LATES 2012

Ah, New Year's Eve. Somehow we always have a party to go to (thanks Matt), and by always I mean last year and this year. We both had to work today; I only had to work a half day, so I met up with Stephanie for lunch at Saffron Valley (oh my yes, Indian buffet). We went out with a surefire bang with a midnight kiss and finishing with the ultimate white elephant—a silly string gun. Now, shall we highlight the year with some links? I think we shall:

Tyler got into a car accident, we both got food poisoning, and I suffered a seemingly endless slew of infections involving my kidneys and (randomly) my belly button. 2012 wasn't all the worst, though: Tyler graduated with his Associate's degree and got into the University of Utah, while I lost 50 pounds. I also got my ears pierced, Tyler got LASIK, we made it to our first wedding anniversary and bought our first Christmas tree. We got fancy iPhones, we cooked a lot (although some exploits turned out better than others), we watched all of LOST and we made some unexpected new friends. We travelled to Lake Powell, Los Angeles and Nashville (sans Tyler on that last one). We were called to our favorite calling ever, nursery, and we were in attendance for a momentous session of General Conference. We saw a friend ushered out of this life all too soon, but we also welcomed new life in the form of our new nephew. After enjoying 12.12.12 and surviving the supposed apocalypse of 12.21.12, we look forward to next year. 2012, you started out pretty jerky, but in the end you turned out alright, kid. Lates.



I woke up with a terrible stomachache, headache and sore throat this morning (I am almost positive that it has to do with the fact that I have been binge eating before I eat strictly again come January 2). Tyler let me rest while he went to fulfill our nursery duties. I woke up a bit later and got as ready as I could without feeling even more awful that my clothes fit a little too snugly. Church was great, then we came home and hunkered down for a much needed day in. We've been running our heads off all month long due to all the festivities. Another goal we had tonight (mostly Tyler) was to get his schooling figured out. We knew he'd been accepted to the U, but he still needed to research other PA programs so that he could compare requirements that would determine the classes he needed which would lead to what major he would declare. I am so proud of him; he did all three tonight and registered for classes. What a feat! We also drew up his weekly schedule combining work and school; I'm basically never going to see him. Boo.



Every year since December of 2010 my longtime friends and I have gone to breakfast at Kneaders on Christmas Eve morning. That didn't work out so well this week, so we rescheduled for this morning. Only Stephanie and Becca made it for some french toast and catching up, but it was still just as lovely. We got to talking some more and decided to make a trip to Target. Tyler, unfortunately, had to go into work today to make up some missed hours from this past week's events, so he went to work and we went to Target. I ended up finally getting a jewelry box and a sweater and I bought Tyler a game for his new 3DS. I also got a movie for $5… holla! After Target we had lunch at Cafe Rio while visiting some more (we had a lot of catching up to do). Once we finished, they dropped me off and I did some catching up on my own (it's been a long week), including a nap. Tyler got home around 7:30 and his longtime friend Ali came over for a visit while she is in town. We went to Pat's BBQ joint to have tons of meat and listen to a folk band (the BBQ didn't even hold a candle to Baby Blues BBQ, but it filled our tummies). We then came back to our apartment for more visiting, some warm homemade cider and finally turned in by 1 AM.



Today went by slowly and ended earlier than planned thanks to a longer-than-planned trip to the printer for our spring catalogue press check. I then went straight to my parents' church building for a family party filled with sports, card games, food and catching up. Funny thing: Tyler and I usually end up playing with the kids; the stage was filled with wrapped empty boxes (probably from a Christmas program). While playing on the stage, Tyler and I ended up sitting on some chairs while all four of the little kids started bringing us each present one by one, some of them big enough to house multiple children, saying "Merry Christmas" after each present was given. So funny. We arrived back to our apartment late in the evening where a belated and unexpected surprise from Tyler awaited: this clever fortune cookie calendar for 2013. Each month has a random fortune, a matching month-stamped cookie and lucky numbers. I love it!



Today was my first full day of work this week; we got the proof for the spring catalogue from our printer and I received word today that I may be working with some old friends in the future (hooray). Once work was over I made my way to Duncanville to babysit my nephew Duncan. We watched movies, played 'sandwich' and ate cooked carrots for dinner. Tyler got off of work and we went to get Chinese food at Szechuan Garden: amazing food! Fun fact: our internet has been going out lately so we had them come out to our apartment to get it looked at. Apparently our signal is too strong and it is overpowering our modem. So you're telling me that our internet is too good and that is why it has been going out on multiple occasions? Uh, okay.



