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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bed Bugs for a Baby



We love our cousins Ty and Erin. Trev and Ty have always been close, and when Trev began to date me We started hanging out with Ty who had been dating Erin for awhile already. Eventually Ty married Erin (right on my birthday actually in 2005) and Trev and I married one year later. They are dear friends whom we love very much. We wish we could see them more. When we do get together we always have a good time going out to eat, playing games, watching movies, hot-tubbing and just hanging out and relaxing in each other's company.

So when we found out last fall that Ty and Erin were expecting their first little addition we were elated for them. Erin will be such a good mom, and Ty will be a doting dad. We are so happy for them and can't wait to meet their little girl in April.

Erin is having a baby shower next weekend, and while I can't go I am excited to mail her a gift. She is having my favorite type of baby shower, where everyone gives their favorite book as a gift. Trev and I had so much fun at Barnes and Noble looking through the children's books and remembering stories from our childhood. Trev picked out his own book to send and I chose Miss Spider's Tea Party.

To go along with the book I have been making a baby quilt.
I am so excited because I have made a "Bug Jar" quilt (since I chose a Buggy Book). I saw this quilt pattern for the first time at the Idaho State Fair when I was only sixteen, and I have always wanted to make one. It is a really fun quilt block and I think it is a pretty cute idea. The concept is that the quilt blocks look like jars of bugs sitting on a shelf. I am really happy with the way it turned out. A neighbor friend down here is going to help me quilt it tomorrow.There will be a half inch border of the bright pink around the very outside after I bind the quilt.
Here is a close up of the Jar blocks. Trev helped me to pick out the bug material. I think we did a pretty good job. I was so spoiled in Logan living next to a huge JoAnn fabrics store that had TONS of material. The store here does not have nearly the selection, and sometimes I get frustrated. There are other material stores, but I think JoAnn's is the most value for your money.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Suggestions Anyone?


Trev and I have to make a pinata for a neighborhood function. I am looking for design and filling suggestions. We are going for ultra-original, not only in looks and construction - but also in the materials used to fill the pinata. Within reason anyway, Trev's first suggestion was to fill the pinata with pudding. He cackled about this, imagining the poor little kids and some of the not-so-little-kids in our neighborhood covered in instant chocolate the second our pinata cracked open. I put the kai-bosh on this. But I am open to other, less puddingy ideas. What should w make our pinata look like and what should we fill it with?


Saturday, February 21, 2009

I am taking it back.

I owe Homer an apology.

Some of you know that I have been reading The Illiad in preparing to hopefully take the GRE literature subject test this fall. You know I have been reading it because I have been complaining about how dreadful it was.

I have been known to say things such as:

"I HATE, HATE, HATE The Illiad!"
"Seriously? This is one of the keystones to the literary cannon?"
"AHHHHHHHHHH"
And even in a somewhat recent IM chat with a dear friend, "Damn Achilles. Damn Helen of Troy. Damn Homer. Damn. Damn. Damn."

I have experienced few things as painful as the first 300 pages of Homer's classic. I am talking PAIN-FUL. Painful like you forget your shoes and run outside and suddenly find yourself sealed to Sisyphus' fate, only your hill is covered in black asphalt and it is 113 degrees Fahrenheit and just when you think it might get better you turn the page and the stone rolls down the hill and you have to start over.

PAIN-FUL like: "The first Greek to kill a Trojan was Nestor's son Antilochus. He struck Echepolus, son of Thalysius, on the the helmet ridge, then jabbed him through the forehead with a spear"

"The wainwright with an axe of steel
walks out a tree to find;
The felloe for some chariot-wheel
Engrosses his whole mind."

BUT THEN

on page 312 everything suddenly changed! I read the last 200 pages in two short sittings. The concluding books of The Illiad are spectacular. Really, truly, brilliant and stunning. I couldn't put it down. As I read I kept thinking, "I would LOVE to teach this book in a class...at least from page 312 and on."

There are some incredible moments, incredible lines.

"A serpent, coiled in a dark den,
That has on noxious herbage supped
Conceives a hatred of all men
(Such poisons can the soul corrupt)
And, glowering rage, resolves to lie
In ambush for a passer-by."

