Sunday, December 2, 2012

St. George Summer Fun

Before school started we wanted to go and see Dan and Launa's (Natali's parents) new home in St. George. They had just moved in a week or so before we got there so we were excited to see the long-awaited result. I would have to say it was worth the wait. It is an amazing home that is comfortable and has lots of room for kids and grandkids. Here are a few pictures of the home.

The front of the house

The pool in the backyard is awesome! There is a waterfall you can jump off of and the pool is 10 feet deep on that end so you can dive and flip without worrying about hitting the bottom. There is also a cave with a sitting area behind the waterfall and a hot tub along the side! (But it wasn't warmed up yet while we were there).

We watched a couple of movies in the theater room. Natali loves the star ceiling. I doubt they will ever go to the movie theater again.

The view and the back yard that are both pretty amazing.
Here is Natali's favorite part of the house: the ceiling. Natali would have ceilings like this in every room in her house if she could. She just sat and stared at it almost every day.
And here is my favorite room... the basketball court complete with adjustable rim. Natali had to drag me out of this room every day.

 We also went  to the broadway play of Aladdin at Tuacahn theater. It was really fun to go and watch. If you have never been to Tuacahn theater I would recommend going. It is an outdoor theater and the backdrop is the awesome red rock mountains. They even used the mountain for parts of the play. We had a really good time.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


As most of you know, Reed and I will be moving to Dallas at the end of this school year since I accepted a job with the fabulous law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges out there.  I have been meaning to blog about our time spent in Dallas this summer.  So when I woke up to a world of snow I was inspired to finally blog about Dallas to remind myself that this is my last 9 month long snow-filled winter ever!! WOOHOO!!! Plus, it's about time I blog about Dallas since we came back a semester ago.  Unlike Palo Alto, I can blog about Dallas all in one blog.  This is true for a few reasons...first, there is just not as much to do in Dallas as there is in Palo Alto.  That was one of the sad things for us about choosing Dallas over Palo Alto :-(.  Second, we weren't as picture happy in Dallas, partly because it's not as naturally beautiful but also because I think we were just tired of taking pictures all the time by the second-half of summer.  And third, we spent most of our time indoors while we were in Dallas (eating, shopping, hanging out with people from the firm, watching the olympics) and it's just not as fun to take pictures inside.

Anyways...on with the story.  So most of our time in Dallas was spent doing 1 of 5 things: 1) Working--me at the firm and Reed with P90x :-); 2) Eating--seriously...we both gained more weight than I will admit while out there; 3) Shopping--if you ever come to visit us in Dallas make sure to leave extra room in your suitcase and bring some spending money because they have fantastic shopping out there; 4) Attending law firm activities; 5) Driving around admiring all the incredible homes in the area---that might sound boring to some of you but Reed and I absolutely LOVE looking at beautiful homes that we will probably never be able to afford haha.

But before I blog about those regular activities I want to blog about one exceptionally fun weekend we got to spend with our friends Diana & Jason and their baby Blake (well not so much a baby anymore)!  Diana & Jason are some of our best friends and we were crushed when they left us here in Provo to go to medical school in Galveston.  So we were soooo happy when they made the very long drive from Galveston to Dallas to come visit us this summer! Although Dallas is not their top choice for Jason's residency, we are still praying they decide to move there anyways so we can be close to them again :-).  As I mentioned, there is not much to do in Dallas besides eating and shopping but there is at least one other semi-exciting thing to see and that's the Arboretum.  Reed and I visited the Arboretum two summers ago when we came out to interview and we really liked it (even though it is SOOO HOT in the summer) so we took Jason and Diana.  This year they had a bunch of really neat glass sculptures up around the Arboretum so that was fun to see.

Does anyone else think it looks like Blake is doing Kung-Fu in this picture?

Reed and Jason just cooling off in the misters

I liked both these pictures and couldn't decide between them so I'm just putting both. And it's my blog so I can do that :-).
Blake was so cute when he would see the fish swimming around in the little ponds. He would start clapping like crazy.

Thanks for coming to see us Diana, Jason and Blake!