Tyler and I had both taken work off today for the planned intent that both of my sisters would be in town and the whole day would be devoted to the whole Duncan clan being together once again. Last night we found out that the Cramers would not be coming due to sick children and stormy weather. This morning we found out that the Rich family was sick as well; did I mention today is also my mother's birthday? It was not shaping up to be as great as we had planned. We had a late start this morning and an even later one due to the fact that we locked ourselves out of our apartment for a half hour while it lightly snowed around us. After being let in by our landlord, the first errand of the day was made to the DMV to finally get my license renewed. Once that was taken care of we met up with my parents, Aubrey and her boyfriend Jordan for a trip to Subway and the Utah Museum of Natural History. The Rich family was able to meet us there, even though Duncan and Bob were feeling subpar. We saw bones, bugs and relics of every kind. The evening continued with Aubrey and Jordan making everyone Chinese at my parents' house and a long overdue sibling gift exchange where Tyler got a Gameboy iPhone cover and I got an etsy envelope clutch. After the Rich family left, the remaining three couples played a hilarious round of boys against girls Catch Phrase. Happy birthday Mom!



We made our way over to Lynchland after a quick hop in the shower and some dressing for the day ahead. We were on time for once and no one was even awake; finally everyone was up and we dug through our stockings to find candy and goodies among other fun presents. Then it was breakfast and finally time for opening the presents that filled the living room. Tyler's family always takes turns, youngest to oldest. Santa went all out this year and got Tyler a purple Nintendo 3DS and a Brother sewing machine for me. After all the gift opening had been had, we made our way to Duncanville for more Christmas surprises: movies, candy, jackets, home essentials and watches. Not to mention (or to mention) Tyler got a whole slew of Superman paraphernalia including these socks that feature little red capes on the back. Once we had chilled there for a bit eating lunch and watching Lion King with Duncan, the trek was made back to Lynchland for a turkey dinner with apple pie for dessert. Tyler and I returned to our apartment for a little Christmas time to ourselves. The night ended finding out that the Cramers would not be making the pilgrimage from Las Vegas to Salt Lake in the morning. Boo; I guess there is always next year.



I woke up this morning to a subtle snowfall and traveled to work in all its wetness. I only had a half day for work and ended up not even needing to be there that long. I left a little early only to find myself driving slower than a slug in all this wintery white. I tried running some last minute errands, but ended up being on the road during the worst part of the blizzard. I came home and started right on baking up a storm for some fun treats that my lactose intolerant sister could indulge in for this festive day. Tyler left work earlier than he planned as well and finished running my errands while I baked and the storm calmed. We finally made our way over to Duncanville for a Christmas Eve event involving salmon, cake and pie. Toward the end of the evening we left for Orem to meet up with Tyler's family at his grandparents' house. We played cards and ate ice cream. We then had the idea to go back to Lynchland for the sibling gift exchange; Nicole would be off work by midnight and it was already eleven. We made our way back to Sandy, waited until 1:30 AM for her arrival and then got our gift exchange on. Tyler got jumper cables and an iPhone cover from Peter, I got an H&M gift card from Tyler's dad, Tyler gave Matt an intestine pillow, and I tricked Peter with my gift by wrapping a tiny box with a picture drawn of the place his real present was hidden… Community Season 3.



Tyler and I woke up earlier today than our usual Sunday time to attend my sister's in-laws' ward; they were blessing Charlie. Fun fact: this was the first time Tyler had been a part of a baby blessing circle, aw. We then scurried back to Murray for two hours of our nursery duties and then hurried back to Sandy to perform in my parents' ward. My mom and I sang Mary's Lullaby while Tyler played the flute and Aubrey played the violin. After church we went back to the Duncan residence for some visiting and dinner-eating.



This morning started off much too early—we drove to the airport to meet my sister and her little family off the plane. They will be staying with her in-laws, so our family got to pick them up. We greeted them to find Charlie as big as ever and Duncan taking to Tyler like they've been best buds forever. We met up at my parents' house for some visiting and these little surprises. A while back Sara sent me some links for some jewelry to get my opinion for Aubrey's birthday. I told her I'd be happy to pay her back for this cuff and red dot studs if it meant her shipping would go down… and it did. After a Rich visit, Tyler and I made our way home to deep clean the crap out of our apartment. We want it to be spiffy and sparkly for when we give a tour to the soon-to-come-to-town Cramers. We. Can't. Wait.



