Love you forever and forever....

Kyle planned Valentine’s Day last year so I said I would take charge for this year. Kyle never gets away without a Valentines Day card full of all sorts of cheesiness. The images below made it into this year's card. 

I do agree Valentine’s Day mainly is targeted towards women but that didn’t stop me from making plans to venture into the city and try a new place to eat. 

I had heard about Rasika and that you needed to make reservations about 3 months in advance. I missed out on that and made a reservation ONLY about a month and a half in advance. At that point, I could only get a time for the Friday night before. Although it would have been nice to go ‘on the 14th’, I was happy we were able to get in at all. Rasika has been rated one of the best Indian Cuisine restaurants in the country and now I know why. 

This wall was full of different types of spices. If or when we design a home, I want a wall full of spices, Kyle. 

We ordered a starter salad, knaan, rice, sea bass folded in banana leaves, Chicken Tikka Masala and Lucknowi Bhuna Lamb. Once I got full, it was hard to stop. This is definitely a special occasion restaurant that I will want to revisit. 

After Rasika, we hit up our favorite gelato place, Pitango (original post HERE). It was pretty chilly outside so I got what they call Affogato, which is basically gelato with either espresso or hot chocolate over a scoop of gelato. It felt like I was eating a hot fudge sundae that decided to make itself known to me and me only. 

On the actual Valentines Day, I made Kyle pink cinnamon rolls in the morning and these chocolate lava hearts for dessert later on. They were SO good but I was about sugared out by the time we finished. 

Luckily, the next Sunday, Kyle made his chocolate strawberry ice cream, which is in my top 5 of all the ice cream flavors he has made.  

Boo seemed to like the box of caramels Kyle got me. 

I'd like to think Boo probably agrees with this holiday. And NOT with the big red bow I tied around his neck.

I too agree with this holiday but not because I need a reason to tell or show Kyle I love him. And Boo doesn't need a reason to take a cat nap in a cardboard box that is just his size. 

Kyle, be mine. Always. 

A Night of Hockey and a Bit of Disney Magic Too

At the beginning of November last year, I started a new job as a communications and marketing coordinator with the wonderful U.S. Chamber of Commerce in their Federation Relations department. It's been a blast meeting new people, starting new projects and expanding my mind. Although I miss Senator Hatch and team, I'm so grateful for a new position to hone fresh skills ("So Long Senator Hatch" post outlining the details of job adventures found HERE). Among all the other benefits of this job is a chance to take a seat in the USCC Box at the Verizon Center every now and then. It's a special treat and we've enjoyed the two times we've been able to go so far! 

We hiked up to the fourth floor slightly confused because neither of us had been to the Verizon Center, let alone to the executive suites. We eventually found our way there circling the building and came to the suite. 

The Game: Washington Capitals vs. Anaheim Ducks on February 6th! Capitals weren't off to a great start (yes, it's a one point difference, but it's also hockey).

I loved being up in the box for this game because it gave us a bird's eye view and I think we stayed a tiny bit warmer because of it! At this point the Caps and Ducks were tied. INTENSE.

What's a sporting event without a good hot dog with onions?

All beautiful $9 worth of it pictured here. 

I love this guy. 

Kyle is questioning whether he should pull a 'thumbs up' pose in this picture. 

TIED and into overtime! I'm not huge into hockey but this game was so good because overtime took them into a shoot out!

Yes, so intense. I was at the edge of my seat when not taking pictures of Kyle or the game. 

After four chances for both teams, the Capitals got lucky and scored.

At the Old Hockey Game. 

The Show: Disney on Ice. Yes, I took my husband to Disney on Ice. At last minute (I may have asked for them), tickets were available so I said, "Why not? It's another show to see." He's such a good sport, especially when I confirmed over and over again that we were seeing another hockey game.

One of the reasons I married Kyle is because I can be myself with him. Sometimes, too much of myself. But I guess he's okay with it because he is crazy too. It also didn't hurt that we were the only ones occupying the suite at the time. 

Long neck picture.

The show was really cute and full of little kid jokes, flashy lights and over exaggerated moves so us folks up high could see. Here was a scene with Cars out on the ice. 

The second half of the show was all about Toy Story. They had a moment where they lit up all of the toys as Andy's voice talked about each of them. It made me want to watch Toy Story again. 

Thank you Kyle for being my date to these great events. It was so nICE! (catch the pun?)

When one Hatch closes, another Chamber opens

The title for this post was brilliantly thought up by Kyle's Dad Robert. We were talking about how I would soon be ending my time working for Senator Hatch and he then gave me these words of wisdom. Kyle and I moved out to D.C. almost two years ago in August and I was lucky enough to get a press internship in Senator Orrin Hatch's office. I was beyond grateful to get an internship quickly and especially, one that would pay a tiny bit each month to help with Kyle's school and our rent. Although it wasn't what I specifically wanted to do with my career (never thought I would get near politics), I knew I would gain great experience and be able to meet a variety of people. In December of that year, I was given the position of Press Assistant which was doing what I had been doing with a little more writing and social media. I spent almost another year in that office before feeling like it was time to change directions and focus on what I wanted to do long term. I had been blessed to meet someone back in June who worked for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce so when the time came for me to start praying to find a new job, her name kept coming up in my mind. I also ran into her three different times on the metro during this process. I asked her if anything was open, she got back to me and said there was, and I had an interview set up that same week. Everything kept falling into place and after a week of interviewing, I was offered the job! It has been a huge blessing to be doing more of what I love and feeling content with where I am. This post is a farewell, I will miss you, office of Senator Hatch and a hello, can't wait for more adventures, U.S. Chamber of Commerce!

