check out the baby!

Please to enjoy Birdy, the cutest baby in the entire universe.


a smattering of newsiness

First, I apologize for the infrequency of updates. I have no real excuse except that it doesn't feel like anything that is happening is worth writing about, and second I am so tired recently that I'm sleeping if I don't have to do anything pressing. I know, I know. Lame. I admit it. So here is a little about what we have been up to recentlyish.

I put a photo of Birdy rocking out to Guitar Hero when my parents were visiting in October, and my best good friend Brianna made an acutal poster of it, which is cool.
She's just so famous! And cute. Soooooo cute.

We have parents coming to visit soon--Brandon's this Saturday and mine next month. I'm looking forward to seeing them and spending time with them again.

I don't feel like I'm home yet here, and I don't know why. It seems to be taking a lot longer than I thought it would be. It's beautiful and the people are nice and Brandon and Birdy are here. But...but. But it still isn't what I think of when I think of home. Maybe it would be better if our extended family were here, and maybe it will be better in a few months. I just wish it felt that way now, especially because it's Christmas.

One of the perks of this university is that they have a cleaning crew come in twice a year to shampoo carpets and clean the bathrooms and kitchens. For that, I love them. And our carpet needs it. I fear waking up in the morning to bare floors due to carpet mutiny. I'm blaming their current state on Birdy. It's always Birdy's fault because she can't say otherwise yet. :-) The cleaning crew is coming in on Friday, right in time for Brandon's parents to come and visit.

Holiday baking and eating has made it's home here, and boy am I feeling it. Luckily, we're joining the local YMCA and I'll be able to work out again since they have child care, and there is a Masters swimming program, so I can swim too.

What about you all? What is happening in your lives? We miss you tons down here!


what i've been writing about

I did a Wordle of my entire blog to see what I've really been writing about--the larger the word in the Wordle, the more that word has appeared in my writing here. I'm surprised, actually, to see what has been posted.

If you would like to do one of your blog (this is directed at the now blogful BFA, off of the Dashboard (the screen you see when you sign in) click the "Layout" link below the name of your blog. Then, click the "edit" button on the Blog Posts square. Then, select the number of posts you want to display on one page. I chose 187 because that's the number of posts I have. Then, I copied the link into Wordle's create page.
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it's great to be here, santa clara!

Birdy's first rock star poster. If you want, we can send you an autographed one so you can be rich in 17 years when she makes it big and becomes a millionaire and showers her mother with lavish gifts.
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fall color

Birdy and I went on a walk to the library last week (for a book they didn't have, but were supposed to have, but that's another story) and I busted out the ol' cell phone to take some photos of the local fall color. I'm continually shocked to see the flowers blooming still, and leaves on the trees just a week or so before Thanksgiving. It's how I still feel looking out my windows and seeing, of all things, palm trees. Palm trees?! It's like living in a huge mall, considering that's the only place I've seen any palm trees in the northwest. I'm also still getting used to the idea that I live somewhere people vacation. Like, a lot of people. They come here. The ocean is only 4o minutes away. That's the drive from Pullman to Lewiston...so weird.

So, after all that, I give you a sampling of the fall color. Please excuse the focus issues on some of the photos...they were taken on a cell phone, after all.

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tired monkey

This is Baby Monkey.

This is Birdy.

Baby Monkey is tired. Baby Monkey needs to go to bed. So, Birdy got a shoe box, and some towels, and a book. Then she put Baby Monkey in the bed.

Kiss kiss, Baby Monkey!

Phew! Putting Baby Monkey to bed makes Birdy tired. Now it's time for Birdy to go to bed too.


all the world's a page

You have been warned: I am all over the place with the following post.

I usually live with two people--the darling Birdy and my husband.

However, I've had guests these last two months, and I don't mean the fruit flies. I've been living with two more people, named Jamie and Claire. Claire is good to have around if you are bleeding or have suffered a concussion or if you need some really gross tea to drink. Jamie is handy if you want someone nice to look at, or to kill those who are after you, or to fix your leaky roof. I really like the two of them, and am sad to see them leave. I've gotten to know them over the last two months and have loved nearly every minute of it. Their family is great too, and I love hearing about them and their adventures.

The visit has been nice. It's their imminent departure that's a little strange. The main reason is because Claire and Jamie don't actually exist. It's hard to say goodbye to something that doesn't really exist, you know.

