Our Pioneer Holiday [#21][#12][#20][#48]

Since I had the 24th off from work, we decided to go out and do something Monday night.  We came to an agreement to do #21 – Drive-in Movie.  We went out to dinner and then killed some time before it got dark getting treats.  We were only planning on getting a few items, but ended up on an excursion.

We got two boxes of Chips Ahoy cookies, two different types of mascara, three magazines, some Reese’s cups, seriously considered buying a flannel…

almost bought a fishing pole…

And at one point, I couldn’t get Zach out of the store because he was taking a free electronic eye exam.  Talk about ADD in it’s purest form.

We finally arrived at the Drive-in.  We made a comfy spot in the back of Zach’s car and read our magazines and munched on our treats until the movie started.  We decided to see the Amazing Spiderman.

The movie was great, and we didn’t leave the lot until around midnight.  But we decided to take full advantage of our day off the next day, so we went on a late drive around Bountiful and North Salt Lake.  We stopped on Eagleridge Drive and checked out the gorgeous view of the valley.

The next morning was really low key.  We slept in, did laundry, and then decided to go to lunch downtown.  Zach took me to a place called Pallet, on 400 W. near the Gateway.  This qualified as another summer list item #12 – Try a new restaurant.

At first glance, the branding and the design of the restaurant was a dream.  I was in love from the second I set foot in that place.

We ordered our drinks [that came in mason jars] and our entrees – we both ordered the same thing.  We got the turkey avocado and bacon sandwich, but I got mine in wrap form.

After lunch we ventured over to the Gateway to do some shopping before heading up to Ogden.

We ate dinner with the entire Henderson clan and watched the kiddies jump off the mountain, slide down the slide, and swim from one end of the pool to the other.

Observe Mark on the waterfall, hanging loose with the kiddies!  Such a fun grandpa.

After the pool-fest at the Hendersons we drove down to my parents’ house for an ice cream date.  We drove to Coldstone, ate our ice cream and chatted until they kicked us out, and then watched fireworks from the car.  This counted as #20 – Fireworks!  We weren’t sprawled out on a blanket, but we stayed cool and listened to some great tunes instead.  I like fireworks just as much that way.

Before returning home, my Dad told me we had to swing by their house for a “surprise”.  He led us both down to the basement and showed me his gift:  a full-scale skeleton model.  It’s plastic, not bone…I promise.  It has all the fingers and toes, and all of the parts are movable.  My Dad knows I love Halloween, and wanted me to have this as part of my decor.  Isn’t he thoughtful?

It was pretty hilarious driving home with it in the back seat.  It’s literally taller than both Zach and my Dad.

He [Captain Skully] will live in our spare bedroom with our Christmas Trees and other holiday decor.  I just hope whoever enters that room has a fair warning – he looks pretty scary just lying there…

Thursday after work, Zach left for another Boys’ Trip.  This time to the US Surf Open in California.  I love Zach’s friends, and I love even more that he still goes on trips with them and does other activities with them.  In his own words, “Kate…sometimes you just need to go to the US Surf Open with your friends.”

He left Thursday when he got done with work, and I didn’t even get to see him by the time I got home.  But when I walked upstairs into my bedroom, I found this on my bed…

Earlier that day at work, my MacBook Pro was having issues.  It turned into a huge complication and I couldn’t even get it to turn back on.  I finally decided to bite the bullet and go get a new one.  I have been saving for a new MacBook for over two years, anticipating the release of this new Retina Display.  I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a new one until my old one died on me, and it finally did.  So I rushed off to the Apple Store to get my new Mac.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but when you use a computer EVERY single day like I do, it is a pretty big part of your livelihood.  I totally teared up while purchasing it.

Yes, I am taking a photo of it in F21.  It was that big of a moment for me.  It rode next to me in the car on the way to dinner, too.

Later that night, my Mom’s side of the family went out to dinner to celebrate my Grandpa’s 80th Birthday at our family favorite – David’s Kitchen.

After dinner we all went back to my parents for cake and ice cream, while Grandpa opened his gifts.

