Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Cards of Christmas' Past: 2007, 2008, 2009

We've been busy making lists and checking them twice. Perhaps next year I'll catch my bloggy readers up on the Wilson happenings... Perhaps not.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Hope You Like Jammin' Too

What I've been up to this month... Jammin'. Our trip to Hood River yielded 24-pints of applesauce! Plus the five gallon-sized freezer bags of blackberries that I picked this summer turned into EIGHT quarts of blackberry pie filling and TEN half-pints of blackberry jam. I'm so happy!

What I've been doing since I finished all my fruit canning... eating peanut butter and blackberry toast every morning for breakfast. Could life get any better? I don't think so.

Thanks to Phoebe for surrendering her home to my canning projects. (And to her husband for picking-up the slack and finishing our applesauce adventure without us.) And to all my other friends with their words of advice. Maybe next year I'll take the training wheels off?

the (literal) fruits of my labor. yum.

Monday, November 15, 2010

If the shoe fits...

Here I am at another boring receptionist job. This time, I'm at Keen. I can't really complain though since they GAVE me a brand new pair of shoes! A retail value of $90! One might suspect that perhaps I hinted at wanting to be the proud owner of a new pair of Keens but you're wrong. There was no such fishing. The lady that I'm covering for simply asked me what size shoe I wear and then excitedly announced that my size sevens are their sample size! She then escorted me over to the product department and they fitted my feet with a new pair of Chester Clogs.

Here's the catch - I don't like my new pair of shoes. I know, boo! Hiss! How can I be so ungrateful?! I'm not. I'm very grateful. I'm just anti-clog grateful . I think clogs make feet look fat. Since I couldn't very well say, "thanks for your generosity but do you have a pair that I like?" I've decided to sell them instead. (After my investigative work revealed that REI doesn't carry the Chester Clog model and I ruled out the option of taking advantage of Nordstom's world-renown customer service.) I'm looking forward to having the unexpected extra money in my pocket!

In other shoe news, my feet have been feeling very happy lately. I had an epiphany a few weeks ago that perhaps fuzzy slippers would make exceptional winter shoes. Target had some loafer slippers on sale for $15 a couple weeks ago so I decided to act on my novel idea. I was right! Fuzzy slippers really do make the BEST winter shoes! I bragged to Wyatt how my toes will never get cold again. His response, "It's called socks." I disagree! Foux fur is 100-times warmer, cozier and easier than socks! My only regret, why didn't I buy two pairs?!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

...and I'm a Mormon.

I don't want to let too much time pass away before I add an addendum to this post. It may sound like lip-service to some of you but I genuinely appreciate all the comments I received in regards to my feelings about my current employment situation and motherhood. I appreciate the different perspective brought from each comment and the simple words of advice or encouragement. Thank you.

Later the evening that I posted my feelings on the subject, some friends of ours encouraged us to check-out the new Seeing that I had all the time in the world to surf the world-wide-web, I took-up their recommendation the very next day while I was at work.

I was blown away. Tears filled my eyes (remember I was watching these at work!) as I watched each profile, highlighting the unique life experiences each individual experiences each day. It is amazing how easily the Spirit can touch our lives through each other (even with people we've never met). It amazed me even more how each person spotlighted never said the words, "I bear my testimony" but simply through the act of living and recognizing God's hand in their lives they were able to testify of Him.

There were two profiles in particular that struck a chord with me (Rochelle and Robert). With all my uncertainty of what to do with my life, they helped put things back into perspective. They reminded me that God has a plan for me and that I need to continue to put my trust in Him, that he will guide my life so that I receive the greatest fulfillment. That it's not ultimately about me but rather about those I serve and the sacrifices I make. I'm certain that there really is no greater calling than parenthood - the role that requires continuous sacrifice and continuous acts of selflessness. It's funny how easily our thoughts can get off track and then we need to be reminded of the things we already know...

I find myself constantly singing to myself the words of the hymn "How Gentle God's Commands". It's been a nice reminder that both Heavenly Father and Jesus have my best interest in mind and I just need to "cast my burdens" and "trust in their constant care". Something that is very difficult for me to do when I think that I know what is best for me. Though, I am amazed each time as I look back and see that Heavenly Father's plan was much better than my own.

