Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Aaron!

As most of you probably know, Aaron turned 29 last Friday. This year I was particularly excited for December 10th to come. I had found the perfect present! I bought it online, had it shipped to Liz, picked it up while Aaron was at band practice, and hid it in our room. Aaron and I went to work and met up for lunch. Behold the gift:

The Droid X.

Let me explain... ever since I've known Aaron he has had crappy, old, hand-me-down, cell phones. He has mentioned here and there that he'd like a smart phone. But, instead of significantly increasing our phone bill, he decided that he rather put that money toward photography gear. He was NOT expecting to get a phone. And I must admit, there were two huge reasons why I made the decision. 1) I was on the phone with Verizon due to a customer service question when the representative told me about this new plan, where we can both have smart phones, and pay the same amount we were paying already! So, upgrading Aaron's phone wouldn't increase our monthly payment-- AMAZING! 2) Verizon was having a BOGO (Buy One Get One) sale on their phones! So... I got the Droid X too :)

We celebrated with some Magleby's chocolate cake, and I tried to forget about the $10 Happy Birthday singing balloon I bought that got stuck in the car door when I was bringing it to Aaron at work and flew away into the sky. (True Story)

After work we met up with some of Aaron's good friends and had dinner at Vinto. It's a simple Italian restaurant in Salt Lake that Aaron loves. Super modern decor, and really good, authentic Italian food.

There's really no good excuse as to why I don't have photos of all of these things... I obviously have a camera on my phone (8 mega pixels now too). I need to remember to do better at documenting things like that! But anyway, I had a blast celebrating the 29th year of my wonderful husband's life :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


It's weird when you think about it. You need it to survive. But most of us need it to be happy. We eat for pleasure, not for hunger. I happened to come across this website with some cool tips. I definitely plan to consciously incorporate more grapefruit and apple into my diet. I've always loved eggs and bacon in the morning, and now I have a good reason to make time for it. And you know I love full fat cheese!!! :)

I can't wait to finish my application for grad school, that way I can hopefully find more time for the gym. I went back last night for the first time in weeks! My ankle is healed (as good as it's going to get) and I really don't feel sick anymore. But alas, there will always be reasons not to go to the gym...

A side note: Today is my Mom's birthday! Happy Birthday Mom!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Who doesn't love getting packages in the mail?!

Aaron I are were so excited to get our canvas print in the mail today. It's 2 feet by 3 feet. AND to top it off it arrived on our 3 month wedding anniversary! (I know I technically shouldn't use the word anniversary since I'm not talking about years... but it gets my point across in the most concise wording possible...)

Of course I think I'd be happy with most any canvas print, but Aaron is much more particular. He looked over the print very carefully and was quite impressed with it's quality. Yay! The photo is from our reception in Hawaii, by Marina Miller. And we ordered it through a groupon I bought from Canvas on Demand. (If any of you keep up with me on facebook you know that I'm completely obsessed with groupon... but it's so worth it!)

(Click the photo to see the detail)

 We hung it right above our bed :)

In other news, Aaron also received a very special package yesterday. A new lens for his camera! This lens focuses like a microscope, it's crazy. Check out some of his recent work with this lens.

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Questions - For Caitlin ;)

30 Questions 
I was tagged! So if you're bored and feel like reading... here we go:

1. When is your "marriage" anniversary? "Engagement" anniverary?
August 13, 2010. March 28, 2009.

2. Where/how did you meet your spouse for the first time?
Our mutual friend, Kaanoi, invited both of us to hike The Stairway to Heaven in Hawaii. Aaron picked me and my friend Laura up from BYUH in his car. I sat in the front seat, and that's when and how I met him!   

3. How long have you known your spouse:
3 years and almost 3 months.

4. How long did you date/court before you were engaged?
3 years.

5. Do you have any children:

6. Do you have any house pets:

7. What are some of your favorite activities to do together:
We love to go the beach. We also like taking pictures and being outside. We love good food too.

8. Do you have a favorite vacation spot:
I think Hawaii will always be our ideal "vacation spot." We also want to go to Japan and New Zealand in the near future. 

