Monday, April 17, 2017

Remember Valentines Day?

Remember Valentines day? Well I do. I was pretty bummed in advance of Valentines Day because it's one of my favorite holidays, and this was the first year that Sammy and I wouldn't be able to really celebrate it since I had to work all day and couldn't take it off, and Sammy had school. Sammy made it work though. The night before, there were flowers waiting for me.
 When I woke up in the morning, Sammy gave me a balloon. Then, he presented me with chocolates and chocolate covered cherries. While he was in the shower, I found a little tag on the floor. It said plush on it. I knew what that meant. I went to Sammy in the shower and asked him what that was about. He laughed since he'd been saving that for later in the day, but then Sammy presented me with this lovely panda. 
I freaking love stuffed animals and even though I have a million, I'm always willing to add another to my collection. I hugged my little friend right when cramps hit. To spend some more time together, Sammy offered to drive me to work and then pick me up. Since I'm a bit of a backseat driver, I asked if I could drive us to work, and then he could drive me home at night. Sammy didn't mind, and I brought my panda friend along, buckling him in my seatbelt. 

Sammy and I ended up being quite early for work, so Sammy and I hung out in the empty building for a bit. I hadn't realized my panda was under my arm and brought it with me. Once Sammy left, I kept going back to my cubby and hugging it like a little kid. 

I was so happy at the end of the night when Sammy came and got me and we got to drive home together. It was two hours that we wouldn't have had otherwise. We had taco bell for dinner, and that was that. It was a great day, even if it wasn't what I usually imagine when thinking Valentine's day. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Big Comfy Couch

Image result for the big comfy couch
Anyone remember this show? I know I loved it as a kid, but looking at the pictures now is horrifying. Anyways, I'm not talking about this comfy couch, I'm talking about the one in our living room. It's one of my favorite places. The last few months, some of my favorite memories (besides Mexico of course) have been on our couch. 
For some reason when we're sitting there at night, we get inexplicably giggly. The other day I was lying on the couch and Sammy was eating some grapes. He wanted me to open my mouth so he could throw a grape in. I refused and caught it instead. I asked Sammy if he'd washed them and he said no. So I licked my finger and pretended to shine the grape. We both burst out giggling. Then Sammy told me that one of the weirdest thing he's observed about me in our tutelage together (that word alone had me dying) is how I clean my sunglasses. Instead of rubbing them like a normal person I lick them. We were both laughing so hard we were crying. 

Or there was the time I was helping Sammy study for a WWI test. I was making up ridiculous sayings for him to try and remember the terms, for example Verdun. He needed to remember that the Germans wanted to bleed the French white. So I told him when the Germans are Verdun, the French will have turned white, and other stupid things. We were laughing and barely getting anything done, but  Sammy ended up getting a 103 on that test. 

Then one night after giggling we decided to take these mock prom photos. They're so awful I've promised not to share them, but I love them so much. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Girlfriends




















I'm so thankful for all the girlfriends in my life. There are so many more than I have pictures of. I'm thankful to have friends in all stages of life, and to have someone I can turn to for each of the weird things that come my way. Back in January when I was feeling down in the dumps and hopeless, I had a perceptive friend who asked me if I'd changed birth controls recently, because a similar thing had happened to her. I went to the doctor the next day and got a different brand and immediately felt better. 
I have friends who are willing to sit in the corner and be introverts with.
I have a friend in the same situation when it comes to thinking about kids, friends who have kids, friends who never want kids. 
I have friends to ask questions about making it work while your husband is in grad school, if that's a path Sammy decides to take. 
I have friends who push me out of my comfort zone, and hold my hand the entire way.
I have friends I can send pictures to when I know I'm looking good. 
I have friends who are always a listening ear. 
All of my friends make me proud to be a woman, and feel strong.
I'm so lucky to know that all the friends I have now, I can reach out to whenever, even when we're not seeing each other everyday. 

One of my coworkers left a few weeks ago while I was out of town. When I came to work, I found this in my cubby and started crying a bit. It's covered in Harry Potter pages. And even if this photo doesn't cover all of my friends, it reminds me of just how important girlfriends are. 
 