I often wonder if I am acting as a true disciple of Christ. Do I love and serve my fellow men? Do I carry the Spirit of Christ with me so that there is no question in one's mind Whom I ultimately love and serve? I'm afraid that sometimes I'm not on my best behavior and perhaps others can't even decipher that I am Christian, let alone a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I always chalk my missionary work up to living by example... but am I? Perhaps I should be a little more proactive in testifying my beliefs...

So let me start here...

My name is Brittany Wilson. I am a runner, I am a pseudo-bakestress, a travel enthusiast, a happy wife, a world-class eater, a lucky daughter and sister, a child of God... and a Mormon!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

We were supposed to make our annual trip to Hood River last weekend for the Edelweiss Festival. However, Wyatt was overwhelmed with the thought of two exams the following week, that we decided it'd be better for everyone if we postponed the trip a week. The good news is, we missed the terrible weather from our originally planned weekend. The bad news, we had the same terrible weather on our trip. I guess it was only a matter of time before our good fortune (three years of perfectly blue skies) ran dry.

Here we are overlooking Mt. Saint Helen's at our favorite cookie stop - Packers. They seriously have the BEST coconut macaroons I've ever had. Wyatt is in love with their black and white cookies. They usually have a 20-cookie spread with plenty of bite-sized samples to enjoy seconds. However, this time around they FORGOT to keep the samples supplied and we were greeted with crumbs! Can you believe it?! I know! So after Wyatt and I paid for our 10-dollars worth of cookies the lady slowly started to break the cookies one-by-one. So we decided to slowly follow her one-by-one and partake of the delish cookie samples. I'm sure we appeared to be a couple of free-loaders. But need I remind her that we already spent !0-dollars on her cookies? I didn't think so.

Since the clouds were too low to enjoy the vibrant colors of the beautiful fall scenery, we focused all our efforts on buying apples. We ended up buying five boxes (roughly 40-pounds each)! Don't you worry, we were on an errand and three of those boxes were for other people. They had 25-cent/pound apples that we loaded-up on for making applesauce. Now I'm not an applesauce connoisseur but if the apples are good enough to make fresh apple juice, surely they're good enough for some homemade applesauce. Really, how could they not be? How could you go wrong with mashed-up, cooked apples? Ask me if I still feel the same after I finish canning...

Did I mention that on top of the rain it was FREEZING cold? I had little ice cube fingers by the time we were done picking apples from the barrels. I've reminded my friend that she now owns "blood apples". You know, like blood diamonds?

After our rendezvous to Hood River we prepped our car for our ward's annual Trunk-or-Treat. Let me preface by saying, I think this year's car costume was a total FLOP! I promise, this is not me fishing for compliments. We had such a great idea but FAILED TERRIBLY to execute it! I don't know if we didn't have enough time, or if the weather had an affect, or what - it just simply was no good at all.

We decided to dress Sam (my car) up as a flying saucer. Wyatt had the great idea of using tent poles to create a round frame. Then we decided to use white plastic table clothes (thank you dollar store!) to cover the frame. Glow-in-the-dark bracelets were used to accessorize and a terrible antenna on top (many commented that it reminded them of the flux-capacitor from Back to the Future). Lastly, we positioned two stuffed pandas in the front seats with makeshift space helmets. See, doesn't this all sound like it'd make a great car costume? Yeah, we thought so too. But this is what we ended-up with...

Again, I'm not fishing for compliments, so don't go telling me that it looks good because the pictures make it look even worse than it really was. (If you can believe that...) If you need some more convincing, check out our efforts from years past: 2007 (our favorite), 2008, 2009. See?!

I think the part that was most perplexing is the amount of compliments we received on our own individual costumes. Really, we looked nothing like the "space rangers" we were supposed to be (if we weren't standing next to our flying saucer). Wyatt maybe. But me? No. Not to mention that there really was NO effort put into our individual costumes. And compared to all the exceptional costumes of our fellow ward members, we were really pale in comparison. I was amazed at the kinds of ideas people came up with. Not to mention their ability to execute their ideas with such perfection.

