Let's Compare.

This is a milestone. Dan and I have outlasted at LEAST one celebrity marriage! HURRAY!!!

I'd like to do some mathematics!

Kim and Kris:

things in common: names start with the letter "K", have both been on TV. Both known for their anatomical stats.

things their marriage had to overcome: living in New York City, tabloid rumors, and Kris having to marry a Kardashian.

Cost of Wedding: reportedly $20 million.
Duration of Marriage: 72 Days.  
cost/time= $277,777.78 per day of marriage.

Lorraine and Dan:

things in common: inability to resist a char-broiled hamburger, love of the rural american west and history, common religion, and we are often told that we look alike.

things our marriage has had to overcome: money, long commutes through suburbia, an inexhaustible cat whose preferred attack time/location is "the sleeping face".

cost of wedding: $5,000
duration of marriage: 458 days, and I don't anticipate divorcing tomorrow.
cost/time: $10.91 per day of marriage.

And the more days you get, the cheaper it gets! Staying Married For The Win!



1. Sometimes at my job, I stumble onto the public blogs of total strangers. If they are really good, I revisit them later on my own time. CREEPER.

2. I have a cuticle issue. Actually, it wasn't an issue for me, but it's an issue for Dan, so now it's an issue. I ought to have G photograph my cuticle issue for his hands project.

3. I struggle with the fact that my coworkers' TV tastes are profoundly higher than mine. Because, you know, I love the Bachelor. I do. I really do.

4. That probably needed its own confession line.

5. Bless me father, for I have watched the Bachelor and enjoyed it.

6. EVEN THE BACHELOR PAD. (AKA, the Eighth Deadly Sin. Deadly to your BRAINZ anyway.)

7. I live on a diet composed almost exclusively of carbs.  cream of wheat, english muffins, pad thai, and a cookie. That's what I ate yesterday. oh, and some juice?  And a red bull? Is that a carb? Paleo Diets are for Pets.

8. "Is butter a carb?" 

9. I get on the KSL Classifieds to look at horses for sale EVERY DAY. It's a lunchtime ritual.

10. I have a favorite person to sit next to on the bus. She keeps a cooking blog, and has a kindle. We don't speak, I just admire her.

11. Despite our need to save for stuff, all I really want is to spend all our money on a kiln.

12. sculpy and easy-bake oven aren't going to keep Dan entertained forever.

13. I'm feeling relieved that I don't have to decorate the house for Christmas, because we'll be in Baltimore.

14. I don't like the number 14.

15. I like the new Coldplay album, and I refuse to feel ashamed about my taste level.

16. It's 8am. time to work!


Shopping FTW. (that stands for: For The Win, Mom)

I feel like sometimes I go weeks without any good customer services experiences, beyond a gum popping teeny bopper asking me if I want my receipt, like, in the bag or whatever.  So when I have a good experience, it sticks with me. I hope you'll indulge a small series by me shamelessly plugging retailers doing good work,  and I hope that if you're in the market for "stuff", you'll give them your business. (ps- I in no way benefit from bragging about these businesses, I just like them.)

Today's Feature:


This is a website that offers discounted prices on select designer clothes, house wares, and art. Most of it is modern, some of it is overpriced, but some of it is incredibly reasonable, and really handy. Such as the iced tea pitcher I got on there for a steal.

But where they win is in customer service.  I got a collapsible water bottle from their site about 3 weeks ago, and it hadn't shown up. I hadn't yet gotten to checking up on it when I found an email in my inbox from the CEO of the site (which yes, I'm sure was generated and sent to all the people in my situation, but it was still nice) saying that he was sorry I hadn't gotten the watter bottle yet, the demand was higher than the company expected, but to make up for the delay in getting it to me, here is a $10 credit in your account, and we hope you won't feel discouraged about our site in the future.  Also, here is my direct phone number and email address, if you have any questions or comments.

That, my friend, is good customer service.


Today's Epiphany

Epiphanies, like feeling the presence of God, food in your belly, or Oprah, come and go.  The exact moment that you feel it, you are transcendent, looking above it all.  And then just as quickly the lights dim and the burnt edges of the moment fade as quickly as an UNDO on a horrible photoshop action.  Reality is restored.  But you hold on to that epiphany, that brush with the divine (I suppose this could apply to God or Oprah), that feeling of fullness for as long as you can, to keep in the coffers for the darkness that's to come. 

Sadly, so many of my epiphanies come in the most embarrassing of ways.

If you've been following my blog since my bravejournal days, you know that I went through this phase with LOST.  Where, living in a studio apartment on the other side of the country, those characters were my closest friends, and we had this one extraordinary thing in common: we were forced to examine the question- if you have lost everything that used to define you, who are you? 

At the time that LOST ended, I had been engaged a month, and it all felt so fitting. They were no longer lost, and neither was I.  That was such an easy thing to wrap into a box, and tie with a ribbon.

booooo boxes.  John Locke could have told you that.

In fact, many times in the past year I have felt lost. Or perhaps, more accurately, I felt like an immigrant with a very poor map. I had journeyed into the well established Land of Marriage, Mortgage, and Long Term Employment,  and I'm still learning the language, or rather, I'm still speaking some hybrid pidgin. (oh how I love a good pidgin language.)

Getting off the bus this morning at my office, at the sunrise hour of 7:27, I slid past a man watching the final scene of LOST on his smartphone. I left the bus as they boarded the plane. My heart actually started pounding. I felt a flood of emotions not necessarily related to the show, but triggered by it. Of being alone, of asking questions of myself, of being engaged.  I remembered the life lessons of the past 4 years in a single instant.

In my frustrations of learning how to navigate permanence, loss of friends, gaining of family, questions about what I am really doing with my life, I threw myself against a door and it opened. I remembered why I was here.  and the here is pointless. Who is everything.


Before and After: The Kitchen

It's hard to post photos of the house under the guise that the house is "done" when there is still so much that I want to do. But where we still have so many critical needs for the house other than "get rid of the ugly but functioning fan in the kitchen" there are some things that I have learned to  live with   ignore really well. Ceiling fan? What ceiling fan? 

So, while I present the kitchen in its current state, know that there are more ambitious plans in the works, but that in fact I think it turned out pretty darn cute for the $53 we spent on it.


The curtains I got from my friend Vanessa, who was going to donate them. The long ranch table was a gift from my wonderful parents (can you believe how perfectly it fit??) and the chairs I got at DI for $5 each. The ceramics were wedding gifts from my wonderful Aunt and Uncle. 

This is a terrific shot of the horrifying mustard that used to be on the walls. I think they were going for an "aged tuscan look" in our 1890's pioneer lehi home. In the infamous words of Home Alone, "Buzz, your [kitchen], woof!"
I still have ambition to paint the built-in hutch to match the lower cabinets (which you'll see in a minute, but the greenish grey that we chose for the walls already seems to provide a huge sigh of relief from the BEFORE.)

It's hard to explain how filthy everything was before- the oven was charred black with ashen pizza inside, the sink was yellow, and when the electricity shut off, no one opened the fridge, and Dan and I spent 2 hours disinfecting the village that was founding a new world in the fridge and freezer. I felt a little like King George III. I'm proud of it, but ashamed, too.
Adding some color made me feel good. The exposed shelving we got at IKEA for $7. Better than the $2000 we were quoted for cabinets, for now.

This watercolor and fabric are both treasured items from Moldova- the cloth is regularly kept at the entrance of the home to be a sign of welcome.


Do you like the fruit??? (the fruit that I spent 2 hours trying to remove and were more permanent that Kat Von Dee's tattoo sleeves?)
So, yeah, we put a cutting board over it. That'll do.

My Anthropologie knobs. yes, I'm shallow. It's a symbolic milestone.

Yes, the spice box is actually a box. It was free.

Fruit from the trees out front. It doesn't have anything to do with the kitchen, other than the fact that it's edible, I just like them.

It's got a long way to go, this little home, but I feel very much like in its own quirky way, it represents us and where we have been, what we are now, and what we are saving our money for in the future, haha. Thanks donors, DI, and Home Depot coupons!