2011 in review

I had every intention of posting this before Christmas when I sent out a few Christmas cards. That obviously didn't happen but better late than never! I can't believe 2011 is almost over and that means we have to remember to write 2012 on everything in just a few short weeks. 2011 was such a great year and I have a feeling 2012 is going to be even better. Here are some highlights from 2011 for the Aravena family.
  • I graduated with my Bachelors in Exercise and Wellness in April and was so excited to be done!
  • To celebrate graduating, I decided to turn 23 a few days later.  
  • I ended my time with LDS Philanthropies. After working there 3 1/2 years and coming to love the people there, it was sad to go. I then enjoyed almost 4 months of being unemployed.
  • Cisco got a new position at vivint (APX) in the IT department as a system's analyst. He likes the job because he likes the people he works with so he does a lot of playing at work.
  • I went with my dad to visit KC, Emily and my favorite triplets on the planet. I can't believe how much they change every time I see them. I had so much fun playing with Alex, Bennett and Ruby and hanging out with Emily every day and wish I lived closer to them to see them more often. 

  • In May, Cisco and I celebrated 3 years of marriage.
  • In June we went on a cruise to the Bahamas with my family and it was a MUCH NEEDED vacation. We had so much fun in Florida for a few days and enjoyed our days at the beaches and relaxing all day. It was so fun to be together with almost my whole family and we ate so. much. food. Seriously, sometimes we would say, "Bring me one of each so I can just taste of bite of all of them" and then we would proceed to finish and clean all of the plates in front of us. Needless to say, I don't think any of us wanted to be seen in a swim suit by the end of the week. 

  • Cisco turned 27 in July!
  • In August, I finally got a job ending my unemployment streak (which was fun for about the first month before I started going crazy at home all day) and got a job with Intermountain Healthcare. I am an on-call secretary for all the physical therapy offices in Utah Valley. It is a fun and yet difficult job. I can get asked to cover any office from Spanish Fork to Saratoga Springs (about a 30 mile radius). I really like all the therapists and people I get to work with and I enjoy the work but it is definitely challenging trying to remember all the differences between each office and never feeling like I am the expert at any office. It is kind of funny never knowing what my paychecks will be like. I won't have any work scheduled for 2 weeks, and then the next week I will work a full 40 hour week. I absolutely love working for Intermountain Healthcare though and am so grateful for this job. 
  • We enrolled Mac in obedience school and he is perfectly behaved now...... Not really but he is at least a lot better. 
  • We went down to Moab with Cisco's parents and LuAnn and Brandon while they were in town and had a lot of fun even though it was ridiculously hot. They all hiked to Delicate Arch and we ate at some fun and delicious restaurants while we were down there. 
  • My Grandpa Carlson passed away in August so we drove to Denver to attend his funeral. It was such a great service and we will miss him a lot. 

  • Cisco juggled full time work at Vivint as well as school full time and decided that just wasn't enough so he threw in volunteering at a physical therapy office. 
  • To add more to his schedule, Cisco also played on 3 soccer teams, the Hooligans, Hooligans co-ed and La Muerte. 
  • Camille got married September 3rd and I somehow ended up as the designated wedding planner. I had a lot of fun planning the wedding but I realized there is a reason that is not my chosen profession. The wedding was beautiful and it was great to share that day with Camille and Tyler. 
  • We went to visit Casey and Nicole after they moved to Fort Collins, CO in October and fell in love with that town. We had so much fun taking Mac with us. We got to enjoy Fort Collins' "Zombie Crawl" and take advantage of their bike library. Yes, they have a BIKE library. As in, you get a card and can check out a bike for a week to take advantage of their many trails. 

