Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"It's The Climb"-Miley Cyrus

Okay, so I have had two experiences this year that I want to talk about that have led to make some conclusions about the meaning of life.

1.  In February, I got to go to a Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert and it was a genuinely moving experience.  The best part was their final song, when they sang "Come, Come, Ye Saints".  It was so good!  Pretend you've already cried several times because of sheer emotional musical power, and then watch this, start crying, and it will be like you were at the concert with me.

Whoa, amirite?  This song is just the bomb.  I understand why this song is the Mormon pioneer anthem.  The Mormon pioneers did some really hard stuff, such as travel across the entire American continent in the dead of winter, and thousands of them died, and literally all of the newborn babies died, and they were starving, and got frostbite, and had to amputate their limbs, and cross frozen rivers, and had no shoes.  But they persevered because traveling to Utah was the most important thing to them.  I respect that.

The best part is the phrase "Why should we think to earn a great reward, if we now shun the fight?"  Since I went to this concert, that phrase has sort of become my motto.

Like, why should I think to earn the great reward of _________ 
(a college degree, being a cooler person, having friends, looking good, success)
 if I now shun the fight of _________ 
(homework, being less selfish, being friendly, exercising, working really hard)?   

Basically, it reminded me that I can't expect to get something just because I really, really want it.  It's the worst.  Alternatively, just because something I want is difficult to obtain and it seems unlikely that I will get it, doesn't mean I shouldn't try.  We have to fight for stuff we want.

Moving on.

2.  Robby and I drove to Utah in May for his best friend's wedding and we listened to an audiobook of this biography on Lyndon B. Johnson.  I know.  That makes us sound super nerdy, but it was actually awesome and so entertaining.  We decided we learned enough new information that we could consider the book a lower-level college class.  Seriously, quiz me.  I know tons of stuff about LBJ.

My takeaway from the book is that fear of failure is really dumb.  The first part of the book was spent explaining Lyndon Johnson's rise to power.  Apparently, from the time he was a child, he told everyone that he was going to be the president one day.   He worked really hard and really carefully so that he could be the president.  He excelled in school, made the right connections, politicked the right kind of politics, and eventually worked his way up to become Senate majority leader.  Cool.

But then they start talking about Kennedy's background, which was basically the opposite of LBJ's.  He did have a very wealthy family and lots of advantages, but he also was super sick for all of his childhood so he didn't do much with his connections.  Long story short, JFK had chronic back pain as an adult and had to get multiple surgeries after he became a senator, and he missed a bunch of sessions.  But, all of a sudden, he decided he wanted  to run for president, and he just went for it.

JFK used his social connections (i.e. father) to run an awesome campaign.  He tried really hard and met a lot of people, and *spoiler alert* got the nomination and then won.

And, with all this background information, it seems really unfair that JFK got to be the president and LBJ was just the vice-president (until, of course, Kennedy was assassinated).  But the thing is that Johnson was afraid of failing, so when people asked him if he was planning to run for president, he just told them no, even though he reeeeeally wanted to.  He didn't want to be embarrassed by having a failed run for president, so he didn't tell people he was interested in running until it was too late and everyone already supported JFK.

So, if I have learned anything in the year of 2012, it's that you can't earn a great reward if you shun the fight.

P.S.  I know this post isn't very Christmasy but I found it sitting in my drafts and it was just the reminder I needed to inspire me to work hard today!  So I thought I would go ahead and publish it.  My own words moved me. #humblebrag #imtheworst

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I Feel Like I Have To Blog About The Royal Baby

So, listen.  Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge is having a baby and I. Cannot. Deal.  I am so happy.  I have been obsessed with Kate Middleton ever since I PERSONALLY SAW HER ON HER WEDDING DAY (braggin').  Plus, if you have ever seen my Pinterest board entitled "Babies" or my perfect nephew, you know I am also obsessed with infants.  So, like, Kate + a baby is almost too much for my heart to handle.  I don't have enough words.  So, here are some relevant links.

 Here, Snooki gives Kate some pregnancy advice.  Bless.

 Here and here are two articles about potential Royal Baby names.

That last one is a little bit distressing because TWO of my favorite names (guess which ones! I'll never tell!) are on the list and I will actually cry if Kate steals one of my baby girl names.  Because if I name my child after the Royal Baby, everyone will think I'm naming my child after the Royal Baby.

Also, sidebar.  One of my former favorite baby girl names is on there--Charlotte.  Robby vetoed it because I'm pretty sure he had a crush on someone named Charlotte when he was little and she didn't like him back.  He tells me it's because it sounds "too Southern" which I always take as the code phrase for having experienced unrequited love.  By the way, I keep a lengthy list of potential Meldau baby names and try to discuss them with Robby all the time and he has zero interest in it.  He has said no to literally every baby name I've ever nominated because apparently "We don't have children!".  Psh.

Anyways, I've been speculating a lot about what the Royal Baby is going to be named.  I've already decided she will probably be a girl, and I can't even fathom how disappointed I will be if I'm wrong (Because they changed the laws about monarchy in England JUST SO William and Kate's baby could be Queen if she is a girl.  So, she HAS to be a girl).  I am planning for a girl name.  I think the Royal Baby's name will be some combination of these:

Phillipa Louise Victoria Diana Elizabeth

Calling it.



