This is Tyler's second-to-youngest brother Kevin. Isn't he a doting young lad? He gave a wonderful talk today and Tyler performed a beautiful musical number on the flute. One of the sisters in the ward gave the closing prayer in the meeting and blessed Kevin that he would be able to go to his area and be let into homes where others would not be due to his beaming personality. I believe that will be true with all my heart; in all the time that I have known Kevin, even before I was officially a Lynch, he has been a positive beacon of hope in all situations. There was an amazing turnout at Lynchland, all in honor of this suspender-sporting, very-soon-to-be missionary.
We had plans to help out at Lynchland all we could today in preparation for Kevin's farewell tomorrow. We got there early in the morning and turned right around to run some errands at Sam's Club—just in time for morning samples. One of my very favorite samples was this table; from afar I told Tyler that those looked like apricots; he retorted saying that they were too dark to be apricots and were definitely plums. As we rounded the table we saw the sign reading 'Pluots;' that's right, a hybrid of the two. We could not stop laughing and I had to take a picture of what caused this hilarity. The rest of the day was spent in the Lynchland kitchen cooking up a storm with Suzanne and Nicole with the occasional help from Matt, Peter, and Kevin (Tyler had to go to work). Jeff was outside all day trimming, snipping, and clipping the yard, front and back, for the festivities tomorrow. After a long day of cooking everything under the sun in that little hot kitchen, we got out of the house for some well-deserved In-N-Out burger.
All I have to say is thank goodness this week is over. It was a great one, having family here in the beginning, but it's been a game of catch-up at work. Another exciting thing we've launched at work this summer is a weekender tote. It's brown, tan, and white, large, and woven. It is the perfect size for my laptop and a lovely carry on for all of my upcoming trips. The best part is the interior—a flood of electric blue. I bought it at the end of the workday, along with Tiffany's birthday present, as we will be celebrating her birthday when they come back from Las Vegas.
Check this out. So the company I work for is going to launch an interchangeable and a non-interchangeable jewelry line next month and the product came in today. I was especially excited because the packaging was a collaborative effort between Sydney and me. She did most of the grunt work that comes with getting the files ready to be sent off, but I came up with the initial design. A black sleeve goes over the box with the company logo and a varnish with our tagline 'Endless Possibilities' printed on it. The box itself is white with silver printing and slides out to show the jewelry. I designed the pattern on the box and what a feat that was. It ended up being one of our clover symbols we use throughout the jewelry, duplicated and rotated on top of itself (it that makes any sense whatsoever). All in all I am very excited for this jewelry launch to be received by the public next month, and I came away with a terrific portfolio piece, no?
A couple of weeks before Sara and Bob drove out here Sara went to a book barn sale (something I desperately wish we had here) where paperback and hardback books are dirt cheap, like coin cheap. She called me up and asked me if I wanted some books here and there. Well, last night she gave me a whole stack of books that have the most wonderful illustrations on the endpapers and throughout the pages. In addition to the stacks and stacks of books, she gave me this: my very first birthday present. It's probably one of the greatest phone covers I've ever seen. It's my favorite color and the perfect concept; I think it fits me perfectly, don't you?
Have you ever seen this movie? I was introduced to it quite a bit ago by my brother-in-law Steve. It is hilarious and has become one of my very favorites. Tyler has been waiting to watch this with both Steve and Bob, but chances of all three of them being in the same room has been next to impossible since we've met. We meant to do it back when Tyler and I were wed, but we were busy non-stop until they were out of town and back to their homes. In fact, the last time I saw this myself was the summer before I got married and my whole family was together for a short week in Maryland. Tonight, finally, it happened! The boys all sat on the couch and together they watched this comedy of all comedies, which did not disappoint. While they sat on the couch, the girls sat at the counter planning out fun crafts and ideas that we want to and hope to achieve (since we've made a whole book, we hope to do more). Tonight was our last night with the Riches and Cramers, for the Riches are driving back to California in the morning and the Cramers are driving to Las Vegas for a mini-trip before they come back for the 4th of July.
