Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 Semi-Random Things About Evan

Like many of you, I wouldn't usually compile one of these lists. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the lists of some of my friends though, and thought it only fair that I should put 25 things about me out into cyberspace. I wouldn't exactly call them Random though, because once I started down an idea, I wrote about it until I came up with another idea.

I apologize that it turned out as long as it did.

I decided to put it on our blog too, because I thought that some people who would really enjoy reading it probably don't look at Facebook.

25 Things About Me:

1. I love chick flicks. Adore them, (well, some of them.) I can only stomach so much of some of them, i.e. “The Other Boleyn Girl.” But one of my favorite movies of all time is “Love Actually,” followed in quick succession by “Serendipity”. I also like movies/plays/books that end without a happy ending. I love it when the person we've been rooting for all along doesn't get the girl/guy/job, and gets a solid helping of reality. For a movie like this, check out "The Visitor."

2. I hate when people misspell things; especially glaringly obvious stuff. Didn’t they teach us the differences between there, their, and they’re in third grade? When you publish something, don’t people get paid to catch those sorts of things? And anyone who gets ideas to say, “I hate that to,” or “That bugs me two” will get a punch in the face. (Erika, that could solve one of yours for you…) I care less about people who screw up grammar, but sometimes that bugs me too.

3. I’m fluent in three languages: Russian, American, and Spanish. I will soon be learning Arabic. I am also working on learning proper English. I have found that my most effective study tool towards proper English is a children’s tv show called Charlie & Lola. They are most adept at exploring the uses of superlatives like completely, absolutely, extremely, never, not ever, and mostly. My most absolutely, completely favoritish episode so far is the one about a Dotty Elephant.

4. I dreamt of being a fighter pilot when I was growing up. I am now much too tall for that, though I haven’t yet finished growing up. I have considered going into intelligence agencies, because being a spy would be fun. Hannah says no, and I completely absolutely understand.

5. I know how to build a house from the ground up, even though I don’t have a contractor’s license.

6. I am a surf-aholic. This does not work very well, since I am currently finishing up my undergraduate degrees in the “wonderful” state of Utah. If I could, I would surf every day, for several hours a day, and twice on weekends or any days with good swell, and most days ending in “y”. Future life circumstances permitting, we would love to own houses near remote surf breaks in different countries.

7. I want to get my pilot’s license. Hannah has graciously agreed to allow this, so long as we have life insurance for the kids. I’ll wait till graduation. I would also love to ride motorcycles, but my grandmother made me promise as a child that I wouldn’t. She has since died, but Hannah is now quite adept at enforcing said promise.

8. I am much stronger than people imagine, and most of it is in my legs. When I played lacrosse for BYU, this translated to squatting a lot of weight. At the same time, my upper body is comparatively weak. But I can generate 1.65 horsepower.

9. My wife has had to teach me how to swim.

10. I may never entirely “grow up”. Now that I have kids, it gives me a great excuse not to!

11. I love to read. I read everything I can get my hands on. I don’t have enough time to read, because now I am stuck studying textbooks. Someday, I plan to have a library collection that is on par with my Dad’s. And I will have read them all.

12. I am a good cook. No, really. I can cook very well. It would be fun to be a chef, but I don’t have the knowledge of alcohol that seems to be a job requirement.

13. My mom is the man. My dad is a stud, too. I find myself realizing that I am becoming more and more like him. Funnily enough, this no longer bothers me like the thought of it did in earlier years. The physical limitations of gender will keep me from turning out TOO much like my Mom, but she really is the man.

14. I probably suffer from a mild-to-severe case of OCD. This manifests itself in two of my personal tendencies. Firstly, I have a thing about rearranging furniture. Given the opportunity, I would rearrange furniture in our bedroom and living room every 2 months or so. Due to this tendency, there was a period of time in high school when I had my bed on a table. Yes, a table. It was the most genius set-up I have created. I’m not quite sure what it comes from. As a teenager, I think that I reasoned it away as my way of dealing with a messy room. A very messy room at that. Secondly, I make lists. I think that it is my way of dealing with my very busy life. Problem is, having made the list I promptly forget about it and move on with my life. (I don’t have the space here, but if anyone wants to hear, I will tell you what Tolstoy has to say about people who make lists like this. It’s pretty good.)

