Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The longest week of my life

I better start this with a disclaimer that I'm feeling extremely homesick and emotional right so I'm going to try to keep this brief so anyone reading this won't worry too much.
Last Wednesday some of the best girlfriend in the world showed up to pack up my kitchen. I kept biting my lip and trying to smile instead of cry because I knew I would miss each of them so much. They were incredibly fast and before I knew it, the job was done and we were snacking and reading notes from each of them that did push me to tears. It seems so unfair that I had to leave them all. Leave the place I did so much growing. Leave the place I will always call home. I didn't think to take any pictures, but Elle and Cat spent all Thursday helping us pack up and that night even more friends from the ward showed up to help us pack up the van. We had a 26' rental truck and we filled every inch of it. I don't know what we would have done without so much help. Jason & Liz and Kirk & Eva stuck around to help us pack up the left over odds and ends while my friend Greta, who truly is a saint, cleaned most of the house.

We spent Thursday night at the Erneys' but had to head back in the morning to meet the person picking up our washer and dryer and clean the kitchen floor. It took us all morning, and while I'd like to blame it on the fact that we were exhausted, but it was really because we didn't want to leave.

It makes my stomach tighten to see my home so empty and know that it belongs to someone else now.

Luckily, we had the Erneys and Hudsons to distract us for the rest of the day. I miss them so much I almost called them crying tonight when I know they would have already been in bed, but Cat lost her father this week so that would have been really selfish. Instead I'm sitting here blogging when I should be unpacking, which I guess is also a little selfish, but I needed a break.

Saturday, Larry headed out on his 32 hour drive (counting pit stops)
I felt so stressed for him because he also had a car trailer behind what is already that biggest truck that you can drive without a commercial license. He was all on his own, but he made it safely!
In the meantime, I flew Sunday afternoon with Creed. The flight did not go well, but I'd still choose it over a 30 hour drive with a one-year-old. Monday, we checked out the house we planned to rent (and got rear-ended while waiting at a red light). We signed the contract so Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. we met up with some nice fellows in our new ward and unloaded our moving van. We weren't even up for making beds after that so we spent one more night with family.
Today we were thrilled to safely return that gianormous truck this afternoon and spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking the kitchen, making beds, and grocery shopping. We were so tired that we spent a small fortune at the store and only have food for one complete meal of hot dogs and grapes. Nice! Oh well, Creed will be happy and we'll make it to the store sooner or later.

The home that we're renting is cute but tiny, so we haven't figured out where to put anything. I know we'll be getting rid of a lot of furniture including our enormous entertainment center and we need to make a serious trip to Ikea since Larry and I will be sharing a closet that's about two and a half feet wide.
I know I've said it here before, but I really don't handle change well, but I haven't cried that much until today. I guess reality has set in that this is not a vacation, and I don't get to go home soon. I don't get to drop by to see Eva printing on her letterpress. I don't get to go to the children's literature book club this Tuesday. I don't get to watch Cat work her cooking magic. I don't get to grin while watching Creed play with Audrey. I don't get to watch football games at the Rice's where Tony will explain all of the stuff that I don't get. I need to take the Restaurant Widow's blog off of my Google Reader because it is somehow making me even more homesick by reminding me that I won't be going to Comfest this weekend or the latest play opening at Shakespeare in the park.
I'm not saying all of this to imply that Salt Lake City isn't great, I'm sure it is. It just doesn't feel like home and truthfully I don't know much about the city yet.
See, I hate how incredibly sad and lost I feel right now, and the worst part was I knew that this is exactly how I would be, even though I have moved a million times, I feel this way every time and I couldn't do anything to prevent it. If anything it's worse because I lived in Columbus longer than I've ever lived anywhere else and I consider myself a C-Bus girl through and through. I can stay busy during the day, but as night rolls in, I totally lose it. I'm not exaggerating. An older lady walking by my house this evening stopped to wave to Creed and asked me where we're from, and I burst into tears even though I knew it was ridiculous to be crying as I told her that we're from Columbus. And oddly, a part of me really wanted that total stranger to lean over and hug me and tell me that it would be ok, but she didn't. I think she was as embarrassed as I was.
I really wish that we were going to the new ward this Sunday because I am in serious need of friends and things to do, but it's my little brother's homecoming so I'm going to hear him speak about his mission in my parent's ward.
I know it will get better. I know I will find my way around. I know I will make new friends. I know in six months, I'll shake my head that I ever could have been so sad here, but right now that just looks so very far away.
There's no place like home.
There's no place like home . . .

