Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Well. Our Christmas is the most exciting ever. On our way to Houston, Ben got violently ill on the plane. I've never seen someone so sick in my life. He was shaking, vomiting, and breathing really hard. We had an awesome flight attendant that helped us out so much. Once we landed in LA Ben wanted to keep going but I told him no way. I told the flight
attendants to call the medics and 30 minutes later we were in an ambulance to the hospital. They stopped LA Friday night traffic for this boy. We spent the night in the er and we have been in the icu since. Please pray that Ben can get out soon.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Now the my camera is working again, I feel like I have lots of blogging to do. At the end of August, we went to go see Wicked! I loved it and listen to the music all of the time now. This play is a Van Leeuwen family favorite and Ben and I were so glad that we got to go and see this!

If you haven't seen Wicked, the plot is so creative. It is the back story of Glenda and the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba). Through this story we learned that the Wicked Witch was framed and that she also had a really good heart. 

Outside the Capital Theatre! This theatre has such a fun feel to it. It felt like I travelled back in time a century or two when we walked in. 

Dark shot outside.

Amanda and David came too!


What a night! 

I have been a Wizard of Oz fan my entire life and I can't wait to see Wicked again!

Stayton, Oregon

Way back at the end of September we went to Oregon. Ben had an interview at a school in Lebanon...a super small town. My friend Emily and her husband Kurt live in Stayton, Oregon, so we stayed with them. I got to hang out with Emily while Ben went to the school and Kurt was working at their business.

Emily and I went on a walk around Stayton, I had been there twice before but never walked around their idea of 'downtown'. We also went to a high school football game--so different from Texas football.

The river that runs through the town.

Kurt and a friend recently opened up a J. Dawg's style hotdog place, call Roxy Dawgs. It is right across the street from Oregon State. It was such a treat to go there--the dog was great and the cookies were delish!

Emily and I walked around campus a little bit. I love the BYU campus but OSU was definitely greener.

Shortly after these pictures were taken my camera fell on the ground and the lens was basically destroyed. However, I am back in business with a new lens. I wish I had been able to take more pictures on this trip. We loved staying with Emily and Kurt!

Festival of Trees 2012

Oh Thanksgiving break! I miss it so much! My mom flew into town and stayed with Ben and I for almost 2 weeks. Ben went out of town for a few days, so I convinced my mom to extend her stay to keep me company. Right before she left, we went to the Festival of Trees in Sandy. I had never been before, but it is something I would love to do again. The Spirit of Christmas is alive!

The Festival of Trees is a charity event for Primary Children's Hospital. People donate trees and other people pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for them. Also there were wreaths, mini-Christmas trees, and decked out gingerbread houses.

I loved this wreath and just made one like it previous to going to the festival.

I loved this wreath. It's made out of a tin that used to hang above a chandelier. 

Any themed tree you could imagine was there...check out all of the cars.

Ben insisted that I take a picture of this list because he was on the "good" list.

This was a game tree. Check out the domino garland and scrabble letters.

I loved this tree! It was so unique. They had another tree that was upside down and how they got to balance it, I don't know. It slightly reminds me of a tree that Ben's boss has at her house...its a ladder with lights wrapped around it.

Isn't this so cool?

What little girl wouldn't love this?

Totally pink tree based off of the book "Pinkalicous." I don't think Ben would like having this tree though.

Someday we might have a tree like this. I love red, white, and silver together as well as the snowflakes.

Much like the Parade of Homes, Ben and I made a list of somedays. Other trees that we loved were the Tangled Tree, the Dr. Seuss Tree, and the Disney tree. There were literally crowds of people around them. We loved our trip to the Festival of Trees. Happy Christmas!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Ben has a fabulous family. His uncle, Joe, is a potter. He teaches pottery at a high school and also makes pots that have appeared in church movies--so cool! Sometimes Joe hosts pottery nights where you can throw clay around a potter's wheel and we are hoping to go to one soon. This weekend, Joe hosted a pottery show at his house with lots of pots, cool cups, bowls, and spoon rests. I was so amazed with his talent. Also, Julie, made the most delicious brownies ever.

He had shelves of canisters, vases, and teapots.

