Friday, December 23, 2011

on the twelfth date of christmas my true love gave to me...

... well, christmas!

we are leaving in a few hours for denver, so AWD and i had a little christmas together last night. and it was lovely. among other wonderful gifts, AWD got me lamby, a stuffed animal i always buy for other people's baby showers and always hate giving away. but now i have one of my very own.

after we opened presents, we gorged ourselves on bluebird chocolates from grammie and grampa.

and now our bags are packed and we are ready for a white, colorado christmas.

i hope your christmas is merry and bright (as they say).

much love, my babies.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

on the eleventh date of christmas my true love gave to me...

... the national christmas tree.

on the tenth date of christmas my true love gave to me...

... the lights at the national zoo.

and i managed to resist getting a bag of cotton candy. a christmas miracle!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the most wonderful time of the year

seeing as christmas is this week (what?!?) i decided i might as well finish sewing our advent calendar.

my mom suggested we just put four times the candy in the pockets for the last six days to get the most out of it. not a bad idea.

luckily, we have been enjoying the rest of our decorations all season long.

and we're doing a pretty good job on our christmas movie list, too. we've knocked off miracle on 34th street (the original), home alone, how the grinch stole christmas, and a charlie brown christmas, with the muppet christmas carol, a (human) christmas carol, love actually and it's a wonderful life on the way.

dear christmas, i love you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

on the ninth date of christmas my true love gave to me...

... the new sherlock holmes movie (a game of shadows indeed), at the alamo theater in winchester.

we went to visit AWD's family this weekend and celebrated an early christmas since we'll be with my family on the actual holiday and i finally got to go to the alamo theater. AWD and his sister have been telling me about it for ages. it's one of those theaters where you sit in really big, comfortable chairs and order food while you watch a movie. or, in my case, a root beer float. anyway, it's a winner and i was glad to finally get to experience it.

and, though i think i am in the minority here, i liked the movie, too. though it's hard to go wrong with robert downey, jr. and jude law. i mean, come on.

on the eighth date of christmas my true love gave to me...

... a charlie brown christmas and popcorn in bed.

even on the little laptop screen (i was too lazy to walk downstairs to watch it on the TV), a charlie brown christmas is the greatest.

on the seventh date of christmas my true love gave to me...

... a night out on the town with EH.

AWD has been sick the past couple off days, so like any good and devoted wife i left him at home alone with his cough drops and orange juice and hit up the downtown holiday market with EH.

we browsed the booths, got some empanadas and mini donuts from the vendors and then, because it was delightfully and unseasonably warm, ate them al fresco on the steps of the national gallery. we imagine that must be what celebrating the christmas season in california or hawaii is like.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

on the sixth date of christmas my true love gave to me...

... the christmas lights at the temple.

plus a visitors center concert by violinist jenny oaks baker, accompanied by none other than our very own aunt joyce on flute (and piccolo!).


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

on the fifth date of christmas my true love gave to me...

... the national philharmonic orchestra playing handel's messiah at strathmore.

we were recently introduced to strathmore and we've decided it's a top-notch venue. and this performance was superb, especially the orchestra and the choir. wowie. i got a little teary-eyed during the"hallelujah chorus" and i am not afraid to admit it.

in the first presidency christmas devotional, president monson (the prophet of our church) said that the spirit of christmas is the spirit of christ, which is something we can enjoy now and every day of every year. i have been trying to think more of christ this christmas season, and the messiah is always a great reminder of what i am most thankful for.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

on the fourth date of christmas my true love gave to me...

... a trip to the temple on our three month-versary.

it seems impossible that three months have gone by since we were married (especially since we are still writing thank you cards), but there you have it. and the temple where we were married seemed like a pretty good place to mark the occasion.

and, to make it even more exciting, when we walked into the temple we ran into some friends of ours who were on their way to get married! hurray for love!

my wedding day was really one of the best days ever, and i love going back to the temple with AWD and remembering it. it makes for a pretty good date, christmas or otherwise.

and it also reminds me that i haven't really posted any of our lovely wedding pictures on this here blog, which seems like a shame. so i will rectify that situation speedily. don't fret.