I think we both decided after this years Trunk-or-Treat flop, that'd we'd scrape our car costume and work on our own individual costumes. My vote is for Bert and Ernie. Wyatt thinks he vetoes it... but I won't let him. We shall see what Halloween 2011 brings.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

From the Mind of Brittany Wilson

I am sitting at the front desk of the office of my current temporary position. I'm the receptionist for the week. Not a glam job by all means. Actually, it's quite boring. I'd be completely miserable if it weren't for one thing... the company I'm working for has a personal chef that makes me (and the rest of the office) FREE lunch EVERYDAY! How rad is that? I know! It really is the highlight of my day - one that consumes many of my thoughts.

Since I've had a surplus of time to do nothing (no books aloud (and surfing the web can be entertaining only for so long...)) - I've been able to allow my mind to wonder. Here are some of the things that have been occupying my brain space:

Talking About the Weather...
I am amazed at how well this works. I've taken note of the conversations I've had with people for several years now (and especially now as I find myself moving from job to job) and talking about the weather is one sure way to get a conversation moving. It's a common ground everyone can relate to. I guess it seems so odd to me because for the longest time I thought it was simply a saying:

"What'd you talk about?"

"Oh, the weather."

I think many people (including myself) use this tactic to fill the otherwise awkward silence. I think I've had at least ten conversations on the subject this week.

Interesting People
I've been pondering for the past several months about what makes a person interesting. Are they interesting because interesting things happen to them? Or are they interesting because they make interesting things happen to them? Or perhaps it's either one but it's all about the delivery? Maybe I am interesting but I lack the charisma to relay my interesting life? Yeah right. I am not interesting.

Choosing a Career
I am not one of those fortunate people that knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up. Instead, I had a million ideas floating through my brain. Then when it came time to commit, I floundered and chose something that (I thought) would open many doors of opportunity. Instead, the dual degree I received in business management and marketing is far too broad. I have some qualifications for many jobs, when in reality what I need is all the qualifications for one job. I am envious of Wyatt who in four years will come out of school without a doubt in his mind about what kind of job he will be looking for. I should've narrowed my discipline and chosen a career that would make looking for a job much easier. (i.e. an engineer, a teacher, a psychiatrist, etc.) Instead I now find myself marching through life aimlessly, with a constant internal battle, wondering what I should make of myself. It is exhausting.

Quality of Life
I can honestly say, despite the fact I am frustrated with myself for not being able to "make something of myself", I have no regrets about quiting my last job. For two-and-a-half years I was miserable. And I can honestly say that even though I am unemployed and am making peanuts as a temporary employee, I am happy. I am really happy. I didn't realize what kind of negative effect my previous job had on me. So maybe it doesn't matter what kind of career one pursues as long as they are happy with the atmosphere of their job? I've always thought company culture to be a major influence in the happiness one experiences at work. Especially now as I've had the opportunity to temp at other companies. (Especially here as I'm fed lunch each day!) So does it matter what you do as long as you like where you work, if you like your coworkers, and feel like your company values the work you do? Perhaps.

The Importance of a Degree
Yeah, all my recent thoughts are job related. Something that has been heavy on my mind is my degree. I've entertained the thought several times to submit my application to wait tables at the little French bakery just down the road. The number one thing that keeps me from doing this is that I'd be turning my back on my degree. What was the point of going to college if I'm just going to bag it anyway? I'll admit, I'm even more concerned with "What will people think?" It seems like as humans we measure each other's value based on income levels and by the title on our business cards. Why? Right now, as I sit as the fill-in receptionist, I feel like people are judging me and are making the assumption that I'm a dim-witted broad. I feel like announcing over the PA that I did go to college, I did graduate, I did hold a semi-impressive position for the past 2.5-years, and that I can do far more than answer phones. Perhaps I'm just reading into things that aren't there? I might be a bit sensitive.

