Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas is coming, Tra la tra la!

The sky finally broke and poured snow all over us. Luckily, it was almost all gone by the time we had to leave for 2:00 church. When I woke up this morning and saw the sidewalks covered, I told Charles we were snowed in and not to wake me until spring. He did his best. He thought I was sick, so he didn't wake me up from my nap and was walking out the door to church when I realized it was time to get ready! He would have been mighty lonely without me and my bag full of chocolate chip cookies to keep him company. Today was the Christmas program by the ward choir, and it was so beautiful. I've never heard a better ward choir. I love musical sacrament meetings. I love talks, too, but I love reading the songs along with the singing. Christmas carols are the best. 
And we finally came home and set up our Christmas tree. We've been meaning to do it since before Halloween, but we kept putting it off because we always have something to do, or I'd rather go to bed. But I love our pretty little colored lights. 
There are two new members of our family, just in time for Christmas. Charles' mom has a brand new baby maltese named Boo, and she is a stinking cutie. And my parents just got a baby golden retreiver (my dad's always wanted one of his own) named Grant. I think they've taken to calling him Bozo, though. So now our house is positively crawling with animals. Two cats, two dogs, a guinea pig, and whatever insects Maggie and Cam are working on collecting right now. I can't wait to go home! 
Speaking of animals, Anna (whose nickname is animal) accidentally found my dad's grizzly bear pepper spray and the house had to be evacuated for a few hours for the fumes to clear out. I'm told Lizzy heroically braved the fumes to save my lazy cat Moose from a terrible fate. I wonder how effective that spray can be if it can't even get rid of a moose?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I think I have a tapeworm for a fetus.

I am constantly hungry. And now that most of my food aversions are gone (grilled cheese is still a no-no) I don't even care what I'm eating, as long as I am getting food into my belly. It's become a little ridiculous, with me waking up several times in the night with a very full bladder and an alarmingly empty belly. Every time I wake up and realize I'm going to have to eat something before I can fall asleep again, I'm faced with the same dilemma: what do I have the energy to make and eat that is healthy for Tiny Campbell? I try to choose the healthiest thing I have energy for, but when I only have energy for fruit snacks I don't think the difference between Welch's or Walmart brand makes that much of a difference. This kid's gonna come out looking like Jared before Subway got to him. And I'll still be hungry.
Speaking of, I bought my first maternity pants this week. Scrubs were about the only thing that fit me, and I wasn't about to spend my days off of work in my work uniform, so Charles and I stopped at Target for some much needed jeans. They fit nicely around my tummy, with room to grow, but they're still kind of big around my hips. That's saying something. Up until I met these pants, I was convinced the only thing wider than my hips was a yellow school bus. The long way. But I guess these pants were bigger, and I think that's what's so endearing about them.
Charles bought a new book (ok, I bought it for him) about pregnancy for dads-to-be. I like it alot. It's always telling him to rub lotion on my tummy or do my chores for me. And telling him that it's ok for me to cry if I want, although I don't believe I have since we found out we were with child. He even diagnosed this pain I've been having in my left side, right next to the baby. It's round ligament pain, he says, and he's supposed to make sure I don't make any sudden movements because that's what causes the ligaments to stretch and hurt. I could get used to this. I just wish they wrote books like this for non-pregnant women. I don't want this to end just because I give birth, you know.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hello, food? It's me, Molly.

I'm baaaaaack! I feel like I'm finally myself again. I love food again, and I have at least enough energy to get me through a workday. For my whole first trimester, I slept through my lunch breaks because food was gross and sleep was good. It still is good, but so is food again.
I had my first real craving today, I think. At least my first weird one. Mashed potatoes, mixed with peas, on whole wheat toast. Sorry to anyone reading this who's still in their first trimester, but it was soooooo satisfying. Charles, who hates peas, was happy for me, but still a little grossed out.
And I think I might be showing today. I'm a little excited about it, but also feeling kind of like I wish I could put it off for a while longer. I know I'm gonna be really sick of my belly by the end. Charles is happy for me that I'm excited, but I think also a little grossed out. He'll be sick of my belly by the end, too, I'm sure.
Tonight he went out and bought me a turkey to cook, because we can never get enough of turkey leftovers. And rye bread. I forgot all about thawing it, so I'm gonna be done cooking it around one in the morning, but that turkey is calling me.
It's good to be back.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The End of Life as We Know It

I've begun a new blog, so feel free to check it out.
I'm pregnant, and I'm so pumped about it. And we're finally telling people! We had our first appointment this week, and we heard the heartbeat. It was cute, if you can say that about a heartbeat. Just to show everyone how naiive I am, I almost got teary when I heard my heartbeat, thinking it was Tiny Campbell's. But his/hers turned out to be much cuter.
Charles is reading this over my shoulder, and he said, "Oh, yeah. Sometimes I forget that we don't really know the gender yet. I just assume it's a boy." Funny, I just assumed it's a girl. Any wagers, out there? Do we have any friends of the wagering persuasion? I'm not talking money, just head shaving or something cool like that.
Anyway, we're thrilled to announce that as of May 31, 2009, we will be parents. If we get lucky and I deliver by my due date, anyway.

Here's the new blog address:


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shame on me

I went to Taco Bell tonight. And I liked it. Remember that time in my life when I lived on Taco Bell because I didn't have a car, and didn't have the time to bus all the way to Walmart to get real food?
There was a guy who worked there named Dave, and he was kind of a vagrant. He just went from town to town getting odd jobs until he was either fired or he got bored and decided to move on to a new town. Somehow he ended up in Provo, working my night shift. One time I mentioned to him as we were all cleaning up after work that I'd only eaten Taco Bell for the past two weeks. I guess he assumed it was because I couldn't afford to buy food, because he later pulled me aside and said that when he'd first gotten to Provo he'd been so taken care of by "the Mormons" that he would never stand by and let one of them go hungry. He tried to give me a ten dollar bill, but I explained that I was getting by just fine, but I never had any time to shop during store business hours! But I was really touched at his generosity. Especially because he could be a very manly, sometimes crude/brash man. But he was a really good man. I have no idea where he is, because he got bored with Provo soon after this incident. But I have no doubt that he still eats Taco Bell food.
And apparently, so do I.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm weening, I'm weening! It's a race!

