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Showing posts from March, 2008

Just what I needed

When we left for Portland on Friday afternoon I was having serious doubts about our decision to get away for a weekend. It was snowing, Little Dude spent most of the car ride picking off his band-aids and complaining about owie fingers, and what should have been a three hour trip turned into six thanks to a major traffic jam and a very slow waitress at Shari's. But our usage of a Shari's coupon paid off after we got to our friends' home and broke out our free marionberry pie. It gave us the fuel we needed to stay up until two thirty in the morning talking. Yes, four responsible adults who knew that there were six kids in the house all primed and ready to wake up at seven threw caution to the wind and stayed up insanely late. Then we spent all of Saturday in our pajamas ignoring the kids and talking some more. We even ate the rest of our pie while they were in the other room watching a movie. It was a blast.

I'm glad we took this little break since I'm heading off t…

Bad Mommy

So I was going to write a somewhat humorous post about the "bad mommy" I am sometimes. The kids didn't have Easter baskets so I just gave them each a paper bag to take to the egg hunt on Saturday. And I didn't buy them any Easter candy or tell them about the Easter bunny, but on Monday morning I bought Mr. Fob and I several bags at the clearance sale over at the drugstore. So I've been eating candy all week and reading all my friends' posts about the wonderful, generous things they bought their kids for Easter.

But then this afternoon I had one of those sad moments where I really did (and do) feel like a bad mom. When I get ready for work in the afternoon I've gotten in the habit of plugging in my curling iron in the bathroom, shutting the door, and going in my room to change while it heats up. So far my carelessness has worked out fine because usually the kids are in the other room watching TV and Little Dude doesn't know how to open doors yet. By no…

Our vegetarian Easter feast

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I really love to cook, and I especially love to cook for the holidays. For me one of the things that makes a day special is a tasty home-cooked meal spent with those you love. This year I really thought hard about what to eat for Easter. We both love ham, but we're trying to move away from commercially processed meat.( Plus it was only us and the kids, so I didn't feel like making a ham just for four people and I just did ham for Christmas). But then I found a cool recipe in The Joy of Cooking for "baked stuffed eggs". Basically you just make a white sauce, make deviled eggs using a few spoonfuls of the white sauce in place of the mayonnaise, and then bake the eggs in a pan with the rest of the sauce poured over them. I thought it was pretty tasty, although I think next time I would like to add some fresh herbs and perhaps some sauteed onion to the sauce. We also had roasted asparagus, a fruity jello with strawberries and pineapple, and rolls (shaped like bunnies). S…

Happy Easter

One day when I was still a relatively new missionary we stopped by a member's home for some reason. Her neighbor was visiting, so we talked with her for a while about our missions and about the church. She said something to us that I had heard before from people, but the pain on her face as she spoke has really stuck in my mind. She told us that she could never talk to God or feel good about herself because she was such an abject sinner. After all, when God came to the Earth we rejected him and crucified him instead of worshiping him. Having grown up in the Church, I had never looked at Christ's life in that way before. I had been raised with the idea that Christ voluntarily gave his life for us; even though the crucifixion was horrible, it was part of the plan and it allowed us the opportunity to return to God. I've often thought about this woman and wished I could somehow give her more of the feeling of hope that I have in the love of God for me and for all of us as His …

Humility sure costs a lot

I got my driver's license when I was nearly seventeen, and I really didn't want it. For a number of years I was slow, cautious driver because driving totally freaked me out. It also didn't help that I was car-less for three years of college and the another nearly two years for a mission. In the past I would have characterized myself as a reluctant, law-abiding driver. Unfortunately my greater familiarity with driving over the last few years has given me a new level of confidence. I've become an impatient speed demon at times, especially when I am tired or stressed.

