Sunday, October 23, 2011

my ReST is over

R--Roasty Toasty.
I’ve began turning on our fireplace in the evening. Even though sometimes it gets so hot I sometimes have to open the window. The heating bill can only get so high before I’ll need to stop, so I’m enjoying it for a few weeks.

S--Spray Paint. 
I recently discovered the versatility and amazingness of spray paint. Nothing beats the combo of Goodwill frames and a $3 can of spray paint.

I finally began my student teaching. Four sections of Freshman English. I’ve been observing for two weeks, teaching small portions of the class. In three weeks I’ll begin teaching the class full time for sixish weeks. It’s been both an enjoyable and difficult adjustment. I love being in the classroom interacting with the students and teaching English. I’m not as big of a fan of sharing my time. I became accustomed to the freedom that comes with being a trophy wife. Alas, my vacation is over and I am constantly wondering why school needs to start at 7:00am.

A picture of my desk. It’s mostly decorative, but still.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Joe says I have to go outside every day for at least ten minutes. He says if I don’t I get grumpy. It's true. But I am also a homebody. It's quite the conundrum. So. I make an event out of getting the mail. Or I go jogging (see J). Or take Levin on a walk.

Levin is having a much better time than it appears.

Or I go to Pikes. Which kills two birds with one stone when I bring the outdoors indoors with fresh flowers.

That's me. The explorer of the great outdoors.

We love Vietnamese food in this house, especially pho. I’ve decided, even though its dirt cheap at many local restaurants, I should learn to make it. Complete with homemade broth without bouillon cubes. Would you like to come over for some? Not to toot my own horn, but it’s really good. 

Pre-accouterments of Thai Basil, jalapenos, chili peppers, cilantro, lime, and fresh bean sprouts.  

Question I most frequently ask Joe: Should we maybe just have cereal for dinner?
Question Joe most frequently asks me: Dear, did you get “X” done today?
Most common answer to above questions: No

P.S. This is my 100th blog post. Given that I've had this blog for 3 years, I'd say I need to pick up my game.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mmmmm, Nnnnnn

M--Month Anniversary.
Six to be exact. For the occasion Joe surprised me by taking me to Portland for the weekend. We went to the Saturday market, Powells, and Lion King in 3D.  The crowning activity was going out to a Peruvian Tapas bar for dinner, Andina's. Two kinds of ceviche, burrata, octopus, yams, shrimp, tuna, stuffed peppers, three different kinds of salsa, three flavors of creme brulee. Our waiter told us we’d need about 4 plates between the two of us. We ordered 9. (See “L”). To date it stands as my favorite dining experience.
 We found this marker on our anniversary while we were out for a walk before church. We were married on March 18th and thought it appropriate to take a picture with it.
I have a new last name. It even starts with an N. Did you know that? Actually, I guess it's not my legal name. Because it’s kinda hard to change your last name. And I may or may not have lost all those papers. Like our wedding certificate. They've got to be here somewhere. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

J, K, L

It’s fulfilling both physical and social needs. My friend Courtney asked if I jogged one day and I said, "No, but I'll give it a shot," because I needed a social outlet and exercise (see "E"). I started out hating it, and now only slightly dislike it. I've been liking it more since I lost my Nikes and bought Merrells. It's always a little motivating to do anything with new shoes. And they are easier to run in since they only weigh like 10oz collectively.

I’ve recently come into a lot of contact with kids. My first nephew Levin was born a few months ago. 
We’ve become quite good friends. He slobbers. I tickle.

 Levin and I especially bond when I give him a bath. I occasionally spray him with the nozzle and he kicks and splashes and laughs and laughs. We get along great.

I’ve also become a teacher in our primary at church. I teach eight year olds. Two of them. My church worship now consists of building temples with toothpicks and marshmallows and coloring pictures of Jesus. It’s not unwelcome.Actually I like it a lot.

People warned me about the Freshman 15. Why did no one tell me about the Newlywed 15? It’s real. And it’s taking over. (See “E” and “J”)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

G, H, I

More specifically games for two. We love games at our house. Joe has purchased a lot of two-player games to shake things up from our dinner/TV/reading regimen. Unfortunately for me, Joe out strategizes me. Unfortunately for Joe, I’ve got speed. What? You're in the market for games for two? Our favorites are:

Like chess...only easier.

A totally random game that give the players enough control it's not completely silly.

A game I actually banned from our "two player" list. Though you can play with two players, if you have a competitively-ruthless husband, you'll want to invite friends over.

