Thursday, December 20, 2007

Joshua Tree and Christmas nostalgias

No one is blogging, everyone is gone and it is almost time for us to jump in the car and bust on out of this joint. But I can't check off my entire "get ready to leave" checklist unless I post one more time. Quick summary: The restoration company is going to tear into our house and start stitching it up again tomorrow. So naturally, we are going to leave tomorrow and go hang out in St. George until the BYU game on Sat. Then we'll be up in Utah on Sunday. Adam-home and done with one quarter of school. Eli-fighting the eternal teething battle that never actually yields any teeth. I think he is doomed to remain toothless and cranky forever. Duane-ecstatic to see Steve and balance pepperonies on his nose. Me-happy to leave the California rain for Utah snow and then Hawaiian sun. Wahoo.
We have loved having this week to hang out, wrap up loose ends, Christmas shop (actually, that's a lie. Christmas shopping was miserable. I don't know who behaved more poorly between Adam and Eli.) Yesterday we went to Joshua Tree to do some outdooring. It was cool. We were hard core hiking with the jog really wasn't that hard core, but E was like little Prince Eli Ababua as we lifted his stroller up and over the rock stairs. Good times.

I have missed being in Utah for the beginning of December. I think the thing I miss very most is making fun of Christmas cards. We are not nearly popular enough to get the plethora of Christmas cards required for this, my favorite holiday festivity. I have a total of two, and neither one has anything tacky enough to criticize. No spelling errors, bad pictures, obnoxious bragging, bad sentence structure or hideous corny Christmas designs. Disclaimer: none of you reading this blog entry have ever sent a Christmas card which I have deemed ridicule worthy. And I also really enjoy reading the good ones too. No, sadly, I have missed out on that splendid splendor of the merry season. I will just have to catch up this weekend at our parents' houses. I think I went to my mom's house nearly every single day of December last year just to see if any more Christmas cards had come. I love it. I miss snowboarding too. I only went once last year because of my delicate condition so it has been entirely too long. I miss the cold. I mean real sweater and boots cold. It is chilly here, but only obnoxiously so. I miss running in the crunchy snow. I miss things being forced to slow down because of wicked blizzard weather. And I obviously miss family. See you all on Sunday.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Idiocy and Incompetence part two

It goes on. I went to my first HOA meeting for my association last week to make sure that all of the damages done to my house due to their negligence would be covered. Turns out that flat roofs tend to pool water, create holes, break through the ceiling and frequently cause collateral damage throughout the house. Imagine that. So we are not the only ones in the Orange Tree Villas who have experienced the wrath that mother nature naturally wreaks on flat surfaces that are supposed to magically rid themselves of water. As a side note, we are, however, the first to pick the oranges off of the orange trees that grow at the Orange Tree Villas. Amidst all of the bad news presented at the meeting, the flustered president asked if anyone had any good news to report. Adam raised his hand confidently to comment on the tastiness of the newly orange oranges, but recoiled when he received the look of death from nearly all of the nearly dead 90 year olds in the room. Anyway, they are really good. We'll bring all you Utahns some next week.
So, after that, Adam explained that we tried to contact them for four months to fix the hole in the roof and they politely ignored it by telling us they were still reviewing the problem. It was a pretty cut and dry their-fault deal. So they sent someone out to replace our whole roof (the aforementioned flat part that for some odd reason does not rid itself of water) on Thursday and Friday and we are getting an estimate to fix everything else-walls, ceilings, floors, etc.-tomorrow. Good deal, case closed, end of story....but wait. Funny thing is, while they were fixing the roof, the workers were sweeping gravel off the top of it-AND INTO OUR FREAKING DUCTS. So guess what doesn't work now? Our brand new furnace that we just barely replaced in August? Good job. So what have we learned here:1-Flat roofs not good for allowing water to run off; create holes and water damage. Expensive and pain in the butt to fix. 2-sweeping rocks, debris and gravel into your ducts is not good for your brand new furnace that was also a pain in the butt and expensive to fix.

