work weekend

So Reunion weekend happened at work (again), which meant we all essentially lived on campus for two days. In the realm of “other duties as assigned,” I ended up filling in as a face-painter on Saturday morning (because, of course, I have so much experience in the face-painting arts).

The Saturday night gala gave me a second opportunity to wear my dress from Mio’s wedding that I love so very much. Turns out every year I have worn navy to the gala. I am a woman with simple (or just very specific) tastes.

Oh, these are my Emily coworkers who happened to wear the same thing.


Definitely a good weekend, but I was ready to go to sleep when I arrived home at 11:30 on Saturday night. Way past my bedtime.20141022-135440-50080989.jpg
A good night’s slumber wasn’t in the cards, though as BYU was playing Nevada in one of those super-late-if-you-live-on-the-east-coast games I despise. I stayed up through the third quarter, but then slept fitfully on the couch, waking only when Jason would yell.

We were both exhausted Sunday morning, but I made my weekly constitutional walk to church. Jason and I were asked to be in the Marriage and Family Sunday school class (not, I think, because they were worried about our marriage, but because when you’re looking for classroom variety, we are one of very few couples in our ward who fit the Married More Than Two Years + No Children criteria. Hang on. We might be the only ones.) Anyway, the class is good and I’m sure we’ll get lots out of it AND the teacher is former Utah Senator Bob Bennett and his wife. Yes, this is life in northern Virginia.

My former YW colleagues and I were invited to the first bit of Young Womens on Sunday so we could be presented with gifts of appreciation from the girls.20141022-135440-50080839.jpg


The “w” is covered up with the ribbon. They can spell.

I really do miss being in Young Womens, but I’m looking forward to whatever new calling is coming down the pike. I don’t think our ward has a designated Relief Society centerpiece coordinator yet!

last hurrah

Saturday morning we all woke up late-ish after our hard partying of Friday night. Somehow we also all still wanted donuts for breakfast…

Jason, Grant, Adam, Dave, Mom and I played tennis (after eating donuts). Those boys have skills. I should practice more.

After tennis we watched some football, ate a pizza, and took naps. Then Jason and I headed up to Provo for dinner with Dave, Jake and Justine, after which we stopped by Sue Anne and Harold’s for a visit (and mostly to see tiny new baby Allie Sue, who is 100% adorable).

On Sunday morning we went to church in the Page Ward. My mom made Adam’s famous lamb and beef gyros for dinner (which were, in a word, awesome). When my dad got home earlier than usual, we played The Bowl Game, a charades/catch phrase hybrid we learned from the Thompsons what feels like a lifetime ago in Lexington. We played twice and had the best time; seriously, I think watching my mom’s charade portion was a highlight of our trip.

The next morning my parents drove us to the airport bright and early and we headed back to our Virginia life. After such an amazing trip, I’ve resolved that all of our Utah vacations should last eleven days and include a perfect wedding. Until next time, Payson.

in which Mariel and Jordan get married!

With the bridal shower, St. George trip, camping, and Bam Bam’s out of the way, we were ready for the main event: Mariel and Jordan’s wedding! We all woke up extra early on Friday, October 10, to get ready for the big day. I was really antsy that morning (having a sister getting married makes me feel really old) so I jumped on the treadmill for a couple miles at 6 a.m. Much clothes-ironing, cereal-eating, hair-drying, make-up applying, and tooth-brushing later, we were good to go. Mariel and my parents drove up together and the boys, Hannah, Jason and I followed a few minutes later.

We’re all excited, but we are also very tired.

We made it up to the beautiful Oquirrh Mountain temple in plenty of time. Adam and Grant waited in the waiting room with Rachel and the little cousins while the rest of us attended the sealing. Click here for more about temples and why being sealed there matters to Mormons.

My Grandpa Pullan–who also married us five and a half years ago–officiated. He did a beautiful job. (I feel like the word “beautiful” is already over-used in this post, but it really was a beautiful day all around!