Friday my Mom and Aunt picked me up from work to go to lunch at Paradise Bakery.  We chatted, ate our turkey and cranberry sandwiches, and then shared some chocolate chip cookies.  When they dropped me off, my mother suddenly had to use the restroom.  I took her into my office and showed her where our bathroom was.  About 5 minutes later, I heard her screaming my name at the top of her lungs.  The whole office could hear.  All the guys erupted in laughter.  Turns out she was out of toilet paper, which is better than I expected when I heard her shrieking.  The guys obviously could tell where I inherited my high-pitched voice.

Since Zach was gone, Friday night after work I decided to get a massage at my sister-in-law’s spa.  This activity was also on our summer list #48 – Massage at Beyond Spa.

Zach was really looking forward to this activity, but I went without him.  Don’t feel bad for him, though…because he was having the time of his life in Vegas that night.  I usually request the same girl every time I go to her spa – but this time, she recommended someone new.  I have never been a huge fan of massages – I usually feel sore and achy after, but enjoy them during the duration of the massage.  This time, this therapist did a very unique technique.  She stretched my arms, hands, legs, and even my neck in different positions.  Imagine doing Yoga and getting a massage at the same time – that basically sums it up.  It was my favorite massage…ever.  I can’t wait to go back.  The best part is that I wasn’t sore at all the next day!

After my massage my parents came over to keep me company.  We watched the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics and my Mom helped me put together “treasure baskets” for the Family Reunion the next day.

Saturday I drove up to the Henderson Cabin for Jeanene’s Family Reunion.  We had Madsens from all over join us up at Causey.  My assignment was to come up with an activity for the kids.  I decided to do a Princess and Pirate Treasure Hunt with clues all around the cabin.  There were even more kids than I expected join in.

They had a great time and were even smart enough to skip two of the clues to get to the treasure faster.  They enjoyed the toys and treats – foam swords, ring pops, paper airplanes, princess puzzles, and other Dollar Store treasures.

While I was at the reunion, Zach and his friends were still enjoying Vegas…

Sunday was so relaxing.  I watched the Olympics after church until I went to my Parents’ for Sunday Dinner.

Meanwhile, Zach and the boys finally made it to Hunnington for the US Nike Surf Open and enjoyed the event.

My Grandma [my Dad’s mother] and my Grandpa [my Mom’s father] both joined us for dinner at my Parents’.  My Grandma even came sporting her colored denim.  She’s just trying to stay hip, is all.

We finished the night with some Olympic swimming races and watched the Women’s Gymnastics [my absolute favorite Olympic event].  It was a great week, and for now the only thing getting me through Monday is counting down the hours until Zach comes home!

Go with the Flow [#24]

This week + weekend was so much fun.  We didn’t have any pressing plans, other than my scheduled Relief Society activity and a Saturday birthday brunch, and it turned out to be completely full…and FUN!

Monday we spent “Family Night” at PF Chang’s for dinner.  It was pouring rain, and hot Chinese food was just what we both were craving.

Tuesday afternoon I went to my post-op appointment and got my gross bandages taken off.  My scar looks really good, I was pleasantly surprised!  Zach was a little concerned when he saw my black scab, but I was assured it was completely normal.  My general surgeon, Dr. Reading, was amazing.  I told her if I get any more lumps or bumps that I am coming back to visit!  Lipomas are hereditary, and it turns out my Dad and my Brother both have one.  Thanks Dad, I inherited your lactose intolerance and fatty lumps!  The best part about my visit was that I am finally good to go running at nights again!  I am no fitness buff, and I don’t pretend to be…I promise, but I have really missed running.  It clears my mind, relieves so much stress, and even helps me sleep better at night [probably because I am so physically exhausted after that I almost fall asleep in the shower, let alone my bed.]

Earlier Tuesday – during work – I saw that my friend was selling her tickets for the opening night showing of Wicked [on Wednesday].  My Mom has been wanting to go for years, ever since I raved about it when Zach and I saw it in London over five years ago.  What makes me sick to my stomach is that we bought our tickets for 25 British Pounds [about $40 US Dollars] and we sat on the front row.  It was also the ORIGINAL CAST….with Kristin Chenoweth.  I still can’t believe tickets were that cheap for that cast, it honestly blows my mind.  But I knew my mom wouldn’t care about the cast, or even that we weren’t on the front row.  So I hurried and bought the tickets as soon as humanly possible.  I called my Mom and told her about our plans.  She cried on the phone she was so excited.