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sycamore Street Press

So I consider myself seriously lucky because I happen to be friends with Kirk and Eva. I'm really going to miss our weekly dinner and movie nights. I mean, who else would always come over here so we could put Creed to bed and watch the back to the Future Trilogy or Troop Beverly Hills? When I met Eva, I knew I HAD to be friends with her, but I was secretly afraid that I was just not cool enough (she is the opposite of snobby, but she loves Japanese candy and goes to modern exhibits at the Wexner Center that I don't get and records music with Kirk and has a unique style about her. Much cooler than me, you know what I mean?) I'd only talked to her once when I invited to her witches brew party, and not only did she come, but she showed up in a beret with an owl on top and our friendship was sealed.
Well, it just so happens that Eva has a masters degree in print making (pretty much the coolest degree that I have ever heard of, and I am green with envy) and she's an amazing artist. I would kills to have her drawing skills. On their move to Ohio so Kirk could get his PHD in Russian, they picked up a vintage Vandercook Press which they set up in their dining room, and so began Eva's shop, Sycamore Street Press.
I've loved and admired her work and helped her with a few minor details here and there and in return, Eva offered to print something for me. I wavered for a while, and finally decided to do a simple alphabet print for Creed's room. After talking to Eva about it, we thought as long as we were paying all the set up fees to have the plates made (the plates for a letterpress are expensive and we had to have two plates because I wanted the print to be two colors), we might as well print several and try selling them. Thanks to Eva's suggestion, I designed them to be 11" x 14" so they can fit in standard frames. They rolled off the press two weeks ago (literally rolled, Eva has to hand-crank every single one), and I'm so very happy with how they turned out!Eva printed them twice, in gray + orange and turquoise + crimson and she took them to the craft fairs she has been in this month and people are actually buying them! It's so cool to make something that other people appreciate too.In the midst of that project, I got this idea for something else I wanted to try. I loved some wallpaper I saw a while back that was covered in sketched picture frames and then you just stick your own artwork on top or even color it in and your own artwork is displayed all over in a fun way. We'll be renting our next home so that option is out for me. Then while I was reading The Princess and the Pea by Lauren Child, the text on the opening page was surrounded by a beautiful hand drawn frame, and I LOVED it. I thought about trying to draw something similar on a plain white picture frame mat, but oh yea, I can't draw without a computer so that wouldn't work. I don't know how to actually print on a mat so that wasn't an option either. Then it occurred to me, wouldn't it be even cooler if it was a letterpress printed frame silhouette on a mat? Eva could print them on big sheets of thick, white, cotton paper and then people could cut them down to fit into any frame that they wanted and just put their own photo on top of the mat.

Eva loved the idea, but she was busy getting ready for several crafts fairs and didn't have time to hand draw frames so she told me if I could design it, she would try to squeeze in printing them. Somehow, we got them all done and Eva even printed them in two different colors. Here they are. They are printed on 12.5" by 20" paper and are designed to frame your favorite 4" x 6" photos or perhaps some of Eva's beautiful cards. I designed them in a baroque style full of lots of flourishes so you would be able to see the letterpress indent. There are three different designs meant to go together or stand alone and you can mix and match them in turquoise or crimson. After the move I plan to use three of them to frame my favorite black and white photos from Candice. I think mats like that could make even the not so good photos I take look like art. There's talk of creating another set in a different style if these sell well, but for now I'm just enjoying how these have turned out.

I highly recommend checking out Eva's Etsy site to see her other marvelous products. Like these Gentleman Caller birthday cards that always make me smile (see, Eva really can draw!).
And witty cards like these designed by Be a Decent Human Being.
Can you believe that all of these paper goodies are created in Eva's dining room?
After the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn this weekend she's been getting noticed on some big time design blogs like Design*Sponge , and I couldn't be happier for her. She's worked really hard and loves what she does.

Snuggling and Smuggling

Nikki, David, and Audrey came over last night to help us entertain Creed and pack. Creed was remarkably crabby after his shots yesterday, but Audrey cheered him up. He smothered her with hugs and kisses. Then he tried sneaking her into one of our boxes.
We had to break the news to them that Audrey cannot come with us. I think it broke their hearts!


As you know I've been feeling a bit blue so last week (when I should have been packing) Creed and I found a little time to go delivering. Basically, when I find a good bargain on something fun I stock up on it and save it for a day when I need to be cheered up and then I go delivering. I just pick random friends and drive around dropping things off. Even if you don't have something stashed away to deliver, you can just stop and pick something up, some bright peonies or gerber daisies or whatever is in season, pints of ice cream on a hot day, your favorite doughnuts, anything!

