Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas, part 1 (with pictures!)


You'll be happy to know that one of our Christmas presents was a new memory card reader, so I can now put my pictures on my computer! So my posts about my family being in town for Christmas will be illustrated. I don't have much time (I'm about to go out for New Years), but I wanted to get something up here to show off our new picture-posting capabilities. The day my parents arrived in town, we met up with Cristie and her family at the DC temple to enjoy the lights and a violin concert. The concert was a lot of fun because I got to see the performer in a different light than you normally see them. She did a number where three of her four young children accompanied her, and it was fun to see her interacting with her kids and sharing her love of music with them. Anyways, the evening was a very fun setting to catch up with my family.
Anyways, Happy New Years!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wedding Anniversary (belated)


Rob and I's third anniversary was last week. We celebrated elaborately, let me tell you. Neither of us had vacation time to use from work, we were both sick and exhausted with colds, and I was having awful back pain that had kept me up all night. I came from work and promptly broke into tears because I felt so all-around terrible. We cancelled our original plans, went to a nearby restaurant, and came home and immediately fell asleep. Maybe next year I'll have a more exciting tale to tell. But I love that we're at that stage where we're so completely comfortable with each other, and so considerate about the way that the other one feels, that we didn't feel like we had to do something special. Just being together was all that we needed to make it a special evening, and it really was.
I am so grateful to be married to Rob. People talk about how the longer you're with someone, the more you see their faults, but I only keep finding new wonderful things about him. He seems to have no limits on his ability for kindness. This morning, I woke up to discover that he had got up an hour early to help clean the apartment because my family is coming into town this afternoon. And he'd done the things that are hard for my pregnant self, like tasks that involve bending down or things that smell awful. He does things like that all the time, just because that's who he is. He makes me want to be the best I can be, and supports me in everything I do. I know that three years later, we don't count as newlyweds, but I still find myself marvelling at the little things about being together. I even still smile seeing his toothbrush next to mine in our bathroom because I feel so lucky to be his wife, and so lucky I get to be near him every day. I'm incredibly grateful for him, and so excited that with all of life's twists and turns, we'll be facing them together.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

DONE!

I just wrapped up my last semester of my master's degree! I'm done! Oh, it is a luxurious feeling. I hadn't realized just how much working and going to school had drained me the past three and a half years. Today, Rob and I just sat and watched a movie in the middle of the afternoon, and it was the first time in a very, very long time that I could do that without there being something pressing hanging over my head that I ought to be doing instead. It is going to be amazing to come home from work and not have to head to the computer to start working on homework. I feel like a new woman!

Anyways, I'm very, very excited about this, and very, very grateful that Rob has been so supportive of me along the way.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Random Thought

So my due date is two months from now. Maybe I should sign up for a childbirth class or something...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Too funny

I went out on a girl's night last night and saw Twilight. I had a great time. I went into the movie with really, really low expectations, so they were definitely exceeded. :) Or maybe it was just the fact I think the last movie I saw in theaters was Spiderman 3, so just being at the theater on opening night, surrounded by a bunch of teenagers who kept screaming "marry me, Edward!" at the screen after every cheesy line was just a really amusing atmosphere. People are funny. Anyways, of course it was cheesy teenaged vampire melodrama, that's what the book was, but I had fun all the same.

Rob and Pretty Mahana's husband decided to have male bonding time while their wives were out. After our group went out for dessert, Pretty Mahana called the boys to let them know we were on our way back. Their response: "Rob and I read the crucial scene from the book where Edward takes his shirt off, so we're ready to discuss the movie when you come back!" The funny thing is they actually had! Too funny.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Normal primary program?

I love primary programs at church. And I'm not being facetious. I think that we all have things we can learn from each other, whether you're 4 or 94, and I love seeing the way God finds ways to speak to kids in a manner that means something to them. But I'm also immature, and I can't help but laugh at the inevitable (I thought) humorous moments that happen. For example, in my last ward, the 4 year old class decided it would be hilarious to end their spoken statement with a really loud "WOOT!" into the microphone. Or there's always watching the 11 year olds whose birthdays were a week too late to get out of doing the primary program, and quite obviously don't want to be there. Or the kid who smacks the kid sitting next to him when he forgets to stand up for the song. There is always humor to be had.

So imagine my surprise when I attended our ward's recent primary program, and it was completely reverent. The kids knew the words to the songs. They obviously wrote their statements themselves (sunbeams saying "I know God gave me talents because I am good at cartwheels, and that makes me happy!"). Everyone stood up on time and sat down on time. Shoot, a ten-year-old even did some of the accompaniment! There was absolutely no moment when a parent would have wanted to sink low in their chair in embarassment. It was flawless. I didn't know that happened - did I enter the Twilight zone? Anyways, I know that if we stay in the ward, my girl will be well cared for in this primary.

So, since I didn't get to laugh at this program, does anyone have a funny primary program moment to share?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oh yeah...

I just realized I never said that I passed my comps. I passed my comps! Hooray!

Our girl

I do feel bad that I never put any pictures up on the blog anymore. Things have just been so busy, we haven't gotten around to shopping for a new USB cable. But hopefully this makes up for it a little, right?
So that's our little girl. Normally the 3D ultrasound isn't my thing, but it was free & and at our usual hospital, so we figured why not? She was very, very mellow during this ultrasound, but it wasn't too surprising because she seems to be a pretty mellow kid - she doesn't seem to kick or move around very much in general (although she was sure moving after the very loud Native American dance & drumming performance we had at my office earlier this week!). It was really peaceful & fun just to watch her resting, and she looked very comfortable. I also liked seeing some common trends from last time - she still likes to keep her hands near her face, for example. The new discovery was getting to see her face more. I think she definitely has Rob's mouth.
So anyways, that's our girl!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My google addiction has paid off!

I was notorious at my last job for my google addiction. Anyone within earshot of me would ask a random question, and I couldn't help myself: I'd have to look up the answer. Yes, I am in the right profession. I'm certain my daughter won't ask me "why is the grass green" kinds of questions because my response will be "oooh, let's look it up together!" That won't last long. She'll either wait for her dad to get home, or become the least inquisitive girl known to the world.

But for once, my addiction has paid off! My company sent out a "diversity week" quiz, and offered a "prize" to the first three people who could answer the quesitons on it. I assumed this would be some sort of cloth grocery bag with the company name on it left over from environmental week, but hey, I was waiting for someone to call me back, so I took 3 minutes and looked them up. But guess who won a pair of movie tickets? ME! So courtesy of my google addiction, Rob and I are going to get a free date night (which we should definitely take advantage of before we need to worry about babysitters - yikes!). Does anyone have any suggestions on what we should go see?

Friday, November 7, 2008

History (don't worry - 100% non-partisan)

We've all heard Santayana's famous proclamation that "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," or one of the many variants that have occurred since his statement. And for the most part, I agree with this. The study of history is crucial to understanding the situations we face, as it helps us step away from our current cultural perspective and understand the motivations of others and the consequences of certain decisions. We absolutely need the insight history offers us.

That said, this statement has started to make me cringe because I hear it most frequently in combination with correlations between modern and historical circumstances that don't quite work. I often find problems we face oversimplified and distorted to compare them to past experiences, and once that correllation is made, many people stop examining the current circumstance because they've already made up their mind about these historical events. But while there are similarities, there are also differences that need to be explored. Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are not the same as the nazi party or communism, or each other for that matter. The gay marriage movements are not the same as the civil rights movements. The conflict in Darfur is not the same as the Holocaust, nor are the current threats against Israel. Is there relevant insight to be gained from these historic events? Of course. But should they be responded to in the same way? Not necessarily, because there are other factors at play. Certainly we want the perspective that comes from these past events, but we can't just look at the past to make decisions about the future - we need to look at the present circumstances and present motivations of others as well.

*climbs off soapbox*

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Just because it is funny...

Rob found a very funny article on BBC, and I had to pass it along. I've always been amused by funny errors on signs, and this is a particularly funny one. Enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pregnant Brain

So I know that there isn't really any scientific proof that pregnancy makes you absent minded. But I'm really hoping that I can blame pregnancy hormones on the following moments I've had recently:
  • When grabbing leftovers out of the fridge for lunch, I managed to mistake week-old baked potatoes for taco meat (which I discovered when I arrived at the office). Not so good for stuffing into crunchy taco shells and smothering in salsa.
  • Complaining that the commercial break is lasting forever, only to have Rob inform me that this is the very first commercial of this break, and I'd forgotten that the program had been on 20 second earlier.
  • I managed to run some important paperwork through the washing machine. And then the drier. I still maintain that they fell into the laundry basket, and there's no way I could have known it was in there, but still.
Anyways, I thought everyone would appreciate a little humor for their weekend. Enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Inner English Nerd Comes Out...

