Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 23: You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch

I know I have slacked a little bit on my goal to do 25 days of Christmas posts, but the last few days our Christmas mojo took a bit of a beating. On Friday afternoon, a week before Christmas, I got layed off from my job. It did not surprise me that they needed to make cuts since business has been slow for a very long time, but nonetheless it came as a big shock. I have felt the fear of getting layed off for most of this year, but since it had been months from the last round of cuts, my department only had two employees, and everyone believes business will begin to improve in 2010, I thought I was in the clear. I had survived! Apparently I was wrong. Friday afternoon brought words like severance, Cobra, termination, and I cleaned out my desk of 3.5 years where only hours earlier I ate treats from the office holiday desert party.

The days following the layoff have been a bit of a daze in dealing with the reality of being unemployed. Since I turned 16 I have always had a job with the exception of a month when I waited for a new job to start. Growing up my dad always had a job. I have always left a two weeks notice, and I've never been fired.

There have, however, been some bright spots. I get to spend the entire week with my husband who is on vacation from school. I'll have the chance to work on a number of projects around the house that I haven't had time for. I'll have time to bake. I haven't been very happy at my job for a long time and now I get the chance to find something else I'll enjoy more. Most of all it has been a great example of the importance of provident living. The preparations and habits we put in place have greatly lessened, though not completely removed, the stress of the situation, and since we faithfully pay our tithing, I know things will turn around soon. Six months from now we will look back on this and know it all happened for the best. Now I just hope that with Christmas Eve upon us, we can find a way to revive the holiday spirit.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 20: Where Are You Christmas

By, Nate
One story that continues to float around my family starts with shopping with my parents for Christmas presents. Early on when we were younger, my parents made a decent effort to keep our presents a secret from us, so they could only shop for whoever wasn’t there at the store with them.

One particular trip to the store, I was hanging on the cart, trying to help my dad find all of the things he had on his list of things to get. We were walking down an isle and he suddenly grabbed a stereo boombox and put it in the cart. Curiosity immediately got the best of me and I HAD to ask who it was for; he told me it was for my older brother.

What he may or may not have known, was that my brothers and I had an information sharing agreement, so after getting home I told him that he would be expecting a new stereo under the tree. So imagine his surprise when after all the fury had ended Christmas morning and all the presents were unwrapped and there was no stereo anywhere.

I tried to do the honorable thing, and pulled my dad aside and asked him where the stereo was. He and my mom looked at each other, and both said, “Oops.” They then explained that they had accidentally forgotten the stereo and it was still hidden…..and that it wasn’t actually for him, but for me. I didn’t know what to say. Just goes to show you what happens when there are secret combinations at work at Christmas time.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 19: Nuttin for Christmas

Part of the Christmas spirit is sharing with those around us who are in need. During my years in the YSA program, my ward partnered up with the Spanish speaking ward that met in our building to find a few families to help provide Christmas for them. For a Family Home Evening before Christmas we'd wrap up all the presents and make cards. The generosity of the single adults amazed me, one year we even had the ability to provide a few bikes for the kids.

Similarly my family has frequently made it a holiday tradition to share our many blessings with those around us. We would almost always pull tags from the Christmas Angel tree at school or church. Another year I can remember having a single mother whom my dad knew and her couple kids over to the house for Christmas dinner and we had a few presents for them. In recent years my parents have, with the help of their Bishop, picked a few families in their ward that could use a helping hand and then anonymously deliver a pre-loaded Visa gift card along with a treat at their home.

