Monday, March 10, 2014

from then until christmas.

i figured out why i have been so absent from blogging regularly.  my old blog was called "beckie's blunderous journeys". it was just about me and whatever i felt like writing about or saying. my posts were sometimes thoughtful, other times they were just preposterous, but customarily, they were a means of keeping track of things that had been going on in my life and sharing that with the few people that actually read it.

but this is a married person blog... and i realize now that i was overwhelmed by the duty of being a mormon wifey blogger about our little family of 2. but since no one really reads this anyway, i think that i will just go back to my real blogging style and if you don't understand my sarcasm, or don't care where we went, or what made me laugh or made me mad or whatever- don't worry- not many people do.

the last time i blogged was in october.  at that point we had been in Austin for almost 2 months and we were loving it.  jared primarily worked and i unpacked and settled us in.  it was a much longer process than i anticipated it would be. on the weekends we tried out some local joints and movies, and we had the chance to go to houston for a night out and to attend the temple.  
isn't it gorgeous?!  amazing how hard it becomes to regularly attend the temple when the closest one is 2 hours away... but we were happy to be there and to make a little trip out of it. speaking of church related topics- we both received callings in our new ward as teachers. i teach in the relief society and jared teaches the 15/16 year olds. i have to say, that though i am far from being considered a qualified teacher and i often broadcast my own opinions a little too freely, it has been an amazing experience.  a large part of that is due to the members our ward.  i love our ward so much and our relief society has every age, personality, and status in it and they have all been so supportive of us as a new family and to me as a teacher. 

by october, jared was getting a little more settled into his new job.  but it was still...rough... there was/is so much to learn and a lot of adjustments. due to some unexpected and difficult situations, i did not begin working upon establishing our new home. instead, i put more energy and time into my ebay and poshmark sales.  that has since picked up dramatically (i just found out that i am in the top 10% of sales- hooray!) and currently, that it how i contribute pennies to our little piggy bank.
it was a little awkward for me at first when people would ask what i do, because for a while, i really wasn't doing much...and then too much time had really passed for me to get a job without having to explain the hiatus.  but this led me to get more involved with my online business and it definitely keeps me busy.  jared- being the businessman that he is- has been very supportive and can't wait for me to make my own online boutique.  that is still just a thought but it is fun to work with him and see him get to excited about ideas for expanding my audience and profits.

there is another reason that staying home to work has been a fantastic route for me- besides being able to keep a spotless house, on top of errands, and the occasional nap... we got a baby!  and by baby, yes, i mean a puppy- but she might as well be a baby. 
little baby girl would fall completely asleep in the middle of playing.
that is a genuine smile... she had picked laney up 15 minutes before this pic!
 a few years ago i decided that i would name my dog george costanza. but when we found out that we were getting a baby girl puppy- i had to rethink that dream. with the help of friends and family and after getting to know her a little more, we arrived at the name Laney- a nickname for Elaine (if i can't have george, i will most def take elaine). she is an all white siberian husky and she has grown from that little pup in the pictures, to a fluffy, 37lb dog!
i had no idea that a newborn puppy was going to be so much work. i had a big white samoyed all throughout my childhood, but apparently my parents did a lot more of the rearing than i ever knew about!  imagine a new baby that barks, has teeth, and does not wear diapers... i had to watch her 24/7.  but luckily for her- she is my baby and so i don't mind because she makes us laugh so much and we love playing with her. we bring her in the bed for saturday morning snuggles and she loves it.  i am so glad that jared was so impulsive in bringing her home.  it was completely unexpected, it has been more work and money than i ever knew, but it has also been a great experience in learning patience and responsibility.  it also makes me excited to have a human baby one day.  when jared gets home from work- laney can hardly contain herself, she is so excited.  she likes to take naps on his tummy while they both fall asleep watching pawn stars, and it is just adorable.

thankfully- christmas was not far off and jared's parents surprised us with a washer/dryer for christmas! with all those muddy puppy feet and dog hair everywhere- they have been a lifesaver. 
luckily, he has such a slender figure...
watching jared and his dad install these machines was pretty entertaining... i love being able to do laundry whenever i need to and not having to hoard quarters! it was nice having his family come and visit us, we have a little bit more space now and so we are always up for guests. plus, with his sister being the food truck queen- we had an excuse to go out and try some amazing local food! we also went to see the nutcracker ballet and to austin's tradition- trail of lights.
this is what the austin skyline looks like on a wintery night... beautiful, right?