15. Like many of you who will read this, Hannah and I have a dream house. Actually, several, and many ideas on what we would like to do to the various houses we own along the way. It all started when we lived in San Diego as newlyweds and would take an afternoon walk around our little neighborhood, critiquing the houses around us. We would remember the ones we liked, and talk about what we would change on the houses we didn’t quite all-the-way like. I guess that can be expected from someone who knows construction, and married an artist who wants to be an architect. She comes up with all the good ideas, and I know enough about houses to be able to bring them to fruition.

16. I am double Majoring – in Economics and Russian, and will get a business minor. I really like Economics because I think it helps to explain the world and why we do the things we do. Russian is also fun.

17. Given the opportunity, I would be a hermit. I really don’t like people. It’s not that I think I am better than anybody, because I will be the first to point out some of my major character flaws that you probably overlooked. It stems more from my hatred of dealing with all of the social conventions and nonsensical games that people expect from you. It’s like going on a first date, all the time, with everyone.

18. While much of my talent has faded due to a lack of use, I was once fairly musical. In my heyday, I could play the piano, was battling for first-chair trumpet, and was in the top choir at my high school.

19. I love the outdoors. I will do things outside at the drop of a hat, (and now, with my wife’s permission.) I look forward to teaching my kids to camp, hike, etc. and will really enjoy teaching them both to fish. Hannah has promised that we can do our first camping trip this spring/summer. I am ecstatic.

20. I am fairly good at Boggle. Hannah, (when she agrees to play with me,) swears that I make words up. I am just being more creative! My friend Jake recently showed me a game called Scramble, a facebook application that is very similar to Boggle. I like it a lot, (completely and absolutely). Then my brother-in-law’s sister rocked my 200’s scores by scoring 500 points. In 3 minutes. I was amazed.

21. I am extremely indecisive. It probably stems from my not having very many “favorites”. I like to think that I am easily pleased/amused/entertained
. I should clarify that I have no trouble whatsoever when it comes to making important decisions. The ones that stump me are the inconsequential decisions like what movie we should watch tonight or what flavor of ice cream shall we buy… or worst of all, which shirt/pants/skirt/top should Hannah wear? Cause let’s face it, I don’t really care.

22. I look at the toilet paper after I wipe. Don’t let me know if you don’t, because you should probably start. How else do you know if it’s clean?

23. Like many other people out there, I wouldn’t mind losing some weight. Unlike many people out there, after losing some weight, I still plan to weigh more than 200 lbs.

24. One of my thumbs is shorter than the other. By a good half-inch. When I was about 12 or 13 I played goalie in soccer, and shattered the growth plate in the thumb on my right hand. Now, I have one 24-year-old size thumb, and one half it’s age. I wonder if that will mean I get to live longer.

25. My new favorite hobby, (tied with surfing,) is wrestling with my kids. I never realized how much having children changes your perspectives on life and makes you re-evaluate your priorities.

Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I have been tagged a couple of times to do this on Facebook. I usually disregard these things, but I thought it might be a fun thing for our blog too.

1. Tomorrow I turn 23. I haven't even come to terms with being 21 yet.

2. I can cross-reference the Harry Potter books, and have been able to since I was 17.

3. I religiously read the New York Times and the Daily Telegraph. I used to watch CNN but their blatantly biased reporting irritates me.

4. I used to swim. Fast. Over very short distances only, though. I won a few things too.

5. I hold a large amount of resentment towards my Alma Mater. Maybe one day I will be able to reconcile myself with it. Maybe.

6. I always wanted to be an architect. If I ever get the chance, I intend to go back to school to get an architectural degree.

7. I like creating art. I find it therapeutic and fulfilling.

8. We almost lost our daughter before she was born. By the grace of God we happened to be at the hospital anyway for a check up. I had an emergency c-section and a team of very skilled nurses and doctors, and now we have a beautiful, healthy little girl. Our son decided to make a rather dramatic entrance to the world too.

9. Apart from the Harry Potter books, I have very little patience for fiction.

10. I have some Polynesian blood... everyone is therefore my cousin.

11. I am also part Maori and am entitled to land in New Zealand through my iwi, Tainui.

12. I don't know if it is my Pacific Island heritage, or just being raised by my mother, but I can't cook small portions. And every time I have to cook for other people I waste tremendous amounts of braincells fretting over whether or not I will have enough food. There is always more than enough to go around though.

13. Secretly, though, it makes me happy to know that no-one has yet been able to eat more food than I can produce.

14. I am very competitive... in the things that I care about.

15. We have a cat. She is antisocial, and we hate her. But we don't have the heart to sentence her to death via animal shelter. We are waiting for her to die so we can get a puppy. She also has kitty-aids (FeLV), hence death by kitty shelter.

