Showing posts from December, 2011

utah home, part 1

every time i come back to utah, i am astonished at how home it feels. i remember that particular, potent brand of poignant familiarity from last time, but i am still amazed. my friend julie picked me up at the airport and we headed straight to ruth’s diner for brunch. it’s an adorable little mom-and-pop place built into an old traincar up emigration canyon, around the corner from the ‘hood i grew up in. and they have these biscuits that are outrageous. julie and i drove up the canyon after we ate, and the bleak beauty was pure splendor for my mountain-missing eyes. i picked up a car at my old house, went to see catherine, bert, and baby sam, and was astonished at how big he grew since i saw him last. i took the long way to get there, through neighborhoods of my youth and neighborhoods of my memories. i met dani downtown and we went to cafe rio – a utah favity fave. all just so home . then i met my sister and her family at temple square – always glorious temple square. seeing the ch

merry, merry, merry christmas

for my last day at work, i got real festive.   oh how i loved wishing people happy holidays from under my santa hat! some little kids whispered to their dad outside the kiosk, “look, daddy, there’s an elf!” and he replied, “why, yes, it’s a cookie elf!” my last day as a cookie elf was wonderful. i’m gonna miss that bubble. i am in utah, which will always always be home sweet home, celebrating with my oldest sister and her family. it is, well, magical. i teared up this morning as my 6 year old nephew read this scripture in his cutest little voice: “for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called wonderful, counsellor, the mighty god, the everlasting father, the prince of peace.” with all my heart i believe in and love and adore the babe of bethlehem. here are some of my favourite words about the reason christmastime really is, really is, really is magical: knowest thou the condescension of god?     at the

dollhouse christmas

my roommates and i decided that we had three really good reasons to have a little party one week before christmas day: 1. the gorgeous tree we cut down deserved admiration from all our friends, 2. mindy went crazy decorating and our house looks absolutely magical and 3. i am moving out and we needed to celebrate my time in “the dollhouse” (as our home has been dubbed by members of the san francisco singles’ ward). so – we threw a classy, yummy little soiree on sunday evening and it was…dare i say?…magical. after church, we baked for literally hours and hours . i loved every minute (and all the sneaks i took of cookie dough). we had quite the spread for our guests, including “hot cocoa stirrers” i made out of marshmallows, chocolate, candy canes and straws. i was completely obsessed with them. my new addiction to pinterest is already paying off:   mindy was the master baker…we were all her apprentices. beth made chex mix with santa hats made out of bugles! wow. aubrey decided no pa


my last day on the island, i rented a car and drove the famous “road to hana” to visit my friend kara. kara grew up in the remote, tiny, outlandishly lush and gorgeous town of hana, and told me if i made the trek along the narrow, windy road, she would bring me on some adventures. yes, please. the 24 hours i spent driving to hana and back and playing with kara made for honestly one of the best days i can remember. it was almost too beautiful to be real or mortal. i listened to hawaiian flavored versions of christmas songs as i drove through the rainforest. twangy ukulele soundtracked my cruise along cliffs and over bridges and past waterfalls and through dense green. i stopped when i felt like it, hiked along random paths, grabbed some shave ice, let the views fill me up. the clouds moved with me, just a few minutes ahead of me, and it only rained for about 2 minutes total. i was outside during one downpour and i stretched my arms out and let the warm water pelt me. thanks to the we

a maui christmastime

as the youngest of nine grown (and seven married) children, i don’t go home to my parents’ for christmas anymore. instead i get to pick a sibling and spend the holiday with them and their spouse and kids. when you have a brother that lives in hawaii, the choice is pretty obvious (even when you have siblings in other super neat places like boston, new york city, san diego, washington dc, etc). however, flights to hawaii from san francisco the week of christmas are about $1200. but, flights to hawaii from san francsico two weeks before christmas are $300. so, i decided to have a maui christmas followed by a white christmas in utah a couple weeks later. my brother jonah and his wife aja moved to the island of maui just a couple of months ago, and it was so exciting to be their first visitor. as soon as i got off the plane in honolulu i felt a fantastic thrill to be back in hawaii. i flew on to maui and into a week of wonderful. my six days with jonah, aja, aniston, camden, elsie and po