P.P.S. I'm not pregnant.      

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's Thanksgiving Eve!

Something about me is that I think Thanksgiving is the best holiday in the world.  I love it the way most people love Christmas.  It is my absolute favorite time of the year.  I have been too excited to function all day because Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  The start of the holiday season!  I feel so joyful and bloggy today. Thanksgiving is TOMORROW, guys.  It will be so fun!

I think a big part of the reason I love Thanksgiving so much is because I prefer fall-related decor schemes to winter-themed ones... I mean, I love Native Americans?...I mean, I love having the opportunity to express my gratitude for all of the cool things I have that other people don't...I mean, I get to spend time with my family.  And also eat delicious food.

But seriously, I love that everyone is so thankful.  I really do!  Thanksgiving is just such a wonderful start to the season.  Because really, it's all downhill after Thanksgiving.

Just kidding.  Black Friday is great.  Christmastime is also great.  But, in honor of the holiday, here are some random things I am thankful for today, in no particular order.

The Pioneer Woman, for just live-tweeting the movie Gone With the Wind while she made pie.  I love Scarlett.  I love Melanie.  I even love Rhett.  I love Rhee.  I love her frontier, and I love pie.  She is the spirit of Thanksgiving in my eyes.  Why am I not the Pioneer Woman?

Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke, and Diet Pepsi.  I have had a very busy and fatigue-filled past few weeks, and I am pretty sure that I have single-handedly kept the diet cola industry afloat.  Thanks to my favorite caffeinated beverages for keeping me awake, functional, and happy in times of need.

Yale, for offering FREE college courses online!  Tender mercies.  This is something I had heard but didn't know anything about until I was frantically trying to finish a paper about Milton last week so I just googled "Milton paradise lost book 9" and this came up.  Just a Yale professor giving an hour-long lecture about Paradise Lost and boom, paper written.  It was so helpful!  I love Yale.  I love the internet.  I love English.  I do not love Milton, but I am working on it.  

I am also very thankful for my family and my husband and the Gospel for so many reasons.  I am so blessed and feel very lucky especially these last few, busy weeks.  I've gotten a lot of help.  But who wants to hear about that?  



Monday, October 15, 2012

Hi, Monday.

Well, I have a serious vacation hangover/case of the Mondays.  So, my question for you on this Monday morning there anything in the world better than face swapped pictures of celebrity couples?

Answer:  This picture of an adorable child. 

But then again...

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Saturday

So this is what happened on Saturday.

My dad and my husband both woke up at roughly the crack of dawn to go run the St. George marathon.  I woke up a little bit when I heard them walk out of our hotel room door, and then I got stressed about mortality, was suddenly wide awake, and couldn't go back to sleep.  Because, marathons are really long and a really big deal.  And because, what if there was some sort of freak accident on the road, or if one of their hearts burst or something?

So I just spent most of my morning hanging out and contemplating being a 21 year old orphan (the more correct term would be bastard, but I feel awkward writing that) (too late) and/or widow, and probably I could get some sort of book deal out of that, because that's pretty abnormal, but I would probably be too sad to actually write a book about it.

And so then I finished J.K. Rowling's new book The Casual Vacancy.  And, shoot.  It was a rough read.  I'm still deciding whether or not I'm glad I read it, but for now just know that I do not recommend it if you are already in a sensitive state of mind.  Drug use, domestic abuse, rape, psychological disorders, bullying, breakups, social injustice.  It's all there, and it's all super sad.  It was a little bit of a political statement by old J.K. about welfare and poverty, I think.  A very effective and disturbing statement.  Go Jo?

So then I got ready for the day and drove myself over to the marathon finish line, hoping that my dad and husband were both still alive and I would get to see them cross the finish line alive and not have to claim their bodies somewhere on a stretcher.  (Spoiler alert: they live.)

Something you should know is that if you already are feeling ambivalent about someone's mortality is that you should not watch elite runners crossing a marathon finish line.  These people looked very emaciated and exhausted, and I was really concerned about their tiny legs making it all the way to the finish line.  Some people were so done they literally stumbled across the finish line and then collapsed.  One guys fell to his knees directly in front of me and started crawling.  And his arms and legs and face were contorted and spazzing.  All I could think of was the LDS video where Jesus cures the guy with the palsy.  This man looked like the guy with the palsy.

Obviously I embarrassingly started visibly weeping and everyone around me was totally freaked out.  But then, not too long later, I saw my really cute husband running toward me (I mean, the finish line).  AND, he did not only did not look emaciated or near death, he actually looked AWESOME and was running normally and quickly.  He was killing it.  I was so overcome with relief and love and joy that I started screaming, "ROBBY!"  "ROBBY!" "ROBBY ROBBY ROBBY ROBBY ROBBY!" And then the announcer said "Robby Meldau, from Phoenix, Arizona" and I was like "WOOHOOOOOO! ROBBBBBBBYYYYYYYY!"

