Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby feet

I have nothing interesting to say, but I want to say something. Keeping my typing fingers to myself is not an option right now. So I thought I might tell you all a stupid story.

When we got back from Uruguay a few weeks back my feet had swelled up so much that they looked like puffy, chubby little baby feet. My toes looked minuscule in comparison to how fat my feet were. My ankles disappeared too. But mostly my feet looked horrid. Those puffy beasts wouldn't fit in any of my shoes, except flip flops for obvious reasons. In all the traveling we've done, I've never had any problems with water retention, but this time I was not immune. Honestly, to look down at my feet and see baby feet freaked me out a little bit. Okay, it freaked me out a lot bit. I might have cried a little bit. I might have cried a lot bit. I might have overreacted a little, or a lot. Maybe.

To make a stupid story short, I drank lots of water and walked around and the swelling in my baby feet went down after a day or two, and I could again see my foot bones. And then all was right with the world.

I wish I had a picture of the baby feet to show you all, but I was so appalled that I didn't take any pictures, and even if I had, I would probably be too vain to post it.

For not having anything to say, I said a lot. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Pioneer Day

July 24 is Pioneer Day here in Utah. It's the commemoration of when Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley, before it was the Salt Lake Valley. We have a great parade here, a rodeo, services and all kinds of celebrations to help us remember the holiday. More about the parade (since I'm a complete parade geek) later. For now, let me tell you about one of my favorite pioneers.

Meet William Carter, aka the dude with the funny beard.

He's one of my great grandfathers and his story is something like this. He was born in England in 1821. When he was 19 and working as a blacksmith, he was invited to attend a meeting by two Mormon missionaries. He listened to the sermon, believed their message of a true prophet, Joseph Smith, and that the gospel that Jesus Christ organized when He was on the earth was once again on the earth in its entirety. He was so convinced that they had truth that he wanted to be baptized immediately. The missionaries said, "Young man wait until you learn more about it." William's response was, "If I could wait another year, I would not be any more ready than I am now, for I know that you have the true church." Soon after he was baptized.

A few months later he left England, left his parents and all of his siblings but one sister to travel to the United States so that he could join up with other Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois. After three months of travel (and I complain about 24 hours of travel to get to Argentina), he and his travel mates arrived in Nauvoo. William's shoes had long since worn out, so he walked with bare feet. When he heard that the prophet Joseph Smith had come to greet the group William felt embarrassed that his feet were bare and found a fallen log to hide his feet under. When Joseph Smith approached William, he asked him, "Boy, what are you here for?" William said, "For the gospel's sake."

And for the sake of his belief in the gospel he had made so many sacrifices thus far. A few days after arriving, he began working with the other saints to build up Nauvoo.

Now to the really good part. In 1847, Brigham Young, the second prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organized groups of Mormons to travel west. William was in one of those first groups and after months of travel arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. He was the first to plow the hard desert land and even devised a way to wet the land by diverting a creek so that the land would be soft enough to dig it up (sounds simple, but it was an innovation at the time).

Like so many others, William gave all he had because he believed in the message of the gospel. For the rest of his life he worked hard and lived on very little because of his faith. And God answered his faith with blessings. He trusted in God completely. As with so many other topics I feel strongly about, there's more I could say, but to keep myself from being long winded, I'll cut it off here: I'm grateful for the work William and other early members of the Mormon church did to establish the Salt Lake Valley and the church.

I hope your Pioneer Day was happy!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Views on affection

When TC and I were newlyweds, we were weird. We're still weird, but the weird that I’m talking about is this: we were so determined not to fall into the “normal newlywed” category that we were particularly particular about PDA. We rarely held hands when we were out, and would only do so if we were sure no one was looking. Scratching each other’s backs during church was strictly off limits. We were never to kiss in view of other people. And most certainly we would sit a respectable distance from each other. Other people may not have felt convinced that we were married let alone in love. We probably looked like friends, without benefits.

Back in the day.

We were so entrenched in this idea of not falling into the "normal" category that on our wedding day, at the end of the ceremony when we were told we could kiss, we pecked uncomfortably in front of my family and friends. The man who married us urged us to try again, this time like we meant it. We pecked again for a millisecond longer. Still not satisfied with our lackluster kisses, he told us to kiss again. I could have died I was so embarrassed. TC likely worked to suppress urges to punch the guy.

Then time passed, and our strong opinions about PDA faded. Nowadays, you might catch us sitting at a disrespectable distance, or holding hands even when people are looking, or *gasp* we might actually kiss in front of other people.

Being around newlyweds on our trip was a revelation to me. I realized what we had missed during those early years. It’s the time of your marriage when you are expected and encouraged to be affectionate. Why didn’t I take advantage of this? Of course, there is a balance that must be found. One couple I knew years ago would kiss midsentence while having a conversation with me. And there was usually tongue and some heavy breathing involved. That was overboard. And uncomfortable. Where do you look? Do you just wait for the rest of the sentence post-kiss? Or should you leave the room? These are questions I never found a satisfactory answer for.

