Monday, December 31, 2012

california chirstmas break: building up to christmas day

we went back home to california for christmas, and the week leading up
to the big day was spent quietly and inconspicuously in a state of PURE laziness.
it was so nice.
 it's funny how quickly one can transition from intense studying to
complete inertia. let's just say that we accomplished the transformation like
pros.

phil did have a day of productivity when he shadowed a doctor at a nearby hospital, but besides that we: 

1. watched two full seasons of Downton Abbey
2. ate lots of cookies and enjoyed the full cupboard of food at my parents' house
3. caught up on some reading
4. slept in (me more than the curly headed one) 
4. and, to avoid total inactivity, took a few nature walks around the lake. 


isn't this place goooorgeous?


we also enjoyed the church christmas party with the presence of santa
as well as the company of friends and families that we haven't see in a long time. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

california christmas break: ensenada

we thought our stop in Ensenada was beautiful!
the views of the coast and the Pacific were incredible,
and I got to put my rusty Spanish to good use. 

gracias, Mexico!





notice anything here??



oh, the salsa!

Monday, December 24, 2012

california christmas break: the cruise

right after our final finals of the semester, Phil and I packed the car and began the long journey down the 15 freeway to California. Phil drove the entire way - what a champ!



 the next day, we arrived at the cruise ship port in the Long Beach harbor, boarded and began our little vacation down to Ensenada, Mexico. I'm not sure that we ever quite found our "sea legs," but we didn't get seasick. The skies stayed overcast during the entire voyage,  but Phil and I entertained ourselves by going to the comedy shows and dance shows on board, eating, taking a beautiful bus tour of the coast of Ensenada, eating, sleeping in late every morning, eating all the free room service we could, taking naps, eating, exploring the boat, and eating some more. 



we figured out before the cruise that you can order anything and as much of anything that you want. after our first night at dinner and the ensuing stomach ache,  we wondered if such knowledge was fortunate or unfortunate....

excited about our first night at dinner

in the "Paris Lounge"


what every morning looked like:


our little terry cloth friend



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

flashback: l'amour

last year today
(or, really, two days and a year ago- oops!)
phil and I went on this great date where
we played dress up at H&M
and ate gyros
and went to Temple Square in SLC

and when we came home
we exchanged presents and
Phil said that he loved me
and I said that I loved him.

I would call that a good day to remember.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

phlaurel

some summertime flowers for this december day.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

countdown to a cruise!

when Phil purchased my wedding ring he also got this "free" cruise to Mexico that
went along with the ring. I put that "free" in there because he 
did have to buy the ring first. but, it's a snazzy deal, right? 
anyway the only time that we can take this cruise is
 during the few weeks we have for Christmas break 
since we have been and will be too busy to do one before 
the offer expires (1 year after purchase). anyway,
you can just imagine how great and relaxing and un-school-like
this little cruise will be. we are so thrilled!

but
we have no idea what to do on the cruise.
there are so many options and free things
that we can do, but we only have a few days and
there is so much.

what should we do?
what are the best things you have done on a cruise?
suggestions, please!

thanks.


thank you, little ring.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

final concert

the University Orchestra had its final performance this week.
we've been practicing every Wednesday night all semester long, 
and my absolute favorite piece that we played was
the 3rd and 4th movement of Beethoven's 5th symphony. 
the build up between the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the fourth is seriously electrifying! 

playing these movements, especially at the moment that we enter into the 4th, just makes me want to burst with joy (though not literally -- that could hurt), but any sort of smiling while playing totally ruins embouchure, so I abstained. 
 it's just hard not to feel exuberant while playing such a classically good piece.



you can't see it (or maybe a little?), but I have major French horn lip here. 
thank you, mouthpiece.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

snowshoes

we went on an early morning snowshoe adventure over thanksgiving.
somebody (hmmm...me?) may have worn a sock and shoe
combination that caused a semi-gigantic heel blister (better thinking next time, right?),
but all went well after a bit of moleskin was applied.

the best part of the hike was going downhill 
in the deep, powdery snow.




my golden birthday

it was my 25th birthday on Sunday the 25th.
I am now a quarter of a century old and, honestly, 
not much more the wiser for it.
however, I do know how to pump my own gas and build a campfire -
just not at the same time, of course. leave that to Zoolander.

oh, 24 has been so good to me!
andI know that 25 will be nothing less than
wonderful.


here's some of the birthday activities (that happened on saturday):

we went to IKEA! I told Phil months ago that I wanted to eat here on my birthday. it was all inspired by his niece, Penny, wanting to eat here on her birthday. she's 4, and she clearly knows what's good.


 this was swedish meatball (k├Âttbullar) heaven.

later that night we went to another restaurant favorite: black sheep cafe
remember the first time we went there?

 we drank the pink prickly pear cactus juice again
and ate navajo tacos

it was a day full of food and birthday love.
I am so grateful for all the phone calls and 

messages from dear ones near and far.
it was simply a marvelous weekend.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

a little bit of this and that from these past few months

looking at photos is one of my top distractors from all productivity. 
other beloved culprits that fight against homework completion: Philip, hot chocolate time, VSauce videos (they are CRAZY in a good way - don't click on that link unless you too would like to be majorly distracted), and overwhelming needs to nap. 

anyway, I came across some photos from these past few months 
and spent too much time looking over them and wanted to share the distraction. 



Phil I and I went to President Monson's birthday celebration in Salk Lake at the Conference Center near Temple Square. 

this was as we walked around eating squeaky cheese at Swiss Days up in Midway. I had just given Phil a haircut that morning (thus, the shortness of his do). it was the first time I have ever taken the shears to Phil's curly head and, although you can't see it here, I shed some tears of stress over it since I had no idea what I was doing. in the end, it turned out just fine.

we made a fort and hunkered down in the front room one Saturday night.

we went to General Conference with my brother Alex and his new wife, Tara.

we went to the Utah Symphony and saw Hilary Hahn! I choose this night specifically because I discovered Hilary Hahn about a year ago (as I searched for good classical music to drone out other voices in the office) and wanted to see her perform live. she was a child prodigy violinist and debuted with huge international orchestras before she was 15! Yeah, no big deal...
she's about 30 now, but she gave a fantastic performance and an encore solo. her sound was so clean and lovely. give her a listen.




we like green smoothies, and we like our little homemade melted bead flags underneath

first snow in the mountains.

Friday, November 23, 2012

a day of thanks

I am thankful for so much.
but, most especially for a loving God
and each loving member of my family
(and in particular the most recent addition: my husband)

this year we spent Thanksgiving up at Snowbird 
with the White's (Phil's parents and younger sister, Megan)
and Kristina joined us too.

the food was great but the company was even better, especially the sugary pie-induced
craziness that affected the games of Rummikub afterwards. 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

the day we spent more than we've ever spent before: CAR

back story: our 1995 Toyota Tercel is on its way out to car heaven. we went to the mechanic yesterday and the diagnosis wasn't good. the surgery to heal her is too expensive and she's just too old. lately, she's been doing this charming thing of stalling in the middle of intersections (which is a really effective wake-up call, fyi). she also doesn't have air conditioning or a functioning heater (due to the leaky radiator), so she is always very much in tune with nature's climatic changes. she has been well-used, well-loved, and although Phil and I are nostalgic about all the dating/pre-marriage months spent talking and kissing in that car after curfew (what????? we kissed before we were married?????), we decided to be big kids and get a new car all by ourselves.

and we did. Phil has spent HOURS for the past month searching and scouring the Internet to find good deals for a reliable, used car. now we know all the facts on the best used cars to buy, gas mileages, carfax details, and price ranges. and today, after finding an excellent deal and then haggling to get an even better deal, we took the plunge. we have a car! it's OURS! of course, it isn't fancy or sporty or glitzy (no wings or spoilers here, thank goodness), but it will fill our needs for many years to come. all in all, we just feel, well, "happy of ourselves"

plus, seriously, the purchasing bit was all worth it to see Phil in such an excited state (right before we went to buy it) that he was JUMPING all over the house and squealing. Yes, that's my manly man.


phil with the dealer and our blue beauty

in all the excitement, we forgot to get a good shot of the car itself,
but our happy faces are more important. we must have forgotten how empty our pockets were...



Monday, November 5, 2012

I just need a little bit of france

to ease this school-riddled mind.

I know that college is designed to be challenging. Duh. I've more or less caught the hang of it by now (less more than more though), and don't get me wrong, I LOVE an academic challenge. I like to read. I like to write. I like feeling scholarly winds beneath my wings.

Yet, with all that is good at school right now (Paradise Lost in Milton class is my Tuesday/Thursday revamp and Swedish is the saves-my-sanity-at-the-end-of-the-day class), somehow this semester has drained my strength of mind, and more often then not I feel this deep need for cerebral escape. This usually takes form in my clicking through all the photo albums packed onto this here laptop. Seriously, just ask Phil how many times he catches me going through our wedding albums. It's often.

Tonight's escape was the north of France where I did an [incredible] internship last year.

want to escape to France too?










and, my all time favorite: