Monday, October 31

I feel like, maybe, I should get this checked out.

I just haven't been feeling too well lately.

Poor Jason... now he's got biohazard-iness all over his face.

Oh yeah, for the record, I HATE Z... I don't even like to say the word.


Anyway, we got invited to a "[Z-word] Potluck" and I almost didn't go for this reason alone. Then, I decided it might be therapeutic to hang out with... them and maybe just get to understand them a little better.

No, it wasn't therapeutic. And now I can't look in mirrors.

Thursday, October 20

I think we might be grown-ups now

Jason is officially Dr. Matthews! (Dr. Matthews-ERRRR. I never get sick of that joke.)

He RAWKED his PhD dissertation, and pretended to be embarrassed while his fan club held up signs and took too many pictures.
Not gonna lie, I'm pretty proud of that sign. Even Jason liked it... secretly.

Also, finally, I got a more career-related job!

Just kidding.
TWO career-related jobs. 

For the first, I improve lighting in University of Oregon's classrooms (I'm going to be in nerd heaven), and for the second, I get to do graphic design! I diyeee of excitement. 50 hours a week, here I come!

Oh, and also since I've talked to you last, I've survived:

  • 30 days of eating strictly "paleo diet" with 60 other people from my gym,
  • two (small) car accidents,
  • a family member getting in a not-so-small car accident (she's recovering well, thank GOODNESS)
  • a trip to the ER of my own,
  • and finding out we're getting kicked out of "student housing." (For not being "students" anymore, or some nonsense like that. Pshh.) 
  • And then, even MORE exciting stuff I can't even tell you about yet.  I need a muzzle.

Oh yes, it's storytime soon.
It's been a wild ride, this past month. Time to pat myself on the back and go take a nap.
Thanks for hanging in there, amigos.

Tuesday, September 27

Thermoelectric and Heat Flow Phenomena in Mesoscopic Systems...DONE.

Super duper crazy happy news!

JASON FINISHED WRITING HIS DISSERTATION. His thesis. His PhD paper. His ultimate Physics final.

Five years of post-grad schooling; countless nights stuck in his windowless laboratory; 215 pages of cold, hard physics.

So maybe this is a bit of preemptive celebration, because there are a few more hoops he has to jump through before he gets to call himself "Dr. Matthews." He has to have a Board of Really Smart People with Foreign Accents and Beards read it over this week, and then he has his "Doctoral Defense" next Thursday. Whoo!

Although he's been working his tail off on writing it all summer, these past two weeks were especially insaneinthemembrane. At first, he was averaging about 5 hours of sleep per night.

At that point he was completely nocturnal. He'd go lay down on the couch in the afternoon, and turn to me with pleading, bloodshot eyes. He'd beg, "April, no matter what I say, I want you to wake me up in THREE HOURS. No 'fifteen more minutes.' Do whatever you have to do... even ice-water. Get me up."
Sorry, buddy, there's no way I could throw ice-water on that.

I'd dutifully wake him up, and he'd open one sleepy eye with a look of desperate anguish. Then he'd lay down the Kryptonite in a cute, sleepy voice:
"Sweetheart, you're supposed to get---"
"Just five minutes?"
"I miss sleeping next to you."
aaaaaaand BAM I was in his arms, and he was instantly making happy little snoring sounds.

Oh, MERCY, our future offspring will get away with anything if they inherit those puppy eyes.

Soon, the five-hour sleep average turned into just two hours a night. I'd try to wake him up, and he'd sleep talk something about "anisotropic thermoelectrics in four-terminal ballistic junctions."

The last three days (or should I say day-nights), he really got in a crunch and enlisted me to proofread every. last. page. So I got to dig through THIS for missed apostrophe's and little typos.

(Bahaha I just had to torment all you grammar OCD-ers out there-- apostrophes!!^^ I feel like I need to go wash my hands or something now.)

Anyway, I got to dig through every last page--twice--for little things like this:
I wish you could've seen the look on his poor, sleep-deprived face while he tried to figure out why I was "writing in Russian."

For now, he sleeps all he wants. I no longer have to stress about my failings as a sleep Nazi. Then once he's caught up, it's Power-Point time! Go Jason, Go!

Want to read more about his research? I tried to sum it up in English-for-humans here.

Wednesday, September 14

Your Questions!: Most Embarrassing Moment, and what I'll never blog about

This picture has nothing to do with the rest of the post-- BUT-- I am promising you right here and right now, I will never again attempt anything as trendy as bacon cupcakes with maple frosting. Ever.
Meet the "Sam" (right)  behind all the epically long & hilarious comments often found here! Love that kid.

(This was for a "bacon party" for our GYM. So legit.) On a sliiightly related note-- now that I'm sick of cupcakes, I'm trying that Paleo diet again. I'm on day three... and every time I wake up in the middle of the night, I get nervous. Eep. On the plus side, you guys might get more barfing stories...?

Moving on-- next two questions, again from Ryan!

