Monday, September 28, 2009

Camping with the Goblins



I don't really have any funny stories or new pictures. But I know Annie checks my blog every day, and I don't want her to get impatient with me. So here, I'll tell you about my first camping trip. Kurt is all about sleeping in the wilderness, and bathing in the rivers. I always wondered why anyone would want to do that when there is a perfectly good motel just a few miles away, with running water and a restaurant. But since we are married, I decided I should at least try this whole camping thing. Plus he let me take my makeup.

We went down to southern Utah in late July. First, we stayed at Goblin Valley. It was AWESOME. Our campsite was in a little canyon, and we had our own private goblins. Not gonna lie though, my favorite part was the shower in the center of the camp.

My hair is doing something crazy in this picture.

Then he took my to Capitol Reef. I really liked it there. It was like stepping back in time. We went hiking up in the mountains, and almost got eaten by a swarm of bats. They could probably tell I was wearing their poop on my eyelids (Most mascara is made of bat guano. Look it up).


I'm such a bad influence



Yesterday we slept through church. This was a pretty common thing for me back in my singles ward at BYU, which started at 8:40am. But out here our branch doesn't start until 10. I didn't even get up until... well, I guess you don't need to know that. Lets say a little while after church started. Oops.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Our Home



That last post didn't take as much time as I thought it would. So here is a picture for you to look at. I took this while standing by Kurt's desk, next to Larry. You can see our kitchen table, the back of The Foam, our Ikea bookshelf (With my Crafty frame on it!!) And my desk area. you can also see boxes on the floor in the back- those would be mine. Kurt has been unpacked for weeks.



I spy with my little eye, something huge and "E" shaped...


Not for the Vegans



I only have a minute, because Kurt is off at a baseball game and so I am going to watch movies with some of the other Wives. But I wanted to tell you guys about this amazing dinner I made yesterday. You are probably rolling your eyes, and thinking, "Do I really have to listen to her bragging about her cooking??" First of all, you won't be listening- you will be reading. And second of all, I have only made 6 meals for my husband since we have been married. And three of them have been the same thing. And one of them was sandwitches. I'm VERY inexperienced when it comes to cooking, and so to keep me motivated, I am telling you about my successes. Then you can fawn all over me, and encourage me, and stop rolling you eyes already! (That was to you Amber. And you too, McCall)

So here it is. I made Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps. And it was amazing. Go make this right now.

Annie made this for us when we lived with her for a month before The Big Move. It was so good- but then most of her meals are, you know? But here's the thing- it was just as good when I made it! Which means it will be great when you make it too. It's a Paula Dean recipe.


Ingredients
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
1 (1-pound) package sliced bacon
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a wooden pick. Stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Coat a rack and broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken wrap on rack in broiler pan. Bake 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

You are welcome!!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Welcome Larry!



Kurt did great on his Histology test! And I slept until 2pm. I know that comes as a surprise to those who have known me for a long time- you're probably thinking, "Helena? Sleep all day? That doesn't sound like her AT ALL."

Once I was up and showered, we went to Ikea and got a plant! I named him Larry. Kurt hates that name, but until he comes up with something better, Larry it is. He is a Majestic Palm. We got him special palm potting soil, and rocks to go on the bottom, for drainage (After we got home, we noticed that Larry didn't come with any instructions. So I looked it up online). He is pretty spoiled.

We also got light bulbs. And when I was scooting behind our Ikea chair to put one in our lamp, I got a splinter in my butt! Through my jeans!!! It hurt like a mother. It went into my skin like a half an inch, and bled all over the place! It was pretty funny (And pretty painful). When Kurt was helping me with the band-aid, he was all, "You should take a picture and blog about this!" Hahaha, I know you are all disappointed I didn't post a picture of my butt on here! I wish I had taken a picture of me walking around Lowes, where we went to get the soil. I spent the whole time clutching my sore behind! I didn't even realize I was doing that until we were at the checkout, and I noticed someone giving me a funny look. Oops.


No Sleep Tonight!



