We are Man and Wife.


Monday, December 20, 2010

2 years going strong today.
Many more to come.

Free Cheer.


Monday, December 13, 2010

There aren't many places in LA where you can enjoy a quality Christmas experience for free.
The Grove would be one of those free places.
Saturday night we dined at Marmalade Cafe and anxiously awaited the snow fall 
that happens every hour on the hour.
Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" blasts through the speakers as the snowflakes [aka bubbles] start descending from the outdoor rooftops.
It is rather magical seeing all the dad's with kids on their shoulder tops reaching up to grab the snow, while all others stop in their tracks to snag a wintry kiss or grab at the fluff.
It made my Christmas season a little bit brighter.


Shower Thoughts


Friday, December 10, 2010

So you know those "ahhh" moments we all have when something just clicks where it didn't before? My family's always seem to surround song lyrics. When my brother was little, we all got a kick out of his rendition of the Beach Boy's "Little Deuce Coupe" --- "She's my little loose tooth, you don't know what I got --- loose tooth, you don't know what I've got." I think my mom wins it over though for the best [sorry mom if you're reading this!]. In her naive little teenage years, she thought the song "Afternoon Delight" was in homage to a popular fast food chain restaurant at the time called "Chicken Delight." Oh mother, how precious!

Well I had one of those moments myself last Saturday. Seeing that I'm 24, this revelation was an embarrassment to myself and apparently to my husband when I told him. So Elvis, he's got this way of singing that just smooths every word into the next. He's always tricking me, but particularly in "Blue Christmas." For years I had no idea what he was saying at this one part so I just said "shoo-be-doin-alright with your Christmas of White..." Now wait, that makes a bit of sense. Shoo-be-doin is likely to mean dancing, so Elvis' girl is all happy rockin the night away without him. Ok, fair enough, that was a poorly executed argument. So last Saturday when we were sitting there at a Christmas Party and our friend Rachel started singing the song, my ears were opened and my understanding clear. I spent that evening in the shower singing what I felt a re-birth of that song "YOU"LL BE DOING ALRIGHT, with your Christmas of white..." I was sooo close all those years! I was practically singing it right, but without piecing together what was actually being said. I came out and confessed my long-term misunderstanding to Jared. His response? A long stare of disbelief, mocking laugh and then posting of my misinterpretation on my FB wall. Just you wait Mr. "oh, I know all lyrics of Elvis Christmas Carols." I'm just waiting for you to trip up on some Beyonce lyrics and I can pull out my redeeming card!

Cleaning up House.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

And blog too, can you tell? I'm running out of things to clean and prep at home, so why not turn to the cyber world for some touching up? Actually, truth be told, I've been sitting here at work 3 days this week with nothing to do. So I decided to teach myself a bit about HTML and CSS, which resulted in this new spiffy layout. And sometimes I like to pretend like I'm a big-time blogger, hence the "ABOUT WE" and "WATCH WE" links. And that's all I've done today. 6 more weeks left of work. I hope your day has been more productive than mine.

I've been showered.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

 I was telling Jared the other night how much I will miss Santa Monica when we leave. Sure I will miss the beach community itself, but more so the people. This last weekend I was the recipient of much love and generosity. 5 lovely ladies put on what I would say was the most spectacular baby shower in all history. Everything from the food to the company was divine. Not to mention that our little girl's wardrobe is now very well stocked! I am so appreciative to all those who took part in such a special occasion. We're ready for you baby girl! [Also, I'm ready for this chubby face to go and the extreme body temperature fluctuations.]


Give the Thanks


Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I think these pictures best showcase what I am grateful for this year. My photography skills. Wait, that would be a haaayy-no. I'm still learning this whole SLR camera thing. But the photographs do capture what I hold most dear, my family.  Being the oldest of 5, I have quite an attachment to the youngin's. It's hard to believe we are all growing up. My oldest younger brother is serving a mission in Colombia, hence his table setting being occupied by his framed picture.

My family does the tradition of saying 3 things you are thankful for before we feast, which pretty much turns into a testimony meeting. So I'm not going to re-preach my three things here, but rather highlight the little things that seemed too secular to be emphasized at the family fireside/dinner table:
1. A good pen. I have like 5 favorite pens that I whip out depending on what kind of paper I'm writing on.
2. The fact that when I inch forward in my car 3 inches, the other car behind me does the same.
It's a fun game I play with myself when I'm bored on the drive.
3. Dawn dish soap. It gets out EVERY stain. Just soak it on there for 10 min and wash it out.
4. My new found love for yams. Plain yams, not candied. They are like dessert.
5. Forever 21 cheap EVERYTHING. I can achieve a JCrew look in $30 rather than $330.
6. The color Gold. It makes my hair look blonde rather than brassy
7. Movie quotes. I think about 90% of what comes out of my mouth isn't an original thought of mine at all, but rather a movie quote that is most relatable to the situation at hand.
8. The show Modern Family. My brother had never seen an episode, so dedicated many hours over the break to its cleverness.

Although those are trivial things, they do make life a little better. 
I had much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season.  I am in awe at how blessed Jared and I have been, and we know it is not by our own fortune. 
Gratitude is a wonderful blessing.

"We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues."
Thomas Monson

I like your buns.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cinnabon's, that is. 
{Although Jared's are very nice as well.}
Saturday I went to the mall all by myself, which is only cool for the fact that I walked by a Cinnabon and I didn't even buy one. Yes, I looked at them, stared at the beautifully glazed dough topped with crisp pecans, but I walked away, folks. Just walked away. 
I bragged to Jared about my triumph, but that only lasted so long. We found ourselves at another mall that evening, where the aroma of sweet Cinnabon penetrated both our nostrils and forced us to purchase a heavenly swirl to share.
I think that Cinnabon really welcomed in the holiday cheer for the Oakdens.
Bring on the 2 months of chocolate covered pretzels, fudge, toffee and Danish cookies.
{actually, I have to admit something. I am terrified of the holidays, or more so of my obstetrician. He told me to only gain X-amount of lbs, which hasn't been hard except hello, my last two months are being spent amidst the 2 most gluttonous holidays! And I am not one to say no to a good thing when she sees it. So don't judge me if I look like a balloon come January. Wish me luck!}

Sometimes I have to stop myself from lifting up my dress at work.


