Sunday, December 23, 2012

A busy Saturday

Today I accomplished a lot. Practiced a solo, ran 3 miles, read my scriptures, went to the grocery store, took a nap since the running exhausted me, made chili and corn bread for dinner and a frog eye salad for tomorrow, held rose a little while watching that santa movie with Tim Allen, and did a little shopping. Somehow, it was not enough! Normally a day like that would feel awesome to me, but there were some things missing. I'm realizing how much I need real human connections every day, quality time with people that matter to me, along with some kind of artistic pursuits. I'm kind of in an interesting place right now- reassessing my goals and who I am and the changes I want to make in my life. Raimo and I read some zodiac stuff last night for fun. Those descriptions of our personality traits are pretty spot-on. We don't follow it, but it's interesting enough, and it's nice to have our differences laid before us in such a clear, precise way. It helped me see what each of us values and how we see the world around us differently. I am 100% Capricorn, there's no question. Leo's and capricorns are not well-matched. Oh well. Go figure.
On another note, I've been reading the Princess Bride. It's a great movie, but the book is great too. The author is really clever. For once, the book and movie are pretty similar.
On another note, we are in California. We'll be moving here permanently. Raimo quit Tumu and is looking for a job, and I may look for one too. I have been seeing Riverside with new eyes now that I'm here more permanently. It is so warm and beautiful. I have missed California so much. On the other hand, I had a few things in Utah that were making me happy, our apartment for one, and my best girlfriend and beckham, and all the performing and theater opportunities were really great. Hopefully that will continue down here. I am excited to say goodbye to Utah after 7 years!! I'm not going back!!! I am interested to see what the next year holds. I hope it all just works out. Feeling a little sad, but glad to be here of all places.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Love Divine

I've been listening to my ipod in bed at night. It's kinda nice that way, in the dark and all, just thinking about the music. I heard this the other night-- the words meant something totally different to me than they did back when I performed it with BYU Singers. Isn't it cool when songs change for us like that? I think the syntax is so beautiful! Wish some of our hymns were so eloquent :) That last verse is pretty great. Here are the words and a snippet of the recording:

"Love Divine, All Love Excelling"by Charles Wesley, 1707-1791

1. Love Divine, all love excelling,
Joy of heaven, to earth come down,
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling,
All Thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.

2. Breathe, oh, breathe Thy loving Spirit
Into every troubled breast;
Let us all in Thee inherit,
Let us find that second rest.
Take away the desire for  sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith as its beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.

3. Come, Almighty, to deliver;
Let us all Thy life receive.
Suddenly return and never,
Nevermore, Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.

4. Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee,
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise. Hymn #351
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Ps. 106:4
Author: Charles Wesley, 1747
Tune: "O du Liebe"
1st Published in: Musikalischer Christenschatz
Town: Basel, 1745

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Catch Up

Wow a lot of time has passed. It has been a crazy couple of months. Busy and difficult and such. Looking back, I see that God has sent angels to me, and I am so thankful. They have brought me support, a loaf of bread, words of wisdom, peace, and friendship. I re-read my blog from start to finish this morning and shed many tears recounting the last four and a half years of marriage. A couple of posts that stood out were these:

Lately I have been especially grateful for one little baby girl whose smiles bring me joy every day.

Mamas shoes, dandelions, and milk.

Although there is still plenty of this going on:
I am also grateful for a husband who leaves me love notes under the Christmas tree and who does everything he can to make me happy:

We bought a little tree this year and it is so cheerful!

Thanksgiving was fun. We watched White Christmas in the morning. We cleaned a little and Raimo reorganized some stuff in our bedroom. We were going to go to Chuckarama, but the lines were wrapped around the building. Bummer! So we went to Carver's instead and had ribs and salmon. Not a bad choice. The wait was 5 minutes, and we sat in the nice ambiance and had a nice talk about what we're grateful for and recounted the year and other stuff. I think it was a conversation that we won't remember the specifics, but will always remember. It has definitely been a defining year for our family. That night we stayed home. It was a simple day.

We had a small Halloween. Raimo worked. Rose was a ladybug. 

So that's the recap on all the holidays.

I have been listening to music all the live-long day lately. It is making me happy. Raimo and I have picked up a little tradition of singing a hymn each night and it is pretty great. I feel like we have come together spiritually lately and that is such a blessing.

I have started reading Christmas Carol (I am in the play right now at Hale--it has been a surprisingly great and emotional experience). I also want to read the gospels in the New Testament before Christmas.