When Joe is away on business trips we have taken to playing virtual games via our iPads. Ticket to Ride and Words With Friends are our favorite.

I’ve been doing it! Here’s the proof:

Laundry and ironing. I hate laundry. I loooooove ironing.

Count them. There are 22 hangers. I didn't always love ironing and I would cringe whenever Joe wore one of these shirts...until I realized ironing is just an excuse to watch a movie.

Dinner making.

It's usually less impressive than homemade tortellini. And in fact that wasn't even too impressive as they were pretty tough and took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Not nearly as easy as it looks on the Food Network.

Berry Picking.

A friend*, her son, and I went raspberry and blueberry picking. Of course they got turned into muffins, cake, fruit leather, and frozen little blobs.

I really like this homemaking business.

I--"It's Not You, It's Me." what I should say to everyone I owe a thank you card to from all of the wonderful gifts we’ve received from our wedding. They are written (and have been for a while) but it turns out I’ve been less than organized with my addresses. That’s why they are late. Not because we don’t love, use, and appreciate your gifts, (we really do!) it’s just because I’m not organized. Not an ok excuse. My sincere apologies. 

*Morgan, you have seemed to make your way into so many categories!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Delta, Echo, Foxtrot

Decorating. Specifically for Halloween. It’s the first holiday where I’ve had a house to decorate! A party is in order. Because my house is going to be very Halloween-y. But I can't show you pictures. I told myself I couldn't decorate until the first week of October.

Eating a taco at the farmer's market in Moses Lake. We discovered these tacos last summer and thought about them all year long.  We made a special trip to the market just for these tacos and invited some friends to come along. After the first round our friends left. Lightweights. We got in line for another round.

There is just so much love to give to food. And I give freely. I’ve really enjoyed living in a city where great restaurants are plentiful. Joe even started a food blog to document our eating adventures. His blog is also a bit neglected. Our bellies, however, are not.

Joe and I recently took my first trip to Florida to visit his grandparents. We spent time in their retirement community swimming in their pool, chasing geckos, and taking naps. The real highlight of the trip, however, was Disney World et al! Joe's sister, her husband, and their two kids joined us. I think my excitement level was more on par with the kids. (Joe used to go all the time as a kid and I’d never been.) It was amazing. Joe’s family does Disney a bit different than my family—they watch parades, walk with leisure, and stop to eat—we skip parades for empty-line rides, run, and eat packed lunches only when we get too tired.  Regardless of the different approaches, we had an awesome time. 
Since Joe has been designated as the family photographer we have discovered very few pictures of the two of us together. We discovered that mirrors (like the ones at the base of the giant ball thing at Epcot Center) do the trick.

Joe said a few times that I was happier at Disney World than I was on our wedding day. I concurred, because in terms of stress, one of these things is not like the other.

It's a Blog. A Real Live Blog!

A-All Caught Up.
A good friend (found here) e-mailed me yesterday morning saying my blog has been neglected and that I should consider her the pre-Blog Protective Services intervention. I’ve had a blog in the works for a while, but after my intervention this morning I decided I should probably go with the all-encompassing A-Z list to get you all caught up. And to prove that I do love you, dear blog. And I’m unleashing that love with a vengeance.*

B--Bit of Pink.
Just because I can.


As in Book Club.

I began a book club in February. Joe wanted to join. I told him no. No boys allowed. It is a great book club. And I mean great. There are seven of us that meet on the second Wednesday of every month and we have the best time. I’ve loved getting to know all the different women in our little club better. Fellow book clubbers, we need a picture.

Tune in tomorrow for D, E, and F!

*Although the entire list is already written (complete with pictures) I decided to do it in installments. Like when Dickens would release his books to be published chapter by chapter in newspapers. It sounds pretentious of me. It's not. Well not quite as much as it seems. I just realize that if you don't blog for say, 3 months, that you lose some of your following. And I reason that some regular posting will help my poor neglected blog more than one mega post.
Another major factor is I figure I'll get more comments this way.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Eternal Question

What’s for dinner?

