Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Rocks

Last weekend I had the privilege to spend some quality time with my 3 slightly older, considerably wiser sisters. I'm fortunate to have them in such close proximity to me. We are each so different from one another, yet we are surely cut from the same cloth. We itch our nose in the exact same way, and that's the tell tale sign. You might be thinking everybody itches their nose. But not everybody itches their nose like we do. Mom does it. My nieces do it. I even think my brother does it. It's our thing, almost like a secret code that holds all the family secrets. I believe my sisters to be quite miraculous creatures. There's the runner, the baker, the teacher, the giver, the grandma (guess!), the PTA president, the reader, the crafter, the cook, the gardener. But really, they are my foundation. 

Image via Marta
We happened to be in the same area of Park City as Marta's Harvest Boutique and had the chance to stop in for some gift shopping and even meet Marta. She was really darling and we each came away with something fun from her shop. It's always especially refreshing to meet someone in real life when they turn out to be just as sweet and charming in person as they are online. I'm so glad she snapped this picture, because it was the only one of us all together from that weekend.
Guac. A. Mole.
Our other pictures are really only central to food. Which is evidence that we take food very seriously. I kid you not, this guacamole alone was a topic of conversation for, I don't know, at least 25 minutes. Later that night we tried on our new fancy socks and watched a weird movie and stayed up even later to chat about those things that sisters do including the good times and even some bad times of growing up Richman. Thank you sisters, for being in my life.

Brought to you by the letters L, O, V, and E and the number SEVEN

This month we celebrated our 7th anniversary which actually felt like the 57th. I know I'm supposed to say that it feels like yesterday when we blah blah blah. It certainly wasn't yesterday and being together 7 years shy of eternity just doesn't happen overnight. Sorry. Seven years ago I had this plan, actually I think we had the same plan, but anyways our plan was perfect. Trust me, it was a really good plan. I am here to report that the only thing still original to our plan and our present is that we're still married. I suppose that's the beauty and the irony of the mishap that is my life. All those surprises along the way have given us good cause to stretch and challenge ourselves in ways that we wouldn't have otherwise. So thank you, Universe, for that. Your attempts at sabotage are duly noted, but you'll notice that we're doing just fine. Thriving, actually. Thank the heavens for that. Thank our gracious Father in Heaven for being there when we've needed Him most. 

"The past is the past and the future is perfect."
On our anniversary we happened to be downtown at Temple Square for Regional Conference. It was rainy and cold, but we were happy and content to just be together. Then we snuck over to the same little Italian cafe where we had lunch exactly 7 years ago and ate the same chicken curry salad over greens. I love tradition. The only thing that could have made the day more perfect was a Sunday nap, which you can trust I enjoyed for a solid 3 hours that afternoon. Cheers to us, eternity, imperfection, curry salad, naps and the lucky number 7.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Last week I spent a couple of days in the Portland area for work. However, the fog was thick enough to scoop and I didn't actually see much beyond this. Still, driving over this bridge in the fog was eerily awesome this time of year.

More New Hampshire, and Maine

The problem with taking so many pictures on vacation is that you feel obligated to document all of them. Plus, I don't know when I'll have the chance to venture back to this place. Even after all the time we've spent hiking in the mountains at home or visiting National Parks, we had never seen a bear. On day two of our trip we just finished picking up fresh eggs when we drove past a little black bear lounging in the grass just off the road. He was s o o o o cute...from a good distance.
One of the highlights of the whole trip for me was to go antiquing with my aunt. Her home is filled with beautiful antiques, each piece of furniture or clock or dish has a story or special significance. We attended the Gary R. Wallace Auction one evening and were perplexed by one portrait up for bid. We weren't able to stay long enough to hear them auction this piece off, but if that's not Joseph Smith then I'm not Mormon (a seventh generation Mormon at that).
We noticed these 3 foot stone walls all over the New England countryside. Most of them have been there since the very first settlers began clearing fields for planting. So they stacked them into fences. I made a mental note that someday when we have a yard, I want a stone fence somewhere on the property. I think they are exceedingly charming. Imagine the snowball fights you could have!
One day we loaded Morse in the car and took a day trip to Maine. Auntie and uncle were the best tour guides and took us to their favorite sites and eating spots all along the way. We ate lobster rolls, whole lobsters, lobster pot pie, clam chowder, fried oysters and on and on and on until we got to the Pie in the Sky Bakery and then we ate gingersnaps the size of my head. Oh. My. Among the sites we saw and places we stopped were Kennebunkport, Walker Point, Cape Porpoise, Cape Neddick, and Nubble Lighthouse. It was too chilly to touch my toes in the water, but it was awesome to see and smell the ocean and feel the spray of waves crashing into the rocks.
Last but not least, here's one last photograph, which I feel embodies all the beauty in all of New Hampshire and the feeling we came home with. I fell head over heels in love with this little white church out in the woods. Wouldn't it be perfectly dreamy to be married there? The answer is heck yes. The Wonalancet Union Chapel was built in 1880 (or thereabouts) and is only open for worship on certain days and holidays so we didn't get to see inside. However we walked all around the property and gave a thorough inspection. It's hard to describe the feeling there with any other word besides peace. It was lovely.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Hampshire, the great outdoors

It's a bit chilly in the North East this time of year, but that didn't keep us from enjoying the outdoors. Crisp air, blue skies, and plenty to behold. One early morning we managed to pry ourselves out of our cozy little bed, bundle up, and go for a leisurely run. Side bar: I actually really enjoy exercising on vacation. This totally sikes BD out because in our usual day-to-day I'm not great at early morning anything, let alone exercising. After 7 years of marriage, I still like that I can throw him a curve ball every now and then.
One afternoon we loaded up the kayak's and ventured to nearby Bear Camp Pond. We were the only ones on the water that day and had the entire pond to ourselves. Once we finally got the hang of paddling with some amount of confidence that we wouldn't tip over we exhausted ourselves chasing one another around every corner of the pond. It was beautiful beyond words.

On another day we loaded Morse into the car with us and set out to find the Wentworth Trail to hike Mount Israel. Morse turned out to be the most fantastic hiking companion. When he was on the leash he would literally pull us up the mountain like a train. When off the leash he would run ahead to investigate the unknown trail and then run back and wag his tail frantically for us to hurry up already. The trees and foliage on the way up were breathtaking and the panoramic from the top awarded views of Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake, and the White Mountains. Once again, we were the only one's on the mountain that day.

New Hampshire, the Sandwich Fair

Sandwich, New Hampshire is a quintessential New England counrty town nestled between The Lakes Region and the White Mountains. The town itself is charming and quaint with one blinking yellow traffic light, a post office, a general store, a library, a big white church, and that's practically it. We were fortunate enough to be there over Columbus Day weekend for the yearly Sandwich Fair and Parade. My uncle volunteers at the fair every year, so while he was busy keeping watch over the grade-school art projects we strolled the art and craft exhibits, the 4-H winners, and kept warm with a big steaming bowl of clam chowder. And of course, we didn't leave without sampling the fried dough drenched in a maple glaze. Wow.

The following day was the Sandwich Parade which toured the main few blocks of the downtown buildings. The parade exhibitors seemed to be an absolute perfect representation of the long-held traditional values of early America. Patriotism, religion, industry, family. My favorite was the local veterinarian who breeds dalmatians.

Being a city girl, I'm not all that familiar with Oxen and much to BD's amusement I was really really intrigued with these giant cow like beasts. They were H U G E. I wanted to touch one, but never mustered the courage. Plus, I'm not familiar with the proper social etiquette of petting Oxen. You might notice that the Oxen on the right in the picture below has the camera dead-locked in his gaze. In the split second after this picture was taken, that Oxen took another 4 big steps straight in our direction before his master could get a handle on him. As she steadily shoved the Oxen back into the road and passed us within inches she yelled "Sorry! He loves cameras!" I nearly wet myself. And that's the story about when an Oxen from Sandwich, New Hampshire almost ate me.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Hampshire, dreamy still

This is officially BD's last semester of school before he graduates from his MST program at the U of U. While I can hardly wait for him to be done with school, I'm also (a little) sad to give up student life. Trust me, you can get away with so much using the excuse we're still in school. It helps ease inquiring minds about why we don't have kids, why we're still renting, why we only have one car, why we haven't fully advanced into the grown-up world, and why we can't afford to. Being students solves all those problems. Taking full advantage of BD's last Fall Break we skipped town in celebration of his birthday and our wedding anniversary, both of which fall in fall. I  l o v e October...

