back of your minds, and if anything turns up, we'd love to know. And we'll keep you posted with any news as well.

Thanks again friends. We are completely indebted to all of you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

We Need Your Help

Dear Friends,

We're slightly hesitant to write this on our blog as we try to keep it more of a light-hearted and happy place for us to escape the difficult things we are going through. This is anything but a light subject, so we hope writing it here doesn't automatically make it one. Taking the advice of a friend, and with the promptings that keep coming to us, we feel like this is the place and time to share our feelings on this tender subject.

As some of you may, or may not know, KC and I have been eagerly hoping for over two years to have a child. We found out a while after we started trying that our only hope for conceiving was through In Vitro Fertilization. And not only that, but a more extensive technique they add to it that they have come up with in the last decade or so. We had mixed feelings about this. We were extremely relieved and happy to have a chance at having biological children when 10 years ago they would've said there is no possible way. But we were also a little scared about this idea. It's extremely expensive, and doesn't always work. And with it being the only way for us to conceive, it was hard to completely give up that part of our lives to all the many professionals that it requires, instead of just being between the two of us. But we were willing to do whatever it took, so we excitedly and apprehensively agreed to continue. It is a long a very difficult process, but we tried to stay focused and faithful since at the time we completely relied on this to build our family biologically. Since we began the IVF process, we have had two (update: three) devastating negative pregnancy tests. Even a negative pregnancy test when you are trying on your own is hard, so maybe you can imagine the disappointment. The doctors went from pure optimism to very confused. We are learning that we can't rely on it. It's been the trial of our lives and we've been making with through with a lot of support from our families, friends, and of course our Heavenly Father. I have a lot more thoughts on the subject of IVF and infertility in general that I want to share, but it is not the purpose of this post, so I'll revisit that another time.

So as KC and I have been talking to each other, my friend (mentioned above), and Heavenly Father, we feel that we are ready to take the steps toward adoption. We have a lot of the same feelings as we did before-excited, scared, apprehensive-since this is also pretty much out of our control. It can also be a very grueling process with a lot of ups and downs, and we were wondering where to start. The friend I talked to and her husband were under the same circumstances as us and adopted all five of their children. Her advice, and how she got 4 of her children, was purely by word of mouth. She told everyone she came in contact with, strangers included, that they were looking for a baby. Before talking to her, I thought we wouldn't be taken seriously if we took this route. That no one would believe that we were legitimate. But after hearing of her success, I am a believer and am willing to try.

This is where we need you. We are in a day and age where news is easy to spread with the Internet, thus writing this post. So if it's not too much, I'm asking that any of you reading to spread the word that we are eagerly looking to adopt a baby. If there is anyone you know that is going to place their child up for adoption, please let us know. We are on a mission to start our family, and really feel that this is a way for us to get some results. We have so much love to give, and dream of the day that we have a child in our lives. We hope that through this, it can become a reality. Again, we know there are other avenues of adoption, but we feel that this is where we should start for the time being. (Update: we have been approved with LDS Family Services and are adopting through them.)

Thank you in advance. Even in the midst of a trial so great, we have been able to see why we are given such things to endure. We have been blessed, with so many great people in our lives, and even more apparently, with each other. With out a companion so dedicated and faithful, it's hard to make it through even the smallest of trials. So this has made us closer to each other and the Lord. If you find out anything you'd like to share with us, please email me us We appreciate your help more than you can ever know.

Love, KC and Emily

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Poor aging fishy

I think our little Beta friend is on his last fin. He's just not the cheerful self he usually is. Ever since I cleaned out the bowl last week, or even before, he's been so slow moving and stationary. He hangs out on the bottom of the bowl just resting there kind of on his side. Everyday I move and tap on the bowl just to make sure he's still going. Sometimes if he's really hungry, he'll make what looks like a very labored effort to swim to the top of the water to eat for a couple seconds, and then he'll slowly sink down again. It's a little depressing. He used to be so excited and vibrant. Maybe he got injured in the treacherous process of getting him out of the bowl in order to clean it. He used to follow my finger around the bowl, practically jump out of the bowl to eat his food, and swim so fast. Now he has a hard time even staying afloat. And I think his color isn't as vibrant as it used to be. He just waits for the food to float down to him so he can eat it. He is pretty old, I'm guessing between 3-4 years. So maybe his time has come. It's just sad to watch him suffer, if that's what's going on. Too bad Betas attack any living think that is placed in their bowl, or I'd get him a companion. I'm sure that would cheer him right up.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Good Laughs

Have you seen Wipeout?

