Sunday, October 17, 2010

Haircuts and heavy loads

After much himming and hawing, Erika finally decided to chop her hair off Friday night. I must say it looks rather good. She certainly thinks so, and is having no end of fun tossing her head and using headbands to make the get-up even cuter.

Plus, her 11 inches of hair has been donated to worthier causes than Erika griping about how unpleasant it is dealing with her hair every day.

While her head may be lighter, or respective work/school loads have only gotten heavier this month. Erika's taking on a few extra hours a week at her bookkeeping job. She gets paid really well, so it's a welcome income bonus.

Meanwhile I'm still slugging away at UVU, working at Utah Community Credit Union, and covering games for both the Daily Herald and the UVU Review.

I may be transferring from the Pleasant Grove branch of UCCU so I can get morning hours that better suit the rest of my obligations. I'm up for a morning position at the Springville branch as well as a Titles Clerk position at the BYU Stadium branch (next to the football stadium)

Speaking of football, the Herald is bringing me along to help cover the BYU-UNLV game on November 6. I'm very excited to get in that atmosphere again -- even if the Cougars are no longer contenders.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Miles for Melanie.

The point of this post is to advertise a 5K happening this Saturday to benefit my beautiful Aunt Melanie. Unfortunately, Matt will be working, but I'll be going and anyone else is absolutely invited to attend.

Register for it here. All proceeds go to the Melanie Kau Foundation.

If you'd like to learn more about the reasoning behind the 5K, you can visit her blog:


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Now and then

With school in full swing, Erika and I are creeping ever closer to graduation. I've heard after this magical point, school no longer exists. I can't imagine that, but I sure try.

I'm toying with the idea of finishing a semester early (Fall, 2011), if only to get school over with and have an extra semester to find a writing gig while Erika finishes up her master's degree. Erika likes the idea, but I have to see if I like the load I'd have to take to get it done. Being able to is one thing, "wanting to" quite another.

Erika is also planning for the near future, lining up several interviews for winter/summer internships with members of the notorious accounting "Big Four." She's got three interviews in the bag already, with several more still pending. I have no doubt she'll land one. Luckily they're all local, with the farthest one from us being in Salt Lake.

As for the present, we're fully invested in school and work. Erika's part-time job now allows her to work on her own computer, which means more convenience and less travel for her. Combine her now-mobile job with her studies, and she spends quite a bit of time at the library.

I say the library because Erika's transportation has been limited to her bike lately. It's my fault. I drop her off at BYU at 8am, head to UVU for class, go to work at the credit union, then cover a local game. It makes for less together time than we got accustomed to over the summer, so a slight, but necessary bummer there.

Latest big thing to happen was a phone interview I had with Phoenix Suns' forward Grant Hill. He could only give me ten minutes of his time, but the interview itself and subsequent article were well worth it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back pains and work gains

It's a little weird writing something without worrying about an editor's opinion. Check that, my wife is right here making sure I write an approving piece. Sigh...

It's been an exciting few weeks, with a little bad and lots of good in the mix. The bad was Erika's back -- for some reason unbeknowest to us, sudden back spasms hit her a week-and-a-half ago. She was bed-ridden for two days. Thanks to the advice of our parents and a med student buddy of ours (Dr. Dave), her back kept improving and now is pretty much healed. Only a slight amount of stiffness remains.

One nugget of advice from my mom that Erika loved was the purchase of a Wii Fit (probably the only purchase Erika loved in her life...she hates spending money). Apart from the regular exercises, we can actually set up specific routines that string our favorite exercises together. It's a much more friendly workout option than the classic visit to the gym. Honestly, Erika's a lot more consistent with it than I am (the Wii Fit even tells Erika's character that my character hasn't been in for a while. The game tattles on me!)

Still, my lack of exercise isn't an indication of lack of work. The opposite, actually. With fall sports starting up, I've been getting a lot more story assignments from the Herald (and the college paper as well). The most exciting story happened just yesterday: covering the BYU Cougars' football season opener. It was amazing.

For obvious reasons, Erika was very proud of me, and took a picture of me leaving for the game, complete with press pass and laptop backpack (her backpack -- she let me borrow it).

It sounds a little silly to talk about a sports game as personally meaningful, but this one was. I walked into the huge press room at LaVell Edwards Stadium and felt the atmosphere of both crazy sports and professional media people. I saw my place-holder tag at my station, the view on the field and thought, "Yes. I was meant to do this."

