30 March 2010

On a Sunday.

Sunday driving through Big Cottonwood Canyon with Sunday music (Johnny Cash, Eagles, Mike Ness) and coffee and BJ might be my most beloved pastime. This canyon is the number two reason my heart’s home is Utah. This stately canyon never fails to bring me happiness and peace. Well, one time, it failed, maybe...it doesn’t perform miracles, but we won’t get into that right now. So many memories and ghosts housed between these formidable evergreen-thick crests. My first time skiing with my sister and dad, listening to Mariah Carey "Always Be My Baby" on the drive up with the sunroof open. Consuming yogurt en masse in the ski lodge on free yogurt day with our childhood neighbors, I didn’t even like yogurt. Being forced to look at the beautiful scenery through the hawked spit the wind slapped onto my backseat window from a front seat rider on the drive down. Snowshoeing, bbqing, hiking, setting up dismal looking tents in the middle of the night off the side of the street because it got too dark and we couldn’t decide on a camping spot, bouncing taffy off of children’s noggins while riding a makeshift float in the Brighton 4th of July Parade, pregnant hitchhiking after BJ’s car died and the bars stubbornly disappeared on our phones, leisurely promenading around the silver lake at one time as a child with a Halloween sticker pressed on my cheek, more than a decade later (with a thousand times in between) with my infant in her stroller and kitty sweater. My exit route. Whenever I crave a diversion from the mundane in my brain, I instinctively head to this little mouth knowing it is always here to swallow me up for awhile and deliver a more sentient version of myself back into the world.


The sunshine hides the fact that I was PMSing, doesn't it?

When the three of us returned from stuffing ourselves and ODing on caffeine (well, not Zoe), we were going to mini-hike up to the frozen waterfall, but I forgot Zoe's coat, so we went to Wild Oats and bought some fruit then headed over to my parent's house.  They wanted to see Zoe and her true love together...the swings.  We went to Big Bear Park, where my sister and I both reminisced about spending much time with Dad when we were younger.  They used to have a long, huge rocket slide that was awesomeness, but they must have removed it. :(  There was a moment where I was standing at the swing and I looked over and noticed almost the whole family swinging on the set toghether...

:)  This is my number one reason, in case that wasn't clear.

26 March 2010

Yesterday evening I fed her one of her favorite meals for dinner -- yogurt and green apples. She started growing impatient with me and insisted she could feed herself, so I surrendered and let her have her independence. The following videos are classic hilarity (if you are her parent).
video
video

25 March 2010

Guilty Pleasures

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." -Abe Lincoln
I read that on a coffee cup this week. I liked it.  It gave the many vices in my life meaning and hope.
So let's hop to it.  Here are some of my latest vices/guilty pleasures:
I'm currently on my third bag of the season.  Satiny chocolate nestled in a thin crispy shell that melts in your mouth and fills it with Easter magic wishes...I'm not big on candy, but these!  I suck on them, one by one, carefully and deliberately, all day at my desk. 

Classic Rock/Hair Rock.  As I was telling Jenn in the car the other day while we had Scorpions blaring, this is how I know I'm getting old -- where I used to crave music with lyrical poetry, now I'd really just rather rock out.  It is consoling music, it connects me to an imaginary time in my mind where things were simple.


I LOVE my murder mystery stories.  If there are successive episodes on TruTV of this stuff,  my night is suddenly planned out.


Remember how I used to hate pink?  And how cool it is to hate pink?  I dress my daughter up in girly pink all the time then squeal about how cute she looks.  Weird.


Speaking of girly, this store.  I go to the South Towne location and it is in the old Mervyn's so I don't have to walk through the dreaded ghetto mall (I don't think I'd bother if it didn't have an entrance accessible from the parking lot). Cheap flirty dresses, what else does one truly need in life?  As long as this store exists, I will not fall into the mom look, but the "mom that can still be sexy cause she is only 26 and it's not over yet (even if she's only just fooling herself)" look, thank the graces for you Forever 21.


I never cared for rum until I tried Ten Cane last summer ON A BOAT.  Then we decided to expirement with the rum shelf due to budget cuts and we discovered Myer's, which I actually prefer over Ten Cane.  It is the best way to relax after a long day, or a day of any length...one of my favorite things to do after work is drink a rum/coke and chop vegetables for dinner while Zoe plays with the pots and pans at my feet and makes her cute noises that I mimic back.   It's truly cathartic.

