Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer of Picnics #4


Place: The living room of our apartment in Provo
Menu: Hot dogs, fresh garden salad, and BBQ chips
Sum-Up Description: Rained out...again.

This week we were very excited to explore a new park on Memorial Day for our picnic.

The continuous rain all through Sunday night, and the sleet coming down hard Monday late morning forced us to change our plans. Not only was it rainy (and sleety!) out, but it was COLD!

So we decided to make our living room into a park. We spread out a blanket and took our one indoor house plant as our center piece, to make it feel more outsidey (haha). 

And we discovered this: you can have a picnic wherever you choose! Our indoor picnic was a ton of fun. And the salad was fresh and delicious, thanks to our amazing bountiful basket.

And best news of the day...my brother came home from his mission!!!!!!

Welcome home, Luke!

And happy picnicking, all!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Act 1; Scene 32: The Magic Papa John's Toilet

One of our neighbors has an interesting yard decoration.

A toilet, sitting right in the middle of the front yard, leaning against the entry stairs. On top of the toilet sits a Papa John's Pizza sign--the kind that you would put on the top of your car if you're a delivery man for Papa John's.

I have been watching this "decoration" (or junk-oration) for the past six months, wondering why it was there. The house has become known as the Papa John's Toilet house.

It was not until spring flowers started to bloom that I realized the necessity of the Papa John's Toilet in the yard...

It was magic.

During spring, the yard transformed into a garden of tulips, daffodils, and other spring-time flowers. It was gorgeous! A yard FULL of flowers. I realized that the only way to transform that little yard into that beauty sprang from the Magic Papa John's Toilet, which now had tulips bursting out of the bowl. 


All hail to the Magic Papa John's Toilet.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Summer of Picnics #3


Place: Bicentennial Park, Provo
Menu: Tuna fish sandwiches and grapes
Sum-up Description: Frisbees and Marshland=nice time outside

Yesterday Robert and I headed out to enjoy (finally!!!) some sun that we knew might not last long. We sat on a bench in front of a playground full of kids celebrating a birthday to eat our lunch. It's always fun to hear the giggles and shouts of kids playing on a playground.

After eating, we headed off to play a round of frisbee golf at the park. Unfortunately, about half of the "holes" had been pulled up due to some construction. 

We did happen to find a preserved "marshlands" boardwalk that looks like it hasn't been kept up for years. And with that came this landmark "natural spring"--with a sign and everything! Yup, that sure looks natural to me!

It was great to spend time in the sunshine! Happy Picnicking!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Summer of Picnics #2


Place: Backyard of my Salt Lake home
Menu: Chips and salsa, crackers and cheese, fruit n yogurt parfaits
Sum-up Description: Nearly rained out.

After attending a championship lacrosse game at the high school last Saturday, we were planning on taking our picnic to the park. But the rain clouds threatened ever closer. So we decided to stay a little closer to home. We spread out a blanket in the backyard. I love backyards!!!! I can't wait to have one myself.

About half-way through our lunch, the rain started coming. So we scurried inside to finish off our delicious fruit/yogurt/whipped cream parfaits, with granola on top.

Yum, yum! Happy picnicking!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Summer of Picnics

It's official: this is the Summer of Picnics!
Robert and I decided that every week this summer, we will go on a picnic. We will explore new things! We will eat yummy picnic food! And with four months of picnicking, we will get creative. Every week I will post our latest picnic adventure. 

The picture above is from our first picnic of the summer--when we decided to make this the Summer of Picnics. We took BLT's, grapes, and capri suns to the park and played some frisbee. It was so much fun, we decided it should last all summer long. Now that the rainy season seems to be mostly over, we will start officially! Following is the account of our first "official" picnic in the Summer of Picnics.

Picnic #1: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Place: BYU baseball field
Menu: cracker jacks, hot dogs, and lemonade
Sum-up Description: HOT

Swing, batta batta batta, swing!

"Buy me some peanuts and cracker-jacks..."

Notice we are both wearing our BYU Alumni shirts :-)
The atmosphere was so fun. The stands were hot, and the day was sunny. Both of us ended up with bright red knees and one bright red arm each. In fact, it was so hot that we decided to fore-go our plan of hot dogs for something a little cooler :-)

A great way to start the summer--with America's favorite pass time.