I have also gone running every day for the past 3 days. My body is a little torn up, but it is nice to go out and listen to music and leave everything on the road sort of.

Well, I am babysitting Beckham so I'm gonna go. He comes every Wednesday and sometimes Monday. Ana Maria trades with me and takes Rose when I have rehearsal. Time for some babies to take a nap.. hopefully!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jekyll and Hyde

So I am in another play right now--Jekyll and Hyde the musical. It is the first time I have ever heard the music. It is absolutely out of this world. I feel like I am an audience member at rehearsal watching these people perform. They are blowing it out of the water and we're only about 1 week in. Take Me As I Am made me cry... along with a few others. I am in the ensemble and am understudy for Emma. It's been really fun, and I realized today how it lifts my spirits being in a show and getting to sing every day. I have been so much more productive in my other jobs at home. I'm trying out for another show pretty soon so wish me luck with that :) We have just 8 performances of Jekyll so it's a short run. We get to play at the Egyptian in Park City so that should be pretty cool!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My new Shark!

We got one of these in the mail the other day.

Best gift from my mom! Our floors have never been cleaner! It works so so well. I even vacuumed the stairs... twice! And it is really light and the suction is amazing. Best of all, it picks up hair. There is a lot of that around here.... really long hair. So anyway, go get one!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Photos! #lookhowcuteweare

Family photos by the lovely Kara Shurtliff. (
Rose is walking officially now.
She was super grumpy during this photoshoot, but they turned out so cute!
There are many more... it is just hard to pick favorites.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I enjoyed Paul Ryan's speech. As this is my first time watching one of these conventions, I couldn't help but laugh out loud at the random shots of staunch republicans in their best republican gear, shown intermittently throughout his speech. Elephant hats, strange hair, lovely outfits, crazy cheering and jeering. My goodness, what a riot, but all that aside I liked what he had to say. I especially loved his ending comments about Mitt being prayerful, faithful, and honorable. It would be refreshing to have that in a leader. Why do so many men lack these important qualities, honesty in particular? I was also glad he pointed out some of the lies that have been perpetuated by Obama. He does like to point the finger at everyone but himself. However, I am usually less interested in the mud-slinging and more interested in the positive points the candidate has to offer. It seems like Romney has a lot going for him. And there's Ann. Lovely Ann. My husband will not fail. I believe her, and I believe in the integrity and work ethic of MittRomney. The prospect of a new president is always exciting. This time I am feeling excited and very curious. I am excited to be voting in California, (as if my one vote will matter so much) since we all know who will win Utah!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Two cute things

Today Rose was feeling her belly and found her belly button. It was the cutest moment ever. She had this little look of discovery on her face and she was just thinking about it.

Also, she took some steps for me!!! Raimo has seen her take a couple steps unassisted, but she took like 7 or 8 for me! She was so proud of herself and it was so exciting. We know she is strong enough to do it, but I think she is just not really interested in stepping when crawling is so fast and easy. But she has pretty amazing balance on those little leggies. Maybe she will figure it out soon.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


You know how you don't realize how you love something until it's gone? Well I love that Rose sleeps all night and takes 2 naps.... er... usually sleeps all night and sometimes takes 2 naps. This week was challenging. She cried so much. I'm guessing it was teething, though it seems like it's just one little tooth that's coming in. What's the big deal? There was hardly any fuss with the other 4 teeth. She also had a fever for 2 or 3 days and I had to keep her on Ibuprofen to keep it down. I think she had a cold too. Anyway, without any daytime naps and with being awake much of the night, Rose has been super miserable and so so fussy, making for an impatient mama. I can't remember the last time she was this unhappy-- and for so long! After a few days with no naps, she fell asleep in the car on Friday evening, so I drove around for 2 hours to keep her asleep. She woke up about 5 or 6 times, but kept falling back asleep. I think it helped her a lot because her body was able to relax and get some good sleep later that night too. And yesterday she took another nap in the car, and last night she slept all night. This morning she finally fell asleep in her bed for a nap after much crying and protesting (no naps in bed now for many days--that girl is so stubborn). It makes me grateful. I guess in phases like this you just get through it. I usually write about the happy days, but this is part of parenting too. I haven't done much of anything besides console a baby this week! Thankfully she is feeling better! I love holding her when she's finally asleep. Babies are so precious when they're sleeping, and I finally get to steal some kisses.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Poetry Night

Tonight I picked up my Sara Teasdale book of love poems to re-read one of my favorites. And you know, one thing led to another and I read the whole book. It's amazing how the same literature can have such a different impact on you from one phase of life to the next. My favorites were no longer my favorites and some new lines stood out to me this time. And one thing led to another and I was reading Billy Collins' Sailing Alone Around the Room and laughing at his little jokes and enjoying him so much more than I did in college.

