Thursday, April 30, 2009

Love and Hate

Hate:

I don't actually hate writing articles, exactly.  Sometimes they're a breeze and I can whip out as many as four in an hour (that's 2,ooo words - this happens rarely, though)  Three an hour is more like it.  But sometimes, like yesterday, I can't even do two.

What I hate is at dinner time being only halfway through my article writing because they're mostly about cappuccino and espresso makers and my research on the subject necessarily begins with this search: "What is cappuccino/espresso".  You know it's going to be slow going when you have to ask for definitions of the keywords. 

Then I hate finally allowing my starving self to go make my favorite dinner ever (Skillet Ziti with Chicken and Broccoli, so simple but I cannnooooot stop eating it) for a break, only to find that I can't start cooking until I wash about every dish in the kitchen and clean up, too.  

I also hate when I've finally got the dishes done and look down and see the SAME crushed pretzel lying on the kitchen floor that I have not been sweeping up for two days because I've been on the verge of vacuuming any minute now (for two days) and I decide something MUST be done about it right this minute, as I slowly waste away in my hunger.  Instead of pulling out the the dustpan and little broom I get out the vacuum and proceed to vacuum the entire downstairs.  Then I decide to mop the entire downstairs too, before heading back into the kitchen to finally get dinner started.

Love:

I love sneaking away from my writing occasionally to read excellent posts about good friends meeting each other for the first time and their adventures. 

I love when I'm stressfully trying to wash those dishes quickly so I don't pass out or die of starvation before I can get dinner made, and Greg comes in and tells me something that cheers me up/horrifies me.  He's been really sick and he had to go see his accountant in town.  When he went in the office he told her right away, "I'm not going to shake your hand because I haven't been feeling well since I returned from a trip to Mexico."  She literally pushed off away from her desk and started stuttering.  Greg, being the evil person that he is, wanted to continue and pretend he hadn't heard about swine flu, but thought better of it and told her he was kidding.  What a terrible joke.

I love freshly vacuumed and mopped floors.  

I love eating Skillet Ziti with Chicken and Broccoli.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Congratulations And About A Hike

The winner of the giveaway, randomly chosen by Ewelina is the 21st commenter, which is Charrette!!  I'm even going to really send her a package in June, despite the fact that she lied in the comments here.  Or maybe she was just making a joke.  Yes, that must be it. (She said "Congrats!  You started just before I did!  But you are way better at it than I am. . . ."  As a matter of fact, this is sort of funny because I've been contemplating adopting a more Charrette-style blogging schedule.  This means that I would blog whenever I felt like it, and more likely when I actually had something to say (although what I'll say will never be as thought provoking or well written as what she writes!).

So congratulations, Charrette!  Email me your mailing address!  

And I'll end with a couple of pictures from our trip up the Holy Cross Mountain to visit a monastery.  Greg had taken a group of missionaries there a few weeks before and had made friends with a monk-in-training and talked to him about the Book of Mormon.  He was interested in reading it, but neither Greg nor the missionaries had one on them at the time (oh, for shame!  Who doesn't take one along when they're hiking?), so we all went up there to deliver it.  

Well, that was the main reason we were going, but for David, the main attraction was to be seeing the petrified cadaver of the Polish-Lithuanian aristocrat  Jeremi Wiƛniowiecki who died in 1651 and whose son became king.  Unfortunately the sanctuary was closed when we got there so we missed out on that (I was heartbroken, let me tell you.)  But David actually cried.  He is a serious lover of all things ancient Egyptian, and especially mummies.  This was his first chance to see one (sort of) in real life.  

The hike up the mountain was gorgeous.  It's surrounded by a completely preserved forest which was ringing with birdsong and smelled moist and earthy.  The leaves were just starting to appear on the trees and there were fallen trees in various degrees of decomposition everywhere and they just made the whole forest floor look like out of a fantasy novel.  I totally expected some mythological creature to peek its head around one of the trees at any minute (it never did, though.  I guess they're shy).  

This was also great exercise for all of us.  We were actually on our way home from Greg's parent's house after Easter, where we had spent a few days in the forest on long walks.  We are just getting interested in Nordic walking, and on the way up the mountain I used the sticks the whole time.  Now there's a good workout!  And Aaron LOVES walking  uphill, (bonus!).  I felt so good after this that I've been walking every day since (although not Nordically, as I do it in our neighborhood).  

So, yeah.  The pictures.  Here they are.  You can't see the kids faces in either of them, but that's not very important to me (even if it drives my mom crazy) and they were taken on his cell phone so, you know.  And I realized belatedly that I should post some pictures of the monastery itself.  Maybe later. . .




Tuesday, April 21, 2009

One Yearish Mark GiveAway

I'm pretty bad with celebrations.  I can do them, and I enjoy them, but I don't do things big very often.  So in keeping with that bad personality trait, I proclaim:

It's been about a year since I started blogging!!  

How official and celebratory is that?  I started posting on my regular schedule April 16th.  I was going to celebrate on the day a stranger first commented on my blog (that's you, Becky!) which would be in July, but that is too late for me to mail something to someone, since I plan to do it in June when I'm in Hamerica (that's what Greg calls it, so I do sometimes, too.  I doesn't mean anything besides America). 

So there you have it.  I love blogging.  I love keeping up with family and friends and I really love the new friends I've made.  I love that I can write whatever I want, even though I sometimes feel bad because it's not worth reading for others, but I want to write it anyway.  So I do.  I have stayed true to myself in this blogging world, though, and that's what counts (to me).  That and the friendships I've made and getting really amazing insights, information, stories and laughs from you all.

I really appreciate you guys a lot.  I would like to be rich and just send a package to everyone I'm friends with through blogging.  Maybe next year. . .

So what am I giving Away? you might ask.  I'm not really sure!  Now race to enter the giveAway, everyone!!  :)

I'm giving Away Polish stuff.  I have a suspision that it will be mostly food but I'll be sure to include some other Polish stuff, such as things that they have in Poland that aren't food.

To enter, just leave a comment on this post.  I'll choose a winner on Saturday (and mail the stuff, as I said, in June, sorry!).  And I hope it's YOU!  (meaning, no need to spread the word.  Let's keep this in the family (plus people who chance upon it, you're invited too, of course!), unless you know someone who's crazy about Polish stuff or something, then you can share.)
*********
Now to COMPLETELY change the subject for a minute.  I need to vent a little.  About Breaking Dawn.  I know I'm extremely late to that party, but here I am.  **might be spoilers ahead**

I'm not the type to get worked up over a story or to be too critical, or generally to get all involved, so that's not what this is about.  I just really need an answer to a question I keep having.  I am about 3/4 of the way through the book.  The vampires are gathering.  So they can "witness" to the Volturi.  Because hopefully seeing all the vampires there will make them stop for just long enough to listen.  It's not very likely, though.  Everyone will surely die.  

WHY ON EARTH DOESN'T SOMEONE, LIKE, SAY, BELLA, WHO IS IMMUNE TO ALL THEIR TRICKS, GO TO ITALY AND TALK TO THEM?  She was planning on going, anyway.  They aren't coming to Forks for A FREAKIN' MONTH.  If all that is needed is to explain what Renesmee is, why are we waiting for them to get in battle formation FOR A MONTH (and why on earth do they keep talking about a month as if it's SUCH  a short time?  Do the Volturi really have that much to pack? Maybe it is a short amount of time if it's all you've got left to live, but it's also PLENTY of time for 85 smart vampires to go on the offense.  Be serious.)  

I have read a little bit further and I know that they're suspecting that it's not about Renesmee but any excuse to carry out their evil plot, but still.  Why this gaping hole?  Or is it not gaping.  Or not even a hole?  Please SOMEONE ENLIGHTEN ME.

Despite this and a number of other smacking my hand to my forehead moments, I'm actually enjoying this book some.  (thanks for sending it, Su!)
********

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Like Nike

I'm sorry for the problems!  The picture should be up now.
(Of course the "Nike" in the title is meant to be read the way I pronounced it as a girl, with the silent "e".  Also, I don't actually like Nike (or at least not the ones I'll be writing about) so pretty much every single thing about that title is wrong, except for that you can take out the "N" out of it and have a rhyming political catch phrase from the 50's, which  I'm assuming you already knew.  And if you didn't then
everything about the title is wrong)

There was a time in my life when I did more than just sit on my lazy rear all day.  I ran cross country and track in tenth grade (yes, only tenth grade).  Since then I have loved running off and on.  Mostly off, though.  

My second year at Ricks College I started to notice that my pants weren't fitting me right (or at all) and also that I hadn't eaten a single vegetable in months.  I was getting up to clean the library every morning at 4am and my health wasn't the best anyway.  I decided to get it in gear.  

I started eating things like a bowlful of canned green beans (I used to believe that those were vegetables)  for a snack or meal.  I also decided to start exercising in the mornings after my shift at the library instead of going home and going back to sleep.

First I tried weight lifting.  With free weights.  Free weights are no good for people with spastic tendencies so I decided to try running.  It was winter (and you don't know winter till you've experienced one in Rexburg Idaho) so I had to use the indoor track, which was eight laps to the mile. 

Running around a tiny little circle in a dark room at seven in the morning after vacuuming and mopping floors and removing gum from carpets for three hours.  I was dedicated.

So much so, in fact that over the Christmas break while I was back home I decided to buy some new running shoes.  My old Saucony's that I just LOVED were dying and needed replacing.  I went shopping with Erin, my best friend from high school, who also attended Ricks and with whom I regularly swapped stories about the guys we had crushes on.

It came down to some UGLY-but-perfect-in-every-other-way Saucony's, or some cutest-shoes-on-planet-earth-but-much-more-like-not-very-comfortable-cross-trainers-than-running-shoes Nike's.  I ran laps in the mall a few times with each pair, and there was no question which pair I should get.  I already loved Saucony's as my runni
ng shoe of choice, and these ones felt GREAT.  But why did they have to be ugly and gray and bright orange (or what is yellow)?  (the Nike's were mostly white with a little bit of turquoise and dark purple.  Remember 1995?)

I hemmed and hawed over this forEVER, and finally Erin told me I should just go with the Nike's.  Her logic was too much for me to resist when she said, "What if you meet the man of your dreams while you're running?"  I'm not kidding when I say that that is why I bought the Nike's.  I'm also not kidding when I say "What on earth was I thinking?" and "Was I really ever that lame?"

So I wore those Nike's running early mornings on the indoor track.  I was looking awesome but running was seriously about 10% as enjoyable in my new shoes as it had been in my old Saucony's or would have been in my new ones, had I bought them.

I ran and I ran.  And I consistently didn't meet the man of my dreams.  In fact, the only person I do remember meeting was President Bennion, the President of Ricks College, who ran laps the same time I did every day, and who I wasn't particularly interested in making a good impression on with my footwear.

So you could say that the story has a sad ending, but I did end up running a lot with friends at BYU, one of whom  was the man of my dreams.  I just wasn't wearing those shoes when I met him.  And he is the last person that would ever care about what I had on my feet.

And here I am 14 years later having done so little exercise that I still have ONLY those same Nike's as my shoes to be active in (although even when walking across town I just wear my every day shoes and in the summer I only wear sandals or flip flops).  They're pretty worn, but WOW.  And they're even less comfortable today than they were then, as my feet have "grown".  

I still think they look pretty awesome, though.  

I'm not a fan of pictures of old shoes, but I had an afterthought to include one anyway, so here it is.
You can tell it was an afterthought because I would never say "I... think they look... awesome" if I knew I'd be including a picture, but I'm leaving it anyway.   And sorry they're lar
ger than life.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Secret Revealed (Not The Secret revealed)

Today I'd like to tell you about the diet I'm on.  But I'm not going to tell you it here.  Instead I'm going to tell you it here.  That link will take you over to Heidi Ashworth's blog where I'm guest posting (how nice is she!).  There you'll find out the amazing secret to losing weight quickly.  Okay, fine, I can't keep it a secret.  It's called the S Diet.  But that's all I'll tell you.  Okay, so I didn't reveal anything at all.  Go read!

Also, please know that you should probably already be reading Heidi's blog, which will be obvious if you start looking through it.  Which you should.  Which I don't know why I keep saying which.  Which I love when people start their sentences with "which" when it doesn't really fit in (seriously).  

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Grace

A few days ago I gathered the makings of that Easter egg resurrection lesson. This is the first year I'm doing it with the kids (they've never seen it at church before, of course). I felt really strange and sad while collecting nails and making a little cross and writing out a miniature "King of the Jews" sign.

I remember when I was younger always feeling grateful for what Christ did for me, but I also remember wondering why it was such a big deal. I mean the dying for us. I thought, probably a lot of people would be willing to die to save everyone else. Even suffering a painful and prolonged death. Many people have died for family and country or what they believe.

I don't think it was very long after having those thoughts that I remembered the atonement. There's something no one else every could or would do.

I am so grateful for Christ's sacrifice for me. I am grateful for his death which brought resurrection and immortality and for his atonement which gives me a shot at eternal life.