Stay tuned for more picnics!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Act 1; Scene 31: Um...Excuse Me?

A few weeks ago at church, a couple asked Robert and I to sign up for a co-ed intramural soccer team. Of course, Robert was excited about it from the start. I was a little more hesitant, since I have never really played soccer before (maybe one pick-up game when I was like 6, and a few futsal games in young women). The couple assured me that this was just a for fun team, and the wife said that she didn't play soccer either, and that it would be very low-key. Plus they need all the girls they can get so they can play (there has to be a certain amount of girls and boys). With this promise in mind, I signed up for the team, and Robert paid his fees. I even bought my very own pair of Wal Mart plastic shin guards ($4.99--awesome quality).

Tuesday night was our first game. I was a wee bit nervous, so I had Robert go over the positions and rules of soccer. It seemed pretty straightforward--guard your spot/get the ball into the goal. We trotted over to the field, me with my cute exercise shorts, tennis shoes, and plastic Wal Mart shin guards. I was expecting to see a few other girls of this sort along with their husbands as well.

We got to the field (me a little nervous about playing, and not knowing anyone) and went to meet the team. Our team circle was made up of a group of athletic looking boys (typical) and three other girls besides me. I noticed that each girl was pretty sporty looking (you know the look--cool, casual, hair-in-a-pile-sweats-wearing-girl) and then I noticed that each girl had her own cleats and awesome looking shin guards, as well as long socks.

Um...excuse me? Having you own pair of cleats and awesome shin guards and long socks means that you have DEFINITELY played soccer before, and for more than intramurals. I was the only one without cleats. The ONLY one. My jitters about the game were turning into shakes.

When they asked what position I played, I told the "captains" that I don't play soccer. They put me as a forward. "Make goals!" They said. Great. And of course I had to play, and play the whole game, because I was a direly needed girl.

OK, I was getting pretty scared at this point, hearing the team talk about strategies, etc. Just as we were about to start onto the field, I spotted the wife who had told me originally that this is a "low-key" team and that she hadn't played either. She was wrapped up in a blanket sitting on the side-lines--in jeans.

Um...excuse me?

"Hey there! Why aren't you out here?" I called to her (I might have been glowering). "I am here to watch! I never said I played soccer! I am a way better cheerleader, trust me--you don't want me out there!" Well believe me, my cheer leading skills outweigh my soccer skills, too. This is when you shake it off, grin, and run onto the field. My grin was just a little forced.

I'm glad there were a few other forwards so that I could watch them to see where exactly to place myself. It didn't take long for the other team to realize that the girl without the cleats was where you want to aim the ball to your team mates. I don't know why it took my team a little longer to realize that I needed a back-up. On the other side of the field, the opposing team would send hard kicks and try tricky foot-work patterns to try to get through our team to the other side. Only about half the time were they successful at that. When they came through my side of the field, they could gently and evenly kick it to one another, while I scrambled about like a little chicken trying to stop and redirect the gently moving ball. I looked a little idiotic. And I definitely felt that way.

By half time I was a bit discouraged (that might be an understatement). My team was very nice to me, patting and cheering on, but really--cleatless wasn't doing so great. I heard words flying around like "middle division." Middle Division?!??! EXCUSE ME?! We got about a two second rest till we were on the field again.

There must have been like a million subs in and out the second half. Seriously, every other whistle was a sub. It was kind of fun to see who would be in and out of the game--of course all of the girls watch this part from the field. There are not enough girls for us to sub in and out.

Somewhere in the second half of the game, one of our team mates was in the corner ready to kick the ball in. He was petering a little, trying to decide how and where to hit the ball (I was the most open--forward, remember? but obviously not the best choice). The goalie from the other team yelled out, "Hey save it for the Relief Society! Let's go!"

Um...excuse me?

Have you had to be on the field the whole game? No. Can you get the ball past our awesome girl named Jewels who stops and gets the ball every time right where she should?  I don't think so. Do you go visit girls every week, plus do your home teaching? I doubt it. No one makes fun of the Relief Society. And seriously, how weird to do so on a soccer field, anyway?