What is your most embarrassing moment?
What's one thing you will NEVER talk about on your blog? And why? 

Ironically, I will NEVER talk about my most embarrassing moment on zee blog. It involves a weekend stay at the Hubster's family cabin, a midnight oversized poo, and the horrific steps taken to get rid of said poo. I've already said too much. If you guys really want to hear about it, email me and I might just tell you. But you'll probably regret it a lot a lot a lot.

Seeing as I'm in a chatty mood, and seeing as I prettttty much just blogged about what I said I wouldn't blog about, I'll list a second blogger-verboten topic.

While I try to keep it real on here, and avoid only talking about happy-go-lucky-things that make my life sound flawless, I will never vent about any specific person on my blog. It doesn't seem like it would accomplish anything other than spreading negativity. I learned from my parents to "focus on finding solutions, rather than dwelling on problems."

I do realize that if I did vent, I might get some helpful feedback or advice from the comments (not to mention higher traffic than normal), I'd rather just ask a few carefully chosen confidantes for advice than spread my drama all over the interwebs. And yes, there are several of you who will probably fall into the "confidante category" sooner or later : )

Your turn, amigos! Embarrassing moments? Forbidden blog topics? I'm curious!

Thursday, September 8

Your Questions!: An innocent inquiry about deserted islands

I never should have given myself that little taste of freedom... that "one-week" break turned into ""

Anyway, looks like I've got some questions to answer! Bless you darling amigos who still have things you want to know about me after all the awkward things I've already divulged here.

If you were on a deserted island, what one item or person would you bring with you? (No Hubster, sorry.)
-Ryan @ Woven Moments

Can I say a fully-stocked cruise ship with instruction manuals? Or Hurley?

Or, I could NOT cheat and pick someone/something already in my life:
On those rare occasions when Husband can't fix my mood, he tells me to call my sister. Wise man, that Husband character.

Choosing to bring my sister to my accidental private island certainly has its flaws. The little sister & I tend to feed off of each others' insanity, like when we recently had to drive the EXACT &^%$#! SAME 180-mile stretch FOUR times in SIX days. Without a radio. By the end we were singing duets entirely with growls and chirping noises, and:
Even better zoomed in.

Yes, I was trying to "claw" my way out of the car at 70 mph.

And she was in the passenger's seat, covering the right half of the windshield with toe streaks and likening it to tending a Zen garden. (See bottom right corner of photo... the perfect epitome of Zen, yes? It just... screams it.)

It gets better. She took my car to fill it up with gas a few days afterwards, and the kindly attendant decided to clean the windshields for her. After squeegee-ing the glass like a pro, he flipped the blade over and started dutifully scrubbing the "claw" marks.

He scrubbed harder.

He leaned in to inspect more closely, and got a look of horrified confusion on his face once he realized they were on the inside of the car. He quizzically looked at my sister, handed her the receipt, and scurried off.

So, having made a short story long, I'd bring my sister to share in my maroon-ed-ness. We'd go bonkers, but sometimes it's what you have to do to survive.

Wednesday, August 10

In which I eventually get to the point of the post and formally invite you to... Ask Us Any Question You'd Like To Ask Us

Hiiii, friends. This is the first time I've gone a week without posting. How weird is it that it's the middle of summer, and I've never been busier in my whole life?!

...I don't know how I feel about this whole 'grown-up' business. But I LOVE my job (six-year-old me would have been THRILLLLED to know that 24-year-old me has a job that doesn't require shoes), and on top of that I have some side projects I'm really excited to show you soon.

EEEEEEEEE. Stands for "Excited."

SO. Guess what. We're going to one of our favorite places for the rest of the week. For the past six years, we've gotten to help coach a high school running camp at a lake (yes, the running camp where we got engaged). (Located at the exact same lake where we ran away, a week before our wedding, and took this photo...

I call it, "Taking the Plunge."

....end parenthesis?)

Most responsible people would plan ahead for this sort of out-of-town-and-I-can't-blog thing. They'd write up posts scheduled to publish in advance; they'd ask guest bloggers to submit something a month beforehand; they'd build a radio tower at said lake and grab themselves some internet service out of le beeg bleu sky.

But instead, here I am asking for a leeeetle help from my friends.

There comes a time in all blogs where they
run out of ideas for posts


You guys already know I love dishing, nay, spewing, the TMI. No question is off-limits, and--
oh hey, Grandma.
& Grandpa.
& Grandma-in-law.
You were hoping I'd forget you were there, eh? ; )

So no question is off-limits, but if it's a reeeeeally juicy one (I hope we get a few) I may have to reply via email instead of in a post. And I may regret this, but I'm okay with anonymous comments.

Mmkay. I'll see you guys next week.

P.S. Thanks for being awesome. I am totally floored that people continually come back to hear what I have to say. I really appreciate all of you. & I'm looking forward to catching up on your blogs when I get back!

Monday, August 1

The kitchen sink can kill you

I almost never do dishes. You might be tempted to guess that this happens because I'm such an awesome cook, and Jason demonstrates his gratitude by cleaning up the kitchen every night after I ransack it.