SO needless to say, we all huddle around the fireplace and hope that E wakes up in the only gets down to like 55 in our house, but still. When you have a baby, you'd prefer not to be without heat in the winter. Fortunately, we live in California and it's not terribly cold but honestly. This is a joke. I mean, it's not, all of the above is true, I assure you, but I just keep thinking that the next person who is responsible for fixing something on my house is going to be smart enough to not cause major damage to another perfectly working part of the house. So far, I have been less than impressed. To recap: Oranges-orange; Roof-Fixed; Furnace-broken. Maybe next time the idiot who is supposedly supposed to fix something will at least let me choose what he is going to destroy in the process. I would choose my countertops. At least those are old and gross and need to be replaced anyway. I mean, let's at least start being efficient about it.
PS- I am an idiot too. I accidentally enabled comment moderation and thought that no one was commenting on Adam's debut post. I couldn't figure it out. I thought I was the only one with a sense of humor for a minute.
Double PS-If you were wondering (Michelle) from where the inspiration came for Adam's little blogdor charicature, its a StrongBad cartoon. His name is actually Trogdor and it's hilarious if you've never seen it. Go here:

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Adam makes a guest appearance on my blog...

I think Adam's brain short circuited late last night. After about twelve hours of straight studying, he started hammering away on the computer. At first I thought he was writing me a love letter because he was smiling and laughing and would not let me read it. But the result, found in the preceeding post, was even better. Go Duncan Hunter.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Blogdor the Bloginator and its Presidential Predictions

Blogdor is Ashley's devil-on-shoulder, her Id, her blogbido, if you will. Blogdor the Bloginator, in its grand entry into the blogosphere, will tell you all what Ashley is really thinking. And who knows, you might find that you have all been unknowingly bloginated.

Presidential candidate, shmresidential shmandidate. Who cares! Blogdor doesn't. Why? Because they have already been chosen. It's all in the last name. It doesn't matter what the platforms are, and who has a better health insurance plan, and who is going to let more legally illegal undocumented migrant hard working lazy felon angel anchor dropping alien immigrant hispanic-meso-northish-sometimes-central american (If you believe Vespucci even really made a map of a new world discovered by a Christopher Columbus. You idiot it was discovered by the Vikings, Global Warming is my mom, free love for anything and everything, liberal hippy tree hugger awesomosity!)homo sapien human translocatee than the next guy. (P.S. Blogdor is unbounded by grammatical weaknesses.) Nope! It's all about who has the most presidential last name. Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Kennedy, Carter, Nixon, Harding, Wilson, Monroe, Madison, Lincoln...need I say more. They all had really good, solid last names. What about Eisenhower and Roosevelt!? you may ask. Well, they were elected when people named Elmer, Doris, Gretchen, and Wilford voted. So cut them some slack. This means that in the future we may get a DuRayel Johnstoniux, but not for 10 or 15 more years. By and large, Presidents have great last names. So lets see.

On the republican side we have Rudy Guliani. Julia Gulia?!? enough said. Mike Huckabee. "And now Hanna-Barbera presents the President of the United States of America, Mike Huckelberry Hound, er, uh, Huckabee." Didn't Huckabee write an apocryphal gospel? And, I think Huckabee is a swear word in Japan. Cameron told me so. Not to mention if you change one letter its a really bad word in English. John McCain. No thanks, I wasn't born in Scotland, or Ireland or any other McCountry that might McMake up prefixes for their McSurnames. How about Duncan Hunter. Little known Duncan Hunter. Hunter? Yeah, he'll be the nominee. I mean, with a name like Hunter. How does "I'll 'Hunt' your terrorist ass right into that cave and rip you out like a helpless field mouse" sound for a campaign slogan! He's got my vote. Ron Paul. Hey, he has two first names. Which one is it Mr. Ron, or Mr. Paul, or Mr. RonPaul. President RonPaul what do you think about Iran's Revolutionary Guard blowing up our soldiers? Oh yeah, you can't make up your mind about anything, not even your first and/or last name! And Tom Tancredo. Jumpin' Jehosaphat and tell Toledo that Tom Tancredo is getting vetoed, from my list anyway. Mitt Romney. Well, the last name works. My qualm is with his first name. George, Bill, John, Richard. Now those are some good names. Mitt? Baseball mitt. Oven mitt? Is that short for Mittany, or Emmitt. Did I make a mittstake? No, sadly it's just Mitt. Down the drain for Mitt.

