Friday, December 18, 2009

The Strangeness of Beauty

I'm reading The Strangeness of Beauty by Lydia Minatoya. It is a Japanese-American literary novel. I am loving the international-type literature lately. It always has the most interesting stories and cultural facts, I think. This book has a scene where the Japanese are leaving for America on a boat. They have a long roll of paper that they throw down to their parents, holding onto the end so that the paper unrolls between them... until it runs out. She described it so much better than me, but it was such a beautiful image! And there are so many other beautiful Japanese traditions and cultural things that make it so interesting to me. It doesn't really have an obvious plot--it just kind of flows along. But I really like that it isn't throwing some major conflict/resolution stuff at me. It is just how life is. She is describing a life. I really like that. I think there is a lot of wisdom in this book too. For example, "I have noticed that when people tell their own stories, often it has less to do with wanting to communicate an idea to another than with clarifying an emotion for themselves." Isn't she right? Anyway, I would recommend this book, obviously. Yay for being done with finals!!! yay for fun reading!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Tradition

We have a tree!It has presents around it now though.

Raimo and I did one of our Christmas traditions last night--went ice skating at the Gallivan Center. The funny thing is, Raimo was the only one who skated. And he only got to circle the rink about 4 or 5 times. He looked great though, see?
video

video
We went to Hire's before, also part of the tradition. I got a rueben. OMG so good. Anyway, it took a long time to get our food. And we didn't realize the rink closes at 9 pm mid-week and we got there at 8:55. So... I was okay with that. Luckily Raimo has his own skates so I told him to pop em on for a few minutes. It still counts as following the tradition.

Then we went and looked at lights around Temple Square. They were beautiful. There were also a lot of blue lights on the trees in Salt Lake that were cool. I think lights on trees are my favorite, especially red ones.
Also here's an update from last weekend:

video

video

He likes to dance for me.
I told Raimo to keep watching the road and I would take a picture. But he decided to look at the camera, and I am watching the road. That doesn't make any sense.

Trip to Vegas with our friends Ryan and Ana Maria. Fun weekend
My new car

Monday, December 7, 2009

paper cutter

Some day I want a paper cutter. You know, when I have a craft room some day. I used one today and it was like a vision. I even cut cardboard on it. Wow! How much time have I wasted trying to cut in straight lines for projects or for scrapbooks when I could have a nifty thing to do it for me! I'm sure my professor will be impressed with all those clean lines.

Since I came home from Thanksgiving, some switch has been turned on in my brain and I have been going full-steam in my school work (complete shift from THIS post). Actually, I think there was no other option really, it being the end of the semester and all. We now have three more days of class left and then a week of finals. Crunch time. I had forgotten how good it feels to get so much done in one day. Don't get me wrong--I'm totally ready to return to my lazy senioritis state as soon as I knock out that last final!

Brag time. Raimo has made so many sales. He really has! His team makes all these goals each month, and he always meets and exceeds them. His group made a team goal that they would sell a certain amount between August and November, and if they did they'd all get new flatscreens. When the rest of the team didn't appear to be as motivated, Raimo made a bet with his boss that he could make 50 % of the group's goal all by himself! He has until the end of next week, and he is really really close to that goal! At this point, I care less about the TV, though it would be nice. I'm just amazed at how it has pushed him and how motivated he has been. I have seen a new side of my husband--a real determined side. Let's see what else it has won him this semester:With which he bought...
Wow. Tonight he is out door-to-door in the snow, bless his heart. I hate snow. Without fail, it always ends up looking like this:

It is just a pain! Especially walking everywhere. I always feel bad for all the shovelers all over campus. There is one nice thing about snow--it has this romantic thing that it does. It makes everything quiet. And I'm not talking about how quietly snow falls, although that is really amazing too. I like how it just muffles all the noise a little bit when it is still light and on the ground. It makes everything a little quieter and gives everything a little glow. I like how that feels.

BUT that doesn't make up for much!

I digress. Raimo is selling in it. See? He is so devoted. We got to spend the afternoon together in our now decorated apartment. It was fun--we just snuggled. He was just being so cute. Our Christmas lights inside make it seem so much more cheery.