WOW, that's really nice of you to guess that, you flatterer you. But I'm afraid the real reason is much darker; much more treacherous, and foreboding, and every other adjective for the word "sinister." I've seen what that sink and its shadowy cabinets below are capable of. I've seen what they can do... to a brave little beetle named Alazar.

This story takes place one painfully sleep-deprived night before a final presentation.

In architecture school, when you ask someone for the time, they don't say, "Ten-fifteen," or "Eight thirty-five," or even "Noon." They look deep into your soul with their darkened, hollow eyes, and robotically murmur something like, "86 hours 'til." 86 hours, that is, until the end of the world as they've come to know it. 86 hours until their 10-week-long project is due.

On this particular night, it was 3 AM, and I was horrified to find myself at FIVE HOURS 'til. I'd gotten one hour of sleep the night before, and only three the last few nights before that. I was frantic. The design was great, but now everything had dissolved into a frenzied flurry of trying to trace all my final drawings onto a large posterboard.

I'd laid out the final poster onto the largest flat surface in our apartment: the kitchen floor. I was flinging pens, running back-and-forth to the printer, and trying not to cry (not a pride thing, I just didn't want to smudge the ink.)

At around this Five Hours 'Til landmark, I felt my brain starting to lose its grip on reality. You know when you're lying in bed, halfway asleep, and you're vaguely aware of the random-ass chaos your subconscious is churning through? I had those spinning, echoey, nonsense thoughts racing through my head even though my eyes were open-- like somebody flipping through TV channels.
Stacy, can't you see, you're just not the girl for meee

Outside, beyond the vaguely schizophrenic goings-on within my own head, my apartment was undergoing its own strange transformation. It was time for the Bug Parade.

I didn't think much of the first few little creatures that crawled across my poster. But they kept coming. And coming. Soon, there were consistently at least five insects skittering across my poster at any given moment, and I was full-on tripping out like Dumbo during that weird, drug-induced "Pink Elephants" interlude.

At "Three hours 'til" (5 AM), out lumbered The King of All The Bugs. His name was Alazar, and he was a monstrous, gleaming black beetle. He was so large that each step he took made a scratching noise on my poster paper. I was so sleep-and-Bug-Parade-stoned that his bumbling gate easily hypnotized my weakened mind; I hummed my version of "Stacy's Mom" to him and smiled admiringly at his majestic waddle.

Then he majestically waddled across the section of the poster I needed to finish, and slapped me back into reality.

"Sorry, Your Highness, you've got to go for a little ride now," I apologized, and blew at him as hard as I could.

He bounced and skittered loudly across the kitchen floor, and came to a halt below the counters under the kitchen sink. His life was about to change forever.

Within milliseconds of skidding to a stop, THE BIGGEST BLACK WIDOW I'D EVER SEEEEEEEN pounced onto Alazar, King of All The Bugs. I shrieked.

The two of them blurred into a tangle of creepy black legs as I sat, frozen in shock. One of them started making a loud clicking noise, presumably Alazar's battlecry, and I sprung into action. I sprinted into the bathroom.

Once there, I froze with the realization that I had no idea why I'd gone to the bathroom. I looked around. Somewhere in my mind, I thought a can of hairspray was a great idea.

It wasn't.

I blasted the SH*T out of our leggy friends with hairspray, and the spray separated the two bewildered bugs a few inches from each other. I grabbed the longest stick I could find (a yardstick-- thank youuu, architecture supplies close at hand), and contemplated the spider's fate.

I don't like killing things, but Venomous Vicky had to move on to the afterlife that night. Too many small children lived nearby, and I had a grim responsibility to perform. I smooshed her giant creepy body flat onto the floor, whispering "sorrysorrysorry I'mreallysorryVicky OHGOD sorrysorrysorry." Possibly the creepiest I've ever looked/sounded in my whole life, right there.

I turned my attention to Alazar. He was in a horrifyingly disgraceful state, considering his royal ranking: the sticky hairspray had attached every last thing nearby to his body, and a ruthless combination of hairs and carpet fibers had wrapped his legs tightly to his body.

Oh, the guilt.

I grabbed a piece of paper, and tried to scootch him onto it with a pencil. Being the Vicious Warrior King that he was, he grabbed the pencil with his giant beetle-y chompers and held fast. I now had a pencil with an accidentally straight-jacketed King of All The Bugs hanging from the end of it.

With another pencil, I tried to pry the fibers off of his body. They didn't budge. In fact, if I pulled any harder I was sure that I'd rip his body off of his pencil-clamping jaws.

I had to give him a bath.

I took him to the bathroom sink, and held him under the faucet. I resumed my creepy habit of whispering "sorrysorrysorrysorry YourMajestyKingAlazar sorrysorryOHGOD sorrysorry" as I tried to gently pull off his ill-fitting sweater. It wasn't working.