I appreciate the example of generosity and love that my parents have provided me. It has taught me much over the years to watch them look out for the welfare of others. I hope that I can continue this example with my own family one day to show gratitude for the many blessings we receive.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 18: Jolly Old St Nicholas

By, Nate

I think that I can contribute to my wife's effort to have 25 days of Christmas memories in here. One of my favorite memories of Christmas was the year I decided to leave a little snack for Santa. This was no ordinary was chocolates.
Let me explain. Every year, my family would cover the kitchen table in plastic, melt down about 50 pounds of chocolate, and make various kinds of truffles, nut clusters, haystacks, Turtles, peanut butter cups, peanut brittle, you name it we made it. We would then use these as Christmas presents for all of our family friends and relatives.
So on Christmas Eve, I got an assortment of chocolates set out for my offering to Santa (on the advice of my father there were a large amount of Turtles involved, his favorite). I set these out, and left a cup right next to the plate. Being the conscientious kid that I was, I didn't leave any milk out, but I did leave a note explaining to Santa that the chocolates were his, and where he could find the refrigerator and where the milk was within the refrigerator.
The next morning, when I awoke, to my surprise the chocolates were actually gone! I looked in the cup, and there was a milk ring at the bottom! He had actually eaten them! He had found the milk! I looked at the note that I had left him and there was a message from him thanking me for the snack. I remember having this note on the corkboard in my room for years afterwards, until one day that I noticed a similarity between Santa's handwriting and my Dad's. But I will always remember that I honestly thought that I had fed Santa.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 17: Home for the Holidays

My favorite part of our trip to Utah, by far, was time we got to spend with family in a way that we haven't done in quite a while. We saw numerous cousins and their spouses/fiances whom we haven't met before. The timing of our visit also worked out perfectly that we were able to attend the missionary homecoming talk of my cousin Ryan. Seeing the little boy I mostly remember up on the stand as a 6'4" return missionary was quite a change. Back at my aunt's house, the house was full of food, people, and conversation. It was reminiscent of our family gatherings of yore only instead of playing hide and seek we discussed politics, law, sports, and cousin Jessica's pharmacology/toxicology research. My how times have changed. Little kids are now adults but remain family and thus always a little bit of home.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 16: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

When we arrived in Utah we didn't have many firm plans on what we wanted to do other than see the Christmas lights at Temple Square. This was a must for our trip. I can remember getting bundled up to go see the lights when I was little, Tyler, however, was too young and does not. Of course a lot has changed at Temple Square since then. When I went to see the lights there was no Conference Center, and the temple was separated from the Joseph Smith Memorial building by a road not a square of gardens and fountains. Some things never change though...

the temple and the lights look beautiful...

it is a popular event with lots of people...

it gets a little cold out.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 15: Walking in a Winter Wonderland

A few months ago I received a notice in my email about Southwest Airlines' super sale on airfare. Shortly after I also received an email from my mother. "Did you see this? How about a trip to SLC as part of your Christmas gift?" The next thing I knew it was all planned out, the family was going on a weekend trip to Utah for our big Christmas event. It was the closest thing to a White Christmas that our family had experienced in ages, and the trip was just long enough that we left enjoying the snow instead of loathing it.

During the trip I had the chance to share with Nate a few of the things I loved when we lived in Utah. We drove down my old street and pointed out all the old houses we used to know then we drove by our old house, which looked pretty good for being as old as I am. Then we made our way to Lostwood Drive, where we stayed with Grandpa and Ellen. Ironically Ellen's house is two doors up from the house my Grandpa and Grandma lived in from the time I was about 7 or 8 up until after Grandma passed away. It felt strange to drive up the street and see an unfamiliar car pull into the drive way. Here we were on the same street, but not the same house, where many memories were made. Several days later I'm still trying to get my brain to compute this odd twist.

Saturday morning Ellen made us breakfast. A never ending breakfast. Apparently the cook at Hotel Jackson takes tips from the rodizio style of service, only there's no stopping. The plates refill faster than you can say no, or even when you do say no it doesn't matter, more food ends up on your plate. "Just one more piece," is Ellen's mantra. We found the only way to get the flow of food to stop was to quickly take our plates off the table, rinse them and put them in the dishwasher. Hmmm, maybe this is really all a ploy to get the dishes done.