After the wedding, Jason, Hannah and I went back downstairs and met up with Adam and Grant.20141020-133547-48947345.jpg

#1 I can’t believe my brothers are so old and tall.

#2 I always think my hair is long and lustrous and then I see Hannah again.

#3 How sharp do we all look in our wedding finery? 20141020-133548-48948249.jpg

Finally Mariel and Jordan emerged from the temple! I have no pictures of this because we were just reveling in how happy they looked. Oh wait, here’s one from Laurisa!


Mariel’s dress was perfect, her hair was gorgeous, her flowers were stunning, her ring is insanely shiny, and her veil is mine (heart), but the best part of the whole day was her huge smile. She and Jordan just glowed. I couldn’t stop smiling when I just looked at them!20141020-133547-48947657.jpg

We took lots and lots of pictures (“Everyone! Now Pullans! Now Deans! Now Pullan and Dean immediate families! Pullan immediate family! Dean immediate family! Bridesmaids! Groomsmen! All together now! Look at each other and pretend to laugh!”). Mariel’s photographer was awesome, though, and handled all the crazy–and believe me, with our family there can be a lot of crazy–with aplomb. Also, I am exceedingly excited to see a picture of me and Hannah Pippa Middleton-ing Mariel’s dress. Yes, that happened.

While the newlyweds took kissing pictures around the temple, we basked in the perfect October day.20141020-133734-49054403.jpg

At noon, the boys, Hannah, Jason and I (a group I will now just refer to as the siblings, as we spent much of our time together) embarked on our most exciting duty of the day: retrieving 45 dozen donuts from Payson Market. Mariel loves donuts and especially loves Payson Market donuts. Thus, it only made sense to serve these fabled confections at her wedding reception. I drove us back down to Payson (which was fun in spite of Hannah’s radio station tips, which inadvertently led us to accapella and NPR, which is great for every day, but not for a wedding day). We stopped at Fat Jack’s for our second box of cheese sticks in 18 hours, then popped over to the house to pick up a few things we’d forgotten in the morning rush. Adam and Grant drove the truck over to Payson Market and loaded up the boxes and boxes and boxes of donuts.

We followed them to the Springville Art Museum, where we left the donuts in the kitchen in anticipation of the reception. I have never seen so many donuts in my life.

Oh, and those are definitely maple-bacon donuts, Adam’s favorite. So gross.

The siblings drove over to the Chillon in Spanish Fork for the luncheon. I haven’t been to the Chillon since Hannah had choir there and it is a beautiful space. We had a great lunch and got to share a table with my moms sisters and Chris and Christie. 1488757_1294590423889948_5703607898273724263_n

The dads said nice things about Mariel and Jordan and I cried (emotions, man) and Hannah slept (after the lunch, of course). 20141020-133548-48948624.jpg

At this point I too felt like taking a nap too, but there wasn’t time! We jetted back to the Springville Art Museum for family photos. Again, I don’t have any of these, but I did steal a picture of the bridesmaids and flower girls from my Aunt Laurisa. The bridesmaids were (from left) Jordan’s sister, our cousin Rachel, Hannah, and me.20141020-133734-49054850.jpg

I like to call the next series of photos “Hannah and Amanda Posing With People They Love.”20141020-133842-49122696.jpg

We love our brothers!20141020-133549-48949569.jpg

We love Mariel!20141020-133734-49054001.jpg

We love our beautiful mom (how great does she look?)(and our dad, but we didn’t get a picture with him)!20141020-133734-49054726.jpg

We love our cousins!20141020-133733-49053682.jpg

We love cousin, friend, and fellow bridesmaid Rachel, whose hair looked best out of all the bridesmaids!20141020-133843-49123085.jpg

We love Aunt Sharla (and all our other aunts and uncles)!20141020-133843-49123602.jpg

If you can’t tell, Hannah and I were all about our bouquets. Seriously, I wanted to figure out a way to dry it and bring it back to Virginia with me. Also, the boutonnieres had succulents in them and were awesome.

