Saturday, December 29, 2012

Its beginning to look a lot like January

HELLOOOO CLEVELAND!!!


YOU GUYS LOOK AMAZING!!!


HOW WE DOIN TONIGHT???


Okay, okay, settle down.
I've always wondered what that felt like. Wow. You guys are incredible:)

Christmas was great, guys. It was small, and simple, and good.
We had the traditional Prime Rib and Yorkshire pudding Christmas Eve dinner at my parent's house, and the traditional Eggs Benedict and homemade hot chocolate for Christmas breakfast and we joined Taylor's family for traditional Honey-baked Ham, Funeral Potatoes, and Green Bean Casserole for Christmas day dinner. 

Taylor and I decided we'd like to start one of our own traditions (that doesn't have to do with food.)
We decided that every year we'd set our Christmas budget for just the two of us, 
then match that price in donations to a charity of our choice.

This year we donated to the Fourth Street Clinic.

Living downtown means we see a lot of homeless people. It's a daily guilt trip driving past them all on the way to work and feeling like we have nothing to give and no way to help.

The Fourth Street Clinic is a local health center that provides health care for homeless people. They aid in ending homelessness by providing services and care to people who would otherwise go without it.

So yeah :) Feelin pretty good about it.

Cute Taylor got me some sparkly sparkly nail polish for Christmas. He also got me a scrudger (aka: floofy bath lather puff) and my new favorite game Katamari Forever for the PS3.

He got a couple of flannel shirts from me and a sweet little lunchbox cube that holds his salad and toppings and dressing separate and keeps it all cold.

Today we rearranged our entire living room and boxed up Christmas. It felt a little sad putting away all the ornaments and tossing out the stale candy we ate too much of.

Before the initial take-down I decided to photographically document our Christmas.

So

here goes!
Our Hand-Knit Stockings
(by yours truly, of course)


 Our First Christmas Tree
(only cost us $50)
It had a bit of a birds and snowflakes theme.
(with two naughty cats thrown in for good contrast!)
The birds and cats and disco balls were a gift from my favorite aunt Kristine. 
The vintage silver snowflakes and silver beads were kindly donated by my mom. 
 This little guy came home with us from Disneyland. Rude of him to not match the clearly blue and silver theme we had going... but... forgiven.

 Here's my adorable handmade paper snowflake garland. I used my mom's paper punches and magically strung them about.
 My Christmas countdown!! I bought the blocks off my supervisor and MOD podged the scrapbook paper on. Love this little guy.
 The sparkly sparkly Taylor got me for Christmas!!
 Macro lens bragging, much? :P
 And here's my little stash of newborn hats I'm making to donate to Shriner's and the battered women's center here in Salt Lake.
And that's a wrap! You can all go home now. 
It's been real.
and it's been fun.

;)

goodnight then!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Reminiscing and Math

Sometimes I hear "Sweet Child 'O Mine" on the radio in the morning and it makes me want to make a playlist for each of my ex-boyfriends. Not specifically for them, but in sort of a neutral homage to them. A mere, "these are the songs that remind me of you or that we used to listen to together." This song would be in the Joe I playlist. Along with: "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" and "Thunderstruck". The Joe II playlist (since we dated twice) would feature Chiodos, Taking Back Sunday, and Red Jumpsuit.

Sometimes when I have dreams about moments from High School I can't stop thinking about them for the rest of the week. After I got dumped (always in September and October) I'd go through a spurt of freedom happiness followed by long jam of gut-wrenching lethargy. I can recall times when I'd get home from school, take off my coat and backpack, then lay on my bed and sleep. The song "Narcolepsy" by Ben Folds comes to mind (a song which would be featured on the Thom playlist). The lyric is, "I'm not tired; I just sleep." Anyway, there were things I'd do sometimes to cheer myself up throughout the day. One method in particular comes to mind. During my evening shower I'd purposely only shave one leg. Then, throughout the next day, when I'd be walking in the hallway or using the restroom, I'd remember and it would seriously crack me right up. I'd be literally beaming from how freakin' hilarious I thought I was. It was my little secret.