Due to all my late nights this week, I was given permission to leave work early today. I finally got the catalogue sent off, but another project arose making it difficult to leave any earlier than the regular work day…boo. I came home and slept a bit and then traveled to my parents' house for a spot of practicing for that number we are performing on Sunday. We then made a quick trip to Tyler's parents' to drop off some things. While there, we noticed a letter for Tyler and soon came to find out it was from Tyler himself… ten years ago. He wrote it for his sophomore English class and his teacher sent it along. It is interesting to read how his fifteen-year-old self perceived his future. It reads:

Dear Tyler,

Were you surprised to receive a letter from yourself in the future? Thanks to new technology, people these days are now able to send a letter to their former sleves! Rules are very specific, though, as the future could be drastically altered if we aren't very careful about the contents of these letters. So how are you? Of course, I guess I already know, since I was there in the tenth grade. I know that it isn't the easiest thing in the world, but hang in there! It will all pay off someday!

You have been doing very well! You graduated from high school with a GPA of a 3.8, and took a year of college at the University of Utah. Afterwards, you took a short break from schooling to serve a successful mission in Sao Paulo, Brazil. When you returned, you continued college and graduated with a 4.0. I am now taking classes in medical school, so that I can soon fulfill that dream of ours to become a pediatrician.

If you haven't already, you will soon be letting go of the paper route that you share with your brother and sister and get a 'real job'. After you work at Macey's for a while, you will go on your mission and take a break. When you get back and continue college, you will get a job selling books at Barnes and Noble. Until I finish medical school, I think I will continue to rely on my wife as a main source of income. 

On June 20th, 2010, I was married to a wonderful woman named Mary Jones, who is a year younger than I am ad has a job working at home that pays very well. I now have one child, Zachary, age 1, and another child due in seven months. We live in a small house, thatnks mostly to Mary's income, but it's just right for four, so we can't wait for the new arrival to fill up the house! We are very happy together!

As you got older, Tyler, achieving more and more of your goals, you only became kinder, smarter, more considerate, funnier, and happier. These qualities are in you now and you should try to tap into them as often as possible; they are very handy and help in almost every situation! Keep up the good work, be persistent (I know you wil!) and learn to not procrastinate (I know you won't!)!!!

Well, Tyler, I've told you just about all I can without harming the future, so I must conclude. You have an exciting future ahead of you, and it only gets better from here! Enjoy life while it's here; it seems that I was you only yesterday. As the world speeds by around you try to slow down and enjoy it all.

With love,




I was at work very late again tonight, for the very same reason I was there late last night: the catalogue. I hustled my bustle last night to get everyone's last minute edits done and ready for a quick look-over this morning. Not so surprisingly there were more edits awaiting upon my arrival and the catalogue did not get to print on time. I know it's not my fault, but deadlines are daunting, especially when they're not met. After a bit of a discouraging day, I came home to find this small surprise from Tyler: a watch that has been needing a battery for quite some time has been repaired and reunited with my wrist. He's the greatest.



Today was our ugly sweater contest at work. They have one every year and it conincided with our monthly employee lunch. My co-worker Whitney even shared some of her garish decor to help my sweater along. During the lunch they do recognitions and such and this month marks my one year anniversary with Miche. Holla! I also recieved a high-five (employees nominate co-workers for great things they've done; you recieve two five dollar bills and a real life high five) and my Christmas bonus. I declare this my lucky sweater even though I didn't win and was at work until 9 PM.



Today at work our business cards came in. We've been going through a re-brand and designed these business cards about a month ago. They're probably the fanciest thing with my name on it—I mean check out that spot varnish! After work I made my way to my weigh-in, expecting the worst of course (how could you not from the way I've been eating). I went up in all my measurements and gained 3.75 pounds, ugh. I bought three weeks worth of food, and won't be going back in until January 8 (I want to enjoy the holidays and then have a week of 'back on track' before I step on the scale again). Is that a bad idea… possibly.