Really, I don't need a paper cutter. I am so happy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

pictures

Who is this man in my house?


Sad that my house is messy



Painted pumpkins this year







Dad and his bunny




Raimo drove the whole way to Vegas with his eyes closed!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To Dad

Today is my Dad's birthday. There are certain qualities that come to mind when I think of my dad:
- Number one is hardworking. I have never seen my dad spend a day being lazy. He is always doing something, whether it's working around the house or the yard, helping my mom, running errands, taking care of finances, taking care of the business, driving back and forth to Pasadena day in the wee hours of morning, saving people's lives, doing his church callings, and doing things with the family. That about sums up my dad's daily life! He never thinks about himself--he is a real hero because of it. He has a very realistic outlook on life and has taught me the value of work and righteous living by his example.

- My dad takes great care of our family and of my mom in particular. He knows what she needs to be happy and he does his best to follow through with those things. I am glad he is that kind of spouse. I looked for and found that quality in my own husband and I feel loved every single day. More than that, it feels good to know my dad loves my mom more than anything. There is nothing more reassuring than to know that your parents love each other so much and love you too.

- Another role my dad has played in my life is peacemaker and a teacher. There have been many times when I have been stubborn (me?) or really angry about something, and my dad talked to me in private about it and tried to help me see to reason. He helped me learn to say I'm sorry and to forgive, something that really didn't come easy to me when I felt that I was not in the wrong. He taught me that being right is not the most important thing in some cases. My dad is a great example of forgiveness--he does it all the time maybe without even knowing it. He can get frustrated like anyone, but I have seen him demonstrate amazing patience and forgiveness. Most importantly, my dad always reassured me that I was doing okay and told me he loved me. He probably had no idea how much that meant to me whenever I was having a hard time.

- My dad has also been an example of prudence and management. My dad is not in any way materialistic--something that I have to work on daily! There are very few things that he seems to value highly--and "things" are not really in that category. He cares about the important things like the gospel and family. (But thank you though for paying outrageous sums for me to do cheerleading and the other thousand extracurricular activities. It did wonders for my confidence and gave me a really rich life). But I learned by example that possessions and money and "things" are just the extras--that they are not what matter in life.

- My dad is just cool because he is a fireman. This is where he currently works.

.(if that is not the station, it looks a lot like it)
I know he has inspired a lot of the young men in our ward and boys he taught as scouts. Lots of boys became firemen like him like Darren Fay and David Jones. I know there are others. He is really good at what he does, and he influences a lot of people's lives both in his job and outside it.

-I love you, Dad! Hope you had a great birthday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm complaining

So I have senioritis BAD! I am so bored with school, not that my classes are so boring, but I feel like I've gone over all of this stuff before! So much American literature, so much creative writing. I'm so done with it right now! Not to mention life is just so busy. We have our BYU competition this weekend--it is always a scary one because we're competing against all our talented friends here. I am excited to have new costumes though!! yay!

Other exciting news is that we redecorated our apartment. Actually, we just got a new bookshelf, but we rearranged the whole room and it looks totally different! It feels cozier and I like it.

Tired of work. It seems so pointless sometimes. I am making 30% of what Raimo makes, and he spends a lot less time working! Maybe I will become an entrepreneur. Probably not.

Haven't been to the grocery store, haven't really gotten dressed (wore pajama shirt all day today because I woke up late), haven't picked up the house, haven't done any homework, and have no plans to do any of these things because tomorrow I work 6 am-8 am, practice 8-9, go to class 10-11, work 11-1, class 1-2, work 2-4, EAT 4-5, work 5-7, choir rehearsal 7-9, crash 10 pm. Yes, I have 4 shifts at work tomorrow. That's excessive. My fault entirely.

I will try to post some pictures soon like a good blogger.

I want a vacation!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another week goes on by.

