Sunday, June 29, 2008

Muy Caliente

(By Aubree)

I miss spring! I know some of you reading this are in much hotter places than I am, and are not feeling sorry for me, but I just have to complain for a minute. I mean I grew up in Idaho where the winters were so bitter cold and long and although I don't love everything about winter I can put more clothing on or sit by a heater or fire to warm up, so right now I kind of sound crazy by saying I miss the snow a little. It has been in the 90's (I think one day it did go down to the 80's) for 2 weeks straight. I love that I live in a place that has 4 very obvious seasons, but there are complaints with each one I guess. It wouldn't be so bad if we had real a/c, but we have a swamp cooler. When we wake up at 7:00 or 8:00 it's already 77 degrees in our house, and we don't like to run it all day while we are gone, so when we get home in the late afternoon it's almost 90 degrees! Until Friday my work's a/c wasn't working either so I just wasn't getting a break from the heat. When we were looking for a house to buy, that was one thing we were not going to budge on, because we lived with a swamp cooler in our mobile home for 2 years, and didn't love it so much. But we fell in love with this house and knew it was something we could change. I hope it's sooner than later.
It's not that I hate everything about summer. I love that it stays light until about 9:30. I love that things grow and become green or colorful or produce fruit. It's just hard to appreciate those things when my brain is frying. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm a spring and autumn kind of girl. Maybe by next summer we will be more comfortable, I hope. Thanks for listening to my complaints.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Northern Spain

(by Jeff)

One year ago, Aubree and I spent two weeks in Spain. When we got back, we posted pictures of our five favorite places that we visited during our trip ( We intended to add some more posts about other places we visited, but because of the bar exam, buying a house, moving, etc., we never got around to it. I figured that it is better late than never, so I am including two posts with our pictures from Spain. This first post has pictures from our week in northern Spain, and the second post has pictures from our week in southern Spain.

Basque Country

We spent two days in the small towns in Basque Country where I served as a missionary. We stayed at a bed and breakfast, which was a traditional Basque farmhouse that was build several hundred years ago. It was great to be back in beautiful Basque Country!

The Basque farmhouse we stayed at.

The view from the Basque farmhouse.

The Basque countryside.

San Sebastian

We spent a day in San Sebastian, which is a beautiful city on the beach up near the French border.

San Sebastian.

Above San Sebastian at the old fortress.

At the aquarium in San Sebastian.


Gernika is a small Basque town that was almost completely destroyed by German bombers during the Spanish Civil War. The bombing is memorialized in a famous painting by Picasso. It's a beautiful little town with an interesting history.

A wall mural of Picasso's painting.

At the park in Gernika.


We spent a day in Bilbao, where we visited the Guggenheim Museum, my old mission office, a Basque history museum, and the hanging bridge.

The Guggenheim.

The hanging bridge.

The ocean view from our bed and breakfast.


We began our trip in Zamora, which was the second city I served in during my mission.

Southern Spain

(by Jeff)

The Alhambra (Granada)

The Alhambra (in Granada) is a big fortress that was once home to Muslim kings. The palace was incredible, with every square inch of floors, walls, and ceilings was intricately carved. The gardens were also spectacular.


In Jaen, we stayed in a castle that was originally built in 1246. It has been converted into a beautiful hotel. The castle is situated on a hill overlooking the city and the surrounding miles and miles of olive trees.


We spent a few days in Sevilla with Mike and Anna Connelly. Mike and I served together as missionaries in the Basque country. It was a lot of fun to stay with them and to have Anna be our personal tour guide around Sevilla.

Madrid Temple

Our last day in Spain, we were able to attend a session in the Madrid temple. What a great way to end an awesome trip!

Mike and Janelle's Wedding

(by Jeff)

Much of this weekend was spent with my good friends from law school. Mike Howell was getting married, so all of the law school gang (Dan Agle, Steve Reil, Tim Overton, Mike, and myself) were back together for the first time since graduation last year. On Friday, the five of us met up for dinner, ice cream, talk about work, and a lot of making fun of each other (our greatest skill). On Saturday, we attended Mike and Janelle's wedding ceremony in the Salt Lake Temple. Afterward, we attended a really nice wedding dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It was a great weekend, and was a lot of fun catching up with old friends.

Mike and Janelle

The gang (Tim, Dan, Mike, Steve, and me)

The Overtons stayed at our house for a few days. It was fun to have them!
(Bethany, Melina, Gracie, and Tim)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Chicken Tikka Masala

(by Jeff)

A while ago, we mentioned that we enjoy making Indian food. We included a recipe for naan that we really like, and we said that the next time we made our favorite Indian dish--chicken tikka masala--we would take a picture of it and post the recipe. Here it is, as promised:

Chicken Tikka Masala

(from, with a few modifications by us)


Yogurt marinade
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)
  1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade. Cook in a frying pan until juices run clear.
  3. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with cumin, paprika, and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lagoon with Katelyn

(by Jeff)

Two weekends ago, my sister and her husband (Ginger and Jared) came up for a wedding. They asked us if we would be willing to babysit Katelyn while they were at the wedding. Of course, we were more than willing! Katelyn is so much fun! We decided it would be fun to take Katelyn to Lagoon (for those who don't know: Lagoon the only amusement park in Utah) since it is just a few miles from our house. My other sister and her husband (Wendy and Chase) had also made plans to go to Lagoon that same day, so they came along with us.

As expected, it was a lot of fun. Aubree and I didn't ride very many rides--most of our time was spent taking Katelyn to rides that she could ride on. Nevertheless, I thought it was more fun to watch her riding the rides than it would have been to go on rides myself. It was Katelyn's first time at an amusement park. We started her on the least threatening ride in the park: Bulgy the Whale. It goes around pretty slow and just goes up and down a little. Just before Katelyn got on the ride, Wendy told her that big girls hold their hands up on the ride. Katelyn took this to heart, and the entire time she was on the ride (even before it was going and after it was done), she made sure she held her hand straight up. It was hilarious!

After that, we slowly moved her up to rides that were bigger and faster. She loved all of them all--the carousel, boats, train ride, and the Puff the Magic Dragon roller coaster.

Later on in the evening, Ginger and Jared joined us. We rode more rides, ate some amusement park food, and played some carnival games. Overall, it was a fun day!

Katelyn on Bulgy the Whale

Katelyn on the spaceship ride

Me and Katelyn enjoying an Icee

Katelyn on the carousel