Maybe I'm weird, but sometimes I feel like I need a reason to stop to visit friends and this is always the perfect excuse (which makes me realize how solitary I am in my day to day life; I do almost everything by myself, why don't I call and invite friends when I'm taking Creed to the park or heading out to look at a cute shop? I need to be better about that after the move).

Anyway, if you're bored this week, you should give it a try!

Ode to the Library

One of my friends just told me that she doesn't have a library card and I honestly thought she was joking. Here in Columbus, we have the most amazing library system in the country (literally, it is ranked number 1). I always have a zillion books from the library around the house. I was gathering them to return them and came up with the stack you see above and that's not including four I'm not quite ready to return along with some board books for Creed (I had a lot of the chapter books around because I meant to review them for the child lit book club blog, but didn't quite get there . . . )

I haven't rented a movie in years because we can always check them out from the library for free. You have to reserve new titles and sometimes there's a long waiting list, but hello, it's free! And the best part is that they have old movies that they don't keep in stock anymore at places like Blockbuster (like one summer, my little sister and I tried to watch all of Doris Day's movies and I don't think you could have found any of them at Blockbuster). Last week we watched King of Kong: A fistful of Quarters (awesome documentary about trying to set the world record in Donkey Kong). This week I have Lars and the Real Girl, which I hope that we can find time to watch, but I kind of doubt it.

I have a ridiculous amount of books and a lot of movies too, but I don't know what I would do without the library.

We lived in Washington DC for the summer and the thing I remember most was the library by our apartment. We used to be so excited to go check out Fairytale Theater Classic videos and to get stickers for the summer reading program. I can't wait until Creed's old enough to really be excited about summer reading programs!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Every time that I talk to my parents, they ask me what I've been up to, and if I say, "Nothing," they say, "Oh, come on, you guys are always up to something fun." And usually they are right. I think that I actually get the drive to explore our city from my parents. I moved a lot growing up, which I didn't love at the time, but I appreciate now. With each move, we had some many new places to explore and my parents always jumped right in and took advantage. They didn't let the fact that they had four little kids stop them from doing some pretty awesome things. We saw Dorothy's rubber slippers in the Smithsonian when we were living in DC, we visited the Grand Ole Opry while we were living in Tennessee, we camped in Goblin Valley while we were living in Utah, we swam at Sacred Falls while we were living in Hawaii. Oh I'm sure there was complaining and moaning, and I know there was usually a very tight budget, but my parents didn't lose their adventurous spirits.

Later, when I wanted to be an exchange student in Japan, they didn't hesitate to let their 16 year old go. And when I decided to study abroad in London, they encouraged me and when my mom saw that my account was getting low, she asked me if I needed her to deposit more money in my account because she didn't want me to miss out on anything. She even encouraged me to tour Europe afterwards, but I was in too much of a hurry to get home to Larry after four months away.

Now when I move, I try to follow their examples and dive right in to local life. It's funny how my friends who've grown up in Columbus often tell me that I've seen way more of the city than they have, and I think it's because I'm used to the idea that my time where ever I live is limited. Most of my life it seems, there's always been another move scheduled so I just tried to use the time I had to its fullest.

Even though I've had seven years in Columbus(by far the longest I have ever lived anywhere), I still have a list of things I'd like to do here. The past year, we've been doing our best to check things off of the list, but it just keeps growing because we keep adding new things. This week we checked off eating at the Banana Bean Cafe, eating at El Arepazo, visiting the zoo one last time.
Can you tell that Creed's shorts are on backwards? We didn't realize until halfway through the zoo.
I guess that's what happens when Dad gets you dressed fast!
We saw Sabrina at the Ohio theater because I HAD to pack in one last movie from the CAPA summer move series (thanks Nikki and David for a great double date)but I've come to accept that there are many things on the list, that we just will not get to. Instead the list has been shoved aside to try to squeeze in as much time with our family and friends here as possible. We celebrated Donny's birthday a bit late, and loved having him stay with us briefly. We saw the new Indiana Jones movie with Kirk and Eva. We've been having regular movie nights with Kirk and Eva where we take turns cooking and then put Creed to bed and watch a movie and we made if through all the Indiana Jones and Back to the Future movies with them so we had to see the new Indy movie with them, even if it wasn't the best. Lucky for us, and not so lucky for Kirk and Eva, their basement flooded in a freak storm this week and there power was knocked out so we got to have a big sleepover here.
We celebrated Father's Day early with the Erneys and Hudsons. I don't even want to think about how much we will miss them.
I guess having so much notice that we would be moving this summer was good in away because it helped us use our time wisely so we wouldn't be full of regrets of things we never had a chance to do and people we wish we'd spent more time with.
So is there anything that you've been interested in doing, but never seem to get around to it? Make a plan TODAY! You won't regret it!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Columbus Corners - El Arepazo