Monday, November 22, 2010

All this tummy movement has me mesmerized and it's hard for me to sit there and watch all the action going on under my shirt when I want to see the flips in plain sight! If I had it my way, my hand would be glued to my bare belly 24/7. Jared is hardly as intrigued as I am. However, I do have him trained to roll over in the morning and station his hand on my ever increasing rotunda. At the request of some important individuals, behold and embrace the 31 week tummy.

Nesting much?


Thursday, November 11, 2010

10 weeks and counting....
Yes, her drawers are full to the brim with cutesie tootsie things!
We only have a 1 bedroom apt, so she gets a corner dedicated all to herself.

I had a  meltdown a couple of nights ago. That's only been my second one this whole pregnancy.
I'm stellar, right?
And the timing was so odd. We just watched Phantom of the Opera, and the ending scene where the old man goes to his wife's grave just let the flood gates open. Bahahha. I thought about how I didn't want to get old, but then I thought about getting old with JO and I got happy. But then sad because we're growing up, and I don't want to grow up, Peter! I like my time with just JO. so I got scared. and I cried.
He probably thought I was a loony. But he held me anyways while I just cried.

So I decided that it's time to take more pictures of just he and I in our every day moments, hence the slamming of pictures on here. I want us to remember 20 years from now that we had a life before our
loving children came along. And that life was spectacular. 

[but i'm still super excited for little girl to arrive] 


Wax Shavings make Autumn Savings


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Simple and sweet. Shave crayons onto wax paper. Melt with iron. Cut out leaves. Hang on tree. We had fun making our own cheap autumn decor.
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Caught.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

So my brother's on an LDS mission and I wanted to mail him a Halloween package, right? So I made a quick stop to Rite Aid for some chocolate splendor and some wicked candy so he will love me. I picked him up a bag of brachs pumpkins, the mini bag for $1. I also snuck in a mini-bag for me. Jared has school until 10pm on Wed and Thurs, which is prime time to sneak in a treat. Patience is not one of my strong points, so right when I got in the car I popped the bag open - before dinner, mind you. I astonished myself by how many I was able to eat in the 3 block drive home. Twisted the bag up and headed up to the apartment to make dinner. Then I put my brother's package together, which involved me eating more pumpkins, of course. I spent an hour making a crib skirt, all the while popping one pumpkin in my mouth after another. Until I started getting sick. But I just drank some water and kept eating the pumpkins. They were so gosh darn good! I get a call from Jared telling me he's on his way home. I look guiltily on my wilting pumpkin bag. Only hours ago it was plentiful; now there are only a handful of clumps of dyed-orange-sugar-molded-into-pumpkins left. For the first time in our marriage, I hid something from JO. I quietly tucked the remainder away in my nightstand drawer. I'd finish the bag off the next day so he would never know.

At approximately 10am this morning, I received a text:
Mr Oakden: haha you are too funny
Me: huh?
Mr Oakden: You...
Mr Oakden: I bet Moe is gonna love those pumpkins you got him.
Me: Oh, did you see my stash!?
Mr Oakden: Haha. I went for some of your chapstick. Nice dear.

Blast! I got caught...

I think I just have the urge to write.


Monday, October 18, 2010

But I don't really know what about. If I had a house, I would probably write about how kick-awesome we are for growing a garden and hosting a Halloween party in our 3200 sq ft home. If we had kids, I would write about how messy they are and how one of them said an inappropriate thing today and I was roaring with laughter. If I had an awesome wardrobe, I would probably be a fashion blogger and post for you all my creative outfits with articles from Anthro, JCrew and rock Steve Madden heeled boots. If I lived somewhere that had seasons, I would probably post about apple picking on Friday and the pumpkin patch we went to on Saturday. And if you give a mouse a cookie, don't, give it to me instead. Because I could use some cookies on this bleak overcast Monday.

...My cookies never turn out. The plain chocolate chip kind. I've tried Martha Stewart and Betty Crocker, the fundamental source for cookie baking but none worked. I've researched blog after blog, yet none of them seem to rise. Weird. I keep telling myself that it must be the oven, but the oven cooks everything else just fine but rejects my cookies. Then I think that maybe it has something to do with living 2 miles from the beach and the moisture in the air is affecting my mix?? I'd like my husband to think of his wife as anything BUT a failed baker. So to make up for it I keep buying Nestle's pre-made cookies. What a kick in the ego-pants. I guess I'm done writing now.

Duped.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Are Jared and I the only people who have fallen into the VonTrapp trap?! My whole world has been upset to know that the singing family, comprised of precious children with dainty names and a dashing colonel father and beautiful mother who somehow escaped over the Alps, isn't true? Ok, the midnight venture over the Alps was a bit hard to swallow, but I definitely prefer that to truth that they just rode away in a train, and not even to Switzerland but to Italy! Oh Wikipedia, why did you have to destroy my naive vision with the truth that there were actually 10 children, not 7. And that their names were awful like Agathe, Joanna and Hedwig Maria! Save your eyes from looking at their real pictures; keep your minds pure with images of cute Gretl and Kurt. I know, maybe I was a sucker for Hollywood's limelight on the Von Trapp's, but who would do such a thing and fool us all?! Sure, I guess the Von Trapp story is still noteworthy, but they're just another immigrant family to the US now as far as I'm concerned. I bet there are a million more interesting migrant stories other than an Austrian family who leisurely imported themselves to Italy and took the ferry to Vermont and opened their own little hotel and sang to their guests. Hardly as captivating.

I hope in 20 years I can sell my life off for millions of dollars with an alternate truth. I'll make sure it has catchy tunes and gorgeous children running across the screen too to make it all the more captivating. Maybe Jared and I will be suffering here in the years of Obama's economic depression and we can barely feed our children, and to make a living we all play the fiddle and do the... jive?? [not sure I even know what kind of dance that is, but it sounds like we'll be the life of the party and big screen if it's thrown in there.] Eh, I'll have to give it some time, but in the mean time, I'll try not to come down too hard on the VonTrapp's. I doubt they had much to say in what Hollywood made of them anyways... but still. Cheated, I feel. Cheated.

