Monday, March 30, 2009

Garden Treasures

We've survived yet another weekend that has been chock full of excitement. After having a week of coverage trying to get my module lined out to start up, we were all pretty exhausted. Since the safety system for our new machine was not operational as of Friday, our manager told us to go home at noon on Friday. You don't have to tell me to go home early twice. At 12:30 I was headed home to get my cleaning and laundry done a day early. Ideal. I think I got the grocery shopping done. I'm not sure when it happened, I just know it got done.

Friday night we signed up to do sealings with our ward at the Ogden Temple. It was the first time I had been to the Ogden Temple. For not being an attractive temple on the outside, I was a bit worried about the inside. I shouldn't have been, it was wonderful. It was fun to spend some time with a few of the older couples in our ward too. They're pretty spunky. The sealer was great too. He took every moment he could to teach us something about the ordinance. After the temple we went to the delicious Thai place down the street. It had been awhile since I had eaten some curry. Fantastic!

Saturday morning started off with tutoring as usual then it was home to brainstorm ideas for the personal progress activity I'm in charge of this week. When I got home I found a very happy puppy playing in the pile of stuff Shad had found in the garden area.

To give Shad a break I took Dublin on a walk in hopes of tiring him out before I headed off to the General Young Women's Meeting. The meeting was good. Hardly any girls showed up. They didn't get a very good reminder from the presidency so I can understand that. The meeting was good - everyone talked on virtue which was awesome. I left the meeting with the perfect plan for our personal progress activity. Now we will see if the girls show up.

When I returned home, Shad and I went to dinner then we went down to the basement to dance for awhile. We hadn't been dancing in a very long time and since it's too far to drive to the MAC, we figured the cement floor in the basement would do. To spruce it up, Shad went and got balloons. After we finished, we thought it would be fun to see what Dublin would do with them. I think it's safe to say he likes balloons. He's so cute.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The French Guy is Gone!

The peace of my cubicle has once again been restored. The loud French guy was not at work this morning. I can only hope he's returned to Wisconsin where I'm pretty sure he came from.

In other news, we survived our house warming party this last weekend. It was a total blast. I'm super grateful to all our friends that made the drive up here to come celebrate with us. I was totally shocked at how many people actually showed up. I wasn't even sure we knew that many people but I guess we do. I was also delightfully surprised to find everyone fit pretty well too. The house didn't seem too crowded at all. There will definitely be more parties to come.

A couple of my coworkers gave us an adorable puppy kit as a house warming present. Since we could tell what it was, we thought it would be fun to let Dublin open it. Here's a video. He's a bit slow at first - I'm hoping with practice, he'll get better.

Because Saturday was spent getting ready for the house warming, we didn't really do too much else this weekend. We went to church on Sunday. After I took Dublin on a very long walk to wear him out - he was still pretty wired from the party. I got home just in time to change and head over to the stake center for the temple dedication.

The Dedication was fantastic. I was thinking about the last one I went to - I'm pretty sure it was the Nauvoo Dedication. It was a little sad to think President Hinckley wouldn't be the one doing it but I really do love President Monson. He makes me laugh like President Hinckley did, just in a different way.

After the dedication, we made dinner and then we opened the rest of our presents. Thanks to everyone that brought us something. It was so not necessary but very much appreciated. After that it felt so good to sit on the couch with my husband and just relax. I don't think we've done that once for the past 2 months.

I'm pretty disappointed by the weather today - we were supposed to go down to Salt Lake to take family pictures today. We will just have to try again next Monday. Pray for sun!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Done?

I think it's safe to say we're in the home stretch of home improvement things and I am so grateful. I was in a meeting yesterday at work and the topic of how much I do during the week came up. Between church, work, tutoring, husband, house and a new puppy - I'm excited to cross something off the list. Not that I don't thoroughly enjoy all of the things I'm involved in, and I'm not happy unless I'm busy, I'm looking forward to warm evenings where I get to cook a decent meal then take a walk with my husband and puppy or (gasp!) make it to the gym again. Those will be good times. It was funny to hear an observation from one of our non-LDS engineers that "the engineers that don't drink really seem to accomplish a lot more with their time." I was pretty entertained by that. Apparently even occasional drinking and productivity have direct correlations.