Wednesday finally came and we went out to eat before the show.  She was squealing pretty much the whole night.

Needless to say, she loved it.  It was just as good as I remembered, but even more fun to share it with someone that had never seen it before.  Oh, and in case you are wondering…she cried during half of the production.  It was the highlight of my week, and probably the highlight of my Mom’s year.  I hope the excitement lasts the whole year too, because it was her Christmas and Birthday gift.  Thank you Martha for making this possible!

Thursday was our annual Progressive Dinner for Relief Society.  Obviously I didn’t do any cooking, that is not one of my strengths, but I was overjoyed to help with the decorations!

Friday, Zach asked if I would meet him for lunch in Salt Lake at the Park Cafe.  He decided we should go more often, perhaps make it a tradition.  He named the day French Toast Friday – his own made-up holiday.  He was very excited about it.

Later that night, I met Zach’s mom at City Creek.  We were on a mission: to find gifts for the girls in our family.  We were successful!  After our shopping, Zach and I took Mark and Jeanene to Cucina Toscana for their first time.  If you have been before [or have never been, too] you must try their asparagus ravioli.  Pretty much melts in your mouth.

After dinner we went and saw the new Batman movie at the Gateway theater, along with every other person in the country.  We loved it!  Definitely worth the wait, in our opinion.

Saturday I met all the girls in Zach’s family [and baby Will] for afternoon tea at the Grand America to celebrate Lori, Gina, and Rachael’s birthdays.  Jeanene gave them all her gift – floppy hats, perfect for a tea party!  Isn’t she the cutest mother-in-law ever?

Such a dapper little gentlemen.  We deemed him William for the afternoon.  He was loving flirting with all the ladies in their fancy caps.

Saturday night we drove up to Ogden for our only 50 Days item for the week.  We had sushi at Tona and then met my brother afterwards for our activity.  We decided to do a late session at the Flowrider.  It was:  #24 – Go to the Flowrider in Ogden.  Not only was I excited to try the wave again, but excited to get in the water in general.  Zach and I had tried a generated wave once before in Idaho, and this time around I had much better luck.  I only had one major spill – in which my swimsuit top came completely unraveled and my right breast [yes, I said breast…nipple and all] came completely out.  Zach claimed nobody saw my nip slip, but I was sure it was quite obvious.  Blake and Zach, on the other hand, were fantastic. They both have incredible balance.  It was Blake’s first time trying out the wave and he had a great time!

Lesson learned – wear a rash guard over your swimmy even if you are wearing a one piece.   No female breast is safe from exposure in this place.

Sunday after church we drove up to Farmington to go to our niece Josie’s harp recital.  It was at Zach’s brother Tony’s house.  Josie did a fantastic job, she is so talented.  All of her practicing has paid off!

After the recital, Mark even tried his hand at the harp strings.  Also, observe his ‘harp face’.  Very classy, Mr. Henderson.

Sunday night we got to go visit Zach’s sister Gina and see her new home that she and her family moved in to.  It’s so beautiful and we are so happy for them and their four girls.

We also welcomed Sunday night’s thunderstorm with open arms.  A perfect end to a fantastic week!


The Cabining Continues [#40][#34][#4][#10][#45]

As usual, our week in review:

Monday I got to go out to dinner with my sister-in-law, Siri. She is home for a visit for the summer. Her and [Zach’s brother] Sean live in Philidelphia while Sean finishes his medical residency there. I don’t see her that often, so it was great to spend time with her and laugh. Thanks Siri!

Remember when I said I had a million lists? Like things I need to finish around my house? Well this has been on the list for almost two years. I have been collecting prints and photographs to hang in our front room since we moved in. I finally got them all in frames and laid out the way I wanted them. I passed off a much overdue item, #40 – Complete one of my many projects around the house.

Truthfully I hope I can pass off another project, but my goal was one…so I feel ok about it. Don’t set your goals TOO high, right?

We had a dance party at my neighbor’s house on Tuesday. Club Warner was the place to be. We played her Kinect dance game and laughed pretty hard at each other. Luckily, Sydney brought her lucky spandex top for me to wear. It made me feel fearless, to be honest. I did let her wear it when it was her turn to battle.

