Thursday, December 13, 2007

apostrophes: the bane of my existence


There is absolutely no way to say this without sounding like a huge, obsessive, English nerd, JERK…. But I’m sorry. I can’t help it. If I get one more Christmas present/card/letter/friendly hallow addressed to “THE WALKER’S” there is going to be Hell to pay.

“The Walker’s” (with an apostrophe) shows possession. So I ask, to whom/what are you addressing said gift….The Walker’s what? The Walker’s mailbox? The Walker’s doorstep? The Walker’s Christmas tree? And who is this elusive (singular) Walker? Is it the Texas Ranger? Because if you’re intending to address something to both Brad and Michelle, you would need to put the apostrophe in the plural form so we’re both represented, i.e.: The Walkers’ …However, the question still arises: “The Walkers’ what?” We’re still dabbling in the confusing plural possessive apostrophe usage.

So please, next time you address a gift to “The Walkers,” “The Smiths,” or “The Joneses” (I know, it looks funny but it’s right), don’t misuse the apostrophe. In fact, don’t use him at all. He’s a small punctuation mark but he has feelings, and he doesn’t like to be thrown into places where he’s unwelcome.

I know that no one cares about this as much as I do. I’m guessing that no one even notices where apostrophes are placed on things as trivial as gift tags. I'm also guessing that some of you have hurt feelings; I promise, that was never my intention. And I’m sure that you’re all sick of my rant.

Love,
The Walkers

Friday, December 7, 2007

I might like my job...

Okay... so many of you know that I was coerced, through a combination of an overactive conscience and a couple extra "K's" in my paycheck, into being the Speech and Debate Advisor at my school this year. Why would they ask me? You wonder. I wonder too. You may also wonder if I know the first thing about Speech and Debate. The answer is no. But they were desperate, and I can't say no. (I guess I need to learn how to defend myself...or debate.)

Anyway, last weekend we competed in our second tournament of the year, in Layton. (The above picture is the common area at Northridge High; this was where my students played Halo in-between events.) It was a huge two-day event, and we stayed overnight at a ghetto hotel and everything. I was really worried about chaperoning rambunctious teenagers with raging hormones OVERNIGHT... but surprisingly, things went really well. (Thanks to Becca and Brett!!) True Story: assuming they would be up to no good, I was checking on them every ten minutes. I thought I heard the girls in the hallway, so I went to bug them again right before bed, and get this... they were actually in their room and actually reading their scriptures! Wow. Kinda weird, but wow.


So basically I have the best group of kids ever. Now... I did get the chance to judge some of the events, and the kids at the other schools are crazy! There was one chick who reminded me exactly of Paris Geller from Gilmore Girls. She was just so snooty and mean, and sharp-tongued. I had to bite my cheek to keep from laughing. She and her teammate seriously argued about the definition of a word for ten minutes. It was pretty annoying. But, it was Paris, so it was funny.

I guess my point is, that even though I was far from excited about undertaking this extra job, I'm starting to like it. I still don't know what I'll do next year (or even where I'll be working, for that matter), but it's turned out to be a fun, albeit time-consuming, career move.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

kickin' off the season


Growing up, my family always took part in two sacred holiday rituals. (I realize these are not in order according to timeline, but bear with me.) Every Christmas Eve we read and act out the Nativity. I think it was cute when we were little... making my uncle Wade don donkey ears and crawl on all fours across the family room, with one of the little girls on his back. It's pretty funny actually - there came a point where there were too many cousins for all the "roles", so our parents made up extra animals and characters so that everyone could be in costume. I'm pretty sure someone was a frog one year. SO NOT KIDDING! The other, equally sentimental, tradition is that every Thanksgiving after we've gorged ourselves on "second dinner" (you know, the meal a couple hours after the meal), we watch White Christmas.

Anyway... since I've been married, I've had to tweak the latter tradition a bit. Since my kind, loving husband refuses to watch any movie filmed prior to 1980, and I don't want to spend Thanksgiving night alone in my living room, I've started watching White Christmas the day after Thanksgiving instead. And surprisingly, this new arrangement works out perfectly! I get to hum along to such tunes as "Sisters" and "Mandy" while performing my favorite task in the world... Christmas decorating! Which, since I splurged and bought a fake PRE-LIT tree this year, is actually a fun activity!

