Thursday, December 23, 2010

The day before the day before Christmas

Today went a little something like this...

Woke up to a solicitation call from Hilton at 9 am. Rude! Some of us like to sleep till 10! (I know - spoiled. But I took the day off!)
Target, then home for perishables. 
[Dear Target: I love you. Even though sometimes you're a pain in the ass. Sincerely, Me.]
Off to a hardware store, the mall *gasp*, and to pay for some really expensive gas. 
Back home to wrap presents and give Mark this:


Which he loved, and that made me Very happy.
(and Santa delivered the dvd A-Team which was actually a pretty good movie.)

We decided to celebrate Christmas early, as is my way. 
I suck at keeping surprises in other words. :)

My house is a disaster, and my sugar cookies turned out hard as bricks this year, 
but it's okay.
My presents are all wrapped - albeit imperfectly,
the fireplace is roaring, the tree is sparkling. 
I'm feelin' all kinds of Christmas spirit. 

I wish this kind of peace for every person in my life. 

Off for a glass of egg nog, now :)


P.S. We're looking for suggestions on how to season that dutch oven proper!

Friday, December 17, 2010

On Being Alone

So Mark went on a trip without me.
Which I must admit, is pretty rare.
We tend to do pretty much everything together.
However co-dependent that my seem, we're pretty good at rockin' it by ourselves too.

I'll be crafting while he's away. Homemade Christmas gifts galore.
Editing photos will take place.

(one of my faves so far)

And let's not forget the Puccini's chicken diavolo and, finally, Eclipse.
Yah, I said it. Eclipse. 
Shut up. 


Friday, December 10, 2010

4 Things

Joining up with Mara and her genius idea.

I'm going to do this "old" and "new" style...

One: Movies
This weather is perfect for huddling under the covers and enjoying a good movie. 
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (old)
Dr. Jack (new)
The Holiday (old)
Alice in Wonderland (new)


Two: Books (in no particular order)
The Liars Club and Lit by Mary Karr (new and new)
South of Ordinary by Jethro Clayton Waters (New, *a great Christmas gift! Amazon.com that!)
Love in the Time of Cholera, rediscovered and still so awesome


Three: Handmade / Etsy:
Etsy is so inspiring, and it is a great place for those hard-to-buy-for people. 
Check out Kristin's shop for some awesome gifts!
Search the 'local' section of etsy for handmade items in your area. 
I will be making a lot of handmade gifts this year for Christmas and buying even more.
I love supporting others who have the motivation and creativity to do what I can't / am too lazy to do.


Four: My Fireplace
If you've been to my home, you know this is where we congregate. 
No picture does it's warmth, homey-ness, and general feeling of well-being, justice. 
I <3 my fireplace. 


What are your four things?



Monday, December 6, 2010

Things I learned in Utah*

*To be added to and edited :)

Cold is different there. It's not so... life sucking. 
A 5 degree sleeping bag is awesome. It's even more awesome if it's made by Mountain Hardware. (mine is not. Mark's is. )
3 degrees can feel like negative 10,000. 
Bad guys who shoot Park Rangers are LAME. 
60 mph winds WILL break a tent. (Not ours, but still.)
60 mph winds + rocks will also break the windows of a Kia. 
Chili is just as good for Thanksgiving as Turkey. 
The words "I can't" are no longer allowed to exist in one's vocabulary. 
Bourbon from a flask is better than bourbon from the bottle. 
Sand in everything is inevitable, no matter how carefully you plan or pack.
Let me repeat, SAND IN EVERYTHING IS INEVITABLE!
At least one person's car will break down at some point during the trip. 
More will break down after.
A 30 minute hike ALWAYS means an hour. Probably more. 
The sky is bigger, and Way better. 
Milt's has the best buffalo burgers, ever. 
5 days with no jumps = unhappy boys. 
1-800-Space Fire!
Sleeping on your side is not recommended if you do not have a sleeping mat. Whoa, hip muscle spasms!
Falling frequently and scraping a hole into your pinky knuckle...also, not recommended.
If you do not have experience rock climbing and haven't exercised since high school, don't go hiking into a slot canyon like you belong there. 
Cow poo is nature's duralog. 
It is 100% okay to use "Your Mom...." as a comeback, no matter what.
Snow is more beautiful, and therefore more acceptable, when it lands in the desert.
Snow is just as cold in the desert.
There are only two times of day in Utah: Daytime, and Nighttime
Tennis Shoes are not really appropriate. At all. One should probably invest in hiking boots [bewts :)]. [Not that I know from experience or anything.]
Utah is Beautiful. Always. No matter what.




Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Utah in Expressions

It was some of this:


And also, some of this:

[Click to enlarge 'WTF' look, and severely furrowed eyebrows.
Classic 'B' face captured by Kris Redinbo]

Lots of stories and pictures to come :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Why, Hello

I know, it's been awhile.

I've had a lot of things to say,
a lot on my mind, and on my plate. 
But sometimes it is best to just keep quiet. 
To let life work itself, without any commentary from me. 

I've learned a lot these past few months. 
I still say, all the time, "I've got a lot to learn". 
And even if sometimes it hurts, I hope I always feel that way. 

So, what has stood true and fast? What has gotten me through, and made me a better person? 
Love. 
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The love I receive, the love I see around me, the love I give. 
Even when it's hard. 
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(the above is one of my many amazing birthday gifts. This one from Corinne, by Curly Girl Design . )

Above all, Love. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Twenty Four

I decided last night, shortly before the clock hit midnight and I became 24, that I wanted to re-create this photo:




And, so we did. 




And yes, I'm probably about ten pounds heavier in this newer version.
And my hair badly needs cut. 
But in the past year and a half / two years, I've grown more as a person, as an individual, then I ever could have dreamed.

If you look closely, you can see it in my eyes.

This may just be, the best year yet. 
<3 


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Roses and Fish Cake

Having an incredible sister like mine means,
(sidenote: both of my sisters are incredible. This post just happens to be about Corinne specifically.)
when you have something special happen, she'll show up with a dozen beautiful roses.




(pink roses not pictured. they weren't cooperating.)

She will also bring with her a fish cake that is ridiculously awesome. 
And what more reason does one need to celebrate then CAKE?!
NOMNOMNOM

Later, she'll even paint with you. 
And together, you'll truly believe you can conquer the world. 




Sisterhood is wonderful.
A masterpiece.

Thank you, Corinne. 
For always celebrating with me, and inspiring me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

March for Babies 2010

I know this post is long overdue.
Forgive me. I'm lazy.

March for Babies 2010 was amazing.
I felt so incredibly proud of the three of us for raising so much money (somewhere in the $500 mark!), but more-so I felt lucky.
On either side of me, were two of the most amazing women I know.
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The walk was very emotional.
We were surrounded by miracle kids, miracle babies. Healthy kids, and kids with a respirator machine trailing their stroller. And lots and lots of amazing parents, family members, friends, and supporters.
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Everyone was there for a common goal.
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One of the ways March for Babies recognized that this year was colored beads. As you registered, you collected the bead(s) whose symbolism pertained to you.

Silver - Families of preemie babies
Green - Future parents
Gold - Families of a lost baby
Purple - Parent of a preemie baby

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Before the walk began, the speaker read the symbolism of each bead color one by one. And if you were wearing the color she announced you raised your hand.
By the end, all hands were raised.
We stood united together against prematurity.
And we walked.
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(Please go here for a very sweet video my sister put together.)

Without your donations, March for Dimes would not be what it is.
Thank you.
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Thank you for believing with us that,
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oh, yah...can't forget the purple socks for Maddie. :)
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Friday, June 18, 2010

we are friends for life

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*photo by Jethro



I know you've missed seeing him...

One of the many awesome things about Mark's Mom is that she kept TONS of Mark's childhood/teenage toys, memorabilia, and whatnot. Every time we see his family, we come home with another box of 80's goodness.
I'm talking everything from an original Nintendo system (with the original Mario, and Duck Hunt!!), to tiny Ford t-shirts, to a complete set of matchbox cars STILL in the now-vintage carrying case.


Oh, and the keyboard.
A Yamaha that Russell instantly claimed as his own.

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-Fierce, Right?-


Well hey, so long as someone's using it while Mark figures out where the chord is!
[please do not look too closely at the background of the photos. my house is messy. I'm aware.]

Now I have to go find places to put all of this awesomeness.
We're running out of room in this place!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wishful Thinking

Tonight, I am motivated.
Tonight, I lugged at least 25 loads of stuff  down and up [and sometimes down again] the 13 stairs and 2 steps to our 'second bedroom'.
The room that needs to be cleared out before I lose my mind.
Also, before our landlords arrive this weekend.

At this rate, I may be back in shape before Amy's wedding.

Or at least I'll have some awesome before and after photo's.