I waste so much damn time on this website with nothing to show for it, it's pathetic.  I am completely, utterly sucked into social networking.  My time will never be used wisely as long as I have an account here.  I'm considering deleting it so I can use the time I waste on there to focus on school, but let's be honest -- my entertainment and social life would become even more pathetic and I would lose all my friends.
When I made the slow transition back to being an omnivore after 7+ years of vegetarianism, I told myself and everyone else that I would never eat another hamburger (for the 394854 reasons there are out there not to contribute to the fast food industry), HOWEVER...they built one of these right by my house and curiosity got me and I will never be the same.  It is a daily temptation to drive by on my way home from work and look away...or not suggest it as a dinner option every time BJ and I stand in the kitchen wondering what science expirement can materialize from our pantry.

24 March 2010

Milestones

video

Zoe began walking more than a timid step this week. With a boisterous fan base to back her, she gained the inspiration to do her little Frankenstein shuffle. It’s the cutest thing ever. I feel like she has had the ability to walk for awhile now, but lacked the incentive – why walk when you can carry on your life of mobility via the comfort of crawling? I'll tell you why. This lady is a SHOW OFF. When she is around other kids in her age range that can walk, she is clearly duty-bound to walk too, and play it off as if she's been doing it all her life -- even if that means proudly setting out on her feet to run and instantaneously collapse (in a surprisingly controlled, graceful manner, no face plants or total wreckages). I think it took finally getting the balancing act right on her tiny little feet (she is still wearing 6 month size shoes!). She picked up on it quickly once she had a taste of it. Ivia betted she'd be walking by the end of the month and I didn't buy it, but I have been pleasantly surprised. :)

She’s probably considered a late walker? She turned 13 months yesterday.

We are so proud of our baby girl.

20 March 2010

Hi Spring, I love you.



BJ, Jill, Liam, Zoe, and I daytripped out to Logan today.  It's the furthest we've taken Zoe since she's been born and the road trip was good to my soul.  My little Corolla was fuller than it's ever been.  We listened to Social Distortion and Top Petty, Zoe Slept and Liam colored.  We saw her cousins in a beautiful old theatre perform a cute rendition of Little Red Riding Hood and then to the house for Winston's first birthday.  Jill mentioned it was the first day of Spring, the weather couldn't have been more compliant :)

18 March 2010

The best chicken fajitas of my life

Again, not a great picture, my kitchen lighting is not kind to food shots.  I got lucky with the clam pictures.  Don't let it deter you from trying this recipe.  BJ and I are so in love with it and it's a staple in our house.

Marinade (feeds 2, maybe 3...)
•4 large garlic cloves, crushed
•1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (approx. 3 limes.  bottled lime juice stuff doesn't count.  it wont cut the strong vinegar taste the way fresh will and the product will taste off.  i know this from experience.)
•2 tsp. kosher salt
•1 tbsp. chili powder
•1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes.  I do a full tsp. because we like it hot.
•1/2 cup red wine vinegar
•2 tbsp dark soy sauce (I substitue with Braggs liquid amino to bring the sodium down, tastes the same and it's much healthier!)
•1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped roughly.
Other stuff:
1 red bell pepper, chopped into strips lengthwise
1 green bell pepper, chopped into strips lengthwise
1/3 red onion, sliced lengthwise (1/4 in. thick)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips lengthwise


Put all ingredients in ziplock bag and shake.  Place in fridge to marinate for a few hours.  Yesterday I made this before work then cooked it around 6:30PM and it was more glorious than it's ever been, but it's also yummy after marinating for just a couple hours. 


I pour the entire bag out in a large (heated @ medium heat) saucepan coated with a tbsp. olive oil and let it cook in it's juices.  If juice is in excess after meat and veggies are thoroughly cooked, extract before serving.
Spoon on warm flour tortilla (prep six small fajita size tortillas), serve with salsa (Harmon's Spicy salsa is what we love), sour cream, and shredded cheese. 


I know, traditionally they should be grilled, but it's cold outside.  And even on the stovetop they turn out sooo good, and I'm not usually a fajita fan.  I wouldn't be posting it if I wasn't proud of it, since the picture for it sucks.  Just trust me on this one.