Ben found his chalice! Wouldn't it be fun to have a set of those at the dinner table? I feel like we would need to have a medieval feast!

Joe and Julie let us pick out a pot of our own as a wedding gift. Joe told us a story about this pot and told us that this was one of the newest of his creations. I love birds and so we picked out this sleek and cool vase. I really like the two white birds at the top.

This pot cost two months worth of rent for us. Holy Cow! It was incredible and unique. We called it the curly vase. But it could probably hold a human.

We also walked away with a few other Christmas gifts and a new spoon rest for our stove top. We have one but I always feel like we need another one.

Monday, November 5, 2012

25 Blows

This is a much belated blogpost and I have to apologize because I wrote it when I was still under the influence of meds :)

This weekend Ben and I celebrated my 25th birthday. It started out pretty rough. Basically for some reason my nose and throat completely freaked out. That's why my birthday blew, in one way. Ben had planned to go up and stay in Park City but because of my inability to function we postponed our plans. However, Saturday, was great. I woke up very tired and woozy but to pancakes and eggs in bed! A dream come true. Then I opened up packages from my mom and Ben. Around 12:30 Ben got really antsy and insisted that I get out of the house. So we went to his parents where we ate the bday cake that he made me. I blew out my 25 candles! Also, I opened my gift from Ben's family which was a super cute camera bag that I wanted. I loved spending some time with them. After that, we went to City Creek where Ben treated me to Cheesecake Factory. We also stopped by Scheel's and it was quite the experience. Sunday--I was completely worn out from the day before and very tired but happy that I have a wonderful husband, an awesome mom, the best in-laws who all helped to make my birthday great!

Ben wrapped up a large pile of presents. He did such a good job! Each present was definitely a Ben gift. He notices little things that I need, like a soup cup, or a movie, or a cookbook. It was so fun to see him excited about my birthday. He is the cutest!

Cathy and Neil got me a camera bag that I have been wanting for almost two years! Love it! Also, it was fun to celebrate my birthday with them!

Ben and I went to City Creek and had a discussion about bathroom design. City Creek was nice enough to give us women a nice shelf for things. However, why would anyone take a drink into the bathroom? Ben couldn't believe that I took this picture, but I had a point to prove.

Cheesecake Factory for dinner...yum! It was such a treat to go with my husband. You can't go wrong with the chicken stuffed tortillas. Delish!

Ben really wanted to stop at Scheel's and I have to admit I was really curious. I heard about the aquariums and the ferris wheel.

How crazy is that? Also, I tried on a pair of FRYE boots, let's just say they are $300 dollars worth of comfort and beauty. After wanting those boots for 3 years I decided to try on a pair to make sure they were worth wishing for. Saving up my nickels and dimes for those boots and I'm one step closer to becoming like the The Pioneer Woman.

Brown paper packages wrapped in cupcake tape! My Mom is the best! I loved the packages and card that she sent. One package had a Pier 1 theme! Love that store and glad that my mom shops there for me!

I love "All About You Packages! Mom added to my Pandora collection. 

One package she stuffed every wal-mart, hobby lobby, and kroger bag she owned to get the contents to me safely! She sent me a pie basket from Longaberger. Now I just need to make a pie so I can utilize it.

My Husband made his first cake ever! And it was delicious. Loved that it was double layered and covered in sprinkles!

Sunday to Tuesday Ben left me for Miami. Seriously should have gone with him. However, after being sick, I naturally started to rearrange our living room. Together, we have quite the collection of books and movies. Our home is always a work in progress.

I went to pick Ben up at the airport and had some flashbacks to my BYU Guest Services job. I have made many a trip to the airport but this time I was picking up my favorite person!

This Halloween, I went witchy. It was so fun and I was able to prance around my classroom in a tutu again. If I could wear it everyday, I would. Halloween was great and ended with a cruise down the river! However, that is probably a post in itself!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin

Ben and I are taking full advantage of fall! We have been consuming a lot of pumpkin this week.

Case #1: Ben finally got back home late Tuesday night. Wednesday, I was talking to my mom on the phone about how I needed to make dinner. And then I had a stroke of genius...pumpkin cookies = the best dinner ever. So I made the simple can of pumpkin plus a yellow cake mix. Talk about delicious. Then Ben came home. I informed him that I made dinner. PUMPKIN COOKIES. He started laughing so hard and then we made dinner together.