One of my classes this semester is a "Young Adults Literature" class. I hadn' t taken any coursework in public libraries, and thought it would be good for me in case I wind up living in small town Montana, which isn't exactly known for its voluminous law libraries. I'm really enjoying it, and it is fun to work a different part of my brain. And my teacher is absolutely fabulous, and I'm learning a lot from her. But because things have been so busy recently, the only fiction I've been reading is YA fiction for this class. Most of what we read is very good, but the writing is for a younger audience, and I've been finding myself over the past few weeks really wanting to read an 800-page Russian novel or something heavy to balance things out in my brain. I'm such a nerd.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quick updates

Comps are done! I'll spare you the gruesome details, but I've been a stressed-out mess the past few weeks, and I feel like myself again now that they are done. :) Now it is just a matter of motivating myself to do my normal homework.
Rob started his new permanent position with a different company, and things seem to be going well so far. We feel very, very grateful that things have worked out, and there was no employment gap when his internship ended. It is also a little weird to feel somewhat settled (although we are considering moving to an apartment closer to where we both work, so not completely settled). I feel like most of my life, I've known I'd be moving in a matter of time. First it was military life, then it was knowing I wanted to go out-of-state for college, then going off to grad school, then going out into the job market. But now Rob & I have absolutely no reason to leave the area, and I'm not used to that. I mean, I'm sure he'll change companies at some point before he retires, everyone does, but we could very easily be living in DC for the rest of our lives. Weird, but a good thing!
I was able to squeeze in visits from two of my good friends this past week, and it was great to see them. I love living somewhere that people go for business. No one goes to Indiana on business, but people I know come here all the time for work, and it is GREAT! I went to the temple with one of my former roommates, and had a high school friend over for dinner & board games. I hadn't seen either of them for years, and it made me very happy to catch up.
I've started showing, and can I just say, I love it? Everyone complains about feeling like a whale or something, but there are a lot of perks about looking pregnant. You know how I said no one gives up their seat on the metro? Oh, people give me their seats all the time now. People offer to help me carry things. Very nice. And people also complain about maternity clothes, but can I just say I love my secret fit belly pants? They are so darn comfortable, I feel like I get to wear my pajamas to work. So nice. Or maybe I'm just excited that I'm finally GAINING weight, where I was just losing it for the first few months.
I celebrated finishing comps by finally giving in and finishing the Twilight series. I don't want to give anything away for people that haven't read it, so I'll keep my comments vague. I'll just say my hormonal pregnantness made reading it a weird experience, but I did enjoy the book, and was very satisfied with how the series ended.
OK, enough randomness, and back to NORMAL, NON-COMPS RELATED HOMEWORK!!! Life is very, very good.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Irony

So I took today off of work to work on my comprehensive exams (the exam I need to pass to be awarded my master's degree). Lovely day for my neighborhood to lose power for 4 and a half hours, don't you think? Why would I really need to use my computer to type or research anything?

Grr...

Oh well, power is back now at least.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Five Tag

Sorry I'm not doing real posts - comps start this week, and I'm a stress case! But here's a fun tag from Suzanne.

THE FIVE
5 years ago I:
1. Lived in London!
2. Was about to leave on a trip to the Lake District and Scotland.
3. Was being followed around by this kid named Rob that I was worried had a crush on me or something (luckily for me in the long run, he did!).
4. Got to see all kinds of fabulous art, history, and theater on a regular basis.
5. Decided I wanted to go to graduate school.

5 things on today's "to do" list:
1. Write first draft of archives paper
2. Write first draft of YA Lit paper
3. Study for Comps
4. Call a friend for her birthday
5. Eat as much as I can keep down (yes, that is a goal - darn food aversions)

5 snacks I enjoy:
1. McVitties Carmel Digestives!
2. Popcorn with a whole lot of butter
3. Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked
4. Cinnabons (especially because they make me think of my aunt Flossie)
5. Sunchips

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. Pay off student loans…
2. Save most of it for practical things (house payments, college fund, etc)
3. Make some donations to my favorite social causes
4. Stay at home with my little girl instead of working
5. Travel

5 places I have lived:
1. DC
2. Indiana
3. Provo
4. Omaha
5. London

Five jobs I have had:
1. Law firm librarian
2. Staff of intern coordinating program
3. Faculty secretary
4. Waitress
5. Retail

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's a girl!

First of all, the big exciting news about my ultrasound is that we're having a girl! Wish me luck - princess stuff is completely out of my league.

Second, ultrasounds are amazing. Aside from the really full bladder part of it. But I wish I had words to communicate how truly amazing it is to see your child, and realize that you haven't just had a chronic case of the flu. It was amazing to see her move around, to see that she loves to keep her hands up by her face, and see her perfect little heart working away. This ultrasound has brought the reality of her arrival home in a way nothing else has. I just can't stop thinking about her, and I can't wait to watch her discover the world and develop her personality.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A few of my favorite things

It has been a rough week, so I allowed myself a pity party for awhile this afternoon. But in exchange, I promised myself I would post five positive things that have happened in the past week. So here goes:
  1. I found a fabulous recipe for blueberry pancakes. I've already made them twice (and have the batter made up to do it again tomorrow morning). Yum!
  2. When I told my coworkers that I'm expecting, one of them offered to knit me a baby sweater, and brought in patterns for me to look at that same afternoon. I love librarians.
  3. We were finally assigned home teachers, and they came by. Really nice guys.
  4. I got free french fries at McDonalds. Given, it was because the guy behind the counter said "good afternoon, sir," when I came up, and he felt so bad he apologized for 2 minutes straight and gave me my food for free. And then I got hit on 30 minutes later on the bus (first time that's happened here). What a weird afternoon. But anyways, free french fries!
  5. I got an unexpected card in the mail from my aunt in CA. It is always nice to know someone is thinking of you.
So those are my five good things. Now it its your turn - what is something good that happened to you this week?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I will not leave my next enrichment meeting maimed!

Quarterly enrichment meetings have always been a little terrifying to me. I should preface this by saying I love attending the club-style enrichment meetings. Book groups, pilates, cooking clubs, small groups of people - very much my kind of thing. But those of you that know me well know that I'm not a coordinated or crafty person. So when the Enrichment activity involves a craft in some form, I know I'm in for it. Me, or the property of the person hosting enrichment. Among my more glowing moments in the past...
  • I can't count the number of times I've burned myself on an iron or hot glue gun at Enrichment. Probably every time I've been handed one.
  • I managed to glue a substantial amount of glitter to someone's table one time. And I'd even put down newspaper to prevent that. I'm still not sure how I manged it, and she never did completely get rid of it (sorry Heidi!).
  • I made a pretty good cut on my finger with an exacto knife on glass etching night. :) No trips to the hospital, but it was memorable enough that for the rest of the evening, one of the young kids in attendance walked around declaring, "OUCH, I'm bleeding!"
  • Knowing my track record, on beanbag-making night, my enrichment leader steered me clear of the scissors, irons, needles, and sewing machines and asked me to fill the beanbags with beans and hand them to the sewers. Seems easy enough. I managed to spill an entire plastic bag of beans on the floor not once. Not twice. But three times. So coordinated.
I have nothing but admiration for women that are crafty, and I think they are very useful skills to have. Shoot, I'd attend a remedial homemaking skills class if it was offered! I'm glad that these activities exist because they are good for carrying on conversations with other women, and there is something soothing about creating something of beauty. But hearing the words "Super Saturday" over the RS announcements this morning made me panic! I walked over to the table of sample projects we'd be doing and felt my usual sense of "what damage will I cause this time" - lovely vases to paint, ornaments to assemble, soaps to make. And then I looked closer. 10AM: Healthy Fall Meals! 11AM: Digital Scrapbooking! SWEET! I am reasonably confident that I do not need to pack bandaids and Neosporin for this activity. Absolutely beautiful...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Top 5 reasons I'm a slacker blogger

Reason #5: I can't do it over my lunch break anymore.
My lunch break used to be my prime blogging time. But my desk is out in the collection, so I can't exactly close the door, and it feels unprofessional to have blogger open where everyone can see it, even if I'm off the clock.
Reason #4: I'm in DC.
If I get off work early, it is just too tempting to run over to the National Portrait Gallery.
Reason #3: Too much homework.
I'm trying to wrap up my degree by the end of the year, so I've had a killer homework load, and will have a killer homework load until mid-December. Yuck.
Reason #2: No camera cable.

