Category: good things

big sister knows best

April 13th, 2011 — 10:21pm

I’m pretty sure I’ve loved everything that my big sister has ever recommended to me. Music, books, food, movies. You name it. She knows what’s up.

Her latest good advice: Downton Abbey.


Holy smoke I’m addicted to that show. Even Bryant—who normally only watches shows like this when he’s trying to get something from me—admitted that he liked it. He walked in halfway through the third episode and then stuck around for the whole fourth.

I’ve just finished watching the first season, and I’m close to mortified that there’s not a second season yet. I don’t mean to wish away the summer when it is just barely making its entrance, but gosh, I’m looking forward to the fall now, too.

Stream this sucker on Netflix. You will thank me… and Fara.

PS. No idea who all but two of these maids are. They must’ve just scrounged up some extras to fill out the picture.

3 comments » | good things, what i watch

trees drool. deserts rule.

April 11th, 2011 — 11:51pm

I’ve had this weird feeling lately. It started as nothing—so faint it was hardly noticeable. But it grew. And then it was strong enough that I could name it. So I did. And goodness knows once you name something it sticks around.

I miss Utah.

It’s almost comedic, isn’t it? How life changes you so slowly and subtly. Like wind against rock. Until it’s suddenly shocking when you finally notice how different you’ve become.

It’s those dang mountains. I crave them. I miss living right at their base before they jut off into the sky. I miss having them tower over my head. I miss the comfort of those massive, steady landmarks, always in view no matter where you turn.

I have an old friend who’s a dyed in the wool Utah soul. She lamented the claustrophobia-inducing trees of Connecticut and the gaping emptiness of the mid-west’s plains. “There are no mountains to keep the sky up off my head!” she’d say. I didn’t get it. Now I do. Those mountains.

Plus there’s this:

Southern Utah. Glowing, gritty, sandy red rocks.

‘Nuff said.

It’s more than just the landscape I miss. You know, there was something cool about finally making my peace with the crazy culture. It was an awesome accomplishment. It wasn’t just that I appreciated the endless comedic fodder (and don’t get me wrong, it truly is endless). But I grew to really love the good parts. I learned to notice them, and see them more often. And I learned to make the best of the rest.

I haven’t forgotten that lesson. Washington is amazing. Breathtaking. I love this place. Plus I’m pretty sure I’m going to start loving it even more, now that I don’t have to work nights and weekends.

But isn’t it weird that moving to this gorgeously green state was what showed me I’ve become a desert girl? Me? The one who always maintained that no place is as beautiful as my green, rolling Connecticut hills. The one who would drive around the back roads of Provo and Salt Lake looking for tree tunnels that I could drive under and squeal, “It looks like home!”

And here I am. Nostalgically browsing through old photos. Reading Utah blogs and salivating. Fantasizing about Goblin Valley, Spiral Jetty, Antelope Island.

Sunbeams, verga, and big sky. Canyons, aspen groves, and a compass built right into the landscape. Tumbleweed, road trips, and all four seasons. Mexican food, carefree college nights, and the disgusting awesomeness of the Great Salt Lake.

Yes. Those are bugs. Love that salty lake.

I guess if I give it a couple years, I’ll probably be writing a post like this about the Pacific Northwest, too. But right now, even though I am terribly happy where I am, it’s a pretty nice feeling to have something to be nostalgic about. I’m a little homesick for my second home.

1 comment » | good things, nostalgia, pictures, the great outdoors, travels, we live here now

so good.

January 23rd, 2011 — 5:50pm

This is a judge-free zone, right?


So now I’ll tell you the best tasting thing ever.

Butter plus brown sugar, beaten until it’s creamy, right before you add anything else to the cookie dough. I mean really, why even bother with the other ingredients? (Except maybe for the chocolate.)


