Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Eggs!!

When people talk about Adam and I, I always tell them we are 13 year old's just living together. Which, with the exception of the fact that we eternity to each other in the temple, is pretty much about right. We are NOT mature. Or grown-up. We are only a little responsible. But we have- a LOT of fun :)In hopes to keep this youthfulness alive, I make Adam do all sorts of things. He stays up with me until midnight on new years to look at fire works. He eats green pancakes on St. Patrick's day. WE carve Halloween pumpkins and dress up the night of. We decorate a Christmas tree and read Christmas stories.And yes, we dye Easter Eggs. :)I love PAAS. They always have the guaranteed normal egg coloring kit, but over the years they have come out with so many others! Tye-dye, sparkles, speckles, stickered... oh yes. And the funny face kit.It came with sticker faces and funny hats all in one!! Very fun. Too bad these eggs only have a week to be cute and funny before I make them into deviled eggs for Easter dinner.It made for a fun evening anyways though.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Bright Side

I think, even though it is spring, as students sometimes it is hard to find the silver lining in these few months that herald the end of the semester. There is finals, being in class that doesn't let you enjoy the sun, final projects, finishing out work, and that feeling of, crap- where do I go next? Its quite the juxtaposition- spring and the end of a school year.

However, it IS Easter next week, and life right now IS about rejuvenation and such. My old roomie and I, whenever we got in bad, depressing moods, would force each other to write lists of things that made us happy, grateful, or just things we were looking forward too. Anything positive. I was talking to a friend at work today who is having a really rough time and we made lists over text. It was fun so I thought I would include mine here.

Sarah's Monday Morning Happy List :)
1. It is SUNNY outside. I love running when I can feel the sun on my face. So nice.
2. In exactly one month I will be in a place where you can FEEL the water in the air.
3. I shrunk my favorite black sweater so now it fits. AWESOME. Love it when the dryer actually works.
4. I am dieing Easter eggs today, and the PAAS kit I got has funny hats FOR the eggs in it. Love it, and I am SUPER stoked. (Don't worry- pictures to come.)
5. Left over Cafe Rio tonight. Sweet!
6. Having tight abs. (Yes, I can include ANYTHING vain on the happy list without having to feel guilty about it.)
7. I do not have finals. (Sorry to all of those that do.)
8. Anne of Green Gables
9. 90's music. Were talking NSync here people. Yes, I still like them.
10. My sisters. Both of them.
11. My sister-in-laws. All three. (I LOVE having older sisters ps. Almost as much I as love having little ones.)
12. EASTER!! YAY Cadbury!! (dark... duh...)
13. CONFERENCE! I love it because I can watch it in my PJ's and because I LOVE hearing talks from the general authorities. (No offense to all the speakers in my ward. You are great people- but there is just something different about hearing from a prophet.)

14. Making lists. I may be a little obsessed with this habit....

Happy Monday everyone! May your day be sunny and your heart warm with fuzzy thoughts.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lifetime to do list

So, when I was in Young Women's back in high school (youth group) they made us write a list of goals we wanted to accomplish in our lifetime. Because I am strange and a little too nostalgic, I kept mine. And I add to it. It is now four pages long. It's titled "My Dream List." Its basically my personal list of things I want to do before I die- or would like to do.

There are a lot of things I am sure I will never do, but there are also quite a few things that have already happened. The following are the things on my list (and I have written all these things down BEFORE I did them mind you which makes this all the more funny) that I have already done and have gotten to cross off (the date next to it is when it was accomplished):

*get my young woman's medallion (Dec 2003)
*Be an editor for a book, magazine, newspaper (Aug 03- April 04)
*make out in a movie theater (December 2005)
*Travel to England (April-June 2007)
*Kiss the ground outside Shakespeare's house (May 2007)
*Go skinny dipping (May 2007)
*See Phantom of the Opera live (June 2007)
*get married in the temple (November 6, 2007)
*Marry someone like Brian Williams and Mike Roake (those were my best friends and missionaries in high school) November 6, 2007
*Teach a class/ high school or college (February 2008)
*Be a size six (December 2009)
*Run a 5K (March 13, 2010)

Now, here is the list of things that I know I will or I hope to accomplish in 2010:
*6 minute mile (I just have to run it once!)
*Travel to South Carolina
*go on a road trip (hello April!)
*do 40 push-ups in a row
*have a baby (maybe the pregnancy part before the year is out? Maybe?)
*learn to play tennis

