Monday, March 19, 2012

Aristro's Restaurant

Friday was my first girls night in forever, and was also my first night out with a girl group my cousin and her friend started called Foodie Girls.  There are times in my life when I can be adventurous and it was a good thing that Friday was one of those nights.  I really only knew one person there, was acquainted with another and had no clue who the other person was that I was supposed to meet for dinner.  I was so excited to meet everyone and eat some good food.

As is my usual, I was ten minutes late and learned quickly that parking by the University of Utah is insane on a Friday night.  After circling the building twice (was feeling pretty dorky right about then), I found a place to park.  We had decided on Greek food and someone found Aristro's Restaurant.  I wasn't sure what to expect at all and was so very happy with the "girls" and the food.

It was decided that we would each pick an appetizer from each section on the menu.  We had 4 appetizers to try and each of them were to die for.  There was one that had grape leaves and a few other things wraped in phylo dough.  Even if it was only okay, once you wrap anything in phylo dough it just makes it that much better.  This didn't need the dough, it was amazing.  Another choice was a spicy pepper dip with pieces of flatbread to eat with it.  As much as a light weight as I am with spices, this was amazing and worth the burn and I even had a little more later.  The third choice was lamb and beef with some spices rolled up in grape leaves, wasn't my favorite but it was good also.  The fourth choice was some cute little fishies (pictured below).  They were so so good.  Anyone who knows me should be shocked right now.  Yes, I said they were good.

One of the first things that I learned was to make sure that I could document everything well when I started this blog.  I broke that rule for this evening.  I was so busy eating and visiting that I never did write down what any of the dishes were.  All I can say is that each of the dishes pictured here are amazing.  Nothing that we ate there was bad.  I can not say that about most restaurants that I eat at.  I really need to not be such a food snob but it wasn't needed at this restaurant on this night. 

Tawnya's dinner

Rachelle's dinner

Karen's dinner

Jessie's dinner

We had the best waiter with the most amazing accent. Have to say that he was very attentive, patient and fun.  It makes things so much better when you have a waiter with a good sense of humor.  We also got dessert and shared some with each other but we were so busy enjoying that pictures were forgotten.

What wasn't forgotten was to visit and get to know each other and enjoy each others company. I had met Tawnya before but didn't really know her. I now know that she is just sweet and nice, is in nursing school and will soon be in a zombie movie! I hope she is able to share her movie debut with all of us. I met Karen for the first time that night and had the pleasure of learning that she used to live in Maryland, is going to school to be a dental hygienist and is an amazing cook.  She is also working on writing a novel. Jessie is my cousin, is in school working toward nursing school and is an aspiring cook with many other hidden talents.

Amazing people and good food.  Life doesn't get much better.


My favorite time of the year is officially here as of tomorrow!
 I love spring! 

 The smell of rain and early spring flowers. The look of snow with those early flowers poking through. This is the time of the year when I celebrate my birthday and my two son's birthdays.  It is also my Step-Mom's birthday. This is when my anniversary is and my best friends.  It is also when we remember our Savior and that He does live.

There is so much hope that comes with this time of year.  I think even more so than when we celebrate New Years.  It is a time of renewal as we watch all the plants come back from their winter sleep.  The colors are bright and bold and speak of new life.  Everything around us promises of warm weather, more flowers to come, blossoms on the trees and sunshine.  There is so much beauty around us that I hope we can take a moment to enjoy all it has to offer.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

One Wrong Political Group

My cousin shared a post on Facebook and as soon as I read it I knew I had to share it here.  The link is below:

African-Americans for Obama

Ms. Golden makes so many good points in this article.  I have often wondered what would happen if anyone even suggested the things she suggests let alone do them.  I am half tempted to start some group to support a candidate that would be only for one race or religion or some other distinguishing characteristic.  Since I am white there would be no question that what I was doing was wrong.  I would instantly be racist without anyone looking at my real intents or motives.

I am very impressed with Ms. Golden's bravery to state not only facts but also what is one of the things that are wrong with our Country at this time.  Thank you to my cousin Angela for bringing this to  my attention and to Ms. Golden for showing me that there are other Americans out there that have some of the same opinions that I have.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Family Day on the Road

For years our boys have heard stories about how my family would wake up and decide to drive somewhere off the beaten path to get breakfast or a shake or just to go for a drive.  They have also heard our stories from BC (before children) about how we would take off for the day or the weekend and take these impromptu little trips. Both boys have been pestering us to take a road trip for a while and always want to just go anywhere.  So, today was the perfect day to take a family day and a small road trip. Since today was Kenny's only day off this week we had to make sure we kept it to today and didn't make us too tired because tomorrow starts another long week.  We had a couple different choices but decided that it would be fun to run out to the West to Wendover, NV (and Utah) and get lunch at one of the buffet's in one of the casino's.  To the border we headed!

While we drove west, we shared all kinds of stories about their Grandpa and things that he did, other drives that we had enjoyed and family vacations.  It was going exactly like it should, we had turned down the radio and just talked and laughed the entire way out. It was fun to share stories from Kenny's and mine childhoods and to realize how much of our earlier family vacations our boys don't remember.  I'm glad that we have waited until now to start doing this again so that they will remember these little days together.

They showed me a place called Lone Rock where they went for a Boy Scout camp out.  It was a horrible place for a camp out (in my opinion, but I'm not a boy).  It was in the middle of nowhere in the desert. Out of nowhere I hear Taylor in the backseat announce that, "he is getting dehydrated just going through the desert." I swear, that boy.  We had so many little moments like that the whole time.

We ended up at the Rainbow Casino and had lunch at their buffet.  It is so bright and tacky, the perfect decor for a casino :)  It was so funny, I had all the boys move together to take their picture and suddenly Kelton and Taylor had to grab their drinks and make it look like they were drinking.  They are hilarious.

