Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cali Catch Up

It has been almost two months since my family went to California, but it's never too late for a little catch up, right?!? Here's a little run down of our amazing family vacation...

First Stop: LAS VEGAS!Michelle and I and our cousins Ruthanne and Cammy left a day earlier than the rest of the family and spent a fun day in Vegas with our friends Devin and Andrew. We went to the Bodies Exhibit at the Luxor which was amazing! Andrew works there so he got us in for free, which made it even better! :) After going to Bodies we went to a tepanyaki restaurant and enjoyed some yummy Japanese food. I'm so proud of Cammy and Ruthanne for trying sushi for the first time! Devin works as a masseuse at the Encore hotel (the new sister hotel to the Winn) so he gave us a tour of the Encore and specifically the spa after dinner. It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. Someday I want to have a spa day in that amazing place. First I need to have lots of money!!The next day (which was Easter) was spent with the rest of the family. Mom, Dad, Landon, Haley and the kids drove down Sunday morning and we had a fun Easter egg hunt at the hotel for Easton and then went to the strip. We saw the lions at MGM (which Easton loved, of course!), went to an all-you-can-eat buffet and spent an hour just watching the fountains at the Bellagio. Fun day.

Up Next: Orange and Huntington Beach, CaliforniaThe next day we finished the drive to California. It wasn't a bad drive at all. We checked into our hotel and then got ready for the beach! It was so fun to take the kids to the beach for the first time. Huntington is my favorite, but unfortunately it was pretty cold that day. The cold sure didn't stop Landon, Easton and Grandpa from playing in the water though. The girls just enjoyed hanging out and playing with Averie. :)

Then: 3 days at Disneyland!I don't really have very many good pictures of Disneyland (I let Mom take most of the pictures) but we had a blast! We went on pretty much every ride and Easton even went on almost all of them. The only ones that he wasn't tall enough for were California Screamin' and Indiana Jones. He was so brave and went on every ride that he could big and small. He loved Buzz Lightyear, Splash Mountain and Pirates of the Carribbean. The only ride that he said he didn't like was Space Mountain. He also loved seeing all the characters and being able to be one of the kids chosen for the Jedi Training show. It is so much fun to go with kids! Also: Dad's 50th Birthday!!
I need to get the pictures from Mom of Dad's birthday and all the festivities. On his actual birthday, April 15th, we left the kids with Ruthanne and Cammy and the six of us went to The Price is Right! It ended up being a really long day and wait to get into the show, but we had a blast. Mom made these bright yellow (as in glow-in-the-dark yellow) t-shirts for all of us to wear and everyone knew who we were. We had lots of fans. :) Unfortunately, none of us were called to contestants row, but we had a great time being there together. When we got back to Orange, we went to an amazing restaurant with everyone and really missed Kyle because the food was so incredible and beautiful. I'm assuming they don't get many babies in that restaurant because all of the waiters were totally smitten with Averie. But then again, who isn't?? We went back to our hotel and had cake and ice cream and went swimming to end a great day.

Finally: Going home :(
We spent our last day in California at the beach trying to wear the kids out before we started the long drive back home. The beach was much nicer that day and none of us wanted to leave. The drive home was LOOOONNNGG! We drove all night and were doing ok until we got just north of St. George when one of the tires blew on the van. Not fun. We did eventually all make it home safely and were so ready to be out of the cars.

It was so great to spend a whole uninterrupted week with the family! Of course we missed Kyle, but we will definitely go on a fun family vaca when he gets home!! Thanks Mom & Dad for spoiling us rotten!

Monday, June 08, 2009

guilty pleasure

i hate to admit this, but this is one of my favorite things about monday nights...

Jillian rocks and there are some awesome guys on this season. but there are also some snakes. *cough*wes*cough* i'm a huge fan of jake, kiptyn, and reid. and yes, i am pathetic. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009


CRUISE 2009!!! This is definitely a perk to being a single working woman!

Michelle wanted to go on a cruise for her 25th birthday in August and I get to go along! Her friends Crystal and Heather are joining us and we are all so excited!

