29 October 2011

things i been thinking

  • Cohen is so fun when he calmly wakes from a deep sleep. He's just limp and cuddly and weary and curious. I kiss him on the cheeks when I lay him back in bed and he just stares back.
  • HusBen works and schools. So much that he gets sick. And then he lays and reads sports and sports.
  • Orecchiette is a pasta that looks like 19th century farm hats.
  • I ♥ Mail! A perfect pillow to match our lime green couch from Deb. She embroidered "North Carolina" on it. What a memento! We also received a great big new carseat for the carseat-hater.

27 October 2011

half-birthday for husben

Ever since we've been married, Ben has kept the freezer stocked with at least one (sometimes all) of the following potato wonders: tater tots, straight-cut fries, cris-cut fries, hashbrowns, hashbrown patties—(am I missing anything?) It's an unlikely affinity, given his food-snob nature. But I love it. And obviously, he does too.

He can't have any of it without ketchup, though. I should mention that we go through lots of big bottles of the sweet stuff my dad tried to make me hate. I don't actually hate it, but I do hate when Ben overestimates the dipping pool he'll need for his late night snack and the extra ketchup clumps are either wasted or dried out for a fun dish-washing later.

It was while dining (in a classic small-town diner) on our anniversary trip that Ben declared he needed one of these dispensers—making it easy to just squirt the right amount on each individual fry. I tucked the idea in my head, liking it a lot myself, and pulled it out for his half-birthday, October 27th. (Special thanks to this fun place {and, check out that logo!} which is open to the public and just 10 min from home, on the beaten path.)

It was Ben himself that taught me the fun of celebrating half-birthdays, way back in 2003. Even if it's more fun for me than it is for him, it was well worth my buck and change!

21 October 2011

love a fair!

Welcome to the best post ever. So many photos, you might as well have been walkin' the State Fairgrounds with us! And, this is new: I'm actually blogging about something that happened recently. Not a year ago. But yesterday. Buena Jairo!

We ate: honey sticks, deep fried Oreos, Pepper-battered Bloomin' Onion, cinnamon sugar funnel cake, red velvet funnel cake, fresh lime fizz, and a Philly steak & cheese. Everything was worth it except for that last item. Blegh. Next year I will try the turkey legs and the deep fried KoolAid. (No, I don't know how that works.) I will never try the Krispy Kreme burger.

We saw: bee colonies up close, little cotton and sunflower plants, twisted sweet potatoes, $25,000 steers, 282-pound watermelons, ferris wheels—not to be confused with carousels, miniature autumn villages, and an un-advertised Santa in a banana stand (to which Ben quickly remarked, "well, now we know his day job").

Not gonna lie, Cohen was the best of all—a charmer, even in the chilly wind without his pacifier (forgot) or his normal stroller (forgot). Things like this are so much funner (it's a word) with kids! We were happy to be there with Hazel and Avery for that same reason. The Mac and Cheese bowl teacups would not have made the blog without them! (Kurt, Becky and Jordan were fabulous company too.)

18 October 2011


Last year I remember feeling, "Wait, it's November? We didn't even so much as get a pumpkin!" This year, the pumpkin made it to the porch before October 1st! Call me silly, but it feels like a victory. Also, we typically scramble online to find a spooky movie on Halloween night to celebrate somehow. By then, we have a hard time finding something—and when we do—we aren't too impressed. This year, in October's first week, we watched a genuine creeper. We can officially recommend The Others, starring Nicole Kidman. You can watch it instantly on Netflix, or rent it on iTunes for $3. (Perfect if you don't think about Halloween until Halloween, like we used to do.)

Also, last year, around this time, we were enjoying a jaunt up to the New York City. This year, to remember it, Ben brought home some Mallomars to try. They claim (on the box) that it's a New York City thing because over 70% of their sales "are generated in the shadow of the Big Apple." Who knows. I'm not a big mallow fan apart from s'mores, but these grew on me. I think they'll become an October tradition—since they are only on the shelves from October to April due to their melting properties. So, there is your random fact for the day.

07 October 2011

last night i realized i smile way bigger for pictures than most people do.

And I think I can benefit from smallish-smiling like everyone else.

06 October 2011

throw-back thursday: graduation

Who am I kidding? All my latest posts are "throw-backs" whether it's Thursday or not.

Today's memory is our graduation. We both officially graduated from BYU in August 2010 (after having completed the same online course together for our final needed credits).

