Sunday, December 20, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

Tyson's computer finally croaked a few weeks ago, and Sundays became busier with all the Christmas choir rehearsals, so I have some catching up to do.

The first thing that comes to mind is that Tyson has put together a nice new computer for himself. He also fixed his laptop, and in the process discovered that none of his photos from Barcelona were lost after all. :)

Some more good news is that I interviewed for and was promoted to the position of executive assistant for the CEO of the company for which I've been working as a customer support rep these past three months. This means a small but significant pay raise and a much more pleasant work day. Unfortunately, the business is making the bulk of its money in a legal but unethical way. I'd love to leave, but with over $450 in student loans each month (and that's just mine, not Tyson's) I don't dare just quit. I've applied for other jobs, and been interviewed for two, but so far I've had no takers. I'm not going to stop looking, though.

Also, there are two other pros to staying with this company. One is that I'm enrolling in medical insurance for the first time in almost five years, and Tyson and I are also enrolling in dental insurance. The other is that the people with whom I work are very warm and supportive. There are some real gems that I just love, and they make work so pleasant. :)

Tyson has yet to find someone willing to hire a man with two master's degrees, a real estate certificate, and who is self-taught in web and graphic design. It's a difficult time for us in this respect, but we have faith that in time this to shall pass.

My service in nursery has led me to volunteer to teach the lesson and lead a "singing time" each week. Truthfully, I'm delighted. I love preparing lessons and songs related to the gospel. I just hope that I can be humble and worthy enough for the Lord's Spirit to be present to teach His precious children.

In less than 48 hours I get to pick my parents up from the Salt Lake airport. I can't wait! Merry Christmas to me! :D

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Semi-Happy ENDing

So, Tyson's friend Raylene is a professional hair stylist, and he asked her to help me out.Wednesday night I went to see her and she managed to turn my sad mess into a nice hairstyle. :)

(I'm just wishing my mom a happy Thanksgiving in this picture. :P )

I think it's even cuter straightened. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Bitter End of My Ends

My hair has been getting really long. When I look in the mirror, I've gone from thinking "Meh," to thinking, "Nice!" when I look at my hair. It's been transitioning from being just long hair to being looong hair. I've been feeling beautiful and sexy for a change. I've also been really excited to show my parents its length when they arrive for Christmas.

At 10 on Saturday I had an appointment at Dallas Roberts Academy to get my hair trimmed. I told the girl that I just wanted my ends and the hair framing my face cleaned up for the holidays. She responded by saying I would need layers in the back to make it look right. Surprised, I agred that some light layers would be fine. As she prepared her first cut, she combed up a big section of hair right in the center of my head, like a mohawk. I clarified that I just wanted the front 5% trimmed. She assured me that the layers would be long, then proceeded to cut away HALF the length of the hair she was holding. I was mortified. I wanted to run away, but I figured the damage was already done. I felt sick. She proceeded for the next hour to savagely hack away at my patiently grown hair while I tried not to vomit or cry.

When she finally finished, her instructor came to inspect it. She, in her turn, grabbed chunks of my hair, and demonstrated an "effective technique" for cutting curly hair by partially opening her scissors and running it through my hair. I was all I could do to not scream at her to stop butchering my hair.

I stumbled out the door, and ran to my car as the tears began streaming out. I cried all the way home, then awoke poor Tyson by sobbing uncontrollably in his arms.

He was so sweet and comforting. So was Calleen. Tyson also called the academy and spoke with girl and described to her the fallout of her imprudent actions.

My long, thick ends are gone. I've lost probably four inches of hair (when even she agreed she was only going to cut off one), and my ends are thinned and shredded. All my hair on my right side is longer than on my left, and the hair on the top of my head is just chopped off short.

I used to just pull half my hair back in a barrette, but no more. It's not long enough unless I pull it tight against my head. I also used to pull it into a ponytail when I worked out, and then pull it halfway through again into a loop, and still have a significant amount hanging out. Now I don't even have enough hair for the same size loop, let alone any extra. I've worn my hair stuffed up into a hat the past two days at work, in mourning and protestation.