With some patience, we also got a picture of my Grandma and Grandpa and all of their grandchildren (except Mariel and Jordan, once again off taking kissy pictures. Those two…)20141020-133735-49055001.jpg

We love Jason too, but I love him the most. 20141020-133734-49054294.jpg

The reception got underway and we settled in for three hours of laughter, talking, and donuts. Oh, and I wrote on a chalkboard sign. I am so glad Pinterest wasn’t around when we got married because I am pretty sure it would have just made me feel pathetic. Mariel, on the other hand, had a clear vision and pulled it off!20141020-133549-48949262.jpg

Mariel and Jordan stood in line while the rest of us ate and socialized. Jason and I were so glad to see Dave and Jake and Justine! We can’t wait to meet our little niece in November!20141020-133842-49122315.jpg

We also got to catch up with Roni and Amelia. I may be wrong about this, but I think the last time the three of us were together was at Jason and my wedding? Anyway, they are great.20141020-133842-49122020.jpg


There were so many people from my past Payson life, including my second grade teacher, several young womens leaders, our neighbors from the old house, Roni’s mom/my old boss at Fat Jack’s, and a panoply of ward members, family friends, and my dad’s colleagues that I didn’t recognize right off. Of course, they were all there to see Mariel because she is very well loved, but I had fun reconnecting with old friends too.

Panoramic view. The first version of this photo left one of my aunts with four legs. I won’t say which one. You have to be careful with that panoramic iPhone pano


As you can see, the floor at the museum is tiled and very very hard. I kicked off my high heels after about an hour.

I also ate more donuts than I’d care to admit and Jason and I had a fantastic evening. We got one quick pick with the Deans right before they headed off for their honeymoon in California. wedding

After they departed, the rest of us made short work of the decorations, gifts, and extra food. It was weird and sad to drive home without Mariel, knowing Jason and I wouldn’t see her again before we left for home. We were also all exceedingly exhausted from a long, wonderful, beautiful day, one of the best yet in the Pullan family. Congratulations Mariel and Jordan!


24 hours to go

On Thursday Jason and I got up kind of early and drove up Provo Canyon to the Timpanogos trailhead. We don’t get away to the mountains (or “mountains” as I think of our Virginia hills) nearly often enough, so we take every opportunity we can while we’re out west.

Look at that ruggedly handsome man.

We visited at just the right time! The aspens were brilliant gold and the weather was perfect. I wish we’d had time to actually hike Mt. Timp. 20141020-133231-48751368.jpg

Jason got some great shots with the camera and I got some decent ones with my phone.20141020-133231-48751810.jpg

I’m most baffled by the wilderness silence when we’re in Utah. Even in our (quieter new) apartment back home we can hear cars and people and dogs and children and sirens. There are few times (visiting the temple being one) in the greater DC metro area when you experience complete quiet. I love it. 20141020-133231-48751116.jpg

When we got home, we helped out with some wedding stuff and watched tennis. I think Jason may have also taken a nap?

Mariel remembered that when she had her alterations done, she forgot to have her dress bustled. My mom is awesome and took on the task. Let me tell you, making that first needle hole in a wedding dress is terrifying. The dress layers (tulle, satin, three layers of organza?, more satin) made stitching the hook and eye really difficult, so I crawled into the dress. My mom pushed the needle through from the outside and I’d push it back up from the inside. Yes, those are my little feet poking out from the hem.20141020-133229-48749368.jpg

It was insanely hot in there, so Mio kept holding up the front to air it out. We got the bustle finished, though, and it looked pretty great if you ask me.