right before christmas, i was able to fly to UT to spend a week with my best friend and her baby. 

and yes, we are wearing matching outfits and i did buy that polka dot sweater for lucy.
tx roadhouse, j dawgs, happy sumo, chilis, cafe rio...and then some. mmmm.
it was so fun to be with her little family, eat at all our favorite places, play in the snow and best of all- just to sit and talk with my best friend. it was something that i really really had been needing and it was so good for me.  
for christmas eve, jared has adopted my childhood tradition of stuffing yourself with all the junk/finger foods you want. however- presents must wait until morning. the plane tickets (ridiculous $) and laney were my early christmas presents, so i was totally fine with not opening anything on christmas morning.  i would have to say those equate to a few christmases worth of gifts! i was just dying to give jared his presents. on christmas eve, i was a little sad...i haven't been home for a few years and my family always celebrates christmas on christmas eve, so i was already feeling emotional. and because jared had been so busy- even though i knew he wasn't going to "buy" anything for me, i thought that he might at least make a card or something... i mean, it is christmas. when i asked him, he felt so bad and admitted that he hadn't done anything. LIAR!
i woke up on christmas morning to this:
i was so happy and surprised! i forgot to take a picture of jared's snow angels. boo.
jared had waited until i was asleep and then he created an entire white christmas for me in our family room! there were strings of snowflakes, snow all over everything!  it was so pretty and so cute, it was truly one of the sweetest, cutest things that anyone could do. that was the best christmas morning that i have ever had. 
i mean just look at him? star wars christmas sweater, a movember beard that decided to stay for could i not be elated?
and of course- we had a real tree. real tree= real christmas. fake tree= fake christmas. this one even had hand strung popcorn and cranberries. add our texas star, childhood ornaments, and few other typical target picks, and you get a pretty perfect tree.
thanks to skype, we got to check in with the other christmas morning shenanigans.  but for the most part, it was just the 2 of us and our puppy and it was a great little christmas. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

so, since june, a few things have happened.

remember that one time about 5 months ago when i said that i would be better about blogging regularly? psyche. so now we have been married for almost a year and a half and i have to say- i am a firm believer in the old adage "it only gets better with time".  especially because these past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind of activity and we are happier than ever.

rewind to july in la.  jared loved his job with merrill but had a career opportunity presented to him that would accelerate the path to his goals and give him more experience.  after a lot of prayer, temple visits, and my trusty pro/con lists, we decided that it was a move that we should take.  it was quite the flurry of interview activity in LA and in NYC.  thankfully our waiting game was not too long and they called almost immediately to offer him the position.  jared is now an operations specialist/analyst for Virtu Financial. similar to his duties at merrill lynch, he deals with the markets and money. and also similarly to his past job- i don't really know what that means... but it is an impressive company and has stretched his brain, patience and sleep patterns to record high limits.  
basically a bunch of nerds with a bunch of monitors that are in charge of a bunch of stuff
 we are really grateful that  merrill lynch was such a great employer and first stepping stone for jared's career and our family.  obviously they were sad to see him leave earlier than expected, but were supportive and understanding of his reasons.  and amidst my complaining- jared literally stayed working for them up until 20 minutes before our move out of LA.

which brings us to our next point... we left CA! one of the reasons that the hiring process was expeditied at Virtu was because they were planning on closing their Santa Monica office and moving it to Austin, TX.  texas is a much more business friendly state, especially when you compare CA taxes to TX state income tax.
i was thrilled to be moving out of LA, even though i swore i would never live in TX. LA had its perks and niceties, but it really just wasn't my ideal place to live. it was so crowded and cramped. the weather was fantastic but in tx we actually have seasons and right now i am getting a REAL autumn and i love it.  our transtition happened pretty quickly.  luckily many things divinely fell into place for us.  so within 4 weeks we got a new job and were on the road to a new one. thankfully, jared's parents were also extremely helpful.  they flew into LA a couple days before our move and helped with the final packing and cleaning.  they then drove our moving van with sally in tow, while we followed in jared's car.  
just the beginnings of my packing...
i almost had a heart attack driving sally up onto that tow ramp.
goodbye to our first little baby apartment that we loved.
did you know that even if you move yourself, it literally costs thousands of dollars?!?! well it does. virtu was financing our move but in reimbursement form... so thankfully the bank of dave and peggy (best interest rates in town) were also able to help us avoid maxing out our credit card and accepted our reimbursement check instead. phew.  i cannot tell you how grateful i am that they were able to come and help.  not just for the financial support or packing help, but the entire thing was just such a huge process and in so little time, it was nice to have the support and motivators i needed to get me through it (like i said, jared was working up at merrill up until 20 mins before we left). the ride went smoothly and we were able to get everything to austin in one piece- yes, even sally. we also saw quite the array of animal life along the way. porcupines, armadillos, deer, steers, and hitchhikers.

