27 November 2010


Last year, at this time, I was farther away from home than I'd ever been—
in Seoul, Korea.

This year, I was far from home again—
in a crazy place where the finest foods are prepared in trash bags:

But the cool thing is that despite the distance; despite the food-preparing-methods,

it didn't feel far from home.

Not this year; not last year.

I guess it's true that home is where the heart is. Isn't your heart most often with people?
(Really, Papá, can even YOU argue?)
And not just any people, of course, but family people—whether by blood or not.

I guess that's why I didn't even feel too far from home during Thankgsiving on my mission.
The main event of the day was not cooking nor parade-watching, but instead a
basket ball game.
(Not my choice of activity...)
But it hardly mattered—because I was simply thrilled just to be with my people;
these people that had my heart; the people that had become family.

{ This is where I would post a picture
of the people who have my heart in NC;
the people that made this Thanksgiving
"close to home." But you'll just have to
see them there because we were too busy
having fun together to snap a photo of our own. }

So, for my turn-around-the-table, this is what I chose to be grateful for:
that even though I am far from my home, 
(Meaning my Mom/Papá/Sean/Calvin/Josie/Carmen/Maya/Ashton,
& extended families & non-blood families, & even my Provo)

I feel right at home with these people. I love it here because my heart is with them!

(And let me just say this trash-bag food was perhaps the best thing on the table.
Oh how I wish we'd stolen some leftovers that I could devour right now!
That's OK, though—who ever said Thanksgiving was about food??)

19 November 2010

happy belated carmen!

Oh, and while we're on the topic, we might as well share our Gerberta gem too, shall we?

Gerb was one of my wonderful Young Women leaders.
She had us giggling every time one of us had a birthday because she emphatically sang a solo—IN SPANISH—
of the traditional Latin birthday song, "Las Mañanitas," (sorry—that link cuts off the last 3 syllables). Yes, she somehow still remembered all the words—IN SPANISH—from her high school Spanish class, I think.

For my 'Sweet Sixteenth' birthday, she changed it up a bit and sang different words to the same tune,
adding a bit of teasing which actually was more teasing my dad than it was teasing me:

a) Papá was so strict; his rule was that I couldn't wear make-up (including nail polish!) until I was 16.
b) Papá was so 'lax; he had long-ago taught me to drive and would send me to the store or to shuttle a sibling when absolutely needed, so turning 16 wasn't a big deal behind the wheel.

So with that background, please enjoy her lyrics, which I also sang to Carmen on the 13th:
(Sorry, Josie that I didn't sing it to you from my mission. Maya, don't let me forget in 2 years!)

Is it true? You are now sixteen?
And now driving legally?
Your nails can now be painted!
And a laurel you will be.

The boys (who are also sixteen)
can now ask you on a date!
But remember my advice, now:
And that's that

15 November 2010


I know, it's been a month, but I'm just glad to get these up.
After walking all over the Big Apple, we just wanted to sleep in,
but who could sleep in through Mary Deane's cuteness and Brendon's breakfast from scratch?
(Really, he peeled and grated the potatoes himself and made us hashbrown patties! Mmm!)
getting ready to go into town

Her ribbon fell out so I got to fix it. Brought back memories of many-a-hairdo on little sisters!

Like I said, the other city was all about walking,
so I QUITE enjoyed some drive-by sight-seeing.

Then Mary Deane said, "let us take you to Zaytinya!"
And we knew better than to object.
We have no pictures to prove it, but this Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisine was probably even better than the amazing Republic lunch in NYC. Thanks Jonses!

Then we tried walking again:
To the National Building Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.

A fairly magestic entrance, eh? Look at the very tip-top where the wall meets the roof and...

... you can see bust sculptures repeating in a line! How do they ever dust them?

The columns feel pretty big from up top...

On our way out we spotted a bird in panic...

The kids were chasing him around the carpet before he flew up to the ledge for a rest.

I don't know what my face is doing, but it was fun to see a familiar face.

And I love the layout of this print—his signature and the engraving and the old type...

I didn't know who Ben Bernanke was, but Ben K and I loved this dollar collage.


We thought this was a photo until we looked closer.

The atrium was as cool as the portraits.
We both got tired faster than we thought, so Mary Deane suggested we go home and we gladly obliged. The three of us rested together that night while Ann and Brendon carpe'd the diem.

The next day after church, we decided to do some more drive-by's
and maybe even walk some monuments before heading home.

Hello, Pentagon.

If you remember correctly, this guy was a smart man.

I really love the type and thinking about who set it. The streak stains are even fun too.

On the way to the FDR memorial, we heard a loud noise coming from one of the garbages:

Good lookin' type. Good lookin' guy.

Lincoln Memorial, here we come!

Oops; sorry to cut you out, Mr. Lincoln. I still think you're the coolest.

The cool design of this monument means you can even reflect shadows. (Ben's and mine).

Autumn colors in DC: we liked them!
A a little photoshop put us both in this shot with our new state:

It made us so homesick that we drove home.

Thank you, dear Nation's Capital. It was so nice to meet you.

12 November 2010


 One of the things I have always admired about my husband
is his ability (and habit even) to notice.

Last week or so, he pointed out a certain tree to me on the way out of our little neighborhood.
A magnificent blend of fall colors from red to gold—one of the few maple trees in Garner.

I have wanted to remember the camera every time we've left home so I could capture it.

