Friday, July 27, 2007

I actually liked this one

Only rule: you have to answer with one word.
1. Where is your mobile phone? charging
2. Relationship? giving
3. Your hair? bangs
4. Work? easy
5. Your sister(s)? RAD
6. Your favorite thing? creating
7. Your dream last night? weird
8. Your favorite drink? pina-colada
9. Your dream car? convertible
10. The room you're in? living
11. Your shoes? colorful
12. Your fears? sharks
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? settled
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? Kenny
15. What are you not good at? oversleeping
16. Muffin? oatmeal
17. Wish list item? House
18. Where you grew up? Wedgewood
19. The last thing you did? rearrange
20. What are you wearing? bathrobe
21. What are you not wearing? makeup
22. Your pet? beta
23. Your computer? laptop
24. Your life? Simple
25. Your mood? chipper
26. Missing? Julia
27. What are you thinking about? work
28. Your car? Accord
29. Your kitchen? functional
30. Your summer? eventful
31. Your favorite color? blue
32. Last time you laughed? last night
33. Last time you cried? Tuesday
34. School? L'Academie
35. Love? organization

Thursday, July 26, 2007

New friend and new do

So, my lovely split ends were jealous of KC's fresh ones so I made a long overdue hair appointment. I went in for a trim, nothing serious, and came out with this swoop type of bang. I found a picture in a magazine and just went for it. It grows pretty fast so it's fun to try new things every now and then. It's nice to have a new hair cut and still keep my hair long. There's not much you can do with long hair to make a change in your style. But any girl with bangs will tell you that going from having none, to having some, makes quite a difference in the everyday look and routine. It may not seem so, but it does. It will take a little more maintenance than normal, but I can deal with that. I still have the length that I'm not sure I will ever get rid of. One of these days, I suppose. I'm trying to talk Melody into some layers. We'll see if she complies. And don't worry that I'm wearing that same red pok-a-dot shirt in many blog photos. I really don't wear it everyday.So the new friend I speak of is this little beta fish.He's actually had quite a list of owners. About two years ago, we purchased this fish for a friend in our singles ward for her birthday. She lived in the basement apartment of our friends/neighbors/bishop and family. She went on a mission a year ago and left the little guy to the landlords. They have suddenly decided to move (a big bummer) and didn't think the fish would make it. We are technically fish sitting for the next six months, until the rightful owner returns to claim her little friend. His name escapes me now, but I know it translates to "fish bate" in Spanish.

Monday, July 23, 2007

My big boy's first haircut (by me)

On Saturday I cut KC's hair for the first time. With the corney, outdated video, KC's advice, and any memory I had from my mom doing it, It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. And hopefully it will only get better from here. We are happy with our Costco hair cutting kit but will definitely have to replace the scissors with a more cuttable pair. KC was a great sport and we both glad we can cut the cost of his haircut every three to six weeks. We both go to the same stylist. I don't need a cut nearly as much as he, so when I have to pay, it doesn't seem so bad. But when he has to fork over $20 plus tip, it seems silly to not take this task upon myself. My haircut costs more than his which is also silly because mine is probably easier to cut. Oh the price we girls will pay for a good haircut. I've tried the less and more expensive route when I first moved here, but with the black population being so high, they are usually skilled with that type of hair. When you find someone you like, you must hold on. But something that makes me more happy than saving money about this situation is that cutting my husbands hair really makes me feel like a wife. I remember my mom cutting hair on the porch countless times, and I'm happy to join club. I tried to take pictures of KC, but I think he was too nervous and wouldn't let me, so maybe next time. Yay for all the hair cutting wives!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Surprising pleasant time at the MVA

I went to the MVA (or DMV for Utah people) to finally change my name and address. It's about time. Everytime we fly, I'm still Emily Graham. So I braced myself as we all know this can be a tedious and long journey. I had a doctors appointment in the same area at 10:45 this morning so I thought I'd get in the already formed line at about 8:00 to get in the doors pretty quick when they open at 8:30. I was actually thinking it would be stretching it to be done in time for my appointment. They started letting people in and they were handing the first numbers to license renewals, which is the category I was in. I wasn't sitting down for three minutes when they called me up. They took a picture, not a bad one for a license picture if I do say so, and that was that. I think that is record time. 15 minutes from the time I stepped in to the time I stepped out. I have been there a few times for car/license issues. In fact, I have had my picture taken there three times since I've lived here. None of those times were as easy as this. Now I had 2 hours before my appointment and I was 25 minutes from my house. So I decided to get some things done and read some of my book I brought along. Even my doctors appointment was just as quick and smooth, and we all know those can be an awfully long wait as well. So what I thought would be a hectic and annoying morning went quite smoothly. It was such a welcomed change since I've felt like ever since I got home from a hectic week out of doors, I've been faced with a hectic week inside. I think Heavenly Father was blessing me by making thse often tedious experiences a little more bearable while everything else is crazy. He knew I would break if something went even the tiniest bit wrong, so he went easy on me. I think sometimes he even tells the little babies to act really good for me while I'm taking their pictures so I can have a pleasant experience at work. The babies have to be on their best behavior for my job otherwise nobody is happy with the pictures, so it's nice when they cooperate. It's good to recognize the blessings we have in the places we aren't always looking. Heavenly Father knows us and how much we can take, and he gives us signs along the way to remind us he's there. KC and I are at a point right now where we both describe it as "unsettled". We want to move sometimes, but there's no reason to. We want kids, but well... We love our callings in church, but wouldn't mind helping in other areas. We're grateful for our jobs, but feel like there's more out there. We know all these things are coming in the future, but we are learning a great deal about patience in this awkward yet wonderful and easy time of our lives. I'm sure it's something a lot of people go though after the newlywed stage is coming to an end. Although, I don't think I'm quite done with it yet. I don't want this to sound like I don't love my life and the blessings I see in it every day. It's just been a time of reflection, you know? I think our lives have many more of these awkward years to come. I am enjoying it, but I'll enjoy it even more when we move to a place with a little more leg room.

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's OVER! Girls camp is over!

I am home and I think have recovered from a week in the wilderness. It was certainly a long time for me to be outside my comfort zone. I'm not much of an outdoorsy person unless I can go home and have a long shower immediately after a long hot day. So I tried to embrace my surroundings and enjoy not caring what I look like for 6 days. It actually was great. I am so glad I was asked to go. It was an experience that I'm so glad I was a part of. There was so much to mention that I think I'll just make a list and let you look at the slide show if you so desire.