Now on to my list of our 5 Dallas activities.  First up: 1) Working.  I don't actually have pictures of me working but I have pictures of me with some of my favorite people at work (all taken on my last day there)! On the left is me with one of my mentors, Sarah and the one below these two is me with another one of my mentors, also named Sara.  I can't find the picture with my partner mentor Michelle but she is basically my hero and I'm sure you will hear much about her in years to come.  I seriously had the best mentors in the world at Weil.  They were a huge part of my decision to go there.  On the right I'm with Margaret and Paige.  Margaret is probably one of the main reasons I got an offer at Weil because I did an assignment for her that she gave me very high praises for (probably higher than I deserved...).  I so enjoyed working for her.  You can also tell from these pictures another reason I chose Weil.  They have TONS of women.  And very successful women.  Weil is easily one of the best big law firms to work for as a woman.  They give almost 6 months paid maternity leave (which all the women actually take) and they have a great track record for making women partners.  They also have zero tolerance for sexual harassment (which all firms claim but many don't actually follow the policies).  The only men in the pictures in this section are the ones from my summer class.  I had a great summer class and I am thrilled to work with them at Weil.

 Here are two pictures taken with my phone of my office and the view from my window.  This is where I spent most of my time while in Dallas :-). And below those pictures I have included a couple (also taken with my phone, sorry) of our charming little apartment.  This is where Reed spent a big chunk of his days, doing P90x, watching the olympics and working on his thesis.

 Yes we had a bedroom but the only thing in it was a bed so that's a pretty boring picture and not worth including :-).

 2) Eating!!!

Dallas is an awesome place for foodies (or wannabe foodies like us).  They claim to have the most restaurants per capita of any city in the U.S.!! (Though I think San Francisco and New York claim that as well...there seems to be some debate on the internet). Whether that is true or not, it is certainly true that they have great food and a LOT of it.  We went out almost every single night for 6 weeks to a new place each night and didn't even scratch the surface. Reed's favorite activity this summer was probably Weil's "Tour de Steak" where we toured around the 3 (well 4 if you include our private steak dinner with the firm's BYU alum) of the best steakhouses in Dallas and ranked them.  Here is a photo from one of those dinners.  This one was probably my favorite Tour de Steak dinner because we were sitting next to Paul and he kept us laughing so hard the ENTIRE cheeks were so sore by the end from smiling the whole time.  Though my favorite steak was actually at a place called III Forks with our BYU friends at Weil.  Maybe if I'm ever rich I will take people there where when they come to visit Dallas :-).
Here is the first meal Reed and I had in Dallas... We figured it was only proper to start our time in Dallas with a red meat meal and it was great.  We had a LOT of red meat while we were out there...I have been on a bit of a steak-free diet since coming back.
And finally here is a picture of all the summer associates after our Taco cook-off at Fearings.  Fearings is seriously an incredible, incredible restaurant. And I guess Chef Fearing (in the picture with us) is world-reknown. Everyone was really star struck by him but I don't really follow famous chefs haha so I had never heard of him before.  But the menu at Fearings is amazing! I should note that I was vehemently opposed to wearing that dorky hat but they made me put it on for the picture.  And I hate this picture cause of it but I had to use it in order to tell the story about our cook-off. >: -(
3) Shopping!! Okay...I only have one picture for this but I couldn't leave it out of my blog because we did a LOT of shopping in Dallas (which might be why we are still poor after a summer of making money haha).  Here is the ice skating rink in the lovely Galleria mall on July 4th!
4) Law Firm Activities
The pictures that look like we are from the 80's were taken during Weil's 80's Casino & Prom Night.  It was a blast even though after winning TONS of tickets to enter into the drawing, I was the only summer associate not to win anything haha! It was really bad luck especially since the drawing is kinda supposed to be rigged to make sure summer associates win :-). But we still had a great time :-). The other pictures are from the summer associate trip to New York (Reed didn't get to come) for Weil Weekend.  We did some team building activities, ate out a lot, went to a Broadway show and attended a few fancy rooftop parties (after one we went to a club until like 5 in the morning...pictured below...I won't even tell you what kind of money Weil spent to get us in and past the long line without a prior reservation).  It was a pretty incredible NY experience.  Definitely not like anything I've done in Utah haha.  The last picture is me with Elizabeth (the fabulous and brilliant recruiting coordinator who was the brains behind all the fun activities) at the end of our progressive dinner where we were taken around in limos to various different partners' homes for pre-dinner cocktails and appetizers, the main course and dessert.  There were many other activities with the firm but we didn't take a lot of pictures...most of these are actually pictures the firm took and sent to me.