It turns out some of the girls were actually dancers in high school – so it wasn’t a fair match.

Zach and I scheduled a weekend up at his parents’ cabin, just the two of us.  We had been looking forward to it all week.  No cell service, cooler temperatures, and time alone together.  It made the fourth spot on our summer list, #4 – Henderson Cabin trip.  So on our way up, we decided to take a different route up to the cabin and drive through Ogden Canyon and eat dinner at the Oaks.  This was #34 – Drive up Ogden Canyon and eat outside at the Oaks.

It was so beautiful and the weather was perfect.  The food is nothing to write home about [Zach and other Ogden residents might beg to differ], but it’s all about the experience!  Zach even got some Farr ice cream…him eating ice cream is a pretty rare occurrence, so I had to document it.  And he got TWO scoops.  I couldn’t believe it.  Wild man!

After dinner [and Zach’s ice cream to go] we made the rest of the trek up to Causey.

I was craving something else, however.  S’mores are my favorite summer treats.  Fires are not allowed up in the area because of the season – so we improvised and used gas.  They were just as amazing.  So there went another item off the list, #10 – Make s’mores.

Zach couldn’t even finish one.  Such a lightweight.

We ended the night with a movie – Crazy Stupid Love, one of our favorites.

The next morning we lounged, made breakfast, and while Zach watched some strange golf show – I made a craft.  A DIY Anthropologie necklace.

We had planned to spend most of our time outside, but with the rain storm we were grateful to have things to entertain us inside.

When the rain subsided for a bit, we ventured outside.  Call me crazy, but I’ve always wanted to shoot a bow.  Besides, Katniss made it seem super hard core, and that only enticed me more.  So, Zach set up a temporary target and he taught me how to shoot a bow and arrow…without injuring myself too much.  We completed #45 – Take an archery lesson.

Zach didn’t trust me with the adult-size bow, so he made me use the kiddie one.   It was probably for the best, to be honest.  The kiddie one was hard enough to manage!

 Zach’s a really good shot…even in skinny jeans.

Then we made dinner.  Zach’s favorite dinner of all time:  tri-tip, grilled corn, and sweet potato fries.

Yes, I mangled that red meat with my bare hands.  And yes, the sweet potato fries were dusted with parmesan cheese.  It might just be my favorite meal, too.  I definitely prefer grilled corn to boiled corn, that’s for sure!

We drove home Saturday night to be home for our meetings Sunday morning.

After church we went to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for dinner.  It was delicious, and my mom made my favorite treat: orange rolls.  We even had special visitors, my mom’s cousins from Jersey.  They drove here.  From New Jersey.  It was great to spend time with them and visit.

This week was packed full – and next week is looking to be a good one too!  I am looking most forward to getting into some sort of body of water – I have been forbidden because of my incision on my back:  no swimming, no submerging my incision at ALL.  Do you know how hard it is to stay out of the water in the middle of the summer?  Especially when your family is begging you to get on a boat?!  So to celebrate, we are going to do SOME activity with water.  Anything…that involves a swimming suit!  Anything.

Hope you all had a great week/weekend!

My Packing List

Last week a friend emailed me and asked me if I had any packing recommendations for her trip to New York.  She had never been before, and wanted to make sure she was prepared.  I told her some random things that have helped me over the years traveling to New York:  like bring a day bag or purse – because I fee like people always forget to pack that.  The last thing that you want to do as a tourist in New York is to be shopping and walking around with your giant carry-on bag that you took on the plane.  Oh, and hand sanitizer must go in that day bag.  If you’ve been on the Subway in NYC you have totally been there:  dying to wash your hands, but with no acceptable public restroom available.  My friends and I went on a quick trip a few months ago…and everyone made fun of me for bringing a bag full of goodies…until they needed hand sanitizer.  Don’t hate people.  Don’t hate.

Then I decided to reply back with my packing list I made.  Not just for New York, for all my trips…ever.  I have a copy of it on my phone and I check off items on my list as I pack at home.  Anyway, the conversation went something like this:

B:  “Did you really send me a .pdf of your packing list?”

Me:  “Yes, why?  Could you not open it?”

