Monday, August 31, 2009


Dear Internet,

I had a rough 48 hours. Crummy for a host of reasons not even worth mentioning. And the good news is, I think the universe didn't want me to be unhappy any longer.

A few hours ago I received the sweetest text of my whole life from my lovely (and now married!) sister Kendall:
"I love you so much. I seriously think about you every day and how I could be more like you. Have a good day!"
I got home from work and was reminded of the sweetest post-it note of my whole life from my lovely (and now college freshman!) sister Mallory:

And then, I had the thought that's completely recaptured my good attitude. Nat, says the thought, Remember when you used to listen to Hairspray! all the time? Maybe it's time to resurrect the beat.

Woot. I'd forgotten how obsessed I was with Hairspray! It also brought back so many good memories. I saw Hairspray for the first time on Broadway with the SLC Holla House and then again with Julie last last Memorial Day. I'm now having a literal dance party with myself. But seriously, you should see my moves. I think I missed my calling in life.

So maybe I let the beat stop for a bit this weekend, but you'd better believe I won't any longer!

Take me out to the ballgame

Summer isn't summer in Boston until you get to see the Red Sox play. In a summer bogged down in torrential (and at times hurricane-al) rain, I somehow managed to be at Fenway Park the four most beautiful nights of the season. Lucky, lucky, lucky me. Click the image above to view in full-sized splendor. Or click on these to see my 2007 and 2008 trips to Fenway.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

no touching: tender feelings and illegal activity

I think my next poll will attempt to gather the stats on the marital status of my dear readers. If I had to guess now, I'd wager 65/35 in favor of the marrieds, if not higher. Which is odd now that I think about it, since my daily 24/7 is surrounded by single people. But wow, this is neither here nor there. Have I ever actually started a blog on a tangent? A NatA! first? 665 posts in and I still have something new in me? I've impressed even myself.

I've had weddings on the brain in 2009. Clearly not my own, but two of the most important people in my life had weddings in back-to-back weekends, and I played a pretty major part in both. Hours were devoted on the phone to planning and support to both brides. WHO knew weddings were so much work? A: 65% of my readership, that's who.

Julie's destination Boston wedding gets the first heavy radio play--this post is going to be photo-heavy, apologies in advance. It's not often I have the opportunity to post pictures taken by a professional!

Ju left Boston one year ago to nab an MBA from BYU. In January, she met Greg and I knew from the get go that this was one to watch. Despite seeing Julie several times this year, I didn't meet Greg until they were staying at my house three days before the wedding. On the phone, Ju told me one of her biggest fears was that we wouldn't get along. Oh honey, no fret. This Greg is a keeper.

Seeing as my sister was the photographer, and I the unofficial MOH (shh. don't tell), I was put to work assisting the photographer. I like to think I was helpful, but I won't be quitting my day job any time soon. I think I distracted the Bride & Groom more than helped my sister. (Sorry Alaina!)
It wasn't my intention of turning this into a tribute post. But I guess your best friend only gets married once. I cried during my impromptu speech at the luncheon and am quite beside myself again now trying to accurately portray the relationship Julie and I have shared the last few years.

Regardless, here's my best attempt at describing our relationship.

Julie and I don't physically touch. Rarely, if ever. Not in greeting, not in farewell. Not in back-scratching during church or hair-playing while watching movies. It's never been an intentional thing, if anything the lack of touching is probably on me. We don't physically touch, it's true--but we don't need to. It's oh so cheesy to even say it outloud, but our brains and hearts touch in ways that would put physical contact to shame. One look or arch of an eyebrow communicates more than hundreds of words delivered by someone else. Our brains run at the same mental pace and make the same mental jumps--conversation flows at outrageous speed, and I just can't get enough.

The 2400 miles this last year hasn't destroyed our friendship, if anything it's strengthened it. Based on emotional support instead of social activity, our friendship has more than weathered the storm of distance. In fact, while traveling, we've checked in from Malaysia, Italy, Prague, Seattle, Hong Kong, and many a place in between. We spent Halloween and Christmas together--I told her it's probably a good thing she and Greg were getting married so people didn't think we were girlfriends!

