Monday, December 31, 2007

A bare bones end of the year post

We had a great time in Hawaii. It's good to be back with the kids. Tomorrow, it's back to snow and ice, and I must admit, I'm a little nervous about that part.

I intended to do a year-end review, but here it is 10:30 on the 31st of December {happy birthday to you, Michelle! Sorry I forgot to email you today} and it's almost time to look forward and not back. I mean, it's already 2008 in New York and Anderson Cooper is heading home. So, I'm doing a very scaled-back Year in Review with a theme: awesome dining experiences in 07, aka the year of gourmet pizza and chopped salads. Feel free to add your own favorite places in the comments. Here we go.

Feast -- Tucson, AZ
Grazie -- Scottsdale, AZ
Sauce -- Scottsdale, AZ
Club 33 -- Disneyland, CA
Yasu Sushi Bistro -- Phoenix, AZ
Postino -- Phoenix, AZ
La Grande Orange -- Phoenix, AZ
Zinn Bistro -- Salt Lake City, UT
Asia de Cuba -- Scottsdale, AZ
Haleiwa Eats -- Haleiwa, HI
Zupas -- Draper, UT
Gurus -- Provo, UT
Pizzeria Bianco -- Phoenix, AZ
Giovanni's Original White Shrimp Truck -- Oahu, HI
Fox and Obel -- Chicago, IL


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

a loooooo ha

hi from oahu.
wish you were here, wearing a swimsuit in december!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The joy of packages

There was a lovely package waiting for us today after a long day of: emissions (re-retest)/car registration/dollar store sibling gifts for Isaac/doctor appointment/Target pharmacy/gingerbread houses at Aaron's class party. (Also known as: errands.)

The gift was a box of The Best Cookies in the world from my favorite older brother and his favorite wife. They are delicious! Thank you, Ryan and Jessica. That was very thoughtful and very appreciated. I'm going to eat several before I mention to the kids that we have them. See you soon.



I love getting packages. Anybody else want to send me something?

Friday, December 14, 2007

The last night I will be 31

Every December 14th growing up, my mom would tuck me in and say, "This is the last time you will ever be {my age}." I do that with my own kids now on their birthday eves.

It's 8 o'clock on Friday night, December 14th, and I'm tired. I have my pajamas on, I'm going to wash my face, take my contacts out, brush and floss, and curl up in bed with a book that Diana gave me for my birthday: Eat, Pray, Love.

Tomorrow I will wake up and Steve and the boys will be very sweet and give me a couple of presents. Ryan will be the first person to email me birthday greetings, although all my siblings will make contact throughout the day. I will accept homemade birthday cards from anyone and everyone. I will spend the gift card that my mother gave me. We will take the kids to see a movie, probably Enchanted. It will be a nice day.

Goodbye to thirty-one.

I love this, my too-expensive trip to HI notwithstanding



{credit to Brent for the link}

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

And then the credit card bill arrived

Dear Elliot, Aaron, Isaac and Norah,

Your father and I have been married now for over ten years. Isn't that amazing? We love each other very much and we love you! As you know, we decided to leave you with Nana and Papa for a week so that we could go on a trip to celebrate our tenth anniversary. We decided to be adventurous and quirky and to have a computer randomizer pick a location for us to travel to, out of more than a hundred options around the world. Would it be Johannesburg? Mexico City? Vernal? The randomizer very randomly picked the place where everyone goes for their tenth anniversary: Hawaii.

So, off to Hawaii we go! Please don't resent us for leaving you on Christmas Day, because tickets were cheaper then (though ridiculously high, still). You know we love to keep the budget happy when we travel! Well, please also don't be mad that Mommy was not very expeditious in arranging for hotels, so by the time I got around to it, everyone else in the free world had already booked their post-Christmas hotel rooms in Oahu, and we had to spend all your Christmas toy money on a place to rest our heads (the travel budget long since depleted). Oh, and please don't hate us that your entire inheritance has now gone to reserving a rental car at the Honolulu airport. As long as Mommy and Daddy come back happy and rested, right?

You'll probably notice that after our trip, we'll have more patience and show more love to each of you. You don't mind that we are spending about as much on this indulgent little getaway as it cost to take 7 of us to Spain a few years ago (back when Mommy didn't procrastinate and found good travel deals well in advance)?

Thanks for understanding.

Love, Mom

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dear Santa

All I want is ONE day of no vomit and very minimal interaction with poop.

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Join the discussion

Carly and Kacy (I'm too lazy to link, but see previous post for Carly, and go to kasm.blogspot.com for Kacy) started a really fun discussion on the book The History of Love.

Read it, then come participate. Here.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Did they find what they were looking for?

The search terms that have brought people to my blog in the last few days:

for iam not ashamed of gospel of christ
indigenous nudity
ovahimba
blogspot,word gas
are you allowed to wear boots to church
spanx nude fishnets
poisons in orleander
nude fishnets
maternity nylons

More today:
tuchetti's restaurant
what to tell my pregnant friend
tuchetti's, phoenix

I get a lot of hits for "indigenous nudity." I'm guessing when the searchers see what my blog has to offer, they keep looking.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Three things we could talk about if you came over for dinner

1. I just passed a sign [or perhaps: eye just past a sine?] on the corner of State and Center streets in Orem. It was a nice, expensive, printed banner that had on it something like this:

Children's Toy Drive
Unwrapped presents excepted here

To which I say: Sometimes spell-check just isn't enough.


