# mormon marci

Do you guys read Buzz Feed? It’s one of those highly-entertaining traps on the interwebs, whose random, but always spot-on observations leave you browsing for days. Seriously, check it out if you’ve never been on there.

A few weeks ago, they published a list of 25 Things Mormon Girls Love. Well, how appropriate. It was all fun and games going through the list until I realized that I also love about half the things included. In all honesty, most girls between the ages of 18-35 probably love these things. But, it made me feel like maybe we’re not so different after all and it at least gave me some talking points whenever I find myself needing to bond with a sistah.

Here are the ways in which I’m apparently like Mormon girls. Please note when checking out the original list that there are several things that I absolutely can’t stand, like numbers 6 and 11, and Joe wants it to be known that he had nothing in common with their list of things Mormon Bros love, except maybe his mom and hanging out. Who doesn’t love those?

Pinterest:  Hellllllllo. Pinterest is my ultimate escape. Now that Google Reader bit the dust, I use it to catalog my blog recipes and collect design inspiration. What girl doesn’t think that Pinterest is the best thing ever??

Diet Coke: Guilty. Guilty, guilty, guilty. I go back and forth in my drinking of diet coke, but right now it’s on like Donkey Kong and I love it. I will be trying to phase it out completely by the Fall, but they don’t have to know that. Hell Heck, even I’m trying to not know that right now.

FroYo: Again, who doesn’t like frozen yogurt? Except my cup never looks so pretty as their example. I eat my FroYo like a child – completely covered in multi-colored sprinkles and gummy bears. This is no place to act like an adult.

Target: I did love Target, but Logan doesn’t have one. (….waiting for that to sink in…) The nearest one is an hour away! I don’t love it *that* much! #denial

Cute Handwriting: Ahhahahahah! Handwriting! Those that know me well, know what handwriting means to me. I guess I don’t have to love it in silence anymore. #winning

Photography Side Business: Yeeeeah, I’m working on it.

Cupcakes: These are up there. I mean, Julisa and I did create NWS’ Cupcake Fridays that are STILL going on to this day. You’re welcome.

Blogs: These have always been a big love of mine. Before Google Reader died while we were trekking across the country, I probably read over 100 that ranged in topics from food, photography, food photography and books to my friends and their families’ personal blogs.

Swimsuits by Jessica Rey: Totally random, but I just was recently introduced to her modest line of swimwear and I fell in love. If they weren’t already sold out, I’d probably be the owner of this, this or this.

So, while I feel like I may be a fish out of water up here at least I know there are general points where we’re all the same. Girls just wanna have fun. Now, who wants some FroYo?

Side note: DTRs? “Define the Relationship.” I just saved most of you a Google search.


Friday Five: Non-Family Trips

Every Friday I’ll indulge my order-crazed brain in a list of randomness. Welcome to my Friday Fives.

In honor of summer adventures and our own week-long road trip to move out here, I thought it appropriate to chronicle my favorite non-family, non-honeymoon trips. (Those could have lists all their own.) Ironically, when I started making my list I realized that three of the trips were in the same summer. Lucky year, I guess.

5. Euro Tour

While employed by the Chinese government, Joe and I had the distinct pleasure of touring Europe as part of Shenzhen’s finest.  We traveled as only the Chinese do – fast, furious, wearing matching jackets and with cameras around our neck. In those few weeks we saw Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. While I know I never want to travel again as part of a foreign government entourage, it was a pretty memorable nonetheless.  Here’s how I like to remember the trip…
CIMG8419 (2)

…and here’s what it was really like.

4. San Fran

Joe and I visited San Fran in summer of 2011 for the IHS conference, where we walked and ate our way across “Everyone’s Favorite City.” We were joined by good friends Bobbie, Maria, Cat and Katy to share in the fun. And by fun, I usually mean eating and drinking.
San Fran A-Team

3. Sanibel

Ah, Sweet Sanibel Island. One of the best parts of living in South Florida was our proximity to Sanibel’s glory. We were able to visit many times, but one of my favorite times was with Bobster and Ica to ring in my 30s. There are far worse places to move into a new decade, I assure you! Love these girls.

2. Wilmington

This is a non-family trip list, but I don’t count my trips with Aunt Pam as a typical family trip. We’ve been all over together, but the trip that started it all still holds a very special place in my heart: Brandywine Valley — home of my beloved Wyeth artists. Fine Art, Fine Wine and Fine Food – that’s how Pam and I roll. And, speaking of rolling, one of the most memorable parts of that trip was when Pam had me get out of the car to take a picture of a colorful tree and proceeded to roll the car over my foot.  I could do an entire list of Pam & Marci trips, because there are too many funny moments like that to share.
Delaware Tree

1. SibSab – Orlando

The non-family family trip! My siblings and I never get a chance to be together – just us. When we’re all in town—which is rare in itself—we find ourselves bouncing around from house to house without a chance to just chill and be the kids we still think we are. So, when Bryan and Joe were both celebrating major graduations, we thought we’d move the Kid’s Table to Orlando and visit Mr. Potter’s Wizarding World. As avid fans of the books, it was the perfect destination to throw all responsibilities to the wind and just let loose. I hope we can make these Sibling Sabbaticals (a.k.a. SibSabs) a tradition.  If you have 13 minutes to spare and want to see how obsessed five adults can be about Harry Potter and each other, enjoy this video slideshow I made from our trip.