Why wouldn't you want to be around someone who makes you laugh all the time?

Julie is smart and happy and beautiful and funny and generous and sensitive and positive and grounded. There isn't a person who doesn't want to be around her, she has an innate ability to make you feel like the very best version of you. This probably sounds like hero-worship, but I pretty much think Julie is the perfect person. It's about time someone snatched her up!

One last quick story (during a church talk, this is where you'd inwardly groan) -- While hugging Greg in the sealing room after the ceremony, he held me tight and promised me he'd take really great care of her. [Gosh, I wasn't crying until now.] I don't doubt that he will. Moved and a little taken aback, I hugged Julie(!) and unable to vocalize my true thoughts what this post is now doing, told her it was okay if her wedding day replaced the best day of our lives. She laughed and told me it was a draw, "I was more excited for that one but probably cried more for this one."

Then we went into the Brides' Room and shared a Diet Coke. (shh. don't tell.)

Friday, August 28, 2009


I know one of the many perks of hitching your wagon to someone else's is the joy of registering and receiving gifts. Obviously, I haven't experienced that paramount moment yet; the wandering of the aisles with your paramour, wielding a scanner and picking china and a toilet seat cover. To be honest, I'm not too distraught about the registering that is. At this point in my life (26.75), I have a pretty comprehensive set of Real Adult Life Tools (RALTs) gathered in the last few years as a working woman.

A queen-size bed purchased my second day in the City? Check. A big flat screen TV courtesy of stimulating the economy? Check. A mickey mouse waffle iron, griddle, and food processor? Check. An industrial-sized Kitchenaid mixer purchased with Biggest Loser winnings? Check. Smaller ticket items culled from Target, IKEA, and the ever classy Christmas Tree Shops and AJ Wright? Check. I don't want for a whole lot folks, I recognize this. (But I'm alone you married people, don't get too envious.)

What has been missing in my life, and from our kitchen, is a decent knife. One. Decent. Knife. Sure, we have no less than eight non-stick cookie sheets, but trying to find a knife sharp enough to open a letter, let alone cut a watermelon? An epic tale of adventure and disappointment.

Cut to last night. There's a giant package waiting for me when I get home from dinner with the lovely Katie. Who doesn't love getting mail that's not a special credit card offer or Pier One Kids(?!) catalog? I have no idea what the special contents of this package could possibly contain.

Folks, this is what true love looks like:
As a "thank you" for my help with the wedding, Julie sent me a set of knives proportionally nicer than anything else I own. And a book celebrating what was until her wedding the greatest day of our lives. Um, who does that? Sending brilliantly thoughtful and expensive gifts two weeks after her own wedding? Amazing.

So. I've got knives to add to my RALT collection. Tonight, I shall try to find something to cut. And I should probably clarify that the cutting will not include me or any other personages.

Save a house and husband, I'm hard pressed to think of any RALTs not in my collection. Is that the new secular measure of a full and satisfying single life? Is it time for me to move on to the next step? And if/when it gets time for me to shack up with someone and register, what do you think I should register for? I'm thinking a lifetime supply of Skittles...

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Having my photographer-extraordinaire sister Alaina in Boston was a boon on many levels. True, she came to shoot the destination nuptials of Julie&Greg, but some of us mostly me really benefited from her artful photographic skill.

Several days before the wedding we gathered for a pre-wedding Boston open house/family meet-n-greet dinner. Surrounded by the very best of my Boston family gathered together to celebrate such a happy occasion--I'm in love with this night.

Then, I saw the photos Alaina had been taking throughout the evening. Sure there are tons of the bride&groom and their families, but she'd also *caught quite a few shots that so beautifully reflect both that night and my overall feelings for this place I call home and the people who flesh out my East Coast family.

I think my eight, fourteen, and eighteen year old self would be pretty darn thrilled with how glamorous my life is now.

When I was a little girl, I don't think I could have imagined a life this glamorous

*The only staged photo is the upper-right "Saved by the Bell" or "Real World: 1996" class photo. Yes, we were trying to look cheesy, and mission accomplished!