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Chickens

About a month ago we had chickens at the library. It's seriously been one of my favorite things we've done here. I've always wanted to incubate chicks because my sister got to in 1st grade and I was so jealous. Finally, fourteen years later, my moment came. 
All of us picked an egg and watched it everyday, waiting for any signs they were about to hatch. I picked a green egg because it's my favorite color. It's so good I took this picture because when the chickens had finally hatched, no one could agree on how many original eggs there were, so I was able to prove them wrong. 

Finally one fateful Tuesday morning, we saw a crack inside an egg. That's when the hopping from the desk to the egg began. We all took turns all day, waiting for the first chicken to hatch, which was Katie's. As soon as there was that little crack, we could hear him cheeping all the way at the desk. However, for all that cheeping, it took him seven hours to emerge. 

The first chicken was named Weasley and we were all in love instantly. 

As soon as Weasley was out of his egg, the egg next to him started cracking, fast. While Weasley had opened multiple spots all over his egg, the second chicken made a straight line across the egg and came right out. Weasley was laying on his stomach flopping around, while the second chicken sat straight up, looked all over the incubator as if to claim it as his own. Which he did. The second chicken was quite the bully, and we named him Dwight stripes. (I say him fully knowing that most of them are probably girls) Dwight Stripes came out right as we closed. 

The next morning going into work, I expected there to be three, maybe four chickens hatched. Nope, there were seven scurrying around in there.
The rest of them hatched throughout the day, and we took turns naming them. My chicken came out right as we were leaving so I'm not a hundred percent sure that my chicken was mine, since I only saw all black feathers. Out of the eighteen eggs we started with, thirteen hatched. 
Their names were: 
Weasley
Dwight Stripes
Benicio (I was trying to name him after Vincent D'Onofrio in Magnificent Seven, but I forgot the actors name and said Benicio Del Toro. Not even close, but the name stuck.)
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum were two chickens who looked exactly the same and were pretty dumb compared to the others.
Friar and Tuck- two black chickens with yellow circles on their heads that looked like bald monks
Duckling- who seriously looked like a duck
Darkling
Sophia Lauren
Terry Crews 
Shelob who had a spider on her back
and Little Foot who came out foot first

Here's Dwight Stripes and I. He was my favorite, even if he was mean and pecked at the other chickens eyes. He was a brave little fellow and let me pick him up. 
Here's the Darkling, my chicken. She was all black, and I named her after a Leigh Bardugo character. I tweeted her about it and she was so excited that we had library chickens. 

They grew incredibly fast, and while it was sad to see them go, they were much too big for their little box. 
I'm so glad that I got to have this experience with the chickens, but I'm so glad I don't have to take care of them full time:) 


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Flying Home & Being Back

Because of my experience landing in Mexico, and my bouts with motion sickness, I was terrified to fly home. I did my best to stay calm at the airport while we waited, finished my book, almost cried happy tears at the ending, and yeah. When we were checking in, we were unexpectedly moved up to business class. I didn't think much of it until we actually got on the plane and were in the fourth row. There were only two seats, and they were HUGE! There was leg room, so much that I could get up to go to the bathroom with no problem! And there were only two seats! 

Then there was the perk of having our own bathroom, a full meal, a hot towel, warm nuts, and a cookie! All for free. We didn't do anything except show up to the airport early. Random woman at the airport, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! 

It was a much less stressful flight because of the extra room and being able to go to the bathroom. I also took allergy medication in hopes it would help my ear. Sammy and I slept for awhile, and then watched Dr. Strange. Right when we hit the scenes in the mirror dome where the screen is shifting all over the place, we hit some turbulence. So I was flying all around and they were flying all around. It was a 4D experience. Thankfully landing went smoothly and everything was great. 

Being home has been hard. As soon as we got into the car to drive, Sammy and I were both instantly frustrated and so confused why. It's because we were driven around for a week by professionals, and people in CO don't know how to drive. Then the horror of having to go back to work and school and not being able to spend every single moment together was hitting. 

I went to a baby shower the next day and that was fun! I currently have five pregnant friends right now, so I'm going to a lot of those, and every time I post about them people think I'm pregnant. Nope! 
There was a fun game where there were babies in ice cubes and whoever's melted first won a prize. My baby came out butt first which was hilarious. 
Proof of pregnant friend. Also, I haven't worn this shirt in two years because it didn't fit. Yay!
We went out to eat with Sammy's family the next day, and I had to stop myself from saying gracias and por favor to the staff, since I'd said it to everyone all week. I also kept forgetting to text Sammy when I got safely to work because I hadn't texted anyone in a whole week, so that was weird. Going back to the gym was rough, talking with people has been rough, it's all been so weird. 