9. Where was your first date?
We went to see Stardust at Provo Towne Center with Roman. Haha!!

10. When did you first kiss?
Our second date. I think.

11. Who said I Love you First?
I did. It had been a few months and I couldn't hold it in anymore!

12. Did you get married in a church?
No, we got married in the Washington D.C. Temple.

13. Do you get flowers often?
No. I think I've gotten flowers once, on my 21st birthday. But that's ok, he is very sweet in other ways.

14. Where did you go on your honeymoon:
Princeville, Kauai.

15. How long did you know each other before you started dating?
A couple months.

16. What do you call each other most of the time?
Honey, Baby, Babe, Lulu, Aarie, Joey.

17.Where do you each work or go to school?
I graduated from BYU and Aaron graduated from BYUH. I'm looking to get an MBA (Master's in Business Administration) and Aaron is looking to get an MFA (Master's in Fine Arts). Right now I work for Direct Assistance Corp, a company that provides financial benefits to employers, and Aaron is self employed doing professional photography and graphic design.

18. Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Hmm... I guess not being able to buy everything we want. But seriously, not many people can do that anyway!

19. Did you go to the same school?

20. Are you from the same home town?
No. I'm from Middletown, Maryland and Aaron is from Laie/Kahuku, Hawaii.

21. Who is smarter?
..... It depends on what you mean. Aaron is very intelligent and seeks out information on topics he is interested in. I am a good student; I study hard and do well.

22. Who is more sensitive?
I am. I think most girls are. But Aaron is pretty open with his feelings too (now that we've been together for 3 years).

23.Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Probably 5 Guys, Diego's, Bombay House, Tucano's, and Yapona. We try our best not to eat out too often.

24. What attracted you about him/her first?
For some reason Aaron's voice caught my attention, he seemed really nice and cool, and I just wanted to know more about him. Plus he was a cute Hawaiian ;)
25. Who is more social?
Hmm.... maybe Aaron, which is surprising.

26. Who is the neat-freak?
Again, I might say Aaron, which again is surprising!

28. Who hogs the bed?
Aaron! Lately he likes to sleep in the middle.

29. Who wakes up earlier?
I do. But it's still not that early.

30. What are HIS favorite things and HER favorite things?
Aaron: Surfing, Photography, Drawing, Painting, Snowboarding, Traveling, Japanese food.
Johanna: Traveling, Vacations, Shopping, Beaches, Spas, Tennis, Working Out, Babysitting, Italian food. 

I'm going to tag..... Kristen E., Chelsea F., Michelle S., Sarah S., and anyone else who is bored. ;)

Friday, November 5, 2010

My smile today

Some things that are making me happy today:
  1. I improved my GMAT practice test score last night.
  2. I don't feel really sick anymore.
  3. It's Friday!
  4. I'm going to play tennis after work with Gill today.
  5. It's still nice enough to play tennis.
  6. I'm going to watch Modern Family with Aaron tonight.
  7. I'm going to finish making our wedding album online tonight.
  8. I'm hopefully going to hang out with Liz tomorrow.
  9. The canvas I ordered should be printed and shipped out soon. 

And the icing on the cake:
10. Last night Aaron woke me up and he said, "Here," holding his fingers together, "Open your hand." I confusingly asked, "What?" He then said, "Here's your magic bracelet." Of course I started laughing like crazy, and asked him what he was dreaming about. He didn't respond and went back to sleep, when I persisted to try and talk to him he started getting mad. This morning he didn't even remember any of it! I found out this morning that the Superman Comic he was reading last night had a part in it where a guy got a special bracelet that gave him powers like Superman, or something like that... so apparently Aaron was dreaming about the comic he read last night at 2 am doing laundry. Haha, isn't he cute? I can't help but smile and laugh when I think about it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


If you're reading this... please hit the "follow" button! It's nice to know who's reading :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010


So, the first couple of weeks back in Utah were crazy! Aaron and I were out every night after work at Bed Bath and Beyond, Costco, Winco, IKEA, or somewhere else. We needed to re-buy our wedding gifts, and get appliances, furniture, food, etc. We had tons of unpacking to do as well. It was actually fun setting up our place together :) We haven't gotten around to taking pictures of our place yet, but we definitely will, and when the time comes I'll share them.

