Friday, August 29, 2008

Modestify Idea

Ok, so I think I've gotten a brilliant idea. I'm doing a giveaway on my other blog ( and I would like everyone to know about it. So, if you've got a moment, go over and check out today's post and give me some feedback on what you think. Thanks!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Welcome, Eli

We are happy to announce, a bit belatedly, the birth of our newest nephew. :) Here he is:

Elias Dane Johansen

Born: August 21, 2008

Time: 1:14 PM

Weight: 8 lbs, 15.3 oz

Height: 21 inches

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Festivities

So Tuesday and Wednesday, James and I celebrated our one-year anniversary in a-little-over-the-top-style, and we had a great time. First, we got all fancied up and went to dinner at the Chef's table in Provo:

Dinner was delicious, but unfortunately, neither James nor I was very hungry. But we had fun dining in the lavish surroundings, being waited on by the very courteous and kind staff, and discussing important issues (such as who James's favorite actor really is. By the way, it's not Bruce Willis).

Then we went to see a play called "The Hasty Heart"at the Hale theater.

I would highly recommend this play. It was funny, emotional, and meaningful all at once. It was very well acted and lots of fun. James was pretty sleepy though, poor guy.

Next, we went to the bed and breakfast we had chosen - the Hines Mansion in Provo (keeping it local). The dinner and play were all part of a package through them. The best thing about it? Giant jetted tub in the room. Mmmm. Very nice.

The second picture there is the room we stayed in "Winter Dreams." I'd really like to know how they got the third shot of the room from that angle. Standing on the bathtub, I guess. Crazy.

The next day, we had a delicious breakfast and nice chat with the inn owner. After leaving the b & b, we went home to rest up a bit and watch the newest episode of Monk (oh yeah, and clean up our disaster of a house a bit), then we went to the temple in the afternoon. It was all in all a lovely way to celebrate one year of being married to my best friend.

Oh, and I have to brag about the gifts James got me:

He gave me the popcorn popper on Saturday because he just couldn't stand to wait (he thought it would be incredibly useful, and once I got it I would not have wanted to wait either... and well, he was right). It has been so much fun, and I have eaten more popcorn in the last five days than I have in the last year. Delicious. I even learned how to make kettle corn on the stove and that has been the best thing ever. If anyone has been to a football game or a fair with me, you know I am addicted to this stuff. So nice to know how to make it now - I can have it whenever I want AND it's cheap. :)

He gave me these on Monday - you know, our actual anniversary. Aren't they gorgeous?

And he gave me this on Tuesday night, between dinner and the play. Yay! This is a movie I have always loved and am so excited to watch on the projector. Movie night, anyone?

I gave James a cake leveler, cake pan, and cake stand. I tried to surprise him with chocolate covered cinnamon bears on the actual anniversary, but I didn't hide them well and he found them on Sunday. Oh well, he still enjoyed them. Last, I gave him an album with the best pictures from our honeymoon. Ah, sentimental.

Well, it has been an amazing year of being married to my best friend. I have learned a lot about him, about myself, and about life. And about computers. And about robots. :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy James and Charity Day

It's been one year since we began our little family. What are you doing to celebrate?

Suggestions: eat a cake, watch a sappy movie, have a snow cone, play Nintendo, click the picture above to see more wedding pictures of us, or you know, do your typical Monday thing. But I think my suggestions are better.


On Friday night we went camping with our ward up at Rock Canyon campground. We had a great time setting up our tent in the windy canyon, then had some smores and tinfoil dinners (yes, in that order) and played a rousing few rounds of uno. For our first camping trip as a married couple, it was quite awesome. Here are some pictures:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thursday, August 14

Thursday night we went to a midnight showing of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. James has been so excited about this movie for so long, we couldn't wait. We had to go to the first available show. And it was really fun. The theater was filled with mostly pre-teen and teenage boys, many of whom carried light sabers. The ones without light sabers were jealous though, and yelled at the ones with them to put them away. Sad. But once the movie started, and everyone cheered, the light sabers were forgotten (except the ones in the movie, of course) and everyone enjoyed the show. It really was quite good. The only way I would have enjoyed it more is if my stomach hadn't felt like it was about to explode throughout the entire movie. I don't think my body can handle being up so late anymore. I was struggling the entire movie to find a position in which I felt semi-comfortable. But apart from that, I really enjoyed myself.