At about the 5:00 mark of the fourth quarter, all the reporters went down to the field to be ready for post-game interviews. With the Cougars making a last (and ultimately successful) defensive stand for the win, the atmosphere was electric. Being in the middle of all that was mind-blowing. I probably looked like the big-time rookie I was -- constantly swiveling my head and taking it all in.

The interview room had 12 arena-like chairs for reporters. Since there were plenty more than that and I was a rookie, I stood/squatted on the side aisles. I guess I could have taken a photo when actual coaches/players were at the table, but I was too worried about missing anything important.

There were five reporters from the Herald there -- four full-timers and myself. It was really great of my editor to ask me to come along. I wrote the notebook story on the game, which consisted of a small lead story followed by random facts and tidbits. Some of those facts were obvious, others I dug for before finding a correlation (like the "Fifty's the magic number" point).

In short, it was a great experience that made me feel even better about my career path -- and my ability to do well in it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


After about 3 weeks of extremely early mornings, and then class, and then covering a game, Matt decided he couldn't wake up at 3:15 anymore. He gave 2 weeks notice, and has continued his job search. I was a little nervous giving up one source of income when we didn't have another, but I also knew there was no way Matt could have that schedule long term.

A few days ago he had an interview with the Utah Community Credit Union. The interview went great, and they seemed really excited about his experience. They said they'd call the next day with their decision. So we waited, all day on Friday for their call. They close at 5:30 and it was now 4:00, so our hopes were getting smaller and smaller.

And then as he was talking to the Employment Specialist for our ward, he gets a phone call. And yes! He got the job. We are both extremely excited about it. No more early mornings, he can do this job long term during school, and Matt is comfortable with this job. He'll be extremely busy when Fall starts. He has class, the credit union, games for the Daily Herald, and starting in October he'll be covering home Jazz games. Well at least that makes two of us!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Stories

A few tidbits from our summer:

  • With Lechuga needing food, we've recently experimented buying feeder fish. This has proved highly diverting. Fish #1 had zero survival instincts, just swimming in place next to Lechuga, who needed a couple seconds to realize that yes, the thing next to her was edible. As soon as she did, the fish was no more. Fish #2 was much more intent on staying alive, making Lechuga do several laps around the tank before finally snagging her quarry. Erika loves watching until the fish is actually caught, killed and eaten.
  • While waiting for an employee to get out Fish #2, a boy around seven or eight years old noticed we were getting a fish. He excitedly imparted his own experience/knowledge, telling us how "fish can get really big" and his friend's fish got too big "and it died." Eager to one-up the kid with morbid fish stories, I ignored my wife's pleading glances/nudges and told the kid, "Don't worry. This fish won't get big, 'cause we're feeding it to our turtle." Wide-eyed and shocked, the little boy looked at me and said in a disturbingly level voice, "That's a joke, right?" Having had my fun, I appeased both the kid and Erika. "Yeah, it's a joke."
  • I experimented with a 4-8am custodial job at the university to give us some extra cash. Didn't last long. My eyes are constantly in exhausted pain, while my body always seems sluggish and behind on its normal schedule. Luckily school sports are picking up, which means assignments from the Daily Herald are as well. In the mean-time, I've got an interview this week to work at Utah Community Credit Union. Can't get away from those credit unions, it seems.
  • Speaking of writing, I'm really excited to start a sports writing internship with They're getting me media credentials to cover the Utah Jazz courtside for the entire 2010-2011 season. Can't believe my luck. Livin' the dream.
  • Erika takes extreme pleasure in not only coming up with good home-made meals, but in perfecting them. The most recent example of this is her awesome home-made pizza, which rivals any pizza joint in town. She even uses a round pizza tray. So good.
  • More proof of Erika's creativity - she's been making these headbands for her sister's upcoming wedding. I've gotta admit, they look better than the ones you'd pay 10 bucks for at the local fair or accessories store.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Culinary Experiments Cont.

My sister's bridal shower is tomorrow and I decided to make chocolate covered strawberries. I've never done it before and I had a lot of fun with the mini Crockpot.

Matt was sitting at the counter watching me. He had a hard time not eating some of his favorite items. At least he got to taste test a few. He approved, so I count the experiment a success. Not to mention, they're rather pretty.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's a girl...TURTLE!!!!

As Erika teasingly alluded earlier, there is a new member of the Petersen household - Lechuga, the painted turtle. Lechuga is a Spanish word that means, "lettuce." We chose it for several reasons: 1) it sounds cool 2) it was the first Spanish word I ever learned thanks to my food-serving mother and 3) it rhymes with the Spanish word for turtle (tortuga). So yes, we have Lechuga la tortuga (Lettuce the turtle).