Hollywood Land


Monday, October 11, 2010

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Yes, I saved you all from having to look at my ridiculously disgusting face by replacing it with a loving heart. Much better, no? Jared and I "hiked" the Hollywood sign on Saturday. Quotes are surrounding the verb because I wouldn't really consider it a hike, but rather a gradual winding incline with horse poop infested dirt switchbacks. Nothing really beautiful about it, but we did it in the later afternoon so the sunset was nice. It took us about 30 min to climb to the bottom of the sign, which apparently ends at a neighborhood that we could have driven to and skipped the walking. Oh well. I was kinda disappointed because the closest you can get to the bottom of the sign is by standing a hill away. Helicopters are constantly patrolling the area to make sure no one passes into the restricted zone. You can also climb up the backside of the sign and look down on it by the tower, but we I was too fatigued for that. Perhaps another time. [Trivia for the curious at heart: I just did some googling about the Hollywood sign to see a history of its origins. Hollywood got its name from the wife of the developer who owned the land. Daeida Wilcox gathered the name from a woman she sat beside on the train, who had a summer home she called Hollywood. Wilcox told her husband, who named his subdivision "Hollywood Land." The sign used to read the whole thing, until it was in shambles and Hugh Hefner of all people held an auction in 1977 to restore the sign. Then it just read Hollywood. There you go.]


I celebrated my 24th year of living on this earth last Thursday.
Birthdays were much better when I was in elementary school.

What's in a name?


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Before being pregnant, I would ask other pregnant women the infamous question "Do you have a name picked out?" At the time, it didn't seem like that big of a deal to ask. No, I wasn't going to steal the name or anything, and in all sincerity I could care less what that person names their kid. It's not mine, so no matter what the answer they gave, props to them. Pretty much just a conversational element I would toss in there. Now that the game has switched and I'm the one being asked, why do I find it such a bother? #1 - I'm not terrified that someone will steal the name, not in the least. #2 - I don't care if people judge the name, because I already know its awesome. #3 - I am going to name my child ____ no matter what, so what does it matter if I tell them now or when the child is born? #4 - I ask people the question nonchalantly all the time, so what is it if someone does the same to me? It's getting to the weird stage where random strangers are gravitating to my tummy and people less than acquaintances are asking the name of my girl. I don't think it's intrusive in anyway, just funny. I think the real factor of it all is that I feel kinda silly giving a name so openly to a child that is yet unborn. I feel right now that I'm giving a name to just a baby doll, something that isn't 100% real yet, even though she is very much alive and kicking my gut throughout the day. What if something happens and I can't carry her to full-term? Even if that tragically were to happen, then she would still be given the name. So.... yes, Jared and I have a name, a name that we love and pretty sure it will fit this girl perfectly.

...........

..........................
I'm still scared to share for reasons unknown.
Any one else have this dilemma??

Deal


Monday, September 27, 2010

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My fam came down this last weekend to get one last hoo-rah in before the boy leaves us. Although we just had Saturday together, it was good quality time. Emerson, you will be missed.

Ok, so I'm hear to share a deal with you all. If you have not taken part in restaurants.com, you really should take advantage. I didn't think the website was real, but let me assure you that all deals are legit. So basically, you can buy a gift card to a restaurant in your area for cheap. Like a $25 gift card for $10, so you're saving $15. Not bad. But the website constantly has promotions like the one we picked up on - a $25 gift card for $2. Yes, $2! We bought 5 gift cards for the value of $125 for $10! That's a steal. And we've already used 3 coupons here, here and here! On Friday we hit up Bread and Porridge, and it was a fantastic meal, where i carried out leftovers and our $43 bill came to $18 [including tip!]. So seriously, check it out. If you type in the promo code FALL right now, you will receive the $25 for $2 deal. Try it!

Observations


Monday, September 20, 2010

Does your family do TL's? My family does. Yesterday I was told the most rewarding TL I have ever received. My mother relayed to me that my uncle observed that I looked happy. And not only happy, but I looked at peace. Seriously, that topped off as the ultimate TL! I'll be honest, I can be a worrisome person. The uncertainty of the future gives me high anxiety. Like, HIGH high anxiety. But amidst all the chaos and confusion I create for myself in my mind, I also pat myself on the back for recognizing that I can be a loony and re-ground myself.   I recently needed a re-grounding about 2 weeks ago. I remedy my uncertainty in a very scientific manner. I observe. I take note of all the things in my life that are certain, things that make me happy and things that I can improve on to bring about greater assurance.

Here are my observations the past little while:
 1. Faith is not fear.
2.  My husband is my stabilizer.
3. Obedience brings about blessings and security.
4. “Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger.
If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.” 
- Dale Carnegie
5. Eating healthy will make you happier than eating crap.
6. A good book is a quick fix to boredom.
7. Keep a journal.
"Begin today and write in [your journal] your goings and your comings, your deeper thoughts, your achievements, and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. We hope you will do this, our brothers and sisters, for this is what the Lord has commanded, and those who keep a personal journal 
are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives.” 
-Spencer W. Kimball
8. Keep life simple.
9. Sometimes you can't know how everything will play out. 
10. Fall is my favorite season.
11. The gospel is my salvation from this ever-decaying demoralizing world.
12. At the same time, I love this world and everything about it. I am glad I get to experience it.
13. I've partaken of my first handful of Brach's candy pumpkins this season, which always brings about certain satisfaction!
14. Every one fails. Every one is learning as they go.
15. Someday I will have a house with a backyard that I can decorate for holidays and children to keep me busy. I guess this is a good start :)
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22 weeks
So basically, life is pretty rad. I am at peace. Not that I am always in this state of turmoil - I hardly am ever in distress. But it's nice to have worries hushed at times and just focus on being happy. I feel completely blessed that I can be observed as someone who is at peace. 

A Trip Down South


Friday, September 10, 2010

We spent Labor Day amongst the San Diegan's with my sister and her husband. We enjoyed the newly renovated Mormon Battalion as well as Old Town. We had our first try at cinnamon and strawberry tortillas and fulfilled our stomachs with rock candy prior to our big lunch at Phil's BBQ. Until next time, you stay classy San Diego!
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The Magical World of Spray paint



It does wonders.

Because you're dying to know. Or more so, I'm dying to share!


Friday, September 3, 2010

Well I guess I better sharpen up my crafty skills and load up the bank account because we're having




We are thrilled! Stoked! I thought for sure I was having a boy because all midwives tales told me so, but we're so happy that we have a future babysitter, chore-helper, disher-doer on the way! JK, girls are so much more than help, they are the most fun to dress up! Accessories, here we come!
Oh, the dresses I have to make, the homemade little tights I get to manufacture, the headbands [without the ginormous fake flower] and bows I need to create - creativity is endless! Huzzah!