We never did find our camera cable after we moved, so I can't post my pictures. There have been several interesting things that I've wanted to blog about, but I keep telling myself that it would be better to wait until I find the cable. And then I don't, so I never blog.
Reason #1: Pregnancy zaps your energy.
That's right. This is my blogging announcement that I'm expecting. I'm due in early February. It is really exciting and terrifying all at the same time (full post on that later), but the timing is perfect, and I'm really excited to move onto this new phase in my life. No regrets at all. But morning sickness is not conducive to blogging. Actually, sitting in front of the television and trying not to barf is about the only thing conducive to morning sickness. I've been very, very lucky in that my morning sickness hits in the evening, so it hasn't interfered with my work schedule. But by the time I've finished work and homework, my body is done for the day, and the only thing left I can handle is watching Scrubs re-runs. Not only do I not have energy to blog, but I'm too tired to do something interesting I can blog about.

Well, now that my secret is out (a.k.a. "I've finally called my immediate relatives whose phone number I can locate") , expect some pregnancy-themed posts, because this is a funny time, and I think it will make for some funny posts that many of you can relate to.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

City living tip

I don't know what it is about me, but I am a very approachable person. Rob talks about how I make "friends" everywhere I go. And when he says "friends," he means random strangers that suddenly want to share their life stories with me. Most people stand quietly at the bus stop, but not when I'm around. They start conversations with me about the Olympics or their renovation projects. Rob still laughs about a local teenager in Canterbury that walked up to me (completely ignoring him) and started telling me really old-school "your mom" jokes. The teen was very upset I'd already heard the one about sitting on a rainbow and skittles popping out. Even in professional situations, the cantankerous lawyers that bring fear into the hearts of the lower-level associates will come up to the table where I'm eating lunch and start talking to me about they time they destroyed their microwave by trying to use it to cook an egg. In case you were wondering, the shell shatters and gets shot out at a very high velocity.

Normally I find this amusing, but there are times when it is inconvenient. There are a whole lot of non-profit organizations in the DC area. This means that there are frequently interns standing on street corners near my office trying to talk to you about world hunger/saving the polar bears/insert cause here. This is where being so darn approachable gets really inconvenient. I mean, I like polar bears and all, but I just paid my tuition and have no money to donate! Bad target. I normally respond to them with a "oh, I love Greenpeace/CARE/OxFam, keep up the good work," and keep walking, but there are some days I just don't want to talk to them. So I've learned the best way to get people to ignore you: start coughing when you get near. Works like a charm. They may love Polar Bears, but not enough to risk catching my case of tuberculosis, apparently. I wonder if this would work on buses...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sky Mall Awards!

We recently got back from a cross-country trip. More on that later. First I'm blogging about the important stuff: you know, my Sky Mall Awards!

One of my favorite forms of entertainment on long flights is the Sky Mall magazine. I love thumbing through the pages of quirky, odd, and dramatically over-priced items. I love thinking about the kind of people who look at this magazine and say, "wow, now I know just what my younger sister needs for her birthday: a voice-activated R2-D2 model! I'm picking up the phone as soon as I get off this flight!" I know they have to work because they've been in business for as long as I can remember, but it has always seemed odd to me.

Well, without further ado, the winners are:

Tackiest: Basho the Sumo Wrestler Table
The table top is even glass for "views from any angle." I don't think I'd want to see any angles of this.

Yard decoration you'd least like to see in your neighbor's yard: Big Foot Garden Sculpture
It definitely is a conversation piece, no doubt about that.

Funniest: Edge Baking Pan
I guess this would be useful if you come from a family where everybody likes the edges, but really, have you ever known a group of people where no one is a middle-of-the-pan person? Still, it made me laugh.

Most disgusting: Indoor Dog Restroom
Yeah, nothing to add here. Maybe less disgusting than the alternative?

Creepiest: Tracking Key
Advertised this way: "Is my teenager speeding? Where is my spouse going? Where are my employees driving?" Maybe I'll change my mind when I have teenagers, but this just screams "lawsuit" to me (maybe because I work at a law firm?).

Anyways, what are some of your favorite tacky products you've come across?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympics Addiction

I'm obsessed. It is really ridiculous. I do blame some of it on being sick and staying home from work today, but I've sat and watched the following Olympic Sports:

  • Swimming
  • Synchronized Diving
  • Gymnastics
  • Water Polo
  • Volleyball
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Fencing
  • Rowing
  • Weightlifting
  • Handball
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Archery
  • Whitewater canoe
  • Equestrian (that one was really boring. I kept waiting for it to get interesting, and it never did)
  • Biking
I should be packing. But there's just something magical about vegging out in front of the TV when you're not feeling well...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Randomness

First of all, I'm so happy my class is over. It was interesting, but I'm ready for a break. So I'm hoping I'll start blogging more often (or at all, when it comes to my other blog), so to start off easy, I'm going to do one of those tags I've seen floating around some of my friends' blogs: six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself.

1 - I am irrationally grossed out by animals without legs (worms, leeches, fish I have to touch). Especially worms. Yuck. But not snakes. Snakes are really cool. I know it makes no sense.
2 - I don't really get into sports on TV, but I love the Summer Olympics. All of it, even the "boring stuff." I even get completely sucked into those really long races that last 25 minutes.
3 - I don't wear a watch. I tell people it is because I used to play water polo and hated taking it on and off all the time, but the truth is it is because I get irrationally upset when things run late (work, church, etc), and I've discovered I'm happier just not knowing what time it is.
4 - I hate reality TV, but I keep finding myself watching "So you think you can dance." Oh look, and it is on right now. How did I end up on that channel?
5 - The thing at my current job that I am worst at is the most menial, mindless aspect of my job: putting spine labels on new books. I can't put them on straight for the life of me.
6 - I've never been to Canada, but I'm kind of obsessed with it. I really want to go visit it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hooray!

I love living somewhere that people actually visit/move to. My dad is coming into town for a business trip next week, and I'm so darn excited. It will be really, really good to see him. I find myself constantly daydreaming (when I should be studying) about fun places we can go. I'm thinking I want to go to a Civil War Battleground with him because he's such a history buff, and I'd get so much more out of it than if I went by myself.

And if that isn't enough good news, Cristie and her family are moving to Baltimore next month! I'm so excited to see more of them.

And to add even more good news, my class will be DONE in 10 days! In case you were wondering, it is a bad idea to take a doctoral level class dealing with the law as a masters student during an abbreviated summer session. Ugh. But I will be a more diligent blogger after it is over, primarily because I will actually have something more to blog about than patron behavior court cases (in case you were wondering, going barefoot in the library is not protected by your first amendment right to free speech - yes, someone actually sued a library for that).

OK, back to anti-circumvention legislation!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Staunton!

Well, I still haven't found my camera cord, but Miss Independent emailed me some of her pictures, so you get to see some of our Staunton trip.


While Miss Independent was in town, we got her (and her friend Alex) all to ourselves for a day when we took a road trip down to Staunton, the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson, and all-around charming small town in the Shenandoah Valley. I grew up singing the song about Shenandoah, so it was fun to be able to picture the area.


First, we went to Wright's Dairy Rite, an old-fashioned diner. I thought it was a lot of fun - we even had to use the phone provided at the table to order our food. Miss Independent got her food served to her in a car, and I love this picture of her.




Next we went to Woodrow Wilson's birthplace. I think my favorite thing there was learning about Woodrow Wilson's first wife, Ellen. I'd read a lot about Edith (who, incidently, the museum barely mentioned, particularly her role in running the White House while Woodrow was ill, but oh well), and it was fun to see Ellen's paintings, and read about her life.
Some pictures of Rob and I at Woodrow Wilson's Birthplace:





We also went shopping in its downtown, rode a funny little kids' train, and drove around the campus of Mary Baldwin college (because it had started pouring rain by then). It was a really fun day, and it was great to see Miss Independent, who I hadn't seen in two years.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Why I love tourists

So I've become a true commuter. I hop on the metro with my comfortable shoes which I change right before walking into my office, I can read standing up without holding on to the railings, and I can spot the tourists from a mile away. Sometimes they annoy me (like when they stand on the left side of the escalator, grr...), but to be completely honest, I'm quite fond of them.

