my compass

Saturday, North

Through the canyon, to the frozen slopes

for a snow-filled ski day

and fresh mountain air


Thursday, East

Up the side of Y mountain on foot

switchback after switchback with a buddy on my back

just to see the view


Friday, West

On a bike to the lake

To sit on a dock and watch the water

Silent but for the birds and insects


Next week, South

Through the dessert, to the coast

To say hi to the ocean, the sand,

and the California palm trees

a call and a hangout

Congratulations to my sister-in-law Anne who just received her mission call!  She has been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Tokyo, Japan!! Japanese speaking, leaving July 17th.   Japan!  Anne, we love you and will miss you, but we support and admire your decision to dedicate your life to serving the lord and inviting others to come unto Christ.  You’ll be amazing!

Anne is currently in Jerusalem on study abroad with BYU (let me tell you, this is one well traveled woman) so she got to open her call there while we all watched over google hangout.  This is one really awesome piece of technology!  I haven’t ever even used skype before.  It made me really look forward to doing this kind of hangout while my little family is away for medical school and far away from family.

(I wish I could figure out how to access the photos I snapped through google during the hangout, but one technological miracle at a a time, people.)


Dear Husband

Dear Husband,

Whenever you get home from your study session, (at whatever ungodly hour that may be) there are creamy baked chicken taquitos waiting for you.  (I didn’t make the tex-mex rollups because I forgot to cook beans today)

You won’t believe how the maintenance guy fixed ghetto jerry-rigged our curtain rods.  He basically cut out squares of plywood and glue/screwed them onto all the ends.


So, umm, ya, it looks terrible.   But at least they won’t come crashing down anymore?  Does that give you an extra little push to study hard so that some day we don’t live here anymore?  good.

The chatty maintenance guy told me all about how he was halfway through nursing school and then dropped out because he couldn’t handle patients dying.  And remember how the exterminator who came in October went to school to be an engineer?? Just so we’re clear,  it’s not ok if I support you through med school (or even halfway) and then you change your mind and become a maintenance guy or an exterminator.  Or a snow plow guy (yes, I saw you open mouth gaping with jealousy on Saturday thinking that guy had the greatest job in the world)

After he left, we went outside and played 20 rounds of “can I make it down that driveway and into the street before mom captures me?”



And now we’re playing “throw all of mom’s delicious chicken on the floor and eat bananas and Ritz crackers for dinner instead.”  With a side of rubbing bananas in our hair.  I mean her hair.

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It’s a good time, we wish you could be here to participate.

We miss you and love you!  And one of us would reeeeally think it was awesome if you got home in time to watch Sunday’s episode of the Amazing Race.  But I understand if you’re not.  Really truly.

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And now we’re off to bath time.  You know I’m not big on consecutive bath days, but sometimes banana smeared hair necessitates a policy exception.

oh, and I’m supposed to bring a green salad for easter dinner at your parents.  Don’t let me forget.

Say hi Harold for me 🙂


Notebook Love: the blogging dilema

In case you are blind, dumb, or you just got here:  I love notebooks.

But about a year ago, I discovered that I also love blogging.

And sometimes I don’t know how to reconcile the two and this post my just be a rant of unanswered questions of mine, but stick with me.

Deep down in my gut, I believe there is some truly intrinsically good about the act of putting ink or lead to paper.  I think it’s good for the soul.  I think it’s a beautiful art, and I love the nostalgia of handwritten items.  Handwriting is personal.  While something typed or posted online can be seen by many at once, a handwritten item is one of it’s kind.  It’s from you to someone else.  Or from you to yourself, to read again later.  Typing is less of a physical act, and somehow, I feel like my handwritten notebooks are an extension of me, like they contain part of me–a personal creation directly connected to my own flesh and blood fingertips.  Part of my mind and spirit poured onto the pages.   They show more personality and allow more creativity, since I can sketch and doodle, add color and switch handwritings (I have several.)