We went to the Doc on Wed, and he said he THOUGHT it was a girl, but not to facebook it yet [which of course we did!]. But all was confirmed today! And little girl has long long legs... 
I wonder who she got that from ;)

Culturated


Friday, August 27, 2010

I love culture. I love feeling cultured. Especially when I get culturated for FREE! If you haven't figured it out already, I am 1) awesome, 2) an aesthetician [not to be confused with beautician] and 3) a tight-wad. So you will understand my excitement when I found out that I could see Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" in Griffith Park, on a blanket with a picnic, for FREE! Yes, yes, we threw that shindig down last Saturday with our lovely friends, the Webbs. We brought blankets and picnic [ahem... panda express], laid under a tree and laughed our jolly selves away at the play. I had heard of "Much Ado About Nothing" but from the title I inferred that it had much to do about nothing, so it never intrigued me. However, it was one of the most entertaining plays I had been to besides "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," which seriously had me roaring. It was the perfect summer evening, with perfect company and the 3 hours of acting were superb. Our only regret is that we didn't go in July when they performed "Othello."

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I don't think I ever reported that Jared and I took the GRE 2 weeks ago. We did. I came out of that test knowing 250 words that I previously did not. You would think my vocabulary would have expanded as a result and my dialect would be more astounding, but quite frankly I get intimidated by big words and using them incorrectly. So until I have mastered their context and part of speech, my jargon shall stay the same.

For those who care.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

17 weeks.

He could model.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

PhotobucketThe other night Jared was gracious enough to be my model for the evening. I have so much to learn about photography, lighting, my camera, so we went out after work for an evening shoot. He makes it easy on me because every angle/lighting works towards his advantage with that chiseled jaw. Last night we watched wipe-out. I'm not an addict of that show and I would never make it my ritual to sit down and watch it except Jared likes it. And I also like listening to his giggly laugh when the contestants face plant. [Actually, last night was pretty funny. I think we both were gulping for air at one point.] I just really like being with him.

I have this journal that I titled "OBSERVATIONS." It's where I write down my observations of life, if you will. A lot of quotes, inspiration, self-realizations, improvements, etc. I got my OBSERVATIONS journal in Scotland, and it is dear to my heart. I mentioned in a whisper to Jared on Sunday that my journal was getting full - that means we better plan a trip to Scotland! On Monday night I came home from work to a hemp journal sitting on my bed, complete with natural papermill sheets, the kind where the woodchips are dried into the pages and smells of cut wood, and the journal was line-free. Just how I like it. I couldn't help but tear up over this simple gesture. He is amazing. Did I also mention that he saved us $70+ in car repairs by changing the break lights by himself? What a stud.

When you wish upon a star...


Friday, August 6, 2010

your wish doesn't come true. That's why I have a husband. I've caught the photography dream! I've been so enamored lately by the creativity that photography allows, so last Monday Jared agreed that I could purchase a digital slr camera from Craigslist! I'm so thrilled about this up and coming hobby of mine. You know what this means, local Santa Monicans [ok, primarily SM 1st ward]? I may be looking for your voluntary services so I can experiment on you or your precious child/ren! Come on, it'll be fun! Completely gratis until I can get a handle on this whole thing. Think about it.

The past two weekends we've been on the road with family. We spent a weekend beach camping in San Clemente with Jared's fam, which was a well-lived adventure with no pictorial evidence. I don't know why I neglected my camera that whole weekend :( Last Thursday we made our back up to Fresno. Jared had a nephew get baptized and my brother went through the temple in preparation for his mission, so it was quite the weekend of ordinances for us.

While on visitation with my family, my siblings were practically begging me to make a video with them. Once they realized how cool it was to be on film on the Oakden blog, they seized the opportunity and insisted we make a music video. [or maybe it was me doing the soliciting to them to make the video] Either way, it was a great way to spend a hot 100 degree afternoon. in the backyard. with 2 adults, 2 teenagers and a 10 year old.

Its about to get political.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It’s not about condemning someone’s lifestyle. It’s not about inequality. It’s not even about religion. It’s about equality. It’s about the preservation of mankind and the institution that fosters that regeneration.


I understand that antagonists of Proposition 8 claim that the exclusivity of marriage between a man and a woman is unfair. I might have to agree to some degree that is it unfair. I understand that two people of the same sex can be devoted to one another just as much if not more than a man and a woman. I understand that they want the title of “MARRIAGE.” But marriage is more than just a title. I hope that same-sex proponents understand that one. When I hear the word “UNFAIR,” I think of a child, selfish in its ways and ignorant of consequences. When my sister turned 5, I pouted all day long because it was her birthday and not mine. I coveted her rollerblades when it was me who was saving up for a pair of my own and she was just given them, mocking me. It was a cruelty I thought at the time I couldn’t take. So I cried.


So I can relate to the same-sex marriage proponents who are longingly looking at married couples, questioning why they can’t have rollerblades too when they have been just as dedicated in saving for a pair. Its’ tough to want what others have. The answer - it’s just not your birthday. Gay proponents are pouting. Pouting not about a birthday but because they want a right. A right that comes at a cost to others. Freedom is good. Freedom is what founded this nation. But order also needs to be present. Freedom flourishes when coupled with responsibility. Otherwise it breeds a society full of disrespectful, egocentric, demanding ingrates. And I’m not just speaking about marriage in society. Arizona better stick it to the aliens! Seriously, value your citizenship – get it legally.


Please understand that my argument is not for a religious purpose. Although I am a very dedicated religious woman, this is about protecting society and the freedom of all people. Same-sex couples can live together, spend the rest of their lives together, buy a house together – totally fine that’s their business. But to make it legal changes the way our society functions.


“Perhaps the most critical feature of traditional marriage is the impact the institution has on the creation and raising of children. Simple biology proves that relationships only between a man and woman can result in the creation of a child. It just can’t happen between two men or two women. Further, experts around the globe agree that the ideal family structure for a child is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Logically, it only makes sense that society would want to encourage marriage between a child’s biological mother and father, and that is exactly what California (and virtually every other state) has always done.


