Thursday, August 11, 2011

Life in Photos

Goodbye, old apartment!

Moved to a new place!

Karen's graduation

Memorial day

Family Reunion

Scottish festival

New dog!

Another reunion

Working in the garden

Dave's birthday

Hanging out


Moving into a home without a finished yard is both good and bad at once. First of all, you might think it's just a lot of work and hassle. It's just SO much less complicated when everything is already done for you. But then, there's also this excitement that you get from starting with a clean slate. Like opening a fresh notebook--so full of possibilities, with pages ready to be filled with your creative ideas.

So although I'm none too thrilled about looking outside and seeing rocks and dirt and more rocks, I also feel inspired. I gaze out the window and start thinking. "I could plant honeysuckle along the back fence." "That would be a great place for a big vegetable garden." "Someday, I'll put a nice shade tree in that spot." I look out there at that wasteland and see potential.

But for now, I know that there's not a lot that can be done. We've built a temporary fence around a small section of the yard, planted a little raised garden, and grown wildflowers in an area of the yard. Dave dug a firepit just for fun, although I'm scared to use it since we live right next to an open field. And we've done other work, like weeding, around the property. But it is still far from finished.

Dirt, rocks, weeds...yay!

We moved into a house with a huge yard. HUGE. Like, what the crap am I going to do with all of this space huge. It really is a bit overwhelming. One thing that has helped me decide a starting point, however, is the fact that I do NOT want to maintain an extensive lawn. I enjoy having a verdant grassy area, sure, but if we put in sod all over the property our work to care for it would never end. So I've decided that xeriscaping a good chunk of the property would be the wisest choice. I plan to xeriscape most of the front yard, using desert-friendly plants, rocks, and dirt over the area. In the backyard, I want an area with grass just outside the back door and porch area, but I only want it to extend to a certain point. Then, one of the most exciting ideas: an English country garden with gravel paths, beautiful flowers, benches, etc.

Kind of like this!
Right now, though, all I can really do is dream about it, and make it happen little by little. I've been told to take it one step at a time, and eventually it will be done. Like that poem by Shel Silverstein about eating the whale, you know? One bite at a time...

And this is one whale of a big yard!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

end of one road, start of another

I just began my final semester of school, in which I am taking two poetry classes. One is advanced poetry, where I'll be writing. The other is a literature class, so I'll be reading tons of poetry and occasionally writing about it.

I can't believe I've come this far. Yes, it took me a LONG time, much longer than it probably should have. But here I am! After years of balancing family, work, and school, I'm almost done with my education.

It's bizarre to consider that I won't be in school soon. I won't be a student. That may seem like no big thing, but that's how I've identified myself since i was like 6 years old, all the way until now. And soon, I will be entering a new part of my life.

So just what do I intend to do? A lot is still blurry. For an English graduate, it's not 100% clear what you'll do (at least not for me). I don't know for certain where I'll end up and just what I'll be doing, but that's my next step: to find a job where i can use my skills. We will see this spring what's out there.

I know it's taken me a long time to get here, and my journey didn't always have specific direction. Sometimes I wish I could have just KNOWN in the beginning that English was my path, so I could have rushed my way through it and I'd be long done by now. But you know what? It's okay. There are reasons, sometimes, to take the longer road. There are things to learn on the way, and I have learned a LOT.

"If I had known the real way it was,
I would have stopped all the looking around."

But that knowing depends
on the time spent looking!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hope 2010 was great, and that 2011 will be amazing as well!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Update in Photos

Zoo (late summer)

Gingerbread houses (Thanksgiving break)

Put up the tree

Festival of Trees (early December)
Utah State Fair (September)

Thanksgiving Day, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beauty Picks of the Moment

Okay. I realize that I'm not what you'd call "glamorous" or anything--I'm just pretty normal, really. But I do (surprise!) like to look good. It's been a battle over the years when it comes to trying various beauty products and either liking or hating them (but so rarely loving them) and when something really, truly works, it's time to celebrate! Or, at least, it's time to give these products some serious recognition.