Stealing a birthday kiss in the woods, Sandwich, New Hampshire
My auntie and uncle have a second home in New Hampshire and ever since I was a small fry I've dreamed of visiting during autumn. Little did we know we timed this trip perfectly to be there during the 100th anniversary of the Sandwich Fair and the peak leaves weekend. Double whammy of luckiness. The hills were saturated with reds, yellows, and oranges the likes of which I've never seen. Even having grown up surrounded by beautiful mountains filled with changing leaves, it was a different kind of fall in New England.
Piles of harvested pumpkins at the Moulton Farm
I have an eternity of pictures to sort though and my mind is brimming with things to document. A daunting task that I'll have to break into segments in order to do our dreamy little vacation any justice at all. New Hampshire during autumn was everything I had expected, except one-hundred times better. On the way from the airport our first stop was at a family farm loaded down with pumpkins of every size, color, and shape in all directions. Heaven! The general store smelled of spiced baked goods and we left toting apple cider for the drinking and fresh haddock for the eating. I could have turned around and flown right back home completely satisfied. But there was more. So much more. Most importantly I loved the time spent with my auntie (who feels like grandma in all the best ways), and uncle (who is the best tour-guide and lobster expert), and Morse (the luckiest yellow lab in all the world).
Me and aunt Janine, somewhere beautiful in New Hampshire
View from the back porch, not bad...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 08, 2010

Happy Happy to BD

O n a day like today, my husband and fledgling tennis partner, I wish you the happiest of birthdays. Despite those bad things I said that one time when I was really really upset about that one thing... I love you with heart, mind, body, and soul and I wouldn't change who you are or what we've become for anything. You've been my husband for s-e-v-e-n years (this month!), my fiancé before that, my missionary before that, my boyfriend before that, and my best friend even before that. I love that you'll play tennis with me, even though I'm pretty awful, and you're rather terrible. We lose half the balls we bring, and our two brains together are barely intelligent enough to figure out the scoring. On the court we are nothing short of disastrous. But you play with me anyway, and you cheer when I win, because you know it makes me insurmountably happy to swing wildly at things with a racket. That pretty well sums up the kind of man you are, living with the kind of woman I am, and why life with you just seems to work (even if you have to duck now and then). If your mother were alive today, I'd kiss her on the mouth and thank her repeatedly for carrying you safely into this world some 29 years ago. It's strangely comforting to think even though you were nearly 10 years overdue in your parents' eyes, you were born at exactly the right time and in the right place in order for me to stand right behind you in the 2nd grade luau while your mom filmed us completely pummeling the Hawaiian hu ke lau. With that, we don't need any more proof that it was always meant to be. Even today, I am still right behind you and your mother is smiling so proudly from a short distance. Your family is cheering you on and your friends are going through the same motions you are. You are becoming more like your dad with every year, and I am just fine with that because it's obvious to me where your entire arsenal of endearing qualities comes from. To celebrate, let's fly far far away and get lost in the woods.

P.S. When we have children, I will refrain from embarrassing you like this and will aim to devote our entire blog to diaper blow-outs and the first day's of kindergarten. That's a promise.

Monday, October 04, 2010

He's my lobster

We ushered in the new of autumn by spending another lovely weekend at Sundance (spoiled, yes), watching General Conference, playing Old Maid with a smarty-pants three year old, feasting on crème brulée french toast, and successfully taking the lift ride with no acrophobia freak outs. BD makes me feel calm about things I can't control. He's my lobster. Welcome fall!

Friday, October 01, 2010

The wheels on the Landy go round and round

BD was so excited to take me for my first spin in the Landy on Sunday. I mean really, have you ever seen a happier little boy? Holy. Carburetor. It drives! It totally drives. Like, you put a key in the dash, wiggle some wires, pull the blocks out from underneath, and it actually drives down the street. BD loves this truck (I mean looooooves this truck) and has spent the last 6 years resurrecting it with his dad and brothers. I'm quite proud that he has taught himself how to build a car from the ground up. It's kind of a big deal. And honey, once it has a back seat again, I can't wait to make out with you up the canyon.