But this dude knew what was UP. He wasn't King of All The Bugs for nothing, amigos. He began, meticulously, this motion that I can only describe as "petting himself" underneath the tangled fibers. And slowly, it seemed that they were loosening.

I acknowledged my inferiority in bug-freeing, set him in the bottom of the sink, and left to resume my architecture work. Ten minutes later, I returned to the bathroom to check on Alazar's progress.

At the bottom of the sink was an abandoned cocoon of maroon carpet fibers, and Alazar was triumphantly trying to sprint up the slippery sink walls.

YEAH F*** YEAH, ALAZAR. Ten minutes HAS to be some kind of hairspray-and-carpet-sweater world record. I was effing PROUD. WHAT A LITTLE STUDMUFFIN.

I offered him the pencil and he wisely (?) clamped on again. I took him back into the kitchen and put him underneath the refrigerator to recover in peace and dignity.

Oh, the adrenaline. I finished my poster in the remaining 2 hours like a champ. When Jason woke up, I proudly recounted The Tale of Alazar, King of Beetles.

He looked at my bloodshot, dilated eyes. He looked down at the fridge. He looked up.

"You... didn't put him outside?"

"JASON E. MATTHEWS. This poor tormented creature was just going for his innocent nightly stroll when he got tossed about in a windstorm, attacked by Venomous Vicky, sprayed down with foul, sticky, burning, suffocating toxins, wrapped up in a straightjacket, WATERBOARDED, and trapped in a frictionless pit. We shall harbor His Highness in our food-scrap-abounding, comfortably-heated apartment for the rest of his little life. HE IS A SURVIVOR.

"Also... you might want to wear boots, or squat on a chair, from now on when you wash the dishes... when *you* wash the dishes. Vicky's relatives want revenge against me."


And that's why I don't really like doing dishes anymore.

Friday, July 29

Bachelorette Pad

Jason's been in Florida for a week-long Physics conference (he calls it The Big-Kid Science Fair). (I hope there are ribbons.)

Since he left, I've realized: that kid keeps me in LINE. Granted, I exhaust myself every day trying to wrangle little toddlers into something that resembles swimming lessons, but damn. I haven't washed a single dish since Saturday. I'm... building a monument to the Dish Gods?
My mom-in-law has a magnet that says, "I wish they made kitchens that flushed." Amen to THAT, SandiMama.

At least Sally the Soap seems excited about the situation!
...really, really excited.

The mysterious thing about all these dishes is that I haven't really cooked much, either. Normally I pretend like I'm some fancy pro chef and cook elaborate dinners every night, but this week?

& the only reason I put it on a plate was so that I could take a photo of it. Fine dining at its fine dining-est.

Fuel for the champion lifeguard/swim instructor. AH DO WHUT AH WAWNT.

I haven't put away a single article of clothing that I've worn. Actually, I haven't even put anything away that I took out just to consider wearing.

And who needs showers when I marinate in chlorinated water all day?

It's getting reeeeeally Klassy over here. And I have less than a day to try to clean it all up (including myself)... wish me luck.

[On Monday, I will tell the epic tale of why I'm literally afraid for my life to wash dishes in this apartment. Literally afraid for my life. There will be illustrations... you might want to get excited.]

Tuesday, July 26

Our Story, Part Three: My life was really hard but the Hubster was an awesome boyfriend, and then he proposed and I was really happy. Gaaag.

But first, might I offer you a small platter of Part One (first "date")?
Or perhaps a generous helping of Part Two (Hubster's side of the story)?

Alright amigos, I'm not going to lie. There's not too much to say about our first few years together without sounding completely cliché. I was finishing high school, Jason was starting college, and we were pathetically in love. The summers were magic; the school years were a steady routine: classes, then sports practice, then hang-out-with-Jason-and-somehow-manage-to-complete-homework, then walk-Jason-out-to-his-car-at-night-"to-say-goodbye"-AKA-end-up-telling-each-other-our-life-stories/making-out-in-his-car-until-1AM. Nearly every night my mom would walk out to the porch, flick the light on & off, and ring the windchime like a cowbell to remind me of my curfew. Poor, poor Mom... it was bad.
16 & 17 years old... totally mature enough to pick our future life partners, yes?
But as for my first years in college, away from home? They should have been the worst time in my life. They should have been absolute, effing HELL-- I was missing my baby sister & family, I was averaging 5-hours'-sleep-a-night  in Architecture School (battling unbearable workloads designed to "weed out" the undevoted), and I was terrified and heartbroken to know that my parents were suddenly on the brink of a divorce.

Couldn't have done it without you, buddy.
Yet instead, those first years away from home were some of the best I've ever lived. Jason was my rock. He listened when I needed comfort, and cracked me up when I needed distraction. He held me tight while I literally curled into a ball of stress in his lap, bawling my eyes out until 2AM. If I stayed at school all night, he'd drive to campus at sunrise with a home-cooked omelette.