And now on to those wacky Democrats. Joe Biden. Senator Biden has a nice ring to it. President Biden. President Bin Laden? I mean, it's two letters, but it's close enough that he can't win. Moving on to good old Rodzilla. Here is where my machismo kicks in. A) she's a chick. People say in CNN polls that say 74% say they "Would love to have a female president more than a female mother (+/- 74% margin of error)." B) Well, they're all liars. In the secret catacombs of the voting booth, no one will vote for a chick. Especially not Rodzilla. She's like a chick-dude wannabe. But her last name is pretty good. Chris Dodd. Nope, it's too short, and it's not a noun (especially not one with such biblical references like a burning Bush). John Edwards. Yep. That's it. He'll be the Democratic Nominee. You just can't beat his name. But wait, what about Mike Gravel. Who the heck is Mike Gravel? Does he realize his last name is a synonym with a smattering of tiny rocks. And where did that last name come from? The 15th century gravelsmith? Please. Barack Hussein Obama. Sadly when we all hear this name we think of bIraq Sadam Hussein nuclear oBomba. It's not your color homey, it's your unfortunate name. And last but not least. Dennis Kucinich. Who do we all think of when we hear that name. That's right, Dennis the Menace, cooking spinach in the kitchen. With a little tangential thievery, he should steal other closely associated names to his such as Mr. Wilson, and Popeye. President Popeye Wilson. Now that sounds like a winner.

Alright, Superego is telling me to quit while I'm ahead. Duncan Hunter '08.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Way to go Mitt

Redeemed! No pun intended. At least from the last debate, anyway. If Mitt wins, it may well be because of this speech he made today. All of you, go watch or listen to Mitt Romney's speech right now. It was very nearly impeccable. The people who would persist in antagonizing him, and all Mormons really, didn't like it. But they are in the great minority. And they would have had him simply expose all of the nitty gritty details of our peculiarness with neither a regard for it's sacred nature, nor an ability to understand through any measure of faith. He didn't do that because he possesses more than a drop of integrity, unlike all of the other sell outs' crap I keep reading. You can read his speech here:

Also, the following were excellent articles about "us" my knowledge, there are few regular readers of my blog who are NOT LDS, so if you feel excluded by that statement, my deepest apologies. I wish there were more of you who are not members of my church visiting my blog. Anyway, these articles were so refreshing. I have read so much smut about Mormons lately from people who spread and continue to circulate misinformation. I am surprised I still have a testimony. Seriously, if you want to know about our faith, ask someone who knows. These guys know. I know! If you care what religion your president is (you shouldn't) then do some real research about his particular religion. Ask someone who is a practicing member for crying out loud. The LDS faith is not running for president, Mitt Romney is. It is not his job to stand up and outline the particulars of the church he attends. So if you are not Mormon and are for some reason reading my blog, and you think that the specifics of Romney's religion have anything to do with whether or not he would make a good president, (first of all, you are wrong. They don't. The type of underwear he sports has nothing to do with whether or not our troops stay or leave Iraq. Really...) then ask me or someone who knows. Or read these:

Being Single

I saw Adam for a few hours last week at a Christmas party with friends. Here are a couple of pictures that someone (Ali) miraculously managed to capture. He was upset with me for not stealing back a white elephant gift I received-a four year old's toy called Spywear. Apparently when you fry your brain studying Biochemistry all day, you require a therapeutic toy to help you unwind. I didn't realize how important it was. Adam now has a new wife: her name is dental school. If only I had stolen that toy for him like he asked me to.

I'm exaggerating. What else is new? It's not that bad. He is actually home a lot, just preoccupied. Instead of playing with spywear, he plays with E...and unwinds by giving him a loaf of cornbread to devour, which Eli obviously did very willingly.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

So I guess we are remodeling...

This is what happens when you have a hole in your roof, the HOA insurance puts off fixing it for three months, and then it rains six inches in one day. And then there is Duane enjoying himself by the fire through it all. Idiots. I repeat- Idiots.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Grievances and an attempt to show you I am not ALL negative

Now it is crunch time for Adam. He has informed me that studying for finals is now a huge priority, which is a very diplomatic way of saying "Don't hand Eli to me when you are tired of him or expect me to do anything besides eat dinner." Understood. It's raining here. Hard. So my couch out on the porch is sopping wet because I was gambling the odds that it would never rain here and, thus, did not obtain a tarp to cover it. It gets better. I had to stand outside in the rain for ten minutes at six am and all but force my dog to go to the bathroom because he is a pansy and hates to get wet. And the best news of all? Insurance sucks. We have had a hole in our roof since the day we moved in (July, mind you.) It's now, let me check, one day shy of December and our home owner's association is still "assessing the problem." Meanwhile, I can hear the water seeping into my walls and clearly see and feel the puddles on my bathroom floors. Idiots. And there is a scathing review of Bank of America brewing in my brain. I will give them one more week before I unleash the power of the blog on them. They won't know what hit them. Just kidding, I know I am not quite queen of the universe yet, but I am still pretty mad at them. Oh, and Mitt Romney didn't do too well in the debate folks. Huckabee seems to be the new rising star, which would be ok with me except that his Arkansas constituency hates him. And you all remember what happened last time we elected an Arkansas governor to be president? I guess as long as the nominee is not Rudy, I will be all right. He is such a faker. He did nothing for New York. The money that came in after 9/11 from every which federal way helped New York. He was incidental.