After breakfast, Nate and I took a walk, after all we needed to work off the loaf of french toast we had just consumed and Ellen had a ham dinner planned for later in the afternoon. We walked down the hill to Dimple Dell recreation area where I had spent many an afternoon walking with my aunts and cousins when I was younger. Surrounded by mountains, the snow covered trails were quiet except for the sounds of a few birds and the barren trees creaking in the wind. I think we could have stayed out there for hours more though we got back to the house just in time to stop the search party (my mom and Tyler) from heading out.

Another fond memory of my visits to my grandparents' house was playing Foosball with my cousins. Whatever my grandparents paid for this table they definitely got their money's worth as it has provided hours of entertainment for...oh... probably 20 years. When I caught a glimpse of the table in the basement during our tour of the house I knew some serious game time would be involved. After a good amount of research the rankings are thus...

Nate v Jenny=fairly even match up. I think Nate came out on top overall but by a very narrow margin.

Matthews v Jacksons=Here the Matthews' teamwork comes out just too hard to beat. Tyler would tell you that Dad was more of a handicap.

Matthews v Tyler=Tough battle but Matthews edges out a win once again.

Tyler v Any Single Person= Tyler all the way as the ball speeds into the goal faster than one person can react. He puts all he has into the game and has the blister on his thumb to prove it.

Hours of family fun for everyone.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 13: Oh Come All Ye Faithful

Last year Christmas was extra special. Five days after Christmas Nate and I got married, and two days before I went through the Mesa temple to receive my endowments. What a wonderful gift to be able to experience the temple for the first time days before we celebrate Christ's birth. The day was great as we had the feeling of happiness and peace that the temple brings. I admit there were a few nerves but I was surrounded by the love of friends and family. It felt like a early mini Christmas dinner as we gathered back at my parents' home afterwards. Food covered the kitchen island. Everyone gathered around the kitchen and dining tables to enjoy good food and even better company. I feel so blessed to have family and friends that enjoy spending time together.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 12: Snoopy's Christmas

As anyone who has had them knows, pets are just furry members of the family, and since they're members of family, in our house, they celebrate Christmas too. Now my family has only had two dogs, but my mom always made sure they had something new and special on Christmas day. They even have their own paw shaped stocking. Their gifts are usually small; a new stuffed toy which will be unstuffed by the end of the day, a bone and some treats. The dogs always know that something special is going on and will pester my mom until they get their gift too. Then they are content, even if toys and treats go ignored. Everybody needs a little love and attention on Christmas.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 11: Want a plane that loops the loop, Me, I want a hula hoop

Over the years we have given and received numerous gifts. Shirts, ties, coats, shoes, skates, perfume, and toys galore, but of all the gifts there are just a few that are truly memorable and stick with you through the years. For some it may be their Red Rider beebee gun with a compass in the stock, for me it was my blue dollhouse. I know there are better pictures out there but I searched and searched and this was the only one I could find. This blue dollhouse was a complete surprise for me. I don't remember asking for a dollhouse, but there it was Christmas morning; a true labor of love. My dad built this dollhouse with his own two hands. The story goes that over the weeks leading up to Christmas, my dad and a neighbor got together and built dollhouses for their daughters. After work they would meet in a cold garage, and over dinner of pizza and soda, the sawed, sanded, glued, and painted two blue dollhouses. I loved this dollhouse and over the years my mom and I decorated it. We used little spare pieces of linoleum for the kitchen, scrap carpet for the family room, and one day there were plans for wallpaper.

After I grew to old to play with Barbies, I continued to hold on to the dollhouse with the idea that one day my daughter would enjoy playing with it. It moved to different spots in my parents' house and eventually got stored in the garage where, sadly, one day it went missing. We're not really sure when or how, but one day I asked about it and we couldn't find it anywhere. The theory goes that one day while the garage was open some one came by and took it. My heart broke to hear that it was gone, and I think my dad felt the same. Perhaps one day I could convince him to build a new one for his future granddaughter, should we be so lucky.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 10: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies

A holiday staple of every school age child is the school play. In fourth grade my teachers decided to put on a rendition of The Nutcracker. I can be pretty shy when it comes to preforming in public and would much rather be part of the supporting cast. Instead I ended up with a part as a sugar plum fairy, I'm pretty sure that Chari put me up to it. I am not a dancer. I never took ballet and only had a few tap classes. I feel fairly confident in saying this was my first and only time dressed in a tutu and it was in public no less. This picture, taken shortly before we took our places on stage, captures my feelings perfectly.