And here, just for fun, are some of the other random things I have on my list that I think you might enjoy:
* tour the south
*publish something
*work for Broadway
*name a crayon or work for Crayola
*screen write for a movie
*go sky diving
*go and look through one of those HUGE telescopes at all the stars
*buy a pair of Venetian jeans (which would also allow me to cross out "go to Italy")
*grow my hair out to my butt
*see The Tempest preformed live (no one EVER does this play! Which is strange because it is Shakespeare's greatest)
*Fly in a hot air balloon
*go on a mission
*meet Barbara Streisand
*be in Vogue Magazine
*Get my masters
*Faint (it just seems to romantic you know?)
*watch my children create miracles
*read the entire standard works
*have a library
*shake hands with the Prophet
*stay out LATE LATE LATE dancing
*write in central park

There are LOADS more but I won't bore you with all of them :) The funny thing is- is I am always adding to the list- almost every time I read it. I can see myself, on my deathbed, reading the list, crossing things out, and still adding more. Maybe there would be satisfaction in getting everything done- but I think there is also something nice about always wanting to do more; about having the curiosity to feel like I could never be done or tired of this world.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

One in Mind

They always tell you when you get married that the longer you are married the more you become like your spouse. This hasn't been really difficult for Adam and I because well... we were already really similar when we got married. Not to mention we both are close to the same height with brown curly hair. Awesome.

But when I was thinking about this the other day it made me a little sad because I THINK Adam has made a bigger impact on me than I have on him. Heck, even after just meeting him when we were 18 I changed: I switched from country to Linkin Park and would watch movies like Dumb and Dumber and enjoy them. Amazing.

Since marriage? I watch Anime. I have become much more minimalist; in decorating, grocery shopping, and toilet paper usage. I drive a stick better. I get angry at bad parenting more easily. I hate being late; to anything. I play video games. I have a level 60 World of Warcraft character and YES I actually like the game. That is Not a lie either.

On Saturdays I work from 9-3. So I got up this morning at 8... I am getting ready... 8:30 I am in the kitchen making food and Adam stumbles out of the bedroom, flumps down on the couch and pulls his laptop on his lap. I knew he had a big research presentation today so I worriedly ask him, "Sweetheart did I wake you up?"

He gives me a hand and says, "I can't talk to you right now. I just had the most amazing dream ever and I have to write it down before I forget."

:)

When I left at 8:45 and bent down to give him a kiss good-bye he ignored me until he finished the sentence he was on then told me to "hurry" so he could get back to his story.

Yeah, I think every person I have lived with has experienced me ignoring them, and me choosing a blank sheet of paper over them.

No, I wouldn't call Adam a writer. He has a 4 page paper do for a religion class and when he told me about it he handed his laptop out to me and said, "Have fun." He mortally dreads papers. But... when it is writing something that he enjoys?

Adam might have written on his own before our marriage, but I am going to doubt that he did much waking up earlier than needed just to write something out before he saw me do it at least once a week. I am going to go ahead and give myself props on that one.

And maybe I don't give myself enough credit. Maybe I have impacted Adam more than I think. He goes out to eat more now that we are married, that's for sure. He relaxes more than he used to. He reads classics for fun- and so we can talk about them. He has even turned me onto a few Russian authors I haven't tried. He really wants to see the Sistine chapel... though I think that may be more due to an amazing teacher he had than my own nagging.

Who knows? Maybe someday I will hear Barbara Streisand coming from Adam's car or office voluntarily. Though I am not going to hold my breath on that one :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rex Lee 5K

I ran the Rex Lee run today!! I was suppose to have run my first 5K in November, but the 5K ended up being a walk, and both Adam and I were upset for having driven all the way to Salt Lake for it. So I signed up for the Rex Lee run at BYU DETERMINED to run a good 5K.

I was worried because it was cold and I do NOT run hills but it wen GREAT! Adam was a trooper- got up at 7:30 with me and showered while I shaved. I had oatmeal and then he dropped me off at the outdoor field while he found a parking spot. I got my shirt and my number and then just waited!

Everyone EVERYONE should run in groups of 600 people or more. It is so FUN! There were tones of people running behind me, in front of me... I never felt like I had to run my butt off, but I never felt like I was running badly either. People were screaming on the sidelines for me... not even joking... I almost cried... twice.
It was the BEST run I have ever run. No need to stop and even drink water. I did a solid run and in 30 minutes. Adam met me at the finish line with my water bottle and we took success photos and then went home for a long warm shower. PERFECT way to start a Saturday!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Writers Block

Do you guys ever really want to write about something but have nothing at all to write about? I feel that way a lot of the times. But when I was in high school I had an AMAZING teacher/ mentor (she may not have been the best IN class teacher, but she was just what I needed) who told me that if I really was a writer, that there was no such thing as writers block. I had to write through it.

