videos of calvin

 Hey those who care, these videos should work now!!

here are some iphone videos of calvin. they are really jerky on my computer and I'm not sure if they will be like that here. but they are still cute. especially the ones about the
"doo ee"

recommendation: two books

the book thief. 

I think I am like a year behind in reading this, but it is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I'm so glad I finally got around to reading it.

It is beautiful, heartbreaking and has the most unique writing style I've ever read. I cannot get over it.

And, as a disclaimer, it made me cry and cry. [I've gotten in trouble for not mentioning books I like are sad..(em)]  But that is part of the beauty of this book. However, I am easily moved by books in general. And I cry a lot more than usual these days.

The books I love the most are books that move me, and this is definitely one of those.

 hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet

We read this for book club this month and I really liked it. It was also a beautiful story and I liked the writing style. An interesting perspective on being Asian (but American) in the US during WWII. Really great characters.

Melancholy and bittersweet, but with good closure.

Both of these books I finished rather quickly because I couldn't wait to see what happened next. They are both from interesting perspectives (German Kids, Chinese/Japanese-American kids). Both books also made me so sad for all that people have had to suffer through and endure throughout the ages. I feel sad that people have to be hungry, cold, bombed, discriminated against, kicked out of their rightful homes, tortured, hated, etc.

I guess all we can do is try to make the world the best we can so things don't have to happen like that again?

Have you read either of these books? thoughts??


a few weeks ago I made a chocolate mousse crunch cake and it was pretty good. Dave, the hater of cakes, requested it for his upcoming birthday. 

Last week we received two separate packages from anonymous givers and they were a nice surprise! The first was a little bulb planter and I will post pictures when they come up. The second was this box of cookies. They were so good. I hate not knowing things, so I really wish I knew who sent these. Of course, I respect the anonymity, but if you are out there, thank you!! 

I got my hair cut. I realize this doesn't really show much, but it is the shortest it's been (but same basic cut) and I am totally loving it. I also had my bangs cut (they go to the side) and I'm glad to have bangs again. 
I also bought three lipsticks at Target last week. I just really felt I needed them. Earlier that day I looked up on the internets (so it must be true) what colors were good for my fair skin and then bought some that I think are the right colors. I kind of want to buy a million more to experiment.

and I love it. I feel that I won't look so pale in pictures now. sort of bright pink (probably too bright; it isn't my favorite), a berry pink (below) and a caramel/nude color. Maybe someday I'll go for cherry red (the red for fair skin, according to internets), but I like these for now. Although, if they make me look stupid, you should tell me, because that is what friends are for.


That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had his hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
"It's not the weight you carry

but how you carry it -
books, bricks, grief -
it's all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down."
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled -
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

by mary oliver.

I feel every word of this poem. Crazy how that happens.

(thank you to my extremely well-read sister in law, karren)

on guilt/i need a chubby baby.


A few nights ago Dave and I were talking about things and in my very rational (read: teary and irrational) state, I wondered if it would be "okay" to be really excited to have another baby. Like to be even extra excited that (I still say if?) they make it here. Like if that is unfair/un whatever. Moving on and not forgetting our baby, just being happy to have another baby. It look me like 15 tries to explain my thoughts to Dave because I wasn't sure of them myself. So I hope this makes sense.

I think this is similar to what some parents go through when they have a second child. Like how can they ever love the second like the first, etc.? I think this is what I'm feeling. It's hard to see how (from my perspective) we will be just as excited for another baby.

But then I feel guilty for realizing that of course I would be excited to have another baby and actually have them here. And not that we are more excited for another baby, but the excitement will just last longer? Maybe I feel guilty because that excitement will last longer and cause more things to come into play (and I'm not sure what I mean by that...buying things? nursery? all the things that parents do? chubby little legs and cheeks to actually kiss?)

So much was cut short when we lost our baby. So many things we won't get to experience, and I hope that it is natural to feel excited to get to do those things with other kids, but still sad that we missed out on that with this baby. 

And I think it is hard for my heart and my brain to think that our next child will sort of the be first and sort of the second. I mean, in most ways it will be a first. Except for a few things like the first 20 weeks pregnancy, knowing what to expect -ish- the next time labor comes around and the dramatics (though maybe it will be less dramatic next time?) (oh, and recovery will be the same. urg, that is something that irks me...all the regular recoveries from childbirth baby?? not cool.)

It will all be new, so doesn't that make it the first?

And I want to be so excited for all those firsts without thinking about how it kind of isn't but mostly is. Gah. I hate being confused.

But then Dave, with his age-old wisdom (almost 28, the oldie), said very kindly that he thinks our baby would be happy that we would be so happy for her brothers/sisters, and she would know that it is the same love and excitement we had for her, it's just different now. And she will be happy to see all the love that we have in our family. And I don't think that she or anyone would want our experiences with our other babies to be less than exciting and happy.

And that just has to be enough.

on escaping

Every few days or sometimes hours, I get this desperate, heavy feeling in my soul that I need to get out of here. And to where? I don't know. But sometimes it just consumes my thoughts.

I don't know if it means out of this apartment for a day where I spend an alarming amount of time (when you consider the fact I live here) or out for a few weeks or for a few years. Or out of this state of life or out of this state...I'm not sure. But I know that I needtogetoutofhere. and like yesterday.

We're doing some traveling/moving in April and maybe I'll get more than I asked for then (wedding travel, vacation travel, moving travel, traveling to look at apartments before we move travel), but I doubt it. I just need to leave. Leave these walls where all I remember is that I was having a baby and now I'm not.

And then I remember it's the middle of January and where am I going to go? I want to feel the sun on my face but I can't really pack up and go to Mexico for a week. Even knowing that, I can't shake it. And April seems so far away. 

Part of our traveling will hopefully be a vacation to California, where hopefully we'll go to Disneyland and see the ocean and maybe send our cares away in a bottle.

We've tried, in a pathetic attempt to find humor/the bright side of everything, to make a "pros" list, if you will. Of course, we'd give all of those back, but what can I say? They help for a minute.

Like I can ride roller coasters, buy clothes I was putting off because I wouldn't fit in them anyways (my red jeans, which make me happy), and lick the spoon when I make batter. And oh, I licked the crap out of it. so there.

So I may just buy myself a new, striped swimsuit and march myself to California and feel free.

gone too soon

My dear friend Suzy brought us over a book called "Gone Too Soon" (by sherri devasharayee wittwer) last week. It's a book about dealing with any kind of loss of infants and unborn children from an LDS perspective. I am anxious to read the book and I think it will a good, but hard experience. And I may write about my thoughts as I go through the book, because writing helps and maybe this will help others in grief.

I know it will be hard because just reading first line of the dedication put tears in my eyes:

"to my son who first let me taste the sweetness of motherhood..."

I can't even really start reading it. I just skimmed through the book and read parts that stuck out to me. I did read the preface, which threw into sharp relief the pieces of my heart and life that are scattered around me. We don't cry every day anymore and it isn't so hard to be normal.  But everything is still there.

She quotes from 1 Corinthians: 

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

I know that this is true. I know that some day I will see the big picture. I have faith in the gospel and in my Savior and His plan. But. It. still. sucks. everyday. It's an interesting paradox in my mind, to know for sure that our baby is safe and happy in heaven, but to know without a doubt that that means she is not here. How can I wish her away from our Savior's arms?  But oh, I do. I do and I cry bitter tears that we couldn't keep her.

Her perfect, perfects toes. I will never forget looking at our baby and knowing that she was perfect, but she just needed more time (the author talks about this as well). Her perfect toes, perfect tiny hands, sweet nose and lips. Just two days before we saw her perfect, four-chambered heart.

And I'm angry at my otherwise healthy but somehow incompetent body for not being able to keep her inside, for whatever unknown reason. And I know that we are lucky that we are able to have children and hopefully this will never happen again. But it will be part of our every day for the rest of our lives.

recommendation: mat kearney

Lately I haven't really found any new music.  I mostly stuck to my itunes collection and if I heard a song I liked on the radio, I would youtube it, then buy it after I listened to it 299 times to make sure I still liked it. Since I did some sewing for Christmas, I rediscovered Pandora and remembered that I really like it. My favorite station right now is Mat Kearney. And then I realized that, after hearing them throughout the rotations, I really just wanted to listen to his songs. And that's where we've been for a week or so. I really like his album City of Black and White (I have a song or two from it in itunes) but failed to explore/buy the rest of it. Then he recently came out with Young Love and I've used Grooveshark to listen to songs from these albums over and over.  I've liked Mat Kearney since high school and I was glad to find his new music.

His sound is pretty unique, I think, and I love the variety of music/sounds. And his lyrics. Like one of my favorite authors, I feel he captures life in these achingly beautiful lyrics.  Some of his songs are fun though, and much more upbeat (hey mama, she's got the honey).  But anyway, if you want something new to list to, try this playlist.

My top three: Runaway, City of Black & White and a four-way tie between Down, Learning to Love Again, Ships in the Night and Head or Your Heart. So, yeah.  Give it a listen and tell me what you think!

here's my favorite:

The road below our wheels, all that we fought to heal
You close your eyes and cry, dying for the right to feel
I hear it coming down, oh the sweetest sound
Of forgotten tears falling on the solid ground
Nobody knows the trouble we've seen
Nobody knows the price of this dream
And nobody knows what it took to believe

behind-the-scenes, if you will.

I have 999 posts.  This is technically my 1000 post, but I'm going to go through my drafts (44 of them, mostly empty, I'm sure) and delete them. I've deleted drafts before but these 44 got left behind somehow. However, some of them are things I am not sure why I never finished writing about. Cause you know, they are clearly excellent pieces of writing. Here is a behind-the-scenes, if you will. [with 2012 notes]. enjoy!


Then we had to hand staple (well, put under the automatic stapler) 455 tests because someone forgot to tell the printer to do it for us. Goodie.

[this was a work rant (good old copy shop), which is fun because I remember doing this with Dave.  cute]


i can't believe it's twelve. i know that's when i went to bed when i was single and crazy, but now i live a more sheltered life. i am going to die tomorrow. fall over and die. at least fall asleep in a class. or i won't, since they are the desk chairs. oi.


yes, everyday dave tells me I think too much:

These are thoughts I've had over the last week or so that I'm trying to put down in a sensible manner. They may not make sense but hopefully someone understands what I'm talking about.  It's a little vague, as I don't mean to offend or label anything. So, there you go. Over the past few weeks as I've been at the internship and especially these last few days as I've asked others where they got their degrees or why and would they recommend it...I've thought a lot (more) about what I want to do when I grow up. And I mean, I'm already a little grown up, but I still have a lot of deciding to do. Well, we do, rather.

Come January, I will probably just find a job. Since Dave graduates in August [haha, right], I don't plan on starting a second degree until we figure out where we're going. The other issue is I don't really know what degree I'd even do.  My thoughts range from an MPH to MPA to a lofty MPH/JD (haha, right) or an MBA (haha, remember that C I got in accounting 200?) to a nursing degree. Oh, or a masters in communication. I'm really liking that as well. The MPH or nursing make the most sense, and are probably most aligned with what I want to do. Oh, what do I want to do?

Half the time, I have no idea. I guess it comes down to the fact that I can't decide where I want my influence to be. (how weird does that sound?) But it's true. I can't figure out if I want to be a nurse, a program director, a policy maker, a....whatever. I can't decide. There are so many good things to do and so many good ways to do them. I cannot make up my mind. And I thought I had a clear path when I picked a major. But public health is so broad that you have to then decide where you want to take that.  And I know you don't have to do it all at once, but I need a plan, you know?

Then, I take a step back. This is what happened this week. Not just deep down I know that I want to be a mom and raise a good family. But I still know you can do that and a lot of other things. So when I talk about other degrees or future jobs, those all work around a family.  But on the other hand, I realize that I don't necessarily have to feel the need (make sense?) to do anything else.

So the inspiration I've come to this week is where do I want my influence to be? What kind of success do I want? Talking with Dave put some things in perspective. I'm often focused on wordly success. And nothing is wrong with trying to fix the world. But there are other kinds of successes, and maybe those matter more in the long run. Plus, as Dave said, I'm trying to find successes that don't come until a lifetime of work. And one more thing--while I like learning, I don't really like school anymore. I mean, after 15+ years, I think I can be done with school. But maybe I'd feel left behind if I wasn't a "master" at know?

So basically, that's what I've been pondering about. It's not that I just want to say "well, everyone else can worry about fixing the world because I'm just going to live my life and raise a family and fix things there"....but in a sense....

It's just that I know what really can change a person, and maybe my goal in life will be to use my skills and future family to share that. 

And I'll take things as they come, I suppose. I believe that things happen for a reason. I absolutely do. So I know there is a plan for us, and in time and with effort, we'll know what to do. For some reason, the things like a major/career/passion decisions don't come as easily to me as others.

Meh, I don't know.


you know how preferences tend to change as you get older?  (or do they? maybe I'm making that up.) I have always preferred vanilla to chocolate....but it seems recently that...

 [I never finished what I can only assume was an ode to chocolate.  fascinating]


happy june! it's birthday month which means plans for my awesome birthday party can legitimately be made. too bad most of my friends are not here, but I know at least three people will come (that's you guys, emily)

Dave as the third person, of course. It's nice to be married. You have a guaranteed attender to your parties.

Although, if only three people come it's not that bad: less guilt if it turns out to be a bust and more mocktails for me :)



it's not the greatest picture, but the other day Ali Vincent was at a hospital in our chapter so we went over there to see her for a few minutes. [hopefully some people know who that is!  she was the first woman to win biggest loser. yes, I'm famous now.]


do you ever start listening to a song and wish you were alone in a room so you could totally rock out?


The last few days of my internship were shorter days, which was nice because it gave me some extra time to pack, do homework and take naps.  We're taking a evening train to richmond tomorrow...and it's crazy.  Today is our last full day in DC.  It's kind of sad, but on the other hand, we're excited to head back west.  This week has been so weird anyway; it'll be nice to be more permanent. Three out of four suitcases are packed and we have almost eaten all our food.

[sad. i hated leaving that place. miss it all the time.]


a blank post simply entitled: "one weeeeeeeeek"

[no idea.]


This is one of those times where I am the picture of a new bride and we may have to throw away the dinner that I made (late) because I wanted to try a recipe and I got everything for it and it sounds/smells delicious. oops. I think it's because I used partially frozen chicken and that never works. I should know that. Bleh. The chicken, having been in the oven for over an hour, is still slightly pink. I can't tell if that is from the sauce or if it is...

[i believe i was making orange chicken in the oven which i have never tried to make again since]
the backup plan
the last song
the bounty hunter

[i was probably going to review these movies.  here you go: suuuucked; predictable; worth a watch.  you're welcome]


I am convinced that no first day of anything major is free from some kind of disaster. It may not be disaster like your skirt was tucked into to your waistband or anything (which, amazing enough, has yet to happen)...but there is always something.

On the first day of our summer internships/jobs, Emily and I took the wrong line, went a stop too far and had to go back and forth on the metro 24 times. Luckily we left really early.

On Monday, I left early enough that the GPS said I would arrive at 9:53. A little too early for my taste. We needed gas and live quite close to a gas station and it was on the way. I decide to get gas. I turn onto the street and switch lanes. I didn't see the huge chunk of ice until it was too late to switch.

Ok, I did see it and I could have switched but I thought "our car can clear that"...

I must have been confusing our tiny subaru with a much larger car. Any other car, actually.

I hear a horrible clunk as I run over the ice. Oops. Oh well, the car still works. Then, as I'm approaching the light, I hear another loud clunking noise and check my rear-view mirror and find myself driving away from a piece of our car.

[which i later, after struggling internally for a few minutes, ran out into the road to get. and I think it's still in the back seat.]


(I brainstormed this post awhile ago and when I read Katie's recent post, not only did it resonate with my soul, but I remembered this idea)

As we approach our two year anniversary, I realize that we should be past the burnt cooking and Awful Meals That Husbands Eat Out Of Love (or hunger)...but sometimes, we are not, and it is frustrating.

I didn't expect to become a brilliant chef-wife over night (or in a year), but I also do not attempt to cook/bake the impossible, either. I always have a recipe to follow and it irks me to no end when yet again, something did not turn out. I feel a strange disappointment at not being able to make something by following precise directions. Especially since I'm a wife and all, that is sort of my job.

I don't mind making the food and Dave does not mind eating the food. What is the problem?

The other day I tried a new recipe for enchiladas. They were not that good. I mean, they were edible, sure, but not that great.

When that happens, I question Dave continuously as to whether he likes it and why not. When he doesn't really like it or would prefer a more traditional method of cooking, I get defensive of my recipe choice...and this time Dave asked

"well do you like it?"

And of course I do, because I made it. (not really). And when I made lasagna with ricotta cheese, we weren't fans, but hello! It was homemade lasagna, right? How bad could it be?

So our dinners are full of "now I knows"

[katie, that post makes me laugh still]


how much dave likes concerts 
amanda "I think you'd like Muse in concert"

dave "are they loud?"

amanda "they have a light-up piano!"

dave "your mom has a light-up piano."

ok, then.

[yep, same ol' dave]


Can I just say that I hate paying for car repairs? I mean, in general, I hate paying for anything (except good food or shoes)

[truer words were never spoken, my friends]



and good thing Dave and I both graduate with a bachelor of science degree. because I realize the night before that tassel color may matter.


on hair and biking

I cut 3 inches off my hair yesterday. It hasn't been this short since 2008. (and that makes me sad, seeing as it took 3+ years to get those three inches!!). It never grew as long as I had it in high school and I'm not sure I'll ever get it that long again. I love long hair and all you can do with it, but I sure loved having short hair. I'm thinking that before the summer is over I will cut it short. It is too bad that it takes five minutes to get short hair but years to have it long again.

We rode our bikes to a park in provo canyon yesterday. It is funny to me how the way there seems so far and the way home is a lot shorter. And every single time I bike up university (a forever-long stretch of road enough uphill to make it hurt) I'm amazed.

It's all about the small triumphs, right?


things of no eternal consequence

but are still annoying.


[i must have realized #firstworldproblems]


this week is kind of a sad one. some of my favorite people are moving away. one of my oldest and best friends, former roommate and the smartest girl I know, Katie is moving with her husband, Aaron, to Philadelphia. It's not like we won't be friends anymore, but it's kinda weird that she'll be so far away for so long. They had a fun barbecue last night (and I made this chicken) and it was a little sad to leave.

[here was where an ode to our bffs, the mangums, was supposed to go. i probably felt this was all too depressing and abandoned it. we still love you]


[new stripped hoodie that i dearly love]

 [yeah, i made a load of bowties]

so, four years later, I'm still as indecisive as ever and get in these really ridiculous situations. We haven't had any major recipe blunders lately, which helps me feel like my life is progressing.

thanks for reading my blog (and especially those who have kept with it for four years!) and commenting and referencing my blog in conversations. makes me feel like a rockstar.

former life.

Every wednesday we count the number of weeks and can't believe it has been that long. On the one hand, it was just like yesterday, but it also was a very long time ago.  Four weeks.  So long since our other life. I wish we could go back to that life, celebrating with orange creamsicles, apple cider and the cutest little ruffled skirt.

calvin's birthday

Last Friday we went over to Shanna and Evan's for a quick birthday celebration for Calvin.  Same as last year, he wasn't a to big fan of the cupcake.  Silly kid. Anyway, we love any excuse to hang around Calvin. (oh, and we like Shanna and Evan as well). He is so so smart these days and is so cute.

He is great at opening presents now!
Shanna and Evan made him a cool fort that goes over their table (see more here) and he loves it. There is a cute little mail box and he loves putting things through it. After we went home I decided to make him some little envelopes. I saw a few on pinterest that I liked, but I made them most like this one. Pretty easy and they do the job. 

recipe overload/some sort of cookbook review.

I got the Our Best Bites cookbook for Christmas and I am loving it. Pretty much everything new I've made this year has been from this cookbook.  Almost everything we've had for dinner has been OBB.  So anyways, here are my favorites so far.  A few of them are on their website, so try them out! 

stromboli! yum. breadstick/pizza dough filled with cheese, chicken, tomatoes and spinach.  
White chicken chili.  To us, this is actually like a soup more than a chili, but we LOVE it. I made it twice in one week.  And I think I've seen it before on their website but I didn't make it because we already have a white chicken chili that we love. But this is better. Unless you want a thicker chili. But. This. Cilantro and lime just make this dish.  We had it with avocado, sour cream and homemade tortilla strips.
 I made the chipotle beef taquitos, italian meatball soup, stuffed pizza rolls (their breadstick recipe is freaking good) and baked chicken-alfredo (with bacon and artichokes and homemade Alfredo sauce)  and we've just loved it all.  

I'm really loving this cookbook. It's full of good, healthy and fresh recipes, tips and techniques and I really like the format. 



As always, here is a 180 degree post. 

Today Calvin is two!  We are so happy to live close to this guy.  He's super smart, super cute and we all know I'm his favorite.  


Earlier this week I put the diapers and some outfits in a pretty box and put it in the other room.  And it wasn't as dramatic as it sounds. We didn't even cry.

It isn't the fact that we put it away (we would for moving anyway), it's the seeming eternity before we have a reason to open the box again. I just can't get over how close we were and how far away we are now.

And it's so obvious, all the time. It's just there. Even when you aren't thinking about it, it's all you can think about. Just looking in the mirror reminds me.

We are clinging to hope and faith. We're also sad, empty, exhausted, jealous, annoyed, bitter...I feel normal and not normal. Like I'm myself, but not. I want to tell everyone everything that happened, but I want to keep it all to myself.

And though this may contradict what I've wrote, I don't want this blog to be depressing. I don't want to be a depressing person. I'm trying to not let this be a chronicle of my bitterness, but sometimes it feels stupid to blog about something else. So, I don't know. I don't want this to define my life or my blog, but sometimes it's all I've got.

But we still laugh and have fun and try to plan for the future (ha, as if that ever works). Even though by the end of the day it's still hard and not fair that we were having a baby first and now we're have a baby last and it's still just so so sad, we are pressing forward. 

Because how can we not? 


As promised, here are some projects I made over the last few months.  I bought Dave's presents quite early (I don't think he'd like anything I could make him, ha!), and thought that I would finish everything I wanted to make by the end of November.  But I was finishing stuff on Christmas Eve, I think.  Oh well.  I didn't make presents for everyone, so it wasn't that big of a deal.  Part of the fun.  And keeping me busy. 

I started this clutch in November and didn't finish it until this last week.  Oops. It was pretty easy.  Not perfect, but still pretty cute. 
 I made some button and felt earrings.  I copied some earrings I saw at a craft store with some felt. 
My mom has some ornaments that my grandma made a few years ago.  I made her some more in more modern colors. 
I made some non-vintage versions of this calendar. I just stamped away while we were netflixing. 
 I crocheted my dad some hats in his favorite team (cowboys) colors.
 This was my pièce de résistance.  I had my future brother in law, Colby, who likes the San Francisco Giants.  And this is what my sister gave me as an idea. And some ugly dude named "the beard".  And footie pjs.  So, yeah.  

I basically had the best lightbulb moments of all time. Seriously.  Anyways, I crocheted him a hat and a detachable beard.  I never really got a good picture. 
I also didn't get a great picture of it, but I also made him a snuggie.  They are actually pretty easy to make! Just a lot of hemming (but you don't even have to do that because fleece doesn't fray).  Then I cut out SF and sewed that on the chest, which was the trickiest part.  But yeah, awesome.  If you can't tell, this is him being content on Christmas. 

He could be faking, since I built it up so much and he's nice. 

We also bought some fun presents, like an inflatable tie for my brother-in-law.  Dave also made my cousin a bottle rocket launcher and some fun rockets. 

Did you make anything for Christmas or find something suuuuper cool? 

new years

We spent new years with my family and had a great time!  My family does a meat fondue every year which is delicious and this year added a chocolate fondue.  It rocked. 

We ate, watched Tangled & Psych, played monopoly deal and toasted bubbly at midnight.  and enjoyed some fireworks (and seeing mars).