Friday, September 14, 2012


This summer Justin and I were invited on my family's vacation  to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. It is one of the most beautiful places! I love the feeling of laying on a white sandy beach with crystal clear water, reading a good book surrounded by your best friends/family. It is my favorite thing ever.

My parents told Justin and I to just find a way to get down there and they would take care of the rest. So we saved up and bought plane tickets because there is no way I would miss out on that! We stayed at the Marriott Frenchman's Cove right on the beach. Justin had to sleep out with Chaz on the pull out and I slept in with my sisters but we didn't care.
view at our villa

Trunk Bay

Toes in the sand

Taking a trip to the British Virgin Islands

I love Boats!
The most gorgeous beach I have ever seen!
baths on the BVI

Our Sunday best

We ate good food, slept in (most days), played at the beach, and took an outrageous amount of pictures. It was awesome. 

All in all, we felt like some pretty lucky ducks.

As of late...

Ok so I haven't blogged in ages! Justin and I have now lived in Iowa for over a year and he is taking his first part of the four part National Board tests. He really is becoming a doctor! I finally got my certification as a dental assistant. I'm so glad I don't have to worry about that anymore!
 This summer we went with my family to St. Thomas (I'll share pictures of paradise later) and it was amazing. I love that place but loved being with my family even more. We all have so much fun together and even Justin and Chaz become the older/younger brothers they never had! Justin's Mom and Dad were able to come out to Davenport for different reasons but we were able to see them too. It is just so nice to be with family.

I have a new calling in the ward. Yes, that makes my fifth calling since being here. I am now the Young Woman's president! It is a little scary for me and half the time I have no idea what I'm doing but I love being with the girls. I still feel like I fit right in. When I was in young women's I loved going and was excited if we had more than one activity in a week, but now I'm realizing how much work it is and how much my leaders actually did for me. I just hope I can be half as good as the leaders I had. Justin has a new calling as the Ward Executive Secretary so that keeps him pretty busy as well.

I signed up to take Humanities 202 from BYU independent study. I want and feel that it is important to finish my degree. Justin and I have worked it out so that I'll be able to go back and finish while we are living in Utah for a couple years. I just love BYU :)

Its almost my birthday again and I just cannot believe how fast time has gone by. Next thing I know we'll be moving back to Utah and then on to... who knows where.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

First Trip to Chicago

Chicago is only a 3 hour drive from Davenport. Justin and I have been talking about going ever since we moved out here and its now been a whole year! Justin's cousin and family are moving back to Utah this next month and wanted to go to Chicago one last time so it was perfect for us to go together. We all had some time off for the Memorial Day weekend so we packed up and left Friday morning and drove home Saturday night. We stayed in a little place close to the O'Hare airport and were able to take a shuttle to the airport where we could then take the train into downtown Chicago.

Friday we walked the Magnificent Mile and did some sight seeing. We went to the park, saw the huge bean, looked up at the Sears/Willis tower... To finish the night we just had to get some Chicago style pizza. We went to Giordano's for dinner and the pizza was amazing. It was filled with an outrageous amount of cheese but the crust was the best part.

The plan for Saturday was the Shedd Aquarium. There was a line two hours long to get in, but luckily we had a stroller for the little girls and there just happened to be a stroller line. So we only had to wait about 20-30 mins and got right in. There was so much to see and do there that you really could send all day exploring! (Justin and I did have to take a little break though to find a real Chicago hot dog for lunch.) 

We had tons of fun and were glad we got to share it with our cousins. Now we can go back and know what we're doing. We'll find more things to see and places to eat. We love good food and will travel to find it! 
On the drive home we were struggling to stay awake a little bit so after treating it with our caffeinated beverage of choice, Dr. Pepper, we decided to make lists of all the Disney movies we want to eventually own as well as musicals. It really helped keep us going through all the ridiculous toll roads!

Chicago is such a cool place and it was different than I was expecting. All the buildings are so unique, and everything is so close together. I'm so glad we could take trains and not worry about crazy traffic. I'm excited to go back and check out more of the city and go to stores and places that they just don't have in little old Davenport.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Pasta

It's warming up out here in Iowa and summer is just around the corner. I love summertime. The warm sun, green grass, and the smell of sunscreen all make me so happy inside.

