Wednesday, December 7, 2011

spontaneity is fun

My hair is short. I'm not sure if this was really spontaneous because I have been asking those I trust the most if I should cut my hair short for several, several months.


Last May...

Me: "Hey Fashion-Savvy Beautiful Melanie, what do you think about me cutting my hair off?"
Melanie: "Don't do it. Your hair is beautiful. I'm trying to grow mine out."

Last sometime...

Me: "Hey trusted friend with awesome short hair Emily, I'm thinking about cutting my hair short."
Emily: "Really? Your hair is so awesome. If you do it, though, go all the way."

Last November...

Me: "Yo Mamma who has witnessed several of my spontaneous hair decisions, I want to cut my hair short."
Mamma: "It would probably look cute!"

Thank you, mother!

Last Saturday...

Me: " Valentina, let's go get hair cuts. I'm cutting my hair off."
Valentina: "Really? I need to get a hair cut anyway."
Aaron: "Oh my! You have to do it. You can't come back home until your hair looks different than it is now."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

the turkey haze has lifted

Happy Thanksgiving! I think I am finally coming out of my food coma after Thanksgiving feast number one at the Robison's (where more over-eating continued for days afterwards), and pseudo-Thanksgiving semi-feast number two at the Kowallis's Sunday dinner. Then I made pumpkin chocolate chip bread and I seem to be the only one eating it.

Here are some things I've been dreaming about in my blogging absence...

1. Biker friendly Provo.

2. Pincha Mayurasana/Half-scorpion...maybe I should just work on the forearm stand first.

3. A HEADBOARD. The search has gone on too long. I think buying doors at the Re-store is looking like the best option.

4. A haircut like the above...even though I know it will turn out like the below, though probably not as perfectly curled, a lot more frizzy, and not that awesome strawberry blonde.
5. Tan, real leather, flat, ankle high boots. Please, if you have seen such boots anywhere, tell me where! I have been looking for months. (The boots pictured are out of stock online.)

6. Log mini-tables.

7. An oriental rug. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

oh for the love

What happened to my goal to only eat sweet 3 times a week? (Sweets meaning baked goods, ice cream, and candy...not sugar in general. Goodness.)

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream happened.

Once upon a time, Aaron and I were at Sunflower Market (that same time Aaron revealed his hidden talent). We walked past the freezer section. I gasped, stopped the cart and stared into the freezer to see shelves filled with Peppermint Ice Cream and  Pumpkin Ice Cream. Aaron said he had never seen such an expression of pure joy and excitement on my face.

That was back in the month of October, when I was fighting hard to reach my goal. I pushed the cart away and said no!

A few days ago, I found myself, yet again, in a grocery store (not Sunflower Market). I walked past a freezer case strategically placed at the end of an aisle and saw that it was full of Farr's Peppermint Stick Ice Cream. I grabbed a carton, put it in the cart and moved on. No second thoughts.

You may be thinking that I simply lost my moral fiber, caved under temptation, and should never be trusted with sweets again. I, however, would like to believe that I still have a somewhat strong will against the deliciously tasty enticements of sweets. I argue that I was merely a pawn of two things.

First, the crafty and cunning market placement techniques of the Macy's employees--namely the well placed freezer case and the terrible fluorescent lighting that makes me search for anything that will bring the joy back into my life. Sunflower Market is joyful just walking into. You don't need ice cream to fill the despair that fills your life just by entering the store.

Second, Grandpa made homemade peppermint ice cream for Sunday dinner just days previously. As we were savoring it, he threw out the idea that he should get a larger ice cream maker for Christmas so that we can all have more than "little tastes" of the ice cream he makes nearly every week. Some relative at the table--who will be left unnamed so that persecution will not befall them--said this (try not to gasp):

"But a little taste is always just perfect!" (GASP)

I told Grandpa that I fully support his purchase of a bigger ice cream maker. He wetted my palette for peppermint ice cream with his "little taste" and the desire grew in me like a puppy on steroids and it needed to be fully satisfied. Perhaps I could have gotten my fill that Sunday, if only Grandpa had a larger ice cream maker. Then this terrible affliction of having my own carton of ice cream in the freezer would never have stricken me.

If neither of those explanations were satisfactory in explaining my moral weakness, then perhaps this post of my sister-in-law's may be the answer. So many of my life's questions and struggles answered in one thought...

In an alternate reality, I am made of ice cream.

Monday, October 31, 2011

blank walls be gone

Okay, okay. I know I said I had lost my steam with the whole decorating thing, but something inside me snapped the other day. Suddenly, all those blank walls needed to be filled, and though I was stuck at home with only myself and whatever random supplies I could find, I was going to put things on the walls!

First project: The Craft Room Side of the "Study"

I hot-glued some ribbon to the calendar and picture boards and nailed up some hooks! I also hot-glued some ribbon to the otherwise plain-and-boring cork-boards. I think they look much better. Finally, hung a framed picture that was sitting in our closet, and printed off a quote from Martha Graham about creativity.

Project Next: The First Glance Wall

This is the first wall you see when you walk in the apartment. We had a vision of large black and whites on canvas...but alas, it was too expensive. So one day, I decided I would do whatever it took to decorate that wall. I happen to have 6 pieces of photo paper, one old printer in storage that still had black ink in it ( we have a new printer, it is just currently out of black in), some hemp, clothespins, and tacks. It's not the most impressive display, but for now, it will do.

