The not-so-annual-not-so-monthly-but-should-be-one-of-those cousin potluck was tonight. It was originally going to be tomorrow, but we messaged everyone with the news that tomorrow Aubrey would be going through the temple making many of us unable to attend. Everyone graciously agreed to move it to tonight, but unfortunately, Tyler and I felt like death. We went back and forth all day on whether or not we were going to make the trip or just sleep the night away. Right up until the very last second we weren't going and then changed our minds. We were very conscious the whole night about making sure our hands were washed and not breathing on anyone (especially since Alisha was hosting and she is very pregnant). We had a lovely array of food, followed by a spot of Times Up, a game that Tyler and I completely rocked.



This week Tyler and I have been a bit on the sick side of the street. It kind of started out on Monday and has unfortunately progressed to today. Tyler can't afford to get sick with his new job and his school starting up again and I can't really afford to either with the book, the wedding, and a huge project at work just taking shape. Despite our sickness, Stephanie came over for a much-needed hang out; I made her dinner and she brought over the movie This Means War—it was funny. Do you know what else is funny? My dear friend Stephanie has quite the obsession with Chris Pine. Tyler got home from work and we visited a bit, but boy are we in for it. As the lovely Karen Carpenter likes to say, "We've only just begun…"



Tonight Tyler and I had set aside time to help Aubrey stuff all of her wedding announcements and stamp the back of all of the envelopes. My mom and Aubrey have spent the last week addressing all of the envelopes by hand. A week later than our original timeline, we picked up the announcements from the printer. Tyler also picked up this stamp that I designed and then we all met up at my parents' house. We had quite the system going: Aubrey would stuff the envelopes, I would stamp them, and Tyler would walk the freshly-stamped envelope over to the window seat to dry. After the twentieth envelope, he would gather up ten and put them back into the box that Aubrey had taken them from. The announcements turned out for the most part; I am very happy with the printing of the white text on the front of the announcement, but I am very disappointed with the trim job on the back of the map. All in all, they are done and will soon be sent off. One more thing we are ALL glad to check off of our lists.



I left work early today to go and meet Tyler at City Hall. It was raining and pouring (but was the old man snoring? We'll never know.) as we ran from our cars through the parking lot into the building that would award me with my token to leave the country. We remembered everything but the checkbook, so Tyler ran to the nearest post office; I waited and hurried to snap this photo before the lady at the desk came back to discover me documenting this boring office. I took my passport picture with my glasses on; that felt awesome. We then got into our cars and went our separate ways for the rest of the day. Can't wait to get that baby in the mail and have my first stamp be for Australia (Oh pinch me!).



Oh Memorial Day, what a memorable one you'll be. Tyler had a job interview today after three long and fabulous weeks of being unemployed. He was a tad nervous, but I knew he had nothing to worry about—I mean look at how dashingly he is dressed (ain't nobody gonna turn that down). I did some things here and there waiting to see what the verdict was. Finally he walked in the door and held up a victory bag of Chinese food (that is our go-to celebratory food whenever we get a job or raise). I squealed with delight and helped him spread out our Asian feast as he gave me the details. They offered him the job on the spot and he starts this week. Oh glorious day! May, you have been too kind, but by all means, don't stop!



I gave my sisters the deadline of June 1 to have all of their advice done and ready to go for the book we're gifting to Aubrey and Jordan. Today, after church, Tyler and I were brainstorming ideas of what to title the book. Advice, it's to the point and I can see it being in small caps centered among a kaleidoscope of colors. The Know-It-All Book, (this one is my favorite) it's a bit snooty, but in a facetious way. Knowledge And Advice On Everything Under The Sun From Three Wise Sisters and Their Husbands, this one is pretty great too—I love a good long title—it's like a joke within a joke. I emailed my sisters to get their opinions. Sara had a great suggestion and I think it's the one that everyone is leaning towards: A Year's Worth of Sense. What do you think?



Today was probably the closest we've come to completely failing at life. We were doing fine and dandy all day, thinking we had everything under control; by mid-afternoon I took a nap and Tyler did some homework. I woke up at 5 p.m. in the kind of groggy state where you can't remember what day it is and if it's morning or evening. I then remembered, and blurted out for Tyler to hear in the other room, that we needed to be at the temple in thirty minutes. Tyler plum forgot and I don't know how I even remembered, but we dashed to get ready and barely made it by the skin of our teeth to the Draper Temple to celebrate Kevin receiving his endownment. After this snapshot, we all went to Olive Garden to feast and met Peter there. We still are in awe that we made it—we would have been devastated if we had missed it. Congrats Kevin! The day is drawing closer that this boy will leave us for the great state of Kentucky.