Terror, butterflies in my stomach, if I don't breathe maybe I'll pass out and wont have to go on stage. Luckily all went well and I didn't fall off stage, though I've never put on a tutu again.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day 9: Deck the Halls

One day during Christmas break, while I played outside with some friends from the neighborhood we some how came up with the idea to decorate the Christmas tree that was lying by the side of our house. Christmas Day had passed and the tree was just sitting there, drying out, until the tree pickup team came by. I can't remember the context that resulted in our tree decorating but I'm guessing it was some sort of make believe house type game.

We got everyone involved, including our younger siblings, and started gathering up a bunch of toys from our backyard sandbox. Pretty soon the tree gleemed with trucks and cars of all shapes and sizes. The whole process kept us entertained for what seemed like hours. My mom thought it was quite creative and funny despite the mess.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 8: Oh Tannenbaum!

Last weekened we went out to find our Christmas tree. Not long ago, my brother in law, Cris, asked Nate and I if we were interested in taking a day trip to cut down a Christmas tree. I haven't had a real tree in ages and since my current fake tree is older than most people's shoes, plus the fact that this is our first tree, I thought it would be fun to take Cris up on his offer and perhaps start our own tree tradition. Saturday morning we got up bright (or should I say dark) and early to make the 4 hour drive past Show Low and past Sunrise ski resort, to the cutting fields. Outside the protection of the car it was a cold blustery day and my orginal plans to snap a quick Christmas card photo were unfortunately squashed. Looking chilly and rosy is one thing, blown away is another.

We walked, and walked, and walked all over the field in all directions. At each tree we considered I jokingly asked Nate if that one "spoke to him." After a bit of redneck ice skating, and some moments of contemplation we decided on two trees. Since we needed one more we drove further down the road and found a spot that was more protected from the wind. Here we found our tree and in it a little extra surprise... a bird's nest, carefully crafted but long since abandoned.

Loaded up on firs we made the drive back to the Valley, where after a nice warm bowl of homemade chili we got to work decorating the tree. Looks like we are officially decked out for the holiday.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 7: Do you hear what I hear?

Years ago my mom switched from real Christmas trees to a fake one in order to help my dad out with his allergies. Before that, however, the trip to the tree lot was a yearly adventure. Walking through the rows and rows of trees, my mom would search for THE perfect one for us to take home. The perfect tree was a Noble Fir with sturdy, full, evenly spaced branches. She had to find the tree that "spoke" to her. The tree that said, "I'm yours, take me home." As a kid sometimes it felt like we searched for hours, but when we got the tree home, and mom worked her decorating magic, it really was the perfect tree. This last weekend as we looked for our own tree, I found myself asking Nate if the one we were looking at "spoke to him."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Day 6: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Christmas is a joyous season, unfortunately not all holiday memories are happy ones. Christmas Day 2007 started out like most Christmases do with a warm breakfast and presents. Later that day as we prepared for dinner and entertained some family friends the phone rang. The caller id showed that it was Grandpa calling, and expecting it to be the customary Christmas phone call my dad answered with a jovial, "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" "Zelda passed away," Grandpa replied. As if all the air was sucked out of a balloon, the room and the spirit deflated as faces fell and conversations stopped.

My Grandpa's second wife, he married Zelda shortly after the death of my Grandma several years prior. Zelda was a strong, vivacious, woman who grew up on a farm, enjoyed hiking and playing acoustic guitar with her brothers, drove an SUV, took her vitamins and always ate her vegetables. That morning as they prepared to make the drive across the Salt Lake Valley to my Aunt Patty's house in Draper she complained of having a incredibly bad headache and feeling cold. Grandpa suggested they lie down for a bit before they had to leave. He tucked her under the blanket, and that was it, a while later she was gone. An anyeurism. Graciously quick but painfully unexpected.

