Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It's October 28, and today I saw decorations for three different holidays for sale at the store. Halloween on clearance, a little section of Thanksgiving in the cornercopia, and Christmas front and center. The season of holidays is upon us, and along with it plenty of traditions for each one.

I love traditions. They make every event more meaningful. Getting a calendar or a pair of pajamas is not very exciting, but when you're receiving it on Christmas Eve, just like you did every year since you were 7, well... suddenly it's a different story.

My problem with traditions is that now I find myself less often on the receiving end of them and more often on the planning end of them. Which really means more often I go without them. You see, I'm not much of a planner. (Just ask my mom how wedding planning went.) Birthdays, holidays, big days... they always creep up on me, and by the time I realize they've arrived and start to think of how to celebrate the arrival, the day is long gone.

So my love for traditions is very much conflicting with my inability to prepare for said traditions. I think this can probably be handled by purchasing a very large, very complete calendar, and marking in advance how to handle each event. But then there's the problem of how to handle each event.

I say problem, but, really, isn't that the fun part? Picking and choosing things you'll repeat year to year? Growing up, we caroled at Christmas. We ate crackers and easy cheez at Thanksgiving (just a prelude yall). We ate out Christmas Eve and prepared a devotional that night. And for some reason, we opened presents and ate cinnamon rolls to the sounds of Randy Travis and the Transiberian Orchestra. Strange? Sure. Did I love it? Definitely.

A friend of mine makes fancy caramel apples each Halloween. Another volunteers at the soup kitchen each Thanksgiving. One eats middle eastern food on floor mats on Christmas Eve.

And now it's time for you to share. I read your blogs. I see your cute Halloween donut tails and leprechaun treasure trails. What are some of your most cherished traditions for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas? Anything you'd like to try but haven't yet? Anyone else enjoy a good dose of easy cheez come Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Forgive me

But I just had to share. If you think you are into Halloween, just take a look at the possibilities here.

And if you don't like it, blame Talida. She introduced me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ryan's first baby shower*

It was a couple's shower. For someone Ryan's only met once. Scheduled smack dab in the middle of a BYU football game (against san diego), which was scheduled smack dab in the middle of Ryan's midterms.

I think he must love me.

I didn't even know she was pregnant. Turns out she's 8 months pregnant. That's pretty pregnant.

  • Putting together a gift with Eve. We got a complete cloth diapering kit (thank you, craigslist) and recorded a waltz/lullaby Eve composed especially for baby bayles. Since we knew she planned on pureeing her own baby food, we also got a cheap set of baby jars, and, since we knew she would like it, we filled those jars with money.
  • Winning a Goonies DVD--gotta love those baby shower games. I attribute our win entirely to Ryan for knowing the answer to this question: Who was Elora Dannon's parent/guardian? (Any takers?)
  • Getting frequent texts with game updates--especially those involving a BYU touchdown.
You might say this baby is a bit of a surprise. K's been pregnant only a few days less than she's been married, but she's enjoying the adventure. Her two favorite parts about being pregnant: being especially buoyant at the swimming pool and getting to use less water in the bathtub cause she fills so much more of it. Tempting.

So, for all you mothers out there, what do you think the best part about being pregnant is? Or, what "ultimate sacrifice" has your husband/boyfriend made to make you happy? Anybody out there have a great baby shower gift idea?

*Technically this is his second baby shower, but it's the first he went to knowingly. In Houston, his boss invited us to a party and forgot to mention it was actually a shower for his cousin. Come to think of it, we won two of the prizes at that party too. We should go pro.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lessons I learned in the weeds

*You can plant bulbs in even the toughest of soils all the way through October, and sometimes even later than that. You can even plant them in the snow, as long as the dirt a few inches below hasn't frozen over yet.

*Weeding is 250% more productive when you're using gloves, a hand shovel, and (if you have 6 foot tall weeds, like me) a big man shovel. These items also work well as protection from the next item on my list.

*Many, many bugs live in our backyard. There are the cute ones: ladybugs, rolly pollies, I'll even throw earthworms in this category. Then there are the ones I've never seen before: weird beetles and other winged things. Add to that at least a dozen varieties of spider, the largest of which made several appearances on different parts of my body, the worst being on my neck crawling toward my chest, later seen hanging off the edge of my ponytail. Yes, I screamed each time. And threw anything that was in my hands at the moment (shovel, gloves, weeds) across the yard (cause that's helpful).

*I don't have the heart to kill any of the bugs. I think it's because I'm on their turf. I'm outside in nature. Their home. I felt so bad every time I dug a hole and found two little earthworms, only to discover that it was really one earthworm, cut neatly in two parts. Poor guy. He sure did a good job on that soil though.

*When you bring a cd player outside to listen to some tunes, and you turn the music way down when your husband calls, and you accidentally forget about it when you go inside to make dinner, and you don't remember it until you start writing this blog post a day later, it's ok. Even though it rained. Because you can just go outside, and it'll still be playing that old mix cd you recently found from sophmore year. ("sad, but pretty," remember, lex?) Just bring it inside, smash all the little bugs off, and wipe it down. (It's ok this time because the bugs are on YOUR turf now.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Peter Pan

How smart do you feel when you're sitting around with friends, talking about a movie, and you say, "Man. That movie was so good. It would have made a great book." And then everyone stops talking and stares at you. And once you realize the movie was, in fact, already based on a book, you try to save face: "I mean, it would have made a great book series. So there could be another movie. Based on the book. Like this one was."