But he did not hear me at all.  At. All.  And I was like up against the fence really close to him.  I could have touched him.  Everyone around me started laughing and I sprinted off to the other side of the finish line to go talk to him.  But I couldn't find him.  I spent what felt like eternity squinting at every runner in a white shirt in the special runners-only free ice cream area (Seriously, after the finish line, there was the area where only runners could go and they were just handing out a million different types of ice-cream novelties and also oranges and stuff), but he wasn't there.  I walked around the entire park looking for a runner in a white shirt that was passed out.  No luck.  I finally find him on the other side of the park, barely past the finish line, just chatting with his running buddies.  Like, laughing and talking like a normal person.  Then I see my dad cross the finish line, and then he just starts chatting with his running buddies.  They are all just acting like what they did was totally NORMAL and it is not.  And I was like Hi!  Hello!  Do you see me?  You just ran a marathon!  How are you alive?  What are you doing?  Why are you standing up?

And they were like "Heeeeey!  Good to see you!  How long have you been here?"


Then, they make their way out of the special runners-only ice cream area, we take a picture, then later we go get hamburgers.

What a day.

POSTEDIT:  I originally just wrote for my 750 words writing because it was a funny experience to me.  After you submit your writing it will give you "stats" on what you wrote like.  Here was today's:

Yep, pretty accurate there.  I thought it was too funny not to share!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Do you ever have those times in your life where you just can't seem to catch a break?  Because right now is one of those times for me.  I woke up last week with a cold and for a few days I felt just absolutely awful--like I had been run over by a steamroller (body aches), then swallowed some nails (scratchy throat), then consumed a million Otter Pops so I had perma-brain freeze (congestion).  So yeah, I may have been overreacting, but it was rough, and that's just the kind of person I am (dramatic).  I still feel kind of sick, but I also feel like I can function in society again, so that's good.
I remember when I woke up with the smallest symptoms of a cold, thinking "This is probably just the adversary trying to weaken me because I've been doing good things lately".  And guess what, guys?  DO NOT TEMPT FATE BY THINKING THAT.  Since then, a variety of things have just been happening to me that are either making me sad, driving me crazy, or just plain annoying me.  And it's frankly getting kind of old.

All in all I've just been kind of generally annoyed with life and myself and everything has felt kind of stale.  But guess what?  According to F. Scott Fitzgerald, 

So I'm going to roll with that.  Even though I live in Arizona and the weather doesn't get "crisp" until approximately January, I still am going to act on this alleged seasonal change.  I've got the best husband in the world, a great job, lots of people who support me, and a little bit of ambition. 

So here are my goals.  Hopefully, by the end of October I will have decided whether or not I want to pursue a Master's degree (and what I want to pursue it in, and I will have applied/taken the GRE) and I will be able to run four miles straight like I used to, and I will write something every day.  I found this really great website called  It is what it sounds like--you log in and write 750 words (which adds up to three pages) of private, unfiltered writing.  And it gives you points if you meet the 750 word mark!  I've been experimenting with it for a few weeks, and I signed a pledge to write on it every day in October. 

Because I really like to write, and I want to get better at it.  Writing privately on that website has been really fun for me, but I also want to write publicly, because, you know, that's how you know if you want to make a job out of it.  So, I guess the whole reason I'm writing this post is to say publicly that I hoping to blog semi-regularly in October, and I want you (Mom) to hold me up to it.  Okay?

Happy October.  Let's figure stuff out this month.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Best of the Internet

I have been coming across the most HILARIOUS links from the interwebs for the past twelve hours, and I want to share them all on Facebook because they're all so funny, but then I think people might start deleting me as friends for spamming their news feed?  So, I'm going to put them all in this blog post.

When I was a freshman, I was chilling with my friends in the Cannon Center, eating some generic rice krispies for dinner because I love them.  I was slicing a banana to put in my cereal because they are delicious and people that don't put sliced banana in their rice krispies are probably felons. One of the guys at my table said, "Wow, you are going to be such a good mom.  Look at how perfectly you sliced that banana."  And I was like, "What do you mean?  Everyone slices bananas with this level of care and precision, right?"  And everyone was like, no.  No, that's not normal.  People don't spend that much time slicing bananas.  Only tiger moms.

Ever since, I've felt kind of isolated.  How can I achieve the perfect banana slices I so desire while maintaining the facade that I'm a normal person and maybe saving time to boot?  Enter the Hutzler Banana Slicer.

 Please go read the reviews on Amazon here. PLEASE.  "It's yellow-like bananas!"

I want to preface this next one by saying that I really, really, really love and respect the leaders of the Mormon church like, a lot, and I think that they are men of God.  Literally, that is what I think.  So I am not trying to make fun of them.  If you aren't Mormon, (which you probably are, because only my mom reads this blog and she is Mormon) you can learn more about apostles and prophets here.

That being said, the following video is AMAZING and warms my heart so much.  If you're friends with me on Facebook, you know how much I freaked out when Barack Obama sang (talked) (what do I call this...) Call Me Maybe.


I especially love how they included Elder Costa's "keeeeess" because I really love the way he says that.