This morning everyone but Tyler and I went on a hike—we of course slept in now that the book and the wedding are over. It was long overdue. In the afternoon we all traveled to Scheels so the grandkids could ride with the grandparents on the ferris wheel. My mom sat with the girls and my dad sat with the boys while we all watched from below. We wandered around for a bit afterwards and spent the evening at Duncanville, visiting late into the night once again.
My sisters and I had coordinated a meal plan among ourselves for the week they were here. Tyler and I were doing dinner today and we were spending it at my Grandma's house. We went to a short day at church (no Sunday School due to a broadcast to take place shortly after church ended) and then made our way to Pleasant Grove for visiting and grub. We made sunday chicken, rice, veggies, and my Grandma's very favorite chocolate chocolate chip cake (ironically, a recipe I got from her). She was so excited when we told her we had made it and took two leftover pieces for herself when the meal was finished! There was a bit of delay in preparing the meal and I definitely stressed myself out more than I needed to, but it was amazing to be in the presence of my grandma and my sisters at the same time—it has been forever since that happened. We drove home and put the kiddos to bed, then visited with the siblings late into the night.
The very last Duncan girl was wed today; it's the end of an era. The day was tiring, tearful, amazing and happy. In the sealing room we all were in tears, as it was originally planned that my grandpa would seal these two lovebirds. The replacement sealer so tenderly pointed out my grandpa's presence there; my sweet grandma didn't want to leave when it was over. We took photos outside and then ran errands (one of them being pretzel bites from the mall—a lovely tradition we started on our own wedding day) between the morning at the temple and afternoon luncheon. They had a small program at the luncheon that ended with Aubrey surprising my dad with the sweetest ever daddy-daughter dance to 'Aubrey Was Her Name.' We got ready at Duncanville before the reception and had some last minute snags that Tyler and I tried to smooth over before it started. We took pictures at the reception center and then it began. My cousin Danny made a terrific cake and Tyler's family was so gracious to help with the waffle line, the elevators, the presents and such. We got to see and visit with so many supportive people there for these two lovely little kids. Aubrey looked stunning in her princess gown and Jordan was as dapper as ever. Good luck kids, we love you.
We slept in today and soaked in the much-needed sleep, then I packed up to spend the day at Duncanville. Tyler spent the afternoon taking a final and then picked up pizza and an ice cream cake for Kylee's birthday celebration. We ate, we sang, we opened presents—can you believe she is 5?! We all finished up and got ready for our family picture up at Albion Basin, with our very own Steve snapping the shots. Back at Duncanville, I played Nintendo with the brothers and Tyler and finished the night visiting with with Sara and Tiffany. Tomorrow there's a wedding to be had, can you even handle it?
I worked my little tail off to get everything sent off at work before I left early for a four day weekend. Tyler and I met my dad at the airport for the greeting of the Cramer family. We took them to In-N-Out Burger and met my mom and Aubrey there for some late lunch/early dinner. After some spills and watching Tyler be so good to help Livy eat, we went back to Duncanville. Tiffany, Steve, Cody and Kylee left with my dad shortly after to go to a rodeo in Lehi. While they were gone I got to babysit this little Livy, who only wanted to sit with Tyler while he tried to study for a final. He eventually just rocked her to sleep. The rodeo clan game back and actually ended up going hiking. We helped put the kids to bed and then discussed the details for the family picture happening tomorrow.