i love it here. everything is so green and we live right next to the river/lake (they section off pieces of the colorado river to make them "lakes").  when we arrived i thought that i would surely melt from the heat and humidity- and i have been told that we haven't even experienced real tx heat yet!
this is our backyard! kind of hard to tell but it's miles of hills and trees!
i love having a deck, pools, gym, and game room.
no one does state pride like tx. the most impressive capital building that i have ever seen.
 now are here in austin and who would've thought- i love it. the lower cost of living is a huge perk. our new apartment is a little bit bigger, yet we have been able to save more money. the first time we went grocery shopping here, jared couldn't believe how much cheaper everything was and was putting everything he could ever possibly want to eat in the cart. people here worship their TX Longhorns, never seen so much orange in my life, it's awful. i have invested in some pretty heavy duty bug control, have a new respect for ceiling fans, and i love that there are churches everywhere. i have never seen so many churches in my life. in LA, i cannot think of a single person i knew that ever went to church. here, everyone goes to church. and they are huge... on our way to our meetinghouse we pass 3 large churches, 2 of which have such large congregations, they have policemen to man the lights at the intersections for them!  our ward is so nice. so genuinely nice. there were 4 other families that came from LA to Austin, so they were expecting us upon our arrival.  it has been such a blessing to be part of a strong ward, especially in classes, we have the best discussions and i am always so inspired by the things that are said and felt every week.  the members genuine friendliness has made it so much easier to feel to home already.
people here are pretty friendly and polite. and surprisingly, there was a A TON more spanish speaking in LA then there is here. i have been told that Austin is very different than any other part of tx because it is so much more liberal- which leads me to believe that the rest of the state must be very conservative! we do a lot more driving here (even though it takes the same amount of time as LA traffic) because everything is so far spread out. just to do errands i will dive over 30 miles in a day, but i don't even notice. whereas when we were in LA, i wouldn't dare go more than 5 miles to anywhere.  and we have never paid for parking here, or had to work to find parking, it's fantastic.
there are so many things to do and see. it is difficult because jared started work the day after we moved here and works 7AM-8PM+ everyday, so we don't get to do much during the week.  but we make our weekends pretty productive and more than anything, it is just nice to spend a little time with each other. everyone told us that austin would have so many food options for us, but since LA didn't have any chain restaurants and we gross, we are a bit behind on our palate adventures, as we have been getting our fill of chick fi let, wendys and panera bread. but the first BBQ place we did go to was an austin classic and it had a dock outside to sit on while you waited for your table. we sat in old lawn chairs on a dirty dock off the river and threw bread to the fish. i felt like i was 9 years old on summer vacation. i loved it. but will have to make more of an effort to explore our foodie options.
i stay busy with my online business (details later) and getting us situated in this new area and doing what i can to make jared's weekday life a little less stressful.  but sometimes a good long hug is the best thing to offer. good thing those are my favorite.

anyway... there have been a few other adventures that are blog worthy and will add those later this week as i catch up. but now you know we left LA, said goodbye to Merrill, hello to Virtu, are embracing fall weather and happier than ever here in Austin, TX.

stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

year 1. 

 but seriously, a million +.  oh the joys of temple marriage.  so many people told me that the first year would be the hardest. but if these past 12 months are a dose of hard times, then i think that i can handle eternity. or at least a few more years.  

 i think that more than "hard" or "difficult", people just meant that there would be a lot of adjustments to make.  here are some things that i have adjusted to:

* communication. i have made about .05% of improvement there.  but jared is patient.  and whenever he miscommunications something to me, we are able to talk it out and explain what happened and how we can better communicate in the future. 
* trust.  of course i trusted jared, enough to marry him!  but acting upon that has been a bit more of struggle than i imagined.  i have dealt with many trials and situations on my own and just keep things to myself.  i tend to be an oversharer of some things but far too aloof about others. but with his coaxing and patience (again, ever so patient), i have been learning more and more that i can trust him to be there for me no matter what.  the communication and trust really go hand in hand.
* single schedules are very different than married schedules.  waking up at 5:30 AM everyday to take him work means that we go to bed earlier.  sometimes we can't stay out as late.  or sometimes i run out of time in the day to get things accomplished.  i realized when i was single, i was able to do whatever i needed, whenever i needed to.  but one am walmart trips aren't much of an option anymore (we don't even have a walmart).  so i have been learning to reschedule.
*i can ask for help.  jared actually gets so frustrated with me because i don't ask for help.  perhaps it's from being single for 26 years?  but i insist on carrying everything by myself. doing everything by myself.  if i can't reach something, i will monkey up a wall before i ask him.  i suppose i have always thought that it is a good thing to be able to do everything by yourself.  but now that i have this built in happy helper, i am learning to accept it a little more. 
* money.  let's just say that it is a good thing that i married a money guy.  i know NOTHING about money.  it is sickening to him how little i know about financial responsibility.  i have loved shopping since i could walk. i have been a product junkie since before i was even allowed to wear makeup.  and i have always had a habit of needing a new outfit for...everything? and though my spending habits are far from ideal to him, but i am learning.
* additionally, i have learned that financially we are a team.  i make a significant less amount than he does.  so for several months (and even every now and then presently) i felt like i had to "earn my way" by keeping the house immaculate, all his meals, everything perfect and doing it all by myself.  i mean, he's my meal ticket and landlord and my little earnings wouldn't cut it on their own!  but back to that communication and trust thing- i was able to tell him the pressure and stress that i was feeling and he has patiently helped me to learn more about finances and to teach me that he wants to take care of me and that we are a team.  i still spend a lot more than him....we live by 3 j.crew's. it happens.

ok so there are a ton more things that i could go on and on about, but those are the big things that really encompass everything that we have had to learn to work with.  patience, communication, trust,  scheduling and finances.

but there are also plenty of things that have not changed or have just gotten better and better.
* we can be totally content sitting on the couch, watching netflix and eating popcorn, any day of the week
* jared still won't work out with me. thankfully, i haven't gained any marriage weight yet...
* his driving still makes me crazy. 
* we are going to have a lot of fun when we are old people
* i still love shopping with him
* i still like kissing him
* i still like making fun of him...he takes it so well. and lets me pout a bit when he does it back.
* PMS still scares him
* my relationship with his family has become so much better and i love spending as much time with them as possible. 

we were driving back to LA from Vegas on our anniversary, but the night before was when we had a mini celebration.  we went to buffalo wild wings and ate nachos and watched the basketball game.  earlier we had gone shopping. it was perfect.  sure we could've gotten fancy but really- nachos, basketball, and shopping?  that sums up so much of who we are. 
and he managed to surprise me with a gift. impressive little liar, he is. 
we had gone into brooks brothers and jared saw a jacket that he wanted.  it was on sale and so i told him to put it on hold while we went out to the rest of the mall and if he still wanted it when we were finished, then he should get it.  i have wanted a necklace from there for over a year now but can never bring myself to buy it.  but it was also on sale, so he said that he would put it on hold if i wanted it.  while i was at another store towards the end of our shopping, he said that he would go back to BB and get the jacket and asked if i wanted the necklace or not. i told him no, that i really didn't need it.  i met him afterwards at BB and he was just walking out with his new jacket.  i asked if he got the necklace for me and he said no because he thought i didn't want it. i said ok, like it was no big deal. he even started to walk back to the store to go get it but i just said no, it's ok and we headed home. but in my head i was thinking "if he was really sweet he would have just done it anyway... but oh well, i really don't need it."

but what do you think was sitting on my seat when i got in the car to go to dinner with him?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

my dashboard is deceiving.

when i log onto blogger it tells me that "slippers and sperrys has 6 posts".  but...what you don't know is that 5 of them are drafts.  had i actually finished any of those posts, i would have been averaging a decent post every couple of weeks. but alas, i have not. my busy life of doing nothing all by myself in LA has really detained me.
i frequently have "i should blog about this" moments. but they fade really when i realize that they are dumb. or there's cake. or really anything else going on. 