I also have an irrational phobia of running out of gas. Our car has a little light that comes on telling us to "check gages" when it hits empty. As Mr. Fob constantly reassures me, there are usually still at least three gallons left, but the little red light on the dashboard combined with the "E" sends me into a state of panic every time. Tonight the light came on shortly after I got on th…

High on a Bargain

I know I've posted some grocery shopping tips on here before and I feel like I spend way too much time on my blog bragging about shopping, but I love saving money and I love food! I have really gotten into stocking up my pantry and saving money, so I get excited when I can do that. Today I went to the grocery store and managed to save 35 dollars while spending 40. I love it when I do that. First of all, I've recently realized (duh) that many dairy products like cream cheese and sour cream are sold at least a month or so before their expiration dates. So now when I see them on sale, I buy a few packages and just keep them in my fridge for when I need them. For example, I've decided that I really like Daisy sour cream since it has no additives. Our store had it on sale for $1.50 off the regular price, so I grabbed three containers this week. Same thing with cream cheese; I'd rather buy a few bricks while it's only a dollar each than suddenly need it and have to pay $…

For Your Information

I finally got my rejection letter from Berkeley today. So it ends up that I only got into one of the three schools I applied to. I will admit a tiny bit of wounded pride over the fact that I don't have people fighting over my brilliance, but I'm glad that we have the opportunity to go to Davis. It really seems like a good fit for our family. Now we just need to figure out what we're going to do this summer when we're both unemployed. Maybe we should join the circus.

A Sense of Place

The other day at the grocery store I bought two containers of strawberries. I always check the label to see if they are from Oxnard, CA; this time there were two options, and I chose the Oxnard berries. Purely sentimental reasons. We moved to little Port Hueneme, CA (which is surrounded by Oxnard) when I was in fifth grade and stayed through the summer before my final year of high school. The smell of strawberries reminds me of the fields surrounding town, not just of strawberries, but onions, broccoli, lettuce, celery, and other vegetables. The drive to the stake center in a neighboring town was perfumed by farm smells. I'm sure that many of those fields have been covered in houses now, but Oxnard continues to produce a lot of vegetables. When I think of Oxnard I also think of the smells of eucalyptus trees, the feel of the ocean breeze on my face, the smell of rotting fish at the pier, hot Santa Ana winds, and the smell of wet earth from spring rain. My childhood memories are fu…

I'll show you mine, now you show me yours

The first time I heard about the Color Code personality test was when one of my new freshman roommates asked me about it on our way to Shop Ko to buy dishes for our apartment. She was very, very "yellow" and was sure I was "white". She was right; according to the test I was mostly white, with a little blue mixed in. Over the years I've migrated to being fairly split between blue and white, but I'm definitely not red or yellow.

I've taken other personality tests since then. I find them interesting, but I don't feel like they define everything about a person. Today on another blog I read, someone pointed out in the comments that you can often tell a person's personality by the way they respond to conflict on threads. Several people referenced the Myers Briggs test, which I don't think I've taken before. So I decided to take it. It apparently measures four different areas with two possibilities in each area and so is thought to be somewhat m…

Helpful Hints

One of the best pieces of advice I got when I first had a baby was to layer the extra sheet and mattress pad on the crib under the top sheet (mattress, sheet, pad, sheet), so that when your baby poops all over the sheet at 3 in the morning you don't have to dig through the closet to find a new sheet and put it on. I thought that was great advice and I'm glad someone told me about it. Also, now I share it with everyone I know who is going to have a baby in the hopes of improving their lives a little bit. In that spirit, I'd like to share a few things about blogging that I've picked up along the way:

1. Blogger has this cool feature where you can embed links into your posts. I love linking to things, but I hate to draw attention to them. I'd rather just add a link, with perhaps some sort of textual clue like "I read this article the other day." Notice how the words "this article" were highlighted in the sentence; that means you can click on them an…

Living with ideals

The first thing on my agenda in Davis was a lunch with some of the current graduate students. One of them asked me a question about my last name and my heritage, to which I replied that it was my husband's last name. That got me some fairly strange looks. Then there was the fact that I didn't order coffee after lunch with all of them. And then there was the awkwardness (more than once during the last few days) of trying to explain why I lived in Spain for over a year and didn't see any movies, go to any plays, or study at the university. Oh, and the fact that I don't drink wine and even though I'm not quite thirty I have been married for almost seven years and have two kids. Man, I am such a weirdo.