What, you didn't know? Oh, don't worry—it's because we didn't really have a graduation. We didn't walk the walk or listen to the talk. We sort of had a ceremony with my design class which was awesome, but we did not wear that cap or gown and we did not take pictures together with the tulips or the cougar.

Let it be known that I regret this. That wasn't my original plan. I had all good intentions of following every graduation formality. I even prepared film to letterpress announcements, but in the end, maybe it wasn't meant to be?  I kind of knew in the moment that I would regret ditching it, but I still succumbed to the fact that I was really busy with finals and preparing my final show, not to mention my loved ones insisted it was a boring, pricey hub-bub for all involved. But if I knew all along that I would regret it, I wonder why I didn't just do it for myself? And for my posterity? And for my Grandpa? Yes, Grandpa Ord would have loved to be boring with me!

I settled on the idea that we could borrow robes and take pictures before the tulips were plucked. (If you aren't familiar with BYU, you should know their flowers don't die. They are plucked. Not picked by rude students, but uprooted by student employees. I know.) But alas, there was no real "deadline" for that and it never happened before we left Utah. And this is why I'm sad about it:

This degree was the hardest thing I ever did. And actually, it still is. It was harder than a mission. And I didn't know know this at the time, but it was also harder than labor & delivery (and even recovery). All you other college grads may snicker, but to each his own, right? Are there any law school grads that read this? Would you be offended if I said that I think my Bachelor's was as hard as your JD? I know, I've never been to law school, but I worked at BYU Law School for almost 5 years and I really think us BFA graphic design students across the street were working just as long and hard. (In fact, ultimately, the BFA was why I had to quit that wonderful job). I'm not saying it was hell. It wasn't. I really, really loved it and I wouldn't have chosen any other way to graduate if I could go back. But it was still really, really hard for me. It involved many successes and failures. Much stress and stretching. Lots of good learning and loving. And lots and lots of really late nights/all-nighters. (My school sleep was way worse than sleeping with a newborn, or even with the current Cohen who wakes more at night than he did as a newborn.) There are lots of nitty gritty details I'd be happy to share, but I'll spare the blog world and instead you can call me for that. (Because I officially have a 'real' phone now after about 3 years!) Are you feeling me yet? This little paper I'm holding above: It's a big deal.

Poor Ben probably had to learn this the hard way—I was planning at least a little dinner "ceremony" with homemade paper graduation hats when the diplomas arrived in the mail—something to make a big deal of this big deal. My pregnant self broke into tears when he opened it right from the mailbox. He was a good sport though and at least we have these crappy pictures even though I later destroyed my homemade caps and I don't even remember what "special dinner" we ate.

Anyway, so now you know I am evil and don't consider Cohen my greatest accomplishment. If I had to choose between the two, you're right, I'd choose my babe. But my other baby, The Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Brigham Young University, was a more challenging accomplishment I am proud to call mine.

So proud, in fact, that I am blogging about it over a year later.

04 October 2011

30 September 2011

ben is smokin' hot

In the mail this week I got an exciting envelope of photos from Jenna! I have my own collection of photos from this 2002 Almo trip with Tawny and Levi (who I believe was behind the lens), but I didn't have this shot of smokin' hot Ben. To be candid, this is when my crush on Ben was just starting. Can you blame me? I still can't believe he's there when I wake up.

Fittingly, this week I also dug out my box of journals in search of a list of words I made as a teenager to use on my traditional Conference Bingos for my siblings. But I gladly took a seat with many other high school journals, scanning the pages for stories of HusBen.

Sometimes I'm embarrassed that I really only dated one guy in this wide world. But as I read through those teenage thoughts on our relationship, I felt grateful—even proud—that I kept my high school sweetheart. Even back then, we both admitted we liked the idea of becoming each other's one-and-only. But we were mere teenagers, with two mission plans ahead. The odds were clearly not in our favor.

And yet, here we are! We are married! And we have a son! What?

I still can't believe it but I'm glad that in all the whole wide world, it is him there next to me when I wake up!

And yes, he is always there when I wake up because I ALWAYS wake up before he does.

27 September 2011

5 years ago

Today I'm thinking about mission stuff. Five years ago today, I left the world and entered the MTC. Will I eventually forget this date? Why does it seem like I remember this date more than any other? Like I can't quite remember the date I came home. (Of course, that could be because I was supposed come home one day and then the stupid Denver airport made me wait til the next day, but still—I should remember those dates more, right?)

As I began to type the post title, I was sure it had only been 3 years, but that cannot be if we just celebrated 3 years of marriage. So weird. I counted twice: 2006, 7, 8, 9, 10! 11!


Anyway, here is a photo of a P-Day where our zone decided all we wanted was a good ol' fashioned, home-grilled hamburger. It was a pretty big deal. A member that lived across the street from us agreed to host it in her back yard. Her son's name is Tommy, as seen behind me. Maybe he was named after this guy.

*special thanks to hermana ashley who loaned me this "interview dress" for the extent of my mission. it was just as fancy-feeling and classic and easy as she promised. to my understanding, it was passed on to another sister after i was done.

18 September 2011

autumn times begin like this

At least this is what it looks like "on the farm." We got a cold front this weekend and it felt gooooooooood. I am ready to be done with summer. I usually dread summer's end, but maybe I'm actually learning not to dwell in the past. Yeah, that's it. Either way, I am feeling fresh with the crisp in the air.

The last two images show involve koi-catching. I came home from a morning run to the grocery store and noticed the bright orange fish were all gathered and close to the surface (barley visible in the first photo). I went back out for a closer look but instead stayed at a distance because there were men in the water with nets, bags, and buckets.

"I learned a long time ago, you can't chase fish; ya gotta outsmart 'em."
(Say that in your best southern man accent.)

Still loving this little farm apartment. Even if it is so small that I can't talk on the phone inside if Cohen's napping.

PS: If you want to know more about that little man in our life, please refer to his tweets. Yes, Cohen's tweets. They are conveniently updated for you on the left column here if you don't want to bring yourself to visit yet another social network. I promise it's the best way to know the latest with CJK. (You can see and watch the latest too, as all photos and videos are updated via Twitter as well).

16 September 2011

i'm back

Oh hello again, Blog. Happy Independence Day. Of Guatemala. Yesterday.

So, it's been over a month of "pause" here. I was waiting to post the perfect conclusion to my 3-Days-For-Three-Years set. The last day was to honor the people. So many good shots of people I love. But I let that perfectionism thing get to me again. How could I post these photos? There were people missing! People that graciously still look at these posts. I was sure to offend someone if I went ahead. Maybe if I just kept posting more photos? Nope, still bound to leave a left-out taste for someone. HusBen thought that was silly. Maybe it was, but I just couldn't do it. And in the meantime, I wasn't about to blog without finishing what I'd started. Boo! Could you call that a Catch-22? Oh, how cultured of me.

Anyway, let my blogging wave start yet again! A lot has been going on (at least in my mind, if nothing else) during this hiatus. I think I'll get it all out. The photo above shall count as my finale to the wedding-remembering, and as a tribute to Guatemala. There, you can't feel left out because no one else but this Sister López was wearing a Guatemalan flag. This is my dad's cousin's daughter, Amelia. We've met a handful of times between our two countries. She knew I'd be at the temple that August 5. She found me after all the family had left while Ben and I walked around with Ashley for pictures. She was married herself this summer! In Guatemala. While on the subject of Guatemala, and its día de independencia, allow me to announce an announcement!

we're going to guatemala!
it will be my third time
it will be ben's second time
it will be cohen's first time

I'm beyond excited. Not just to see "The Land of the Eternal Spring" again, but to be there with my whole family. Two months to go! We're listening to Gaby Moreno while we wait.

05 August 2011

|| pause ||

Well, the third day of the wedding nostalgia of 3 years ago will be postponed because we were out and about, celebrating early! (HusBen's fixin' watches tonight.) I was swooned by HusBen's detailed, themed ("North Carolina History"), fun itinerary. That boy's got some romantic blood and I welcome the special occasions where it can bleed out some. Even long-distance, last year, he proved thoughtful with emailing a photo of this carefully-chosen milk. I'm such a sucker for things like this. But I admit, it was better this year to BE with him. More on that to come.

04 August 2011

3 days for 3 years

As I look back on these, I can't help but see the people that love us. You can't see them in the photos, but am listing them in order now and I'll illustrate later: Meredith and James, Kurt and Becky, Levi, Devin, Becky, Kurt, Kurt, my family...

OK, the list goes on and on, but I'm out the door for Ben's anniversary surprise lil' trip so I'll dwell on it later!