Today was another stressful day at work, but thankfully it wasn't as bad as yesterday and it went by quickly. Once home, I got straight to work on cleaning the whole house in preparation for my sisters coming this week. Tiffany and Steve haven't even seen our apartment, so I went a bit crazy on the cleaning. You know when you're cleaning and one thing just leads to another and you never seem to finish what you were first working on? That happened to me: I cleaned the shelf above the range and knocked the box of matches off, which spilled under the coils of the range; I took the coils out to pick up the matches and decided to clean the coil trays; I lifted them out and decided to also clean under the range top. I don't think the shelf above the stove ever actually got cleaned now that I think about it... Next, I cleaned the sheets, the bathroom, and vacuumed the whole apartment (only after I had to snip all of the tangled hair from the vacuum brushes). I'll fold the laundry another day. (Nice photo bomb Tyler.)
Work. Oh, work. What an utter disaster! It was so bad that Sydney and I left for a very late lunch and ran to Marie Callender's to buy a pie. Not a pie to share, mind you, but a pie apiece (yes, work was that bad). It has become even more stressful because I am leaving for two days this week during a very crucial part of deliverables. Don't get me wrong, I am completely and utterly stoked for my sisters to get here and for Aubrey to get married, but I know a bunch of work is going to flow in while I am gone. I know I can't control it, but I feel bad for Sydney because she will have to pick up the slack. I just can't wait for this day to be over, but at least I have this pie at my side to get me through it.
We finally sent the book off today to the printer. Before sending it off we did some test sheets on our printer just to make sure the backgrounds weren't too dark or too light (the one stipulation was that you can only print black and white on the inside pages, so we got pretty creative when it came to those category backgrounds). It was the only website I could find where you could pick how many pages you wanted instead of them giving you a set limit. There were some spots of miscommunication between the website and I when it came to how the end product would turn out, mainly with the way the page layouts would print and the quality of the cover, but all in all we got it off. We cannot wait to give it to Aubrey and Jordan for their wedding. It really has been a labor of love and we hope everyone likes it.
Last night we worked late into the evening and finally got the first draft of the book done. We made a PDF of it and sent it off to my sisters to review it and make edits for the final approval, as the wedding is this weekend. We went to church and it was as hectic as ever with six new kids in nursery rounding us out to a lovely total of fifteen toddlers. After church, we made Father's Day cards with bow tie pasta and nail polish, just like last year. We made our way to Lynchland for cards and present opening and then made the trek to the Dredge grandparents in Orem. Suzanne's brother and his wife are in town staying with the grandparents and offered to have us over for ribs. After some cake and a surprising realization that Tyler's grandma is crazy good at watercolor/painting, we went to Provo to see the Picketts. Nikki has implemented a program called Dressing Your Truth into her life and offered to gift the course to me for my birthday. We visited a bit with them and then came home to get started on the final edits for the book. It is still inconclusive, but we may or may not have pulled an all-nighter.
This morning was Aubrey's bridal shower with the Duncan side of the family. My Aunt Raeleen hosted this lovely affair at my Grandma's house down in Utah County. There were lovely little treats and visiting. After some time she offered up this game of making a wedding dress out of napkins. Well the Duncan side is full of crafty, sewing women, so it is no surprise that this was the end result. My Grandma even helped, going into great detail making the rosettes along the back and contributing to the tiers of ruffles for the skirt. Also, that veil… isn't really a veil. Nikki and I just kept building up her "poofy" sleeves until they met in the middle in an arch above her head. There is also one pocket just to the right of her hand—one of my very favorite parts. In the evening Tyler and I worked more on the book, but took a break to take my dad out to eat for Father's Day (I think I want to make that a tradition). We got back to our apartment and my dad offered to take us both for a sweet ride in his little Pontiac Solstice, a fun way to end the night.
Today we had a birthday lunch for my co-worker and I must have eaten something that did NOT like my stomach because I was instantly sick by 2 pm. I muddled through the rest of the day wearing my brand new scarf from Quilted Bear. After work I had Sydney come over and check out my progress on the book. It's good to have someone on the outside making sure you're on the right track—when you're looking at it day after day after day, you tend to miss things. She gave plenty of positive feedback though and she loved my cover idea and my background concepts. Once Tyler got home we worked on the book late into the night, but I think the hardest part is over and from here on out is combing through page by page for consistency and typos.