5) House Lusting: One of Reed and my favorite activities was walking or driving around some of the lovely neighborhoods in Dallas and just looking at all the beautiful houses.  The homes inside Dallas are so unique (not like in suburbs where they all look the same).  We fell absolutely in love with a few of the neighborhoods but it will be quite some time (if ever) before we can afford to live there.  Here are a couple of our favorite homes...let us take a moment to drool over them and pretend we live there :-)....

Okay...moment over. Hope you enjoyed our Dallas blog!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Last Palo Alto Post: 17-Mile Drive, Carmel, Baker Botts Events

17-Mile Drive
The 17-Mile Drive is a scenic road through the Pebble Beach area near Monterey.  You have to pay a toll to drive it because most of the area is privately owned but it is well worth it.  This drive and seeing the Monterey Aquarium are the two things Reed and I think you definitely need to do if you ever spend some time in the Bay Area.  They were our favorite activities.  As usual, pictures cannot do justice to the beauty of this area.  That's partly because the camera just can't capture the depth and all the colors of the area but also because part of the beauty includes the cool ocean breeze and scents of pine trees, flowers and beaches.

During our 17-mile tour we took a little time to play around on the beach.  In keeping with tradition, we had to get at least one picture of Reed doing his famous pose.  Reed was pretty proud of himself for writing a little love note to me in the sand (just look at that smile haha) but was not too happy when it was washed away.  I wanted to dip a finger in the water to see if it was really as cold as everyone said (it wasn't that bad). I actually didn't want to get my feet wet but obviously I misjudged how far the water would come in.

I don't know why I love taking pictures of birds so much haha (I included a very similar picture in my post about Monterey).  I think it's because they just add a little life to my scenery pictures without adding the cheesiness of some person looking at the camera and smiling.

The most well-known part of the 17-mile drive is seeing the Lone Cypress.  If you ever see ads for Pebble Beach, it's very likely they will include a shot of this tree.  The picture of Reed and I is a product of some annoyed tourist who waited as we tried 3 different times to take a picture of ourselves and finally (with great exasperation) asked us if he could take the picture haha.  He really just wanted us to get out of his way. Oh and you will also see a random picture of a spider web haha...we just thought it looked cool.

I posted once before about some time spent on the beach in Carmel with Jaimee and Joey.  We loved the area so much and were sad we spent so little time there before so we went back after the 17-Mile Drive because the drive ends right around Carmel.  The town is so charming.  It's meant to resemble the style of oceanside French towns and I think it does a pretty good job of accomplishing that.  We decided to eat guacamole on the beach while watching the sunset.  Does it get more romantic than guacamole on a beach at sunset?!! It was the perfect romantic ending to our day.

Baker Botts Events
I planned to do separate posts for these Baker Botts events but I'm getting tired of playing catch-up with Palo Alto posts so I will just post a couple pictures from these.  Baker Botts is the law firm I worked for this summer in Palo Alto.   BB is an incredible firm made up of brilliant and fun people.   It was a really hard decision for me to turn down the offer from them and I'm really going to miss all the people I met there.  The highlight of my time at Baker Botts was probably our trip to San Antonio for Baker Weekend.  Reed did not go with me (it was really just for attorneys) but he was able to go visit his family while I was gone so he had a great time without me.  While in San Antonio we had various meetings, meals, nighttime get-togethers, a visit to the Alamo and on one of the days I got to go to Sea World with some of my fellow summer associates.
 Feeding dolphins at Sea World...
The Alamo
Our last BB event of the summer was a SF Giants game.  I wasn't super interested in the game of course but the stadium was really incredible.  I wish we had a picture to show how cool it was.  It sits right on the ocean.  At one point in the game you could see the fog coming in from the ocean over the stadium and settling down on the field.  It was a little eerie but really pretty.