-For the first two days it was 110+ degrees. I really didn't think the girls would make it. Our clothes just continued to stick to out bodies.
-We had different ethnic foods at every single meal. Some had an American twist to them to appeal to all the little picky eaters. The food really was amazing. The people in charge really knew what they were doing. Everyone giggled when I'd take pictures of my food at every meal.
-Some of the meals included: churros, chow mein, fried plantains, chimichurris (Dominican burgers) with homemade sauerkraut, Milanesa (breaded and fried stake from Argentina) Ethiopian chicken with injara bread to be eaten with fingers only, and many other food adventures.
-Being a leader is much better than being a young woman at camp. I could drive to Wal-Mart or McDonald's whenever I wanted. I only did this twice when there were others that wanted to go as well.
-I think I started really having fun when we went swimming at the beach that was a couple miles away. I thought we'd never escape the heat. I was giddy in the water. The girls thought I was a little crazy, but I think they enjoyed it.
-It rained and poured as we were cooking dinner over a fire on the third day. We all managed to hold tarps over the fire before it went out and ate very well.
-I showered three times in the 6 days of camp in the most disgusting showers.
-The bathroom was quite a distance from the camp and for some reason I always had to use it in the middle of the night when I had to walk all alone.
-I was so excited for KC to come on Thursday. My girls were excited to meet him . They all laughed and told me to keep it PG when I ran and jumped into his arms when he arrived.
-The skits were actually really fun to watch. The youth leaders topped them all by imitating a few of the leaders. They borrowed my cowboy hat and sunglasses I was wearing. I was laughing pretty hard.
-I never sang along to one camp song. I despise them.
-There is a Spanish branch in our stake so a lot of the girls were Spanish speakers. We had many girls from Africa as well. It was a diverse group.
-The second to last morning, we all woke up at 5am to attend a sunrise service. The YCLs, a few leaders and a couple men, including KC bore their testimonies in their home, or learned languages. There were over 14 languages spoken and a wonderful experience for everyone.
-I was in charge of the YCL challenges which I think went over very well. They really enjoyed the competition.
-I carried a bag around with me the whole time full of necessities that I might not want to walk all the way back to the tent to get. It was the magic bag. Any time anyone needed anything, I seemed to be able to pull it right out.
-I faithfully wore sunscreen and bug repellent. I got minimal burns, and only about 6 small bites. It was a miracle. Some girls had countless bites on their leg. It looked miserable. I sprayed so much that my watch and toenail polish actually started corroding and melting. I think my skin was reacting to the repellant by itching. Ironic, wouldn't you say.
-One of the meals was cooked in a pit in the woods dug by a few cook girls. We cooked whole chickens, and vegetables. Some of them weren't done when we took them out so we had to turn on the gas skillets and cook them in pieces. There were still rave reviews.
-I learned a lot about people's dedication to their callings and service. It was amazing what all the leaders, especially the director and the one in charge of the food did for the girls. What amazing women. And hardly a complaint.
-I learned that young women complain and whine about the dumbest things. It especially bothered me when I knew someone had worked very hard on what they were griping about. I hope I was never like that.
-I became really good at bossing the girls around and having them actually listen to me. It was great.
-Every night, the camp director and food director (long time friends) put on a News at Night program to tell of the events of the day. Their names used to be Seymour Butts, and I.P. Freely. One leader had a problem with that so they were Harry Back , and Harry Pitts this year.
-One day when we were waiting for someone to come for pictures we got bored of standing there and started singing randomly. It turned into a competition between the a few leaders and a few girls. We had a sing off for probably 30 minutes. I even broke out my Darrin's Dance Grooves. It was a great stress buster.
-We had so many left over marsh mellows from the YCL chubby bunny challenge, I thought we
should play "I am a chubby Bishop" when they all came up. It was a hit.
-I slept in my own little tent the whole time except when KC got there. It was a very good decision on my part to have my own space.
-I had no trouble falling asleep in my camping chair on a few occasions.
-When we finally got home I had a wonderfully long shower, checked emails and fell asleep for 14 hours. It started out as a nap and I didn't get out of bed until the next morning. I was very refreshed.

So that's it in a nutshell. Pretty random and probably boring to everyone, but that's how it was and I'm glad I was a part of it. I really bonded with my fourth year girls that I was over, and the girls in my ward I didn't know that well in the beginning. We have such a great group of young women and I really grew to love them.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Belated Indepencence Day

I have been getting ready for camp that is now only hours away and haven't had a chance to blog about my last culinary adventure. It was Jake's birthday last Saturday and since he was jipped on a cake from being in New York (boo hoo), and the 4th was right around the corner, we decided to combine the occasions for a very special cake. Jake's birthday is always fun to experiment with since he doesn't mind something really rich and over the top. The construction of it was diagrammed on a post it note so I wouldn't leave anything out. This cake went as follows: The crust was made of leftover chocolate chip cookies, then there was a layer of chocolate ganache on top of that. Then I lined the sides of the spring form pan with halved peanut butter cups. The design didn't quite work out . Then a layer of cookie dough ice cream was spread followed by a layer of chocolate cake. The ice cream and cake are repeated, and topped with another thin layer of ganache. That is frozen overnight and when it was time for the party it was topped with a border of ganache and loaded with fresh whipped cream, along with broken pieces of chocolate chip cookies. The reason I went so into detail into describing this heart attack on a platter is because this is the result of someone telling me to do whatever I want. Especially when their favorite things are peanut butter and chocolate. The possibilities are endless. It was kind of hard to stop adding different components. Anyway, we went to Cami's for the fun and you can read her blog for more July 4th details.