  • Cisco and I got released as Primary teachers for the Valiant 9 class and I got put in as a Laurels advisor. I was super nervous at first since I feel like it was just a short time ago that I was a Laurel myself (and I was 7 years ago) but I have loved it so far. 
  • We babysat 4 kids for a week and that was an adventure unlike anything we have ever experienced. They weren't young kids and we had a lot of fun doing it but it definitely gave me a new appreciation for moms. 
  • We didn't dress up for Halloween but Mac was a cute little devil for Halloween. 
  • Cisco got called to work with the Young Men working with them on their Duty to God.
  • Thanksgiving we spent with Cisco's parents and I provided the traditional pretzel jello and pumpkin pie. 
  • This year we kept with our new tradition and ventured out into the Black Friday Madness and went up to the Park City Outlets to hit the sales and we got so much stuff and were out into the wee hours of the morning. 
  • Christmas was such a fun time. We enjoyed Christmas eve dinner and Christmas day and have loved the break spending time with our families. 
  • New Years Eve we will be celebrating by chaperoning the youth stake dance!! haha should be fun. 
We hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New year. Cheers to 2012. 


6 to 8 black men

Have you ever heard of David Sedaris? My lovely sister Nicole told me about the funniest story told by him I will probably ever listen to. I had completely forgotten about it until Cisco asked me about it the other day. I listened to it again on YouTube and was crying. Tears were flowing down my cheeks. My abs hurt. I looked ridiculous sitting alone in my house crying and laughing. Mac had no idea what was going on. Here is the link to listen to this story. It is 15 minutes long so listen to it when you have a break but I promise you will not regret it. Just get through the whole thing. Especially the segment on the Dutch version of St. Nicholas. 



Working on a Tan

It is getting cold!!! I am not the only one around here who is not happy. I don't go tanning anymore. And I haven't since high school. But someone else in our house likes to work on their tan. And it isn't Cisco. Remember how Mac hates cold rainy weather as I mentioned in this post

In the summer he is such a punk. He runs to the door and jumps up and down as if he has never had to pee so bad in his entire life. The second I open the door, this is what happens...

"oh... suddenly I don't have to pee after all. I think I will just lay here for a while."

One day he also got sick of his appearance and decided he needed a change in his look. He chose to go with coloring his fur purple. A little extreme if you ask me. 
He managed this look by chewing the end off of a purple liquid ink pen and getting it all over his paw. He was very careful not to get a drop on his mouth though. Not sure how he managed that one. He wasn't quite as careful with the carpet but we managed to get all the ink out thankfully. 

He is so obsessed with his appearance. 


My Weaknesses

Just like every other women who watched the General Relief Society Broadcast, I LOVED Elder Uchtdorf's talk. It was such a good reminder of so many things I needed to hear. My favorite part of the talk was this lovely quote: 
"We spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does."

Oh how true it is. So I decided to write an entire blog on my weaknesses that I tend to compare to others. 

1. I don't live in a fancy condo or own a house. We are renting my parent's basement apartment and we love it here. It is such a nice apartment and we love the neighborhood.  The one down side to this apartment is the lack of a living room. We have a kitchen and a bedroom. It's fine for just the two of us but makes it hard to want to invite people over to do something. Along the same note...

2. I do not have a cute apartment. This was a funny realization the other day. I have cute elements in my house, but I have some not so cute elements which make the overall look quite ugly. 
Prime example: My couch. At one point it had a couch cover on it. The couch cover was more awful than the Indian-style print underneath so I took it off. The pillows that came with the couch have lost all their shape. The stuffing has congealed into lumps. This doesn't help since they were ugly to begin with. 
We also have a cute white comforter, but it is too hot so we don't sleep with it on the bed and lets not lie, I don't make the bed every day. So it doesn't cover our very cute yellow quilt, but that very cute yellow quilt is completely mismatched with the rest of our room. 

3. I am not working full time. I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in April and should have found a full time job to help make lots of money for our family. Cisco is working full time, in school full time, and volunteering several hours a week. This is probably my hardest weakness to deal with. I don't have kids right now to take care of and I hate Cisco having such a huge load. I would like to be able to work an 8-5 job but that isn't realistic with my health issues so I have to recognize my success that I have a job that provides me with a few hours. 