OR

"PHOSPHORUS, herald of daylight,
shone clear as clear could be;
Soon DAWN in saffron robes bedight,
Would brighten the broad sea."

LOVELY. LOVELy. LOVELY. My favorite part has to be when Achilles, (Who needs anger management classes - has just gotten over being ticked off at his own team - the Greeks- and is now ticked at the other team - the Trojans - all because his childhood pal has been fairly and justly killed - a fate Zeus sealed to show Achilles...) He is going ape-wild killing Trojans, and because he is essentially half-deity he is more or less unstoppable. The River God becomes upset because so much Trojan blood is being spilled on his lovely bank and so he whips himself into a tsunami type wave and chases Achilles all over the plain and battlefield.

Anyhow. I take back my earlier lamentations. I might love The Illiad after all. I think there are some compelling arguments to be made concerning the dire, dingy state of the first half of the book, but I also recognize the literary implications of why the story is structured the way it is...all of this to say that at the end of the day...I am a fan. Count me as a classic lover.

While I did enjoy it, the concluding lines might be the sweetest of the entire experience:
"DAWN Day's daughter bright,
Drew back the curtain of NIGHT
with her fingers of Rosy Light.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Abulia

Abulia: (ay-byool'-ee-uh) n. abnormal lack of ability to act or make decisions.
Do you ever feel like you are not sure what you want? The last few weeks I sort of feel like I have come to some sort of metaphorical fork in some philosophical road and unable to choose left or right I have just sat down in the middle and stared straight ahead.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Seeing Red for Valentine's Day

Fun Valentine's Day, short post to describe it:

We have Trev's little sisters and Trev's childhood buddy plus his girlfriend here visiting for the weekend. Today I went to Book Club (we are reading The PoisonWood Bible by Barbra Kingsolver this month btw, she is an amazing poet. I am excited!) Then came back and took the visiting gang to meet Trev who got off work at 3:00. We shopped a bit, went to the Dog Park and then went to dinner. We are now home trying to digest way too much food. We had fun though. My sister in law Stacey took cute pics at dinner, but her camera turns all eyes red. Oh well - here are the kodak moments of the night out. Enjoy. And a Happy Day of Love to all of you as well!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Exhausted

I am so tired lately. I can't seem to get through a day without wanting to collapse for a nap. I can't figure out why I am so tired. I hate getting up in the morning and when 9:30, 10:00 PM hits I am absolutely wiped out. Anyone have any ideas how to get my energy level back up?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oh - And because you are all wondering...

Yes the pants dried in time ...mostly. By mostly I mean that they dried to that unpleasent slightly damp cold stage by approximately 1:45, at which point I went and sat in my car with the heater blowing full-bore on them. By 2:30 you'd have never known they were once drenched.

Making my list and checking it twice...

Yup. The post title has a distinctive December ring to it because yesterday I finished my first Christmas Present of the 2009 season!!!

Ok - Trevor has been telling me I am nuts for the last few years because I do things like this. But it wasn't until typing out the above sentences and then glancing at the date this will post that I am beginning to think there might be some truth to such sentiment.

In my defense: I like to make my family members' gifts. I like for them to be able to look at a present and know that I really thought about them and wanted to show them that I love and care for them. I communicate this by putting lots of good, old-fashioned home-made effort into the gifts I give each December. In the past I have made quilts, scrapbooks, personalized scrapbook kits, wall-hanging, picture collage thingys, photo-poetry books, story books, family-home evening kits for each week of the year etc.

The problem is that as my family has grown my I-Need-To-Make-_______-For-________ List has grown. The last few years I have sucked at getting everything done in a timely fashion, and end up spending my Christmas break without much sleep. Not this year.

I am proud to be able to check the first Christmas gift off my list. It took me roughly a month to finish. I have to now just fight the urge to not post pictures of it on here...in the unlikely event that Justin and Kelsey (Trev's brother and his wife) actually read this post. (Doubtful, but I'm not taking any chances.)