The evening was spent at Lynchland as we celebrated ol' Papa Lynch's big 5-1. As of late the laugh around the land has been a joke that he tells so well: "A bear walks into a bar, the bartender asks, 'What'll you have?' The bear says, 'I'll have.............a beer.' Bartender says, 'Why the big paws?' The bear says, 'I'M A BEAR!'" It's really quite comical, because I'm pretty sure the punch line is supposed to be 'Why the big paws?', but he tacked on the 'I'm a bear' (apparently because he forgot the … part) and we've been laughing ever since. So tonight, in classic Brooke-and-Tyler fashion, we made him a card that captures the joke of the moment (can't wait to see what joke next year's card will bring).



It's no surprise that we love to cook together, but as of late we've been on a bit of a sweet potato kick. They are really good plain, but we've been working on taking them to the next level. We have a simple recipe that we like to implement once in a while: sweet potato fries. It's essentially sweet potatoes cut up into fry shape and then a lovely herb mixture that goes on the outside. Other things we've been trying: sweet potato waffles and sweet potato stackers (basically a sandwich, but the 'bread' is sweet potato halves). Also, please note the massive potato size above; it made for some very long sweet potato fries dipped in the infamous Tyler fry sauce.



Early this morning I sent off Aubrey and Jordan's wedding announcement to the printer of their choice. Once I arrived to work, I received word that there was a bit of a miscommunication that caused a brief catastrophe concerning the invites. We got it all sorted out in the end, but it made for a slightly hectic morning. By lunchtime we were off celebrating Caroline's birthday and my other co-worker, Pam, even gave me a gift on this day centered around birthdays. This, this sugar free, lemon square-flavored Extra gum is by far the best gum I've ever had. It tastes like lemon-flavored starburst, but like the flavor of the starburst got older and wiser and tastier. It is also good to note here that my grandpa would have been 93 years old today. What a day filled with birthdays young and old, and presents gum and gold.



Tomorrow is my co-worker's birthday (the one that branded/partly owns Inside and Out Cosmetics). She will be thirty-five; I can't even believe that is the age she is turning, not because that is old, but because she seems so young, yet so refined. She requested that everyone wear black for the occasion because she didn't want to acknowledge it. I got her this print (from our very favorite poster/greeting card guy: 55 Hi's) with her very favorite color, gold, screen-printed for her liking. This lady loves gold—how perfect—and the message ain't half bad neither.



Last night while eating floats, my brother-in-law, Steve, called us to see if we wanted to Skype to get more details on getting started on the advice book for Aubrey and Jordan. Unfortunately, we were tied up, so today we scheduled a Google Hangout while we all typed in the Google Doc (thanks Google for making this possible). We split it up into 10 categories: kitchen stuff and recipes, traditions, date ideas, general advice, cleaning ideas, trips/vacation advice, budgeting and money savers, husbands, things not to do/dos and don'ts, and spiritual stuff. Each person had a color: Tiffany had red text, Steve had black text highlighted red, Sara had black text highlighted yellow, Bob had lime green text, I had black text highlighted purple and Tyler had purple text. We all laughed while we drew a blank at how were going to accomplish 366 pieces of advice in such a short amount of time. We did the math and each couple has to come up with 122 bullets of advice spread among the 10 categories, but with as much or as little in each one. We gave everyone a deadline of Memorial Day to have all of their advice in and set. Ready, GO!



This morning we made our way to Lehi for Tyler's cousin's farewell. Arica is nineteen and has been antsy to get out into the field since she was in her early high school years. When the age for missionaries was recently lowered, she got her mission papers in right away. We are so proud and know that she is going to do some pretty tremendous things out there in California. In the late afternoon, Tyler's family was having a dinner with some neighbors, the Nelsons, and invited us over to join in for the festivities. It all started when Tyler's parents were talking to the Nelsons and it came up that Tyler's brother, Peter, had quite the temper as a child. (It's actually a fairly common topic of conversation with the Lynches; it made for some funny stories.) To Peter's credit, the Nelsons couldn't believe that such a well-mannered boy could have ever been so outrageous. They mentioned that their daughter had a similar temper, and asked Tyler's parents for some pointers on raising a hellion. They decided to make a dinner out of it. We ended up bringing dessert: all of the fixin's for root beer floats. The first float of summer… boy it's going to be a jam-packed one at that.



