Sunday, January 31, 2010

Book Binge

It all started in the big blue rocking chair. I would crawl into my dad's lap for stories every night before bed. When I was too young to understand what he was reading me, he would read to me from the Salt Lake Tribune. When I got a little bit older it was Doctor Seuss's ABC's. Next it was Goodnight, Goodnight, and then finally Ira Sleeps Over. I remember the warm feeling of being enveloped in my dad's arms, knowing that I was safe, that no monsters could reach me in the big blue chair, and the ever-present thought that if I was really good I might get a cookie. I remember the feel of the crinkling newspaper, and the smooth, cool feel of the book's flimsy covers. I remember the sound of the pages turning, and the feeling of my dad's chest rising and falling with every breath. I remember mouthing the words to my favorite stories along with my dad and saying the next line before he could start it. I remember the pictures and knowing somewhere deep down that those pictures were just for me. But most of all I remember that book smell.

You know the smell I'm talking about, that gloriously sweet must of well-read books. It is the smell of libraries everywhere, and to me it is the smell of love. There is nothing I love more than cracking open a favorite novel and inhaling that scent. To me it is the greatest high on earth. It is the smell of excitement, the smell of anticipation, the smell of romance or adventure or science fiction. It is the smell of worlds beyond our own that we will never even know of. It is the smell of knowledge, the smell of wisdom, the smell of everything imaginable. It is because of that smell that I continued to read. That book smell drew me into more books, more adventures, more thoughts and emotions than anything else.

I binge on books the way some people binge on chocolate. To me, books are food, water, air, and life. If I couldn't read, I would cease to exist as myself. I use books to fill the empty places inside myself. I use them to hide from my fears. I use them to put a rosy shine on the not so shiny parts of my life. I imagine that I am book characters. I think about how life would be different if I had magical powers, or were a fair princess, or were so clever I could talk my way out of any situation.

Don't get me wrong, I am in no way dissatisfied with my life. But books allow me to escape the mundane, monotonous, and otherwise mildness of my life. I am in the middle of a life-long love affair with books. I will always love them from the bottom of my heart.

That book smell is, to me, the smell of happiness.

Friday, January 29, 2010

What's In A Name?

“Who are you? ” said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation.
Alice replied, rather shyly, “I--I hardly know, sir, just at present--at least I know who I was
when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

I grew up in a family with four children- 2 girls and 2 boys- and we all have unique names. My parents gave us all just the right mix of creativity and normalcy. We don't have bizarre spellings, we don't get "Your name is what?" from little old ladies, and our names seem to fit our personalities rather well. Our names can either be used in full or shortened to a nickname. We are all individuals with the names to prove it.

I think this sense of individuality has given me a mild complex about naming my future children. For a long time I thought I knew what I wanted to name my kids... and then I learned that both of my favorite Girl names were in the Top 10 in America for the last few years. And then I met at least 3 couples expecting little girls with plans to give them My Favorite Name. I was enraged. That was MY name! How dare they? And my Boy names too?! The horror!

And then I met Curious George, who hated My Favorite Names. What? How could this be? These names were perfect. They were just the right length, they were classic, beautiful... these were my babies he didn't like. When I brought up names for our children to him he looked at me like I was crazy.

"You've already named our children?" he asked, "Don't you think that's a little premature?"
"No!" I argued, outraged, "It's not premature. With all the babies being born around us we need to stake our claim on the good names, let people know that they belong to us."
"Well, what about family names?" he countered.
"I was planning on using family middle names," I replied, with a bit of a pout.

So my name list changed. And grew. And evolved. And now we have some of the most beautiful names picked out for our daughters, some of the most dashing names for our sons. All of them fit with our last name. They are individual, poetic, and they are my new babies... until I have some real babies to give them to.

Our names help shape who we are. They carry us through our lives and they give us our first sense of self. Whether using our given names, or renaming ourselves later in life, our names are our sole claim on who we really are.

So, I would counter Juliet's argument of "What's in a name?" with one simple word: Everything.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Life's Little (Or Big) Regrets