Here are some pictures. Keep in mind that my curls soften a lot of ugliness.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Aliens Not Allowed

First, I have to say that the weather this week has been divine! It's been sunny and in the 60s every day! I am loving it!

The highlights for me this week were receiving a Priesthood blessing of comfort from Tyson, giving my friend Crystal a massage, and actually being able to get in a full workout every day except Wednesday. :) The blessing helped a lot. I was getting quite depressed, and it was reassuring to know that we have a purpose to fulfill here, and that our circumstances will change once that purpose is fulfilled.

Also, last night we hung out with Chris and Raylene and went to see the movie "The Box," which is based off of the short story "Button, Button." (It was also made into a Twilight Zone episode in the '80s.) I have to give the movie a great big "Bleh!" As soon as alien-controlled-zombie-people are explaining my choices between "eternal salvation" and "eternal damnation," you've lost my interest. The movie "Knowing" makes the same kind of mistake. God is love. He is not a bunch of detached aliens playing puppeteers with our lives. Period.

Not wanting to end so negatively ( :D ), I'd like to say that we watched "The Brother's Bloom" a while back, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. One of the better movies I've seen in some time. Quite quirky, but very sweet.

Not Quite Domestic Homicide

Tuesday evening was kind of tough for me. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband. He was so sweet and loving - and he made me laugh, too. That night I drifted blissfully off to sleep with a smile on my face, grateful to be blessed to be married to such an amazing man.

. . . Then, at least an hour before my alarm went off, he started tossing and turning in his sleep. He'd toss, then turn, then squirm, then flop, then repeat. I was so exhausted, all I could do was almost drift off to sleep before our bed would bounce again, jolting me slightly awake. By the time my alarm finally went off, I wanted to grab my pillow and whack the daylights out of my husband!

Thankfully, the frustration over what he did in his sleep has vanished much more quickly than the gratitude for who is he when he's awake. ;)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday Tyson met me when I finished work and we drove up to Thanksgiving Point to go through Cornbelly's cornmaze, but because of the snow earlier that day, they were closed. The next day he called a couple of times to make sure that they'd be open, and we went again.

The maze itself was kind of sad. It had taken a beating for the past several weeks, and it was still kind of muddy. We got a thick layer of mud and corn husks tuck to the bottom of our shoes! :P However, we still had fun. :) We went through the hay snake with all the little kids, went down the slides, admired the carved pumpkins display, warmed ourselves by the fire pit, and ended up buying a large pumpkin for $1 on our way out. :)

Afterward, we swung by Zupas, and I got their Jamaican Pumpkin Coconut soup - which was divine! - and their berry salad, and a "million dollar bar." Tyson got the Wisconsin Cauliflower soup and the California Turkey sandwich. Then we hurried over to UVU for Institute. :)

Friday at work we had our Halloween party. Lots of us dressed up - my team lead Alisha was a ninja turtle, our boss Dave was an obnoxious Utah Jazz fan complete with a 'stash, and one of the executives wore pink pajamas, a pig nose, and a hospital mask to be the "swine flu." Tyson came to the lunch festivities at noon - making me the happiest person there! :D There was a chili cook-off, and pumpkin pie and chocolate cake. :) Then the children that had come went from cubicle to cubicle rick-or-treating. :)

That evening, we had delicious soup that Calleen had made with honey cornbread that Tyson had made. Then we carved pumpkins while watching the Jazz game. I asked Tyson what would be a "Springer" jack-o-lantern, and her said a butterfly. So I looked up images online, and used one as an inspiration. It was fun to flex my artistic muscles again a little. :)

Calleen and I also picked out and baked pumpkin seeds. This was one of my favorite Halloween treats growing up, and I was so tickled to finally have a chance to eat them again. :) (Yay to not having mid-terms!)

Saturday evening we went to Chris's apartment for a Halloween party. Chris, and his brothers Andrew and Zach, with help and encouragement from Raylene, dressed up as the three Jonas brothers. I have no idea who the Jonas brothers are, but they looked sharp - and Andrew's wig made me giggle. :D We all munched and talked, and then played Apples to Apples, Last Word, and Catch Phrase. It was all really fun. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Of Food and Failures . . . and Successes

So Tuesday began as a dark and exhausting day. Thankfully, my loved ones have pulled through and are now on the path to begin the journey toward healing.

