Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bittersweet Fall

I have a good feeling about fall in Iowa. I have never lived in a place where trees spring up at will, without coaxing and coddling and irrigation. And the trees are not only dense but also deciduous. That means every one of them is destined to go down to their ugly winter slumber in a fabulous blaze of color.

And how can I help but love fall? I can't resist crunching leaves under my feet, feeling a tiny nip in the air, getting excited for Halloween even though I don't have any kids to bum candy from, eating pumpkin cookies, drinking hot chocolate, and knowing that Christmas is getting soooooo close.


But I can't enjoy it. Not fully. Every beauty and pleasure of the fall is tainted with the bitter flavor of winter's imminent arrival. And I have a BIG problemo with winter. To me, aside from the glories of cross-country skiing, and the magical white Christmas, winter is 4 months of endless, shivering misery.

So, welcome fall! You're beautiful. But if you ever catch me weeping as I take in your beauties, they are not tears of joy or wonder.

They are tears of dread.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ahhh, family

Our home has been christened with its first real house-guests: Ryan and Janae.



-Went to a lake

-Ate Indian food and learned an important lesson: "Mild" for Indians means "medium-hot" for Americans...and too hot for Janae (sorry Janae!)

-Made homemade raspberry ice cream

-Watched Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Thirteen (Camber's not sure what happens in Ocean's Twelve, but skipping it didn't make Ocean's Thirteen confusing)

-Ate the following crazy pizza flavors at Mesa Pizza: chicken enchilada, Philly cheese steak, barbecue chicken with french fries, and chicken penne pasta, among others.

-Went to church

-Talked a lot

-Slept in (well, Ryan and Janae slept in. Camber thought it sounded nice)

-Played Jenga and made it to 36 rows

-And went to Nauvoo! Here's Ryan and Janae in front of the beautiful Nauvoo temple (they look little).

And here's Isaac in the blacksmith shop

The famous walk down Parley Street

And the Mississippi River at the end of Parley Street. It's very, very big.

Camber was there too, but she was on the wrong side of the camera.

Sight-seeing seems like something to do on vacation, not when you live somewhere, so it was wonderful to have Ryan and Janae there to give us an excuse to be tourists ourselves. Further, it was just nice to have Ryan and Janae around for their own sake, because they are very fun people.

And when they left, they took a little of home back with them.

We miss you, family!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Smart Life Lesson from Camber

Never put something plastic on top of the oven when it's cooking something. Even if all the stove burners are off.

It turns out that it still gets hot up there.

The carnage:

Farewell, salad spinner. Those two weeks we had together were bliss. Thanks for being replaceable.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


When we decided to move to Iowa, I decided to look at a map to figure out where, exactly, Iowa is. My reaction: "Iowa's there?"

Turns out, I am not alone in my poor grasp of mid-western geography. Even the week before we left, close friends and family members were still asking, "So you're moving to...Ohio?" Because in the narrow-minded Western mentality (of which I am a part), Iowa and Ohio are essentially the same place.

One of Isaac's good friends, who is from Ohio, experienced the same problem when he moved to Utah. They thought he was from Iowa. And so the great state of Ohiowa was born. Can't remember which state we really live in? Just call it Ohiowa and cover all your bases.

With this in mind, it seemed all the funnier to us that our first road-trip as mid-westerners was, in fact, to Ohio. We visited some of our favorite people there--Jeff & Amy, and Dan & Katja.

Our visit included a trip to Hocking Hills State Park, the Columbus Temple, a few nights talking way past our bedtime (Ohio friends--you were totally worth it), and this monstrosity:

Is everything bigger in Ohiowa? Perhaps so.