I decided to help Kurt study. That means we will both be up all night. I can sleep in though- he has class at 8am (And I will sleep in. Probably until around 2 or 3pm). By "help him study" I mean stay up, and let him nap every few hours. If we were both sleeping, there's no way he would get up after 20 minutes. To keep myself busy, I decided to try Being Crafty.

First I made a box for Annie. I will post pictures of it later (She would see it if I posted it now). It didn't turn out very good (You better like it anyway, Miss Annie!!). Then I decided to try making something a little bit more my style.

They have these picture frames on sale at Michael's right now for $1. They are just plain, unfinished wood. I could have used one of the thousands of pieces of paper I have here- but instead I bought one at the store. It was expensive, too: .58 cents! Which is a lot for a piece of paper. But the oranges were speaking to me.

I cut half of the 12"/12" piece of paper up into random squarish and triangle-like shapes. then I grabbed a piece of burnt orange cardstock and did the same. Finally, I thought it needed something darker, so I grabbed a little sheet of gold and black checked paper. These are what I used to paper machete.

I painted the frame a burnt orange really quickly. I didn't bother to do well, it was gonna be covered up anyway. Then I started gluing pieces on. I used a glue stick, so I could re arrange the pictures if I wanted to. Once I was finished, I used Mod Podge to finish it off. And Viola!

So... tell me what you think. If I made a bunch of these things (In different colors and stuff) would they sell? And if you got one as a present, would you hide it in a closet?

I made Kurt take this picture of me. My hair is kind of crazy- I'm still figuring out how to wear it out here. Bangs in the humidity=greasy, stringy things on my forehead. No bueno. And for those of you who are wondering, my apron was a gift from my new stepmom, JoAnn. My bridal shower was themed, "Sexy Housewife" and she got me this! I love it. I wanted to get a picture of me making the frame, as proof that I was once successfully Crafty (you never know when the Crafty mood will strike again. It could be a while). Kurt had to finish his practice test before he could take this picture. And so I kept myself entertained by taking pictures of my slippers.


I know this is super long and probably boring, but it's almost 4am. And those who know me well know that I ramble a LOT when I'm tired. Or nervous. Or excited. Or... well, you get the picture!


Monday, September 21, 2009

I've been singing this all day



I went to EFY a lot. Every summer from the ages of 12-18, my parents sent me and whichever siblings were old enough to go too. I guess they liked how nice and spiritual we were when we came back. Don't worry, I wasn't forced to go- I really liked it.

One summer, we performed the musical arrangement Joseph Smith The Prophet
, composed and arranged by Rob Gardner. I really love it.


I used to work for Die Cuts



On our first day of church here in our new Branch, Amber (She's a Third Year Wife) handed out chocolate popcorn to the Gospel Doctrine class (she's the teacher). It was amazing. I can't rave about it enough. Sometimes I even dream about it. Turns out she makes it, and sells it every week at the Strip District.

The Strip District is a place where every Saturday morning you can go and buy stuff. Think a weekly outdoor craft fair, only cooler. But there's produce stands too. I guess it's pretty much an outdoor market. I've never been, but I looked it up online and I can't wait to go! (And now that I have my GPS, I CAN go!) Basically, I think Annie would love it. Some of The Wives share a booth, and sell the things they make.

I am not very crafty. YET. But I have the potential! And by that I don't mean I have some innate craftiness waiting to get out. I just have an extremely large amount of craft supplies. I used to work for DCWV, in Provo. It's a scrapbooking company, and the letters stand for Die Cuts With a View. They also own Pressed Petals. When I worked in the warehouse and shipping department, they collected all the damaged stuff. Perfectly good paper packs, etc, with slightly torn labels and things like that. We rounded all the broken stuff up, and put it all in large boxes. Then they sold those boxes to the employees for like $10 each. I bought 6 or 7. Each one had over $300 worth of stuff in there! So yeah- I have about $2,000 worth of scrapbooking stuff, just chillen in my corner.

Kurt is studying at home tonight. After a few hours of trying to be quiet, I got bored and went shopping. As I wandered through TJ Max, I noticed some cute shoe boxes all decorated. And some recipe boxes. As I was checking this stuff out, I thought, "I could do this."

So that's my plan. I bought some Modge Podge and brushes, and some little cardboard boxes at Michaels. I'm gonna start experimenting tomorrow. And who knows? If I'm good at it, maybe I'll see if I can sell some down at the Strip District.

Oh! I just heard a loud groan of frustration from the other room. Kurt is studying like crazy for his Histology test. I saw an energy drink in the fridge, which mean he's pretty serious about this. And pretty exhausted. Poor guy studied until 12:30 last night, and then got up at 4am. He's been going all day. At least this test is tomorrow, so there is an end in sight. AND he did GREAT on his Micro Bio test today! I'm pretty proud.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Proposal



In my last post, I said "You remember the dolphins." But then I realized that a lot of my readers only met me after I got married and moved out here! So unless they have stalked through all my old Facebook notes (I think I'm the only one creepy enough to do that), they probably had no clue what I was talking about.

Back in March, we were not engaged. I had gone ring shopping with my sister a few months before, so that if Kurt wanted to he would have an inside man. It was supposed to work both ways- I was hoping she'd clue me in when he was getting ready to pop the question.

When it started snowing again in Utah, Kurt asked if I wanted to go to LA for the weekend- it's where he served his mission. I had never been (and I was sick of the snow) so I said Heck Yes!

The day before we left, I asked my spy if he had gone ring shopping yet. She said no (She lied to my face!). After a few hours of complaining about how rings take a long time to size, and he was leaving in August, and how was I supposed to plan a wedding?? I had no doubt that I would be staying single for a while.

He took me hiking in Palos Verdes. We ended up out on a cliff, overlooking the ocean. It was maybe 20 feet wide, and hundreds of feet high. And yes, there were dolphins. He still hasn't told me how he arranged that. He pulled me away from the edge, and got down on one knee. I was too shocked to say yes at first. He is pretty smooth.

This is an actual photograph of the proposal.



If you click on it, you can see it better


Me vs. Bio Chem




Kurt has 2 tests this week, and so our only plans for the weekend were him studying, and me not distracting him. We went out to eat on Friday, but that was gonna be it for fun. Saturday night he was studying on campus when I received this text, "Wanna pick me up early and go check out Mount Washington?" I was so excited- two dates in one weekend!! He just can't resist me: I win this one Bio Chem!

Some people think that there are no mountains in Pittsburgh. They are wrong. There are baby ones. And I wanted pictures. So while he was freaking out about being so close to the ledge, I was holding up my phone and saying, "Just one more! I didn't look cute in the last 6!"

Sidenote: Kurt can stand on the edge of a cliff, with the wind trying to push him off, and not even flinch. But he can't handle man made heights. Weird, huh?

The view up there was spectacular. There were fireworks (he says they weren't planned, but I don't know. You guys remember the dolphins). Pittsburgh is beautiful. especially at night, when you are too far away to see the slums and smell the cigarette smoke.

Later that night, we went to Wal Mart. It was so romantic! You think I'm kidding. But when we were looking at printer cartridges, he pulled me over to a different display and said, "Pick one." Then he bought me a GPS.

See? Romantic.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hooter Hiders!!



I've been looking at other peoples blogs, and I noticed that some of them have really cute, crafty stuff. Either recipes, or instructions, or examples of things they've made. Well, I'm not very crafty. YET. But here is a link to something that is.

I just got an email about this. Click HERE to see what I'm talking about. The best part is, you can get one free. You just pay shipping and handling- $9. Great deal on a baby shower gift? Why yes, I think so.

Just click on ORDER NOW, Select the quantity of the blanket you like best (You can only get 1 with the discount), and it will take you to the order page. Type CHATTER in as the promo code.

I got the pink one. I was originally thinking I'd use it at one of the many baby showers I will be attending (You know, for all the pregnant Wives), but I might just keep it. I'm sure it will still be adorable in a few years, when we start thinking about having a kid.


Girls Night Out!!