Everything else rocks. Eli is cool, I have awesome friends who like to watch and play with my kid and even sometimes play with me, it's Christmas time, I am reading an excellent book called The Kite Runner, I have a new pseudo writing job which I am cautiously optimistic will work out, and Adam will soon have one quarter of dental school behind him. Good times.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A grown up Thanksgiving and our rising popularity

This looks like a picture of an older person recovering from a far too large Thanksgiving meal huh? No. It's just Eli. This is his new favorite place to snooze. Man he is large. SO I hosted my very first Thanksgiving...kind of. Does it count if your parents still pay for everything? I still felt like I was kind of an adult for a few days. I don't know why, because I didn't really take care of my baby or dog; my dad stayed with Eli all day long so that I could ride all of the roller coasters my little heart desired, and I sure didn't cook. Mostly, we just ate at my house. And it was a lot of fun. We ordered a takeout banquet from Knots Berry Farm and picked it up on our way out of the park, after a long day of ride hopping and people watching. It was delicious. The next day, we went down to my aunt Stephanie's house and drained her diet coke supply while watching entirely too much awesome football on their ultra high definition huge screen TV. It was great. The weather was everything we Southern Californians talk it up to be. We swam and ate and sat and talked and walked and watched a LOT of sports, which I am generally a fan of. Good times. Happy Thanksgiving. If you just read the aforementioned, I obviously have much to be grateful for. And I am.

We have been pretty popular since obtaining Guitar Hero 3. If you have not made an appointment to come play at our house yet, hurry. The slots are quickly filling up. You might still be able to get in before Christmas. Naturally, Adam loves it. He attributes his triumph over the devil to the pressure creating ambiance of a watchful audience. Yes, he beat Lou. I think it was almost as exciting for him as Eli's birth. Well, that makes my husband sound like a real video game junkie...he's not, but he is pretty freaking skilled at this game which is, I won't lie, occasionally alarming. But at least we have friends because of it! And E is making fast friends with all of the kids that follow their parents over to play, so he claims the social benefits too. Really though, its been so much fun. Come over anytime anyone that is remotely interested in playing, hanging, eating, and whatever. How cute are those kids?

Monday, November 19, 2007


I don’t know exactly why I am writing about this. Maybe I am just missing the mountains and snow. Actually, that’s a lie. I am trying out a new freelance writing site and this was an article I wrote for it, so here you go.
I am going to bear my testimony about my honeymoon. Eww! Don’t worry. It’s not like that. “You went to Canada on your honeymoon?” you say. Oh yes. Mountains. Snow. Caramel hot chocolate. Bed and Breakfast. Hot tub. Village shopping. Snowboarding. Keep reading to know more about this fabulous freeze out in the winter wonderland we call Whistler, British Columbia.
We hopped on a little grasshopper of an airplane the day after our wedding. We arrived in Vancouver and proceeded to the not so little greyhound bus to wind our way up into the jagged pines. Not quite the Polar Express, but a joyride through a beautiful frozen landscape nonetheless. I will never forget the very first image of the bed and breakfast as we pulled around the half moon drive in the taxi. It was my absolute fantasy house. Surrounded by fluffy fir trees, constructed of beautifully stained mountain wood. It was the most perfectly appropriate mountain abode I had ever encountered. The light was invitingly lit over the porch. We knocked on the door, unsure of how this whole check-in process works. We were immediately greeted by our European hostess. We removed our shoes as we would in anyone’s home this nice. Beautiful open foyer, surrounding windows and a lovely central lobby, which was actually a cozy family room with oversized leather chairs, a giant heat-radiating fireplace, surrounding speakers playing soft classy music and all spotlessly clean. The simple mountain d├ęcor inside was the perfect compliment to the endless wonder that astonished us each time we stepped outside.
Alpine Chalet Luxury Inn. We made fun of that redundant name many a time during and since our stay, but not of the meticulous service we found there. Among the many amenities at this heavenly haven were a quaint little eating area which served as a quiet, romantic spot for any of the impeccably delicious meals that were served, a private hot tub and sauna, common fridge in the lobby, ski/snowboard storage room, and absolutely pleasant and completely unintrusive mother and son hosts. Our room was a bedroom, not a hotel room. Our meals were specially prepared, not cooked. Everything felt completely catered to our specific standard. Our hosts were there, ready and willing to provide whatever we needed as wanted and nowhere to be found when we wanted to be alone.
We snowboarded at the vast and inexplicably beautiful Whistler resort, which was a 5 minute ride from our stay. We walked around the frozen lake we overlooked from our room, hiked into the pines above it on the one sunny day and enjoyed the bustling village town in all its eating and shopping glory. Never have I enjoyed the cold so much; never have I relished the sight of my own breath in the air so well. I cannot wait until we can venture back to the exact same place. This is truly a hidden gem, not just your home away from home, but your dream home away from home. And you thought this was going to be a nasty honeymoon story.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Motorcycling and other weekend adventures