The other day I found a poem in my documents that I started a year ago. So I finished it (or I guess just worked on it, since poems never seem to be totally finished for me). Here it is.

Summer Baby

Your breath
sweet like grass
warms my cheek,
your cheek—
skin smooth and
ripe like a plum
—is cool and

Wet rose
petal lips,
as narrow as your nose,

Searching for me,
inquisitive pools
like blue marbles
rimmed with feathery lashes
You curl your toes
stinky baby feet

Your pointer finger
traces my mouth,
pushes past to
teeth. I taste,
close my teeth on it,
your smile
a whole-face smile
like sun in summer.

Like I said, not finished, but it's on paper (figuratively). I never feel like I can catch those exquisite moments in words. It's impossible, but I guess it's fun to try. At least those who know Rose well would understand this poem. 

Here's a piece of Books by Collins that I really loved:

From the heart of this dark, evacuated campus
I can hear the library humming in the night,
a choir of authors murmuring inside their books
along the unlit, alphabetical shelves,
Giovanni Pontano next to Pope, Dumas next to his son,
each one stitched into his own private coat,
together forming a low, gigantic chord of language.

Perfect, right? The poem goes on, but that first segment really excited me. I loved my BYU library. It felt like a magical place at night. Maybe I resented the space unknowingly when I had to tie myself to one of the desks to finish a paper. But I loved it too. In fact, I wish I could walk into it right now, my student ID in hand, and choose from millions of books and fall into a chair to read.

So tonight has become a poetry night. Maybe next I'll pick up Natasha Saje's Red Under the Skin. There are so many lines in her poems that make me think, "Yes, exactly!" Isn't that what makes poems so great? When they can say exactly what we think and feel in a beautiful or interesting or just unique way? Okay, you know what... I'm just going to go ahead and post one her poems right now. Hang on till the end. It's my favorite part.


Dien Zug kenne keinen Bahnhof,
my mother would tell me,
astonished at how much
I could consume of whatever
pleased me: ice cream or chocolates,
and later, smoked salmon, Westphalian ham.
Your train knows no station. 
Now that I'm an adult, my train knows 
several stations, though sometimes
it's a greed express, ripping through
an entire apple tart,
a quart of blueberries,
a pound of Camembert.
All children are greedy 
until they learn to curb unattractive habits,
like chewing fingernails or picking noses.
From Old English, graedig:  Beowulf didn't worry
about how he looked chowing down
a leg of ox or a few pheasants, whole.
A friend taps his wife's frail wrist: honey,
wouldn't sorbet be better than ice cream?
Some trains idle and weeds then grow between their tracks.
Once for two weeks I ate nothing,
drinking only mineral water.
I imagined myself light as an airmail letter;
a man's hands could encircle my waist.
I climbed flights of stairs one at a time,
panting. The memory makes me see myself 
stare at the shape of a woman 
who swims in my pool: her thighs
have the heft of a good dictionary.
She's never sick,
she can lift a lawn mower over the hedge,
she's the only conductor on her train,
and she knows which stations
are worth stopping for.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fun With Friends

Traci is my phone friend. We have know each other since we were little girls in Sunday School, but we didn't start hanging out until later in high school. We were in Oklahoma! together. We had government together first period and both had a fun friendship with that teacher, Mr. Lynch. We started going to Starbucks together between seminary and school. We went to the gym together. We ditched school to go to Disneyland. We were total girly-girls and had a lot in common that I never knew before. When I think about hanging out with her, I think of lots of laughs, some fun gossip, girly movies, shopping... you know. Fun stuff. I love just talking with her. She started becoming my friend at a time when I felt like I didn't really have friends--I was glad to have her in my life. Well she went off to BYU-I and I went to Provo. She came and stayed with me during General Conference a few times and we just had a lot of fun getting some good grub and chatting and listening to the talks. Traci is a great example to me of living the gospel and of sharing it with those around her.
Now we are both married, and she decided to move across the country!!! So we just talk on the phone now and keep each other updated. We talk about moving back to California and being neighbors so we can hang out and do GTL (gym, tan, laundry.... did I get that right?) I miss seeing her, but hopefully it won't be too long before I do!

