Thursday, February 16, 2012

a bathroom remodel and a move

After a long, drawn out month of tedious home repairs, underscored by a painstaking bathroom remodel, cleaning up to my eyeballs, playing general contractor, and countless trips to the city dump, we finally moved (upstairs). We don't own a home yet, but boy it sure feels like we do. Here is a small part of what we have to show for it:

The stress of picking out the tile and paint was overwhelming and I hadn't a clue how it would all look in the end. Thankfully it turned out pretty nifty.

We are now settled in a mere ten feet above our previous humble abode. It was a grueling move, considering the absurdly short distance. But that was the problem. When you really move, you pack everything up into neatly organized boxes, which then sit in your new place for some time while you carefully ponder where you want to permanently keep things. Instead, this was a marathon of lugging each and every household item we own up the stairs and hastily finding a new home for them. Packing and unpacking all at the same time. It was exhausting. And, what's more, is that it is going to take me another month at least to get the upstairs all tidied-up and make it feel like home, but we'll get it there eventually.

The renting part went unexpectedly smooth (thank heavens) and we never really hear a peep from the lovely new couple living in the basement. All in all, we're just happy to be done. Here's to hoping we don't move again for a long, long time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy valentine's day to my main squeeze

to my valentine:

thank you for loving me unconditionally, even when I leave cupboards wide open and blankets unfolded
thank you for your insatiable drive and for going after what you want with everything you have
thank you for listening to my long-winded stories and pipe dreams
thank you for buying me roses, just to make me feel loved
thank you for always being level-headed and infinitely patient
thank you for doing all the little things; especially when I don't notice
thank you for letting me be my complete self, and making me want to be my best self

you are my favorite person
you are the best part of my life
you give me purpose

I love you babe
xo xo

Monday, February 13, 2012

a change in the weather at a cozy cabin

This little trip was low-key and lovely. We spent all weekend cooped up with Parker + Alex in their cozy cabin, watching it snow. Really, really snow. Great big puffy flakes. It felt perfect because I was so fed up with the week that I had had, that all I want to do was sit there, endlessly chatting, watching the snow pile up. With a cup of cocoa in hand and a fire roaring constantly, I quickly settled in and forgot all about it.

The joy of getting away, even if just for the weekend, is that you get to break out of your regular old routine. No rules necessary. You can stay in your jammies all day, and watch not one, but two movies with dear friends by your side. No endless to-do-list of the things that were left by the wayside during the work week. They'll just have to wait.

+ meatloaf + mashed potatoes = delectable comfort food. thank you diner.
+ hushed side conversations between wife + wife = sincere heart-to-hearts; silly, emotionally-charged conversations to which our husbands would roll their eyes. Swapping stories of how clumsy our husbands have made us and reminiscing about the past. Laughing until my sides hurt. I felt fifteen again.
+ the two-and-a-half hours it took to get our car out of the snow and onto the highway { a mere 100 yards distance }. Dig, dig, dig. Push, push, push. Gun it. Lunge three feet and repeat. Thank heavens for a 2x4 and Parker using his much superior, snow-ready Subaru to lay tracks down up ahead of us. A day to remember and a stuck-in-the-snow experience we will surely laugh about for years to come.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

the most wonderful time of the year

Christmas came suddenly this year. Doesn't it always? I somehow ended up among the rowdy crowds doing last minute shopping and scores of presents were wrapped just in the nick of time. The bone-dry weather must be partly to blame for Christmas sneaking up. Come and gone in the blink of an eye, but they sure were happy holidays.

On Christmas eve eve, we met at Zupas for dinner - even Kay and Kevin were up from Arizona to spend a few days with us. We devoured hearty soups and tasty salads, then bundled up and headed downtown to see the dazzling lights at temple square. Such a lovely sight. Horse-drawn carriages trotting about in the wintry night, the hustle and bustle of countless people dressed up like Eskimos, twinkling lights strewn through high tree tops, crowds eagerly gathered around the nativity scene. A picture-perfect Christmas scene.