We had cheese sticks and homemade pizza with Dad, Jason, and Dave and settled them in to watch the BYU football game while Hannah, Mio, Mom and I went out for a last-day-of-singlehood girls’ dinner. We dropped Grant at the Payson football game en route and Mio and I ran into the school (which, ew, smells the same) to see Adam’s senior banner. He’s one of just a few seniors highlighted on these seriously larger-than-life banners throughout the school. He and Grant are so much cooler than I ever was.20141020-133229-48749721.jpgWe had a ton of fun at dinner, but it was weird thinking that the next day Mariel would be getting married!



On Tuesday we went with Mariel to the temple for the first time. I don’t really remember what we did the rest of the day, but I think it involved planning out the reception tables? Anyway, Jason and I met Hannah at Zupa’s for dinner, and then we headed over to the Provo Temple.

It was really a beautiful evening. Going through for the first time is such an amazing/overwhelming experience, and watching Mariel brought back lots of good memories. Plus, I ran into one of our Bluegrass Ward friends in the dressing room!

Ignore that Mariel and Jordan have devil eyes here.

Everyone was hungry afterward (since, knowing the lingering way of the Pullans, we didn’t leave the temple until 10:30 p.m.) so Mariel, Jordan, Hannah, Jason and I went to Dairy Queen. The little booth we were sitting in was clearly meant for two, and no more than two, people per side. We couldn’t leave Hannah hanging, though, so we squeezed her onto our bench.

The next day, Jason and I went running together. This doesn’t happen very often, but we had a good time. Then we headed up to Provo for lunch with Dave. We went to Bam Bam’s BBQ, in Orem which, fun fact, is where they film The Bronco Mendenhall Show. Eating there was one of Jason’s primary goals of our trip. Thank goodness we were able to make it happen!

After we dropped Dave at the Wilk, we drove up to Midvale to see my grandparents. My grandpa was working on his remarks for the wedding and Grandma had just made chocolate chip cookies. We had a great talk with them (as always). Grandma also gave me one of our family history stories (which I read on the plane back to DC) and we helped fill in Jason’s info on our family group sheet. Jason and I headed back to Payson just in time for supper.

At 8:30 or so we decided we wanted to play tennis with Adam, so the three of us hopped in the Pathfinder and headed for Santaquin. Unfortunately we couldn’t find the alleged lighted courts on the east side of town, so instead I had Adam drive us past the cherry plant where he worked the last two summers. I love the Payson-Santaquin-West Mountain section of Utah Valley and it was awesome to see the Payson temple lit up from the car.
payson temple
[Photo stolen from the Payson Temple Facebook page. Not sure why it didn't occur to Jason and me to go get some night shots while it was lit up!]

The other best part of Wednesday? Seeing Mariel and Jordan’s announcement in the Payson Chronicle! 20141014-103452-38092343.jpg

in which we go camping

Monday was not a good day, walking-wise. My quads and shoulders and hips (so, basically everything) were still killing me. Adam had it the worst, though, as he had to do the 40-yard dash in weight training. I could barely walk 40 yards.

Jason and I stopped by campus which is, per usual, just beautiful.

We met up with Hannah and (unexpectedly) one of Jason’s old bandmates from his single days. Jason bought a workout shirt he liked and I bemoaned the lack of attractive options for women. Is a hoodless sweatshirt with the retro logo too much to ask?? I shared my frustration that the bookstore is “great if you’re looking for unflattering modest attire!” before realizing we were behind a Seventy (who used his Seventy card that I didn’t even know existed to get the Seventy discount, which I also didn’t know existed). If there’s a talk next conference about the merits of unflattering modest attire, you’ll know who to blame.

We also stopped by The Wall, a student lounge of sorts that wasn’t there when we attended. We are getting so old.

We met up with Mio and my mom and headed to Traverse Mountain for some outlet shopping. While there, I found the elusive BYU running shorts I’ve been wanting for years, but that are not sold at the bookstore (see the unflattering modest attire rant above). We also ran into a woman from our Virginia ward who grew up with my mom.