Hence, if you read my journals maybe about ONCE a month there is some type of journal entry/ poem that rambles on about how I have so many things I am passionate about and want to talk about, yet I can't find the right way to say it, or the right way to say it in or etc, etc. I can pontificate for pages about how I have nothing to write about. I am literally writing about nothing, and not writing.

I guess after months and months of blogging, that it is about time for me to have a blog post where I just tell you about what I am doing this very moment- sitting on my couch in my perfectly softly lit living room, covered up in the red and green fleece blanket my best friend made me for Christmas last year, reclining in my Adidas pants, watching Adam play a game with his friend, all the while still admiring in the back of my mind how luscious his hair looks today and how perfectly straight his Moeck nose is.

I guess its about time for one of those posts where I have nothing to say so I talk about how I can hear the rotations of my dryer in the background, and the already dry laundry is laying strewn about on the love seat because I have no desire to fold it, and because seeing all mine and Adam's shirts lying there is a tangled lump doesn't make me feel guilty or productive and heavens knows I am not going to fold them otherwise.

It's one of those nights where I really have nothing to say to you or even to myself, but after reading everyone else's amazing blog posts I can't NOT write something. Unfortunately nothing novel or witty is coming to me so instead I have posted lengthily about the fact that I have nothing to post about.

We are healthy. We are happy. We are packing. We are laughing. I am sleepy. I am full. I am content with my life, and with myself. I guess a time in life that is not ripe with inspiration... or pictures... but I am not complaining.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ritual

I love all the posts that everyone has been writing about finding joy in the journey of life right now. I too feel like I have gotten so bogged down in the little things in life and working and moving that I have forgotten about many of the wonderful small things in my day. I am so excited to be going somewhere else soon, that I am forgetting that I need to find a little happiness in where I am right now or the getting somewhere else is going to be much less fun.

Maybe because it is FINALLY starting to feel a LITTLE like spring in Utah, and the days on the calendar are starting to show how we are progressing, we get in the spring mood to clean out closets in our homes and in our lives and just make things better.

I have a ritual that goes along with this. Something I go EVERY SINGLE spring or start thereof. Something I have been doing every single spring since I was ten. (Old room-mates are laughing because they remember what this is.)

I read Anne of Green Gables.

Laugh all you want. But no matter how many wonderful books I read and try to write Anne of Green Gables will always, ALWAYS be my number one. It is my bosom book so to say.

Because Anne finds pure joy, pain, wonderment and fantasy in everything. Because she reminds me to come to tears when I see rows of apple trees in bloom. Because she reminds me how much puffed sleeves can do to soothe your soul. How you can learn to love things about yourself that you have always hated- like your hair color. How just by being purely yourself you can touch someone.

Anyways- I too am making an effort to not only be productive, but to notice the outside of myself and how I feel inside when I run. To enjoy the friends I have in Utah while I have them. To appreciate my job, my husband etc. And since everyone has read Anne, and there really is no reason to review it, I just want to say how much I LOVE that book, and how it is my boon right now in helping me enjoy my journey.

Which is why I am going to cut this post miraculously short and I am going to go read said Anne of Green Gables and eat my white chocolate pudding and watch Adam work on his computer and smile at how messed up his hair is right now (its froing out on one side) and he's not even noticing.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Society

Adam and I are not good at having couple friends. We prefer the association of the singletons around us BUT in an effort to be better at that, years ago when we were working for APX I made friends with a couple of girls who had the same issue. Meaning they didn't make friends with other couples. Awesome.

We tried one date night and discovered that out husbands LOVED one another. (Those of you who are couples know what a rare find this is, for the girls and boys to equally enjoy one another.) So we formed The Society. We were even going to make sweatshirts but it didn't work out.

What we do? Make all sorts of really cool plans, get together with all the effects for the plans, (food, music, costumes etc) and then we sit around and talk all night never once following through with the plans because we just have too darn much to say to one another :)

Last week Alison and Jared were wonderful enough to host what will probably be the last society gathering before Adam and I move, so I commemorated the event with some awesome pictures. (Though don't judge- it was late so I really don't look all that awesome.)


This is Megan and Kevin and their little boy Kale


Alison and Jared. (Their little girl Madison had already gone to bed.)


Adam and I


All the girls!