Tyler and I always seem to wait until the very last minute to go grocery shopping. Usually at that point we start justifying eating out, but since we're swearing that off for the month we dashed to the local grocery store for some dinner. Tonight's menu? Chicken hot dogs and Pop Chips. You'd be surprised at how good these two things actually are. Also, since we don't have a grill, we just plopped our griddle onto the stove and marked up these puppies just like grilled. For such a low calorie meal, this definitely hit the spot AND we both ate the same thing. That always helps so I don't feel like such an alien, eating crazy made up things.



Tonight Tyler and I watched the very last episode of The Office. I know it seems like such a silly thing to document, but this show has been on since before I started college—quite the running. It is especially special because when Tyler and I were first dating he sent me a text message while I was out of town that read: "Good morning sunshine. I have been watching The Office this morning while I finish packing. You are my Pam. :) I hope you have a great day today." We were just starting to fall hard for each other and I can't even handle how sweet of a message that was to wake up to. Too many of our shows are ending or getting cancelled this season… sad day. Sad endings.



I didn't feel super great tonight, but I had Aubrey's first bridal shower of many to attend. I got there and sat with Aubrey and Jordan while they opened gifts from members of my parents' ward. At the end of the night they had everyone write a date idea on a tongue depressor for the happy couple to use for reference when those date ideas of their own become sparse. This one was mine—yes, it's a bit shabby, but to be fair I'm writing an entire book of advice with my sisters filled with date ideas and such. I've got to save the best ones for the book. (I'm embarrassed at how out of focus this photo is, so please, disregard. I was in a hurry to stick it in the jar before they made everyone read aloud what they wrote.)



This is Amber. Today is her very birthday. And she, ladies and gentlemen, is the nicest old gal on the block. Well, not quite anymore, because we don't both reside in Provo anymore, but the title still stands. She lived for one short summer with Nikki and I in our very favorite apartment in P-town. They both drove up from Utah County to meet me for lunch to celebrate this dear lady's birthday. Amber is two years younger than me, but I swear she is twenty-five years my senior. I learned so much from her and still do to this day. Gracious me, how lucky am I to have met this beaut?!



Over the weekend I heard from my mom that my sister's little boy, Duncan, hurt his leg real bad. He was over at a neighbor's house while my sister and her husband were out to eat for their anniversary. When they arrived to pick up the boys, they heard the scream of Duncan coming down hard on the springs of the backyard trampoline. He had to wait until today to go in to get his cast, the one that will go from his bum to his toes. Poor little guy (note: this bracelet was given to me by my other dear sister from Disneyland. I always wear it on Duncan's birthday and now today).



When asked what our hobbies are, Tyler and I usually just answer with watching television together (it's a way for us to unwind and hang out after a day of go-go-go), but another thing we love to do together is cook. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again: it is one of my very favorite things to do with Tyler. The other great thing about cooking together is that it is usually for me—some crazy healthy meal I am trying or some labor-intensive dish that calls for a lot of prep. Tyler is always there in the kitchen slaving away for my meal. For tonight's particular meal, he likes to partake as well: sun-dried tomato stuffed chicken breasts. We have gotten really good at it and have tried it with little tweaks here and there, but every time, I still can't get over how funny looking sun-dried tomatos are. Oh well, they surprisingly make up for it in taste. I guess you shouldn't judge a food by its oily, wrinkled cover.



Tyler and I spent a great deal of time on our Mother's Day cards this year. The first one is for my mom—she is not your traditional mother and she loves those non-traditional cards AND her coupons. Then, the one on the right was for Tyler's mom—all the time when they were little, she would purposely block their way in hallways and on stairs. She wouldn't move; just ask, 'What's the password?' which was always 'Mom's the bomb!' We had loads of fun making these and managed to get to both Lynchland and Duncanville to celebrate this fine day of mothers.