Monday, December 12, 2011

on the third date of christmas my true love gave to me

... the nutcracker at the center kennedy.

did you like my rhyme?

i took AWD to see "the nutcracker" last year for the first time in his whole life, and now that we are on year two we decided it is officially a christmas tradition. hurrah! i love "the nutcracker" and it always feels like it's really christmas once you've been.

this year's production was even better than last year's, despite some unique creative liberties (bumble bees in the dance of the flowers and "clara, the princess" instead of the sugar plum fairy. what?), but we loved it anyway.

plus, any night that starts with dinner at our new favorite burger place, burger tap and shake, is bound to be a winner.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

on the second date of christmas my true love gave to me...

... a day that will live in infamy.

sort of.

tonight we commemorated pearl harbor day by eating hawaiian pizza (get it?)

and watching "the final countdown," a not-surprisingly little known movie about an aircraft carrier from the 1980s that travels back in time to december 6, 1941.

the most amazing thing about it was how much the young martin sheen looks like emilio estevez.

or the other way around. i get confused.

next year i think we should commemorate pearl harbor day in hawaii itself, don't you?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

apples to apples

a couple of weeks ago AWD and i went to see a limited run screening of some footage of a television interview with steve jobs that had been filmed in 1995. in what has to be one of the greatest and most lucrative coincidences of all time, the footage, which was thought to be lost forever, was rediscovered in the producer's garage a few days after steve jobs died.

the interview was taped just before jobs returned to apple, though he, of course, didn't know at the time that that would happen. in fact, when he's asked about apple in the interview, he says he thinks the company is doomed and can't be saved.

so, turns out he wasn't always right about everything.

we were a little nervous that 50 minutes of steve jobs talking into a camera might be kind of dull, but it wasn't. it was wild to see him with all that hair and a full, chubby face. and he was still wearing black mock turtlenecks back in 1995. he was insightful (except for that thing about apple being beyond saving) and well-spoken, as you might imagine, and he said a couple things that really stuck with me.

1. little things can do big things. one of steve's first forays into the computer world was developing a box that could mimic long-distance dial tones so you could trick the telephone switchboard system and make long-distance calls for free. it was just a small contraption, but it could manipulate the whole big national and eventually international telephone system. it was a little thing that could do something big. i'd like to think of myself and my own efforts in that same way more often.

2. the product is more important than the process. according to jobs, it was a failure to recognize this that threatened to bring apple down in the 1990s. people thought that if you were following the process, sticking with the system, then the product had to be good. but they weren't paying any attention to the product and so the product sucked. i think it's really easy to get bogged down in procedural details that are not important, or to hide behind systems and processes and programs because they excuse you from courageous, creative thinking. i am sure i do it all the time. but i'd like to learn to worry more about what i want to do then whether i am doing it "right."

3. not as many things are as impossible as you think. well, he didn't actually say this, but this idea stuck with me anyway. it was so fascinating to me that steve jobs, right there on tape, said apple was heading down the tube and there was no way to bring it back. he thought there was no way to bring it back, he said there was no way to bring it back, and then he returned to apple and brought it back. he accomplished what he, himself, had stated was impossible. i think that is totally rad. and i don't think i am alone in saying that, if he had to be wrong about something, i am glad he was wrong about that.

Monday, December 5, 2011

on the first date of christmas my true love gave to me...

the muppets on the big screen!

i got the idea for the twelve dates of christmas from here (and she got it from here) and i want to be very clear that in no way, shape or form did it come from the abc family movie of the same name starring mark paul gosselar. no way.

i have been so excited to celebrate my first christmas married to AWD and to build our own special christmas traditions and the 12 dates of christmas seemed like a pretty good one. i am already excited for lots of christmas dates in years to come.

so, for our first date of christmas we went to see the new muppets movie, and it was awesome.

