Saturday, January 29, 2011

An Evening with Carl Bloch

Friday night Samuel and I enjoyed a visit to the Carl Bloch Exhibit at BYU's Museum of Art. The collection is here all way from Bloch's native Denmark and some from Sweden. It was so cool to actually see the originals of all these paintings I've grown to love seeing in churches, temples, and gospel materials all my life. Bloch studied Rembrandt extensively and mimicked some of his techniques in his own work: the contrast of light and dark, nearly always including one subject in each work that looks out at you to invite you into the scene. Magnificent. I give you a taste of the paintings we saw:

This last one, "The Pool of Bethesda", was enormous. Almost the size of the entire wall!

It really was an uplifting experience. Later we enjoyed dinner at delicious Malawi's Pizza, then restaurant-hopped over to The Chocolate in Orem for some dessert, (it was an indulgent night). It's in an old Victorian house on State Street, filled with cute furniture for lounging and soft music - like a quaint coffee shop. Not to mention their heavenly desserts. Even as aficionado chocoholics we really were impressed. We will definitely be back for more! Yay for cultural dates!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Snow Day, Sick Day

Don't you love Martha's design? The woman could create serenity from a pile of logs. This image reminded me of my old room in my parents' house - soothing turquoise walls, white down comforter, and an open window to let in all that delicious light.

Today I'm enjoying some much-needed serenity....and recuperation from yet another winter's cold. This one took immediate residence in my lungs. Despite feeling pretty yucky, it's been rather peaceful day. Sam's been home with me since his morning classes, and earlier we watched the snowflakes fall like a snow globe and cover the landscape again in a white wonderland. I napped, I read, I coughed, I napped again, put some chicken taco soup in the crock pot for a hot, low-maintenance dinner, and then blogged. If only all winter days could be so cozy. Well, except for the sore throat.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Maple Bacon

Last night Sam made us dinner: Chicken Bacon Ranch Subs. (For the record, we almost never buy bacon.) The sandwich was really good. But then the bacon smell lingered, and lingered, and lingered. Past dinnertime and into the evening it hung in the air like the aroma of a McDonald's at breakfast. It permeated all the fabric in the apartment and settled in the heater which blew into our bedroom at night, filling my head with nauseating, maple bacon dreams. The bacon was ready and waiting for us when we woke up in the morning, despite my best attempt at using a whole brick of Scentsy to inoculate the kitchen. No good. It even burned itself so strongly into my nose and my memory that I continued to smell it at work. And it wasn't on my clothes or my coat - I checked. It was just there, haunting me like my regret for having consumed it.

This morning my Samuel was so apologetic and wonderful after I whined and whined about it. Then I said, "Sweetie, it's ok. The smell will eventually go away and I do love you more than a pleasant-smelling home." And we both felt better.

Moral of the story: DO NOT buy maple bacon. The end.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Historic Holliday House circa 1900...

...and today - now a Museum after my mom spent the better part of a decade restoring it.

Allow me to get a bit dramatic here for a minute. (Drama? On this blog? Unheard of!) It's not something she has shouted from the rooftops, and in fact, only those who know our family well are aware of the 20 year project my mother has so passionately (and most notably, patiently) pursued. Today my mom finally finished her novel. For as long as I can remember, this novel has been an ongoing pursuit. It has taken me years to understand the magnitude of the story she was telling and what it means to an entire family in 19th century Georgia and beyond.

For those unfamiliar with this novel, it is the story of a young man named John Henry (later "Doc" the famous gambler and gunfighter) Holliday, born and raised in war-torn Georgia, his short practice of dentistry, and later travels throughout the west to escape Consumption (TB), heartbreak, his crimes, and to find redemption.

The story extended beyond the novel into a lifestyle of projects, service, and jumping into the history of the South.  I recall spending many hot summer days as a kid scrubbing and fixing up a 19th century house in Fayetteville, (the smell of old wood and peach buds still gets me feeling very nostalgic - and you how I love that), attending Civil War reenactments and visiting historic sites as family outings while hearing my mom play tour guide, or, while running errands, driving 40 minutes out of the way to make a stop at an old cemetery in Griffin just to visit. Maybe for some, this sounds like a boring childhood, but for me, this is what a summer in Georgia was like. (Don't feel too bad, we still went to pool parties, theme parks, and played dress-up like normal kids). You probably don't know it, but my mom is actually one of the world's foremost experts on the life of Doc Holliday, having spent nearly 20 years on research, traveling everywhere he set foot, speaking at conferences, and being referenced in both biographies and documentaries.