2. The most interesting news of the day suggests a probable link between working the night shift and getting cancer. Really. Apparently, it is not good to disturb the circadian rhythms. Other things to think about: I sometimes wonder if it is dangerous that my husband takes melatonin every night to fall asleep, like maybe it has some sort of addictive sleeping pills quality about it. But according to this article, melatonin suppresses tumor development. But then again, taking the supplements could inhibit the body's natural ability to produce melatonin. What to do, what to do? Because if he doesn't take it, then he doesn't sleep, and then hello, cancer! Also, it seems that my mother was right all those mornings while I was growing up when she would come into my bedroom to waken me and be dismayed to see that I had fallen asleep reading and left the light on all night long. I always asked what the big deal was, because if I was asleep, I was asleep. Not so. The body needs to sleep in the darkness. Hmm. Also, prostate problems/cancer are apparently aggravated by not getting enough sleep, but as I understand it, people who have prostrate issues often wake often and early to empty their bladders, right? It seems we have a vicious cycle.



3. What it is about Costco's red meat that tastes so nasty? It has a blood sort of smell/taste that I just can't handle. Red meat from grocery stores=ok. Anybody know what I'm talking about?

What do you think? What else would you like to talk about?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A few more blogs that I read

Alyssa -- My uniquely talented friend from college and from now who is good at brightening the world around her.

Angela -- My sweet sister-in-law who is good at creating things and is also madly in love with her husband (it's sweet).

Austin -- My very engaging brother-in-law who is good at being interested and at being interesting and is one of my favorite people, even though he told me my son has an attitude (I'm over it, really).

Carly -- My first cyber friend, and she's awesome in real life, too.

Christen -- The cutest friend and mom and seamstress anyone could want. She chooses to wear bright colors when everyone else is wearing black (literally and figuratively), and that inspires me.

I read a lot of blogs. There are more.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Abby's the best



It was another crazy Craig family picture experience. Abby didn't have very cooperate subjects to work with, to say the least, but she worked wonders with what we gave her.

Nobody will care if we send out photos in which the 3 people who didn't throw major fits this morning look decent, will they? As in, everybody but Aaron, Isaac and Norah? Not to name names.

The same book: Diana, this post is for you


Today I finished this book. It was eerily similar to the last book I read.


Both authors are my age, they both live in Brooklyn. I thought for sure they must be friends, because the novels seem to fairly obviously allude to one another. I imagined meeting Nicole Krauss, the author of The History of Love at a Q & A and brilliantly pointing out to her that in both her story and this other, the scenario appears wherein people who love one another hold onto string across bodies of water, so as to minimize their separation. What are the chances of that? Does she know Jonathan Safran Foer, and why are their books so much alike?

It turns out they know each other. Married to each other, in fact. I probably would have looked sort of dumb at the Q & A.

Has anyone read one or both of these books? They're both very well done and thought-provoking and entertaining. Exremely Loud and Incredibly Close is more of everything: more pretentious, more bad language, more funny, more unbelievable, more depressing, more post-modern, more emotionally-charged. I can't decide which one I like better, but perhaps since I very randomly ended up reading them back-to-back without knowing anything about them, and the authors turned out to be married to each other (who knew!) and they are essentially the same book, I don't need to pick a favorite.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm sort of (really a lot) fascinated by how people spend their money

I've been spending a fair amount of time lately browsing realtor.com and utahrealestate.com. Last night I found this little number for sale in Alpine, UT.







Dang it. I don't know how to make these images larger. Can anyone advise me? Seriously, though, check out this palatial residence. Look at the pantry, the master closet, the laundry room. The house has 28,000 square feet, a ballroom, a Louis Vuitton chandelier. I am fascinated.

Tell me you're not fascinated and don't want to know more about these people.

Also, not to draw comparisons or be judgmental, but I'm also fascinated by the rich person in this scenario: anonymous donor gives $100 million to charities in Erie, PA, population of 102,000. Wow.

Incidentally, if any of you are ever bugged or offended because I like to talk about money and watch what people do with their money, I'm sorry. But if by chance you think people should be more open about money because half the universe doesn't know what they're doing and could use some frank discussion and tips, and because it's a fascinating topic, I'd love to talk. I seriously love the observations brought about by money. It is (cannot justify finding a different adjective to use here) fascinating!

Not that I necessarily love money or am obsessed with it, but I would rather watch the pundits analyze the stock market than watch HGTV. Which is probably why I don't know how to rearrange furniture. So when we make an offer on that house (we'll probably low-ball it, see what they say), will somebody come over and help me decorate the library and the music room?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I'm sorry I missed this


George Clooney and Fabio fight

My favorite part: Fabio's manager told press, "George is lucky he didn't end up in the ER."

I saw Fabio once, at the Phoenix airport. I've never been the same.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Today would be a nice day to be at Disneyland







Also: Steve and I are going to Hawaii on Christmas Day. I would love suggestions on what to do, where to eat and stay, exciting travel tips from anyone who has ever been to Oahu. I have been negligent about planning this trip and need to get on it. Thanks!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Won't you miss me, please won't you miss me at all

This week started with me getting a card in the mail from the ladies in our ward in Phoenix that had been passed around in Relief Society and on which everyone had written a little blurb of goodbye and good luck. The card made me cry. The messages were short and sweet, but the card represented my sweet friends in Phoenix, people who appreciate me and are appreciated by me and helped me and were helped by me and admire me and are admired by me. Utah doesn't need me, and that kind of stinks (although it has benefits, too), but the card reminded me of being loved and needed and missed and it felt nice. One point for Arizona.