The tourists may not know the unspoken rules of the metro, but they are thoughtful in a way the locals are not. My favorite is when middle-aged men offer their seats to women that are standing. Locals never give up their seats, at least in my experience. I've even seen old men with canes get on the train, and the people sitting in the chairs marked "federal regulations require these seats be given to the elderly and disabled" won't budge. But tourists will do it, just for the sake of being nice. And they are really grateful, too. If you give them directions, or trade seats with their 5 year old so they can sit together, they make you feel like you just handed them a winning lottery ticket or something. Anyways, I know I'm in the minority, but I find them very refreshing.

I'm lame

A real conversation in my apartment a few days ago:

Rob: So I was thinking we could watch a movie tonight.
Me: Well, I've got a lot of homework tonight ... and I need to wash my hair ...
Rob: Did you really just shoot me down high school style?

Yeah, I'm lame.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Netflix!

So, Rob and I finally gave in and treated ourselves to a Netflix subscription. What should be on my queue?

P.S. Pictures of my road trip with Miss Independent are coming as soon as I figure out where we unpacked our cord...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Random Observations on Work

Things have been busy, busy, busy recently. But good. My friend Miss Independent is coming into town this week, and I'm really excited to see her! Pictures will be coming soon thereafter. Yes, I know that I'm lame for not posting pictures in a very long time. But I'm taking an intensive class right now (legal issues for library managers - interesting stuff!), and that's what I spend most of my evenings doing. So do you really want pictures of me doing homework? I didn't think so.

So I work at a well-respected law firm, and I have to admit, I like working for self-important people. Not because it strokes my ego, but because you get a lot of perks when working for "important people." We get fed all the time. Not leftovers like my last job, but my firm has days at least twice a week where it feeds all its employees good stuff to keep its important people happy. Oh, and we have random meetings (which I get paid to attend) frequently where important people's friends come and talk about themselves, give us free copies of their books, and feed us fabulous lunches. Interesting meetings, mind you, but still, they don't really have anything to do with my employment. Love it.

OK, back to homework. I promise I'll write a real post one of these days!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Getting the day off isn't as much fun when you're an hourly employee...

... especially on a day that you were going to get taken out for lunch by your boss, but hey, at least it gave me time to blog! I've really been slacking on my blogs. The biggest reason is our landlord needs to bring us some cords for Rob and I to be able to simultaneously use the internet, so I'm focusing entirely on homework when it is my turn. But anyways, things are busy but good. I've started my new job, and it is going really well. The people at my office are truly wonderful, and I really like the atmosphere. :) Something that I find funny is that there are very distinct cultures for men and women in the office. The women's culture is all about complimenting each other. I personally love it. But I still crack up imagining a 50 year old man saying to another, "Jon, I love that blue shirt on you, it really brings out the color of those lovely eyes of yours." The men are all about joking around with each other, from the little bits I've seen. Anyways, everyone is really friendly to each other as far as I can see.

I'm loving being in a city, even with the metro problems that have been going on all week (at least I've got to read a lot!). I swung by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History after work one day to revisit the dinosaurs that I loved as a kid. They were fun to see, although things were a lot more crowded in there than I remembered them being. Still cool, though. But even though the dinosaurs were fun, my favorite thing I saw there was the bones of these crazy-huge ice age ground sloths. I had no idea sloths could be 20 feet tall! Anyways, sloths are one of those animals, along with goats & tapirs, that I find inexplicably funny, so seeing an enormous one was fun.

Yeah, that's all I've got. Back to homework!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Life is good!

Things have been a little crazy the past few weeks, but things are finally slowing down. Things are going really, really well for us. My big news is that I landed a job in a law library, and I am absolutely stoked about it. I start on Monday. The people there seem absolutely wonderful, and I am thrilled to have a job that directly relates to my career goals (crazy, I know!). I've been able to catch up with some old friends, which has been wonderful. It is amazing to me how with some people, you can move away, maybe send one or two emails in the process of a year, and just start right where you left off when you see each other again. Our neighborhood is lovely. There are some great walking trails near our place that I have been taking advantage of. I'll put up some pictures when I get Rob to come along, so it won't just be trees. Our congregation is really good with us transient types (I had visiting teachers 5 days after moving in - how awesome is that?). We haven't even gotten terribly lost, and a big thanks goes out to Pretty Mahana for that one for the fabulous map they got us as a welcome present! Life is good, and I'm really grateful.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

More random notes because this is all I have time for

Someday I'll write a coherent post again, I promise! But in the meantime...
  • I know, I know, they're not the same kind of mountains as the Rockies, but I absolutely fell in love with the Appalachians. They're so green and rolling, and just have these adorable towns sprinkled throughout them.
  • Someday I'll learn that scheduling a job interview for the day I arrive in a new city is not the best idea (but my interview went fine - it was just a little crazy getting there!).
  • I think I'm going to really love living here. I really feel energized when I'm in a city.
  • Pretty Mahana's baby is adorable. I'm just saying.
  • Walkie Talkies are worth their weight in gold when you're driving separate vehicles cross-country.
  • I didn't realize how much I missed living in a city with an alt-rock station.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Highlights of the Past Week

Things have been crazy busy with the move, but some of the highlights from the past week include:
  • Lots of gracious offers for help loading the U-Haul! I am extremely, extremely grateful for that.
  • A wonderful good-bye bash at my job that left me feeling very appreciated and valued. I've said it before, but I really do feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such thoughtful, grateful, and fun people.
  • A very fun dinner and game night with Elissa and her family.
  • :( My last lesson with my Miamaids.
  • Getting a good long phone conversation with my friend Miss Independent, who will probably be in the DC area sometime this summer!
Ah, and for you fans of The Office out there, I actually did receive a rock from one of my bosses as a good-bye present ... but in a good way (poor Toby)! It was an unopened geode. In this part of Indiana, people are big on keeping unopened geodes because they like the potential and mystery of not knowing exactly what it looks like on the inside, and having something to look forward to discovering. Very cool, and a great souvenir from the region!

This will be my last post until we are in DC. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Week in Review

Wow, things have been busy, so it's time for another week-in-review:
  • Tuesday: Rob and I road tripped with our friend Leslie to Turkey Run State Park for some fun hiking. It had rained recently, so Sugar Creek's water levels were higher than usual, and we enjoyed trying to hike its canyons while staying dry (which we did with varying degrees of success, Rob being the only completely successful one). Pictures will be coming soon.
  • Wednesday: We attended our friend Cora's 60th birthday party, and found a subletter for our apartment!
  • Thursday: I attended the end-of-year orchestra concert of one of my miamaids. I loved it, and I am really, really going to miss the girls when I move.
  • Friday: One of our friends put on their annual "chocolate fest," and we enjoyed the chocolate fountain, watched "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and said even more goodbyes to people.
  • Saturday: The miamaids went to a nearby lake to pick up trash, which they loved. Who knew picking up endless beer bottles could be so much fun (and I don't mean that sarcastically)?
  • Sunday: Our ward continued its time honored tradition of stressing out people that are about to move even more by asking them to speak in church. That said, Rob and I enjoyed doing it. The highlight of my day was one of my Miamaids giving me a goodbye present and one of the sweetest cards I have ever received. I am really going to miss these girls...

Monday, May 12, 2008

The magical world of life during business hours

I've been working an 8-5, Monday-to-Friday schedule for several years now. But I've accumulated a bunch of use-it-or-lose-it personal affairs time that my supervisors are getting on my case to burn (yes, I'm a work addict), so I've started leaving work at noon most days. And oh, how I love it. Work absolutely flies by. Plus, I've been so busy with trying to coordinate everything connected with the move, I've really appreciated the extra hours to avoid a mental breakdown accomplish everything I need to.

I've learned my town is a completely different town during the day. There is no wait in the express line at Walmart. I can get 5 of the 6 washers at my complex's laundry room simultaneously (and not upset people in the process). There's less traffic. It's like a magical time when everything is just waiting to assist me. Except the gym I usually go to, which apparently closes for a few hours in the afternoon (who knew?). Anyways, I can get so much done with those extra four hours, and I feel crazy productive right now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lots of Good News!