It's hilarious.

Friday, July 11, 2008

What do you remember about me? (Hopefully nothing I'd be ashamed of.)

My Cousin had this on her blog and I decided to play along. I would love to hear from anyone and everyone! Don't be shy.

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Next customer please

Up until last Tuesday, KC has been the only victim of am Emily haircut. Okay, I'm probably being too hard on myself, because I am getting a little better with each cut. It's might've been completely embarrassing the first couple times, but I have found a way to make it presentable. And his hair, being very straight and easily showing mistakes, has made me very meticulous and trained me well. So when given a head full of bushy curly hair, it was easy, fun, and very forgiving, unlike KC's. Here's what happened.When I went to start babysitting, I couldn't help but laugh at Wades head of poofy, yet gorgeous hair. It was just hilarious watching him run around with that helmet. His mom, also laughing, asked me where she should get it cut. I mentioned that before I started cutting KC's he really liked a specific girl (who I still go to and LOVE). She interrupted and promptly asked if I would do it. Now, I am not in the business of cutting other people's hair for fear or messing it up completely and never living it down. But as I was looking at his luscious locks, it looked like a fun little challenge. I said I would think about it. So we were bored, and they always beg to come to my house about a block away. Since we had no plans, I said why not. He thinks it's great when I find something for him to watch on my laptop (via Hulu, or Netflix live streaming). I don't have many toys for them, or shows so this is my way of entertaining them and they seem to think they have hit the jackpot. So I turned on a show and he was so thrilled he sat completely still through the entire haircut, and never complained. He did ask if I was done a couple times, which is a valid question. (I took me a while to make sure I didn't miss anything. He has A LOT of hair.) So we had success and he looked so much older when we were done. Iris couldn't stand wade getting all the attention, so she wanted to be next. I just got her hair wet, brushed it out, and put it in a pony tail. I usually play with braids and other fun ways to do her hair, but she wouldn't have it today. She still thought she was being pampered for sure. I'm telling you, these kids have hair that most of us only dream of. As a prize for being good sports, I gave them these window sticky things that kept Iris happy for probably an hour. (Everytime she stacked the pieces she called it a "Castle" and I had to look-every time.) Wade was content with more Batman cartoons on Netflix. They are great kids and his mom loved the haircut. I tried to leave it a little long since I love his big curls, so I was glad that his mom didn't think it was too short. It's probably silly to a lot of you experienced hair-cutters that I get all worked up over a simple haircut. So as much as the title my suggest it, I'm not really asking to make my customer list longer than two. I'm just a little relieved I am still friends with him mom after this ordeal.

Monday, July 07, 2008

We've grown out of fireworks

But that doesn't mean we didn't enjoy the rest of the July 4th festivities. We did have quite an eventful weekend. Let's see if I can cover it all.

We went over to the Turpins around lunch time for Jake's late birthday fun. He already celebrated, but we couldn't let it pass without a cake. I tried my banana split cake again that Melody and I made for Lili in Utah. But it was a little different. I'll post it on EE soon, because it's so easy and it's a great treat for the summer. We played over there for a couple hours doing some games/exercises on Wiifit, taking pictures of the baby in her adorable outfit capturing her many expressions, and then had to make our leave to get ready for our friends to come over to our house.
The Millers told us they had all the makings for a bbq, so we volunteered our house. The Calls came too and with all of our contributions we had a delicious meal of gigantic hot dogs, green salad, mango salsa (with red, white, and blue chips), watermelon, and berry trifle. It was a great night with some great friends. And, yes, I am too annoyed by the mosquitoes, humidity, heat, and chances of rain to care about fireworks. Maybe next year. Maybe not.

Here is a slide show (mostly of the baby) if you weren't satisfied by the previous pics. That little watermelon Jane is pretty adorable, I have to say.

So as if that wasn't enough for one weekend, I was also hosting a "Wives and Daughters" night. My friend Genevieve has been wanting to watch it with a group for a while, so we made it happen. It was another night of eating too much good food, and even though we wanted to chat the whole time, we actually made it through the five hour movie and LOVED it. It is based on a book my Elizabeth Gaskell, and I don't think there was anyone who didn't cheer at the end. Thanks for the suggestion Genevieve. I think we decided "North and South" was next. I have great girlfriends, and I am happy to have them over for a girl's night anytime.I realized as I was uploading the pictures that I focused more on the food that the people. Habit I guess. I'll try to shoot actual faces next time.