In 92 days we will be in the following locations... Grand Cayman IslandsRoatan Island, HondurasBelizeCozumel, Mexico
Basically we will be soaking up the sun, playing in the Carribbean and drinking lots of pina coladas! Can't wait!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Today I was introduced to the greatest little bake shop in Provo - The Sweet Tooth Fairy Bake Shop. Let me just say that it was AMAZING!!! The store is absolutely adorable and the cupcakes and cake bites were heaven! What a fun little shop. Check out their website here.
These little cake bites are incredible!! They are so rich and yummy and were even featured on the Rachel Ray show. They definitely don't go with a healthy eating lifestyle, but you can't be good all the time. ;) So, go get yourself some!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Time Flies

I can't believe how quickly time flies. More specifically, I can't believe how fast the last four years have flown since this little guy was born!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EASTON!! (yesterday :) Easton is the greatest kid ever! He is so much fun and I am so lucky to be his aunt. Being an aunt is the best!! (and of course having the cutest niece and nephew in the world doesn't hurt either) I just adore Easton and love spending time with him. This picture is from our recent trip to Disneyland at his favorite ride, Pirates of the Caribbean. Isn't he just so stinking cute!?!

Since he turned 4 yesterday, here are 4 things that I love about Easton...

1 - His smile and squinty Castillo eyes

2 - He is the best big brother to Averie. He calls her "Cutie" and it is so adorable. He is so good at making her laugh and she just loves him.

3 - The fact that he is ALL boy! He can turn anything into a sword. And he is very naturally athletic. He has an incredible arm and he can hit a baseball farther than I can, I think.

4 - His sense of humor. He is sooo funny! He says the funniest things which more recently include asking me where my husband is. When I tell him I don't know, he offers to help find him. Thanks East! I need all the help I can get! :)

Happy birthday East! I love you very much!!

Friday, April 03, 2009


***WARNING*** This is the longest post in the history of the blogging world. Be prepared.

Finally, my internet it working again!! I've realized how dependant I am on it, unfortunately. But I'm glad to have it back and now I can post about my amazing trip to New York. This is going to pretty much be my journal entry of the trip, so forgive me for going day-by-day. I hope you enjoy the commentary and pictures. Here it goes...


I spent Wednesday night at my parents house so my dad could drop me off at the Salt Lake airport and we left really early Thursday morning. My flight left at about 8:30am and I had a layover in Minneapolis before heading to New York City. The flights weren't bad at all and we even landed a little early at JFK (which is not my favorite airport in the world, so I was happy to be there early). One at JFK, I got my bags and headed to the train. I had a hotel booked for that night in downtown Manhattan and I took the train and subway to get there. I was pretty proud of myself for getting there all by myself with public transportation! I've just taken a taxi into the city before, so it was an adventure, but it was fun. I checked into my hotel, took a nice long shower (I always feel so gross after flying all day) and ordered room service. I really didn't want to go out and do anything because I was so tired so I just veged in my hotel room and enjoyed it.
My hotel room at the Millenium was so nice.And it had a pretty awesome view! My room looked directly over Ground Zero and accross to the World Financial Center and toward the Statue of Liberty.

I'm not sure that I have ever ordered room service before. I felt like such a grown up.Yummy! (and this is just the start of the self-portraits :)

I spent Friday exploring and enjoying the city by myself. It was so fun to be abe to do whatever I wanted and see parts of the city that I never have before. The first thing I did was hop on the subway to go to the Manhattan temple. I got there in enough time to go to the Barnes & Noble across the street where I grabbed some breakfast and read a book while overlooking the bustling streets of New York. It felt like such a New York thing to do. I loved it!

The Manhattan temple is absolutely gorgeous! I went with my family a couple years ago, but I didn't just sit and enjoy it then as much as I was able to this time. I did an endowment session and me the sweetest little Filipina lady who helped me know where to go the whole time. She was so adorable and I was so grateful for her. I got to spend a good amount of time in the Celestial room which was amazing. It is beautiful and I really needed to feel the Spirit that was there. I didn't want to leave.

