I like to write about things that make me happy, things I look forward to, and things that I love. I like to write about happy minutiae. But I also like honesty on this forum. In short, I've had some hard days lately. I've been uncharacteristically over-emotional and overwhelmed. And really, I'd rather be normal emotional and normal -whelmed. So, I'm on my way to figuring it out.

I'm not expecting a wealth of response here, and I sure didn't write this out of self-pity. I just like to be honest, because it's easy to read blogs and see the ideal, when really it's possible to love your life and simultaneously have some hard days. So, there you have it: some down-to-earth honesty.


weekend adventures in the kitchen

Would you believe that Friday night this kitchen mess resulted in only cereal and toast for dinner?

It turns out that when a recipe calls for two tablespoons of fresh rosemary, the quantity does not transfer to dried rosemary. Josh and I practically exploded rosemary out of our ears.

Other weekend minutiae that wouldn't fit into a post elsewhere:

:: Origami boats with our Primary class yesterday. Because Jesus was a carpenter. Obviously.
:: A long overdue haircut.
:: Lots of sewing, in stretchy pants nonetheless.
:: End of January. Finally. Can't say I'm sad to say goodbye (am I ever?).
:: Women's Conference. End of April. With almost all my favorite people.


600th post: an unexciting one

{For my 600th post on this blog, I should think that I'd want to post something if not exciting, at least a little more interesting than this.}

When I left to go to work and the weather looked like this

it made me wonder why I even bothered to do my hair.

{Photo taken around 9:00 a.m., 01.26.2011. Just two hours previous, hair had decidedly more volume and had achieved the perfect curl. Alas.}



:: this chocolate cafe
:: this video game
:: this magazine—I just need to cave and buy a subscription

:: this gelato place
:: this song (didn't expect to become a Katy Perry fan. . . .)
:: this recipe
:: this hot chocolate mix

:: this website
:: these ear warmers
:: this TV show, Wii-streamable via Netflix

:: this lipstick (I've always thought of myself as a lipgloss kind of girl, but this lipstick adds just the right amount of extra to my look)

Just some things I've been loving recently. I hope you have lots of things you love too, no matter how small or trivial.


having someone else toot my horn

Since the close of my internship I've had several articles published in the New Era. I think it's pretty awesome, but in the interest of modesty, I don't go around church and work announcing each article's publication.

But Josh does.

Yesterday, for instance, he spoke in church, and kicked off his talk with a quote from my most recent article (in February's issue), qualifying it with "Yeah, my wife wrote this article." Sometimes his incorporation of the articles into talks and lessons is a bit of a stretch, but I find this wonderfully endearing.

I sometimes feel uncomfortable tooting my own horn, but I kind of love it that Josh will toot it for me.

Check out my most recent article. (It's February's cover story, by the way. Toot.)


Operation Superhuman Reader: what not to read

Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century, #1)Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Falling into the steam-punk literary genre, Boneshaker tells the story of an alternate 19th-century Seattle, one that falls victim to technology, resulting in a quarantined city infected with deadly gas and ruthless zombies. Briar Wilkes, the widow of the inventor of the machine that devastated the city, dares to traverse Seattle's ruins as she searches for her son, Zeke, who ventured into the quarantine to find out the truth about his father.

Despite this interesting-enough premise, the writing quality falls short. Everything felt too contrived to me: the characters, the dialogue, the descriptions, the action. A book that could have been a delightful escapist novel I felt was resigned to shallow reading that didn't do much for me.

The MagiciansThe Magicians by Lev Grossman

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

My husband and I listened to this book on a road trip and were both gravely disappointed. Apart from the superfluous foul language, the story is dull and unimaginative. Grossman borrows frameworks from the Harry Potter and Narnia books but fails in creating an "edgy" HP, an objective I perceived in the plot. The characters are unlikeable and self-pitying. Grossman tries to fit so much into one book that there's no real cohesion to the story. Perhaps it would have been a little better if the author had focused on just one of the many stories he tries to weave together. Regardless, this book was tedious, at times offensive, and hardly qualifies as mediocre.

View all my reviews

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
So if you were looking for weekend reading, these are not recommended options. My current read, however, is great weekend-book fodder. Right now I'm in the middle of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and while I've heard from Jessie that the movie is horrific (it's harder to skim icky parts in movies than in books), I'm finding the book to be well paced, captivating, and intense.

Happy weekend, everyone! I hope this January weekend you get to cozy up with a book, like I plan on doing.


tell-tale sign

This is how I know that Josh has been cooking/finding something to eat/cleaning the kitchen.


MLK Day in the private sector

I've spent pretty much my whole life up to this point as a student, and consequently didn't realize that for the non-educational, non-governmental institutions in this country, Martin Luther King Day is just a regular, run-of-the-mill day.

Bum. mer.

I consoled my quasi-adult self by indulging in some Powell's shopping on an extended lunch break.

Yes, Powell's is that entire building

I bought The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Josh and I started listening to it on the drive back to Oregon, but now I can't figure out how to transfer the Audible file to my iPod, thus the purchase of the hard copy) and a Real Simple cookbook.

If being a quasi-adult means that I don't get days off like my former student self used to, then I'll just have to compensate with literary consumerism.

And I might have to go back to Powell's to buy one of those mugs. Seriously, is there anything more perfect for me?

Happy MLK Day, everyone, even if you're no longer a part of the MLK–observing crowd.


12 of 12: 2011 kickoff!

I'm so excited to be able to start 12of12 at the beginning of the year this year! I was especially excited for this one, because it's my first grid documenting a day at work in downtown Portland.

Welcome to Portlandia!

