Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hang on to your Butts

Free food, free concerts, and free national park days are some of my favorite things to happen. So when national parks were free a few weekends ago, we had to take advantage and check out Dinosaur National Monument. 

Just a few hours' drive to the East of Provo lies this under-appreciated park. It is the Jurassic Park of our generation, since our generation probably won't see live dinosaurs, so this is as close as you're gonna get. 

It was here that paleontologists discovered a huge jackpot of thousands of dinosaur bones, all in one spot. There used to be a river, and sometimes it would flood, and dinosaurs would drown in it. Other dinosaurs, that had already died, would get their bones picked up and washed down river, and then they all piled up in this sandbar kinda place. 

When it was first discovered, paleontologists excavated a lot of it. Then, they left a lot in place and built a building all around it! And now, regular Joes like you and I and my brother Joseph whose mission blog I NEVER update so please don't read it, can go and see this excavation site, all preserved. You take a shuttle to get to the building, and the shuttle drives up to a gate that slides open all electronically (BECAUSE YOU'RE IN JURASSIC PARK), and then the shuttle drives through, and takes you up the hill to the visitor enter. Many of the biggest and most complete dinosaur skeletons they discovered got sent to other museums, but it is still so cool.

I got home first on Friday, so I started gathering up the camping stuff, and even packed clothes for Stephen. By the time he got home I was ready to be gone, like, an hour ago. 

Me: Come on, let's get in the car!
Him: Hold on, I have to pack my clothes.
Me: I already got you clothes. Let's go.
Him: Oh you did? Did you pack my short-sleeved denim shirt? The one with the collar?
Me: Huh? No, we're going to be hiking and stuff. 
Him: I know, but I need that shirt. I need to look like a paleontologist. 

I broke into a huge smile and got super excited - because I had packed clothes for myself that looked like paleontologist clothes! So we're clearly meant to be together. 

Stephen is generally happy to pose ridiculously for pictures, but sometimes he gets embarrassed about it. Like when he's all intrigued and asking the ranger intelligent questions, and then I go off and want to pose like this in plain sight.

The Jurassic Park fence!!!

We went with Margot and Gonzalo and had the best time. And we even found a trail called Stump Trail, so we were excited to have another teacher on our team join us!

Mostly, Dinosaur is deserty and the landscapes aren't as cool as the bones. But there were some pretty pink rocks.
Also, some petroglyphs. 

And a dirt road that Cassidy Jane and La Grosse Berta got stuck on.  
And a sign that all the cars pass, so again I'm the only poser. 

Everyone should go, if you haven't already been! And take all your 7-year-olds. They'll love it just as much as you do. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

BFF's and World Peace

"Mrs. Shimp," our resident class bully / tattletale says earnestly.

(As usual. Recess is over, so it's time for his daily tattle.)

"G was butting me," he complains. "And he stepped on my foot, and pushed me."

"That's a real shame," I say, "because you know what? I know G. And he's a really good guy, I actually really like him. And I know you, and you're also a really good guy, and I really like you, too. So it's too bad that you had to argue.....I mean, couldn't you have thought of something better you two could have done?"

I've got some suggestions ready: stay away from each other, let it go if he butts you, maybe calmly explain that he hurt your feelings when he did that.

T immediately responds with his own suggestion: "Maybe, we could just be best friends instead!"

And suddenly it's resolved, and they are best friends instead.

Our tenth Airbnb guest was a PhD student. She was on sabbatical in the United States, studying chemistry with a BYU professor. I chatted with her while I was making dinner, and accidentally cut my finger with the knife. She brought me a band-aid and told me to please be careful, and then we laughed about how her mom had called, and yelled at her about the fast food she had been eating.

"She's really nice," I told one of my friends.

"Yeah, well," they replied, "She didn't bomb your house, so that is nice."

Which I thought was not nice. Because our guest was a Muslim girl from Iran, but she was also a teacher, and a traveler, and a potential best friend, and you wouldn't know that if you only focused on a few things about her.

She told us all about her life in Iran. Her students loved her, because she was a very relaxed teacher. She always had to cover her face, but she liked how she didn't have to here. They have all four seasons in Iran. She didn't much like traveling and never expected to go anywhere as far as Utah again in her life. If I wasn't there, she seemed uncomfortable having conversations with Stephen and instead would just say a quick hello and then retreat to her room. She didn't like spicy foods. Alcohol is not allowed in Iran, but unlike America where everyone raged against the machine and started up speakeasies until it was re-allowed, no one seems to care in Iran. Dating is also very different - she said there is no touching, and you would never be alone with each other.