We also had a lot of fun using our gift cards from the wedding. We got a little grill for our steaks, here's a picture of Aaron cooking our dinner one night:

After we got all of our stuff together (for the most part) Aaron's mom came to visit! She had flown to Texas for a conference for work and had a layover is Salt Lake, she ditched her last leg home and bought a one way ticket back to Honolulu for a few days later. Unfortunately I had to work during the days she was here, but it was still fun hanging out in the evenings. It was her first time to Utah so Aaron made sure to take her to all the cool sites: Temple Square (Church site), Sundance (Ski lift), Park City (Outlets), and of course Provo (where we live)!

Aaron's camera actually died right after our honeymoon. It was very sad. Luckily, we were able to get a new camera shortly after returning to Utah. We actually got it in the mail when Aaron's mom was here. So here is one of the first pictures from Aaron's new Canon 7D camera:

After Aaron's mom left it was back to business. I started attending a GMAT prep course (the GMAT is the entrance exam for business school for those of you who aren't familiar with it). I attend three times a week for a total of 8 hours, and then I try and study each day. It's like the SAT on steroids. The hardest part so far is getting the timing down... I'm just so sloooww. Well, we'll see!

We had a nice break from the normal routine when Aaron's friend Josh invited us to go to the BYU v. Wyoming football game. The weather started off really rainy and kind of cold, but improved during the game. But none of that really mattered since he had box seat tickets :) It was fun to see their growing family (I swear their son Jesse should be a model). And to top it off-- BYU won!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Alright, so Aaron and I went through ALL of our photos from our honeymoon and posted the best ones to facebook. Check out my page to see the beautiful scenery we experienced in Kauai. My parent's gifted us a timeshare at The Cliffs resort in Princeville Kauai for a week. We had a full kitchen, living room, dining room, bedroom, 2 bathrooms, and 2 balcony's. I think it's safe to say that it was the most amazing place we have stayed to date. They had a free scuba lesson at the pool that we attended. They also, as the name suggests, had a great view from the top of a huge cliff on the north shore of the island. We loved staying there. Luckily for us, my friend Erika lent us a book about Kauai, and we were able to find secluded beaches that all required a short hike in. And when I say secluded, I mean a dozen people there. It was fun, and different from Oahu. Besides going to beaches and swimming in the ocean, we went to see a bunch of different waterfalls (one of which we jumped off), Waimea Canyon, part of the Na Pali Coast, a blowhole, and we went snuba diving. And no, snuba was not a typo-- it's a mix between scuba and snorkeling. Instead of having the air tank on your back, and fooling around with the gauges and stuff, you just have a mask, fins, and a mouthpiece that is connected to an air tank that floats on top of the water on a raft. You feel kind of like you are snorkeling, but you can just breathe underwater. Aaron's friend from college was actually our snuba instructor. For some reason I don't have any pictures from it :(

Here are a few of pictures of Aaron and I on our honeymoon (also on facebook):

Friday, October 15, 2010

Oahu, Hawaii

We were met at the HNL airport by two fabulous ladies, Kristen and Ava, and my new brother in law David. David brought Aaron and I fresh lei's :) We were so excited to see them there, especially this little princess:

We went to the beach as much as possible. We only pulled out our camera a couple times. Here's a pic of us at one of our favorite beaches, Waimea:

Both of our families met up to see this beautiful sunset in Haleiwa:

Me and this little one hit it off :)

I just love the ocean.

Liz and I enjoyed ourselves at sunset beach as well:

We enjoyed some AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS food at "Da Kitchen" in Honolulu. Thank you Jerrol for taking us there.

For an appetizer we had deep fried spam musubi:

Aaron had an enormously delicious LocoMoco:

And I had lovely Fish Tempura:

All in all, the portions were generous and the food was just so gosh darn tasty! We definitely recommend it.

Thanks to Diane and Jerrol, Aaron and I got to try stand up paddle boarding! We really enjoyed it. This could definitely be a future hobby of ours.

And, as always, we gawked at the unique mountains:

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Well, if you've been keeping up with my posts, you know that I intended about blogging about the actual days of the wedding, the reception, and our week in Hawaii. And... it's been such a huge task that I've just been putting it off. And, realistically, if you are reading this blog you are already friends with either me or Aaron on FB and you've already seen a million wedding photos. I know photos are the cool parts of blog posts, but I'm just going to quickly summarize the events of the wedding in text... so we can move on to stories in our current life!