Stay tuned :-]

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Just an observation

"No one in Seattle carries an umbrella! They just all walk around soaking wet!!
You know how you can tell who the out of towners are? THEY HAVE UMBRELLAS!!"

He makes me laugh.

And, he's so right.

EDIT TO SAY:
Mel, No he did not see any banana slugs.
(Actually he said "uhh, I don't think so?" which is obviously a NO, because you would remember if you saw one!)
And EW at you for bringing them up!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tookie

Last weekend Mark needed to do some shopping for a business trip to Seattle.
Sidenote: This is kind of a sore subject with me. While I am SO happy he had the opportunity to visit the great state of Washington for the first time, I was pretty much heartbroken that I wouldn't be going with him. My mother's entire family lives in the Pacific Northwest and while we visited practically yearly as kids, I have not been to see them in at least 6 years. And I miss it. BIG.

Moving on....

Lately I have been bored with the music in my current collection. [Which is like 30 cd's. shutup. I'm working on it.] And as we're heading out I mention that I want to run past our new favorite music store, 'The Exchange'. I have purchased multiple cd's here for CHEAP. Some of them used, which works just fine for me. It often feels like the goodwilling of music. You really have to sift and pay attention, but there are treasures there!
So before hitting the mall, Mark pulled into the strip mall parking lot of this store.
Except he didn't park in the right place.
I'm getting out of the truck, a confused look on my face, and he finally pipes up. 'Let's run into that bird store!'.  I roll my eyes, sigh, and agree.
Birds are not my favorite animals. They kind of freak me out, honestly.

We enter the store, and there are birdcages Everywhere. I'm shoving my clammy hands so far down into my jacket pockets, I'm afraid I might rip the seam. There are little birds, medium birds, big birds, and birds almost as big as me. [okay, that's an exaggeration, but whatever, the thing was cracking open a WALNUT with it's BEAK, what up DANGEROUS.]

There is a little girl walking around with a bird chilling on her shoulder and I'm about to have an anxiety attack just looking at it.
At this point I would obviously like to leave. Or hide.
No such luck, because shortly thereafter we came upon this:

Watchulookinat?

World, meet Tookie. 
She is an almost one year old Amazon Tucuman.
And go figure, we somehow bonded IMMEDIATELY with the bird in the store that is described as "stubborn, headstrong, and shy around those it doesn't know".  
Hah.
Except, she was letting Mark pet her. She was pushing her head down against the bars of her cage so he would rub her neck. And I took my clammy hands out of the depths of my pockets, and I touched her fluffy little neck. 
An employee walking by was mildly shocked that Tookie was being so friendly with us, and decided to get her out. Eventually she ended up hanging out on my arm for about 5 minutes, while I shook uncontrollably. 
But that was all it took. I was hooked. 
To an $850 bird, that is pretty much  an avian version of myself.
Great.

Even better, Mark loves her too.
This is all his fault for taking me in there in the first place!
He knows better than to let me get attached to an animal!

I went back to the store today. Eventually, after chatting with the very sweet 9 year old with the bird on her shoulder, I grew enough courage to ask one of the employees to assist me in getting Tookie out. She ended up on my arm after some warming up time, and her intelligence shocked me.
She continuously pulled at the left sleeve of my sweater with her beak. In the exact same spot the zipper [a toy to her] on my jacket had been the previous time we visited. 
The employee's say this is a good sign. That possibly she remembered me. That she is warming up. 

So, I've decided if I can't have her,
[because really, I can't. Birds are a huge commitment, and Amazons could live up to 50 years!!!]
then I will go to the bird store more frequently just to 'play' with her. Hopefully this will help her become more accustomed to people handling her. And even more hopefully that will lead to someone purchasing her. 

I guess I just thought you should know the back story before I start posting a bunch of pictures of a bird all over the place. :-]

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Equality

I read something really powerful on CNN today.
Some of my readers may feel this a bit controversial.
You have been warned.



I am not really looking to have a debate with anyone regarding my personal beliefs or views. Not yet anyways.

I just think someone needed to say this. And she said it beautifully.


Jennifer Knapp, My Take: On fear, faith and being gay



FOR ALL.



Friday, May 7, 2010

Thursday - Picture Post




Thursday was a good day. A very good day.

Thursday, after work, I went over to my sister's house, where I knew two little munchkins would be waiting to play. 

Sidenote: I am so unbelievably lucky that her new house is just minutes from my and Mark's place. (is that correct grammar?) I can now go visit my sister, and/or my niece and nephew pretty much whenever I feel like it.
[Not so fortunate with the other sister. MEL! MOVE CLOSER TO MEEEEE!!!!]

