Saturday, February 27, 2010


Took a picture for a tourist. Got the same one taken in return.

Ate messy, delicious burgers and fries at Five Guys.
(Thanks Kaylene for the gift card!)

Walked through our neighborhood.

(He's cute.)

Took a picture in front of my current favorite place on our street.

I baked cookies for our Sunday school class.

Klane prepared the lesson.
Or secretly took a nap behind his computer and sleeping bag.
He's a sneaky one, that husband.

But I am sneaky, too.

The Campout

Since our husbands were on a scout campout together, Rubi, Marci and I got together Friday night for some girl time. We made yummy s'mores cupcakes :

and watched Amélie:

What an absolutely darling movie. Loved it. I should watch more foreign films. We should also have more girl's nights while our husbands are at scouts. It was so fun!

I got home late, after 1:00, and snuggled into bed for a restless night. (I hear things when Klane's gone.) A while later, the bell rang. Slightly disoriented, I got out of bed to check the intercom and see who was outside. There was no one there, but at the edge of the screen I could see the door closing. Whoever rang had gotten inside. I assumed it was someone who forgot their keys, and someone else buzzed them in. A little unnerved, I bolted the door and got back in bed.

A few minutes later, I heard a bump at the door. Then someone fiddling with the handle. Then the door opening. After my heart jumped out of my chest, I realized it was Klane.

"What are you doing here?" I said.

"We just finished playing video games at the church, and they had enough leaders that they didn't need me to camp with them," he said.

"You scared me! Don't do that!" (I am ornery when I'm half asleep.)

"I'm sorry," (He knows I'm ornery when I'm half asleep.) "I buzzed you so you'd know I was coming."

"Oh. Thanks." I guess that made sense. Just not to my sleepy brain. I'm laughing now. Of course it was Klane.

So the scouts camped in their snow caves outside, and Klane got to come home after a few hours of Playstation and sleep in his bed! I'd say he got a pretty good deal there. It's kind of ironic since Klane actually loves winter camping, and most people are less than excited about sleeping outside in sub-freezing temperatures. But I'd say we were both happy with the way things turned out.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I guess I just can't help myself.

Here is yet another post with pictures in Central Park. It looks different every day! And, I brought the camera this time. The city is covered in over a foot of snow, and the park was absolutely gorgeous this morning. In the snow, it really takes on an almost magical quality.

I've always loved how the edge of Central Park makes this hulking wall that seems to separate it from the city.

This is why you need boots. Plus it just feels good to stomp through 6 inch deep puddles with them.

Snow up to the tops of my boots! Now that is deep!

Obviously I can't help myself.
(Although, isn't it amazing to see what 24 hours of snowfall can do?)

And yes, I was 45 minutes late to work. :) Don't worry, we didn't see patients today, and I called first to make sure it was okay. It was a relaxed day, the doc ordered us pizza from Patsy's, and we got off at 4:45. What a great day!

Tonight, Klane has a scout campout. Yes, even in the storm! Before you get too worried, let me tell you that the plan is to spend the first half of the night with pizza, multiple TVs and Playstations at the church. (Nice city campout, guys.) Later they'll build snowcaves and camp in someone's backyard. Apparently. ;)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Joy all around

I've had a lot of joy in my heart lately. True, honest, can't help but smile, squeal and jump around, hug someone tight as you can, thank God for your blessings type of joy.

Joy in homemaking; in folded laundry, clean floors and freshly baked bread.

Joy in my husband; in simple things like waking up next to him, in stolen kisses on commercial breaks, in welcome-home hugs.

Joy in embracing my divine role as a woman, and therefore a wife and (future) mother.

Joy in my faith, in the direction and hope it brings to our life.

Joy in my family and appreciating where I've come from.

Joy in simple things, like the giant, fat, puffy snowflakes falling on my face this morning. In breathing the morning air. In having the park almost all to myself. In quiet. In God's beautiful creations for his children. In feeling God's love for me confirmed through his Spirit as I tip my head back and feel the snowflakes on my face.