4. I don't like to cook. I'm pretty sure when I was little I loved the Food Network so much I wanted to be a chef.  Glad that didn't pan out.It feels like a major success when I cook dinner on a regular basis. So many people talk about all these amazing recipes they have just tried and every time I save the recipe and know I will never look at it again unless it has 5 ingredients and they are ingredients i regularly have on hand. They are fun to look at though...

5. Since I don't work every day, some days I don't have a reason to get ready and dressed for the day. On more than one occasion I have been in pajamas or sweats until 4 or 5 in the afternoon.  

6. Cisco and I don't know how to go to bed before midnight. I always get so jealous when people say they go to bed at 10pm. That would be so great! We say it has something to do with the fact that Cisco has night classes, but that is only part of it. We are just night owls. We usually walk Mac after 10, our favorite Food Network shows are on after 10, and we usually start our homework after 10 (and by we I mean Cisco starts his homework nice and late). 

7. I don't exercise. I am working on this thanks to this amazing DVD. I learned about this from my Personal Training Strategies class from Dr. George and I loved that class. I loved my major. Exercise and Wellness was so interesting and I know I needed to take those classes to improve my own health. I get envious when I hear about people running marathons and hiking and biking. I don't know if those are things I will ever be able to accomplish but I am proud of myself for working out a few times these past 2 weeks. It was so funny to be an Exercise and Wellness major and know that I could count one one hand the number of times I had actually worked out in the past year. 

8. This year I have had random acne. Seriously?? I thought high school was supposed to be the bad years. My skin is on the mend but the past year I have had acne worse than those awesome high school days. So not fair. 

9. I have some cute clothes. Not that many cute outfits. Oh how my wardrobe would be completely different if I had some money. Or the talent to walk into a store like TJ Maxx or Ross and find the gems in there that other people seem to find. I don't know how people do it. I need everything lain out for me. Even Forever 21 is a little overwhelming. 

10. I can't give up my ice cream in an attempt to eat healthier. It is just way too good. See previous post and you will realize that I love ice cream enough to write an entire blog post about it. 

My successes? 
I love Cisco. We have fun. We make a good team. He picks up my slack and I pick up his slack. 

We have a really cute dog. He is a punk sometimes but he is also so cute.
ps. Notice the nasty pillows he is sleeping one. They are the same pillows mentioned above... Mac blends right in to them. He is so spoiled on this throne of pillows. 
I do tend to compare my weaknesses to other peoples strengths but I have so many strengths that other people don't have. Way to go me. 


Ice Cream 101 with Michelle

For those of you who really know me well, you know that ice cream is a staple in the Robinson household. Thanks to my dad, I developed a love for the good stuff. He would serve me a heaping bowl when I was just a little kid. Whenever I would scoop a bowl of ice cream for one of my friends, their eyes would go big as I scooped 4 or 5 scoops. I was always so confused when they said that was a lot of ice cream. To me that was normal. 

Fun facts about me and ice cream:

  • I always prefer something chocolaty. 
  • I hate Vanilla. I don't know why and it is very inconvenient so I wish I didn't... but i do. If I ever had a bowl of vanilla ice cream, I would cover it in chocolate sauce and stir it completely until there wasn't a trace of vanilla left. 
  • My favorite chocolate Ice cream is a very milky chocolate. The BYU Creamery has my favorite chocolate ice cream. I also like Blue Bunny and Tillamook a lot too. 
  • My all time favorite ice cream is Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie. I have been known to become very greedy when it comes to this ice cream. I do not like to share it since it is a limited flavor. In fact, when I had to go to the hospital during my freshman year of college to get my gallbladder removed, I was at Macey's buying this ice cream. Sadly to report, I never did get to eat that ice cream and it got thrown out at the end of the year. I almost cried when my roommates broke the news to me. 
  • I like my ice cream really really frozen. People who put their ice cream in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it are committing a crime. 
  • I also like to put a tiny bit of milk on the top because when the ice cream is so frozen, it freezes the milk a little and creates a delicious milky concoction. 
  • Ice cream tastes so much better when it is eaten out of the carton. 
I found these pictures that make me laugh every time. 
Freshman year: Me and Julie each with our own carton of the Thin Mint ice cream. This was pre-gallbladder attack.

