Monday, July 30, 2012


This weekend our families gathered together at my parent's house to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary. 
I'm going to let the pictures do the talking...

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Time We Almost Burned Down My Parent's Garage

If I ever write a book someday this would go in it. Thankfully, it would only be a page or two on a chapter about all the things my dad has taught me (which could probably fill a whole separate book). Today's lesson: Spontaneous combustion is a real thing.
     When we arrived at the house to surf this morning there was something odd about the way my dad was acting, like he had something to say, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Then he casually said, "So, what do you guys know about spontaneous combustion?". "Oh my gosh, what happened!?" was all I could say. Spontaneous combustion was something I thought of as a fake thing from horror movies where people caught on fire (weird, I know). He had prepared a presentation for us and I could tell he wanted to see this presentation through, so he didn't reveal what had happened just yet. 
     I knew it was serious when he pulled out his i-pad and began educating us on the subject, though he didn't seem upset. He just appeared ready to teach us a lesson. Despite my panicked questioning, my dad calmly continued reading the definition of spontaneous combustion off and explaining the types of materials that can cause it. After a few minutes that seemed like a day and a half, he led us to the garage where we saw it. The can sitting on the counter with charred towels. 
     After sanding and re-finishing the benches at my parent's house the day before, we left the rags with linseed oil on them in a pile on top of the container. Overnight, the rags spontaneously caught fire and luckily burned out once they made contact with the metal can. My dad said if the can lid hadn't been sealed so tightly, the fire could have caused the entire container to explode, likely burning down the garage and neighbor's house in the process. Luckily, that wasn't meant to be a part of our story.

What I've learned:
     Spontaneous combustion is combustion without a spark or a flame. I thought the oily rags needed contact with fire or at least the sun to burst into flames, but this is not the case. Linseed oil (and other materials) in a confined space can oxidize, build heat, and ignite. 

How to avoid spontaneous combustion: 
      Soak rags and brushes that have come in to contact with flammable materials, such as coals and oils, in water. Let them dry flat on a concrete surface so the combustable solvents can evaporate. Throw away the rags in a metal trashcan with a lid that seals. I've also heard you can put chemically soiled rags in a plastic bag filled with water and then throw them away. Whatever you do, don't wad them up and leave them on top of a chemical container in your parents garage! Lesson learned.
Find more tips HERE

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Our Wedding: Scott and Me

Come and Find Me by Josh Ritter on Grooveshark
this is the song we danced to at the wedding. 
All the photos were taken by Carson Day

Your wedding day goes by too quickly. People warned me of this, but I didn't really think too long and hard about what to do with the information.
I remember how spiritual and full circle the ceremony was. It was an hour and a half total, but it honestly felt like an entire day (maybe for some of the guests too). I felt like everything was moving in slow motion. I saw every color in Scott's eyes. Saw the moment when we first kissed, when I hoped I would see him everyday for the rest of my life. I remembered what it felt like to understand love as a child and felt it so strongly right then. All my grandparents related to me by blood had died by this day, Scott's paternal grandfather too, but they were there. I knew they were there like I knew my dress was white and the church we were in was the place we were meant to be married. I could feel them around us.

When the ceremony was over, we exited the church, as you do. We made eye contact as we left with all the people who had helped to make us who we are. Time seemed to move so quickly then and many of my memories of conversations blur together. We took the group photos and drove to the reception at my parent's house. When we entered, we did so to the song "Sweet Disposition" by Temper Trap. These are the things I remember. After greeting many of the guests we were pulled away to take our couple photos and time slowed down again. Every time I was with Scott on our wedding day, I felt we were creating memories that would stay in my mind for the rest of my life and during this memory making, time crawled in the best kind of way. We talked about baseball while the photographer did his job, which is funny because I don't typically care about that sport much.

I hope I'm not making you gag. 

There's more to say about that day. The speeches were another moment when I felt if I died right after, I would have done so as a very complete and happy person. Some of the people we love most in our lives, Scott's best friend Jason, our best man, my sisters, the maids of honor, and my dad all got up and expressed how they loved us. I always think about how important it is to tell the people in your lives what they mean to you, so if something happens to you, they knew what they meant to you. It felt almost like an out of body experience listening to the speeches. I felt again that strong spiritual presence. That overwhelming feeling of love. A deep kind of satisfaction.