August To Do List

The play finally ended. Two very full months passed, and about 46 performances later it is over. I was looking forward to the end, especially since we started having so many matinees in the last weeks (it's harder to find sitters, plus it's more time away from my baby). However, the last few shows were really sad! It has been really fun for me to be part of this production and to have a chance to hang out with friends every other night. Not to mention sing and perform. I am planning on doing more shows soon. I actually tried out for the lead in South Pacific at the Hale in Orem, and I got a call back! The call backs were about 5 hours and super intimidating. The other 3 girls were really talented and I learned a lot about auditioning just by watching them. I didn't get the part, which I expected. In fact, leaving that day I told my mom I already knew which two girls would get it. And they did. It still wasn't very fun to find out last week though. However, I am home again which is nice. I feel very very free again.

This month I want to get some things done:
relax and hang out with Rose,
finish painting my table and chairs and reupholster the seats,
hang some more pictures,
get some boring things done on my "to do" list,
go to California,
see Tracy married!!!
go to the beach,
plan a trip with Raimo,
get some more exercise since I didn't do much while in the play,
buy a hutch for my china,
paint Rose's bookshelf,
hang out with friends,
go on dates,
try out for another play maybe...

I was telling Raimo yesterday that I just felt optimistic about the future. This is totally uncharacteristic for me. Something about some of the things I heard in church, combined with what I've been thinking about this month and some things I've been studying I think have overall contributed to a sense of well-being. Normally I'm so focused on where I want to be and on the goals I have for myself. But I was just feeling like I have everything I want, and the future still holds a lot of exciting things. I was also feeling very thankful for my little family. We have been very blessed.

This summer passed by so quickly, as it always does. Winter comes too quickly in Utah. Maybe I will add "hunt for California jobs" to the above list... ;) Anyone have any good leads?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rose is one!

Rose turned one this month! We threw a party for her in Saint George with all her cousins and aunts and uncles. She got a cupcake and some new toys and pajamas and clothes. It was a fun day, and when I put her to bed that night I got a little teary. She is so special to me and I was just thinking about how I felt a year ago on the day she was born. That was such a wonderful time when she was so new and so tiny! I cannot believe that our love for her actually grew even more.

At twelve months she is 17 pounds and 29 inches. She now says hi "Aye" and bye "Aye" with a wave. It is pretty much the cutest thing ever. Along with her dancing, which happens pretty much all the time now. Whenever she hears a good beat, she starts wiggling that ribcage side to side. Nice rib isolations, we say! She even did it last night when she was laying down in my arms with a bottle as I was singing a lullaby. I thought that was funny. She also shakes her little bootie when she's standing up holding onto something. What a groovy baby. She is still giving us the funniest, most expressive faces. We haven't heard her say duck anymore, but she has started saying "Cah" which she seems to use for book or car anything with a K in it. She also says dada and mama but only on occasion. At least she knows what they mean. She also seems to understand a lot of what we say to her, like "Where is daddy?" or "Come here." She talks a lot in her own language. She has started to stand by herself--she can get up and down easily, but won't take a step on her own. She enjoys walking around with her little push toy or holding our hands. She charms everyone she makes eye contact with. Having her in my life has made me so much happier, and she has definitely made life richer. Being a mother has its challenges, but there is no question that it is worth it. I love her sweet smile and baby French kisses, I love her fuzzy head on my shoulder, I love her wiggly toes and her pointer finger.  She is such a little personality now and so much fun.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; for the feet of those who are in the east shall be established; and break forth into singing, O mountains; for they shall be smitten no more; for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

Behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me--but he will show that he hath not.