B:  “No!  I could open it.  Who makes a .pdf of their packing list?!  And it was COLOR coordinated.  What do those colors even mean?  You are a freak.”

Regardless…I was made fun of for a little bit.  I am a freak.  A total freak.  Lists are my life.  If I don’t make a list, it doesn’t happen.  If I don’t complete a task…it was because it wasn’t on my ‘list’.  I have a list for work, I have a list for household assignments, I have a cleaning list for my house.  Hence my 50 Days of SUMMER list.  On my laptop I have lists for things we want to do before we have children, financial goals we want to accomplish, baby names we love, places I want to go with Zach, DIY projects to make.  It’s that bad.

But Zach is a freak too, you see.  He is a freak about packing.  I am sure you have heard me say this, but Zach is a packing Nazi.  I have to pack everything in a carry on bag, and I cannot check a bag.  This is both for faster traveling and for cost.  It is convenient just to walk off the plane and go, instead of waiting for your bag to show up at baggage claim…or the risk your bag getting lost.  The only time in recent memory that we checked a bag was when we went to Paris for our anniversary.  And we had to SHARE one checked bag.

Anyway, my friend went to New York and had an absolute blast.  I was drooling a bit while looking at her pictures.

Then she emailed me.  She told me I had to share my packing list on my blog, even if I felt stupid [which I do].  But first, I have to clarify [and justify] my craziness.  [There is a PDF link to download the whole file at the bottom of the post].




First of all, this list is customized to me.  I don’t have a bouncing babe, so all of the kiddie stuff if you have children is not on here.  I guess, one day, I will have to add all the babe stuff to my packing list.  But for now, I am sticking to these items.

What do the colors mean?  Easy…

Turquoise are all items that I need, but can also be accessed on my smart phone.  For example, I use an app on my iPhone that has all my travel itinerary on it, I use my iPhone for my alarm clock, and it has all my contact information and other contacts on it already.

Red are items that are only needed if I am going out of the country.

Purple is a little embarrassing, but I know that my mother-in-law does this too, so I don’t feel as dumb.  Purple are the items I already have packed.  I have minis of all these items in an overnight travel bag.  They are all in plane approved liquid amounts as well.  When I pack for a trip, I just have to make sure they are filled.

In my mini first aid kit (I got all of these ideas from Zach’s mom – she packed this with Zach on our study abroad trip and the pain killer and sleeping aid saved my life when I got hurt on the plane…long story).  I usually have a pain killer [a hard core one like a loratab, thanks to Zach] and a sleeping aid in there.  Most people are more hard core than I am, but everything else in there is mostly band-aids, Immodium, some tums, a mild laxative, an antibiotic, and standard pain relievers.

Why ear plugs?  If your hotel has ever been next to a busy street, in a hostel in Europe, or had a frisky couple next door…you would def want a pair of them.

Anyway, you are all welcome to laugh now.  Katie the packing freak.  Primed to perfection by her cheap husband, over prepared mother-in-law, and medically educated aunt.

The most embarrassing part?  I can fit ALL of these items in one carry on bag.  Yup.  The end.

Thanks B.  Glad my freakiness helped one person out over the course of my life.

For the full list, click here:   MY PACKING LIST




Adventure, Freedom, and a Lake [#5][#3]

Sunday, Zach came to me with a strange request.  “Kate, can I go to the Grand Canyon with my friends?”

And that’s exactly what happened.  He was to leave Tuesday after work.  No plan.  No hotel reservation.  Just three guys…and an automobile.  Zach’s friends were is Las Vegas already and he was told if he could get to Vegas, they would pick him up.

So, to spend as much time with him as I possibly could before he left, we decided to go to dinner and movie on Monday night for Family Night.

We ate at our favorite sushi joint and saw a movie at the Broadway Theater.

[The Don Juan really is my favorite roll of A L L time!]

Tuesday I said goodbye to Zach.  His flight left right after work and I wouldn’t see him before I got home from work.  Even though we weren’t together, this counts as a 50 Days list item.  #3 – Go on a road trip!

 So, thankfully, my girl friends came to my rescue.  We went out to eat Tuesday night – along with Alison, here from New York.  We dined at the Red Iguana.