There's more, including our whole wedding party getting up on stage and rapping to "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z. I'll get to that later, though. I'm not quite ready to write about the rest of the wedding yet. I honestly had a really hard time when it was over. The cops came to shut our party down at 11:30 p.m. because of noise complaints (lame neighbors) and I cried like my glass slippers had just turned back to servant shoes. It was kind of embarrassing, but also just that kind of day where 24 hours weren't enough. At least if I can keep writing about it I get to return to this day. Thanks for coming along. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Our 1st Wedding Anniversary

It's today. Our first wedding anniversary is today, and I can't believe it. Sometimes I am honestly shocked when time really does pass, because a part of me thought that one day I would wake up in my mid-twenties or thirties and it would simply stop. That hasn't happened yet, and I'm getting the feeling that it isn't going to. 
You bring me joy and teach me more about love with every passing year. Thanks for holding my hand forever.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thankful Things

This week I'm thankful for...
Electronic free fun
Creative creatures. This one is drawn by my friend Christine Brailsford
Bomb vegetarian options at local restaurants, like this tofu stir fry
Beach time with this guy
My quad fish (a four fin board) cuz it's speedy
Summer! I'm really thankful for summer time!
Necklace by Marolsha by Maddy

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Our Summer Adventure

New Zealand camper van trip 2007
Flexible. It's something I'm not. Not physically, not mentally. I like to plan what is going to happen during the week and when something changes, even though I know I should be, I am not good at adapting. It's something I need to work on because you can't count on life being very predictable. 
     This is exactly why I think it is a good thing we are doing a very "fly by the seat of your pants" style trip this summer. 
     We have two weddings to go to. One in Iowa and one in Rhode Island. They are a week a part. To save money by avoiding buying tickets for the three or four different airports we would need to fly in and out of, we have decided to drive. Across the whole country. There and back. I honestly doubt we are saving much money, if any, but it's all about the adventure at this point in our lives. Since Scott is off work for the summer (he's a teacher) and my work is accommodating (the people I nanny for gave me the time off and I will blog from the road) there is no time like the present for us to embark on this cross country journey. 

My concerns:
  • I may lose my mind
    • a) We will be away from the ocean for a large portion of this trip, longer than I've ever been away from it in my entire life.
    • b) The "plan" will be flexible and unpredictable. Yikes!
    • c) We will be seeing and staying with lots of friends and family. I am an introvert and nothing about that is changing for this trip. It's something that doesn't change ever. I like my alone time, my quiet time (which is typically my surf time). I am stoked to see family, don't get me wrong, but I hope I still have some time to myself to collect my thoughts and "re-charge".
  • We will drive each other crazy
    • We've actually done a camper van trip across New Zealand for three weeks and survived, so I'm less concerned about this bullet point. Scott's driving does not scare or bother me, so this is a plus. He is not critical of my driving either. 
  • We will not have enough time to do everything we would like/the schedule will be too packed
    • This is going to happen. I am "planning" on that. We have high hopes of accomplishing and seeing a lot, but have both accepted that it might not happen. 
     Well, at least there's that. The acceptance of impending chaos. I can try to prepare and avoid the things I am worried about, but that's about all I can plan on. Despite all of my concerns, I'm pretty freakin' excited to add this experience to my life. My greatest hope is that we will not only come home with great stories, but will return more well rounded, stronger individually and as a couple. Either way, I will document what happens on this little blog of mine. 
     We could have done an exotic surf trip instead. We could have traveled out of the country. We could have had a romantic getaway. I thought about all of this at least twice, but sometimes the best adventures are the ones that test your limits the most. With this trip, the journey is the destination (I heard that in a car commercial recently, although I'm sure someone important said it first). 