And then there is blogging.  And blogging is great for the one grand reason: that people are actually reading what I write.  Granted, not that many people, but it’s still nice to send my words out into the universe to amuse, confuse, inspire, convince, enlighten, inform or whatever they do when another human being comes in contact with them, and sometimes responds to them, creating interaction and conversation, instead of closing my words away in the depths of a bag and then the shelf in a closet, to be read by only me and to affect only me.  Another benefit, (depending on who you ask)  is that I can say more in less time since typing is faster with hand cramping less likely.  I found out my sister types her journal for this reason.

I know I could do both, but my journal has been abandoned in the stead of my blog and as much as I love blogging, it makes me so so sad.  I still keep different specific handwritten records, but not my main life story I keep.  What to do??  I’m going to have my blog printed out into a little book (anyone know a good site for that?) and I think having it in my hands as a physical object will help, but still. 

I officially don’t have an answer.  What are your thoughts on this subject?  How have you dealt with this technological dilema?  What are your thoughts on abandoning the handwritten word?

(p.s. I can’t wait to read this book.)

reasons for spring to be here

My winter sunday wardrobe rotation of, oh,  2 dresses got old about 3 months ago

I’m ready for bike rides and running and rollerblades

I’m so excited to start using our infant hiking pack (Christmas gift from my parents) on real hikes with Camryn!

I’m also really excited to start spending most of our days at 7 peaks (waterpark) with the pass of all passes we got for Christmas from my in-laws (if it wasn’t for both sets of parents, we would never have nice things)

Remember how there are other kinds of produce besides bananas, oranges, and broccoli?  Like fresh berries and melons, and zucchini and green beans and tomatoes???  Oh my gosh, I need me some fresh homemade salsa (Our Best Bites, page 12.  make it).  I’m resolving to start buying at least some produce from the local farmers market and I can’t waaaaait to start walking there every Saturday.

I’ve needed more bookbinding glue for a while and the place I want to get it from won’t ship in the winter because the freezing temperatures ruin the glue.  bah humbug.

So ready for it not to cost me $one million/month to keep our apartment a reasonable temperature.

It’s time this cute little romper made it into Camryn’s outfit rotation.  But more importantly– I miss seeing all that baby chub!

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so squeezable, no?


For now, we’ve resorted to indoor Sunday afternoons waiting for the snow to melt and Provo to thaw and playing “drums.”  Why didn’t I think of this earlier?  She’s in a phase where she likes to bang anything she can find against anything else she can find.  Which is fine except for when it involves bodily injury to myself or other innocent unsuspecting babies.  Or the metal stairs to our apartment that echo throughout the entire complex.

Here’s to a happy Sunday evening and to wishing spring would just hurry on up around here


7 quick takes

Linking up with Jennifer here for 7 quick takes.

1.  I made a facebook page for my blog/etsy shop and you should go “like” it Here.  Please and thank you.

2.  I’m shopping for a swimsuit online.  what? too early?  never.  and oooh man does this activity inspire a rant and rave.  I’ll spare you an entire post and confine myself to a few sentences.  Why does online swimsuit shopping have to equal itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny porn browse?  All other reasons for not wearing those aside, I’m pretty sure about 4% of the female population looks good in them.  And that’s being generous.  Where’s the representation? And why oh why does “modest swimwear” only generate scores and scores of a) hibiscus flower covered garbage, b) nun-appropriate swimsuits reaching to elbows and knees, or c) uber boring “athletic wear” swimsuits.  Alissa, if your reading this, tell your sister that I think she should go back into business with the k line swimwear and that the suit I bought from her was my favorite that I’ve ever owned!  for style, fit, comfort, everything, I loved it!  I think if she utilized pinterest, facebook, and stuck with it longer, she’d totally do well!

exhibit A:

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3.  ya, so, it snowed today and everyone was grumpy about it, but I’m going skiing tomorrow and if it had to snow again, at least the timing was perfect.  After Saturday, winter, you have my permission to be gone.