Aside from home improvement tasks, we still had a very full weekend. Friday afternoon we had the insurance nurse come and take blood for our life insurance. That went well and I was happy not to have to fast anymore. Plus I found out my husband really doesn't like needles, which was a bit entertaining to watch. I'm a mean wife. While having my blood taken, I received a call from RC Willey that they would be there to deliver our couch from 6:30 to 8:30 that night. Which would had been nice but we had a wedding reception in Salt Lake to go to that was from exactly 6:30 to 8:30. After discussing it, we decided I would go since they technically were my friends and Shad could get some painting done. We headed to dinner in the mean time since we were both starving. Just as I was about to get into the shower, the phone rang. It was RC Willey saying we'll be there in 5 minutes - a half hour early! Ideal. The couch was delivered and we headed down to SLC for the reception. It was beautiful and I'm so excited for Bryce and Lina. They're so cute. After spending 20 minutes at the reception we turned around to drive the hour home. Totally worth it for those two!

Saturday I got up and went tutoring in the morning. Before I left I gave Shad explicit instructions to get the bedroom painting finished and meet me in SLC at 7 for the Sweater Friend's show. After tutoring I went down to SLC to attempt to learn the song my sister and I were singing in her ward the next day. That went okay. We were able to practice it a few times together. I then proceeded to Jake's house for a few hours of band practice for the show that night. In between I went to my parents to lay down for 15 minutes to get some energy back for the show.

I left for the show which was at an ideal establishment called the Blue Star Cafe - it's on 2300 East and about 2700 South. It's a really sweet laid back coffee shop/bagel place. We hung out there until it was our turn to play. The show went pretty well. After 4 hours of singing prior in the day - I was just grateful I still had a voice. My hubby wasn't able to make it down for it because the painting still wasn't done so I headed home right after we finished.

The next day we went to our ward for young womens and sunday school then went home to walk Dublin so he would sleep while we were at my sister's ward. We took him down with us for family dinner so he could meet his uncle Scott. I think he loved him. The song in Kristen's ward went really well and I'm excited that it's over.

All and all it was a very busy but rewarding weekend.

P.S. Do French accents bother anyone else? A French guy showed up at work today a few cubicle's down. After 20 minutes at my desk listening to a loud phone conversation, I wanted to bang his head into the wall. I hope he's not staying awhile. He might beat the loud guy with the Wisconsin accent that sits next to me. He hasn't been at his desk a lot. It's been nice at mine. Weird.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Parenting Advice

Since I'm an engineer, I have the pleasure of getting to work with mostly men. I'm not being sarcastic about that at all. I would die if I had to work with a bunch of women, having to hear them whine about their husbands, that the receptionist looked at them funny yesterday and the vending machine has been out of diet coke for a week would kill me. Don't get me wrong, I love my girlfriends and the girl talk we have, there's just a time and a place for it and work is not really one of those. I much prefer my lunch conversations to be about the motorcycle trip last weekend or hilarious sarcastic comments about whatever is on the news during lunch. There's lots of laughing and no drama at all.

I really enjoy the unique perspective I get from my male counterparts on parenting. The other day a group of us were discussing improvements to our work tracking board. We're pursuing an alternative to post-its as our tracking medium and we were discussing the need to get our leadership bought into using the new system. One of the engineers said, "It's like getting your kid to stop using a pacifier." The other male engineers nodded their head in agreement. The other female engineer and I said, "How exactly do you do that?" (Neither one of us has children). He then said, "you just start cutting it shorter and shorter until they can't suck on it anymore." The other female engineer then said, "So you're saying we should just make the post-its smaller and smaller until our leaders just get too frustrated, they use the new method out of desperation?" He said exactly. I then asked, "What did your wife do when she had an angry, frustrated 2 year old that couldn't use a pacifier anymore because you cut them all up?" He just said, "I don't know." Hmm...

Another favorite parenting story from work was when one of our team leaders received a call from his wife saying his 3 year old son had managed to jump out his window. Apparently he had been misbehaving and his mother put him in his room for a time out. Judging from other stories about this particular child he's a tank with boundless energy. He was mad mom had shut him in his room and while she was on the other side holding the door shut, he decided to open his window, remove the screen and jump out to the backyard (his room is on the 2nd story). I can only imagine the shock and frustration his mom experienced when her 3 year old that was in his room on time out walked in the front door ready to play. Now as our team leader was telling this story, was he concerned about the safety aspect, not really - the child was fine, worried about the blatant lack of respect, nope - he was proud of him for figuring out how to get the screen off and having the guts to jump out the window. Ah dads and their wonderful bits of advice about child rearing. Thank goodness for mothers.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Paint, paint, paint!

I've reached the point with our house where I still hate the white walls but I'm so sick of painting, I want to hide the rollers and trays and wait until I find them 6 months from now to start again. Luckily, we're pretty close to having the main stuff done. And we did get the really hard stuff done this weekend. I guess I can tough it out for two more rooms this week. It will be ideal when it's done.

We tackled our giant vaulted walls this weekend, it was quite the task, I should have taken pictures. We had to rent scaffolding and everything. We started on it Friday night and finished all the walls with high stuff at 11 Saturday night. My friend Jen from work came and helped us paint. She really was coming over to return our ladder and smack the puppy around but, I convinced her to help paint too. She was such a gem to help out, we wouldn't have finished it without her!

That just leaves us with our bedroom and bathroom, which we're hoping to get done today and tomorrow before the scaffolding needs to go back. Cross your fingers for us!

On a much happier note, while we were painting Friday night, the tile guy finished the last of the tile. It looks amazing! I'm so glad we decided to just do everything while we were doing our bathroom. Now we just need to put new molding in and it will be a beautiful house. Because construction is done, I was finally able to clean the house yesterday. It's a big pet peeve of mine when you can't walk around the house barefoot because of the fear of debris impaling you.

Dublin was such a champ through it all since he had to stay in his crate all day Saturday. Especially with a new friend over, he just wanted to play. We tried to tell him, puppies and paint don't mix but he didn't get that.

Sunday was also pretty hard for him. I made Shad keep him upstairs so I could clean with out worrying about him drinking the mop water or chasing the broom. He managed to escape once and because he knew he was in trouble, attempted to run out the back door. After running into the sliding glass door at full speed, I think he learned his lesson about running away when you know you're in trouble. He just sat there stunned, you could tell he was thinking - "that was stupid of me." Hopefully he'll learn. The trainer came up on Thursday to help us get him started on learning to be a polite calm dog, he's doing pretty good so far. Hopefully as he gets older, things will stick more.

Now that you've read about all the wonderful things we've done to our house, I'm sure you want to see pictures. Tough! You have to wait for the house warming. I know you're excited.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I guess life happens a little faster than you expect it to sometimes. There's a new memeber of the Bracken family, his name is Dublin. He's an 8 week old brindle Pit Bull. Here are a few pictures of our new puppy.

These were taken our first night with him. It's taken him a few days but it looks like he's right at home in our house. He's even been able to sleep through the night for the past few nights - with LOTS of snoring. We're really excited to have him.

Dublin has already helped us discover the last owners of our house had garlic growing in their garden, flower beds and grass. Garlic puppy breath is not the most pleasant smell but he does do a great job of finding it for us to dig up. We spent all of saturday digging up the flowerbeds in the back yard trying to get rid of it. Our garage reeks right now.

Dublin also got to take his first long car ride with us this weekend. We took him down to Salt Lake City to surprise his new grandparents. They were very surprised and happy to meet him. Plus he's going to be a great car dog - he passed out in my lap for both hour drives. Hopefully when he gets too big for that, he'll sleep in the back.