For you see, dear reader(s), Claire and Jamie are characters in the Outlander series, and I finished the seventh and most recent book tonight.

I'm feeling lonely.

When I'm reading something that interests me and has compelling characters, I get lost in their world. I become emotionally attached. I wonder what so-and-so would do if they were me, or vice versa. I become a part of the story. Which is great, but is also not so great.

When I finish a good book, I am a little emotionally, and sometimes physically, wasted for a period of time. It's like having a kindred spirit with you all the time who suddenly vanishes. I am left alone to my thoughts. In a way--and this isn't to sound dramatic, but the most apt way to describe it--I die a little when I finish a good book. If there is an especially sad part (Matthew dying in Anne of Green Gables, Dumbledore dying in HP6, the fricking whole of White Oleander [which isn't even a book I would dream about reading again, but an example of a story with a compelling character]), I can't really function the rest of the day. I'm so close with that character or characters that it becomes something that happens to me, and I'm dealing with it the same way they do. The story becomes something that takes place in my mind. When I'm reading, I have little comprehension about time passing or pages turning.

I don't know if I'm the only one who feels this way. I'm certainly one of the few people I know who read so much, but one of the only people in my acquaintance who view books as friends. I regard The Little Princess, the Little House Books, The Twenty-One Balloons and others as real people, people who have helped me through hard times and exposed me to new ideas. My friend Brianna is the only other person I've met who I think might feel the same way about books or stories, but I've never really asked her outright. If I'm feeling a little discouraged, Laura and her Ma sort me right out. If I'm feeling lonely, Sara Crewe puts me to rights with her tale of abandonment and optimism. If I miss the particular thrill of a first love, then it's Twilight for sure. Each book and each character bring me the comfort of a good, old friend.

The stories I read simply become a part of me. I live a hundred different lives every time I look at my book shelf. It can be, in a word, exhausting.

However, it's the best thing that has ever happened to me. I can't imagine my life without books and stories. My mom in a way realizes this love of stories (she was named after Beth in Little Women). Every room I had since I was in kindergarten until I graduated high school had a specific reading corner--a nook in Pennsylvania and a window seat in Washington. She would also take us to the library any time we wanted, regardless of what she was in the middle doing, planning to do, or thinking about doing. I think that was one of the best things she ever did for me.

(Side note: I couldn't believe that I got to have a window seat in my room when I saw the plans for the house. It felt so...bookish. Like something a character in a book would have, which thrilled me to no end.)

Brandon loves reading too, though I just described to him how I feel about reading and he looked at me like I'm nuts. I don't really blame him. Maybe Birdy will understand.

I've just read all that I've written here. I think the following says what I mean in a more economical way:

I cannot live without books. -Thomas Jefferson
photo courtesy of loxosceles


le sigh

I think it's finally happened. I can't say I'm surprised, given that anyone around me would agree that perhaps, just maybe, I read too much. Not that they would say it really, but I get smirks and glances when I settle down for a few stolen moments with a good book. And a few stolen hours in the evening. And during the day too, if Birdy is taking a nap. But anyway.

I think I may have reached the point in my life where I might have read too much. In particular, I might have reached critcial mass with historical fiction.

This is Birdy, eating her cheese and "bapples" for lunch, a la my Grandpa Bill.
See the nice plant in the right of the picture? It's a good plant. It's from Ikea. It also has had fruit flies in it for the last month, regardless of what I've threatened or done to them. But this time, at this lunch, I'd had enough.

So. I got out a toothpick (you know, like a pike).

And then I killed a fruit fly (which I thought about beheading, but realized that I didn't have the precision instruments to do so).

And then I put his body on the toothpick. As a warning to his friends and comrades that their time is numbered.

I'll just be over here, thinking about the things I've done. Don't mind me.
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burning bright in the forests of the night

You know what's weird?

My grandpa died Sunday night.

It seems very surreal. I go back and forth between sad and glad that he's no longer a prisoner of his body, constantly limited by what he can't do.