an oil tycoon villain named tex richman? winning.
everyone calling kermit "mr. the frog"? winning.
jason segal singing a song with the refrain, "am i a muppet or a man?" winning.

it was a perfect start to a wonderful season with my one true love.

it also really made me want to watch "the great muppet caper," but that seems like another story.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

similes, sort of.

today my co-worker sent me this link.

don't go there unless you want to spend the next twenty minutes laughing out loud while you read ridiculous similes written for a washington post contest.

similes such as:

the plan was simple, like my brother-in-law phil. but, unlike phil, this plan just might work.

or, how about this one:

i felt a nameless dread. well, there probably is a long german name for it, like geschpooklichkeit or something, but i don't speak german. anyway, it's a dread that nobody knows the name for, like those little square plastic gizmos that close your bread bags. i don't know the name for those either.

i'd keep going, but I can't type without laughing all over again, and AWD is lying next to me trying to go to sleep. (someone has to be the grown-up around here) so i'll let you read the rest from the source and pick a favorite.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the hills are alive

on saturday we went up to the AFI silver and watched "the sound of music" on the big screen.

it was a singularly perfect event (EH very rightly stated it was basically the best thing that has ever happened) and i realized for this first time how hilarious baroness schraeder is. like this exchange:

the baroness (to maria): my dear, is there anything you can't do?
maria: i'm not sure i'll make a very good nun.
the baroness (with her hand protectively on the captain's elbow: well, if there's anything i can do to help...

that's funny stuff.

and, of course, the singing and the dancing and christopher plummer were all dreamy and the whole thing made me wish i had a guitar and a pixie haircut. but, i'm also not in love with a nazi, thank goodness. so, there's that.

Monday, November 28, 2011


we had a lovely and balmy and delicious thanksgiving. how was yours?

the plan was to host a small group at our house but at the last minute we combined forces with another small group, which actually worked out brilliantly for us because 1) joni, who invited us, is a way better cook than me, 2) we had to do a lot less work including 3) we didn't have to clean our house, which was AWD's favorite part of the deal.

we had a relaxing morning (except for a mad dash to two grocery stores to procure what was certainly the last sprig of sage in the universe), a lovely lunch, and a screening of "while you were sleeping" (these mashed potatoes are so creamy!) before we headed out to gorge ourselves. i contributed bread pudding (ABK's recipe) and it was a big hit.

we capped off the night with "breaking dawn," which was terrible in all the ways i hoped and expected it would be.

so, a success. especially since we have so very much to be grateful for. most certainly too many things and people to list.

and, to top it all off, i got our christmas decorations up before the weekend was over, so the holiday partying is only going to get better from here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

the 72-day itch

i am pleased to report that, as of today, AWD and i are tied with kim kardashian and kris humphries for length of marriage. i have a good feeling about this one.

to celebrate our momentous 72-day achievement, we had dinner at costco and dessert at the dairy godmother (flavor of the day: pecan pie), which some of you might remember was also the site of our first date. it seemed appropriate. perhaps if kim and kris had done something similar, their wedded bliss might have lasted a bit longer.

as for us, i think we'll keep going for another 72 days at least.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

you guessed it.

the weekend unfolded just as i suspected it might.

we saw this movie. (and liked it.)
bought furniture.
assembled furniture.
made these decorations, plus party favors made from giant marshmellows.
enjoyed a delightful baby shower (nice work, d!).
looked at more furniture.
ate here for the first time. (and liked it.)
made a not-so-delious lentil stew.
organized books and various knick-knacks on newly assembled furniture.
made completely delicious cookies (the leftovers of which were thankfully finished off by the poynter dinner crew last night).

and now it's tuesday.
the end.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

thursday is the new weekend

today is the best kind of thursday. namely, a thursday preceding a friday off work. hurrah!

we'll be pretty busy, i think. (more) furniture shopping and (more) house organizing, hopefully some baking, a (coed) baby shower and a george clooney political thriller.

i'd also like to read my book, clean my bathroom, wash my laundry and cuddle with my husband. (not in that order.) so we'll see what really gets done.