Is it bad that...

  • ... sometimes I'm excited to go to bed because there's a cold Coke waiting for me in the fridge when I wake up?
  • ... I only started washing my face on a routine basis [read: ever] when I discovered wet wipes for adults pre-moistened face wash cloths?
  • ... I print a receipt at the ATM even though I obsessively check my bank accounts online daily?
  • ... last week at the grocery store, I caught a man rummaging through the trash next to the Redbox for receipts, and then gathering the high dollar items from those receipts and taking them to the service desk for cash and I didn't do anything except tell Linda?
  • ... I check the mail and if there's nothing good or for me, I just leave it in the box?
  • ... my internet super-sleuthing skills both amaze and terrify me?
  • ... two and a half years later I still don't care?
But really Internet, most of the things on this list are pretty bad, there's no getting around it. But they're guiltily pleasurable enough to post, yah? Are there any here you're shocked by? Any you'd add to your own list?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Old dogs try new tricks

Tonight, I tried something new. Several new things actually. First, I decided that it's time to stop judging people who do things differently than I do (after all, no two people are not on fire), so I gave a few new things a go. Journey with me.

Primero. I just don't think I'm a fan of the forehead band. I want to be, because every time I try one on, I think it's kind of fun; but it just makes no sense. Granted, very little of fashion makes sense--and I count myself somewhat of a fashion risk-taker--but I have a hard time getting around the forehead band. To be fair some are better than others, but I felt kind of silly wearing this to Costco.
I am, however, pleased with the way I did my hair around the band. Put your hair in a loose pony-knob. The elastic should be on top of the knob. Roll it up and over the band and back down. Pin strays if necessary. I let some of my bangs loose, but could have rolled them up and over the band the other direction as well (in fact, did it when I got home and like it just as much). The good news in all of this is you can use the stretchy forehead bands to create the same look without the band crossing your forehead; just push it farther back. Super easy, people will compliment. Guaranteed.

Segundo. Tercero. Quatero. I wore brown flip-flops with a black ensemble. I shopped for frozen food at Costco. I got the hot dog combo instead of pizza. How do you people function? This is not a world I understand.

What other new things did I try this evening? Let's go ahead and add listening to commercials on the radio, not darting around in traffic, and deciding not to eat my standard box of Satan's Candies Good'nPlenties. How do you people function? This is not a world I understand.

The new me was a fun experiment in walking in someone else's shoes for awhile. And I may not have walked a mile--and there may have only been one set of footprints when the going got tough--but all in all, I'm glad for the old me. Maybe I will go get some Satan's Candies Good'nPlenties afterall.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's not a tumor.

To those of you whom I a) haven't seen since Thursday, b) talked to on the phone since Thursday, or c) read my Twitter stream since Thursday, I've been baby-knock, knock, knocking on death's door.

Thursday morning I woke in Portland with a clogged head. Ears, nose, throat--the trifecta of summer head cold delight.

My bi-coastal flight on Friday stressed my ears; I was truly worried my eardrums were going to explode. Unable to pop them upon landing, my hearing was underwater for the next two days.

Saturday I was half-way into my swimming suit before that idea was tossed to sea. Back into bed where I spent the remainder of the day. May I present this travesty of a tweet:

Having only slept 4 hours the night before Sunday, I still managed to drag myself out of bed and to church for Sacrament Meeting. I sang two verses of a rather rousing opening hymn before the book was too heavy to hold up any longer. No more singing, no more book holding.

I'd had high hopes for Monday. Sadly, the cough, the running face, and the bass voice still wanted to hang around.

Okay, so Monday night, I hardly slept a wink. In fact, it was 6:45 am Tuesday morning before I even fell asleep. I just wasn't sleepy. Sleep wouldn't, couldn't come. I showered at 2:15am, took pills at 3:30am, and wrote an email to work at 5:06am.

