Saturday, December 29, 2007

#3 Victory

This is Justin with our niece Ella. When we got to Arizona Ella was not too keen on being with uncle Justin. Erica informed us that Ella does not like men very much. Justin of course took this as a challenge considering that there has never been a child that has not liked Justin. So with much perseverance, ooohh and aww, and funny faces he did it. Ella was smitten and I got this shot. So Justin keeps his title as the baby whisperer. He will be such a great dad!

Friday, December 28, 2007

#2 The babies on the bus...
My friend Miriam has a blog where she displays her beautiful pictures. I can't say that I am as talented but I decided that I would take her idea.

So this picture #1, it was also taken at Gardens of the World. I just got new photoshop software and I don't know how to use it yet, so when I do I will edit them better.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our vacation thus far

We just had Christmas with my parents and family. When you are away for so long you forget how great it is to be with family. We got there the Friday before Christmas, we had to finish Christmas shopping so that is what we did for the first couple days of the vacation. We had great family dinners, sat around talking, and laughing. On Christmas eve my brothers wife planned a really neat nativity reenactment. She wrote down the Christmas scriptures and others about the life of Christ, we each were given a piece of the nativity. We would read the scripture then put the nativity together one piece at a time. It was perfect for reminding us about what the holidays are all about. Christmas was just as great. It is amazing how Christmas can make even the most mature of adults regress back to childhood. We expected to of course sleep in because Ava was not there, but we were up at 8:00 anxiously waiting. We have a tradition of opening presents one at a time, that way we can keep things organized. It was so fun, I got a new laptop and Justin got golf clubs. Justin of course went right out with my dad to play golf and tennis. I spent the day putting software on my computer and learning how to use vista. I am a big fan by the way, it is so much better.

My friend Miriam went with me to The Gardens of the World. We took our cameras and just had a blast. There are flowers from all over the world, with beautiful fountains and statues. I have decided that if our place ever sells I want to decorate our new house with my own artwork. So it was an awesome opportunity to get some great nature shots.
This was one of the statues there at the gardens. I stood there for a minute just staring at it. I was thinking about how we just spent days talking about Christ's life and what his mission on this earth was. This sums it up better than anything I can say. Ultimate sacrifice and ultimate love.

Not a lot of the flowers were in bloom being that it is winter but by chance a few bloomed early this year.

We took Ava with us, partly because she is adorable and fun to be with, but also because we needed a subject to be in our pictures. She is a total ham and loves to pose for pictures so she is great.

This is one of my favorites. It was a precious moment between grandpa and granddaughter. No this isn't water, the patio table in the back yard has a whole in the middle where the umbrella goes. Ava was on the table she would stick her hand in the hole, my dad would then tickle her hand. She would laugh like I had never heard before. It was so cute to watch that moment transpire. Every time I go home I am just reminded why the family unit is the most important thing we have on this earth.
To sum it all up Justin and I had a great holiday vacation with my family. It is so fun now that everyone is older and we are kind of in the same stages of life. Ryan and his wife are starting their family and are blessed to have a beautiful daughter. Michael just got home from his mission which is a big stage for an LDS boys life, and is getting ready to go back to school at BYU. Danielle is finishing her second year of college and is getting ready to transfer to a university. My mom and dad are enjoying being grandparents, and getting ready to join the status of retired. We are blessed everyone is healthy and happy. 2007 has been good to the Hermansens.
Our vacation is not over yet we just arrived in Arizona to visit Justin's family. His family is amazing as well. We do miss Molly, Brock, and sharisa a tone though. There will be an update coming on the hutchins clan soon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


This is my first post from my new computer. Christmas was wonderful, Justin and I are truly blessed in our lives. Merry Christmas to all our friends and there will be more to come with pictures.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another year older and wiser too!!

We celebrated Justin's birthday this weekend. His actual birthday was this past Monday Dec. 10th but because we had school and work and had just gotten back from Kansas we just went out dinner. His favorite place to eat is the Happy Sumo. It is the only place here to get good sushi. For past birthdays I have felt bad because in the month of Dec we have Justin's birthday his dad's birthday and Christmas. We happen to be poor college students so Justin has gotten jipt a little on past birthdays. This year I wanted to do something cool for him. Salt Lake just barely got their first cheesecake factory restaurant. For those who know this place it is sooo good, I have missed it terribly since living here in Utah. So I took Justin out to dinner there, it was all that we hoped it would be. Now I am not a very creative person but I wanted to do something special, so since we didn't have time to go out of town I got a nice hotel in Salt Lake and we just had a nice night away from home. After dinner I blind folded him and drove to the hotel, I am sure it looked funny to anyone who saw it. I kept him blind folded all the way to the room. I was horrible though I kept forgetting to tell him when there were steps. (sorry honey) Earlier that day after work I went and put cake, presents and Apple cider in the room. When we got there he took off the blind fold and saw everything. He was totally surprised!! He had no idea when he was blind folded what we were doing, I am glad that for once my plan actually worked. We had a lot fun and Justin finally got a birthday he deserved.( he got some pretty cool stuff too, including Transformers the movie.)