full report to follow.

enjoy the weekend, my babies!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the name game

before AWD and i were even seriously dating i announced that when i got married, whenever and to whomever that happened to be, i wasn't going to change my name. i didn't know at the time if i was going to marry AWD or not (for the record, turns out i did), but i figured that whatever happened, he should have all the facts.

and he took it like a champ. in fact, the next day he came back to me and pointed out that he wouldn't want to change his name, so why should i want to change mine? and you better believe that tipped the marriage scales in his direction.

on the one hand, not changing my name has made my transition to marriage a pretty uncomplicated one, record-keeping-wise at least. i didn't have to change credit cards or social security cards or drivers licenses or passports or utility accounts or any of the 1 billion other things that have my name on them.

and, not to be over-dramatic or anything, but i also didn't have to change my identity. i've been myself (first and last name) for a long time and i am sort of attached.

but, that's not to say there haven't been some complications, especially at church. my name was changed automatically on the church records and i had to ask for it to be changed back. and i feel like i am always sort of apologetically explaining to people that AWD and i have different last names but that doesn't mean i don't like him. i am probably making it harder than it is, feeling like i need to walk everyone through all the reasons why i kept my name every time i introduce myself, but i do it anyway.

so maybe this is why more and more women are choosing to take their husband's names? i have to admit, i was a little surprised at that, but i suppose it provides it's own brand of simplicity.

there are obviously arguments, and personal motivations for either side, and i am not here to say one is better or more right than the other, but i am sticking to my choice for now. partly because i am lazy, but mostly because i am me and i'd like to stay that way, name and all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

obsession session

basically i am obsessed with the following things:

1. the kim kardashian divorce. i simply cannot get enough. i am reading everything i can find, mostly because i still can't even understand how the whole thing happened. and now i learn that she flew to minnesota to meet with poor kris humphries and the pastor who married them so everyone could get some "closure." i am more confused than ever. the good news is, AWD and i only have to stay married until november 22nd to beat their record. i totally think we can do it.

2. herman cain. it just keeps getting better. or worse. i can't decide which. depends on your outlook, i suppose. i am enjoying watching him squirm, but i feel like he should be squirming more and i'm disturbed out how little he and other people seem to be worried about these allegations. do people not take sexual harassment seriously anymore? (this very well-written article seems to think they don't. i am starting to agree.)

3. advent calendars. i really want to make an advent calendar this year. i have been trolling the internet looking for ideas. i want it to look good but not be too hard but be nice enough to be able to use it year after year. and it needs to be done by december 1st. i am leaning towards some version of this one. we'll see.

4. menu planning. in addition to the failed goal (my fault) of commuting to work together, AWD and i also made a goal to cook our meals at home as much as possible and to take our lunches to work. we're doing pretty well and it's actually really fun. i like pulling out our big stack of cookbooks every saturday or sunday and making a plan for the week ahead. and we've made some really delicious things. (remember the homemade corn dogs?) tonight is turkey chili and corn bread muffins. yum.

5. the lost city of z. i am currently reading this book all about percy fawcett a british explorer who disappeared in the amazon in the early 1900s and all the other explorers who have ventured in after him to try and figure out what happened. from what i can tell, not all of them made it out either. such an interesting read. i would read it all day every day if i could. but i can't.

6. furniture browsing. we are slowly but surely putting together out little nest, and for the first time in my life pretty much i am paying attention to furniture. one of the lovely things about marriage is a sense of permanence about these kinds of things. i know i am not going to buy something i really love and then have to get rid of it or put it in storage because i moved in with roommates who already had one of those. it's a nice feeling.

and that's pretty much what's taking up my time these days.

how about you, my babies?

Monday, November 7, 2011

we like to move it. move it.

we spent most of the weekend moving furniture and organizing the house, culminating in a saturday night date to ikea complete with a swedish meatball dinner ('cause we're high rollers like that), but we did escape long enough for a gorgeous saturday afternoon stroll through dumbarton oaks with elbert, heather and adorable baby penny.

it was a beautiful, sunny day and everything was a blooming explosion of fall colors, even the rose garden.

penny slept for most of our walk-about and then let me hold her while we all drank hot chocolate and ate churros in georgetown, but by the time anyone thought to pull out a camera she was screaming her head off, so there will be no pictures of her this time around.

you'll just have to take my word for it that she is basically the cutest thing ever. and that i was holding her for a pretty long time before she started to cry.

i swear.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


before AWD and i got married we hatched this plan that it would be really fun to commute to work together. we could wake up, have a little breakfast, and then i would drop AWD off at the metro on my way to the office.

perfect, right?

except that to make it work, i would have to wake up at 6:30 in the morning.

i don't do 6:30 in the morning.

and so, in the nearly two months that we have been married, AWD and i have commuted to work together exactly one time.

a lot of mornings, when i am still curled up cozy in bed as AWD is leaving, i feel a little guilty about it.

a little.

but then i find things like this on the front door...

... and i think i should probably just sleep in every morning.

Monday, October 31, 2011

tricked. treated.

here is my favorite halloween story.

when i was on my mission, i served in the eniwa branch. the eniwa branch put on a big halloween party every year. and, for being in japan where halloween is not really a thing, it was a pretty great halloween party. and every year for the past 10 years they had been decorating the church gym with a banner that said, "happy helloween."

so amazing.

usually, as has been well documented, i actually hate halloween. you might say that to me it is "hell-oween." but, this year we sort of got into it.

for starters we put out pumpkins on the front stoop. we didn't bother carving them but that turned out to be just as well because the squirrels gnawed big chunks out of them and did our work for us.

then we went to the ward halloween party (no offending banner, alas) and AWD even baked a pan of corn bread to contribute. luckily we were really late and only half of it got eaten because it was delicious.

on saturday, my company hosted a carnival for the surviving family members of service members who have died on active duty. AWD and i volunteered to be clowns. (correction: i volunteered us to be clowns.) it was about a 5o/5o split between kids who loved us and kids who ran away. we are counting it as a success.

and tonight we are sitting home, willing trick-or-treaters to come and take this candy off our hands, watching "it's the great pumpkin charlie brown" and having a grand old time.

happy halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

fall fell fool

today i read this article, about how global climate change could put an end to the gorgeous fall colors of the northeast.

i hope with all my heart that this is not true.

that is all.

Monday, October 24, 2011

half yearly

yesterday marked six months since briana died.

it feels like a lifetime.

i don't think about it all the time, like i thought i might. but i also never forget about it either. especially not when i really need to call her up and ask her something.

i miss her terribly.

sometimes i cry when i think about her or talk about her. and sometimes i don't.

i find that i am a much more nervous driver. it seems equally preposterous and reasonable that that is one thing that has stuck with me more than almost any other.

i am not sad. or rather, i should say that i am not sad for her. sometimes i feel pretty sad for me, though.

a day or two after briana died my then future father-in-law called and he told me this. he said that he really believed that when faith and love-filled people like briana die, whatever the circumstances are, when they get to the other side they are not sad or disappointed. they don't feel robbed or cheated, even though those of us left on earth might. instead, they see things wholly and clearly and they understand that the arc of their life is complete.

i have come to feel that this is probably true. and i would add that then they get the work on the other side. if i have felt anything over these past few (can it really only be six? so many and yet so few) months, it is that bri is busier than ever. and i think that if i could talk to her again, she would tell me not to worry about her and to get busy, too.

the thing is, i never do worry about her. i worry about me, about all of us left here. but i suspect she would tell me to knock that off as well. there is, after all, plenty of goodness and work to go around, no matter where you are.

and so, to mark the occasion, i made a batch of lemon bars (her favorite) and thought about how much i love her and all the things we'll have to talk about when i see her again.

on an unrelated note, except that it also happened yesterday, AWD and i made homemade corn dogs and oven fries for dinner last night and it was the most delicious thing. we high-fived about it, we were so proud of ourselves.

i can't decide if briana would have thought homemade corn dogs were a little bit gross or a little bit awesome. but that's OK. i'll just have to ask her about it later, i guess.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

brandon, you're a star

some of you may recall my close and personal encounter with the killers, which, though a while ago now, is still one of my chief cool kid cards.

so, given my close and personal relationship with the band, you can imagine my delight when this video of my homeboy brandon flowers, sharing his belief in mormonism with the entire internet world surfaced. maybe you've seen it already?

if not, check it.

way to go brandon! way to go mormons!

