Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What has two thumbs and turned 30 last week??

This guy! :
A very happy birthday to my man! We celebrated all week long. The Sunday before his birthday his family came over for a birthday dinner and then my family joined all of us for cake and ice cream:

Tuesday (his birthday)I planned a special night in for the two of us and made a fancy dinner of Alaskan king crab legs. And then on Saturday we went out for a nice and delicious dinner downtown and then to Harry Potter.

I couldn't be happier to have such a wonderful husband. He's awesome in so many ways and I feel grateful for him every day...even if he is getting old :)

(I kid! I tell him he's not old, just distinguished.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Token Halloween post...over a week late!


I'm WAY behind on my posting. Big shocker, I know. I wanted to post about Halloween earlier, really, I did! But things have been rather busy. Read here and here if you want to know more about it, I'm too lazy to write about it again.

Halloween was great. I really love Halloween. I hate being scared and all that stuff, but I find Halloween to be lot of fun - as long as nobody forces me to go to a haunted house or worse, watch a scary movie. We have a sweet little Halloween tradition of going to my parent's house to eat homemade chili and breadsticks and sugar cookies (all of which are just to die for!). We then decided to brave the rainy weather and take Claire trick-or-treating, which I'm very glad we did. She LOVED it, and I did too! She absolutely could not wait to go to the next house and knock on the door. She was so excited, it was a blast. People about melted when they saw her too. How could you not?I commented to Brady that Halloween gets pretty lame between the ages of 15 and 25 if you're not much of the partying type, but it gets awesome again when you have kids! I am already looking forward to next year.

By the way, I think Trunk-or-Treats are fun and all, but I think it's LAME when people do it on Halloween night. There's all this talk about them being safer and stuff, but I have a hard time believing that. Shouldn't parents be going with their young kids anyway? And checking their candy afterward? (Although, for the record, I have never once found a razor blade in my candy. Total urban legend.) I think it's sad that in our hyper-paranoid parenting world we take away some of the funnest parts of childhood. I think Trunk-or-Treats are just an excuse for parents to be lazy and not take their kids around the neighborhood like the good ol' days.

(Oh hey, and people wonder why there is a childhood obesity epidemic? I remember walking miles to fill my sack with candy as a kid. Walking = exercise = good for kids (and parents). At a Trunk-or-Treat, kids only have to circle a little parking lot to get loads of junk food. Let's make our kids work for their rewards, eh? Just sayin'.)

Anyway, enough of my ranting.

Hope you all had a great holiday! Hopefully I'll actually get my act together enough to post again before Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Farewell to fall


Winter is here with a vengeance, and much like almost everyone else in the state I am not happy about it.

This last summer was one of the best summers of my life. Fall too. We resolved in the spring that we would get out there and enjoy life and the great outdoors as much as we possibly could, and we did! Not only did we travel to St. George, the Caribbean, New York, and Moab, we spent oodles of time in our local mountains, which was amazing. We bought an annual pass to American Fork canyon and went up there almost weekly to go hiking, biking, camping, etc. Mainly though, we had campfires and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and cooked Dutch oven dinners. It was awesome. Claire LOVED it and I am so glad she's been able to get out and develop a love of nature. Summer= heaven.

This last week we made the last s'mores of the season. We were so sad that we had to say a few words as we extinguished the fire-
"To the best summer and fall we've ever had! We can't wait to do it again. We'll always have the memories!" (or something like that...)

Neither of us are really winter outdoors-y people (too cold!), but maybe we'll have to learn to love it so we can survive the loooonnngg winter ahead.

The leaves were fantastic in AF canyon last week (the pictures don't do it justice)-






The Saturday before (the 16th) we went hiking up Little Cottonwood Canyon with my parents and Claire. Can you believe the color? It was an unbelievably gorgeous day.

(You know you think those hiking boots are hot)


Goodbye warm weather! Please come back again soon!!!!!!

Hee Haw Farms



Man oh man, do I love fall! This one has been especially nice so far. We took a little family trip to Hee Haw Farms to enjoy the classic fall activities such as hay rides and picking pumpkins. Fun was had by all. I already can't wait to go again next year.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Moab!

A little over a week ago we went down to Moab with my family for a fun-filled day of hiking. Brady had never been to Moab before, so it was a fun little family adventure. Claire stayed home to be doted upon by Brady's mom while the rest of us hit the road.