She is a Western painted turtle. A turtle of the aquatic variety, Lechuga spends most of her time swimming in her new (and bigger) aquarium home. Occasionally she will climb up on her artificial dock or natural rock to bask under the lamp, as reptiles need provided warmth to maintain their energy. She will only do it when a) we don't move for a long time or b) we're not home. She's a shy turtle and feels safe in the water. To make sure she gets enough heat, we take her outside every few days or so to get some natural sunlight and wander around in the grass.

She has improved immensely, though. She no longer hides in her little cave if we approach the tank, because she knows odds are we're feeding her. Knowing this, she's comfortable keeping her head above water.

Erika loves watching Lechuga swim and is always on the lookout for random cute things she does (basking, getting startled by the filter's waterfall, etc). She talks and feeds Lechuga, and not surprisingly our turtle seems more comfortable around Erika than me. I'm fully confident this isnot a foreshadowing of how things will go our actual future children.

An aerial shot of Lechuga the Tortuga.

A painted turtle, Lechuga is quite colorful, especially on her underside.

"Please, no pictures."

She's never boring, always swimming, and quite cute to look at.


My little sister Emily graduated from high school at the end of May. Matt and I went down to Arizona to see her walk and give her speech. The Senior Class President did fabulous in front of thousands of people. She gave an amazing speech and looked beautiful.

Along with that trip, Emily went skydiving as a graduation present and it was one of the coolest things to watch. Watching the parachutes float through the sky was beautiful. She had a blast with it.

And all of this was going on at the same time as the Phoenix vs. Lakers finals, my Dad and Sue were amazing and decided to take my die-hard husband and I to game 6. The atmosphere of that game was absolutely incredible! Every single person in the stadium was given a free Suns shirt to wear for an Orange-Out. Matt was ecstatic and then heartbroken when his Suns lost.

At the end of May, my older sister Crystalee got engaged. So know we're excited for an August Utah wedding.

In June we celebrated my birthday with a fun date night and ice cream. Matt gave me a copy of Peter Pan which I absolutely love.

Matt started summer classes and I started babysitting part-time. So, we've been busy--Matt with three summer classes and me chasing around a 2 year-old while holding a 9 month-old in my arms. It's been kinda tiring.

The Fourth of July was extremely fun. Both my Mom and Dad were in town and it was good to spend some time with them. We did fireworks with my cousins, and Matt and I turned into the unofficial fire-marshals, making sure fireworks weren't thrown in the vicinity of people...which surprisingly happened a lot. But lots of barbecues and delicious food.

We went to the little Provo fair on Monday. I loved it. I always love walking around and seeing all the random things people are selling. Not to mention I found some really cute headbands I'm excited about.

And then we also have some exciting news about an addition to the family, but Matt will write more about that later.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Guess What!

So, the big news of this post is...I got into the Masters program at BYU! Starting at the end of August, I will be in the Masters of Accountancy program. And I am extremely excited about it! Currently, it's (I believe) the #1 program in the US. I still can't believe I got was kind of a shock.

My birthday is in two weeks and I got my birthday present early...decorations! And by that I mean fake vines and fake flowers. They ended up on top of the cupboards and on our wall shelves. I got really excited to put them up and add some color to our apartment.

Here's a close up of the flowers...they aren't as noticeable in the previous pictures. I love how bright they are.

Speaking of color, my wonderful husband randomly got me these beautiful flowers (real ones). I really like bright cheerful colors, so these were perfect after a long day.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

As whimsic as the Utah weather

So I (Matt) am befuddled by this Utah weather. Last Saturday I was covering a charity football game between high school seniors and their coaches, and earned my first sunburn of 2010 (I said on Facebook that I was sunburned, but not nearly as badly as the Spurs).

Yesterday, a mere two days after my skin-darkening experience, I get an e-mail from my editor saying this week's softball/baseball playoff games could be postponed due to 90-percent precipitation. What's up with this? It's May!

Anyway, if/when the rain eventually does stop, I'll be sure to wear sunscreen in the future.

While I've been writing (and watching the playoffs), Erika's been working at her bookkeeping job part-time. It's nice and low-key, which is good, 'cause she doesn't come home with the typical SFWS (Stressed From Work Syndrome).

We did our once-a-month "expensive" date last Friday, getting lunch at our mutually favorite place, Olive Garden. I stayed within my comfort zone and got a pepperoni pizza, while Erika got some Italian looking dish. Weird, I know.

Since we don't live close to our moms, we called them on Mother's Day. Believe it or not, my mom didn't weep over her long-distance, married son (I quote her: "Erika doesn't need to talk to me to earn points. She's putting up with you, and that earns plenty of points with me.")

That Sunday morning, Erika's boss invited us over to have lunch with her and her family. Given that we don't have a porch in our apartment to house a grill, those hamburgers were awfully good for this meat-loving guy.

Last time Erika wrote, she mentioned how school was over for her. What she hasn't mentioned since then are her grades -- all B-pluses! In the number one accounting school in the nation! Crazy awesome. The only person disappointed was, you guessed it, Erika (I think her obsession with Harry Potter has made her more like Hermione Granger than she realizes).

As for me, the BYU rejectee, my classes at Utah Valley University start late June. I'm pretty stoked to be done with my NAU online classes and get back in a classroom so the teacher can remind me of assignments instead of me.

Well, that's all for now. We'll be going to AZ in a couple weeks for Erika's sister's graduation. Looking forward to the more predictable weather, and maybe a chance to swim. Ciao, y'all.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Edible Delights

Matt was covering a baseball game, and I was craving sugar yet wanting to be creative. The result was a chocolate cake.

It's scrumptious, by the way.

And obviously, Matt thought so too. Five minutes after he got home, the cake looked like this:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Economic Adventures

With the thrill of our European honeymoon behind us and a tight budget in front of us, we've unearthed our creativeness to have fun(ny), wallet-friendly adventures. This has made for some good laughs and photos.

With Utah finally realizing it's April, we went on a picnic last Saturday. That delicious fruit salad was made by Yours Truly (take that, Mom), while Erika made some sandwiches and muffins.

Even Erika was overwhelmed by the deliciousness of my fruit salad.

This is Reporter Petersen at a jam-packed high school softball game. It was pretty depressing. The final score was 16-3, but amazingly, the story was the lead on the sports section of the Herald. So yeah, this is how I roll.

Funny story. Erika has come with me to three games. The games she comes to are always cold, windy and miserable. When she doesn't come, it's a warm, beautiful day. As you can see, she tries to tough it out by wearing my sweatshirt I keep in the car for emergency situations such as this.

Erika occasionally takes indoor, self-entertainment to new heights. If you weren't able to tell, these are dominoes arranged to look like a flower. It was hard to tell whether Erika had more fun making the flower or starting the domino chain.

If you look at the previous pictures, it's obvious I was getting close to Beatles territory. To save money, we borrowed clippers from some neighbors and Erika had a go at her first barber job. After the attempt, we just buzzed the whole enchilada with a number three. Erika actually did a good job -- it's just my awkwardly shaped head makes minimal errors show up in an obvious manner.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's official...I survived.

The semester is over. I took my last final yesterday and had the strangest feeling of freedom as I left the room. The Junior Core for the accounting program has been the toughest and hardest semesters of my life. The workload is overwhelming, the pace is grueling, and the expectations of the students are high. But, I am proud to say that I have survived. And now it's summer, with no 10 hour study sessions in the library, no homework that makes my head hurt, and no waking up at 3 am just to get a little bit more studying in before a big test.

I'm just glad I survived these past two semesters while being engaged and a newly wed. It was tough. Now I get to relax a bit and use my spare time to enjoy myself.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

'Notha day, 'notha dollar. No, really

It's a busy week for both of us. Erika is studying/stressing for finals, and I'm watching/stressing through the lead-up to the Finals...the NBA Finals that is. Suns dropped Game 1, and this AZ boy was not thrilled. Wrote a piece that got a lot of feedback, though.

Speaking of writing, I'm doing double-duty with the Daily Herald and covering Utah high school sports. Both are part-time, and since the rights to the articles are mine, I can double-dip a single article. It's a good deal that gives us a little extra cash, something my accounting-major wife is always monitoring.

Erika's not just dollars and cents, though. She's also got home-making sense, as the following pictures demonstrate...

The above is a symmetrical (Erika was insistent upon it) photo display of our various adventures to other countries. We're hoping this expands over time.

The Kitchen, Part One: The only thing I had to do with the kitchen decor was the crown jewel: the basketball-themed calendar.

The Kitchen, Part Two: Erika likes pictures, and they do give me a reason to occasionally enter the kitchen. That's a lie. I make some exquisite Mac & Cheese and pasta-from-a-bag.

Most of you know newly-weds don't have a dining room...they have a dining corner. I think ours is pretty nice. The glass bowl contains seashells from Spain. The table was a product of my mom's creative genius.