At home we went into planning mode. When was the funeral scheduled for? How were we going to get there? Would Dad be able to get off work to go? At the same time my heart broke for Grandpa who yet again faced the challenge of burying a beloved companion and was alone once more. Knowing how difficult the solitude was for him before he remarried, we pondered how he was going to deal with this pain. Here's where the true spirit of Christmas comes in. Grandpa was enveloped and uplifted by the arms of a multitued of friends, family, and a Savior who all love him deeply. As for Zelda, well, I think she and my Grandma are good friends on the other side comparing notes on what it was like married to Earl, and who knows maybe, just maybe, they got right to work for six months later Grandpa married Ellen. What can I say, Grandpa's an adorable, loveable, ladies man.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 5: Here We Come a Wassailing

A couple of years ago I spent Christmas Eve with the family of the guy I was dating at the time. It was really the first time I had seen Christmas first hand with another family. After dinner we gathered around the tree to open up presents. Once we finished with presents it was time to strike a chorus. In the corner of the living room sat a small electric keyboard and a song book tattered from years of use. With everyone crowding together to see the words, we all picked some of our favorite Christmas songs to sing. I admit I felt a little embarrassed since I don't particularly enjoy singing infront of other people. It didn't matter how tone deaf or off key they sang, or if we messed up the words, or if dad really didn't know how to play the song on the keyboard, everyone enjoyed the tradition and the time with their family.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 4: Up on the Housetop

up on the rooftop

I am naturally curious, ok some may call it nosey. I don't do it maliciously, and I have learned to control it over the years, but when I get tipped off that something is going on I want to know what it's about. I guess I need that sense of control. When I was 8 years old, something, I don't remember what, made me suspicious about Santa. I suspected that Jolly Ole Saint Nick, the portly old fellow with rosy cheeks, 8 (9 if you count Rudolph) tiny reindeer and a sleigh full of toys, was actually a man and a women I call Mom and Dad. Dun, dun, duunnnn!

I was determined to confirm or refute my suspicions, so on Christmas Eve in our little apartment, after my dad tucked me in bed, I didn't fall asleep. Even a while later when my dad quietly checked on me, I pretended to be asleep. I quietly lay in bed, listening to what was going on outside my bedroom. Then I heard it. I heard my dad go out our front door multiple time; I heard the rustle of plastic shopping bags, the squeak of scotch tape, and the hiss of scissors slicing paper. I slid out of bed, carefully walked over to my bedroom door, and ever so slowly turned the door knob to crack the door open a very tiny bit. I peered through the crack and that's when I saw it. Mom and Dad wrapping presents and putting them under the tree. I KNEW IT!! Feeling thrilled at my discovery I quietly closed the door and walked over to the the desk in my room where previously that evening I had placed a small piece of paper and a pencil. I guess I had figured I would need to write my discovery down so that I wouldn't forget it, think it was a dream, or needed to provide proof to my friends. "Santa is Mom and Dad," I wrote and slid the paper under a pile of other stuff, after all I couldn't let THEM see it.

The next morning we got up, opened our stockings, and waited for the Christmas music so that we could open presents. While we opened presents I didn't let on that I knew. I couldn't spoil the fun for everyone (see I told you I wasn't malicious), and I was content to quietly know the truth. I can't recall how many years it was before I finally told my parents that I knew, I'm not even completely sure I've told them this story of how I found out (sorry Mom and Dad). So I guess the moral of the story is I'm sneaky and I'm nosey which is a dangerous combination for surprises. It is a good thing my husband is good at hiding stuff around the house, but it's also a little bit of torture.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day 3: Tis the Season to be Jolly