Trevor may tease me, but he also is the first one to admit that this is an awesome deal for him. He does little or no work, but still gets to sign the card when all is said and done. I tell him it is ok, because even though the card may say "From Both of Us" let's be honest, we all know who worked her butt off and who just signed the card. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Confession

I am sitting in my office wearing no pants right now.
But I have a good reason. It is raining outside. Having lived in the dessert for seven months now I have learned there are two types of rain storms. There is type A: a light patter of few drops, more like walking through a mister. Then there is type B: a torrential downpour, the water pools on the bone-dry ground because it cannot be soaked up fast enough. I have also learned that type A can go to Type B in a mere matter of seconds, without waning. I am beginning to understand what it means to be in prime flash flood country.
This brings me to the current condition of my pants.
This morning Trevor had many tests in several of his classes. He asked me if I could go to the student uni0on building after teaching my first class this morning and pick up some scantrons that he would need by 10:00 AM. Being the good wife that I am I happily obliged. I purchased the scantrons and a snickers bar for Trevor for good luck and started walking them across campus to him. There was a light rain falling, slightly heavier than the type A rain, but nothing to be really concerned about. I found Trev and handed off the goods and asked him for the car keys. Our car was parked just outside his building and I stopped to pull our trusty umbrella out of the trunk. (Thank goodness!) No sooner did I open the umbrella than the light Type A rain turned into a raging onslaught of type B. I had a ten minute walk across campus through pounding rain and gusting wind. I held onto the edge of the umbrella to keep the wind from catching it and turning it inside out. By the time I reached my office my pants were soaked. The top half of me had been reasonably protected, but the driving rain had drenched everything from my thighs down. I could literally feel water running down my legs.
So, once I got to my office I locked my door, stripped down and wrung out my pants - yes - there was enough water in my Cotton slacks to warrant a good wringing. I hung my pants up and am hoping they drip dry by the time I teach again at 2:30 this afternoon.
It is moments like this that I am glad I do not have a corner office with a view...or any type of window for that matter.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Big Freeze

My Grandma and Grandpa Flamm were in town this week with some of their friends. They have some friends who are hard-core garage-salers. They go around to garage sales and pick up treasures. They had Saturday morning all planned out, they intended to hit up four great sales. I decided to tag along and spend some time with G&G Flamm. We went to the first three sales and nobody had much luck. Grandpa Flamm did find a nice suitcase and Grandma found a pretty little jar. I had no intentions of buying anything until we arrived at the last house...and then I saw it...in the corner of the garage sat a deep freezer. The sign said it was only five years old and ran great. After inspecting it I decided to make it mine.

Trev and I have been looking at freezers for awhile now. You can hardly open the freezer in our fridge without something spilling out at you. It is stuffed to the max. We haven't wanted to quite bite the bullet though and spend the $300 to buy a new one though.

After a few haggling pointers from Grandma I offered the lady at the garage sale 75 dollars for the Freezer, she wanted 100 for it. We settled on $80. The really great part of the story was watching my grandpa and all of his older friends load the freezer into the truck and then unload it again at my house. They were sweet to help me get it home and hooked up, especially since I was only supposed to be tagging along.
Not Quite Vanna White

We put some water in the freezer and then went to the Dinosaur museum and out to dinner with grandma and grandpa. (Thanks Grandma & Grandpa for such a fun night) When we came home the water was frozen, so the freezer seems to work fine. Now I just have to scrub it out. I am pretty excited about my garage sale find and will be stocking up on more freezables when I get paid again in a couple of weeks. Anyone out there have any staple suggestions for the first contents of my new-used freezer?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Caving Buddy



Trevor turned 25 this past Sunday. (I am a bad wife for posting so late!) I have been thinking about how much I love my husband for the last couple of days, and all of these thoughts just happen to coincide with the anniversary of his birth.



Since he turned 25 this year here are 25 things I love about Trevor:
  1. He is just nerdy enough to be cute.