Sometimes I go to Disneyland with my family for Christmas and I snag a banana from our continental breakfast to eat later. Sometimes I decide I'm not in the mood to eat it at the moment, but decide to fly home with it on the airplane in case they only have those crappy stale cookies. Sometimes they have these amazing Chip'Ins popcorn chips and I forget all about my stupid banana. Sometimes I bring it with me to baggage claim and let it ride around on the carousel like a criminal. Sometimes I bring it home and set it on the counter to eat later. Sometimes it begins to ripen too much so instead of eating it, I save it for banana bread (like ya do). Sometimes I find out that banana bread takes THREE bananas and I only have one. And its from California.. so there's no sense in mixing it with two mediocre Utah bananas... So I find a recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread and I'm begging Taylor to help me do the math. I don't know why but for some reason, when math is being used in the REAL WORLD it becomes significantly more difficult. How do you cut 2 cups into 3 parts? Obviously halving the recipe would mean you only need 1 cup.. so thirding means less than 1 cup... but what? Taylor told me it was 2/3rds of a cup. You just divide 2 cups by 3 parts and its 2/3.
What? That MUST be wrong. Its too simple! So I write it out:
2/1 x 1/3
2x1=2
1x3=3
Wow! Sure enough! He was right! I tried to solve the rest of the equations logically like he did, but ended up checking my answers mathematically because "it made more sense." Funny how that is...
Anyway, I then came to the problem of, what in the heck am I going to bake this in??? Visions of DIY aluminum foil pans came to mind and my mouth twisted into a kind of worried clown frown. I voiced my concern and Taylor goes "Why don't you just pour it in muffin tins?"
The heck?
I married a freakin' GENIUS
So there I was, making 6 perfect little cinnamon banana muffins in my toaster oven. They baked perfectly and came out smelling like tropical heaven. I whipped up a simple glaze and drizzled it over the perfect, beautiful, Californian muffins. The glaze hardened and they looked absolutely beautiful. After they cooled I put them in a tupperware to get them ready for work the next day.
Well, today is that next day and I opened the tupperware to find the most absolutely soggy muffins ever. Disaster. I will never bake again.

Just kidding. but seriously.



Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Hobbit

Dear 13 followers,

For those of you who actually know me,
it will come as no shock to you that I've never seen all of the Lord of the Whatever trilogy.

They put me right to sleep.

Taylor and I have been watching one of them for a few months now.

(you see, I have to break the movies down into 20 minute blocks and power through each of those about once every few weeks)

From what I've gathered, the kid with the googly eyes and messy hair is our protagonist and he is on a journey to destroy the ring while simultaneously not becoming the "Lord" of it.

He's got a friend with equally messy hair who reminds me of the dude from 50 First Dates.
And then there's this thing,
Yeeeeesh I hate that thing.

So anyway, Taylor and some of his work friends decided they'd like to go see The Hobbit. Wives were invited so he asked if I'd want to. I said yes and decided to make an honest go at it.

The movie was pretty long, but I resisted a few urges to check my phone for the time.

There were two scenes that were ridiculously long and boring (which I took a short nap through) but other than that it was actually pretty good!

I already decided in what I've seen of the other movies that I didn't like Bilbo Baggins. He's a crotchety old dude with an obsession with that dumb ring.

But young Bilbo? He's a real catch! He's courageous and likable and came out our hero in the end.

The movie seemed to be formulated just like every episode of Hannah Montana.

Hannah runs into trouble.. Hannah almost dies.. and then stupid Gandalf saves the day.
OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

I hate that dude! Gandalf is the worst! Honestly every time Bilbo and the troll people got in trouble they'd fight for like 40 minutes and then right before heads roll Gandalf swoops in out of nowhere and saves the day. Every time!

Seriously, like, why can't Gandalf just man up and fight the whole time? Instead of letting Bilbo and the trolls NEARLY win the battle before he just rides on in at the very end to steal their kill.

It reminds me of when I was a kid,
my mom would do these giant jigsaw puzzles for hours and hours and then when she had like 20 pieces left we'd rush in to help put them where they're supposed to go and then stand back and awe at our amazing achievement.

Kinda like that one time that chicken asked all the farm animals for help and they ignored her and so she baked a loaf of bread by herself and then all the animals were like, "Oh, we'll help eat the bread" and she was like, "STEP OFF ya filthy animals". And they were so sad... and then she gobbled it up and was like

Moral of the story is... If you're going to dress up like Dumbledore, you DANG WELL better act like him! Instead of just sitting in trees talking to butterflies while the real heroes are getting their A-words handed to them.

y'dumb idiot.

So yeah. Go see the hobbit, it's really good. 

I got a lot of ideas for hairstyles while I watched it.
It's hard to see in this picture... but those.. those are braids!! Dude is such a hipster!

He inspired me.


Seriously though, guys. Go see the Hobbit. And try not to hate on Dumbledore too much. He's just an attention-seeking whore, he can't help it.

Oh, and one more thing?
This guy.
If you don't see it for me, at least go see it for Radagast. He sucked the evil out of a hedgehog and rides a sleigh pulled by rabbits. Dude is a boss.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shifting

Hi there,

I strongly believe in the power of prayer.

A few weeks ago in Primary our lesson was about how Jesus taught the Nephites to pray.
I would like to preface this story by mentioning that I have very little knowledge of the scriptures.

