Saturday, January 31, 2009

You've Got a Friend in Me

So, okay. I find it thoroughly annoying when I get sick within a semi-short amount of time. I had a lovely cold less than two months ago, and last week, I got caught with another one! I find that quite disgruntling. Fortunately, it's pretty much passed and I can speak without sounding like my nose is being slowly but surely squeezed by a vice. Ends up that it's a good thing that I blanked on the musical number I was supposed to get together for church last week, because there was no way I could have sung anything without sounding like a frog every time I opened my mouth last Sunday.

Last week we had another dance night, only this time it was a dance party held at the Birdhouse. Pretty fun, and quite a few people showed up. I only stayed for about an hour, but I did kind of wonder if all the Birdhouse girls were really all right with music blasting in their house all night long. I would have eventually wanted to go to sleep. Oh, well. I didn't hear any complaints from them.

Posing with Amy, Tasha, and Liz at the dance party

Earlier that same day, I met up with Kim and went bowling! Totally fun. And thank goodness my friends are just as bad at bowling as I am. What was amazing was that in our first game, we were totally dominating! Every time Kim made a strike, she would turn around with this incredulous look on her face, because bowling well is NOT typical for either of us. The second game was terrible in terms of our score, though, so clearly our moments of awesomeness and attractiveness were just that--moments. We went to Pudding on the Rice (scrumptious!) after bowling and gabbed away for another hour or so.
Friday night was extremely entertaining. Esther and I hosted a North and South night with a few girls in our ward. It ended up being a really awesome night, because about half the girls there hadn't seen it, and their reactions to everything were just priceless. I had to keep myself from laughing when it came to certain scenes because I knew how much they would love or hate something. (especially the last scene: i knew how happy they were all about to become, so i literally stuffed my face in my pillow to not laugh out loud.) Needless to say, they were all very happy we had invited (or forced, what you will) them to watch it.

What a bunch of girls.

Seems that going out to eat with old friends is becoming a trend. Last Saturday, I also went to lunch with my ELang pal Charity. (Mmm . . . California Pizza Kitchen) What's sad is that we live about eight blocks away from each other, but it's been nearly a year since we've seen each other face to face. I like the going-out-to-eat trend, but I don't like the not-seeing-friends-that-still-live-close-by trend. It's a stupid trend, and I need to get out of it. I also saw my friend Andrew earlier this week when we went to "Thoroughly Modern Millie" together on Tuesday. Good to see him and catch up on our lives, and also awesome to see "Thoroughly Modern Millie", which is such a toe-tapping musical for me. (i always want to get up there and tap with them.) Really fantastic production.

Hooray! Jeremie visited us, too.
(and was clearly very happy to do so)

The big news of this week is that Becky finally got the ring on her finger, so she and Noah are finally officially engaged. She picked up her wedding dress earlier this week, and she put it on for us and Paola on Thursday night before we went out for dessert to Gloria's (a "celebratory" event that esther paid for because she's been feeling very happy lately), so it's probably about time that she got the engagement ring. So it's all happy, and Esther and I bought tickets to go out to D.C. for their wedding in May. Lots of fun plans going on around the Halfway House as we try to integrate ourselves back into society.

"A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores." -Terry Pratchett


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

See that Girl, Watch that Scene

I declare us the dancing queens! Last week, we went salsa dancing, and it was awesome! What was especially great was that the guys were actually asking us, the girls, to dance! Amazing when that happens. Not that I'm especially great at the dancing part yet, but I think I did okay. I'm pretty sure Esther did, too, because I saw her spinning around like a top at one point. Pretty entertaining. Also very tiring. We didn't go to sleep until close to 2 that night. Needless to say, Friday at work was especially long for us poor, tired folk. When we got to that evening, trying to watch "The Two Towers" without falling asleep was quite the task.

I got to go to lunch with my friend Megan on Saturday, which was fun. It seems to be "tradition" for us to go to Red Lobster, but it was pretty funny when I suggested it and she was relieved that she didn't have to be the one to suggest it. It's always good to catch up with gal pals. That night, Esther and I braved the cold to drive out into the canyon and stand by a fire for about half an hour with some friends in the ward. I don't know what possessed Teresa to plan it, considering the lovely chill of winter around us, but at least it was an opportunity to do something.

Our bishopric was released on Sunday, so we've got a new set of guys. It will be good, I'm sure, but I was pretty sad. I really loved our old bishopric, mainly because they were under some weird impression that I was this really cool person. (Remember, Bro. Atwood did declare me queen!) Well, it shouldn't take too long for the new bishopric to figure out what a fantastic individual I am. (har) And on that note . . .