The start of understanding politics. Sending good luck vibes to my brain from the start. 

I love Kyle.

This was on my first day. The metro stop I got off at was on the opposite side of the U.S. Capitol from the Hart Senate Building so I got to see this beauty every morning. 

During the first week of my internship, I was invited to go on a tour of the U.S. Capitol dome. The U.S. Capitol is over 220 years old and it is a rare occasion for any Senate staff member to be able to see the dome so I felt very privileged. During the Civil War, soldiers who were wounded stayed in the Capitol and some carved their names into the windows that we are standing by in this photo.

It was really hard for me to reach over and grab this picture. This is as high as you can get before heading outside.

Right up by "The Apotheosis of Washington", a symbolic painting on the ceiling of the rotunda.

The view of the mall from the top of the dome with the lovely and all too familiar sounds of protesters shouting below. 

The classic "I'm an intern with the Senate" photo.

I was able to see and do so many things during this internship and job for which I will be forever grateful. I met Elder Ballard when he came to speak to all the LDS members that worked in the House or the Senate. 

I met Elder Perry and other members of the Quorum of the Seventy who were in Washington D.C. to meet with the Vice President and other delegates. Our office set up a tour for all of them to visit the Library of Congress and see church history documents including one of the first copies of the Book of Mormon. 

He's so tall in real life. 

I met some of the Olympians that competed in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. 

I also met and took a picture of Shawn Bradley and his family with Senator Hatch (his cute wife, on the right, is shorter than me). Shawn is a retired professional basketball player and earned the nickname "the enormous mormon" standing at 7 ft 6 in tall!

I probably gave at least 50 Capitol tours while working in the Senate (two blog posts of tours found HERE and HERE). My all time favorite part of the tours was being able to take guests out on the front balcony to view the mall from up high.

The U.S. Capitol at dusk. 

I loved taking a lunch break to go visit the Library of Congress. 

I would also pass the Supreme Court building on my way home. On this day, there was a wedding. 

When the weather was nice, it was enjoyable to eat lunch out on the grass close to the Capitol. 

Senator Hatch has been in office for 38 years now which is why I would find awesome media tools from the '70's like this. 

One of the best days was showing Livi and my mom where I worked.

One funny thing that always made me laugh was that no matter what day or time, the stalls in the main public restroom by our office were stacked to the brim with toilet paper. The staff who cleaned the restrooms and kept them stocked, did not falter once. 

Our office had a big candy dispenser full of these guys and it was a battle not to run upstairs and grab some everyday (I justified that by running stairs, I could eat them).

Getting these pretty card when I became Press Assistant.

We were able to see the lighting of the U.S. Capitol's Christmas Tree complete with a speech by Speaker Boehner himself. 

We scheduled a Christmas White House Tour through the office and it was beautiful. 

This taught me never to leave my badge at home...or to always leave it at home if I needed a good laugh. I'm married to the best person. 

The Senate Hart Building is full of old historic photos. This was one of my favorites that I would walk past. I guess back in the day they had 'U.S. Capitol Cats'.

I worked with amazing people including our office manager, who brought her little girl wearing this.

This is Charlie, our Communication Director's dog. I loved the days he would bring him in because we'd just kind of stare at each other like this.

I took photos for an interview Senator Hatch had with CBS News on a lawsuit the federal government was filing against a network of physician-owned companies. He is always so natural and down to earth in interviews. 

This was a meeting with all of the delegates from Utah. 

Driving with Senator Hatch from the World War II Memorial to the Capitol. 

My last day in Senator Hatch's office. I was finishing everything up and the last to leave. It was harder to lock up that door and say goodbye than I thought it would be. 

I started work with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce the next week and took off running. It has been such a fun job so far and has really pushed me to try new ideas and expand my knowledge of communication. I work in a building on Capitol Hill on the house side. In the far right side of the picture you can see the top of the Capitol. 

It was a joke while I was interviewing and even after getting the job that I would slip and call it the U.S. Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, anyone?). This was my first day in the 'Great Hall' and it confirmed that indeed, I work in some sort of magical institution. This is a beautiful center they have for meetings, conferences and parties. 

First snowfall of the year looked amazing outside of the work windows with the colorful houses across the street. 

I've already been able to do a lot in my job and with the Chamber outside of work. We ran in the SOME (So Others Might Eat) Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Morning and I also helped decorate ornaments for the Chamber's Christmas giving tree. 

We had a yummy Christmas lunch with our team and for dessert, they had this gingerbread panna cotta which was just so fancy. 

Since I am doing marketing and communications, I work closely with the Chamber's art department. This was one of the first mailings of our 2015 events that I sent out and I had to pick between the three. Decisions, decisions....

I've been lucky to attend all sorts of fun events including games and such at the Verizon Center (found HERE) and the Chamber's wonderful Christmas party where we dressed to the nines.

And got our Christmas Card picture taken (don't worry...we photo shopped Boo in afterwards...)

They decorated everything so beautifully. 

And I've already become well acquainted with amazing coworkers!

I feel grateful to have had opportunities to work in the district and perfect my skills in communication. I look forward to upcoming projects and events with this wonderful organization! 

But...I do miss this guy calling me 'sweet pie' every now and then.

Thank you Senator Hatch for the experience and memories!