To be sure, raising children today is infinitely more difficult than in past generations. Many single moms and dads do heroic work every day to raise their children in a loving, secure and safe environment. They have earned our respect and admiration. But laws and public policies are supposed to promote the ideal – the “common good” – for society, especially when it comes to our children. A child who is left fatherless through divorce or abandonment can certainly be lovingly raised by her mother, just as a single dad can lovingly raise his child without a mother. But to promote the idea of purposefully depriving children of a mother or a father simply because a miniscule portion of the population wants to experiment with homosexual marriage is not an acceptable risk.”

- Protect Marriage.com


Besides destroying the basis of societal function, let’s destroy that democratic system that we’ve been fighting for the past 300 years. That sounds swell! What happened to liberty and justice for all? Now I know what you’re thinking, what about the liberty and justice for all the gay couples? Regardless of the issue, the constitution is meant to protect the rights of the people. The majority of Californians voted in favor of a proposition, only to have their right disregarded. 7 million were cheated out of a vote that was rightfully theirs. That is unconstitutional. How childish that the opposing side had to pout their way to court.

I was struck by this comment I saw by a reader of the LA-Times:

I promise.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

While I promise, promise, promise that this blog will not become baby-hungry, I have to have just this one to say that we're ecstatic! Thank you all for your congratulatory remarks and words of awesomeness. We dig it.

Speaking of digging, yesterday I had my 13 week check up and that sonographer just dug her little ultrasound wand into my tummy for what felt like 15 min straight! A word to the wise - do not go to the OB with a full bladder! That was excruciatingly painful to hold back. But it was all worth it to see the baby flutter around and hear the heart beat! 2 things I learned. #1 - Our baby has a beautifully formed brain. The doc even drew the attention of the sonographer to the perfectly formed brain mass, commenting on its perfection. Cool. #2 - the Doc may have a crush on JO. "Now you, sir, you're quite handsome" - something like that was said and I was rather taken back. Why no comments on my attraction level? Is JO the only one contributing to the looks of this child? Why do I not merit the doctors remarks of beauty? I even brought it up that night at the dinner table. Jared assured me that I was pretty, and sometimes pretty girls are stuck with not-so attractive guys and the doc was surprised that I could find someone to match my beauty. Not buying it, but ok.

While we still have about 7 weeks until we know the little gender, my eyes have been perusing etsy and you'll just have to die like I did when you see these.

Look at the little Mary Janes!



And the loafers!


Bahh!! I think my child's wardrobe is going to be more expensive than the medical bill! Anywho, that's all the baby-ness I have to say until we find out if we're having a little lady or gent.

We're going beach camping this weekend with JO's family. It was forecasted to be a splendid weekend, until I decided to capture a sore throat and a cold. Now I am not looking forward to 3 nights on an air mattress with kleenex piling up in the corner of the tent. Boo. I never knew my body could be this exhausted until I coupled pregnancy with sickness.

"MEET THE OAKDENS" - an independent film


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jared and I have been working towards the debut of this movie for the past couple of months. We had so much fun making our "GOT BIKES" video that we conjured up the idea for this one - except this one has a much more DYNAMIC ending. Sit back, munch on some popcorn and without further ado, we present "MEET THE OAKDENS."

Picture Overload


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'm now using the blog as my main source of picture updating rather than facebook. Oh well. Pictures make for better story-telling sometimes than words.

2 weekends ago we went back to Fresno to visit our families. Somehow out of the 3 days we were there, this is the only photo I managed to snap:
I'm lucky that my husband gets along so well with my brothers.

This past weekend, we decided to yet again take advantage of the freebee stuff in LA, so we tackled the California Science Center. We were thoroughly impressed with the quality of exhibits. The center is exhibiting EGYPT right now and mummies, so there was a whole section dedicated to Egyptian life and excavation, with each section having a hands-on activity for kids - except for the embalming, no hands-on there.The ecosystems hall was by far the most extensive. We watched a kelp forest show, where they had a scuba diver swimming in a tank and talking about the sealife around her and answered people's questions. I thought that was pretty neat. Basically this place is great for kids, but since Jared and I can act like kids when we want, we liked the groove of the place. And outside the museum there's a gorgeous Rose Garden, so we passed part of the afternoon on a park bench and wandered through the maze of rose beds.



Sunday Morning - 4th of July! One of my favorites. Our church was postponed from 10am to 1pm, due to a city parade, so we had the whole morning to ourselves. Jared and I read Elder Oak's talk "The Divinely Inspired Constitution," and then we watched "A More Perfect Union". We were geared up for the day! We bbq'd with my grandparents and in the evening we roasted smores on our propane hibatchi grill and watched the fireworks... on tv. Sad, sad, I know! But Santa Monica doesnt do fireworks on the 4th, so we resorted to watching NY live, which was pretty awesome too.

Whew, so Monday came around. It was cloudy and a bit misty. What to do? Go for a hike! We ventured up to the Malibu hillsides and did a 2.5 mile hike up Solstice Canyon. We were flabbergasted at the scenery. There were amber waves of grain on the hillsides, rolling mountains, burnt trees, green trees, waterfalls - it was quite an escape from the city. So this trail passed through an old home built in the 1950's that burned down in the 80's. The house is tucked away in a hillside, surrounded by trees and a babbling brook. The foundation and walls are still intact, and it's not eerie in any way, but definitely thrilling. We played around in the house for a bit before we headed back home to do some surf-watching, thrift store shopping and GRE studying. If you live in LA, you should most DEFINITELY try this hike. There are 2 ways to get to the dilapidated house - one takes you through the hillside, but the other is just a paved road that used to be the driveway to the home - so kids can easily do the hike!