Jason and my last camping trip was our ward camp-out during the summer of 2009. It was our married ward and we spent the whole evening keeping the child of a particularly negligent family from falling into the fire. Also, lots of people brought babies who were unhappy. All. Night. Long. Every year we talk about buying a tent and every year we are 1. busy and 2. reminded that camping in Virginia in the summer is just a bad idea. I resolved that we would camp in Utah, darn it, even if it killed us.

20141014-103339-38019658.jpgWe set off Monday night later than expected with Hannah in tow. The boys were to follow us as soon as Adam finished work. We changed our destination at the last minute, which made me a little nervous about the boys finding us. It was getting dark, and we encountered several black cows along the way (just another of Payson’s charms). We finally reached Payson Lakes and picked our campsite. I sent a text to Adam with the site number (though in retrospect we were the only people there and I’m sure he could have found us), hoping it would somehow go through in spite of absolutely no cell reception.

The three of us (but, let’s be honest, mostly Jason) started building a fire. The moon was so full and bright we didn’t even need headlamps to get it going. I refused to let anyone unpack the tent and sleeping bags in case Adam and Grant never showed up and we had to go down the mountain to search for them. I find that my active imagination really kicks in out in the wilderness.

Just as we got the fire going, Adam and Grant arrived! Adam had gotten my text (which my phone said wasn’t delivered until the next day) and they made it up the canyon safe and sound. Adam and Grant had the tent up and sleeping bags rolled out in less than five minutes (seriously, it was an incredible feat) and we got our tin foil dinners going.

That tripod came in handy again for a group picture! 20141014-103339-38019163.jpg

We ate our tasty foil dinners, then stood around the fire talking and laughing for a good couple of hours. We had s’mores and Starbursts and Hannah and I sang some of our awful Young Womens camp songs for the benefit of all. Here it’s important to point out that one year our camp theme was ROCK ON, which of course stood for “Righteous Offspring Centered, Knowing One’s Nobility.” What is wrong with people?? (Also, a creatively placed hyphen can really change the meaning of that phrase.)

Sadly Hannah had work the next morning and had to leave around eleven. I was really worried sending her back down the dark canyon road by herself so late at night, but she made it just fine. She also accompanied me to the scary camp bathroom before she left, for which I was very grateful.

The boys, Jason and I stayed up another hour or so and put the fire out. We also saw a tiny little mouse. The only other wildlife we encountered was a chipmunk, though Jason claims he heard an owl in the night. Grant was supposed to bring games, but he forgot. Then he told us he had thought of one. “It’s called Memorizing European History,” he said. He stayed up in the tent studying while the rest of us went to sleep.

I slept pretty well. My zero-degree, giant puffy sleeping bag was awesome and one of the boys inflated a Big Agnes backpacking mattress for me. Jason was not so lucky and got (per his estimate) about two hours of sleep. I woke up before the sun rose and lay on my back looking out the tent window at the trees above thinking about how nice it was to be far away from Washington, D.C.

When we finally emerged from the tent, we discovered it was painfully cold outside and our tent was covered in frost.

Adam and Grant boiled up some water for hot chocolate on the backpacking stove (which is so cool!) and we stood around trying to get warm.20141014-103335-38015592.jpg

Our campsite!20141014-103337-38017773.jpg

The boys had to go to school (it was a Tuesday, after all), so they packed up the gear and we set off for home. We had so much fun, and I’m so glad we were able to go. I think this gives us even more impetus to buy a tent!

sunday night

My parents spent Sunday night at a parents’ night with Hannah’s mission president and his wife, so the rest of us were on our own. We decided to drive up the canyon to take some pictures.

Jason insisted a while ago that a tripod would be a useful tool. I balked, but am now glad we went for it.
payson lakes fampayson lakes jason

Man, Payson Canyon is amazing.
payson lakes

We drove home as it was getting dark. I made pizza dough and we invited Dave and Jordan over to play Settlers of Catan. Grant and Adam claimed they had homework. Sure, sure. Hannah and Dave conquered, in spite of being the least experienced Catan-ers of the bunch.