2 comments » | for my amusement, good things, junk food

taking stock

December 5th, 2010 — 7:32pm

In the past year:

  • We put everything we own into boxes and moved to Washington.
  • We celebrated Christmas in an apartment furnished with nothing but a giant, undecorated Christmas tree and a leaky blow-up mattress. It turned out perfect.
  • I went back to school.
  • Bryant started a new job (which he loves).
  • I started a new job (which I love).
  • We hosted dear friends and family from out of town seven times, for a total of 35 days!
  • Bryant was hospitalized for a week, and survived.
  • We watched New Year’s fireworks at the Space Needle, and we watched 4th of July fireworks over Lake Washington.
  • We took trips to North Carolina (and Virginia while we were at it), Utah twice, Colorado twice, and Illinois.
  • My 2010 bald eagle sighting count grew to six.
  • We experienced the full range of Seattle’s three seasons, which are as follows: [1] three and a half months of sun with 70-degree weather*, [2] eight and a half months of rain, and [3] three days of light snow, when absolutely everything will shut down and your husband will spend seven hours on a bus on a bridge over Lake Washington.
  • We got an adorable new niece.
  • Bryant managed to squeeze out a year of living in a new state without getting a new driver’s license.
  • We found our favorite Indian-food place, Mexican-food place, gelato place, creme-puff place (come on, everyone needs a favorite creme puff place), and we’re still working on the rest.
  • We bought some real, grown-up furniture, which will be delivered next weekend, and I can’t wait.
  • We had a three-year anniversary, I turned 26, and Bryant’s 32nd is just around the corner.

It’s so odd how all this stuff packs itself into the year without you noticing it. Sometimes, when I’m not thinking, I feel like I’ve wasted so much time and think I must be useless because there are still so many things left to do on my list. But then I take a minute to make a list like this and I realize, life fills itself into the spaces whether you’re aware of it or not. There’s always more to do, but look at how much you’ve done!

2010, thanks for everything. You’ve been very good year.

*except for when it’s more than 70 degrees.

5 comments » | for my amusement, good things, lists, nostalgia, travels, we live here now

good omens

September 16th, 2010 — 2:11pm

I’ve consumed a lot of fortune cookies lately, and I’ve noticed something. I think the Powers-That-Be (or rather, the Powers-That-Be-In-Charge-Of-Fortune-Cookies) are trying to get through to me. Each crumbly little cookie has delivered the same type of message. Take a look:

I sense a theme, no? Moral of the story: Be on the lookout for opportunities. That’s a hunt I was already on, since I’m looking for a job at the moment. Hopefully this is a good sign. Think I should bring these fortunes into my next job interview as proof that they should hire me?

Bryant’s fortunes have had a pretty sweet theme, too:

Phew! What a relief! Here’s hoping there’s something to all of that.

3 comments » | for my amusement, good things, hopes, junk food

slow and steady

May 19th, 2010 — 5:53pm

Remember how I mentioned that I was teaching myself that song?

Well, it’s taken four months, but I finally got it down. Top to bottom by heart. Feeling pretty happy about it.

I think I might try this one next? But probably only if I get to wear coattails like that.

3 comments » | good things, hopes, music

brighter than a lucky ::sniff:: penny

May 4th, 2010 — 9:24am

Um, so you probably shouldn’t read this post unless you’re my mom or something, because it’s one of those obnoxiously happy ones that makes you want to gag. Sorry. You’ve been warned.

I’m a little stressed. Life is this series of small fires needing to be put out. Nothing big and blazing—they’re all little things. But it’s getting old to constantly be running from one fire to the next. It’s hard to get ahead of the game. I’m behind on my reading; I’ve got a quiz today; supposed to have all the major blood vessels memorized by this afternoon; we’ve got this mysteriously appearing & disappearing swarm of fruit flies plaguing us (gah! I hate those things!); I have to register for summer and fall quarters in less that a week—definitely haven’t planned that far ahead yet; I’ve got two big, stressy exams next week—haven’t started studying; and I have to teach in church this weekend—haven’t organized my lesson. And I know when these things have passed, there will be more little things to worry unnecessarily about.


Somehow, I feel so happy. I’ve got good friends coming to visit over the next few months. Bryant and I just planned a summer trip to spend on the beach with my family. The stars have miraculously aligned and on that same trip I get to get to spend some time with my soul sister that I haven’t seen for seven years. We spent the first sixteen years of our lives joined at the hip and have only gotten to see each other once a decade since. (Though I guess technically, there has only been one decade since…) But still, it’s been a long time, and I couldn’t be more excited. I love where I live. I’m making good friends. I love what I’m studying. I’m married to the best man. And we had a giant thunderstorm last night—first one since moving here—and I love a good thunderstorm.