  2. He supports me in everything I do.
  3. He can be incredibly kind.

  4. He helps me be a better person.
  5. I can tell him anything...and he mostly doesn't think I am nuts.

  6. He is always up to try something new.
  7. We have the same priorities.

  8. He is an incredible husband and will be a great father some day.

  9. He loves talking politics, culture and world events through with me - even though we disagree on a lot of things.

  10. He works really hard.

  11. He has a delightfully goofy sense of humor.

  12. He is a good friend.

  13. He helps me keep my goals.

  14. He can be adorably romantic.

  15. He is handsome.

  16. He likes to travel and have new adventures.

  17. He sticks his ice-cold toes on me when we get in bed every night.
  18. He teases me a lot...but in a nice way.

  19. He has a way of giving compliments that make me smile all day like a dopey little girl.

  20. He takes care of me.

  21. He has beautiful eyes.

  22. He loves me.
  23. He is goal-oriented and ambitious.
  24. He is adventurous.
  25. He is me best friend.
If I had to add 26 to the list it might read something along the lines of "he saved my life on Saturday." This comment, and given the post title, demand an explanation. It is a long-ish story so anyone who just wants to wish Trev a happy birthday should skip to the bottom and just leave a comment.

On Saturday Trev and a co-worker decided that they wanted to go out and explore the Bloomington Caves. His friend, Cameron, had been before, but it was several years earlier. We drove around the BLM for awhile and finally we found an entrance. I've stuck some pics throughout here that I yanked off the net - the pics of our caving group are all of the ones withour helmets...yeah...remember this as you progress through the narrative.

I was expecting a big cave, something like Mount Timpanogas or the Wind Caves in Logan. Big open caverns that were easy to just walk through. Nope. There was just a hole in the ground. The Bloomington Cave is a fault line cave, and as we crawled into the hole I knew we were in for an experience. It was unlike anything I have ever done. It was like spelunking.

Cameron told us we had to be careful because quite a few kids have died in the cave, about ten minutes in and I could see why. It was like rock climbing underground. There were flags marking the best routes to take, but there was no real path. There were 15-20 foot drops off to the side and everything was rock. It would be easy to fall and break bones.

I was nervous but we kept on going. We had a map to the cave, but it all looks the same in there - and so we just set out to follow the white flags.

Unbeknowst to us the white flags mark one of the more difficult and steepest routes in the cave. We squeezed through teeny, tiny openings as we made our way down what they call the "fanny flume." So named because your primary mode of transportation is on your keester.

It was amazing in there. Really raw cave kind of beauty - not the highly polished, highly traveled kind of beauty of more popular caves. There are not huge stalactites or stalagmites, but there are amazing water patterns in the rock and popcorn ceilings. It was awesome.

Awesome until we got to the bottom and realized we had to now go back up. According to our map, after a few hours of descending we found ourselves in the bottom of the Great Room. The girl Trev's buddy brought had really banged up her knee, and we knew w had to head back out. The map said we could either go the way we came or we could switch over to the orange route, alternatively called "The Miseries." Yes. That is really it's name. And in the belly of a cave, clinging to rock outcroppings it just doesn't sound particularly appealing to traverse "the miseries" with no helmets, ropes, pads or equipment. So we decided to go back up the fanny flume.

This was incredibly challenging. It is one thing to descend in a cave when you have gravity working in your favor. It is quite another to climb up jagged rocks and shimmy along ledges when gravity is working against you. Plus, Laura's knee was really smashed and aching. We started to slowly, carefully make our way back up. The atmosphere was pretty tense. I think we were all worried and scared, just no one would say so.

Then we reached one area that presented a serious problem. It was a cracked vein in the rock that led to a higher ledge. There were few foot or hand-holds and off to the right was a serious drop off - a fall that would almost certainly cause injuries, if not serious injuries. We stopped and talked about the best way to proceed. I thought about voicing the opinion that we could just wait it out. Trev and I had told plenty of reliable people back home that if we didn't call by midnight to say we were out of the cave then we needed help. The caves are only roughly a mile and a half in length, so I knew eventually someone would come looking for us and they would probably have the ropes and equipment we really needed. But Trev said he thought he climb it using an arm-climb (apparently this is some rock-climbing term). I was really nervous to let him go up - after all, most of you know that he struggles a bit with his right leg, and if the rest of us were having trouble then he surely was.