Looking back, I can't believe how selfless he was for me during that period. (Yes, he had classes of his own as well.) Everyone in Architorture school neglected their relationships in place of schoolwork, myself included, and I watched couples break up all around me. But Jason was a champ-- instead of complaining abut how busy I was, he cheered me on.

I adored him like a little girl crushes on a classmate; I loved him like the long-term boyfriend he was, but there was a feeling beyond that, that continued to grow bigger by the time I went to bed every night. The feeling was familiar, yet I couldn't put my finger on it. I would introduce him to my friends as my "boyfriend," but the word felt so empty compared to how much he meant to me. Finally, I realized: I loved him in the same way I loved the rest of my family. A comforting, stable love that would still be there, no matter what he did or didn't do for me. When I was with him, it felt like "home."

And yet, true to my stubborn ways, I didn't want to get married quite so young. I wanted to rebel against the cutesy Disney timeline where the 'princesses' practically move straight from their parents' house to their new husband's. And deep down, I'll be honest-- I didn't want people to judge me for getting married in my early twenties. I didn't want them to judge me as naive. I didn't think it was "cool."

On a long roadtrip home from a friend's wedding, we had "the talk." I told him that in few years, he might start thinking about proposing. But as soon as the words were out of my mouth, I regretted it-- I realized I didn't want him to wait. He kept on being amazing, I kept falling for him, and for the rest of the summer, I kept hoping he'd read my mind and surprise me. I even toyed with the idea of asking him myself. (I should have just told him all this, but remember what I said about being stubborn?)

A few months after "the talk", four years after our first date, we found ourselves 10,000 feet in the sky, perched atop the pointy peak of a mountain. It's one of our favorite places in the world-- we climb it every year when we help coach a high school cross country camp.
(Yes, you know where this is going.) (And yes, this means we were surrounded by dozens of squealing high-schoolers when he proposed to me. They freaking LOVED it. They had our wedding all planned out by the time we'd climbed back down the mountain.)

MT. McLOVIN'!! (So classic that I'm wearing a hoodie and holding a Gatorade bottle.)

I didn't hear the squeals, though; honestly, for me this moment with Jason on his knees in front of me was like a cheesy, slow-mo movie scene. Running through the waves Bounding through the flowery fields Looking into his teared-up blue eyes, I tried to capture the image in my mind forever. I finally remembered to choke out a "YES" through my giddy grin.

The hubster did well in picking out his proposal spot. You can see its snowy peak miles away in our hometown, and I smile every time I look at it.

(Next installmentt: Wedding video!! If you haven't keeled over from all the moosh yet, say your prayers.)

Tuesday, July 19

Can anger be a good thing?

I'm in a philosophical discussion kind of mood, amigos. Ready to climb on board?
 (I promise the Star Trek Reference will make sense in a second.) (Not that it needs to be justified, of course.)

I grew up in a pretty quiet household where we... read books a lot. On the couch, in bed, in the bathroom, in a tree, we all had our noses silently buried in pages. Jason grew up in a rambunctious household where there was usually a radio playing, a TV show (or two) on, and boisterous banter. 

As a result, I get overwhelmed when people raise their voices at me, and I shut off. Jason handles it much better. Sometimes he'll jump right in and raise his voice in return-- and sometimes he's even the first to raise his voice.

So we've been having an interesting debate lately: is expressing your anger helpful or harmful? I'll give you both of our arguments, but I'd love to hear your take on it too.

So here's what I've thought most of my life: disagreements are better-solved free of showing anger. To me, a productive conversation is where both people really empathetically understand the other person's feelings and logic.

I think that when you get noticeably upset at someone, one of two things usually happen. The first outcome I've seen is that they get defensive and it becomes their mission to prove you wrong-- they stop trying to hear what you're saying and focus on arguing against it (I admit this is my own tendency). The second outcome is that they get intimidated by your anger, and give in to what you're saying without explaining how they really feel about it. Either way, the conversation stops making progress.

Jason thinks that showing anger is occasionally necessary. He says that sometimes, if someone has really upset you, there's no way to express it with words alone. Even if you perfectly articulate how seethingly furious you are with someone, they just won't believe you if you're explaining it to them while seated in an armchair with your legs crossed and using your best "NPR" voice. Sometimes, people won't have the motivation to change their ways unless you show your emotion to really demonstrate how their actions make you feel.

So what's your take on it? Are you a "Spock" like me? Would the world be a better place if people could talk things through without showing anger?

Or are you a "Kirk?" Do you think that showing anger is a necessary tool of communication?

Sorry, no behind-the-scenes drama-- I didn't post this because of any fight. We're just having fun finding the middle road (for yet another opinion that our extremely different upbringings bequeathed to us).

Friday, July 15

Pretend Tumblr

I had NO CLUE it would be this hard to post regularly with a job/side projects/when I want to spend all my spare time frolicking in the glorious summer sunshine. Wow, kids. Wow. Thanks for sticking around.