We had a good time in Utah. Its fun to go back. I hate leaving Adam alone that long though. It will be better when we go back for Christmas together. I think the most fun thing I did was leave my baby with Heather and go for a wild ride with my dad and Chelsea; I sure appreciated Heather watching him, however my darling little drama queen niece, Lucy, did NOT appreciate his presence. Hopefully she will learn to like him better when she does not have to share her mother with him. Thanks so much Heather.

The best part of the ride was my dad reassuring Chel the whole way up that this would be a real easygoing ride. She was on a bike that weighs at least twice as much as she does, so naturally wasn't too eager to scale the back of Timp.
Anyway, after we had both dumped our bikes several times, narrowly escaped a couple trees and slipped on a sheet of ice, he finally quit saying "I think this is the hardest part; it opens up right up here." I guess whatever doesn't kill you makes you a better motorcycle rider right Chel? I loved it. I love Utah mountains. I love doing exciting things with my family that require us to, sometimes, work together to solve a pick up a 250 pound bike off the ice and get it started again. I love the crisp fall air-its still a summery eighty degrees here, which don't get me wrong, is great. But I just love outdoor Utah. It was an intense workout. Riding up a single track, windy trail with roots and rocks popping up every couple seconds requires more mental and physical focus than I had remembered. It was so fun. We will definitely be a motorcycle riding family someday.

Eli got to spend a considerable amount of bonding time with his adoring Grandma and Nana and we came back with no short supply of wardrobe supplies as a result. Thank you. You guys rock. After the motoride, E and I headed down to St. George with Natalie and the twins. We met Adam at the air show in Las Vegas the next day-pretty WT, but so cool! After spending the whole day going deaf watching F22s and A10s fly, we ended the night with Cam and Tiara and her family at the Cheesecake Factory. So, needless to say, that was a good day. The trip ended with a pleasant, despite two sleep deprived teething babies, ride home. I can honestly say that it was fun driving to and back from Utah with Michelle and our crying kids. Good times. Good times.

In other news, Adam is his class's president. Does that mean I get to be the first lady of the Loma Linda D1 dental class of 2011? I guess. Here is the direct quote from Ashley Spencer, whose husband is also the pres of his class: "Congrats to Adam on the class president thing, by the way. You have now lost your husband to an endless number of lunch meetings :-)" Excellent. But I guess I knew I'd miss out on a lot of his time when we started this whole process. So wahoo for Adam and all of his lunch meetings. How weird, he only has 3 weeks of school left. One quarter down (almost) and lots more to go...

I am so excited for my family to come for Thanksgiving next week. Thanksgiving is another holiday for which I have very few criticisms. I love the time of year, there is food involved, there is NOT an enormous over-commercialized pressure to buy things that you don't need, and everyone celebrates the joy that is family and friends. I wish there was Thanksgiving music that the radio stations could start playing right now; actually every single radio station where I am sucks so bad, I would go for Christmas music year round over all the Spanish rap crap that is played. I love Christmas music. That's it. Have a good day you.

Friday, November 9, 2007


I was going to try and couch this blatant display of baby bragging with some profound and useful text, but I got nothing. This is really just a shameless plug for Eli. Enjoy my pirated pictures.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

You all know what this is

I have been tagged so I won't bother explaining it; you know the drill. I write six things about myself that you may or may not know, which is essentially what I do on accident every single time I post (this IS, after all, my blog and I am self absorbed like that.) So here we go, six things:

1. I have a half brown left eye. I don't know how or why it is there but it is the one part of my body that I absolutely adore.