Here's the tentative itinerary:
-San Diego, California to Salt Lake City, Utah
-Salt Lake City to Yellowstone, Wyoming 
-Yellowstone to Keystone, South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore
-South Dakota to Iowa for wedding #1
-Iowa to Chicago, Illinois to visit friends
-Chicago to Pennsylvania to visit family
-Pennsylvania to Rhode Island for wedding #2
-Rhode Island to New York, New York to visit my sister Danielle
-New York to North Carolina to visit and surf with our friend Dave
-North Carolina to Georgia or Alabama
-Georgia to New Orleans, Louisiana
-New Orleans to somewhere in Texas
-Texas to Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
-New Mexico to San Diego

The day after we get back Scott and I leave for bachelor and bachelorette parties, respectively. Mine is in Vegas, his is in Tahoe. The following Tuesday Scott returns to School.

If this trip doesn't teach me to be more flexible, I don't know what will.

Bring on the advice. We (I) need tips and encouragement! 
~Have you done any long road trips? 
~Got any good places to see and stay in South Dakota/Alabama/Georgia/New Orleans (cheap but not gross)?
-Any good recommendations for this journey are very much appreciated. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

This Weekend

     This weekend. Ahhh. That's what I want to say about it because it was very relaxing, which is exactly what I needed after last week. Thank you for all of your heartfelt comments about the death of my great aunt. They were like little hugs, and I truly appreciated them.
    Sometimes I feel like an outright beach bum, being out in the ocean so often, but I get stressed too, which is probably my own doing, but nevertheless, it happens. I wig out and need quiet time. This is usually a result of too many social gatherings in a row or something emotionally trying taking place. Lately there's been both. When such events occur, I act like a mouse and retreat to my little den where my comfort items live. Things like my family, blanket and journal (ok my stuffed animals too). Or, I play cards, drink wine, and surf with my husband in small waves when no one else is out. This is exactly what I got to do this weekend while social events went on without us. 
       One of the other reasons I have been stressed? Ok, I will tell you, since you sound so curious. 
    We have a big trip coming up. One that pushes me slightly outside of my comfort zone. I will tell you more about that later. 
     Until then, here's is another surf video. This one is shorter and shot by my dad, while Scott and I were surfing at sunset on Friday. Don't miss the high five at the beginning. It's our best trick. ha. 

The song is by Gregory Alan Isokov. I listened to one of his songs on repeat once for two hours. He's very great.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Retro Fish Video: 2

This week has been weightlessly wonderful and overwhelmingly heavy all at the same time. 
I had this dream last night where I was in my own little cove surfing warm turquoise waves that broke perfectly over and over again. I was by myself, but I felt like someone was watching me, even though I couldn't see who. The place reminded me of Never Never Land, where nothing ever changed. Sometimes I think I'd be ok with that, even though I'm pretty sure I wouldn't. 
Am I being obscure enough? Don't worry, (not that you were), I will tell the real story later. 
Until then, here is a video Scott and I spent some time making this week. The waves in it remind me of the ones from that dream.

A little background: 
Scott hand-shaped and glassed this board for me in the spring of 2009 as a surprise for my birthday. It is a very flat board that goes fast, with a big tail that glides through turns (when I surf it right, of course). It has no leash and I have to swim to get it more often than I'd like to admit. But it's good. A fall here and there keeps me on my toes and reminds me that I'm not incapable of mistakes.  
Of all the boards I own, I couldn't live without this one. It was made with love. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Retro Fish Video: 1

Three summers ago Scott and I made this video of me surfing a retro fish surfboard he shaped for me for my birthday. Last week he filmed me surfing it at the same spot three years later. I plan to post that video this week, but until then I thought you might like to check out the original. 
**Please ignore the cheesy extended closeups at the end! It was one of the first videos we made. 
That is all. I hope you like it. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Chronicler's Paradise

