end-of-week listing

:: I forgot two things this morning: my wallet and my mid-morning snack. So I'm hungry and temporarily penniless. Thankfully the bus driver knows me by now and so I don't have to show my bus pass every time I board. I hope today I don't have a different bus driver.

:: I got to talk to my sister-in-law Estee yesterday, because it was her birthday. My other sister-in-law, Nicole, had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and I called her too. My sisters-in-law are wonderful, and I get to see both of them when we all head to DisneyLand next month. Yeah, you heard me. DisneyLand.

:: Tonight we're rollicking in birthday celebrations for my father-in-law, Jeff. I'm contributing a chocolate angel food cake, and this time I'll include a picture.

:: For the past couple of weeks I've been savoring East of Eden. Yes, savoring. That's the only way to read this book.

:: I don't really know what's on my weekend docket, and I think that's kind of exciting.


seven cake pans

My senior year of college I bought some cake pans from the BYU craft store. They were kind of really dumb, but for a college student, they did the trick. Then later I used wedding money to buy nicer cake pans, and those were okay. When I was in Colorado, Mom pulled out Grandma's old cake pans, and I fell in love. They were heavy and used and stalwart (can cake pans be stalwart? I say yes). So I resolved to find some really nice cake pans like that.

Last weekend I pocketed some wedding gift cards to Crate & Barrel that I'd held off on spending and went out to buy three really nice cake pans—cake pans that look like my grandma's, just less used. (Mom said that I'll never regret having three nice cake pans. Ever.) Never mind that I already had four; these new ones are really nice. Like, lasting-through-my-lifetime nice. Like, I-don't-plan-on-ever-using-my-other-cake-pans-ever-again nice.

(I also bought a bright persimmon soap dispenser and a wedge server.)

After I got home I used these cake pans to make Edith James cake, which I'm thinking of renaming CJP cake (CJP = Charlotte Jane Petersen = my grandma = ultimate cake baker). And, hold your breath: it actually turned out. My Boston Cream Pie failure was avenged! I had to reach out to Miranda at one point when the frosting was freaking out, but we fixed it. {Sigh of immeasurable relief}

We'd eaten most of it by the time I took this picture. Obviously. It's not a pretty picture. But really, it wasn't a super pretty cake. The most important part was that it was a tasty cake.

So even though Josh gave me a weird look when I came home with three more cake pans, I know it's totally worth it. Just trust me.

PS—Every time I look in the mirror I'm surprised at my newly shortened hair.

Even though I'm not used to it yet, I love it.


lunch break

A coworker was using the TV room for a conference call when my lunchtime rolled around, so instead of watching another Law and Order rerun, I brought my book and sandwich outside and read at the Park Blocks.

Not a bad way to spend a lunch break. Not bad at all.


hey, big haircut

That's all the hair that I used to have.

And this is the hair that I have left:

I haven't had my hair above my shoulders since I was in fifth grade. I've labeled myself as a haircut chicken. I've always been too scared to cut my hair too short. So, yeah, this new style is kind of big for me.

When I was debating on whether or not to cut my hair, Emily said, "Well, you don't have boys to impress anymore, so it doesn't matter if it turns out bad." True statement, and thankfully Josh loves it.

Changing my hair has been kind of fun. I'm liking my new 'do. One of our Primary kids, however, is not such a fan. When I walked into the classroom yesterday, she exclaimed, "What did you do to your hair?!" Hilarious.

Do you like changing your hair?


most important

I haven't been married for very long, and I know I have an eternity of marriage lessons before me. And even though we've been married less than one year, I've learned a lot about myself, Josh, and who we are as husband and wife.

I've learned that the words I love to say the most are "I love you."

And I've learned that the words I need to say the most are "I'm sorry."

I've learned that words of love are often synonymous with words of apology and that I always feel more love in light of forgiveness.

I didn't get married because I thought it would be easy or because I thought it would be perfect.

I got married because I love Josh and because I knew that even though I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, that by combining our faith and our love, we had a pretty good shot. And I feel that faith and love confirmed every single time I say "I'm sorry."

So, like I said, I don't feel like I'm a fount of marriage knowledge or advice. But I do know one thing: humility brings more love, satisfaction, and happiness than I ever realized.

wedding thank-yous

Finished. And I am oh so grateful.

If I somehow missed you, I am so sorry and am so grateful for your wedding kindness. Just so you know.


this week

:: I've been dressing for summer, even when the weather still won't agree. This means skirts, people, even though my legs freeze. I mean, hello, it's July.

:: I tried massaman curry at our go-to Thai place and loved it; peanuts make everything better, from entrees to desserts. (PS How is it that I like massaman curry but not strawberries?? I wish I had an explanation.)

:: I researched refurbished iPods to find a replacement. My other one bit the dust a couple of weeks ago and took all my music along with it. The best. (Not.)

:: I've found some great deals on Pick Your Plum. Every day they send out a new limited deal on something awesome. The items go quickly, so if you want it, buy it! Today I bought four cute button hair pins for $4, shipping included. Very Jane is also a great site for limited deals.

:: I've been psyching myself up for another cake-baking attempt.

:: I've really been wanting a pool day. However, temperatures have been averaging in the 60s, which is a little too chilly for the pool if you ask me.

:: By Thursday I am so ready for Friday. Who's with me?


loving on technology

My mom is just too far away (and my dad and my brother and my sisters). 1,280 miles away, actually.

That's why I love situations like this:

11:22 a.m.—Send Mom an email
11:23 a.m.—Receive text from Mom
11:24 a.m.—Respond to text message
11:25 a.m.—Mom texts back
11:26 a.m.—I text back
11:27 a.m.—Mom texts back
                     Receive email from Mom
11:28 a.m.—Another text from me
11:29 a.m.—From me: "I love it that we're simultaneously texting and emailing. The best."

I'm glad that technology can make the miles not seem so long.


on feminism

When I was in high school I drove an awesome car. One time I was in a Walgreen's parking lot with a dead battery. I had my friend Rachelle bring her car around, and I took out the jumper cables to jump my little convertible. And really, guys, I am a pro with jumper cables. As I was setting up, this man came over and asked if I need help. I politely declined, because, really, I knew what I was doing. This man, however, clearly didn't believe me and stood by watching me connect the cables to my battery and offering unsolicited and condescending advice. Once my car started (because I knew it would), this man looked at me and said gruffly, "Well, I guess you did know what you were doing."

{So here's the thing, readers: I am a feminist, and my guess is that you are too.}

I'm not a bra-burning, men-are-the-worst feminist. I don't like that strain of feminism. I'm a feminist who subscribes to the most basic of feminist principles: equality. And by equality I don't mean that I think gender should be socially negated. Because it shouldn't. Gender is important. By equality, I mean that men and women should be given the same rights and have their responsibilities be treated with the same amount of respect. I don't think that men are inherently better than women and I also don't think that women are inherently better than men.

While the feminist fight used to be about voting rights and the glass ceiling (and maybe still concerns the latter), my own feminist fight is more about sex.

The media tells me that I need a waist two sizes smaller with a chest size two sizes bigger. I need a toned abdomen, a tight butt, and makeup that always looks professional. The media also tells me that as a woman, I really don't matter much. My body is sexualized to sell everything from shoes to burgers. The media tells me that really all I'm good for is selling beer and gum. And TV shows and movies often don't help. Just look at Penny on The Big Bang Theory, who, while likeable, is a valley girl with zero smarts. Or the girls in the Transformer movies, who play nothing but a damsel-in-distress.

What are my daughters going to think when they see their female counterparts plastered half-naked on billboards or—let's get real—half-naked in the classroom among their peers? What are my sons going to think when they see women objectified and debased so publicly? Don't women realize that by subjecting themselves to the media like that they're in fact diminishing their power?

Thankfully, positive portrayals of women do make a media appearance. I want to expose my family to strong female characters like Hermione Granger and Molly Weasley from Harry Potter, Jo March from Little Women, Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, Sarah Prine from These Is My Words, and Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. I want my children to know about my grandmothers, both women full of faith, grit, and joy. I want my daughters and sons to look at Josh and me and see a marriage based on the gospel, on respect, and on teamwork.

Even though I see sexualized women—and even sexualized little girls—everywhere in the media, I do interact with real women everyday through church, work, friends, and blogs. I know what a real woman is, and she is the woman I aspire to be, even if that means I'm imperfect and struggling. I want to be real. While the world may disagree with me, I know that when I'm a mother I will be making a bigger difference in the world than any corporate executive or movie producer. I refuse to contribute to Satan's lie about women and sex.

As women, we are real. Flawed? Sure. Beautiful? Absolutely. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


12 of 12: july 2011

01. A rainy drive to the bus stop
02. Starting Tina Fey's book
03. Restocking the paper towels at work (jealous?)
04. Complimentary cookies that came in the supply order (breakfast, anyone?)
05. My favorite necklace with my favorite verb
06. Pinning (obviously)
07. Getting creative with FedEx boxes
08. Reward from coworker for making FedEx labels for him
09. Jimmy John's, easy dinner
10. Early evening shower
11. Winding embroidery floss on to bobbins
12. Fully charged phone after it spent all day almost dead

I've loved seeing your grids!

on my mind

:: What to make for dinner?
:: I love the mini Moleskine notebooks I bought at Target to replace my almost-used-up list notebook. They're lime green.
:: I don't have Photoshop on my work computer, and so the 12of12 grid won't come up until tonight.
:: Tina Fey's autobiography is, so far, delightful. {Commas or no commas? What's your opinion?}
:: I'm so close to finishing wedding thank-yous. Like, really. I promise I haven't forgotten you. Didn't Emily Post say something about having a year grace period for wedding thank-yous? So, really, I'm right on track, right?
:: Really, though, what should I make for dinner?