The Nobility of Motherhood
I think this whole job/career thing has taken an extra toll on me lately because of my current situation in life. I'm in between "jobs". I'm wrapping-up my twenties (years associated with education, working and holding a career) and moving into my thirties... those child-bearing years. I've entertained the thought of "biding my time" until I do receive the blessing of becoming a mother. My qualms with this: 1) who knows when that will be and 2) shouldn't I aspire to something more than just looking for something to "pass the time"? And then I let society creep into my mind and wonder if I want motherhood to define my life. A noble role I sincerely believe. I'm just afraid of what I have to say for myself when I look back on life. About what I did with myself when I didn't have children, what I aspired to be, how I utilized my strengths and talents, did I come out stronger?

I just feel like I've been in Wyatt's shadow lately. That he's the one doing all the hard work to provide for our family. That my work in the background (cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills, etc.) is insignificant. I'm not jealous, I'm just discouraged. I think in today's society there's very little acknowledgement of the role of a mother (or wife in my case). Society is just concerned with what you do to bring home the bacon. They couldn't care less that you're the one shopping for the bacon.

Then other thoughts cross my mind, what happens if something happened to Wyatt (who we're planning on being the sole provider)? What if I need to go back to work and I don't have a "foundation" to build upon because I chose to "bide my time"? What if (I really hope this isn't the case!) Wyatt and I split up and I need to fend for myself? Perhaps there is a lack of faith on my part but I just can't shake the pressure I feel to become more successful than I am.

Am I alone in my thoughts? Does anyone else feel this way?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunny Colorado

Since my momma is a flight attendant for United, it is very rare that I get to see her while I'm visiting in Colorado. She's usually up flying the friendly skies. So when she told me her vacation was set to be the first week in October, I made arrangements to visit her during the duration of her break... It was so many months ago that we had planned my visit that it's hard to believe it has already come and gone. Sad. I had a blast hanging with my mom for ten straight days!

There wasn't one specific moment that stuck out, it was simply fun to spend time with her.
Some things we did while I was visiting were: cook and eat some Nichols family favorites, walk around Johnstown Lake every morning, attend the temple, go shopping, go to the movies, sit and chat, stayed up late every night, and worked on a special book project my mom has.

It was a pleasant trip and it seemed like our time together had drawn to an end too quickly. Though I was happy to return home to Oregon to hang with Wyatt, I was terribly sad that I couldn't stay longer with my mom. It's true, home is where mom is.

I love you momma! Thanks for making me feel so special!

Walking around Johnstown lake. (Notice how SUNNY it is?)

Mom modeling the delish pumpkin pie I made

Hanging out with my big sis Burgandy

My "brother-in-law" Jason on his wedding day, with my two nephews

All the Colorado grand people and me (sad the other three weren't able to play with us)

Wyatt had flowers waiting for me when I returned home - what a sweetie!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Heart Radio Lab

For anyone interested in adding a little variety of radio listening to their lives, I have a diamond in the rough for you. Radio Lab. "It's a radio show and podcast, with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, that weaves stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries." I stole that from the website. Seriously though, it's a great show. If you're a This American Life fan - and you should be, I recommend this show too - you're naturally going to heart Radio Lab. They make science fun! Covering an array of topics from animals, to tumors, to limits, to time, to phantom arms, to statistics, to... you get the picture.

The episode that got me hooked was the one about a phantom arm. A man no longer had his arm (I forgot how he lost it, the military?) and for several years had severe (phantom) pain coming from where his arm once was. He said it felt like his fist was clinched tightly and like his nails were digging into the palm of his hand. It was all psychological. He visited several doctors for many years and no one was able to cure his pain... since there wasn't any arm to treat. Finally the man went to see a new doctor (with a Eastern European accent, it seems appropriate, doesn't it?) who McGyver'd up a mirror that created the illusion that he had his real arm. The doctor instructed him to move the hand on his real arm (that looked like his phantom arm while looking into the mirror) as if he was un-clinching his fist. After several weeks of doing this, he no longer felt any pain in his phantom arm! Cool, huh?