After the temple I walked around Julliard for a little bit (man I wish I was talented enough to study there!) and then headed down to Times Square. I went to Times Square to get tickets to a Broadway show for that night. I got there before TKTS opened (where you can get amazing, day of, 1/2 off tickets to a ton of Broadway shows...just a little tip for anyone traveling to NYC) so I walked around for a while, took lots of self-portraits, let a hysterical drunk lady take my picture for me, and then went to lunch where I sat at the bar with the drunk (maybe she was more like, tipsy...) lady and her husband. They were awesome and it was fun to talk to them. They were from Indiana and were in NYC for a quick trip. When I finished lunch, I went out and got in line for TKTS. The line was so long, but one the boxoffice opens, it goes pretty fast. I got a ticket to see Mary Poppins that night and then left Times Square, hopped on the subway and made my way to the East Side to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I had never been there and it was incredible! I only got to spend about 3 hours there, but I seriously could have spent a couple days! It is HUGE and I ended up getting lost trying to find my way out. Haha. I definitely need to go there again!!

This is the picture taken by the tipsy lady. Behind me are the Red Stairs and under them is the TKTS boxoffice. It's a fun little area to hang out.Looking north along 5th Ave, on the left is the MET. It was really fun to walk along 5th Avenue and also Park Avenue. So many big name stores! Great for window shopping!!
From the MET, it was back to to Times Square for dinner of a New York street hot dog and seeing Mary Poppins. The hot dog was actually quite delicious and the show was AMAZING! I wasn't sure what to expect, but it wasn't that. I was absolutely blown away. The music was fantastic, the set was incredible and the cast was so talented! I loved every moment of it!! And I got to enjoy it all from the 3rd row!

Right before the show with hot dog in hand :)3rd row baby!!

At the show I had a really cool experience. Before the show I got talking to a group of ladies who was sitting behind me. They were so sweet and asked me all about myself and wanted to know what I was doing in NYC. They were from Michigan and so fun to talk to. But the really cool thing was that at intermission I talked to the couple sitting next to me the whole time. They were awesome. The wife was from Colombia and they live in Queens. They of course asked where I was from and when I said Utah the husband threw out the inevitable question, "so are you Mormon?" He started telling me that he had been to Salt Lake to go skiing once and had gone to temple square. He said it was beautiful and he really enjoyed his trip there. Then he asked me if our missionaries still have to wear ties. Kind of a funny question! I told him yes and that I had just seen some of our missionaries in the city that morning. He said he didn't think there were any in Queens because he has never seen them there. He asked a lot of questions and was really curious and I loved answering his and his wife's questions. The 20 minute intermission flew by and I kind of wished that it was longer so that we could keep talking. It was a really cool experience and I hope he looks for the missionaries in Queens now!

So after the show I left the theater and caught the subway back downtown to my hotel. When I got to my room Sean called. He had been in Washington DC for business and had just gotten back to NYC. We ended up talking for quite a while and made plans for when/where we would meet up the next morning. It was so late when we hung up and I went to bed. It had been a long busy day and I was exhausted.


Saturday was such a fantastic day! I left my hotel and headed to Grand Central Station to meet Sean. He took the train into the city from Connecticut and we met in the terminal there. It was so good to see him there. The last time I saw him was when he was in Provo for about an hour the beginning of January and we went to lunch, but other than that, we really haven't spent any quality time together in about a year and a half. From Grand Central we went to the Empire State Building. Neither of us had ever been to the observation deck at the ESB so it was a fun thing to do together. We hit it at the perfect time also because we didn't have to wait at all. The view was incredible and we had fun finding specific buildings and observing all sides of NYC from the top. Sean and I at the top of the Empire State Building! Views of all sides of Manhattan
It took a couple minutes to ride the elevator back down to the street and we were being dumb. Pretty normal Sean and Jen... No offense Sean, but you kind of look high. ;)The lobby of the Empire State Building. A really nice lady took our picture. She was definitely a tourist. We could tell because she was smiling. Sean claims that no one in NYC smiles unless they are a tourist. It's kind of true...