Then Christmas eve came and we began a new tradition - a festive evening of delectable appetizers. Each of us whipped up something different; thoughtfully scouted out (thank you Pinterest) and meticulously prepared. The spread was remarkable - gooey cheese fondue, mock PF Chang's lettuce wraps, out-of-this world tostada bites, and scrumptious pizza rolls. Quite the smorgasbord if you ask me.

Christmas day was spent lazily, in pajama pants and cozy socks. It was carefree and delightful. Even when the rolls for our Christmas morning sticky buns didn't rise according to plan, Tyler cleverly gave them a little push. Soon enough the smell of cinnamon and sugar was wafting through the air. With full bellies and warm hearts, we piled into the family room. Excitedly, we all dug into our stockings and took turns unwrapping the most lovely gifts. Santa was very generous and everyone was pleased, but the best gift of all was to be surrounded by loved ones. The feeling of contentment and happiness was overwhelming.

I sometimes think people expect too much of Christmas. All too often we let ourselves build up high hopes of some grand occasion, complete with elaborate expectations of what the day will hold, only to be let down (not surprisingly) when it finally arrives. As for me, I have decided I like to take my Christmas as it comes, drifting along into the holidays and appreciating all that Christmas really has in store; the thoughtfulness behind the gifts I am given, adorning our pint-sized tree with beloved Hallmark ornaments received in years passed, the hind-sight hilarity of miss-measured waffle batter, the endless sky-high pile of dishes, taking part in much-loved traditions, slyly listening to old familiar Christmas songs as early as September, presents wrapped carefully in extravagant colors under the tree, hanging stockings with care, watching and re-watching Christmas Vacation (repeating every line word-for-word), the utter chaos and endless racket. It may not always seem perfect, but in the end it's perfect because its real.

This holiday I was grateful to have so much and spend time with the ones I love. I can say, without hesitation, that it was a very merry Christmas indeed.

Hope your holidays were merry and bright.

Friday, June 3, 2011

what i learned when my husband went to law school

Three years ago j set out on a little adventure called law school, with me as his sidekick, just along for the ride. Starting out, those who have been there said how hard it was going to be. The rigorous pace and boundless material that would demand his utmost attention. The long hours, especially in that dreadful first year, where everyday you will ask yourself "why am I doing this?". And I even expected that it would be hard. I embraced it. But let's face it, I didn't have a clue.

What I didn't know was how it would feel to essentially become a widow just days after getting married, saying farewell to my husband as he buried himself in a pile of books. How stressful it is to try to be the breadwinner while at the mercy of a horrendous job market. And how hard I would work, harder than I ever had, for what would feel like peanuts. Or how lonely a small, one-bedroom apartment can feel when your stuck there alone for three months. And I had no idea how much time we would both spend anxious and on edge waiting and waiting for results or how the nerve-racking anticipation could feel so unbearably endless. And how badly you would wish that this self-imposed torture would pay off in the end, even when the future seemed grim.

On a more welcomed note, I also didn't know that during finals I would be living with a stranger that resembled "The Beard". That every Hollywood depiction of a court room would never hold up in real life. How much more I would grow to love and admire the man that gave it his all from beginning to end. And how you can feel like you have so much, when you have so little.

Jeremy would come home with stories upon stories of trials and cases. Its remarkable the way he remembers things. And I did my best to appreciate the facts of a case, once I could get past the blatant unfairness. Our more serious conversations quickly became very logical and precise. I soon learned that j would want the court report read back to him if I said some silly blunderous statement that made no sense at all. Yeah, I do that. A lot. He was a lawyer in the making, and he had me to practice on. Though infuriating at times to lose arguments on a technicality, he was brilliant. And I loved him more and more each day.

Throughout the entire adventure, Jeremy never complained. He didn't moan about the growing heap of books on the card table that masqueraded as his desk. Or the fact that he actually had to read them. He never complained about driving our old beater to school or staying up until the wee hours every. single. night. He never complained about eating a ham and cheese sandwich everyday for three years or that he had to wear an old suit to mock trials. He never complained about the tremendous workload or all that he was missing out on. He never complained that he spent almost every weekend cooped up and hunched over at his "desk" with his head buried in a book and his fingers frantically chipping away at paper, after paper, after paper.

Instead, he would tell me that he loved being in a courtroom, that his professors were remarkable, and that he wanted to be a really, really great lawyer someday.