The silly thing is, whenever I go online nowadays I think,
"Dude, I would have a blast with a Twitter account,"
and, more even more frequently,
"How on earth do I not have a Tumblr yet?"

Because I would spend ALL DAY AND NIGHT collecting pretty pictures, animals, and geeky things:

And of course...

*end tumble spree.
That helped a little... but still, I'm tempted. Maybe once the sun starts hibernating again, I'll reconsider?


Friday, July 8

If you like 'mooshy,' then this one's for you

This Sunday marks the two year anniversary of the wedding that made Jason the "Hubster," and myself... (I didn't realize this was an embarrassing word until I tried to type it on the internet).... "Wifey."

Two years! I do believe some high-fives will be in order on Sunday.

& just for nostalgia's sake, I'll post a little somethin'-somethin' from our wedding. Before we exchanged vows, rings, and a scandalous smooch, we read our hand-written "this-is-why-you're-awesome-and-why-I'm-puttin'-a-ring-on-it" looove letters. Someday I'm going to have to post the video of us reading this to each other, with all the giggles and sniffles, but for now, have fun reading!

Jason's went a little something like this:
I marry you because you are now part of my life. In all decisions, you are a consideration. In all joy, you are sharing. In all sorrow, support. I look forward to calling you my wife, mother of my children, and my lover.

I admire your love for learning, no matter what topic;

I admire your love for life, no matter how small that life is;

I admire how you understand others' situations, even if you disagree with them.

I love how you turn nature into a storybook-- with dialogue-- whenever we go on walks.

And most of all, I love how I've never gotten along with anyone as well as I've gotten along with you.

I want to grow old and gray with you, experiencing life with you by my side.

And mine went a little something like this:
Beginning today and lasting my lifetime, I'm choosing my husband, my sidekick, my devil's advocate, the father of my children, my cheerleader, coach, and teammate. And although huge decisions usually freeze me up, you've made this one pretty effortless:

Because your love of life and curiosity inspires everyone around you, like a big happy puppy. Except a really smart one.

Because you're always working to make yourself better, like when you stay up late on homework you've assigned yourself.

Because you put up with my quirks... like putting your toothbrush on the same side of the sink as mine, so they can be friends.

Because even after six years, I keep realizing you're even better looking than I first thought.

Because you help me see what's best for me, and sometimes I resist even though I know you're right. Even then, you don't give up. Your patience and love amazes me.

Because even though you make me feel on top of the world, you still ask me if you treat me well enough.

Thanks for making my biggest decision the easiest. We're going to take good care of each other.

Happy July 10th, Handsome Hubster. High five!

Tuesday, July 5

Good news, bad news

First of all, HAPPY 5TH OF JULY!!! Today is the day when all the fireworks go on 75%-off clearance and I get to load up for the rest of the year. Yesssssssss.

& I hope you all had a happy 4th of July, as well. But I'm really mostly just glad that it leads to the 5th of July.

So, for the bad news today: I think I broke my toe at work Friday (lifeguarding). My friend says I should tell people that I kicked a naughty kid in the face, but alas... it's not quite that blog-worthy. I tripped, kicked a pole, & felt an ominous little snap in my foot (sound effect!).

I looked down & saw a crooked little toe, then my foot promptly swelled up & turned blue just like Violet Beauregard when she HAD to try that damn Willy Wonka gum. Time to take it to the juicer?

After hobbling around all weekend, I've never felt more grateful for being a (usually) able-bodied person who can walk faster than one mile an hour. I went to the grocery store last night, and was sorely tempted to steal a shopping cart to use as a walker for the rest of the week.

As for the good news? Thanks to moving our mattress to the living room, we've discovered Jason can do a stunning impression of Pepé Le Pew.

(Unfortunately I am terrible at editing videos, so you're going to have to put up with my creepy slo-mo laughing at around 0:25.)

Because my broken toe & Jason bounding gracefully across our living room are SUCH related topics.

*That foot photo was for YOU, Lauren Anderson ; ) ; ) 
(I told you I know a creepish amount about you.)

Thursday, June 30

Oh, just daydreaming about lighting things on fire

Sometimes (all the time) I daydream about designing houses. And I think,


And then I revise that thought:

Mmmm. Fire. Makes me daydream in caps lock.

It started in middle school, when both my unsuspecting parents had to work in the evenings. I'd grab my hidden stash of matches, make a beeline for the bathroom, and select the products with the most dire-sounding warning labels.

Then I'd spray/pour them onto the concrete patio outside and let them duke it out for the Most Impressibly Flammable Award.*

My college roomates didn't know this when they invited me to live with them sophomore year... in a house heated by nothing other than a wood stove.

One freezing, dark winter night in my beloved college home, I took it upon myself to heat the house very thoroughly before my roommates & I went to bed. I built a fire that would put a pyromaniac Boy Scout counselor to shame-- the black metal chimney above the fire took on a faint orange glow.
YAY for college students and their impulse to photographically document every moment of life (...says a blogger)

Soon everyone had changed into boxers and tank tops, and we'd plastered ourselves against the wall furthest from the blaze.