(Incidentally, Elder Costa gave the BYU devotional that convinced me I should be with Robby forever.  I had broken up with him because I'm an idiot and was stressed about getting married at 20, but then I went to listen to this devotional in the SWKT and it made me realize that I was being an idiot and shoot, ships are safe in harbor but that's not what ships are for! and I should obviously marry Robby, so then I got back together with Robby and that night he had a Brick Oven pizza delivered to my apartment that was in the shape of a heart and had little pepperonis on it that were cut into little tiny heart shapes.  It was adorable.  Because right before we broke up I incited this stupid fight with Robby because I wanted to go get Brick Oven pizza and he did not.  The moral of this story is that I am a silly person sometimes and I love Elder Costa.  And Robby.  more.  in a romantic sense.  End parentheses.)

Anyways...look at this hilarious thing.

My awesome sister-in-law Katy sent me this link.  We had a cat named Daisy for a few months, but Robby really hated her and it got awkward so when I was in Utah this summer my parents babysat the cat for me and we just...never picked her up.  Thanks Mom and Dad!  Hope you like your new pet!  I'm thinking Robby and Daisy would have been much better friends if I had picked up one of these.  Robby has a well-documented love of unicorns.  Look at this picture of Robby with his best friend Jeff at his unicorn-themed 24th birthday party!  We've decided to throw the exact same party for our firstborn's fifth birthday, down to the cotton candy, pinata, and coloring.

And now, a few honorable mentions.

This, which made me laugh for a looooong time but it says the f-word and my mom reads this blog so I can't have that on here!  But you should click the link because it's funny.

I love Beyonce for a variety of reasons, and I also love snuggies. Which is why I love this, which I would just embed but I think the length of this post is getting annoying.  My bestie Brooke sent it to me and it is FABULOUS.

This is not hilarious at all, but I think it's really important and everyone should read it.  Womanhood, man.  It's tough stuff.  

Well, that's all.  Happy Friday.  I think my fever broke.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And I'm a Mormon

DISCLAIMER:  If you disagree with me, that's great.  I respect your views; and I won't get offended.  If you want to express it to me in a rude way in the comments, that's not allowed.  You are literally prohibited from saying it.  It's against the rules of this blog.

And another disclaimer:  I want to make it clear that I don't think Mormon republicans are bad, mean people, that they don't believe in being charitable, or agree with the ideas I'm about to talk about.  I just want to explain the link, in my eyes, between my politics and my religion.

I have been sitting on this blog post for a long time.  I've been writing it out in my head for months, and this typed version has been resting in my draft posts for about a week.  I really didn't want to post it, because I don't want to cause controversy or alienate anyone.  But I think it's important for me to express how I feel about my religion and politics.  I know people wonder how I reconcile being a Mormon with being a registered democrat.  Most people are surprised when they find out.  Some start to treat me differently, some think it's a funny quirk.  Some jerk in high school even went so far as to say that being a democrat should prohibit me from having a recommend to enter Mormon temples.  This isn't the case.  I'm a devout, happy Mormon and a strong democrat.  Here's how.


These scriptures are why, in a nutshell, I am a Mormon and a democrat.
 Mosiah 4:19  For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy. 
21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.  
 I remember reading this chapter in the Book of Mormon as a freshman in seminary, and it really moved me.  It was one of the very first times that my fourteen-year-old self thought, "This is what I believe in and what I know to be true."  I'm crying just thinking about it.  It was a powerful experience.

I think these verses contain a universal truth; we can all understand it, religious or not.  If we are blessed, we have a moral obligation to give charity to other people.  If we understand that our blessings come from a forgiving and benevolent God, we will feel so much joy about it we will want nothing more than to be charitable.  There have been many times in my life that my mouth was "stopped" so that I "could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was [my] joy".  I am very blessed.  My life is wonderful, happy, and very easy.  And I understand that all of the blessings I enjoy come from God out of pure love for me.  It fills me with gratitude to God and compassion for others.

It's kind of an intense idea, especially if you aren't religious.  But the thing is, I believe it very deeply.  I believe that one of the main purposes of life is to become humble and compassionate--to recognize everything we should be grateful for and to feel the drive to help others.  I think you can't really have one without the other.  If you are grateful, you will feel compelled to help people.  Then, if you help people, the world will be better.  That's why we're here.  Funnily enough, Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention played perfectly into this idea.

 I think the democratic party most closely aligns with this world view.  I really hesitate to say that, because I think the single-greatest problem in American politics is viewing the republican/democrat dichotomy as a good/evil dichotomy.  It simply isn't the case that one party has God on their side, and one party is of the Devil.  I think the partisan system exists to provide checks and balances--not to separate the righteous from the heathens.  Most of the people I am closest with are republicans, and I don't think they, or their political views, are evil.  Many of the leaders of the republican party are very good people.  (Except for Paul Ryan, who blatantly lied about his marathon time by an hour.  Not cool.) (Obviously that was a joke.)  I hope the people who associate with me feel the same way about me and the democrats.  The divide between political parties is not the same as the divide between right and wrong.

So let me say it like this:  I am not a democrat because I am a Mormon or vice versa.  But, for me, and me alone, the two belief systems compliment each other.  I am a Mormon because I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, because nothing brings me greater joy or peace than this church, and because I believe in the pure love of Christ.  I'm a democrat because I believe the government has an obligation to provide welfare to the poor, because I believe having access to affordable healthcare is a human right, because I believe improving K-12 public education should be a top priority, and because I fundamentally believe government can help people.