Now that it is all is coming to an end and j is graduating law school, I know that I will likely look back on these stressful days and a part of my heart will long for them. This adventure has flown by. I will always think fondly of this special time in our lives; where it was just j and me. The three short years where we made so many memories and lived off tortillas and cheese. The years where he discovered that he can still function on next to no sleep and that no amount of Mountain Dew is ever too much. The years where I learned to live more meagerly, to keep myself preoccupied, and to be more patient. The years in which we made unforgettable friends. The years where we took short little road trips to places like Seattle and Vancouver, and spent date night driving around the neighborhood, memorizing all of our favorite houses that we dreamed of being able to afford someday. The years that we both learned and grew so much closer together.

Cheers to the happy ending of a challenging chapter and to a new beginning of possibilities.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baby Goose: the story behind the wily, sly little guy

After tying the knot I had accepted the fact that pets were simply out of the question. Off the table. Strictly forbidden. The closest thing j ever had to a pet was "Snowball" - a tiny, white, fluffy pup that he had for all of maybe two weeks, that then mysteriously "ran away" (recently the truth was finally revealed; dear Snowball had chewed up Scott's sprinklers. Enough said).

However, the unexpected Fred incident had a magical effect. Somehow, someway, one look at me with a darling little critter, and j's heart melted. Just a little. Don't tell him that I know though. Our little secret.

For my birthday, I headed down to St George with j's family (I often vaca with them and without him because he's so immersed in that stupid thing call law school). During the week's leading up to my birthday, with the whole Fred fiasco still close in view, we talked a bit about getting a puppy, but in all honesty I didn't think there was a snowball's chance in hell (pardon the expression) that we would actually get one. To my complete surprise, upon returning home and walking through the door, there sat upon our slate floor a white banker's box, all gussied up with vibrant ribbons which were carefully curled. I raised a suspecting eyebrow, unsure whether or not to get my hopes up on what might be inside that box. And then the box moved. Just a little. And the cutest little whimper came pouring out. I rushed over, scooped up the tiniest little puppy into my arms, and was absolutely smitten (probably an understatement).

j may say that was the worst decision he has ever made, but I love him for it and in my heart of hearts I know he secretly loves the little guy too.

A few things that make you so adorable:

+ You will bravely chase down a four-point buck, even after near-death encounters, but are afraid of even the smallest dog
+ You love socks and will run around with one in a frenzy, tossing it to yourself, playing keep away should we even attempt to retrieve it. You can be incredibly evasive when you try.
+ You cleverly try to hunt squirrels, patiently stalking the same hole every time I let you out of the house
+ Even if you are dead asleep, if I get out a toy, you immediately jump up, ready to play
+ You are as excited to go to Grandma + Grandpa's as any adoring grandchild would be
+ When I get out your leash, you are too keyed up to stay still. After scurrying around forever, you finally curl your little body around, tail wagging rapidly, and let me pick you up.
+ Your personality changes when your fur is shaved
+ Barking is not really your thing (unless Beckham is around or you see your own reflection)
+ You tilt your head in the cutest way when you hear something unfamiliar
+ I'm pretty sure you think you’re a people and not a dog
+ You hate the rain, but love the snow; you zip around like crazy, frequently burying your face in the powdery stuff, which is deeper than you are tall
+ You are distinctly different when j comes home - assumedly trying to exert your male dominance
+ Though a small dog, you will run as far as I will take you - three, four, five miles and your still pumped
+ You are a real cuddler and need lots of attention. You know nothing of personal boundaries.
+ Whether we are gone for five hours or five minutes, you light up just the same when we walk through the door
+ I may as well never put lotion on again, because you attempt to lick me to death the minute its applied
+ You set out to destroy every single toy we have ever bought you, successfully I might add, though the now legless yellow dog is still keeping you at bay
+ You smile and even laugh

Wild Goose. Silly Goose. Our baby Goose.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fred The Bunny

One Friday evening, j and I sat talking in his office for a brief moment - chats are always brief lately as he's always studying… wonder what it will be like to have normal, lengthy conversations again? Hopefully someday. A girl can dream.