(Successful Bruschetta)

With the idea that Joe and I would be married soon, one of my New Year’s Resolutions (actually made at the end of February) was to cook dinner at least four times a week. Though it hasn’t been perfect, I’ve made a pretty honest effort and Joe and I have worked together to make this resolution a reality in a few different ways:

  1. I made a Google Document filled (and continually filling) with recipes to try.
  2. Joe bought me a blank cookbook to record successful recipes.
  3. Joe unloads the dishwasher so I can do the rest of the dishes. No one likes to cook in a dirty kitchen. And I hate unloading the dishwasher.
  4. Paying attention. Like when you put something in the oven. On Broil.
  5. I call my mom regularly to ask how to make gravy, what a good price for meat is, and how high do I cook this at again?
  6. Many of you have helped too. I think of Viki each time I pull something out of the oven with my oven mitts or put a finished product on our beautiful green plates. I think of Sister Lybbert whenever I put on my apron. I think of Brenda when I use my orange bowls and again when I think of she and Shelly while using my pots and pans. I think of Donna when I make waffles. I think of Rachel when I use my cookie sheets. And I think of many more of you when I use something bought with gift cards or cash.
  7. Praying. No joke. Prayers go something like this, “Oh! Please don’t let the chicken be burnt again…I’m trying really hard here, would Thou mind filling in the blanks...Even when the “blank” is leaving the stove on high and it’s my fault?”

Maybe you remember from your first attempts at cooking on a regular basis that it’s not always easy. Things take much longer than they should. For a few weeks Joe and I were eating supper at 10:00pm, even though I had started at 4:30pm…and it’s nothing but meat and potatoes with a 5-hour-old wilting salad on the side because you forgot you should maybe make the salad at the end, while things are cooking, not at the beginning when your meat is still frozen.

It’s discouraging and encouraging in alternating breaths. It’s hard work. It’s a job that needs repeating every. single. day. It takes pep-talks like, “This is kinda hard, but it will be rewarding. It will taste good. You’re not bad at this, you’re just learning. It’s always worth it at the end of the day. Always…except for that one time when you had to throw dinner out because it was inedible. That wasn’t worth it…But this will be!”

And it was while I was making dinner that I realized that dinner and marriage have a lot in common.

It takes Joe and me both working to make it successful. It takes planned effort sometimes. It takes paying close attention to wants and needs. It takes calling up my mom or friends to ask, “How do I do this?” one more time. It takes all of you who give advice and encouragement. It takes praying that after all of your hard work Heavenly Father will fill in the blanks. Even when you’ve left the heat on high and said nasty things to your husband, even when you really didn’t want to or mean to. It takes realizing that sometimes the marital equivalent of nachos and cold cereal is just as good as your 15-step recipes and that it all evens out and that both get you fed. It takes remembering that it is always worth it, even when it turns out still needing salt in the end. It takes work. Daily work. And it really is worth it.

It’s a question of eternity that always needs answering.

(Hard at Work)

*P.S. Does anyone have ideas of what I can make for dinner tonight?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

If You Give a Bird Some Birdseed...

If you give a bird some birdseed he’ll probably really like it.

And when he really likes it he’ll probably come so often that you decide to name him “Puck.”*

And when you name him Puck, he’ll decide this new place for food is a good place to bring lots of friends.

And when that happens you’ll really enjoy watching the birds outside of your kitchen window all day long.

And because the birds like your birdseed so much, they eat it pretty quickly.

And when they eat it pretty quickly, you’ll fill it up every couple of days.

And when you start replenishing the food so often the squirrels will begin to notice.

And when the squirrels first start coming you might think they are kind of cute and fun to watch.

But then the squirrels come so often they start scaring away the birds.

And then more squirrels come.

And then one day you might see a squirrel double-fisting your birdseed.

And this might make you angry. No one likes being taken advantage of by a greedy squirrel.

So you might start to bang on the windows to scare the squirrels away.

And when you bang on the windows the squirrels will probably just run a few feet away and “hide.”

And when the squirrels “hide” you might pretend you don’t see them while you casually walk outside and turn on the hose.

And when you turn on the hose…you might spray the squirrels.

And when you spray the squirrels enough times, well, they stop coming by.

So when you give a bird some birdseed…get a hose.

*1. Because my bird-friend and Noah Puckerman have matching mohawks.

*2. And because I like Puck from Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Day I Hardly Have Words to Describe

"The day was beautiful and the way was beautiful."
(Lucy M. Montgomery--Anne of the Island)

"Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place."
(E.L. Konigsburg--From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler)

"And the English language dwindled to a single word, repeated over and over: "Congratulations!"
(Jerry Spinelli--Stargirl)

"The very essence of romance is uncertainty."
(Oscar Wilde--The Importance of Being Earnest)

"The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only."
(Victor Hugo--Les Miserables)

"To love would be an awfully big adventure."
(J.M. Barrie--Peter Pan)

"Lovers alone wear sunlight"
(ee cummings)

It really was a wonderful day. I had no idea it could be so wonderful. But it was. And it is.