We didn't expect him to go so soon. He fell on Thursday night (some time after 8, when they go around and check on the residents where he lived), and was found Friday morning on the floor. They took him to the hospital that morning, and luckily my mom doesn't work Fridays and was able to be with him during the admitting process. He seemed very confused by the whole affair, and couldn't remember how he fell or how many people were around him when he woke up. On Saturday, he couldn't remember who was at the hospital with him the day before, though my mom and my aunt were both there all day. Sunday was the same. They also found out on Sunday that he had pneumonia, which when compounded by the small heart attack they think caused the fall as well as some breathing and swallowing problems led to bigger issues. The doctors didn't think that even with treating the pneumonia that he would be the same as he was before he fell, and would most likely need to be in a nursing home. My mom, aunt, and uncle had to make the tough call to decide that they wouldn't put him on antibiotics and to make him comfortable for his last few days.

We didn't expect him to go so soon.

My mom called me while she was waiting to pick up dinner for my her and my aunt when my grandpa passed away. I'm glad my aunt was there with him; I'm sure it meant a lot to her to be with him when he passed.

I'm also sad because Birdy will never be able to know the vibrant people that her Grandma Lorraine and Grandpa Bill were. She never got to have my grandma's Christmas pears, or her amazing pie, or see her paint. She'll never get to have my grandpa teach her how to walk on stilts, or to see him tie a fly, or smell cigar smoke on him when she would give him a hug. She'll never get to have dessert and coffee while playing rummy tile on their big dining room table, which was my first rite of passage into the cosmopolitan world of adults when I was ten.

That is what I'm going to miss--the fact that she'll never have those things; the things that mean a lot to me.

In honor of my grandparents, we had a friend over tonight and had dessert and coffee and played a card game. I have to say that while it was nice, it wasn't the same.

I miss my grandparents. I miss them a lot. I miss who they used to be. I always thought they would outlive us all by sheer will. Then, my grandma fell down the stairs and broke her collarbone, and it all began to move downhill. My grandma wasn't the same afterwords, and from the moment she fell they began to change. They both became old. They became frail. They began to loose the part of themselves that made them who they were to me. My grandma decided she had enough of it--she couldn't take care of her apartment, my grandpa, or herself very well. She decided (with that sheer force of will that she had) that she was done, and decided to stop eating and drinking. When my mom called and told me her decision, I wasn't surprised. The quality of life she had wasn't all that great and she was becoming increasingly frail. I admire that she had the ability and mental strength to decide that enough was enough and that she wanted to leave on her own terms. Would I do the same thing? I'm not sure.

After she passed away (her memorial service was on the same weekend we found out a family member miscarried her baby...it was a shitty weekend, to say the least), my grandpa became more distant and began showing more overt signs of dementia. My mom and her siblings got together and talked to him about not driving anymore, and about moving to an assisted care facility. Without my grandma to boss around (and her not there to boss him around too :-) ), there wasn't a lot for him to do. He would sit and watch TV for most of the day. His daily calls to my mom and aunt grew erratic, and all the siblings (and the sibling's spouses and grandchildren) noticed that things were getting worse. And then he fell on Thursday. And here were are.

I can't imagine what it must be like to loose both of your parents. I think about losing my dad and mom, and it fills me with such a feeling of loneliness. The people who have known you the longest and loved you all the time you've been on this planet suddenly not being there is so profoundly sad to me.

I went in tonight to Birdy's room and picked her up from her crib and hugged her for a long time. Someday, she's going to be old. Someday, she's going to pass away. And I hope, I really really hope, that she has people who love her nearby. I hope they are there to comfort her in her last minutes, even if she isn't aware of it. I want her to die a women who was well loved. I want her to be at peace in the end, even if her body is broken.

I want a lot for Birdy, but most of all?

Most of all, I want a lot of time on Earth with her, and I hope that she loves me as much as my mom and her siblings loved their parents.


I have a confession.

I want to learn how to sew. Badly. I want to be able to make things. Things like this:

And this:

And this:

Also, if I could think like the person (or persons) who get all the stuff for Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids, that would be great too. And while I'm at it, I'd like to lose 60 pounds, sing opera, and go running every day.

But first, with the sewing, I'd need a sewing machine. And then I would need patience. And then I would need either Diana Brandon or Helen Louise Thompson living next door to me (or in my sewing closet) to give me constant guidance and validation. And then I would need a nanny because mommy would be too busy not sewing her hands to her latest project to make lunch or change diapers or play with blocks for the millionth time today. And somewhere in there, I'd need to get some fabric.