I have read the Book of Mormon all the way through
once.

We are reading and learning from the Book of Mormon in Primary
and I didn't even know half of this stuff even happened.

Like,
where's the dude with the Ark?
and the guy chillin' with lions?

This is a really humbling experience for me.

Anyway.
So Jesus taught the Nephites to pray
which was helpful
since they didn't know yet.

So in my lesson, like Jesus, I, too, taught someone to pray.

(Can someone please tell me how that sentence is supposed to be punctuated? Because that is one fiery infestation of commas)

I explained to Krystal,
(the only kid who showed up to Primary)

(Did I mention I have 4 kids in Primary? Total? K, cool. moving on)

I explained to sweet Krystal,
that it is important to always pray.

Your Heavenly Father loves to hear from you. He loves to listen to all the amazing things you get to do in your earthly life and he loves you unconditionally no matter what.

It is important to always thank Heavenly Father for all the wonderful and tremendous blessings he has prepared for you and the opportunities you have to learn and grow.

And when you ask your Heavenly Father for blessings and answers
you should always know
that he does hear you
and he will answer your prayers.

It may not be the answer you were hoping for
and it may not come at the time you think it will,

but he will answer those prayers.

I told her a story about a metaphorical girl named Susan. Susan was a really awesome gymnast and she practiced for hours and hours every day so she could someday compete in the Olympics. One day Susan decided to push herself beyond her limit and she ended up severely damaging her leg. Susan's doctor told her that she would no longer be able to do gymnastics and that her dream to compete in the Olympics would not likely reach fruition. Susan went home that night and she cried for a really long time. She prayed to her Heavenly Father and asked him why he would allow such an awful thing to happen to her. She asked him why he would take away the only thing in her life that she cared about and crush her dreams of ever being an Olympian. Susan ended her prayer and began listening to sad music. Susan started to sing along to these songs and soon realized that her voice was like a tangible melodious heaven that flowed from her lips. Susan started singing everyday when she got ready for school. She sang along to all of her favorite songs and joined the choir at her school. Soon Susan started singing in talent shows and she volunteered to sing for elderly people in a rehabilitation center. Susan sang words of hope and love and she blessed the lives of those that had the wonderful opportunity of listening to her. People thanked her for sharing her talent with them and Susan was filled with joy. One night Susan knelt and said a prayer to her Heavenly Father. She thanked him for blessing her with such a beautiful voice that she can share with others. She could see now that Heavenly Father knew what she was capable of and could overcome the trial of losing her ability to perform gymnastics. She asked for forgiveness for her selfish ways and thanked Heavenly Father for widening her perspective and teaching her to look for the good in every situation.

Heavenly Father knows what we are capable of. He knows the struggles we can go through and he believes in us.

Keeping all of this in mind,

I've been going through a bit of a struggle lately.
(and by lately I mean, the past month or so. This post has been under the incubator for awhile now)

I mentioned that my birth control pills make me want to lay in a ditch
and stick my hands in a waffle iron.

I had mentioned that my doctor ordered a new prescription for me and that I was hoping it would make me better.

Lately I've been doing quite a bit of research. I have a dear friend, Amanda, who had mentioned that she cannot take BCPs because of health problems in her family. I asked her what she did instead.

Amanda told me that she, "doesn't really do anything." She "just counts."

Upon further research I have learned that Amanda uses what is known as "The Rhythm Method" or "Standard Days" method

It is generalized to these three basic statements commonly accepted as fact.
1. A typical period is 28 days long.
2. Ovulation occurs on or around day 14.
3. Sperm can live up to 5 days inside a woman's uterus.

Many women try this method as an alternative to hormonal birth control. They mark day one of their cycle (the first day their period starts) on a calendar and count to 28 days. They then mark day 14 as ovulation day and give themselves a good 7 days prior and 1-2 days after day 14 and label this bracket as their "fertile window" and use a back-up method if they do the deed during this time. All the other days in her cycle are considered "safe."

This method works somewhat well for women who have "textbook cycles." Their cycle from period to period is always 28 days (or always 29, or always 30 etc.)

This method also has a failure rate of  25%
That means, out of every 100 women, 25 will become pregnant in one year.
Out of every 4 women, 1 will become pregnant in one year.

That's why
when people hear that you're doing the "Rhythm Method" or "Calendar Method" they find it in themselves say:
"Do you know what they call people who use the Rhythm Method??"
---
"Parents."

There is another method that typically gets generalized as "the same thing as" the Rhythm Method.
The Fertility Awareness Method (or Natural Family Planning)

This method is scientifically proven to be more effective than the Rhythm Method because you are not using past cycles to predict future cycles.

