Thursday, April 10, 2014

SPRING GOALS

Before I started doing my monthly goal setting and assessment, I had been setting seasonal goals. I'm a huge goal-setter, and any excuse to better myself and set my sights toward an accomplishment is exciting. I kind of stopped doing the seasonal goals since I've started my monthly assessment, but I'd like to pick it back up. My monthly goals have been tightly categorized, following in theme with my word of the year. I'd like to have a looser place to set some goals that might not be as relevant to "Build," just so I have some flexibility.

READ
We downloaded a few audio books for our drive to Utah, and I'm loving the freedom it gives me! I can play it on my phone while I do chores, drive, go for a walk, etc. Granted, doing stuff while I listen to a book kind of takes away from the relaxation aspect of sitting down and focusing on nothing but the pages in front of you, but I'm loving listening to the stories, both for their entertainment and their education (I am an aspiring writer, after all). So the following are books I'd like to read or have read to me this summer.
The Secret of Writing
The Lost Symbol
Inferno
The Rosie Project
The Husbands Secret
The Storyteller
Gone Girl
Killing Jesus

FILL WEEKENDS WITH SUNSHINE
As I mentioned in this post, we've got a lot going on this spring and summer. It seems that every other weekend we're toting our baby off to some new place. I don't want to waste a single drop of sunshine, but I also want to enjoy those weekends we're home and don't have anything big to do. So I've resolved to fill my free Saturdays with beach days, hikes, date nights, and family time. In fact, I'm so schedule-oriented that I've already reserved some beach days and date nights on my calendar so we don't make any other plans! A bonus of doing fun activities like swimming in the ocean, hiking, paddle boarding, and kayaking is the fitness you achieve. So. Two birds, right?

TRAVEL
Palm Springs, Laughlin, and a couple islands in the Bahamas. These trips are already planned (and we just had our Utah trip), which makes this a sure accomplishment.

START ANOTHER STORY
I finished my first real story a few months ago, and realized it was total garbage. I had intended to edit it and revise it, but I started to hate the story more and more, and I decided that that is just a project I can dump. I have a long way to go, I think, before I produce something of any worth, so I'd like to start working on my next story. I'm sure it won't be the best one, but I think writers constantly evolve and improve with practice.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

US LATELY

I'm still learning how to use my good camera, so sometimes pictures are out of focus or not quite straight, and that's why. This weekend was a really amazing one. One for the books. My Oma hadn't met Henry in all his little life, and we were looking for a secondary reason to visit her so we could make a weekend out of it. General Conference peeked its head around the corner, and we snagged some tickets to the Saturday morning session.

We woke up at 3:00 am on Friday morning and headed out to Utah. With a seven-month-old. Aside from looking all squinty-eyed and confused as to why he was awake at this hour, he made no sign of discomfort. We stopped a few times whenever we needed to, which was honestly as much as we would have stopped even if Henny wasn't with us. I stop a lot, is what I'm saying. I don't like long stretches of driving. Mama needs to stretch her legs.

We stopped in St. George for a sandwich at The Lunch Box, then continued our trek to Provo. We made it there in surprisingly good time, about 4:30. We met up with Conrad's cousins and sister at Guru's, then hung out for the rest of the night.

Saturday morning, we woke up early (though not quite as early) and drove up to Salt Lake. Here's the thing. Sometime between St. George and Provo, I was struck with the horror that one can only be struck with when you realize you've forgotten something important. The conference tickets were sitting on my kitchen cart, right next to the bananas that were too ripe. I made two mental notes the night before we left for Utah: first to toss those bananas, and second to grab the tickets and stick them in my wallet. Neither happened, and I remembered far too late. We scrambled trying to figure out a way to score some more tickets, and figured that worst-case scenario meant we wouldn't attend the session. Not much lost there.

We ended up finding tickets through my dad, and really enjoyed the session. We left Henny with my sister and Oma, and sort of turned our alone time together into a mini-date. I had some specific questions in my heart that I was hoping would be addressed this Conference, and lo and behold, they were. Maybe not in so many words by any of the speakers in Saturday morning's session, but the spirit was so strong for me and I got what I needed to get out of it. But the music! Mormon Tabernacle, you unbelievable wall of sound. Such amazing talent. I'm going to say it outright: there is no better invitation for the Spirit than music - not even prayer. At least, that's how I felt after they sang Press Forward Saints.

After Conference, we ran back to Oma's house (just North of Temple Square) in the almost-rain, laughing and holding freezing hands. We visited with my Oma and Tante (Aunt) Tiffany at their house, then with my Opa at his house. Then the three of us went to The Copper Onion, and I decided that it was delicious and worth the hype, but also pretentious in that hipster sort of way. We got a brisket biscuit benedict (a literal and lingual mouthful) and a Copper Onion burger. Both were ridiculous in the best sort of way. I'm of the opinion that if you have some really good brisket, it doesn't matter what else happens that day. It was a good day. Afterward, we met with some more of Conrad's cousins in Sandy and spent the rest of the evening with them. Sunday, we slept. Henry woke up in the middle of the night, probably because it wasn't his crib, and we got into a weird, three-day habit of nursing at night again.

We hung out with Conrad's sister in Provo for most of the day doing mostly nothing. Thing is, Provo on a Sunday is a ghost town. The only businesses open are Denny's and McDonalds, and I kind of avoid food like that on vacation, since I'd so much rather eat at places like The Copper Onion. I had hoped to start our day with Waffle Luv, then maybe get lunch or dinner at Communal, but realized with disappointment as we were walking out the door that we could do neither. We ate Denny's breakfast at noon (we slept in, remember), met up with Libby, walked around BYU's art center, got caught in the rain, stuffed Henny into Conrad's sweatshirt to protect him from said rain, and drove around Provo adoring all the cute little homes. Later, back at the condo, we had some of the cousins come over. We tried to find a place to eat, but decided we'd probably have an easier time grabbing some groceries and making something. I made chicken yakisoba and we played with our babies and chatted until bedtime.

Driving home was the same thing: wake up at 4, pack the car, drive as long as possible while Henny sleeps. Again, we made awesome time on account of our Angel Baby being so patient and easy-going. We got home at only 3-ish, and had plenty of time to unpack, unwind, and fall into bed at nine.

All this to say, we had a lovely family-and-spirit-filled weekend.

Monday, April 7, 2014

PHOTO DUMP/phone cleanout part 2

Here is part two of my phone cleanout photo dump, from the day we brought Henry home from the hospital to Christmas. Part one here (and also my explanation for doing this).