Tyler had to get up early to go to a musical practice for the Christmas Sing-Along for our parents' neighborhood. He then went to work and I got some much-needed chores done. In the evening I went to Lynchland for what they call Saturday Fatter-Day (basically eating loads of leftovers). Tyler came over too after work and we had another night filled with Candy Crush (helping Nicole, Jeff, and Matt with all of the game tips and tricks we've learned over the months) and watching LOST late into the morning—sounds familiar, no? I could get used to this...



Unfortunately Tyler and I could only get Thanksgiving and our anniversary off this week, so it was back to work for us. Tyler started the day with a job interview; on Wednesday he had an e-mail from the University of Utah Hospital saying he got an interview, but it was a virtual interview… It was like a Skype session to nobody; there would be a question, he had 30 seconds to prepare, then two and a half minutes to record his answer. I know Tyler would LOVE to transfer to the U, and how exciting if we both got new jobs this year. After his job interview he swung by Lynchland to get some leftovers for him and me to enjoy during lunchtime. Tyler headed to Miche with food and Jade because I had promised my co-workers that I would bring Jade in before I left. Cassie and I were basically the only ones in, so she played with Jade while we ate delicious leftovers. Tyler then went to work and I finished out the day in a silent office. In the evening we went to Lynchland for Friday Pie Day, the day the Lynches set aside each year to devour all the pies they look forward to all Thanksgiving but are then too full to eat after dinner, and we enjoyed another late night LOST and Candy Crush party.



We intended to get over to Lynchland somewhat early to help with all of the food, but ended up oversleeping because we were up so late last night. We did help a bit, mostly with pies, and then chilled and chowed on the snacks at the snack table. Dinner was amazing: turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, squash, yams, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, ice cream jello, butt rolls, and tons of pies. So yummy. We ate and ate and then Nicole had to go to work, boo, but then we ate some more without her. It was so much fun. Turns out Jason is re-watching LOST, so we of course jumped right on that train. We watched like a million episodes, only breaking for some pie. Also, we've finally got Matt and Nicole hooked on Candy Crush Saga, and tonight we got Tyler's dad hooked too. We sat and watched LOST and played Candy Crush late into the night.



Goodness gracious! We ran what felt like a billion errands today after work, and then we got to work on all the Thanksgiving prep we need to do for tomorrow. We are bringing those Martha Stewart peanut butter acorns we made last year, a yummy variation on candied yams, and we plan to make a pie, but probably not until Friday pie day. I must have really been beat, because I ended up falling asleep while Tyler made the acorns. I awoke late in the night and proceeded to candy these pecans for the yams. I've never candied any sort of nuts, but it was a bit easier than I thought—I think they turned out quite nice, yes? Tomorrow is going to be so great; I'm already so giddy that the holidays are starting.



Today was our two-year anniversary! Can you believe it?! Tyler had a massive exam this morning even though we both took work off to celebrate. After his test we decided to take his car in to get inspected and I had to go take a urine test to get drug tested for the Utah Jazz. It took two hours and three tries, but I finally passed the test! We went and picked up his car, complete with four new tires, and ate our traditional anniversary pretzel bites from the mall. (While running some errands between our wedding and reception, we picked some up; they are always a lovely reminder of how amazing that whole day was when we go back year after year.) Then it was time to open presents: Tyler got me a shirt, jacket, and scarf from Forever 21, and a beautiful pearl necklace from the same jeweler where he bought my wedding ring. I had a surprise all lined up for Tyler, but it didn't end up working out, so we decided that we would just do some shopping at H&M. As we were leaving, the present I had lined up was in a plastic bag on our doorknob and Tyler held it up puzzledly. I squealed, grabbed the bag, and ran into our room to hide it (it still needed some work done on my end). Now that we didn't need to go to H&M, we drove to Texas Roadhouse instead and had the biggest meal of our lives. This is the man I am bound to forever and I couldn't think of a better person to have hilarious adventures with. What a perfect day!



Today was a really hard day. I called the Utah Jazz in the morning and told them I would like to accept their offer, and we went over all the things that would need to happen leading up to my first day there. I was a little late getting to work because of this call. I got in and I could tell that it had already been a rough day for my department, especially Caroline. I could tell it was bad timing to talk to her about quitting so I thought I would wait until after lunch. The day only got worse though, and I decided there wasn't really going to be a good time to tell her. I messaged her and asked if we could go chat somewhere. I felt like I was punching her in the gut, especially since she is leaving for Turkey in the morning, and by the time she gets back I will only have a little time left before I start with the Jazz. I felt like the ultimate jerk, but like the amazing person she is, she understood and said that it had just been a bad day. I walked slowly back to my desk and with a heavy heart told the rest of my team that I had just quit. The rest of today was a blur, but I am definitely going to miss these people. (Photo: a fortune I've had on my computer screen since my first official day here.)



