Saturday, December 25, 2010

there is superstition

i know the date says it is christmas day, but this post is not actually about christmas. this post is about our adventurous hike in arizona to the superstition mountains. now, by adventurous, of course i mean taking a group hike with a tour guide and middle-aged people using walking sticks. oh, and it wasn't really a hike. it was more of a pleasant stroll around the foothills of these pretty awesome looking rocks.

the desert has its beauty though. this wasn't exactly the most beautiful time of year, but i always love the classic saguaro.

the point of this hike, as was advertised on the inter-webs, was that during the hike, you would be able to observe the beautiful sunset. of course, they can't really guarantee that. the evening we went, the sky was covered in clouds and the arizonians were fearing a sprinkling of rain. so, at the point in the hike where the tour guide is used to pausing and pointing out the beautiful sunset, this is all we saw. it was a bit poorly timed, the sun wasn't even really setting yet.

at some point towards the end of our hike, the group decided to pause and talk about birds or something, so aaron and i attempted to take pictures of ourselves. notice aaron's scruffiness. kind of weak, but he's working on it and i am fertilizing his facial hair with love.

just as the hike ended and we were getting in our car, this was the sunset. a little bit better than before...

a definite highlight, however, was finding this glorious institution established in the desert regions of the country. we thought it only existed in the holy midwest. behold....

mmmm. we felt satisfied and greasy for at least a few hours. but those butterburgers melted in our mouths like.... butter.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

mesa, az or salt lake city?

yesterday, aaron and i ventured to mesa, a whole 20 minutes away, to visit the arizona temple. we were hoping that since we didn't exactly know where we were going, we would be lead by the angel moroni statue that is atop the mormon temples. well, we forgot that the mesa temple is actually more like the roman pantheon than like most mormon temples, and there is no angel moroni. but we did find the temple, thanks to the spacious grasslands in front of the visitors center.

what do you think: Greek/Roman classicism, or Mayan/Aztec flare?

when we got out of the car, we notice that the sidewalks were bordered by strings of lights, still unlit. then we saw that the trees had lights, and then that almost everything we passed was covered in lights. we got really excited to come back when it was dark to see the light show, when suddenly, as if some friendly old senior missionary in the visitors center could hear our thoughts, the lights flicked on!

we thought we were transported back to temple square in salt lake city, where the lights are a holiday attraction. some of the pluses about mesa, however, are: it is warm, there are still flowers in bloom, they have orange trees covered in lights, and they have purple lights. we did think, however, that the amount of flashy lights somewhat detracted from the brilliance of the temple, which isn't much of a problem at salt lake. still, it was a great surprise to discover that our night would be more exciting than just walking once around the temple grounds.
not super impressive in daylight, i know, but my camera died when nighttime came. we also saw a sign that said "live performances nightly 7:00." we decided to wander around to try to find some food, then come back to see the lights in the night, as well as watch the mysterious live performance.

wander we did. first, past a shady mexican yerberia that we thought might be a restaurant. next, to pete's fish and chips, but they only took cash and though there was a wells fargo right next door, neither of us had our bank cards on us. so we wandered a bit further, to downtown mesa, and found a nice little mexican restaurant to get fish tacos and enchilladas.

once we were fully satiated, we walked--and elongatedly ran--back to the temple to see the show. we were a bit early, so we walked through the display of nativities they had set up in the visitor's center. when we got outside, the brass quintet of old men was just setting up and getting ready to start. they played a few jolly christmas tunes, then we got a little bit tired of the brassy, humpty dumpty sound (don't get me wrong, brass players, i had dreams of playing the trombone in my youth), so we headed home, full and happy from the many surprises we found in mesa.


saturday december 18th served as pre-christmas this year. why not celebrate when three siblings and their significant others are together in warm, tempe arizona? there were plenty of presents to go around, as well as carrot cake for all.

even paul (the dog) got a new beaver toy, which already is missing a section of tail and sprouts of white fluff are springing forth from its neck.

we were bestowed with some wonderfully unique smelling candles, our first porcelain goose head, some funny books which will probably be subject to future blog posts, and the bible--aka the new best recipes cookbook from cook's illustrated. we still believe in the king james version, as far as it is translated correctly.

our merry pre-christmas only got us more excited for the real christmas that is soon upon us! two more "eves" to go!

Ice Cubes of Oranges

rachel is a very detail oriented person. she likes to plan and is also very organized. I have known this for a long time. I've observed her comb through her itunes library and meticulously assign an album artwork to each of the albums in the library. Ive seen her color coordinate books. Ive seen her many lists and her urgency to check as many things off as possible. the list could go on.rachel took it to a new level recently. A week or so leading up to us leaving for arizona, rach began to ration our level of juice and milk intake. She was set on us leaving to arizona with no liquids left in the fridge. At first I thought we were trying to draw out the life of the juice and milk, in order to avoid an awkward trip to the store one or two days before leaving the state; however, on the day of our departure I quickly realized we had a surplus as I see Rach leaving to the car with a giant filled-to-the-brim glass of juice and milk jug in hand. oh.... all after also having filled our ice tray with remaining juice. so we began to chug on our drive out. the fridge is clean.

our first christmas tree

in all its glory...

ta da!

a bit belated

for his birthday, my parents sent aaron an edible arrangement, aka a bouquet of fruit that we ate for breakfast. along with the bouquet came a mug, which was desperately needed for hot chocolate use, and a helium balloon. i tied aaron's birthday balloon to one of our kitchen chairs and let it fly, proclaiming that as long as the helium lasted, his birthday would continue.

well, it lasted quite a while. we left for thanksgiving, and when we came home, it was still flying. another week went it really normal for these balloons to stay full all this time? i thought they began to deflate within a few days.

finally, we were doing some spring cleaning in the middle of winter, in hopes that a clean apartment would help us study for finals better, and aaron decided to kill his birthday.

that's right. though his eyes in the picture look more like he was tripping on something, he was actually a little bit insane...determined to kill his birthday. and so he took a knife to his balloon, swallowed some helium quite unsuccessfully (he just started laughing instead of speaking like a munchkin as long as possible), and thus ended the 22nd birthday of aaron robison.

rest in peace.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

it snowed!

it snowed! it snowed! it snowed last night! honey, let's play hooky 'cause it snowed last night!

curse you finals...getting in the way of playing hooky...

i guess it wouldn't be hooky if there wasn't anything to skip, though

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

bedtime stories

aaron and i are reading "a christmas carol". not only does reading it in a british accent make it infinitely more fun, but it honestly helps us digest and understand the wordy descriptions of charles dickens. when i read in my normal voice, it quickly puts aaron to sleep.

plus, you never know when your british accent will morph into something even more exciting, like an indian maharaja, a redneck booby trapper, or a beautiful southern bell.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

blender mania

after returning from madison with a few more target gift cards, aaron and i decided to go romp around target and see what we could find. we found ourselves in the blender aisle for quite a while, seeing as a blender is about the only kitchen appliance we did not receive from our wedding.

there were the classic osterizers on the shelf, kitchen aid, hamilton beach, but my eyes were drawn to the ninja. as seen on tv, the ninja doesn't only have one set of blades at the bottom of the jar like your typical blender, but two additional sets going up a rod through the middle of the jar. this, i thought, would solve the problem of making thick smoothies that get stuck all that time. we pondered and thought and debated and giggled about the ninja, but for some reason, we went instead with a hamilton beach wave action blender, which professed that it never gets stuck. so, we went home with blender number one.
however, after a day to think about it, i decided i wasn't satisfied with little hamilton. plus, the instruction manual said that you needed at least a cup of liquid to guarantee a non-sticking blending process. i didn't like that. i like my milkshakes and smoothies thick. so, i quite easily convinced aaron that we should go back to target and trade in hamilton for the ninja. monday night, done. we come home with blender number two... the ninja. hi-ya!
well, what do you know, but the next day, as i'm sitting on the couch doing some homework, there arrives a box at our door from macy's. aaron isn't home, but i open it and to my surprise...a blender! my parents sent us the kitchen aid architect as a christmas present. well, this was quite the predicament...which blender should we keep? let me as you this question: if a ninja and an architect were to battle with only a few metal blades, who would win?

you guessed it! the architect! after reading several reviews that didn't really convince us either way, we took the two beasts out and examined them. the ninja had a great locking container, pouring spout in the lid, and of course the multiple blades. the architect, however, was much sturdier, had the bent blades which are more effective, and had mom's review behind it. so we finally went with the kitchen aid.