On Tuesday, I met Steve on the BYU campus in the Marriott Center which has the same yellow seats it has always had (and that is one of the few things that is the same about BYU since I left it 10 years ago), and we watched Chief Justice John Roberts' profile as he spoke to us about the US Constitution. A couple of weeks ago, we did the same thing, only it was Senator Harry Reid explaining his faith and his politics, which was really quite intriguing. I am loving the opportunities to be part of cool events like this on campus. One point for Utah.

A few times this week I helped out with some PTA ladies who were sponsoring Safety Week at school. I bought $80 worth of gummy Lifesavers and we passed them out to kids at recess if they promised to talk to their families about a plan for where to meet and whom to call in case of an emergency. Most of the kids had already had that conversation with their families, and it was no sweat off their backs. Utahns are so prepared, and are so involved in their children's schools. One point for Utah. Our school that we left behind in Arizona has just a handful of parents who do anything at all, and they are so overworked that "Safety Week" as an event that has priority for the PTA is kind of laughable. Again, I was needed at our old school, and I felt effective. One point, Arizona.

Last night Steve came home from work with tickets to The Marriage of Figaro at BYU, an opera. We'd been to an opera one other time -- Of Mice and Men -- and it had been a little on the ridiculous side: entertaining, but crazy, and slightly annoying. So, we had some low expectations for the performance last night, but were thrilled when we were absolutely blown away by this opera! It was seriously amazing. The actors/singers were tremendously talented, it was funny, it was easy to understand despite being in Italian, it made me want to belt out a soliloquy or two. We loved it! We are now officially opera fans, or at least Marriage of Figaro fans, or at least BYU Performing Arts fans. Also fun was that the lead was a boy we know from Phoenix, which was a surprise to us. Go Utah!

We got a package in the mail yesterday from the lovely Jami in Phoenix, who had put together a beautiful album of pictures and messages from our friends who had come to a goodbye party for us before we left. That sentence had a lot of prepositional phrases. We loved the album. We love our friends. We love prepositional phrases. I probably learned about prepositional phrases in Arizona. My kids won't be able to say the same. Arizona is where my heart is.

Today we got to go to the Hogle Zoo with my sister and her family and my aunt, uncle and cousin and her family. It was crowded and we waited in lots of long lines to get Tootsie Pops, but the weather was nice, we got in free which is always nice, and we got a nice tour through the beautiful Salt Lake streets up by the U of U on the way home. Also, Elliot became fast friends with his second cousin whom he re-met today, and that is a serious joy to this mother's soul, because Elliot has been slow to make friends up here, and it is good to see him happy. Utah is great.

This weekend in Arizona, our good friends and their spouses from Steve's old law firm are "retreating" away the days at the gorgeous Enchantment Resort in Sedona (moment of silence for Sedona --- ahhhhh, Sedona) where they will be treated to excellent food, helicopter rides, jeep tours, gift baskets, horseback riding, exclusive golf courses, red rock views, hiking and the like. Many of them are likely splurging on the spa, rated #2 destination spa in the country. Or the world, or something. We're (I'm) really quite sad that we can't be there. We love Arizona.

Steve is sad about missing the Sedona Retreat, but isn't really sad about not working in the contentious litigation arena anymore. So, as much as we miss Arizona, Utah is where we shall be. Steve loves his job here. And that makes everything right in the world, as far as I am concerned.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thank you, Abby and Jamie!

Abby and Jamie and Milo and Pearl deserve some sort of prize for hosting such a fun weekend for my kids.

What kid wouldn't love:

a hike in the mountains
campfire complete with hot dogs and s'mores
scary ghost stories
movie about super heroes
campout on the living room floor
delicious breakfast of pancakes (hold the blueberries) and bacon and hash browns
board games with cool friends
go-carting (in the snow!)


Fun times, fun times!

What parent wouldn't love:

a kids-free weekend night
sleeping in until 8:30 on Saturday morning
knowing that there are people in the world who are dedicated to loving and having fun with your kids

Monday, October 15, 2007

Anyone need a dental visit?

Being the sucker for a charity auction that I am, I paid $15 at the kids' school carnival auction for a coupon for a visit to a dentist without thinking that we would get dental coverage through BYU. I'm never going to use this coupon, so if there is anyone in Utah Valley who doesn't have dental insurance and wants a free dental exam, x-rays, and cleaning at the office of Steven F. Melff, D.D.S. in Pleasant Grove, it's YOURS, baby. Leave a comment or email me at emilygcraig@hotmail.com and I will mail it to you, stat.

Out.

D, condensed version

In 1996, I participated in a BYU ethnographic field study program in Namibia, long before celebrities flew there to have their babies, or baby, as the case may be. It rocked. There were 8 of us--all girls--who went, along with a male TA and our professor/anthropologist-in-chief and his 5-year-old daughter. We camped near a settlement of OvaHimba in Northern Namibia for three weeks. We had no shower; we were earthy, some more than others. We hired translators and lived among the women and children and the old men because the men were attending to their pastoral duties in less arid topography during the dry season. We interviewed them, we talked with them, we attended a funeral, we (I) took their hurt children into town to the nearest medical clinic when one of them was to fall into the fire and melt the skin on his hand. We watched them play, cook, eat, and we took lots of notes and recorded lots of interviews. We each had an area of focus. Mine kept shifting, but it had something do with how these wonderful people were struggling to keep their culture vibrant despite increasingly frequent exposure to Western civilization (hello! 11 white people from Utah encroaching for a month, among others!); how they viewed their social and political position in the region; what they knew about life outside their homesteads. It was a vague and ever-so-dynamic topic of study. I never really got a good handle on it.