Case #2: This event...Ben does not know about. So, I will confess via blog. I went to Sam's Club and of course it was Sample Saturday and they had out their delicious pumpkin pie. Oops. Consumed.

Case #3: One of my students is on a baseball team and they are going on some big trip. Therefore, they are having a fundraiser of pumpkin pies. So I supported his team and our pumpkin addiction.

Case #4: Ben loves Dairy Queen for the sheer, simple fact that they have pumpkin shakes in the fall. Thanks to the Pioneer Woman, we made pumpkin shakes tonight and devoured them. And they had crumbled graham crackers on top--the cinnamon kind.

Basically, I married the right guy because he loves pumpkin just as much as I do. That's not the only reason but something that I love about us. We will probably consume a few more cans of pumpkin before fall is over. We are both looking forward to Thanksgiving break and Ben in almost done with school!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

If you want FREE Red Robin, just go with us

We love Red Robin, it's probably one of Ben's favorite places to go. We frequent this yummy eatery about every other month and when we go we are usually celebrating something. With that being said, we have the best luck (or worst luck) there sometimes because we have received two free appetizers--here's how you do it:

Incident #1: August 2012 Provo Location
To commemorate the end of the first week of school we went to Red Robin. Feeling good about our survival and our monthly budget we ordered an appetizer---we NEVER do this. We also ordered food and waters and were patiently waiting for our food to arrive. Our burgers came first and I guess we had a really confused look on our face. The waitress who brought our food was not our originally assigned waitress. She asked us if it looked okay. We told her that it did but we had ordered an appetizer and we hadn't received it yet. She went to check and brought it out. However, she said that since we did not get to enjoy our appetizer as our 'appetizer' it was free! Totally awesome!

Incident #2: October 19, 2012 Jordan Location
We arrive at Red Robin and wait for five minutes. We get to our seats and the arrangement looks like this:
Old lady               Beth                SOMEREALLYBIGFAMILYTHATISLOUDEATINGFOOD
Old man               Ben                 SAMEREALLYLOUDANDBIGFAMILYSOMANYPEOPLE
Chair                    Chair                  Chair    Chair    Chair    Chair    Chair    Chair    Chair     Chair

So we were seated between two parties. No one seemed to notice that we had been seated. The old man and lady couple beside us even offered to trip a waiter to get them to stop and look at us. The managers even walked by us twice! Still no service. We waited for 20 minutes before someone even noticed us. 20 minutes! There were parties seated after us that had drinks, their order taken, and their food. We just watched them and the clock. We were so hungry too--it was about 8:00 at night and we were heading up to Ben's parents home for the weekend--and very thirsty.

Finally a waiter came by and we could tell that he thought we were going to be mad customers. He asked us how long we had waited and apologized a lot. The waiter felt so bad and gave us another free appetizer and let us try different lemonades because we had to wait too long. After that, the service was awesome and the manager was also waiting our table too--our drinks were never empty for the rest of the night.

So, we have learned that Red Robin really cares about their customers and also that we are pro's at getting free things! Just let us know when you want to go with us! We also have similar luck at Kneader's too!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Patch!

I have always wanted to go to an real pumpkin patch and get a round, fat, and bright orange pumpkin of my very own for my porch. Today, I was very surprised to come home for work and have my husband let me set my school stuff down and then rush me back outside. Ben kept saying we were going on a field trip. We ended up at a cute little patch. We found our perfect pumpkin and brought it home!

Ben was the actual finder. He spotted it on the other side of the field and picked it up so I could approve it. Look at how orange it is!

Pumpkin success!