That night, Tyson and I wanted to unwind by sharing some dinner together. He found an interesting new recipe online for spinach pesto, so we went to the store and bought everything we'd need - including a food processor. It wasn't until we got home that I realized the box of penne we planned on using was already half empty. So we used a box of shells. Then Tyson couldn't get the new processor to work. He decided he would take it back later that night, and instead went through the hassle of blending the cheeses and fresh spinach in the blender. Only after the final mixing of everything together did it occurred to us that we'd forgotten to chop the remaining fresh spinach. And finally, we think the recipe contained a typo, since the video showed two cloves of garlic being used, but the recipe said three. Yowzas! No vampires will be bothering us anytime soon!

Despite the comedy of errors, it was a good dish, and we made it again tonight - only this time we did it right. :)

Also, Friday night I made the recipe on the back of the box of Barilla Whole Wheat Medium Shells - minus the leek and the mint. It was fabulous! Definitely something to repeat. And Saturday evening I brought together some apples, peanuts, and caramel to make caramel apples for the first time. I discovered the hard way that a slap-chop isn't an effective way to chop peanuts. :P They're not cute, but they're still tasty. :)

Oh yeah, Tyson made a cobbler Saturday night, too. He looked up Paula Dean's peach cobbler recipe, but we didn't have any fresh peaches, and he couldn't find enough home-canned peaches, so he supplemented with some home-canned blackberries. As is easy to imagine, it was divine!

At church this afternoon it was announced that our ward will being moving to the newly finished building much closer to our house. To Tyson's delight, and my dismay, our meeting time is also changing from 1pm to 9am. Goodbye Sunday morning sleeping-in. :P

Finally, thanks to Kevin and Jacqui, mom and dad have their flight itinerary and hotel booked to come out here for Christmas! YAY!!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Glimmer of Hope

On Tuesday, Tyson called me while I was at work to tell me that his #1 choice firm in Salt Lake emailed him and invited him in for an interview that afternoon. I thought this might be the answer to our fasting and prayers, and I tried fiercely to not be ecstatic. :)

The following day, a few of my customer support coworkers and I were told that a position was opening up that would require no phone work, only working on the computer all day. Again, I was very excited, and wanted to jump up and down, and say, "Pick me! Pick me!" I think three of us were interested, and again I'm hopeful that in a few weeks I might be able to move out of customer support.

Tyson's interview went well, and we are still waiting to hear if he will be called in for a 2nd interview. We expected the call before the week was up. It becomes harder to hold on to hope, but we do our best.

Also, yesterday we attended the temple together. I have a personal goal to attend every temple in Utah, so we drove up to the Draper temple - only to find that it was just closing for regional conference! :P So, we caught some lunch and then drove over to the Oquirrh Mountain temple, instead.

As we were leaving, standing on the temple grounds and looking out over the valley, I could see the Draper temple over toward the right, the Jordan River temple down and slightly left, and then downtown Salt Lake where the temple was eclipsed by larger buildings farther to my left. All while still standing on the temple grounds! It was amazing! How blessed I am to live in the latter days!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Family Pictrue

It's been a few months since we've updated the blog, but I thought the family picture session would be a good excuse to catch everyone up on us. Nothing terribly exciting, but we have been enjoying the beautiful fall weather and doing some of our favorite fall activities like going to the local cider mill. We also have plans to visit a corn maze this coming week with some friends, which I've never done so we're looking forward to that.

The job hunt continues for me. I met with a great firm in downtown Salt Lake, and the owner really seemed to like my work. His wife also happens to be from Flint, so he was intrigues by my Midwest ties. I didn't get a job offer, but meeting the local firms is a good first step I think. I also got a couple of referrals from him, so I'll follow up with those this coming week. I also got my website up this week which I'm really excited about. You can check it out at

Monday, July 6, 2009

You and I, Westward on the Highway Forever . . .

