Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baudville is my favorite catalogue

A little background:

Over the summer, Melissa and I spent a lot of time together. 10:30-2:30 every day, to be exact. As time passed, we developed lots of inside jokes and it generally made life much more pleasant. These include, but are not limited to, certain people that we knew would never ever reply to an email no matter what, "(a country that must not be named for fear of someone figuring out what we are talking about. Melissa knows)", blaming each other every day for not remembering to get the mail, and Hefty Lefty. Those are all that I can think of right now, Melissa feel free to add.

One of the best things, though, was this terrible catalogue called "Baudville." Here is a handy link to their site if you would like to purchase anything to motivate your employees, roommates, or spouse. It has really classy stuff like coffee mugs that say "you're the hail to our brainstorm" and the like. Out office must have ordered something out of it a long time ago and forever more we got a copy of the catalogue once a week. We would flip through it and make fun of the stuff and once Melissa even cut out some of the motivational sayings and taped them around our computer, for a little pick-me-up around the office (like eight people then asked us what they were for, and when we said "for motivation" they looked at us like we were cray-cray).

So since it was my birthday last week, Melissa told me that she had a gift for me but it might be a little late. I was wondering what it was, since she is a world-renowned gift-giver (seriously, though) and she didn't even have to do anything for me in the first place. But she arrived to the office on Monday with this:

My very own Baudville gift! And complete with treats inside and cute tissue paper! It truly was a birthday miracle. Love that Melissa.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Day of Birth

So it's official, I am a 23-year-old. If I was not already married I would have been kicked off my parents insurance yesterday, but seeing as I already was I don't think that there is anything particularly significant about this year in life...except I am going to make it awesome, obviously. I feel kind of old though....I think I thought that I would be done with school and have kids by now? But I think maybe I just want a child that I can take trick-or-treating and to water parks under the guise of having a child.

The festivities started at midnight on Friday. Well, technically they started Thursday because I went out with my roommates (ok, my old roommates obviously but I still call them that) for a classic Sonic ice cream event because it was Jac's birthday too so we always celebrate together! Maybe someday I will blog about our most awesome 21st birthday party ever in which it was pitch black out and we had like two little candles lighting a whole pavilion. (It was seriously the best though). But anyway, in my family we have a very strict gift-opening regimen where you do NOT open presents until the evening of your birthday when everyone is assembled but Dave's parents were visiting and once it struck midnight on Friday they were like "well, it's official. You can open your presents now!" and I was all like "what?" but I did it and it was so freeing! I think I will buck tradition like this every year!

Dave's parents were so sweet to get me presents and they got me a really cute cardigan and this cute magnet board that I think I will hang in our kitchen. I loved both items and it was super sweet of them to do! Please also ignore how haggard I look (and I have no idea what happened to my hair) that was such a busy Friday and it was like midnight. Also, I really like how you can see Dave's dad laying on our couch in the top picture :)

Dave had told me that he ordered my gift online but it hadn't come yet, so I was joking when I said "I think Dave has prepared something to share now." I mean, I was just hoping for a light song and dance routine but it turns out he had my gift after all. I was super curious about what he was getting me because like two months ago he had told me that he knew what he wanted to get me for my birthday. Usually Dave kind of stresses over gifts so I was all kinds of wondering what this miraculous idea was. Turns out it was this:

He bought me new scriptures with my full name on them! I forgot that I had mentioned in passing once that my mom had scriptures with her maiden name on them until I was in high school, and apparently this disturbed Davito so he wanted to make sure that I was properly identified :) (he is also very upset that Facebook won't let me change my name. But I promise that I am happily married and introduce myself as Claire Mizukawa. In case you were losing sleep over it or something). It was really sweet of him and I really love them.  I am excited because I want to use these when we read together and we can start marking them with stuff we talk about which will be cool.

The next day (or that same day, technically) we went to Texas Roadhouse for lunch (I had a free birthday appetizer, I couldn't resist!) and then to Salt Lake with my sisters so that we could go to the Relief Society General Meeting with my grandma (Dave watched football with G-pa Farr and I think it was a bonding experience for them). That was obviously awesome and then we went back to their house for cake and ice cream and more presents. Sorry I failed at taking any pictures of that whatsoever, but it's my birthday so I will do what I want, yo.

I felt oh so loved and I got some awesome gifts (new running shoes and a rap written by Anne Hopkin?!) so all in all it was a great day! I really love my family and friends and really appreciated all of the sweet texts and messages wishing me a happy bithday!

Edited to add: Some friends from our ward just stopped by and brought me fresh peaches because they heard it was my birthday yesterday, so the fun just never ends!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Current Trend

When you're a fifth-year college student, a lot of this happens:

Help me stay strong, friends!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Book ramblings

Remember how I was going to make Book Review Friday a thing? Well, that lasted one week, obviously. Sorry to everyone. Lately I have been reading tons and tons of YA books for my Young Adult Lit class and I have to say that it is so fun! I seriously save that homework till the end every day because it is so enjoyable. I am so glad that I get to be a teacher and read these fun books with kids....instead of some of the weird stuff I have had to read in college. I just pray that I have a department chair that doesn't mandate something terrible. Like the Poisonwood Bible like everyone had to read when I was a senior. bleh.

Anyway, for fun right now I am reading "One Day" which is the book that that movie with Anne Hathaway was based on. So far it is's really light so it's the perfect chick lit for a mid-semester fun read. Although I have to admit that I usually only make it through like 3 pages before conking out at night, but I have I enjoyed those 9 pages so far. Warning though, they are college students. European ones.

I will tell you a book NOT to read: The Jane Austen Book Club. Dumb, dumb, dumb! I put it down a third of the way through. It was just sordid and inappropriate for no reason and the parts that weren't about the characters' scarring high school dating experiences were just boring people sitting around talking about Jane Austen. WHO CARES? I could read JA myself if I wanted to, why do I really want to hear what they have to say about a book that I am not even currently reading? I had strong feelings about the lameness of this book coinciding with its apparent popularity.

I suddenly started panicking that I own none of my favorite childhood books besides HP (and a random copy of Ramona and Beezus that I won), and so naturally I made it a priority to do a bunch of weird odd jobs on Amazon Mechanical Turk and earn Amazon credit and buy some. So yesterday I came home to my very own copies of "The Mitchells: Five for Victory" and "Betsy, Tacy, and Tib" in the mailbox! Heaven help our sons. I have no idea what to make them read. I had this horrible realization at dinner a few days ago that Dave has never read Little Women or The Secret Garden. Never even seen the movies!!! He was rather offended that I seemed so upset by this as he still turned out comparatively normal.

 The only boy books I read as a kid were "Johnny Tremain" (hated it) and "Adam of the Road" (hated it even worse. Seriously, just say "Adam of the Road" and me and my sisters will all start convulsing and gagging. It was one of the more misguided book decisions my mom made. Not all Newberry Award books are meant to be read by real live children). Although if our sons follow the current trends of male students they will never read a book for fun outside of school. Yes, less than 1/3 of 13-year-olds are daily readers. And the numbers are getting worse. They were too busy gaming or something. Don't get me started on this. I am in a Teaching Reading class too and we basically just sit around and decry the American teenager's literacy skills.

Whew. Ok I think that's all I had to say right now.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Last Week's Randoms

So I still cannot find my camera battery charger thing anywhere. I have no idea how things disappear in our tiny apartment but somehow they manage to and so I am relegated to lots of terrible phone pics until then. I thought I would share a few of the highlights:

 We went to my darling friend Laura's birthday party on Friday. She is just the cutest girl and quite the Japanophile (word?) so we had to oblige her with an Asian pic.

Laura's mom was also there and I wish I had a picture with her. She is the cutest little mom (she looks 20) and she was trying to make everyone dance like a real Colombian party.

 I had to get some blood tests at the doctors. My hypochondria struck again. But...I am fine! And I got a hot camo bandaid (picture carefully taken to omit worst hairy part of arms, for your benefit).

Ok this is so random to me. For like a month and a half how our parking spot neighbors (I don't know them so I don't feel to guilty about this) have had this mysterious sheet covering this big lumpy thing in their parking spot. Everyone keeps asking what it is and we had no idea until on Saturday I noticed that the sheet was off for the big reveal!

....little stump things? Not even firewood. My only thought is that maybe she is making some huge number of woodsy craft for Super Saturday or something.

One thing I didn't get a picture of was the delicious French Toast Casserole that I made for Dave's parents on Sunday. It was from Pioneer Woman, the website of wonderfully fattening food. It was really tasty but it was basically just bread pudding parading as breakfast. Works for me! I like to think that it made everyone feel better after the BYU game :( And I was really proud of myself because I was brave enough to try something new for the in-laws and it actually worked this time!

