Thursday, May 29, 2008

Memorial Day... a little late

Kohima is a cemetery located in northeastern India bordering Burma and Nagaland. In the centre of the city there are graves of soldiers from India, British Africa and other commonwealth provinces who fought with the Indian Army in the Burma campaign. At the foot of the cemetery reads this inscription:

"When you go home, tell them of us and say, 'For your tomorrow we gave our today.'"

Typically, it would make sense to write primarily about America being that I'm an American. But this quote pricked my heart when I heard it a couple weeks ago. It did such to the extent that I looked up the history behind it and learned where it is written down. When I realized that it was in a cemetery that has nothing to do with an American war, it's impact did not lessen.

In fact, it made me begin to think about the fact that there is war all over the world. Wars and battles have been fought that I've never heard of, that have never affected me directly. People die every day to save the lives of others. I would like to say that I wish there was no war and that people didn't have to die for sometimes ridiculous reasons, but I know the world that we live in.

There is nothing good about uniformed men informing family members of lost children, siblings or spouses... which is why we respectfully attempt to remember those who have fallen for our sake.

No matter how many times I've seen this salute to the dead, I will continue to always be shaken by the sound. I try to brace myself for the shots, but I jump each and every time... and I always will... but I will never forget. Never.


still at the beach

That's right, I'm still livin it up at the beach... err at least my fingers are. HA! Anyways, after I painted them such a lovely color of beach sandyness I really wanted the french tip look.

So after I got home from work I walked down the street to the local nail salon and went in to see if she would airbrush them for me. I thought this would be cheaper than getting a whole manicure, and sure enough... it was! In fact, it was free... she did it by hand though, and I much prefer airbrush. But I'm not complaining because she did a better job than I can do and it was FREE. She said that if I wanted to do it again she would airbrush it for me and it would be $5!

I'm totally stoked. I usually cut my nails off regularly and don't let them get too long but I let them grow for the wedding and they are behaving so nicely that i've left them alone.

Anyways, I find it amusing that I now have another post to file under the "nails" category. Who woulda thought it'd such a popular category...


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

what do you want?

I lied. I forgot that there was actually a 4th thing I was planning on doing with some of the extra money I have this month. I absolutely LOVE the giveaways that happen in blogland, so I want to do one.

I've been passively thinking about what I could do and then give away, so I thought I would ask YOU!

Do you have any creative ideas? If you have anything at all, leave it in my comments. any idea is a good one and then I'll come up with something good from your suggestions!


an opinion please

Last night was early to bed for me. I felt so unbelievably tired yesterday. The kind of tired I haven't felt since camp 2 years ago. And I was wondering why and how I felt that way... am I just getting old? But then my mom reminded me of the way I've been living my life the last 30 days. It's not so much that i've been pulling all-nighters and living on no sleep... it's more the never ending "GO! GO! GO!" mentality i've been walking in.

At any rate, i slept well and when my alarm went off this morning I woke up feeling confident that I wouldn't fall asleep at the wheel on the way to work!

The good news about all this craziness is that I made almost 2 extra weeks of pay this month woohoo! I'm planning on buying 2 things plus paying off some of the credit card I ended up using for the wedding.

Wanna know what i'm getting??? do ya, do ya, do ya?!?! Ok enough begging, i'll tell you!

A camera backpack and an external hard drive! So exciting i know, but seriuosly, these are the two things that I absolutely need before I go to Mexico. The first being for obvious reasons and the other because my computer is almost full of pictures again and I am DONE burning cds. Besides, burning cds is sooo last year (ya i just got done burning my last batch about 6 months ago *grin*)

So these are the choices for the backpack. Here are the reasons I like (or dislike) both.

The Lowepro is black, I like black... actually i like a lot of colors, orange, red, blue... the brighter colors. I'm not such a big fan of the drab green the Canon comes in.

The Lowepro is about $25 more than the Canon.
I have all Canon equipment... so it'd be nice to stay true to the name.

Sean has the Canon backpack and I've seen it up close and personal, not just on amazon. It's a nice size, kinda big but that means room to grow! It's such a bummer to run out of space. Plus the Lowepro is suited much more for the hiking trekker type... I kinda want a pack that I can sling over my shoulder and hop in the car, on the bus, into the plane etc... It doesn't need to be really fancy. It just needs to keep my stuff safe in the event that I throw it somewhere (or drop it!)

