Wednesday, September 21, 2011

aaron's eats

Aaron loves pizza. He says ideally he would eat pizza twice a week. He doesn't even care about the quality of the pizza--a 5$ Hot and Ready will do. That doesn't really cut it for me, so I decided I need to adopt the practice of my parents and always have pizza dough on hand in the freezer, and pizza toppings around. Our first (actually second) batch of homemade pizzas were a great success, and a great failure. The first pizza was a success because it slid off the pizza peel onto the stone with no problems. Tomato sauce with homegrown tomatoes from Grandpa's garden, chicken leftovers from Aunt Julee's delicious Sunday dinner, cooked spinach, slices of more tomatoes and mozzarella. The disaster was when the pizza did not slide off so easily, and when I accidentally assembled the pizza on the counter instead of on the peel. Whoops!

Also, unlike the majority of the American population, Aaron has decided he is done losing weight and wants to start gaining it. I wish I could say that. This knew desire means mostly that he has to eat a lot more (and work out a lot) so we have been having fun thinking of ways to pack in the calories and protein to his diet. We made two batches of protein shakes, consisting of ingredients such as Chobani Greek Yoghurt, Whey Protein Powder, raw oats, bananas, peanut butter, chocolate powder, wheat germ, flax seeds, and other random things Aaron threw in there. I made granola that is also packed with protein, and have those steel-cut oats ready in the fridge. I also bought cottage cheese, but Aaron doesn't know if he likes it, and hasn't tried it yet. I started putting extra pieces of turkey on his sandwiches for lunch, and when I made broccoli Alfredo, I also cooked some chicken so he could throw that in his pasta. Aaron also has an unlimited source of milk and ice cream and work...yet somehow he always forgets about the ice cream. I don't know how that is possible.

I feel like I finally figured out something about food that gets Aaron excited. Unlike me, who loves to eat for pleasure, he loves to eat for purpose. When confronted with a salad, he thinks, wouldn't I be able to pack in a lot more if this where all blended up? It was exciting for me to see him excited about food...even though it wasn't exactly what I would call food.

The tricky part is that I am still in the category of Americans that would enjoy loosing weight. How will I survive having all this food around me intended for Aaron's use and not want to gorge myself as well?

Will power? It has been proved that I have very little of that when it comes to food. Hot fresh cookies out of the oven? I'll take three.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

12 hours

On Tuesdays, Aaron is gone for 12 hours. He has a class at 8:00 a.m., then goes to work, then has more classes from 3:30 until 8:15 p.m.

Tuesdays are also my only day off. By day off, I mean I have absolutely no obligations to work. Aaron also has the car, and thanks to a flat bike tire that means I am pretty much homebound.

So what does Rachel do for 12 hours (mostly) at home?

She cuddles up on the couch to read her scriptures. Then she sets her alarm for 9:00 and takes a wonderful morning nap. (Yoga class was at 6:00 a.m. today)

She heads to the computer to pay some bills, check and reply to her e-mails, demand her security deposit back from the previous landlords, and check her Blog's List updates.

She makes up one and a quarter dances for the production of The Little Match Girl that the dance studio she works at is putting on in December. (It is a really sad story for Christmas time. I had never heard it before now. This poor girl tries to sell matches to make money. Instead, one night, she lights them to try to keep warm. Then she dies. Merry Christmas.) Then she devises a general plan for another dance, and searches Youtube for kid-friendly Hip-Hop Christmas music. She finds "Christmas Everyday" by The Temptations.

She eats salad, a piece of toast, and snacks on the left over chocolate chips that weren't used in cookies.

She decides to make bread, and makes it. While she makes bread, she also makes a batch of steel-cut oats, stores them in 4 mason jars, and refrigerates them for quick and easy morning meals.

Making all these things in the kitchen makes her realize she should probably clean the kitchen floor. So she sweeps, WetJets, and then does the same in the bathroom.

She makes up thirty seconds of another dance while she waits for the bread to be done, then she eats three pieces of hot, fresh bread. One with butter, one with butter and raspberry jam, and one with butter and cinnamon sugar. She likes butter and jam the best.

Next, she spent way too long editing, adjusting, and resizing pictures that she couldn't even walk to the photo place to get them printed because the store would be closed by then. She even put real clothes on to go outside. All in vain.

She then proceeded to get back into comfy clothes, send her students an e-mail with the written version of the combinations they are going to be evaluated on next week, and stare out the window.

If you are still reading this, I am very impressed with your diligence. I will spare you the rest of my non-eventful evening and end this post here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

climbing the mountain

This last weekend, Aaron and I went backpacking/hiking up Mt. Timpanogos with our friends, the Peterson's. Even though as we were driving up to the canyon, it was raining and thundering, we persisted, and the scanty Utah rainstorm passed as we expected. We had only got caught in a little bit of rain on our hike up, but it was very welcome.

When we started, we were all so excited. We joked that the skip in our step wouldn't last long. And it didn't. Though we were still excited, it was a hard hike!