"The more things change, the more they remain . . . insane." -Michael Fry and T. Lewis


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tale As Old As Time

Basically, I'm totally bi-polar when it comes to the snow. I write about how I want it to go away, and then the very next day, I go tromping through it like a five year-old as though it's the greatest thing on earth! I suppose I simply cannot make up my mind. And I'm kind of okay with that. Last week, on a night when I didn't have anything to do, I put on my snow boots (because i finally didn't have to lend them out to esther) and went for a walk. There's an elementary school about a block away from our place, and it is clear that the kids are not allowed on their soccer field during recess in this weather. It was almost completely unmolested! So I had a good time running through the snow, laughing at myself the entire time. The top layer had kind of crystallized because it was sunny that day, and it had melted a bit, then re-frozen, so I couldn't do much in it. My attempt at a snow angel was sadly lacking. Oh, well. It was a good evening.

And to add to my "nerdiness", I had reason on Friday night to jump around in absolute joy. So incredibly child-like of me as to my reason to rejoice, but I don't really care. I received Beauty and the Beast, and I was completely ecstatic! Of all Disney cartoons, that really is the best. I have always loved it. Esther wasn't necessarily leaping through the hallway like I was (and really, it was only one little bound on my part), but she was pretty excited, as well. We've both been wanting to watch it for a long time, so naturally we watched it on Friday night right before watching Fellowship of the Ring, which was the original Friday-night-movie choice. (I also received The Lion King in the mail yesterday, and while I hopped a little bit for that, I wasn't nearly as excited as on Friday.)

I was once again reminded in the last couple days of what a great ward I have. I have a supportive bishopric (some might say too supportive, depending on the topic) and the people in it are just good quality! We had a little mishap during the intermediate hymn on Sunday, what with people singing different verses all at once and making me crack up on the piano bench while I was playing it (which in turn caused people to laugh at me . . . i saw them, i know). But everybody's reaction and attitude about it was awesome, so we have yet another good story for the ward. I went to ward prayer on Sunday night for the first time in who knows how long, really, and while that may not necessarily become a regular event, I was still really glad I went and got to talk to a couple of different people that I think are amazing. We also had a ward FHE last night, and it ended up being a really fun night, especially after Bro. Atwood quieted people down enough to tell them that I was "Queen for the Day". Embarrassing, yes, but highly entertaining.

"The monarchy is extraordinarily useful. When Britain wins a battle she shouts, 'God save the Queen'; when she loses, she votes down the prime minister." -Winston Churchill


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Variation on an Old Classic

Snow, snow, go away, come again . . . next year for a day.

Don't get me wrong. I like snow. I love to play in it. I even like walking around in it as long as I have the proper footwear. But when it feels like the never-ending snowstorm (i wonder if that would work with the tune of "Neverending Story" . . . hmm) and you pass by a huge white hill in your driveway only to realize that it's your car underneath, that's where I draw the line. I talk as if it's been snowing non-stop for a week, which it hasn't. It snowed a bit Friday night, then we got a break for the rest of the weekend, and then it started up again early yesterday afternoon. Hasn't really stopped since. According to weather reports, it's supposed to taper off tomorrow and we'll get some sunny days, but I'm not holding my breath.

Fortunately, I now have the option to work from home when this kind of thing comes up. (Wait, is that fortunate? Just kidding, if Clint is reading this, which is unlikely.) So today was a first for me. I worked from home. I'm going a tad stir-crazy because I haven't set foot outside this house since yesterday afternoon, but hey, I'm not complaining about foregoing possible death (or at least a really long delay getting to and from work). And also fortunate is that we went grocery shopping on Saturday, so we're not starving as we keep indoors.

But really, it's too bad that Utah doesn't take snow days.


Friday, January 2, 2009

Santa Claus Came to Town

Heavens! After all the agonies of travel this year, it seems that my holiday season is over for another year. This year was most definitely a success, though, aside from the horrifying hours/days spent at the airport.

"Dude, Mr. Turtle was my father . . ."

On Thursday the 18th, before all the attempts at travel had begun, our little home had what we affectionately called a "Roommate Christmas Celebration!" The three of us went out in our backyard and had a good time playing around in the snow that was still no good for trying to build a snowman. We ended up building a sea turtle, basically because only a minor hump in the snow was the best we could do. We then ate some goodies (a meal of appetizers, really) and exchanged presents. Esther got double because Becky and I gave her birthday presents, as well, and if Esther wasn't into baking before her birthday and Christmas, she better be one now, with all the kitchen-related items she got. My literary tastes reigned supreme that evening in terms of presents, for I received a gift card to Barnes and Noble (so that i will "stop reading the same book over and over again") and a German triple combo. Hooray for books!