Last night I went with some friends to see a late night movie. We met up at Bravo, the Italian restaurant in the Waterfront, where we ordered dessert. AT 9:30 PM!!! Since school started, our bedtime has been around 9- SO THE EVENING DIDN'T EVEN START UNTIL A HALF HOUR AFTER MY BEDTIME!! I felt like a rebel. Or a little kid on New Years.

Kurt was NOT invited. Just girls. But he was ok with that- his 26 credits of Dental school keep him from getting bored.

Then we went and saw The Time Travelers Wife. I'm glad I saw it with a group of girls, so crying just helped me fit in. Some of them thought it wasn't as sad as P.S I LOVE YOU, but they were wrong. This movie was MUCH sadder.
We stood around talking after the movie ended, and I didn't get home until 1:30 am. And this is what I found. It was so cute, I wasn't even jealous of the teddy bear!!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Leftover Wedding Favors




mmmmmmmmmm


Job Hunting



I just filled out an online employment application for a craft store. And they made me do a Timed Assessment.

"A novel is to a chapter like organization is to a _______"

Corporation? Business? Department? It's been 7 years since I've answered a question like this!

I probably failed. The job will go to the 16 year old with no work experience, who's main goal in life is studying for the ACT.

I think I'd like working for a craft store. And I can bribe the other Wives into being my friends with my employee discounts and inside sale information.

I have applied at probably 30 places over the past few weeks, and not one of them has called me back. How would I know, you ask?

Because I cleared out my inbox!!!

That's right folks! I had to listen to messages from way back in May (And one from Lisa from a year ago, which I promptly re-saved), but it's empty.

My friend Nicole said it took her months to find a job here, and that seems pretty standard. I'll keep you guys posted on this exciting aspect of my life.


Waterfall in the Uintas






We found this waterfall on our Honeymoon. You know you're jealous!





Our Honeymoon






When I went to upload the pictures of The Foam, I found tons of pictures from our honeymoon!I thought I'd share some of them with you (Ow! Ow!)



We stayed at a great little Bed and Breakfast in Midway. Kurt wouldn't let me take any pictures of the Honeymooon Suite ("No! That would be awkward!"), and so I can't show you those. But here are some shots of the grounds.



You could take canoes out on the lake, or enjoy the beautiful waterfall. It was idyllic. And MAN I wish I had pictures of the honeymoon suite! It was amazing. It had a HUGE draped bed, that you needed to use a step stool to climb up on. The room was decorated like a luxury log cabin. Whirlpool, stone shower, plants everywhere. This description is just not doing it justice.





We only stayed here one night, and then we went on to Park City. Which was great. But when I remember our honeymoon, I think of Midway.


The Foam



When we go to other peoples homes, the first thing we notice is the couch. We sit on it with reverence, and stroke it in awe. We can't hide the intensity in our voices, and so people look at us kind of funny when we say, "We REALLY like your couch." They probably have sudden images in their minds of us sneaking off with it, and don't quite know why. Maybe because we are thinking about the exact same thing.



Here is our couch. His parents found it for us- we aren't sure exactly where- and we got it for free. Can't beat that right? On first glance, it looks like a normal enough couch. A little on the small side, but not awful looking.



Upon closer inspection, you would notice that The Foam has no support in it. I don't mean it's saggy- I mean its made entirely out of foam. If you lean on the arms, they just fold right over. But my personal favorite is the way it folds out! See? it turns into a bed. You know you want to come over and sleep on it!!



Kurt hates it. He won't even sit on it. But I think its great. It's amazingly ghetto, and this is something we will be able to look back and laugh about for the rest of our lives. PLUS someday we will appreciate a new couch in ways that few people know.


Until then, we will just keep making up excuses to visit other peoples couches (Ha! Our friends think we are coming over to visit THEM!) and pretend for a minute that they are our own.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"You are a good writer. But it's still a blog."






I made Kurt read my Blog tonight. And he really liked it. I could tell by the way he half-smiled, and then turned it into a grimace when he caught me looking. It's only a matter of time before he starts a blog of his own. Until then, he can be a closet fan.


Wedding Pictures



My wedding photographer was great: he took awesome pictures, was really fun to work with, had a very likable personality. So why do I hate his freakin' guts?