It was nice to have an uneventful Sunday. We ate leftover fondue, watched a couple episodes of Lost, and had a lovely nap. Gotta love Sunday afternoons. Happy belated Independence Day to all.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Just in case you were wondering...

20 years ago I:
  1. Was 3 years old.
  2. Wore a string bikini with stars on it (or maybe I was younger when I wore that).
  3. Loved getting my hair done.
  4. Played dress-ups.
  5. Got into the cupboards and made huge messes. Sometimes I throw a bunch of food in a bowl and thought I was really cooking.
(I admit three years old is probably not old enough to remember a lot, but I'm just basing my answers off of family videos, pictures, and stories from the fam. I might not be exactly accurate with the age.)

10 years ago I:
  1. Was 13 and in 8th grade.
  2. Was the beehive president and thought I was sooooo cool for it.
  3. Was way too interested in name brand clothing (I blame the location of my school. Too many rich families).
  4. Had my first boyfriend, Spencer.
  5. Started a Christmas Eve Eve tradition with Jill, Marianne, and Melody that we still do.
5 years ago I:
  1. Had just graduated from high school.
  2. Was getting ready to move to Logan to attend USU. (I hated it. Almost everyday. But that time meant a lot to me because it lead me to where I am now.)
  3. Hanging out with friends almost every single day since we'd be separated by missions and college and were devastated about it.
  4. Really liked a guy that I'm too ashamed to name here.
  5. In the same year, I decided to leave USU, apply for culinary school in Maryland, and drive cross country with Dad to live with Cami while I was in school.
3 years ago I:
  1. Was working at my favorite yet most challenging job at the Park Hyatt Washington.
  2. Was living with the Turpins who graciously gave up precious space in their home until I was on my feet and then moved in with some girls to a house with a pool.
  3. KC and I had our first kiss.
  4. Finished working at the Hyatt and got another job at Just Cakes.
  5. In that same year, got engaged on Christmas.
So far this year I:
  1. Went to Utah for two weddings and spent a wonderful two weeks there.
  2. Moved. Hooray!
  3. Went on an awesome Disney Cruise with the Turpins. (Hooray again!)
  4. Have learned a great deal of patience.
  5. Camped out on the ellipse in DC.
Yesterday I:
  1. Went to Target for some more organizing items.
  2. Talked to Melody and Mom on the phone.
  3. Folded some laundry.
  4. Made Tuna melts for dinner.
  5. Watched a few episodes of Lost that were really weird, really confusing and didn't resolve any other weird and confusing things that had already happened in the first three seasons.
Today I: (It said "today I will", but it's so late in the day I took out the "will".)
  1. Touched up my blue chairs. I ran out of spray paint the first time I was painting them.
  2. Swept, swiffered, dusted and vacuumed.
  3. Put the makings of barbecue chicken in the crock pot for dinner.
  4. Would've gone babysitting but they are out of town so I took a long two hour nap that could've lasted two more if I didn't force myself up. (And the lawn mower next door that sounds like it's actually in my living room would've woken me up anyway.)
  5. Watched an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents called "Place of Shadows" courtesy Netflix watch instantly library. This is one of my favorite pastimes. The episodes are so intriguing. Hulu also plays them, but I don't like the commercials.
Tomorrow I will:
  1. Prepare for, and go to Mutual for the first time since I was called into this calling. (By the way, I didn't go to camp after all. I chickened out.)
  2. Probably watch another Netflix movie or episode of something. I like to mix it up.
  3. Maybe take a nap.
  4. Figure out our 4th of July activities.
  5. Hopefully put another post in EE.
(Sounds so exciting doesn't it. Who plans that far ahead? I'm sure I have more productive things to do, I just can't think of them.)

In the next year I will:
  1. Hopefully have a lot of good changes.
  2. Go to New York.
  3. Figure out what we're doing since I have no idea right now.
  4. Hopefully visit Utah or get Utah visitors.
  5. Try to read more.
We are in the phase of our lives where we are just seeing where it takes us. So there aren't many goals for next year. Right now, we are just waiting on a lot of things, so life isn't so extremely exciting. But there you have it anyway. I guess I'll tag specific people this time. Hmmm...Melody, Molly, Matt, Sarah J. and Drew (and whoever else wants to).