Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sir Elton

I've been hesitant to write this. Somehow it adds a flair of finality. A splash of reality.

Three weeks ago, on May 14, I woke up and yelled for Elton. He sleeps by my  head so waking up without him was strange but he could have been eating or taking a break from my relentless snuggles. I did not suspect anything but Curtis will tell you that it didn't feel right. He knew something was amiss.
I continued to holler for Elton. Come here twinkles!!

Curtis searched the usual spots:
the floor in our clothes closet- the cats enjoy napping on our shoes.
the bathroom
the kids closet- we have lots of boxes in there where we have set up blankets for the cats to nap on

The kids closet.

The kids closet.

I can't even look in there anymore.

I heard him rustling around back there and then he came back into our bedroom where I was still in my undies yelling Eltons names. He stared at me with big frightened eyes and a hand covering his mouth.



What Curtis...??


He went back into the kids room and I heard him tearing things apart. I joined him in there and watched as he frantically and silently removed every stupid thing we've been storing in the closet.

Curtis tell me what is wrong



And then he told me to leave the room. "Get out of here sweetie"
So I walked away. Panic set in like bricks in my belly. Immediate perspiration.

When I re-entered the room maybe 30 seconds later I demanded to know what was going on. I think I said something like, "Curtis this is abnormal behavior please explain yourself"

"Elton is dead." he said softly.

no. no! that isnt possible. no. show him to me. no. no.
He came to me and held me while I sobbed. He said sorry. What else can you say??

He gently pulled Elton out of the closet and wrapped him in a towel. I sat on the edge of the bed crying and incoherently yelling that it wasn't possible and it couldn't be real. My baby. My sweet furry friend.

He tried to soften the blow saying things like, "I'm certain it happened instantly, no suffering." and "It's a freak accident."

We don't know how it happened. He was wedged between a box and a large fan. I didn't look myself because I couldn't but Curt says it seemed like something might have fallen on him and snapped his neck. No sign of a struggle. No blood. No wounds. Just my lifeless Elton.

I cried until I couldn't. I went numb. I had to think logically. What do I do next? We bury him, but where?
My parents backyard seemed perfect. It's a beautiful place and somewhere I would always be able to visit.

After laying in the grass for an hour, crying and not crying, we took Elton out to my parents house. I wasn't sure where the best place to dig was and neither of my parents were answering their phones. It was after noon by this point and Megan and Quinn were going to meet us and assist with the burial.

Finally my mom called me- she had been playing racquetball all morning. As soon as I told her she began to tear up- I had to get off the phone or I'd crumble again.

We picked a nice shady spot in the yard and Quinn and Curt started to dig. It was a nice hole.

A nice hole.

We covered the spot with some beautiful Iris my mom had growing. They lasted for about 10 days. Remarkable really since iris tend to wither quickly after being cut.

For days after, I would wake up without my pillow pet and feel empty. I am not sure i'll ever be the same again honestly. I have a tiny little elton hole in my heart.

here are some things I learned:

- I have the most amazing friends and family in the entire world and feel infinitely fortunate to have been comforted by all of you. people sent me flowers and cards. people cried with me. people showed up on my doorstep at 7 am with coffee and donuts. people hugged me for as long as I needed them to. people let me cry and talk about it. or not talk about it.
- Curtis is the best man I know.
- everything you love will die and that's okay- loving animals and people is always worth it. the 7 years of joy Elton brought me will always be in my heart and I try to remember that when I feel sad about it. life is short and precious and beautiful and painful and wildly amazing.


Forever my baby Sir Elton will be.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

all done

Well, I made it through another semester. If all goes well I will have two more semesters at SLCC and then I can move on to higher education. Hooray learning! This was my happy school is out for a few weeks face:

Last week we celebrated my brothers birthday. We successfully surprised him too! A few texts to some of his friends, who in turn shared the message with more friends, added up to a house full of happy people. KC is a very sweet man and everyone loves him. I find that whenever I am with him I am full of joy. He makes life better.

Also last week Camille came to visit. She was only here for a few days so we really tried to jam everything in.
Baby Emily is so calm and good. 

We visited my Grandpas house while she was here. It feels so different there now. Just a shell. Years ago, when I would walk into the house I would be flooded with memories of mattresses on the living room floor for big cousin sleepovers and the smell of pork roast and mashed potatoes or the sound of the AC blasting. Now when I walk in I feel sort of empty- I expect to recall those special things but they aren't there anymore. I think maybe the memories were never in the house to begin with. Maybe they've always been inside me and I can call upon them anytime I want.

The yard is overgrown. The Lilacs are shriveled. Roses will bloom still, whether we tend to them or not. I wonder if it makes my dad sad to see his home like this. I wonder what will happen to it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

so close!

1 more bowling class
4 more intro to psych classes
4 more lifespan development classes

This semester was so much fun. In the past, at this point in the semester, I have usually been stressed to tears. This time around I feel confident and happy. I'm studying things that are actually interesting to me and the knowledge I'm gaining will hopefully aid me in my future career.

I only get two weeks off between this semester and the summer session so I plan to use that time wisely.
I will:
- go on a girls trip to southern utah
- celebrate mothers day, my dads birthday, and Sarahs birthday!
- finish reading Bonk and a couple others i've started
- put things in the Etsy shop I created and get that organized
- ride my bike to and fro
- relax
- get wild

hope your spring is off to a good start. xo

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

april and feelings

April is a beautiful month. Spring comes to town but keeps a moody arms distance. It snowed this morning on my way to school, but as I peek out the window now I see blue sky and puffy white clouds. I've been accompanied by a low melancholy mood for the past couple of days. I found out that Megans dad died on Monday and I feel brokenhearted for her.

Hug your parents.
Hug your siblings.
Hug your friends.
Forgive people. Forgive forgive forgive them.
Forgive yourself.  Let go.
Love the people who are worth it and disengage with those who do not deserve your energy.

I'll have a happy note for you tomorrow, I promise.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

probably not your flavor

with the craziness of work and school and family and friends I like to make certain that I have time for non academic reading. me time. me and book and hot tea time.

I recently finished these books...

First- Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

This book kind of rocked my world. Death is such a taboo subject in our society, so it felt really good to read about it and think about it without feeling like I was going to upset someone. She shares scientific research on topics like beheading, embalming, car and plane crashes, and a variety of cadaver study procedures. Mary Roach is a great writer and as soon as I finished this one I moved right on to another one she wrote called Bonk. If you're fascinated with death and dying and what happens phsyically (not spiritually, she doesn't touch that) with our bodies you should definitely read this!

Second- Rob Delaney. Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. 

Okay so that's the silliest book title I've ever laid eyes on but this book was fantastic. I fell in love with Rob Delaney on the internet a couple years ago. He's funny. He's funny as hell guys. His book is a compilation of stories from his life ranging from childhood mischief to heartbreaking adulthood realities. He made me laugh. He made me cry. He made me laugh so hard that I cried and then continued to cry because it felt good. He is extremely vulgar though and none of his stories can be shared without at least 10 really horrible words that you'd never say in front of your mother (or even your cat).  I want to hug you Rob Delaney.

What are you reading? Should I read it too?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


This eye opening article was circulating around the internet today:


... and it resonated greatly with me.

several of the things on the list stood out to me but one in particular was:

#5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

Finding out who you are is a lifelong process full of forked roads and changing scenery. So how can you truly be yourself if you're constantly on a journey to find out who that is?

Start with what you know.
Start with the basics. 
Start by being honest with yourself when it comes to your needs and feelings.

Chipping away at nagging self doubts, negative people, and self destructive thinking can be a slow process but you have to start somewhere.

I hope you're loving who you are today.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I can't lie

I'm here to tell you that my murdery tendencies have struck again. I killed the basil plant. I didn't want to. Maybe I knew I was going to from the start? Probably. It was destined to die.

ALL of my other plants are still alive and growing, I am happy to report. I had to take my darling ivy plant over to my moms house to live because apparently most ivy is toxic to kitties. My mom will take good care of it and I will visit him (flo - rida) frequently.

I wanted to share a recipe with you today. Measurements are rough and to your taste so I don't know if this really counts as a recipe but I've been shoveling so much of it into my mouth I felt like I had to tell you.

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic:

Serves 2-3 depending on how far you are willing stretch your stomach in one sitting.

1/2 head cauliflower
2 cloves roughly chopped garlic
1 small lemon, cut in half
extra virgin olive oil- about 2 tbsp 
salt and pepper

  • Pre heat your oven to 400
  • Chop the cauliflower into small florets
  • Toss with olive oil and garlic in a good size bowl
  • Transfer to a baking sheet and spread the florets (thats a funny word) out evenly. 
  • Cut your lemon in half. Use one half now, squeezing the juice all over your cauliflowers. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes
  • Use remaining half of your lemon to add more sexy flavors to your cauliflower. 
  • Taste and add more salt if you think you need to. I'm not the boss of you
  • I couldn't make this bullet point go away so please forgive me okay thanks.

    I can only show you a photo of the pre baked cauliflower because my desire to eat it was stronger than my desire to have a pretty photo for you. 
    Did you know that cauliflower is very high in Vitamins C and K?  It is. Cool huh. It's also a part of the cruciferous family (cabbage, brussels, bok choy, broccoli) and some studies have shown us that these veggies can help prevent certain kinds of cancer. Honk my horn. 

    I hope you try it. 


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

and all you see

The sunrise was beautiful today.
I desperately wanted to crawl back into bed after my shower. Anything before 7 AM can be tough, ya know? I quietly get ready for the day while Curtis snores and the cats stretch their legs and yawn. It's inviting. It's tempting. But I've got places to go, quizzes to take, work to do.

I'll sleep when I'm dead.

I gently kiss a snoring manfriend on his cheek and sneak out the back door as quietly as I can. 

I had forgotten about the previous evenings snowfall and hadn't budgeted time for my car to warm itself. Parked next to me is Curt's frozen car and I know he'll be awake soon to take Leila to school. I know he'll frown and mumble curse words when he sees that this is not easy, fluffy, wipe away snow on our cars- this is crusty, stubborn, iced over snow.
While my car purrs loudly, I clear the ice chunks from his windows. My scraper is bigger than his, and I like him a lot.
I smile knowing that it will make his morning just a tiny bit smoother. If scraping the ice off your partners car isn't true love, I don't know what is.

This morning I aced the lecture quiz in my human development class. 22/20 points.
Also, this morning, I discovered that I received 100 points on a rough exam I took right before spring break.
I'm high on good grades, guys.  I'm completely buzzed on studying and applying new knowledge to real life experiences.

happy tuesday friends. i hope you're high on something sweet and natural too.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

plants and pride

Two Christmases ago I was gifted a darling little jade plant. I placed him in the window and watered him and said nice things to him and then he died. He was not the first victim in my serial plant killing streak. He was also not the last.

I didn't understand WHY this would happen to my plant. A couple other friends received the same gift and their plant is flourishing- over a year later!!

I mean, maybe I (definitely) watered him too much. Maybe he was too close to the window in the dead of winter. Maybe I sang the wrong songs to him. Whatever the reason for his death (and all the other fallen soldiers), I felt terrible about it.

About six months ago my mom gave me a small catnip plant that she had purchased while she was on vacation. I smiled and thanked her but deep down I felt the impending doom. I knew I was going to kill the thing. BUT. You guys, I didn't. He still lives. At my house. Under my care. In my windowsill.


I can't believe it either. I know it's only been 6 months but I feel like me and this plant are having a pretty serious relationship. He gets me. He stayed alive so good that I felt encouraged to go out and buy MORE plants. I purchased two cute little succulents from Ikea back in January and I am pleased to tell you that not only are they still alive, they are GROWING.


Obviously after keeping these babies alive and watching them grow I was feeling like a plant boss, so I went out and adopted a couple more.

This little guy is in the aloe vera family.  Haworthia Attenuata is the name but I call him new friend. Below you can see another little succulent with pinkish leaves. He had a fancy name too but I found several sources giving him the nickname of "suberbum" so that is what we will call him at my house. I also purchased a big basil plant.

For valentines Curtis bought me a mini rose bud plant. He said that if I let it die, our relationship is probably doomed. No pressure or anything.  You can see the cute little rose buds in the photo above. That fun holiday was over two weeks ago and this plant is still with us so I'd like to say our odds are pretty high. 

Gosh guys aren't you proud of me? I have a strict watering schedule that will hopefully keep me from murdering. 

Not pictured here is a little pot of thai basil that I planted from seeds. Hopefully in a week or two I'll see something shooting up out of the soil. I love Basil.  Basil is my favorite. 

I will keep you posted. 


Friday, February 28, 2014


I remember the first time I ever tried to embroider years ago. I was not impressed. It gave me a headache and I thought "how can my mother do this in her spare time?"

It must have been bad timing. Maybe my brain wasn't ready to take on a new skill. Maybe I wasn't mature enough to see it as a simple and cheap form of therapy.

I am so thankful that I gave it another chance in the past year because embroidery, needlepoint, cross stitch or whatever you want to call it, is my most favorite thing to do.

here are a few things i've done for fun or for family and friends: 

Hank is my Hero.

a friend of mine saw this lil seahorsey and wants it so I'll be giving it a new home soon 

I love you more than.... 

this one was especially fun and meaningful to do for my mom. it was her christmas present and I hope she loves it. 

I made this one for Camille

This was Megs Christmas Present

little deer - this was a cute one. I started out doing it just for fun but my dear friend Brittany saw it and asked if we could do an art trade. She sent me a beautifully painted fox. 

this was for Chantelle

I made this special for Sarah. She was pleased. 

this was a birthday gift for Lisa

... and about 10 other ones I haven't finished yet. I think I'm getting better with each new project. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

guys, lemons!!

I can't count on my two hands anymore the times I've put my heart and efforts into making a lemon cake (or loaf, or bundt) and ended up with a sunken stiff crusty pan full of shame.

I love lemons!! I love lemon water! I love soft dainty lemon cupcakes. I love lemonade too.

For Christmas, my little brother drew my name for the gift exchange and I told him all I wanted was a lemon juicer squeezer thing. He is such a sweet boy and he got me a neat lemon squeezer and a nice cookbook too. I realized I hadn't used it yet so I bought a big bag of organic lemons yesterday at Smiths.

I really love a good lemon loaf slice, like you'd get at starbucks. So I found a copy cat starbucks lemon loaf recipe and followed it exactly!! Okay well maybe not exactly. It asked for a tsp of lemon extract and I didn't have any so I added an extra tsp of vanilla. That shouldn't break the recipe should it?

Maybe it did. Something did. Curtis walked in and saw the loaf and said "Oh baby... what happened?" He accused me of dancing and jumping around the stove too much. Is that what makes the cake sink? I'll stop, I swear.

I Can't even show you a photo of the finished product because I am ashamed.

Do you have lemon baking issues? Is it the altitude? Is it my oven? Am I trying too hard? Wanting too much?

Sad Lemon Lady

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

not super mystical

Last Saturday, Curt and I got up bright and early and packed up the car for a little getaway. We drove down to Monroe, Utah - a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere.

Destination: Mystic Hot Springs.

It was nothing like I had expected and still every bit of wonderful I needed. We stayed in a cute little cabin that was just a short walk away from the hot springs. We explored the surrounding area, ate at a very strange Mexican restaurant where I ordered a quesadilla and got enchiladas instead.

We picked the most private tub and settled in to watch the sunset.

I had so much fun just being alone with Curtis. We are both really busy and the kids stay with us every single weekend. Having time alone with him where we both had nothing else to worry about really meant a lot to me. I know he had a hard time being away from the kids but I hope he still had a nice time.

This might have been my favorite thing to see..... The owners use the warmth from the springs to run a vibrant greenhouse. I spotted some kale and chard and lots of succulents. 

We had good music, tasty snacks, no worries, and one another. It was perfect.

Monday, February 24, 2014

what I needed

I learn the hard way, usually. My mother could agree that all of my life I've had to learn for myself what was right no matter how many times I was told. I remember in my elementary school days having my mom insist that I wear a coat to school and I would protest for some reason or I would "forget" my coat. Recess was usually pretty chilly on those days but I had to figure that out on my own. The painful way. (I'm sorry mom)

Today I am more eager to listen to my mother when she shares her advice or tells me what to do. I'm not saying I'm obedient- just more aware now that she is always right and her words or actions are always driven by her love for me.

I've learned, the long and painful way, that what I thought I needed to have a good life was actually superfluous. I am 27 and still trying to figure out the exact ingredients for my happy life recipe.

One thing that I did/do need, but that I was not aware of, was a little bit of validation.  With working full time and going to school every single day I had fallen into a routine where the things I did daily were just a normal task I had to do. I forgot that going to school requires great effort. I forgot that I was working toward (and almost done with a big chunk) a big life goal. I forgot that I was trying to pay for it all myself.

Now I don't need/want a trophy or a ribbon. Many people go to college and accomplish greater things than I ever will. What I did need was to hear from a loved one that they believed I was doing something with my life. I needed to hear them say they thought I was working hard. I needed to feel validated and encouraged. Perhaps I was comparing myself to other people, or maybe I lost sight of the bigger picture. Comparison truly is the thief of joy and I'm surrounded by people who will always be more accomplished than I am or have more money and a bigger house than I do. I am regularly reminding myself that the things that other people have are not the things that will make my life better. I am constantly re discovering that my life is rich without money or a fancy house and that I have everything I could possibly need (and then some) to be happy.

I got what I needed but I did it the hard way.

I was able to step out of my funk and look at my life and say hey... look how far you've come!

I have a long (long long long) way to go before I hit my goal and I am so thankful for the people in my life who stick by me and encourage me and bring me ice cream at 9pm in bed.

My point is..... Perspective and Gratitude. I'm working on it.

Friday, January 3, 2014

brain shift

For the most part, new years resolutions annoy me.  I always make ridiculous unachievable goals and end up letting myself down. So this year instead of promising myself that I'd go back to the gym or save a ton of extra money (those are great things and high five to any of you who are doing that!!), I decided to come up with a smaller list of reasonable things that I can continuously work on. Not just this year but forever.

1. Write more. I wont promise that I'll write religiously (who has time for that?). I certainly won't try to blog regularly. But I bought a nice notebook today and am going to try really hard to write in it almost every day. I know that every single day I have 5 minutes of free time that I can spend just writing down a thought or something small that was on my mind.

2. Say only nice things. Sounds pretty doesn't it? I've already screwed this one up. (Sorry Camille). I want to cut out the trash talk. I want to practice what my mother always tried to encourage within us: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. I feel like if I focus my energy AWAY from saying unkind things about people it might help me to see the good in them instead. Obviously I will get frustrated and someone will upset me or annoy me and I will say things I wish I hadn't because I'm human and we all do that.

3. Use my cookbooks. Last time I counted there was over 60 cookbooks in my collection. I love them all. I've read each of them cover to cover. Some of them are ridiculous and I couldn't cook from them even if my life depended on it (mormon trail recipes... bear meat?). Most of them are vegetarian or vegan and I want to crack their spines and stain their pages with cocoa powder or turmeric. I've bookmarked hundreds of recipes. Instead of trolling pinterest for an hour looking for something fun to make and then realizing I don't have time leftover to actually make it, I want to plan ahead and use my books. If I don't use them, I want to give them away.

So we'll see how that goes.