This morning in the park was nothing less than breathtaking. I smiled all the way to work. Didn't even mind that my knees were wet by the time I got there. I wish you could see the snowflakes. (If I had brought my camera, I could've frozen them in the air and you could see how huge they were! I would've also had a wet camera and been a little late to work.) I can't wait to see what this storm ends up unloading on the city. It's supposed to keep snowing all weekend! Life is good, people. Life is good.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Misty morning in the park

This week's NYC forecast? Rain and lots of it! Although it's more difficult to get outside when it's raining, I'm loving it. Rain feels like spring. I love being outside after it rains. Everything smells and feels and looks so fresh. It makes me think of the green leaves and flowers and grass this rain is going to bring in just a few weeks. Plus I get to wear my cherry red rain boots, which is always a plus.

Lately I've been walking through the park instead of riding the train to get across town to work. It has been so nice to be outside in the morning air. I wish I was dedicated enough to lug my heavy camera everywhere with me, but I just won't do that every day. It's unfortunate, because especially on a nice morning like today, there are always moments where I see something beautiful and imagine the great picture I could take of it if I had the right camera. Like the water droplets clinging to the branches this morning that were so gorgeous! I took a mental snapshot so I wouldn't forget it. Anyway, here are some cell phone pictures, once again!

Misty city skyline above Sheep's Meadow

I know it's been photographed hundreds of times,
but once again, I bring you The Mall

Rockin the red rainboots and the iPod cord
(John Mayer's Battle Studies got me to work this morning in a great mood)

This lovely winding path takes me through the Central Park Zoo
before popping out of the park onto 5th Avenue

Monday, February 22, 2010

Things that amuse me on the subway...

This is a phenomenon which occurs in all New York City subway stations. People constantly lean out of the crowd to peek up the tunnel and see if the train's coming. (As if it's going to make any difference in when the train actually comes.) I find it quite humorous to just watch them do it, though (Whack-A-Mole comes to mind) so I took a video one morning.

Don't you just want to start bopping them with a giant padded mallet?!
(Let me be fair and tell you that I am guilty of tunnel-peeking myself, from time to time.)

Another recent video from the subway, here's my sly attempt at recording this guy's performance without anyone noticing me doing it.

He was a really good singer and pounded this great beat on the subway door with his hands and feet. I think he should try out for American Idol. :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Super Size Me

This weekend after catching up with LOST on hulu, we browsed through the free movies section and found Super Size Me. Of course we'd both heard a lot about the film over the last few years, so we watched it. I am so glad we did! I think everyone should watch it.

For those who haven't heard about this film, it's a documentary about a guy who eats at McDonald's for one month straight, to see the effect it has on his body. Doctors and nutritionists monitor the changes that occur all along the way. The film also explores corruption in the food industry and the obesity epidemic in America. It was shocking to see the negative effects that such a high fat, high sugar diet had on the body. The guy gained 10 lbs in the first week. By day 22, his doctors were urging him to stop the experiment because his liver may not be able to handle the high levels of fat, and he was actually in danger of liver failure and death. It took him 14 months to lose the 24 pounds he gained in just 30 days.

Watching it made us want to be so much healthier. We don't even eat at McDonald's, but the film caused me to think about the choices I make in the foods I cook at home and my exercise level (or lack thereof, at times). I realized I use a lot of sugar and fat in my cooking and not nearly enough fresh fruits and vegetables. I know eating only McDonald's for a month is a very extreme example, but it still showed the very real damage that unhealthy foods do to the body. And the film made me realize that food is a real addiction for people, just as much as alcohol or drugs.

So Klane and I ran a few miles Saturday morning. And had salad for lunch. And walked home from church today. Haha. The movie definitely had a positive influence on us. You can (and you probably should) watch the film for free here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A night in Hungary

My good friend Andrea from work is Hungarian. She grew up in the former Soviet Union, and emigrated to New York 20 years ago as a young woman. She found such great opportunities here, and eventually her family followed her and emigrated to the U.S. as well. She lives in Queens with her husband (also Hungarian) and two kids.