Best parts:

The female jedi really was pretty cool, if a bit snotty. The relationship between her and Anakin worked really well I think.

The droids were pretty funny, if cheesy.

I think the animation was very well done, and it had a neat style to it.

Pretty cool bad guy.

Simple plot that did not go overboard, nor get sacrificed to all the explosions. I like that.

Wednesday, August 14

This day, I got to have lunch with my Lolly. It was great fun. I miss having her around to go out with me and just kill time talking. We went to Los Hermanos, which has some amazing horchata, by the way. I definitely recommend it. The atmosphere is also lovely in there. But of course the best part was just being with my friend and talking about life. Ah, happiness.

Wednesday was also the day we got our projector! Whoo-hoo! We are so excited. We tore apart our living room trying to arrange everything in the bes place for the projector, only to find out that it works best just sitting on the coffee table anyway. But it was fun, and I think I like the projector better there. Our friends Tracie and Austin came over for the inaugural viewing, and we watched Jurassic Park. It was great fun, and so nice to be able to hang out with friends again.

Biggest news- James is DONE! Whoo-hoo! That means at least two weeks where I actually get to see and spend time with my husband. So happy :)

Tuesday, August 12

The big news for Tuesday is that I got my annual raise. 25 cents! All right!! So exciting.

Monday, August 11

I <3 the Olympics! All the commercials make me cry, as do the blurbs on the athletes, and the medal ceremonies. Who knew you could enjoy crying so much? A few Olympics ago, I fell in love with Ian Thorpe - the Thorpedo they called him - an incredible swimmer, he crushed the competition. A little corner of my heart has always belonged to him (I dreamed of marrying him when I was 16), but now... and I feel a bit bad for saying this, that corner has been totally taken over by Michael Phelps. I'm so fickle. Don't worry, the rest of my heart is more loyal, and it all belongs to James. But the not-so-loyal part of my heart goes to the swimmer with the most medals, and that, dear friends is Michael Phelps. The guy is amazing! Watching him in the water is more exciting than any blockbuster film. Until they make a movie about him, I guess. :P

Sunday, August 10th

Fun day - we got to go to James's Aunt Diane's for dinner after church, which is always delicious and always really fun. After that, we went to a fireside the stake put on about fertility. We went to be supportive of the stake, and honestly because I was a bit curious. They had said that anyone interested in having children should go to the fireside, but it really focused almost entirely on infertility issues. So, not particularly useful, as we're not quite worried about that yet. But, I did learn some interesting things. One, human beings are ineffective reproducers, and two, James is funny when he sleeps through firesides. His head was bobbing all over the place!

After the fireside, we came home to find my dear friend Lolly waiting for us in the driveway! Yay! She's here visiting from Washington. We had a short visit in which I gave her her birthday present - a small t-shirt quilt backed with Batman fabric. I have to say I was proud of that one. And then we made plans to meet up again later. Yay, I'm so glad she's here!

Saturday, August 9

Saturday was a blast. We got to go to the West family reunion in the afternoon and represent the George West family. I was so sad though, because we couldn't find our camera, so we got zero pictures of the awesome activity. Hopefully, we'll be getting some from other reunion attendees soon so we can post those pictures for all to see.


Yummy food abounded.

Great conversation, as always with the West family.

Got to meet some new cousins that I didn't know before, and see some that we haven't seen in a while.

There was a baseball game in which you had to swing at every pitch and you were always safe. What an awesome way to play baseball! Sadly, I only got to play for a bit and I was in the outfield so the always-safe rule kinda stunk for me, but still, the philosophy was awesome.

James's Uncle Franklin taught us all to do the Charleston. It was super fun, and kinda crazy, and took a lot of energy.