This morning, Tyler and I found the most perfect coffee table at the D.I. by our apartment to give to the Picketts for their combined birthday present. We made our way to Provo to give the most perfect gift of all after we switched our car for the Lynch Suburban. After giving them the coffee table of the year, we made our way to the University Mall in Orem, where both Tyler and I worked way back when. I bought him his very favorite chocolates at See's Candies (a very belated birthday present). We then were absolutely starving, but in an effort to keep up our no-eat-out-until-June (excluding birthdays of course) we drove home with grumpy minds and grumbling tummies. While trading the Suburban for our regular mode of transportation at Lynchland, they had just sat down to pizza—they offered some and of course we obliged with great gratefulness. We then made our way to my friend's launch party of a company she partly owns. (Isn't the branding/packaging amazing? She did it of course!) Inside and Out Cosmetics; they carry organic lipsticks and lip glosses and the colors are vibrant to boot! They're also pretty reasonably priced—I tried to not go too crazy, so I got a bright fuchsia and a bright red. They gave out Millcreek Cacao Roasters chocolate bars as a take-away gift. What a lovely Saturday.


FIG. 1-6

How terrific is this picture? It couldn't have been planned any better! Outside of Desert Star, all of the Lynch siblings declared a pole-hopping train (I sat out to a. take this picture and 2. avoid seriously injuring myself, which would happen if I tried this at home, let alone in public). This was taken after we saw the play Less Miserables; it was funny, but it probably would have been funnier to Tyler if he had seen the real movie or play. Before the show we of course ate at In-N-Out Burger—boy that place is good.

*From left to right: Karlee, Kevin, Peter, Jason, Tyler and Nicole.



My car, Nemo, needed to be taken in for its annual inspection so, today I took Tyler's car, Franklin, to work. Tyler doesn't have school on Thursdays, so he so graciously offered to take in my car while I basked in the luxury of his newer car. Faster air conditioning, iPod hook up, voice activation and steering wheel buttons—soo fancy! My very favorite part of his car is the mini little disco ball he hangs from his mirror; it always reminds me of our very first road trip together last summer to L.A.



After work Tyler and I had a date to get all sorts of stuffed in celebration of his birthday. We of course went to Olive Garden (his favorite) and went all out: drinks, breadsticks (probably refilled four times), Alfredo dipping sauce, appetizer of fried lasagna, soup, salad, and the main course. By the time we got to the main course, we were stuffed to the point of tugging at our buttons. We took one bite and decided we'd better not overdo it. Seeing how it was a birthday celebration, we had to order dessert. So in Tyler-and-Brooke-hilarious fashion, we ordered dessert and asked our waitress to box up all of our food in the same breath. It was so nice to finally sit and chat with my brand new 26-year-old husband—we haven't really had a chance to catch up since my trip last week. I am so very glad that Tyler was born, so that we, as best friends, could stuff our faces and still act like little kids in a candy store.



Tonight we made our way over to Stephanie's new apartment to see it all put together and to finally show Tyler that great movie in the sky, 'Pitch Perfect'. I had to work late, so Tyler got a head start on dinner. We tried a new recipe tonight: spaghetti squash spaghetti with ground turkey meatballs. The meatballs were about 60% shredded carrots, but all in all it was a delicious meal. Then we made our way to Stephanie's for the grand tour and the grand movie. I unfortunately had to bring my computer along and work a bit, but I had already seen the movie, so it's all good. Once we got home, Tyler and I finished all of the Girl Scout cookie. Uh, yes those Girl Scout cookies, the ones that were supposed to last us until the end of the summer. Welp whoops, oh well.



Tonight, a Mr. Bryan O'Daly came for spot of cards. We love when Bryan comes to visit; he always introduces us to new, clever, and very well-designed card games. This, ladies and gents, is a card game called Gloom… you can check it out online for all of the details, but just trust me when I say it is a really terrific game. I, of course, was out first and then the two men fought to the finish. So really, it wasn't a truly 'gloomy' Monday, it was just a Monday night filled with Gloom.



After church we went over to Lynchland for Tyler's birthday celebration. We ate ribs and funeral potatoes 'til the cows came home. Then it was present-opening time, but they hadn't all come in the mail yet. Tyler's mom just wrapped these little pictures of what was still to come in the traditional Lynch wrapping paper of brown paper grocery sacks (much too big for little papers). The Wiimote cover was a real gift though, and the tie was from Nicole. After present-opening we watched Wreck It Ralph. We LOVED it. There were so many lovely little references that were so subtle; I love things like that. We then ate cake and ice cream complete with double candle-blowing and silly family photos.