a bit of our recent ongoings:
 i purchased a dust buster.

when you're a clean freak, this is a lifesaver. i was bouncing off the walls with excitement when it arrived and was finally all charged up and ready to use. like i said, i don't have much going on...
 in march we went to las vegas to spend easter weekend with family.  it was really nice outside, perfect pool, easter egg hunting and croqueting weather.

valentina gave this little set to me at my bridal shower and it has become one of our most used gifts.  we play as much as we can. jared loves to teach and so all the littles round up and attempt to play with him coaching them along the way. i also had my first experience in the walker lawn business. oh i blew those leaves and trimmed those bushes. but i left the heavy lifting to kimber. vegas people have "yard work" so easy. because their yards are smaller than their driveways. sooo if you're in vegas and don't want to mow your patch of grass, the walkers will do it for a small fee.
i was sick on easter sunday and so we were only able to make it to sacrament meeting but it was a really great meeting and a wonderful reminder of what the easter holiday is all about.  
 with jared as the scout master, he gets to have a lot of boy time.  this time i was able to help too. we went to the stake pinewood derby.  it was pretty legit. and some of those parents are really competitive. yes, the parents. one kid lost a race and his mom came charging up to the judges table with an official "pinewood derby alignment measuring stick" and insisted that something was wrong...good luck to that kid.
 we returned to las vegas for jared's birthday.  we got tickets to see band of horses and he wanted to have his birthday dinner with his family.  
now here's the thing. i do not like las vegas. i will not sugar coat that for anyone. it's dead, brown, sinful and hotter than hades.  but i do love that we have family there.  i learn patience with children, i learn to cook new things and best of all, i am surrounded by supportive parents, new traditions, and examples of strong marriages and happy parenting. and for that, i am always very grateful and happy to return to.  it's a weekend long party when we come to town. this time the party kicked off with a trip to the emergency room when jared's dad tore the bejeezus out of his elbow.
 but he lived. and survived surgery. it was almost worse for jared because he passes out at the sight/sound of bodily mishaps. they don't phase me at all... but i can't even mention it without him turning ashen.
 the concert was great. the music was fantastic and the venue was cool. the crowd was questionable and really rather unenthusiastic but we enjoyed ourselves, nonetheless.
did i mention that while we were there half the family was dropping like flies one by one from a stomach flu? well it hit us like a ton of bricks about 24 hours later. so we spent jared's birthday with fevers and running for the bathroom. ick. the day i was over that i thought "this was just a 48 hour kinda thing..i'm good as new". so yes, my first meal was in n' out. and didn't go well 15 minutes later. back to toast. blah.
but why is jared such a great husband? he knew i would throw up in n' out but i wanted it so bad and so without complaining, he went and got it for me anyway. such a sweetheart.
now i am well, weighing in at just over 100 lbs, and bored to hell. but i really do like the idea of part time work so we will see how things turn out. 

oh ps there was an earthquake the other day. it was just a little one, but i have officially experienced (-ed because i survived it) my first earthquake.

forgot to post this a couple months ago...

(written on 03/01)
after my first family blog post, it became very apparent that we need to do more things. so we have been doing stuff. 
the other week we went out to dinner and a movie with some friends.  the best part was that it was a restaurant none of us had ever been to and we tried foods that we had never had. they somehow managed to make the best spinach that i have ever had. afterwards we walked over to this historic theatre in santa monica.  they were showing a remastered version of the original "Lawrence of Arabia".  none of us had ever seen it but knew of its impressive reputation. both jared and i love old classic movies, so we were completely down for the 4 hour experience.  if you spend time in santa monica, you should try out this theatre.  it is old, slightly run down, but very nostaligic.  and it was jam packed! a full house. lots of film major types (scarves, fedoras, know the type) but really, just an entire theatre full of all different kinds of movie goers.  the theatre holds several events a month and we are excited to go to another one soon.  we just wish that we had heard of it when ben affleck came to talk about argo at the premiere. ugghhh 