2. I don't think I want to have any girls. Wait, let me qualify that: I would be perfectly happy if I had all boys. I am no good at doing the girl thing. My mom and sister are my best friends outside of my home, but I would be terrified of trying to raise a girl...she might turn out like me. If we just have boys the greater likelihood, given the facts of physiology and what not, is that they will turn out more like Adam. I can deal with that.

3. I am not very nice. I can be very sincere, and helpful and give service and all that, but I am not inherently a nice person.

4. Contrary to my family's holdings, I am not a liberal. I like hearing, discussing and examining all sides of political, etc. issues. But I am generally more conservative than I am not. Not always, but most of the time. I really like Mitt Romney and I believe his chances of being elected President are good if he can beat fraudulent Rudy out of the primary nomination. I think his greatest qualifier is that he has conservative ideals and has governed in a liberal climate; he's had to learn how to navigate through idealogical disagreements to unify his constituency. That is the most important thing that the country needs right now. So I'm not typically found voting liberal, but I do believe that education should remain under the control of the government and should not be left to compete in the business world. It needs fixing, but should not be subjected to halfway attempts at sabotage. Either privatize it completely, or make some sweeping financial reforms so that our teachers are not subsisting on minimum wage. So sorry if that makes me a bleeding heart liberal Ben and Ryan and Tom and Michael. I think education is one of the very very few areas where if higher taxes are necessary, its a burden that we should all shoulder because everyone ultimately benefits from quality education that is accessible. So fix it. Don't take money from something that is already barely scraping by. That was a very fragmented rant against referendum 1, defense of my right to listen to all sides of the story and STILL lean conservative, and endorsement of Mitt Romney for president. I'm not exactly sure what I intend that to mean about me. You figure it out.

5. I love to argue for fun. Not for real, only when its all fun and games. The second it turns combative and serious, I want out. But its my favorite sport. Fortunately I can count the number of times on one hand that Adam and I have seriously gotten into it. But we do it all the time for fun. I like that. I didn't know that my marriage would be like that. I always imagined that we would fight all the time-yell and scream and say mean things and then apologize and move on. I'm pretty sure this is better than that.

6. Love college football. Love it. Nothing better than a Saturday at home watching random games all day.

Check out Ben's and Heather's blogs for what I have been doing while in Utah this week, if you care. They have done a really nice job of cataloging this week's events. Pay up both of you. Maybe I'll post a picture or something next week when I get home. I gotta go. E is awake...oh wait, I have like twenty people who want to take care of him so maybe I'll just go read or watch Tucker Carlson or something because I don't really have parental responsibilities while in Utah. But I kinda miss my little monster so maybe I'll go try and snag him for a minute.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


I'm in Utah. Come see me!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Sumo baby and hot dog gallery

I don't generally let the pictures speak for themselves because I always think that I can speak better...and who knows, I may not allow that even though I initially intended to do so. Once I get started on the keyboard, there is just sometimes no stopping my wild rants. But this plethora of pictures I am about to reveal is fairly insightful about what's been going on for all Hallow's eve...and all Hallow's eve eve. And Hallow's eve eve eve eve. I swear there is no such thing as a holiday anymore. Its like holiday week. Yep, here I go. Anyway, Halloween is actually one holiday for which Adam and I both have relatively few criticisms. We had so much fun dressing up ourselves, our kid and our hugest hit dog. Everywhere we went, Duane was like the life of the party. People I didn't even know were stopping to snap pictures. Last year, no one really cared. And E was quite the attraction as well. We felt famous.

When you were a youngling, did you imagine yourself dressing up your canine to attend the event of the season: THE ANNUAL LOMA LINDA DOG PARK HALLOWEEN POTLUCK COSTUME PARTY. Yeah, I know. I never did. But lo and behold, there we found ourselves. There were like 45 dogs all decked out. And awesome food...and yes my baby likes Dr. Pepper. Well that's just great. You all know we are always up for a good free meal. We have become the biggest charity case. I love it. We went to our Aunt Lara's house in Ladera Ranch last night...actually, her neighbor's house-whom we didn't previously know-for dinner. Lara tells everyone that we are poor students, and not only do they shovel food into our mouths while we are there, excellent food I might add, they subsequently send us home with all the leftovers. And we are tight, just like that. Its awesome. We also inherited a cool plant that Lara was mercilessly trying to starve of water and sunlight in her garage. So, people find out that Adam is in dental school and we become their new project. Its great. It's the best thing about these week long holidays; we don't have to go to the grocery store for the whole week after. And it was just so much fun to parade my fat baby and dog around.
I also gotta give myself props for the sumo wigs I made for Adam and E. Another fabulous concoction divined from the random effects at the glorious WT .99 cent store. I sewed yarn onto a WT do rag and tied it in a knot on the top, cool huh? Rock on to me and my bad cheap self. That didn't sound very nice, but you know what I mean. Isn't my fat little baby perfect in this outfit? Oh yeah, and I'm a brunette now.

In summary of what was supposed to be a one line introduction to a long picture post, we went to a friend party on Friday, a ward party on Saturday, a dog party on Sunday, and a family trick or treat party yesterday. It was all great and my pantry and fridge are still magically stocked for it. High five for Halloween and nice people who give us free food.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

And the smoke clears

Life goes on. The mountains were even faintly visible today. So I finally went running outside with a bunch of ward friends. The smoke isn't totally gone, but it was vastly improved. We aren't dead yet. Not to sound like the biggest homebody on the planet earth, but it was so nice to get out. I literally have gone outside twice this week. I was sure I was going to need Prozac by Monday if I didn't venture out of my house. I forgot how very much more enjoyable it is to run whilst also being social, as opposed to amusing myself with my own random thoughts and counting every long second of every step I run. I have spent a considerable amount of time in life convincing myself that I relish alone time and enjoy being by myself; I did this so much in high school and college that I was sure I was destined to live life a lone and very single woman, because I would have been one of those people who could have grinned and borne it. Luckily Adam had enough faith in me to look past my baggy sweats, unmakeuped face and pony tailed, unkempt hair. I still continue to be amazed by how much I like interacting with other adult human beings...women no less! Imagine that. Anyway, I am so thankful that the fires are finally under control, that I can go outside and not die of secondhand smoke most days of the year and that I always have opportunities at hand to be social even when I appear to shun them...Unshun.

Adam is studying for midterms so I thought I would disappear for a day so that he could do so effectively. My grandma has been in San Diego staying with my aunt Melissa's kids (who, by the way now has a blog-wahoo! See link to your right...) So the kid and I went down to the zoo. In so doing, I drove right through the heart of much of fire ravaged California. It was unbelievable. Eerie. The freeways were somewhat deserted, so that was in itself a bit odd, but the combination of fog and lingering smoke made it difficult to concentrate on the road. I know, scary. My eyes kept veering to the miles of blackened hillsides. I know that reports have shown how awful and destructive these fires were, and they were. Don't get me wrong. But I also saw how very many homes were saved as well on my little sojourn. I saw homes with black all around them; the fires burnt right up to the very edge on every side and the house remained. Pretty fascinating. So while many were lost, many more were, in my view, miraculously saved. So props to firefighters. You rock.

Here are some pretty blurry pictures of the zoo. I was reduced to only the camera phone.
It was the way the zoo always is: Stinky. But so much fun that you lose track of how smelly it is. The stench is overshadowed by the easy conversations that take place as you meander together and enjoy the laughter of kids having a ball looking at all of nature's fine wonders. It is so fun to see my cute little cousins, who I now think of as my nephews because I am old and married the way my aunts were when I was growing up. Now my aunts are like my sisters in law or something. Its a pretty cool right of passage, this whole being married and having kids thing. Definite perks I tell you. And its always excellent to see my grandma and Wayne. I always leave their presence resolving to be a better person so that I can be like them someday. We had a good time. I love the zoo. You wouldn't think that I would, but I do.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Playing inside all day long...

because if we go outside we come back covered in ash and smoke. Yum.


This is the worst

I know fires are the lifeblood of the Burr family, so hopefully I will not offend anyone in the following condemnation of such; but this sucks. We can't even go outside. The fire that is closest to us, in Running Springs, just completely exploded this morning. Its a tiny little resort community up in the mountains to the Northeast of us and firefighters think they are going to lose up to 1000 homes up there alone. 1300 homes and businesses have already been destroyed across southern California. Sheesh. Isn't it amazing when man is just completely brought to his knees by nature? I love how reporters keep trying to ask Governor Arnold if we were prepared for this monumental disaster. Everyone wants to write a blame story about how an evacuation plan wasn't properly executed, or there weren't enough resources available or blah blah blah blah. What, like if we had firefighters and helicopters hovering over every hillside then we could have prevented close to 100 mile an hour winds? Get real. Sometimes you can't beat God people. I know its hard to believe, but man power and technology just sometimes can't cut it. I wish people would ever just admit that sometimes we are not all powerful and knowing. A little humility would be refreshing. For some reason, I bet God agrees with me.

