Wednesday, June 10, 2015

First Winter in Dallas

After living in Provo for 7 years, it has been a very welcome change to have blizzard free winters here in Dallas!  It still gets cold enough to justify drinking hot chocolate and cuddling up inside but it's not so cold that you HAVE to do that or have to worry about driving during snow storms.  Since we no longer have to be shut-ins during the winter, we have found that season much more enjoyable.  One fun thing some of the members do in our ward is a crawfish boil (pictured below).  They used to live in Louisiana where that is pretty common so they decided to bring the tradition to Dallas with them and we were lucky enough to get an invite to the boil.  It sure is fun for us to be learning all these great Southern traditions.  Also pictured below are these amazing horse sculptures near Dallas called the "Mustangs of Las Colinas."  The water has little fountains on just under their hooves so it looks like they are actually running across the water.  It's really one of the most incredible sculpture scenes I have seen and even better that it's so close!  If you come visit, we will take you to see these for sure :-).

The two next pictures are of little black birds called Grackles that are all over Dallas.  You really never see a Grackle alone or in a small group.  They always seem to be all together at one place and mostly they are out in the early evenings.  They can get a bit loud in these big groups but it's really an amazing sight to see.  If you look closely at these pictures you will notice the phone line looks a little thick or has little black bumps all over it.  Those are all Grackles.  Isn't it crazy?! I have seen a lot of birds before but until moving to Dallas I had never seen anything like this.  Some nights if I get off while the sun is still up (which is very rare), Reed and I will wander around in the car to find where the Grackles are hanging out.  I just LOVE watching them.

One of our new favorite Christmas traditions since moving to Dallas is being able to drive around and see Christmas lights in the Park Cities. The homes in that area are already incredible but you add in the Christmas lights and it's pretty breathtaking. We call the white tree in the second photo the Tree of Life :-).  And it is really incredible to see with white lights wrapped around every single little twig of the tree.  And of course it's all the better from our warm car blasting Christmas music in the background.  We have also loved having a great view of the lights around the city from our apartment.  Especially the giant Christmas tree across the street from us.  That is going to be something I'll really miss when we move into our new home.

 And here is our 2013 Christmas picture taken on the balcony of our beautiful apartment.  What a view huh?!  And of course, what is Christmas without some Confit de Canard?  You can tell Smoochie clearly agrees with me that duck is the best Christmas dinner ;-) (notice her swinging from my necklace to steal some).

For New Years Eve, we stuck with our regular tradition of fondue and video games on the old Nintendo.
Later on in January, Dana and Jason came to visit.  We had a blast with them.  We went to the Dallas Museum of Art (the picture just below this is of the Mural outside the art museum).  And then we went to the zoo and a Mavericks game.  Oh and we ate maybe like 6 different meals each day they were here :-) (plus fried pickles as per the then-pregnant woman's request :-)).  If you haven't gained a little weight after visiting Dallas, you just haven't done it right ;-).

For Valentines day in February, Reed made a fabulous meal including this onion cheese bread pictured below.  Pretty impressive Chef BoyarReed!
I'm including this next picture just as a way of keeping this blog honest.  Although it may look like all we do is have fun, in reality my life consists almost entirely of sitting in front of my laptop working.  But we do try to play pretty hard on those rare occasions when I can get away in order to make up for all the hard work :-).

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Life in Dallas

Since moving to Dallas, we have been having a great time. Here are some of the fun things we have been doing.

First, we got addicted to caprese salads in Europe so we tried to make our own at home. We bought some olive oil and balsamic vinegar in Europe and found some great mozzarella cheese to go with them and now we can have delicious, fresh, caprese salads whenever we want.

Natali settled into her job, and always looks so cute when she goes into work.

 We kept hearing about the Texas State Fair so we took a night off and went and we were not disappointed. The fair is full of activities, rides, shows, and FOOD. The fair rates all of the food and provides a list of the top 10 items for the year, almost all of which are deep fried.

So we started out going to the ostrich races. They let them run around for a while, and then they had actual races. It brought back lots of memories of when my family raised ostriches.

Next up was Boris the pig, at 1355 pounds, he's not your average ham.

Here are a few other random pictures from the fair.

And there isn't a Texas State Fair without Big Tex

Now, the food. Natali and I just started off at the top of the top 10 list and ate as many as we could. I was in heaven. So we started with the classic corny dog.

They even have fried butter.

Even the desserts are fried:

We then had some fried avocado roll.

Natali's favorite was the stuffed olives. I think we had 3 of them. So good!

We took a break from fried food and had a mango on a stick.

We finished the night with a delicious Cuban Roll, my favorite thing of the night.

Our 4 year anniversary came around on the 24th of October. We had spent most of our money in Europe and spent the rest on fried food at the fair so we kept it pretty low key. Natali got some pretty flowers at work from her (not-so) secret admirer. Crazy that we have been married for 4 years and I love her even more than the day we got married.

Then for dinner we went to Hibiscus and I had the best pork chop ever.

We were eating a lot of caprese salads and decided we needed to find a place with good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We found a great place in Grapevine that had a ton of samples and all kinds of flavors of oils and vinegars. We had a great time taste testing all of the different flavors and ended up buying all kinds of oils and vinegars.

We were looking to watch a movie and ended up at a theater that had bean bags and couches instead of regular seats. Natali was a little grossed out, but I enjoyed a comfy seat while watching the movie.

Our apartment is a quick 8 minute walk from the American Airline's Center, so we decided to catch a Josh Groban concert. Natali was so excited and totally loved it.  We also got to go and see Harry Conick Jr at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

Then Thanksgiving rolled around. Since we had to stay here, Dan, Launa, Sam, Jared, Tracie, and Jayden all flew out to visit us and spend the holiday with us. Our apartment is great, but it wasn't really meant for 8 people. We had 2 air mattresses, the couch, and both beds full of people. Natali and I cooked our first turkey dinner, and it turned out... edible. It was a little hectic, but it was a great holiday. Sadly, the only pictures we got of it all was of the girls when they went shopping while us boys went to Top Golf.

Natali loves this big tree at the mall. It is int he middle of an ice skating rink and is part of Natali's new holiday traditions.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Well Natali and I moved to Dallas! Oh wait, this is old news to everyone?!? Well not for people that only read our blog and have no other contact with us. Those people probably think we are still in limbo somewhere between Europe and and starting our new lives after college. If you have talked to us (Lucky!) or follow Natali on Facebook or Instagram you may want to tune out because this is all going to be old news. In fact, the next several posts are going to be catching up so there will be a lot of old news and pictures.

So Natali came straight from Europe to Dallas and got everything moved in to our apartment (well she ordered the movers where to put everything) while I flew back to St. George and drove the car to Dallas. The apartment is great, with floor to ceiling windows, 12th floor, with great views of downtown.

Natali had to go into work shortly after getting there while I tried to get the rest of our stuff out of boxes and organized. And yes, I am crazy for letting my wife go out looking so good!

So we finally got situated and I was able to start looking for a job. Within about a week I had several interviews lined up and I had a couple of job offers shortly after. I started work at Campbell & Associates Consulting Engineers on November 1 and love the place and the people I work with.

So for now Natali and I are enjoying living in our Uptown apartment. It is very different than living in Eagar, or Provo, or anywhere else we have ever lived.  We found a great place to get breakfast tacos (if you've never had breakfast tacos, book a trip to Dallas and we will enlighten your taste buds) right next door. There are hundreds of other amazing restaurants. We try a new one just about every week and love being able to get great food of every variety. We have a guest bedroom so if any of you are ever in the area, let us know!