One of our classes for which we were getting credit required that we type up our field notes in a comprehensive fashion post-return to the States. A year passed and I hadn't done the assignment yet. Graduation and marriage approached and my professor offered to front me a grade -- a B , so I could get credit for the class with the promise that after I turned in the 30+ page assignment he would switch my grade to an A. Well, I'm kind of a procrastinator. I left Utah without ever having done it. Two years turned into, whattayaknow, TEN, and I still have not even transcribed my TAPES into notes to turn into the polished collection of field notes that my professor was owed oh so many years ago.

So, I have a chink in my integrity. I told my professor that I would do it, he gave me a grade, I graduated (although I'm almost positive I didn't actually need those 3 credits to qualify to graduate). And I never did it. And NOW -- can't you see what my biggest fear about living in Provo is?!? -- I'm sort of afraid of running into this (scary) professor and having to answer for my failures. I'm sort of afraid of unknowingly buying a house right next door to him.

I deserve that you now think less of me. What can I say? I'm not perfect. (And it's still eating me up inside.)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Ignorance

I actually own some nylons. I'm sure I do. They haven't been worn for five or eight years, but I know I have some. Maybe some tights, too -- that I'm not so sure about.

All of my nylons and maybe tights are where (here, if I believed in making up percentages that have no substantiation, which I definitely do not, I might say) 92% of my belongings currently are. Do I think that I am defined by my belongings? I most certainly do not. I don't even like belongings very much, but the fact remains that I own nylons and they are in storage.

Oh inhabitants of Utah and cold weather places: please inform! What do cool people do with the leg covering situation in the throes of wintery weather? Are bare legs kosher? Did I just make an anti-Semitic comment? I read that Carol Gotbaum converted to Judaism when she got married. Is it wrong that I feel kind of defensive about Sky Harbor airport when her husband speaks at her funeral about how if only one person would have helped her, she would be alive today? I digress. Is it okay to wear nylons in 2007? Black? Off-black? Nude? Tan? Should I buy Spanx toeless nylons? Should I wear opaque tights? Are there fabrics of skirts/dresses that just don't go well with opaque tights? Will I look like a fool if I stick to what I know best, which is b.a.r.e.? Where should I go to purchase hosiery, and how much should I spend? Is there any word in the English language more repulsive than 'hosiery'?

On Sunday Steve and I took Elliot to the Conference Center for Sunday Morning session, and we had a most wonderful time with our firstborn. There was a brief moment of panic while I was getting dressed, as there is every Sunday, when I remember that I both hate and have no access to nylons of any kind. Yesterday I solved that problem by wearing black boots. But I can't hide behind black boots for the next 7 months. I need your advice.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Attn: My Pregnant Friends; RE: Why you should be grateful today

Jordan, Courtney, Pepper, Julianne, Bek, and others of you who may be with child,

Please, today, take time to give thanks that--more than likely--your baby will not look like this upon immediate exit from your body.



Your friend in medium-to-low birthweights,

Emily

Norah, Age 1










Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Never thought I'd be a weather wimp, but

A VERY COLD STORM SYSTEM OVER THE GULF OF ALASKA WILL MOVE SOUTHEAST
INTO THE WESTERN GREAT BASIN LATE THURSDAY. THIS STORM WILL MOVE
SLOWLY EAST THROUGH NEVADA...AND STRENGTHEN AS IT APPROACHES WESTERN
UTAH. THIS SLOW-MOVING STORM WILL PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF
PRECIPITATION OVER WESTERN UTAH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT AND INTO FRIDAY.
THE CENTER OF THE STORM WILL MOVE ACROSS UTAH LATE FRIDAY NIGHT
THROUGH SATURDAY. THE VERY COLD AIR ASSOCIATED WITH THIS STORM
WILL DRIVE SNOW LEVELS DOWN TO THE LOWEST ELEVATIONS OF NORTHERN
AND CENTRAL UTAH. HEAVY SNOWFALL COULD DEVELOP ABOVE 6000 FEET...
ESPECIALLY THROUGH THE WASATCH RANGE AND THE CENTRAL UTAH MOUNTAINS.
THE STORM WILL MOVE EAST OF THE STATE ON SUNDAY. VERY COLD TEMPERATURES
WILL REMAIN IN THE WAKE OF THIS STORM. MORNING LOWS ON SUNDAY COULD
BE WELL BELOW FREEZING ACROSS WESTERN UTAH. AFTERNOON HIGH TEMPERATURES
ON SUNDAY COULD END UP 15 TO 25 DEGREES BELOW EARLY OCTOBER
NORMALS STATEWIDE.
PERSONS PLANNING OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES THIS COMING WEEKEND SHOULD STAY
TUNED FOR UPDATES ON THIS COLD EARLY SEASON STORM SYSTEM.


