Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

I would kick myself if I didn't write a blog expressing my thanks. Obviously, I can't include everything I am grateful for, so I'll just mention the ones that have been on my mind lately.

I am grateful for ice cream. It makes my work week melt away as it melts in my mouth. Just talking about ice cream makes me want some.

Tracy is grateful for his alarm clock, because he would be late for work and class every day without it. It is his drill sergeant, and it gets him going. Thanks, alarm clock!

But seriously...

I am so grateful for family. This may seem too generic or boring, but in saying that I am grateful for family, I communicate much more. I am grateful for my husband, my best friend, who has done so much for me to make me feel loved and happy. I am grateful for parents, who love and support me and who have taught me how to be a good human being. I am grateful for siblings, who have been brilliant examples of love and true friendship. I am grateful that I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which declares that families can be together forever. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, who gave his Son so that I may return to Him.

I am so thankful for the written word. I can't describe the feelings and thoughts that race through me when I read beautifully crafted writing. So much of who I am comes from what I have read. Some reading has forced me to evaluate my life, ponder aspects of humanity, search my soul, stretch my faith, and dig deeper into myself and into truth. The written word can communicate almost any emotion or idea. Even though most of the words I see at work and on a daily basis are for school assignments and for putting me asleep, I treasure my literacy.

I am so grateful for music. Sometimes even more powerful than the written word, music communicates emotions audibly. I'm in awe of those who can arrange notes in a manner that is compelling and moving.

I thank God for beautiful moments. I suppose all the things I have already expressed thanks for fit under this category. I live for those tiny moments when my breath catches in my chest and I have an "ah ha!" moment. They come at different times: sometimes when Tracy holds my hand, when a book or poem makes me laugh or cry or contemplate, when I see my family all around me as we talk in the living room, when I see a beautiful painting, when a beautiful song makes my heart pound. And the message of the "ah ha!" moment varies: I am loved, family rocks!, this is what heaven must be like, this is exactly what I've always wanted in life, I need to change, and others like these.

But beyond just giving thanks through words, I think it is also important to give thanks to those around me by serving them. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I am grateful for all of you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You put what on it??

One of the many adjustments involved in marriage is getting used to each other's tastes--in decorating, in clothing, in food. For the past two years, I have been amazed at how much pepper Tracy puts on his food. With the exception of sugary foods, he puts a ton of pepper on everything. His plate is usually covered in black.

But excessive pepper isn't the only thing he does that shocked me at first.

Can you guess what this is? (Karen, you aren't allowed to give it away, because you ate this meal with us once! jk.) No, it's not taco salad. No, it's not nachos. It's baked potatoes. Can't see the potatoes? That's because on top of two large potatoes there are several layers of sour cream, cheese, (both pretty standard) ham, olives, and salsa. Yep, salsa.

By the time he's done designing this masterpiece, it weighs about a pound or a pound and a half--no joke. I admit that I have implemented olives and ham into my normal sour cream and cheese baked potato routine, but my potatoes weigh probably half or three-quarters (at most) as much as his do.

He swears that salsa is what makes baked potatoes delicious, so the brave-hearted and hearty-stomached can try this combination if you wish. I'm perfectly content with my baked potatoes how they are.

By now I'm used to it, and I set the salsa out for him. The pepper is sometimes still shocking though. I feel that it will take many years of marriage to adjust to that.

Friday, November 13, 2009

No, I am not a student . . .

This December I'll be a college graduate for one year. It doesn't seem that it has been that long. Don't get me wrong, we've done a ton since last December, but I feel that I have never left school.

At work, all three jobs of work, students ask me about my homework load, my classes, my major, my graduation date, and all the other normal college small talk starters. Instead of explaining everything (I'm actually done, my husband is a student, and I'm just working) and dealing with all the funny looks people give me, often I just say, "My major is English. My class load isn't too bad. And yours?" Is it lying? I suppose technically, but do people really want to know my whole life's story? No, not really.

I am taking a non-credit class, and I attend a political science class as part of being a professor's writing assistant. I carry a backpack around with all my notebooks, novels, and planners. That makes me a student, right?

I do miss the lectures and class discussions, I'll admit, but it's nice coming home with little to do. Lately, though, I've a lot of papers to comment on, presentations to plan, and other outside-work planning. I feel like a strange student-teacher combination.

When Tracy is finally done with his master's degree in a year and a half, I'll feel like I have truly graduated, because we will probably not live in a college town.

So, I have another year and a half to my graduation, too. haha.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This Girl's Girly Weekend

While Tracy is out in the wilderness, hiking the Oklahoman terrain, looking at rocks, taking vigorous notes for a thorough Dr. Pope, and laboring geologically from 6 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m., I have the house to myself. Whoa! What should I do? Perhaps the question should be what can't I do?

So far I have watched You've Got Mail, one of my all-time favorite chick flicks, and eaten pizza. (Don't worry. I didn't eat it all. I had to save room for candy and Oreos. Only somewhat JK.) While I watched, I painted a first coat on two shelves and a small sign. Yay!!!

What should I do today? I'll apply a second coat of paint to the shelves. I'm going to a baby shower this afternoon. I'll probably finish off the pizza and try to avoid all the other junk food we have somehow accrued these past couple of weeks. (Dang it!) I'll probably watch a few more chick flicks or musicals, because Tracy gets most of the airtime with football when he's here. I have to take advantage of this opportunity. Hello Dolly, Phantom of the Opera, or Sense and Sensibility?

I have missed him though. I hate going to bed alone and being the only one in the house. It's scary. But it has been nice having the house to myself and doing those girly things that I occasionally want to do, although the only girly thing I've done really is watch girly movies. haha Tracy gets back tomorrow night, and I can't wait to see him!!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Yes, I am wearing socks with my flip-flops. It looks more Japanese, don't you think?

He hates pictures of himself.

I have to say that I'm rather disappointed in myself this Halloween. My costume wasn't that impressive and we didn't really do anything with friends. I was Michaelangelo, the orange ninja turtle, and Tracy was a Brazilian cowboy, a gaucho.

I hate scary things. I refuse to watch scary movies, because even the most innocent of movies have given me nightmares. For example, I had several nightmares about the spiders from Jumanji and the carnivores from the Jurassic Park series. So you'd think that I'd hate Halloween. I will never go to a haunted house, go to a cemetery, or, as I said earlier, watch scary movies. But Halloween isn't all that bad. I like dressing up, being silly, and eating disgusting amounts of candy (I like it, but my stomach does not). When I am coming up with my costume ideas, I try to keep two things in mind: humor and ease.

I like to make people laugh at my costumes, even if it's just for a few seconds. I don't want something I have to explain. These two often are at odds with each other. For example, last year I was a "DEAD manuscript." In the editing field, when the editing changes have been input, the marked up manuscript is no longer new or useful, so we put "DEAD" on it to indicate that it is an old copy. For my costume, I wrote black text and marked over it with red permanent marker and stamped "DEAD" on it. My co-workers laughed, my bosses took pictures, my editing professor proudly showed me off to his colleagues, but I had to explain the joke to everyone else, which killed the joke.

I like to use what I have or spend very little in putting a costume together. While store-bought costumes look more authentic, more time and effort obviously goes into making a costume from scratch or from random pieces. One of my co-workers at the bookstore dressed up as a ghostbuster. Other than the flight suit, he made everything himself: the patches and the pack (made out of an egg carton, vacuum hose, and an old lunch box with a light inside and some green sludge). I think Halloween should be more about creativity and fun than scariness.

On to the next holiday!! Thanksgiving doesn't get neglected in our household!