HAHA I cannot look at this picture without laughing so hard. Allison and I clearly weren't ready for this picture to be taken. It looks like there is a gas leak in our apartment because we look high.

I do love ice cream. 



If you are confused about the title of this post... so am I. Cisco read the post and I asked him what I should call it. This is what he said. So it is sticking. If you don't know what a Chupacabra is, it is like the Mexican BigFoot/Boogie Monster that sucks the blood of goats. Apparently that sums up our family. 

A little about the Aravena's

Our favorite TV Shows:
We LOVE the Food Network. Specifically Iron Chef, Chopped, and Diner's Drive-ins and Dive's.
Modern Family is the greatest show ever created.
Bones is a favorite. 
How I Met Your Mother is also pretty funny. 

We like to eat out:
Cisco's favorite: Moochies (which i am sure I have mentioned before)
My favorite: Any Thai curry. Seriously... this is a food that I will overeat to no end. 
I love curry and crave curry.
Spicy Thai? yes. Bangkok Grill? yes. 
 Too bad it is the one food that Cisco will eat but doesn't care for. Go figure. 

We have a cute dog. 
Mac has such a funny personality. And a lot of it. He is one ball of energy. 
He chases his tail. He wags his tail when he is having a good dream. He loves to sleep whenever Cisco is sleeping. Sometimes he needs to blow off energy and runs laps around our tiny apartment as fast as he possibly can. He HATES water. If he gets near a storm drain, a stream or a bath, he spreads all 4 legs as far as he can and puts his belly on the ground. Silly dog. 

I hate to cook. 
I said it. I want to be the cute wife who has dinner ready when Cisco comes home from a long day at work but that is a rarity. Although I am happy to report that this week I have had dinner ready 3 days in a row. Impressive! There are a few things I have mastered but I really don't like cooking. Things just go wrong. 
Don't even get me started on baking. 
You need a good short term memory for baking and I have none. Too many times I have forgotten how many eggs or cups of flour have been added, or what temperature to set the oven to seconds after I read it off the recipe card. 

Sometimes we like to take on more than we should. 
Prime Example: I became a wedding planner for Camille's wedding while starting a new job. A special thanks goes out to Cisco for not seeing me for a few weeks. I was a busy girl but the wedding turned out pretty great so It was worth it all. But I am glad it is over! 
Cisco likes to work 40 hours a week while going to school full time, playing on two soccer teams, and volunteering at a physical therapy office. I don't know how he does it. 

We also like to make big plans. 
I think we have 5 trips planned we are "saving for". Although I am not sure any actual saving is going on. 
We had a lot of fun camping last weekend (the day after the wedding we needed a vacation so we packed everything up and went to a nearby campground for one night. A lot of work but it was a nice break after a hectic week). 

So now you know us. 
oh, and we don't take pictures. I think I would take more pictures if I had a good camera. Good excuse for a new one right??


Working Family

Did I mention that I got a job? Probably not since I don't ever update this blog but I did! It has been almost 4 months of enjoying the unemployed life... well I enjoyed the first 2 months a lot, and then I started getting really stir-crazy. But never fear, I read a LOT of books to keep me busy as well as various projects. 
I got a job with Intermountain Healthcare in the Physical Therapy group. I am an on-call secretary for 7 different physical therapy facilities, from Spanish Fork to Saratoga Springs. On Monday I went to orientation all day and started training on Thursday (although I have to do training in all 7 offices which should be fun trying to learn all the different ways the offices are run).
I am exhausted after my first day of training and have no idea how I will ever get the hang of everything I have to memorize. I was thinking I would still have a lot of free time, but that may not be the case. Some weeks I may never get called in, but other weeks they may want me to do 8-5 four days a week.
I had stopped looking for jobs and this was the last one i randomly applied for. Then they called me in for a group interview (that was kind of weird) and I got the job. I am exhausted and the week hasn't even started. Lots going on this week but more to come on that later.

Cisco is still working full time and as hard as ever and works with some pretty fun people.
We are one busy working family.

