Lemonade and Firecrackers

I confess I have fell behind on this blog recently with almost two months of inactivity so before I write about my fourth of July weekend here are some of the things I did:
On to Independence Day Extravaganza.

Provo takes Independence Day seriously but not in the extreme patriotism way--rather they take it as an excuse to come together as a community in a multitude of activities. I've written about this in the past but it really is just so great and tradition dictates that I hit up the the children's parade, the block party, biking the parade route, the parade, neighborhood scones, naps, the downtown fair (specifically sharing a turkey leg), the fireworks, and the balloon festival!
Photo courtesy of JB
Dancing at the block party always involves throwing children.
Waiting for the parade at my parents' home.
Its a long weekend and this year we added an additional activity, Allison and I created a music festival.

The idea came when Allison wanted to set up a house show for her friend Levi Weaver from Nashville who is currently touring with his family in an RV. Realizing it would be difficult to convince people to pay to hear a stranger play music we decided to make a whole event out of it and thus the Lemonade Folk Festival was born.

Levi was steller. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the concert as a whole.
I confess I took a more minor roll in the program as Allison booked all the bands but I did some help planning and setting up and made all the lemonade from scratch. The result was magical and enough people donated that we were able to pay all the bands. If you are so inclined you should check out the other acts as well: Jodie Skidmore and Midas Whale. (Elephant's Child unfortunately does not have a website that I know of)

Oh, I also commissioned my first painting and I'm quite happy with the result.


That Car is Mine

If I'm going to keep up my goal of updating this here blog twice a month I better get on it. I'm going to be going on two vacations in the remainder of the month though so hopefully I'll have something worthwhile to tell you all.


I paid off my car!
Looking suave in Northern California (2010)
I actually finished a year early as I hated having debt. I wasn't planning on finalizing it until the end of the year but I was sitting at home one day and on a whim I decided it would be fun to drop most of my savings and just end my monthly car payment. This made my budget app go CRAZY but it was incredibly freeing to be out of debt; I had to talk myself out of quitting my job and just driving across the nation.
Naturally the week after I paid it off I go to the grocery store and right after I park, a kid in the next stall slams his door open and it hits so hard my car shakes. The father insisted that the large dent with white paint on it wasn't from his son but it wasn't worth pushing. I'm just going to call it my vehicle's christening.

In other news:
I got a haircut!
Just chilling with a pizza oven.


Fake Promotions and Astronomy

Happy Easter; I have health insurance! I've done a bunch of other things as well but you won't get to hear about all of them because suspense in intrigue is more fun than a post that is pages and pages long. I am feeling sick though so don't expect me to be funny.

I'm going to be picking up a lot more responsibilities at work soon. Our HR manager will be taking maternity leave shortly and is passing a large portion of her workload to me including payroll, hiring, and firing. The details aren't really worked out but a part of me wants to go mad with power, give myself a 500% pay raise, and fire everyone. I probably won't do these things but it will be a nice back-end experience. I have recently given myself the job title Prince Regent of Customer Service" and my manager didn't turn it down so I consider it my official job title which I will be putting on my future resumes.

My cousin, Drew is getting married this weekend and was kind enough to ask me to be in his wedding party which is really great. The couple asked me to create a few signs to guide reception attendees up the canyon to the venue. Allison is pictured painting my worst one but they generally turned out really well and it felt incredibly satisfying building something. I don't think I would ever want to be a professional woodworker as I would get sick of the monotony but I would love to have a wood shop one day--and the money to buy nice wood would be good.

I confess I did some other things as well but I can't write about them yet since they are going to be a surprise for certain individuals. A container of touch-up paint melted open in my glove compartment, I acted as a witness in a mock trial (court is mean), and I've been working in my parents' garden which I am going to just call my garden from now on.

Oh and Sarah and I stayed up for the blood moon.


Baptisms and Toothpicks

Towards the end of March I went to Colorado to participate in the baptism and confirmation of my nieces Wren and Accalia. After my last post I found out that Wren had requested that I baptize and confirm her--making it my first experience doing so.
Naturally the baptism went great and it caused me to reflect on my own membership in the church and its importance in my life. Even more moving was the confirmation where I acted as the voice. I was quite nervous about knowing what to say but when my mind was the most empty I always knew the next word to say even if I had no idea what was to come after it. I'm proud of the girls as I know they joined the true Church of Christ.