As Justin and I were planing out our menu for this week we were trying to think of some good meals for warmer days. I had been thinking along the lines of a pasta salad and so we combined our ideas to make this refreshing yet filling pasta delight! One thing that I love is a colorful dinner plate and this dish is full of color.

Summer Pasta
1 package of your favorite cheese tortellini (cooked to package directions)
1 cup cherry tomatoes (sliced in halves)
1 cup broccoli (blanched)
1/2 an avocado
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
green onion
Parmesan cheese
"Good Seasons" Garlic Herb dressing

This was so good with the sweet tang of the cherry tomatoes to the creamy avocado, I just loved it and can't wait to make it again. Next time I think we'll add some grilled chicken and maybe try some lemon zest.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The First Year

Our first year of marriage has been very eventful. So much has happened but it has all gone by so rapidly!

Honeymoon in Hawaii (one year ago)
  • Justin graduated BYU the week before we were married
  • April 30th we were married in Arizona
  • We spent a week in Hawaii for our honeymoon
  • Then back to Utah for a week and  to have an open house
  • We bought a car 
  • Rented a Budget truck
  • Moved halfway across the country to little Davenport, IA
  • Set up our first little home together
  • I got a job, quit, and then got a better job
  • Created a family budget
  • Justin started classes at Palmer Chiropractic College
  • Made some great new friends
  • I flew to AZ for my birthday
  • Got an iPhone
  • Had Christmas with my family
  • Have had 4 different callings in church (two steady ones now)
  • Justin has had 2 different callings
  • Started to run regularly
  • Let my hair go darker
  • Let Justin start to adjust me
Justin is now in his 3rd Trimester and we're almost a third of the way through Palmer. I will be a certified orthodontic assistant by this summer. I am so thankful for all the little miracles along the way that have got Justin and I to this point. We have been so blessed and I know that my Heavenly Father has been looking out for us.

I'm excited for what the next year holds and so grateful that it's Justin I get to share it with.
Our Anniversary Dinner

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Favorite Day

One year ago, this month, Justin and I where married for time and eternity. We where married in the Mesa, AZ Temple on the 30th of April. It was really an amazing day that I would do over and over again if I could. The weather was beautiful, everything ran smoothly, and there is nothing I would change about it. 

Looking back over the year it has gone by so incredibly fast! I can hardly believe that I've been married for a year. I still feel like we are just barely newlyweds. Marriage is not exactly what I thought it would be but it is definitely worth it and something that I love. We've had our challenges as we both adjust to living in the same house bringing together some totally different routines and ways of doing things. But, it is so nice to be able to hang out and be with each other all the time. As we have leaned how to communicate and work through things I have learned a lot about myself and have grown a good deal too. I am so thankful for Justin and his patience with me. He is always so sweet to me and just wants to make me happy. I really am a lucky girl to have him with me, together forever. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Healthy Choices...

Growing up in the Hansen household we always ate pretty well. My mom is an awesome cook and my dad is great with the grill. Because my dad is a doctor of natural medicine (Dr.Hansen) he has always pushed for healthy meals. We weren't crazy health nuts but we didn't get a lot of junk or eat out much when I was a kid. My mom would experiment with different veggies to make yummy and healthy dinners. Sometimes it took a lot of convincing to get us to eat but other times we would gobble it up. As I have grown up, I now have more appreciation for the meals my mom would make and the variety of vegetables I have been exposed to. 

Justin and I have decided to try and be more aware of what we are eating and to make healthier choices. If I could I would always have the fridge stocked with lots fruits and vegetables but its not always easy on a student budget. I have decided to avoid sweets and extra sugar where possible. I am a self proclaimed sugar addict and I need to break the habit! It is really hard but I'm starting small. I don't ever plan to cut out all sugar completely but I will definitely cut out a good amount.

One meal my mom used to make is eggplant sandwiches. When I made the suggestion to Justin he was a little bit skeptical but I convinced him to let me make them and they are actually pretty delicious. 

You just bread the thick cut eggplant and fry it in a little bit of vegetable oil.
You toast your bread, add your eggplant, mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese, and marinara sauce. 
Give it a quick broil to melt the cheese...
and there you go! If you don't think you like eggplant, give this a try, and I bet you'll like it!

I know its fried but it is still more veggies and less meat. I like that, and I like to be healthy.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

good lookin'... I mean cookin'

I love food. A little too much (as my love handles can attest). Justin and I both have fun thinking of what to make and finding recipes from family cookbooks and using ideas from things we see off like The Food Channel and stuff.