We are not in any immediate danger, thankfully, it just smells like we have been camping in our house for a week. My couch out on my patio is a yucky, ashy color. So we are hunkered down and just trying to stay entertained in the house while we watch our state burn on the news. Poor Duane...he is Eli's favorite new toy and he can't even escape outside right now. So he gets his ears pulled on a lot. He's being a pretty good sport though and hopefully the fires will subside soon so we can get back to enjoying atypically warm weather outside.

My heart goes out to those who have lost homes, as well as those hundreds of thousands who have been told to evacuate and are uncertain what will happen next. My grandma is in San Diego watching my aunt Melissa's kids right now and she is on notice to possibly evacuate. Hopefully not. There are also fires burning close to our other two aunts in Ladera Ranch and Thousand Oaks. Hopefully they won't have to leave. This is just awful and unbelievable. Pray for California.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Various self indulgences...ok fine, addictions

I'm stealing this idea from Megan who stole it from someone else, so its cool because its not copyrighted. Right. Mostly, I just recently read about her little addictive habits. I took some serious sadistic pleasure in reading about someone else's self proclaimed folly. Don't we all? Isn't that inherent in our very natures to know that our peers have faults? Well, this is not really meant to be all that philosophical but here are some of my nasty little habits:

Diet drinks: preferrably those with caffeine, although that's not necessarily the appeal that ultimately gets me. I really try, and most often with some measure of success, to avoid getting withdrawl headaches; if I have a Diet Coke or Dr. Pepper every two or three days then I don't get a massive pain in my brain. But there is something about "going to get a drink" that is so therapeutic to me. That makes me sound like a raging alcoholic, I realize-and make no mistake, if I were ever to take a sip of alcohol, I guarantee I would be a whole lot more addicted to getting drinks than I am now.

My dog: Oh Duane. Duane was the first step that Adam and I took toward expanding ourselves. We had no idea what we were doing. We just thought he was cute. And he was. He was so freaking cute. He still is and he still makes me laugh hysterically when he gets stuck trying to come in the sliding door because he refuses to drop his bone. Will he always be a puppy? I will probably always call him that so, perhaps. We were so whooped over that dog in the early days. And though Eli has stolen the show to some degree, Duane has turned me into a ridiculous dog person, a syndrome from which I will never willingly fully recover.

The news: I can have MSNBC or FOX news on all day long and still self righteously pretend like "I never watch TV." Right. I love political commentary. I eat it up. I watch political analysts rant and rave about this and that; like a little girl dreaming of being famous like Britney Spears (Heaven help us... and please don't send me any girls to mother) and walking down the red carpet,(or possibly getting in hit-and-run accidents) I dream of being on the Chris Matthews show and smashing my opponent's argument with eloquent ease. And looking really hot while doing it too. Mitt Giuliani for president. NO, I'm not stupid. You have to be a Stephen Colbert fan to get it.

Candy: I convinced myself while I was pregnant that I should eat what I craved because that is certainly what my body and baby needed like, fruit flavored candy like skittles and sour grapefruits. I have not, as yet, come up with a clever enough rationalization for why I still NEED sweet chewy stuff that rots my teeth on a regular basis; on the contrary, each day that my husband completes in dental school is an argument against it-or maybe not...hmmm, if I am married to a dentist, he can fix my teeth if I ruin them by eating too much candy. Problem solved. Addiction no longer a factor.

Blogging: Its getting worse every day folks. I justify this endeavor by calling it family history. I guess.

I don't necessarily think all addictions are bad. Most of mine are, but maybe you, dear reader, have yours under control. I am a full on slave to mine. And I don't even want to change. I like them. I kind of feel bad about that, but obviously not bad enough. Sorry...but you know that's hollow right?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Family Pictures

My family did the picture ritual last time we were in Utah and they turned out ok. We haven't had any pictures all together since my wedding. Unfortunately, Duane was not available so I will have to photo shop him in. These are my favorite because they are the most authentic; It actually captures what the whole family picture process is really like. My dad is busy pointing out the wonders of nature while few of us are, to his dismay, as enthused as he is. My mom is valiantly setting the example of smiling and looking nice. Alex and Colin are both busy being Alex and Colin in only ways that the two of them are capable. And of course Adam and I are cleaning up E's throw up. I love it. But I know people only really want to see the finished product so here are the photo shopped, fluffed up versions also: