Thursday, March 31, 2011

Returned Misioneros

Learning a new language is like learning how to shave your legs. At first it's seems really fun but after a while it's just a hassle. There are always spots that you miss and you occasionally cut yourself. This is how I feel about Spanish. I pay attention in class but there is always something I miss and I frequently make a fool of myself. Well I was given a Spanish assignment to interview a native Spanish speaker and write a 2 page report about it.

 As many of you know, Justin recently came home from his mission. He spoke in Church on the Sunday and afterward we invited a few family friends over to celebrate the only way we know how; with brisket. I took advantage of this opportunity to invite Mario and Marta Hernandez over so that I could interview them for the assignment. I told everyone in my family that they'd be coming over but somehow Justin got a bit confused. I guess he thought that I had invited them over so that he could teach them the missionary lessons . . . false.

We all sat down to dinner and I started asking Mario and Marta questions in my less-than-perfect Spanish. Suddenly Justin blurts in with this statement "Marta, ha orado para saber si el Libro de Mormon es verdadero?" or for those of you who don't speak Spanish "Marta, have you prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true?" Here's what was going through my head: Did he just say what I think he said? What is he doing? Stop!! At this point I was discretely pinching Justin's arm and kicking him under the table. He didn't stop. So I excused myself and then 30 seconds later called for Justin's help in the kitchen.

Me: "What are you doing?"
Justin: "I thought I was supposed to be teaching them"
Me: "Noooo, I invited them so I could interview them for a school project"
Justin: "OOOHHH . . . can I teach them afterward?"

Oh freshly returned missionaries, you are a special breed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

St Pat's

Almost 2 years ago, I found myself stepping off of a plane in Ireland. It was love at first sight. The green hills, the cool brisk air, the music playing in the distance. It was “magically delicious.” This is one of the reasons whyI love St. Patrick's day. It is one of my very favorite holidays. This year to celebrate I decided to make some Irish Coddle (a really gross-looking but yummy tasting soup).

I invited our good friends "Standrew" Murray over for dinner, which turned out great. Afterward I made a St. Patirick's day creation of my own invention. I'm calling them "green refreshers."
They are a combination of:
  • Sprite
  • Pineapple or Lime Sherbet 
  • Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
  • Limeade
  • Green Food Coloring

It was a fantastic St. Patrick's day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Busted Backs and Windows

Racquetball is like tennis right? Only instead of a net there's a wall? Call me crazy but it doesn't seem that dangerous. Then again there is a hard rubber ball bouncing off walls at high speeds, so maybe there's more to it than I thought. Well, there must be, because Mark came home from a racquetball game acting like he had just been hit by a car. He could barely move.

It was a Friday and he spent to evening in a hot bath while dictating the paper he needed to write to me. Saturday he tried to go to work but he quickly realized that, that wasn't going to happen. So, I picked him up and started calling chiropractors. I think I called every chiropractor in the Utah Valley and none of them were open on Saturday. We finally found one that was on-call. We went to his office around 7 pm and he worked on Mark's back for 2 and a half hours.

He started with some normal chiropractor stuff like massage and little adjustment tricks, but when none of those worked, things started to get interesting. First he did some electroshock stuff which wasn't too strange, but when that didn't help he strapped Mark into what looked like a torture chamber

Mark was still in a lot of pain so the chiropractor layed him on the table for what looked like another adjustment trick then... BODY SLAM! This guy literally had both feet off the ground when he landed on Mark. (he should look into professional wrestling).  That didn't help Mark so he had one final trick, acupuncture. I think I was more afraid than Mark; just being in the same room with needles makes me queezy. It was horrifying to sit and watch a body-slamming, torture-chambering man jab needles into Marks back and then just leave them there. Worst nightmare, ever!! I did manage to pull it together long enough to snap a photo.

After this long ordeal Mark and I walked out to our car only to find that it had been broken into. Our entire life savings ($5) had been stolen. Mark says it's my fault for leaving the car unlocked but, being from the ghetto, I say "I woulda had rather leave da car unlock and let dem steal fi bucks den bust da windows out my car." (sidenote: Bust The Windows Out Your Car by Jazmine Sullivan is one of my favorites songs). Luckily we didn't have anything too valuable in the car so nothing but the money was taken. But it made for a very eventful Saturday.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Angry Birds

You've all heard of the game Angry Birds right? Well the premise is that these little green pigs stole eggs from some birds, which made the birds angry and now they have declared war on the pigs.

Well 4 weeks ago our finches laid 4 eggs and about 2 weeks ago we expected them to hatch, but instead, one by one, they all mysteriously disappeared. I like my birds and I don't like to think that they pushed their eggs overboard, because in my imagination they are sweeter than that.  So, I've decided to blame it on the pigs. I don't know how or when but sometime little, green, legless pigs broke into my apartment and stole our eggs!

In an effort to avenge our caged birds, Mark and I bought smart phones and have taken up playing Angry Birds every spare minute we have. Before we bought these phones, we used to cuddle at night before we went to bed... now we just play Angry Birds till we fall asleep. We're a little bit addicted, but I never knew vengeance could be so fun.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Bacon Man

Bacon. It makes everything taste better. I've always liked bacon, but Mark, well he LOVES bacon. In fact there isn't a thing that Mark can cook without bacon in it. For Christmas last year I almost got him a cook book called 177 Ways to Cook Bacon.

A few days ago I asked mark to clean out a pan full of bacon grease. His response was "Why do I always have to do it?" My reply was "You are the bacon man, you always cook the bacon, you always eat the bacon and so you always clean the bacon."

Well Mark has really taken that to heart and sincerely adopted his new persona. An hour ago I walked into the kitchen and Mark quickly shewed me out. "Go away! the Bacon Man is working." Not much later he brought me a delicious sandwich and said "This is for being a good girl and listening to the Bacon Man."

It ain't so bad being married to the Bacon Man.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Prank

Have you ever heard the story of of Scheherazade? The legend goes that the King of Persia found out that his wife was betraying him, so he had her beheaded. Then angry at all women he decided that every night he would marry a new virgin and then have her beheaded at dawn. Well he quickly ran out of virgins and there were only a few left in the kingdom: one of which was Scheherazade, who bravely volunteered herself to marry the king. On their wedding night she began to tell a story. The king listened in awe as she told the tale through the night, but when dawn came she said there was no time to finish before her beheading. Desperate to hear the story the King spared her life for one more day. The next night she did the same thing and again the King spared her life to finish the story. The cycle was repeated day by day until Scheherazade had told a thousand and one stories, and by then the King had fallen in love with her.

What's the moral of the story? Never bore your audience. That is the first great rule of writing. Now I'm not saying that my brother, Justin's writes boring letters, but they don't exactly satisfy his audience. For example, a few weeks ago I wrote him a letter telling him about the frostbite on all of my toes. I expected an email back or at least just a mention of me in a letter to the family but no... nothing. Instead it was just, "Such and such person that you don't know is progressing well" and "Joe Stranger is really great." In frustration I called my mom who turns out has a similar complaint. She always asks Justin questions which he never answers. So I decided some revenge was in store

I wrote an email to Justin telling him that my frostbite had gotten worse and that my doctor had scheduled a time to have it amputated.  "I'm going in for surgery this Saturday so by the time you read this email I will only have 9 toes" Additionally I told him that once the toe was removed I would be getting a tattoo that reads "Gone to Market" with an arrow pointing to my missing piggy. Much like this one:

Well Justin finally emailed me back and here's what he said:

No way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So are you officialy a 9-toe-er. That is.... ummmm.... almost funny and very sad. Sorry to hear about that. But don´t worry, in the resurrecion you will have all of your 10 toes again! Love you sister, even if you only have 9 toes Have a fantastic day, good luck with your feet. I´...ll be praying for you.

He gets home in two weeks so he can just believe me till he gets back and see's my feet. That ought to teach him not to ignore my emails. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I got a jo- ...nope never mind

About three weeks ago I saw an ad in the help wanted section for sales people at Wilson Diamond's. I had been on the job search for quite a while so I decided to give it a try. I went in for one of the oddest interviews on my life. Questions ranged from "If the clock says 3:15 what is the size of the angle between the hour and minute hand" to "Why do you think people were so outraged when Hitler started killing the Jews when just a few months earlier the Chinese government killed off an entire political party?"

Needless to say it was nerve racking but I held my own and I got a call back. The manager called and asked me to come in for another interview the next day at 8 am "oh a bring something to sell me." He added on the end. I went in the next day like asked and some him a puppy (not a real one).

Days later he called and said "You're a remarkable young lady and we'd love to hire you."  I was stoked!! starting salary was $10 an hour just for training and once you got to sales people averaged $14 an hour. The perfect job for Mark and I right now. I spent my first two weeks on the job in a back room learning how to grade diamonds. Much like the picture below. Most of the time it was just me and a microscope. I had very little personal interaction.

Finally on Monday (Presidents day) I went in to take the test. I did really well. The manager said "Wow you got almost everything right... you're fired"  Say what!?!? He continued "I really like you Kristin but you're too straightforward and you're very intellectual and the combination of those two make you very intimidating. We only have 90 seconds to impress our customers and I'm afraid you'll just intimidate them."...

I'm not sure why my boss found me intimidating, I really try to be friendly. How does he even know how a customer would react to me if he never gave me a chance to interact! Sure I'm intimidating to a microscope but give me some person to interact with before you make that judgement call!

Am I intimidating? Please let me know if I am cause I'm not doing it on purpose.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Modern Day Pioneer

We've all heard the stories of the pioneers crossing the plains barefoot in the frigid cold. It's not surprising that many of the ended up with frostbite. I'm sure that once they finally reached Salt Lake all they wanted to do was rest their weary feet. When I was a kid my family went on a little pioneer trek I made it maybe a mile before my feet were aching and I rode in the handcart the rest of the way.

That was the first sign. Over the years that foot pain would only get worse. I could hardly stand for 15 minutes with out my feet aching. So like most reasonable people do, I put off going to the doctor... for several years. I finally went last month. I just stopped by the health center to see a podiatrist and I was scarcely in his office for three minutes before he started naming my symptoms for me.

"You're heels hurt all the time don't they? 
And the only way to relive the pain is to wear high heels right? 
Also your feet are usually purple and sometimes you hands. 
Oh and when your feet get warm they itch and swell."

His accuracy was both impressive and creepy. He then proceeded to tell me that my heels hurt because I'm becoming flat footed, My feet and hands are purple because I have Reynaud's disease, which limits the blood flow and the feeling in my feet. And finally they itch when they get warm because I have frostbite. (I guess putting ice on them to stop the itching was a bad idea)

I could have figured I was flat footed since everyone else in my family is, and I saw the Reynaud's thing coming, but frostbite!? I thought that was reserved for pioneers. Trudging through the harsh winter with out shoes! In an effort to raise awareness about modern day frostbite here are some picture of my feet.

Ice Castles

List of things I hate about winter
  1. Cold
  2. Ice
  3. Snow
  4. The need to wear closed toe shoes
  5. BYU doesn't have a spring break 
  6. Mark disappears all season to be with his true love: Snowboarding :(
  7. The heating bill
  8. Impossible to keep your nose warm which leads to...
  9. Runny noses and colds
  10. COLD

Despite my spite for winter there are three things I do like about it:

  1. Hot Chocolate
  2. Snuggling with mark (when he's around)
  3. Ice Castles

What are Ice Castles you ask? Well here are some photos of a trip Mark and I took to Midway, UT with his sister Audrey and out friends Jessica and Aaron. We had a lot of fun exploring these enormous Icicle-structure-things.
This is an Ice Castle

Here we are in the Ice Castle

Ice Castles are made by leaving the sprinklers on in the Winter

As you can see they are quite tall

Mark and Aaron decided to climb on them... and then we got kicked out.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fishes and Finches Sound the Same

People mourn in different  ways after loosing a pet. Some people take it as harshly as the death of a family member. They go through all seven stages of grief (sometimes twice, just to be safe). Others, skip the stages and buy a new pet, name it "So and so 2" and continue on as if nothing ever happened.

After the lose of Swarley (the fish we only had for two days), which you might have read about in my previous post, Mark and I gave ourselves about two weeks and then decided we were ready for a new beta. We went to PetSmart to buy a fish. Our plan was to spend $3 max . . . instead we spent $100 on finches.

Just to clarify, this is what we went for:

And this is what we came home with:

I don't know how it happened. One moment Mark was standing next to me picking out a pretty fish, next thing I know he's talked me into a finch. They are Zebra Finches to be exact and despite my strong desire to name them La-a (pronounced "la dash a") and La/a (pronounced "la slash a"), we named them Darwin and Stella. 

We brought them home, Set up their cage and even planted some wheat grass at the bottom so we wouldn't have to change the newspaper constantly. At first I was not very excited to have to care for these two, but they grew on me. And then they layed eggs. They laid the first egg 2 weeks ago and for a while I thought nothing would happen. They weren't sitting on it, they didn't even show any interest in it. then they laid another, and another and today yet another. As of Feb 16 the count is four. At this rate I'll have a whole flock of finches, which is called a "charm." I'm not sure I'm ready for all of this! After all, I just wanted a fish!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


What ever happened to global warming? One day Al Gore is predicting nice, warm sunny days then all the sudden a blizzard hits! Come back global warming, I miss you. Mark does not miss global warming because if there's one thing he loves more than me, it's snow boarding. So when we got a chance to go stay at a friends cabin in Beaver right on the ski run, Mark could not resist.

We drove to Beaver, and we started to drive up the mountain but it bacame apparent that we needed snow chains. So we went back down the mountain, attempted to put snow chains on for about 4 hours and then headed back up the mountain. By this time there was an all out blizzard on the loose. We made it most of the way up but couldn't get up to the cabin... so we hiked. Through snow that came up to our knees, we dredged up to the cabin. Like every treacherous trek there were casualties. The pioneers lost many, the Donner Party was devestated, we lost a life that was very dear to us. RIP Swarley. You were a good fish, even though we only had you for two days. We're sorry you froze into a fishcicle.

After mourning Swarley's death we began the difficult task of shoveling off the decks. Here is a picture of Mark shoveling through 6 feet of snow:

There was so much snow!!!

This was the view from our second story window.

Eventually we dug out way out of the snow and hit the slopes and it was a lot of fun, except you might remember that I am an AWFUL skiier. I went on the baby hills most of the time and the one time I tried something bigger I almost peed my pants.

The scenerey was beautiful!!

Our time in Beaver was a lot of fun. Freezing but fun. When we weren't snowboarding/ skiing we were playing Wackie 6 with friends and watching "How I Met You Mother." It was a great way to start the new year.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Our first Christmas Together

I'm dreaming of a Texas Christmas, just like the ones I used to know, where longhorns replace reindeer and Santa wears hunting gear and there's not a single flake of snow, oh no...

My family moved from Texas when I was 15. But although we left the state we really never left Texas; we brought it wtih us. So despite the fact that Mark and I were spending the hollidays in Vegas, it was still a Texas Christmas. Every year my family decorates our traditional Texas tree, which towered over mine and Mark's Christmas tree:
We chopped it down in the woods

It  was tiny,

When Mark and I got to Vegas we had gotten so used to out tiny tree that we forgot how big the Texas tree was (everythings bigger in Texas). It was a bit of a shock at first, but that's what a Texas Christmas is all about:


tinsel is for sissies we use lasso

and of course there's the lone star on top

Even our Buffalo got into the Christmas spirit

Santa and his longhorns came all the way to Vegas for us. He gave me a Texas cook book and the 3rd season of "How I Met Your Mother." He gave Mark my social security card (which read Kristin Romney BISHOP) and a bunch of fruit snacks. Sadly after Christmas we again had to return to Provo, but not after a an interesting stop in Beaver, UT. Stay tuned for that story.