# pioneer day

Yesterday was Pioneer Day here in Utah — a statewide holiday that celebrates the arrival of Brigham Young and his followers after leaving Nauvoo, Illinois (where their leader Joseph Smith was murdered). You can read more on the day here.

We had been told, especially when we arrived in early July, that Pioneer Day was a much bigger deal than our nation’s actual Independence Day. And, true to form, our July 4th had not a firework in sight. But the entire city shut down on Pioneer Day. There was a parade (that we slept through), a pie-eating contest (zzzzzz) and a melon-eating contest (zzz..you get the idea).  We missed a lot of the festivities on the account of catching up on sleep, but we did attend two great potlucks that evening. After all, the non-Mormons all call it “Pie and Beer Day.” Sounds good to me.

The first was held at a fellow USU faculty member’s house. It was so nice to meet more faculty and musicians in the community. We had a great time, but had to cut it short to make it over to Sean & Wallis’ place for fireworks and more celebrating with our friends from the Opera Festival.  It was a late night, but luckily we had slept in. Remember? zzzzzz?  (Next year, I’ll do my best to document the fun, but you guys know how much I love to sleep…)

Sometimes potlucks send me into a frenzy over what to bring. There are so many things I love to make and so many things I’d love to try, but since I’m still figuring out high-altitude baking (coming to a blog post near you), I went with a summer favorite that requires no oven…or any real cooking, for that matter.  Here’s the recipe, which was a total hit. Next time I’ll remember to grab a photo or two!

Paula Deen’s Banana Pudding

(Originally titled “Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding” – how appropriate in light of recent PD events.)

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Friday Five: Sean & Wallis

Every Friday I’ll indulge my order-crazed brain in a list of randomness. Welcome to my Friday Fives.

Two of our best friends spend their summers in Logan playing in the local opera/musical theater festival and we’ve been so fortunate to have them greet us to our new home and show us around. I can’t tell you how comforting it’s been having them here during this transition—a sense of familiar when everything is so new. I thought it was appropriate as my first Friday Five to make a list of my top Sean and Wallis memories. We take trips down memory lane every time we hang out, so it’s only fair to let you in on the mix. Here they are, in chronological order.

5. CCM

Our friendship began where all good ones do: school.  CCM’s crazy curriculum and nearby bars created the perfect breeding ground for lifelong friends.


Halloween Concert

4. Lucca

This isn’t the first summer we’ve spent together. In 2006, before Joe and I headed to China, we spent five weeks in Tuscany playing operas, riding hot buses, eating pasta, steaks with green pepper sauce, and drinking wine. Absolute perfection.

Marci and Wallis in Lucca

Lucca dinner

3. Engagements

Wallis and I became even closer when planning our respective weddings. Like a total champ, she flew to Miami on Halloween weekend to help me find the perfect wedding dress and I spent a whirlwind 30 hours in DC celebrating her bridal shower and bachelorette party.

Bachelorette Party in DC

Dress shopping with Wallis

2. Weddings

And, we couldn’t forget our actual big days! I feel very lucky to have been part of their wedding ceremony and couldn’t imagine them not being a part of ours.

Vore Wedding

Sean's toast

1. Sophie & Bella

And, now as full-blown grown-ups, we bond as crazed owners of adorable dogs. My, what a long way we’ve come.

The Vore Family

Honorable Mentions:

Thanksgiving in the Northern Neck with the Williams family and Hong Kong with Sean:

Hong Kong with Sean

Looking forward to decades worth of memories with these two. I love them. I love their families. I’d do anything for them. 012, guys — you’re so quality.

Vore Engagement

# welcome to Logan

I’ve now had a few weeks (2 to be exact) to explore our new home. While I haven’t figured it all out yet, I thought you might want a few highlights. A quick Google search will show you many gorgeous photos of the entire Cache Valley, but here’s our five-minute tour of Logan. Here we go!

Welcome to Romney Stadium at Utah State University — Joe’s soon-to-be Home Away From Home. A little different than CNU, eh guys?

Romney Stadium at Utah State University

Romney Stadium 2013 Schedule for Utah State University

I couldn’t give you a tour of Logan without showing you the important LDS landmarks. This is the famous Temple: closed to the general public and even some LDS folk. It sits atop a very high hill overlooking the entire Valley.

LDS Temple in Logan, Utah 1

This is the LDS “Stake Tabernacle” and is open to the general public. I haven’t been in yet, but I plan to check it out. In fact, I’m curious to go to an LDS service sometime, just to see what it’s like. In general, the Mormons we have met are all extremely nice and no one has asked us about religion or exhibited any pressure at all. They are just very helpful and sweet.

LDS Tabernacle in Logan, Utah 1

LDS Tabernacle in Logan, Utah

While most of Logan looks like any other town, it does have a very iconic, old-fashioned Main Street across from the Tabernacle. I love the old Utah Theater (which happens to be my only East-facing photo, so you barely can see the huge mountains in any of my photos — #fail).

Utah Theater in Logan, Utah

Main Street in Logan, Utah

This photo was an after-thought when I crossed the street and realized you could see the old façade better from that angle. Busy traffic = bonus.

Main Street 1 in Logan, Utah

Here’s our humble abode. (Photo courtesy of our property management.) I will do a big house tour post at some point…after the sea of boxes goes away.

Utah House

That’s all for now! Consider your Utah Passports stamped.

*Photos taken with my Nikon D80, 12-24mm/1.4 (dust-speckled) lens*