A birthday tribute to Justin...
I am so blessed that i have such a wonderful husband. He is the most patient person on the face of the earth. If there is only enough milk for one bowl of cereal he always lets me have it. That is a big deal because he loves cereal. He is constantly thinking of other people. He always listens to me even when I go off on my impassioned political rants. He is kind. I think that says a lot about a person. In an increasingly narcissistic world for someone to be genuinely kind is amazing. He works so hard to be a great husband, even when he is tired from school coaching and work he manages to come home and still make time for me. He is also a great spiritual leader in our home, this is something that means a lot to me. When things are crazy he constantly reminds me to have an eternal perspective. He really is one of those good people in the world. I am so lucky that I have him, and that together we can learn and grow and someday raise a family. Finally, He loves me for me and that means the world. I love you Honey, Happy Birthday!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Just Take It!!!!!

This weekend Justin and I went to Kansas city, Kansas to do a volleyball camp. It was the most fun we've had in a while. We went with Six of our friends Chris, Josh, Camie, Maegan, Ali and Miah and had a blast. We got there on Friday night after a miserable flight. The lady in front of us let her baby scream the whole three hour flight while she played games on her phone.We met the coach, she was the coolest lady ever!! She took care of us better than our own mothers. (no offence mom we love you) She was kind enough to warn us that the girls were not going to be any good, it is nice to know what you are getting into. We met at the house with an old friend that we have not seen in a while, jeremiah. He quit possibly could be the funniest person on earth. example... He says to a girl "do you ever wonder why things that happen to stupid people always happen to you." Well that was just a taste of his greatness. We did the camp and we rocked it! But really the camp was a side note to the fun that really went on.

- First off the gym we were in was a big inflated dome. Yes an inflated dome and it was cold.

- Miah and all the stories about his brother Dana. ( the left handed female pitcher.)
- Ali drinking coffee out of a thirty ounce mug from the QT

- Ali drinking three of those in a 24 hour period.

- Chris bragging about the fact that he makes money and doesn't really have a job.

- Going to eat the BEST barbecue this side the Mississippi.

- Watching Ali devour a whole cow literally, She ate her weight in beef. (reference photo)

- Watching BYU get spanked by Penn State in volleyball.

- Being volleyball ninjas. that's right I said Ninjas.(again reference photo)

- Ali letting Justin peg her in the chest with a serve. She just stood there and took it!

- Eating all of Josh's M&Ms, sorry josh.

- Being cold all the time. Kansas is not a friendly state, thanks to the ice pellets.

- Chris telling people on the plane that Ali had bad gas and diareah so no one would sit by them, even though someone did. ( No bueno fumar)

- Endlessly quoting the Office, Scrubs, and a million other movies and TV shows.

This list could go on and on. I have never laughed so much in my life. This weekend was a great reminder of how special good friends are in a persons life. Justin and I are blessed to have so many wonderful, kind, funny, people in our life. We also feel blessed that we a live style that allows us to travel the country doing what we love. I can think of nothing better.

Camie and Meghan, Poor Camie had the stomach flu, that was no fun.

The Volleyball Ninjas. Here is a little explanation, the temperature in the inflated dome never got above 30 degrees. So we coached in all our warm ups and sweatshirts and jackets. It just so happens that Me Maegan and Ali wore all black the same day hence the Ninja part.

Ali, after trying to eat a whole cow. She just wouldn't stop eating. She was a woman on a mission.

Part of the gang at dinner Chris, Josh, and Miah were coaching the evening session. They missed out. ( can I get that beef flavored) Me Justin Meghan Ali and Pam.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

R.I.P. Harvest Fresh you will be missed.

I am a sad sad organic food buyer. Just down the street from our house was the best natural foods store. They not only had everything you needed they sold most locally grown or raised brands. I made a compromise with Justin a little bit ago that I would not make him a vegetarian if I could buy only organic. It has worked out beautifully since we had a close affordable organic food store. So anyway the point is is that this amazing store has gone out of business. (boo hoo) There is just one other place that sells all organic, and it is more expensive and does not carry many local brands. This is has brought my attempt at an all organic diet to somewhat of a halt. But I am going to stay determined, and if anyone knows the owner of Trader Joe's tell them they need to put one in North Orem Utah. P.S. cloth grocery bags are the best!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Officially Winter (sigh)

Today it truly feels like the Christmas season. We woke up to about five inches of snow on the ground. Winter is such a beautiful time of year in Utah. Ya it is cold, wet, and sometimes miserable to live through but it makes for beautiful pictures. The way the snow just blankets everything in white is very serene. I have to admit Utah is really starting to grow me, never thought that I would say that in this lifetime. Here is my poor attempt at Ansel Adams.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving with the Hermansens

This thanksgiving was so fun for me and Justin. We went to Richfield Utah were my grandparents live. We were there with my dads family who are the loudest, most out of control, hilarious people in this world. They are the kind of family that when you leave your cheeks hurt for days after. As tradition the boys went golfing while us woman took care of dinner (that sounds so archaic, but let's be honest we didn't really want them to cook). Justin has many talents and gifts golf is NOT one of them. Bless his heart he really tries hard and is actually getting better.
I love my family so much. I am truly blessed to have so many people who love and care for me. I also feel so blessed to be apart of Justin's family too. They are just as amazing. It is great to be reminded of what this time of year is all about. It is about spending time with those you love and showing them your love. It is not about the material things that this time of year can draw our mind to. I think that it is ironic that we spend a whole day just thinking about all that we are thankful for, being with family, and rejoicing in all our many blessings. Then the very next day we go right back to consumerism and thinking about the stuff that we don't have but want. I am going to try really hard this year to not get up in the whole thing and just think about how blessed I am to have a great husband, a home, and a loving healthy family.

My beautiful amazing grandma. She is such an example of the strength of a woman to me. The lady raised four out of control boys, started businesses, beat cancer, and did million things in between. She is absolutely incredible.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Movin' on up... hopefully!

Our house is officially for SALE!!!! Jusin and I have found a townhouse in American Fork that we are hoping will be our new home. The challenge now is just finding a buyer for our house now. Which I am sure will prove easier said than done. So keep your fingers crossed for us!! Also like molly and ben we don't have kids so we just take pictures of our baby mowgly.

Oh and we saw the greatest display of multi-tasking. A woman in her car was driving, talking on her cell phone, putting on mascara and holding a cup of coffee with the same hand. These are people that no cell phone laws are totally wasted on, because they will just find another way to endanger themselves and other drivers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I am getting the hang of this.

I wanted to give a more thorough update on what we are doing here in Utah. Justin is in still in school... there is light at the end of the tunnel; he will be graduating next year. He is also helping coach the BYU men's volleyball team. We just got done got done with club volleyball tryouts and they were very successful. Since Justin isn't one for bragging and i am, I will say he is the best coach/person i have ever met. He cares so much about honesty and what is better for other people it gives me hope for the world. I am working as a teachers aid in an elementary school. It is a class of children with autism. I am also awaiting the day when I can return to being a professional student. Oh by the way that is not really our cat playing volleyball, but if he did this is what he would look like. (hehe)

As far as my new job is concerned I feel myself becoming a better person everyday I walk into the classroom. People, it seems are so afraid when they here autism and I was one of them. I have to say though these kids are the sweetest and most innocent I have ever met. Everyday they teach me what the true meaning of patience really is. I have learned that it is not just enduring, or riding something out, but taking the time to understand then resolve. It is so awesome as well when you see them win the little battles. As cliche as this sounds I feel that I was blessed with this opportunity because I am supposed to learn from these children not the other way around. One of the best lessons I have learned so far is that I do have the skills to be a mother. I have never been confident in my maternal instincts, but since working with these kids I have learned that do have some after all. I am also learning other great things about how be a good parent. Now the daunting idea of someday having kids of my own doesn't send me into an anxiety attack. To sum it up I feel that since I cannot be in "school" I need to continue to look for opportunities like these to learn new things. I just have to remember to be proactive about it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'm Here in the Blogging world

After much trepidation in starting one of these things, I have done it. Thank you to Sharisa and Miriam for pushing me over the edge. I am glad that I can now have a place to keep family and friends updated on our seemingly exciting life. For those of you who know me well, know that I hate my cellphone and never really have it with me or ever really look at it for that matter. So I hope that I can be better at updating this than I am at answering my phone. So here I go... Justin and I are living in Utah with our little kitty. Justin is going to school and coaching volleyball, yes volleyball consumes our lives. I am working at an elementary school in a class of Autistic children. They are funniest kids in the world. We have a volleyball club that this year is going to be the biggest volleyball club in Utah. (ya) Both Justin and I are from California and miss it so much. Justin graduates soon which means that life can really begin.
I have recently rekindled a passion for photography, I love to go up in the mountains and take all the beauty in. I have spent the last two years here in Utah just thinking about how much really miss California and not taking in the beauty that surrounds me here. Utah is breathtaking! The Mountains, really are amazing. It has really made me realize that my contentment has everything to do with me and nothing to do with what surrounds me. As long as I have Justin, Mowgly, and the other things that I love I can be happy anywhere.