So folks, White Christmas has been screened, the tree is lit, Nat King Cole is in the CD player, and the Christmas season has officially begun!

lime anyone?


This isn't nearly as funny as the lemon incident at Ryan's wedding... but Laurel and I were cracking up last week watching Isabel suck on the limes at Cafe Rio (there's a new one in Orem, by the way). I think Laurel drank one too many Diet Cokes with a twist while pregnant, cuz this kid has some weird chew toys.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Elder Brett Kempton Lee


Laurel already talked about this on her blog... but I'm excited too! Brett got his mission call this week. He's been called to serve in the Arizona Tempe mission. Honestly, it's the last place any of us would have guessed; but it is so awesome! It just feels so right. He is such a stellar person and I know he'll be a phenomenal missionary. My mom grew up just around the corner from his mission (in Mesa), so I'm sure they'll start their own little exclusive "AZ club" soon. Brett's just bummed that the weather will force him to wear short-sleeved white shirts with a tie - a fashion faux pas that, I regret to admit, Brad has been sporting long since his mission. I love them both anyway.

Everybody wish him luck!!

p.s. Gotta hand it to Arizona for the killer desert sunsets!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Top 10 Overrated Books

Sorry guys. While thinking of my favorites I couldn't help but think of
my least favorites. Disclaimer: These are not books I necessarily hate
(well, not all of them anyway)... I just think they're overrated. And
there's more than one that I never even finished. (So maybe my
credibility just plummeted? Oh well.)

1. Huckleberry Finn
2. Sister Carrie
3. The Giver
4. The Work and the Glory
5. Moby Dick
6. Tess of the D'urbervilles
7. The Great Gatsby
8. Jane Eyre
9. David Copperfield
10. Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Top 10 Books: According to Michelle

At lunch today, a colleague asked the question: "What is the best book ever written?" (He teaches Psychology and likes to ask "deep" questions".) I still don't have an answer for him (besides the easy religious response), but it got me thinking. So in true College Times fashion, I came up with my own Top 10 list. (In no particular order.)

1. Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen. This one is nostalgic… contrary to popular (male) belief, it’s not just a sappy love story. It’s all about personal growth, family idiosyncrasies, absurdities associated with social hierarchy, and finding compatibility in relationships.




2. East of Eden
John Steinbeck’s spin on the Garden of Eden (set in the turn of the century). It’s really heavy; it deals with adultery, murder, rivalry, prostitution, all in one seriously jacked-up family. But it provides great discourse on innate evil and the mistreatment of family members.



3. Les Miserables
Everyone knows this story: survival, sin, revenge, love, prejudice, dignity, repentance, and overall, redemption. I’d like to think that I was friends with Victor Hugo in a previous life.





4. The Brothers K
David James Duncan. Set in good ole Camas, Washington… paper mill and all. Brett hated this book. But once you get past the incessant profanity, it’s actually a really true-to-life story about family relationships and the life (and religious) lessons we learn from baseball. Also, as the book progresses and the narrator gets older, his grammar and vocabulary improve… so the writing actually improves as well. Kind of unique.


5. 1984
George Orwell’s creepy outlook on a highly probable futuristic society. Coolest concept: thoughtcrime. Props to V for Vendetta for depicting a 1984-esque Britain complete with wall screens and hyper-conservativism. (Is that a word?)




6. Frankenstein
Mary Shelley. I love this story because of its modern implications like stem-cell research and cloning, and the nature vs. nurture debate. It’s all about how the creature’s negative experiences, incensed by loneliness, shape him into the murderous monster he becomes.




7. Life of Pi
Yann Martel. This is a pretty trippy book, but is SO well written and unique! It switches plot lines more than once, and the author’s entire premise is, that it’s “a story that will make you believe in God”… which in itself turns out to be a very loaded statement. Cool read.




8. To Kill A Mockingbird
Harper Lee. (I once told my friends Harper Lee was my grandpa for attention… turns out she’s a girl. And an amazing writer.) TKAM is an emotional depiction of Southern racism, social elitism, legal corruption, and the overall treatment of human beings. And it’s brilliantly written from a child’s perspective... this book is the best part about tenth grade curriculum.