Project Final: The Kitchen Wall

This project took a little more work. I went to D.I. (thrift store) hoping to find a lamp for our bedroom. I found no lamps, but I did find lots of plates. I spent several minutes going through all the stacks and finding the prettiest and best ones. All 23 plates cost $14.00. The plate hangers, however, were not nearly as cheap.

When I first told Aaron months ago that I wanted to hang plates on the wall, he was never very enthusiastic. Once he saw all these plates laid out in the floor how I wanted them, he told me that when I mentioned putting plates on the wall, he thought I was crazy. He imagined three plates nailed in a line about eye-level and that was it. He soon caught on to my real vision.

Only a few more blank walls left!

caramel apple pumpkins

I always forget about Halloween. Once my trick-or-treating days were over, I was never into dressing up and partying--or as the custom was in Madison, dressing up and then breaking windows downtown. 

My distaste for Halloween backfired, however, when last Friday I showed up to teach my Children's Creative Dance class and the room was full of 9 year old dressed up as witches and mummies and lady bugs. I had to improvise a few Halloween dance games and made sure to let everyone tell each other what they were really going to be for Halloween. If I were a good teacher, I would have brought candy.

I do, however, love this season. I wrote Aaron a text the other day that said "I'm falling in love with autumn." His response was, "No! Not Autumn!" The weather has been amazingly wonderful this past week, the leaves have finally changed colors, the air is crisp and cold, but the sun is still warm. It is a beautiful season. Plus, Aaron and I have decided it's time to bring out the Christmas music, so we are starting in on that cozy, warm, holiday feeling, too.

These feelings got me inspired to do something crafty--and all crafts are better if they involve food, right? So caramel apple pumpkins it was! Aaron got way into it. He said he felt his obsessive compulsive self emerging...that these really had to look like pumpkins. We got a few ideas from some websites and went to work. Somewhere in the dipping of the orange chocolate (which was flavored with traditional pumpkin pie spices), Aaron got discouraged. However, after everything has cooled and hardened, we both agreed that we did a pretty good job.

Don't worry...we didn't eat all 10. We wrapped them up and gifted them to neighbors and friends.

aaron's secret

Aaron has been long keeping a secret from me.

There is a lot about his mission that I probably don't know. A lot I probably don't care to know. A lot that I probably wouldn't understand.

However, my month-long sickness plus magically getting him to come to Sunflower Market with me, caused one secret from the Dominican Republic to surface. He disappeared from me while I was looking at the boxed teas and I couldn't find him for 5 minutes. When he came back, he had found lemon grass, mint leaves, and ginger--essential ingredients to making tea, he says. Though he spent much of the evening bashing the lousy leaves that didn't even constitute as adequate ingredients for tea, he added some cinnamon sticks and who knows what else and started the water boiling. That night we drank delicious tea like no tea I had ever had before.

On his mission, they would simply pluck leaves off the trees and use them in their teas. The Dominicans would teach him which leaves cured which ailments, and how to properly brew the tea. As Aaron taught me, it's all about your feelings. There's no recipe, there's no correct boiling time, there's just your intuition.

Aaron's intuition was really tasty.

Monday, October 24, 2011

when i find myself in times of trouble

Mother Mary does not come to me, actually. But these things do.

(For dramatic effect, turn up the volume on the Beatles song, "Let It Be." If you do not have that song on your computer, shame on you.)

"And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.

And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles."
                                                                                                                       --- Mormon 9:18-19

"And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them...

And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:

Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.

And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning...

Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world."
                                                                                                                         --- 3 Nephi 11:8-14

Read my sweet Aunt's tribute to her brother, my daddy, and you'll know, as I do, that I have truly been blessed with an amazing example, protector, father, teacher, provider, and true friend.

I love you daddy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

one year

Sunday was our one year anniversary! Aaron had a busy week so it was up to me to plan. I couldn't make any decisions, though, so instead, I created a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book so that Aaron would have to make all the choices.

Aaron's adventure had us work out in the morning, then head off to the Farmer's Market in Salt Lake. Unfortunately, it was a cold and cloudy day...not the best for meandering through the market, but at least it was much better than the Provo Farmer's Market. Tons more produce. We sat and at a chicken kebob sandwich while we listened to some lady explain how to properly can food.

Next, we went to Liberty Park, which is where Aaron proposed to me. Since we couldn't decide exactly which tree was the tree we sat under last August, we sat by the little "lake" instead. Luckily, there was a blanket in the car, big enough to sit on and wrap up in as we ate our bread, cheese, and raspberries, purchased from the market. There were a ton of geese down by the water, so, of course, Aaron started throwing bread to them. And they came to us...quite close to us. Some ducks even got in the race, too. It didn't take long for them to get so close that I started barking at them, so Aaron took some bread and lead them the other way. He was their leader, and they were his geese.

From there we had a little bit of free time to kill, so we wanted to go to Hatch's Family Chocolates and be forced to only choose one chocolate. We magically drove there without really knowing where we were, only to find that it went out of business! Or it moved locations...

So instead we walked around the Visitors Center on Temple Square and Aaron decided he wanted to have a photo shoot outside the Conference Center, since the clouds had parted and the sun was shining. I didn't get any pictures of him, though. He was a camera hog (for once).

Dinner was at The Copper Onion. Though we were skeptical at first by the fancy menu that we could barely understand, and the almost unbelievable English accent that the waiter spoke in, the food was delicious. We loved the decor of the place too, but I forgot the camera in the car. Except Aaron thought the peanut butter ice cream tasted like cigarette ashes, so we got some Red Mango to supplement it as we drove home.

Hooray for one year!