Thursday, June 28, 2007

as feirias

in portuguese that means vacations. our vacations have been few and far between, but fun. we are trying to get into the position where we can take consistent, tropical vacations and have (virgin) strawberry daqueris every day!

spring of 2005 we went back east to see my family. my dad lives in one town, my mom in another, my grandparents and cousins in yet another, and a high school friend about 4hrs away by car. we visited everyone we could within the driving radius, and it proved to be more tiring than a vacation! it was great to see everyone, though. we also spent more time at the smithsoneans in downtown dc. david took lots and lots and lots of photos of the rocks. looking back through the roll there were two photos of the world's largest squid, but the rest were just rocks. the little geologist. my mom was "reffing" high school girls lacrosse, so we watched her games--don't you love her little white legs?!

july of 2006 we both miraculously had the 4th of july weekend off, so we visited david's parents camped up in the mountains near alturas, ca. we hiked up to lake patterson (what a hike!--it looked like we were on the top of the world!), and his parents rode the horses along the trails. it was just so quiet and peaceful up in the mountains--no fireworks or drunken parties to ring in the holiday. i really enjoyed the peace. i remember july 4, 1998: i was nannying for an italian family taking their summer vacation at the beach and galavanting about the country after graduating from high school (while the rest of my friends were going off to college), and i felt so isolated and lonely. about 11 o'clock that night fireworks started going off in the little street outside of the beach house! i looked outside my window and loved hearing, feeling, seeing, and smelling the fireworks. they were actually celbrating an italian holiday, but the fireworks made me feel close to my american roots.

being a ups driver has its perks, but also some downs. one of the big downs: no one in the plant is allowed to take time off between thanksgiving and new years. the package flow is too big that time of year. that translates to not being able to leave utah valley and go to either montana to see david's family, or virginia to see my family. on one hand, we like being independent and being able to spend the holidays with just us, but on the other hand, it would be really, really fun to be able to spend it with our families. last christmas i decided to take david out for a little "weekend holiday"--i found a bed and breakfast outside of salt lake city, got tickets for a movie, and made reservations for a nice dinner. the b&b ended up being someone's house they rented rooms out of...we got the "blue room"...this entailed a blue shag carpet, fake satin blue sheets and a fake velvet comforter on the...oval...bed, and that healthy, musty, grandma's attic smell that comes with old houses. oo la la.

this past christmas, christian and robin got married in arizona, and david begged and pleaded to get a week off for the wedding (and extra vacation time for us!). his managers couldn't let him know if he could have the time off until the week before we were about to leave--we'd already gotten the tickets and were hoping everything would work out. as it was, i ended up flying down there a day before david. that was the first time i'd seen everyone in my family since our spring visit 2 1/2 years ago, so i really enjoyed it! after the wedding we spent another few days seeing cacti in arizona.

artsy fartsy

i have always enjoyed the arts, and in the past 2 years i have explored a few new art projects. bookmaking was my first new project. two christmases ago i made books/journals for everyone. it was a very ambitious idea and i don't know how it entered my the time i was working two jobs, so finding the time to hand make journals was near impossible. but they all got finished. i've also made a few "baby books" for friends as gifts when they had their babies. this year i tried my hand at scrapbooking. i wanted our wedding photos in a nice album, and, being the perfectionist i am, every page had to be wonderful. by the end i was thinking, "enough wedding! no more photos!" that took a loooooong time...i am very impressed with folks who scrapbook their entire lives or children's lives...i don't think i would be that patient.

last semester i also took an oil painting class, which was supposed to be my creative outlet from chemistry and ended up keeping me busier than the other two classes! it was the first time i'd used oils, and i really enjoyed the medium. i'd always used acrylics in the past. i'd like to eventually learn watercolors--that's a medium that scares me a little. with oils and acrylics, you paint layer on layer, with watercolors, you have to think about what not to paint. so my final project in that painting class was painted on a 5'x4 1/2' canvas--not by my own choice, mind you!! i missed the week we built our own frames and stretched canvases, so when i got back, my teacher said i was too far behind to stretch my own canvas--she gave me one from a previous semester the student had never come to pick up. we took his canvas off the ambitiously large frame and restretched my own canvas. i painted a photo christian had taken in murano, italy. i could have sworn it was a photo of porto venere, as i have a very similar photo, so i was telling everyone it was porto wasn't until after the semester that i emailed my brother a picture of the painting and he told me it was embarassing! so, for the record...

by the way, christian, i still think you need to become a photojournalist--you have a great eye and write hilarious columns! imagine all the things you'd be able to photograph and write about as a ups driver!! wink wink

rats with wings

mr. tumnus, a jenday conure parrot, joined our household march 2006. lucy, a yellow-sided green-cheeked conure, came may 2006. unlike most birds, the conure species don't have specific male/female feather markings, so we actually don't know if tumnus is a mr. or a ms. and lucy could very well be "lucio". the only way to be sure would be a dna test...they are different enough species that they aren't going to mate, even if one is male and the other female. they can be very sweet birds--tumnus likes to cuddle with you before bed time (he'll lay on your stomach under the covers), lucy likes to do chores with you--the laundry, dishes, cooking, etc. they have their own personalities and preferences--tumnus loves to take a lukewarm bath in the kitchen sink; lucy won't go near water unless it's ice cold and there's a source of running water somewhere--tumnus loves carbs; lucy loves cheese; tumnus is a very good "pirate parrot"--he'll sit on your shoulder and be content for hours; lucy is so hyperactive she's everywhere and into everything. they don't talk, yet. lucy does imitate a whistle we taught her, and tumnus will wave for a peanut, but no "hello's".
we let their flight wings grow out (they were clipped when we bought them from the pet store), and now we are regretting it. we call them our little rats with wings. they fly everywhere and chew on everything. we have "bird clothes"--clothes we don't mind getting chewed to shreds, and "public clothes"--clothes we wear only outside the house. lucy liked "playing" scrabble with us so much our scrabble letters got chewed up. i got a new, deluxe turntable board for my birthday (thanks, mom and christian--your b&n gift certificates!)--this one is only coming out after the birds are in bed with the cage locked. if we leave our books out, they chew the edges. we have dubbed lucy the "toemonger"--if you walk around barefoot, she thinks your toes are something she must attack, and attack with vigor. we are considering selling them...we'll see. it's sad to think about selling the pet that has known only you since it hatched...