I worked a bit late tonight, as did Tyler. When I came home there were many packages on the porch. This is just the start, for we have three more due to arrive before Christmas day. We do a sibling gift exchange every year for both of our families and I think this year we killed it at getting gifts, but only time will tell if they really like them. Now time for my husbandry's awesome wrapping skills to commence…



In addition to yesterday being my grandma's birthday, it was also Matt's birthday. Today was the day dedicated to celebrating it, since yesterday people were working and we were out and about as well. We came home from church to make this very special twenty pepperoni pizza birthday card for Matt (do you love the stringy cheese? That was all Tyler). Soon we went to my parent's house to practice for a musical number that both Tyler and I will be participating in next week with my mom and Aubrey. The night was then spent with Matt, watching him open his pizza gifts, eating a lovely steak and potato dinner and topping it off with the infamous Etna cake… yum.



We had a late start on this day of our monthly temple attendance with the Picketts. This month it was the Provo Temple, mostly due to our short-on-time day, but also because none of us had done sealings there. When we arrived there was a storm brewing, but when we exited there was this lovely sunset to greet us. The rest of tonight was quite frantic and we were already running on little sleep, but we managed to go to the mall and shop for a birthday present, a Christmas present, grab a bite to eat, drive to our apartment, hop back into a car with my parents, drive to my Grandma Bush's for her birthday, visit with cousins and play a game of cards. Phew, we're pooped.



Tyler and I made the trek down to Provo tonight for a weekend away with the Picketts. Also on the agenda: a reunion with Apartment 37. Nikki and I scurried over to Amber's apartment while our husbands Nintendo-ed it up in our absence. I haven't been in the same room as these two since my wedding and goodness gracious me I missed them. We pushed the couches together and talked of everything under the sun (poor Amber, she probably heard more than she cared to from us married folk) until 3 AM. We have all changed greatly in my eyes from that summer in 2009, but I hope we don't wait a whole year to gather again… ladies.



It's official… Tyler and I are bakers. We do our best baking at night—late at night. It's probably one of my favorite things to do with him: dancing around the kitchen and making each other laugh while we put our amateur skills to the test. Sometimes our week can become a blur of work, eat, sleep, repeat; this is a way to just pause and enjoy a couple of hours of just us while tag-teaming a recipe late into the eve. Tonight's tackle was banana bread; our neighbor had an insane amount of bananas and graciously gave us two bundles of eight about-to-go-bad bananas. We ended up making four loaves and I must say they turned out swell.



Tyler and I wanted to do something special today for my little sister's birthday; turning twenty-one on 12/12/12? What a lucky dog! First, I made her this card (I thought it was pretty clever), then we made her fifty 1s and fifty 2s made out of sugar cookie dough and finally, we attended the party of the year in her honor, complete with a cake ball cake, cousins and friends. Of course, no birthday would be complete without the birthday girl receiving from my dear mother teal cowboy boots and a monogrammed belt buckle to boot (tee hee)!



This morning I woke up early to pick up breakfast for another photo shoot; for some reason it has been getting harder and harder to wake up in the morning. I did make it semi on time, and things went swimmingly. By lunch, a co-worker and I switched from photo-shoot duty to holding-down-the-fort-at-the-office duty. That didn't go so swimmingly, but thankfully I left right on time for my weigh-in. I only lost a half a pound, but I didn't expect much after my pizza cheat on Saturday.



I had some work to do from home tonight; Tyler had to work late too, so it was just me, my mug and my lappy. Can I just make a small shout out to my wonderful husband? We both were done with this week at about 3 p.m. and he even offered to buy us plane tickets to Sydney so we could run away. We can dream, but alas we spent it glued to our computers.



Every year our parents' stake does a neighborhood sing-a-long for the holidays, and every year they ask multiple members of Tyler's family to participate (they're so musical). This year they asked Tyler and last-minutely, Nicole, to take part in the production. I sat by my Dad and Tyler's family while singing the Hallelujah Chorus, among other Christmas favorites. Other singing events today? Tyler and I took the oldest nursery kids into primary today for singing time. They are so adorable and we will miss them terribly when we lose them at the new year.



Tyler and I had quite the chill-tastic day. We spent the morning, mid-morning, noon day and afternoon vegging on the couch (don't judge, it's been a long week). By nightfall it had snowed; not enough to stick, but just enough to make everyone on the road a crazy. We had a hankering for some pizza; we broke down and braved the snow for an all-time favorite: BBQ chicken and pineapple. Also, we downloaded an iPhone game called twist lick dunk… an Oreo cookie ode. You get to unlock fun facts about every Oreo ever made. Did you know that there was a peach and raspberry cream one? I haven't unlocked the fact about it, but I am intrigued.