A CD arrived unexpectedly in our mailbox before we left for Greg's parent's house for the Easter break. We've been listening to it a lot and one of the hymns on it is a favorite of mine "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing". I love the lyrics (I can't hear or think of the refrain without getting teary) and I love the melody. The last verse captures just how I feel, especially at this time of year, so I will write it here.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, as a fetter,
Bind my wand'ring heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Sorry this post is diconjointed and incomplete. I wrote half at home and half here at Greg's parent's house.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

2 Aaron

I'm considering titling all future posts with a number and then some kind of noun. 

I love chocolate (birthday) cake for breakfast. 

If, on your two year old's second birthday, he is unable to hold up two fingers (and says "Doo!" (two) while holding up all five fingers) it's okay.  Especially if he does a super cute and rather convincing impression of finger snapping when he's dancing or listening to music.  

It's very hard to teach your child to stop telling everyone "NO!"  Or "No, no!"  when a) your usual method of discipline, and the first that comes to you to get him to stop this behavior, is to tell him "No."  or "No, no"  and b) you can't stop yourself from at least smiling when he comes close to your face and slowly and sternly says, nodding with each repetition "Nooo, nooooo."  (I love when I tell him it's time to change his diaper and he comes and does this in my face.)

I really can't believe he's two.  In many ways I love how he's stayed a bit more dependent and I can still call him my baby.  He's a little angel and has helped our family through lots of changes and stresses this past year.  Love that kid.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

4 Me

I have a bridesmaid dress.  Well, I don't have it but my mom does.  Or my sister.  Either way, someone in America has it for me.  It was ordered from ARIA dress.  It's scarlet.  I think it will be lovely (after a little tweaking by my mom, as we aren't fans of sweetheart necklines.  She'll make them square).  

Before ordering the dress, I had to determine my size.  I measured myself with a tape measure and looked at the charts provided on their website.  It said I was a size 2.  It lied.  I knew it lied.  After some adjustments in our centimeter to inch conversion it assured me that I was a size 4.  Right in the middle of a size four.  I knew that was a lie, too, butI think every woman needs to be lied to like that now and again.  I ordered the four.

Now I know in my head that I am much closer to a size ten.  I can squeeze into an eight in some brands/styles, but I think I wear a ten.  (whatever it is, it's not a 4) 

My mom called me and told me that the material on the dresses has absolutely NO give and that it's x number of inches across.  I measured myself and found that it should fit.  But only if I don't eat much wedding cake or food.  And possibly I might have to suck in a tad.  

But I have a plan!  I will lose an inch or two and the dress will fit perfectly.  I was planning on doing this before summer anyway.  (Isn't everyone planning on doing this before summer?)   Just you wait.  I'll be comfortable in a size four dress come June.  

Too bad Aria doesn't make a whole line of clothing.  Maybe I'll just start wearing formal dresses every day.  Then I can tell people that I wear a size 4.  You know, since everyone always asks what size you are, friends and strangers alike.  Especially in Poland.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Favorites

I don't know if Friday Favorites is strictly Melanie's of Write Stuff, or if someone else started it, or if lots of people do it without knowing that other people do, but I'm linking to Mel because she's my inspiration here.

Do you have one of these?  


We have two of them (the small ones) (thanks, Jon), and I love them dearly.  It's one of my favorite toys of all time.  (It's an OBall, in case you didn't know)

I know, it's kind of weird and it's kind of just a ball, (and it kind of has ugly colors) but I still love it.  It's the easiest ball on earth to grab.  It's extremely light.  You can crunch it up and stick it in your diaper bag.   You can stick toys in it for added fun.  You can make squishing noises (you have to make them yourself, they're not included) while you step on it or smash it into the floor with your hand.  Or you can just toss it back and forth with your very-nearly-two year-old for 20 minutes while watching a favorite TV show.  

It has a little bit of bounce, but not so much that it runs rampant all over the house.  

I just love it.  I think parents of children ages 6 months + (especially one and two year olds) should have one of these.  Especially if the kid loves balls*.
*Remember this?:
video

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Foolishness

I love this day.  I'm hoping at least some bloggers will share about pranks of the past or present on their blogs.  That's why I decided to share one of my own.  

Actually, I'm really no good at practical jokes and the only April fools prank I ever remember playing was when a roommate and I dipped cotton balls in chocolate and delivered them to our friends in the neighborhood as homemade chocolates.  Greg still hates me for that.  (He's pretty sensitive about what goes into his mouth. . .)

I haven't done anything today, nor will I, but last year I pulled a prank not on April first.  And it worked out pretty well.  Or pretty terribly, depending on how you look at it.  If you want to read about it you can go here, and its pretty easy to see how bad I felt about it by what I wrote.