So far the only pro about the Lowepro is the color... what do you think?


blue nails and dreams of the beach

Today is a fairly nice day. The contingency rests soley on the fact that it's still a little chilly. I had to wear 2 sweatshirts and sit in the sun to stay warm *smile*

While we were out there, we (meaning andy and I) painted our nails. Yah, it is unacceptable to do only mine and not his. So now his are a nice shade of blue, and mine "beach sand" which is not the actual name of the color, but I like it better :) makes me feel like i could be there if i just closed my eyes...


Sunday, May 25, 2008

a detailed account

I am so excited to finally be writing down all the events of the last four days. I can't imagine anything that could have made this weekend more amazing! I've only had a few of my friends get married so far... but this was the first time I actually got to be a part of it :) I spent from Thursday all the way until today staying at her house with the other bridemaids and Beka. I had never thought about having everyone be together the few days before the wedding, but when I get married I will do that for sure. It was such an great opportunity for us to get to know eachother (better or for the first time :) and just so much FUN!

So in this post I wanted to outline all of the things that happened... prepare for a multitudinous amount of pictures... (you can let me know how impressed you are that i used that word later ha!)

Thursday -

In the morning, I drove out to her house to drop off the cake and paraphernalia. Then later after I was done with work, I met everyone at Color Me Mine where we painted pottery as her gift to us. It was a lot of fun. I painted a frame which i'll post once I actually get it back.

After we were done with that we headed over to the Cheesecake Factory where we ate. If you have never been there, let me be the one to tell you that it is simply fabuloso. It was indeed pretty pricey, however, worth every penny. And the ambiance was so great. The whole thing, mmm... yah. I had the 5 cheese pasta and avocado eggrolls and then topped it off with lemoncello cheesecake torte... HEAVEN

This picture is pretty much all i have from Thursday night. I wasn't in a picture taking mood. This was too funny not to post although highly unflattering. Anyways, basically what happened here was that I was attempting to take a self-portrait with my little Elph and it wasn't focusing right, so I was about to give up when all of a sudded BAM! It took the picture! and this was the end result.

The greatest part is the red infectious looking blob in the corner of my eye. None of us could figure out what in the world that was because in real life my eye didn't look like that at all. All i can figure was that it was some renegade eye liner and in the dim light we couldn't see it but the flash enhanced it's lovely qualities *grin*

Then we went to Daisy Dukes... the plan was to ride the mechanical bull and do some good ole fashioned line dancing but alas our plans were spoiled when we arrived to find out that there was none of that going on :( Instead it was just like a regular club night, which isn't so much my scene but it was nice to be out with everyone.

Tom and I got to try our hand at our MAD orienteering skillz when one of the cars got lost in downtown. I barely know my way around the city, so after 10 minutes of futile trying to give directions we got into my car and went to find them and then made our way back to everyone else. In the process i may or may not have ran a red light. Not like a yellow to red type deal. This was the real deal... like full on RED LIGHT. Tom's all like, "uh... yah... ok you're not stopping... wow yah i can't believe you just did that." and me being that moron that I am was like, "did what?" oh my gosh. It's times like that I lose my cockiness as a "good driver" and get firmly sent to my corner. I wouldn't suggest doing that normally.

We got home around 2:30 or so and pretty much went straight to bed.

Friday -

Got up about 8:30 and started working on the cakes. Thank goodness Kendra was able to help me (she's one of the bridesmaids and Beka's sis-in-law). I mean I could have spent like 4 or 5 hours on those things but we were done in about 2 or so. And they turned out splendiforous :) you'll see the pics down a ways :) and the recipe will be in a postceeding (is that a word) post.

Friday afternoon we went to the salon and got our nails done. I actually let my nails grow for about 2 weeks prior and none of them had broken! So my nails for the first time in my LIFE looked really great... and they were real! that was the best part. I can't handle acrylics, i just peel them off... and that hurts ha!

After all that was the rehearsal and dinner which was awesome. I had prime rib and it was oh so tasty...

Crashing occurred about 11 or so that night.

Saturday (THE DAY!) -

I got my hair done and was back to the church by 10. The other girls showed up about 15 minutes later and the getting ready officially began!

Lip exfoliating is always a must! From left to right in this pic is Megan, Kendra, Beka, Me.

My hair turned out so amazingly well... this is the kind of hair do i've had in my mind literally for years and had never had the opportunity to do until now! I ended up using a hair piece on the side to get all the extra hair in the bun type thing goin on there. Just this morning Beka came in my room and saw the piece laying on the dresser and was like "what in the world IS this?!" and then looked at me like, "whoa! was this in your hair? that's AWESOME!" i found it pretty humorous :)

We (meaning the bridesmaids) were all ready by 12:30 and headed down for pictures with the guys. Then we came back to help Beka get dressed.

I didn't really have a whole lot of picture taking time... that's what the photographer is for! but i managed to capture a few shots, this being one of them.

Then it was time... By the time we lined up to walk down the aisle, I was barely holding it together. I didn't think I was going to make it down without crying and i was trying so hard not to that my lips started shaking because I was trying to keep a smile on my face HA! But i did it. And then when Beka came down I didn't bust out bawling, but i had tears just flowing freely at that point. I managed to control it so that I didn't look like a crazy person up there sobbing my eyes out... but what can i say? I don't know if i'll ever be able to get married... i don't know if i'll be able to make it through without turning into a puddle... i'll have to work on that *smile*

After the ceremony it was picture time!

I don't actually have any of the formal ones, just these that my mom managed to take from a distance. I will eventually have the pictures that the photographer took but that will be a couple weeks. So yah, those went well and i'm hoping there are some good ones.

I happen to love this shot LOL! It says it all ha!

Just two hours after the ceremony began we were actually at the reception hall. Dinner was amazing, but I was really more excited about eating the cake than anything :)

Since I wasn't able to go over the day of the wedding and finish setting out the cakes, two of Beka's friends in for the wedding did it for me. They did a phenominal job and I was completely blown away with the way they looked when we got there. The flowers here were the bouquets we all had that got set on the cake table.

Now for the actual cake pictures. I was lucky I was able to get any shots. I was afraid that I wasn't going to get a chance to get over there and take these, but alas, I did!

And then we ate the cake... and it was goooood...

We danced the night away until about 11 or so... SO MUCH FUN!!! In all honesty this was the most fun wedding I have ever been to! And thanks to Beka's laid back approach to everything we had NO wedding day disasters :) it was really amazing.

This morning Beka and Jared came back to the house and opened their presents. Beka is starting school on Tuesday and so they are going to be going on their real honeymoon in July... It was so nice to have them around today. Sometimes that day after the wedding can be such a downer for the family and friends, but it was so nice and relaxed and good to have another day to be with them...

Well it's late and tomorrow is my yard sale to raise money for my missions trip to Mexico this summer! I'm going to bed and hoping to recover some of the sleep i lost this weekend (all for a good cause though!)



well here we are dangerously close to the end of may... and I have been horribly lax in keeping up with my blog! I wanted to let you all know though (those of you who actually still visit!) that I have my pictures (from the wedding) and the CAKE! and I will be posting those tonight, if i don't pass out first... or tomorrow possibly. But i'm still here... and I will have a detailed outline of the wedding weekend (more for posterity than anything else :)!


Thursday, May 22, 2008

i'm in the mood

ooo... as soon as i wrote that i thought, yah that doesn't sound right LOL! I'm in the mood to POST! It is currently 12:19am (sure to be about 10 minutes later by the time I actually publish this post) but whatever.

I am waiting for a load of laundry with a few significant items that I need to pack. I decided in the spirit of restfulness that I would head to my friends house tomorrow (the friend whose wedding i'm in) In fact, tomorrow will entail a quite crazy schedule and I decided that after the day was done the LAST thing I will want to be doing is driving from the city back to my house... only to get up at 0' dark hundred.

Not that you need a play by play of my life, I figured why not share the schedule. I mean as long as I have nothing else to do... well except maybe sleep. Meh, forget sleep!

7:15 - leave for work
8:00 - drive to Beka's house
9:45 - arrive at Claudia's school for field trip to the public market! (on the public market. I have never been there and have wanted to go for quite some time now. I have a feeling that I will fall in love with it and end up going regularly... we'll see)
........................................ time that I'm not sure about yet...
4:00 - Sean gets home, and i get to leave work
4:30 - Painting pottery with girl half of wedding party
9:00 - Cheesecake factory!
then out to do traditional "bachelorette party" type rituals. fun.

I honestly have NO idea what time that will end... i'm hoping sooner rather than later because I don't have the luxury of sleeping in on Friday OR Saturday... meh, like i said, forget sleep.

Anyways, I won't bore you with the rest of the weekend... instead i'm moving on to the portion I refer to as "amanda's a loser and forgot to actually document the sunless tanning process" I did indeed use my sunless tanner... and you wanna know how it came out?

FABULOOOOOUS!!! (you have to say that in kind of a sing songy voice to get the full effect)

I am totally in love with Bath and Body Works "Shade to Order" sunless tanning lotion. I tried to find the link but I don't see this on their website. At any rate it has 7 levels of tanning you can choose from. I kind of mixed and matched when I did it, like I made it lighter for my face since that always seems to be a little tanner anyways. It DOESN'T wash off in splotches! I have used SOOO many tanners and they all wash off in splotches leaving you (well me rather) looking like a stinkin leopard!

And this stuff is completely great too. It's an exfoliator that you can use with a regular poofy thing in the shower. I have used exfoliators before that have left scratches on me. NOT a fan let me tell you.

Unfortunately in the picture you can't really tell anything... bad bad lighting... could have something to do with the fact that it's midnight and the only lighting available was incandescent... and my shutter was at like 6/10 of a second...

Anyways, that's that. You'll have to just trust me that it's good. I do not get excited about these tanners, because usually I wake up the next day to a completely orange nasty mess that attached to my skin for the next week. I had almost given up :)

Ope, and the dryer just went off... I'm out.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Today is Wednesday. It is also 3 days before the wedding, 2 days before the rehearsal and 1 day before the bachelorette party. However, there is one thing that today IS that those coming days are NOT. Today is the first day in 24 days I have not had to go anywhere besides work!

My plans for the day are to pretty much do nothing. This is such a nice break... almost the calm before the storm? I am really excited though about the next few days.

Last night I worked on nailing down my decorating ideas for the cakes... but much to my dismay all my plans fell through. Basically they became either too complicated, or just plain didn't work :( But I am confident that I have come up with some solutions that will work yay!

I'll definitely have pictures of this thing when it's finished... but for now... i'm gonna go do some more nothing.


Sunday, May 18, 2008


Yes, i have been a slacker when it comes to blogging this week. It's not for lack of material let me tell you!

So i decided to go through some of the pictures that I have from the week and share a few of the random things I've done. And they are completely random i assure you.

I'll go in order... as if there is one. Here we go.

This is a picture I took after Cadre thursday night. We didn't have real cadre this week... we made wedding cake. HA! I told the girls that we could either not have cadre, or they could help me with the cake. And lo and behold they wanted to help! So we did that... shortly after everyone left, one of them texted me and told me to go outside and take a picture of the sunset. So i did.

This is kind of a cool picture too because one doesn't often think to take a picture down the driveway what you see BEYOND your house. It's such a familiar sight, but i'm sure that one day it won't be so familiar anymore :( But not for a LOOOOOOONG time. I don't plan on letting my parents move out of here anytime soon. These decisions ARE up to me after all ;)

Here we go to the next set. My parents found this little nest of baby cardinals yesterday while they were gardening. Commentary is as follows:

"Must. Wake. Up. Guys, mom's back with the foodz!"

*sniff* "Yah that doesn't smell like lunch to me. That smells like a huge invasive crazy lady. Oh wait... IT IS!!!"

"WAAAAA!!! You're not my mother! Curse the hand that is holding your ladder to exploit us in our baby birdy ways!"

No, the baby birds did not appreciate our presence. And neither did their parents for that matter. They were so mad! they were all like going ape crazy flyin around chirping like rabid cardinals. (ps i don't think cardinals can get rabies hahaha!)

This last picture was taken from baby Justice's point of view. I think he's like 3 or 4 months or something like that. Basically, this is what he gets to see all the time. I'd look dazed and confused too. And ps if you know any of the people in this picture (aka my MOM) don't tell her i put this up here!!! Oh wait, she reads this thing. oops.

So there ya have it. Amongst the craziness i managed to take a ton of pictures this week. These being among them. I got to take pics for the seniors at our church when we did Sr Prayer and Prophecy. It's one of my favorite times of the year :) those consequently turned out great. But i would feel weird posting them.

Anyways, that's all for now. I'm gearing up for the wedding this saturday! Tomorrow i'm going to attempt to tan myself the sunless way. hmmm... maybe i should "before and after" that experience. Ok ok i will *grin*


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lilac Time!

This post is long overdue. I have been wanting to get these pictures up since Sunday when I took them! But I wanted to play with them in photoshop and all that fun stuff, and so i've been working on and off and trying to narrow down what I would actually share here. It was NOT easy this time! So often I get just a couple good shots, and then I like to pick my very favorite out of those... but I took probably 200 pictures, deleted 50 or so, weeded through what was left to pick about 25 good shots and ended up with the 10 i have put on here.

So here is a recap of Mother's Day and our annual (official, as opposed to unofficial :) trip to Highland Park.

First things first: inhale deeply. I LOVE the smell of lilacs... for me, smells carry a lot of nostalgia. It can be either good or bad. Sometimes I will smell something that reminds me of a time long ago and be taken right back to the memory with such clarity that it's kinda weird. I mean i sometimes have memories from an old movie of when I was 2, 3, 4 and it's like I remember everything from just a smell but never knew i had that memory. Anyways, the smell of lilacs has GOOD nostalgia for me :) and the memories that come along with it are not specific, but more general as I have had the opportunity to make new memories with that smell throughout my life.

Next: mini photoshoot for my mom. I think that my mom is very photogenic, and I have quite a few pictures of her that I really like, but she doesn't always like them (you know how it is with pictures of yourself right?) I was pleased that she liked this one because it really captures her :)

Then we walked through the park for all of about 5.8 minutes before my brother's stomach got the best of him and we rerouted to the concessions. ahhh yes. the concessions. Please refer to this post for more details on that adventure *smirk*

On the way to foodz (term coined by Dan and accepted by all) I spotted so many lovely tulips... the colors were amazing. What I thought was especially cool was that often when you see tulips they are paired with tulips of the same color. These were all mixed colors, so they all stand out so nicely. I've taken pictures of so many this spring and so many times i've gotten one big mass of color as they tend to blend in 2D :)

This is MY picture. This picture amazes me. Hold on for a second and let me realize that I actually took this. Ok, ok, i'm sorry. Don't take this momentary lapse of humility as a serious pride problem in my life :) It's just so much different than the pictures i am used to taking, and it takes me out of the box in my head that i get stuck in sometimes. I seriously look at it and think there is no way I actually took that. Maybe some little elf got a hold of my camera while i wasn't looking and snapped this shot. However, that logic is flawed in that I can tell by the height of the camera when the picture was taken that there is NO way an elf could have achieved such altitude. Unless of course he was a special elf... like Will Ferrell maybe?

This one was taken by Dan as we trailed far behind my parents. I really like this of myself, but am bummed out that the background is more in focus than I am :( I would have had him retake it, but the reason that it's slightly blurry in the first place is because there were people about to walk into my background and he had to snap it quickly. If we retook it, then there would be a lovely family of 5 walking away :) oh well, such is life!

Traditions are hard to come by in our family. This is one though that I hope will stick. It's actually kind of new... we used to drive by Highland Park on Mother's Day occasionally when my Grandma was still here with us, but up until last year or maybe the year before it wasn't an actual tradition like it is now :)


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

WWWAT: Chocolate, mmmmm...

I was almost ready to skip this time around because i've had so little time to do the things that I actually HAVE to do... buuuut, I had a few extra minutes this afternoon before I had to leave and I asked my mom to help me conduct a super quick photoshoot.

Then when I got home, I was like, "OK I am going to bed NOW." but i couldn't do it. My resolve/self-control is not good enough. I thought, "oh i'll just sort through them and put them up." nooooo, I had to get crazy ideas which eventually led to the final you see here.

This cake by the way is THE best chocolate cake i have ever eaten. EVER. I am not exaggerating. I am currently in the process of making my friend's wedding cake (which I will post about later once it's all done) and this is one of the flavors. This was an extra cake I had while baking all the layers for it, so I topped it with some chocolate frosting... and oh myyy goodness. That's all i'll say about that. So much for "wordless wednesday" HA!

this posted a little bit small for my liking, but if you click on it, it should open up in a new window at a bigger size :)

Now go check out American Mum and see some more crazy chocolate pictures!


Sunday, May 11, 2008

and here he is again

The ox gave me some pretty good material today, but this was by far the best pic. I thought about putting them all up, but i didn't want to exhaust you with pictures of him doing crazy things... that would be no good. So i decided on this one. The story behind is is that we (and when I say "we" i mean my mom, dad, dan and I) went to the Lilac Festival today. The first order of business was: FOOD.

We ended up getting a blooming onion and it was *oh so tasty* I squelched (sp?) all feelings that i was eating pure grease and soooo many germs as i savored every bite... and it was gooooood.

There will be a later post outlining the more beautiful parts of the festival and some lovely Mother's Day pictures... but like i said, that will be later. As in tomorrow, or maybe the next day... or even like later? I have no idea when that will be because i have like no time left anymore. Oh well... at least i'll have a lot of money when i'm done!

This one was too classic to leave out of the mix.


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