But then, if all those conditions are met, I could be a sewing master! The world would be a better and prettier place if I sewed. I promise.

I leave you with this, dear reader, do you have something you wish you had the time and money to do? And "taking a nap" doesn't count because everyone would do that, duh.

photos from grace violet, pottery barn kids, and heather bailey


super mega awesome sunday morning spectacular


It's been a good Sunday so far. Let me break it down for you, including the bad parts so that the good parts seem even better.

1. Birdy woke up at 7. Boo!
2. It's cloudy today. Woo!
3. I had Cinnamon Life today for breakfast. Woo!
4. Birdy had a good bath. Woo!
5. She cried a lot because Brandon kept coming and going. Today she's a daddy's girl. This is a boo and a woo.
6. I vacuumed already! Woo!
7. I ironed Brandon's shirt! I'm a wifey! Woo!
8. Birdy is asleep. Woo!
9. I have a nice, steaming hot cup of coffee. Woo!
10. Brandon has to work today because of preview tours. Boo!
11. Brandon bought doughnuts for the people helping with the tours, but they didn't eat them and now they are in our apartment. Woo!
12. I have coffee, a doughnut with Halloween sprinkles, and am watching Scrubs. Also, I don't have to drive anywhere like church because Birdy is asleep. I hate driving around here, by the by. Only going places like Target and Costco make driving tolerable. So, in conclusion of bullet #12, woo, woo, woo, woo, woo, boo, woo woo.

Also, I'm making this and this for dinner tonight. Anyone who reads this is more than welcome to join us. And no, I'm not kidding.

Also, I ordered this last night. Get it? Brackets? It will only say "Brandon & Heather" since it already has 2 brackets on the side! Ha! You know you want mail from me so you can see the sweet stamp. It's okay. I'll send you something.

Also, and this is the last also, but I just went to Etsy's homepage and saw this. I think I'm in love.



To begin, on the news right now, a man named Raccoon is being interviewed. He is very clearly homosexual. He has a coon skin cap, a festive scarf, and large glasses. Toto, I'm not in Eastern Washington anymore.

Secondly, I've become a bit of a walker.

It all started a few weeks ago when Nicole (who is my first peep here) and I took an innocent walk to the park near by. Then we walked to the rose garden. Then we walked to the library. Then we walked to an awesome bakery. The bakery trip was today, and it was awesome. It's called Greenlee's, and seems to be a landmark here in San Jose. I had a chorizo breakfast burrito, and it was so good I nearly saw Jesus and/or a majestic unicorn. It was faint vision due to my eyes rolling back into my head, so it was hard to be sure. But be sure that if you come and visit, I'm taking you.

Nicole also has a daughter, who is just the bee's knees. She's just a bitty baby--5 months old. Birdy is becoming a big fan of her too, which has proven to be adorable. Yesterday, Birdy gave Nicole's baby a hug and a kiss. Adorable.

I do have some new photos to put up, I just have to get them off the camera. As many of us know, that camera might as well be on the moon with the frequency with which photos are transferred to my computer, so be patient grasshoppers.


don't forget ___________.

I am bad at remembering. Really bad.

I try, I really do. But I end up forgetting things, like birthdays, anniversaries, brushing my teeth at night, what I was doing two years ago, what life was like in college, and what exactly it was I did yesterday.The thing is, I didn't always used to be so bad at remembering. There was a time when you could count on me to remember even the most mundane stuff. Stuff that happened years ago that no one else remembered. But then, for some reason I still don't understand, I stopped.

I can, however, tell you the exact time when I realized that I do have a problem with it, though. In college, my roommate and best friend was having some weird health stuff going on. We weren't sure what was happening, and neither were her doctors. They gave her a list of potential problems, and one of them was cancer. It was scary.

But you know what? I forgot about it. I forgot until she mentioned something about a year or so ago, like "blah blah blah when we thought I might have cancer blah blah blah." I did a double take on the phone, thinking, what? Cancer? When did we think you might have had cancer? And she patiently (though she was understandably a little annoyed) reminded me of the time during my sophomore year. You know, when we were living together? In a small space? And we knew pretty much everything about each other? That time? Remember?

And I didn't.

And that seemed very, very wrong to me.