1) Some funny things about our wedding day at the temple:

a) The temple was officially closed. The power had gone out the night before due to a bad thunder storm. The temple had limited electricity by way of a generator. They only had it open for planned weddings. The a/c was NOT on, so it was pretty hot in there. And, there was no way to heat up the curling iron for last minute touch ups. In the end, none of it really mattered. And we just found it really funny that the power was out, and the temple was "closed" on our Friday the 13th Wedding.

b) There was a mysterious black spot on my wedding dress. See, I had taken my dress as a carry-on from the plane from SLC to BWI, and I actually hadn't looked at it before the wedding. My advice to future brides: make sure you look at your wedding dress and make sure it's good to go a couple days before the wedding. Anyway, as soon as my Mom unzipped the bag the dress was in she saw a huge black spot on the front of the gown! This is every bride's worst nightmare! People were waiting for Aaron and I to exit, and I was having a breakdown about a huge ugly spot on my wedding dress. Apparently, the bag my dress was in was a little too porous. It wasn't plastic, it was fabric, and the dirt from the belt it was placed on to go through security on the airport went THROUGH the bag and onto my dress!!! After tears, and fixing make-up I got my dress on. I could see the spot, but the show had to go on. I called the spot mysterious because when we exited the Temple, my bridesmaids honestly could not see it! The natural light was very forgiving :) AND it didn't show up in any pictures.

2)Some funny things about our Reception:

a) We didn't write our "vows." During our ring ceremony Aaron and I exchanged a few heartfelt words about each other. Ever since we began planning the ceremony I had planned on writing out what I was going to say. Aaron insisted that he would just make it up on the spot. The entire idea of that just made me nervous! I knew I had to write it out. Somehow, however, time got away from me. The morning of the reception I had a 3x5 card and a pen in the bride's room to write down some notes. I actually finished getting ready before I needed to go walk down the aisle, however, everyone thought it'd be a good idea to take some pictures during that extra time. I was happy to take pictures, but became a little worried that I wouldn't have much time to write down what I was going to say. Lo and behold, I had NO time to write anything down. Not only was I nervous because I was about to walk in front of 100 people staring at me, I was nervous because I had no idea what I was going to say to Aaron in front of those 100 people! Of course, it all worked out in the end. It was very heartfelt, you can see me tearing up in the video. We just love each other so much!

b)I thought the reception was over an hour early. We planned out our reception timing with our wonderful MC. We had each part outlined and on a time schedule: introductions, toasts, eating, cake cutting, bouquet & garter toss, first dance, parents dance, every one dance. Everything was going as planned. We were having fun on the dance floor, and I realize that the last song on my play list for the dancing came on. I shouted out, "last song everyone!" When my friends nearby kindly pointed out the reception still had another hour!!!!! HAHAH. I don't know if any other bride in history thought her wedding should be over an hour early. It was so weird that we got in everything we needed to, and had time to spare! Fortunately I had Aaron prepare a 3 hour long play list of house music that we both enjoy. I had Aaron put on the house music and we continued to talk to our guests and just hang out. It worked out for the better since many of my guests had to get going since they traveled to the wedding from far away, and the crowd wasn't super young and dancey.

c) We pretended to leave at the end. Since we had guests that had to leave early, and we had some extra time, we decided to make our exit from the reception a little sooner than planned. The bridal party passed out the bubbles and we made our exit. Only to drive around for 10 minutes and come back to take some more pictures at the venue before we got kicked out :)

Being in Hawaii was AMAZING. On the next post I'll go into some detail about what we did, and include some never before seen photos for you guys! After that I think we'll be caught up to real time :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Video done by:

Let us know what you think :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Warning: This will get stuck in your head.

Aaron and I have been really enjoying this song lately. Please watch it if you haven't already.

This is for real, this guy was on the news and these guys contacted him to create this song. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

August 6 - August 12 : MARYLAND, before the wedding.

August 6, 2010. Aaron and I arrive in Maryland from Utah. A few hours later Liz arrives from London. It was so good to see Mom and Dad again! And though I had just seen Liz a few months before, it seemed like it had been awhile. Liz and I hurried upstairs and looked through all her souvenirs and gifts she had purchased. She got Aaron a cool patterned dark purple skinny tie, and I got the latest-and-greatest fashion trend in London... Jeggings! Haha. Haven't worn them yet, but maybe I'll post a picture at some point. She also got me some Bridal lingerie and a necklace.