It was a pretty quick trip to Colorado; after the baptism we helped my two brothers, and grandmother move to new places and then turned around and came home. It was only a couple days later when my sister-in-law had her baby and my mother made the drive back over.

Here are some other things I did:
The Provo Food and Care Coalition hosts a fundraiser every year in which you can buy soup and a ceramic bowl made by a local artisan. The event is great because no only is it one of the first warm outdoor events of the year but the soup and bowls are great. This was my third year attending and if you're in Provo next Spring its worth checking out.

 I also put toothpicks in my beard during a late game night. There was really no reason to do this besides the curiosity of how many would stay in. I am amazed that I fit 180 in there before they started to fall out.

I've been house-sitting with my sister while my parents are out of town and have been cooking more than usual (so more than never). I already hosted a small dinner party where I made Indian food which was a hit and I actually improvised a meal one night based on ingredients my parents had in the pantry. Cooking is much more entertaining when you don't have to do it to live.


Roller Derbies and Bow Ties

Life has been crazy this month and the only reason I have had time to stop and update this blog is because my CEO decided we all needed a break and gave us the day off. I still had to go in for a half day but it means I get to take another half-day next week for my trip to Colorado.
I don't even know when things happen but at some point since my last post I went to a roller derby match and it was the most amazing thing. My sister invited me and two of my friends to join her and we went in completely blind. I remarked as we entered that I had no idea what was going to happen but I knew I was in the right place, grinning ear to ear. We really had no idea what was going on until I looked up the basic rules online and after that we could see the techniques for what they were and it was magical. We may buy season passes.
I suppose I should also mention that I added four more bow ties to my collection bringing my total to 12. My sister told me I am becoming obsessed and my response was how I wanted to eventually have a different bow tie for every week of the year. Oh and yes, the last one on the right is black, silver, and sequins--I will look fabulous.
I will leave you with this drawing by Mirielle; she sketches everyone who speaks in Sacrament and I usually text her for a copy of my picture as soon as I sit down. Yes, I trimmed by beard since then.


The Rest of February

First off, as an update from my last post I did finally receive an apron! Since my original Secret Santa dropped out someone else volunteered to give me an apron to keep it fun. I was very appreciative of the gift but I admin that I gave it away to my cousin a couple hours after opening it; just not my style.
I realized I hadn't posted on this blog in a couple of weeks and had to consult my daily journal to see if I did anything worth mentioning. My journal has been going every day for almost a year now with additions from journal fragments I found among my childhood things and, for your information, on October 25, 1993 "I riedd my Bike arand the bak. And paled vadeo games. I want to Crahe."

I don't have a strong narrative for this post but here are some snapshots:
As single people on Valentine's a few of us crashed a dance party hosted by some family wards.
I got a haircut!
I have a few trips planned in March so hopefully I've have some real stories for you! If not I can just post more of my childhood journal entries and call it good.We'll avoid the high school years though, no one needs daily updates on who my crushes were.


Reddit Apron Exchange

As I mentioned in a previous post I signed up for an internet exchange of aprons, here is my followup.You may recognize the design I sketched out for a previous post. I had to make a few modifications but overall it turned out really nice!
Left: My original design posted to this blog a few weeks ago.
Right: My modified fabric selections. It was the first time I had to go into a store to buy coordinating fabric and the selection was overwhelming.

Left: Front panel assembled with the pocket. I varied the strips from 2-4" for aesthetics upon the suggestions of many and I'm glad I did.
Right: Finished product, after taking this picture I was really tempted to keep the apron and mail a pre-made apron but I figure I can always make another one.

Unfortunately my Secret Santa seems to have forgotten to send me an apron which saddened me until today when I received this picture from Elize, my giftee:
"My secret Santa has send me a apron made by herself! I will cherish the gift and use it on festive days!"
I'm not even mad that she called me a girl; that is the cutest little old lady. Hopefully my apron is still on its way but if not it's neat enough that one of my creations will be loved in a tiny house in Enkhuizen, Netherlands.