Is it a bad sign that I have only worked two days and I am already missing my unemployed life? (which had been anything but lazy and relaxing the past two months so adding a job into my list of a million things to do sounded like a good idea). Luckily the people I have been training with have been super nice and awesome.
I really do love Intermountain Healthcare and am excited to work there. Hopefully I will catch on quick so it isn't so intimidating. 


Parade of Homes

I love going to the Parade of Homes. Some houses made me laugh out loud and I honestly wondered what people were thinking. Other houses made me wish I had a place to decorate....and money to do it. But I am in the mood to post some of my favorite and least favorite things so here you are. I may or may not have taken 264 pictures. A lot of them were with my phone so the quality is amazing 

some of my favorites...
I loved these towels

Cute chairs in the office. Loved the floral arrangements in this house done by my favorite Urban Cheateau Floral.

Cute chair and pillows. 

Loved that the tile looked like bead board. 

These wood floors were amazing. They looked so natural and straight out of a beach house.

How cute is this entry way?

I loved everything about this kitchen. Of course it was a Hatfield Home. They tend to be amazing. 

Love this dining area. Table and chairs are my favorite. 

Fun way to do colors with all mismatched pillows. Easy to change up with the seasons. 

This was a really cute bedroom.

I didn't like this one house but I was in love with the random table stashed in a corner. 

Cute Homework area. 

Cutest nursery ever. 

What can I say? I am obsessed with white kitchen cabinets. 

Love all the random knickknacks on this cool shelf. 

Seriously loved these floors!

Wallpaper as the accent wall.

My favorite wallpaper in the bathroom. 

I love this door. I just do. 

Outdoor furniture in front of a fireplace. I could spend many nights here.

cork board wall. kind of cute.

not my favorite...

I hated most of the kids rooms in the parade of homes. Just so over the top. 

Hahahaha this was on the floor in a random studio and it made me so happy. (i hope no one knows who this is haha.)

This is a shower curtain. There is no light in the shower. Shaving would be super fun!
I always wanted blackout curtains in my shower. 

That random photo studio I was talking about. 

DIY that just doesn't do it for me. 

Ball of trash decoratively hanging above the toilet.
On the bright side, I was laughing so hard when I saw this that I had to pee.
So I guess it served it's purpose.

Jackalope. Watching you in the guest room as you sleep. 

There you have it. I seriously took way too many pictures. 


Summer Months

This summer is disappearing way too fast.
But we have done some fun things at least.
Like the cruise. I loved the cruise.
I miss that beach in Nassau. I could have stayed at that beach for hours on end.
And that blue water. So beautiful.

Since we have been home we celebrated the 4th of July.
Cisco turned 27!! So we celebrated by going to Moochies.
If you live in Utah and you haven't tried Moochies, I HIGHLY recommend going there.
The Philly Cheese Steaks are delicious. And their Jalapeno sauce is our favorite.
I usually get their amazing Tomato and Feta or their Tuna which are also super yummy.

It is on 800 South in Salt Lake and about 200 East. You don't want to drive by this place without stopping.

We also organized our closet.
Doesn't it look great?

And most recently we got callings at church.
We are teaching the Valiant 9 primary class.
We teach around 10 kids. It will be a new adventure!
Here we go...


A great hair day

Don't you love those mornings when you wake up and your hair looks perfect and ready for the day? I do. It doesn't happen often but it happened a few days ago. I am posting the picture. And I don't care that I don't have an ounce of makeup on and I still have morning bags under my eyes. It was just too awesome to keep to myself.


Seriously. Awesome. You too can achieve this look by following these simple steps.

Step 1: Take a hot shower and do not wash hair. I chose to take a hot shower to relax my muscles but whatever reason you choose should work just as well.

Step 2: Partially blow dry hair but do not dry all the way. Just enough so it isn't soaking wet but still damp.

Step 3: Go to bed and Sleep in an awkward position. I am not sure of the exact position but I think it was equal proportions of right and left side.

Needless to say it was effortless to achieve and it lasted all day until I got in the shower.