We really were only there for one full day, and what an action packed day it was! The whole town was busy, so we were lucky to get a room at their cheapest motel. That added to the adventure. The place was a dump! But it was kinda comical, in a way. I lay down on the bed that first night and looked up at the ceiling that was taped together in various places and my first thought was, I feel like a cheap hooker. And then I felt bad for all the hookers that have to work in crummy cheap hotels.

ANYWAY, we of course hiked to Delicate Arch, which was even more breathtaking than I remembered it being.

We then did the Fiery Furnace, a 3 hour guided hike. It was amazing! We were taken down into this labyrinth of red sandstone by a 65 yr old guy who looked like he wouldn't survive a walk around the block. Looks can be deceiving though, the guy was a freaking mountain goat! The hike was pretty challenging in some parts. We often had to use our hands to scale rocks and climb through tight crevasses. That was the best part though!


The scenery was absolutely spectacular. It was made even better by the fact that I had my family with me.
By the end of the day we were exhausted and sore, but we had a great time.

And of course, there's always energy for wrestling over tater-tots. I knew you guys would be disappointed if I posted about a trip we took and there wasn't a single mention of food.


Monday, September 27, 2010

I heart New York, part 2

Good grief, it's taken me forever to get around to writing this. Sorry y'all.

Our second day in NYC was spent at the U.S Open. Brady is a big tennis fanatic (and a fantastic player, I might add. Seriously.), so he was super excited.

Let me just say, the day was hot. So so very hot. And NY heat is miserable because of the humidity. The only place I've been more miserably hot and humid was New Orleans in August. Add to it the exhaust and asphalt in the city and it is like an oven. A big, dirty oven. I have never smelled so much B.O. in my life as I have in NYC during the summer. Being crammed into a busy subway train with a bunch of sweaty people is something I could totally do without. Yuck. Needless to say, I spent most the day looking for shade and stealing pieces of ice out of the vendor carts when they weren't looking. However, I've learned I need to just embrace the heat, rather than fight it. If I just accept that I'm going to be gross and sweaty it's more bearable. But enough about the heat.

We spent the first while walking around the place, watching various smaller matches and checking out the practice courts. Brady about died when he realized that Rafa Nadal, the #1 player in the world, was on the practice courts. We hid in the trees (hooray, shade!) and spied on him through the fence and took pictures. I felt like the paparazzi, it was fun.


Brady hiding in the trees, looking like a completely crazed fan:
We were fortunate to have tickets to the Arthur Ashe stadium where the big matches are played, and Brady died again when he realized his favorite player, Roger Federer, was playing a match. (For those of you not versed in tennis, Federer was the #1 player in the world until he got edged out by Nadal recently, but he is said to be one of the best players to ever grace the sport.)


After the U.S. Open that day we went to dinner at a little Italian restaurant near the apartment we were in and I ate some of the best food of my life. No joke. They had this gnocchi that I'm pretty sure was made in heaven and sent down to my table by angels. Yes, it was that good. We've craved it every day since.

The next day was a free day that we spent roaming the city. We visited some areas I had never been to before, including the Chelsea Market and SoHo, which I loved. We did some shopping, did some more eating (we got ourselves a toasted marshmallow shake from Stand, as featured on the Food Network- yum!!) and soaked in everything the city had to offer.

That night we went to dinner at Morimoto, down in the trendy meatpacking district. If you watch the Food Network you might be familiar with Morimoto, who is an Iron Chef. People, I was not cool enough to be in this restaurant. Beautiful people everywhere, awesome decor, the whole deal. I was hoping no one would notice that the hem of my capris was being held up with a safety pin or how scuffed the heels of my Payless shoes were. The food was excellent too. I could go on, but we'll keep it brief.

On the way home we stopped off at a bakery and bought these cupcakes that were half the size of our heads. So good. And yes, I am aware this entire trip was based around food. Don't judge me.
At the bakery some people came walking in and a mouse ran into the building with them. The poor girl was in such a panic trying to get out that she practically broke her nose running into the door. It was both sad and very funny.

The next day we headed out to Robert's house in South Hampton for some rest and relaxation after 3 days of running around like crazy. We were fortunate to miss Hurricane Earl passing through the previous day and enjoyed the beach and did a whole lot of nothing. It was fabulous. And I don't think I took a single picture of any of it.