And since then, I've been trying to make a conscious effort to stamp things in my brain. This blog, for one, was created to help me remember things that were happening in my life in a time when I could feel my brain slowing slipping out of my body. I think the weight I gained during pregnancy (which is still here, by the by) was pushing it out my ears. Just a theory. Anyway.

There are things that I remember about Birdy, and somethings that I think of each day so that they stay fresh in my mind. I remember sitting up with her when she was a few weeks old at four in the morning. It was quiet. The novelty of a sweet baby had worn off a bit, as they tend to wake up numerous times in the night wanting food, so I had stopped simply staring at her in amazement a few days before this. I was reading Anne of Green Gables in the lamplight, holding Birdy snugly to my side as she slowly nursed. It was peaceful. It was awesome. It made me feel like an honest-to-God mom. It is something that I hope to remember when she's a snotty teenager (as I'm sure she will be), when she's having her first baby, when she turns 40, 50, and 60. And I hope that I feel the same way about that memory then as I do now.

In the meantime, I plan on trying to remember her like that when she is throwing her snack on to the floor, flinging herself on the the floor, and grinding Cheerios into the floor (and sometimes doing all three at the same time).

And what about you? What do you try to remember?


home again, home again

Hello everyone!

(awesome side note: I am watching the best show I've seen in a long time...Modern Family. Watch it. Love it.)

I am back in the land of sun, sand, and people who's tuition is higher than any salary I'm going to making any time soon. But I digress--The point of this post to share about the fund times we had on vacation! In typical Heather fashion, however, I neglected to take any photos. No fear though, loyal readers--I've got Paint and some free time. Trust me, it will be just like you were there.

The first weekend, Birdy and I went to Pullman. Our first stop was Casa de Cory, to help celebrate Anita's last weekend being a certain age and to celebrate her becoming a slightly different age. We went to pick flowers for the par-tay, and no one got stung, bit, or maimed in any other way.

We also stopped by financial aid to visit the old comrades and enjoy a potluck. We ended up staying longer than we planned, but there were too many people to catch up with. We had great cornbread, chili, and of course Kathy's little smokies. A potluck isn't a potluck without some smokies.

Birdy and I also spent a few nights with Randi and Jason, the most chill peeps I know. They also hosted a get together. There was beer and awesome Costco hotdogs. We spent a lot of time on the porch smoking a cigar and having Jason call us silly girls. It was just like old times!

April and Anita and Birdy and I also watched I Love You, Man. This photo is of April and and I shredding some air guitar to Rush. Believe me, it was as awesome as it looked.


so hot in herrrrrrrr

Hello, this blog comes straight to you from Satan's Armpit, population me. It's super freaking hot here, and the fact that the apartment is 76 degrees at 9:45 at night and it feels super cool and comfy should tell you how hot it was today. Ugh. My productivity gets shockingly low when it's hot. The house is a mess. Am I trying to fix it?

No. Most definitely not. It was hot today, remember? Everyone knows that really hot days are a free pass for any and all domestic activities. It's like a snow day for adults. Thus, in the spirit of Adult Snow Day, I am sitting on the couch drinking a cold beverage of choice and watching Hayden Panettiere in her magnum opus, Bring It On: All or Nothing. It's just so inspiring, you know? And, it's one of E!'s "Movies We Love," and we all know that E! knows movies. Or. knows movies with low syndication rates. Either one.

Birdy and I head out into the wild blue yonder on Tuesday, and I'm already preparing myself mentally. The idea of Birdy sitting on my lap happily for three minutes is something that happens regularly. The reality of Birdy sitting on my lap for two hours is yet unproven. I've purchased several items for the trip in hopes of entertaining her: 1,000 stickers, tiny cans of Play-Doh, a new coloring book, a crazy amount of snacks, and one or two books. I've figured I have 120 1-minute segments I need to fill.

In a perfect world, some of them will be filled with her sleeping. Or maybe the plane won't be full and I'll be able to put her in her own seat with her own car seat. And then maybe, it'll be a frosty day in Hell.

Hey, pop question for parents: when you check a car seat, do they give you one of those bags to put it in? If not, where do they sell such things? And can you think of anything else I can bring to fill my 120 1-minute segments?


today, i'm motivated

I've started something that is embarrassing to admit. I've started Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. Now, to be fair, there are people out there who will look like Jillian after the 30 days. There are people who will not be sweating themselves silly after 10 minutes. There are people who will be able to do the jump rope cardio segment for the whole 30 seconds.

