Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Summer reading

It seems like I have a lot more time to read during the summer months. As summer approaches, I'm always anxious to discover new and interesting books to read. I just picked up this one the other day:

I was actually planning on reading the biography of George Washington first, but leafing through this book's pages, I realized a lot of it takes place in Philadelphia. I think it will be a neat experience to read about Philadelphia during colonial times while actually living there and being able to see some of the historical sights. Another interesting note is that HBO created a movie series based on this book and a lot of the movie was filmed in Colonial Williamsburg-- a place I visited often last summer and enjoyed very much. I'm planning to read the biography first and watch the series when I finish.

This is probably going to be some pretty heavy reading so I'm going to need to find some lighter and entertaining books to read this summer also. Here are some of the other books currently on my to read list:

1. The Book Thief
2. Breaking Dawn
3. My Sister’s Keeper
4. Three Cups of Tea
5. Escape

Has anyone read any good books lately I should add to my list?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy anniversary!

Today is our fourth anniversary! Sean is in Philadelphia right now so we had to celebrate last weekend. One of these years we’re actually going to be settled somewhere and be able to celebrate without worrying about finals/packing/driving across the country, etc.! It’s crazy to think it has already been four years. For those of you who do not know, Sean and I are high-school sweet hearts. I love that! People say you’re too young in high school to know if you love someone, but I can honestly say I have always known. Sean was so shy and cute and down to earth. I loved that he was both smart and athletic. Girls loved him and somehow I was the lucky one he chose to date. I finally scanned some of our wedding pictures the other day—here are some of my favorites:

I saw this Q&A on my friend Lachelle’s blog and I thought it would be a great way to end this post:

What is your husband’s full name? Sean McEwen Ricks

How long have you been married? Four years today

How long did you date? Seven months before his mission and about a year after he got home we got engaged.

What do you love most about him? He is truly the best person I know in every way. He’s thoughtful, loving, hard working, hilarious, charitable, honest, genuine, sexy and about a million other things!

Who eats more sweets? I think we’re about even. Sean tends to snack more, where I usually want something sweet after dinner.

Who said “I love you” first? Sean

How old is he? 26

Who is taller? Sean. He’s 6’5”. Hooray for me since I am around 6 feet tall! His height is one of the things I love most about him. I love being married to a guy where I can stand up straight next to him and be proud of my height. I can even wear heels!

Who is smarter? We are both smart in different ways. Sean is awesome when it comes to math and science (not my strongest subjects) and I excel more in English/writing. Makes sense since he graduated in mechanical engineering and I graduated in pr. Overall, I think between the two of us we’re in good shape to help our kids with their homework ;)

Who can sing better? Sean has an awesome voice. He’s never been in a choir or anything, but he is really talented. I was in choir all throughout Jr. High and High School so I feel like I can carry a tune J

Who does the laundry? I do. I’ve shrunk many t-shirts in my day!

Who pays the bills? We both work, but Sean gets paid a lot more! I am in charge of making sure they are paid in time.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Sean. I have a deviated septum and when I roll on my right side it is a lot harder for me to breathe. Therefore I will always be on the left until I get my nose fixed!

Who mows the lawn? Our homeowners association. They also shovel our snow and plant flowers. It’s fabulous!

Who cooks dinner? I do. I love to cook and luckily Sean is not picky (as long as pickles, cottage cheese or meatballs are not involved….) Sean’s pretty uninterested with being in the kitchen but his dad is an amazing cook so I still have hope!

Who drives? Sean does when we are together. He loves driving and cars in general.

Who is more stubborn? Me, hands down. It’s a life-long struggle I’m working on.

Who asked who out? Sean asked me to go with him to his senior prom in high school. It was our first official date and I about died with excitement when he asked me.

Who kissed who first? Sean kissed me. It was after the prom!

Who has more siblings? Sean has 5 kids in his family and I have 4.

Who wears the pants? Ultimately Sean does, but we collaborate together on any major decisions.

Happy anniversary babe! I hope you’re having a great time in Philly. I miss you and am looking forward to many more great years together!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Our summer adventure continues!

So our summer sales adventure continues (and will conclude) this summer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! Sean left this morning and I will be joining him in a few weeks after my brother’s wedding. We are very excited to see what Philly has to offer. I’m sure Sean and Rob and their entire team is going to rock it this year. Sean is so fortunate to have such an awesome friend to co-manage with. I'm also really lucky to be able to keep my job and work remotely from PA. Aside from sales, I know Philly and the surrounding areas will have a lot to offer (including the best sandwich ever… the Philly cheesesteak). Here are a few of the things I want to see and the places I want to visit:

1. Independence Hall: the notorious building where Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, etc. announced the Declaration of Independence and where the Constitution was written. (Especially cool since I went to the National Archives in D.C. last summer and saw both)
2. The Liberty Bell 3. New York City: It’s only 1.5 hours away and you can just hop on the train in Philly to get there. I made Sean promise to take me to see Wicked on Broadway! Of course there will be plenty of shopping for me and sightseeing for Sean since he has never been.

