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!


one week down

Jason’s been really great about his temporary schedule. While it’s definitely an adjustment, he goes to sleep when he is supposed to and wakes up when he is supposed to and gets a lot done while he’s home during the day, including the laundry (for which I love him).

I loved having him home part of the weekend. We tried to make the most of his waking hours.

Some highlights:

– 12 mile run on Friday morning. I mapped a new route and it was awesome.

– Seeing Jason awake on Saturday morning. We had pancakes and went to Trader Joe’s before he fell asleep. Then I woke him up so we could go to Jetties with visiting friends. We ended up at different locations, but it all worked out in the end and Jason stayed awake for the entire meal.

– Sunday walk to church. Then I taught Laurels. I actually think Young Womens is the hardest age for me to teach. Maybe it’s the girls’ age gap? Maybe it’s that I’m older than I think I am? Anyway, the lesson was about ordinances and suggested this talk by Julie Beck, which I found personally very interesting.

– Jason stayed awake through Sunday dinner, then intentionally crashed at 3 p.m.

– Read, crocheted, emptied the dishwasher, and did all manner of quiet deeds until my Mom was home from church and I could call her. Laced up my running shoes, started up the GPS watch, and put in a good six miles of walking while we talked.

– Brownies from my visiting teacher, which she brought over just in time for Jason and me to have for dessert together before he jetted off. I fully intended to go right to bed, but I got sucked into crocheting and a Law & Order (season 5!) and stayed up until 12:30 a.m.

home run weekend

Saturday was rated a 10/10 by the Capital Weather Gang–because DC is the most weather-obsessed city ever–so we decided to use our last standard at-home weekend in a while to take in a Nationals game.

The weather actually was perfect: 75 degrees, no humidity, and a light breeze. We took the metro in for the 12:05 p.m. start.

I really like Nationals Park.

After the fourth inning the Nats were ahead by something like six runs, so we had ourselves some Italian sausages with peppers and onions. So good.

I’m not sure if this is a this-year thing (because I don’t recall it from previous games), but the Nats fans have appropriated a version of the “C-A-T-S Cats Cats Cats!” UK cheer, but instead of a deep cheer at the end, it’s this sort of helium-voiced “WHOOOOOOO!” which made me laugh every time.

20140601-123947.jpgIn the evening we went to Trader Joe’s and Safeway (twice, after forgetting to pick up dish soap and a card). I had a moment of pride at Safeway. Our checker, in an attempt to be more personable than the Safeway checkers tend to be, suggested we each wager a guess as to the final bill. I guessed within $0.41. Yeah, I’m a savvy grocery-shopper. Jason was off by $7.

We ate barbecued chicken twice-baked potatoes for dinner and watched Monuments Men, which we have been meaning to do for some time. I knew George Clooney was in it, but the rest of the cast was a (pleasant) surprise.

“Hey, is that Lord Grantham?”
“Hey, is that Phil Connors?”
“Hey, is that the guy from Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show?”
And, at the very end, “I didn’t realize that was Cate Blanchett!?”

On Sunday Jason had early-ish meetings and I walked to church, but didn’t give myself quite enough time to freshen up before sacrament meeting, so I was a little red  in the face and sweaty. The walk is a cool two miles, after all, a distance I consistently cover in less than 30 minutes. We went home and read a bit and I took a nap and then we headed to an Eastern Orthodox wedding.

Best news of the week: Jason’s mom is coming to see us!

in which we go home

We woke up early Friday and had breakfast at the hotel. I’m telling you, pan dulces are incredible. I was not expecting excellent pastries in Mexico and am glad to be wrong.

We walked over to the ex-convent, as we’d not been able to go inside yet. There was what appeared to be a high school choir performing that particular morning. They even sang one of the six songs I know in Spanish.20140516-162158.jpg

Afterward, we walked around the park adjacent to our hotel and it was lovely.20140516-162301.jpg

I can’t overstate how little we wanted to leave.20140516-162209.jpg

Farewell, La Purificadora.20140516-162216.jpg

Farewell Puebla!20140516-162238.jpg

Farewell bus station!20140516-162251.jpg

The bus back to Mexico City was fine. On our first bus down the movie Oblivion had played, but you had to tune in with headphones. This time, the driver selected the Spanish version of Brave and it just blared. That’s a confusing movie to watch in Spanish, but it does make good use of one of my favorite Spanish vocabulary words: oso.

We made it back to the Tapo and took the only really exorbitant taxi of our trip back to the airport Marriott. We had dinner at the hotel restaurant (the airport isn’t in the nicest part of Mexico City) and went to sleep early to catch our flight back to Virginia.20140516-162312.jpg

Our plane left almost an hour late, but we still landed at the same time. Customs was kind of ridiculous, but we made it through. As we walked toward the taxi stand, we saw one of our friends from the ward who was waiting for her husband. She offered to give us a ride home, which was really kind. We made it back to the apartment in safety and our trip was officially over.