The leaves have changed their colors here in P-town. guess what I'm giving Jess a run for her money, we both competed this past weekend. We were so tired. But it turned out all right. Jessica took 3rd in Pre champ, and I took 2nd. Right after that exhausting 4 rounds of dancing cha cha, samba, & Rumba; we then competed in the amateur title which made us dance cha cha, samba, rumba, and the Paso doble. luckily there were only two rounds of that. I took 5th while Jessica took 4th so it was a fun switch aroo. and thats that. we'll be having another competition on the 7th of November and the following week after that! We'll be getting new costumes hopefully, with Jepp/s Design. They are the best!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Last weekend we had general conference. I really loved it, and I had such a nice weekend. Monica came and visited us for the weekend. So she and I hung out during the priesthood session (went shoe shopping!) and we just played around. I didn't really get any school work done, but who ever does?

I'm enjoying Singers so much. I've told Raimo many times that there is just something that I get from music that I don't experience with other hobbies, i.e. dance. Singing just makes me a happier person.

Speaking of Raimo, he is sick with a cold right now. I feel bad that he still has to go to school. Hopefully it will go away quickly!

This weekend we're going to Vegas to meet up with our family. I've only seen them twice since Christmas, and even those trips were really brief. I am getting excited to go for a nice long drive with my honey! It's my favorite. It will also be fun to see all our Vegas friends while we're there. Thank you Berkeley for taking my Saturday shift!

Life is great right now. Love it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm taking poetry again...

Rabbit Food


"I'm trying to quit," she said stickily

through a bite of caramel cheesecake.

My spinach salad stuck to my palate

as I answered, "You're not overweight."


"But I'll have to jog three extra miles

to burn even half of this off.

She looked so distressed, I said, "Give it a rest,"

playfully nudging my plate toward her.


How many women are still trying

to eat more romaine and iceberg?

Most charismatic are red-tip fanatics,

arugula lovers pull a close second.


Water cress, spinach, Chinese lettuce,

looseleaf, Swiss chard, radicchio, endire.

"I'll have the Thai--dressing on the side.

Can I have extra peapods on that?"


Faithfully, we chew our cud,

knowing that salad is best.

shedding the pounds by chewing a mound

of wet leaves and veggies with zest.



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Whirlwind

Wow this month flew right by me! SO much has happened. Raimo and Katie did a competition this month and took first place in both novice and pre-champ. They're going to give me a run for my money this November. I'm mostly excited about my cabaret routine, which is coming along. We're moving pretty quickly, which is great since we only have about 6 weeks until we compete! I'm really enjoying the song we picked for it too! Classes are going fine. Even though I'm taking way fewer credits, I still feel as busy as ever. That may be partially because of my work schedule... I work a lot more early and late hours when I have to open and close the office. But I'm still really happy with my job overall--I just can't seem to find a normal sleep pattern. One night I was awake till 3:30 am because I just couldn't sleep, and I had to get up so early the next day! Ugh. I'm also staying busy by actually doing all my reading for school. In the past I've always been perpetually behind in my classes, but I am mostly on top of things with fewer classes!

Raimo has the best schedule in the world. He has classes from noon to 7 on Tue/Thu and he has Mon, Wed, Fri off--no school. Nada. He usually does some work from home those days and works on homework. And dances of course. He is doing really great with his work goals--they get rewards if they hit a certain mark. Last month we got a 300$ gift card to Best Buy! I think it is really motivational for him too and it is exciting for him to be able to do so well even when he's in school. I don't know how he does it. He just gets people excited about internet and tv. I know I'm excited.

I'm getting really excited for conference. I feel ready for a good spiritual boost. Hopefully we'll get to spend time with Monica and Raimo's parents too.

I'm not excited that the forecast says it's going to snow. It just can't be that time yet. Snow is so much work. Can't it just snow for like 3 weeks in December??

Lastly, Raimo and I need a new computer soon. Any day now this laptop is going to shut down. The question is PC or Mac?? I have always been a fan of PC--I just that I know how to use them well and you don't have to worry about conversions because most people have them. But I'm taking a class right now that uses Macs for design and I am enjoying it so far. But do I really want to make such a drastic switch?? And this brings me to another question: laptop or desktop?

What should I do? Leave me a comment. I love comments. And tell me why, because of course everyone loves what they have.

Thanks,
I'm Jessica and I'm a PC.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jazz Fest

So it's probably about time for me to post some new pictures. Problem is, our camera is busted. I think it just gave up and died. But I'll figure out something soon.