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dating Diaries 15

(continued) After Valentine's Day Raimo took me out constantly. There were a few other lingering guys that eventually left the picture- I wasn't interested in anyone like I was in him. We competed in our first ballroom competition together that month even though we each had other competition partners. I loved the idea of sharing that hobby with someone. A guy who can dance? Amazing! Ballroom was also the source of many arguments (and continued to be in our marriage) but it was also the thing that brought us together in the first place. He got to know my family and family friends- my moms good friend Karen told me she was rooting for him! The opinions of my loved ones meant a great deal to me so it was nice to be with someone they enjoyed. We were pretty thick by the end of winter semester, at which point I took off to Europe for a 2 1/2 month study abroad and traveling. He drove down to California with me to see me off, and we said I love you for the first time.
We wrote letters and emails while I was away, but our communication was not very exciting. In fact, we still do not have great conversations when we are away from each other. In that case, absence did not make the heart grow fonder. I went home to California and shortly after I broke things off.
However, when I returned to BYU in the fall, I went to visit him. He was looking hot and it basically took no time at all for us to get back together. It happened like this. I had gone out with someone else on a date that first weekend. I got home a little early and started texting my brother David about missing Raimo. Meanwhile, David started texting Raimo that he should call me. Raimo was hesitant, but David was persistent, sly little brother! That night Raimo came over, we started watching Bewitched, and were kissing before long.
I realized that this was a turning point for me- either I would stay with him and move into a more serious relationship (heading toward marriage) or I should break up and move on. I really couldn't get myself to stop thinking about him, so we got back together. We became dance partners officially and started taking lessons and competing together. I was only 20 and was feeling a little afraid of a serious relationship and marriage, but was unwilling to give up Raimo. I was very happy with him. Another important event happened on a trip we took to Seattle that fall...

Monday, June 18, 2012

A week in Park City

Earlier in June my family came up to Utah for a week and started with seeing my play on Saturday. It was so exciting to have family and friends in the audience. We stayed in Park City for the week and went to Lagoon, the pool, the zoo, and rode the alpine slide and zip line. It went by fast and it was really fun to see my family.

11 months

Oh my baby Rose!!! She has grown up so much lately. She is talking constantly, babbling and making sounds on the insides of her cheeks. It is so funny though because she looks into our eyes and seems to be really talking  to us and inviting us to converse with her. She started doing it very very loudly yesterday in church from the very back row where we were sitting. Raimo went up to sing with the men for Father's Day and she was saying "DA DA DA DA BABABa" really loud. Awesome. We think her first word was duck. She was really on a roll with that one, and responded to a few different duck things we have in our house with "Duck (sounds more like Duh really fast) and even with some "Quack" sounds. She is also really into laughing. This afternoon I was laying on the bedroom floor with her, and I pretended to start laughing and she opened her mouth wide and started laughing back as though I had just told her the funniest joke. I can go back and forth with her, laughing and laughing and she just thinks it's the best! She goes to bed now at 8 pm and wakes around 6. Sometimes I have to stumble into her room around 5 and find a binky/ encourage her to go back to sleep. She takes 2 naps, occasionally 3, that are about an hour long. She sleeps so well in her little bed, but that stubborn girl refuses! if she is not in the mood to go to sleep and will climb up the side and holler at us until we come back in. She doesn't give up, even after she has exhausted herself from crying!

She is eating a lot more of what I call human food. I still give her pureed baby stuff most of the time, but she is much more interested in whatever we happen to be eating. She likes bread, potatoes, tomatoes, pork (just a tiny tiny taste), pears, ice cream (duh), crackers, cookies... I can't think what all we've allowed her to taste. She will crawl up to our kitchen chairs, climb up and stand on her little tippy toes, and just beg like a puppy till we give her a bite. This continues throughout any meal until we stop eating.

She still has very little hair, but it is starting to grow in blonde and a kind of gets fluffy after a bath. I put those sweet hairs against my face all the time. She is still a little peanut. She has a few 3-6 month and 6 month things in her drawers, though she is growing out of them one by one and is mostly in the 6-9 month stuff. We are just switching up to size 3 diapers because she was filling up her night diaper and leaking. She is well-known (by those who know her) for her hilarious facial expressions. It's hard to catch them all on camera, but she is a girl of many faces. She squinches up her nose and smiles--that's a cute one. Lately she has started this little pout where she furrows her brow and purses her lips so far forward. It always gets a laugh. She still does the "o" with her mouth that she did as a tiny baby. She can also shake her head "no" though she does it with a smile. She has no idea what it means. I didn't realize how very unique every baby is until I had one of my own. She has had so much personality even from her early months of life.

This month has been different in that she will occasionally put her head on my shoulder and let me snuggle her or rub her back. She is still pretty stiff and non-cuddly, but those few moments are so welcome and so nice after wrestling with a strong (and strong-willed) baby! She still loves that pointer finger and will point/ finger things, and stick it in my mouth or the mouths of people standing close by (haha).

I cannot believe I will have a 1 year old next month. I am starting to think that she is going to be a wild toddler. She is already extremely active, opinionated, and fast! I'm sure it will be wonderful in its own way. I love my baby girl though and am going to enjoy this time before she starts walking!