Thursday, April 26, 2012

did you see this?

this woman created self-portraits, in the flemish style, natch, in an airplane bathroom. using just what was on the airplane. like, you know, toilet seat covers and paper towels and one of those inflatable pillows.

words simply cannot express how badly i want to become friends with this woman.

also, AWD and i just booked tickets to austin for memorial day. think that flight is long enough to pull off something like this? (i hope so.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

tune up. tune in.

it was mostly rain and wintertime temperatures this weekend, but we did take advantage of a few sunny saturday morning hours to get the bikes out and go for our first ride of the season.

our target destination was the iwo jima memorial,  but every bike path we tried turned into a dead end in some kind of secured area. so, we eventually gave up and just came on home.

it was a lovely jaunt, though, and now that the bikes are tuned up and pumped up, i am looking forward to many two-wheeled adventures ahead.

Monday, April 23, 2012

one year.

today it is one year since briana died.

a few weeks ago, on good friday as a matter of fact, i missed her so badly and had so much sadness that i didn't even know where to put it, and so it came spilling out of my eyes in great big tears as i was driving home from work. thinking about her hurt that day.

but today i woke up and i felt so happy and peaceful and calm. it was raining, like it was on the day she died, and it felt just right somehow, cozy and familiar.

it was a year ago that holly called me and told me. something had happened. there was an accident. briana was gone. i heard her but i couldn't understand what it meant. all i knew was that i couldn't repeat the words, out loud or in my head, without breaking down to cry.

i felt alone and far away from so many people who knew and loved her-- and me-- the best. and so to make some sense of it all, to wrap my head around something that i could dissect and analyze, i became obsessed with the details. the roads were wet. the car swerved. but why? they weren't wearing their seatbelts. but why? how did the car roll? where did it land? i read every article, every blog, watched every news report, looked at every picture.

had she been afraid? had she suffered? i worried.

and i worried for myself, too. i have not had many chances in my life, thankfully, to learn the language of grief and loss. was i doing it right? mourning enough? too much? in the right way? i wanted briana to come to me somehow, maybe in a dream or just in a thought, and tell me i was doing OK, tell me that she remembered me, that she missed me as much as i miss her.

lately, though, i have felt that there's no reason for her to tell me something i already know and believe in my heart. of course she remembers me, the thought comes. but she's much too busy to take the time to tell me that when i don't need to be reminded and there are so many other things going on over on the other side.

and so today i woke up and i felt happy and peaceful and calm. it was raining, like it was on the day she died, and it felt just right somehow, cozy and familiar. i put on a big sweater, and treated myself to a morning hot chocolate.

and tonight i baked lemon bars and filled a bowl with fresh, delicious berries, and gathered around me the women friends who have meant the most to me in my life here, who have inspired me and forgiven me and served me and loved me and it didn't matter whether they had known bri or not. it was universal sisterhood in action. we sewed and ate and laughed and i told a few stories and it was just the way i wanted to spend tonight. i can't think of a more perfect way to remember dear, sweet, beloved briana. and i think she probably took a few minutes out of her eternal day to join us.

Friday, April 20, 2012

the look of lifelong love

my grandparents celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary last month.

we missed the party, but luckily my mom hired our much beloved wedding photographer, kirstin, to capture the big event. seeing pictures of all my family gathered in the kitchen and spread out on couches and laughing and hugging and celebrating just makes me so happy and fuzzy and warm.

i feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family.

and i feel so blessed, in particular, to have such wonderful grandparents. they are graceful and kind, tolerant and forgiving, universally loved and admired, funny, insightful and inspired. they have supported all of us as we've gone to college, served missions, gotten married, had babies, rejoiced in triumph and struggled hard against trials.

they love good food, good music and, most of all, the good company of family. i am so glad to be a part of their family, and i only hope i am so lucky, sixty years from now, to be surrounded by half as wonderful a legacy as they have created.

hey AWD, are you in? (hope you're up for living into our mid-90s!)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

top chef

one of the great surprise lessons of marriage has been that the kitchen is just not as scary a place as i thought.

i always just assumed i was not very good at cooking but it turns out that i can make my mom's recipes and they taste just as delicious and i can figure out what to substitute for shallots (because i can't quite figure out what those are) and i can make recipes that use double boilers and sifters and all kinds of other things that used to send me running for the hills/chipotle.

and tonight we conquered the fanciest kitchen adventure yet: creme brulee.

because turns out even wielding a torch isn't as scary and hard as you think.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

blossoms on parade

the other main event of the weekend was the cherry blossom festival parade. it was a little weird because the cherry blossoms peaked and blew away about a month ago, but i suppose it's a little hard to predict these things.

it was a pretty crowded jumble, but we did catch a glimpse of debbie gibson, kristi yamaguchi and maybe a miss america/usa/universe/galaxy contestant and/or winner. we missed buzz aldrin, which was something of a disappointment.

mostly, it was just really nice to be outside in gorgeous weather (no coat! bare legs! sandals!). AWD and i both got a little sunburned, which i think is a sure sign that spring is here and summer is not far behind.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

yep, this happened.

and i am not even embarrassed about it.

on friday night AWD and i went to see "titanic" in (sort of) 3D. and it was totally worth it. it's a fine film and a fine love story and we enjoyed all three hours and change.