I've been slacking on my blog. But that is because so many wonderful and exciting things have been happening, I haven't had time to write about them. Among them:

Graduation!
Sadly, not mine. But Rob's graduation was this weekend! I'm so proud of him and all of his hard work. I should also add that I really understand now why family members get so upset when the graduate won't walk. :) Because dang it, I worked hard to help put him through, and I feel like I earned it too! Lucky for me, Rob did walk, and I loved getting to celebrate his accomplishments.

Special Visitors!
My parents came to town for Rob's graduation, and it was wonderful and incredibly relaxing to have them here. Our new family trend is to spend our vacation time sleeping in, eating fabulous food, doing a little shopping here and there, and just catching up. That's what I call a vacation!


Young Womanhood Recognition!
I was a slacker teenager in this regard, but I just redeemed myself by finishing my personal progress and earning my Young Womanhood Recognition! I got to do a lot of interesting and meaningful goals as a part of it, and I'm grateful I had the opportunity.

Finding out we're moving!
We finally worked out all the administrative red tape for Rob's internship, and we'll be moving to DC at the end of this month. Which means I'll be a stress case in the mean time trying to figure out where to live, where I'm going to work, etc, etc. But we're really excited, and really grateful for this opportunity.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Outdoors Time




I've been slacking on my blog. But at least here are some pictures of us on a hiking trail in our neighborhood.








Thursday, April 24, 2008

Domestic Questions

Note: I was in the mood to pose for dorky pictures, so here you have it.

My fabulous sister-in-law Kathryn sent me a year's subscription to Better Homes and Gardens, and I'm loving it. I spent Saturday turning its pages and dreaming of Portobello Mushroom Curry with Green Rice, and maybe someday having matching furniture and a yard. I think my mom is going to pass out when she learns I read Better Homes and Gardens. Anyways, after reading it, I've been on a domestic rampage for several days. I deep cleaned my living room, tied baby quilts with the teenagers, and tried cooking with some new ingredients. In the process, I had some questions come up that I've never had to consider before. Among them:

  • What is the proper method for peeling a butternut squash? (for fun, I'm including a picture of me looking perplexed by this. Oh, and I'd already chopped off a chunk of it - it previously was a normal-shaped squash).


  • Why do we dry Ancho chilies if we're just going to rehydrate them again?
  • Can a newborn get a poison ivy infection if one of the girls tying it had a poison ivy rash? And for that matter, why didn't the girl ask about it until we'd finished tying it?

Yeah, I don't have much to talk about. Anyways, for fun, here's a picture of one of the quilts (before sewing the edges). It is tough to see, but it has monkeys and says "I love bananas."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Rob!


You guys have all heard me rave about my husband enough on this blog, so I'll keep it short. Rob's birthday is today, and I'm really excited to have a chance to just let him know how much I appreciate him. I love being with him, and I think the feeling is mutual - he even likes to be with me so much that I haven't been able to sneak away from him to buy his birthday present yet because he's wanted to come along every time! Even when I told him I was going to go clothes shopping (I was sure that one would work, but at least I got a new shirt out of it!). I'm so lucky to be married to a guy that is so kind, smart, fun, motivated, grateful, spiritual, thoughtful, supportive ... need I go on? I really didn't know people as wonderful as him existed, and I don't know how I got lucky enough to marry him. Happy birthday Rob!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Earthquake!

So I just experienced my first earthquake (5.2 magnitude). At least in theory. Does it count if I slept right through it? I kind of wish I had woken up so I'd know what it felt like. Hmm ... scratch that. I love sleep. Who knew Indiana had earthquakes?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My nails are painted red, and it weirds me out

Those of you who know me well know that I'm not a girly girl. When I was a little girl, I'd run around with the boys playing Ninja Turtles during recess. I even got in trouble periodically for beating up on them too much. Or so my mom tells me - I forgot that detail. My utter lack of interest and skill in playing competitive sports disqualifies me from being a true tomboy, but I've never been really comfortable in uber-feminine realms either. I don't own hairspray or eyeliner, and I only have one pink item of clothing (a jacket that I positively adore - go figure). Not that I think anything is wrong with eyeliner and hairspray. It just doesn't interest me.

So the activity with the teenagers last night was a little out of my comfort zone. Prom is coming up, so they did a hair/makeup/nails night to try out ideas for the dance. :) And don't worry - I was not the one giving them advice. That would be terrifying and comical all at once. I'd planned to just kind of hide in a corner and maybe break out a nail file, but then I noticed that one of the girls wasn't really being included in the other girls' conversation, and came up with an idea to make her feel appreciated. I asked her if she could do my nails because I'm awful at it. It was a great opportunity to get some one on one time with her, and I'm glad I did it. She's a cool girl, and I like talking to her. :) But now my nails are bright red, and it confuses me. But hey, although it is more feminine than I am used to being, at least I get to think about a new friend I'm making every time I look at my nails!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Brendan!

I love this picture of my younger brother. It shows so much of his personality - the fact he is wearing a "super-dad" t-shirt (on his mission no less, even though he doesn't have kids), the fun-loving expression on his face, and his ability to make an ordinary day interesting (in this case with a pinata). He is turning 22 today, and I'm excited that on his next birthday, I'll be able to call him because he'll be back from his mission in Mexico!

I don't even know where to start with a tribute to my brother. I love that we have had such a good relationship. We've really only had one fight that we can remember, and it lasted 20 seconds and was the result of sleep-deprivation on the way to 5:50am seminary (he still teases me about it, though). Growing up, we had similar interests that allowed us to spend time together - we'd play Ninja Turtles together, watched the same shows, and both participated in marching band. We even got along with similar people - he stays in better touch with most of my high school friends than I do!

Brendan is the kind of person who recognizes good opportunities and good deals. He is really proactive, and always seems to be able to come up with something interesting to do. He's great to travel with for that reason - I loved our "sibling road trip" to attend our cousin's graduation, and the times we met up in Denver and Seattle after I left for college. He has a great sense of humor. He's completely himself, and doesn't know how to be phony, and it is really refreshing to be around.

Happy birthday, Brendan!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Done with classes!

I just finished my final for my class, and I'm excited to have a month and a half class-free break! Today I had a real lunch break. I usually spend my lunch break roaming the stacks of the law library, or typing away at my computer. Today, I roamed off to a little park near my office and read. It was really nice to be outside for a change, and I loved that things are starting to bloom here. I've really been missing the hiking and national parks that Utah offered, but spring in this town is absolutely gorgeous (lots of blooming trees), so I'm enjoying it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Me from A to Z...

I've been tagged by Lisa!

Me from A to Z...
A--Attached or Single? Very, very attached.
B--Best friend? Rob
C--Cake or Pie? Pie.
D--Day of Choice? Saturday – I get to sleep in, relax, go on day trips, take care of those projects that have been nagging at me, etc.
E--Essential Item? :) Google. I can’t handle not knowing whatever random thing me or someone in my office thinks up.
F--Favorite Color? I don’t really do favorites. But I’ve been really into brown recently.
G--Gummy bears or worms? Worms.
H--Hometown? Omaha
I--Indulgence(s)? Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked, a good book, Starbuck’s Caramel Apple Cider.
J--January or July? Hmm, if there’s air conditioning, July. If there isn’t air conditioning, January.
K--Kids? Nope.
L--Life is incomplete without? Rob (yeah, cheesy newlywed).
M--Marriage date? December 17, 2005
N--Number of siblings? 2
O--Oranges or apples? I prefer oranges, but I eat a lot more apples because you don’t have to peel them.
P--Phobias or fears? Hmm ... I didn’t think I was afraid of heights until I tried to hike to Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park. Turns out I’m very afraid of heights when you have to pull yourself along on chains for extended periods of time on a narrow rock fin with 1200 foot dropoffs. Wasn’t pretty. I actually broke into tears halfway through and kept repeating “I’m from Nebraska, I’m from Nebraska, this is too tall” or something to that effect. Yeah, embarrassing.
R--Reason to Smile? When I come home from a busy day and find that Rob has done the laundry/dishes/cooking/etc, which happens often.
S- Season? Fall is lovely, and perfect for hiking, so that’s my vote. But it is tough to beat the fact that in the winter, everything I’m allergic to dies (except for cats).
T--Tag 5 people? Whoever is in the mood.
U--Unknown Fact? Goats crack me up. I can’t explain it, but they are so goofy, I just laugh every time I see one.
V--Very Favorite Store? Borders, or just about any bookstore (yes, I’m a nerd).
W-Worst habit? Total political junkie. I can’t help myself.
X--X-ray or ultrasound? Um, X-ray?
Y--Your favorite food? McVities Caramel Digestives. Yum!
Z--Zodiac? Virgo

Monday, April 7, 2008

Makes me smile

Saturday night, I hung out with my friend Katie while our husbands went to Priesthood session. Her little boy is in the middle of potty training, and he is really into the incentive system. So into it, in fact, that I was surprised to walk out of the bathroom and find him standing there with a piece of candy to give me to reward me for using the big kid potty. :) It was fun being a toddler again.