For now I have to say good bye for a week as I'm off to give my life to 70 teenagers. I feel pretty prepared and I think it will be a good experience despite how much I may have complained about this and that. I'll miss my honey until he comes on Thursday, but I know we'll be fine. With my own tent equipped with a queen sized air mattress, I think I'll survive.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Thank you, come again.

As some of you may know, 7-Eleven is transforming some of it's stores into Kwik-E-Marts (from the Simpsons for the uneducated) to promote the new movie coming out later this month. KC was reading about it the other day and found that one of the dozen nationwide locations they have renovated is only but a mile from our home. We decided to check it out. Man, there were so many people taking pictures, getting squishees, buying boxes of Krusty-Os, taking free packing boxes, the O's were shipped in, and purchasing much more Simpson memorabilia. I even overheard a guy say that he was annoyed when they were driving all the way there, but now he was glad they did. That lead me to believe that he had driven quite the distance since there isn't another closer than New York or Florida. It was quite the scene. Security and everything. I'll present you with this slide show of our adventures. If there are any requests for any Simpson keepsakes, let me know and I'll make another trip. Lili, I already thought of you so don't worry. And course, on our way out, we were told my many Kwik-E-Mart employees, including the Indian cashier,"Thank you, come again."

Monday, July 02, 2007

Another eventful summer weekend

We had a pretty busy week but had a big weekend to look forward to. I had work off on Friday but spent a lot of it helping a friend with some food she was making for a shower on Saturday. She always does such great things for the parties she throws. She made dozens of royal icing cookies, stacked them to make a wedding cake, and topped them with tiny royal icing roses we piped. It was fun to get into my tools from school again and try to remember how to do the techniques I was taught. The cookie favors turned out beautiful. We also did some cupcakes. She wanted gold and pink cupcakes so I had some pretty cupcake cups I've been wanting to use, and then loaded them with pink buttercream that everyone seemed to love, myself included. She and a couple of other ladies made the rest of the food and it looked beautiful. Friday night we went to 1408, the new John Cusack movie. I needed a movie to remove all thoughts from my head. something to really distract me from normal life. It sure did it. Not only was the movie scary and thrilling, but the audience members were distracting as well. We decided we can't go to movies here without getting upset at the rude people who think it's their time to tell us all about their lives. I can't believe the disrespect of some people. But The movie was a good one.

We had been planning to help babysit the Turpin boys while Cami took Jake on a birthday trip to New York. We picked them up at about noon, after our car insurance meeting, and they were very excited. We had been invited the night before to birthday party at the Drapers for Thomas. We told them we had the boys and they said to come along anyway. We were also asked to bring out ice cream maker along. The kids always love that. They had the makings for mint chocolate chip. It was very minty, but very good. The boys were excited to see other kids and play with the new presents. The parachute was fun for everyone. I headed to the shower while they played and then we took the kids home to relax after a long day. We had a good time reading books and eating pizza, and they went to bed very well. KC and I watched a little Jaws until they came home. We stayed up way to late talking and eating the sugared nuts they brought us from NYC that I love so much. It was fun to spend a day in the life of the little Turpins. They had us constantly laughing.

I like eventful summer weekends, as long and I have a chance to stop for a few moments to soak it all in before the season is over. With girls camp next week, I'll have a lot to do until then. I think the summer will be a lot more relaxing when that is over.