Friday, November 9, 2012

Les Miserables

Here is a little twist I put on a popular song of the season:

Oh, the weather outside is freeeaking awesome.
And watching the Les Mis trailer is so delightful.
And since we've no place to go but the AIR FORCE BALL tonight,
Let it Snow, Let is Snow, Let it snow!

I have creatively, beautifully, and successfully portrayed in this verse the Top 4 things I am excited for right now.

1. The Air Force Ball tonight. This will be my first dance. Well, my fist dance where Robert is my date, that is. Yipee! I'm nervous, but excited.

2. Snow. Obviously. This includes all the cute cozy clothes that you get to wear in the winter time.

3. Les Miserables. Les Miserables. Les Miserables. 
(UPDATE: It turns out Stephanie posted a "Love-Les-Mis" post yesterday, too. See here.)

Bear with me as I confess to you (my millions of readers) my love affair with Les Miserables. 
Some of my earliest memories include Les Miserables. I remember sitting right in front of the speaker in our living room acting out Les Mis with two trucks; A TONKA truck for any male singer and a pink and yellow truck for any female singer. The fist hook was simply the music. It was beautiful to me. It gave me goosebumps.

Then I started listening to the story. I would listen, while sometimes interrogating my mom. If I was really lucky, my mom would sit and explain the whole story to me as we listened, which she did many times. 

She also took us to see the musical. I remember a few things from it (and Phantom, and Beauty and the Beast, and Secret Garden, and Music Man, etc.) but mainly I just remember being enchanted throughout the whole long thing. And getting goosebumps.

As I grew, I found out about the 10th Anniversary Concert. What?! A whole new world of dialogue that wasn't on my Original Cast recording! I would watch it, then listen to my CD in my room and act the story out as it pieced itself together. My appreciation grew.

In my little freshman dorm, half my roommates and I used pens and highlighters (Angela Valentine Naegle style) to act out the whole thing to the other half of my roommates. 

Then...the 25th Anniversary Concert. My Les Miserables world turned upside down. First, because the Jonas kid was a really poor casting decision, but second and more important, I fell in love with Alfie Boe and Norm Lewis. They are my Jean Valjean and Javert.

Robert and I went to see it at the Capitol Theatre a few years ago (THANK YOU AUNT CRISTY!) and Robert, who loves a good story, fell in love, too. Robert and I then began asking more important questions about the characters...well, character. About society. About the author's views. 

Here we are, the present day, and I am halfway through the book. I needed answers to my questions and the book is thorough. I think it is safe to say there is no book in existence that is more thorough than Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. When  I listen to the musical now, I get goosebumps and cry like I never have before. Ah...I could go on and on. 

Now that you are convinced I am a legit fan, let me tell you that I am excited for the movie, simply for this reason: 
Les Miserables is a fantastic story. I can't wait to see it in "movie" medium. I know there are Les Mis movies out there but this one will be grand because it's a movie of the musical. I will keep my singing expectations in check and look at Hugo's story from a different point of view. I am so excited!
Moving on. (p.s. I shortened this Les Mis entry by about half before posting it. You're welcome.)

It's snowing right now. Right this second. I don't care what people say, I can listen to Christmas music. All this talk about "if you listen to Christmas music you are forgetting Thanksgiving"? I won't have it.

There is a magic about Christmas time, and listening to cheesy music awakens past holiday feelings of  peace, electricity, and the Spirit of the season. I don't see anything wrong with giving two months to this feeling instead of 25 days. Why must I hold back until a certain day to start getting excited about all of the  magical, wonderful. spectacularmiraculous things about Christmas? Uh uh, not me. I'm not waiting.

Of course, I'll try not to overdo it.... :) 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lots of "less"

This weekend I was a little bit bummed.

I had been looking forward to our ward Trunk-or-Treat slash ward Party for a long time because I usually miss activities due to work. But this was a Saturday evening party. Oh yeah.

As the date approached I began thinking about what to be. I really wanted to be Rosie the Riveter but I wasn't sure what Robert would be. Seeing how he is actually in the Military, I felt funny asking him to dress up like a soldier, and I think he felt the same way. Before I even got the chance to ask him, I had a wonderful idea with which to replace the previous not-so-good idea. 

Since it is a Trunk-or-Treat and we have a truck, I could create some awesome trunk decor. Then the idea came...