This weekend Andrea (pronounced "Ahhn-dray-ah") invited us to come for a dinner and program at the Hungarian House on 82nd street. It was such a fun experience to be immersed in another culture for an evening. Everyone spoke Hungarian the whole time (except when they talked to us), they served Hungarian food, and after dinner the kids and teenagers put on a program, sang traditional Hungarian songs, played Hungarian games and danced. Klane and I were impressed by how they keep their culture alive and have such a sense of community here in the states. The kids putting on the program were born and raised in the U.S. and their first language is English, but because of their immigrant parents, they all speak fluent Hungarian and know all the traditional Hungarian songs, dances, customs, games and foods. Many of them go to Hungarian school on Saturdays to learn the language and traditions. It's really neat.

We were introduced to all of Andrea's family, and she was really great to translate a lot of the program for us and tell us about each traditional Hungarian dish that we had to try. I got the feeling that Hungarians are really warm, friendly, welcoming people. We had a nice conversation with one of Andrea's relatives or friends who told us a lot about Hungary's culture and history. Andrea was so cute and excited to share everything with us. She kept asking us what our favorite dishes were and asking us what she could get us and bringing us more food. We ate until we were stuffed, and then ate some more when she announced the Hungarian pastries were coming out next and that we had to try each of them.

Lucky for us, everything was delicious! My favorites were Chicken Paprikás (paprika chicken in gravy) served with Nokedli (homemade pasta, like small dumplings), Fasirozott (Hungarian meatballs, different than American), Szekely Gulyas (paprika spiced sauerkraut and pork with sour cream, eaten on bread), Bejgli (a walnut and cheese filled pastry), and the Túrós Kremes (a pastry with "farmer's cheese", a sweet soft cheese). I had to google all of that food to get the names right, but that is what Andrea called everything.

At the end of the program, everyone stood in a huge circle, held hands and sang a traditional song in Hungarian together. We joined hands with them and hummed along. :) It was really sweet! We got double cheek kisses on our way out. It was kind of surreal walking back out on the street and finding ourselves in New York City, and not somewhere in Budapest. What a fun evening!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A realization.

I'm looking forward to Spring and the weather warming up. March is coming in just two weeks. March equals Spring, right? Spring equals warmer temperatures, right? Right...?

Sure, it's snowed twice in the last week. But in the city it gets shoveled and salted and cleaned up so quickly that you kind of forget about it. So I deluded myself into thinking warmer weather was just a few weeks away. The snow was pretty much gone except for some piles on the edge of the sidewalks and street corners, and I could just imagine coming back from my trip to Utah in March to find a city on its way to springtime.

Well, today I went for a walk in the park and realized it is still definitely WINTER! I was shocked to find like a foot of snow there! I had sort of assumed the snow from last week's storm had already melted away, based off what I'd seen on the streets of the city. Boy was I wrong! It was kind of sad to realize how long it's been since I've been exposed to "nature". I should probably go to the park more often. This nature stuff is great.

Despite the snow and my realization that there is still a long way to go before we start seeing green on the trees again, it was beautiful in the park today. Here are some phone pictures!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Maiden Voyage

I used my new mixer for the first time! I was surprised at myself and just how excited I actually got. Don't get me wrong, I was excited to use it. But I just didn't expect that I would involuntarily start jumping up and down and squealing as I watched it knead my dough for the first time. It was glorious!

I only had one little mishap. (Note to self: Make sure the arm is locked in the "down" position before kneading dough.) The mixer made it as far as the sixth cup of flour, but the seventh cup was the threshold. It somehow caused the non-secured arm to jump up, puffing flour everywhere. It was a great moment.

The damage:

But look at this gorgeous dough. And I didn't have to stir or knead anything!

And the results worked out pretty well. I figure with years of practice I'll learn to form loaves of french bread as beautiful as my mom's. :)

And since most pictures I take lately are of our food, here's what we made tonight. Shrimp Po' Boys (Klane's idea). We'll say it was a meal in celebration of Mardi Gras, which is today.