One week before I move away from Columbus, I've discovered a new favorite restaurant, El Arepazo, a Venezuelan restaurant in Pearl Alley downtown. They only serve lunch and it's very busy so I would avoid the noon hour if at all possible, but they serve the most delicious, fresh Venezuelan food (which I have never had before, but will now seek out).
I forgot to take a photo of the outside so this one if from the Restaurant Widow.
Donny and I got fish burritos (the special today)

And Larry got the talapiaBut I'm dying to go back to try the arepa, which they are known for (kind of a mix between a taco and sandwich, the outside is made with a cornmeal cake). Everything comes with a side of cilantro hot sauce and it's so good they have signs telling people they have to pay extra if they want more than two cups of the cilantro sauce.

You might want to try to visit on a Tuesday or Friday during the Pearl Alley Market with some local farmers, bakers, and crafters.

Who needs a dog?

The other day I stepped away from Creed as he was feeding himself some split pea soup that Larry gave him. Looks like he did pretty well, right? Ummmm, not so much. He drank the liquid and put the peas in his lap. Nice!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Columbus Arts Festival

After a day of hanging out around the house and packing a few boxes, we decided to pick up the Erneys and head to the Columbus Arts Festival. I think the Columbus Art Festival chooses booths based on how much money they charge for things, not neccessarily the quality of their art, because there's never much that appeals to me and it's always so expensive. Why don't they gather local Etsy sellers like Eva's Sycamore Street Press and all of the CCAD students who go to school righ tthere to be a part of the festival? (Actually, on a side-note, I've heard that's just what they did for the North Market's Artisan Sundays, and there is an awesome selection of local arts and crafts, but alas, I'll never know because that only takes place on the first Sunday of each month this summer, and I don't shop in Sundays)

So why would I go the the Columbus Art Festival, knowing that I wouldn't buy anything? Well, for one thing, it's always fun to look and people watch. Two, it was a good chance to hang out with the Erneys. Three, because of construction on the riverfront, the festival was moved to the discovery district, which is on the east side of downtown and includes CCAD and the Columbus Museum of Art and my old office downtown. It was fun to be back in the neighborhood.

Sorry no pictures of the art because I felt like that would be rude, but here's a picture of Larry and Creed under the Art Sculpture. And the view of two of my old offices (ok, that's boring to everyone but me).
The most exciting part of the evening for Creed was . . . the bike racks! He thought they were awesome. Who needs art of good food when you can climb on a bike rack?

Friday, June 06, 2008

A glimpse into the life of Creed

Creed is majorly obsessed with one things these days; cars! He loves to watch them, on our walks he stops to pat all the cars in driveways, and he get especially excited when he's riding in the car and he sees a big truck.

This is a horrible photo, but lately we see a lot of this. Everytime we go outside, he goes straight to our cars and pats them until we open them up and let him in to pretend drive. He will sit there for hours. He never gets tired of it on his own, we always have to pull him away. Even with the car off he likes to test out every button and switch. Last night when I got in my car, the windshield wipers were on, my clock was an hour off, the radio staiton had been changed and the lights on the dashboard had been switched off, which I didn't even know you could do and I had to scramble all over looking for the switch behind the steering wheel to turn them back on.

Too bad he doesn't enjoy riding in the car as much as he likes to pretend to drive it.

Hip, hip, hooray!

Larry graduated on Saturday!!!!! Well, sort of, he still has a few more weeks of his residency left, but the graduation dinner was Saturday night.

We didn't remember to take a photo until we were bedraggled at the end of the night after wrestling with Creed several hours at a country club, but I had to include the photo to document how proud I am of Larry.

He has worked so hard through all four years of medical school and three years of residency. I know it's been exhausting, but he patients love him and he has become a wonderful doctor. Seven years down, two more to go!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I don't deal well with big changes in my life so I'm really nervous about our move to Utah. We're coming to the end of our seven years in Ohio, and I'm in complete denial. We haven't even figured out how we are going to move (we have the moving van reserved, but how do it get the van and two cars to Utah when you have a one year old that loses it after an hour in the car?) We only have two and a half weeks left and we haven't started packing. I should be slaving away, but instead my mind is on some of my favorite things about Columbus summers; it's strawberry picking season, Shakespeare is being performed again in Schiller Park, old movies are playing again at the gorgeous Ohio theater as part of the CAPA summer movie series, Rita's Italian Ice is open again, lightening bugs should appear soon. There are so many things that I would rather be doing than packing!