Today we had choir practice and tithing settlement. After all of that we scurried over to my parents' house for a little pre-Thanksgiving meal with my grandparents from both sides. This week my Dad leaves for Sacramento to spend the week with my sister Sara, so Aubrey and I are both having Thanksgiving with our in-laws. As a result, my mom decided to put on a mini Thanksgiving with the grandparents. Even though we were a bit late, we enjoyed our meal in the company of my grandma and grandpa Bush, my aunt Kay Lynne and uncle Don, and my grandma Duncan. This is my cute 92-year-old grandma who wore her bright fuchsia house slippers to dinner… what a baller. We came home a bit early so that Tyler could get some homework submitted by midnight. Afterwards we talked over all the pros and cons of taking the Utah Jazz job. This has seriously been one of the hardest decisions I've ever made. We eventually landed on the decision that I would except the job offer in the morning and put in my three weeks notice with Miche. I will really miss the people I work with, but I think it's time for me to spread my wings a bit. Whelp, here goes nothing!



This morning Tyler and I went to the temple to help us receive a prompting for this big decision we have ahead of us. It was quite packed, but I think it helped me sway a bit to one decision over the other. After the temple, Tyler went straight to work and I went to Lynchland to discuss some potential help with a certain anniversary gift for Tyler. They fed me and we visited a bit, and then I decided it was time to get home and get some things done. On my way home I had a missed call from my mom telling me that there was something wrong with Aubrey. I called my mom back repeatedly and of course expected the worst when she didn't answer. I got home and settled in a bit and then got a call back; Aubrey had a gland in her bum become infected and she had to have fluid drawn from it. Apparently it was A LOT of fluid and the poor girl had been in the hospital all day. My mom and dad came and picked me up and we delivered dinner to her and Jordan. I say welcome to the club because it seems like we Duncan girls contract some of the weirdest mini health problems. Can you say belly button infection?



This morning I missed a call while I was getting ready. Tyler rushed the phone to me, but I still had missed it. I listened to the voicemail and it was the art director from the Utah Jazz needing to talk to me as soon as possible. I called him back and he said that they wanted to offer me the job! That quickly?! I began to freak out a bit, but luckily Tyler was there to help me keep my cool. I asked if I could have the weekend to think it over and he graciously agreed. Once I was off the phone, Tyler congratulated me excitedly, but I was still unsure whether I should accept! Tyler told me to work the day normally and just weigh both options all day, and we would celebrate in the evening. Work was difficult—difficult to not share this exciting news with anyone; difficult not to ask for their advice as friends without them thinking of me as a traitor. Tyler did chores all day (mostly cleaning out Jade's cage, which is a daunting task in itself) and then we picked up the Chinese food. I love our little tradition of celebrating raises/job offers with an Asian buffet and I love that it is finally the weekend.



Yesterday after work I met with Becca and Stephanie to go over the details of the shower we're throwing for Stephanie. I offered to do the invites and Becca offered to host the event next month. I had a lot of fun messing around with the elements from her existing announcement for this invite. I now just need to put in all of the information and we'll deliver them on Monday. I'm pretty pleased with it—I hope Stephanie is when I show her tomorrow.



This is the napkin on which I scribbled the conversation I had with the Utah Jazz art director as I shivered in my car last week. After a restless night, I woke up, drove downtown, and awaited the arrival of the mysterious man who wanted to interview me. He arrived, we went into a conference room, we spoke comfortably, we shook hands, and it was over. Just like that. I don't know why I worried so much… that's what everyone tells me. I had told my co-workers that I had an appointment and that I would be in by lunch. I came home and told Tyler all about my interview. As I recounted the conversation, Tyler kept responding with a delighted "Good answer!" as if we were on Family Feud, applause included. What a supportive husband! Well as I left the interview I asked when I would hear back from them; he said in two weeks or so, which is fine and dandy with me because I have plenty to keep me busy at my current job.



My amazing husband ran a million errands for me in preparation for my interview tomorrow. Last night I submitted my portfolio to get printed at Office Depot and he picked it up for me. He also grabbed some crafting supplies for me to construct the whole "package" that the portfolio pages will be housed in. I got home from work and he was still running errands; I took that opportunity to submit Stephanie's wedding announcement. Tyler got home and we watched a documentary on Netflix for one of his classes. We ran some more errands in the evening to prep me for tomorrow. Tyler worked on his homework and I cranked out this hand-lettered logo-ish thing to write on the front of my portfolio. I must say, the stress is really getting to me, and I am definitely overly psyching myself out. Luckily I have a loving husband to tell me that I am good enough and support me in all that I do.