:: These are looking really good to me. Are you on board? I know I am. For dinner? Okay, maybe just for dessert.



the empty time card

{I realized that for professional reasons, I might be wise to remove the bulk of this post from this public forum. I don't think this blog could be an honest one without occasional references to how I spend my week days, and I do think I should be more careful in how I discuss this particular aspect of quasi-adulthood. If you're wondering about my job or how I'm doing with it, feel free to email/call/visit/apparate me. And who knows, maybe you'll get an email from me because I'll feel bad that Josh has to hear the same things from me all the time. 

Writing my thoughts is therapeutic for me, and so while I may not be expressing certain feelings via blog, I do plan on writing them out, because I've found that I'm much more articulate and purposeful when I write, as opposed to extemporaneous speech. Obviously.}

So for now, I'll leave you with the most important part of the original post:

My life is wonderful.


Operation Superhuman Reader: June 2011

The Glass CastleThe Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where to start? Mind-boggling, heartbreaking, maddening, unfathomable, yet honest, loving, and empowering. I came away from this book with a different understanding of unconditional love and with far more gratitude and humility than I had when I started.

The Bride's HouseThe Bride's House by Sandra Dallas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This Sandra Dallas book was surprisingly lackluster for me. The three stories told took too long to converge for me, and even then it was just a little too predictable. I didn't feel super attached to any of the characters or their fates. That said, I still felt unified in womanhood and learned more about love and forgiveness.

The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1)The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this young-adult novel thoughtful, refreshing, and well-written. The Goose Girl reminded me of Ella Enchanted, another favorite young-adult book. This book contains an ideal combination of action, romance, mysticism, and fairy tale, all enveloped in an honest coming-of-age framework.

The ImperfectionistsThe Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I always get excited when I find a book about the print industry. I love the excitement and energy that surrounds newspapers and magazines. This book, however, replaced excitement with gloom. A somewhat gloomy outlook on the future of print, The Imperfectionists follows an international newspaper through several characters' stories. I liked only one character and found the others shallow and sad. I thought that maybe everything would tie together more in the end, but it didn't really. Perhaps this book accurately reflects the cynicism surrounding the future of print media, but it's sure not fun to read about.

Summers at Castle AuburnSummers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The kitschy fantasy cover and awful back matter made me think of medieval clubs and hobbit cloaks, and I moved forward only on the recommendation of a friend. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that this novel was more light fantasy and told a thoughtful coming-of-age story. Corie starts out as an immature, naive fourteen-year-old and through her summers in court grows into a discerning, empathetic young woman who has to make many decisions about who she is and wants to be. This book wasn't predictable, and I liked that. Summers at Castle Auburn is a great summer read combining sisterhood, political intrigue, and love in a winning fairy tale.

View all my reviews

According to Goodreads, I'm four books ahead of my annual goal of 40 books. This means one of two things: either read a book that will take a bigger investment (maybe another Ayn Rand novel? or a re-read of East of Eden? or both?) or increase my goal from 40 to 45 books.

What do you think?


picture vacation

It had been so long since I'd been home—since Christmas, people—and this time, I just needed to be at home and not worry about capturing it. Thanks to Emily and her camera-clicking (she's been using Grandpa's Canon), though, our vacation was documented. I just don't have the photos yet. And heads-up, I don't see this post as having much direction.

First things first, Donut Night was fabulous.

Now for some highlights: We had chuck roast for Sunday dinner, and it was fabulous. We gorged ourselves on peanut-butter-ganache cake (don't worry—I was not in charge of the ganache), and, in fact, I think I'm still full.

On the Fourth, we headed up to the mountains for our traditional cookout breakfast. We made real French toast with real French bread, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and sausage and ate outside with the trees and river and mountains. The not-so-good of this excursion, though, was significant. Our drive home—which should take 40 minutes—was four hours long, because of an overturned semi. Four hours. I probably cried enough tears for each minute I lost to the traffic.

Because of our stolen afternoon, we opted out of fireworks and stayed home eating pizza, leftover cake, and drinking Diet Pepsi while we played more games of Bang!.

I don't have much to say about coming home to Oregon, except that I wasn't ready to. That, and cleaning before a vacation is the best idea ever. Even Josh was excited to come home to a clean and tidy apartment.


reporting from the 303

So I'm writing here from my home town, and I've loved every moment. I just thought I'd check in.

Think Diet Pepsi, Modern Family, Bang!, Denver Fabrics, and barbecued brisket.

Right now we're prepping for Donut Night.

I know you wish you were here too.
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