I have a rather large "dork streak". I spend an unusual amount of time doing simple physics problems in my head, such as: "If I'm going this fast in mph, how long will it take me to get from point A to point B"; thinking about the odds of strange things; or thinking about what Disney movie I'm going to watch later. One of my largest forms of geekery, however, is fed by the recent uprising of fantasy/fiction young adult book series. I love series that talk about magic in otherwise ordinary people, anything dealing with the "supernatural world", or anything that takes the weird and makes it normal. One series in particular, though, has changed the way I look at everyday life:That's right, I love, Love, LOVE Harry Potter. My one great regret in life is that I was born a muggle. True story. I would love to be Mrs. Weasley, running a household and using magic to accomplish everyday tasks. I would love to attend Hogwarts and learn how to be the best wizard I could possibly be. And now, a (somewhat frightening) view into the workings of my mind:
I do my best thinking in the shower. Well, today in the shower I happened to be thinking about the probably that any of my children could be born wizards, if there really were such a thing. I decided that having the genetic makeup to be a wizard follows a similar pattern as twins. Usually, twins run in families. Every so often, though, a set of twins will pop up out of the deep end of a gene pool and surprise the whole family. Likewise for squibs. Just being a twin doesn't necessarily mean you will have children that are twins, hence squibs.
Anyway, I came to the conclusion that the chances of Curious George and I producing a wizard-y offspring are slim to none. Alas, my children will have to be content to be muggles just like their mom.

That doesn't mean I won't teach them to wish they were wizards, though...

P.S.- Someday I will visit this place. Wanna come?

Monday, January 18, 2010


On Sunday I turned 25. That's right, I'm a quarter of a century old. Saturday night we went to the Belgian Waffle and slummed a little to eat some excellent brinner. Thanks to all of my friends that came to celebrate with me. I felt so loved! I spent ,u actual birthday with friends and family, and just enjoyed life. My family is awesome, and they made it a special day for me. My mom wrote a nice blog post about my birthday that you can read here.

My sweet, thoughtful, sneaky husband bought me a Kitchenaid stand mixer. Look at my new baby, isn't it beautiful?

And Ma and Pa got me a pair of Fatbaby boots:
My birthday pedicure:

All in all? A fabulous birthday!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I love the start of a new year. I love the feeling of freshness, newness, and starting over. I love having the opportunity to set new goals (and trying really hard to achieve them). It does, however, make me a little sad that the years are going by much more quickly the older I get. Anyway, I'd like to take this opportunity to jot down a few of the big things I'd like accomplish this year.

1. Buy a House: Now, any of you have been following my life for any amount of time know that I was a homeowner before George and I got married. When we tied the knot I signed my half of the mortgage over to Mr. B. Sometimes I miss that little condo, but I am so grateful that we chose to live in the apartment we did. We have made some fabulous, life long friends in our ward and will miss it when we go. As for finding a house, we have been looking for quite some time and have found a few that we really like. We'll see what happens when we get closer to the end of our lease.

2. Go Back to School: I've been planning on doing this one for awhile. So far, I have been content in my education level and in my career path. However, if I ever hope to further my career, explore other avenues, etc, I'm going to need a Bachelor's Degree. So, at some point this year I will hopefully be returning to school for my BSN.

3. Write a Book: I've been kicking around the idea of writing a book for awhile now. I've begun to brainstorm ideas, develop some characters, and think out a basic plot line. I highly doubt I will finish this one this year, but I plan on getting a good start on my debut novel.

4. Become a Mom: Honestly, this is the one I'm most excited about. Curious George and I have decided that it's time to bring another little dude or dudette into our home. We are going to start trying for a baby. I'm not going to stress about it, I know that Heavenly Father will bless us with children when it's time for us to have them. I'm just happy to be in this point in our lives. I like to think that I won't announce until I'm 8-10 weeks along, but the truth is that I can't keep a secret to save my life... so you will all probably know very early on.

I hope that 2010 brings great things to your home as well. What is something you hope to accomplish this year?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


WinCo is my new best friend.

No really, it is. Last week I had a terrible (even worse than usual) shopping experience at my usual grocery haunt. So, when this week's trip rolled around I decided to give the WinCo a try. Wow, am I ever glad that I did! It may have been a little bit of a drive (good thing it's not July and I didn't buy any ice cream), but it was totally worth it.

First of all, the savings. Oh, the savings! I have a bargain-hunting gene bred into me somewhere (thanks Mom) and it was doing a serious happy dance today. Stuff that I normally would have paid $4-$5 for was only $1 or $2. I was able to do some food storage shopping (hooray for potato pearls!), and still find everything I needed on my list.

I was especially impressed with the "pay by the pound" section. I remember this section from my childhood as being full of candy, treats, nuts, etc. Well, at WinCo they have pasta, about 20 different kinds of flour, other baking needs, rice, nuts, etc. Not to mention the traditional bin-found treats.

The store was very reminiscent of Food4Less for me. It was warehouse-ish, open, and a bit strangely laid out. The demographic of people shopping there tended to lean a little towards the white trash side of things, but so do I sometimes.

All in all, it was a great shopping day. And that's saying something, because I HATE to grocery shop.


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