I checked the thermometer in the next room over. IT READ 98°F. IN THE NEXT ROOM OVER. It was a proud, proud moment.

And then... we looked out the window. Everything was blanketed in an unexpected coating of snow. We ran outside in our sweaty pajamas, stuffed the fresh white powder into glasses, then went back inside & added juice & colorful straws. I will never eat a better snow cone in my life.

Sometimes it pays to be a pyro.
(Sorry about the burn marks on the patio, Mama & Papa Bear.)

*(Aerosol foam shoe cleaner won, hands down. The coolest part is that it floats on water, so you can spray it into a water fountain, light it, and watch the floating flames go down the little waterfalls. Highlight of my 13-year old life.)

Tuesday, June 28

Dairy Wars

This post begins with a word of caution: do NOT ever eat anything off my plate.

I actually have several stories which might persuade you to follow this advice, but for the sake of a concise plot and meaningful theme, here is the latest anecdote:

I'm lactose intolerant. Very. The fact that I, TMI-extraordinaire, won't tell you what "'very' lactose-intolerant" entails should be enough.

Okay, fine, since you INSIST-- this Pepto ad is a pretty adequate description:

So, lactose intolerance, folks. 'Moooooving' on. (HA) (Sometimes I take these puns udderly too far.)

So the really tough part about being lactose intolerant is that PIZZA IS DELICIOUS. Right?
However, if you have absolutely no dignity like moi, there are ways to get around this:
  1. Pick yummy stuff off of cheese and eat it.
  2. Pull cheese off pizza, and place in mouth. Suck all the sauce off.
  3. Put cheese back on plate. If you want extra Klassy points, take the cheese out of your mouth piece-by-piece as you sucker-fish all the sauce off different sections.
  4. Keep an eye on your plate.

And that's where I screwed up. I heard Jason say, "CHEEEESE," looked over, and saw him chewing. I looked down, and the de-sauced cheese had disappeared from my plate.

Ohhhh, dear. I know we make out & all that, but there are just some ways you shouldn't ever swap spit. He hasn't taken anything off my plate since.

He has since gotten his revenge, though.

I got out of the shower, like any other day (okay, more like "any other once-a-week"). I grabbed the dark red washcloth to dry my face off first, and Jason walked in.

"April... where did you get that washcloth?"

"The towel hamper. Do I... do I even want to know why you have that look on your face?"

"That's the towel I used to clean up all that chocolate milk I spilled."




"You mean the chocolate milk that you spilled two weeks ago?!! I've just been re-hydrating old milk and rubbing it all over my face for the past 20 days?! HOW DID THIS END UP IN THE BATHROOM??!"

"I guess we're even for the sucked-cheese incident...?"

I suppose that makes us even, but I'd prefer to phrase it another way: it's my turn, buddy.

Friday, June 24

Our Story, Part II: The Part Before Part One

[Want to read Part I first?]

Like most, our story hasn't been a flawless fairy tale (I guess even fairy tales aren't flawless-- because how boring would that be?!).

The honest, slightly scandalous truth? I was trying to figure out how to break up with an on-again, off-again boyfriend when Jason started putting the moves on me... and I didn't exactly discourage him.

Sure, I'd been admiring this curly-haired athlete (two grades above me) from afar since I'd started high school. But I'd had NO idea that all along, I was-- in his words-- his "dream girl." So since I was in the dark for most of this period, the Hubster gets to tell this part of the story (photos & captions added by me):

Your new narrator for the day-- Jason, circa 2003!
Once upon a time in high school, there was a hurdler (the so-called "hubster" to you all). During track practice his junior year, this hurdler noticed a freshman distance runner (April) that looked awfully cute. For the next two years I gazed in her direction during every practice. I didn't tell anyone for a long while, though, because I was afraid she'd find out-- she was my dream girl, and I was afraid to fail. Eventually I got brave enough to confess all of this to my best friend, and I decided I had to make a move before I graduated.

A few months before my senior prom, she broke up with her boyfriend and I started building up the courage to ask her to the dance... but before I could, someone else started dating her. Time was running out before graduation, and when I heard rumors that she and boyfriend #2 were breaking up, I started trying to catch her attention.

During our "team stretch" at the beginning of practice, I would look in her direction and if she happened to look back at me, I would keep eye contact for a few seconds and smile. Those times elicited some stomach tingles of excitement.

At the end of the track season, both April & I qualified to compete in the state track meet. The coaches drove us out of town to the big meet, along the other teammates who had made it. During this trip, everyone on the team (including the coaches!) knew that I was trying to get April's attention.... except April, apparently.

At the hotel the team played keep-away in the pool, boys VS girls. Of course, I guarded April the whole time; I'm not sure if she was guarding me back. Those stomach tingles came back anytime I jumped to block a pass to or from her and just happened to 'bump' into her. Both my competitive and lovey side were getting attention. Eventually, my 'competitive side' was replaced entirely by 'how can I block the ball in order to bump into her?'