I'm the official winner of the Campbell family Who-Can-Keep-Their-Fish-Alive-Longer contest! This afternoon when we came home from church, Charlemaigne was looking a little under the weather in his little tank. Upon further inspection, he was found to be dead.
Of course we'll still need to get Brian's test results back and make sure he's not on any illegal steroids, but it looks like I've tentatively got a blue ribbon for my blue little finned friend.
In other news, I got to start my new calling today in the enrichment committee. This may sound a little foreign to all my LDS readers out there, but I've never really served on a committee. So far so good, though. I get to head up a relief society book club! I can see myself really getting into this. I need to pick a book by next Sunday though, because I need to announce the selection in Relief Society. I'm already trying to figure out what refreshments would be awesome enough that people will appreciate them, but not so awesome that they distract from the awesome literature. How about some humble pie? Nah.
Also, I'm sure you will all be happy to know that we greeted the snow this morning by turning on some good old fashioned Meppen-style Christmas music. Doc Severinson and the Tonight Show Band. Charles played his imaginary trumpet along to the CD, and it was joyous.
And I'll have you know, by the time I woke up from my after church nap, Charles had already made (and eaten) dinner, cleaned up the living room for the home teacher, and gotten rid of the snow for me. Maybe he had a little help with that last one, but he's taking the credit, so there you have it.
Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm so excited for Christmas with a new and improved and enlarged Campbell family. I'm sure Brian will be thrilled, if I can keep him alive long enough.

Friday, October 10, 2008

ho hum

So, I'm sorry I haven't been a ery prolific poster lately. I've just been so tired! I'm sleeping ok, but my dreams are filled with medical charts that all need five referals. I've never seen one that needed so many in real life, but when I'm asleep they all come out of nowhere.
I also had a weird dream that I discovered some long lost Scottish grandparents. They ran a boarding school, and all the students thought of them as their own grandparents. That was a actually a very good dream, but it's in the minority right now.
Everytime I start a new job, I do this. I always stress myself out trying to make sure I don't get fired right away, because I still remember how much I hate job-hunting. But this is a little ridiculous.
In happier news, I've stopped needing sleeping aids to get any sleep! I'm able to fall asleep within twenty minutes (sometimes even much less) of going to bed, and that's something I haven't been able to say for years! I'm loving this two bedroom thing.
Ok, so I've got to head back to work after my lunch, but thanks for reading about my sleeping habits. It's very flattering.
Maybe I'll post something interesting eventually, who knows!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Officially old as dirt

Today, Charles went completely out of his way to woo me, because he just likes to keep me on my toes. He brought me a midnight milky way and a gatorade rain (flavor of the week) while I was at work. The girls thought that was adorable (so did I).He got a haircut, but he only got a trim, so I still get to play with his rebelliously long hair. Har. He created a playlist on my ipod so we could listen to only Molly-style music when he took me on a date tonight. And then, to top it off, he went and bought me some fudge. With toffee bits and caramel.
But by the time I got home from work we were both so exhausted that we chilled on the couch and decided to turn in early so we could be awake through (most of) conference this weekend.
I think that makes us officially old and boring.
But the fudge was still really good.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thinking Pink!

Sorry folks... just me being me. And the shrimp thing is so over. Now I'm on to pb&j. Make that PB&J!! I never do things in moderation, apparently. Charles tells me I'm always obsessed with something.
And today it's scrubs. I love that my new job (Susu's dad's office) has me wearing scrubs everyday! I need to find some cute ones, though, because I only have two pairs, and the laundry's getting a little silly.
I wear hot pink ones, btw. Thought you could all be a little happy for me on that front! Even if I'm not announcing a baby.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I hate seafood. Can anyone explain to me my sudden obsession with Cafe Rio shrimp tacos? Beuller?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm it.

Six random things about me, courtesy of me.
1. Forks are my favorite. Spoons are not. But I do like wooden spoons for cooking. I hate those Chinese soup spoons that don't really fit in your mouth. I prefer a straw.
2. I LOVE the sound of my washer and dryer. Sometimes I have to move to the couch at night so I can hear them, and fall asleep.
3. I have cravings like thirteen pregnant women combined. It can get ugly. Tonight it was cream corn at 11:30 pm, and Charles was thanking his lucky stars that Walmart carries it. I've been known to crave sushi, duck a'l'orange (never had it), goose (he offered to shoot me one, and that almost killed the craving...almost.), lamb (not to be found in Utah County. I've checked.), mashed potatoes, toast, Cafe Rio, pumpkin pue, and lobster (I HATE seafood.)
4. I've resolved every year for the past, oh, decade, to give up Diet Coke. It just tastes so good, though. And it's diet, so sue me. I will be making resolutions worth keeping this year.
5. I have no will power. Self-control? What's that? I have to trick myself into getting up on time, because sleeping in is my second best friend. After Charles. But sometimes tied with him.
6. I have yet to go to bed today. Ok, I've actually tried twice, but it doesn't seem to be sticking. Tonight as I was snuggled between Charles and Wilson, Charles asked me if I liked being sandwiched between two boys. I said I was completely happy being an open-faced sandwich, but that this was better. I rethunk that when I had to sneak out of bed without waking either of them up. Ok, without waking Charles up. I got a few angry comments from Wilson, but he's just a baby and still learning his manners.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Remember that time

that I said I'd post pictures of our babies so you could all see them? Well, I lied, because they're all dead. And yes, they were goldfish. And yes, I know they're like, impossible to keep alive, but come on. We tried so hard. We sang them songs, and talked to them, and carried them from room to room with us so they wouldn't be lonely. Nobody has ever loved a fish so bad.
So, of course I'm trying to talk Charles into a more substantial pet, but I have yet to get him to agree to so much as a guinea pig. Snake yes, pig no. Where's the logic in that? We've already had scaley pets and they're dead. I think we shouldn't push our luck with them. So, what I really need all our readers to do is call Charles' phone tomorrow and push the baby dachshund idea. Preferably before the adoption event at Petsmart at 1 pm tomorrow. I'm counting on you, people. Help Charles see the light.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's that time of year again!