Hey, Phoenix, are you enjoying your 86 degrees?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Focus! (Subtitled: Warning -- Indigenous nudity)

I keep thinking about topics or events that I could fashion into some sort of blog post, but the ideas all seem to dissipate before I make it happen. I'm definitely in a bored-of-my-own-blog kind of phase, which is too bad because I have lots of friends and family members who may be a little curious about my grand Adventures in the Beehive. Really, this ought to be a time of reflective verbosity.

Here are some possible bloggable topics. Please advise.

A. How I got bullied at the school carnival.
B. What we did on this lovely Thursday evening, and to which blogging queen of Provo's house we did a drive-by.
C. Quantities and descriptions of the foodstuff that my family collectively deposited on the floor at Thai Chili Garden.

D. My friends the OvaHimba, as brought back to my frontburner (why not?! everyone has a backburner) by a lovely show on the Travel Channel tonight.
D, part 2. What I fear most about living in Provo, and what it has to do with going to Namibia in 1996.
E. My visceral reaction to a few months without a paycheck.
E, part 2. Whether or not I looked up visceral to make sure I knew what it meant.
F. Anaysis and FAQs on how it is to have a girl after three boys.
G. The retail establishment of choice for drowning my I-Don't-Know-Where-To-Go-Here-Nothing-Is-(that)-Familiar-It's-Not-Home sorrows.
H. How my kids are adjusting.
I. Steve's new job and why he's glad Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia and not BYU.
J. Edward vs. Jacob. ('Cause I don't think this issue has been discussed enough already.)
K. My house for sale
L. The state of the Phoenix housing market. ('Cause I don't think this issue is being discussed enough already.)
M. Links to more blogs I check.
N. Where we're flying to on Christmas day and pleas for tips on what to do when we get there.
O. What I want in a house.
P. How Norah all of a sudden seems older. As of yesterday. Really.

Um, I think that's a good start. Please vote for your favorite.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How big is Norah?



Happy birthday, Nori girl.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My woes

First, I twisted my ankle (right) many, many weeks ago at Oak Creek with Alice and Sarah. You may remember -- I've whined about it here before. It hurt for a minute, then it felt all kinds of better, then I drove home and it was excruciatingly painful and I feared for my accelerating/braking abilities on the curvy mountain roads; then I got home and couldn't put any pressure on it, so I hopped around on the other foot (left) until my husband ordered me to bed and called everyone we know looking for crutches to borrow; then I took 3 ibuprofins (can that be pluralized?) and fell asleep and it was completely healed the next morning, and everyone at church was all, "Needed crutches, did you? Huh."

Well. Soon thereafter my other ankle (left) began to hurt, but I have no idea how or when I could have injured it. It has had a dull, annoying soreness for about 6 weeks or so. It hurts especially at night, all night long and in the morning, and then I will walk it out and it doesn't hurt anymore. I googled the symptoms and it seems to me I have gout, but my husband laughs at me and says I don't drink nearly enough red wine or eat enough red meat or weigh enough to have gout, but I'm not so sure. Anyway, the pain has persisted, yesterday it was especially bad all day long and I limped on my afternoon walk up the Lindon hills. Tonight? Doesn't hurt, not even a little bit, and that is the first time in a really long time. So I'm all healed, right?

I am not even kidding, but my right ankle is starting to hurt again tonight. This is getting ridiculous.

Long time no blog

Hi, my name is Emily and I am a Utah resident.

We made it! We have made the transition from upper middle class in Arizona to lower middle class in Utah County, or something like that.

The weather is awesome, but it feels threatening, like it thinks it is going to turn really cold really soon. I'm on to you, weather. The Costco is much the same as our Arizona Costco, except the eggs are twice as expensive here. The grass is softer in Utah. The kids have to start school at 8 in the morning (!), which means we will have to start waking up sometime before 8. We've already been in attendance at a performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and it was spectacular. All in all, things are good thus far.

I'm waiting for Disneyland to email a picture of me going to town with a laser gun in one hand and a baby/baby bottle in the other a la Astro Blasters. If they ever send it, which is starting to look doubtful, I might have something to post again soon. If not, I'll try hard to think up something to blog about. My brother-in-law seems to not have any trouble thinking up things to blog about, as evidenced by his 15 posts a day. RIchard never fails to entertain.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Good luck, cowboys

Does anyone think it's funny that this

plus a big tv, a computer, two bikes, plus a few sundry items that Steve just brought out (everything that is not going into the dark abyss of indefinite storage, in other words), oh, and seven people have to fit in our two cars for our big move?

I think it's pretty funny.

Wednesday morning edit: Ahhhh, our lives just got much easier. The moving van will take as much stuff as we need to our new residence. Thank you, Brigham!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Tesseracts for everyone

A favorite childhood companion of mine died yesterday. I read so, so many of her books. I put "A Wrinkle in Time" in a time capsule I made as a teenager. I love that book. Go read it to your kids if you haven't already.



Madeleine L'Engle

Monday, September 03, 2007

Thinking about missing Phoenix

creosote
orange blossoms
warm rain
my parents
cousins
the Suns
sisters
hiking in the city
excellent shopping
Fox concept restaurants
summer resort deals
home
familiarity
competitive grocery stores
out-of-this-world thunderstorms
xeriscape
easily navigable streets
friends
geckos
Mesa temple
walking to the library
January
Sedona
boating trips
Tucson
the Phoenix Zoo
book club
swimming
flash floods
Gammage
casual, down-to-earth people
concert venues
downtown Scottsdale
Mexican food
Phoenix Art Museum
Diamondbacks
retractable roofs
cub scouts
missionary opportunities
Village Vista Elementary
my ob/gyn clinic
close proximity to Target
60 degree Christmases
my hairstylist
throwing showers with Jami
family dinners
Kierland Commons
anything anyone might need is here
strong people network that comes with living somewhere for 16 years
our house

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

People

I like it when siblings get married, because each new spouse brings with her/him an entire little village of people that I get to know and see at family celebrations, and usually the two-degrees-of-separation people are all exceptionally cool. At least that's how it has worked with all the spouses my siblings and Steve's siblings have chosen thus far. (Pressure's on for you, Austin, to marry a girl with fantastic people.) Lots and lots of happening people--yea, bloggers-- that I encounter just happen to be sisters-in-law of sisters-in-law, or something like that. I love it! If I weren't such a lazy blogger, I would link to many of them. But I'm lazy, so I'll just mention a few. There's NieNie, whom I like to think about when crazy people I know try to tell me that my children will not be normal if I raise them in Provo. Hello!? Nie Nie grew up there and is beyond normal! There's her best friend Reachel, who is the nicest and most fashionably lovely girl I may ever meet -- also a sister-in-law of a sister-in-law. There's the delightful Alice, whom I'd like to book to sing at my funeral. (Are you available, Alice?) There's Wendy from flippinsweet who has the most beautiful and inspiring family, and don't ever sit behind them in church if you want your own kids to look as though they're well-behaved -- they'll skunk you in the well-behaved department. She's the sister of a brother-in-law. Also Debi, with whom I grew up. She is the brave mother of six boys and the sister-in-law of a brother-in-law. There's my dear Eliza from trestresbon who may as well be a member of my family, but is the sister of a sister-in-law. There are more, but you get the idea. That was awfully lazy of me, wasn't it, to not link to them. Sorry.

Anyway, that was a loquacious way to get to the point of this post, which is that Liz, the lovely sister-in-law of my brother-in-law, was very very kind and made me a few headers for my blog. They are awesome. However, I cannot for the life of me get the images to load to my customizable template, so I can't use them. Yet. So I'm posting them here so her efforts were not all in vain, and I will figure it out soon. It's probably a browser thing. Thank you, Liz -- so much!



Monday, August 27, 2007

Cool, cool, not-so-cool, and cool

Mary Sue -- A second mom to my husband in his adolescence, and one of the most lovely women on the planet. To know her is to love her and to want to eat her homemade cookies and sit on her couch and talk with her.

Courtney -- I'm not joking when I say that more than a few people, immediately upon hearing my news that I am moving to Provo, said to me, "You'll hang out with cjane all the time, be her best friend. . . ." The first words out of their respective mouths! Okay, maybe the second, but still! This girl makes quite the impression.

Attention, Universe: I find it wildly amusing and somewhat frightening that three weeks ago (I cannot be held responsible for inexact references to time) I filled out an application on Lending Tree for a mortgage; two weeks and six days ago I talked on the phone at length with Dude from First Magnus who tried with all his might to convince me to forego a conventional loan in favor of an interest only loan (red flag -- why would he do that if a conventional loan is what we need and want!); two weeks and three days ago we decided to hold off on jumping into two mortgages, and to wait on buying a house; two weeks ago First Magnus closed all offices and discontinued funding loans, as in, Dude lost his job, along with all his colleagues; one week and five days ago, First Magnus declared bankruptcy; TODAY, I'm still getting emails from Dude from First Magnus, who wants my business. Um, there ain't no freakin' french fries!! (Just wanted to throw that in. Does anyone know the reference?) Dude, you don't work there anymore! Your company cannot loan me money.

Happy birthday to my cool big brother, who clearly needs to update his blog.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I don't know what you're talking about

Young? You think we looked young when we got married?


I don't think we've changed a bit.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What is heaven, you ask?

Heaven is having the UPS man ring your doorbell, being fully dressed, and opening the door to find the most delicious of surprise packages awaiting.


Heaven is a whole box of Godiva chocolates, each one a work of art, and a work of lovely decadence. From your best friend, who's also your sister-in-law, and from your brother, too, because he signed the card by default. Because you told her you'd never had them before. And because she's happy for you that your husband got a new job, even though it will take you far away from her. And because she wants to celebrate your happiness with you in being married for ten years.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Thank you, ever so much, Diana and Neil, for the deliciousness of your love and your chocolate offering. Both are fantastically sweet and incomparable.

{WARNING: DO NOT, under any circumstances, play the YouTube video you will find when you link to Diana and Neil's blog. I repeat, do not play the video. Insanity will ensue. You have been warned.}

{P.S. Steve, please do not feel bad about how I gushed about the chocolates, but not about being married to you in the last post. You ought to know that your love is better than chocolate, better than anything else that I've tried.}

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ten


Thanks for marrying me, Steve. I love you.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Super Norah Girl

Norah's 9 month photos from, uh, June.



Norah, now. Walking! She's such a superstar. I love this girl so much.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Galactagogue, for the win


I've been taking fenugreek for its galactagogic benefits. Galactagogue is one of my new all-time favorite words. Fenugreek makes me smell like maple syrup. As Steve commented, "[Fenugreek] helps with milk production and keeps Norah coming back for more with that winning maple syrup taste."

Steve is so great. One week from today will mark our tenth anniversary. I thought then and I think now that I am the luckiest girl to ever live to have won such a grand prize as my husband. One week ago today Steve was offered a job that will take him far away from the "law firm" life. He has been floating around, all cloud-nine-like, with a perma-grin ever since. His new job is at BYU. We are excited, but in our family, I tend to be the one who makes arrangements and does all things money. I'm nervous about whether our house will ever sell because every which way I turn all I hear about is Dow Jones down two hundred points, subprime market falling out, jumbo mortgage rates at 8 percent, saturated housing market, blah blah blah. What if we buy a new house in Utah, and then have to pay on two mortgages for a year because we can't give away our Phoenix house? Worst-case scenario, but financial risks make me nervous. I think I like other kinds of risk, sometimes.

Anyway, we're moving! That's our news. Utah, for the win.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hi

Dear Tracy,

I had fun talking to you at Christen's baby shower tonight. You looked smashing, as you always do, in your green shirt and cute necklace. I always enjoy seeing what you have on. Your sense of style has always been keen, but I think you've taken fashion in a new direction lately, ever since you had Ethan, maybe. Do you think having so many boys compels you to be uber-feminine in your wardrobe? I know I dress more femininely now than I used to, but that's not saying much, because I used to go straight to the boys' half of The Gap to buy my clothes. I think I've come a long way. Anyway, you looked cute.

Tell Jacob I'm sorry I haven't been over yet to initiate him into the big, bad world of cub scouts. I keep thinking about him, but Steve has been out of town this week, so I haven't ventured too many places with all the kids. I'm glad he's excited about scouts. The eight-year-old boys are the best! If you ever get called to be the Wolf Den Leader, promise me you won't turn it down, because it's a calling that seems really horrible at first, but is actually one of the best kept secrets in the church. So fun, so easy! The boys are thrilled to do whatever you come up with -- this summer, we rode bikes, we swam, we made patriotic folded thingamajigs -- and the requirements are a cinch! If only I could unload this ward newsletter gig I have, my life would be a breeze, callings-wise, anyway.

Well, I think you should start a blog. Everybody's doing it. You're quite a sassy and witty young lady, I'm sure you'd have lots to write about. I know I, for one, would love to hear more details about the things you encounter in your workplace that smell like curry. I think everyone would benefit from hearing such stories.

Let's talk soon about carpooling to school. By the way, would you like to help with the Spring Carnival silent auction baskets this year? The PTSA would love to snag you. It might even like to snog you, but I digress. You may not know what that means if you don't read Harry Potter. Did you hear HOW MANY PEOPLE tonight were talking about Stephenie Meyer? Sheesh, that girl has tipped! When you join our book club, you'll be reading all about how things tip. It will be so much fun!

Thanks for reading my blog. It's people like you who make blogging all worthwhile!

Your friend,

Emily

Monday, August 06, 2007

Not a fun morning

I woke up this morning to a big puddle on the kitchen floor and an unfrozen freezer-ful of food. It took me a long while to clean out the freezer (melted popsicle juice dripping from the top shelf, anyone?), then I just had time to bathe and feed Norah and put her back down for a nap when the doorbell rang.

It was Elliot's friend from school coming to play. That's great! We had invited him for 10 AM and he was right on time. It was also Elliot's friend from school's two parents, whom I had met very casually before, at the door, waiting to be invited in. Oh, okay, come in! Can I offer you a drink? Let's visit for a while. Excuse my pajamas, you see, we had a disaster with the freezer this morning and I'm getting a late start. I didn't mention that none of us had had a morsel of breakfast yet. So we sat and chatted. . .and chatted. . .and chatted. I dropped a subtle hint or two that I would be happy to drop their son off in a few hours if they wanted to get stuff done. No bites, so after a full 80 minutes of chatting -- with me in my pajamas, children starving -- I couldn't stand it any longer and said, "I've really got to get in the shower this morning. Really, let me bring Ryan home in a little while." And I essentially shooed them out the door.

Was that horrible of me? What would you have done? And who has that much time on their hands that mom and dad can go to a playdate with their child and sit and talk for hours? Also, if it's past 11 and you're at someone's house and she is still in her pajamas, isn't it time to excuse yourself so she can start her day? I mean, really.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'm on a YouTube/hymn/slideshow kick

Well, since I'm on a YouTube/hymn/slideshow kick, I thought I'd post this fantastic rendition of one of my favorite hymns. We recently got the BYU Humanities Dept. mag they send out to all their alumni, and in it was a piece about Elvis' rendition of this song, and how the half-hearted Mormon congregational version doesn't quite measure up. I'm not sure how that article ended -- I only made it through half before I was called away, but I am quite in agreement about the assessment of the first half of the article. I'm not an Elvis fan, but this rocks.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I like this

Emily Anne linked to BYU Combined Choir singing Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, which led me to this. Youtube also has video of Sufjan singing it, but this was shorter, and kind of randomly cool.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My weekend

The kids and I spent a lovely Friday night and Saturday in Sedona, compliments of the lovely Alice DeWitt and her family. They have access to all kinds of cool vacation spots, and were kind enough to invite us to visit beautiful Oak Creek Canyon with them last weekend. Thank you, Alice!

I thoroughly enjoyed the Sedona scenery -- it doesn't get much better, anywhere -- and the company was fantastic: Sarah and Mark, Alice and Jay, and my long-lost cousin Karalee and her husband, not to mention a whole array of playmates for the children.

Sarah took these great pictures of Isaac. I love them!



I so need to get some mad photog skills and a camera that captures colors this vividly. Marveloso.