Last night I was up until 4 a.m. trying to finish up some work for a catalogue meeting this morning. My computer decided to be a jerk and take 8 hours to export a document, when it should have taken an hour TOPS. On top of that, I had a dentist appointment this morning, early this morning. So on two hours of sleep I braved the day having my mouth poked and prodded for two hours not to mention crashing and burning during our meeting today. By 2 p.m. I was exhausted, we felt defeated and on top of that I failed to mention that our boss left the company yesterday… boo. I came home, took a nap and woke up to my lovely husbandry who helped me chill the night away.



Remember that day that we drove all around town trying to get my driver's license renewed? You probably don't because I sort of left out all of the craziness that we went through only to find that my birth certificate wasn't an official document. By the way, government offices are not open as late as they say. Fast forward to today and look what has arrived, but my official birth certificate. Look out world, I was born! Officially!



I don't think we will be sending out a Christmas card this year. Actually, I KNOW we wont be sending out a Christmas card this year (we're still trying to get our wedding thank-yous out; darn Post Office keeps sending them back). Remember that company party we attended over the weekend? They took our picture when we first arrived, they paper-framed them and handed them out today at work. So, from our couch to yours… Happy Holidays.



Last week I didn't have weigh-in, seeing how it was the day after my anniversary and only five days after Thanksgiving. I wasn't feeling too confident today at my weigh-in because I had cheated at my company Christmas party on Saturday when I hadn't planned on it. I was three pounds away from losing fifty pounds and guess what, I actually lost three pounds in those two weeks (I may have gone up and then come back down, but we will fortunately never know). Starting weight back in July was 232.5 and I now weigh 182.25… only fifty more pounds to go. I'm feeling good, but I will say this, it is getting harder and harder; I'm burnt out a bit and Christmas time (especially around the office) is probably the worst time to be on a diet. Bah, humbug.



Oh, Monday.  After work I went to the eye doctor. I took that horrible test where he asks you 'better, worse or the same' and you panic and get flustered and need time to think it over… who can make such a snap decision like that? It makes me laugh, but also, it's not my favorite thing. Apparently my eyes have gotten slightly better, so I am to try out a lesser prescription of contacts this week and see how it goes (you know, don't run anyone over while on the road and such). So, for the rest of the week my glasses are retiring to the bathroom drawer; they shall be missed on those mornings when I am dashing out the door. He also did the glaucoma test where he puts the bright, sticky yellow drops in your eye (note the yellow-stained and wadded up kleenex in my hand).

Side bar: my family has been going to this doctor ever since I can remember and he just realized today that I don't have any brothers… ha ha. I laughed super hard… in my mind… and right now while typing this.



Last night as we got into our hotel room we noticed something strange… can you spot it? It may not be as obvious in this picture, but I am sitting on the toilet. Yes, that's right the microwave, mini fridge and coffee maker were in the bathroom. Do you see it now? The shower head and curtain up there on the left-hand side–pretty strange right? We opted for a late check-out this morning (FACT: this photo was taken exactly twelve minutes before we were to check out). We had a nice drive home through the canyon and spent the day relaxing in our apartment with our normal fridge and microwave in the kitchen where they belong.



Today was completely jam-packed and filled to the brim (if this were more than a photo-a-day there would be at least 10 photos above). We spent the morning decorating our big tree and little tree with matching red, green and gold decorations (photo #1). Then, we made a trip to H&M where the parking lot was filled with moronic drivers creating a traffic jam (photo #2). Our H&M trip involved returning some clothes from the photo shoot and finding a dress/skirt that would help out my outfit tonight. I tried on two dresses and went with dress number 1 for the win (photo #3). I also grabbed some party jewelry on the way out; two pairs of earrings and a necklace, for the double-win (photo #4 and #5)! You see, I needed a new dress to go with these glitter heels, significant because I bought them forever ago as an incentive to lose weight and I finally fit into them (photo #6), but I didn't own anything that paired well with them. We got home, packed and got ready for a weekend away in Park City; my company Christmas party was up in Deer Valley this year with a free night's stay in a neighboring lodge. We arrived to an impressive appetizer of cheese being held in a metal contraption by the open fire, melted onto a plate for filling with delicious cheese companions (photo #7). We sat by some great co-workers and I even got to see their new babies (photo #8). The actual main meal was amazing, and yes, I cheated for all that amazing food; it blew our minds (photo #9). To end the night they had dueling pianos that took requests with a dance floor and all (photo #10). So yeah, big day. If only days like today were spread out enough so I could fill other posts with more interesting photos as opposed to more boring days, like this.