Food Dreams


Friday, June 18, 2010

Next weekend Jared and I will be traveling back to Clovis for a home visit. We haven't been back since February. And I'm fine with that. But strangely enough, I am rather excited to go back. To see family of course, but mostly for the food. Yes, food. Although living in LA has its advantages, I personally dont think restaurants are one of them, from a poor on-a-budget married couple standpoint. I hate that a majority of restaurants are $10-$20 a plate, you have to pay for parking, you have to travel 20+ minutes in traffic to get there, they're crowded scary beyond all reason and I just dont find all of that worth it for going out. That's why we frequent the taco shops. Way more of a killer deal. So yes, I am excited to go to Fresno for the dining. I'm soo excited for John's Incredible Pizza. They have the most CREAMY macaroni n cheese, which is something I have been craving like crazy. Jared must be getting tired of me counting down the days for my macaroni and cheese. I also informed my father that he will be cooking his rubbed ribs with grilled corn and my mother make her ice cream jelly roll. And I guess Judy's donuts was on my mind when I went to bed last night. Mmm.. A maple glazed bar followed by a delicious bite out of a strawberry sprinkle frosted donut. I dreamed that Jared let me go to a donut shop and I could pick out not just one, but 2 donuts. Seriously, I have never had a dream so vivid and taste-buddy [?]. I woke up thinking I just ate a donut. Like, I could taste it in my mouth and I woke up satisfied and thought yes, that was all I needed. But that dream has since worn off and I think I will be visiting Judy's next weekend. Ok, enough about my food confessions, I just get really excited about food, and FRESNO food at that.

We've kinda had a lazy past couple of weekends, but still enjoyable. June gloom has set in, which has interrupted my Saturday tanning sessions [ggrrr!] Last Friday night we went with our friends Steffany, Joe and their cute baby Maggie to the Dodger vs Angels game. I hope my baby is as well behaved as Maggie, she didnt make a peep once! The final score was a sore sight. I think Dodgers lost 1 to 10. Regardless, it was fun to be out with friends and eat a Dodger dog.
[disclaimer: My face isn't really that white. Flash?]

I am not ashamed of this.


Monday, June 7, 2010

So Saturday morning, some girlfriends and I ventured out to Hollywood to get our hands on some GRiDDLE CAFE pancakes. We had heard that they were not to be reckoned with, that the pancakes were a preposterous size, but nothing could deter me from my pancake craving. That is, until I realized my undertaking was like taking on a whole cow by myself! Look at those things!Yes, that is what I took home as leftovers from my breakfast visit - only 1/4 eaten. And let me tell you that I do not have petite hands. They are quite an alarming size for a woman, so know that those pancakes MUST be ginormous. I ordered the "Scotch on the Rocks" - 3 8 inch pancakes stacked, smothered in coconut, butterscotch chips, pecans and oats. I can handle sweet, but that was over the top. Jared's been working on finishing off the pancakes the past 2 days. I don't think I'll be craving pancakes anytime soon, so Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pancake mix will have to wait patiently in the cupboard until I recover.

My child will have style.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jared and I both want a girl first. I was very adamant about this until I saw said article below. If the first child from my womb is a boy, you better believe I will be dressing him in this!

Alot of this happened this past weekend


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Where most people fear the damage of the sun's rays and frantically re-apply sunscreen every 30 minutes, I lather myself up with pure baby oil and enjoy my sun-kissed skin.

Much happened over this great memorial weekend, but let's keep it brief

partied hardy on Friday for JO's 24th!
gourmet hamburgers at THE COUNTER
redboxed New Moon
beach action
laundry
hamburger bbq with family
reboxed Monsters vs Aliens
CHURCH
made German Chocolate Cake
ate German Chocolate Cake
watched EXPELLED with friends
Hollywood with sister and bro-in-law
beach action
Abbot's pizza
mariachi band for friend's going away party
GRE study time
EXHAUSTED

Also, Jared and I are at a loss of what to do on Thursday nights, now that Community, The Office and 30 ROCK have ended their seasons.

24 REASONS.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Today is my husband's birthday. #24.
Here are 24 reasons why I get a kick out of having him around.

Let's get the physical ones out of the way, shall we?
1. His smile. It's killer.
2. His wake up face. It is so pouty, its adorable!
3. He has a bubble bum, which looks incredible in slacks [ truth must be told!]
4. His broad shoulders. They are so masculine.
5. So he may have some chest hair, and I may be the biggest fan.
[now the stuff that really counts]
6. He appreciates my cooking.
7. He's a pretty organized guy, never leaves a mess behind.
8. Extremely dedicated hard worker.
9. He picks up on the little things, like my watch needing a new battery.
10. He'll watch The History Channel "The Presidents" with me.
11. He is always up for learning.
12. He's musically talented and is a fantastic bass.
13. Jared is a very patient man.
14. We share the same humor. Laughter is so important.
15. He served a mission faithfully.
16. I have a pretty great imagination. I mean GREAT. He never shuts me up when I babble on about our future kids, house, travel plans, etc.
17. Although I might hate it at times, he helps me monitor my sweets intake.
18. He takes out the trash without me having to ask.
19. He has ambition.
20. He's always down for an adventure.
21. He's frugal.
22. He doesn't play video games or watch sports.
23. He loves the gospel.
24. He's solely mine. We are sealed for time and all eternity.

President Hinckley said that marriage is "the stuff of which your dreams are made."
It truly is.
Happy 24th Birthday Jared Oakden, Sir!

LOST, you've bamboozled me!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yes, it's 3 days after the finale and I am still up in arms about the LOST series finale. I feel cheated. If you so happened to find joy in the ending, that's great. All LOST goes to heaven - who can't like that? I'll tell you what not to like:

1. Why was Sayid's true love Shannon? Clearly Nadia was his one and only.

2. What was up with the Dharma Initiative - those people were sooo interesting! Seriously, I wanted to know more about all of that stuff, all their stations, experiments. Remember how Juliet was brought into the DHARMA to study why women couldn't conceive on the island and why women would die during childbirth? Where's that answer? That was a major part of Clare giving birth on the island and Sun's pregnancy - totally major in all other seasons yet didnt weigh into the finale at all.

3. How were the Dharma even allowed to make camp on the island? It seems like the man in black killed everyone that came to the island, so why would he allow a whole colony to live there and get close to the island's power source?

4. What was up with the temple people? Jacob had a colony inside the temple walls? what for? Isn't that what the OTHERS are for? Seems like Richard didnt know/associate much with temple people for being Jacob's second hand man.

5. Whidmore was taken down pretty easy. That wasn't much of a fight. Lame. What was the point of Whidmore in the end? Nothing.

6. Did Richard do anything to save the island in the end? No. Did he ever know anything about the island? No. What a great advisor.

7. So Jacob lived in a cave on the island, also had a lighthouse and lived in the shoe of an egyptian looking fox thing? Where did that statue come from and why did Jacob have so many places of residence?