You keep track of the things your body tells you by monitoring your basal body temperature, 
and cervical fluid.

Not going to lie, when I heard that last part I was highly turned off. I don't know a whole lot about my body, I just know that that sounds pretty gross.

Its not. Getting to know what is going on in your body all the time is incredible, and it can save you a trip to the doctor if you suspect you have an infection but really, its just your 100% healthy self!

I take my temperature every morning at 6:45. It needs to be taken seconds after you wake up to give you the most accurate measurement. Some women set their alarm for earlier than they need to wake up, take their temp, and go back to sleep. Your basal body temperature is the lowest temperature your body gets and needs to be measured by 0.1 degrees.
For instance, this morning, my BBT was 97.2.
And yesterday it was 97.3.
I record my temp on my phone and I use an iphone app called Kindara.
I later transfer it to my web chart on www.tcoyf.com
This site was created to go along with the book:
Taking Charge of Your Fertility 
by Toni Weschler.

Your temperature increases slightly after you ovulate and stays high until you start your next cycle (day 1 of your next period)
Often this temperature spike goes from 97.3 to 98.3, only increasing by a single degree.
This is why it is important to record the tenths of degrees and to be very consistent with the time in the morning you record.
I bought my thermometer at Smith's and it was on sale for $5. It is a digital, oral thermometer that records to the hundreths (but I only record to the tenths)

I've been temping for 25 days now and its actually pretty fun!
(not like, haha fun, more like interesting fun)

And on top of not being a slave to artificial hormones,
I have learned
so much
about my body.

I'm not about to tell you to ditch your birth control and go wild here,
but if you're having issues,
or if you want to get pregnant and you've been at it for MONTHS
and you just can't seem to conceive,
I HIGHLY
highly
recommend giving this book a read.

It has seriously changed my life.
(and you can buy it on amazon for like $15)

Oh and also?
Since I started writing this post
my primary of five
has dropped to two.

And the semester ended
and I passed all my classes!
and now my new Canadian math friend Ashley and I will be able to conquer yet another math course at SLCC.

Ashley and I are legit.
I taught her to knit
and then we knit in math class
and we knit in religion class
and eat red velvet cookies together
and take pictures with dinosaurs.

And when she gets back from Canada, we're gonna take pictures together
to prove that we're really friends.
and then we're going to go to big kid math together in the spring!
(and do a better job of studying so we don't worry ourselves sick waiting for our teacher to tell us whether or not we even passed the class...)

So yeah. That's what's up.
Sorry this post doesn't have any pictures. I don't think you'd want pictures of cervical fluid and math.

next time. ;)

Monday, November 5, 2012

The One Where I Think I'm HILARIOUS

I love when Bethany and I scheme.

Here's our Christmas card plans: 

And here's our Valentine's day plans:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

We Make The Hipsters Fall in Love

Welp. Happy Halloween, ya filthy animals.

Last night we were in a rush to find something for Taylor to be for Halloween.
I threw out cheesy ideas like,

"We could draw a P on your shirt and give you a black eye.. and you could go as a Black Eyed Pea!!"
Shot down.
"You could go as a 3-hole-punch version of yourself!"
Shot down.
"You could go as a nerd?"
Shot down. Apparently he already is one.

As I was rapidly running out of ideas I snagged a pair of my jeans and handed them to him and said,
"Try these on"

And in that quiet moment

a hipster was born.


Its kind of a funny thing when you dress up as a hipster for Halloween in jest and then actually run into real hipsters in Downtown Salt Lake.

The funniest part for me about this particular ensemble is that every part of his costume came from my wardrobe. Except his blue vans (not pictured) That is my hobo hat and plaid shirt (gingham, actually) and my black shirt (turned inside out) and my apple sticker from my iPhone, and MY JEANS, my eyeliner (hipstache) and my prescription glasses.

Even funnier is that I wore nearly that same outfit yesterday. Want me to prove it? scroll down.

His friends and coworkers got a pretty big kick outta him at work today. They always make fun of him for having the latest and greatest apple products and being obsessed with computers.

He showed them!

And as for me?

Do you remember what I said about waking up in the morning looking like P. Diddy?
 If you buy your glitter in a parmesan cheese shaker... youuuu might be Ke$ha.
 My nails were totes fab. I painted them with silver sparkly and then used my glitter shaker to sprinkle glitter on the wet polish. I finished it with a dab of mod podge 
(yes, MOD podge. not modge podge like everyone thinks it is) 
and off I went!
It works really well if you never need to wash your hands or do anything practical.
I can tell you this much, between the ridiculous fingernails and 8 rings she usually wears.. this chick is not a knitter.
 I'll let you know how long my scalp stays fabulous.
you know what they say,

Goodnight then!