Once we paid the deposit, he basically disappeared. He never answered his cell (I know, I could be describing myself), ignored my emails, didn't respond to texts, pretended he wasn't online (HELLO. I can see you in my Gchat.), and never returned my messages. Weeks went by- weeks of not being able to send out invitations- before he got back to me. Once we shot our engagements, I felt better. Of course he hadn't noticed my messages. It must have been a big mistake. And he was gonna get those pictures back to us ASAP.


ASAP means different things to different people.

The entire relationship went like this. Bridals (yes, I know they are ridiculous. Hundreds of pictures of just the bride- What would you do with them? Have an entire room devoted to yourself?? But they were included in the package. And I brought my bridesmaids.) were just as impossible to schedule. And I was surprised he even showed up for the Big Day- I hadn't heard from him in weeks. I think there is a special place in Hell for stressful wedding vendors...

So why am I thinking about this now? Well, it took him over a month to get the pictures online. And I only just got the CD's in the mail.

Now the big question: Would I chose him again? After all the hours of stressing and worrying, I can only say....yes. That's right: YES. Crazy? Probably. But look at the pictures...


I get lost a lot



I've noticed that no matter where you go, there will always be standard questions. I don't mean, "whats you name?" or "where are you from?": I'm talking about questions specific to where you are.

when I went off to college, the standard question was, "whats you major?" Pretty non-threatening, unless you are one of the unfortunate few who has yet to choose a major, and is entering their third year of higher education, and even though you know you should choose, you are kind of liking the whole coasting-along-thing, and if someone asks you that question AGAIN you are just gonna choose something crazy like, "I want to be a gynecologist" or "modern dance is my passion" hoping to leave them speechless and stop the lecture you've heard a MILLION times... Ahem. Not that I'd know what THAT'S like.

Out here in my new city, the question is, "How do you like Pittsburgh?" I'm sure whenever you go to a new city, you get some variation of that. But this is MY blog, so we are gonna pretend like this is an interesting topic. I've been asked this question about 80 times in the past few weeks. well, at least 20. The first time I answered predictably. "It's nice. I like it." But that was kind of a conversation stopper. What can they say to that? Good, I'm glad you approve? The next time (about 5 minutes later. we were at a dental student picnic) I didn't want to sound lame. So I kind of awkwardly added, "but I get lost a lot."

It was a hit! They totally empathized, and it led to a funny, bonding conversation. So of course, the next time I was asked The Question I said the exact same thing. And it worked again. I was a star- a conversational success. I had the same conversation many times that night, and have repeated it every time someone asks me The Question. Does it get boring? Yes. but first impressions are important, and once we have that conversation we are practically guaranteed to be friends. Then we can move onto other, more interesting topics: like the weather, or how many of The Wives are pregnant (Most of them).

My answer is completely true. I DO get lost a lot. Kurt and I do evening run throughs whenever I'm gonna have to go somewhere new. He google maps it, and then we go for a test drive. Sometimes multiple test drives, until I am sure I can make it alone. even then I usually manage to get lost. If you've ever driven in Pittsburgh, you know what I'm talking about. the roads are crazy- the streets don't match up, there are super confusing intersections, and I swear stop signs keep popping up where there were none before. Case In Point: yesterday I was driving to Campus, and I totally blew through a stop sign that I KNOW was not there the day before. And the lanes! they are so narrow, I start whimpering every time a truck drives by.

Idea for a future Post: Top Ten Reasons Why We Need A GPS; and why her husband still says no



I want one of these.


Well, I didn't want to lie



The other day, I posted a new tag line on Facebook (aka My Obsession). "Heléna is thinking about starting a blog. Because she's married. and that's what married people do." (It was an astoundingly accurate status. You know you are nodding in agreement.)

After that, I had no choice.

Kurt wasn't really happy. You'd think it was Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, or maybe this years stimulus plan: He just doesn't believe in it. Well, we will show him!

(Yup, I'm imagining me and the Easter Bunny marching off to save the economy. And then blogging about it.)


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