Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ragnar Las Vegas October 22-23, 2010

12 team members/friends, two vans, 30 straight hours of running between all... 195 miles total
So this is me on my 1st leg (6.4 miles)... SMILING and thinking, I got this, no sweat! After a couple BIG hills I was ready to be done with my first leg!

Moving on to my second leg.. It was a total of 3.1 miles in the dark, dark night. My biggest fear of running the Ragnar was running in the dark. I'm SO scared of the dark and I especially hate being alone in it. I was told oh no worries my team van would be able to stick with me along the whole way. YA RIGHT!! I begin my 2nd leg and probably 1/2 mile into it I am suddenly on this dark trail with a fence on one side and a wall with trees up agains it on the other side the only thing lighting it was my headlamp and what little moonlight there was.. I'm alone for a while and FREAKING out, running as fast as I can to get off the trail! The trail went on FOREVER it seemed! Soon a couple girls catch up with me (thank goodness!!) and we stuck together til the end of the trail and were on the road again with streetlights. Phew! That leg ended, and I survived!

By now its really starting to hit me, 15 hours into it.. im tired, feeling nautious, and my body is aching! Thankfully we got to go back to our hotel to get a few hours of sleep before starting our 3rd leg. I sure needed it, although when I woke up, a couple hours later, I was thinking to myself am I CRAZY, what was I thinking?! I'm tired, SO SORE, and I still have another 6.9 miles to go! AH! ha! So here we go again! On to the LAST exchange where we will start our 3rd leg! I was the 4th runner so I had a little bit of time to mentally prepare myself! Karen, Cindy, and Dana flew through their third leg and now it is my turn.... I get out there and off I go... 6.9 miles on a rocky dirt road. I was hurting and wanted to cry, but I kept telling myself "you can do this and once you do, you'll be done, COMPLETELY done!" My team was AWESOME, they cheered me on the whole way and kept me going!.....This is me after handing off the wristband to Hank. Not so smiley, tired, beat, and not wanting to take another step, but I actually felt GREAT! If that makes sense? I was DONE and I ran a total of 16.4 miles!All done! Can you tell, I'm ready to hit the sack?
This is half our team Van 1 at the 1st big exchange (Lake Mead)

This is van 1 and van 2 (the whole team except 1, Paula Flake, she took off right after). Celebrating our Ragnar Accomplishment with some good food! Well done team! Thanks for the fun experience!!
This is one of the many CRAZY team vans, nice huh. ha!

So that is my Ragnar story.... would I do it again? MOST DEFINITELY!!! Even if I was hurting, aching, and lost alot of sleep... It was one of the funnest things I've done!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree!

We got our Christmas Tree up and it is beautiful! The Christmas tree has always been my favorite Decor of Christmas, along with my mom's beautiful Nativity set! I could just sit for hours by the Christmas tree and just stare! I love Christmas time! The lights, the feeling, the giving, and the remembrance of our Savior's birth! I hope ya'll have a Happy Christmas Season!
I was anxious and excited to decorate this year because I got all my decorations last year after Christmas so I could get them all 50% or more off! So They've been sitting in a box just waiting to be used!
I had to show off my one piece pajama... Andrew gave it to me for Christmas 2 years ago and has been giving me a hard time about not wearing it very often. So I broke it out and he loved it! haha... it wasn't long before my feet got super hot and I had to take it off to let them breathe! Once my feet get hot I get very uncomfortable! But at least I was warm!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Homemade pizza!

So Andrew and I agreed that homemade pizza is just not the same as Papa Johns or Pier 49 or any other pizza place. The crust always seems to be flat and just not the same, so Andrew and I have been determined to find a recipe to prove us to be wrong and that homemade pizza can be good! Well Andrew found that recipe and we tested it out.... the results... Delicious and it even looks good too! Recipe below! :)

1 Cup warm water
1 pkg. (.25 oz.) dry active yeast
2 3/4 flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil

1.Place water in a small bowl and stir yeast. Let Stand 5 minutes

2.In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the flour, sugar, and salt. Make well in the center and add the yeast mixture and olive oil. Stir until dough comes together and forms a ball. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding as much of remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed. Form into a disk and place in a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil. Turn disk over and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

3.Remove dough from bowl and punch down. Roll out into desired diameter

*For best results cook on a round pizza stone

After rolling out dough and placing on the pizza stone, spread 2-4 tablespoons of BBQ sauce (I recommend Sweet Baby Ray's) on top of dough. Add your desired amount of cheese (we used colby jack as well as mozzarella). Then spread cooked chicken that has been covered in BBQ sauce (we used george foreman grill to cook chicken) on top, about 3/4 lb. chicken breast. Then spread 1/2 RED onion (next time I'll use more cause it tastes so yummy!) on top, as well as pineapple tidbits. Top with a little more cheese! Bake at 500 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until crust is nicely browned. ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Girlfriends... love them!!