Sydney's mom insisted that she take me to dinner tonight as a congratulations for getting the interview with the Utah Jazz. After a delicious dinner at Vinto's we went back to Sydney's apartment to rehearse answering interview questions and plan out my portfolio. The pesto was amazing and I think I have a better handle on how I'm going to trick this guy into thinking I am actually a good designer (wink wink). Only one more day to stress out… ugh.



This is my friend Stephanie. She likes to wear sweats on the weekends and make desserts in the evenings, although, tonight that could not be done with it being Sunday and all… so we made cookies and took them to her to devour while we had a chat. It will be weird when we can't just run over to her house on a whim after she is married. Oh well, we're happy she'll have Matt to bake with and lounge in "cookie pants" with on the weekends. That Matt is getting a real catch. I mean, just look at this.



This morning I had a dentist appointment early in the morning and Tyler crammed for a test he had in the afternoon. The teeth cleaning was a bit rough and took the energy right out of me (I'm sure it was that and the fact that I had to wake up so early), so I ended up taking a very long nap. I woke up, got the mail, and found this lovely letter from my niece Kylee that encased a check from my Maryland sister—what a delight to wake up to. I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out how I was going to present myself, my portfolio, and my answers to the interview questions next week. Let the stressing begin…



I got the most amazing text message from my dear friend Stephanie today after lunch. Through a series of connections she had a FREE extra ticket to the "So You Think You Can Dance" Concert tonight at the Maverick Center. I squealed with delight when I read the message and instantly let her know that I for sure wanted it. After work I scurried home to change my clothes to look much cuter than I had for work and then Stephanie picked me up to make our way to the concert. She bought me dinner like a champ and we enjoyed the amazing concert from the Embassy Suites suite. I must say, watching all those young'uns dance their little hearts out makes me feel like I'm wasting this body of mine—I'm definitely NOT using its full potential. Speaking of full potential and messages on my phone… today I got a voicemail from a certain art director at the Utah Jazz wondering if he could set up an interview with me in the coming week. WHAT!? 



Tonight Tyler studied his little heart out while I went over ideas for our Christmas card. I went through seven color palettes before Tyler suggested the obvious red and green. Now I have been making lists of all that we should feature on this card… where we went, what we did, stats, miscellaneous. Some lists are long and some are sparse, so it should be fun making it all the same and fitting it on a little 5x7 card.



The year of 2013 has been a hectic one, and with the holidays coming up we know it's going to get even crazier, so in an effort to be more prepared for the coming year my dear husband bought these: monthly, spiral-bound calendars for 2014. We hope that having our own set will keep us in check with each other's schedules and help prevent those 'uh-oh' moments when we remember we are supposed to be somewhere in ten minutes… with a card… and a present… in nice clothes. Not that we haven't remembered a wedding… yet, but it could very well happen in the near future if we don't get organized.



Tonight we made a butt-ton of sweet potato fries and it's good thing because Stephanie came over to go over her wedding announcement. While Tyler slaved away in the kitchen, we ladies put the final touches on her announcement by picking out the photos to go on the backs of the map, announcement, and inserts. When dinner was ready, we chowed down while watching some of our favorite Miranda Sings videos and laughed all the way home. For dessert? The girls painted their fingernails while Tyler played YouTube DJ. We will miss these impromptu dinner/YouTube nights with Stephanie after she is married… boo. 



Guess what happened today? Tyler's uncle Jerry posted this picture of Tyler's grandpa from the olden days. Tyler had never seen this picture of his grandpa before and couldn't get over how much this picture resembles his own father. In the evening Matt and Nicole surprised us with treats: peanut butter bars. They are a Lynch favorite that I still had never had until this evening… boy I don't know how I made it this long without them. YUM!



Tonight we had leftover mashed potatoes with a delicious homemade white gravy—yeah, we're cool like that. While we relaxed after dinner I came up with some ideas for our holiday card. We don't really have strong ambitions to get it out by Christmas exactly, but we do want it out around January. With that in mind, we're thinking of doing a year in review sort of card with a holiday photo of us. This was a pretty memorable and momentous year, TONS of things happened! It's got me all sorts of fired up to make this card.



Remember that owl I received earlier this week as a hand-lettering commission of sorts? This morning I finally had the time to get working on it and made some mock-ups to send to Renae for her opinion. I knew she was at a funeral today, but she was picking it up tomorrow, so I just texted her and said she could let me know at any time. I figured once she had it nailed down it wouldn't take me long to execute it. She ended up responding sooner than I'd planned and I had it done in no time. Tonight I wasn't feeling super great (shocker) and all that sounded good was mashed potatoes. Do you know what my super amazing husband did? On his way home from work he bought a bag of potatoes and made the creamiest homemade mashed potatoes for this little lady. What a lad I have!