01. Rainy day necessitates herringbone rainboots
02. Bananagrams page-a-day calendar
03. "One croissant and a medium hot chocolate with whipped cream to-go, please"--my favorite local coffee (cocoa) shop
04. Lunch in a stylish lunchbag while watching Law and Order on TNT
05. Lunchtime knitting (glovelies)
06. G-chatting with Emily all afternoon
07. Preparing almost 75 FedEx labels
08. Programming key fobs in the creepiest basement ever
09. A long overdue bathroom cleaning
10. Homemade spaghetti sauce for dinner to have on the 13th
11. Sewing napkins with mitered corners
12. Folding laundry with Josh



For whatever reason the web filter at work is allowing Blogger today, so I'm going to take advantage and do a short bullet post.

:: I think the date today is cool.
:: Yes, I know my blog banner is still Christmas.
:: I plan on changing that tomorrow at the same time I put together my 12of12 grid.
:: I might need another root canal. 
:: Despite what another root canal may indicate, I really do brush my teeth—at least twice a day, sometimes more.
:: I even floss.
:: Usually.
:: It's supposed to snow tonight.
:: From what I've heard, Oregonians don't do well in snow.
:: Amateurs. 
:: Unless it's an ice storm.
:: I've heard those are bad. (Thanks for the heads-up, Hannah!)
:: I haven't pulled out my sewing machine since I went crazy with it in Denver.
:: I really want to start a project.
:: Really bad.
:: Josh and I have been watching The Big Bang Theory since we've been back.
:: We love it.
:: It makes me laugh like The Office and 30 Rock do.
:: Try it out.

And, Charlotte signing off, on-site, from IDL Worldwide.


word: 2011

For the past several years I've chosen a word on which to focus, and it's been productive. This annual ritual has been therapeutic for me and has helped my resolutions stick more firmly.

This year, though, I think I need a break—not from goals or self-improvement efforts, just from new ones. I'm still working on the old ones. A lot. 2010 brought so many changes for me, and almost all of them were good ones. But change, good or bad, still requires adjustment. And I guess I'm still adjusting. My words of 2008 and 2010 (become and make my own happiness) are keeping me busy enough and invoking enough self-change and introspection for now.

I have bright hopes for 2011, my first full year in this new phase of my life. And I think that my former areas of focus deserve a revisit.

I hope your resolutions have a successful start!


the slow seconds

It's been a slow week at work. Sometimes I'm able to fill the slow spaces with personal tasks—balancing the monthly budget, for example. But sometimes I have nothing. So I see how long I can go without looking at the clock (it's usually not very long). I make lists of all the things I can/want/need to do at home, which naturally makes work time creep by even more slowly. I jump on co-workers' requests to prepare FedEx shipments and arrange courier pick-ups. I monitor GoogleReader compulsively, reading posts almost as soon as they register (but then can't comment, because the actual blog is blocked). I go to the bathroom multiple times just for something to do. Sometimes I quietly talk in funny voices and make up songs just to be entertained.

I am writing this very post in response to such an interminable afternoon. But I have to write it in Gmail and remember to post it later. Because Blogger is blocked.

Happy Wednesday.

taking it easy

You may think that the last two weeks of December were all about taking it easy. And they were. I left work early, took work off, allowed housework to fall by the wayside, and indulged in Christmas gift–fawning (and this year may be one of my favorite gift -giving and -receiving years--but that's pretty much every year). I slept in, took naps, and mindlessly ate Reese's Minis. I watched movies, TV shows, and home videos. So wouldn't it be time for me to stop taking it easy?

But here's the thing. I'm giving myself permission to ease into real life again. Yes, I'm going to work full-time again and waking up early every day, but perhaps this time around I won't let the messy apartment get me irritable. I'll clean the bathroom, but it just doesn't have to be tonight. I'll do laundry, but maybe not all of it all at once.

{Note: This quiet refusal to take a decent self-portrait is not too uncommon. As one of the only pictures of the two of us I managed to get during the Christmas season, this less than ideal SP is what I have to work with.}

In addition to cooking and cleaning and bill paying, I'm going to make time for knitting, sewing, reading, and spending time with Josh. Just because I have to return to real life doesn't mean that I can't ease the transition a little with some of those things I so enjoyed doing on vacation.



Josh and I spent Christmas here in Oregon with all of his family. We had so much fun spending Christmas week with his parents, siblings, and siblings-in-law. I'm continually reminded that I married into such a fun family.

Even though I love the Wilsons, the thought of not seeing my family at all over the holiday made my heart hurt. But we started looking for plane tickets a little late. So we drove to Colorado instead. It's a two-day drive, and really, it's not all that bad.

We did hit some fog on the way over.

And then we hit black ice on the way back. We spun all the way around and hit our back bumper a few times on the concrete wall of a tunnel, and both Josh and I were completely freaked out. We were in a tunnel on a blind curve, where no one could see us. The more I think about it, the more I realize that we were actually in serious danger for a bit.

Then a man named John pulled over. He works for the fire department in Winter Park and had emergency flares in his trunk. He used the flares to alert other drivers that there was an accident, and he stayed with us until the highway patrol came and temporarily stopped traffic. John was a miracle for us. I don't want to think about what could have happened if he wasn't there to indicate to other drivers that we were there.

Another miracle, our car suffered primarily cosmetic damage. Nothing mechanical. We had the tire balance checked on Sunday morning, but everything is fine. Completely fine. And Josh and I are fine. Good, actually. Really, really good.

We got back into Portland a few hours later than we'd originally planned, but we made it safe. And I'm so, so grateful for the time I could spend with my family. Driving was worth it.

Because our accident turned out a-okay, my biggest not-so-good right now? Having to wake up at 6:00 a.m. yesterday to go to work.
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