Coming to Arizona removed us from all of our extended family thus we lost a lot of our big family gatherings requiring us to start our own family activities. Every year we go out as a family to one big Christmas event. We have seen The Nutcracker ballet, ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo, A Christmas Carol at Herberger Theater, Michael McLean's The Forgotten Carols at the Orpheum, and Las Noches de las Luminarias at The Desert Botanical Garden just to name a few. When the big night of our family outing arrives, we get dressed up and head out for dinner before going to the event.
I can't really say which outing has been my favorite as they each have something special. I will say that we only went to the ballet once while the others have had repeat years. I am particularly excited for this year's event; this one is going to be big and probably will rank as my favorite for quite a while. I'll save that discussion for another day.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 2: Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go

When we lived in Utah we had a lot of extended family close by. Out of the four kids in my dad's family, 3 of us lived on the same street with grandma and grandpa just 10-15 minutes away. With so much family together, holidays were always a big to do. On Christmas Eve we would all gather at my grandparents' house and exchange gifts with the cousins who's names we had drawn. We'd open their gifts along with the one's from grandma and grandpa, which somehow made the waiting for the next morning's splendor a bit easier. After we moved away we continued the tradition of opening one gift, usually grandma and grandpa's, on Christmas Eve.

In addition to opening the gifts we would frequently have Christmas Crackers. For those not familiar with crackers, these are not of the Ritz or Chicken-in-a-Biscuit type but rather are brightly colored paper tubes that when the ends are pulled they snap (or crack) apart to reveal a paper crown and a small prize. The crackers are a UK and Canadian tradition for after we moved to Arizona we couldn't find crackers until a few years ago. Sadly the prizes of the few I've had aren't nearly as good as the ones I remember, or maybe I need to just keep trying to find the good stuff.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

25 Days of Christmas

It seems like just yesterday I was decorating for Halloween and now Christmas is 25 days away. Amazingly Nate and I are just about done with our Christmas shopping when historically I don't think I would have even started by this time. I believe I'm converted to early shopping from now on though because it is a nice feeling knowing that in the coming weeks I can enjoy the festivities without trying to combat the mall parking lot and busy stores. The older I get the less patience I have for massive shopping days.

In the spirit of enjoying the days leading up to Christmas and inspired by ABC Family's 25 days of Christmas, I'm going to do (or at least try to) my own 25 days of Christmas memories and traditions.

Day 1: I heard the bells on Christmas day

Growing up, every Christmas morning we'd wake up to find our stockings filled and layed carefully next to our beds, but we could not open them yet. When everyone woke up we would pile on to my parents' bed, still in our pj's, and open our wrapped stocking stuffers together. The bottom of the stocking would always be filled with M&M's, other chocolate goodies, and an orange or tangerine.
After we finished with the stockings it was time for presents...BUT...we had to wait in my parents' bedroom as my dad went out to really set the atmosphere. He'd turn on the Christmas lights and music, get the chairs situated, and stand ready with his camera. Many years I remember opening presents to the sounds of Mannheim Steamroller.
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
As a kid, waiting the few minutes for dad was torture as the anticipation built.
Only when dad was all set and gave us the go ahead could we come out into the living room to see the glittering tree with presents spilling from underneath it.

They grow up so fast


December is here and 2009 quickly draws to a close bringing with it the graduation of our senior nursery class to primary. In order to help ease the transition, over the past few weeks we've transported our little gaggle down the hall for Sharing Time to sing and listen to the lesson with the rest of Junior Primary. Some days go better than others. One day upon catching a glimpse at freedom they organized a mass jail break and made it to the opposite side of the building before Nate caught up with them. Each of them adjust to the new experience in their own individual way. For some the piano is "too loud." Others who are normally vibrant and out going become shy, reserved, and just want to go back to their class. Many have sibilings or parents in other primary classes which provides a new source of distraction. As a primary teacher/leader you must get used to only having 10% of the group's attention at all times.