Even though this day was a blur and rushed past faster than a breath, I still remember every detail. I cried through the entire second viewing. I cried during the family prayer given by my very own father. I cried in that moment that my grandma caught the last glimpse of my grandpa as the lid to his beautiful solid oak casket (perfectly fit for my carpenter grandpa) closed. We all filed into the chapel and my grandpa's posterity filled the entire room: 9 children, their spouses, 61 grandchildren, 164 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren. The one wish my grandpa had was that he had a short funeral, and that he did. Even though it was under an hour, I heard so many new things about my grandpa, but the message always remained the same: my grandpa was a true disciple of Christ. We then walked to the grave site and all sang a song. I completely lost it again when I saw my grandma make her way to the casket to touch it one last time. We went back to the church for the feeding of the five thousand by the amazing offer given by my grandma's ward. Shortly after, Tyler and I made the trek to Provo to find a coffee table for the combining of Nikki and Spencer's birthdays. We didn't find one, but we still went to their apartment for some much needed Tim Tams. Back at Duncanville we visited with Sara late into the night, again, and even started a Google Doc for Aubrey and Jordan's advice book we plan to make for their wedding gift.



Tyler picked me up from work and we headed straight to Pleasant Grove for my grandpa's viewing. There was a steady flow of people young and old who had been greatly influenced by my grandpa. We sat on the sidelines as the line cleared for a bit. My grandma, who had been sitting in that wingback chair, stood up on her own, shuffled over to his side, touched his hand and then kissed his cheek. The room fell silent and almost all teared up. My grandparents had the most amazing marriage, they were rarely apart from each other, and now… she's all alone, without her constant companion. It breaks my heart. We visited here and there with all who attended and then left a tad early to drive to the airport to meet Sara and Charlie who flew in for the funeral. We brought Sara up to speed on the drive home with all that has happened in the last two weeks. All the photos and stories made us both choke up. We met up with everyone at Duncanville and visited deep into the night.



I was super nervous all day today, because this evening we went to dinner with Tyler's companion from Australia, who lives here, and their friend Shaunee, who is visiting all the way from Sydney. She has been in town and we have been excitedly waiting to get together with her while she is in the States. We talked of Australia for hours at the Buffalo Wild Wings down the street. Afterwards we drove Shaunee to her hotel downtown; on the drive we determined two things: how many Tim Tams we were allowed to take off her hands AND if her offer still stood to fly us to Australia.  The answer is: Shaunee is still just as awesome as everyone says she is, for she gave us every last morsel of the above Tim Tams and and and… drumroll please… HER OFFER STILL STANDS! She is going to pay our way all the way to Aussie land and back, not to mention she's going to let us use her car while we're there AND stay at her place. For goodness gracious sakes… are you excited? Because I know that we are!



We woke up early this morning for a final day of shooting in Torrey. Most of the shots were inside the lodge, making each one easy as pie compared to the outdoor ones of yesterday. Once it was a wrap, I made a mad dash home for Tyler's birthday celebration, and thankfully, the passengers in my car all agreed that we would not stop for dinner in a town mid-way home. I actually beat Tyler home since he was helping at a Young Men's activity per Peter's request, which couldn't have been planned better. Due to all the horse hair I brought home, I showered immediately since Tyler is deathly allergic and that would have been a disastrous birthday. Once he was home it was present-opening time: I skillfully packed all of his big presents into little boxes and his little presents into big boxes, and made them all shake-proof—no cheating! He opened a Community T-shirt and an 8-bit Nintendo controller T-shirt. Then Chips Ahoy! minis, the Nacho Libre DVD, and the All My Friends Are Still Dead book. Then there was the most prized possession of them all: PF Flyers. Tyler has been wanting purple Converse high tops for a long while now, but I found these that had the most perfect yellow trim on them and couldn't pass them up. I couldn't be more thrilled that it is Tyler's birthday; I am so happy that he was born. We talk about it all the time and wonder how we lived without each other. Tyler is my very best friend and I know life would be the pits without him.