9. Paradise Lost
Here’s another Garden of Eden depiction….John Milton was truly inspired. He wrote the epic after he’d completely lost his sight. He narrated the whole thing to a scribe, with very few revisions afterward, in iambic pentameter! You can’t take it as scripture – but it definitely sheds some light on the nature of Satan through his very charismatic, very manipulative, rhetoric.


10. Nathaniel Hawthorne short stories
K, this shouldn’t really count… but I love Hawthorne’s short stories (better than his novels)! My favorite is probably Rappaccinni’s Daughter. Holy cow! I just realized that it’s a Garden of Eden depiction as well… are we sensing a pattern here?? He is just such a master of allegory, and tends to paint a really negative picture of Puritanism that I find delightfully cynical.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

born again

Last night, I was taking out the garbage between Trick or Treating knocks, and I just had to have a moment's pause. Like a dork, I just stood in my driveway watching all the little kids walking the streets with their parents, pumpkin-shaped goodie baskets in hand. I'm pretty sure I teared up.

What is it about kids in fluffy little costumes that's so darn adorable? And the excitement that they get from one crappy fun-size Crunch bar is beyond me. (Except for the little turds that grab a handful... grrr...)

Anyway - it's like, all the magic of the holiday came flooding back to me... (you know, since the fateful year when my parents forbade me to mooch candy from my neighbors anymore) and I was totally caught up in the moment. I'm so happy to live in a place where there are so many young families to participate in stuff like this! Not to mention the fact that it's SAFE enought for them to participate in stuff like this. I'm not saying Payson is exempt from problems... but there are so many scary places in the world; I'm glad that I don't have to worry about things AS MUCH.

Bottom line: 2007 has restored my faith in Halloween.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

living vicariously


Laurel mentioned that these two pictures looked alike, and I must say... Isabel takes after her best looking aunt. Haha! Just kidding.

I just thought - since I don't have any kids of my own to dote on yet, I could feebly attempt to compare myself to my sister's child. (But there are definitely some similarities, eh?) Seriously though... if I'm lucky enough to have kids half as beautiful as Isabel, I'll be one happy camper.

p.s. Oh my gosh - I just read the back of my picture (you know - where Mom writes the date and whatnot) and apparently I was 4 months old when it was taken. Um... Isabel is 9 months old, and I'm pretty sure we're the same size. How abnormally fat was I?!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Naughty.

I need to vent. I'm in school right now (prep period). And I just finished straightening the rows of desks in my room. As in any classroom, there is crap written on a lot of the desks.

So, I'm perusing the misspelled literature - There was once a kid that scrawled "I LOVE SATIN"... I think he meant Satan - and I come across some teeny tiny words in pencil. It was a very derogatory, very sexual comment about ME. And if that wasn't enough, someone else had responded with an even more disgusting comment on the desk "blog". I have no idea who did it. All the desks were moved around just yesterday, so a seating chart won't help. I'm just so bugged.

I'm usually pretty liberal when it comes to this kind of stuff. I mean, they're high school boys just trying to one-up each other. I usually don't really don't mind the swears, the occasional off-color joke, whatever... but COME ON! I know I'm taking this way too personally, but I feel so dirty (why??). Just when I thought I had a shred of respect and credibility.

Someone please boost my self esteem.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tagged. It's more fun with lasers.

This is in response to Laurel's tag. Normally I'm not that into the chain-letter thing... but I'm supposed to be really busy right now. (For an explanation, see #1.)

1. I have a serious procrastination problem. The fact that I’m even typing this now, instead of grading my never-ending piles of papers when it’s the last week of the term, is proof of my very embarrassing, very harmful, very target-for-punch line, core issue.

2. I have an adolescent crush on my husband. Let me explain: I often stare at his picture. I laugh at his jokes (even when they’re not that funny). I like to meet people who know him or his family, so I can talk him up. I HAVE to kiss him at least 20 times a day or I get hurt feelings. I like to watch him sleep. I’m like a live-in stalker. Basically, it’s an immature obsession… one that I hope I never grow out of.