Is this possible? It seems like it’s not allowed for things to be so good.

Admittedly, my moods still swing like a pendulum. But things still are good.

I know these kinds of posts are the last thing in the world a sane person wants to read, but I just felt so satisfied and happy that I wanted to get these feelings down. That way in thirty minutes, when I’m in a bad mood again, I can remember that, yes, things are good, and yes, I am happy.

2 comments » | good things, travels, what's inside

the fainting goat and other adventures

January 27th, 2010 — 11:28pm

We found this cool place in Seattle called “Fainting Goat Gelato,” and as everyone knows, anything with goat in the title must be excellent. The word gelato doesn’t hurt either.

Needless to say, the goat rule of thumb didn’t let me down; it was excellent. Bryant got the fainting goat flavored gelato. Thankfully, it didn’t taste like goat… at least not what I imagine goat to taste like. It was made with goat milk and this funky dried berry/raisin-looking thing (though we can’t remember its name) from some Greek island (though we can’t remember which one), but the locals have this tradition that it possesses special healing properties. I’m not sure if Bryant felt healed after eating it, but he was in a pretty good mood. It tasted odd and delicious. I like when those two adjectives join forces. My stracciatella was delicious, too.

Anyone who wants to come visit us will get a trip to Fainting Goat. …What? You thought I was above bribery?

Also, as we were walking down the street and fattening up on our delicious dairy desserts, we saw THIS:

(Er… whatever it takes?)

and THIS:

I’ve found my new favorite street in Seattle. Just thought I’d pass that along.

4 comments » | for my amusement, good things, junk food, pictures


December 25th, 2009 — 11:50pm

tea lights

I’ve got this Excel spreadsheet on my desktop titled “moving list.” It’s a huge, exhaustive list of all the things we needed to do before we could move. It was long and daunting and usually overwhelming. During the past two months the file was nearly always open, waiting for me to check something else off the list.

Tonight I’m sitting here in my living room next to a dozen glowing tea lights in front of my ridiculously bushy (and free, and undecorated) Christmas tree. I’m here with my laptop on the floor, because we have to wait another four days before our belongings arrive, and for the first time in over a week, I noticed that Excel file on my desktop.

I opened the list to have a look and it suddenly struck me: the list is complete.

I’m amazed. Somehow we managed to get everything done/sold/cleaned/packed, get ourselves to Seattle, and get an apartment. Now we’re here. It almost feels like it was simple. How can that be? It felt so complicated at the time.

But here right now, it’s so peaceful. …Goodnight. Merry Christmas.

2 comments » | good things, lists, pictures, travels, we live here now, what's inside

the most amazing thing you’ll see all day

November 19th, 2009 — 6:57pm

I woke up this morning to a bird outside my window. I love when that happens. I lay there in bed and listened to it chattering away. It was making all sorts of weird sounds, and it reminded me of one of my favorite youtube clips. It’s been a long time since I watched this, and it’s high time I saw it again. (I first saw this on my friend Alan’s blog almost a year ago, but I think it’s definitely worthy of reposting.)

Seriously, you’ll need to watch this to the end. And then probably a few more times from the top.

Amazing, no?!

PS. Can I tell you how much I hate the verbs “lay/laid/laying” and “lie/lay/lain.” I’m never sure if I’m using them properly, and I’m usually not. I just spent the last fifteen minutes digging through dictionaries and debating with my husband in an effort to figure out which word I should use up there at the top of this post. And it’s a good thing I did, ’cause I was wrong. (I had “laid.” It’s supposed to be “lay.” I think.) Sheesh. Who came up with this junk? And why do I care? If I ruled the world—or at least if I ruled the English language—they’d all be the same. Or at the very least, the past tense of one verb would NOT be the present tense of a different verb. Seriously.

2 comments » | for my amusement, good things, if i ruled the world, the great outdoors

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