Anyhow, as I looked out the sliding glass doors, I noticed a deer looking befuddled by something moving in the garden. A snake perhaps? Clearly it was a critter that the deer was unaccustomed to seeing. As I open the door to check things out, to my surprise the most adorable little bunny comes hopping up the steps! Of course I am now giddy with excitement and j is trying to tell me that rabbits are hard to catch, but I mosey on over, bend down, and pick him right up (clearly he's someone's house pet).

Well, it's now starting to get dark and stormy. I bat my eyes and smile, which is quickly met with rolling eyes. How could I possibly leave such a cute, vulnerable little thing outside to endure a surely fearsome rainstorm?

Obviously I couldn't. So I brought the little fella inside. He made himself right at home, hopping all around the place. Melted my heart. And as a HUGE bonus, he was potty trained! Would use a little box I set up for him in the laundry room.

Jeremy decided we should call him Fred. And so we did.

Now, the j let this go on for a bit until he coerced me into putting up a "found bunny" sign. I knew it was the right thing to do because I would surely be missing him if he was my pet, but secretly I was hoping that no one would claim him (come on, I never thought I would be allowed to have a pet, so this was just pure dumb luck).

To my dismay, a girl called me that very day and said he was hers. She was so grateful that I had put up the sign (brilliant idea). And although I only had little Fred for maybe 24 hours, I still got a little teary-eyed when I had to give him back.

Little did I know that Fred had paved the way for a much better opportunity. Details to come.

Friday, August 20, 2010

j's last first day

Oh the days fly by so fast. Jeremy was trying to rush out the door, but I begged him to wait so I could snap a photo of his last first day of school... ever. I was so excited to take this photo, but I must admit that I felt a tinge of sadness creep up as I realized that an end to some of the most challenging days, but wonderful days were drawing near. I don’t know why it hit me, but where does the time go? I thought these three years would feel like an eternity, and at times they did, but now that it's almost over, I find myself already missing the adventure. Crazy I know.

Who knows what lies in the road ahead - but if we can get through this, we can surely get through anything. You and me against the world babe.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sheep Creek Camp Out

All summer I have relentlessly petitioned Jeremy to go camping. I love getting outdoors and getting dirty, though we really haven’t camped together much. We were lucky enough to get to go camping at Sheep Creek (just past Logan) with dear friends. We had a great time roughing it as we slept on the ground, tinkled in the trees, got dirt beneath our fingernails, and ended up smelling like campfire. 

Jer doesn’t get to ride nearly enough… what a cutie.

There was this little lake turned out to be loads of fun – especially as all of the guys piled into one canoe. It was hilarious – I laughed so hard it hurt. We kicked up a lot of fun - swimming, four wheeling, and staying up laughing well into the wee-hours of the night. We devoured delicious Dutch oven meals, smore’s, banana boats, and roasted hot dogs. It most certainly felt like summer and the great outdoors are always greater with dear friends circling the campfire.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Independence Day

As a celebration of our independence we ventured up to Pineview with Jeremy’s dear family. This fourth was a particular adventure as we bounced from one campground to the next. The water was busy, boats were crowded, and everyone was pining for a patch of smooth water. The weather was a bit ho-hum, but we still ventured out on the boat and wake-surfed through the sea-like white caps.

We made it over to the Huntsville breakfast and parade, wandering through the elaborate booths offering everything from tiny jumping frogs to quaint home decor. Then the parade for the kiddos began, and I marveled as little Kaden learned what a parade is all about. At first he seemed a little unsure of himself, but it wasn’t long before the little guy figured out that the more attention he brought to himself, the more tasty treats would come his way. He soon flailed his arms above his head, as instructed, and made a mad dash for every single piece of candy he spotted.

Later in the evening, the Mr. ingeniously created what I have now coined as the “Shmookie”, which consists of two giant chocolate chip cookies (compliments of Costco), a slightly melted Reese’s peanut butter cup, and of course a roasted marshmallow.  We devoured this lovely variation of the traditional s’more while enjoying the stellar firework display over the lake.

I am deeply grateful for all the people who paved the way for the freedom I am blessed with. Hope you too had a wonderful fourth of July weekend.