But we decided to go for it. I braced myself against the base of the rock and Trev stepped on my shoulders to try and get a start up the face. He wedged his body into a crack and started pulling himself up. I don't think my heart beat the entire time. He finally made it to the top. We then decided that I would try to come up. Laura bent down and I stood on her shoulders, but I still couldn't reach any type of foot or hand hold. Trevor leaned over the edge and grabbed my arm. He started pulling me up.

Have you ever experienced something that you know only lasted seconds, yet it feels like slow motion? The kind of moment that Hollywood producers would pair with some base-booming, triumphant theme song? This was one of those moments for me. It is amazing what clarity you can gain in only a few seconds. While Trevor had a hold of my arm I had absolutely no control over my progress up the rock. I had nothing to hold to support my own weight and body. If he dropped me I would crash into Laura and Cameron and at least one, if not all of us would plummet at least 10 feet onto solid rock. I trust my husband. But I don't think I have ever trusted him more.

He hauled me upward until I could scrabble a hold of some type of grip with my feet and pull myself up on the ledge beside him. I burst out laughing when I was stable again on the upper ledge, I think I laughed so I wouldn't cry. So much tension and fear left my body. Only for a moment though, because we still had two people below who needed to come up. I climbed higher to make more room on the ledge, there was only space for two bodies.

Trev lifted Laura up and then she came up beside me. Trev then had to help Cameron. This was the hardest because Cameron had no one to stand on and he is bigger than Laura and I. He made it up as well. We were able to do the rest of the ascent pretty successfully. The rest of our climb out I kept thinking about Trevor holding my arm - being my only connection to something stable.

It might seem silly, and maybe I am being over dramatic, but those seconds really defined much of my feelings toward my husband and toward our marriage and relationship. It has never been so clear to me how Trevor protects and takes care of me. I have never had to trust him more. He is a good, strong man, and I am so lucky and blessed to be his wife.

We will go back the the Bloomington Caves. We will take ropes and helmets and other equipment to make the whole experience much more safe and enjoyable. And while I don't want to be in the same situation again, I hope I take away this same bond every time, the ability to hold onto my husband when there is nothing else to hold onto.

Just wanted to say...

Thanks to everyone out there for reading our blog...and thanks to those of you that keep your own.

I am having a sentimentalish moment this morning, and it concerns all of you folks.

I am notoriously bad at keeping in touch...about the only good thing I do in this department is send Christmas cards, but otherwise I kinda stink at the whole communicating with old friends bit.

Blogging has really stifled this tendency. I can't tell you how much I love logging on and seeing the comments that everyone leaves. It makes me feel connected to know that somewhere out there, someone else cares about what I think about a certain movie or the funny thing my husband said last night. I think one of our greatest human desires is to have others witness our stories, to receive some sign that says, "out the 6,706,993,152 people on the planet I know you exist. You matter." And for me, when I log on an see any numerical notation of "new comments" on my blog it is just like receiving a whole bunch of those signs. So...thank you for reading.

Thank you, also, for letting me read. Sometimes I find it strangely odd and endearing just how many of you I only slightly knew a few years ago. We were acquaintances because we shared a high school class or a mutual friend. We came into and left each other's lives quickly. Many of you were once the sort of people that I would maybe have recognized in a crowd, but probably not felt comfortable enough to run up and do the Valley-Girl "Oh My Gosh! How are You!?!?" thing. More likely I would have noted your presence and ducked behind something for fear of some awkward...I know this person, but don't, and don't know what to say, 'cause nothing rings awkward like a fake 'it was really good to see you comment'...moment.

I don't feel like that anymore. Actually we might have the opposite problem. After reading your thoughts and intimate details about your personal lives I feel like I have really come to know many of you and would be more likely to run up and create a total scene by hugging you and gushing about how good it is to see you...and now I would really mean it.

Anyway...just thought you should all know that. Thanks for creating a support network I otherwise might not have had. I love all of you and love sharing our stories and lives with one another.