gratitude list

I think today is a most appropriate time for an ultimate gratitude list.

:: unlimited texting
:: midday phone calls with Mom
:: interstate BG runs with Emily
:: surprised phone calls from Dad
:: funny picture messages from John
:: becoming better friends with Sarah
:: Southwest
:: being friends with extended family--aunts, uncles, cousins
:: Josh Wilson for my husband
:: keeping my initials after getting married--still CJW
:: great in-laws
:: words
:: a college degree
:: my own kitchen
:: hot chocolate
:: so many rainy days in Oregon
:: Powell's City of Books
:: my new bookcase
:: not having to label my food anymore
:: a job that starts Monday (post forthcoming)
:: Josh's job
:: public transportation
:: the library
:: Johannes Gutenburg
:: the moss that grows on the sidewalks in Oregon
:: years of wonderful and strengthening friendship with Rachelle
:: my dear, dear friend on a mission, Katelyn
:: Ghiradelli peppermint bark
:: chocolate, in almost all forms
:: Diet Pepsi
:: Hulu
:: Netflix streaming
:: Netflix streaming dates with Josh
:: lunch with Josh
:: beautiful legacies from both of my grandmothers
:: a relatively successful Thanksgiving pie crust
:: wedding pictures
:: Christmas decorations
:: patent leather
:: monograms
:: ampersands
:: curly brackets
:: commas, et al
:: polka dots
:: television
:: Harry Potter
:: making the bed
:: a clean bathroom
:: YouTube knitting tutorials
:: autumn
:: pot roast
:: blogging
:: my camera (and having found it--haven't taken that for granted again)

In a more serious vein:
:: the gospel
:: my temple covenants
:: my testimony and faith
:: the reality of prayer
:: Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer
:: eternal marriage
:: God's plan is always better than mine--always
:: identity
:: purpose
:: becoming

My life is beautiful. My heart is full.

Happy Thanksgiving.


one month

{FYI: This may be a little sappy.}

We ate dinner on the wedding china.

And Josh bought me flowers.

Then we went to get dessert. Chocolate banana cream pie.

Celebrating a one-monthiversary may be a little sappy, but I think that it's okay to be sappy sometimes.


snow day

Or at least, that's what Oregonians are expecting this week.

I'm from Colorado, typically a pretty snowy state. We had maybe five snow days my entire public school career. Maybe. I am no stranger to snow. In fact, I like it. Driving in it isn't my favorite, but I can do it.

The Portland forecast says we'll maybe get one to two inches of snow.

And yet, while purchasing light bulbs this afternoon (to supply the lamps I bought over the weekend), the cashier not-so-jokingly said, "You should be buying candles in case the power goes out." In case the power goes out. {Note: I've been in only a handful of snowstorms in which the power has actually gone out.}

I nonchalantly replied that I grew up in Denver, and so I'm pretty comfortable in snow. The bagger then asked if I had four-wheel drive, as if that car feature really meant I was from a snowy state.

Yes, I understand that if you or your town is not equipped for snow (I don't think my town has many snowplows), then one to two inches of snow may seem a little more daunting.

But still.

Expecting a power outage? Oh, please.

HP + YouTube

We went to see the first part of the seventh Harry Potter installment on Friday. And I loved it, naturally. I thought it did an excellent job of staying true to the book, which perhaps lent itself to a bit of slowness, but really, I absolutely loved it.

My favorite HP trailer.

My reason for wishing I was back at BYU last Friday:

Happy Harry Potter film, readers. You know I just loved every second.


the honeymoon: Puerto Vallarta

The last city we visited was Puerto Vallarta. Josh and I woke up early to catch a catamaran for the day.

We stopped at an area where we were supposed to be able to snorkel. We tried a little snorkeling (my first time), but Josh told me it was not an ideal snorkeling experience: the water was murky and freezing and choppy. Not a good mix for snorkelers.

We continued on, however, to a small, secluded beach, where we anchored for an hour or so. When we arrived we had to wait for another catamaran to make its way out of the area. This vessel was playing pretty loud music and, upon closer inspection, we observed that most of the cruisers were male and wearing exceedingly tight Speedos. We concluded that the neighboring catamaran was, in fact, a gay cruise.

Our hunch was confirmed when we noticed the rainbow flag flying proudly in the wind. We found this very entertaining--they were very friendly!

Josh and I went with a few other people on a short hike through some of the Puerto Vallartan jungle. Knowing my utter lack of athletic know-how, I actually impressed myself.