4. Hershey, Pennsylvania: They say the entire city smells like chocolate and the street lamps are even in the shape of Hershey kisses. It’s a short drive away and I plan to visit Hershey’s Chocolate World, which includes a tour of the chocolate factory! I am also planning on eating myself sick with chocolate in all varieties. 5. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: It’s Dutch country! I read a book about Amish people last year and it would be cool to actually visit. The farmlands are supposed to be beautiful and I would love to buy something that is Amish made. Also, there is supposed to be an amazing farmer’s market I would love to check out.
6. Palmyra, New York: Plan to visit the Sacred Grove, Smith farm, Harris farm, Whitmer farm, Grandin Printing Shop, etc.
7. Atlantic City—less than 1 hour away!

8. Niagra Falls: It’s a bit of a drive, but I’ve always wanted to see it, along with upstate New York. Later in the summer I’m hoping to visit Lexington, KY to see my friends Taryn and Grant and their cute new house. I have been so lucky to see so many things these past few years. We’ve lived in Chicago, Colorado Springs, Charleston S.C. and Virginia Beach and I’ve seen more in these past four years than a lot of people see in a lifetime.

If you’re looking for a trip this summer and any of these things on my list interest you, keep in mind we always love visitors! We will be living right on the Schuylkill River in these apartments. I am particularly excited about this bit:

“4,000 acres of national parklands at Valley Forge National Historic Park, located right next door. Riverview Landing residents can enjoy water sports and direct access to a scenic 40-mile tree-lined jogging/biking path.”

I'm also thrilled we are living three miles away from here. If anyone has any other suggestions of places to see or things to do near Philly, I'd love to hear about them. I'd also love to hear about any fun things you have planned this summer!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Weekly Funny - Hot Pocket

Jim Gaffigan is probably our favorite comedian. (sorry Seinfeld) This bit is hilarious! There are so many great quotes from this. Enjoy!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring has sprung!

Today Sean and I went to Thanksgiving Point for the Tulip Festival. Problem is, last week was so cold most of the tulips haven't bloomed yet! We still walked around and found a lot of flowers like these that made me feel absolutely giddy about the spring weather:

We ended the outing by sharing a chocolate marshmallow malt-- it doesn't get much better than that! It's kind of hard to see in this picture, but we both ended up sunburning our faces. Hooray for spring after a crazy winter!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cake time

I've had the opportunity to make a couple of fun cakes lately. I made this birthday cake for my future sister-in-law, Julie:

She's cute so she deserved a cute cake :) Want to know the best part? That's funfetti cake and frosting under there!

My relief society did an enrichment activity a few weeks ago where they were celebrating the Relief Society's birthday. Anyway, they wanted volunteers to bring a cake decorated for each month of the year. I signed up for October and here is my cake:

That's ganache poured over the top there friends. If you haven't had the delight of trying ganache, it's heavy cream mixed with melted chocolate... how could that be bad? My friend and I were joking someone was going to steal the spider off the top-- and someone did! Don't worry, I got it back.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Porsche Sport Driving School

At the beginning of March I fulfilled a long time goal of mine and attended a driving school. I've always been into race cars, and a driving school was the perfect opportunity to not only drive a high-performance car, but to learn how to push it to the limits. So about a year ago I was able to get an incentive set up through my work to reach this goal of mine. I went with my good friend Rob and one of the owners of APX, Shawn. We traveled to Alabama to Porsche Sport Driving School at Barber Motor Sports Park and attended a 2-day High Performance Driving Course. The icing on this cake is that we were able to drive Porsches the entire time. There is something about going 120 mph on a race track two car-lengths behind your buddy with a hairpin turn coming up. You have to trust that when you slam on the brakes the car is going to stop. Luckily, we paid the extra insurance in case the car didn't stop. I highly suggest this driving school to anyone who likes speed and an adrenaline rush. It was a blast and I now have a new goal-- to own a Porsche.

Rob and I in front of a GT2

Autocross Action in a Cayman S

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Weekly Funny

This edition of Weekly Funny features what is probably our most favorite T.V. commercial of all time. It is hilarious and some commercials should just continue to air because they are pure genius. Enjoy!