8. Why was Desmond so special? What was Charles Whidmore planning on doing with him? Putting him down into the light too? How did Charles know about Desmond's ability and

9. Why does Walt appear on the island sometimes, as well as the younger Jacob?

10. The younger Jacob appears to Hurley, and takes Ilana's ashes and then Hurley finds grown Jacob by a fire... So Jacob still lives on through fire??? If he lives until that fire dies out, who built that fire in the first place?

11. How convenient that Rose and Bernard come back this season to let Desmond out.

12. In the sideways, were Juliet and Jack married? Jack referred to her as his son's Mom and Juliet said in all the years we've been married, you never told me about your sister, Claire? Huh??

I cant even comprehend the ending scene, with them all being in "pergatory" or whatever.

I have an infinite amount of questions. Sometimes its ok to have questions still lingering to keep your mind open and perpetuate thought, but this is not the case here. Clearly the directors cornered themselves. I just feel completely cheated. LOST, I will now silence my disappointment and will move forward remembering all our good times Seasons 1-5 ONLY. Also, the fact that I met Desmond 2 nights ago at the gym. Yes, I did a double take, stopped immediately on the stair master, followed him to the boxing room, where I told him that I enjoyed the Finale, EVEN THOUGH I DIDNT. I only lied because it was Desmond. He is quite ravishing with that Scottish accent and all.

Shower Thoughts


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So what was the meaning of the title of the show "Family Matters"? Was it stating "hey, family does matter! It's important!" or was it family matters, as in family affairs or family business? One will never know...

So I'm sure that my past "shower thoughts" posts have revealed that I use my shower time to contemplate the rather nonsensical things in life. So, this is going to seem real dimwitty of me, but maybe there are others out there who are wondering this same thing and I can help shed some light on a new learned truth. Last Saturday morning I found my way into a parking garage where I parked on Level 6. The whole climb up I drove up on the right hand outer side of the structure. Cool. After a very successful shopping trip to Old Navy [?? I know, right? I never shop there but it so happens that they have the JCrew look that I'm trying to achieve this summer, but cheaper], I made my way back to Level 6 where I backed out and started down the parking garage. Then my mind triggered the thought - how does this parking structure even work? Seriously, during the descent, I was still on the right hand side on the outer structure of the garage. I kept looking down every aisle on every level, feeling like I was going down the same way that I had come up until I magically made it out. When I got home I even asked Jared if he knew the secrets of the parking structure. We discussed the mechanics of the garage, but I think he ended up dismissing my genuine intrigue. So since I am a visual person, wisdom-seeker and problem solver, I decided to get to the bottom of this and drew a diagram:
Yes, I drew this. All 6 levels. I drew dashes up to Level 6 and marked my "parking spot". Then I backed myself out with that darker black arrow. And I was enlightened. I realized that it was possible to both ascend and descend the garage on the outer arena without ever once running in to the opposite direction. I guess the up and down lanes are just built on top of one another. Duh! And that slight slant on each level connects the up and down passage ways so that you can exit at any level. I'm so smart! [Don't ever let me design anything for you] Surely, I can't be the first person to contemplate this phenomenon!

Most people use blogs to narrate their family stories and updates, or to inspire people with creative cooking recipes and crafts, or my favorite - fashion. I use our blog [I say our, but it is really mine. I just feel like adding Jared's name into the mix makes the blog seem more purposeful] to.. to.. I don't know really. I guess I use it to record the minor details, the things that get looked over. Like the importance of parking infrastructure. Or that time when I ran over an old man with a bicycle. Or our family videos.

So Happy Together.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Jared and I are very fortunate to be together. We have a bucket-load of fun. I believe it was Saturday morning when Jared and I were snuggling before rolling out of bed, and I asked him if he had any good dreams. Yes, he dreamed that we were in London. That put a smile on my face. That same morning Jared scheduled me for a 1 hr massage at the EXHALE spa, which was heavenly. I'm always surprised by the things that I like, and I guess having a stranger rub oil on my naked back is one of them. Afterward, I met Jared on his lunch break, where we tried to chase down a taco truck, but failed. Regardless, it made me happy that I could see him for those brief 20 min.

That afternoon we made a trip to the dollar store and guess what we picked up? 1 pack of fresh strawberries and 2 packages of refrigerated nestle tollhouse mini-chocolate chip cookies! All for $3! Talk about luck. That made me very very happy! That evening we went to Flemings, where Jared and I entertained ourselves the whole evening with our frugality. [Check prior post for the whole experience] We like to laugh at ourselves.

Sunday is always a happy day. We got to sleep in, eat Raisin Bran and attend church. Our little primary class makes us INTENSELY happy. Those 4 year-olds say the darnedest things! The lesson was about prayer. We were talking about times when we might get scared and we can pray to heavenly father, like maybe we had a bad dream. Wow, did that open up a topic. Everyone shared their most scary dreams from a dark shadow to an alligator eating a cat and then biting off her arm. It's times like those that Jared and I feel so lucky to teach these youngins and witness the wonder of a child's brain.

Speaking of children that we love, Jared and I adore our friends' 2 little girls who we would love to steal away! Shauna and Josh having incredible daughters. We went out to dinner with them the other week and Josh I guess mentioned to Jared that they could try to get a sitter. No sir, bring those girls with you - we need some little girl lovin! Both Shauna and Josh served their missions in Korea, so we were up for an asian adventure and went with them to a Korean BBQ in Korea Town. I have never had Korean food before. The only slight taste I had was when we were at their house playing a game and I lost, so my consequence was to take a bite of kimchi, which I almost gagged on. So going to this restaurant with that being the only Korean experience I had backing me up, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. By golly, was I introduced to the most glorious food! I ate and ate and ate!

CHEAP-O


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Last Sunday Jared and I received a prize in the mail. Even though it was junk mail-looking, I decided to open it regardless. It was a $50 gift card to Flemings Steakhouse. I didn't get too excited, there had to be a catch. [Last week we also received a voucher for a free cruise for 2, but the catch was that you had to be 30 or older - not really much of a catch, we just happen to not be that old.] So I held on to it. Later that night I pulled up the website, entered the code on the back and it asked for a reservation date. I put us in for 6:30 on Saturday May 15th at LA Live. Done! Jared and I were rather stoked that we received this free $50 gift card, but still being a bit leery, we called and they confirmed it was legit. So yesterday afternoon we saved our appetites for our big meal! We looked up their menu before going. The prices weren't on the website, but after reading some reviews on YELP, we determined the average meal was between $18-$25 - perfectly covered by the gift card!