Our little stockings

The next evening, we braved the snowy conditions and headed up to Salt Lake for Esther's official birthday celebration, where we went out to dinner with her sister and and bro-in-law, walked around Trolley Square a bit, then headed to an improv comedy show that was side splitting! Good times to be had all around, especially when Annie rejoiced over seeing "A PLOW!" going down the street outside of Chili's.

Outside of Trolley Square

The next few days, I have already made you read about, so I'll skip ahead to finally making it to Oregon. Hooray! About an hour after I arrived at the old homestead, Tom and Lisa and family showed up, basically with their entire house because there was no leaving the house once we were all finally together. Jack still loves to run around like a maniac, and he gabbers on almost-endlessly, and hopefully we'll understand what language he's speaking eventually. He does say quite a few words that we understand, but it was entertaining watching everyone listen to him and reply "Oh, yeah?" and "Okay", etc., as if they knew what he was saying. And Lucy's just a tank! And I thought Jack was a fat baby. Well, okay, he still was, but I was absolutely amazed at how big Lucy is, at four months. What a whopper!

Ah, home!

We had a very nice Christmas Eve dinner all together and did our normal Luke 2 reading before we all went to sleep that evening. Honestly, it was a miracle that I lasted that long. At about 4 or 5 that afternoon, my body just decided to stop functioning normally. I was on auto-pilot the rest of the night, and by about 9:30, I could no longer force my eyes to stay open! I think it's the first time in my life that I have had no trouble getting to sleep on Christmas Eve! Mom and Dad, er. . . . I mean, Santa had no worries at all about me getting up in the middle of the night and catching him filling up my stocking. (Although, i think he took it personally that we forgot to leave him cookies and milk, because i'm not sure what it says about me that he left a stick of deodorant in my stocking.)

Christmas morning at the Jensen's

Christmas morning was fun, simply to watch Jack decide he was done opening presents after his first gift was unwrapped and he started playing with it. Tom and Lisa had to give him a little help in opening the rest. I'm not sure Christmas is ever the same from year to year, what with families coming and going (and growing!), but it is nice that some things never change, like Tom's face when someone tries to take a picture of him (although you might say his expression changes all the time . . . at least he's consistent in his refusal to take a normal picture). The Tom Kelly family came up from Salem and spent the afternoon/early evening with us, so I was glad to see them. We ate and talked and played "Generations" (again . . . we jensens played it the day before), so it was a really nice family day.

Doing what we do best: TV and music.

The snow/icy conditions in Oregon finally gave way to some warmer temperatures, and by Saturday, all the roads, even the neighborhood streets, were passable. Thank heaven! Because I was so delayed in getting home, I prayed for some extra holiday cheer from my boss to let me skip out on work the following week. And luckily for me, he was generous! Woohoo! So I got to extend my time at home, which was really nice. It was mainly a lot of relaxing (and then getting sick and getting healthy again . . . thank you, my body), but I had a good time. I got to see Tom and Lisa's new house and spend some more time holding Lucy and watching Jack race himself. Got to spend some time with the folks, and they're just awesome.

Jack "talks" to Craig: "It's a bee-bee!"

I also got to see Melissa and Kate while I was home, which made me happy! Melissa and I went shopping together on Saturday (when i realized that my staying longer meant i needed to get some clothes that were sunday-appropriate . . . oops!), and Melissa is one of the few people who can appreciate the change I have gone through in regards to my attitudes on shopping. I don't think I make people miserable anymore! Hooray! We also ate dinner and watched a movie (and chatted a lot in the middle of all this). I saw Kate on Wednesday, also at a mall (i didn't buy anything that time, though), and we walked around and caught up on our lives, which was fun. Out of all the friends I had in high school, I'm glad I've kept in touch with those two. Not excessively well at times, but I love seeing them.

Hooray for friends!

I flew back to Salt Lake yesterday and had dinner with Floyd and Tammy, who are just incredibly awesome, I have decided. Then back down to Provo once more. It was a relief to get out of the car and be done with the traveling bit. I was glad to see everyone, but it was nice to know I was done for a little while. And Esther was home when I arrived, so we caught up on our respective holidays and families while cleaning up after ourselves (i had left quite a mess behind me after all my whirlwind comings-and-goings before i finally made it up north) so that we could, in fact, make it to our beds.


"I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up; they have no holidays." -Henny Youngman