I lived in Utah for so long that I became very comfortable in not having people think some of the things I do are strange. It was challenging this week to be back in an area where people questioned my choices and I had to explain "I'm a Mormon" (yeah, I kno…

Decision Time

Mr. Fob brought today's mail with him when he came to pick me up at the airport. I'm glad he did because there was a little letter from the University of Oregon: they didn't accept me to their program. This is fine because I made up my mind this weekend to accept the offer from Davis; getting rejected from Oregon just makes things easier. I've had several people tell me--and not just the ones working for Davis--that Berkeley's program is really not great right now and they don't give a lot of support to students. And if we're going to live somewhere expensive I'd rather go for the city that's only 150 percent above the national cost of living versus 180 percent. We'll miss being neighbors to the Ttheed family, but maybe we can convince them to move out to the valley with us. Did you know there's a housing development there that not only boasts solar power and communal gardens but also has streets named after Middle Earth geography? I'm a…

Serendipity

According to my horoscope in Southwest Airline's magazine, "The March 7 new moon plants pleasant surprises in your path, urging you to embrace serendipity rather than kick it to the curb." This afternoon I decided to spend a little time looking at apartments here in Davis on craigslist. A listing popped up for a two-bedroom apartment at a somewhat reasonable price available on August 5 ; not only that, but it was within walking distance from my hotel. So I hurried on over and gave the complex a looking over. We were hoping for something a little bigger, but it's a nice complex and we would have two bathrooms and a dishwasher. Oh, and air conditioning (a big plus during the hot summers here). We have until Monday to decide if we want to sign a contract. The somewhat serendiptious nature of finding the apartment leads me to want to take it, but I'm afraid of placing too much stock in what could just be a coincidence.

On the other hand, the summer we spent trying to …

Don Fob de las calzas verdes

Well, I guess he has medias verdes, not calzas, but I still think he's pretty sexy. Mr. Fob's education this school year is being paid for by a "foreign language and area studies grant", which means that he gets to take Spanish and European Studies classes along with his library ones. Last quarter he took a class on Golden Age drama, and now this quarter he's in a continuation class that will be presenting three short plays in Spanish next weekend. While on the one hand I've been a little stressed about the whole deal because I have to get babysitting next week while he practices every night, I think it's pretty cool that he's going to be in a play. Actually, two plays. For those of you who know what I'm talking about, he's Chanfalla in El retablo de las maravillas and then he gets to portray "El Occidente" in a loa by Sor Juana (I think it's El divino narciso).

Last night when I came home he was in the process of making an overs…

Shoe Store Epiphany

Hopefully this is the end of my shoe-buying saga and I can move on to blogging about something else. Last week I ordered some Softwalk shoes from Endless.com; they came on Thursday and I wore them around for a little while. They really felt tight, both in the toes and the heel. So I tried ordering the next biggest size. They came today and I excitedly put them on; the toes felt great, but my heels were popping out every time I walked. I got really frustrated and decided that I was never going to be able to find shoes that fit. Then I remembered a coupon for a nearby shoe store that had. I decided it was time to get over my fear of sales people and go shopping. Mr. Fob was here doing homework and Little Dude was napping, so I ran away to the shoe store for a little while. At first things didn't go well. Things were either crushing my toes or flopping off my feet. I think the sales clerk was getting a little frustrated. Then he brought out these shoes in an 8 1/2 wide. I slipped the…

Reading Roundup: February 2008

Emma by Jane Austen

This was our bookclub pick for this month, and even though I've read and analyzed it a few times in the past I thought it would be good to reread it. I still like it quite a lot; I think it's one of my favorite Austen novels. The only thing I don't like about is that the age difference between her and Mr. Knightly is so large that their relationship seems a little skewed. Nevertheless, I still like all of the characters and think they are well-developed. It is one of Austen's longer novels and took a long time to get into, but I found myself enjoying the story despite knowing how it was going to end.

Ghosts of Spain: Travels through Spain and Its Silent Past by Giles Tremlett

This book was pretty long and took me a while to read, but I enjoyed all of it. Well, I'll admit to being distracted by some sloppy editing (like switching referents between kilometers and miles in the same paragraph). Other than that I thought it was an excellent book. Tremle…