I can only hope my passions take me as far as my mom's have taken her, and that I can have the patience, like her, to sometimes put those things on hold to fulfill greater callings: raising my children and serving in the Church. Though they can't tell it to the world, her storytelling, and more importantly the service she has rendered them, has certainly made her a hero to the Holliday family on the other side.

So even if her novel isn't critically acclaimed or doesn't climb the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List or even if it doesn't change anyone's life, that's ok....

...her work already has.

I love you, Mom. And I'm so proud.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Basketball and Memories

I should start by saying just how much of a creature of nostalgia I am. I love looking back at days gone by and seeing where my life has taken me. The other night my thoughts were taken back to my silly school-girl days in Young Women's. I remember how every week we would all find our way into the church gym to watch the boys playing basketball after our weeknight youth activity was over. Every week. Since our interaction with boys at the age of 13 was pretty minimal, it was a big deal. It's funny to think how disconnected we where from each other at that tender age.

The other night I had these thoughts as I sat in the basketball court at the gym, watching my Samuel play. For a moment I remembered what it felt like to be 13 again, insecure, ignorant, just waiting for "life" to happen....and certainly not expecting those boys to notice I was there. And I loved looking at my Samuel confidently run down the court, shooting 3's, and thinking how that hunk of burnin' love is not some cute boy playing basketball, he's my best friend and my husband. And then he turned and smiled at me. Funny to think that I married one of those basketball boys.

On another note: veggie omelets for dinner with whole-wheat nutella toast for dessert reminds me why dieting doesn't have to be horrible. In fact it can be kind of nice.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Well, we made it

to the first weekend of the new year, I mean. Friday night involved homemade pizza, working on a few inspiration boards and playing games, getting through a few chapters of The Lord of the Rings (I'm finally reading it!), then heading to bed early. Today we got up pretty early (for a Saturday), then Sam made us homemade crepes before we started on the laundry, cleaning house, and making my shopping list. Later today I'll be going to the gym and shopping for a few things with the rest of my Christmas gift cards. Productive, yet relaxing, and plenty of time with my sweetie. Sounds like the start of a great year to me!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to Life, Back to Reality

It looks like this.
 I still feel a little like this. 
And I'm back at this. (Note: not my office)
I'm back to doing this. 

I just looooove January.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Highlights

Looking forward to this new year, I wanted to share some highlights (and lowlights) of 2010.
  • We started out the year with a month of back-to-back colds and then I continued to stay sick with something digestive for several months until the spring. After several doctors, lots of tests, being destitute because I could hardly work, and a good amount of despair and hopelessness, it was determined that I had a screwy gallbladder. (That's the most simple way of putting it.) Meds and changing my diet helped slowly get me better. I had one more attack in July, but I've been healthy ever since! P.S. That was a really condensed version of this terrible period of my life, just FYI.
  • In May I accepted my current job at a dental marketing firm as a marketing and project manager! And I got to leave Comcast! I've learned and grown so much from this opportunity, about how to handle responsibility and how to manage, and I'm excited to see where the next year will take me.
  • In August we traveled to Georgia for my family's annual vacation to Destin, Florida. We spent some time in Georgia, and then a week relaxing on the beach, shopping, eating some great seafood, and even spending a day at our favorite water park right across from the Gulf: Big Kahuna! Sam and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary with my family, and traveled back by road trip to bring a new car out to Utah.
  • In the summer we were also called as Ward Activities Co-chairs and were busy busy busy planning activities every month through the summer, fall, and into December. We've also learned a great deal from this chance to serve and really enjoyed having a calling that we could work on together.
  • Ross came out to BYU as a freshman this year and we've loved spending time with him almost every week. I'm glad that he'll be here for winter semester too.
  • Sam plowed through more school and we're excited that he'll be done this year!
(This is sounding a lot like a Christmas card, isn't it? Well, I didn't send them this year, so I guess this will have to count.) Overall, I'm thrilled to get past a year of growth on to all the big and wonderful things planned for 2011. It's gonna be great!