All in all, the trip was wonderful. I already can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Theme song

I know I'm supposed to be writing my second installment of my NY trip, but I'll get to that later. I just really wanted to post this for some reason.

A story:
At the job I recently left, we had a big meeting a few months ago where some lady did a presentation on conflict resolution. This lady was my hero- a tiny little 60 yr old Texan with red hair and the personality to match. Even though she was in a room of executive men that towered over her, she wasn't intimidated one bit. Anyway, before the meeting we had to take this test to determine our style of conflict resolution. There were five different styles: compete, avoid, compromise, accommodate, and collaborate. Everyone probably uses each one of the styles at one time or another, and they all can be useful in different situations, but we all have certain styles that we tend to default to. There are also certain styles that are more effective than others.

The test spit out percentages of how often you tend to default to certain styles. This lady then went through and analyzed each style and taught us how to be more effective in dealing with conflict.

Turns out I am a 98% accommodater. 98%!! That basically means I'm a freaking doormat. Sadly, this is no surprise to me. The accommodater's mantra is "whatever you want". I catch myself saying that all the time. I just always want to make everyone else happy. I rarely challenge anyone and simply deal with things myself if I'm not happy. Most of the time, I don't mind being an accommodater. Most the time I genuinely am happy when everyone else is happy.

But sometimes I'm not happy, and I found that I was especially unhappy at my old job because I did feel like I was walked all over, but I didn't know how to do anything about it. I especially felt this way with one of my former supervisors. This man... oh my, where do I begin? I'll try to refrain from being all bitter and angry.

He and I were complete opposites. He meant well, but not only was he ineffective at his job, he also caused quite a bit of damage. Our weekly one-on-ones either consisted of watching YouTube videos he thought were funny, or a deep psychological analysis of me and why I "was the way I was". I regularly walked out of those meetings feeling completely inept and like there was something deeply wrong with me. I seriously considered getting therapy to help me figure out why I had such a screwed up personality. I lost all confidence in my ability to do my job. I was trying SO HARD to do the right things, to please him and make everyone happy, but it seemed like no matter how hard I tried I could not succeed.

During this time I learned about my accommodater tendencies and tried to be more confident and forthcoming with some success, but I had a hard time dealing with my boss and overcoming my insecurities. Eventually, a couple of months before accepting a new job offer, I got a new boss who was SO, SO much better. I have complete respect and appreciation for the man who replaced my former boss. (If you're wondering, no this crappy supervisor did not get fired. He got moved to a position that would "fit his strengths better". Give me a break.)

I realized there wasn't anything wrong with me. I am just fine the way I am. In fact, I'm a pretty darn good person. I'm well liked by my peers, I'm a hard worker, I'm smart, I have integrity, and I am perfectly capable of doing whatever I set my mind to. It's ok if I tend to be more on the quiet side- that doesn't make me defective! I learned I need to believe in myself more and stick up for myself, even in the face of a domineering personality. If anything, there was something seriously wrong with my former manager (i.e., he's a big jerk), but I'll refrain from going into much detail for the sake of being nice- and not making this post any longer.

So as you can imagine, when I heard this song several weeks ago, I immediately identified with it. This is the accommodator's song of empowerment! Not only is it great to listen to (I love Sara Bareilles, she's so original), but the words she sings are the words I wish I could say to this former boss, among others.

For all my fellow accommodators, or those faced with a jerk telling them what to do- this one's for you!

Sara Bareilles - King of Anything from Sam Garvey on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I heart New York

I really do. I love NYC. It is such a one of a kind place with so much to see and do and experience. The only reason I was willing to leave it is because I missed Claire, but otherwise I wanted to stay.

We were fortunate again to stay with our dear friend Robert who is always so gracious and hospitable. This time around we didn't see any landmarks and hardly took any pictures, but I feel like we really experienced the city more. Of course, we ate ourselves sick (a recurring theme on our trips. It truly is a miracle I'm not obese), and we walked about a billion miles it felt, but it was so fun.

We flew through the night to get there (torture!) then crashed at Robert's apartment for a couple of hours. We got ready and headed out to lunch in midtown at Del Frisco's, a fancy steakhouse type place recommended by some friends. Me, being so stupid, assumed that we wouldn't be walking that far and that the high heels I planned to wear were super broken in so it wouldn't be a problem. Right? WRONG. SO VERY WRONG. Now I fully understand why no women in NY wear heels. I paid for that stupid mistake for the rest of the trip with some lovely blisters and cuts. Plus, we were a little rusty on the subway system and we ended up having to go up and down hundreds of stairs trying to get to the right platform. There were so many people rushing around, and I have to really concentrate to go down concrete stairs in heels (apparently I'm not very coordinated anymore). I was certain I would die a horrible death of crashing down the stairs and getting trampled by people underneath the streets of NY. Luckily, everything worked out fine.

After lunch (which was delicious, and pricey! Yikes! But we were expecting that...) we went to see Wicked on Broadway. We had never seen it before, and holy crap people, I loved it. LOVED IT. And I know that right now I sound like every other Utah Mormon mom blogger by saying that, but I really did love it. Definitely one of my favorites.

So after the play, we rushed back to the apartment, changed our clothes, and headed to a Yankees game. Are you people following what this day is like so far? No sleep... near death experience walking around oh so hot and humid NYC in heels... play... Yankees game. Fun? Very much so. Exhausting? You have no idea. I think I was almost in a coma by the end of the Yankees game. I was chugging down diet Coke like you wouldn't believe and Brady was practically ready to inject his veins with Red Bull since the two he drank that day weren't quite doing it.

Anyway, the Yankees game was fun. Brady was thrilled to see the new stadium, which was very impressive. I actually enjoyed the game this time. Last time we went it was during the day and so hot (I hate being hot), but this time the evening was quite pleasant. Plus, in the last couple of years since we've been I've gained a little appreciation for baseball, if you can believe it. We ate hot dogs and garlic fries and just had a grand old time. I guess I can see now why people like baseball games (as long as it's not hot).


Anyway, this post is getting long so I'll have to do this in separate parts. I know, the suspense!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Good times

Oh my heck, I'm posting twice in one week...I am on a ROLL!

Anyway, as I mentioned before, summer is quickly winding down and I am not happy about it. Nope, not one bit. We are desperately trying to enjoy it as much as we possibly can. I actually feel really good about all we've done this summer. Normally, I always regret not doing more of certain things, but I feel like this year we got out a ton and had a lot of fun as a family. Hopefully we can continue to do so.

On Thursday we went up the canyons for the annual mountain cook-out with my family and my cousin's family. It was super fun.

In a few days Brady and I leave for a trip to NYC, which will be freaking awesome, but I'm a stress case. Coming home from that trip feels like it will be the end of all fun for the next year. The day after we come home, I start a new job. Things started getting pretty sucky at my old job, and this new one kind of fell in my lap. It will be a good opportunity and a big change. I've been with my old company for 8 years now, so I'm nervous to start something new in my life. I've been using up my oodles of unused vacation time over the last few weeks, and I have quickly gotten used to this whole not-working thing. Once our NYC trip is over, I'll be doing the 9-5, Monday through Friday thing. Brady will be going to school full-time and working part-time (only 2 more semesters!! AACK! I'm so happy I can hardly stand it!), so it will be all work and no play for the next while.

I have LOVED being able to be home with Claire over the last few weeks. It breaks my heart to be spending so much time away from her when I start this new job. Right now, my role is to be the breadwinner and support our family while Brady finishes school, and I know it won't last forever. Brady does a fantastic job with things at home, and he is working so hard, so I've been very lucky that way. However, it is hard feeling like I can't be the mother I want to be. I know someday everything will work out and I could be in a much more difficult situation, so we'll just put our heads down and get to work and hopefully this next year will fly by.

Next post: pictures from NYC! Hopefully we'll have some fantastic adventures :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A recap



When did I get so bad at blogging regularly? I need to get caught up. Right now we are gearing up for lots of change in the Paulich household and we are preparing to kiss our fun summer days goodbye, so we have been trying to cram in as many fun things as we can before we buckle down and get to work through the next several months.l Here is a recap in pictures of what has been going on lately:

Claire's birthday party at the zoo:
A visit to Cascade Springs:


Plus hiking, trips to Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point, roasting marshmallows (and getting eaten alive by mosquitos), bike rides, Raging Waters, playing with friends, shopping at the farmer's market, and anything else we can squeeze out of these last few precious summer days!