The year before I started seminary, 2004, was the Bush/Kerry presidential election.  I was in eighth grade, so I obviously didn't know very much at all about politics.  But I remember having a vague sense that John Kerry was the bad guy, because he was a democrat.  I was a Mormon, and we were supposed to be republicans.  Democrats believe in raising taxes, taking away our freedom, and worst of all, abortion--ideas I literally could not fathom supporting at thirteen.

But then I read the Book of Mormon.  I learned more about how government worked.  My worldview expanded, inch by inch.  I would like to clarify that I have always been and will be pro-life (not that I think there should be any sort of legislation passed about it), but I started to question some of the other things I was under the impression were evil.  I put it together that taxes paid for schools, roads, welfare, and government programs.  I thought those were really good things.  I thought of the above verses in Mosiah.  If we can help people by paying taxes, especially those who, in Mormon terms, are "less fortunate than us", we should do it gladly.          

The Mormon church has a position of political neutrality and, every year around election time, someone will read this statement at our Sunday meeting.  It brings me so much peace.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cares that its members are informed and involved in the political process, and they trust each of us to vote according to our conscience.  Every time a member of the Church tells me that I am a bad Mormon when they find out I support Barack Obama, I take strength in this idea.  Nobody but the prophets can speak for God--and the prophets have told me to vote for the candidate I believe in.  So I'm going to do that.

My name is Amanda.  I love grocery shopping, my husband, reading, and eating delicious treats.  I am passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I'm voting for Barack Obama this November.  And...I'm a Mormon.            

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Importance of Reading Ernest

If I have learned anything from my college career, it is that Ernest Hemingway is my spirit author.

Spirit author=spirit animal, except for it's not an animal, it's a person.  Who is an author.

Anyway, Ernest Hemingway is my spirit author because, first of all, he is secretly a fox and I just love it when people are as attractive as the actor who would play them in a movie is.  You know?

Second of all, Ernest Hemingway is my homie because he has lots of really great quotes about writing that ring very true to me.  Such as the following:

But mostly because his prose is the most beautiful, spare, true prose I've ever read.  He is a masterful, clean writer.  

So, in everything I write these days, I earnestly (pun!) try to be like Ernest.  I tend to think, and talk, and write, in run-on sentences.  Followed by fragments.  And then run-on sentences, probably a lot of them, that use lots of clauses and commas, and go on forever.  And that's bad.  Because don't we all just want to talk about things as they are and should be in as few words as possible?  I'm trying to be more economical with my writing, but mostly with my real-life interactions.  If I don't have anything to apologize for, I shouldn't.  If I don't have to explain something, it should be left unsaid.  

It's important to say what I think, in the way that I mean.  But anything else I say is unimportant.   

That is my one great insight into life.
Read this.  It is by Ernest, and it is perfect.

I call Ernest by his first name.  Because he's my spirit author.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I just wanted to throw a Cinco de Mayo party.

This is what happened to me last night when I went to Rancho Grande Supermarket.

First of all, I walk in, realize immediately that this place is terrifying.  Flickering fluorescent lights, dirty floors, toothless people, spilled produce.  It is kind of like a nightmare.  But that's fine.  I am in the market for cheap, authentic Mexican groceries and I also think I am really hardcore and urban.

So, I start bagging some avocados (2 for $1!).  An old man walks up and says, "Avocados!  I love these!  Can I get them?" no one in particular.  Then he looks at me and says, "Sorry, ma'am."  Oh yeah, he wasn't wearing a shirt.  Or shoes.

And I'm just like, "It's okay..."

Then I walk away and go to get some tomatillos (2 lbs for $1!).  A man comes up and also starts picking up tomatillos.  And then he starts talking to me rapidly and animatedly in Spanish and I am embarrassed to admit that with five years of Spanish classes under my belt, I couldn't understand anything he was saying except for the word "salsa".    And so I was like, "Si, salsa!"  And he was like "Si, salsa! Cilantro, onion, tomatillo..." and then I unfortunately couldn't understand anything else he said, which is a travesty because his salsa recipe is probably fantastic.  He forms his arms into a circle, like maybe he was making a bowl for salsa out of his arms?  And I was like, "si!  delicioso!"  And he was like, "me likey!"

And then I smiled and walked away.  I pick up a bunch of cilantro (for like 77 cents, maybe), and out of NOWHERE there is a tiny white woman in a hat and lots of layers of cardigans and she says, "Oh I just love this stuff" and brings a bunch of cilantro to her chest. And I say, "I also like cilantro."  And she says, "Oh, I just want to make a bed out of this stuff and sleeeep in it!"

And then I smiled and walked away.  I go to the canned goods section, pick up some chipotle peppers (2 cans for $1, natch), and of course, out of nowhere, the salsa guy is back.  And he points at the peppers and is like, "Oh, si, salsa!  Cilantro, onion, tomatillo..." while making a bowl with his hands.  And I say, "Oh, si!  Salsa!  Si."  And then he just keeps talking to me in Spanish, making weird gestures with his hands and I just keep nodding and saying si and then slowly walk away.