is anyone else a popcornaholic?  i love popcorn. and no matter how full i am, what time of day it is, where i am, if there is popcorn- i want it.  46% of the time i go into the theatre and think "naa, i'm good." but inevitably. one of us ends up going to the concession stands for a big ol bag of buttery kernels of fluffy goodness. the smell gets me every time. makes me miss hillary- we ALWAYS share a popcorn when we go to target together. eating while shopping helps me to not overspend (well at least not on groceries...).
but not to worry, i have become somewhat obsessed with eating raw fruits and vegetables.  i don't necessarily insist on organic (because that's such a sales ploy 67% of the time) but i do prefer local.  last week i made sure to eat tons of raw foods and drink extra water and i felt so good. cleanses are all the rage, but i am not really interested in a liquid diet of grass water or spending 10 days on the toilet. trader joes is just up the street and i love their produce.  they have great prices, from local farmers, their grocers know everything you need to know about shopping, they validate your parking and are within walking distance of target. plus, i admit, i find myself feeling so "california" walking around the town, sun shining on my face, as i carry my fresh groceries in my trader joe's reusable shopping bag.. it's the one time a week i fit in here...
and when i am not distracting my cupcake cravings with carrots, i sometimes craft.  i thought that it would be easy to sew rope onto fabric and make a pillowcase. and maybe for normal crafters it is- but that was not the case for me. finally after using 2 chairs, duct tape and chip clips to hold it steady, i was able to get it all put together. and even though i will have to make another one that i actually like- it was not fun.
 i also thought that it would be fun to get a little kitchen greenhouse to grow my own herbs.  buying all the stuff was fun. but 5 days after i transferred them, they all died... so that part was not fun. i need to read a book. or move. our apartment doesn't get much sunlight...
last weekend we drove down to irvine for the BYU volleyball game.  it was thrilling. and always good to see scotteroo and his family.  i had my first yogurtland experience, saw a couple old friends, and learned that white men really can jump.  that is the farthest south that i have ever been in CA, hopefully we will go back soon and explore newport, san diego, etc.
the weather here has been nothing short of fantastic.  on saturday we had a beach day. i cannot remember the last time i was able to wear just a t-shirt on march 1st, let alone a swimsuit.   it really was the perfect day. we packed up our books, towels and spf.  stopped to support some girl scouts/stock up on snacks and spent the rest of the morning in the sea breeze and sunshine.
sunday i was home sick all day and actually really sad about it. i hadn't gone out and done anything saturday night because i needed to stay home and work on my primary lesson. i spent forever making their handouts, game and treats. but i know that they missed me.

that's it for now...


here are the pics from our little DIY project.

  not the most advanced blueprint, but it worked.
i headed off to home depot for supplies.  it was a successful trip and reminded me of how much i love that place. also, if you want to feel good about yourself, go to a home depot.  lot's of men stop and kindly compliment. they are also more than willing to drop everything to help load and push your cart around.  i also did not wear my wedding ring for this purpose (not the compliments, but the help. and jared is aware of and approves this method)...
started off with the 2x4s and put together the frame.
 jared loves any excuse to use his power tools. he also has much more patience for accuracy and perfection than i do.
then we nailed the piece of plywood to the frame.
and i would like to say, that i did help with all of this... i was just the one taking pictures too...
then a layer of foam board (we used a 2" thick insulation foam board) and padding
covered it with some red, quilted material and there ya go.
nothing fancy, i am pretty sure a 9 year old could successfully complete this project.  but for less money and an opportunity to work on something together- it turned out just great. 

oh and in the front room, i also tried to do some shelf styling.. i am not very good at it. but i really like that i have had so many more places to put all of my books.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

mister and missus.