Job hunting time. The time of year when I am glued to the computer, and my phone is always in my hand or my lap, so I know when it vibrates. I've sent out roughly a trazillion applications, and so far I've had only one interview. Which seemed to go pretty well, but I haven't heard back from them, and tomorrow's the last day that I would expect to. So keep me in your prayers if you don't mind!
So since I've been looking at sooo many opportunities lately, I've come up with a list of priorities so I can narrow down the search a little. Here they are, for your reading entertainment.
1. the ability to work from home if I want, but not if I don't want.
2. the right to wear scrubs, whether I decide to work from home or not. Hot pink scrubs, to be exact.
3. a six figure salary. I'm being modest, but a little scrimping never hurt anyone.
4. a personal assistant who will talk to any mean people for me. S/he will be paid handsomely, of course, and will therefore become a valuable friend.
5. I want to be the boss, but I don't want to make the decisions.

I don't see why I'm having such a hard time finding a job, but at least it's teaching me a little humility.

In other news, Charles is back to school. And already he wants to pull his hair out. He'd pull out his professors' hair, but they're all bald. I'm so proud of him for working hard and pushing through.
Our new apartment is still making me giddy. When I lay in bed at night, waiting to fall asleep, and the AC suddenly kicks on to lull me into dreamland, I sometimes giggle. I'm already sleeping much better. Who knew air conditioning was the cure to insomnia? Well, air conditioning coupled with the "no-books-or-computers-or-unrestful-objects-or-stuff-in-the-bedroom rule." Works wonders.
I made a beautiful cake. Chocolate fudge with chocolate frosting. The filling is orange marmalade, and I candied some orange slices for decoration. It was so pretty, I've had a hard time eating it. But I will prevail.
My new car is my second best friend after Charles. Well, currently tied with Charles, to be precise. Her name is Ruby Eleanor, and she's a '92 Mazda 323. Red. We're currently looking into how to put ladybug spot on her without permanently disfiguring her. I think magnets are the way to go.
And last but far from least, Charles and I are very happy to announce that we are adding to our family of two. We're upgrading to a family of five, with three new babies. Their names are Reba, Oscar, and Simon, and there will be pictures to post soon. We're new to this parenting thing, so we're pretty tired and all. But I swear we'll post some forthwith! Feel free to stop by in the meantime and get to know them personally.
Thanks for stopping by! Stay classy, Provo/Orem area!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

another one!

McKenna's one word tag
1. Where is your cell phone?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carryon
2. Your significant other? . . . . . . . .. .. . . . .cuddlesome
3. Your hair? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . meh
4. Your mother? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Мать Героиня
5. Your father? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dedicated
6. Your favorite thing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . underwear
7. Your dream last night? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lunar
8. Your favorite drink? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dietcokewithlime
9. Your dream/goal? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . novel
10. The room you're in? . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . .multipurpose
11. Your hobby? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . chef-ing
12. Your fear? . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dentists
13. Where do you want to be in six years? . . . . . Jamaica
14. Where were you last night? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . playground
15. What you're not? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . brave
16. Muffins? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . chocolate
17. One of your wish list items? . . . . . . . . . . . . job
18. Where you grew up? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . around
19. The last thing you did? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . shower
20. What are you wearing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeans
21. Your tv? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . olympic
22. Your pets? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hypoallergenic (as in, they are imaginary.)
23. Your computer? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .friendly
24. Your life? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .blurry
25. Your mood? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .frantic
26. Missing someone? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . mom
27. Your car? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . used
28. Something you're not wearing? . . . . . . . . . . shoes
29. Favorite store? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . gap
30. Your summer? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Russian
31. Like someone? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . charliebear
32. Your favorite color? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ballerina
33. When was the last time you laughed?. . . . . . . recently
34. Last time you cried? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May
35. Who will do this? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . everyone
I tag the former and current Meppen ladies.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

wheels up party, anyone?

Well, tomorrow's our last day in Russia, and it's really too bad, because we just found THE COOLEST swing in a nearby playground. And we're going back in the morning to make a video of ourselves on it, because it is that cool.
Charles has this theory that the playgrounds in Russia are created with a purely Darwinian theme in mind. Survival of the fittest kid. The one who doesn't knock his own head off on a playground swing (like the aforementioned) is the one who survives to maturity and the rest... well, they had it coming.
There was this swing in Turkmenistan that was actually created for just this purpose. They would light a fire underneath it, and pile their kids on it, and if their kids fell into the fire, that kid wasn't meant to grow old.
you'll see what I'm talking about when we post the video. For now, I hope you're satisfied knowing that we lived through it tonight, and we're coming home tomorrow!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

During the Olympics?

So, we found out this morning that Russia has declared war on Georgia. It shouldn't be a problem as far as being deported or losing our visas or anything. We're leaving on Thursday, anyway. I'm just a little shocked that we didn't even know for a few days, because we haven't had internet and we don't watch tv here.
Rather, we thought we didn't have internet. At least, we didn't pay for internet for August, so it should have been cut off on the first of August. So we've been eating a lot of McDonalds, and checking our email and stuff every night at McDonald's. Tonight when we were watching the Olympics, however, we realized that Russia had declared war, and since we didn't want to go to McDonald's on a Sunday, we plugged in the internet cord just to see what would happen. And we've had internet all along. Duh.
So, we've had a nice relaxing sabbath afternoon, applying for jobs and checking the news. I have now applied to approximately a zillion jobs. No offers yet. No interviews, even. Maybe I was overly optimistic when I started this search. I'm applying for everything I'm qualified for. I even applied for a cooking job for a women's shelter. I'd actually really like to get that one, except that it's part time, so I'd need to find a job that would let me have funky hours for the rest of the time. Not likely.
Anyway, if any of you Utah people hear of any receptionist, editing, writing, cooking, whatever jobs, let me know! I want to work!

Friday, August 8, 2008

no place like home

Just a quick note for our moms and fans. We're home safe, and we're well rested and happy and healthy. And we have an apartment to come home to, and from the sounds of it, it's awesome. Only four more days in Russia. Tomorrow's our last shot at the market!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My favorite thing about Russia:

ST. PETERSBURG. I love it here.

Moscow's ok. It's a little scarier than I thought it would be, and lots dirtier. But St. Petersburg is so relaxed and peaceful, even in the crowded places. It's just cleaner, slower, and friendlier. I love it here.