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yeah, the band was that cool

Last week, Jake had a band competition at BYU. It was so cool to watch his band march and remember ingwhat being in the marching band is all about. After all of the high school performed the BYU band put on quite the show...fireworks and all! Ben and I were quite impressed. Who know marching band and pyrotechnics went so well together?!? It was a great show and a great night out!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blown Away

Right now life is pretty crazy. I spend everyday with 34 children and Ben is swamped with 18 credits and interviews. However, as crazy as it is, we always find time to have fun. This week at school one of my students asked me "When do we get to meet Ben?" I just told her hopefully in January. She asked why they would have to wait so long. I then went through Ben's schedule. "He has class until 6 every Monday, Tuesday's he is on campus until 7, Wednesday's and Thursday's he's home at five, and Friday's he gets home at 6 from his mowing job." Then, my student just said "So, you don't see him very much at all and you're married!" I laughed and she laughed. I do miss my husband a lot. He works incredibly hard and tries to keep school stuff at school so we can do things together in the evenings. I absolutely love every minute that I get to spend with him. Here are some of our adventures:

We often go up to Ben's parents house in Kaysville. There was a fantastic display of a double rainbow. 

I had never picked apples before. But we were given the job of picking apples off the tree in the backyard because it was bending over. Way fun!

I got a haircut--6 inches! Ben did too--but just a few centimeters! 

Sometimes we struggle to keep up our windowboxes. But with fall here Ben and I spent a Saturday morning sprucing up the yard. These mums just make me smile!

We got a new lamp and this was our receipt! I wish I could always save this much money every time we shopped. Ben and I are great bargain shoppers.

This is our picture wall in our home! I love it. Ben was super good about putting it up. I couldn't have done it without him. Also, there's our new lamp!

In the middle of September we went to the Utah State Fair. It was one of those things that I feel like everyone goes to and raves about. I'm glad that I went but it's something I don't feel like I need to do again. I had a really bad headache so unfortunately this was one of the only pictures that we took. It was really fun to look at the animals. We saw a 2,000 pound steer--it was huge. I also never realized how fluffy some steers are. The pigs were absolutely disgusting. I told Ben we would neven hang out with pigs again until we have kids. Also, we went to an auction--I had never been before but it was really just a crazy as it is on tv.

There was a science center at the fair and Ben realized how electrifying he was!

The last weekend in September I took a Thursday and Friday off of school. We drove to Oregon to visit with my friend Emily and her husband Kurt. Thursday we drove to Boise and then the rest of the way to Stayton, Oregon on Friday. It was quite picturesque once we got to Oregon. There were trees everywhere. Also, Kurt and Emily now own a J. Dawg-ish hot dog place in Corvalis. I enjoyed visiting their business and a eating a delicious hot dog! Thanks to Emily and Kurt for letting us stay there. Sunday we drove the whole way from Oregon to Utah--it reminded us of our summer roadtrip.


Emily took us down a backroad that was literally like a rollercoaster. Not sure if I would drive down it again...but it was quite the ride! Ben really had fun testing his car out on this road. I think he would drive back just to do it again.

I went to my first real concert! Ben left to go to two interviews in Iowa and Missouri but he did leave me with one ticket to go see Carrie Underwood. He's clearly a very awesome husband. That lady is the real deal and is great live. She really knows how to put on a good show...look at the crowd! When Ben asked me how it went I told him "She sounds the same in person!" There wasn't much change from all of her songs on the radio.

I met up with Lauren. We went to Chipotle beforehand and browsed through DSW before we went to the Maverick Center. We learned to get there early. For part of the concert we were waiting on 215. Lesson learned for the most definite next time! We missed Hunter Hayes but arrived just in time for Carrie Underwood to begin. I always thought that I would spend the entire time standing at a concert. After working, all day I was a little tired of being on my feet, and worried a little about the concert. However, we were able to sit most of the time and enjoy the show. 

In the middle of the concert, the stage floated up above the audience...how cool?!? I don't know how she did it. Singing and Swinging about a crowd. It was totally awesome though. I really liked her Duet with Brad Paisley---they made it seem like he was there.

Every part of the show was amazing. Especially the finale--Blown Away! There was smoke and confetti flying all by the stage. I would totally go to another concert! I was even home by midnight and got to talk to my husband before a he went to sleep. I miss him but I am sure enjoying Fall Break. I have been able to organize our cute little apartment.

I finally found a place for all of our cool kitchen things and then we got a Bed, Bath, and Beyond package in the mail. Oh, well! It was a great surprise!

That's a list of our adventures!