On our way out of the Casino I noticed the gift shop. They had so many cool things.  I could have spent so much time just in that little store.  While we were there we decided to get us a little souvenir.  Kenny, Kelton and Taylor all got new sunglasses and I got a charm bracelet.

T with his glasses

Kelton with his glasses

My charm that is on my bracelet
It always seems like the drive home goes a little faster than it does heading out even though it is the same amount of miles.  We were much more subdued on the way home, I think we were ready for some quiet with our full bellies.  At least that was how it was for a while.

I did get a few pictures while we were driving back toward civilization.

Looking North over the Salt Flats

Our famous tree sculpture in the desert

Warning sign that just hit me funny at the rest stop. Not just snakes but scorpions also!?  Where are we?

Since Grantsville is on our way home we stopped by Kenny's Moms house to say hi and we were able to see his cousin Austin and his fiance Andrea.  It was really nice to meet Andrea, she was really sweet.  We had a good visit there and the boys got to play with a couple of their cousin's.  We then headed to Tooele to see Grandma Susie, Richard and Great Grandma Ruth.  We were so tired by the time we got there that we didn't spend too much time there.  It was great to see everyone and we did get to have a good visit there as well.

We squeezed in everything that we wanted to do and spent tons of time together as a family and even made it home before bedtime.  It was an amazing Sunday!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Our View

 Kelton took these pictures yesterday while it was snowing.  This is the view we have of the mountains from our home.  This first picture is while it is snowing.  I like this picture and Kelton has it for his wallpaper now.

This picture was taken later in the afternoon after the snow had stopped.  I love this picture. I love how he can just zoom right to the mountain peaks and get these shots.

 I am constantly amazed by the beauty that we are surrounded by.  Heavenly Father put all of this here for us to enjoy.  The views we have are a constant proof that He loves us and wants us to be surrounded by beautiful things.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Parents Wedding

I have a little kit that helps to give me things to write about and since I haven't been good at writing lately I decided I would turn to that and get some good ideas to write about so that I use my time wisely instead of griping about something useless in the news.  One of the ideas is to write about my mothers wedding dress and what I know about their wedding day.  Mom, please correct anything that I might get wrong.

I know that my parents were married in March, that was why I decided to write about this now. I don't remember the day but you can't really go wrong with writing about a wedding, so, there really wouldn't be a better way to start the month.

My parents met on a blind date and knew each other for 1 week when they got engaged and after only 5 more weeks they were married.  As crazy as that sounds they were actually a good match and were very good for each other.  They could show so much support for each other and would work hard to help each other to reach their goals and work toward some of their dreams.  There were obvious things that shouldn't be a part of a marriage that they had to contend with but they were wonderful and have also gave my sister and I so many good stories to share with each other and my children.  Humor was a large part of our family and part of their marriage.  They could always get through the tough times with humor (okay, that was after the yelling).  In that regard, what marriage doesn't have a little of that?

Growing up there was only one picture that I remember of my mom in her wedding dress.  She had a short, above the knee white wedding dress.  I think it was similar to the dress below but not exactly like it. It was just the best reference picture I could find that reminded me slightly of  her dress. My mom likes to say that something is just like whatever, but not.  That is kind of like the examples below. I remember her dress having an empire waist and her dress being simple with some decoration and I think some lace.
With her dress she wore a beautiful white hat that had a similar shape as the hat below. The big difference is that her hat had stripes of soft white and then a sheer white that you could see through. I think it could have had a design similar to the hat below in the fabric but I could be wrong with that part.  I just remember thinking how pretty she was in that picture and how much I wanted a similar dress when I got married. I also know that her bouquet was made of daisies.  The entire look was one of simple beauty and grace.

Below is the City and County building that is located in downtown Salt Lake City. This is where they were married by Senator Jake Garn.  My Grandpa (paternal) was a security guard at the building and knew all the people that worked there and was able to arrange to have them married by the Senator. By the end of the afternoon, LeRoy Mayo Shiflett II and Shauna Diane McCleery were married and ready to start their new life together.

 Now, we get to enjoy the true redkneck part of our family.  My dad's father thought it would be funny to handcuff them together as they left the building. For years I thought that they were handcuffed together until they were on their honeymoon, I finally found out from my mom recently that it was only until they got outside and then they were removed.  As a child I always wondered how they got them off once they were gone. For what ever reason, my dad felt that a romantic honeymoon could consist of driving out to Ely Nevada and staying with family.  That was their honeymoon.  We still like to tease my mom about this and she even laughs and agrees that it was an uncomfortable way to start their marriage.

However it happened and even with all the quirks that came with it, I will always be glad that my parents met and were married.  They brought 2 wonderful daughters into this world and taught them well (mom is still teaching us even though we think we're adults now).

AustenlandAustenland by Shannon Hale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was so fun to read. I could easily see myself visiting a place like Austenland. I know there are real places out there that are like this where you go and dress in period clothes and live life like they did in whatever time period you are visiting. I could never go and get into the "act" if I was married like the majority of the other women that are visiting but I love going along the journey with Jane as she tries to figure out what is real and was is pretend. I think most of us have to have that moment in our lives. There was a time for me when I knew that the life I was living was not the life I wanted and then when someone came into my life that could offer what I wanted it took me some time to be okay with actually getting my "fairy tale".  I completely enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good love story and loves anything at all Austen. There are some questions at the end for reading groups and I would even suggest going over a few of those, there is one in particular that points out the lives of the heroine in Austen's books. It is at least something to read over and think about. I don't want to give anything away and I feel as though I already have but think about this point and I would love to hear what others have to say on this subject.

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