     It used to be that going to Catalina was just what I was doing; a present experience in my young life. Somewhere along the road it became something I have been doing for years and years. It's weird how that happens.
     I have so many stories from that island. Like going to Camp Fox with my dad for Indian Princesses when I was six. It was my first Catalina experience. I entered a logo design contest for the camp t-shirt. I drew a big smiling fox with huge round eyes, my dad said he was sure was going to be the winner. I knew he was proud of me for drawing that fox too, even though it didn't win. It was the way he held it away from his face with two hands and examined it with his happy eyes. 
     Then there was the first time we took our boat out. Since I was the oldest child at the ripe old age of nine I was, therefore, assigned to help my mom get the boat on the mooring ball (essentially a floating boat parking spot). My sisters Danielle and Maddie, who were six and four at the time, were too young to help. It was up to my mom and me to stand up on the bow and grab a bobbing stick that was connected to the rope we would use to tie the boat up. I remember pulling up the soggy yellow rope and then having no clue what to do with it. While my dad rushed down from the cockpit to assist his rookie crew, we nearly hit two other boats that were moored nearby. It was the first time I knew the meaning of "all hands on deck!". 
     After that, I studied how other boaters accomplished this task without error and committed myself to becoming a boat girl. Now, when I take that algae covered rope in my hands I feel empowered. I feel I can help my dad achieve something he loves - being on his boat in Catalina making memories. 
     And we made many new memories on this trip. Legends, a San Diego based stand up paddle company, gave me two boards to take with us, making a total of four boards so we could all paddle together. We tried to capture the moment using the camera timer, which really didn't give us enough time, hence this picture of my dad almost falling over in the foreground. 
     We made fish tacos on the boat on Friday night and played Guesstures. My parents kept saying things like "You're taking too much time to look at the words!" and "You're cheating!" It was hard to believe they were on the same team.  
     And the moon looked like a big white ball, lighting the night and giving us some of the best memories of all.
     On Saturday we played frisbee golf in town. We stood out in the fields, with the tall yellow grass tickling our knees and the wind telling our frisbees which way to go. 
     That evening we came back into the Isthmus for dinner. The wind was wrapping around the island and stinging our skin as we skipped across the water in the dinghy, but the sun was still fighting for our attention by painting the island in a warm red light that made all Catalina memories flood my mind. Most of those memories include my sisters and my heart ached in every corner for them as they were off having their own adventures and not there to share in ours. 
    After dinner, music began to play outside of the restaurant and like a flash mob people from every corner of town filled the dance floor. I felt ten years old dancing on those creaky boards. My mom and I even learned some moves to the song "Call Me Maybe" from some teenage girls. I've know this for a while, but the fact that my mom is now more like a friend of mine than a manager, came to my mind then. 
       On Sunday morning we hiked the Cat Harbor overlook road. It wasn't the easiest thing in sandals, but we survived. It was a new memory, and that's what we were here for.
Happy birthday Dad!

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Bad Day at the Beach

     I'm supposed to be writing about Catalina. We went there for my dad's birthday this weekend. It was beautiful and we got to celebrate my dad, who I happen to think is one of the best people who has ever lived, ever. We did activities we haven't done since I had braces and short hair (it wasn't a good look), things Scott had never done in Catalina like frisbee golf, hiking and dancing around the Isthmus, a northern harbor we don't visit as often. But I am too distracted to write about all of that right now because I'm too busy feeling sorry for myself and for my friend. 
     You see, this friend, Basia, was supposed to come to stay with us tomorrow until Friday, but she had to cancel because of work. I feel worse for Basia than I do for myself, though. Not just because I know she wanted to come down to visit me, but because I know she needed a break from her job. 
     This day has been tricky. I'm also pretty annoyed at Scott for something silly. Everything is going really well in my life and I try to never even think about complaining, I don't feel I have the right to, but I wanted to write about this because sometimes it's nice to know other people out there have bad days too. They do exist at the beach, despite popular misconceptions. 
     At least the Olympic trials are on. I love the Olympics. And Scott cleaned the windows today. They look nice (even though toxic fumes are currently taking over the house). 
     I was just so looking forward to having a few days with a dear friend I wish I would see every day. You know one of the things I was most excited about doing with Basia? It was something really simple. I wanted to buy coconuts from our local market, show her how to chop them open with our firewood axe and drink them in the backyard with striped straws I was going to buy tomorrow.  
That's the end of my pity party. On the positive side, bad days make me feel really alive.

I'll be back soon with the real story from Catalina.