3. I don’t have a favorite book. Everyone asks me about it, but I just don’t have one. I have lots of runners-up and I’ve had favorite books in the past, but whether years of required college reading or, sometimes-related, disillusionment with the classics that have jaded me, I just don’t know anymore. What kind of an English teacher doesn’t have a favorite book? I don’t even think I have a favorite genre. Oh well.

4. I’m unnaturally close to my family. To my own detriment, I’m closer to my parents and siblings than I am to even my closest friends. We have so many stories, so many inside jokes, so many commonalities; it’s always just so fun to be around each other. (Hey - what happened to the once a month get-together, guys?) And all the spouses of my siblings only add to the joy. We’ve been really lucky. Brett’s and Matt’s hypothetical wives better not screw up this great dynamic we’ve got goin’.

5. I watch way too many movies. I guess I’ll include recorded TV shows too (I never seem to watch anything when it actually airs). I haven’t really been watching a lot lately, and instead of feeling refreshed… the fact is gnawing at me, like I’m missing out on life lessons or something. But it’s not the watching that’s the bad part… it’s the fact that I reference everything that happens to me to my “stories”. For example: I once had a very "When Harry Met Sally” friendship. Or, I once ended a relationship upon realizing that I was acting like Scarlett O’Hara (yes, there was a Rhett and an Ashley). I compare my awkward lunch table conversations to The Office. And after Megan’s Friends reference the other day about “fun Bobby,” and the fact that I’m preparing to teach Jekyll and Hyde, I’m paranoid that I have a split personality.

Okay, this was intended to be an informative doo-dah, but it turned out to be kind of an embarrassing series of confessions. Meh.

Homeward Bound (the Simon & Garfunkel song... not the talking animals movie)


The Columbia River Gorge! As I was telling Brad on the LONG drive home last week, I truly believe that this is the most beautiful view in the world. I've seen the white sand beaches of the Carribean, volcanic vegetation of Hawaii, sheer cliffs of the Grand Canyon, glaciers of Alaska, and the mountains of the high Uintas... but nothing compares to the view from Crown Point. I may be slightly prejudiced...


Anyway - here's my hott mom. She mapped out our tour of the gorge waterfalls from field trip pamphlets. It was actually really cool. We drove along this scenic highway among the falls ...that was I learned was part of the Roosevelt's New Deal, thanks teach'... and walked around to a few different waterfalls, culminating with lunch at Multnomah Falls Lodge. It was so much fun. I think Brad may have gotten sick of our quirky behavior ("How many acres are in a mile?"), but he's secretly a nerd too, so it works out.

This is Multnomah Falls... I can't tell you how many pictures I have in front of it. The clothes, the hairstyle, and (sorry Brad) the guy on my arm have changed, but the pose remains the same. I'm not original.

But honestly, how cute is my husband? I am so lucky. I know this is totally cliche, but I couldn't imagine anyone better suited for me. He is so smart, so thoughtful, so spiritual, so handsome:), and so darn funny! I won't go as far as claiming "love at first sight," but I will say that I distinctly knew that he was different/special/noteworthy/what-have-you, the first time I saw his big brown eyes... it was like Heavenly Father was snapping for my attention. And you all know the rest of the story.

Here's the Garden of Eden shot. "Nature!" (Said like Will Farrell, said like Robert Goulet)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Ode to Camtown


Brad and I are going to visit my parents (and Matt!) next week for UEA, and I'm so excited! I think I get my unnatural sense of excitement from my mom. She's had our itinerary, sleeping arrangements, and menu planned for weeks.

This is a picture we took on our last trip to the PNW, at Silver Creek Falls. There's a footpath cut out in the wall, so you can actually walk behind the waterfall and stay relatively dry. If the weather permits, we're planning on hiking to some of the other falls as well. Isn't it beautiful?!

I was definitely spoiled growing up around so much greenery... I remember when Brad first visited Camas, he was freaking out because there was moss everywhere. On the trees, on the rocks, on the steps to my parents' house. I love it. And I'll definitely sacrifice a little frizzy hair any day for the benefits the rain provides. (Although struggling with the hair actually instigated a series of haphazard haircuts in high school. Hmmm.)