Josh was more adventurous than I and climbed up further than I dared to go.

After our jungle hike we returned to the beach and went kayaking. I contemplated kayaking out to sea. {False. But I did quite enjoy going out into the cove.}

The catamaran had an open bar, which most of the people enjoyed just a little too much. On our way back to the cruise ship, our host, Jorge, wanted to help us celebrate our honeymoon by having us take tequila shots. Josh tactfully took him aside and explained that we don't drink alcohol, so could we take a shot of Sprite or something. Jorge looked at us as if we were from another planet. He then proceeded to announce in incredulity to the entire catamaran that we don't drink alcohol and asked the group at large if they should make us drink a shot anyway. At one point he said, "If you don't drink, why are you even in Mexico?!?"

Thankfully, we had some supporters who let us off the hook. So Jorge and his associates shook our hands in honeymoon congratulations instead. While most people still gave us funny looks, we had a few others validate our stance. The whole experience was pretty funny.

On the way back, Josh wanted to avoid getting any more sun. His solution made me laugh.

Puerto Vallarta was fabulous. We loved it.

Now do you want to know about the actual cruising? Done. In the next honeymoon post.


pretty much the best

Tonight I am thankful for a husband who does the dishes--even when it means he has to wear ruffled rubber gloves.


the honeymoon: Mazatlan

Mazatlan was our most laid back day in port. We didn't have any excursions planned, and we decided to just go to the beach.

Once we arrived at the beach we were promptly accosted (harsh word? maybe, but maybe not) by local vendors selling their wares, everything from woven hats to sunglasses to your name inscribed on a grain of rice (I've never understood that trend). No exaggeration we were approached probably once every 60 to 90 seconds, and sometimes there were repeats. Eventually we learned to "play dead," which meant closing our eyes pretending to sleep or reading a book so intently you can't be bothered to pay attention to anything else (that was my strategy).

Josh was content lying out in the sun while I played in the waves a bit (he probably would have joined me had we felt safer about our belongings on the beach).

I'd been to the beach only once before this in my entire life, and I felt like a little kid with how much fun I had jumping in the waves and tasting the salt water. (In that photo I'm the one in the top right.)

We could take only so much of the vendors and left after about an hour or so. We walked down the street a little and looked into a couple of shops. Josh ended up getting a seat hammock.

We headed back to the ship about mid-afternoon, a little tired and hungry. Even though the local vendors were relentless, we still had a fun and relaxing time at the beach--we weren't about to let them ruin Mazatlan for us!


knitting progress

I took up knitting a couple of months ago, and, frankly, I had a hard time getting into it. My hands didn't fit with the needles, and my stitches were either too tight or too loose, not to mention the frequent dropped stitch. However, my recently incited desire to become a craft master necessitated a return to the needles, this time with intent to enjoy and conquer.

And today I think I cleared a big hurdle--the one in which you make only ugly things.

My very first knitting endeavor ever:

Yes, it was a practice piece, so it wasn't supposed to actually be anything. But still. I mean, just look at it.

That was followed closely by this:

Not much of an improvement.

This next one wasn't so much of an eyesore:

I can at least use this one as a drip cloth in the bathroom.

Then I seriously backtracked and produced this knitting monstrosity:

This is the piece that most discouraged me from trying knitting again. I ended up completely abandoning it and starting afresh.

And it's a good thing I did, because I just finished this:

A real washcloth that looks like it was intentional, one that I actually want to use.

So knitting and I are back on track. I'm going to build up my confidence and make a few more washcloths, and then I'm on to something new, perhaps something that involves increasing and decreasing. Something with ruffles sounds nice.

I am far from being a knitting master, much less a craft master, but at least I now enjoy knitting and won't ever have to buy any more washcloths.


12 on 12: as a mrs.

My first grid as a married blogger!
01. Lots of morning fog
02. Balanced breakfast of toast on homemade bread, generic frosted flakes, hot chocolate, and a conference talk
03. Catching up on Bones
04. Eating Keebler cookies with Josh on his lunch break
05. Packages from FedEx containing a large bulk of wedding gifts
06. Lunch
07. Phone calls with my favorite people
08. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer--no comment
09. Meal planning
10. Green cleaning--I went to a friend's house and got a little lesson on how to clean green, complete with a chance to make my own all-purpose cleaner (very Oregonian, in case you were wondering)
11. Gearing up for HP7, part 1
12. Too late to be going to bed


the honeymoon: Cabo San Lucas

Josh and I honeymooned on a cruise to Mexico. We made port in three different cities and did different things in each one. Our first stop: Cabo San Lucas.