I hate to shatter your illusions, but I am none of those people. Before Saturday when I started this 20 minute daily journey to hell, I didn't know jumping jacks were something I couldn't do for a prolonged amount of time. And by "prolonged," I mean 1 minute.

Today, though, was a breakthrough: I noticed that it has gotten a smidgen easier. Which means it's working! And I've lost a pound and a half. That pound and a half is perhaps the reason that I'm able to do more jumping jacks! Amazing! Also, because I was feeling so good, I did pilates too. Just because. Because there was no jumping, there were modified exercises, and most of it is lying down. BUT STILL.

The thing is, jumping jacks used to be easy. I used to be able to do the pilates workout without a problem. And the thing was, I didn't realize that I would never be able to NOT do those things. What an eye-opener. All the more reason to keep doing these thigns so that once again I can jump jacks and ab crunch with the best of them.

The other good thing about today is that I'm finally the proud owner of the clear Starbucks tumbler mug. And by "finally" I mean after three months of searching. They are sold out everywhere! I got the 16 ounce one. I plan on drinking stupid amounts of water in my trendy little beverage cup.

Photos courtesy of Run Girl Run and Nic Nak Patti Wack


time keeps slippin'

First: look at that sweet girl. We were at the beach here for the first time. She's wearing the dress Ben got her from Hawaii, which we felt was only appropriate for an ocean adventure.

Second: You might have heard that I made Brandon read The Host. So far, he says it "isn't bad." Now, in his world, that could mean the greatest thing he has read, or it could mean "it's better than a swift kick in the nuts." For an example of his highest praise that I have received, please read this.

Also note that I have made lesser men faint dead away when eating my chicken tacos.

In The Host, our heroine Wanderer (and why is it so close to heroin? Am I ignorant on it's etymology? Are we women heroes so addicting [like my chicken tacos, but I digress from digressing] that we make men die? Really?), makes comments on not knowing how much time you have left to live your life. And frankly, the thought both scares the dickens out of me and also calms me. It scares me because I've never felt that I will be able to love Birdy as long and as well as I hope. Ever since I fell in love with her (which is different from when she was conceived or when she was born, but that is a different story for a different time), I've never had the sense that I would be with her for very long. Objectively I know she'll grow up, go to college or whatever, have a family, and live her life well. That being said, I don't see myself sharing that with her. I feel like something is going to happen to me so that I can't be a part of those experiences with her.

Let's be clear: I don't see me taking myself out of the picture, if you get my drift. I'm simply not there. I don't know where I am, but I'm not with Birdy, which makes me sad.

Is that weird? It makes everyday things so desperate for me. I just walked through her bedroom and picked her up, wondering to myself "how many more chances will I have to hug her?" And when I was hugging her, I almost cried.

Ugh. How morbid.

So I pose this question to you, whether you are a mother or a father, or a lover of another thing that will die: do you feel this way about things? This odd sense of urgency and protectiveness?

Or, does this just mean that for once in my life I have found something that I would gladly give my life for?

Or, is it just 11:30 and the fact that I've been up for 16 and half hours going at full speed?

Personally, I'm caught between the two, but leaning more toward the latter.

hey! hey everybody!

I just got featured on Ikea Hacker, a site where people share what they do with random Ikea items. It has 33,000 RSS readers. No joke. For real.

Please go here and leave some nice comments for me. The first two...not so nice.



I just purchased tickets to Washington! YES!

I'll be here from the 1st-21st. Brandon's training is pretty intense, so I'll be up in Washington during that time. I'm super excited to see you all!

hey hey

Just so we're on the same page, I'm being a bad mother right now. I'm watching Deadliest Catch and blogging while my daughter is left to entertain herself (currently with her dirty clothes and a puppy). I just don't want you to have any grad illusions of what I'm doing right now. Or not doing, more specifically.

I'm not:
cleaning the kitchen
going on a walk
out of my pajamas
eating lunch
going to bed before 1am



I'll tell you why. To get Brandon to read The Host, by Stephanie Meyer, I had to agree to read a book he likes. This book is called A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin. I didn't like the first few chapters. I had no idea what was going on, who the people were, or what the point was. However, I wanted Brandon to keep reading, so I kept reading. And then I got hooked.