I know, I didn't do a very good job of explaining the story. You're just going to have to check it out yourself. Along with some other Radio Lab podcasts. I think you're going to heart it too. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pond Oswego

My gone! Apparently they're fixing the sewer line because they thought it was going to bust or something, something. Whatever the reason, it better be back to normal by Memorial Day Weekend 2011! That's a threat! Aside from Hawaii, the Lake Grove Swim Park is the place I prefer to be in the summer. I never thought these words would pass my lips, but I hope it rains a lot this winter... since that is the means they're using to refill Lake Oswego. Until then, we will refer to it as "Pond Oswego" in our home.

Lake Oswego before (courtesy of Jen VW :) )

Lake Oswego after (notice the dock of the swim park - from the picture above - located in the background of this pic? I know, I too shed a tear...)

Pond Oswego (it kind of makes me think of a movie about the apocalypse - or Arizona)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Brave Little Toaster

I'm sitting here trying to enhance my resume in hopes to catch the eye of at least one perspective employer. Needless to say it is mind-numbing work. So naturally my mind started to wander... This time to the Adobe class Wyatt and I took four years at the local community collage. I wanted more skills I could list on my resume. And as it turns out, I had the opportunity to apply what I learned (which was peanuts) while employed at my previous job to create newsletters, brochures, ads for industry journals, and the new company business cards. Did I fool you? It sounds like I'm a lot more advanced than I really am. Believe me, I have a ways to go...

Even so, I thought I'd share one of my assignments from ART225. We were asked to take an existing movie and create a new poster and DVD jacket. I chose to add a different twist to the "Brave Little Toaster". It kind of has a "Brave New World" feel to it. Despite my novice skills, I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out. Even four-years after the fact.


DVD Cover

Monday, August 16, 2010

(Twenty -) eight is GREAT!

Wyatt and I really have had the time of our lives this summer. Ever since he finished his classes in June we've just been playing our little hearts out. Five-weeks in Hawaii, a family reunion on the Oregon Coast, throw in a couple visits to the swim park, and finally the grand finale with my birthday celebration. I have been so drunk with fun the past several weeks I nearly felt like I was hit by a semi when I awoke to reality this morning. And I don't even have a job yet!

For those who are curious about our recent happenings, please read on. You didn't really think I was going to let my birthday pass without a peep, did you? I may be older but I still have a lot of growing up to do.

PS - Really, I'm not trying to brag about the cush' life I've had the past while. I really just want to tell you about my birthday.

Carry on...

Let me just say this was one of the best birthdays ever! In my opinion, the day was already off to an excellent start when I woke to CLEAR BLUE skies and a weather prediction of 96-degrees! I mean this with all sincerity, I couldn't have asked for more. But wait, I did get more, Wyatt made me a birthday poster that I absolutely LOVE! My favorite is the picture he drew of me running. Check out those draft winds. Wowza! I am speedy (but only in 2D drawings)!

First we went to the temple for the LONGEST temple session ever. I'm not saying that to be rude. I mean it matter-of-factly. It was long. There were two "special events" so there were lots of people and lots of late people, then there was a medical emergency in the middle of the session (I'm not entirely clear about what happened. I think the lady passed-out while she was sitting down. She finally came-to once they wheel-chaired her out.) , and lastly one pregnant lady that needed to go to the bathroom (she probably would've made it through the entire session under normal session times). Add these three events together and you get one extra-long session. Even so it was nice, just like always.

Second we went to brunch at La Provence around the corner from where we live. I like it quite a bit. My brother Harold said (when he and family were visiting last summer) that it reminded him of his mission in Paris - the food that is. I like it because it's tasty and charming. (I really, really, really want to work there. But money kind of is an issue and I wouldn't make any there.) I had the Monte Cristo and an almond brioche. Yum!

Third, we drove to Wyatt's parents' house to float the Clackamas river. Did I mention the beautiful weather? Hot weather + floating the river = best summer activity. Wyatt's sister, hubby, and son joined us. It was very cool and relaxing. Ahhhhh.