We arrived at 8 this morning, and then walked all of a block from the train station to our hotel. It was a very good night's rest. I recommend traveling by train at night! So comfy. We were supposed to be sharing a compartment with two other people, but we got the handicap compartment instead, so we had it all to ourselves. We were totally spoiled. Trains are much quieter than planes, and the attendants don't wake you up every twenty minutes to ask if you want three potato chips or a half sip of coke.
This looks so Hogwarts Express to me. I couldn't help but yell out "Alohamora!" at our door. But it wasn't locked, so who knows if it would have worked.

We were a little worried about our hotel, because it was a last minute deal, and it's cheaper than the hostel where our friends are staying, but I don't know why it's so cheap. It's so nice. Free wireless, a real bed (the first we've slept on this summer) and a whole living room and bathroom to ourselves. I didn't realize how tired we were of living with someone else until we got here and we could adjust the temperature (nice and chilly.) and walk around in our underwear and take a nap in the middle of the day and go outside without a coat.

Speaking of coats, it's chilly here. It feels like Yellowstone in the summer, but it's at sea level. It's really nice. I. love. st. petersburg.

So, we got to our hotel, and they told us to drop off our bags until checkin time, and we went out for some hot chocolate for breakfast. There's a coffee house right across the street from our hotel, so we got fresh squeezed orange juice, hot chocolate, and some croissantwiches. It was a little early for me to be alive and I was a little jealous of all the coffee drinkers, but it was nice and warm and relaxed in there, so we hung out there until checkin time.

Then we took a little nap, and then met up with our friends for food. We went to a brewery, which was a little silly for us, because the only "beer" we ordered was nonalcoholic. The waitress didn't seem too impressed with us. But I wasn't impressed by her either. Her shirt kept popping open when she reached across our table to take our plates. How embarrassing for her. Anyway, Charles and I had some pretty good soups, and I was jealous that his came with sour cream, but mine was already cream of mushroom, so I guess I had enough cream.

Then Charles and I took a short "night tour" around the center of town, following the map the hotel gave us. I. love. st. petersburg.

It's so pretty here. And they have canals all over the place because they use the river as transportation too. It reminds me of Venice, but not so dirty. It was funny that we were technically taking a night tour, but the sun stayed up for us. All of these pictures were taken around ten pm, and the sky was gorgeous. That's something I've really appreciated about Russia this summer. The sky is so...huge. It's vast. I don't know why it doesn't look this big in Utah. The mountains? Anyway, I love the sky here the most. These pictures don't do it justice.

So, now we're just taking it easy for the night. Charles is taking a bath in our (personal! very own!) jetted tub, and I'm blogging in our (personal! very own!) bed. I. love. st. petersburg.
And Dad, this is for you. I thought you'd get a kick out of it.

Oh, and tomorrow we're going to the ballet. And yes I'm giddy about it!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Importance of Appearing Earnest

So, this week we're taking off to St. Petersburg! As Charles put it this morning, "You realize that if we go to St. Petersburg, I'll have seen all there is to see in Russia, and we may never come back?" I think I'm willing to take that risk. Although I do find it a little disconcerting that the guidebook we're using takes care to warn travelers not to linger under unstable, child-size icicles. Since we are traveling in the month of August, though, I think we'll be ok.
Our train (yes, train!) leaves at midnight tonight, and I've been packing and repacking all afternoon. I even ironed my shorts. But then I thought that was silly and crumpled them up again. Ok, I didn't even iron them to begin with, but that would have been very silly of me, eh?
I just have to say that I love the idea of traveling through the night by train. It's very victorian sounding to me, and I shall be sure to drink loads of (herbal) tea and remember to follow Maggie's example: "Pinkiezh up, ladiezh!"

(for those of you who care to know, we'll be back in Moscow on Friday morning, and we're traveling with another mormon family, and we'll be sure to remember who we are. That's for you, mom.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

insomnia sleeps for no man...or woman.

I wonder how many of my blog posts have been written during the wee hours of mornings because I haven't been able to fall asleep? I'm willing to bet at least half, if you include the ones from my first blog. This one is read more frequently by family members, so I try not to post anything that would alarm my mother, and it seems that I have my most alarming thoughts in wee hours. So I try not to post here without a good night's sleep.

Obviously, this is an exception.

I've been online looking at job prospects and housing prospects, and I have to say, things are looking much better for me as a college graduate than they did when I got married two years ago. I'm sending out resumes right and left. And up and down. I'm only worried that I'll miss deadlines, because I'm sending them out for job listings right now, but I'm not getting back until late August. And I've found some very charming looking apartments, but I know from experience that apartments look much different in real life than they look on And I hate finding good ones and then having to wait until night time to call about them, so I'm not waking home owners in wee hours. But I'm up anyway, so I might as well.

The cool thing about insomnia is that I have dirt on everyone I've ever shared a room with. People do strange things in their sleep. I love collecting quotes in wee hours. Here are some of my favorites:

"GOLLYGEEWILLIKERS!" (this was shouted, nay, screamed. It was alarming, to say the least.)

"Please pass the chicken salt." (as opposed to the turkey salt?)

and my all time favorite:

"We were going to storm the castle, but Mika was already there!"
That's what happens when you fall asleep with headphones on, I guess.
Sweet dreams to all our readers.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh good laugh, there was sing.

Such a poetic line, from "Suessical the Musical." At least, that's what I thought the line was. And I was so jealous that somebody else had thought it up before I did. I didn't know what it meant, but it sounded so cool to me. Then Cecily told me that the real line was "Oh, could that fella sing."
I am just that cool.
Charles had a similar experience as a teenager when he mistook the words "dangerous liason" for "dangerously hazel." He felt silly for telling me my eyes were dangerously hazel, because, he admitted, he'd heard that phrase in a song and thought it was cool. But he really didn't. He made it up all by himself, and it still makes me feel giddy. Teehee.
He is just that cool.

Thank goodness for fuzzy speakers and bad listening skills.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Dangerous Pasttime

Yesterday Charles' professor was in town to check up on everyone's internships and host family situations and everything. He took us all out to dinner (including the wives, which I thought was very nice) and asked us for stories and for recommendations for the future. Everyone had a lot in insight to share, and I thought the professor was pretty good at taking it all in stride, and not becoming defensive, as I think this program is kind of his baby.