I'm nearing the end of the second book (THE SECOND ONE. I just started the first one a few days ago), and am going crazy while Birdy is awake. I keep counting the minutes until she's unconscious so I can run, not walk, over to my book and finish the story.

It's driving me crazy.



I miss you all. For reals.

(and thank you Jaclyn for the great new fridge photos)


tales from the dmv

Last night, for the first time in a long time, I set my alarm. Today was a big day: I was going to get my license.

I'd been studying the driver's guide and stressing about the test. It was like have a full on teenage experience and that I was 17 and getting ready to get my license (yes, I said 17. Get off my back.)...I felt like I was going to start getting zits and being super self concious all over again. Boo.

Luckily, my buddy Ben came with. We were both nervous. We left bright and early at 7:30 and went to the Santa Clara DMV, which opened at 8. We pulled in to the parking lot at 7:50.


There was a line around the building--about 50-60 people were in line already. Ben looked at me and said, "do over?" I agreed, and we planned on getting the license stuff taken care of tomorrow...and showing up much, much, much eariler. On a whim, we went over the the San Jose DMV, which wasn't too far away. Surprisingly, it didn't seem all the busy. We went in and were sitting in these hard plastic chairs, super nervous and worrying we would have to come back anyway because were were dorks and failed the test.

For the written test here, you can only miss 5 if you are getting your first California license. If you are getting it RENEWED, you have to take it again, and you can only miss THREE. I'm not looking forward to that AT ALL. I took the test (which is actually on paper. Which really was surprising. Which made me miss Washington.), and was stumped on few of the questions. Others, however, were like "please don't be a douche while you drive. This includes: road rage, tailgating, passing, driving with your high beams on, wearing your seatbelts, and so much more."

We both passed the test (thank goodness). Ben's car checked out fine, and we didn't have to pay a ton of money for late fees, which I was worried about. I had been here for more than 10 days, and Ben had been here...for a while.

Now, I get to sit and wait for my brand spankin' new license to come in the mail. I am bummed I'm no longer a resident of Washington, though. Don't forget me Washington! I still love you best!


a good day

Today was a good day. Today, I conquered pizza. Pizza now stands before me, shivering and alone. I own pizza.

It didn't start out that way. I used the recipe for dough and sauce from my favorite cookbook, which hasn't let me down yet. I made the dough in my food processor (the one that was my grandma's...so it's up in years), which would have been great, except for the fact that the dough was threatening to kill my beloved little appliance. I thought "hey, it looks like it's done. I'll take this opportunity to take it out of the food processor and start kneading. Brandon and Birdy will be so impressed with my mad yeast dough kneading skillz when they come back from their walk."

However. The dough was, um, a little wet. A little sticky. And I was a prisoner to sticky dough hands, which rival freezing cold meatball-rolling hands (if you've ever rolled a six month supply of meatballs, let me know. We'll form a club). I couldn't really touch anything without it getting horribly sticky and doughy. And that stuff doesn't clean well. I promise you that.

Long story short, Brandon and Birdy make it home in time to plug in my mixer (you never fail me, Old Red) and start this kneading thing for real. I kneaded by hand forever after the mixer, and thought I had ruined the dough.


The pizza and homemade sauce were great. This photo is before it went into the oven.

This is after a raging hot 500 degree oven.

This is after Birdy, Ben, Brandon and me attacked it.

Birdy was so kind as to provide us with a show after dinner. She got down and busy to Beyonce's Put a Ring on It. Hilarious. I highly recommend checking out the clip of her wicked dance moves.
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you paid what for that?

Who was the marketing exec who okayed these horrible Palm Pre ads? Every time I see them, I get weirded out. She goes between being calm and zen, and then turns around super fast to dink around the phone. Ick. Weirded out.


orientation, part one

This is where we live.

This is the sidewalk across the street from where we live. Those are olives.

This is the olive tree across the street from where we live.

This is Birdy, wondering what we are doing when it's nap time and clearly time to go inside and find a bed.

These are the figs that live in the fig tree across the street from where we live.

This is one of the three domes on the old observatory (now an archeology lab) across the street from where we live next to the fig and olive trees.