I'm Too Young for This Foolishness

So, lately I have been a little scatterbrained. I wish I could blame it on something cool, like being pregnant, but it is just due to being a little stressed and frazzled. Like three times this week I made really silly scheduling mistakes or put the wrong date on things. It is really embarrassing when you get text messages from the girl you visit teach wondering where you are (I could have SWORN it was next week that we decided on!). But anyway, when the sweet compassionate service committee in my ward left me a nail polish and a little birthday note on my doorstep yesterday I just assumed it was for my birthday this Saturday. However, later that day my aunt left this on my Facebook wall:

I seriously sat and stared at the screen for like three minutes. Wait, is it my birthday today? Is that possible? My mom forgets her own birthday sometimes but I am not old enough to not like my birthday yet am I? I finally got the courage to ask Dave and he confirmed that no, my birthday is definitely later this week. My Aunt Heather was just early. I really would not put it past myself lately to not know when the 24th is though.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Only Good Thing That Happened Yesterday

Maybe I am being a little dramatic. BUT yesterday was just not a good day. A bit of a shocker, to use the Australian term. It was just a day where everything went wrong. I shall spare you the entire list but here are a few highlights:

*Entire hem of my JCrew gray skirt all of a sudden unraveled. So I walked around campus all afternoon with either a string tail or a completely un-hemmed skirt. Does anyone know how to do an invisible hem?

*Thought I scheduled a meeting with my Primary presidency. Turns out "reply" and "reply all" are two different things (who would have known?) and so I had just the bishopric member there but none of my counselors. They had no idea it was even on for sure.

*For some reason, my sandwich that I brought from home for lunch tasted like garbage. It is the same thing I have every day. It was very curious but served to worsen my foul mood.

Another thing that I did wrong was forget my phone at home. I got to campus and realized that I didn't have it with me, so I emailed Dave from work and asked him to bring it to campus with him. We have a class together (Teachings of the Living Prophets) so I figured I could just get it there. Usually Dave gets to that class really early but yesterday I got there at like 10 'till and he was no where to be seen. I waited and waited and felt like a dork because I had my bag on this seat for him but he finally hurried in right as the bell rang. He was....slightly....damp. Poor thing. He had arrived at campus and realized that he hadn't brought my phone, so he rode all the way back home and back in the like 15 minutes before class started. The worst part was he couldn't find my phone. I felt like the worst wife! I didn't discover until that evening when I got home that it was actually at the bottom of my bag the whole time....I'm an it had all been for naught!

I did feel really bad that he had gone all the way home for me I passed him this note in class:

He edited "sweet" to describe his more literal condition at that moment.

I am glad that at least he proved his deep love for me once more through this heroic act :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Temple Day

Two years ago I had the most wonderful opportunity to be in a Relief Society presidency with three of the most amazing girls I have ever met. Before we got called none of us were really good friends in the ward and none of us lived in the same apartment or anything, but we hit it off immediately and became fast friends. We had lots of great adventures frosting ridiculous amounts of cookies, making love predictions, hawking pies to lure people to firesides, just generally scaring our poor sweet RS adviser in presidency meetings, which ran about an hour and a half average.... even though we all live in different wards (and towns) now I love it when you have a group of friends that you don't see for a while but when you do everything just clicks like you have been hanging out every day forever. 

Our dear Kate is about to leave for a mission to McAllen, TX and since she was the last member of us to go through the temple we decided that a temple trip was in order. She drove down from Bountiful (where she lives now...because she graduated from college at 19 what the heck?) to meet us at the Provo temple and we did a session together. 

It was so great to spend time with them in such a special place. It reminded me of in the scriptures when Alma the Younger meets the sons of Mosiah and is so happy to see that his friends have remained is fun to see good friends and be able to share the happiness that the Gospel brings to you together.

Awesome squished phone shot. Thanks Laura! (she's the cute Latina)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Review Friday

I don't know if this will become a thing. Maybe it will become a thing? I have talked about books I like on here before, and I really like when I get recommendations from people that I trust....and I hope you trust me...why don't you trust me?!'re reading my blog for Pete's sake.

Anywaaayyysss I think it would be cuter to say "Page-turner Tuesdays" or something but it's Friday and I want to talk about this so here you go. I am in a young adult literature class this fall and I have to read a truckload of books by the end of the semester. I am actually really excited, though, because I have to say that being an English major has killed my love of reading just a little bit. Isn't that sad? But I will just admit right now that Milton and Shakespeare and Chaucer are not really my thing. I mean, they're great and important and all but I would never read them for fun, and being forced to read them makes me. And if I have to buy another Norton Anthology of some kind of literature, which weighs 600lbs and the bookstore will NEVER buy back, I will spit a little (gleek, if you will). BUT, this class has us reading a lot of books that are just really really fun to read, even though they are technically for teenagers, and I think that it will really prepare me to teach so I am excited! We read The Outsiders last week and I had forgotten that I have a crush on Sodapop Curtis Or would, if I were a 16-year-old Greaser girl from Oklahoma. Don't tell Dave. Book crushes are allowed I think.