I again worked late finishing up on the catalogue and then came home and worked on the book (I know, it seems like our days are set on repeat). These are the tumblers that we bought Father & Son's weekend for everyone. I took mine to work right away and have loved having it there. I am drinking way more water due to the straw, which everyone could stand to have more of in their life. Tonight, Tyler finally used his for the first time and he has been sold too.
Today was Tenant Appreciation Day at work, meaning that the owner of the business building bought everyone lunch. Joe Morley's came and catered all of their deliciousness: pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, slaw, and the most amazing mud pie. I ended up working very late at work since it's catalogue season and the deadline has been bumped up because of our annual conference in July. I got home around eight; Tyler had spent the whole day on editing the book, all the way until May. The thing that took the longest was the recipes. Tyler had the actual book file opened on my computer on his lap and then the original Google document, as well as many of the recipes on their source websites, opened on his computer to his right. Then the notebook with the glued-in advice pieces and some recipe books on the the left. We first formatted the longest recipe and then made all the rest of them match that one. It took forever and we worked late into the night (but at least note that terrific T-shirt he is wearing gifted to him by his lovely wife).
I was finally on time to work this morning, for the first time in what has seemed like forever. I was really good about my diet until I got home and devoured three bowls of shredded chicken with ketchup (yes, that's a downfall for me—it's so delicious). I then finished off my "dinner" with the rest of the pistachios in the cupboard—can't get enough of those little nuts. While Tyler was at work I watched My Boys on Netflix and folded our mounds of laundry. Once Tyler got home, we decided to take a break from the book for a change and just relax and watch some television and bask in each other's awesomeness.
I felt very sick again this morning and can't seem to shake this nausea. After work I worked on designing the category backgrounds for the book. I've decided to start a strict diet for the next two weeks because I have gained a bit of weight since quitting Ideal Protein back in April. In two weeks, I have family pictures and a wedding where I need to fit into already-purchased outfits. We went grocery shopping tonight and I made a two-week meal plan to help me get to the goal. I went running in the evening and had Tyler come with me; I almost threw up on one of the last running legs of the route and had to walk the rest of the way. Overall today was a good day, though, because of this cheery little gem—this is that phone cover I was telling you about, the one from Quilted Bear. Hooray.
Tyler didn't sleep well because he got VERY sunburned at the very tail end of his camping trip. He didn't go to church because the thought of picking up toddlers with that nasty burn I'm sure made him cringe even more. At one point during nursery there were four crying kids at once, but I made it through. After church we went to Lynchland to celebrate Kevin's birthday. We helped stuff the manicotti and ate the most magnificent dinner. We then opened presents and watched The Odd Life of Timothy Green, which was, in fact, odd… to say the least. We had a small intermission during the movie for cake and candles. We only have a month left with Kevin and it hasn't quite sunk in yet…
We woke up just before noon and went to eat lunch at Costa Vida. Afterwards we went to Gordman's where we all tried on dresses just right there in the middle of the store. (I was trying one on and ended up pulling it up and over my head with my shirt on. OF COURSE! Luckily Suzanne came to my rescue before I flashed the whole store.) We then went to Quilted Bear to buy ties for all of the guys (another part of the Father & Son's tradition—we buy stuff for them and us). While we there we surprisingly found some cute scarves and bought some for us. I also surprisingly found a new phone cover; I've been looking high and low for one, on the internet and not, and have had no luck. Way to go Quilted Bear! We then went to Target where I found two dresses and a jacket on the clearance rack. I also found probably the best wedge sneaker I've ever seen that I later told Tyler would make the perfect birthday present (wink, wink). We went back to Lynchland to find the boys and gave them their gifts: ties for the boys, scarves for the girls, and monogrammed tumblers for everybody. We then ended the night with dinner where we filled each other in on our adventures.