I go for a low-maintainace beauty routine. I spend my share of time in front of the bathroom mirror, for sure, but I'm not the kind of girl to primp and paint for an hour every morning. 20 or 30 minutes, and I want to be done and out the door. So I'm always looking for easy ways to improve my routine, and I think a lot of ladies out there feel the same.

So here are a few of the products I've tried and loved in the past few months. They definitely deserve a try if you're looking for something new (and easy!) to make your morning routine easier.

1.) Maybelline Gel Eyeliner. This stuff is SO amazing, and I'll tell you why: pencil liner just isn't heavy-duty enough to last, and liquid liner is not forgiving enough. When I try to use a pencil, it can be like I'm carving into my skin since I have to push so hard just to make it show up. Plus, it's usually faded in a few hours. Liquid liner is better, but it can have a mind of its own. And...have you ever tried to apply this stuff if your hand is even just SLIGHTLY shaky? It's everywhere! It's not very easy to get off, either, if you DO mess up.

Enter gel eyeliner--a happy medium between pencil and liquid. It's easy to control like a pencil, but bold like liquid liner. It's SO EASY to apply with the included brush, and it's difficult to mess it up, no matter how clumsy/shaky/clueless you might be with makeup (me!).
2.) Covergirl Outlast Lipstain. I hate lipstick. HATE! So much. I mean, it's gone after an hour or so, a casualty of drinking/eating/licking my lips/whatever. And it's sticky and gross and it comes off on everything. Lipstick and me, we just don't get along.

That's why I tried this stuff--lip STAIN. What is lipstain, you ask? Imagine a really expensive crayola marker that you use to color your lips, and you've basically got the idea. This stuff is easy to use, it looks natural, and you won't lick it off in ten minutes. It's certainly not doesn't last all day or anything. But it's perfect for people who hate feeling a sticky layer on their lips and would prefer a very thin lip covering that won't come off on anything.

3.) Garnier Fructis Leave-In Conditioning Cream. How do you feel about frizzy hair? Not a fan? Thought so. Neither am I, but I've fought with it for, like, my whole life. I don't mean that my hair poofs into an afro, but when I want it straight, little hairs tend to rebel and curl in a most hideous way. No hairspray or flatiron can tame those menace strands.

Oh, leave-in conditioner--why have I shunned you for so long? If I'd realized that THIS would be the solution, I wouldn't have snubbed it over and over again! I wasted my time on sprays and shampoos that just couldn't cut it. But THIS works!

When my hair is still damp, I just work a blob of this stuff in, then style as usual. No, it's not a match for 100% humidity, but on a normal day when my hair would start getting frizzy, this stuff helps a lot. My hair is sleeker and more manageable.

4.) Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo. If I had to pick one favorite beauty product, this would be it. Holy. Freaking. Crap.

Many hair experts tell you to wash your hair every other day. WTF? My hair is just GROSS on the second day. I've always been a "wash my hair everyday" kind of girl, even though it sucked more time from my day. I've tried dry shampoo before, but without much luck--its weird smell and high price forced me to step back.

But this stuff? AWESOME. You don't have to wash your hair in the shower on the second day. Just shake, spray, wait a minute, then brush it out. Oil? Gone. Odor? Gone. Guilt over buying expensive hair products? Gone (this stuff if cheap!). And as a plus, it adds body to your hair! Some days, I don't even need to style my hair after using this, just a quick brush and I'm good to go. It seriously saves me like 20 minutes on my routine. Love.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Playing Catch-up (in pictures)

Memorial day. I made these decorations to stick in the grass by the graves of my grandparents.
Close-up of the decorations.
 Memorial day.
Dave finished this puzzle on his own...except for the 3 pieces I helped with :)
The garden that I helped my mom plant.
This is too amusing...
Fish at Cabela's!
Cascade Springs!