[Alison is not pictured because she is ALWAYS late.  No exaggeration.]

We did get one photo of Alison, but it is a not-so-candid one of myself.

Yes, her hair is back to pink.  And yes…that’s a shark tooth necklace.

We stayed until 11:30 pm.  We were basically forced to leave because nobody was really left in the restaurant.  I love my girl friends, and sometimes I feel like no amount of time is enough with them.

Meanwhile…Zach made it safe to Las Vegas.  Also, my favorite detail – Zach was picked up from the airport in this…

Turns out one of his road trip buddies, Adam, “borrowed” this RV.  It’s literally the largest thing I’ve ever seen.  They also drove it down the Las Vegas strip.

The rest of the night, you can imagine for yourself.  Three guys in Vegas…boys will be boys.

The next morning was the holiday.  I went to the Fotheringham family BBQ in Magna with my parents, all my aunts and uncles, cousins, and other extended family members.  The food was delicious and the company was great.  I left a little early, when the giant water fight started.

[My grandmother is the sweetest.  And her shirt is bad A.]

Then, I was off to the Henderson family BBQ in Sandy.  It is held every year at Zach’s uncle’s house.  I bummed a ride with Lori and Travis and their darling kiddies.

Zach’s aunt Wendy really knows how to throw a party.  We jumped on the tramp, I had my first hamburger of the summer season, and I got to hang with Will while the girls went crazy around the yard with their cousins.

Meanwhile…Zach, Adam, and Clay made it to the Grand Canyon.

Zach also had his first experience with a rattlesnake…

I don’t mean to complain…because a holiday is a holiday, but it was hard to go back to work the next day.  Luckily, I ended up going to lunch with my old college roommate, Allison!

Friday after work, I drove up to Bear Lake with my brother and my mom.  The rest of our family was already there at our cabin, waiting for us.  We had a fun group!  I love our cabin at Bear Lake, and I got to cross off an item for myslef #5- Bear Lake trip!

The next morning, we woke up and had a giant breakfast – every meal is giant when you are with family on vacation.

Techincally it was breakfast and a show, because suddenly my mother and Aunt Patty decided to relive their high school drill team days and bust out a routine.

We spent the rest of the day lounging, taking turns on the boat, and making crafts.

I still can’t go swimming because of my incision on my back, which was totally lame, but my family was so fun to be with over the weekend!  Such a great distraction from Zach being gone.

Speaking of distractions…these two were a riot.  Possibly too volatile together.  The goggle gansters…

Just in case you were wondering, while we were eating our dinner at the cabin, Zach was eating his dinner…at Medieval Times.  Something he has wanted to do for years.  You could call it a life-long dream of his.

He also called ahead and asked if he could be a volunteer and joust.  Unfortunately, he didn’t get called down…be he did get to eat chicken with his hands.

Saturday night my dad and I made the drive home from Bear Lake, we both had to be back Sunday for our meetings.  It was so nice to spend some time alone with him, he still is one of my very best friends.

Sunday, after church, I got to pick up Zach from the airport!  I loved spending a lazy Sunday with him back home.  He even got me a gift as a surprise from Topshop in Vegas!  Pretty much the most thoughtful husband ever.  The six days he was gone seemed like forever, and I am really glad to have him home.

And that sums up our holiday week.  Adventure, freedom, and a lake.  And a rattlesnake.

My Lovely Lady Lump [#47]

This week was a wild one.  More than half of the week I was doped up on pain killas, which made the week even more…interesting.  I’ll give you the abbreviated version:

I decided to accept a challenge and quit Diet Coke.  For 30 days.  My husband didn’t believe I could do it, and we made a wager greatly in my favor.  I started Wednesday of this week.

Wednesday was also the day I was scheduled for surgery.  I finally got my lipoma taken out of my back.  I had hoped it would be a quick procedure.  Usually people just get local anesthesia and they are out of the hospital in a matter of hours.  Unfortunately, my lipoma had started to grow gracefully around my spine.  This meant I had to be put completely out during the surgery.  To save you from a lot of boring business….here is a pretty hilarious before and after picture.  [Left being before I entered the OR room, and the right…is the damage after.]