Next, I got sick. Can you believe that?!!! On my birthday I came down with a fever of 102-degrees! I know what you're thinking - heat stroke. But I promise it wasn't. I was feeling woozy on Friday to the point that I nearly passed out. I thought maybe I was over it when I awoke on Saturday morning but no, I was wrong.

So we scrapped the rest of our plans (bbq at the swim park and movie in the park) and ate Chipotle at home as we watched Eureka. Wyatt promised we could finish the remainder of my birthday celebration at a later date. In fact, I am eating the blackberry pie (we were supposed to have on Saturday) as I type. Soooo good.

And now it's Monday and I sent Wyatt off to his first day of dental school. I really feel like I am the emotional mother having a hard time parting with her child on their first day of kindergarten. And I'm nearly certain Wyatt is like that small child happy to finally be free from my apron strings. Sad. I really missed him today. After spending every day together for the past six-weeks, it was really quiet and lonely. I am going through Wyatt withdraws. I need a job...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hawaii: Week Four and Five

We're home! I now see how people can get "stuck" in Hawaii because I was tempted more than once to spend the next four years on the island of Oahu as my sweet hubby slaves away at dental school. Hawaii really has a way of drawing you in so you NEVER want to leave! The good news is that we came home to summer in Oregon and, as I've said a hundred times before, I LOVE summer! We were greeted Thursday morning with blue skies... AND warm temperatures! Happy day! I like to look at it as a tender mercy of sorts. So even though I miss Hawaii I'm not too heart broken about enjoying Oregon's best season. Though the Lake Grove swim park (as much as I love it (and I'm not being sarcastic - it really is my favorite place in Oregon)) doesn't really compare to the beaches of the North Shore. Sigh. (cloudy + smelly + lake water < clear + non-smelly < ocean).

I think I've become quite the snob. Even being Waikiki was disappointing since it was over crowded with people, the water was infested with sunscreen, and the sand was as hard as concrete. Yeah, big snob. I'm just saying if you have the opportunity to spend time on the island of Oahu, go to the North Shore. You won't be disappointed.

I've had several people ask me how our trip was since we returned home. It's kind of hard to to maintain one's attention when there isn't anything terribly exciting to report... seeing that we spent the majority of our five-weeks on the beach...swiming. Don't get me wrong, it was really nice. But not a very grabbing narrative. And now I'll finish off the last two weeks of our trip with pictures. (If you'd like to see more pictures from our trip, take a look at our Facebook pages. Or if you're really crazy, we can invite you over and give you a personal slide show). Enjoy...

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I have no regrets about quitting my job and taking off for paradise. I am certain I will not be contacted about being the poster model for provident living. I just wanted to add this part because I was thinking about my old job the other day and had this overwhelming feeling of relief wash over me that I no longer have to think about it. My burden has been lifted, and I'm poor. Here's to finding a job that I like! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hawaii: Week Three

The truth of the matter is that I'm TERRIFIED of the ocean. It has nothing to do with swimming and everything to do with not being able to see what's in the water. But then, I'm just as scared when I'm snorkeling and CAN see under the water. I'm still debating in my head which is worse: not knowing something creepy is next to me under the water or knowing that I'm swimming with something creepy. Whenever Wyatt and I go snorkeling I'm practically on top of him the entire time we're in the water. He reminds me that he likes his space while he swims...

I guess my fear has slowly crept into my dreams because I dreamt that Wyatt had been eaten by a shark. In my dream he knew there was a shark in the water and deliberately got in despite my pleas and chomp, chomp he was gone. After I awoke from my dream I woke Wyatt with a punch in the arm and made him promise he would not go into the water if he knew there was a shark present. Well, yesterday we were snorkeling with a friend (who lives in Hawaii) and managed to swim FAR AWAY from the shore and into the middle of the ocean. And then my friend announces, "I've never snorkeled this far out before." I was certain my dream the night before was about to come true... so I suggested we return to the beach. And then I swam my little legs as fast as they would carry me to land. I bet you thought I was going to say there was a shark? Nope. I was just scared is all. This is probably why I will never be a surfer. Oh and the fact that I probably wouldn't be very good at it.