So we arrived at Flemings on time and we were seated promptly. Then the feeling of unbelongingness sunk in. The hostess asked us if we wanted black napkins. Uh, my mind was confused so I naively asked why would we want black napkins in comparison to the white ones already on the table? She said something, but I didnt hear so it was best that I just took it to avoid looking like a fool. Jared didnt hear what she said either, but he took one as well. After she left, we together concluded that the black napkins must be for the dark meats? In case you spill dark meat juice on you?? Oh well, that was done with.

We opened our menus. My stomach turned. The CHEAPEST entree was $25.50! And that did not include a side, that was strictly the meat. I think we both started to sweat a bit. We discussed what we would do if this $50 gift card didn't work, how Jared would complain to the manager and tell them there was NO WAY we could afford this meal and they would have to accept the $50 redeemable card. So next the waitress came. She asked if we wanted any wine. NO. First sign to her that we were cheap. Were we ready to order? Yes. Jared got the Pork Chops while I went with the LITE filet mignon, the ONLY dish that came with a side of mashed potatoes. We ordered one side of macaroni and cheese for $9.50! The waitress asked if we wanted a veggie or side salad with our orders? Nope! Second sign that we were cheap - no additional sides. We had a laugh at how unhealthy our meals were. No vegetables. Nothing but pure meat, potatoes and mac and cheese. Not to mention that by this time we had already downed 2 loaves of bread and 2 cream cheese spreads they kept refilling. We were STARVING.

While we were waiting, another table got their meal. I saw this lady with the smallest portion of meat. I scoffed at Jared about the small portion size. He looked at me like I was crazy, and then told me my meat was going to smaller than that. WHY, I asked. "Did you not see what you ordered? You ordered the LITE PETITE filet mignon! That's the smallest filet there is!"..."Oh," i replied. "I thought LITE meant it was the least FATTY of all the meats." Jared then informed me that in beef, lite means poundage, not fattage. To that I responded "Oh no, i'm going to be so hungry!" We would so much rather have been at Pancho's Tacos where we can get a wet burrito for $5.25 and leave feeling satisfied physically and financially.

After 20 min, our food arrived. Jared's pork chop was a decent size. My filet mignon? I think it had a 3 inch diameter. SO DINKY! And the side of potatoes? 3 spoonfuls!! I was in misery. Atleast the filet was exceptional. The mac and cheese was crusty and dry. The time came for the dessert menu, to which we declined - third sign of cheap. We asked for our bill. $73.50! Can you believe that?! We were outraged! I can't believe people pay full price for this stuff! Jared whipped out the $50 gift card. We reasoned that Fleming's probably did not get the result they wanted by sending us the voucher. Flemings desired result: for us to spend more money on alcohol or full entree with side. Our desired result: to get 2 meals for free. Jared and I were rolling with laughter when we put that gift card in the black credit card booklet. We have to be the biggest cheap-os in Flemings history. When the waitress came to pick up the check, I had to break it to her. I told her "You're going to find out how cheap we are when you open that book!" She laughed, opened it up, and told us that was fine. It's part of the economic times, she said. Wow, did that make us feel better! She came back with a box of chocolates for Jared's upcoming birthday. We ended on a good note with Flemings. We only paid $20 for both a filet mignon and a pork chop. However, we will not be coming back, no matter how many free cards we receive! Ok, maybe we'll be back if we receive 2 or more free $50 gift cards. 

Like Mother, Like Daughter


Friday, May 7, 2010

In high school I denied any notion that I was like my mother. In fact, I wrote a little book/diary that I entitled “All I need to know about parenting I learned when I was younger.” I wrote down all the good and bad that I saw in my parents, mostly in an effort to convince myself that I was wiser in my teenage years than they were was parents [scoff!]. In college I gained a greater appreciation for my mother, but still kept my distance from the thought that she and I could have similarities. Married life has COMPLETELY ANNIHILATED all previous efforts to disjoint myself from my mother. I now embrace the fact that I am destined to be like her. It’s rather odd the things that I have carried with me from mom:

1. I do not run the disposal with hot water because you told me it damages the rotary.

2. The first big purchase Jared and I made was for a sewing machine, so that I could emulate all the customized pillows and drapes that you so conveniently manufactured growing up.

3. I too have a binder for all my “how to’s” and dream projects.

4. I never iron my clothes after they come out of the wash.

5. I have treasured “THE BIG COOKIE” recipe and make it my trademark wherever I go.

6. I favor white dinner plates and bowls over multi-colored. White is classy.

7. I thought your favorite color was despicable when I was a child – who’s favorite color is black?! I, too, am now a fan of the dark side, mostly because wearing black makes me look skinny.

8. My greatest request on our wedding registry was a Kitchen-aid. Jared thought that was absurd because he never grew up with a mixer and I was requesting the top of the line. I learn from the best!

9. I know what a lemon meringue pie is and how to peak the frosting.

10. I know that I should always sift the flour [even though I don’t] and pack the brown sugar.

11. I use lotion to take off my eye make-up, not make-up remover. Jared thinks that’s crazy.

12. I never buy shaving cream because I was taught that soap does the job just as well.

13. I LOVE BALSALMIC VINEGAR. I used to think you were crazy for having a salad for lunch everyday drenched in the bitter dressing and pouring white vinegar in your water. Now I can’t wait for lunch time so I can sit at my desk and indulge in the tingling vinaigrette and work up a sweat. Why does balsamic vinegar make you sweat, by the way?

14. I love teaching.

15. I love this country.

16. I have a soft spot for Roger and Hammerstein movies. I loved when the movie catalog would come in the mail and you would let us pick a VHS to buy every so often.

17. I always serve dinner on placemats or a tablecloth, with napkins on the table, the knife and spoon on the right and fork on the left.

18. I wash our stainless steel pots and pans with Barkeepers Friend.

19. Our liquid dish soap is kept on the counter in wine bottle.

20. I now know why you savor your Michaels and JoAnn’s 40% coupons.

21. I live for basking in the sun’s rays [although probably still not as much as you]

While there are many more to name, I am glad that in these small ways I am like you. Thank you Mother!

Happy Mothers Day!