So, thanks to the invaluable help of our beloved family and friends, we managed to leave Michigan on Wednesday and begin our trek out to Utah. I have to say that pulling loaded trailers behind our modest little Accords was stressful. In some way my favorite part of the journey was several hours in Nebraska when the road was almost completely flat, and I was able to set cruise control and relax a bit.

One of two of my favorite sites along the way was to see the wind turbines near the western edge of Iowa Wednesday evening. They were pretty close to the freeway, and so I got a better understanding of how enormous they really are. My favorite turbine was both close to the road and facing the road. It stood in a small valley next to the freeway, so that the tips of the blades looked as if they were brushing the grass on the shoulder. I'm sure wind turbines aren't all that quiet, but I couldn't hear any sound from it over the noise of my car, and so it towered silently over me, regally spinning against the star-dusted indigo sky.

My other favorite site was the enormous hills that I think were a part of Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. The sunlight was beginning to cut through the clouds after rain, and on either side of the winding road loomed curved hills (or small mountains???) comprised of warm red dirt and frosted with vibrant evergreens. I would love an opportunity to return there one day.

How I've wished that my eyeballs contained cameras! :)

We arrived in Spanish Fork late Friday afternoon and purchased a storage unit. Saturday we emptied our trailers into the unit, and today we returned our trailers to U-haul. It is so nice to have my car back! I'm almost completely unpacked now, too.

Everyone has been so wonderful to us here, and I am so grateful for their kindness! I do still miss everyone back east very much. I won't go into detail about crying. :P Being able to spend yesterday evening with Rem and Amelia was a great comfort to me.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

An Unexpected Adventure

So I woke up this morning and hustled my way down to the airport to catch my flight, only to be delayed due to "mechanical problems," but to my surprise I wasn't alone. One of my classmates was unexpectedly on the same flight. We waited for about 5 hours before they finally got the plane in working order and then off we were to Amsterdam. Problem was that both of us had missed our connections by then, but the airline was nice and gave us accommodations for the night, which left us with a few hours to explore the city.

Downtown Amsterdam is only about 15 minutes by train from the airport, so it was pretty convenient. Keep in mind that the only thing I really knew about Amsterdam was that it had really cool row houses and canals running through the city. As we walked around window shopping took on a whole new meaning. I realize the whole city's not like the redlight district, much like there's more to Las Vegas than the strip, but it was a whole different world compared to what I was used to. A fun afternoon at any rate.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Retracing My Steps: Part 4 - Parc Guell

Decided to spend my last afternoon in Barcelona at Parc Guell. It really ended up being a nice afternoon. I spent a little more time soaking in Gaudi and met up with a nice lady who sold me some jewelry that I think my wife will like a lot (fingers crossed!). My walk took me back to a couple of days ago when we talked about Frank Ghery. Some of Gaudi's work doesn't really speak to me stylistically, but the fact that he was able to make it happen is just incredible. A lesson I hope to learn as I make my way as an architect.

The class met up at Santa Caterina for one last meal together. It was pretty good. Having eaten so much pork since I've been here I decided to go with a vegetarian dish, which was delish, but then a friend gave me a bite of her suckling pig and I about died. It was the best bite of pig ever! If I ever get back there I'm getting it. We all said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Viva la Barcelona!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

San Sebastian

We rounded up our two day trip with some fun in San Sebastian. Unlike Bilbao, I though San Sebastian was a really interesting city. It was very subtle though, and I like that. Subtlety is a way of rewarding those that pay attention. Obviously not the best day for taking pictures, but a great experience none the less.

We visited the Kursal Centre by Rafael Moneo. It's a really sweet music hall right on the coast. The inside was great, but if you skip down toward the end of the post and you'll see a picture of it lit up at night which really added a new dimension to it. The windows also really frame the coast in an interesting way.

Our next and final stop was two installations of Eduardo Chillida's sculptures. They are all quite interesting. They pose questions of spacial continuity and order that I think architects ought to do more. For me it was more about implied space, and that intriques me quite a bit. His drawings are pretty amazing too if you look them up. After that we went down to the historic district and had some of the most amazing food I've ever had. Not fancy places like Les Cols, but it was great and there was an atmosphere unlike any other place I've been. Really too bad it was such a short trip, but I'm sure I'll be coming back sometime.