4.  Camryn took her first steps!  cutest. thing. ever.

5.  What wasn’t the cutest thing ever is how she was up most of the night major teething, and how when I tried to nurse her for comfort she straight up bit me.  HARD.  twice.  Just exactly as if this breastfeeding thing wasn’t something we’ve been doing for the last, oh, entirety of her life, and she didn’t know what else to do with the foreign object I’d brought to her lips.  I didn’t feel quite so bad for her after that.

6.  Does anyone else have a problem with sometimes spending the entirety of their grocery budget by the 18th of the month and then trying to figure out what to eat until the 1st rolls around again?

7.  Shout out to my little sister-in-law Anne who gets her mission call next week!  We love you Anne and we can’t wait to find out where you’re going!

my history with pancakes

Am I really about to waste your time with a blog post topic so ridiculous?  Yes.  Yes, I am.  Because sometimes  you commit to blogging daily for a month and sometimes you sit down to the laptop without a single idea and the only bit of inspiration is the waffle in front of you.   (And you’re the one reading it, you silly blog addict you)  Wait, waffles?  Isn’t this supposed to be about pancakes?  I’ll get there.

Once upon a time from the moment of my birth until the age of 19 I. did. not. like. pancakes. I know.  It’s so embarrassing.  Shameful, really, against everything I now stand for (and something that would shock and astound my college roommates).  It was one of those foods that I probably didn’t actually not like, I just had it in my head that I didn’t like it, so I never ate it, ya know?  Like most human beings and tomatos.

So then, summer of 2008, I had this friend and his name was Gardner, and I was hanging out at his dad’s house in Salt Lake really late at night (which is the perfect time for pancakes) and his dad (whose name I can’t remember even though I should since he obviously helped me reach a really influential culinary milestone in my life)  made us pancakes.  On a plug-in griddle with blueberry Krusteaz brand pancake mix (the all superior who’s who of pancake mixes) and I was soooo on cloud 9 and probably ate like 7.

And then I spent the rest of 2008 and all of 2009 compensating for the pancake deprivation I had inflicted on myself for 19 long years.  And don’t worry, I ate more than enough to make up for lost time.

May and June of 2009 I spent living in Guatemala and no one at all warned me that Central America’s idea of sweets was not going to even close to cut it for the kind of sweet tooth I have.  Their candy is like those random unidentified colored hard-candy you’d find at the bottom of your Halloween stash pillow case.  That’s as good as it gets.  And if I’d known, I would have filled my suitcase with sour patch kids and swedish fish instead of those silly non-essential toiletry items and, you know, clothing.  Anyway, the only thing I could find with enough sweetness in it in that whole dang country was . . . maple syrup.   And so I purchased that along with a bag  many bags of blueberry Krusteaz brand pancake mix and ate me a lot of pancakes those two months.  Ev-ry.  day.   Whether I needed a celebratory meal or consolation of the heaviest kind, it always just seemed right, ya know?  We had a good thing going.

My birthday 2010, in lieu of an actual cake, my roommates presented me with a huge pile of pancakes with candles sticking out of it all over the place which was way better than an actual cake and does anyone have a picture of that? because I would really love one

And then sometime in 2011, after my marriage and the gift of some kind someone of a waffle-iron, I had an epiphany one day.  THE BEST PART OF PANCAKES ARE THE EDGES AND WAFFLES ARE JUST LIKE PANCAKES EXCEPT THEY ARE ALL EDGES!!

And now I eat waffles.

The end.


the mountains are calling

Well, I’ve fallen off the daily slice of life bandwagon and was feeling so uninspired that I thought I’d skip today too, but then I was searching nature quotes for bookbinding inspiration and got a little swept up and buried in some really beautiful words.

really, really beautiful words that make me want to drive and drive out into the absolute middle of the desert and just lay right on the ground and sleep there

words that make me want to go touch the mountains and feel some good solid rock in my hands and breath the air around it and hear nothing

I want to go sit still on the beach right where the water meets land and sink a little more each time a wave rolls in

