The Byron Clan

The Byron Clan

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Trying out the New Camera

I think I'm in love with my new toy =) I'll love it even more once I figure out how to use it!

Action shot!

Friday, December 5, 2008

So sorry...

For the absence lately.

Here's what we've been up to: (By the way, this post somehow turned into a novel, and a pretty boring one at that. My apologies. Feel free to skip to the pictures, which I know is the only reason you people read blogs.)
  • We spent 5 days in Michigan for Thanksgiving with my sister, her husband, and their four cute kids. It was delightful. We ate to our heart's content, played the Wii with the children, solved world problems (kidding, of course), and worked on homework.
  • We ate our very first brined turkey. It was delish. I will never be able to cook a regular turkey again.
  • I spent most of the week sick. Go figure.
  • After we came home, we resumed our busy schedules.
  • I wrote 5 papers, a total of 50 pages, between Saturday night and Wednesday night. I am a machine, folks.
  • Chad spent practically the entire week on campus. (Blasted Quant II and Finance)
  • I made chocolate chip cookies on Sunday night. (Mom, everytime I make these cookies people go crazy over them. It's hilarious. I mean, who'd have thought that people would go crazy over something that I bake.)
  • I finished my first semester of grad school. (That probably should have been first...It's pretty exciting.)
  • Chad continues to work his tail off at school. 2 more weeks!!

Here are my plans for the next few weeks while Chad will be studying like a fiend.

  • We just purchased a new SLR camera for Christmas. With the help of our friend, we found an incredible deal and couldn't pass it up. For those of you who do camera stuff, it's the Canon Rebel XTi. It's big. There's lots of buttons. And I feel like a pro when I'm snapping pictures, when it's on the "Auto" mode, of course. =) I'm going to try and teach myself how to use this thing...obviously not within the next two weeks, but maybe within the next two years. Any tips would be helpful!
  • I am going to read, read, read. I really miss reading for fun while I'm in school. I usually have to read something for fun a few minutes a day or else I go crazy, but while I'm in school I don't get this opportunity very often. So, I will be finishing the Chronicles of Narnia. I'm almost finished with the first book, The Magicians Nephew, and will be moving on to The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe tomorrow.
  • I am going to decorate for Christmas. We're not getting a tree this year because we are leaving the 19th of December to go to Florida for a week, so really there's not much of a point. So, in order to make our place feel like Christmas I am going to bring out the decor and maybe string some lights in our place.
  • Practice the piano. I'm playing for our church choir and it just so happens that the two songs the choir director picked are for virtuoso pianists (Ok, maybe they're not that hard, but for an out-of-practice pianist, pieces with 3 and 4 flats and 4 sharps are just not easy). Of which, I am not.
  • That's all. Seriously. For two weeks this is all I want to do, and I think I've earned it.

    Here are the pics. Sorry there are none of Chad and I. I'll work on that. (These are pre-new camera)

The Porcaro kids at the talent show with my brother-in-law's family.

Zach-a-roo bein' cute.

I left the room for like 5 minutes to go to the bathroom. Before I left, the children were playing ping-pong while the adults were watching (Jim, Jen, and Chad). When I came back from the bathroom, the kids were gone and the adults were having a who-can-bounce-the-ball-on-the-paddle-the-longest contest. Awesome. Oh, and Jen totally won, by the way. Look at that form!

The cute turkey name cards that the kids made for our place settings.

The beautiful table!

Happy late Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Joys of End of Semester Projects and Finals

(This is Chad) So I am here waiting for the class I teach to start, and I don't have any books to read up on so here I am writing a post! So GREAT NEWS: Bekahs last day of class was today! And since her program doesn't believe in Finals she is done. I keep asking myself why my programs midterms and finals make me want to cry and her program doesn't even have tests! How is that fair?

She is excited to have her 5 end of semester papers done, and finally be able to catch up on life out of school. She plans on learning how to use our new camera! She is most excited to learn how to take pictures that are focused on one particular thing and have the rest blurred.

As for me, I am just hoping to get through Quant II (Statistics II), Financial Management and other classes! I finished my Business Speaking class yesterday with my final business proposal project so it is nice to have that done! I have class through next week and then Finals the week after that! So if I survive Quant we will all know that miracles do happen!

Good luck to the rest of you who have final projects and Finals!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dear Winter,

...Usually your presence makes me happy, but I vaguely remember the last time I lived in Indiana.There were several days of below 0 and freezing rain...