it has been nine months since we officially became a mister and missus. if a baby can be made in that amount of time, then i guess i can make a family blog.
(if you want to see any posts about what we have been doing up to this point, you can see my old, personal blog here. )
 i have become quite the little instagramer- so the majority of my pictures are repeats. but seeing as how most of our family members (everyone but tifani and christy) are not instagram users , most of you won't have too much to complain about. besides- aren't we just an adorable little family??
away we go.
on monday we decided that we would go camping in the living room for fhe.  actually, jared had to practice setting up his new tent because he had a scout camp out coming up- but we figure. why not use it too?  we had a grand time chopping up fresh veggies, eating our tin foil dinners (made in the oven- just not the same) and watching shows from the comfort of our tent. sometimes we get really excited about our little plans. it is pretty fun being married. you can act like you're a kid but you get to make out and eat as many treats as you want. even before dinner. which i do. a lot.
that strainer/cutting board is one of the best things in my life. and my knife set.
last week we celebrated our first  married valentine's day.  jared is not a fan of valentine's day and i never really cared much about the holiday.  but now that we are married, i know that my presents and excitement won't be wasted- they will be going to the same guy f-o-r-e-v-e-r. hooray for jared- he gets homemade cards for eternity
i had a wonderful time grossing out my 7 year old primary class with this card i made during drawing time. ew gross.
we had two valentine's dinners.  the first one was made by me.  i have to admit, it was the best meal that i have ever made in my life. it also took a ton of work and becoming best friends with the butcher at gelsons (but seriously. i even sent him a thank you card and when we are rich and can afford to go to a butcher on a regular basis, i hope it's him). jared was able to get home at a decent hour and surprise me with my favorite flowers.
hydrangeas are one of my absolute favorites.
the hours of preparation and cooking were totally worth it.  we both love italian food so that was my theme. i am still very pleased with how well it turned out but even happier about jared's reaction.  he was in food heaven.
and the final result:
we were stuffed.  i have always had an interesting relationship with cooking. i enjoy it but i do not like being constrained by recipes.  so i pretty much never use them.  for that reason i am a horrid baker.  but i sure can cook up some flavorful meals.  only problem with my method is that it turns out different every time. it is like a little experiment every time; sometimes you get a winner and sometimes you just grin and bear it. thankfully, jared will eat almost anything i make and he usually really likes it. and lucky for him - i like making food for him. it works.

our second dinner had similar results
jared was very sweet (and able to pull off a surprise!).  he made reservations for us at the melting pot.  he also asked that they make the table extra pretty, so i was seated with my mister at a giant booth covered in rose petals and candles. just for us. it was very romantic (the epic proportions of food i stuffed in my mouth- not so romantic...).
he is always trying to surprise me but i hate it. i hate surprises. i don't give or take them well.  for example, i had bought jared's present a couple weeks ago, but i only made it about 4 days before i made him open it anyway.

we have been managing to stay very busy.  thankfully the weather here is finally getting nice (and by nice i mean the high 70's-80's but people freak out if it falls below 60 degrees.) and the days are staying light a bit longer, which means more time for activities!

we also went to the LA museum of art last weekend. that was a fun and educational experience.  jared has a better understanding of art and its origins than i do.  i just know if i like looking at it or not.  but i do have a deep appreciation for the history.  it amazes me how well preserved the artwork is. the contemporary art is interesting to me and can be very cool but i guess that i am just more of a classics kind of art viewer. it is nice going to museums with jared because even though i may not be moved to tears or receive any epiphanies induced by the artwork, it is always fun to learn about...everything.

we have been keeping busy with our church callings- which is also an interesting learning experience.  jared gets to spend a lot of time with the young men and other scout leaders. i love the scout program and i think that it is so great that the church supports it.  i like knowing that jared has a hand in helping and influencing these boys to become good men. i on the other hand, am teaching 7 year old children in primary. it has been quite a while since i have really had interaction with children that are not family.  i am not patient and i don't like having to say things more than once. this calling is teaching and testing me emotionally and physically.  but gosh darn it, they sure can be cute and sweet.  i am amazed at how well these kids understand the gospel and their pure love of Christ and their families. this age group is particularly fun because they will all be getting baptized this year, making the lessons all the more important to them. i love seeing how excited they get when we talk about their upcoming baptisms.

and last's technology fantastic?  sure it is making the world completely socially retarded but sometimes it also brings us closer together.  for best friend katie and her husband just had their first baby, lucy pearl!
 of course this is an event i would have loved to be in UT for but we had the next best thing: facetime.  i was able to see and talk to my best friends and their new babe within hours of it all happening. sure, jared had to ask me to leave the room because he couldn't stand do hear the labor details. but it it was so special being connected like that and being able to congratulate and support them in their new adventure, even though we are hundreds of miles apart. it was also fun to go to tjmaxx and raid the baby section for the most adorable girly clothes i could find... and yes, i sent her cardigans. being an aunt is the best.

that is all for now. it is a lovely sabbath day and the mister and i are going outside to enjoy it and our lazy time together. bye.

PS: have you seen these before?
type in your license plate and it finds the stall you are parked in and directs you how to get there!  you have NO idea how much time i have spent wandering around parking garages looking for my car. it is ridiculous how easily and quickly i totally forget where i parked and it leaves jared in complete bewilderment.  so unless someone is stalking you and knows your license plate- this little invention goes on the top 10 things i have found in la (i need to explore more...).