I know, right?  Pretty hilarious.  I honestly don’t remember anything.  I was just told that I was the “happiest” patient they have ever had coming out of anesthesia.  Apparently I was waving hello to everyone and telling all the nurses how “stunningly beautiful” they were.

Whatevs.  I don’t remember any of that.  I do remember waking up and my husband having to help me use the bathroom – oh the joys of marriage!

Apparently I also begged the OR nurse before I went into surgery to take a picture of my lipoma after they took it out.  In the recovery room, he showed me on his phone what it looked like.  I remember asking him to text me the picture, but apparently that is a breech of patient confidentiality.  I didn’t understand…besides that hideous thing was MINE anyway.  I made it.  In my own body.

I felt awesome right after surgery.  I even had visitors.  My sweet mother-in-law brought me gorgeous flowers.

And my mother brought me my beloved Coldstone for dessert.  She knows the way to my heart.

The rest of the week went as normal, but unfortunately not as comfortable once my morphine wore off.  I went into work the next day, and the following day.  Loratabs really make the work day fly by!

Friday came and we checked off on our summer list #47 – A night in Wendover.  My brother turned 21 the Sunday before, and we decided to throw him a little surprise party.  We planned to all ride the Fun Bus [Zach and I, my parents, my aunt and uncle, my cousins, and some of Blake’s friends] to Wendover on Friday night.  We all arrived early, and Blake’s friends brought him to the pick up point.  I am pretty sure he was embarrassed when he arrived in the Sears parking lot to my mother and aunt holding a banner for him.  The banner was just the beginning.  The night before, my parents came over to our house and we made grab bags for all of his party guests.  They were filled with his favorite things.

 Diet Pepsi, sparklers [he loves anything with pyrotechnics] and firecrackers, a squirt gun [because he loves to hunt], and even a packet of fry sauce.  He loves fry sauce.  We also duct taped them – because at one point, Blake believed anything could be repaired with duct tape.

I also wanted to get him a special cake, but couldn’t think of what to do.  Then it dawned on me.  So Cupcake in Salt Lake sells maple bacon cupcakes.  Blake L O V E S bacon.  Literally, he would go through a whole package of that Kirkland Bacon from Costco in a week.  It’s a miracle that he is not obese.  So…I ordered him and all his guests some cupcakes.

They were…really good.  I hate to admit it, but these cupcakes were like breakfast in cake form.  You could probably only eat one…a year, but they were really delicious.

[Blake and his darling girlfriend, Brittany – and my mother’s head]

And then we were off on the journey to Wendover.  Luckily, to entertain us, we got to play BINGO on the way there.  Zach was victorious and won this stunning patriotic bear.

[this is the face of a drugged individual – my pillz had skillz.]

I must admit, going on a 2 hour long bus ride was not the best idea two days after surgery.  Luckily I brought my special back pillow [that made me look 90-years-old] and sipped on my water cup [because, remember…no Diet Coke}.

Overall, the night was fun and successful.  Blake was surprised, we enjoyed a sketchy seafood buffet [free with the purchase of the Fun Bus], and Zach and I returned home winners!  Turns out I am not that bad at Black Jack.

The next day, we used our winnings to dine out at Market Street Grill.  Always a treat.

Zach also took me on a tour of their new hangar and his new office.  Pretty exciting!

 Sunday came, and after church we went to the Hendersons for Sunday Dinner.  We also got to explore Mark’s mountain in his back yard.  He has named it the “Rugrat Habitat” [rugrats are his word for grandchildren] and it is literally gigantic.  This picture doesn’t do it justice.

I can’t wait to see the kiddies on this baby.  They are already in heaven.  He’s the most fun Grandpa…ever.

Even though I was drugged half the time, this week turned out great!  Operation Blake’s Birthday was by far the highlight of my week.  I love my baby brother, and hoped he enjoyed his glamorous night in “Dover”.  He better have loved it, because he was a big winner too!

And…my lovely lady lump is gone.  I feel like a new woman!  I’m glad I finally fixed my Quasimodo situation, and I am extremely grateful to my sweet friends and family who offered to bring us meals and help us out.  Mad props to my husband as well, who had to bathe his wife like a child.  Nothing says true love like bathing your wife while she’s cray cray on Loratab!

I love you Zachary Mark.