We have two-weeks remaining and I am digging my heels in the dirt trying to make time slow down. I am not ready to go home. If we didn't have to return for Wyatt to start school I might consider setting up camp here for another couple months... or even years.

Thanks for all the book recommendations. Unfortunately we couldn't make it to a real bookstore and I had to settle on what I could find at WalMart and the thrift store. So I picked up 'To Kill a Mocking Bird', 'The Informant', and 'Neither Here nor There'. I am planning on picking-up 'The Help' when I get home (since I had so many recommendations for it) - or maybe my momma will send me her copy? Mom? I'm halfway through To Kill a Mocking Bird. I don't think I gave this book as much credit as it deserved while I was in high-school. I am really enjoying it and am in love with Scout (and her name) and Atticus.

Oh, and they're filming Pirates of the Caribbean FOUR just up the road. Does anyone else think it's ridiculous they're milking that series? I really liked the first one and personally feel like it went downhill from there. They're being real hush-hush about the set so I don't know if Johny Depp is within proximity. I hope so.

And now pictures:

Laie Temple at Night

cheif of the Samoan village at the PCC - note his GIANT calves!

Laie Temple during the day (closed for construction until November 21st - sad day

giant flower - little head

something we do frequently... wait for the bus

our PCC uniforms

amazing sunset!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hawaii: Week Two

I think this pictures sums up my feelings on Hawaii pretty well

So... our camera broke. It was such a silly way that it broke too. Both Wyatt and I are kicking ourselves for being so careless. We bought a small water-proof-pocket-thingy that holds our bus passes, credit cards, cash, and camera all while not getting them wet. Well, we got a little too brave and started taking pictures of ourselves in the water (might as well since we had our camera in the water (in the water-proof-thingy) anyway) and next thing we know an unexpected wave comes in and submerges our camera under water. And now it doesn't work. Sad. It's beyond me how Wyatt's Bluetooth headset can withstand an entire wash cycle in the washing machine but our camera can't handle a little (maybe a lot?) of water. As a result we spent nearly the entire day yesterday making the trek to the nearest Costco for a new camera... only to find out they no longer sell the one we wanted to buy (a waterproof Fuji). BUST!

As a side note, the bus has been GREAT for getting around Laie, especially up to the North Shore. It has not been so great to get to any "big" town - any with WalMart and Costco. We spent all last Tuesday getting to and from WalMart - only to find out that it wasn't a super center and the prices weren't any better than the ones in Laie. And of course yesterday was a waste of time since we left without a camera. I talk as if we are short on time... Still, who wants to spend unnecessary amount of hours on a bus when they could be playing at the beach?

Plan B was to buy one on Amazon but after we made the purchase it said it wouldn't ship until next Monday. And then it would take another five or so days to get here. No good. So we canceled the order and found one on (just like ours) Craigslist for $45. I like this option the best. The downside... it's located in Honolulu. Which means another ALL-DAY trip on the bus. I am really hoping the needs to come up to the North Shore for some reason and can meet us somewhere up here. Otherwise, we're going to have to take our fancy camera with us to the beach. And that means we won't be able to leave our stuff unsupervised on the beach.

That has been the news of the week. Everything else is status quo - beaching it nearly every day. Oh, we did finish-up orientation for volunteering at the PCC. Our official first day was last night. We're helping out in the dining area for the nightly buffet. Wyatt and I both have mixed feelings about our experience. I will comment more on this later when I have had more opportunities to evaluate what we're doing exactly.

In other conversation, I am HAPPY to say that I have read TWO books and am in the middle of my third! I have MISSED reading and am thrilled that I finally have all the time in the world to do so. Maybe I have my priorities listed differently than most but while I was working full-time I just couldn't seem the time to sit down and read a book. I finally had to use an alternative method to get the job done and listen to books on CD while driving in my car. Which is quite enjoyable but still not the same as actually reading a book. The last book I read was in Costa Rica - "Remember Me" by Sophie Kinsella (which was a fun light-read book).