We had such fun last week of summer--we got to go swimming and go dancing at the MAC and go on a drive in the canyon. Best of all was the jazz festival in Park City. The venue was outdoor on a big grass hill with trees all around. We really liked Warren Hill and of course we liked the main event, Al Jerreau. The craziest part of the whole thing was it started pouring rain on us while we were listening to him. Tons of people left, but tons of people stayed too and just pulled their blankets and chairs over their heads! We had an umbrella! It was a really fun day and I definitely want to go again next year!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I have been wanting one of these babies...



The shark steam pocket mop!!! Click here.

It swivels, has washable pockets, and even has a duster pocket so you can dust with it! All you need is water! I don't currently own a mop, which may or may not be gross since I only have 4 square feet of kitchen floor. This is the one! I'm sold

Monday, August 10, 2009

And I'm feelin' good

I am finishing summer term on Wednesday. I'm feeling strangely relaxed and nonchalant about everything.
The last couple of weeks were really poor weeks. Somehow a lot of checks went through at once. . . or something like that. And then of course we went on vacation . . . and sort of bought some new outfits for a wedding . . . and some birthday stuff. It was all worth it, but we were a little concerned. So we tried not to worry about it. Basically, that is how we work now. And things worked out! Amazingly, we got invited to dinner at some friends. And another friend decided to go on a carb-free diet and so he passed on all his carbs to us, thank you! And we went out to dinner with Raimo's parents one night, and to their house another night, and out to dinner with my grandma and aunt another night. So basically we have been eating despite our lack of funds. In fact, we have a lot of food in our fridge. The ironic thing is . . . we're going on yet another vacation this weekend. I was sitting at work wondering how on earth that was going to happen. And then while rummaging through my purse I found a card with some cash in it that grandma slipped to me on our last visit. And then I knew everything was going to work out. Does this happen to anyone else?? Because it happens to us all the time!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Only two posts in July and both were about school! BOooring. So what's been going on with us lately...

Raimo had a birthday on Wednesday--we had a fun day. He's 24 and that is really weird. He got a navy and a gray suit--they're both really cute!

We also went on vacay for 2 days to Riverside and hung out with my family. We ate everything in sight and went swimming and to the drive-in movies. I did everything possible to procrastinate my homework.

We've started practicing dance again with new partners (Kate and Alister)- our first competition is next week. Raimo and Kate have a lot of fun--they're both really easy going. And Alister and I are really intense about everything, so it works :) The fun thing about dancing with Alister though is that we "estep" or "estamp" our feet. Somehow that's just better than "stepping"! I think Raimo and I practiced with Katalister more last month than Raimo and I did in the whole year. We're definitely improving. What a surprise..?

Besides that, we have not done too much summer stuff! We're growing out our hair and trying to be tan. We work a lot still. I'm excited for fall because I'm only taking 5 classes/ 12 credits! It's going to be awesome. I'm also hoping I'll get to do a little of this

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I can't believe it is the middle of July already! There are only 3 more weeks of class (starting next week). We sure are busy. I paid for a Biology online course in April. Haven't even started :) Great!

So I cried in my history of creativity class the other day. It wasn't really that sad, but we were talking about all my heroes . . . you know, Mozart and Beethoven . . . and they had the saddest lives. For a couple of guys who did amazing things for the world of music, they really had to suffer a lot. The story about Beethoven conducting Ode to Joy, which he had written while completely deaf, is particularly moving. He was convinced to conduct it for an audience (like the opening night) and although he could not hear the music, he knew every note of it and could feel the vibrations created by the music. He conducted it so perfectly, and he got so caught up in the music, that in that moment he actually forgot that he was deaf. After he finished the piece, he heard nothing, no applause. He began to cry on the stage, and it wasn't until someone turned him around that he saw the audience was giving him a standing ovation. I cannot imagine how he did the amazing things he did without being able to hear. That must have been a bittersweet experience for him.

While listening to the lectures in this class, I really feel that so much of history was brought about by God. The great people of the scientific revolution and enlightenment and the writers and musicians and thinkers of that time made really huge advances in such a short time. Many of them talk about how they felt inspired--how one thought had provoked a new idea or how in one day they were inspired with a whole symphony. And I know lots of those people had crazy ideas about religion and what God is, but despite that, He seems to be part of every one of their contributions.