After the ESB we went to Rockefeller Center. Kind of cool to see the NBC studios and the famous ice skating rink. I think my favorite part was all the flags of different countries that surround the rink. There was also a really awesome crystal sculpture hanging in Rockefeller. I should have gotten a picture of that...

We went to lunch at Junior's and then did probably my favorite thing to do in New York. I'm pretty sure it's Sean's favorite thing too...hanging out in Central Park!! We ended up spending a couple hours just walking around the park and talking. We saw some really cool roller skaters and lots of people playing lots of different sports. We really wished that we would have had a football with us to play catch! It was perfect weather and so nice to talk and enjoy each other's company in that amazing park!

From the park, we went downtown to get my stuff from my hotel and then back up to Grand Central to take the train to Connecticut. It was fun to ride the train. It's not something I've done often. Although when the conductor came around to collect tickets I couldn't find mine. I totally freaked out. I did end up finding it in a random pocket of my purse, but it's a good thing that Sean knows how to handle me in a moment like that. In our years of being friends we have dealt with a few stressful situations, so a lost train ticket was nothing. At least nothing compared to paper towels! (sorry to those of you who don't get this, but if you know Sean and I, you know this story and you are cracking up right now!)

Connecticut was so beautiful and picturesque. I loved it! When we got to Sean's house he said he had a surprise and told me to get in the car. He put something in the trunk and we took off. I obviously had no idea where we were going, but I got to see a bit of Norwalk before we pulled into a big park. It was right on the Norwalk Sound and it was absolutely a gorgeous sight as the sun was setting. Well, the surprise was a football! Again, I'm sorry to those of you who don't know Sean, but this is something that we used to do almost every day. We would take a football and homework up Provo Canyon and do our homework and play catch. It is something that we love doing together and it was so much fun to throw the football around again. This is a picture of us just before leaving the park. It was so much fun!!

On the way back to Sean's we stopped at the store and got take out sushi. Also something that we love!! It was such a great night. We watched a movie with his roommates and talked until really late. It was so much fun and the perfect ending to such a fantastic day. It felt just like the old days.

Sunday was spent just chilling. I slept in, which was much needed after a crazy day. We hung out at his house all morning and read and talked and got his lesson ready for Priesthood. In the afternoon we went to church. It's always interesting going to another single's ward, but everyone was really nice and it seemed like a good ward. After church we had dinner with the ward and then we had to leave so I could catch a train back to the city and Sean could get to the airport to go back to DC. It was really sad when he dropped me off at the train station. We had such a fun weekend together and I think we both really needed it. Sean is such a great guy and I am very lucky to have him in my life.

I took the train back to NYC and then the subway to the Upper West side to stay with my old roommate Carolyn. I haven't seen her since she moved to NYC last August to go to fashion school (she is amazing and someday you will see her designs on the runway!). She has a darling apartment and it was so fun to just chat and catch up with our lives. She and her roommates were so sweet to let me stay there for a couple nights!

Another day of exploring NYC. This day I pretty much just wandered around all the different neighborhoods (Tribeca, SoHo, Chelsea) and thought about how much I could live there! My favorite thing was finding little bakeries and cafes and eating so much that day! Good thing that the subway line that I needed was shut down because of a water main break so I had to walk further and burn a few more calories. ;)

This is my favorite find of the day...Billy's Bakery on 9th Avenue between 21st and 22nd Street. The most amazing carrot cake I have ever tasted! And how cute is that little box and bag!! Next time you are in NYC, visit Billy's. You'll be glad you did! :)

Another new favorite place is the New York City Public Library. This place is so amazing! (Maria, I thought of you while I was there and wished that you were there with me!) This picture is of the main reading room and it was gorgeous. I loved hanging out and reading a book for a while. I'm glad I went there and enjoyed the incredible architecture and the chance to relax and read. I also went to Centra Park again for a while this day and did a bit more exploring. If I lived in NYC I think I would spend all of my time in Central Park. That night Carolyn and I had dinner with the sister missionaries and some guys in her ward. Funny enough, one of them was actually Sean's roommate in Provo right before he moved to Connecticut. It was good to catch up with him. Then I went to FHE with Car. So many nice people, which just made me think that I could live there even more! I was really sad that this was my last night in New York and was not looking forward to going home the next day.