Friday, April 4, 2008

General Conference Traditions

LDS General Conference is this weekend, and I am very, very excited. General Conference is still a bit of a novelty for me. My parents always had big callings that kept them occupied on Sundays, so conference weekend usually meant road tripping to the nearest relative's house and visiting (our relatives never really understood the going to church every Sunday thing and took a lot of offense that we didn't make weekend trips there). I think my parents checked out the videos from the library or borrowed them from a lucky friend with satellite, but they never made us kids watch them. As a result, when I went to college, I had no idea the four sessions were different - I thought they just replayed the same thing four times! I still remember the look of shock on a friend's face when she invited me over for Saturday morning session, and I said, "nah, I think I'll just catch the rebroadcast on Sunday afternoon." I remember being bored and going down to watch the Saturday afternoon session in my dorm's basement (thinking I'd have Sunday off as a result), and just being blown away by the warmth, wisdom, and power of the prophets and apostles. I've been hooked ever since.

When I lived in Utah for awhile, I discovered that there is a whole world out there of General Conference traditions. I remember being invited over for "Gordon and pancakes," participating in "ladies night out" during priesthood session, and that some people take shots of ginger ale or sparkling cider every time a speaker says "brothers and sisters!" I'm intrigued by this concept, and love that it gives families and friends a tradition to look forward to associated with Conference. I want to learn more about them.

Currently, Rob and I's traditions consist of watching the Saturday sessions on my computer while doing the "General Conference Snuggle." We do a potluck dinner with friends on Saturday night, and then the men go off to Priesthood session, and we girls sit around talking about politics and women's roles. Sunday, we usually get fed up with the constant freezing up on our laptop's connection, and go watch conference with friends.

What are your conference traditions?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Why I love my job

*picture from Harry & David website - I'm not nearly that artistic*

My job is not glamorous, and it can be frustrating at times. But I work with truly wonderful people. My bosses are grateful, thoughtful, and kind, and I'm grateful to be among the few that can say this. A recent example of their wonderfulness is that I recently wrapped up a huge and stressful project for one of my bosses. This morning, she brought me in the stack of candy pictured above. And this is just one example of the many times they have done thoughtful things like this. I'm grateful to work in such a good environment.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sometimes I feel out of my league

I positively love serving in the Young Women organization. I love being with the girls as they develop their testimonies, make important decisions, and grow closer to God. I have loved the moments where by virtue of the unique experiences that Heavenly Father has given to me, I have been the voice they needed to hear. It is amazing to me to look back at my life and see how struggles I have had, or trials I have experienced, have resulted in my being able to give the kind of counsel a young woman has needed to hear. It has been humbling to see the way the Lord has shaped me for his work. Not in an "I am so awesome" kind of way - more of a "God can take someone as flawed as me and accomplish something important."

But sometimes I find the responsibility terrifying. It must be how parents feel. I feel so inadequate in my work with the girls sometimes. The girls trust me so much. I love that they are comfortable coming to me with their deep doctrinal questions. They even come to me with questions and doubts I would have been too embarrassed to admit to anyone I was struggling with when I was 12. :) But sometimes I find myself wondering where the adult is for them to talk to, and realize it is me! I want so much to be able to give them the right answer, to say the words that will make everything right. It is overwhelming to remember individuals that have been prompted to say the right thing at the right time that changed the course of my life, and realize I need to be that kind of person. It is also scary to realize that while my words can tide them over and shape their view, at the end of the day, they will have to find their own answers, and turn to the Lord for the guidance they need. It is odd to feel so responsible and unimportant at the same time. But I'm grateful for the opportunity to help how I can.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I owe my sanity to....



I have been doing very, very mindless tasks at work the past 2 days. But the good news is that they are so mindless, I can listen to other things while I do them. So I've been listening to Spanish podcasts, which is fun for me. I took several semesters of Spanish in college, and I read it fairly well, but I never got good at speaking it. I'd love to be able to use my Spanish in day-to-day circumstances, so this a great way for me to improve my skills, and not let my vocab get rusty.
Hooray for the internet!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Random moments from the past week

Wow, has it really been over a week since I blogged here? I'm slacking. Well, I think it will be fun to see if I can do a week in review (i.e. see if I can remember something from everyday last week).

  • Thursday, we had a barbecue with some friends, and reveled in the fact it was warm enough to do so.
  • Friday, the YW sleepover was canceled last minute, so Rob and I enjoyed some relaxed time at home.
  • Saturday, we attended the tail end of some of our friends' Star Wars Marathon. The whole time, I couldn't get this Divine Comedy parody of a mormonad out of my mind:
  • Sunday, I only had one girl in my class, and it was an interesting discussion. The lesson was on extended families, and both of us have some less-than-ideal extended family situations we're dealing right now. I wish I had been more prepared for the discussion to turn that way, and wish that the lesson had discussed how to strengthen problematic family relationships, but I was able to level with her, and if nothing else let her know she's not alone. I also won cool points with her for liking the band Iron & Wine (I can certainly use them!).
  • Monday, for FHE, Rob and I read President Hinckley's address in the Ensign, published posthumously. It was wonderful to hear more of his words - I wasn't expecting that.
  • Tuesday, the YW activity I organized went well. Several of the girls actually remembered to bring accounts of women they admired, and they were highly respectful to the woman who came to teach them about interior design. I was thrilled.
  • On Wednesday, after a crazy and frustrating day, I came home to find that Rob had cleaned our kitchen. Isn't he marvelous?
  • Thursday, I did a presentation on Jane Manning for our Stake Relief Society celebration of women in the church, and enjoyed the accounts other women shared. I also attended a oral argument with the State Court of Appeals about a murder case. Very different experiences. The oral argument was interesting because on the appeal level, it fascinates me how little the murder itself is discussed. You hear about jury misconduct, court rules, and impermissible evidence.
  • Today, I exercised for the first time in several weeks.
Alright, now you're up to speed on me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My coworkers understand me

In stark contrast to my usual jeans and sweater routine (my office has a relaxed dress code), I showed up at work today wearing a suit. Upon seeing me, one of my coworkers proclaimed, "You look nice today. It's laundry day, isn't it?"

:) My coworkers know me well.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Random bits of domestic advice

Of course, these are all hypothetical, because I am a domestic expert. I wouldn't have done these in the past two weeks. Really.
  • Burning plastic smells bad. It may even make your whole apartment smell bad. Especially plastic burning in an oven at, oh, let's say 350 degrees. In theory, of course.
  • Pasta dishes work out better when you remember to boil water to cook the noodles in. I know you may be tempted to just make the sauce, I mean, that is enough to concentrate on as is, but you'll get out the door much more quickly if you make the noodles before you plan to serve the dinner. I also don't recommend doing this twice in the same week.
Alright, we are all a little wiser now.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Tagged: Nearest book

I've been tagged by Pretty Mahana! Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next five sentences.
5. Tag five people.

This is a really fun tag. Unfortunately, I'm taking a break from legal research, so my closest book is "Sports Law," by Schubert, Smith & Trentadue. Sorry about that. Here's the excerpt:

"Just twenty years ago, most professional athletes negotiated their own contracts. The thought of having an agent was foreign to clubs and athletes alike. But over the past few years agents have had an ever-increasing role in professional athletics. The primary reason for the rising influence and role of agents is that professional team franchises have turned sports into a profitable industry, and athletes can now demand increased compensation for their participation. In less than two decades, athletes have seen their salaries rise from the thousands into the millions of dollars."

:) Just be grateful I wasn't working in the tax law area.

I tag:
1. Lisa
2. Suzanne
3. Elissa
4. Keli (just post in the comments if you're still working on your blog)
5. Anyone else who feels so inclined (if you don't have a blog, you can just post in the comments)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Maybe it is just me...

... but I think it is a bit ironic that my supervisor wants me to pick out the wine list for an upcoming reception. I'm not sure the Mormon girl is the best choice. I'm just saying.