St. Patrick's Day

I was feeling pretty immune to St. Patrick's all day at work, but my attitude was corrected upon returning home when I was confronted by a husband insisting a pint of Guinness in my hand, a baby sawing logs in her car seat anyway, and the reminder that I have green eye shadow somewhere that deserves a chance. It ended up being a great evening. It’s not tricky to improvise St. Patrick’s Day at our house. BJ has always assumed I'm Irish since I have naturally auburn hair and freckles, I think it gives me points and encourages his wannabe Irish-ness. (I've never confirmed nor denied it due to receiving hazy answers from my parent’s each time I questioned my lineage in the past). And we esteem the stereotype of Irish people -- the tickling charm and down-to-earth wisdom of them; a holiday that heartens abandon is alright by me.  I'm pretty sure they've had it right all along. I made the best fajitas on earth (off topic) and listened to good music and drank from the Guinness pints that are in routine play in our house holiday or not (one of the few wedding presents that have survived us for 2 1/2 years, which makes them even more amazing). Zoe slept through most of our hushed celebration due to “playing hard all day with the boys”, she was asleep in Ivia’s arms when I picked her up and might have slept all night had I permitted it. When I woke her, she was not tolerating the life of being cognizant (see: sepia photo above). We danced a little and I tried to get some photos of her in her green skirt, but it was mostly a lost cause. We took a bath and all 3 gave into our drowsiness by ten o' clock. There are few greater things in life than bed time, anyway.

St. Patrick's Day Toast:

Here’s to a long life and a merry one
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold beer – and another one!

17 March 2010

Oh Spring, you fickle friend...

At last -- Spring came around yesterday after standing us up all weekend -- leaving us to sit around indoors, grieving the day for not living up to the reprieve from winter the sunny weather leading into it had promised. 

I have been burning to take her out in her wagon since we bought it for her --  my quality of life depended on it, and I finally got to yesterday!   I wore a spring dress and still broke a sweat -- having to promptly remove my Bouncing Souls jogger upon walking a few steps up the sidewalk.  We went all over the neighborhood, where she threw her sippy in the middle of the street without me noticing, then over to the park.
The snotty East-sider in me that occassionally pesters my sensibility found the West Jordan Park pretty dismally ghetto, and mingling with the other parents in the broad mid-afternoon light of the park was weird experience.  I felt lonely and wished BJ was next to me or that I had a mama friend to hang out with in the neighborhood.

Swinging is her favorite hobby in life thus far. Her appetite for the swing is insatiable. Those little fingers were fused to the chain.  It's delightful to push her and watch her squeal through her pumpkin smile.
I did, however, make a new friend.  His name was Kayden.
Cascading snotty noses are fundamental to the park experience.  I regret all the times in the past, before I was a parent, when I judged other parent's for not keeping up with wiping their kid's snotty noses.  Really?  That is akin to expecting someone to absorb a waterfall with kleenex and pretend that the waterfall site is actually a desert...or something.

Sweaty and tired on the front porch.  This was the moment the day went from paradise to agony...the moment I TOOK HER AWAY FROM THE PARK.  Remind me not to do that next time, thanks.

10 March 2010

Spring chick




Per my mother's insistence, we took Zoe to Target to get her one year old pictures taken. They turned out pretty cute. :)  Looking at these temporarily lighten the tense mood I'm in right now.  She looks so big to me in these pictures.  Sigh.
Back to abusing the roll of thin mint girl scout cookies on my desk and gulping coffee, wishing my brain would shut off.

09 March 2010

"And that's what I've been looking for...the bridge from then to now"

Unprompted by anything, I started listening to an old favorite of mine this morning – Saul Williams, and reliving the feelings his music/slam poetry wires me with. It makes me think about my life at age 20-23, before I (re)met BJ and a new direction ascertained itself in my life. I remember Cody and I checking-out early 90’s slam poetry from the library and watching it fanatically. I remember sitting at the Nuyorican Poets CafĂ© in New York City with Jaclyn, intimidated by being the only white girls in sight, or Tost in Seattle with Taylor -- paralyzed by the intensity and brilliance of slam poetry. I used to write. I used to like writing, and I wasn’t terrible at it.  Then I stopped. I stopped appreciating other people’s writing. Everything started feeling uninspired, second-hand, or pretentious. I felt ashamed for reserving my time for, what I started viewing as, a self-indulgent act.