Tonight we celebrated Stephanie's 25th birthday (all the way from May 13th) at Red Robin with Mandy and her toddler, Kason. On the way over we dug through Tyler's coin box in his car for a 1988 quarter just for the occasion. I then made her card in the parking lot. Earlier I bought a Miche Shell for her and a Miche men's messenger bag for Tyler. I have been promising him one since I knew they were coming out—he said it was a pleasant surprise. Speaking of birthdays, it is also my oldest sister's birthday—Happy three three Tiffany! While I had been at work, Tyler had worked on copying and pasting the advice from the Google doc into the InDesign file of the book. After dinner and some grocery shopping, I finished copying and pasting while Tyler stayed up studying for a test.
I woke up very late from working on the book, but eventually made it to work. I've had this idea all along to make each category in the book have a bit of flare added to that page that has to do with that particular area. For example, the cleaning category, I am thinking of having a graphic on the page that looks like a water stain from the bottom of a mug. I don't have all of the categories figured out, so on my lunch break I asked Sydney to help me out. She gave me some pretty great ideas: for the kitchen tips category she said to have it look like it's put on the fridge with a magnet. GENIUS I say, just genius. I ended up leaving work a bit early because I have been pretty nauseous lately. I came home to find this lovely piece of mail from two of my dear graphic design friends from school. Friend #1: Lindsey is getting married and friend #2: Sarah Champion is throwing her a bridal shower and made this invite. (Aren't the flowers just to die for? Not to mention the way she wrote my name on the front.) Tyler worked until 10 pm and we spent the rest of the night brainstorming for the book and ended up pulling a late night again.
I went to work today, but probably shouldn't have with how sick I am. Tyler has been pretty sick too (not what we need right now, blugh). Once I got home, we went back to work on the advice book. We combed through each piece of advice to see if it correlated with a holiday from our findings last night. This was a pretty fun process, because we could justify it however we wanted; some of them were a stretch (those ones being mostly from me). Next, we finished laying down all of the papers to fill in the gaps. Finally by the end of the night we had gotten all of the papers laid down and finished adjusting them so that each person was spaced out evenly within each month and that each category was spaced out from one to the next. It was a long process, but I think we can now finally start putting them in digitally.
I woke up very sick this morning and decided to stay home from church as to not pass it along to all the little kiddos. Tyler had to work in the morning and then came home and went to church. He got home and we slept until dinnertime. In the evening we started laying down all of the strips of paper into columns that represented the months. We first laid down any traditions that had to do with a time of year or certain day. We then evenly split up the recipes between the twelve months and the six siblings so that each month had an even amount of recipes from each of us, as well as types of recipes per month (i.e. a dessert, a main and a side). I then had a brilliant idea of giving each day in the book a holiday (any excuse to celebrate, right?). Tyler wasn't entirely sold on the idea, not to mention we were already putting ourselves behind with how detail-oriented we were being about the placement of each piece of advice. So picture us sitting on our couch at 10 pm, surrounded by a mine field of little papers, with two computers and many website tabs opened to find a legitimate holiday that falls on each day of the year. Let's just say we went to bed ever so late.
While Tyler was at his second day of training for his new job, I tried to get a start on the advice book for Aubrey and Jordan's wedding present. I printed out the many pages of advice from the Google doc that was completed as of last night and cut them into strips. I sorted them by family and then paper-clipped them into categories. After work, Tyler dropped off Aubrey and Jordan's announcement to his parents' house and then dashed home to get ready for the live endowment of my baby sister. We met my dad, the Picketts, and my cousin Danny in the lobby of the Jordan River Temple. We got dressed and attended the session with five other live endowments. I was able to sit with my mom and Aubrey. I noticed halfway through that I couldn't find Jordan. I found out later that he had been sitting up front because he had sprained his ankle (note the crutch in the photo). After the session we took a plethora of photos outside of the temple and met up for Chinese food at Jasmine Cuisine with Jordan's family, my dad, and my cousin Danny.