Confession: I didn't know that all those Peter Pan movies were based on a book, rather, the book, by J.M. Barrie. Since the Disney movie was my first introduction to the boy who never grew up, I just assumed it was the creator as well. Like Pirates of the Caribbean and the theme park ride. (No book there, right? Right?)

Recently, Brenda at work introduced me to the classic, saying she's read it at least twenty times, written extensive analytical papers on it, and memorized full sections. And I'm sitting there thinking, huh. It was a book first?

But what a book. I just finished reading her copy (she was scandalized to think I'd never read it--I didn't dare tell her the whole truth), and now I'm looking forward to buying my own. It's a wonderful book.* Funny. Exciting. Quirky as can be. That J.M. was quite a character. As I was reading, I kept thinking how fun it would be to read to my own children someday. The older ones, mind you. That Captain Hook is a real scoundrel, you know.

If you haven't read it, you really ought to. Do you have any books-turned-movies to recommend (or that you were surprised to discover)? Or have you ever heard of a really good book that was based on a movie? Is a TV series always the last stop on the totem pole?

*Its one downfall: There's no lost boy named Rufio. ("Rufio. Rufio.") TriStar Pictures totally made him up. So disappointing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

To all you writers out there

This is the third part in a four-part series from This American Life's Ira Glass, and it can be applied to any hobby/talent you're working toward. You should probably go ahead and watch the rest of the series too.

Free theatre tickets

Check it out here. They're all sold out in Utah, but you may find more luck in your area of the country.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Early riser

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
-George Eliot

I once heard a man speak in church about the miracle of living, and living well. He spoke of simple, but magnificent moments that so many miss: The beauty of a rising sun. The delicateness of an early birds' song. The peace of a quiet morning shared only by you and a waking world. I distinctly remember thinking that I wanted to be a part of that moment every day.

My downfall came in the form of a down comforter. As sweet as that bird's morning song was, it was no match for the warmth of a bird's feather (albeit synthetic), and I quickly abandoned my good intentions for an extra hour's sleep.

But last week, I made an exception. Hours before going to work or school, Ryan and I got up and drove through Provo Canyon, aka the most beautiful place in the world.

It’s my favorite place to be during my favorite season.

Made better with my favorite person.

Definitely worth the missed sleep. But since I can't very well go trekking up the mountain every day... what gets you up early in the morning?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Halloween done pretty

I'm not so into the big pumpkin trash bags or the life-sized paper skeleton cutouts, but I could get into this pretty print. For a subtle salute to the eve of All Hallow's, hang this Japanese brush painting or browse through hundreds of other vintage prints, free at Big thanks to Rebecca for posting about the site!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My stalkers

Yes, that's right. Last night, two women were tailing me through Home Depot and even followed me home. They videotaped (is this a dated term?) my every move and asked me invasive questions about my personal life. I called them stalkers, but they preferred to be called "researchers."

Making me the subject of a research study.

A friend of mine is taking an advertising class. They are doing research for a client--one Justin Hackworth, who once upon a time was my wedding photographer. Their first assignment was to find the perfect "Justin Hackworth bride," someone who adored his photography style and would hire him for her wedding. Someone like me.

The second assignment is what led to the stalking. It's actually called an ethnography, and it was actually kinda fun. It was like being on a reality show without the tribal votes, final roses, and sad C-listers.

The final assignment is forthcoming, but I hear it involves food. Which reminds me of the very first research study I was ever part of. When I was a kid, I got to taste test macaroni and cheese for some study. They brought us bowl after bowl and asked us to rate the smoothness of the sauce and the intensity of the cheese. At the end of the day, I got ten bucks out of it, and I remember thinking, "This is something I could really get into."

I didn't think they offered that emphasis at BYU, but maybe I should have explored the advertising department a little more.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Theory: The taller the weeds are, the less you have to bend over to pull them out.

I wish I could say this is a picture I got from googling "disturbing backyard overgrowth," but this actually is OUR backyard. It's okay though because I'm headed to the Utah Water Conservancy Gardens to get some tips on resurrecting our soil, planting something pretty, and helping it survive the winter.

Wish me luck.

I went ahead and googled "disturbing backyard overgrowth." They got nothing on us.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Just kidding

And suddenly I'm back to making retractions. Except I won't pretend I had anything to do with these (as much as I'd like the credit.) These are courtesy of Amy's photog and Kristen--the big sis of the bride. You can see more on her blog here.

And of course...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I failed

While we don't have a lot of immediate family nearby, we are lucky to live near my brother Cos and his family. Every time we visit, we are bombarded with questions from his girls, Ruby and Eva. It always goes a little something like this:

Are you guys married? (Henceforth all pronunciation of married shall be "maaaaaaarried")
Hey, why did you guys get married?
Is it because you love each other? Why?
Do you guys kiss cause your married?

The interviewers. Bona fide girl. And curious ones at that.

So I wasn't entirely surprised when, before I left for California a few weeks ago, these little girls begged me for just one thing:

Will you take a picture of her in her dress? And one of them kissing?

Sure thing, I said. No problem. Sounds easy enough.

But you already read the post title. As I sorted through pictures (which took me a total of 7 seconds), I realized I had kinda missed the point of the weekend. Behold, my photos from the trip:

Results of the LA fires--kinda makes you want to hold you breath, huh?

From the rehearsal dinner, held on the pier at a beautiful restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows

Mom and me

And this is the closest I got to getting a photo of the bride and groom. If you look real close in the shadows on the left, I think that's Tyler's sister-in-law. Close enough.