My war blood was pumping then. After that comment I managed to stop two passes and even distract a player so he couldn't make a pass. Not much, but hey every little bit counts, even if I did look like a chicken.

The game ended in a tie--0-0. One downside about soccer, there is a huge lack of points. I'm just glad the other team wasn't able to get a goal past us. And now I am gearing up for our next few games. If I mysteriously disappear for a few hours or maybe a few days, you'll know why ;-) At least I have one good thing going for me: I am a girl, and we need girls to play. And I do have my own shin guards, even if they are the cheapo plastic kind. :-)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Act1; Scene 30: An Over-Dramatic Wife

I really like drama.
I tend to be fairly dramatic.
I have a college degree in drama, for heaven's sake!

I like to refer to my dramatic side as my passionate side. 
My father had the foresight to warn my husband-to-be, when he asked if he could marry me, of this fact--claiming that I can often be "intense" and "passionate." 

So I don't know why Robert is continually surprised by my passionate take on...
well, nearly everything.

For instance, this morning I pulled out my deodorant and found the white stick dislodged from the container.  When I took off the lid it tumbled out altogether. Immediately I gasped in horror at the awful sight of potentially ruined deodorant in descent. But when it hit the floor, I saw that it was not cracked and placed in neatly back in its container, no harm done. I turned around and nearly ran into Robert, looking flushed from his run from the living room and asking with a very worried look "What is it? What's wrong?" He only walked away rolling his eyes when he got the explanation.

Not even an hour later, I began blow drying my hair. I have recently had my nose in The Hunger Games which of course is very hard to put down. And I was just in one of the most exciting parts! I thought, why would I waste time only drying my hair when I could be reading and drying at the same time? So I placed myself on the floor, Indian style, book open, and hair dryer blowing. As I think you can already guess, I am a very "vocal" reader. I always have passionate conversations with my novels. And this one is no exception. During a very intense moment in the arena of The Hunger Games, I let out a howl and growl for the main characters, and then started venting my frustration at the book. In no time at all, Robert was at my side with that same flushed look. He had thought I had burned myself with the blow dryer, or inflicted some other hideous wound.

 Poor Robert. He can tell you other stories about driving in the car with me, or going on a walk with me, that have had similar results. All I can say is--you were warned! Honey, I guess you just have:

An Over-Dramatic Wife.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Act 1; Scene 29: The Bus Driver Is Converted

The other day, I got to the bus stop a little early. The bus driver had her feet up on the dashboard, and her nose buried in the pages of a book. I guess she saw me waiting outside from her peripheral vision. Without taking her eyes from the words, she pressed the button to let me in and, once I was seated, pressed it again to shut the door. Moments went on and more passengers boarded, receiving the same peripheral greeting as I had. Finally it was time to be off (about a minute and a half late, if I remember correctly) and the bus driver took her feet down and closed her book, and we were off.

In about 3.3 minutes, we landed our first red light. I watched as the bus driver took a peek each way, and then once again pulled out her book. She would consistently flutter her eyes up from the book to check if the light was green. I giggled inside.

I giggled because I know how that feels--to be so involved in a book that any chance to take it out again--any red light--is a welcome moment. To be so involved that as soon as you put down the pages to go through the green light, you are not really seeing the cars pass around you or realizing that you are changing lanes. You are instead experiencing the world of the story--thinking the thoughts that the character just thought--skipping ahead of the book in your own mind to the next sentence, the next moment. Even breathing in rhythm with the characters and heart beating along with the plot. Quite an exciting adventure for your mind to fall into.

This feeling is one of the reasons that I am most excited for my Children's Literature class that I began last week. My professor told us that his goal is for us to become "converted to reading." To believe in reading for fun. To not be able to put the book down. To stay up later than you should just to get to the end of the chapter...or two chapters...or five chapters...

Doesn't that sound like an excellent educational goal?

Well, I'm excited. I can't wait to get my hands on a book like the one my bus driver had--to be converted to reading like she is. When we got to BYU and I hopped off the bus, I know she didn't miss one second of opportunity, although I did not see her. I can just imagine the hundreds of passengers that got the "peripheral" treatment as I did, and I can just imagine that bus driver's bitter sweet moment when she (no doubt while staying up too late) finally turned the last page of her book.