After dinner, on the ride home, I started making a mental list of the things I've learned over here. I've learned more about myself, my marriage, my husband, and my parents than I think I've actually learned about Russia, but I think that's to be expected.

I've learned that I'm more of a scaredy-cat than I thought I was, but that I can learn to be brave. I just have to force myself to try new things, and fix problems as they come up, instead of trying to think of any possible dilemma and solving it before it before it happens. Chances are, it won't even happen, and if it does, I'm not actually more prepared for it by worrying about it beforehand.

I've learned that my husband is more patient than even I give him credit for. I knew when I married him that he was very easy to get along with, and very difficult to offend, but I'm learning that those are very greivous understatements. I'm continually impressed by how much he looks out for me, and how much he doesn't mind translating and explaining things. Especially advertisements in the metros. They always look so intriguing, and it's frustrating not to know what they're about. He went out of his way to find the website for one of the more interesting ads, and translate and explain it to me. That was when we both realized that we were looking at an ad for yeast infection medicine. It claims to work in just one day.

I've learned that I didn't give my parents enough credit. In my childish ignorance, I always interpreted moving as their way of punishing us kids for making good friends quickly. I never stopped to think that they were leaving friends, too, and that it hurt them to see us say our good byes. I never thought about my mom showing up in relief society as "the new kid" that I always resented being, and never thought about having to be the new kid with six of her own new kids. And I never had any sympathy for my dad, because he was always very optimistic and upbeat about our moves, so I just figured he was never sad to leave places that we loved. But now I'm realizing that was just so stupid of me. I don't know how my parents did it, but I'm in awe.

Sitting on the metro, thinking all of these thoughts, and having so many new and sudden insights into my own life, I naturally wanted to share them with my best friend. So I looked over to see if he was still awake, and this is what I found:

He had gotten his tongue stuck in his water bottle. What a cute little boy I married.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Alright, alright.

So, Starla tagged me, and said that if I wish to remain friends with her, I would complete her tag.
Six random facts about me.
1. I love thunderstorms. Especially summer thunderstorms. Just wild about thunderstorms.
2. My favorite color this year is ballerina pink. Hasn't been pink since I was like, two. My favorite color changes about once a year.
3. I tend to obsess. My obsessions change about every three or four months. I won't tell you what my current obsession is, but my most recent one was buying a puppy.
4. I collect jokers from packs of playing cards. I have them from all over the world! I haven't found one here, yet, but I will. If you go on a trip, bring me a pack of cards! I'll pay you back.
5. I have recently rediscovered a love for strawberry yoghurt. Don't worry, mom. I only buy refridgerated brands that I recognize, like Yoplait and Activia.
6. I don't really like to eat meat in foreign countries. It's very scaredy-cat of me, and I'm sure the bugs I might get wouldn't be that bad, but I still can't really bring myself to do it.
7. I hate nickels and I don't like to use spoons unless I have to. Charles and I have this really old, banged up, and ugly nickel that we keep in a ring box, and we pass it back and forth in silly ways. Charles has custody of it currently, and there's no telling where it will end up. He found it in his pillow case the other night when he smacked his head down on it too fast. haha. It's called "the dirty nickel."
I hereby tag Alistor, Leam, Alicia, Candace, Gwen, and Rufus.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pregnant Lady Duty

So, Mike and Sarah had some exciting news when they got to our house last week. They're having a baby in November! Charles and I were actually pretty relieved to hear this, because as their tour guides, it meant we would now be moving the pace of a pregnant woman. We could take it easier, we thought. Nope. We have now learned that a pregnant woman's pace is about two hundred miles per hour more than our usual pace. Those two have lots of energy. We do not.

We started things off on the wrong foot by picking them up at the wrong airport. Rather, Charles got to the wrong airport, and began to suspect something was wrong because their flight wasn't listed on the incoming flights. Meanwhile, Mike and Sarah found an internet cafe in their airport, and I was able to let them know to stay put, because Charles had figured out his mistake and was on his way. If anyone else wants to come visit us, I promise we'll go to the right airport this time.

We gave Mike and Sarah our bed, and we moved our bedding to the balcony. That was a very smart move at first, because it's the coolest place in the apartment at night. But then the sun comes up at 4:00 am, and changes everything. It's a really good view, though! This is the sunrise from our balcony.

The next morning we headed to Red Square, of course! That's where you have to start when you come here, I've decided. St. Basil's Cathedral, right outside the Kremlin and Lenin's Tomb.

Russia's National History Museum, which was closed while we were there, but still really cool to look at. It's made all of brick, even with all the intricate designs on the outside.

The Kremlin wall. We got to go inside and see all the churches, and one of them even had the Romanov's pew in it and stuff.

The fanciest shopping mall I've ever seen. We couldn't afford to buy gum there. But we could afford to use the "toilet," which is where the rest of the story begins. While we were at Red Square, Sarah started having some pain in her kidney, and was worried that her kidney infection was back. We took her home, called her doctor, and bought the antibioitics they told us to buy. Russian pharmacies don't require prescriptions for anything. It's kind of weird. Especially since you can't just self medicate with antibiotics. But we weren't, because we were following Sarah's doctor's instructions. Meanwhile, we started having to carry toilet paper with us, and make sure to find bathrooms in every place we visited, because a pregnant woman with a kidney infection= a tour of Russia's bathrooms. This is how the tour started to look:This is the boys reading their map books outside the lady's room in the Pushkin art museum. If I'd known how attached they were going to get to these books, I'd have taken over touring duties. These boys loved those map books. We were sitting in the middle of a really cool art museum, and they both had their noses in their books. Silly boys. However, Mike's sense of direction was pretty obvious. He was helping us figure out what metro exits we needed to take by the end of the trip. He's got me beat. Pretty good for someone who doesn't even read Cyrillic!

This is the Russian Orthodox Temple, which we took Mike and Sarah to. Charles couldn't go inside because he wore shorts that day, but he's seen it several times, so he sat outside and read his map book while I took them inside. I love that temple. It's really cool. It's got a museum in the bottom that shows exhibits about how the temple was built, and stuff. It was destroyed during communism, and when Stalin tried to build a giant statue of Lenin there, they discovered that nothing could be built on the foundation. Not even a one story house. The water table was too high, or something. So they turned it into the world's largest public swimming pool, and called it good. Then in 1995 the government decided to rebuild the temple, and strangely enough, didn't encounter any problems with the foundation. Mike didn't seem too impressed, though.

Eventually Sarah's pain became very severe, and we ended up rushing her to the American hospital on the other side of town at two in the morning, where we were told that she could only take tylenol and continue taking her antibiotics. And they upped her dosage of antibiotics. They told us to watch her over the course of the day, and if she worsened or didn't improve, to bring her back, and she'd have an ultrasound. We got her home, and put her to bed, but could not get her comfortable. She was in an unreal amount of pain. I was afraid it was early labor or something, because I've never seen anyone in that much pain when they weren't about to deliver a baby. So we took her back in, and this time they were able to tell us that she not only had a kidney infection, but a kidney stone. So, I wasn't too far off. I've heard kidney stones can be compared to labor, anyway.

Charles and I took off to get some food for all of us while they were busy with doctors, and found a really good shashlik place pretty close to the hospital. There was a tree growing in the middle of the restaurant, but nobody else seemed to notice it. It was raining buckets outside, so it was nice to get inside and smell good shashlik smells. We remembered at that point that we hadn't eaten or slept since dinner the night before, and it was now close to bedtime again!

They wanted to check her into a women's hospital for a week, but Sarah would have none of it. They upped her dosage, and gave her extra strength tylenol (remind me never to have any kind of pain while I'm pregnant. Tylenol is a joke.) and sent her home for some rest. Mike wanted to get her on a plane the next morning, but Sarah told him that she was not going home until we took her to the market we'd been telling her so much about. Oops. The antibiotics and Tylenol seemed to be doing their job, though, so we agreed to take her if she promised to take it easy. She loved the market so much that we went back the next day, and I just have to tell you that Charles is going to get a really cool Christmas present this year! But I won't tell you what it is. We did get some really cool mittens, a faberge egg, and a wooden santa that I've been wanting to buy since I saw it weeks ago at the market. I LOVE my santa! Mike and Sarah left yesterday morning, and we took the rest of the day to just chillax and recuperate from an exhausting week!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

been tagged.

20 years ago:
1. I hated Disney movies that didn't have enough color variety, like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella and Sword in the Stone. I hated "real people movies." If they weren't cartoon, I'd have none of it.
2. I called Nesquik "bunny juice." My family still calls it that.
3. I loved when my dresses twirled with me. My mom made a lot of my clothes, and she was good with twirly dresses.

10 years ago:
1. I lived in Turkmenistan.
2. I dreamed of being a famous filmstar.
3. I became the first female student body president in my school.
4. I hated dresses. All dresses, all the time.
5. I wrote poetry.

5 years ago:
1. I moved into DT and met all the girls I'd be living with for the next few years.
2. I had a crush on a guy in my German class.
3. I was stalked by a weirdo in my ward.
4. I realized that I didn't really want to be a filmstar, or even be in the film industry at all. That was quite a shock, and I spent the next five years wondering what I wanted to be.
5. Started my first blog. Quite ahead of the times, eh?

3 years ago:
1. I figured out what I wanted to be, and changed my major, but I didn't tell anyone what it was. I wanted to keep it a secret so it would still be fun to me.
2. Found out that Cecily had the same secret major, and blabbed my secret. We took classes together for the rest of our collegiate careers.
3. I was working at Taco Bell, and dating a sourpuss of a Texan.
4. Broke up with the sourpuss, and spent the summer managing Taco Bell Nights.
5. Met that Campbell kid, and had my last first date!

1 year ago:
1. Went to school all summer, and got burnt out.
2. Went to school in the fall, anyway.
3. Read Like Water for Chocolate and realized my calling in life.
4. Celebrated my first wedding anniversary with Charles! But not my first anniversary, because we celebrate every month that we're together, and we'd been dating for two years by then.
5. Was working for Public Policy as the secretary.

This year:
1. Finally became an editor! And I loved it!
2. Got really really really extremely ridiculously puppy hungry.
3. Learned how to make creme brulee, and learned how not to make creme brulee.
4. Graduated with Cecily!
5. Moved to Russia with my husband, like grown ups do!

1. Stayed awake for over 24 hours, because my insomnia has struck again.
2. Went to the dentist that Charles went to on his mission, to get my tooth fixed.
3. Got my tooth fixed.
4. Broke my tooth again, on bread, again.
5. Took half of Charles' sleeping pill before bed last night.

1. Woke up 18 hours after the sleeping pill, and wondered why Charles hadn't woken me up. Oh. Because he couldn't.
2. Realized I was having an allergic reaction to something (sleeping pill is the main suspect) and took some benedryl. My rash went away and my breathing returned to normal about ten minutes afterward!
3. Went to Ikea for some sheets, because we realized that we didn't have enough for Mike and Sarah when they get here. That was the fastest Ikea trip of my life, because I didn't have time to sit in all the couches or admire the pink kitchen. But I did find the most adorable (and freaking cheap!!) sheets. I am in love.
4. Ate the most delicious orange I have ever tasted. And then ate a delicious banana.
5. Waiting at home for the pizza delivery guy that Charles called, because we figured Mike and Sarah would probably like something quick and easy for dinner. And I'm waiting for Charles to bring them home, too!

1. We will take Mike and Sarah to some cool historical sites, like the Kremlin.
2. We will take Mike and Sarah to the delicious pastry shop in Chinatown that I posted pictures of before.
3. We will let Mike and Sarah take a nap if they need one because of the jetlag.
4. We will probably take a nap if they do.
5. We will have a fun night out on the town.

Next year:
1. Charles will graduate with his Master's in Public Policy.
2. I will have a full-time job somewhere between Springville and Salt Lake, hopefully doing something related to my degree.
3. We will have a puppy. Albeit a hypoallergenic one.
4. Charles will take the Foreign Service entrance exam.
5. We will all pray and fast that he gets in, or finds something else he can be happy doing, or both.

I tag Lyle, Suzette, and Elmer.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

make me. I dare you times infinity.

So, you may have noticed that I'm currently experiencing a slight writer's block. And at 4 this morning when I was telling myself that I had to write something because that's what I do, I realized that my writer's block probably stems from my baker's block.
In fact, yesterday, when we got home from church and broke our fast with reheated double cheeseburgers from Mcdonalds, Charles remarked that we had gotten as low as it gets as far as dinner goes. I had to agree, although we both concluded that the reheated burgers tasted more American than the fresh ones. Charles was sick, unfortunately, so we had to turn down two lovely dinner propositions with members of our branch, because he really needed to get to bed before school today. I promised him I would make him the most amazing food when we get home to America, but I just have no inspiration or energy to cook here. And there are so many good places to eat here that it'd be a waste not to. It actually ends up being cheaper eating out, too, ironically.
But I really do have great plans for when we get home and I have my fancy nonstick pots and pans, and reliable ingredients and measuring cups that I can comprehend. I found this thing called the Daring Bakers online.
I am so joining in September. You've got to check out some of their blogs. It's an entire network of food bloggers, and I am delighted that such a thing exists. When I started my senior thesis class last fall (a feast of foodways: food in literature), I was a little skeptical that we'd be able to find enough to discuss, much less write our senior papers on. That's when I met and fell in love with the foodways movement. So much food writing! And I've discovered my calling.
Sorry if this is boring to you, but it was thrilling to me, and I'm the boss of this blog. If you want me to write something else, you'll have to make me. I stick my tongue in your general direction.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Since I know you were all so worried about our tummies being empty, I wanted to let you know that I have found something cheap and easy and Russian that I like to eat. Pyroshky. I haven't tried any of the meat-filled ones yet (pigs will fly the day I do) but I like the ones with fruit inside. And the ones with mashed potatoes. Strangely delicious.

So, we did all kinds of fun things this week, and we had so many opportunities for good pictures, but we keep forgetting to charge our camera batteries! So you'll just have to trust me when I say that I saw Tolstoy's winter home, and it was very cool. Apparently he didn't normally live in Moscow, but when his older kids started going to university in Moscow, he had this home built so he could move the whole family out during the school year, and they could all still be together. I'm planning to suggest this to my parents, so anyone who's reading this from Utah, can you look around for a place for my family? I know they miss me terribly, but they absolutely pine for Charles.
Since we don't have any pictures of our own to post this week, I'm going to leave you with this one because it's really funny. Watch out for Maggie's evil eye, and don't tell Lizzy that life vest makes her look fat, because I'm pretty sure that's what she's already telling my mom as she took the picture.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


We're in a food rut. I'm usually a pretty good cook, according to the people I've fed. But I seem to botch everything I try here. Charles eats it anyway, because he's hungry and because it doesn't bother him that things never taste the same here. But I'm very sensitive to how much my food tastes like it's supposed to, and how much it doesn't. Remember that mac and cheese we bought when we first got here? I kept it in our little cupboard for weeks, as a backup to every meal I planned. It was really good to have around, because I was certain that if we were just dying for a taste of home, we could make that in ten minutes and feel American again.
We finally hit that point, and we made the mac and cheese, and it tasted funny. But it didn't make me laugh. I feel very out of my element here, because I am a feeder. I live to feed people, and I love making food that people love. Here, even my mac and cheese and my brownies from a box taste weird, and it makes me want to avoid the kitchen. Which I do, now. We eat a lot of pizza. A lot of pizza. I desperately want to make a meal that both of us can enjoy, and I'm totally out of ideas and inspiration. And I'm kind of homesick.
Ok, a lot homesick.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm IT

I've been tagged. Six random facts about me...
1. I have a titanium tooth. I can bite through anything. Except bread, apparently.
2. My favorite punctuation mark is the period. Followed closely by the semicolon. You may think they are the most boring ones, but they are not; they can be used to quite comical effect when used correctly and respectfully.
3. I shave my legs everyday.
4. If I can't sleep, I get up and change my clothes. Underwear especially. I don't know why, but it sometimes really helps.
5. I am allergic to the sun, even though I love the sun so much! If I get too much sun, I break out in a VERY itchy rash, like hives.
6. I can eat a dozen glazed original Krispie Kreme donuts in one sitting. Most of me is not proud of that, but part of me is.

And just for fun, six random facts about Charles!

1. He likes watching golf on TV.
2. He has seen President Putin in person (on Easter). He has seen President Bush in person (in Lithuania).
3. He does not like hot fudge on his ice cream, because if his ice cream melts even a little bit before he eats it, he won't eat it at all.
4. He is a news junkie. He regularly reads six newspapers everyday. He also reads Scientific American, Christian Science Monitor, and the Financial Times everyday. He also listens to NPR everyday. How he accomplishes anything else is beyond me. But his accomplishments are prolific, so I don't have an issue with his papers!
5. He likes to climb trees.
6. He doesn't like pickles. He doesn't like to eat things that have been close proximity to pickles. He doesn't like living in apartments where other people eat pickles, or where other people regulary pickle things for no apparent reason. He does like garlic and basil and oregano and he thinks he would like to try saffron someday. He likes paprika and pumpernikel. He doesn't like too much cilantro on his food. These are a few of his favorite things. He likes redvines and firecrackers and fireworks are his favorite and the fourth of July is his very favorite holiday. He enjoys 19th century French literature. He thinks platinum is a very pretty color. He believes in art. He believes my face is a work of art. He also believes that the past fifty years have trivialized the art that is music. He believes that good music is still made today, but that most people don't appreciate good music. Too many people say that they are music lovers when in fact music is just a backdrop in their lives, not a main event. He loves Papa John's. He has many leatherbound books. His apartment smells of rich mahogany. He is done with this speech.

I asked him for some random facts, and this is what I got. He was interesting to listen to, once he got started, so I just let him dictate. So my seventh fact is that I am a good typist.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Phone Number

We set up an internet phone number so anybody can call us and talk to us without having to pay long distance to Russia. Our new number is (801)542-9891. Feel free to call us, we would love to hear from you. Just remember that we are 10 hours ahead of Utah time. If we don't answer, leave us a message!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Independence Day

Yesterday was Russia's Independence Day. At least, that's what they called it when Charles was here seven years ago. (Man, my husband is old. He was leaving on his mission as I went on my first date.) But eventually enough people pointed out that they were technically celebrating independence from themselves, so now it's just called Russia Day.