I've missed hearing Spanish all day everyday, so I've started using Duolingo to practice and learn more, and I think it's helping. That plus being in Mexico has really helped me this past week at work help two different families who only speak Spanish. I used what I knew and google translate for the other words, so I've been grateful for that. I really want to learn more Spanish and one day speak fluently. My speaking to them in Spanish could really help my future children be bilingual, a skill that they're going to need in this world.

I'm craving another vacation and we've only been back a week. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mexico Vacation Day 5

Thursday was our last full day in Mexico, and we had absolutely nothing planned. We saw a lot of animals out that morning. One of the coatis walked right next to me, and followed us into the hotel lobby.
My foot for reference
Iguanas, my favorite!
 We slept in, had a great breakfast, then headed straight to the pool where we stayed all day. I hadn't gotten a tan at all by then and I didn't want to go back home with nothing, so I decided to go with a lower sunscreen and sit out more. By lunch time, I had a nice tan going and beautiful olive looking skin. I was so happy! By the time we finished eating our lunch, I'd quickly turned into a lobster. A painful lobster. The best part was my butt was sunburnt because I forgot to put sunscreen there. Whoops!

This was the only day I was able to swim up to the pool bar and get a drink, a shirley temple. The bartender again laughed at me. I was able to drink it in the pool and felt like peak spring breaker.

We spent the afternoon completely in the cabanas and I stayed out of the sun because my skin was on fire. Sammy and I went into the ocean and played in the sand for awhile before going to dinner. For our last night we went to the fanciest restaurant on the resort. It was so. Amazing. The lights were dimmed and romantic. There were only two other people in there. The waiters and hostess were beyond polite. The picture doesn't do it justice.

And the food??? Beyond fancy.
When I ordered soup, I was given a bowl with diced carrots and spices in it, but no broth. None. I wondered if this was like my salad with no lettuce. Thankfully it wasn't. She had a tiny tea pot and then poured my broth into the bowl. SO. FANCY! And it was an amazing soup. If anything I've been inspired to make more soup since coming back from Mexico.

My meal was just as fancy. I got the beef something and Sammy ordered salmon. It was some of the best food we've ever had, and we didn't even have to pay for it!



















Sammy and I even ended up sharing a dessert, something we've never done before because we don't like any of the same food. We settled on a raspberry sorbet. Amazing.

After dinner we went back to the beach to take one last walk. There was a little shack next to the pool selling things and I finally found the sugar skull I wanted. I'd looked the whole trip and just hadn't found the right one that spoke to me, but there it was. It's made of shark bone and covered in flowers.
We went to the beach and stood in the sand, the waves lapping against our feet and just talked about how amazing this trip had been, and how we definitely need to come back. I was so happy with my toes sinking into the sand, hugging my best friend. I would have stayed out there all night if the need for aloe didn't overcome me.
 It was so sad that walk back to our room. We'd absolutely loved being in paradise and didn't want to go back home. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Mexico Vacation Day 4

On the fourth day in Mexico we went to see Tulum. They're ancient Maya ruins on the coast and I was beyond excited. I've been drafting a fantasy series for a few years now that is based on Mayan history, and going to see actual ruins is the kind of research that I need. I've always been interested in the ancient civilizations in Central and South America since I'm LDS. I've grown up reading the Book of Mormon which was written by the people living in the Americas before, during, and after Christ's life. Now, I'm in no way saying that the Maya people, or the Aztecs, Incas, or anyone are the people from the Book of Mormon. I do sometimes notice slight overlaps between what I'm reading there and what I learn about those cultures, but that doesn't mean anything. It's just part of the reason I've always been so interested in the Maya people.

But, the morning of the trip I was terrified. I'd gotten sea sick kayaking, and knew we would be in vans or buses to get to the ruins, so I was nervous. I panic when I don't have control of a situation, and here I had no control except to not go. It didn't help when we were picked up that the van stopped on the side of the road, and told us we had to wait for a bus, which would be here in 'five Mexican minutes.' Twenty minutes later, a bus finally appeared and I tried to calm down as we drove to the ruins.