I pick up some other weird stuff like cotija cheese and Mexican jello (I got vanilla flavor.  It's going to be so gross but I want to try it.) and cake mix from the super clearance bin and hot sauce.  And then I spot some tortilla chips that look like they were made in-house and look so freaking delicious and crunchy.  So, I pick up three bags ($1.90 per), turn around, and there's the salsa guy.  "Chips!  Salsa, si? Cilantro, onion, tomatillo!"

And then he makes that bowl out of his hands again and I'm like,

to MYSELF.  Like, what is this conversation we're having really about?

I finally get to checkout and the checkout guy says, Buenos tardes!  but then sees me and is like Oh hey, how's it going.

A couple failed card swipe attempts later, he's handing me back my debit card, at which point he says, "Where did you get those beautiful eyes?"  which is the most awkward thing anyone has ever said to me ever so I'm like, "Oh, thank you."  But then he was like, "No really, you mother or your father?"

Like, he was genuinely just curious about my genetic make-up.  Not even hitting on me at all.  So I'm like, "Oh, my mom, I guess" and then I take my receipt and get the heck out of dodge.

Here's the scorecard:

Dollars spent: $33.19
Number of friends made: At least 4, am I right?
Utiles of street cred earned:  0
Number of secret salsa recipes acquired: 0
Likelihood I will return: 17%

Friday, April 27, 2012


Is it just me, or is wintertime the WORST?  I get into a funk every time.  For the past couple years, I thought it was because I lived in wasteland Utah and had to slog through snow every day, didn't see the sun for months, was always cold, got pale and chubby, stuff like that.  And also because I was always breaking up with someone.  Seriously, every winter for the past several years.  But turns out, I still felt gloomy here in sunny, mild Arizona this past winter even though the weather was great and I have a husband that I will never break up with.

 Luckily Spring is here now and life is good again, but I still try to actively work on being happy.  I just finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I definitely recommend it.  I read it every morning while on the treadmill for a month of two and both of those activities just made my days better.  I try to do something special every day that will make me feel accomplished and happy.

One of the biggest things I did to become less grouchy and more productive this Winter was to start making lists.  I love lists.  I keep lists of books I really want to read, books I probably should read but probably won't, baby names (Robby doesn't like any of the baby names I like, or basically any names at all.  We can't agree on anything, so I'm starting early and keeping a very long list of every name I would be remotely content with naming a baby.   I am so worried that our children will be nameless.  I can't even talk about this anymore.  This parentheses is way too long), wish lists, dream house requirements, things to do if I'm bored, quotes I like, projects I want to do, things I want to write about, and, duh, grocery lists.  


Making lists makes me so happy.  So here is my "best of" list for today.

Best Wedding of All Time:

Kate and William.  It's their one year anniversary on Sunday!  P.S. I saw this happen.  I was in London when they got married.  I will never stop bragging about this.

Best Video I've Seen Today:

New York City Ballet "Pointe Shoes" from Galen Summer on Vimeo.

I am obsessed with pointe shoes.  I did ballet for years and years and really defined myself as a ballerina as a child until I realized I was really bad at it.  I just did not have any ballet talent.  I didn't have the right body type, but mostly, I did not have grace.  I am the opposite of graceful.  And I am not even saying that because I am trying to be cute and self-deprecating.  I am genuinely clumsy.  I drop everything.  I get angry just thinking about the number of things I have spilled this week.  Also, remember this? So I quit dance and started swimming (can't trip doing that), but still will always love ballet and especially pointe shoes.  They are so beautiful and well-engineered.   I wrote an essay in eighth grade about buying my first pair of pointe shoes, and, not to brag, but I won the district writing contest.  I guess you could call it my big break or something.

Best Video I've Seen Ever:

I am a little bit embarrassed to admit that I freaking love this song.  But mostly I'm not, because watching this makes me so happy.

Best Slideshow:

This one of City Hall marriages!   Beautiful people, interesting stories, awesome outfits!  So much to love!

Best Article Ever:

This one about Kanye West.  Just read it all.

Best Short Story:

In The Gloaming by Alice Elliot Dark.  Unfortunately, I can't find the full text online for this anywhere, but it is so good.  Please find a way to read it.  I read this for a class last night and literally wept the entire time.  It is about a mother and her dying son.  It is beautifully framed and beautifully written and so symbolic and makes me want to have a son, and I am terrified of having a son.  It is by a landslide my favorite short story I've read for school this year, and probably my favorite short story ever.

Best Things I Have Pinned:

Best website:

Sorry for the language and crudeness, except for not really (except for really).  But, THIS IS THE FUNNIEST WEBSITE EVER

And there goes my afternoon.  That's all.  Bye, guys.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Today Robby and I have been married nine months.  I feel like this is the most notable milestone yet.  3/4 of a year.  The length of time required to gestate a baby.  That is a big deal.  

Although we plan on staying childless for a while longer (see below), today I'm thinking about how I potentially could be becoming a mother right now.  Isn't that crazy?  Literally right now.  I could be in labor.  In a hospital.  It would be so crazy and dramatic and awesome.      

Just kidding.  Sorry, that was weird.  What I'm really thinking about today is how much I didn't even know what being married was about before I got married.  My life is so different than what I would have predicted it would be like at this point.  Things have not gone according to plan since I got married.  But I had a very weirdly specific plan.

Everything has been so much better than I expected. 

We weren't planning on being so involved at Church.  Robby is the Elder's Quorum President and I'm in the Primary Presidency, where I wrangle kids for two hours every week.  I would never have predicted that this is where either of us would be on Sundays, but it's been a great experience. Robby is obviously a lot busier than me, but still, Primary is hard.  

For instance, last week I had to help in Nursery because all of the babies were crying at once and none of the regular volunteers were there.  It was kind of like hell.  The kids were all so offended at me.  I felt like what they were trying to communicate to me, in baby talk, was, "Who do you think you are to distract me while my mother left the room and then to act like I will find any interest in your ridiculous puzzles or blowing bubbles?  Who do you think you are?  Stop touching me."  What they really said was "MAAAAAMAAAAAAAA" while lunging for the door and shooting me dirty looks.  This experience is why, as I mentioned earlier, we are not having kids for a while.  

I also wasn't planning on not being done with my undergrad, but it turns out that I am not Superwoman and I can't finish a year's worth of classes online in two months and then immediately start a master's degree.  That was quite the life lesson.     

We weren't planning on getting robbed, or having a cat (that hates us), or being this tired all the time, or not being able to buy everything we want all the time(maybe that one is just me), or acting like such grown-ups, but we are.  And it's awesome.  

I'm learning that Robby brings out the best in me.  I don't think I understood this when I married him.  He goes out of his way to make sure he understands everything I'm saying and always asks me how I feel about things, since I am less than good at sharing my feelings.  Because he makes me feel so heard, I am getting better at communicating.  He also helps me get out of my various comfort zones--social, intellectual, spiritual,  which makes me a happier person.  I feel like I can accomplish so much more with him encouraging me.  

We make a good team.  He is a cool guy and I love him.    

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Johnny Got His Gun 2.0

So I just stubbed my toe and I started crying uncontrollably.  Weeping on the floor.  Lying face-up, screeching.  Blubbering and awaiting death.  It might appear that this was an overreaction, but here are some other things about my life.

First of all, my toe is bleeding and it really hurts.  Who in the world has ever stubbed their toe so hard that it bled?

Also, last week I jammed my finger in a drawer I was closing at work.  It bled.  Again, how?

The next day I  chopped another finger on a mandolin while I was slicing potatoes.  It bled.  So much.  I went to Urgent Care.

On Thursday I burned another finger while I was making dinner.  It...did not bleed.  But it hurt.

The point is, I am living my life without the use of virtually any of my digits.  I cannot enjoy any of the evolutionary benefits of being an adult homo sapien.

I bought a first-aid kit when I got married nine months ago.  All that is left is a cold compress and the weird-sized band-aids.  My life is a shambles.

On the bright side, I decided drinking diet soda is not detrimental to my health, thank you very much, after reading this.  So at least I have Diet Dr. Pepper.  I'm just going to sit here drinking zero calorie caffeinated beverages until all of my extremities are rendered useless and I can accomplish nothing significant with my life, since I am a limbless cripple.

P.S. Does anybody else live in constant fear that when you get a drink at a drive-thru, the employees decide they want to sabotage you and secretly give you FULL-CALORIE regular soda pop instead of diet?  #whitegirlproblems

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mean Thoughts That I've Been Having That I'm Going to Talk About Because Nobody Knows My New URL.

1.  When people post a picture on Facebook with the caption "sneak peak of the wedding pictures!!!!! :)" I automatically judge them and assume they are not mature enough to get married.  Because I am the expert on being mature enough to get married, since I'm a 20 year old.  But mostly because it's sneak PEEK.  Not sneak peak.
When you understand this, you are mature enough to be married.

2.  I want to punch someone in the face about The Hunger Games.  Everybody loves the Hunger Games, but I just don't.  I listened to the second book on tape on a road trip with my family, made Robby summarize the entire third book to me on a road trip, and read some online plot synopses.  So, I guess I haven't actually read it, so maybe I can't actually comment.  But I will.  I think it's a cool concept, average writing, and pretty awful characterization.  I hate Katniss.  Sorry.  I think she is one of the least believable characters I have ever been introduced to.  Like, who can be that awesome in every way about everything always and only behave nobly and lovingly always all the time and do exactly what you as a reader hope she would do every second and also be awesome at surviving in the Hunger Games.  Not a human, that's who.  She is so static.  Also, the love triangle is silly.  And also look at this hilarious picture of the three of them.  Peeta is such a shorty!

This is all.      

Friday, March 16, 2012

Things That I Like on Friday

I'm going to talk about some of my current favorite things, since Pinterest isn't doing a good enough job of keeping track of everything I'm obsessed with.  (Just kidding.)  (But really.)

1.  John Carter.
This picture!  It kills me! Don't you want to see this movie now?  

Robs and I are really into the TV show Friday Night Lights.  So we went to see a movie starring our favorite FNL alum, Timmy Riggins.  We fully expected that it would be the worst movie we ever saw but we went anyway, because we are faithful to all things Friday Night Lights.  Turns out, it was AWESOME.  Turns out, it's doing AWFUL.  Turns out, that's because of BAD MARKETING.  Read this.  It's fascinating.  Seriously.  I like the director.

2.  Keds.

They're just adorable these days.  Who knew?

3.  This.

4.  Also, this.
I keep wanting to say nasty things on Facebook to conservative people who I think are saying dumb things about politics.  But I haven't yet.  And I'm going to keep trying really hard not to.  This is my new mantra.

5.  The fact that I am going to actually graduate in August, and actually be done with all of my classes.  For real.  This has been a long time coming.

6.  The fact that this is what I did instead of finishing an essay I should have turned in, oh, six months ago.  That was my one goal for the day.  I just can't do it.  Independent Study has made me the world's most anxious student.  Why would I turn something in if I can obsess over it forever instead?  My graduation is actually a lot less certain than it seems, if this keeps up.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waving Boldly in the Corrupt Sands of Commerce

These are the things on my mind today.

I'm thinking about my (our) (using plural instead of singular pronouns is one of the greatest things about being married) (it means I always have a pal) future.  And it is terrifying.  

The thing is, I want to be a college professor and a high school teacher.  I want to be a lawyer and a chef and a writer and a magazine editor.  I want to study literature for the rest of my life, and I also want to never have to go to school again after these past few hellish semesters.  I want to be a domestic stay-at-home mom, and I want to rule the world.  

I want to be everything, but I also don't want to be anything except for the person I am. 

I want to do something valuable.  I want to be true to myself and I want to be kind to other people.  

I've been thinking about it, and I want to be Kathleen Kelly.

When I think about the life I want to live, I want to live in the world of You've Got Mail.  I want it to always be fall in New York City.  I want to send bouquets of sharpened pencils, and order tall decaf CAPPUCCINOS! (Not really.  I love the WoW)  I want to spend my days doing something like equipping children with the very  best books, books like Dancing Shoes, and Ballet Shoes, and Skating Shoes by Noel Stretfield.  I want daisies.  Aren't daisies the friendliest flower?  

I want to lead a small life.  Well, valuable, but small.

I realized this when I read this masterful blog post that I stumbled upon when reading the blog of my favorite Kathleen-Kelly-esque blogger. (Neither of those women know me.  Sorry for creepin'!)    

I've found my big, bad Joe Fox.  (F-O-X)  His name is Robby.  And I really, truly wanted it to be him.  I wanted it to be him so badly. 

Now I need my Shop Around the Corner.  

P.S.  I might just be saying this because I currently have the world's worst head cold.  So I would really appreciate it if you all could just go away.        

P.P.S.  I also might be saying this because I feel like I'm totally channeling Kathleen Kelly in my outfit today. This is my proudest style moment.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I woke up at 3 a.m. today convinced that there was something in my house.

This happens to me periodically.  A few months ago we were robbed, and a few months later some new neighbors moved into the apartment we share a back wall with.   And while I've overheard some interesting-sounding muffled conversations through the vent in our bathroom, I also hear every creak on their stairs and footstep through their hallway.  It is disconcerting hearing the sounds of someone else in my home when they're not in my home.

All this to say why I woke up in the middle of the night convinced that there was something in my house.  I heard a creak and felt a something and saw a shadow.  But, was that shadow just mine?  Was that something just paranoia?

There was still a creak.

I consider waking up the husband that sleeps next to me.  Instead, I go to the bathroom.  I look behind the shower curtain.  I look inside the linen closet.  I look at myself in the mirror.  Nothing.

I go back to bed.  The husband that sleeps next to me stirs.  "What time is it?"


"Okay.  I love you."

A squeeze.

I love him, too.  

I lay in bed for an hour, listening to that husband breathe.  I keep feeling a something that is preventing me from sleeping.  I feel alert, anxious, and...something.

Eventually I get out of bed to investigate the something.  I go downstairs.  I look behind the curtains.  I look between the couches.  I look in the pantry.  I look in the dryer.  Nothing.

But it's not nothing.  It's something.  I am restless.  I consider doing the dishes in the sink, even though that husband upstairs promised to wake up early to do them before he left for work.  But I don't want him to wake up.  Maybe I'll read?

I'll have a cup of tea.  I don't want the sound of the microwave to wake up that husband, so I pour water into a saucepan and turn on the stove.  I get the teacup that the husband I sleep next to gave to me. I stand in front of the stove, and it is warm.  Feeling warm and dozy, I go through the ritual of making tea.  That husband does this for me when I am feeling sick.  Teabag, water, sugar, steep.

I sit on the couch that sits directly below the bed where my husband sleeps.  The clear water in my cup has turned deep amber-brown, and my husband is sleeping.

This is something.

Feelings of love for him steep inside of me, swelling and turning deep amber-brown.  It is something, having a husband that sleeps next to you and squeezes you in the night, that cares about the placement of pictures on the wall because you care about the placement of pictures on the wall, that says everything you cook is delicious, that buys special teacups just for you.  I have a husband, and he loves me.  This is the something I feel.

For now, I'm going to keep sitting on this couch one floor below the bed where my husband sleeps, and I'm going to let this something continue to steep as I enjoy the last, sugar-sweet drops of my tea.

When he wakes up, I'm going to tell him we have got to buy an alarm system.