"Robert! Let's build the UP! house and stick it in the back of our truck!" 

My dad has a bunch of foam core board for lawyer stuff and I figured it would be perfect. Thursday, I drove to Salt Lake in a snow storm and picked up the boards and a toy bird I have, courtesy of Heather, that looks a lot like Kevin. I got home that night and didn't have time to work on the house but planned to work on it Friday night with Robert. 

Friday night came and Friday night went. Robert was so tired from the busy week that building a house didn't really sound like fun. I tried really hard to just let it go but...but...*lip quiver....I really wanted to do this and now our plans were wrecked. I, in a moment of pure enthusiasm and excitement, volunteered to bring a soup to the party, so if I had any time between work and the party, I'd be making soup. To make it worse, we didn't even have costumes to fall back on.

 Late Friday night, I suddenly felt really stupid. We were trunk-less, costume-less, friend-less, kid-less losers. 

The new star-gazing club jacket-less member is the child-less couple in a family ward. Or the costume-less couple at a Halloween party. The trunk-less car at a trunk-or-treat!

Not to mention dog-less. There is this dog that I want so badly....but that's another story.

Can you tell I was bummed? 

I went to work and did my thing. I came home and Robert's truck was gone. I figured he was at the library. The poor soul treats Saturdays like any other week day...but you should see his grades. Phew!

I walked up the steps and stared at my lawn. (Like father like daughter) I planted grass (for the third time) and I take great pleasure in seeing the little blades poking out of the ground.

I was staring blankly when Robert came roaring up the parking lot in the truck. He hoped out and bounded up the stairs. 

"Hey! Have...have you been inside?" 

"Nope. I just barely got home."

I was clue-less.

He unlocked the door and pushed it open. There, in all it's almost-finished glory, was the house. There, in my living room, was a miniature UP! house with shingles and everything.


It had taken him 4 or 5 hours to build and he was just getting back from buying spray paint to finish it off. He also went and picked up candy and half a dozen helium balloons to attach to the roof!

I was so thrilled I could have stayed home and stared at it all night, but we hustled and got everything together and headed to the party: house, candy, balloons, Kevin, and boiling soup in tow.

We arrived 30 minutes late and pulled up as all the children were walking up the stairs. The Trunk-or-Treat was over and people were heading inside to eat and play games or whatever you do at parties. 

Bah! We got in line for dinner next to our neighbors, and friends (I lied about the no friends part), and sat at a table of all our child-less tenants/neighbors/friends.  We parked our truck right outside the main door so people could see the house on the way out and left candy in a bowl. We stayed for the whole party and my second favorite part other than the house was that MY soup that I threw together and didn't even taste before setting it out was the first to go! Om nom nom. 

The night I thought I was going to hate turned in to a lot a fun.
Thank you, Robert, for the self-less person you are. (See that positive "less" I threw in there...see how I did that?)
But really. He did not have time to do everything that he did on Saturday (not to mention he helped someone move that morning and mowed someone's lawn. Sheesh.) I can't hide a thing from Robert and I can count on him to make me smile, especially when I am feeling really bummed. 

This was a forever long and unimportant post about something silly, but it meant so much to me. That night before we fell asleep, we watched the clip from UP! You know the one I'm talking about, where it shows Ellie and Carl's life together.

 I cried and held Robert tight. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Here is a big difference between Robert and me:

I am really good at making candy last a long time. Ask my mom. She would find candy wrappers under my bed all year round. She probably wondered where I was getting this candy (since we didn't have candy just lying around) when, really, it was my Halloween candy from months and months earlier. (Unless Eric got to my Halloween hiding spot and ate it all, which happened once. I was afraid I would kill him and go to jail.)

Nowadays, when Robert and I have juice night, or go visit Gram and get into her candy drawer...etc., I could make it last a week, whereas Robert enjoys it right away. (This does not apply to Chocolate Chip cookies. I will eat half the dough and the remaining cookies as soon as I can. Also, there are times when I binge on candy and desserts, yes, but for the most part, I can ration like a starving sailor during a shortage. )

If there is a dessert lying around, I won't touch it until after dinner, not because I think it's bad manners to eat dessert first or pick at dinner before we actually sit down and eat...

It's because I want to enjoy it last.