So anyway, this past weekend I read a book by an author that I really like, Markus Zusak. He is technically for young adults, but he is Australian and his books are sometimes released for adults here in the US so they are really more adult I think. I will warn you that he uses some bad the "s word" a I wouldn't really let my young teenager read his stuff. This I will say though: Even though he uses some bad language and some of his books are a little "edgy" I think that his writing has a lot more literary and personal value than a lot of that really smutty YA stuff that gets published. Like I would 1000x rather recommend his books for a teenager that "Gossip Girl" or something because they actually promote really good values like friendship and compassion. And they are really funny. And super creative. I just wish he didn't have to use bad words to get the humor or the point across.

The book is called "I Am the Messenger." It is about this guy who lives a super mediocre life until he shoots a bank robber and then starts getting these cards in the mail, aces of each suite, which have names or words on them. They all correlate with a person that he is supposed to find and help in some way. He has to figure out who the person is and what it is that they need, and to add to it he doesn't know who is sending him these tasks but they are kind of sinister so it has a suspenseful element to it. I don't want to tell too much, but the tasks range from small and simple to scary and embarrassing. Even though it deals with some heavier topics, there are so many sweet moments in this book and it is really funny. The writing is just super original. Markus Zusak has a really different voice and if you have read "The Book Thief" you know what I mean. A lot of his sentences are really short and choppy and his imagery and verb usage are so fun and totally make you look at things in a new way.

I won't tell you the end but I cried, just a little. I do that a lot. But stupid Milton doesn't make you cry, does he (except when you cry because you still have two chapters of Paradise Lost to read and you want to stab your eyeballs with a pencil)?
What, don't you use receipts as book marks? And refuse a comb?

So run to your local library and get "I Am the Messenger!" I think it is just "The Messenger" in Australia, but they are the same. And don't get confused when he talks about sweating on Christmas in the book because that confused me until I realized that Australia in on the bottom of the world, and have reversed seasons. I am majoring in English....not Geography.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

For Gramsie

Ok, ok it's been like a month. I feel kind of guilty and have been meaning to jump back on that bandwagon but nothing made me feel quite as bad as when I called my grandma yesterday and she said that she has been "blue" because she checks my blog every single morning and keeps getting repeatedly disappointed by my slovenly blogging ways (my words, not hers). Dagger to the heart! So to make it up to her I am renouncing my prodigal grandchild ways and coming back to the warm loving arms of the internet world.

The main reason that I have not been writing is that my family has been visiting all during the month of August. It was SO fun to see them and I have lots to talk about in regards to what we did. They finally had to go home and get back to real life, but we started school this week, so things have been busy with that too. I don't know why but this has definitely been the most stressful first week of school ever for me. Which is weird, because I tried to tell myself that my grades don't matter as much now that I am in my program and this is my last year, but I still got really overwhelmed last week for some reason. I guess doing well in school is something that has been so ingrained in me for my whole life and I feel really guilty not trying my best since it is a blessing to have a college education. I used to handle it just fine but with work and the normal household responsibilities I was feeling like I had like two hours a day for homework and last time I checked that is just simply not enough when you are expected to spend that much per class.

After this long weekend though I felt a lot better and had some time to get ahead and I feel a lot better this week. We went down to Dave's house in St. George and spent time with his family which is always fun. His brother's wife Julie had just had a baby girl on Wednesday so we got to see her and she was just the cutest! I am kicking myself because Dave and I both thought the other one was bringing a camera so we failed to take any pictures, but trust me, this is one cute baby. They are not sure what they are naming her for sure yet (like which should be the first name and which is the middle) and for some reason no one took my suggestion of Penelope and calling her Pippa seriously. Or Olive.

Julie asked us to help her make a cake for Makayla, who was turning two on Sunday. She loves phones (she calls them hellos) so she was wondering if we could make a "hello" cake for her. We plotted and sketched out an idea and spent like three hours on Sunday making this cake. I will admit that I was slightly disappointed in the outcome. For one thing, we used a chocolate cake and white frosting, which I should have known better than to do. So it was chocolate crumb frosting. It still turned out kind of cute but I felt really guilty because Julie is like a master party woman and I know that Makayla would have had a better cake from her. But we tried really hard and that's what counts, right? Our kids will just have to have ghetto cakes for their birthday.

Here is a super-cute pic of Makayla blowing out the candles, though:

It's just a phone pic, so not the best quality. Has anyone else ever noticed that candles make pictures look super crazy for some reason???

Makayla, your Uncle Dave and Aunt Claire love you, even if your cake looks a little wonky.

Sorry, I feel like this post has been a little grumpy sounding! I promise I am happy. To prove it I will share this cute printable I found on Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night:

Isn't that cute??? I want to make it into something but I don't know what. Maybe a pennant banner for football season or something.

Happy four-day week!