Anyhow - hopefully when I'm home I can get my mom to actually post something on her blog. I'm pretty sure her entire blog has been crafted by Scott and/or Laurel.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

under construction...

I just want to apologize for the quasimodo appearance of our blog. I'm too technologically illiterate to know how to revamp it in one sitting, and I'm too busy to have time for more than one sitting these days. So come back in a few days, will ya?

p.s. The music will stay off (at least temporarily) due to popular demand.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"It's what fun is!"


A Lagoon employee, or as Brad likes to refer to them - a "carnie", actually said the above words to my family and me as we got on the Mousetrap ride last Friday. I don't know if he is paid to parrot the slogan "x" times a day, or if he just really loves his job that much... either way, I was thrilled. I laughed about it the whole ride to avoid peeing my pants, seeing as the Mousetrap is the scariest ride at park BY FAR.


Jason hooked up the family last Friday with free tickets to Lagoon and, as always, it was amazing. Brad was on call (not to mention the fact that his reaction to the invite was reminiscent of the Grinch's to Whobilation), so Brett took time out of his busy freshman schedule to be my date for the night. All-in-all, an excellent trip.


I urge all of you to embrace the child, or carnie rat, within and take a trip to Farmington soon. Bask in the atmosphere of cotton candy, caramel apples, broken bumper cars, lousy pavilion entertainment, pre-teen ski-lift flirting, nausea, corn dogs, wasted money on fixed games of chance, and pretending not to be scared of the new roller coaster. It's fabulous, by the way.

The creepy clowns are due to come out any day now for the infamous Frightmares. (It's more than just famous, it's infamous!). Who's up for it?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ava and Koben


Amy just sent us a bunch of pictures that I am in love with! Just wanted to share the love and the copyright infringement.

How cute is my family?


So, in a recent chat with a new acquaintance at church, I was asked the question: "Tell me about your family." (I guess that really isn't a question, per se, but bear with me.) Naturally, I spouted off about how great my parents are and how sad it is to be far away from them, about all my siblings that live here and how fun it is to get together, about Brad's fantastic family and how they've accepted me (and all me eccentricities) as one of their own... blah, blah, blah. Well - turns out I'm an idiot and this person was referring to MY family, as in, he assumed I had kids and was just being friendly.

Those of you who know me well, know that I'm a really smooth conversationalist. (HA! Please note the sarcasm in the previous statement.) And as soon as I realized my blunder, I felt awkward and somehow felt the need to continue to ramble on and on, overcompensating with lame questions, lamer jokes, and a super-lame conversation ender.

I don't know why I just told that whole story... I guess just to prove that I love my family and will tell anyone who will listen, and that clearly, I don't know when to shut up.

p.s. The Gary Coleman kid got off with a warning.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Family fun and then some


I figured it's been a while since I've actually put any photos of Brad and me on here. Creepy online stalkers wouldn't even know what we looked like. Actually, Laurel just emailed me some pictures she took during the most hilariously awkward family photo session last week... I'll have to upload the "official" family portrait when I get it.

Now, back to the "hilariously awkward" part... taking pictures with my family is always hard because a) there are a lot of people, and b) all of those people are very opinionated and want to be in charge. (We are Lees, right?) But the night went well, even though we lost the light and Brett lost Scott's car. HA! Seriously, half of our train of cars followed some poor guy through half of Riverton and into his driveway. Apparently there was one too many silver Xterras on the road.


P.S. I just think this is funny. One of my students missed school today because he had a court date with none other than Mr. Gary Coleman. I guess "Arnold" actually caught him (and some friends) attempting to doorbell-ditch his house in Santaquin. The kid says Coleman came out of his house with a baseball bat... that may be an exaggeration, but it still makes for a funny visual.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm not dead.

I know I need to get new pictures on here, but we haven't done anything cool lately. And since I don't think anyone wants to look at pictures of Brad mowing the lawn, me reading Eclipse, or either one of us taking a Sunday nap... I got nothin'.