:) Now I know how Ken Jennings felt on Jeopardy. Let's hope wikipedia doesn't lie to me.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

For You Twilight Lovers Out There

I stumbled across some hilarious posts written by a very funny man about husbands trying to compete with Edward and Jacob of Twilight glory. If you've read Twilight, you'll get a kick out of them. I think the funniest thing is that you can tell he actually read the books. Enjoy!

The Twilight Series for Dummies (and totally desperate mormon guys). **SPOILER ALERT: Some plot details of book 2 are discussed **

The Cold Hard Truth About Edward from Twilight. **SPOILER ALERT .... but for Lost, not for Twilight. If you haven't watched the Lost season 3 finale, and don't want the ending ruined, don't read this post **

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Taxes!

Filing taxes is fun when you're a starving student. It is like getting paid fabulously for filling out paperwork. Best paying job I've ever had!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Announcing Erin's LDS women's history blog!

Eat your heart out, Elder Ballard: For my divine nature value project (I'm doing my personal progress along with the girls), I have started an LDS women's history blog. I can't explain how excited I am about doing this. The goal is that every day of women's history month, I will post a feature on an LDS woman (past or present) that has influenced/inspired me. I have loved, loved, loved doing this project. There are so many marvelous women out there that can teach us so much. This project has also given me a strong testimony of the value of journals/records. :) Women are kind of sparse in the scriptures, and the records that these women have kept have given me models for daughter of God I can become. I hope the records I keep will be able to inspire women the way these women have inspired me.

Oh, and I'm still obsessing about what woman to talk about in my presentation for stake enrichment later this month, so if you see a good candidate, let me know!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Some fun for Friday

I thought the name "beehive" was ridiculous, but it is a big step up from "Mi-kan-wees," which is the name the LDS church used for 12 and 13 year old girls in 1929. I really want to know where that came from. I just stumbled upon this Deseret News article, listing LDS church terms no longer in use. :) It made me feel old that I remember being called some of the things on the list. Let me tell you, my 11-year-old self did not appreciate being called a "Merry Miss." Really, I would love to be a fly on the wall in the meeting where a lot of these names were picked out.

What is your favorite outdated LDS church term?

Monday, February 25, 2008

:) Because Rob hasn't gotten home yet, and I need to gloat!

Not only did I just ACE my exam, but I aced it under the following circumstances:
  • I've been sick the past several days
  • Since I've been sick, I've been too exhausted to study for the exam
  • Despite still being sick, I had to work a half day today before taking my exam because I was up against a deadline
  • I had to stand on a sheet of ice in the cold for 15 minutes waiting for my tardy, tardy bus to take me to work
  • AND I was one of the first ones finished!
I'm going to go celebrate my awesomeness by making some herbal tea, changing into pajamas, and watching TV.

And yes, I'm aware this is a boring post. All my creative blogging energy has been going into the LDS women's history blog I'm doing for women's history month (more info coming soon!). But if you came here looking for amusement, I don't want to leave you disappointed. I'm including a shot of my favorite finalist for the "Pimp my bookcart" contest by Unshelved. His name is Oloch. Can you see me making a high school book shelver push one of those around someday?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Some signs I'm too obsessed with the elections...

I thought you might be amused by some of the dreams I've been having recently. I think they say I have been spending too much time following the primaries. And too much time studying, now that I think about it.
  • Michelle Obama was telling my class about how infinitely superior the Code of Federal Regulations is to the Federal Register in performing legal research.
  • Rob told me that he was officially supporting John McCain. He really thought I should too, although he wouldn't be mad if I still wanted to support Obama.
  • Barack and Michelle Obama were staying the night at my apartment while they were in my town campaigning. When I woke up the next morning, they'd made a really big, really nice hot breakfast for Rob and I. Aren't they so nice?
So it's a little weird that I'm dreaming about a major contender for our next President making me breakfast...

Friday, February 15, 2008

A little love



In spirit with Valentines Day, I should have posted this article, where the fabulous Elder Jensen, on invitation of the first presidency, encourages the Utah State Legislature to use more compassion in the way they discuss the immigration issue, and to remember immigrants are children of God. Now that's an appropriate Valentines Day post - encouraging a little more love and understanding.

:) And if Valentines Day made you sick of love, and you want to see some hate, you can read the comments. Dang, it is scary. Can I just say that these people demonstrated why Elder Jensen needed to make the comments he did? Regardless of how you think immigration reform should occur, hatred like that has no place in the dialogue.

Happy Valentines Day (belated)!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why yes, I am a music snob, but I want you to join me!


I'll admit to being a bit of a music snob. I take pride in the fact that I've never heard "Soldier Boy" (which the teenagers think means I'm totally out of touch). I love artists with powerful and meaningful lyrics, and having lived in Omaha for awhile, I have a soft spot for indie artists. I'm currently on a folk/acoustic kick, which isn't exactly top-40 material.

That said, I hate music snobs that only like music that no one else likes, solely because no one else likes them. I dated a boy for awhile that was really into Fountains of Wayne. Then "Stacey's mom" made it big, and he suddenly hated them, ranted about how they "sold out," and no longer liked the music they wrote before they "sold out." People in Omaha were even worse. They'd pick out an obscure band that sounded like a cat jumping around on an electric guitar, with random yelling in the background, and follow them religiously, all because no one else knew about them, and it was their own little secret. So dumb. Sorry, you're letting your music tastes be dictated by a certain kind of image you want to portray - how is that any better?

Ingrid Michaelson is an indie artist that I've been following for a long time. She's been starting to get some national air play, which makes me really happy. She makes great music, and I'd love for her to have a wider audience. But there are also people that are mad that she "sold out," and have stopped listening to her. Um, her music didn't change. It's still the same song it was a month ago - now it is just on VH1. If she'd changed her sound, that would be one thing, but just because other people like her music doesn't mean she sold out. It seems so dumb to be angry that an artist you like is becoming successful.

I just realized this is a weird Valentines Day Post. *Climbs off soapbox.* Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Holiday Cheer

I'm getting really excited for an upcoming holiday. But it isn't the one you expect. Despite being the world's cheesiest newlywed, it isn't Valentines Day, although that will be fun. The holiday I'm obsessing over is women's history month. It is really ridiculous how excited I am about it. I can't stop thinking about how I'm going to celebrate. The thing I'm most excited about is that my stake asked me to do a presentation on a woman in LDS history for our stake enrichment (how cool is it that the Relief Society's birthday is during women's history month?). I hate public speaking, and I can't wait to do this. I'm obsessing over who to highlight - so many good choices! Any recommendations? I love women's history stories. For my divine nature value project (I'm working on my personal progress along with the girls), I'm considering doing either a blog or a compilation of LDS women (past and present) that have influenced me. I'm big on not deviating far from the manuals, but I find myself wanting to toss the book and do a "life and teachings of RS general presidents" lesson (don't worry, I'll be good). But an FHE lesson (or several) will be coming, rest assured.

I've always loved women's history month, but it is approaching mania this year. I just love having this opportunity to celebrate the fabulous women that have influenced me.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What Beehives Feel Good About

Sorry, this was just too funny.

For my combined lesson on Sunday, I started by passing out pencils and paper, having the girls number 1-8 down the side, and then we did a word association game to introduce the idea that our surroundings influence our mood and ability to feel the spirit (words like temple, messy, smile, loud, etc). Which was a mistake because the Miamaids spent the rest of the lesson doodling and not listening to me (never give a Miamaid a pencil). Anyways, after they did the list, I asked a few of them to read their list, and then talk about which words gave them positive feelings. It was going about how I planned until our youngest Beehive did hers. She'd meant to say "I felt good about temple and six" (as in number 6 on the list), but that's not what came out. You guessed it. She got her vowel wrong and it sounded like "I felt good about temple and s*x." And she didn't even notice she'd said it. My jaw dropped for a split second, but I recovered quickly with a "yes, number 6 gave me positive feelings too" and just pushed right into the next lesson point before the other girls had a chance to respond - their eyes just kind of bugged out for a little while. :) Our YW secretary wasn't so lucky - she just cracked up in the back row. But I managed to keep the lesson together, which I'm very proud of.

:) So, I learned that 6th graders have positive feelings about all kinds of interesting things.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Flip Flops


I'm such a political junkie. I've been fascinated by the debates this past week, and the media coverage that surrounds it.