Better late than never!... My girlfriends from home; Lawryn, Aleesa, and Christina came and visited Conference weekend! It was a weekend full of fun and loss of sleep (but totally worth it!) I love these girls like crazy! Next time they come it'll be snowy and wintery and we'll be hitting the slopes!! Right girls!?! :) Some things we enjoyed together.....
General Conference...
Trying on sweet glasses in a costume store....
Lunch at the Roof, before going to conference (my fav, so yummy!)....
Pedicures (so relaxing!)...
and Jamba Juice with a slice of Great Harvest Bread (yum!)

Thanks for coming girls! It was so fun to have you girls here! See you at home at Christmas time! Can't wait!!! Love you all!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cheesecake.. Yum!

Well a few weeks ago I attempted my first cheesecake and well... I decided if I attempt it again I won't start making it at midnight, I hadn't a clue what I was getting myself into! The results though... absolutely delicious!

I wanting to have the cheesecake for Sunday dinner dessert, got home from hanging out with some friends Saturday night and thought ah I should probably start the cheesecake right now, midnight, 12:00 am, well past my bedtime!! I whipped the crust out (which i will definitely do a thicker crust next time), got it baked and out to cool and then began the other part. I got it put together, threw it in the oven and continued to read the baking time instructions which read....

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes THEN turn the oven down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes, THEN turn oven off and open the door wide AND allow cake to set in oven for 30 minutes. By the time all this had happened it was 3:00 AM... I was thrilled to be hitting the sack, but the thought of having to wake up in 3 HOURS after the cheesecake had cooled to put it in the fridge was not a happy thought!

6 AM surely did roll around TOO FAST and I drug myself out of bed, put it in the fridge and immediately went back to bed! 11:30 AM rolls around... Andrew pops up out of bed, looks at the clock and says surprisingly (because he NEVER sleeps in) "Jena its 11:30, we're LATE for church!" ha... the cheesecake baking left me sleep deprived! We made it to church just at the end of Sacrament meeting in time to teach our little SUNBEAMS which by the way... are ADORABLE! Then later that day we enjoyed a yummy and delicious cheesecake, which turned out to be worth the loss of sleep! :)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 Tbsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. butter melted
(I personally think there needs to be more crust, so add some more if you please!)

2 1/2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
To make crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1 inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees

To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, two at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2-3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.

Choose a topping! I used raspberries mixed with jelly like the recipe said but I personally would not recommend the jelly idea! I loved the raspberries but will probably use a box of danish dessert gelatin stuff instead!

Recipe from BAREFOOT CONTESSA cookbook.... ENJOY!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Oh how I LOVE Halloween!!! This year Andrew and I were Willy Wonka and Oompa Loompa! Because of my sweet mother and her sweet sewing skills we were able to pull my costume together... thanks mom, you're the best! The friday before Halloween our friends Nesha and Brock had a costume party in which we went on a scavenger hunt... it was a blast! Andrew and I won first place for the costume contest and got an ash tray, cigarettes, and a couple bags of candy bars.... hahahaha! Since we got our first pack of cigs we decided... heck lets give em' a try! ha... just kidding :) They'll be making a GREAT white elephant gift, with the Holidays around the corner! Thanks Nesha and Brock! :) The following night we got together with our friends in our costumes and went to dinner at Outback! Below are some fun costumes of everyone!

Oompa loompa doompadee doo!
All of us at Outback!
Andrew and I had the privilege of having my good friend Aleesa from Arizona with us all weekend! She was a little hesitant on dressing up, but we got her in costume and I think she made the best hick in town! :)
Nesha and Brock as Astronauts! How sweet are their costumes?!?
Sari and Mckell as nerds!! They were Buddy the Elf and Elf the night before... So good!
Cass and Jordan and little Quinlee! Loofa and Soap on a rope, very Clever!