Those shelves were a pain to 1) get on the wall at all and 2) get them parallel enough for Erika. I broke my own personal record for most time using a hammer, though. She's taking my mom's plea to make me a manly man seriously.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring has finally come

I've been so busy and worried about school, that I didn't really notice that spring is here. But a couple days ago I walked out my front door and this is what I saw:

The trees have blossomed pretty much overnight, and it's just gorgeous. Campus is covered in flowers, and it's finally warm enough to wear shorts. Spring is here!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Summer Crafting.

I've spent this morning looking up fun crafting ideas for summer projects. I think I'm decided on an apron of some sort. Probably similar to one of these that I found on
I love the trees on this one and how it's fitted.

Sweet red apples and vintage stripes apron with leafy green trim - classy side pockets and it's reversible for women or that special teacher

And I like how simple but cute this one is.

Secret Garden Half Apron

And I think this style is adorable, but it's only half an apron...that only solves half the problem of messy cooking.

And then I found these adorable fabric purses.

Hidden Melodies

I think part of my draw to crafting is I just want to know if I can do it. That's why I made my quilt. I just want to a couple fun projects this summer that I can be excited about.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nearly Four Months Now

Today is April 16th. Another three days and Matt and I will have been married for four months. I know, it sounds like an extremely short amount of time to all the veterans out there, and I agree, these four months have raced by. This really has been the fastest semester I have ever experienced.

Well, Matt suggested we start a blog. So, here I am. Hopefully we'll actually stay current with it this time. I've tried in the past, and it has never worked out.

But here's a recap of our first four months as a married couple.

Wedding Day Pictures
All of these wedding photos are courtesy of Nick Sorensen,, he's absolutely amazing.

Our wedding day was one of the best days of my life. I still find it amazing that I'm married to my sweetheart forever. Life's great.

Honeymoon Confusion

Our honeymoon was one adventure after was fantastic! Our original plan was to spend a week in Spain (yes, the Spain). But due to weather we were stuck in London for three or so days...London! Seriously, you couldn't ask for much better.

We saw Big Ben and the infamous telephone booths.

Buckingham Palace.

Took a stroll through Kensington Gardens and saw the Peter Pan statue.

Solved the mystery of where the Sherlock Holmes Museum is isn't actually at 221 Baker Street.

And one of my personal favorites, went to Platform 9 3/4 where we tried with all our might to access the magical world of Harry Potter.

You can't really tell, but we're ice skating just outside of the Tower of London. Considering we both ice skate, we couldn't really pass up the opportunity. I had to sneak my camera onto the ice, which is why we don't have a better shot.

And then when we finally made it to Spain, I showed Matt all my favorite places in Madrid. La Mallorquina makes phenomenal napoleatanas.
And then we made it to our original destination all along, Malaga, right on the Mediterranean coast. It was absolutely gorgeous.

Normal Life

So, we came home from a whirlwind of wedding and honeymoon adventures, and then started normal life. I go to school everyday, Matt does his online classes and writes for several websites. He even was asked to do a daily blog by, Seven Minutes or Less a "blog by the fans for the fans". Check it out.

And then he interviewed and is now a stringer for the Daily Herald, the local paper for Utah Valley. He goes to high school and college sporting events, writes about it, and loves it.

I'm studying in BYU's accounting program and am just about to finish my first year. I've applied to the Masters program, so keep your fingers crossed. I'm currently enjoying the craziness and stress of finals week. I just keep saying...two more tests, that's it, only two more and I'm done.

I recently started my first accounting job. I saw the advertisement, applied that afternoon, got a call the next morning for an interview that day, and got the job that evening. It happened pretty quick, and I'm excited about it.

Local Adventures

Matt's birthday was in January and we went to the Suns vs. Jazz game in Salt Lake. Matt is a huge Suns fan...seriously, that's the majority of what he writes about, so this was awesome. Our seats actually had a bunch of Suns people around us, so Matt's heckling wasn't alone. The Suns played great...until they fell apart and the Jazz won...that wasn't so fun.

In February we went to one of my friend's wedding. Two week engagement...and the craziest part was they pulled everything together beautifully.

Matt's parents and brother came up for Dawn's birthday. We went skiing near Cedar City at Brian's Head. That was only the second time I've been skiing...the first terrified me completely. But this time, I loved it. I've decided skiing needs to become a family tradition. When I get those pictures, I'll put some up.

Tuesday I went with Matt to a UVU vs. BYU softball game that he was covering. It was absolutely freezing...frigid. We were huddled up under our coats and blankets just holding our hot chocolate trying to warm up our hands. And poor Matt, he actually had to take notes on the game, so he couldn't keep his fingers hidden!

Now that I've got you all caught up on the last four months, hopefully we won't have to go through any major recaps again.