in the mean time, in between time...

so what do we do all day?!...when we first got married i was in school full-time and working part-time at a rheumatology office, and david was working full-time at stock building supply, delivering building materials to construction sites. i got burned out and we decided i would start working full-time at the rheumatology office and david would go back to school full-time and not work. after about 6 months of that we realized we needed more income, so i picked up a second, part-time job working the night and weekend after-hours clinics at a pediatric office. then david got a part-time job as a pre-loader at ups--the am shift (from 4-8am...christmastime it was 1-930am...). then over the summer he decided to pick up a full-time job bookkeeping for an electrician, in addition to his 3am call. after seeing each other once every 3 days we decided we needed to make some changes. so david took a semester off and started driving full-time for ups (did you know they can order short shorts, long shorts, and then mormon-length shorts?!), and i quit my full-time job, kept my part-time job, and went back to school full-time. so right now david is driving full-time and enrolled in university of phoenix online, completing his bs in accounting. i am in school full-time getting my bs in community health and working part-time at the pediatric office. we are both getting straight a's so far. david would eventually like to get either an mba with an emphasis in accounting, or an mpa with an emphasis in hospital administration, and i would eventually like to complete a 2-yr pa program.

so when we aren't working our little brains out, we go camping, hiking, biking...we like being outdoors with each other. we try to pick up one "new hobby" per year, to keep life interesting. last year i decided to pick up triathlons (swim, bike, run)! i did two "mini" tris--one in kanab, and one here in orem, the share-a-smile triathlon. the usual tri distance is 800-meter swim, 20-mile bike, and 10k run. the sprint distance (these mini-tris) is exactly half of that--400meter swim, 10mi bike, and 5k run. at kanab i actually placed 3rd for my age group, finishing in 1hr20mins, and in orem i placed 5th, finishing 1hr3mins. david and i are going to do the share-a-smile tri together this year, and my goal is to finish "sub-60"--under 60mins.
we are also bookworms and somewhat nerdy, so scrabble is a fav past-time. on our best board we both scored over 340. at our first apt we had a little "neighborhood garden"--we had everything from canteloupe and honey dew to zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers. we were very proud of our little garden and boy was it big and green! we sadly left it behind when we moved.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

what you've all been waiting for...

the new car!!! david's 1995 pontiac bonneville with 200,000 miles on it finally bit the dust. it's been slowly dying over the last year: overheating, things falling out of the engine while he's driving, heat and ac problems, windows unable to roll down...etc. etc. etc. david really did his research to find a good car--practical (for me) and fun (for him), and narrowed down the search to 2-3 different cars. one day he was assigned to do a route that included a car dealership, and he saw it--our new baby. it's a 2005 subaru impreza sport wagon. david's favorite feature is the hood scoop and the turbo that kicks in when you're in 2nd gear. he took a few more photos of the "special" features he wanted to post online.....

Saturday, June 23, 2007

how we began

david and i very randomly became penpals april 2001. i had moved to baltimore the summer of 2000 and became very depressed. i wrote an email to an address i made up--i just wanted to vent. this email address ended up belonging to a guy named joel. we wrote back and forth a few times, to let him know my life was getting better, but our correspondence gradually tapered off.

meanwhile...david was living in california working for a year to save money to serve a mission for the lds church. he happened to be home for a 20 minute lunch break and got online to check his email. ryan, david's friend, was at college and happened to get online and instant message david to say hello. while they were sending instant messages, another friend from high school, karly, also happened to get online and join the conversation. while the three of them were talking, joel randomly got online and asked to join the im conversation. fyi: key point to this story is that this is the first and only time ryan and david talked online since high school--this 20 minute window. this was also the only time ryan and david had spoken with karly since high school, and neither of them have spoken with her since that day. so, joel was in a band and was trying to sell cds. david bought one, and a few weeks later emailed joel to say thanks. he also mentioned he would be serving a mission for the lds church.

now we are up to february 2001. i had also decided to serve a mission for the lds church, and decided to email my old penpal joel to tell him about the mission and what it meant. he wrote back about a month later saying he'd run into "another mormon who was also preparing to serve a mission." i asked for this person's email--when you are preparing for a mission, you are very excited and want to talk to everyone about their experiences, find out where they are going to serve, what they're excited to learn and do, etc. so joel gave me david's email address...and thus began our correspondence.

we started emailing april 2001; david left on his mission to peoria, illinois in july 2001; i left for my mission to sao paulo, brazil in spetember 2001. we continued writing throughout our missions (i sent david a photo, but he never sent me a photo). i got home in april 2003 and david got home in july 2003, and in august i invited david to the east coast to meet me and see the sights.
i saw david for the first time when i picked him up at the dulles airport. my first thought was, "oh, okay! so that's the guy i'm going to spend the rest of my life with!" we spent four days together and hit everything from hiking the shennandoah mountains, the baltimore inner harbor, the beach in delaware, and the dc temple and sights. as david always says, we were in love before first sight, so our four days together were bliss. we continued dating for a year (some long-distance and some together) and got married june 19, 2004. we love life together.