I had a strange twisted ankle episode while we were at the Creek. I twisted it, it hurt, then it didn't hurt for 4 hours, then I got in the car to drive home and it hurt like the dickens, then I picked Steve up at the airport and I couldn't walk around the car, then I went home and called everyone I know looking to borrow some crutches because I could not put any kind of pressure on my foot, then I cried, then I took some Advil, then I went to sleep, then I woke up and it didn't hurt and now it hasn't hurt since. Hmmm. I'm very happy about that part.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Read these blogs

Sarah -- I have a sister. She is beautiful and kind. She never wanted to have a blog, but now she has one. And she didn't tell anyone about it, even me. Her blog shall not be on the down-low much longer, for her brilliance will attract readers from far and wide. Be one of the first.

Nancy -- Steve has a sister. She and I are a lot alike in ways that aren't initially apparent. While she is fast becoming the consummate poster child for domesticity-- and I am, well, not-- we are similar in our middle-childishness: we share interest in other people, leadership styles, our respective abilities to make and keep friends, and the inclination to worry. Nancy is a great sister-in-law.

Amy -- Amy is one of those people who is enormously talented at being everybody's best friend. She and I met freshman year in college, where we spent hours upon hours inventing elaborate and engaging methods of procrastination. She is outrageously funny, kindhearted, disciplined (when she's not procrastinating), smart, and loveable. She is, for sure, an as-long-as-we-both-shall-live kind of friend.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Zhu he, Abby and Jamie!

Welcome to the world, sweet baby Pearl!
We can't wait to meet you.

Meet my dress




Now. Yea or nay?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

This post might frustrate those of you who like pictures

In Chicago, I spent a very long time in H&M, poring over the racks and racks and racks of bogo sale items. I tried on a ton of things, and eventually settled on 4 things for myself: a long, striped brown sweater with tie belt; a very simple but cute black corduroy skirt; black linen pants that fit me nicely and are seen below in the fun mirror photo; and a funkyfunky gray dress that I may or may not ever wear. All of this cost me $35.

I wish to discuss the dress.

I could run and take a picture of it, and upload it so you would all know what I'm talking about, and I may still do that at some point, but for the purposes of this discussion, exercise your imagination with me. The dress is one large gray crocheted doily, shaped like a tent, with fitted three-quarter-length sleeves. I think it is so cool and retro. Do you have a visual? Good. Now, clearly, if I wear this dress to church, all the old ladies--and many of the young--will think I'm off my rocker. I am sure to get strange looks and maybe even some comments. Should I wear it anyway, or should I keep it in my closet until next Halloween when I can dress up like a Relief Society tablecloth, holding a bouquet of silk flowers and a framed picture of the temple? Because believe me, the costume would be believable.

{If I end up not having the chutzpah to wear the dress, I'm going to give it to Abby, because she could pull it off, fo shizzle.}

Friday, July 20, 2007

We're back















The longer I go without blogging anything substantial, the easier it is to go longer without blogging anything substantial.

Last week seemed to be the week my entire family entered into various philosophical and/or religious debates with guys I knew/dated in high school turned theologians. When I posted the link to the thread a few posts ago, I was maybe secretly crying out for moral support, a plea for rescue me!, if you will. It was nice that my homeboys Steve, Neil, Ryan, and Sarah rose to the occasion. Austin and Abby and Amy had some nice contributions as well. I think all of the above are really, really smart. The other parties in the discussion were quite passionate about the subject matter, and I learned quite a bit from the exchange.

This week was the week I went on vacation, and oh, did I! A quick trip to the glorious mecca of San Diego with my husband and kids and mother was a little, um, noisy is the word that comes to mind. But we managed to have a great time, and it's always nice to have my mom around to help with the kids. The zoo was our primary destination, not counting stopping by my grandpa's house. Pandas, polar bears, gorillas, takins (my new favorite animal) -- all fantastic.

Then we came home just long enough to strew all the dirty clothes on the floor throughout every room, repack, and head to the airport. Norah and I flew out with Steve to Chicago for some work he had to do there. Steve's sisters Becky and Nancy were most gracious to take our boys for us for four days. Thank you, thank you! We had a great time. At least Norah and I did. For Steve, it was mostly just work. Tell me again why it is that Steve sometimes gets stressed about work. Work isn't stressful! Work means free hotel rooms, lots of leisure time in a fabulous big city, chi-chi weekend getaways every so often, holiday parties, steady paychecks. . . .Work is the best! Oh wait. {As I write that, I'm realizing that I rather sound like one of the always-big-busted always-big-diamonded Scottsdale women I was just observing and talking about with Steve over dinner tonight. For the record, I'm not big-busted, I'm not big-diamonded, I'm not from Scottsdale -- not that there's anything wrong with any of these things, per se -- and I'm really not a brat.}

In Chicago, I did lots of walking, lots of shopping, I learned a lot about the city's architecture on an architecture boat tour. I slept in, I took naps, I bonded with Norah bigtime. I ate good food, I slept through the Harry Potter movie, like I knew I would. We had a good time.

Which brings me to tonight. Steve took me on a nice date to a restaurant where we observed the Scottsdale women in great abundance. Then he took the boys to a Harry Potter party at Borders. I seem to have forgotten how to rotate pictures effectively, but you may get the idea that we had a couple of Harrys, a dementor, and one fine looking Batman with a lightning bolt on his forehead representing our HP-loving household.