We saw a Rhodes Rolls commercial the other day that suggested you use the rolls as pizza dough. So we had to try it. We made a fancy half mushroom, sausage half leftover chimichurri, steak, tomato pizza. Turned out to be delicious.
A family Pot Pie recipe that was super yummy posted by Justin's cousin. It called for white wine so maybe that's why it tasted so good...
 Our early "Christmas morning" Monkey Bread and dipping sauce. Yeah, we ate the whole thing.
Buffalo Chicken Salad is one of our favorites. Justin batters and shallow fries the chicken. Then we make some buffalo sauce to drench them in before putting it on top of some romaine with black beans, green onion and ranch of course!
I'm so lucky to have a husband that cooks and likes it!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tweet Me!

Here's a secret about me. I love Facebook for stalking people but that is about it. I hardly ever post anything and I certainly do not make status updates. The last status I had was probably about my wedding... and before that, my engagement... I figure I can't just start putting up status' or people may think I've gone crazy! But the truth is... I kind of want to say random things to the world sometimes. I got an iPhone for my birthday from my man and discovered the beauty of so many other forms of social media. I now love Instagram and more recently Twitter. With Twitter I can just say whatever I want, whenever I feel so inclined! It's awesome! Who cares if anyone really sees it, but I have fun with it. Now I just have to watch that I'm not spending more time on my phone than with my man. Oops!

Monday, February 20, 2012

I have never really made Valentines Day a big deal so this year was really no different... except that I am married now and have a super sweet hubby who likes to spoil me.
We went out to dinner the weekend before Valentines day and planned to see The Vow but it ended up being sold out. (We saw it the next weekend and I wasn't as thrilled with it as I thought I would be.) So for the actual day I just planned to have a nice dinner with Justin and give him a homemade card. When we got home from work/school there was a little white rose on our kitchen table. I was so surprised because I had the car all day, he had to have his friend drive him around. Then I went to the living room and on the side table there was a vase of flowers and some sparkling cider. After telling Justin how sweet and what a great surprise that was, I went upstairs to change and found a whole bouquet of roses on the dresser! It was perfect and I felt so special. I really was not expecting anything at all! Justin cooked an awesome dinner for us of grilled steak, asparagus, and rice. He planned everything out and it was so good! Best Valentines Day yet!

He's such a cutie!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

hello new year

2012 means business time. Its a new year and I think it's going to be a good one!!
We had an awesome Christmas and New Years in the gorgeous Arizona with my family. It was so nice to be in 70 degree weather and take a break from our busy work/school schedules. On Christmas Justin and I received some pretty awesome gifts from my parents and siblings. (Thank you!) We ate so well the whole week and got more than our fill of shopping. It was great!
this about sums up my family.

While driving around town I would often catch Justin looking around and saying "yeah we could live here".... Oh YES! I would love to end up back in Arizona for good.
When we finally had to leave it was 80 out as we boarded our first light back to our little house in Iowa on Sunday. We even sat across from Mitt Romney's son on our flight from Minneapolis. That Tuesday we voted in the first Caucus and were so proud that out votes really counted (even though Santorum somehow pulled out the win in the end).
We got back into the swing of things with studying for tests, working out, and trying to get out of work at a decent hour. Right before we left I was released from two of the three callings I had: Activity Days and the Relief Society Board. Then guess where they put me!? In Young Womens of course! If is kind of a scary calling for me because I don't know if I am old enough to have anything good to teach these girls but for the same reason I like being in it because I still feel like I'm a part of the Young Women. So it will be a calling that I'll stress over a lot but I am really excited about it too.
As its a new year and all, Justin and I have made some goals as a family. One goal is to start eating healthier and to workout at least three times a week. We want to have beach bodies by the time we go om my family's summer vacation to St. Thomas.
I went to this beautiful place with my family about two and a half years ago and I am so excited to go back. So Justin and I are saving our pennies and working out at the Palmer gym in hopes that by June we'll look good! I also started to go to Zumba every Saturday and love it! This same studio is where we go salsa dancing and they are opening a new studio closer to where I work. It's really exciting.
It has been a pretty mild winter here they say and I'm just fine with that. It has snowed a hand full of times and I've definitely slid both in the car and on foot a hand full of times as well. I think that this mild winter is a blessing for me and I'm grateful for boots and coats!