I've noticed that in recent years, being branded a "flip flopper" is political death. Candidates in both parties do all in their power to apply it to their label because they know it works - their candidate is instantly diminished in the public's eye. But is being a flip flopper really such a bad thing? I think it depends on how you flip flop.

You all know that I'm no lover of Romney, but I think it is unfortunate that he has taken the brunt of this "flip flop" phobia. Yes, to my chagrin (and my liking in some issues), he changed many of his opinions from earlier times, but they have stayed consistent since he has postured what his stand will be as President. I don't think that's flip flopping. I think that is reviewing the current state of the issues, reviewing what the U.S. population is looking for, and taking a stand. If he were saying one thing to Wall Street and another to evangelicals, that would be one thing, but I think his actions as President are abundantly clear.

The world is a changing place, and I consider it a strength for a leader to recognize these changes and adjust policy accordingly. I also think it is a strength for a leader to be able to admit they are wrong, and make changes.

And personally, so what if they are changing their opinion to appease the public, as long as they act on that changed opinion? I consider it a plus that an individual is willing to put aside their own wants to do what is best for the people they are serving.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Distract and Conquer

Growing up, my parents were masters of the technique they call "distract and conquer" for taking care of young kids. You parents out there know the routine - you take advantage of kids' short attention span by distracting them with something else appealing. One situation this played out remarkably well in was how they handled my dad's fairly frequent business trips. My mom shaped it as a time when we could "do all those things we couldn't do when daddy is home." Because there were pretty much no restrictions on what we could do in the first place, and because it is my family, after all, most of this focused on food. We'd eat pancakes for dinner (my dad isn't a breakfast for dinner kind of guy), which we loved. My poor dad would eat canned tuna for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on his trips so we could use his per diem to order pizza while he was out (thanks dad!). And my dad would always come home with these fantastic chocolate chip donuts from Giant Supermarket, and we'd enjoy them together. I learned to think of dad's business trips as a time we gorged on delicious and wildly unhealthy foods we weren't allowed to eat the rest of the time, and just played. Of course we would have liked to have him around, but hey, when you're five, dinosaur-shaped pancakes are pretty darn cool, so we didn't mope around.

So do you think this technique will work when Rob goes to DC next month? The days he's gone, I'm really busy, so I don't need to fill my time - although if something cancels, a Spiderman marathon might be in order :). But I think I am going to have to follow my parents' lead and make delicious and wildly unhealthy food an upside of his absence. Last time Rob left for a trip, I ate nothing but ramen because I felt too lazy to cook for myself (and I was moping). But this time, I think I'm going to bulk up on ingredients to make those dinners that I love, but I never make because Rob thinks they are so fatty, we might as well be eating ice cream for dinner (hmm...there's another idea!). :) And if it all comes down to it, maybe I'll have to try dinosaur shaped pancakes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Celebrating President Hinckley


I thought I would be devastated when President Hinckley passed away, but surprisingly, I've been overcome with feelings of peace, and of gratitude for the man he was and the service he gave. So I just wanted to take a few paragraphs and talk about what his service has meant to me personally.

President Hinckley has been the prophet as long as I've really been aware of what a prophet was. I remember going to college and not even understanding that the four sessions of general conference were different (I thought they just played the same thing at four different times to accommodate everyone's schedule - I know, clueless). I remember sitting down in the basement of my community-living style college dorm to truly watch general conference for the first time, and being blown away by the warmth and wisdom of the men and women that lead our church, and especially President Gordon B. Hinckley. I eagerly watched the remaining sessions of conference, and have looked forward to it ever since.

I remember my sophomore year of college, President Hinckley came to campus to set apart the new President of BYU. I had a class right before the start of the meeting, and I knew the seats in the auditorium would be full by the time class got out, so I talked my professor into canceling class that morning so we could be in the same room as the prophet. I remember the joy and the spirit I felt as the congregation spontaneously broke into singing "We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet," and when he waved in the direction of my part of the audience. I had no doubt of the love he has for the saints, and his role as the Lord's servant.

I have loved listening to him speak to the members. He truly had a gift for encouraging people to be better. He demanded a lot of the members of the church, but he never made me feel discouraged or incapable of doing the things he requested. Listening to him made me want to be better, and made me feel empowered to do hard things.

I loved listening to him talk about the importance and power of the women in the church. I've struggled many times over the years with the way local priesthood leaders have treated the women in their congregations, but I have never doubted the love the Lord has for me as a woman when I hear President Hinckley speak, and I have always wanted to achieve the vision he has had for the women in the church.

It has been incredible watching him reach out to the world, and reach out to the members. It is amazing to me the respect he commands from the individuals he interacts with, whether it is an interview on a major news station, or leaders of communities or nations.

I am so grateful for his constant and enthusiastic service over the years. The changes he has instituted have been remarkable. Of course I will miss him, but I am just so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from this wonderful servant of the Lord.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why I love Beehives...

**Translation: Beehives = the 12-13 year old girls I volunteer with**

Last night, we worked on a skit they are doing to introduce the theme of our big annual activity: "Stand steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works." The girls had a lot of really good, funny ideas, and it will be a great skit. However, I really wonder where on earth some of the ideas came from. The idea that takes the cake:

They want to teach "Bom the smoking dog" not to smoke by teaching it about the word of wisdom. I kid you not. Oh, and I should mention that Bom is a smoking, talking dog. Originally, they were going to be teaching a girl that is walking her dog about the scriptures, and then they decided the dog would want to learn too, and then they decided it should be a smoking dog that they help to make good decisions, and then the girl kind of faded into the background. They're pretty attached to this idea - I haven't been able to steer them from it yet (we'll see how this turns out).

Hooray for Beehives - I love their enthusiasm, their willingness to be silly, and how comfortable they are being themselves.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wahoo!

It took two grueling years, but I had a breakthrough today. Today, I finally ordered my wedding pictures! Yes, that's embarrassing. In my defense, I was waiting on family members to let us know what they wanted. But hey, I'm taking my victories where I can get them!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Picturing Motherhood

I’m going to start this post by stating that this is NOT an announcement – I am very much not pregnant right now.

Growing up, my professional ambition consisted of being a mother. I remember playing MASH with my friends in elementary school, and being at a loss for what to put for the second and third options for the “career” category. However, I never wanted to play with baby dolls. My poor mother saved her Cabbage Patch Dolls to share with her daughters (and I was her only girl), and I could care less about them.

As I hit my teenage years, through various forms of personal revelation in my life, I understood that being a stay-at-home mom would not always be doable for me, and that there would be times in my life when my family would depend on the income I could bring in. I braced myself to this truth, and put on a tough face about my need to study hard and my ability to find fulfillment in the work force. But deep down, I didn’t buy it. Even at that young age, I knew that my true fulfillment would be in the home (and I should note this was always personal for me – I recognized that different women would need different things to find fulfillment). When I pictured myself in an adult capacity, I pictured myself teaching my 3 year old to read basic words, talking to my 8 year old about the importance of baptism, attending my 7th grader’s band concerts, and listening to my teenagers as they talked about colleges, majors, and the opposite sex. Interestingly enough, I never pictured myself holding a baby.

As a married woman, I’m very excited to start my family. I have a strong belief in the value of mothers, and I can’t wait to have the opportunities to teach my children about love, service, education, the world, etc. I want to be there as they discover their interests, develop their unique personalities, and grow into the women and men they will become.

But honestly, I still can’t picture myself with a baby. I’ve never been the type to coo over newborns, or get excited about tiny baby shoes. Babies don’t fit naturally into my arms – I always feel awkward. I don’t know how to make my friends’ babies stop crying, and I’m not good at amusing them. I just don’t possess the affection towards and common sense about babies that most females I know do.

Sometimes I wonder if I can handle it. I’ve legitimately wondered if I should adopt 3 year olds and go from there. I worry about being able to bond with a baby. I worry about not being able to retain anything I’ve ever learned about caring for babies – I swear I have a mental block about it. But I firmly believe in the value of motherhood, and I am working to develop my faith that if this is a work my Heavenly Father wants me to do, He’ll equip me with at least adequate skills to keep a baby alive and relatively neurosis-free until they are old enough for me to interact with them in a way that I possess talents for.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

New level of domestic prowess attained!

For the first time in my life, I have cooked with dried beans. Bless those little lentils - so healthy, no soaking required, and a speedy cook time. :) Maybe someday when I'm not working and have several hours to soak beans, I can graduate to dried chickpeas.