But I digress. Recently I found newlywed-dom contagious. And I realized that I thought I loved TC back in those days, but it was through the experiences we’ve had together, good and bad, that I have grown to understand better just how deep love can go. And I’m sure that 40 years from now I’ll look back at this blog post and think, “I thought I loved him then, but that was just the beginning.” That realization led me to affection: the hand-holding, kisses on the cheek, sitting too close together kind of affection. It led me to want to relish every moment I have with this man.

Getting cozy more recently.

So don't be surprised if you catch us cuddling or holding hands. We won't be offended if you're annoyed. We understand.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wardrobe Essentials 10 of 10: Khaki Pants

The last wardrobe essential in the list:
  • Khaki Pants.

  • The article suggests Gap khakis. I agree. I've also found some other pants that I like from Banana Republic, VS and ATL.

    This concludes our wardrobe essentials series. And honestly, I'm all shopped out. I didn't think that was possible. Apparently it is.

    I have a few essentials to add to the list:
    Black heels
    Nude colored heels
    Pearl necklace and earrings
    Khaki trench coat (I'm in the market, and this one looks pretty good.)
    Knee-length wool coat in black or grey
    Black nylons (you KNOW I love L'eggs)
    Cute exercise clothes (because who doesn't want to work out when they look adorable?)

    Hope you've enjoyed the miniseries. Now back to our regular nonsensical programming.

    Wardrobe Essentials 9 of 10: The Right Undergarments

    Penultimate essential:
  • The Right Undergarments

    The article I read suggests Spanx. I have not ventured into the world of shapers just yet, but I've heard over and over that Spanx is the next best thing to doing nonstop crunches.

    On a similar note, I ventured to Sears (yes, the one that has 12 ghetto taco carts parked outside) on Saturday. They sell Dr. Rey (from Dr. 90210) brand shapers. Prices were reasonable.

    Next, the last, but not least, essential.
  • Wardrobe Essentials 8 of 10: Cute Pajamas

    My PJs are usually PJ pants and a tee. I'm happy to report that I do not own sweats. At least that right? Well, if I were to get a pajama set, here are some that I would consider.

    Just two more installments, and then we'll get back to our regular programming.

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    Wardrobe Essentials 7 of 10: Comfortable, Stylish Flats

    We have now ventured into foreign territory for me: flats. I own one pair of flats that I bought when I sprained my ankle a year or so ago. I wore them grudgingly while my ankle was healing, and I haven't touched them since. What do I do when I'm going to be walking a lot, you may wonder? Several pairs of my heels are comfortable enough to walk around in, and if I'm going to be on my feet all day and it's warm enough I opt for flip flops (but I don't drag my feet, don't worry). If those two options fail, I have a pair of tan sneakers, magenta converse or alpargatas in various colors.

    So realize that I have no real experience with flats. For the purposes of this exciting episode, I chose some that I think are adorable, and would look at if I was going to buy a pair.

    I especially love the fuchsia pair with the button over the toe, and the red ones below them. And thanks to Oprah, I just might get some flats.

    Up next: cute pajamas.

    Wardrobe Essentials 6 of 10: Little Black Dress

    The famed little black dress is up next. I'm partial to sheaths; it's a classic shape that will not go out of style. You can dress it up with cardigans (you know how much I love those), jackets, wraps. And with jewelry you can make the look modern.

    So, here's a set devoted to sheaths.

    Sorry about the blue dress. They didn't have it pictured in black although it is available in that color.

    And here are some other options. Again, not all of the dresses were pictured in black.

    Up next in episode seven: stylish flats.

    Wardrobe Essentials 5 of 10: Black Slacks

    Next up in the wardrobe essentials mini-series: Black Slacks!

    Express is hands down my favorite place to get slacks, so I've included some in the polyvore set. Express slacks come in flattering cuts, great fabrics, and some of their slacks are even lined, which is a huge plus. I also love Nordstrom Rack for slacks too, but they don't have a website. Jerks. Victoria's Secret has some great looking slacks, but I haven't ever tried any, so I can't tell you much about them. Nevertheless, I've included VS slacks in this set.

    Wardrobe Essentials 4 of 10: Dark Wash Jeans

    Next on our list of must-haves are
  • Dark Wash Jeans.

    Now honestly, I'm still on the hunt for the perfect pair of dark wash jeans. I have a pair from Express that suffice, but are not my dream pair. I did find denim trousers at Nordstrom Rack that I love love LOVE. Here they are. Let me know if any of you find a pair you like.

    In the meantime, here are some that just might do the trick.