But... Dave, DeAnn, Brett, and Matt are coming out to visit TODAY! (Brett's officially a BYU Cougar and Matt's just awesome.) So I'll get some good family activity photos on here soon. I'm so excited to get some quality family time with everybody! It's becoming more and more rare that all of us are able to get together. But any time we do, it's a guaranteed blast. Brad and I spent last night sweeping sawdust off the basement floor to make room for the ping pong and pool tables. Let the tournament begin! (Melinda, you're invited by the way.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Back to school... to prove to Dad that I'm not a fool

School officially starts tomorrow! I get the feeling that I should be a lot more nervous than I am, given the fact that I secretly don't know what I'm doing. All the other new teachers seem to be freaking out, but honestly, I'm okay. Except for the fact that I can't pronounce half of the kids' names on my roll (mothers of the world, please name your kids phonetically! "Unique" spellings are just confusing). But I'm not super excited either... is that weird? Have I already reached the veteran, near-retirement, bored, dead inside stage? I hope not. Maybe reality just hasn't set in yet. Hmmm... we'll see how I fare after tomorrow. Any advice to get me pumped up?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Michelle and Brad Simpson


I think the sure sign that you have "made it" in the entertainment industry is when The Simpsons immortalizes you in yellow. I mean, take a look at the greats... Paul McCartney, Conan O'Brien, Alec Baldwin, Bono, all the N'Syncers. Well, I sent Matt Groening an audition tape, but I don't think he's interested in a high school teacher slash novice karaoke singer cameo for next season. Even if I do know all the words to the Spice Girls' "Wannabe" rap.

Needless to say, when I saw the Burger King posters advertising the opportunity for Brad and me to become Springfielders online, I swallowed my Whopper Jr. (and Duff Beer) whole and skateboarded home as fast as I could, racing my whole family to the couch, where something kooky happened to the tune of some familiar music... you know the rest.

If you can't resist the temptation either, www.simpsonizeme.com

Friday, August 10, 2007

My last week of freedom

A few months ago Brad planned a Mexico vacation for our two year anniversary. We were excited because we found a pretty good deal for an all-inclusive hotel, so I rushed out and got a passport and started making plans. Then reality set in. We're trying to finish our basement and the bills are starting to add up. So instead of spending mucho dinero on a needless trip, we decided to buy the rest of our lumber and pay a professional to come install the heating and air (because we all know that if we try to do it ourselves, someone will get electrocuted). Anyway - the money was re-allocated to the basement fund, and our Mexico trip was cancelled. Brad was actually really cute about it... be felt like he was selling me short, but I promise, it was my idea. I hate being a responsible adult!

Wow - long introduction... so, we decided to still take some vacation time but do something a bit less expensive. We went out to California to visit Brad's siblings Amy & Frank and Adam & Jessalyn. It worked out perfectly because we spent a couple days in St. George with some friends first, then went out to California, and then caught Phantom in Las Vegas on the way home.


We spent a couple afternoons at (the other) Newport Beach with Amy's two kids, Ava and Koben. They are so much fun! Here's Koben eating the sunscreen... he's about seven months old now, and is just calm, content, and chubby. I love it! I swear - the cutest babies are the ones whose hands look like they're screwed on at the wrist.


And here's our little diva, Ava, playing with the sand. She refuses to actually sit in the sand, but loves to play with it. Ava is absolutely hilarious and adorable. She is talking so much now and waddles around jabbering nonstop. She loves to play with her uncle "Bat" and watch her aunt "Shell" get ready, which I love, even if she did steal, and successfully hide, my blush brush and hair clips :) And don't you just love her little 'nini??




And last but not least, I want to put a plug in for The Phantom of the Opera. Oh my gosh! It was incredible! I guess it's a bit different than the original Broadway version. They took away some dialogue and shaved some scenes short, but kept all the songs. They also added some killer special effects and pyro! The theater was even re-designed to resemble the Paris Opera House. Obviously, the actor playing the Phantom doesn't do justice to Gerard Butler, but all-in-all, AMAZING!!

"It's like the end of an era!" "I know!"



Okay, so Brad and I are big nerds (I think you already knew that), and we have read all the Harry Potter books together. As in - we read them out loud to each other and Brad does voices. So even though The Deathly Hallows has been out for a couple weeks now, we just barely got time to read it while driving to and from California this past week. (Hence the lapse in posts, sorry!) And let me tell you, it's AMAZING! I loved it and I really don't think the series could have ended any better.

Everything from the previous books is wrapped up so well... I won't give anything away to those still reading or who may read it in the future (even though it may have already been ruined by my sneaky, read-the-last-page-first sister). I laughed, I cried, I swooned, I panicked, I cheered, and I'm kind of sad that the saga is over.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I'm so proud of myself

It took me all morning, but I think I've finally figured out how this contraption works. Notice the buddy list, the music, the wonderment? The sad thing is, that I have all my textbooks in front of me that need to be turned into lesson plans for classes that start in less than three weeks (ahhh!) and I can't stop fiddlin' with this blog! Talk about procrastination!

It's actually a classic pattern for me... whenever I have something really important to do, a myriad of before-meaningless projects suddenly gain precedence. So - today I'm blogging instead of learning Debate (those who can't do, teach, right?), and in all likelihood, tomorrow night my house will be spotless but my brain will still be empty.

Oooh... unless I get really ambitious and start reading New Moon because I'm dying to find out what happens to Bella and Edward! Not to mention Harry Potter and co. Crap. I'm so screwed.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

love this girl!


I totally stole this photo from Laurel's blog but I'm in love with it! Isabel is almost six months old now and she's adorable. She's so fun to play with, "talk to," and show off when I tote her around town. The only problem is, that every time I take her to Smith's, I run into my students who are thick enough to think she's mine. But one girl did tell me she was "like, cute enough to like be in commercials and stuff". Hmmm... what do you think Laurel?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

District o' Columbia


Brad and I just got back from a week-long trip in Washington DC, visiting our friend Travis. That's right, I'm claiming him as my friend too. Our days were spent traipsing around town getting blisters on our feet and bruises on our bodies (I got caught in a metro door... who's surprised?), and our nights were spent watching episode upon episode of Entourage. Where has this show been all my life?


This is the ceiling of the big dome in the Capitol Building. No picture can do this justice! Brad and I agree that this was the best tour we went on... every little detail of this building was stunning. Thanks to Senator Hatch, we were able to get tickets to the Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the White House, where we met President David Palmer. Haha just kidding. But really, he's the best fictional president this country has ever had.


Here's Brad and his first love at the Nats game. We owe Travis big time for sacrificing a few days' work at his big shot government job to show us around town.






Alright - I'm getting sick of typing, so I'm just going to post a bunch of pictures of monuments as follows: Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, World War II, and Iwo Jima.






Okay, if anybody ever goes to Washington, make sure to take a day trip out to Mount Vernon (Washington's estate) and Monticello (Jefferson's estate). Both houses are amazing and most of the furnishings are original. I think I prefer Jefferson's place because it is so unique. He built his home atop a mountain and had a big underground tunnel running beneath the house containing the kitchen, smokehouse, "privy," icehouse, stables, and whatnot. And he designed it all himself! Pretty amazing, eh?




Last but not least, the National Cathedral. This building is absolutely breathtaking! Unfortunately, none of the pictures I took inside really turned out well... but this one at least shows off the Gothic architecture.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Introducing... Ava Lillywhite


This picture is kind of old... but I just have to show off my cute niece Ava. She was fascinated with this fountain on our last trip to California. (That's Jessalyn's hand holding onto Ava's shorts - it was hard keeping her dry.) We're going out again next month, so I'll get current pictures of both Ava and her baby brother Koben soon.

HAWAII!!

This summer we had the amazing opportunity to go to Oahu with Brad's parents, his sister Andy, and her friend Hillary. We got to stay in a beautiful beach house right on the coast near Laie. We did all the "touristy" stuff... Hanauma Bay, the Polynesian Cultural Center, Waikiki, the Dole Pineapple Plantation, Diamond Head, and of course, Matsumoto's (shaved ice with ice cream in the bottom... yummy). But my favorite thing was probably touring Pearl Harbor. It's definitely eerie seeing the sunken ships and memorabilia in the museum, but it has such a tranquil, respectful atmosphere. Anyway - it was a fantastic vacation full of great memories we'll never forget. Thanks for inviting us Allyn and Marsha!!