I want to hike endlessly through forests, rivers, and wildflowers until I get to a place that’s higher than all the other places

and when I get there I want to eat something that I grew in my backyard and roasted over a fire and then stargaze until i have clarity

I want my skin to feel dirty, dusty, and sunkissed

I want to run through a violently intense thunderstorm and get so so wet that the rain seeps right down into my core

I want to swim in the sea

and just in case you didn’t know yet that I am a nature-loving, free-spirited flower child deep down in my soul, I guess I just outed myself.

here are some lovely quotes for you if you hadn’t had enough yet:

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. -Rainer Maria Rilke

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.  May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.  –Edward Abbey

The mountains are calling and I must go.  –John Muir

The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.  –e.e. Cummings

And this one cracks me up even though heaven knows I’m a huge fan of houseplants:  For myself I hold no preferences among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.  Bricks to all green houses!  Black thumb and cutworm to the potted plant!  –Edward Abbey

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us. –Iris Murdoch

just because

Yesterday Tanner and I were watching House Hunters (cuz dontcha know, neither of us have much to do by way of tasks and responsibilities) watching a soon-to-be-married couple search for the perfect 5 bed, 3 bath home (because clearly, 2 humans with no intention of children for at least 15 years do need that much space) and I turned to Tanner and asked, “do you think we’ll ever live in a place with more than one bathroom?” (sometimes that seems really far away).

His reply:  “We’ll have 7.  Just because.”

Notebook Love: A week in the life

The notebook project I want to show you today was inspired by a blog I read occasionally:  Ali Edwards.  She’s pretty amazing at documenting life and does a project she calls A week in the Life where once a year (at a different time every year) she documents one week in detail with writing, photos, and scrapbooking–the everyday moments and ordinary routines of her family at that time in life.  I really love this idea because it focuses on capturing the routine things that are often overlooked in traditional record-keeping but in reality make up the bulk of our lives.  Isn’t it funny how we automatically do that?  Even when the bulk of my days were spent at work and/or school, I rarely mentioned in my notebooks what I was learning in class or doing at work.  Sometimes that’s just because our day-to-day schedules are boring or repetitive, but often it’s because we just don’t think to write those things down because they don’t seem significant.


So.  This project is kind of intense because the idea is pretty much to write down everything you and your family members do all day every day for a week–including the routine mundane parts.  Which, when you get down to the nitty gritty is a lot of things.  Ali’s turn out amazing and are full of beautiful pictures, but for me and this time around, I skipped the photo part except for a few I took with my Polaroid.

Housing my project is the very first notebook I made in my first bookbinding class.  Behold:ImageImage

It was really a lot harder than I thought it would be to keep up on the thing the whole week, but I think it’s something that’s worth it.  Just carry it around with you everywhere and write something down every second you have a chance.  I wish my mom had something like this for me to look at from when I was a kid!  Showing the interaction between my siblings and I and just what we did on a normal day.

Like how Camryn and I spend a lot of time at the park on the swings:


Other tidbits from the week:

  • Tanner rides the scooter to school even on really chilly days and always comes home with his glasses fogged up
  • Camryn and I walk to the bank all the time because Tanner comes home with cash from his serving job
  • Handing Camryn a giant leaf which she waved and waved around as we walked to the park in the baby sling
  • watching the news together at night (hurricane coverage!)
  • a list of the songs we sing
  • us being really grumpy when Camryn kept us up all night
  • our date night to a haunted house with free tickets Tanner got from his radio-DJ friend at work


And then, after that, even though I guess the point is to document a typical, normal week, our week descended into a very not a normal week as we dealt with a mouse fiasco clashing with a halloweenImage

Sometimes, it was a little hard to write about such little things.  I’d start thinking, “this is so boring and no one is ever going to care or want to read this.”  But I really do think it’s worth it.  If I think back to when Tanner and I first got married, we worked at the same office and went to the same school and were literally together about 20 hours a day.  Our daily routine was soooo different than it is now and I think that will be something that’s fun to look back on as our family changes and goes through different stages of life.