    P.S. The denim trousers I have are the ones pictured on the bottom left.

    Next up... Essential 5 of 10. You'll never guess what it is!
  • Wardrobe Essentials 3 of 10: Lightweight Cashmere Cardigan

    For part three, we have the

  • Lightweight Cashmere Cardigan.

    I'm a huge fan of cardigans, although I don't have any cashmere in my closet. My love of the cardigan would explain why I have five black cardigans (each is different, I promise), a lime green one, a red one, a fuchsia one, a white one, a cream one, a tan one, and, yeah this is just getting embarrassing. Suffice it to say that I like cardigans, okay? Don't judge me. Moving on... Here are some of my picks for cardigans (only some are cashmere).

    Coming soon... episode 4.
  • Wardrobe Essentials 2 of 10: Black Pencil Skirt

    For your second installment of wardrobe essentials, I bring you the following:

    2. Black Pencil Skirt.

    I suggest a lined pencil skirt made in a polyester/spandex blend. Don't get cotton because it will not stay black as long.

    You may be surprised to see some skirts from JCPenney in the list, however I've found that both JCPenney and Sears have a great selection for inexpensive office options. I've purchased several black and grey skirts from both places and despite constant use over the last four or so years they just keep going. Check in stores though because their selections online are lame.

    Coming soon... Wardrobe essentials 3.

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Wardrobe Essentials 1 of 10: Crisp White Shirt

    O Magazine is my bible.

    Not really, but I do enjoy reading the fashion articles they have. This article about Top 10 Closet Must-Haves really got my attention though. So I'm going to give my recommendations (since I'm SUCH a fashion DIVA and know EVERYTHING about fashion *cough*) for each must-have. Here's installment numero uno.

    1. Crisp white shirt.

    The article suggests Brooks Brothers, which is a bit out of my price range. My suggestions are these which are a bit more affordable.

    I absolutely love blouses from Express, but I love blouses from Victoria's Secret even more. Check these out if you're in need of a white blouse.

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    What else we did.

    Other cities we visited were Atlántida, Piriápolis, and a beach in between the two.

    Here's the beach in between the two:

    We ate lunch on the beach. El Suegro prepared lunch.

    We (Suegro) waded into the water to retrieve a Frisbee.

    We played Frisbee (actually only Suegro and TC did, but why break the pattern?).

    A random dog looked on longingly at the Frisbee, the food, the people with potential to give him attention. Poor perrito.

    This is what I look like when I'm cold on the beach. Thanks to newSIL for lending me her warm coat.

    This is how I stay warm at a cold beach.

    Then we drove to Piriápolis, which is a ways down the coast.

    View from a monument. Pretty.

    Me in front of the view, still cold.

    Me trying to mooch off of TC's warmth.

    Still mooching.

    The outside of the monument.

    TC wondering if the statue works out.

    The cute lovers.

    And here are some sights around Atlántida.

    Suegro and BIL and SIL standing at the water's edge.

    Mother and son.

    Trees growing crooked because of the wind.

    Suegro waiting to cross the street.

    Cool flower.

    Just a yellow lemon tree.

    BIL goofing off.

    Me posing. What a poser. :)

    Tia Anahí posing. She's not a poser.

    TC goofing off.

    Cool motorcycle.

    So that is our trip. By way of narrative, we took Buquebus back to Buenos Aires and flew out of there to Houston. On that long flight our assigned seats were not together, which is a tragedy in my opinion. For goodness sakes, I was assigned the middle seat in the very last row. I wasn't about to sleep next to two strange men the whole ten hour flight. Luckily, after some complicated musical chairs and seat swapping, TC and I were able to sit together. I still had a strange man on one side of me, but he wasn't too bad to sit next to. He kept to himself.

    Being in the absolute last row of the plane wasn't too bad except for two things: the flight attendants congregated in the galley behind our seats and goofed off a lot, which made it kind of loud for sleeping; and the flight was turbulent so we felt like we were fish tailing the whole way. Lucky for me, I slept through it. Unlucky for TC, he does not sleep in airplanes (or cars or ferries for that matter, unlike me who can sleep anywhere). In Houston our flight was delayed or cancelled three times.

    Now we're home and itching to plan our next trip. What's wrong with us? We're travelaholics. We're addicted to travelahol.

    Montevideo, what's it like?

    To my eyes, Montevideo looked like a miniature version of Buenos Aires, and it reminded me of some of the cities we saw in Europe.

    Statue of Artigas.

    Tia Anahí.

    Pretty building. Take away the palm trees and it looks like some of the buildings we saw in Paris.

    The ugliest building I saw there.

    Road leading to Rio de la Plata.

    Another cool fountain.

    Cool building.

    Cool church.


    Street cart selling garrapiñada.

    At the river.

    My postcard shot.

    River rocks.

    Hunky man statue.