Please take pity on us. My husband has not experienced an Indiana winter and he'll have to walk to the bus stop two days a week.

Also please remember that I have to drive 1.5 hours to and from Indy on Tuesdays and Thursdays next semester. So, if you could hold off on the ice and snow on those days, that'd be great.

Thanks in advance,

Dear Cypress Square Apartments,

Thank you for having the foresight to include fireplaces in your apartments. Genius idea.

Your loyal tenants in 312,
The Utah winter wussies

Friday, November 14, 2008


After two grueling months of interviews we've finally made a decision on the summer internship. Chad will be working for Procter & Gamble for the summer months of 2009. We're very excited! I'm so proud of him for all of his hard work; it's nice to know that it really does pay off in the end.
Here's some facts about P & G:
  • It started as an oils and fats company. Their first two products were candles and soaps.
  • 3 billion times a day, P & G products touch the lives of people in 180 countries. Some of our favorites include: Crest, Tide, Puffs, Pringles, Cascade, Covergirl and Gillette. See http://http// for a complete list of all the products.
  • In 2007, P & G made Fortune's top ten most admired companies list. (Other companies included General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, and Apple).
  • Their world headquarters is in Cincinnati and some call the main buildings the Dolly Parton Towers due to anatomical reasons that need not be explained:

About Cincinnati:

  • Is home to more Fortune 500 companies than Boston. P & G is number 23 on the Fortune 500 list. Cincy is also home to General Electric Aviation which is number 6 (crossing our fingers and praying that our friends go to work here), as well as Kroger, which is number 26.
  • Cost of living is lower than the national average. (glorious)
  • Home of the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals, and Mighty Ducks.
  • Was part of the Underground Railroad and home of Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom's Cabin)

Chad said, "That picture makes it look like we're moving to the big city...but I guess when you're moving from Lafayette, Indiana, it is the big city."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Too Bad...

...McCain and Palin didn't win. I really could have used a few more years of this:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Things I'm Grateful For...

70 degree weather in November... (These pictures were taken on Tuesday)

Beautiful leaves...

Indiana trails...

Friends who get me out of the house!... (Michelle and cute Miya)

A husband who can see out of both eyes!

This looks ugly...but we're expecting a full recovery and an eye that looks virtually normal in a couple of weeks (minus eyelashes on the bottom lid, but who really needs 'em anyway). Hallelujah. It's been a long haul these past couple of months but I think we've both learned how grateful we are for the little things, like warm weather, Indiana in the fall, and sight =)

Monday, November 3, 2008


Chad is in the midst of interviewing for internships for this upcoming summer. He just received an offer from Dow Chemical which is located in Midland, Michigan. He really wanted to check it out before any decisions were made, so we decided to make a trip of it. After I got home from class on Thursday evening we took off for my sister's house in Belleville, MI. Chad was visiting Dow for most of Friday morning and afternoon, so I stayed at my sister's house for the Halloween festivities. The kids carved pumpkins after they got home from a 1/2 day of school. Carving pumpkins is one of my favorite Halloween activities. Alexa carved a spider, Michael carved a witch brewing in her cauldron, Gregory carved a scary lookin' guy, and Zachary carved (well, Jen carved...) Thomas the Tank Engine. Jen had already picked out a simple scary face for her and Zach to carve, but he really wanted to carve Thomas. I think the pumpkins turned out great!

Zach loved his pumpkin so much he gave it a hug. =)

Chad got home for chili dinner (which was delectable) and then the kids got ready to go trick-or-treating.

Pretty Lexa was Cleopatra, the twins were mimes, and Zach was of course...Thomas. He was so funny. There was another little kid in the neighborhood that had the same costume and when Zach saw he went running over shouting, "Thomas! Come on!" Absolutely hilarious. The twins had a whole routine down for when poeple answered their doors. Everyone thought it was so great they gave them extra candy. Check out the loot:

We had a great Halloween weekend with family! It's fun to be so close.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I should be doing homework. Instead, I blog...

Nashville was incredible. I seriously fell in love with this place. If Chad ever got a job somewhere close to Nashville, I think we'd take it in a heartbeat.