We booked a horseback riding excursion for Cabo, and we loved it! I didn't realize that Josh wasn't extremely excited about this activity until afterward when he said he surprisingly really liked it.

It was a trail ride instead of what I like to think of as a "free" ride (or riding wherever and however fast you want), but we got to ride along the beach, and it was beautiful. I think the only thing I was missing was being able to ride in slow motion.

I was riding in about the middle of the line, and Josh ended up nearer the back. He spent a good deal of the ride trying to make it up to where I was. However, when he finally came up behind me, his horse bit mine and mine kicked his in retaliation. We did get some pictures of us together, though, before we had to separate our feuding mounts.

Afterward we met Tsuba the Camel, a recently acquired pet of the horse ranch.

Before we headed back to Cabo proper we were able to enjoy an authentic Mexican quesadilla. You wouldn't think that the quesadillas I make and the quesadillas Mexicans make would be all that different, but they are--Mexican quesadillas are so much better.

Horseback riding on the beach was quintessential honeymoon material. We loved it!

 Next up on the honeymoon: Mazatlan.


craft master

Have you checked out the Handmade Holiday button on my sidebar there? If not, you should, because it leads to one of the best blog series ever. And after following it avidly since its beginnings just this past Monday, I have decided to work my way to becoming craft master.

I want to make headbands and accessories and wall art. I want to knit scarves and flowers and fingerless gloves. I want to embroider, and I want sew.

Now that I'm not in school and the wedding is over, I have so much more time (especially given that I'm still very jobless). I want to fill that time and be productive. Aspiring to be a craft master will definitely make me more productive!

I want to make things to keep and to give away. I want to be more thoughtful. I want to create.

As a result of this inspired need to craft, my Christmas wish list is much more substantial, and I think I'll be adding a craft section to the monthly budget.


Red Eye

{Preface: Michelle's daughter, Eva, loves dinosaurs. If you read Michelle's blog even just a little, you'll inevitably read about Eva's dinosaur fascination. It's adorable. Eva comes up with pretend dinosaurs that she names and draws and sings songs about. And she remembers them. Her most infamous dinosaur is Red Eye. I've run into him a few times at chez-Michelle.}

Over the summer my eye would get really bloodshot for a day or two. Sometimes both of them. But then, after a few days they would clear up, and I looked fine. My red eye(s) would never hurt or itch or ooze any substance (I know, gross). My mom even mentioned it to the optometrist at her own appointment a couple month's ago. No one's worried. When I'm insured, though, (which should be super, super soon, given that I'm now married to a man who's actually employed with benefits) I'll head over to the eye doctor just to cover my bases.

Until then, however, occasionally I'll morph into Red Eye.


family home evening

We made chocolate ice cream in our new ice cream maker. It was really chocolate-y. And we ate it while watching The X-Files via Netflix Wii streaming.

Now, that's what I call family home evening.

the wedding: reception

We had the reception here.

We had barbecued brisket in a delicious buffet.

I hope that Susan and Fred (her husband, my uncle) got to relax a little bit and have fun after all the hard work they did.

Josh and I were busy most of the night making the rounds and greeting all the guests (we didn't have the typical line).

Though, we were able to sit down at our "sweetheart" table at the front of the room to eat some dinner. This way we could eat and people still knew where to find us.

We had the guests sign the book here. (Jessie made the guest book on Picaboo, and it's awesome.)

I loved our wedding cake and monogrammed topper.

I wish I got more of it than the piece Josh and I shared, because it was seriously delicious cake.

Close to the end of the party, I changed out of my wedding dress to get ready to leave with Josh. I hugged my family (old and new) good-bye, and I had to push back some bittersweet tears. It felt so strange leaving my parents and my siblings and all my in-laws behind, and I felt that I didn't have a chance to really process all of the wedding-day emotions. But it was so much fun, and so wonderful.

The next series of posts: the honeymoon.


good morning

Scrambled eggs.



Milk glasses.

Bed head.

Good morning!

the wedding: big day

So, here's the thing. Just about every picture is my favorite. I'll let the photos tell the story here. And FYI, this post will be a long one. Brace yourselves.

Lots of hugs.

Lots of pictures.


New family.


Lots and lots of love.

Plus really cute shoes.

Like I said, I can't pick a favorite.

Best. day. ever.
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