Like a typical high-schooler, up until this point I had mainly been attracted to her because she was really hot, pretty, & won almost every race she ran. Now that I was finally getting to know her, I was excited to find that my dream girl was also smart, goofy, and the kindest person I'd ever met (she still is to this day). During that weekend at the state meet, April and I were almost inseparable. This was aided by the fact that everyone on the team knew I was trying to win her over, and were all working undercover to make sure we "ended up" sitting next to each other everywhere we went. The stomach tingles continued.

On the way back home, the team split into two vans and again, miraculously, April & I were in the same van. And so the "Matthews-ing" began-- I helped April with her math homework, "casually" putting my arm on the seat behind her, but not quite brave enough to touch her. I also knew that she was still technically dating that other guy (although others on her team asked her about it, and she said she was breaking up with him once she got back.) At some point on the way home, the other van passed us, saw my arm around her seat, and had a small riot over it.

Once we pulled into the school parking lot in our home town, April looked at me, said "goodbye" with a cute smile, and started to get out of the van. At the last minute I reached out, gently grabbed April's arm, and blurted out, "Wait."

I asked if I could give her my phone number. I shakily wrote my number on her hand, and I think some of those stomach tingles reached my throat at that moment.

Although I didn't see her at school that next week, one of her friends reported to me that she'd finally broken up with the boyfriend #2. I jumped three feet into the air in celebrate (her friend reported my reaction back to her). (Ah, high school.)

I saw her the following week in the library, and she apologized for not having called me yet. I told her it was okay. She pretended to look sad, and asked, "It's okay?"

Her sudden directness caught me off guard, and I laughed. I got her phone number, and called her the next week to go read in the park. Which went pretty damn well.
Spoiler alert-- he got the girl! (Us at MY senior prom).
P.S. Can you see the blue mechanical pencil behind his ear?!! Who shows up to pick up his prom date IN A TUX WITH A PENCIL BEHIND HIS EAR??!!! Classic Mr. Matthews-er.

Wednesday, June 22

Couldn't resist posting some vacation photos

Alternately titled "Two Matthews-ers, Swimsuit edition."

My sister & I just got back from a week in the Southern California sunshine! (So sorry ladies, no Handsome Hubster in this one). 

Our sweet grandma bought us some tickets to come visit her & the rest of our family near LA (yes, I'm yet another California-Oregon transplant kid).

We drove to the airport in true Pacific Northwest fashion-- windshield wipers battling the rain at top speed, bags packed optimistically with shorts & sandals, and pale legs coated in blotchy self-tanner.

Then we enjoyed six long, sunny days of:

-- boogey-boarding for hours (and the resulting traumatic sunburns),
(look! apparently I run like a raptor too) & (I hope Kelsey's okay with her butt on my blog) ('cause I know YOU guys are) (wink wink)

-- visiting with our uncle's family and soaking up all the cousin love we possibly could absorb,
got to see our awesome grandad on Father's day! Schweet. (In other news, B.F. meter has bumped up to a 6.25)

-- doing rascally things like taking a tour of all the nearby In-n-Outs at 1AM, and inventing a suuuuper mature "game" with my grandma's bathroom scale: how much weight can you lose by going to the bathroom? Kelsey won, with 4 POUNDS LOST in one... "sitting" (her strategy involved lots of water, then lots of coffee).
(Sorry. There's another "TMI" tag & "things that happen in the bathroom" tag for the tally.)
(My grandma didn't know we were playing this game. Now she does... Hi, Grandmom.)

-- and last but not least, somehow convincing our 70-year-old grandma to try boogey boarding.

Have I mentioned that summer is my favorite thing in the universe? Just the smell of sunscreen makes me giddy.

(Next up: part two of The Story of Hubster & Me, as told by Mr. Matthews-er himself!)

Friday, June 17

I promise this isn't as bad as it sounds.

We broke our bed.

(I kind of wish it were as bad as it sounds, because that would be super impressive.)

My giant flirt of a husband picked up all of my 140+ lbs, flipped me in the air, and chucked me onto the bed. There was a deafening crack, a moment of wide-eyed silence, and then... nervous laughter. We took off the top mattress, and flipped the bed frame up onto its side:

Within an hour after moving the mattress to the living room, the naked bed frame was covered in Stuff.
Of course, this is to be expected according the The Law of Horizontal Surfaces, which states that "any horizontal surface in a 700-square-feet-or-less apartment must be covered in Stuff."

But moving our mattress to the living room has been the best part of this whole ordeal. Welcome to the Matthews-ers' (Monogamous) Harem -Style Bouncy Fun House! Who needs carpet when you can have foam-covered springs?!

Open the doors and windows, and curl up with a book. Come in through the door and bounce your way across the room. Giggle in the dark for an hour after you turn the lights off because it feels like a fifth-grade sleepover without parental supervision (I guess that's the kind of mentality that got us here in the first place).

Five Otter Pops says it'll stay there until August.