(we'll never let go!)

and then, since we were on a roll, on saturday we headed over to the national geographic museum, where they currently have an exhibit about the titanic. and where this happened.

and i am not even embarrassed about that either.

the exhibit had some set pieces from the movie, which was pretty rad, and tons of interactive displays (i learned morse code!), plus a list of all the supplies titanic sailed with (6,000 pounds of butter and 30,000 eggs!) and a video of the man who discovered the wreck in 1985 talking about what that was like.

he said the first thing they spotted was a boiler and everyone started shouting "a boiler! it's a boiler!" (except for the frenchie on board who shouted "ze boileh!") and they were so jubilant at having discovered this treasure. and then they realized it was 2 a.m. titanic sank at 2:20 a.m. and suddenly the mood shifted and the tragedy sunk in. (no pun intended. but it was a pretty good one, no?)

anyway, the whole thing was fascinating and we did a bunch more reading and research afterwards. you should all come visit and see the exhibit, ok? i think it's what jack and rose would have wanted.

Monday, April 16, 2012

can i blame this on friday the thirteenth?

it took me an entire 40 minutes to get dressed on friday the thirteenth, which i took as a pretty bad start to a bad luck day.

but, nothing else went wrong, actually.

and the only thing that did go "wrong" was more of a first world problem. (and maybe a hoarding problem.)

so there, friday the thirteenth. you can't scare me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

this is the only picture of easter i took.

back in the day, my mom used to make us these little easter treats: a melt-in-your-mouth meringue nest that acts as a sugary home to a sweet peep chick nestled in coconut grass guarding malted robin's eggs. it was one of my favorite easter traditions, partly because i have a wicked sweet tooth and partly because it felt so nice and familiar.

AWD and i hosted some of our favorite family and friends for easter dinner this year and i went all nostalgic/domestic and started the tradition anew in our home by sending each of our guests away with a nest of their own.

plus one for me and one for my lovebird.

and it was just as nice and familiar as always.

happy easter, my babies.

Monday, April 9, 2012

blossoms in the sky

saturday night was the cherry blossom festival fireworks show at the southwestern waterfront.

EH and i went, watched fireworks (our favorite) and had chicken on pita from the tasty kabob food truck for dinner before strolling home.

wish you could have been there. it was lovely.

Friday, April 6, 2012

the hop

we have been busy bunnies over here, getting ready to host the bennett clan for easter dinner, taking evening walks to soak up the gorgeous spring weather, and watching "friday night lights." (dear tim riggins, i love you.)

and now the weekend is here. hurrah!

we have lots of shopping, cleaning and cooking to do (and maybe some proscrastinated easter decorations to finish. maybe), but there is also going to be a japanese street fair, a bike ride and maybe some fireworks in there, too.

it should be a fabulous easter weekend, and i hope yours is the same!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

shake it up

of all the things we craved during no-sugar-march, milkshakes were at the top of the list. so, we scratched our itch last night with a trip to burger tap and shake, accompanied by our burger besties, e&e.

a six buck chuck (plus bacon. yum), some sweet potato fries, a black and white shake and the awesome company hit the spot.

and now, with that out of the way, we just might be ready to give up sugar for another month.

Monday, April 2, 2012

conference call

this weekend was general conference for us mormons. i love general conference, partly because what is not to love about church you can watch on tv while you are wearing your sweats? but mostly because what is not to love about the chance to hear prophets and apostles teach you the things heavenly father wants you to know. i sort of wish it came around every month instead of every six months, but i'll take what i can get.

i tried to make a special effort this time around to really prepare myself for conference. i thought about questions i wanted to answer and areas in my life where i wanted to improve and do a little better. and, wouldn't you know it, but i found everything i was looking for. i love it when my heart and mind are open enough to let that happen.

a lot of talks, like this one from president monson, were about setting wiser priorities and making sure that our families come before anything and anyone else. this is something i have been thinking about a lot. i am a project and task oriented person. i get a real rush out of making lists and then crossing things off and seeing progress and feeling productive, and i am inclined to put tasks and projects and errands and lists before a lot of other things, a habit that was pretty firmly solidified in my single years. but i have been re-evaluating the correct balance in my newly married life, and talks about family and priorities drove home the idea that my to-do list should not come before my husband and my home. that is not to say, of course, that i have to give up all productivity and there are obviously things that just have to get done (i'm looking at you, evil axis of laundry, cleaning and grocery shopping) and there is no way i could ever live a project-free life, nor do i think i need to, but i feel newly committed and energized to be a little more flexible and embrace unstructured and uninterrupted time with my new family (aka: AWD). because some things just can, and should, wait. and isn't a happy and healthy marriage and family and home the most productive thing i can do anyway? i am starting to understand that it is.

and this talk by president uchtdorf was the perfect complement to my recent thoughts about leaving criticism and judgement behind. oh, how i long to do this! i love president uchtdorf's simple admonition when it comes to judgement, envy and all those other ugly feelings: stop it. it sounds so simple, but i think it is going to be a pretty long road for me to master it. i feel even more motivated to try, though, which i think can only be good news.

throw in a sunny walk around the neighborhood, a delicious sunday morning brunch with good friends, and lots of snuggle time, and it's easy to see why conference weekend is a winner, this and every time.