It soon got dark, and we had no idea how far we were from Emerald Lake, which was our camping destination. Once we were all pretty tired and cold, we lost the path in the dark to a large cap of snow and had no idea how to continue. We went back, found a nice little nook, and set up our tents in the dark.

Aaron and I are lucky to be alive, because I--trying to think of something besides carbs to bring for food--bought a package of tuna fish to eat for dinner. We scarfed it down in our tent, and then I prayed really hard that no bears would smell that tasty fish.

When we woke up in the morning, unscathed, we discovered we had camped in a field of amazingly beautiful wild flowers. We also realized that we were only about 20 minutes away from the lake, and could clearly see the path up the rocky cliffside. Oh well, we ate some Pop-Tarts for breakfast, left our camp behind, and headed to the summit!

  (If you look really close in this picture, way down by those trees in the grass, right below that little hill, you can see our tents!)

We made it to the saddle... and Utah Lake never looked so small.

And we continued on to the top...straight up the sheer mountainside.

 (Right by all that snow, that's Emerald Lake...where we wanted to camp. In the distance is Deer Creek Reservoir. When the dam breaks, that is the body of water that is someday going to flood the Valley, they say.)


The way back down was breathtaking. I really wanted to just live there, with the sun shining, the flowers bright and pretty, and the mountains so green. Unfortunately, we were in somewhat of a time crunch to get down and had to hustle.

I think I'll have to invest in a pine tree scented candle. Do you think there may also be a "Crisp Mountain Air" scent?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

thoughts from a younger me

As I was attempting to organize our mess of a "study," and making it even more of a mess in the process, I came across my first diary. It was started on Christmas of 1998. I was 10. Aaron decided he wanted to read it so he could get to know the me he never knew. Some things we came across were so funny, I felt it necessary to share them.

First, we found lots of proof of the influence of my father--

*January 1, 1999: "Today was boring. 2 exciting things happened. I saw the movie Bugs Life. It was so good. And the Badgers won the Rose Bowl!!! Yeah! Yeah! The End.

*January 3, 1999: "...Packers lost in their first playoff game! By 8 points. We were all really mad."

*January 26, 1999: "In the evening my dad pinkie swore that if I beat him in rummicube I get to miss school!"..."Dad told me to write this...'I love you'."

*January 31, 1999: "Tonight was the Super Bowl! Broncos won vs. Falcons. That sucks. Bye."

*September 18, 1999: "...It's weird. I try to fit in this family and every second they change so its hard. One second my daddy loves football. The next when I try to 'fit in' he doesn't love it anymore."

*November 7, 2000: "Today was election day. I HOPE GORE WINS! But Bush is in the lead. Dore is gonna win though, I know it."

(I can't remember if that was influence from my dad or from kids at school...)

*January 2, 2001: "I am gonna give you a list of good movies: The Art of War, The War, The Grinch, 102 Dalmatians, 10 Things I Hate About You..."

*July 10, 2001: "So here are a list of Pro's and Con's about  moving [to Taos, NM]: Pros--something new, get to write letters, get to visit, dad happier. Cons--leave friends, give lots up, poorer. Pros and Cons about remodling: Pros--bigger house, have a project, stay with friends. Cons---unhappy dad, have house under construction"

I love you Daddy!

Here are some other funny entries--

*March 23, 1999: "Today was so bad! I had a sore throat and once I get home from dance, my mom tells me that over Spring Break we're going to Disneyland. But that's when Amanda's B-day is!"

(Seriously? What kind of child isn't bouncing with excitement to go to Disneyland?)

*May 16, 1999: "What did I do when I was a baby? Eat sand, eat dirt, hide in the cupboard, and walk around saying 'Bay bay' supposed to be 'Baby'."

*November 20, 2000: "My blue satin pants finally came and fit perfectly."

(I hadn't gotten over my Spice Girls phase yet)

*December 4, 2000: "Well, it ends up I got my mom for her birthday Christmas plates and for Christmas a chainsaw and a necklace."

(If any of you are wondering what to get your mom for Christmas, go with a chainsaw and a necklace.)

*January 31, 2001: "I think it's weird how all a sudden I really care how I look. All my clothes are grungy so that makes it hard to be matching and stylin'!"

(It's like I was conscious of the subtle effects of puberty while it was happening)

*February 18, 2001: "Just 2 minutes ago, my wishing fairy broke. I'm so depressed. She was given to me by my Grandma Marlene, who died. The bubble shattered to pieces. That teaches me not to care about physical beauty. I was reaching for a hand treatment and nail polish when my hand slipped and the wishing fairy fell to its doom."

(What a great connection I made. Caring for physical beauty will cause valuable objects to break.)

*April 1, 2001: "April Fools Day! Today we played a big trick on Chuck [my friend's dad]. We put bread and big checkers pieces on the floor by his bedroom door. Then we put toilet paper across the hallway so he was stuck except he ran through. We put glitter on the bathroom door and shaving cream on the toilet seat. Then we put raw wild rice in one of his pancakes!"

(Bread and checkers on the that's my idea of a great prank!)