There was a showdown between our group and another group that came later and had apparently reserved the same pavilion in the park. We had prior claim to it, but they got really really worked up about it. So the Wests kindly obliged them, and we left without too much fuss. Just the one crying lady who takes life too seriously. Sadly, we couldn't join the rest of the Wests at the new location where they continued the party - James had to go home and study.

Good times, though. Very good times.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Well, I'm trying to catch up on my daily goal here... I'm already almost a week behind. Eep. So, here's my post for last Friday: Nothing happened, so I'm going to steal Tracie's scattergories post.

SCATTERGORIES... USE the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following, they have to be real...places, names, things-nothing made up. Try to use different answers if the person that sent it has the same first letter. And you can't use your name for the boy/girl question...

What is your name? Charity
4 letter word: chip
Vehicle: chevy
TV show: Chuck!
Body part: chin
Girl name: Charlotte
Boy name: Charles
Occupation: Chicken farmer
Something you wear: chaps (fun!)
Food: chocolate
Something found in a bathroom: chones
Excuse for being late: chewed-up tires?
Something you shout: Cheer up, it's only a blood-thirsty killer out to get you.

*edit* By chones, I was going for Mexican slang for underwear. Not that other definition my mom mentioned. This is a clean blog.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

They Forgot My Kids' Cone

So, if any of you have a chance to go to an Iceberg - take it. And get the kids' meal. The thing is just the perfect amount of food. And they really don't skimp at all. We are not talking a happy meal here. Now, there's no toy, but--but! you get your choice of hamburger, cheeseburger, corndog, or grilled cheese sandwich, what would be considered a large fry at your typical McDonald's/Burger King, a decent size drink, AND (the best part) you also get a chocolate dipped cone. Now, we are not talking kids' size, small, or even medium. The thing is gigantic. And it is dipped in chocolate. I don't think I can stress that enough. And it's perfect. There is not a better dipped cone in the world of ice cream. No. Nowhere. Not anywhere. And so you can imagine my disappointment when I got my kids' meal today and got all the way back to the office before realizing they had neglected to give me my cone. It was a sad day.

Ok, not that sad. Mostly it was a really good day. So here are the good parts:

My bosses told me that I have a great personality - they said I (and two of my fellow editors--we were all being given a new responsibility at work, I think the compliments are to make up for the fact that we will never get a raise) am just the right amount of OCD, without being annoying. They also said we had "dynamic" personalities and that we work well with other people. It was a very self-esteem boosting meeting.

I got Twilight stickers to put all over Tracie's work station. She loves Twilight. LoVeS iT wItH a TeEnaGe PaSsiON. Never joined a Twilight hate group, not once. Oh no, not Tracie. I am not being sarcastic. At all.

I was really busy at work today, but still managed to have several good laughs with coworkers over various things. I really like my job. It's really nice. Since I started working at home, going in to the office is kind of like a treat.

Last of all I get to come home to my Jamey and spend even just a little bit of time with him and it was nice.

Yay for my happy life. Boo for my missing dipped cone.

August 6th

So, let's pretend I wrote this yesterday. Everyone game? Great.

Today was a really simple day, dotted with some pretty simple pleasures. After work, I went out to run errands, since we had almost no food in the house. I took my bro-in-law Anthony's car (it's interesting now to have a choice of three cars whenever I want to go anywhere), which has a cd player in it, and it's weird but I was so happy to be listening to Coldplay's Parachutes as I drove to Joann's and then Macey's and then Costco. The music combined with the semi stormy weather had my heart soaring. And then, when I got out of the car at Macey's and saw a double rainbow, it was like the day was complete. Right there. I didn't need anything else.

Later when I got home, I was surprised to find James there. He had a project to do, but was able to come home earlier than I had expected. He helped me unload the groceries and we just had fun laughing and talking about nothing really. Last, I made cookies, cleaned the kitchen (the rest of the house is still a disaster), and went to bed. A perfectly simple, simply perfect day.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tuesday, Tuesday

It's almost over. Tuesday, that is. It was a good day. Worked from home. Made potato soup for dinner. Did some crafty things. Taught English. Ate chocolate cake with James. Going to bed now. What a Tuesday.