Time to go home. Sad! Before Carolyn left for work and I headed to the airport, we went and got bagels at a little bagel shop around the corner from her apartment. So New York. Thanks for being such a wonderful hostess Car! I loved spending time with you and seeing your great life in New York! Making my way back to the airport was nice and easy and my flight to Minneapolis was uneventful. But then the adventure started. I ended up spending about 9 hours in the Minneapolis airport (good thing there are a lot of good stores there!) because my flight to Salt Lake was overbooked. No one was volunteering to wait for the next flight, so I did. It was pretty nice...first class to Salt Lake and a $300 flight voucher. I can handle that. I would volunteer everytime I fly to get that! I didn't get back home until about 2am and was/still is sad that my wonderful trip is over. I need to get back there soon. And who knows, maybe next time I'll look for jobs so I don't have to leave. ;)

Sorry this has been the longest blog ever. But I did warn you. If you actually made it through it all in one shot, CONGRATULATIONS!

Monday, March 23, 2009


My internet at my house is not working right now, so I haven't been able to update anything. I'm at work now and really shouldn't be on here, but figure it's early enough this morning that I can make a quick note to at least let you know what is going on. It's so annoying to not be able to get online! But interesting enough, it's kind of nice at the same time...

Anywho, I will post pictures, etc, about New York as soon as I can. Just know that it was AMAZING!!! I love New York so much!!!! I could totally live there. I got to do so many great things and can't wait to share it all with you.

Be patient. Thanks! :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Publicity Dilemma

Many of you I'm sure have heard of the recent controvery between HBO and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'll be honest, when I first heard what was happening I was very upset. I felt so protective of something that is extremely sacred and important to me and furious that someone else would feel it appropriate to publicize it. However, the Church put out a statement (the link at the bottom of this post) which helped to calm my heart and fears. I hope you will all read it. I feel like this is the attitude we should have and we must remember that “The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” (Joseph Smith)

We definitely live in the last days with so many uncertainties and hardships, but how grateful I am for my testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel and of living prophets on the earth today to guide us.

And P.S. 24 hours from now, I will be on a plane to New York City!!!! :)

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I love the people I work with (for the most part)! But there are a few of us that have become really good friends outside of the courthouse. In fact, of the 4 of us, only 2 of us still work at the court. Yesterday was Jessie's (hereafter known as "J"), birthday so we made a night of it.
We went to Pizzaria 712 for dinner. So yummy! It was a cool little place with a great ambiance and wonderful pizza! Definitely a good date place if you need any ideas...
Then we drove up to SLC and went to the Melting Pot for dessert. It's so worth the drive up there just for desert. It was amazing and so much fun. Also a great atmosphere, but definitely a little pricey. It was so fun though to spend the whole evening with my workies and celebrate J's birthday!
Mateo, Kristin, J, and me

And just for old times is a picture of me, J, and K on J's last day of work at the courthouse in her old courtroom. We miss her at the court!

Sunday, March 01, 2009


How is it already MARCH!!!!!!! Where does the time go? I can't believe how quickly time flies! So this month, I have a goal of enjoying every moment and taking advantage of every moment and opportunity that I have.

The countdown is definitely on until I head out to NYC. I am so excited!! Only 11 days! Wahoo! I am going out there mostly to visit my friend Sean, but I will also get to see my former roommate Carolyn. I am going to do a lot of playing while I am there and I can't wait for the adventure! It was a really quickly planned trip, but that makes it even more exciting. I have a huge list of things I want to do while I'm there and can't wait to tell you all about it when I get back. My mom thinks I am crazy to spend a couple days roaming NYC by myself (Sean works and Carolyn is in school) but I am thrilled about it!!

Anyways, the point of this post is to remind us all to enjoy each and every day! Don't let life pass you by!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2 weeks from tomorrow...

...this is where I'll be!!