Tyler and I have been having a rough couple of weeks—feeling like a couple of "Debbie Downers." We've been needing a bit of a pick-me-up and I declared tonight that we should make our thankful turkey. A "thankful turkey" is a Lynch Thanksgivingtime tradition that we have been meaning to implement into our little family for some time. You cut out a bunch of feathers and then take turns writing on the feathers, listing what you're thankful for. We finished in no time and decided to hang it on our front door so that we could see it as we left each day. We hope it will be a good reminder that things aren't all that bad and we really do have so many amazing blessings.



I left work a bit early to go and get my flu shot from my mom's pharmacy. As I waited for the pharmacist to administer the shot, I chatted it up with my mom. She told me that there had been a super sale on pizzas on Halloween and she went a little crazy. So crazy, in fact, that she had too many pizzas for her three freezers—they had pizza coming out of their ears! She told me that, as a Halloween present to Tyler and me, she wanted me to go and pick some pizzas. I ended up leaving with eleven pizzas! I then drove over to Lynchland for a little party; their ward fall social was at seven and they invited Tyler and me along. Tyler had to work tonight so I went along solo and enjoyed a delightful dinner and a wonderful message from my childhood stake president's twin sister. She talked about President Hinckley's nine BEs and in turn inspired me to hang them somehow in our home to see them everyday.



I got an interesting call tonight from Suzanne who put someone she was at a dinner with on the phone. Turns out everyone loved the chalk things I did for the dinner she put on in September and she had a lady with her that requested my hand-lettering services. She is a teacher at an elementary and needed the words "Teacher Of The Month" lettered on this owl. It is giant, glittery, and bumpy, with little space for lettering. What a challenge, but I'm excited. Also, Tyler had an insane night at work that involved an old lady threatening everyone and their dog that she would strangle them, or hurt them in some way. Even though she is a frail old 70-pound woman and could do no harm, it frightened me nonetheless as Tyler told the story, laughing.



My awesome co-worker Caroline recently inherited some sweet vintage graphic design things from her aunt who was a designer herself. I can't believe how gracious Caroline was to give me sheets of blinding neon paper in all sorts of colors and this lovely designer visual pad. This thing is filled with some old school examples of different drawing utensils on paper. Later tonight I received a wonderful phone call from the one and only Amber Richardson. We talked of cabbages and kings and maybe possibly working together in the future. Things are looking up.



Did you know that today is National Candy Day? How convenient that it falls just after Halloween, eh? Even better is that we only had one trick-or-treater, leaving us with this whole bowl of candy. Want to know what's even better than that? Cafe Rio leftovers from Peter's birthday… yum! Side note: I did it. I launched schooledlunch.com and stayed up all night applying for a graphic design job with the Utah Jazz. I don't know what will come of it—I don't even know if I really want to leave my current job, but I do know I need to rattle this box I've been stuck in and get my name out there.



Remember my co-worker's cosmetic company? Well they just came out with eyeliner and mascara that are equally organic and lovely to the face. I wore them for the first time to church today and it went swimmingly! Tonight we celebrated little Peter's birthday with homemade Cafe Rio salads (I could live on them) and played games. After dinner we were SO full, but that didn't stop us from making room for cake. Happy Birthday Peter Q!



We slept in a bit, but not too late because Tyler had to go to work and I wanted to Skype with my sisters before it got too late in the day. My sister Sara, who lives in Sacramento, took a flight to Maryland to spend a week with my sister Tiffany while her husband was away on business. It was so fun to talk to them with all their kids in the same room (they looked pretty tired—I'm sure the time zone difference wasn't helping). While we chatted with them we ate a very chocolatey brunch to the celebrate the ending of Choctober. We had gluten-free chocolate cookies in the freezer from Tyler's mission reunion, as well as kid's meal Frosties from our temple date and some much anticipated Tim Tam slams from all our Australian goodies. Tyler soon left for work and my sisters and I spoke of crafting, holidays, and sewing. They had some crafts in mind that they planned to do while spending the week together, and I showed them this fabric that I intend to use to upholster the chair that goes with the desk Sara gave me. Tyler had a very difficult night at work, but it was nothing that a clean house and a strict regimen of couch-sitting and movie-watching couldn't fix.



After I got home from work, Nicole and I had a texting conversation that led to me meeting up at Lynchland to share some nail polish and continue working on her Hillcrest quilt. She was running errands for Peter's birthday and a few other things. We ended up getting there at the same time and she even brought me a treat. Have you been to Straws on 13th and Creek Road? Apparently they have everything under the sun that you can slurp through a straw (hence the name). She got me a Dr. Pepper with a coconut mix-in—I sure do love a good mix-in flavor. We cut and cut the night away, visiting with each person that trickled through the door. Before we knew it Tyler was off of work and joined us to finish his homework.