All the boys

Huzzah to The Society!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Nick Names

I have always loved nick-names, which is sad really because my name does NOT lend to one. My dad calls me Sar-bear which... lets face it... is not cute after the age of.... maybe six. My mom calls me Sarah Beth. Much more feesable since my middle name is Elizabeth. But she usually just uses it when she is a, mad. B, irritated. Or c, wants something.
Funny story about me here- between the sixth and seventh grade I switched middle schools. Since I was so sad about not having a nick-nameable name, when my teachers called my name, "Sarah Ray?" I would tell them, "That's me. But I actually go by my middle name? Elizabeth."
The first few months of seventh grade were AWESOME. Liz, Beth, Lizzy, Bethany etc, on and on it went. Until... yes. Parent teacher conferences. My mom went to my choir class where the teacher said, "We are so glad to have Liz!" My mom stared at her and said, "I think you have the wrong child..."
The cat was out of the bag. Once my mom told my teachers that no I did NOT go by Lizzy, all of them started calling me Sarah. And once my teachers did, so did all of my friends. (Though there was one girl who still, even during my senior year of high school, would pass by me in the hall and say, "Hey Liz!")
Because of this, whenever I played pretend I ALWAYS had a name that offered a nick name. Alexandra, Josephine, Nicole etc. I also latched on fiercely to any nick-name that people would give me.
When I was in fourth grade, my best friend and I were OBSESSED with the Kirsten and Marta story from American Girls. So she would ALWAYS call me Kirsten and I would call her Marta.
My email address actually comes from a nickname. One of my friends in High School for the first two months he knew me could NOT remember my name. He used to sing the Sarah song every time he saw me in the halls but when that got WAY too embarrassing I made him come up with something else. So he comes up to me one day and says, "I got it. My FAVORITE food is Sara Lee cheesecake because it is so sweet. And you are just as sweet, so when I think of you I will think of cheesecake and Bam! Sara lee." Yes, he still calls me Sarah Lee. To this day. When he sent me his wedding invite it was addressed to Sarah Lee.
My older brother had a couple horrible names for me. Frizzy poof and fuzzy because my hair is well... huge. And he called me fatso for a while when I got really heavy in high school, but my mom put her foot on that one. So he landed on Sasquatch- big and hairy. Perfect. Yes, he does still call me that.
Others? Mother, mother bear, beautiful (in more than one language), star (again in more than one language), Tina Faye (an author alter-ego I was messing with for a while. Ironic I know, because I didn't know Tina Faye existed at the time), Sarahray (that is the most popular- and you have to say it like that, all one word. I get called that the most, even today, but don't say it in front of Adam. He prefers Moeck.) The fashionista (thank you England and beautiful jeans) and um... lady leather (that is too long of a story), and my new favorite "Skinny girl." (Success!)
However, all of this was really meant to just tell how I LOVE pet names. Getting them and giving them. Almost all of my favorite people have nicknames that I call them. (That does NOT mean you are not a favorite if you do not have one. It just means that I have yet to think of one yet.) Many people have multiple nick names from me. Lets just take my friend Jairus because I think he has the most... Jay, Jay-bird, Jair, Jari-bear... and one along the lines of Lady Leather that I will... refrain from putting here. Oh, and Edward. (Yes from Twilight.)
I even love the cliche names. Honey, baby, sweetheart (though that can't come from anyone creepy looking) my love, sexy, you crazy girl etc.
Adam and I have a VAST array of corny nicknames that we call each other. I like it when Adam calls me "sarahsarah". Again, all one word, and you have to say it very fast. Everything I call Adam is a combination of his mood, and then bear, baby, or boy. "Sleepy boy" "Hungry bear" "tired baby" etc. Its enough to make you want to ralf I know. But I LOVE IT.
So yes, I admit. I LOVE being your sarahray, Adam's baby, my old grandma customers sweetheart, Becky's Bosom friend, my dads pumpkin, my brothers Sasquatch, the writer, that loud chick, my high school's "Mormon girl", and everyone's mama Ray. (Or Moeck now.)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Good Spiral