CoCo's new house is beautiful, and it already feels like a home. 
But Thursday was not the kind of day for staying inside. No no, Thursday was for being outside, in the beautiful sunshine, running and laughing and being entertained by LIFE. 
Their joy is inspiring, their laughter infectious. The stories they tell, and the random things that come out of Katie's mouth, are Genius. Their snuggles are some of the very best in the whole world. 

They are the best kind of therapy for anything that ails you.















[I know it's kind of evil to take pictures of him when he's crying, but he's such a cute crier!!!]


Loves the Momma.



Dance baby, dance.







They have taught me more about life then any of us will ever be able to teach them.
And, I am so thankful for every moment. 


                                                       

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

my name is...*

*Inspired by this post over at May you live all the days of your life 


Brittany, and I was born without a center of balance.
You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.


So far, my only advantage has been that I have strong bones.
My sisters and brothers,  on the other hand, have hospital records that will prove we are a bunch of klutz's. We were born with it. Swear.
Even Carter was gifted with the ability to fall from just about anything. [God bless him.]


I'm sure I could blame this on my parents, for the genes, or for not forcing me to stay in sports.
Or on that one time I was 'pushed' off those stairs and broke my arm. 
At the age of two. 
[I do use this as my excuse as to why I don't trust the left side of my body. Broke my left arm! Makes perfect sense. To me...]
Or on whatever is wrong with my inner ear that causes me to not be able to read in the car, or scuba dive to depths below 60 feet without excruciating pain.


But the truth is, I'VE NEVER REALLY TRIED.
And when you finally just TRY, just put yourself out there, and believe in yourself
Amazing things happen...


[Slacklining. Go youtube that and waste an hour of your life in awe.]










and a few of Mark, who was born with a center of balance


Go try something today that you didn't think you could do.
Surprise yourself.
It's so worth it. 

Friday, April 30, 2010

Crock Pot Adventures

A few months ago I bought a crock pot.
It was needed for a chili cook-off at work, to keep the chili warm during the day.
Since the purchase, I have endured the expected teasing from Mark, as well as an awesome crock pot cookbook from his mom.
We also received, as a Christmas present from my parents, what is affectionately known as the 'laundry basked o' meat'.
The title is self explanatory.

Well, the 'laundry basket o' meat' involved a roast. Something I had never ventured into cooking myself. So I consulted a few recipes from the cookbook, and a few recipes online, and came up with my own version. It goes like this:

1 roast, de-thawed
6-8 petite sized yukon gold potatoes, washed
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 bag baby carrots
1 can french onion soup
season to taste

The night before, I mixed all of the vegetables in the bottom of the crock pot.
I placed the roast on top, and let Mark season. [Garlic, garlic salt, pepper, basil]
The onion soup was poured over everything, and then the whole thing was placed in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, I placed it in the warmer, turned it on low and left for the day.
I am a worrier, so I was concerned all day that the house was on fire. But when I walked in the door, I was greeted by a delicious and familiar smell.
A friend was visiting for dinner, and with a side of sour cream + horseradish, and some toasted day old onion buns, I received thumbs up all around.
Quite possibly one of the easiest meals I have ever made, and I felt like Martha.
Awesome. :]


*Unfortunately no photos were taken to prove the deliciousness of this meal. You'll just have to take my word for it. And try it out yourself!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Picture posts

I have started a new blog for some of my picture posts.
I am going to attempt to use this space for words and that space for pictures. 
I'm sure the two will intermingle now and again. 
Or all the time.
It's my world, IdowhatIwant!

So, you can find this other blog here:


Please visit.
And leave me some nice comments if you feel like it.

Happy Spring Days to you

April Tenth

Today, we were sitting outside soaking up some sun and discussing the types of plants / flowers we would like to try to keep alive this year [pictures up soon over here].
We paused when we heard the distinct sound of a ladder scraping up against a tree.

Our neighbor makes the most beautiful birdhouses.


See? Awesome.
[Also, this is a house for wrens.]

I knew from chatting with him the other day, that he was planning to hang another birdhouse higher up in a tree not far from the one pictured above.
I quickly told Mark about his plan, and he jumped up and headed over to help. 

So!, like the creeper I am, I ran and got the camera and stood at our bedroom window and snuck these shots:






And later these:


[house for robbins. yay!]



They both have such good hearts.
I'm a lucky neighbor, and a lucky girlfriend.