And every time we've left home I've forgotten—until this morning.
But then I was driving, and Ben was preparing a last-minute drawing, and the sun just wasn't right.
This maple is a bit past her prime now and may of the top leaves have fallen to make the familiar blanket of leaves that reminds me of Provo—(especially the maple in the back yard of our duplex on 1800 North.)

But I did manage a few other sights:

These don't do the colors justice of course, but it was more the nostalgic feeling of the drive home that is important. I was grateful just for the chance to notice all of this.

And then I was grateful Ben's father (he must get the 'notice' gene from somewhere) who shared this:

Happy Thanksgiving Daily!

(MD/NYC/DC part III coming soon...)

08 November 2010

MD/NYC/DC: part II

Since I was on a kick of dedicating road trips to delayed celebrations, I decided to do the same here:
That whole Bachelor's degree is actually a really big deal for me and therfore gets its own post later,
but for now, welcome to our graduation party:

Our first guest is Miss Alice—always on the move. Here she dances during a stop off the New Jersey Turnpike.

After a couple hours, a cool bridge and a Lady-Liberty sighting, we saw the City welcoming us...

Next awesome guests: Tallia and Jon. Even their backs are awesome.
Awesome Jon got us a great Penthouse Suite in Jersey city; just two blocks from a PATH station.
There is nothing like coming up out of the Subway into Times Square. Seriously, can anyone get used to that?

Alice points out that no; no one can get used to that.

Only two more months to 2011!

Spontaneous gems of the rest of that night:

Sandwiches at Num Pang (thanks Becky for the tip!) I got the Roasted Cauliflower...
And Ben got the Five Spiced Pork Belly (he described it as "P712's shortribs, on a bun with amazing sauce")

The atmosphere was almost as fun as the food. Ben complained, "why can't awesome stuff like this be everywhere?" I know Ben, that's why NYC is so amazing...

STRAND bookstore was next. We happened to get there just in time for an author's visit—
Charles Burns explained his journey into a genre that has fascinated me since I discovered it: graphic novels...

Last time I was here I spent a LONG while in the kids books and graphic design books. This time I found myself in a little different section...
(the tiniest room in the dark basement) but I found some treasures... including this.

Walked by this place—each shoe is shrink-wrapped, can you see? It was like a cross between a gallery and a shoe store. Thought of you, Jacob.

Another place we happened upon—Ben just learned about cloisters in his class.
We walked around the bushes and in the gate to look at the landscaping. I was a fan of the full moon.
Saw this on our walk back. I think we still heard honking anyway. Maybe $350 is worth a honk...

Happened upon a huge record collection/shop. You could tell the owner-lady knew her stuff.

On the same corner where our PATH station was that would take us back to Jersey City,
we stopped inside a Dean and Deluca-like store. Can't remember the name... but look at those CHEESES!

All those beverages! (Hello, Fentiman's.)

All those breads!

 We had toffee/chocolate-covered hazelnuts, dried kiwi (from The Nut Box) and chocolate ice cream for dessert; together with full-on planning session for a non-spontaneous Day 2:

SSB for breakfast; (and we bought enough for a drive-home snack with Dean & Deluca goat cheese and baba ghanoush)

My Freshman Career Test said I should be a window display designer. My dad said I could be something better.
Really, Papá, is graphic design better than cloud-head mannequins?
Then, a stop for the landscape architect:
The High Line

Except there was a giant cloud over us and it was windy up there too; so we split up for a season.

Ben was cool.

Super fun to see design in this form: those benches were not just bought from a catalog and added; they were an integral part of the landscape.
Divine Design: also fascinating.

Part of the old railroad incorporated...

Rail cars preserved here too...

At intersections, the High Line weaved under buildings. These windows were cooler in person, I think...

At this intersection, The High Line gives you the ultimate street view...

A cool installation/sculpture on the way...

A look through the peep-hole revealed that the abstract shapes came from all the architecture from that POV...
Then The High Line dead-ended. They're fixing up the rest...

Another fascinating NYC-ism. Something tells me Ashton would think this is as cool as I do.

Then we met up with our awesome friends again in awesome SOHO:

PEARL RIVER MARKET: Cool things go on forever and ever.

More cool things go on and on in KIOSK; except with much less square-footage.

I loved the set-up as much as the products...


Thank goodness I made this journal entry on the wall outside KIOSK when I was here in March '09. (It's still there!)
Otherwise, I'd never have remembered the funny story where classmate Miriam took the soap sample outside and thought it was edible...
(To her credit, they gave out the samples with fancy tweezers as if it were food).

A display at the ABC Expensive store...
CB2 & MUJI were also among the Soho fave's...

One of my favorite Subway-stop-tile-art's...
Up to Union Square; they were having their awesome Farmer's Market.
Ben bought a juice that tasted JUST LIKE raspberries and apples, except somehow in liquid form.
Our only star-sighting turned out to only be exciting for me—Stefan Sagmeister; just a super graphic designer.
Waiting for food at REPUBLIC.

Alice looks both ways.

My bento box lunch special. My mouth waters just thinking of it:
A lime-y soup, spicy peanut sauce for the satay, and a vermicelli salad that reminded me of the bibimbap in Seoul.

THEN FISHS EDDY!! So many dishes in so many ways...

Our final NY delicacy: BIG GAY Ice Cream.

Click & zoom to read the topping options...
The soft-serve itself was amazing, but the orange-blossom-infused balsamic made it double-amazing.
Then we hopped back on PATH and then drove home!

Hooray for graduating from BYU!
Hooray for friends visiting the East!
Hooray for NYC being a drive away!