16. I got my drivers license last July. I know how to drive stick-shift, which seems to be a rarity amongst Americans. I choose not to drive right now because I think Utah drivers are irresponsible morons, and I don't like driving on ice.

17. I never learned how to ride a bike. Evan tried to teach me on his bike. He is 6'4.5"; almost a foot taller than me. It must have been funny to watch. We haven't tried since.

18. I don't really like beef. Or pork. I will eat lamb, but only NZ lamb, and only if I don't have to pay for it. I also don't really like eggs on their own. I like chicken and seafood. I have never really eaten much meat.

19. If I had been able to vote, I think I would have voted "No" on CA Proposition 8.

20. I hate labels and boxes. Republican or Democrat? No thank you. I would like to be able to think for myself.

21. Evan and I like houses. We have a couple of (fairly complex for dreaming) plans in mind. We hope that our journey through life will allow us to see at least one of those, and hopefully more, to fruition.

22. I never graduated from High School. Partly because I didn't go to High School, I went to Secondary School. But I still left early. I went to university at 17.

23. Sometimes I get asked where I am from, and I never quite know how to answer it. So... Born in NZ, but moved to England when I was about 5. Raised in England but as a New Zealander. Have a (more or less) English accent, but definitely don't call England home. New Zealand isn't really home either, since it is now a very different place to the NZ I remember. And as a matter of principle, Utah is NOT home. But my blood runs black whenever the All Blacks play.

24. I could eat Chuao Chocolates all day, every day. Except when I am pregnant.

25. I must confess that I "absolutely, extremely, completely" like watching the children's TV show 'Charlie and Lola' with Lena. I love the whimsical animation, the endearing relationship of the brother and sister, the dialogue, and the realistic storylines. Yes, I might need to get a life.

I'm Going To Miss...

... gummy smiles. But, then again, sharp little white daggers are cute too.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas

Happy New Year everyone! After a great, but sadly not long enough, break I am finally getting around to blogging about our Christmas (last year!). Lena had a blast and really started to understand the whole concept of Christmas and what was going on. Oliver had fun watching, playing with his new toys (that Lena unwrapped), and just sitting like a big lump. He is way too young to remember anything, and after seeing Lena's joy this Christmas, we are really looking forward to the next one for Oliver.

We elected to have Christmas at home on our own, and it was so wonderful to relax and spend time together, especially after the last few weeks of school for Evan. I was glad to have my husband back, and I wish the break could have been longer. I stole an idea from my parents which I am very excited to incorporate into our family Christmas traditions: Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. I like it because it means that I get to really enjoy spending time with my family on Christmas Day rather than spending it slaving and fretting over food. And lets face it, who wants to go shopping on Christmas Eve? There are never any good presents left, and all the grocery stores are bare. Plus, it makes Christmas seem longer if you start celebrating before it actually happens. I see no problem with that.

Present opening was really fun. It was so cute to see the sheer joy on Lena's face as she opened things up. I made her three tutus (so easy, and so fun) which she loved. We got some video footage so you could all enjoy it too. Sorry it is long.

Santa also brought Lena a Little Einsteins rocket - a big hit! For those of you that don't know, Little Einsteins is Lena's favorite TV show. And can I just say, having a DVR is an absolute life-saver. Being able to put on a 25 minute TV show for her at any time of the day so I can get things done around the house or with Oliver is awesome! But anyway, she got a plush rocket. She thought it was amazing. We loved it too because it cost us - I mean Santa - $6 on clearance at the Disney Store. Her is another video - it is of Lena opening up her rocket. So cute! Again, sorry it is long.

I love how she was totally excited for a cardboard box. I know what we are spending our money on next year! I also think it would be really funny to just give batteries with a note saying "Toy not included", but that might be a bit too mean.

And I also have a little video of Oliver sitting in his swing. On of my favorite parts of the morning was Lena opening up a big fluffy blanket, cuddling it, and then walking over to Oliver's swing and laying it gently over him. It was so adorable, and I wish we had have had the camera out for that one. She is a great big sister, and she loves the fact that Oliver is learning how to play with her. They both spend a good portion each day laying on their tummies sharing toys, and rolling around on the floor. Lena thinks it is really funny to dress him up in her fake-pearl necklaces, and Oliver thinks it is really funny that Lena finds that so funny. It is so great to see them together.