Last week I finished "Cold Sassy Tree" and I polished off "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society" in two days (the book I was supposed to read with my book club last year but it wasn't available on CD). Now I'm in the midst of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" one I've read before and LOVE.

If you're at all interested, here are my book reports:
Cold Sassy Tree - I knew nothing about this book when I started reading it. My friend Jen (marathon Jen) loaned it to me when I told her I was in need of something to read while in Hawaii. I really truly enjoyed myself the entire time I read it. It takes place in Georgia during the early 1900's and I think it paints the perfect portrait of what it must've been like to live in that part of the country during that era. The story is told by a 14-year-old boy, Will Tweedy, and I just loved hearing things told from his perspective. Especially his constant dwelling on kissing! It's a good story about family, life and death. If you're looking for a good story you won't be disappointed with this one.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Creatively written, this story is told through letters. It takes place in England (London and Guernsey Island) post-WWII. About a young author and her correspondence with the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Light-hearted in many ways it did a great job touching upon the affects of war, as well as life during war. My only grip, I kind of feel like the authors felt like they needed to wrap up the book and that the ending was a bit rushed. Even so, I enjoyed the book. Another recommendation from me to you.

I only packed three books with me and seeing that I'm half-way threw my third book I need some recommendations on what to read next. Hoping that I can find a book store close to Laie so that I don't need to spend another entire day on the bus to find a good read. Please let me know if you have something you liked and think I would like too. I have three more weeks and will need something to entertain me while at the beach... and on the bus.

More pictures to enjoy:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hawaii: Week One

Remember last October when I put out an ad for a summer job? So...we're in Hawaii. I know most everyone acquainted with us from Lake Oswego is pretty aware of this bit of information. I've received mixed reactions from people once we went public with the news and I've spent the last six weeks debating whether I'd post anything about it on my blog. I didn't want to come off as boasting or fooling folks into thinking we're living life at the Five Seasons.

But I got to thinking about it and decided that this was our blog about our life and five-weeks in Hawaii is a pretty significant chunk of our life (maybe not so much in the sense of quantity of time but quality). I'm sure Wyatt and I will still be talking about it for the next fifty-years. At least through all those childbearing and kid-raising years. "Remember that time we went to Hawaii for five weeks, just the two of us? That was nice...". So for the next month you can expect to see pictures of our short stint in Hawaii. And then you can feel smug when we return to the mainland jobless, broke, and on the verge of being thousands of dollars in debt with astronomical dental school student loans.

For those who don't know the details of our trip: We flew to Hawaii late last Tuesday night. So as of 9pm (Hawaii time) tonight, we'll have been here for a whole week. We're living in Laie, Hawaii on the island of Oahu, on the BYU Hawaii campus in the Temple View Apartments. For all those prospecting travelers - you can sublease an apartment at TVA for super cheap! There's nothing fancy about these apartments. Just a place to sleep and as a bonus a kitchen for cooking. So there you have it, we're slumming it in Hawaii. But we're LOVING it!

We discarded the idea of working while here a while ago. We figured it wasn't worth the hassle since it was too short to make anything of it. We are, however (as of today), volunteering at the Polynesian Cultural Center a few days a week. I'm super stoked about this! I think it'll be good to do a little something productive with our time, and let's be honest, I'm hoping to score on the extra food from the luau they have each night. I heart mac salad!

Things we've done so far: beach (Temple, Hukilau, Bikini, Sunset, Shark's Cove, Waimea, and some beach northeast of Haleiwa), made several trips to Foodland, watched fireworks at Turtle Bay, hiked to Laie Falls, went to church, ate de'lish food at our ward BBQ, waited for the bus...several times, killed six cockroaches, and (I) nearly finished reading a book.

And now for your viewing pleasure, pictures:

view of Laie from Laie Falls
waiting for fireworks at Turtle Bay
sunset at Turtle Bay
fireworks at Turtle Bay
seeking shelter from the rain (notice the rainbow in the sky?)

more rainbow

to the untrained eye, it may look like giant rocks in the background...
WRONG! they're sea turtles!

the second swimsuit I made

the third swimsuit I made!