August 7, 2010.
That's well over a month ago. My mom, Megan (soon-to-be-sister-in-law), and Melissa (sister) helped plan a bridal shower for me the weekend before the wedding. This was very kind of them considering Liz, Diana, and Emily planned a bridal shower for me as well, here in Utah, a couple months prior.

There were cute bridal decorations:

A bunch of delicious food:

(only some pictured above)

Some fun games:

(Liz taking a picture of herself playing a game)

Thoughtful gifts:

and... I got to wear this beautiful sun dress I bought from Zara in Ireland:

(Me, Melissa, Liz)

Thanks to everyone who was involved!!!

August 8th and 9th 2010.
I worked mostly on wedding preparations. Including making my own tulle bows to put on the end chairs at the ring ceremony, creating the seating chart and name cards for the guests at the reception, and the little things- making sure the bridesmaids had the right bobby pins, necklaces, etc. (These to be pictured in a later post)

August 10, 2010. I went to the Washington D.C. temple with my Mom, Dad, and Aaron. I am so lucky that I got to share that experience with some of the people I love most. My good friend Rachel also came with us! We all went out for Chipotle after :)

Later on that evening Aaron's parents, Kawika (David) and Terry, Adam (his twin brother) and Ammon (his youngest brother) flew in from Hawaii. It was so exciting for us to see them. It had been over a year for me since I had seen them last! Since we had the addition put on the house we invited the Eskarans to stay with us. What a good decision that was! We got to spend so much more time with them than we would have if they all stayed in a hotel. (I guess we were too busy to take any pictures!)

August 11, 2010. The Eskarans went to go tour around Washington D.C. None of them had ever visited Maryland, DC, or Virgina before. Mom and I went out to do some girl things, i.e. hair cut and wax.

We all met up at the reception venue for a very hot and productive ring ceremony rehearsal. Thanks to the Zarefoss' for jumping in last minute as flower girl and ring bearer, and taking some photos! Also, big thanks to Lenore for jumping in a duet with Liz. And last but not least, big thank you to Danielle, Mom, and Aaron's Dad for preparing beautiful words for the ceremony. We were all relieved after the rehearsal, finally understanding everything that was to happen.

(All photos courtesy of Kurt Zarefoss)

We took the Eskaran's to our favorite hamburger place-- 5 guys, and met up with Aaron's sister Diane and her husband Jerrol. All FOURTEEN of us went back to my house for the night :) It really was a lot of fun having everyone there.

August 12, 2010. The Franco's and the Eskaran's got up early and headed to the National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. Some of you might remember my earlier post about my recently deceased grandfather. He was a purple heart veteran of WWII, and he was granted the honor of being buried in the National Cemetery. This was a dream of my grandfather. Even though he passed in April, August 12th was the first date they had available. It kind of worked out though, since half of my extended family were already in town for the wedding. The burial was very emotional. There was an incredible trumpet solo, bag pipes, and honorary gunshot firings. I will never forget it.

Afterwords, the Eskaran's went back into D.C. for day 2 of sightseeing. While my mom and I again went out to do girl things. We ate lunch at a fun Ethiopian restaurant, and then went to the spa. We each had full body massages, facials, manicures, and gel french tip nails put on. It was the first time either of us had gotten nail extensions, though expensive, it was a fun thing to try.

When we got home I greeted Jacob (Cubworld) who we had flown in to play live music at the reception. Sadly, I learned that his luggage, aka guitar, did not make it to the baggage claim! Nooooo! Luckily, a couple hours later, southwest found his luggage, and delivered it to our house during the night :)

Also, the flowers I had ordered from to make the bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres had arrived at my house, and my bridesmaids had cut all the stems and put them in water. Unfortunately the light pink roses arrived slightly browned!!!! At this point all we could do was tear off the dead petals, and try to choose the best ones. My bridesmaids were very sweet and helpful during this stressful process. The kit came with floral tape, pins, greenery, and baby's breath. We made it work! Wow. That was a long day. But the next two days were even longer! And that's why they will be in a separate post!

P.S. I know this is almost obnoxiously long... but I haven't written it down in a paper journal, and I want to remember everything. This is as much for me as you :)