Monday, October 17, 2011

hustle, bus(tle)

i made the quickest of quick trips to new york this weekend (as in, left d.c. at 6:30a.m. and left manhattan at 7p.m.) for ck's baby shower.

i didn't take a single picture so you'll just have to trust me that my new hot curler hair-do looked pretty cute, and that ck's baby bump is adorable. guess you had to be there.

when i was at crafty bastards a few weeks ago there were millions (exaggeration) of darling baby things and i actually thought to myself, "too bad i don't know anyone who is about to have a baby."

hello?!? duh.

but, i recovered with a little package of my favorite books for mama and the little lady, including "make way for ducklings," "blueberries for sal" and several installments of frances the badger. because, you know, i like to force my way into the consciousness of babies as early as possible.

after the shower ck and i took a walk around her neighborhood, reveling in the stunning fall weather and the good fortune our lives have been filled with lately. we also saw julia stiles and mariska hargitay. so there's that.

i got a shake shack burger on the way back to the apartment, and then i was off.

when i got home, AWD had already watched a whole season of "battlestar galactica" (dreamy!) so it was a pretty productive day all around.

Friday, October 14, 2011

i love me a friday.

happy friday, my babies! even with a short week, friday seems like it's been a long time coming. and boy, am i happy it is here.

ever since we went to truckeroo, AWD has been craving another lobster roll, so we decided to make our friday night date night a trip to luke's lobster (for him) followed by a screening of "real steel" (for me). what can i say? if the review says it's everything a seven-year-old could want out of a robot movie, i'm sold.

hoping all your seven-year-old dreams come true this weekend, too.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

falling slowly

one stop on our wedding tour extravaganza was twin falls, idaho, where we visited my dad's side of the family and, on one particularly lovely morning, took a walk down to shoshone falls.

it was basically impossible to keep up with my grandma, but the rainbow at the end was worth it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

mid week end

wednesday sure comes quickly when monday is another saturday and tuesday is like a monday and there you have it and here we are.

we had a lovely long weekend. it went down like this.

stop 1. winchester, virginia, for our fourth and final wedding reception. AWD's family put on a beautiful party at the handley library, a totally rad historic building (with a rotunda!) that also happens to be my mother-in-law's place of work. we had a great evening.

stop 2. charlottesville, virginia, where we explored the downtown mall via the funky warehouse district, and ate bodo's bagels (virginia famous!) for breakfast, the virginian (longest continuously running restaurant in charlottesville!) for lunch, and the local (nothing to say here except that it was delicious!) for dinner. we also strolled around the UVA campus, including a tour of the rotunda, aka: thomas jefferson's temple of the mind.

stop 3. louisa, virginia, for paul and kyle's wedding, during which we enjoyed ourselves immensely, but during which we did not take a single photo. it was mostly a delight to attend a wedding that was not our own, so it didn't even matter if anything went wrong, which i don't think it did anyway.

stop 4. montpelier, lifetime home of james madison, father of the constitution. the house was just rescued from the clutches of the dupont family and underwent a major restoration that only ended a few years ago, so i would classify it as a work in progress. but standing in the room where the constitution was conceived is never a dull thing, and the grounds were lovely. AWD and i decided that we are sort of like james and dolley madison, he shy and brilliant, she social and stylish. (i bet you can see it, too, right?) i loved thinking of the great and deep friendship between madison and jefferson, and was totally jealous to learn that madison spoke seven languages fluently.

stop 5. home, where we are settling back in to our married life routine. so far, we really like it.