We were there because Chad was part of the Purdue team that was invited to participate at a case competition. The competition took place at Vanderbilt on Friday and went until Saturday afternoon. Purdue came in third and won 500 bones for each team member. It basically paid for our vacation and who doesn't love paid vacation.
So, here's the breakdown. On Friday I hung out at the hotel and worked on some homework while the team went to present their case. When they came back I went with Chad to the little get together that they were throwing at a place on Music Row called Rippy's. (Music Row is a bunch of bars where country singers who want to make their break come and perform...very cool.) We had an incredible dinner of ribs, flapjacks, and baked beans.

When the case competition was finished on Saturday afternoon Chad and I checked into Hotel Indigo. This hotel was awesome...

We took a walk up to Vanderbilt campus, which was gorgeous:

We had dinner and then headed to the Grand Ole Opry. If you're ever in Nashville, you must go. There are many entertainers and many different styles of Country. We really enjoyed it:

Sunday morning we ate at the Pancake Pantry. Some Vanderbilt students told us that we had to go while in Nashville and they told us that the line would move really fast, so don't worry. We got there and the line was seriously out the door. But it was totally worth it. I have never eaten anything so glorious in my life. I ordered the chocolate chip pancakes (more chocolate than pancake) and Chad got the originial buttermilk pancakes:

We then went to the Parthenon replica. I'd remembered learning about this in my Humanities classes. A hundred + years ago they decided to build this temporary replica. When it came time to destroy the replica, the citizens of Nashville pitched a fit. It is now a permanent Nashville landmark:

After the Parthenon we went to Belle Meade, which was an old Plantation:

On our drive we found the house we will purchase when we move to Nashville: =)

After a delicious dinner of smoked chicken and brisket at Jacks, we went to the Stage and Tootsie (two famous Country bars):

The guy in this last picture just got signed by John Rich, from Big & Rich. He was the only "star" we saw.

Overall, we had an awesome time and can't wait to go back again next year!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


We're heading to Nashville tonight for a much needed vacation. Well, actually we're heading to Nashville so Chad can go to his case competition for two days (while I write 3 papers for school) and then we're staying Saturday and Sunday. We're going to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night, and I am way excited. =) Pictures to come next week...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

I hate these things, but I like I'll do it:

8 things I am passionate about:
1. Chocolate
2. Playing the piano
3. My Monday night TV (Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill)--I'm addicted to these show, I know they're total smut and I still watch them.
4. My husband-- when I actually get to see him =)
5. School--even though I'm lacking in the motivation department these days
6. The population over 65-- some of my best friends in life are 70+
7. My new kitty--Mokie, cutest thing I've ever seen
8. Being an aunt--best job ever

8 words or phrases I say often:
1. That is nasty
2. That is gross with a capital "G" (I use a variety of adjectives)
3. Niiiiiice
4. Seriously?
5. Holy Mokie or Holy Mokes-- due to the new feline, I know it's quite corny
6. Should I wait up for you tonight?
7. Delectable
8. Ba da ba ba ba---I'm lovin' it

8 things I want to accomplish in the coming year:
1. Survive the first year of grad school
2. Rock at my practicum
3. Finish the BOM
4. Learn 2 new really tough pieces on the piano
5. Begin an exercise regimen. I hate exercising by myself, so this will be tough.
6. Become more open-minded
7. Learn a new craft
8. Take a vacation (Florida for Christmas, hallelujah!!!)

8 places I would love to go or visit:
I've already been to the first 3, but I'd like to go with my husband next time...
1. Palmyra and the pageant
2. Nauvoo
3. Paris
4. England
5. Egypt
6. Machu Picchu
7. Jamaica
8. Bahamas

8 things I need or want:
1. to add to my professional attire for my upcoming practica
2. some new piano music
3. to paint my house, which leads me to
4. a house to paint =) (This will take a few years.)
5. a vacation...far far away
6. a Kitchen-Aid mixer
7. a grand piano
8. guitar lessons from a professional

I tag... YOU. If you read it, do it! =) And if you read this and you think, "I wonder if she's talking about me..." Yes, I'm talking about you. And I'll be checking...

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Chad was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) on his left lower eyelid. He had this removed and then had to have the lower lid reconstructed so that his eye could look somewhat normal and tears would not just fall out of his eye. Here are some pictures documenting our journey:

Before surgery 1 (above)

After surgery 1 (above)

After surgery 1 (above) Most of what the doctor took out was on the inside of the lower lid. Sorry this is so blurry...

After surgery 2, before removal of the bandage (above)

After surgery 2, after removal of the bandage