I want to look forward to it for hours.

I want to eat a yummy dinner and then sit back and savor each nibble of whatever sweet thing I get to have sitting in my mouth. I want to deny myself even a crumb so when the time comes that I have nothing else to do but eat my dessert, I do just that, and I eat a lot of it.

Robert is different.

If someone made cookies and they are in sight, he'll eat one or three before dinner, and it used to bother me. But here is how I learned to take a lesson from Robert:


I think, "Oh, October is here but I don't want to over-do it at first...I'll just wait..."

Wha...wai....What does that even mean? October is October. There is nothing like it! And here it is, the SIXTEENTH, and I don't have any decorations up or any pumpkin spice flavored dishes on the menu. I ration my enjoyment and acceptance of fall because...because...because it's a good thing and I should make it last!

Well, it comes as a surprise to me every year that I can not stop the seasons. The great thing about Utah? October will happen again. I need to enjoy something simply because it's here, and while it's here.

I guess at the very beginning we did get these great pictures while on a drive up the canyon with dad and Dana.

Dr. Evil

Now excuse me while I go do something way over-the-top with pumpkins and squash.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pressing On

It has been a difficult week. On Thursday...I starting learning to crochet. 

Yes. Crochet. 

Crochet isn't where you hit a ball around the yard with a mallet. That's Croquet. 

I'm talkin' about the yarn and needle hook thing that you use to either make a hot pad or a real ugly sweater. 

Well on Thursday I decided I would learn and I decided I would make me a hat. The kind of hat with the ear flaps 'cause those are the cool kinds of hat. I used yarn that I purchased in New Zealand. I bought it because I LOST my FAVORITE hat in New Zealand so I figured I'd buy yarn and make me a hat. 

Three years later, Imma make me a hat. 

It looks a little something like this. 
Well, it rivals the ugliness. 

With the same breath I use to grumble while suffering through the stitches, I am giggling at how ugly it is. 

It's awful. 


But I'll get better at it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


WARNING: This post has more pictures than you can shake a stick at.

Robert walked out of his last final of summer term (which he aced) and headed home. We stayed up late into the night with flashlights and shovels fixing a few sprinklers, then packing for a 6 day vacation to the cabin. We got up early the next morning and headed north.

The girls dug a new little flower bed but it felt more like a giant version of a Zen Garden.
 We found interesting things at the Mountain Man Rendezvous. I did give in and buy myself some wonderful earrings. They are Bison.
 We drove through Yellowstone. Here we are breathing in the hot pots.
"Don't act like you don't love that smell."
 Mammoth Hot Springs
 Yellowstone Falls

 This big guy was taking his own tour of Yellowstone along the road.
 Another great animal sighting.
 It had been raining all day in Yellowstone and we enjoyed this gorgeous sunset on our way back to Island Park.
 The Lookout tower.
 I bet you thought it was called the "Lookout Tower" because it was used to watch for wild fires...
 ...but you may reconsider the name after watching what we did there.

Gone Fishin' with the ferocious Coshi.
 The fires burned out throats but made for enchanted evenings.

 The girls found a romantic old swing...
...and Robert found a frog.

 Robert is a master reptile catcher. If it weren't for that ring on his left hand people might think he's just a big six year old.

Smoky air, but fun fun times at the Cabin. Thanks Gram!

July Part III

Next up, my birthday.

When I was young I had a water birthday every year and invited all 13 kids in my Sunday school class to slide down the slip n' slide and eat cake and give me presents.

My birthday was basically the best holiday of all time. And my half birthday.

As I grew older I found I enjoyed waking up, mowing the lawn, cleaning my room, and washing my Jeep more than having much ado about nothing. But this year I really wanted to do something with my family, since my birthday happened to fall on my day off.

We had a big BBQ Sunday with both our families. (Oh the joy of having parents and in-laws that live within 5 houses of each other. I can't imagine it being any other way.)

The next day Robert had to study for a final exam (which he got, oh, 102 PERCENT on. Sheesh!), so I went to the zoo with Steph and her kids.

 We then met Mom, Dad, and Eric at City Creek for lunch...and I took a million pictures of Hazel because she is too cute not to. 

Robert took me to P.F. Chang's that night and I acknowledged every craving that surfaced since the last time I went to P.F. Chang's. Yum.