Why? Well, a) I wasn't sleepy. And b) I was letting my overtaxed, overtired, overwhelmed brain create anxiety. You see, there's a symptom I haven't told you about. The hand tremors. Only at night, my right hand shakes. Sometimes, it spasms more than others, but enough that it's noticeable, and it freaked me out. That, paired with the control I've lost in my left hand:

Suddenly, everything made sense. I probably had a BRAIN TUMOR. Sleep? A possibility of the past as my mind raced in a hundred splintered directions. The only way I got the 90 minutes of sleep I did was to tell myself I'd see the doctor first first first thing in the morning.

Long story short. It's not a tumor. (Probably.) Hand tremors are a common side effect of antihistamines. My viral summer cold is working its way out the door. I'm not contagious, so it's okay for me to start coughing in your mouths again. Mostly, I can't wait until the man voice is gone. Wait, I take it back. I can't wait until the cankersores and swollen tastebuds are gone. (When it rains, it pours.)

Folks, this is what happens when you let an overtired mind wander and you watch too many medical shows on television.

But, the left still might have the palsy. Stay tuned.

2009 going out in style

Alternate title: Be Careful What You Wish For

You may have noticed my new blog layout. My friend Long Time Coming finally met my friend Procrastination. How do you do good sir.

The new template has a more robust archiving feature (see right sidebar, lower quadrant), and each of my blogging year lists how many posts have been written in each respective year. Considering 2006 was only 3/5ths of a year, 2009 is far and away the weakest link.

Doesn't someone want to bet that I can't at least surpass 2008's blog total? That's 113 blogs (plus this one).

Wait. That's kind of insane. Just barely more than three months until we bid farewell to the aughts. That's at the very least, 1 blog a day, R18. (Wasn't math so much easier before you had to decimal point?) That's a lot of content. But still, I kind of like a challenge.

So, someone dare me to do it. And then, I'll let you, the faithful readers, vote on each post (note the fancy 'lil checkable boxes at the end? you don't even have to log in!) to see if it's worthy of a counting. Sound like fun? Oye, sounds stressful.

Someone pull the trigger and I'll say good-bye to my truly stress-free life and become a slave to the machine.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Once upon a time, I used to keep up to date on a pretty creative little blog. I told stories, waxed anecdotal, drew pictures, wrote satirical poems, and posted photos of weird things (like my hands). My posting has suffered the last few months (years?); I feel overwhelmed at trying to jump back into the fray. (To be honest, I don't feel very funny or creative any more.)

But, I've been putting my creativity to use other places! Out in the real world! No words involved!And now! Behold! A picture display! (and some necessary commentary...)

1. The night before the 3rd of July, our trip to the Drive-In movie was rained out. Instead, we had the first annual Wonders of the World Rice Krispy Treat Sculpting Extravaganza. The creativity of my friends is outstanding. My favorite was the fast food hamburger meal, but the TMNT, King Kong climbing the Empire State Building, the octopus, and the various dinosaurs put my unintentional and possibly racist Michael Jackson tribute to shame.

2. Helped create this "Saved by the Bell" class pose.

3. Helped style these two brides. Two besties, two weddings, two weekends. I just couldn't be happier for either or more in platonic love with their respective husbands. How sweet to be in the bride's room helping zip or lace. My uber-talented sister Alaina took both of their photos. Julie and Greg here. Kendall and Josh here.

4. Someone thought I knew how to arrange flowers, so I tried my hand. Ju's bouquet, boutonnieres (22!), and centerpieces (9).

4. Shark Week party! I love theme parties, so how could I resist? (PS--does anyone need arm floaties? I've got a dozen.)

5. And last, the crowning glory... the 220 cupcakes I made for Kendall's reception. My 12+ hour piece of the puzzle seemed like an eternity, I can't imagine how many hours it took my mom to throw a world-class reception in our backyard. My darling cousin Rachel was my sous-chef; Mallory took a quick turn for one batch. We made three kinds of cupcakes, a cinnamon roll inspired with cream cheese frosting, coconut, and chocolate ganache on a chocolate cake. They were by far the nicest cupcakes I've done, but I don't think I'll be quitting my day job any time soon. So there you go. A reminder to myself as much as to anyone, that I can create in ways other than blogs no one people are reading.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!