So instead of moping tonight, here's the beginning of a list of things that I'm looking forward to in Utah.
Café Rio
Startup suckers and lolliflops
Moonlit tram ride at Sundance
Outdoor movies at Sundance
Day trip to the Golden Spike and Spiral Jetty
Jay Dawgs
Checking out places highlighted by Your Heart Out
Reuniting old members of the Children’s Literature Book club
My dad’s cooking
Crafting guidance from my mom
Awesome fabric stores
Being near a Costco
The BYU bookstore
Attending the Beehive bizarre
And Oh Sweet Sadie
Pulled turkey sandwiches from Kneaders
Awesome milkshake and smoothie shops all over the place
Being able to tell what direction you’re going by looking up at the mountains
Cool nights that require jackets in the middle of the summer
Watching the Provo Fourth or July Parade with my family
Buying a new computer
Buying creed a kiddie pool

And a few things that I will not miss about Ohio.
Our crazy loud fridge and dishwasher
Funky humidity hair
Quarry blasts that shake my house
People saying something, “needs done,” instead of needs TO BE done
Tornado watches

Let's not go into the things that I will miss about Ohio right now, because the list would be too long. So what do you love about Utah?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I think someone has a new hero

First, Creed started wanting to wear glasses all the time.
Then he learned to say "David" (So the only names that he knows are Mom, Dad, and David)
Then if it wasn't clear enough, he decided to try out a goatee And is that I little "chest hair" I spy in an attempt to make him look older?I think Creed really likes Audrey's dad, David (Or maybe he knows Audrey loves David so much and figures that's the key to her heart?)

Veggie burgers

If I had to pick just one meal to eat over and over again for he rest of my life, it might very well be the veggie burger from Northstar. I've never thought of myself as a veggie burger girl (actually I didn't eat red meat either until I was pregnant with Creed), but on my first trip to Northstar i decided to branch out at try to Northstar burger. I figured if the restaurant put their name on it, they must be proud of it. Oh, was I pleasantly surprised. It's healthy and delicious.
Photo via jslander
Well, you know that I'm a cooking novice so it didn't even occur to me to try to make my own veggie burger at home until Cat made some this weekend and shared her recipe with me. Monday night, Larry had corn on the cob and watermelon for dinner, but our fridge was empty so I decided to try to cook veggie burgers on my own.

Start with a can of kidney beans (Cat says that black beans would work too). Drain it and rinse. Put it in a bowl with 1/4 cup of oatmeal, one egg, and seasoning salt to taste (I had no idea what that meant so I just put in 1 tsp and Larry added a dash more and that seemed to work well). Mash it all up with a potato-masher until it sticks together. I know it's not exactly lovely, but don't be worried. Let it sit for ten minutes or so to let the flavors meld.
Then form them into patties and put them directly into a skillet with a little olive oil in it and cook. They'll be sticky and kind of hard to form into patties, but it will work and they won't stick. We made four burgers using one can of kidney beans. Just as they finished cooking, we put a slice of provolone cheese over them, but I'm sure any cheese that you like would work as well.
Then just dress them up like a regular burger, the more you add the better it will be. I loved pickles on it and Larry says you have to have onions. We didn't even have hamburger buns so we put them on whole wheat bread and I didn't take a picture of the final product.
The end result? We both thought they were really good! The best part is that it's so easy and quick to make, but they are good for you and it's a good recipe to fall back on when you don't have any food in the house because it's easy to scrounge up a can of beans and an egg. I thought it was worth sharing since I'm always looking for good, simple dinners.
Thank you so much for the recipe Cat! I wish I had her ability for improv cooking. I don't know how she does it.

Monday, June 02, 2008

My mom's got mad party throwing skills

My mom works for a home health care company, and while parts of her job are not so fun, another part of her job is putting together events for doctor's offices to the their name out there and thank them for referrals. She puts together some really fun things like private concerts up at Sundance and golf tournaments, and my favorite, private showings to big movies on opening night. I can't wait until we live in Utah and we can come to some of them.

Last week they had a premier for the new Indiana Jones movie and she brought along some costumes and props and had my dad take pictures for anyone who wanted them. Here's my mom with my Uncle Matt (my mom isn't short, my Uncle Matt is 6' 8") And here's Matt's family with an Idol my mom painted gold a bejeweled for pictures.
Don't you wish that you could have been there?