It was so great to spend eight uninterrupted days with Jason. We just get on so well. Jason is the best, and travelling with him is a breeze. He planned every aspect of the trip, for which I give him a ton of credit. It was so nice to get away from work and our (admittedly limited) responsibilities at home to just relax and be together. Best way to celebrate five years that I can imagine.

I’m already trying to figure out when we can go back. Those cemitas are calling my name.

christmas in connecticut

We had been thinking about surprising Jason’s parents on Christmas for a while. (Aside: I can’t really explain our latest fixation on dropping in on our families unannounced, but now that we have surprised everyone, maybe we’ll be more transparent about future trips.) We waited on the weather and some work stuff and finally realized last week it could really happen. With the help of Dave, we mislead the Frosts and secretly prepare for our New England Christmas vacation.

Jason and I woke up at four AM on Christmas Day. We packed up the car and were out the door by 5:15 AM.
Turns out early early Christmas morning is the very best time to drive the beltway; it was completely empty.

We made great time and got to see the sun come up from inside our toasty warm car.
Once we made it to the Connecticut state line, Jason turned on WTIC and we sang along to Christmas carols until we reached la casa de Frost. Oh, we also saw this classy sign.
We texted Dave to let him know we had arrived and tiptoed up to the front door. Jason rang the bell, his mom answered the door, and much happy yelling ensued. I will have to get Dave to send me the video. Jason’s parents were definitely surprised!

Also surprising was how well Dave and my Christmas button up shirts match. Jason is wearing gingham too,
We opened presents and helped get ready for the Kennedy family Christmas. Jason’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins came by around 3 PM. His Grandma Funny was in an unusually acerbic mood, but that only made her more hilarious. We had delicious dinner and sat around talking for a long and wonderful while.

Late that night Jason and I chatted with the Pullans mid-Christmas party. The fam passed my dad’s phone around the whole group, which was great and really made us feel like we were in the middle of the scrum.
Grant’s hair is the best, no question.

Though six hours of it was spent driving, this was definitely one of the most memorable of our Christmases.

ocean city in a day

Weekends are the worst when my spouse is out of town, so I jumped at the chance to take a day trip with my also-temporarily-spouse-less friend Katie. She slept over last Friday night, and we got up early (five a.m. early!) Saturday morning to leave for Ocean City, Maryland. We arrived a little after 8:00 AM, when all the other beach-goers were still asleep in their relic-of-the-seventies boardwalk hotels.

We found free parking (a surprise bonus) and staked out our towel spot on the sand.

The water, as it turns out, is insanely cold in the morning. 20130715-143055.jpg

We lounged on the beach until the sun came out, then braved the water (which really wasn’t bad once you got used to it).20130715-143112.jpg

Katie was in charge of snacks, and brought lots of good Trader Joe’s treats: ginger cat cookies, grapes, granola bars, and buffalo chicken wraps for lunch.

After lunch, we walked down the boardwalk. I expected Ocean City to be like Topsail, which is not the case at all; it’s actually akin to Lagoon (for the uninitiated: a theme park in northern Utah, home to many a spring field trip for the junior high+ set).
We also walked out on the pier, which is pretty and smells like fish.
I took a brief nap (understandable, considering our early start), and we headed back to the greater DC area around 4 PM. We had dinner at Uncle Julio’s, which was delicious, and called it a (very long) day. I was a religious sunscreen applicator, but apparently need Jason around to spray my back and triceps, which are currently more than a little painful.

Thanks to Katie for suggesting such a great trip! It was a ridiculously fun day.

things i did last week

Monday – Dropped Jason at the airport at 4:30 AM. Went grocery shopping. Did not unpack from our Maine trip.

Tuesday – Went to dinner with Sadie, the older sister of Diana, my good elementary/junior high/high school friend. Had a great time catching up and hearing about their fam. It’s funny how when you are little, a few years of age seem to make a huge difference, but when you’re older it doesn’t. My mom always said that would be the case, but I didn’t really believe her.

Wednesday – I have no recollection of Wednesday, except that I finally unpacked. WAAAAIT…Wednesday was the day of horrid commuting. Clearly I’ve intentionally repressed the memory.

Thursday – Went to see the Washington, D.C. temple with Sadie and one of her friends from the conference.
Also Thursday, ate my weirdest loner meal yet this week: green beans, nutella, a boiled egg, mozzarella cheese, and a kiwi.

Friday – Made pizza and watched a lot of “Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids” with Katie. Tried Edy’s s’mores ice cream and found it very delicious–almost as good as a real s’more.