I have enjoyed getting to know this group of kids and watch their personalities develop. We will miss many of them, others...well...we're willing to share their vivacious spirit with other primary leaders. This last week we combined the junior and senior nursery into one class since many were gone for the Thanksgiving holiday and we noticed a striking disparity between the two age groups. While the younger ones quietly played in the corner together taking turns with toys, the older ones were a melee of trucks and cars zooming the length of the room. How will we deal with the quiet? Though I doubt it will last long as the cycle will inevitably continue. They will grow, feel more comfortable around us and find their voice. They will experience the struggles of potty training. They will go from happenstance playmates to friends; then we will send them off from the world of puzzles, snacks, toys and bubbles to the world of Sharing Time and loud pianos to find their way as Sunbeams.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home again, home again

Nate came home safe and sound from his trip to Portland. I enjoy having my buddy back to warm my side of the bed before I get in, plus he brought me these...

bacon maple bar Peanut butter and oreo
from Voodoo Doughnut.

This quirky independent doughnut shop has been featured on a number of food and travel shows. I've wanted to go there for a while should I have the chance to visit Portland again one day, so you can imagine my disappointment when we decided it would not be practical for me to join Nate on his trip. Luckily that disappointment was erased as my sweet husband carefully wrapped up the doughnuts in their white paper bag, stowed them away in his backpack, and flew them home. That is true love right there.

Let me tell you the bacon maple bar, while strange looking, is mouthwateringly delicious. Crisp thick bacon with just a hint of smoke, not-too-sweet maple glaze, and soft fresh yeasty dough, it's like a breakfast platter in your hand. As Nate told me about his trip I devoured my delectable treat only to realize after the fact that I hadn't taken a picture of it. Thankfully Voodoo Doughnut and the internet filled in where I fell short.

I guess in the end time apart wont be so bad as we appreciate our time together that much there's the possibility of goodies. Wonder what he could bring me back from Tucson?

Kill Wilbur

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm all alone, there's no one here beside me

My husband left me yesterday.

It's only for 42 hours but regardless he's gone. He's off galavanting through the streets of Portland, meandering the mountains and coast line, eating yummy Tilamook factory ice cream and squeaky cheese, while I'm here. Home. Alone. For the first time since we got married. Sure he's worked a few late shifts at the hospital, but he always came home that night.

It's funny how quickly we develop a routine and how odd it feels when that routine is disturbed. Surely dinner can't be over, Nate hasn't come home and who is going to do the dishes? Surely it can't be time for bed, who's going to kiss me goodnight, tuck me in, and keep me warm? Yes it is time (and don't call me Shirley).

Lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, all my senses felt heightened. The house seemed dark, too dark. The silence sounded too quiet making all pops and creaks magnified. Even the normal sounds of my digestive system sounded amplified to startling levels. Nights like these make me wish we had a dog, or a gun, alas the mega Mag light will have to suffice.

To enjoy my 42 hours of ME time, I did make myself a treat of some of my neglected food friends. Lemon dill baked halibut (Nate dislikes things from the sea), and a sauteed vegetable medley of grape tomatoes (the only good tomato for Nate is a processed one) and cremini mushrooms (there's usually not much fungus among us). Deliciouso! A meal so nice I think I'll make it twice.

Over the years I'll get used to the nights apart as we enter residency and nights on call will take their spot in our routine. I get a second shot at this whole alone thing in a few weeks when he goes to Tucson. I think fish, Mag light and I will become fast friends, though never fully comparing to or replacing my best friend, I still prefer him over anything any day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All you need is...

Love for...


Reading Terminal Market


Valley Forge


and pumpkins!

Thanks Philadelphia we had a great time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Now this is the story...

Oh in West Philadelphia, born and raised...

on a playground is where I spent most of my days...

chilling out, maxing, relaxing...

all cool..

and all shootin some b-ball outside of the school, when a couple of guys who were up to no good started makin trouble in my neighborhood. I got in one little fight and my mom got scared and said, "you're movin' with your autie and uncle in Bel Air."

I drove up to the house round 7 or 8, and I yelled to the cabbie "you home smell ya lata!"...

Looked at my kingdom and I was finally there to sit on my throne as the prince of Bel Air.