There are times I lament these years of traveling, bouncing around relationships, partying, avoiding organized-education, spending every dime I made on fun, writing, etc.  I truly lived by the mantra "live like there's no tomorrow", and I am paying for it now. ;) I could have been working on a career, laying out safety nets for my future family, but then I remember I didn't WANT a family at the time, I didn't care about money as long as I had enough to hop a plane or dine out every night. How drastically my life changed in the past few years, and it pulled all my strings with it. My path had not deviated; I swerved onto an utterly paradoxical one.  I am still recovering from feeling like a person split down the middle.  For the past few years I have felt like there were two parts I got to play by having two sets of people in my life -- the ones that knew me before, and the ones that met me through BJ. The gap is slowly closing, the contrast not so bright. I get down on myself about where I am right now (financially, career-wise) until I look around me and see people that followed the straight and narrow right out of high school and find many of them with a provincial attitude that is not my nature. That life was not for me, it would have tortured me the whole way here. I never thought the life I lead now would be mine, I never saw it coming. It’s taken a lot of adjusting, adapting, and a lot of faith, but I am happier than I ever remember being.  I LOVE my life.  I am proud of it, I love my friends and family, I love my daughter and my husband, positivity comes naturally now -- it's a survival method, and I feel successful in so many ways.  I am proud to have lived the years that came before and how they have shaped me, guided me to where I am now. I hope this will make me a better mom to Zoe, more accepting and open-minded about certain things (and if nothing else I will have some stories about her mother that might blow her mind a little)-- and I hope Zoe can have the experiences I did -- or at least feel like she has the choice to make her own decisions and experience life on her own terms, as I did, rather than live within the boxes much of the society in Utah will pressure her to occupy.  I guess what makes me happy is that we all have a choice, and nothing is ever set in stone.
I am constantly reminding myself that there is still time to live. I’m only 26. Sometimes I feel so old and fear that I’ve wasted too much time to advance my life in certain fields and provide for the bigger family that I now desire to have.
Anyway, here is some Saul Williams lyrics that are quite inspiring and brilliant to me, especially reuniting with them at this point in my life.


'Cause we represent a truth, son
That changes by the hour
And when you're open to it
Vulnerability is power
And in that shifting form
You'll find a truth that doesn't change
And that truth's living proof
Of the fact that God is strange


Talk to strangers when family fails
And friends lead you astray
When Buddha laughs and Jesus weeps
And it turns out God is gay
'Cause angels and messiahs
Love can come in many forms
In the hallways of your projects
Or the fat girl in your dorm
And when you finally take the time
To see what they're about
perhaps you'll find them lonely
Or their wisdom trips you out


Maybe you'll find the cycle's end
You're back where you began
But come this time around
You'll have someone to hold your hand
Who prays for you, who's there for you
Who sends you love and light
Exposes you to parts of you
That you once tried to fight
And come this time around
You'll choose to walk a different path
You'll embrace what you turned away
And cry at what you laughed
'Cause that's the only way
We're gonna make it through this storm
Where ignorance is common sense
And senselessness the norm


And flags wave high above the truth
And the two never touch
And stolen goods are overpriced
And freedom costs too much
And no-one seems to recognise
The symbols come to life
The bitten apple on the screen
And Jesus had a wife
And she was his messiah
Like that stranger may be yours
Who holds the subtle knife
That carves through worlds like magic doors


And that's what I've been looking for
The bridge from then to now
Was watching BET like
'What the fuck, son? This is foul'
But that square box don't represent
The sphere that we live in
The Earth is not a flat screen
I ain't trying to fit in
But this ain't for the underground
This here is for the sun
A seed a stranger gave to me
And planted on my tongue
And when I look at you
I know I'm not the only one
As a great man once said
There is nothing more powerful
Than an idea
Whose time
Has Come.

08 March 2010

Awards Gala

Friday night BJ and I gussied up and left the Zobot with sis in law Jill. It felt a little invigorating to be an adult couple that does adult things instead of parents for an evening; our relationship was waiting for it.  It is still difficult for me to go out without her (I always feel guilty and miss her and think about her the whole time anyway.  My social life is pathetic), but this particlar night was so needed. Every year the trade association I work for holds an award ceremony for Realtors. Last year we missed it since Zoe was fresh on this planet. It's a very classy evening in the University of Utah stadium. I never realized what an extravagant banquet hall it opens into, and the view of a twinkling downtown SLC against massive snowy mountains was breath-taking. It was also refreshing to spend time with my co-workers and my family in an atmosphere of camaraderie and intermingle with the Realtors we work for. And the entire night of food and drinks was free...! We are such freeloaders.  The board was gracious to invite their staff and let us feel like royalty for an evening.


Please close the eyes to obnoxious face I'm making.  I might have had some white wine on an empty stomach.
Unbelievable view...sigh.
Co-workers:  Amanda (& husband), my sister Michelle, Jon.
Co-workers:  Emily, Nate, Brandy.
My accounting parter in crime -- Carisa, and her friend.
 
Bryan Kohler -- CEO of the SLBR.  He was nervous right before his speech.
Co-workers:  Dave and Jared.
Bill Heiner (2010 President and super cool guy) and my Mom.
My dad being a social butterfly.
Purdy stuff.
Distinguished Award Receipients
Emily won the staff award.
me and the beautiful Brandy.
Family.  (I had to lighten this cause it was really dark.)
Hahahaha.
If only Michelle was Mormon, this might be her husband...! Harhar.

About Me

My photo
I guess you're just what I needed.

About Me

My photo
I guess you're just what I needed.