As much as I complain about it, I really enjoy being in school.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Stress!

Ok- so I missed the first week of class this summer term because I thought I wasn't taking classes. But I found out I got some scholarship money, so I felt like I needed to use it. Now I am trying to catch up and do all this reading--and there's already a ton of reading since a term is only 7 or 8 weeks long--and get on top of assignments. To add to that, I'm not just taking any old class. I'm taking my senior course (supposed to be the last class I take in the major), as well as a history course. They're pretty crazy. At least we're on the 3rd week now. Only 5 more to go! I shouldn't be so stressed out over a couple of silly classes, but I just am! Tomorrow I happen to have my first midterm already! I've only been to two lectures for that class so far! Ugh.

On a happier note, it is Harry Potter week at work so I have owls and mail floating above my head and large black butcher paper Hogwarts arches too. And guess what house I am in? Slytherin. Yes, right down there with Voldamort and Malfoy. I'm excited about it. I'm also excited for the movie to come out next week! One day I'm going to read all of them--just not while I'm in college. Speaking of which, I am graduating in December! Yay! Despite the awfulness of taking both spring and summer classes, I am coming closer to that four-cornered, golden-tasseled hat! I have already mentally composed a list of things I get to do after December! It's going to be awesome. Maybe I will put them down here so I don't forget:

-Never read a text book again, never go to the testing center again
-Go snowboarding?! I can't believe I live here and never use my board!
-Take some music lessons
-Compete at nationals for the last time
-Go to the MAC a few times
-Maybe take the GMAT
-Bake more goodies
-Paint my nails
-Get a new job, hopefully with benefits
-Save money
-Help Raimo finish college!

One thing that makes me really happy is I'm only going to be taking 13 credits this fall. I have never taken so few in a semester. Once I took 21 and that was awful. What's wrong with me? Another thing that made me happy was taking a nap from 8 to 10 this morning before work with Raimo. Oh, and... my family's in town!!!! Yay we are going to party as soon as I knock out that stupid midterm.

P.S. happy birthday Mel!!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sad day

Yesterday was such a sad day for me. It was just surreal. I'm going to miss you, Michael! White or black, doesn't matter to me! You rocked my world!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Anniversary and Nauvoo

Our anniversary came and went--quickly. We've had a busy couple of weeks! We spent the day at home. I was sick (just like on our honeymoon one year ago). But we still had a really nice day together at home. We watched movies all day and I got a really great love note! A few days before our anniversary, we went out to Texas Roadhouse Grill and ate a really delicious dinner. Raimo got me new scriptures with my new last name on them. He's so sweet.

Then we left on Monday for Nauvoo. We had some really great experiences there! It was really fun to get to perform every single night. We also enjoyed visiting the sites and hearing the stories of the pioneers. My favorite part of the trip was going to the Nauvoo temple. My testimony was strengthened on this trip, and Raimo and I had fun hanging out with a lot of our teammates. One of the best things about the trip was getting to spend so much time with Raimo! We don't always get a lot of time together, but we got to spend a lot of quality time together (especially when I was sick in bed--he took good care of me). It was really fun to share this experience together. It was also fun to see my mom and Karen. I was so glad they were able to come out for a few days. It has been such a long time since I've seen my family!










The whole experience was great, but also bittersweet because we knew this would be our last two weeks on a BYU ballroom team. It was hard because the decision was made for us--I didn't feel like I was done yet! I had to hold back some tears quite a few times as we were going from place to place. I am somewhat relieved to be free of this busy and stressful part of my life, but I really thrive on being busy! I am already trying to think of some other fun things to get involved in. Maybe a play. Maybe choir again. Maybe I'll just take up something new. I feel a little lost, but it is probably going to be a good thing for me.






Raimo is working and I am working. He is finishing up his senior course, after which he will start to take all the rest of his Communications classes. He's working backwards somehow. I have about 7 or 8 classes left at BYU! Ahh! I need to decide (today) whether I want to take 2 of those classes this summer and graduate in December, OR take them in winter semester and graduate in April. I'm not sure what I want to do. All I really want to do right now is SLEEP!