Adam and I were discussing this the other night, and I was thinking about it again when I was running the other day. You know how sometimes when one bad thing happens, it turns into an AWFUL spiral that you can't seem to get out of? One bad thing affects another making it worse, which makes something else worse, and down and down... until... well. You have all been there. One in the morning? On your couch? Watching terrible TV, eating a bucket of ice cream, and just crying.
GREAT NEWS. I have discovered that this spiral works in the OPPOSITE way as well. Sometimes one good thing affects another, which affects another, and before you know it... your glowing like you are/ will be/ were on your wedding day.
For me- it's called weight loss learning to live a healthy life. In May of 2009 I made the decision that I needed to drop... oh 50 pounds. So, I started out VERY small. I was just going to eat a little bit better- some reduced fat butter, whole grain bread, and exercise a little. Love the bike at the gym.
What I discovered was that exercise made me EXHAUSTED. So I started to sleep like the dead. BUT- when I woke-up I was refreshed as grass after morning dew. This was easy! After a night of sleep like that I could DO anything. So the workouts, naturally, became longer. Which meant I continued to sleep like the dead, continued to feel great, started to loose weight etc.
Same thing happened with eating healthy. I discovered I LIKED whole wheat bread. And it made me feel fuller, longer. So I stopped feeling like I NEEDED to eat as much. Which not only led to weight loss, but led me to disconnect myself emotionally from food. (HUGE step for me.) And, it gave me more energy, which meant more intense work-outs.
And when I woke-up, exercised, showered, ate yogurt- I suddenly had all sorts of energy to face my day. I got more done at home, at work, at school, in church. Feeling productive made me happier. I was nicer, I made lots of friends, I went out more during the week....
Up, and Up, and Up until while I was running the other day and I realized I ran six miles in little over an hour, I almost cried when I walked to my car because I was so HAPPY that I was healthy.
See what I mean? AWESOME upward spiral?
The best compliment I have ever received since I have started loosing weight was from my best friend Jordan. She told me, "You always had so much confidence in yourself... but now you are just EXUDING joy, and happiness, and this essence that is you!" She didn't say anything about how I looked, but said EVERYTHING about my spirit and my personality.
Yes, I am a size 6 person, an almost 140 pound person. (3 more to go!) I am this person that is fit, healthy, is confident that she can do anything and will have forever to do it in. I am happier than I have ever been in my life and it is NOT because I can walk down the street and feel like I LOOK good. It is because I walk down the street and I FEEL good. Physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually....
Who knew whole wheat and kickboxing could do that for me?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Characterization

People ask authors all the time (yes, right now I am calling myself an author for the benefit of the post- just bare with me) where they get their ideas from. And I agree with them that there is no magical land we go to to get them.

HOWEVER.

For me at least there are 3 places I can visit to get more ideas/ better ideas/ general fun inspiration:
1. my dreams. Yeah- very Stephanie Meyer of me I know. But my best dreams make the best stories. It just works out that way.
2. The bathroom. I have NO idea why. Maybe because I feel that everything that takes place in the bathroom is boring and so I have to... spice it up with my own imagination. (Yes, this means I talk to myself on the toilet. Don't worry- not aloud.)
3. Running. Mostly because to be able to run long and well I have to have something to distract me. Music works to keep me going but after a while my mind starts to wander. So I write my books in my head. (And Blog posts- like this one :)

This all leads into the fact that yesterday before work I went to the Smithfieldhouse for a warm run, and I have a new book that I am working on (from a dream I had over the weekend). So, one mile in I start to put myself in my characters shoes, become her, wonder how she would act and what she would think if she were the one running.

Its a trick I learned in high school- to make good characters you imagine them in all of the situations you are in to get to know them better. AKA: become the character. Live vicariously through them. (This is how I was able to give up my imaginary friends in high school. Now I just take an hour to BE someone else in my head. Works magic. And yes I had imaginary friends all the way through high school. Stop laughing at me.)

The new heroine I am writing though, is much different than my usual character. I have written shy, spoiled, immature girls but not... well, lets just say that with this new heroine I am trying to invoke Kathy from Wuthering Heights and a little Scarlett O'Hara. Basically this girl is a *#@!%.

Three miles into the run I realize I am running like a snob- back straight, head straight, nose slightly in the air. And, in the effort to be more like Wren (the character) I am judging every single person that passes by me. Including the ROTC guys. What they are wearing, how they are running, what they are saying to their friends.

Even though I realize this- I keep going because well, a perfect new scene is evolving in my mind and I am not one to stop inspiration. It's gotta happen. So I spend the last two miles being the most judgmental, mean, horrible person inside of my head. I can feel a little bit less guilty about it now because it was for art. And I didn't say any of it out loud.

Basically looking back on it now, and after this fantastic scene has been written, I find the entire situation hilarious.

Moral of the story: if you ever happen to run with me, just ask me politely before you do to not invoke any of my characters. Don't worry- I wont be offended- I will probably laugh.