Friday, April 22, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No Longer Newlyweds

I once heard it said that the term "newlywed" applies to the entire first two years of marriage. Well, whether or not that is true, I am sure that the newlywed phase is over for my husband and me. How do I know this? By the following:
  • The satin finish on Michael's wedding band has worn off.
  • Almost every person I interact with on a daily basis doesn't know my maiden name.
  • Being the Mr. and Mrs. is now the comfortable default. The excitement and attention surrounding our wedding has long since faded away.
  • We recently celebrated our second anniversary.

See? No longer newlyweds.

Though there is some trepidation within me at the amount of WORK a happy marriage takes, I am really looking forward to growing old together and I am so blessed to be doing it with Michael.

The pastor who married us asked us to share with him three attributes that we most love about each other. I told him that Michael is hilarious, caring, and faithful. He then shared this with our friends and family just before we exchanged our vows.

These three attributes remain at the top of my list.

Michael makes me laugh all the time.

His care for every little detail of my life makes him the best listener I've got. Michael truly loves to hear all of my little thoughts and stories.

And he is so faithful in the day-to-day of marriage. Michael is constantly learning and growing in loving me. And it works. I feel more loved by him now than I ever have before.

I am one blessed woman.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Baby Ben

On the day that I celebrated my grandfather-in-law's 90th birthday, I oohed and aahed over this 1940s alarm clock. I loved its stout body, worn back, and cute face. But, the best part was its name -- Baby Ben.

After grandpa's passing, my mother-in-law sorted through his things and remembered how much I was charmed by the little old clock. A few days later, she gave it to me, I wound it up, and now it tick-tocks away on a shelf in my apartment.

Last but not least, the original ad that ran in the Saturday Evening Post. I love what you can find on the internet.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wilson: Twelve Hours of Puppy Bliss

I found this little guy on a street near my home. Since it was 10pm and I could hear the sounds of lost-puppy-killing cars driving just a block away, I decided to bring him home. By the next afternoon, my husband had taken no less than 174 pictures and multiple videos of him doing super exciting things like scratching his ears, pulling at our weeds, eating, sitting, etc. His claim, "I am not an animal person," has been cast into serious doubt.

The biggest mistake we made was naming him. Wilson weaseled his cute little puppy self into our hearts and though we dropped him off at the animal shelter two weeks ago, we still talk about him all the time and hope that someone adopts him.

I think Wilson and I look alike. Big foreheads,
big eyes, long faces, same hair color.

Wilson and Michael don't look alike.
Oh gosh, I feel like I need therapy to get over this puppy. In the words of Michael's facebook post, "Wilson, thanks for being my favorite animal friend ever."

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Dawdling Farmer

I am not a green thumb. If my thumb resembled my plants, it would be brown and shriveled.

After the muscle aching work of digging up rocks, turning soil, and incorporating mulch, my little plot of dirt lay fallow for five months. Perhaps I was too nervous to plant anything knowing that there was a good chance that half my crops would die.

Fortunately, Southern California's mild weather is forgiving to dawdling farmers. You can plant at any time. Last week, my husband and I finally planted the seeds. I'm just waiting to see what happens. And I remember to water sometimes.

I put rocks just to the right of each row of crops because
I was afraid that I would water the wrong places!
From left to right: mixed variety of lettuce, spinach,
beets, purple haze carrots, normal carrots.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Paris. Maui. Venice. Death Valley.

When my husband and I planned our second anniversary romantic getaway to Death Valley, I was expecting a barren desert wasteland. We were going mostly because of the adventure of trying something new and half for the irony of spending a wedding anniversary in a place as awful sounding as "Death Valley."

But, let me tell you, Death Valley turned out to be one of the most spectacular places I have ever been. There was so much to see and do! Our weekend was packed with all sorts of adventures and memories. Here are just a few:

Here's our lovely campsite. I admired the snowcapped peaks even in Death Valley. Who says it doesn't snow in Southern California?

Beautiful desert drives.

Badwater Basin: Lowest elevation point in the US, 8th lowest elevation point in the world! The white fields are salt flats. I verified that fact with a swift swipe of the ground with my index finger and a quick lick of my finger.

I decided to take advantage of the sun and the heat by making sun tea on our dashboard using a ziploc bag.

Making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches out of the trunk before hiking.

Natural arch. The teeny blue dot below is me.

It was so, so windy that Saturday that the rock piles that hikers make on trails were blowing over, I blew over and bruised my shin on some rocks, and Michael's shirt flapped like a flag in the wind. At least it made the almost triple digit temperature much more bearable.

Hiking the Mesquite Sand Dunes. There are about a half dozen places with sand dunes in this park.

How do these little wildflowers blooms on so few drops of rain? There wasn't much plant life in Death Valley, but every little shrub and flower impressed my socks off simply due to the fact of its existence.

And I thought Los Angeles gas prices were high... This is the Chevron in the heart of Death Valley.

Being our weird selves:

Getting in touch with our hick selves.
Super hick with his Japanese shirt.

The best part of the trip was hanging out with this guy. Happy year two, Michael!

All in all, I officially recommend Death Valley National Park to those who love nature and don't mind getting sweaty.
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