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:

Friday, October 12, 2007

Is it appropriate to dedicate your car to a dead person?

As if anyone needed further confirmation of my WT nature, I love the .99 cent store. Love it. So not only do I now live in the 909 area code, which I recently learned is notorious for being WT, but I am guilty of shopping at the most 909 place within the 909 boundaries. SO, yesterday I am soaking up all of the random treasures I find there like boxes of brown sugar Mini Spooners and Grape Nuts cereal bars and baby food spoons and just having a great time being WT with all of my fellow 909ers. I walk outside and see a brand new pimped out Lexus with tinted windows, wheels and the works. It was a beautiful car. And then my eyes moved upward to the back window: in big unmistakably WT, white, scrolly lettering were the words "In loving memory of some foreign person with like four or five names-1984-2005." Now I know its kosher to dedicate things such as a performance, or a fundraiser race, or things that aren't quite so depreciatory in value from year to year as a car to the dead. But a car? Is that really appropriate to dedicate a vehicle to the memory of a loved one? What good is you driving that car around your white trash town going to do for the legacy of the person whose name it bears? I have seen this twice now so I hope its not some awful trend that I am going to have to succumb to if I want to continue shopping at the .99 cent store with my fellow 909ers. I mean, even I have my WT limits.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I write far too much about food in this post...

Last week Grandma and Grandpa Dewolf came to make their annual pilgrimage to Disneyland so they stopped by and took us to dinner. We found this excellent little authentic-and I mean pink and green satin decorated authentic-Italian restaurant that we love. It was excellent. It was so nice to see them. We love having visitors. And they delivered a whole new line of clothes for Eli that Natalie bought-

Thank you Grandma for the weiner dog outfits-Love E

Tonight we had Michelle and Joe Tolboe over for dinner. I made chicken and salmon enchiladas and I must say they were rather tasty. It is fun to be social! My family better be proud of us. We chatted it up and I found the best ice cream at the store: Breyer's Fried Ice Cream. Oh. It is cinnamon caramel ice cream with little fried tostada bits. Holy wow. It is so delicious. Anyway, their little boy Cade is like a week younger than Eli...E is more than a week fatter though. They chilled sort of. Michelle and Joe oh so graciously watched Duane for us while we went to St. George. Many thanks for that because I know that watching three dogs who don't necessarily love each other and a six month old baby is not really all that easy. You are a gem Michelle.

Adam made German pancakes and homemade caramel syrup for breakfast today. Oh my. I know this is like the fourth time that I have talked about ridiculously unhealthy food in this post already, but give me a break; I ran 26 miles yesterday all right? SO just back off. We decided it has to be a conference tradition, both because it was so sickeningly delicious and because if you ate it more than twice a year, it would most certainly shorten your life by a significant margin. It was so nice to watch conference. I love cuddling with my little family and listening to such inspiring words of wisdom. It is pleasant and peaceful and always thought provoking. I am glad to have that wonderfully relaxing requirement every six months which I am certain is also good for my spiritual health. Anyway, good times...and since you already know everything I have eaten today, I just need to give a shout out to the St. George Pizza Factory and Sharky's. Why why why can the Pizza Factory in Provo not be as good? Its such a travesty. We got the best pizza and breadtwists there the night before the marathon and indulged at Sharky's after the marathon. There. Now you know everything I have eaten for about the past 72 hours.


After a two year absence from what many people, including my husband, would term the crazy people sport, I finished another marathon yesterday. I really kind of didn't want to do it. I mean, part of me was seriously hoping that the bus would crash on the way up Snow Canyon so that I wouldn't have to do it. But alas, no such luck. I was reserving the possibility of jumping in the medical van at like mile 10 and being driven to the finish line...I mean all I really wanted was the shirt for crying out loud-which, by the way, they ran out of!! How do you run out of shirts when you know exactly how many people are running the race and many of them end up dropping out at the last second anyway? Honestly. Really though, its tradition. I could not deny the gravitational pull I feel toward running, even when I don't think I want to. Its also really fun to spend that much concentrated time with my mom and sister. And its just beautiful. I love being outside when the sun comes up even if I am running and my legs hurt and its cold and I still have 20.2 miles to go before I can sip on a Diet Coke. This was Chel's first and she performed like a champ. She probably could have run it a lot faster if my mom and I hadn't been there. We all finished within two minutes of each other. Its hard to contain the overwhelming explosion of emotion you feel at the end; I mean, you just want to hold it all in and not cry and shout "I love you!" to everyone around you until you can at least cross the finish line; its just hard to keep it in. The only other time I have ever really felt that electric surge of emotion that I get when I finish a marathon is when Eli was born. It really is pretty remarkable. I love hate it. I really am done for a while though. I tell Adam that every year. But really. I am not going to do another marathon for many moons. It is such an exciting and self fulfilling exercise, but I need to be done for now. So nobody tempt me by getting into the New York marathon or something cool like that! I am done for now.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Friend shopping around the campfire

SO in our new quest to be social, we are on the lookout for staple friends. We really are trying to put ourselves out there and find people to hang out with. We went camping with a bunch of LDS dental students on Friday night. That was really fun and a good observation tank for us to decide who we like and who might consider accepting us as full time friends. It is weird the way this school has selected its LDS students; they are all very similar. All of these guys that we went camping with are obviously very smart, but they look and talk alike too.
Loma Linda must just have a very specific prototype of what they want at their school. So, since they are all very similar to my husband, I really like all of them and their wives. Imagine that. Disclaimer: we are not only looking for LDS friends, it just so happened that this camping trip was with an LDS group. Anyway, we had a really good time. It was cold! But luckily we had zip together sleeping bags and our special heat rocks so we were warm even though it got down to 32 degrees. One of the guys there was an amazing chef and made dinner and breakfast for us. Camping is a little more complicated with a dog and baby than it is when its just the two of you, but it was still fun. E slept ok...sort of. I always think it is such a cute and charming idea to cuddle up next to my baby. But its not. He squirms and fidgets and tosses and turns all night long which makes sleeping next to him really unpleasant. But for one night it was all right.