And talking with her, and sharing my home with her, just made me wish that ee'rbody in the world had the same viewpoint as T, and would take a step back and maybe, just be best friends instead. We're all people, after all, and we aren't all that different. We all feel feelings, and we all shiz out of our buttholes, and we all like Instagram better than Facebook.

And we can all be best friends.

Friday, October 9, 2015

25 Reasons You Love Me

I'm having a birthday this year. This usually happens, but this year is special!

*She said every year.*

Ehm, anyway. This year, I'm turning 25.

(I might say this for a few years, but this year it's actually biological. So take note!)

In honor of this very exciting event, I thought I would make a list of 25 things about me. Random things that you may or may not know.

Let's begin.

1. Sometimes I get so excited about birthdays that I over-plan them, and then I start to think that that day is all about me and my awesome plans. Even when it's someone else's birthday. This happens annually with Stephen. I have literally said to him, on his birthday: "Don't you ruin this for me! Don't you dare take this away on my special day!"

2. I'm pretty sure I get a crick in my neck more often than is normal, and like 8% of me wonders if an oil would fix it, but I would rather have cricks than turn into an oils person, so. That's a problem I live with for now.

3. I love dressing up and free food more than almost anything else. These things make the world go round.

4. I live vicariously through my sisters in their dating/texting lives. Boys trying to date my sisters, beware that you might be reading a txt I wrote.

5. I remember almost all of my dreams. I make a point to think about them when I wake up, because I love them so much.

6. And actually, I'm a great dream interpreter. My dad keeps telling me I should make a website and interpret people's dreams, because wouldn't that be so funny, and I keep thinking "What is funny about that, this is serious."

7. I never realized how many ways a person can sleep in a bed wrong until I married Stephen.

8. I once went on The Price is Right. I did not get called up. And consequently I did not win any money. I still feel a little sad about this from time to time.

9. I love snakes. Sometimes when I'm feeling lonely, I peruse the snakes for sale on KSL, just intending to look. Get an idea of the cost. And then, inevitably, I end up txting Stephen about 4 or 5 different ones that I waaaaant and are such good deals.

10. I am unceasingly inspired by my mom and Marjorie Pay Hinckley.

11. I went through this Elvis phase once, when I was like 11, right after I watched Lilo and Stitch. I got like 3 Elvis CD's for Christmas that year.

12. Sometimes I try to think about taking a Europe vacation, and I try to Pinterest it, and look on Airbnb, and it always overwhelms me. And somehow I wind up on cruise websites instead, what?

13. I get perfect weather for my birthday e'er year. It just always happens.

14. My most embarrassing moment occurred when I went on a date with a boy, who took me to his apartment to introduce me to his roommates, who apparently were sordid pigs, and I went to the bathroom and found a sandwich floating in the toilet and an empty toilet paper roll and no soap. And I am not going to share the rest of this story.

15. As a teacher, yes I have favorites. #sorrynotsorry. (My favorites are not set in stone and sometimes change daily, if that makes it any better.)

16. If I ever become rich, I want a beach room in my house. Not a beach house. I want a room with a wave pool, and sand, and a skylight, and a sound system that plays the sounds of the ocean. In my house. Stephen says this is unrealistic and I say that is rude.

17. Also, I want a car butler. I do not understand these horseless carriages!! I just want someone I trust to come over monthly, and check everything, and tell me what I need to fix, and get the oil changed, and do all the maintenance things that I am physically incapable of keeping track of.

18. When I first came to Utah, I came with big dreams of marrying a cowboy or Cosmo the Cougar. I married neither. But holla at my better-than-I-ever-dreamed-of-hottie-husband that I snagged instead!

19. I like to wear mismatching socks.

20. One of my nostrils is drastically different than the other nostril. Stephen was the first person to ever notice this, to my knowledge, and he took a picture to prove it to me. His nostrils are perfectly symmetrical, so it was really shocking to him.

21. My car's name is Cassidy Jane Carbaby. One time I bought a car and named him Lerone, after this guy on the Bachelorette who didn't even get a single rose. I was very upset by this and felt like he deserved at least one rose, because he made a great first impression on me! But then Lerone The Car died like a week after I got it. So I decided that Emily must have been right, and I never named another car Lerone ever again.

22. One day, I would really really like to publish a book.

23. I read "The Fault in Our Stars" and it ruined my life. I just think about it and I cry. And this happens like, monthly. Do not read this book!!

24. I have a slight obsession with engagement photos, wedding photos, love story videos, everything up that alley. Sometimes I google "couples story" and watch video after video of people I don't have any connection in the world to, and it makes me so happy.

25. I am really particular about my water - or more specifically, the temperature of it, and the ratio of ice to water. In case you're interested: freezing cold, and like 70% ice.

Stephen just put my birthday crown on me (!!!!) so I guess it's time for bed.