Our tour guide on the bus was awesome. He told us about the area and told exactly what to expect when we arrived at the ruins, and what to expect during our tour. He informed us that we wouldn't be able to get near any of the ruins or go inside since fellow tourists over the years had taken to scraping paint off the walls and making peepee in the corners. Yay tourists.

We first learned about the tree of life and the mythology of it. Of course, writing this a week later I can't even remember it, going back to work sucked it out.

We entered the city of Tulum by going through this low stone archway. It's hard to tell in the photo, but it's quite short. Tulum was surrounded on all sides by a wall. When Sammy heard that, he said how convenient, a wall. The tour guide replied, "Yep, and it's already paid for." He then stayed near Sammy the rest of the tour and was asking him questions. Seriously every guide that we worked with loved Sammy because he could actually speak Spanish. It was so awesome seeing Sammy speak with everyone and when I grow up I want to be able to speak Spanish like him😍😍😍
The entrance to the Cenotes or sacred pools


Leftover home of royalty



Temple 


The temple has two original red handprints on it in the top left. In the center is a carving dedicated to the "Descending God." They believed that he was going to come and save them, and when white men with ships appeared, they thought it might be him. 
Guard tower for sea trade 
Our guide told us over and over that we just had to use our imagination to think about how these people lived here. There's no way that we can go back in time and ask them, but they were people just like us with similar wants and desires, living in these buildings, and just trying to get by and be happy. The guide said some historians think they tattooed and pierced themselves for the same reasons we do today, in an effort to find happiness.

The Maya knew quite a bit about astronomy, and the building behind us is proof of that. The inside is painted completely blue, and on the Spring and Fall equinox, the sun goes straight through the opening in the building. The day we went was the exact day that it happened, except it had happened in the morning before anyone was there. I'm so grateful that we went there and not to Chichen Itza because the sun lines up in the afternoon there, and they were expecting 900,000 people that day. Ahh!!

We made some friends in Tulum who were from Israel and much older than us. But it turned out that the wife had gotten her masters degree online at a college in our state, so she'd had to visit once every year, and she and her husband had stayed in our city when there. They were also flying back on our flight. It seriously is a small world.

After the tour, Sammy and I squeezed around all the people, then finally headed to the bookstore to find some books for my research. They had air condition in one spot of the store, so we stood there for a bit because Tulum was HOT. After finding books, we shopped for more souvenirs and Sammy bought me some Mexican Doritos. They're a different flavor and so. much. better. Honestly sitting on the curb eating Doritos with my best friend was one of my favorite moments. It was so simple.

On the tour bus back there was a very excited British man who'd bought a giant sombrero. It was hilarious hearing him talk in his accent about it.

After the tour bus returned us, we went straight to the beach and finally got to sit in one of the cabanas next to the ocean. I took a nap and read for a few hours and it was absolutely glorious. We just moved the curtains depending on whether we wanted the sun or not and it was like being in our own world.

There was also a foam party at the pool. I was hesitant to go, but Sammy finally convinced me to, and I'm so glad we went. There was a giant rubber duck being thrown around the pool that was a bit terrifying, but it was still fun. At one point our friend Mowgli beckoned Sammy to swim over. He had a green squirt bottle in his hands, and we both thought it was colored bubbles or something. We quickly realized he was trying to pour Tequila down Sammy's throat and swam away.
This isn't us because we didn't bring our phones, but this is what went down

I stood next to the beach and sang my little Moana heart out some more, and was very upset to realize I'd gotten a toms tan line. I had one all of last summer and was trying to get rid of it. Even though I'd worn flip flops every single day except for when we were walking around Tulum, there it was.

Sammy and I ate at the fancy Italian restaurant again that night, and this time I ordered a salad with actual lettuce. But Sammy got the soup and it was amazing, so I'd wished I'd gotten that. I still couldn't believe that we were eating fancy food, right on the ocean.

Such fancy ravioli


There was a magic show that night, and Sammy and I didn't want to go inside, so we watched from outside on the glass. I'm so glad we weren't in there. The crowd was pitiful and the magician was horrible. After every single little trick he'd throw his arms out as if saying Ta Da! His tricks were lame, and it seriously bothered me that all the stage assistants were so scantily dressed. Come on. You can do great magic without having to ogle women. Giggling, we finally went back to our room.