Monday, August 4, 2008


So, James recently came up with an idea that I really like, and we put it into action for the first time tonight. We decided that when we save up to buy things that are sort of frivolous, or fun, or basically just things we don't actually need, we will save up an extra 25% of the cost of that thing and spend it to help someone else somehow.

So, this weekend, being the undying BYU fans that we are, we bought the horrendously more-expensive-than-last-year All Sports Passes, even with the annoying extra fees. So, we spent a proportionate amount of money buying school supplies for children in an orphanage in Mexico.

We decided to make an FHE activity of it, and we walked down to K-mart (about 20 minutes from our house) and just grabbed a cart and went crazy. Let me just say that throwing school supplies willy nilly into a shopping cart is lots of fun. We went a bit over our budget, but it was totally worth it. I would recommend it to anyone.

And the bonus to it all, I think taking walks with my husband is one of my favorite things that we do together (you know, besides spending money). We have some of the best discussions. Like today, we planned what we would do with a billion dollars. Good news for all of you, if you're related to us you get a million even. If we like you, you might get a couple thousand. And if you make me cupcakes, I will buy you a house.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Weekend Update

Well, we're back from our weekend trip to the cabin.


The drive was absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful mountains and a green, lush valley thanks to the river running through it.

Pizza at ... oh shoot, I don't even know the name of the place. But it was good pizza.

Getting all six of us together again. Klarissa (cabin inviter) and Shelly (other cabin invitee) have been two of my best friends since our DT days of freshman year. We've all been friends with each other and each other's spouses for a long time, but don't get to see each other as often as we like. It was fun to get everyone together.

Church. We went to the local ward and there was this parade of kids that all wanted to share their testimonies. It was awesome to see them all so eager, and of course what came out of their mouths was enlightening and often quite funny. One was telling us all about his dog and how he's a good boy and that his family eats dinner and probably would have continued saying everything that came to his mind if he hadn't been stopped by a loving leader.

Rambling walk before church. We didn't know what time it started, so we got there a bit early and decided to take a walk around the town. It's a fairly small, rural area, so there was lots to see - horses, giant crickets, and about a million kittens. I was so tempted to take one home (the cats, not the crickets), but respect for my landlords stopped me. We really do have awesome landlords.

Coming home. It's always nice to come home, even when the vacation was lovely. It was even nicer because we took the time to clean the house before we left, so we came home to a calm and welcoming house instead of a disaster. So nice!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

New Goals

(Left to right: Brittany Stevens, Me, Natalie Puckett, Natalie's friend Cami, who was really cool, nice, and French)

So my friend Tracie and I made a goal that we would write every day in August. As you can see, today is the second and there was no entry on the first, so the goal is going well! :P Seriously, though I am going to try hard, starting today, to post something every single day. Lucky for me, today already has something notable about it and it's only 1pm!

So my friend Vicky Sanchez, whom I met while serving a mission in California, was here last weekend, and she reminded me that I hadn't seen my companion Sister Puckett in forever. So we decided to stalk good ol' Natalie using the handy internet, and within days I had found her and made plans to see her. As luck would have it, she is actually here in Utah for the summer doing an internship with the city of Salt Lake (she's studying to be a civil engineer - the girl get seriously psyched about roads... and road surveying... and construction. And she looks darn good in a hard hat.) So anyway, today she and another companion Britney Stevens came down to Provo to have breakfast and a mini reunion. It was so incredibly delightful. We shared stories about the charming old German lady we lived with and some of the escapades we had (like when she pulled us out of bed in the middle of the night to investigate a crazed animal rampaging through her yard... which turned out to be a balloon).

Yay for happy mission reunions. I'm also grateful for a husband who willingly sat through that and at least pretended to enjoy himself. Natalie doesn't know it, but she's the one person I'm ok with James marrying if I happen to die an untimely death.

Pictures to come. For now, I have to go get ready to teach English, and also pack a bit because we're going to a friend's cabin this afternoon to spend the night. So if you can't reach us it's because we're in remote reaches of eastern Utah. Have a great weekend!