Charles and I decided to head into town to see all the action, and we had the best night ever! We got Mcdonald's for dinner, which was very nice. I don't eat Mcdonald's very often in America, but every now and then it's very comforting to me here in Russia. The funny thing about ordering a double cheeseburger without onions or pickles here is that it's considered unusual. As soon as we order it, the cashier runs from the cash register to the back to tell them to get ready, because she's got a special order coming. So when she gets back to the cash register, and Charles tells her he wants a double cheeseburger with no pickles, onions, ketchup, or mustard, she nearly fainted. Having worked in fast food, I know it's not as big a deal as they make of it, so sometimes I like to watch them gape at our orders.

After dinner, we started walking around downtown, looking for a good fireworks show. Charles told me they'd be happening all over the city, so we just wanted to find a comfy spot to watch from. And as we were walking down into the Metro to head to the university, there was a really amazing show right in front of us. I got some of it on video, because it was really spectacular. Unfortunately, it doesn't look as cool on our camera, so just take my word for it.

If the fireworks weren't cool enough, it was also snowing!Not really. But there was cotton blowing around in the air from all the cottonwood trees, and when we walked out of the Metro station Charles nearly threw a hissy fit until he discovered that it wasn't actually snowing. He made the funniest face! He howled in rage for a second, and then realized that it was still plenty warm and he got happy again. The sound was something like "WHAAAAAAT-hey! It's still summer!" Anyway, it was kind of cool, so we got some pictures and videos of the "snow" so you could see what we were talking about.

We were still really having a good time, and weren't ready to go home, so we decided to get dessert somewhere. We found the coolest little confectioner's shop and decided to stop in. It was all dark wood and peacock blue and magenta and turquoise, with tiffany lampshades above the tables, and some of the tables were pulled up to the window seats, which were full of cushions and pillows and silky blankets and stuff. It was the sort of place I would want to take a Jane Austen novel and curl up in forever. I am so in love with this place. And it did my heart good to know that it existed. Charles ordered a hot chocolate and an apple custard tart thing, and I ordered fresh squeezed apple juice (I'm so serious.) and chocolate mousse. We probably looked ridiculous, just ordering dessert, and then taking pictures of our dessert, and then I hate to think what we looked like actually eating the dessert, because it was so good! Charles' apple thing was a tart on the bottom, with kind of a pie crust outer layer, and apple slices with spices inside, and the top was a custard thing with caramelized sugar on top. From just looking at it, you couldn't tell where the tart started and the custard ended, which I thought was really clever. You don't bake custards and tarts at the same temperature, so from all I can figure out they had to put the two together after they were baked, so how did they make it so beautiful? The chocolate mousse I ordered was divine. As in, it was made by heavenly hands. It had a slight orangey taste, like maybe there was a little bit of orange zest mixed in. And it was so light and airy. Oh my gosh.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Part of my world

Back by popular demand, pictures of Russia.First off, we have the demonic duo: the scary looking bear and rabbit team who greets us every morning. Say goodbye to them, because they're being moved into a box on our balcony for the duration of our stay. No offense, Valya.
Second, we have our friendly neighborhood power plant. When I told Cecily I thought I'd be grateful for even a four-legged child after all the weird places Charles and I have lived, she said, "Well, the easiest thing to do is to line all of your clothes with lead." That's why she's my best friend.

We recently found a little pizzeria on the other side of the building behind ours, and we quite like it. The waitress recognizes us when we walk in, and knows automatically that Charles will have a Coke and I'll have a Fanta. The first time we went there, she complimented Charles on his Russian after she heard us speaking English and realized that he was actually American. That made me very proud!
They don't have American style pizza; they have more Italian style pizza, and it's good. Very thin crust and sweet tomato sauce. I really want to try their pork chops next. They're pretty cheap, and they haven't made us sick yet, so we're very optimistic! They're such a cute little family that runs the place.
This car says "Sputnik" on it in Cyrillic if you look closely. Makes me laugh everytime I see it. Charles just finished reading a very interesting book about the space race and the cold war. It was called Red Moon Rising. Sounds pretty funny, from what he's told me about it.
There are all these aluminum storage units around the apartment buildings here, and they almost all have murals on them. Some of them have summer scenes and some of them have winter scenes. I personally would want a summer scene so that I can have a bit of summer during the long, cold, dark, Russian winters. I always long for summer, but I detest winter at all times. Everyone always seems to talk about how dark Russian winters are, because they hardly get any sunlight at all here during the winters. But nobody told me to expect so much sunlight during the summer! The sun goes down around midnight, and it comes up around four or five am. I'm loving all the sunshine! Sometimes it makes me grumpy to be woken up so early, but it's really nice to go for late walks with Charles while the sun is still up.
There is a really nice playground right outside our building. Actually, all the buildings around here have big playgrounds. This is a newer area, and it's pretty spread out, so I don't know if this is the norm, but it's cool! The sad thing is, the baboushkas are still bundling the babies so warmly that I'm always afraid they're going to overheat! It's JUNE for crying out loud! It makes me kind of mad, but I've never seen any of them faint or anything.

This picture has a better view of our building. We're the big skyscraper behind the playground. On the other side of the playground there's an auto repair place. I wonder if that's why we hear car alarms all hours of the day. It's just background noise to us now, so we don't really notice it except at four am when it's the only sound!

Charles and I are feeling tons better, minus a migraine this morning, so we're going to be out and about more, and you can expect more pictures soon! We'll leave you with our beautiful self-portaits from when we went to dinner the other night. Don't be jealous of our beauty. Some get brains, some get talent, some get beauty, and some get it all. What can I say?

Thursday, June 5, 2008


This is one of my favorite pictures from Emile's wedding. It's so us.


So, for anyone who didn't know, Charles' birthday was on the 22nd. We didn't have internet access at the time, but I'd like to create a retroactive post on his behalf. Happy Birthday, Charles! Charles wanted to go to TGI Friday's for his birthday, and luckily he remembered where it was! All these years later. Anyone else think that's admirable? I really do mean all these years later. He's pretty old, now. He's 26 now.
So in honor of Charles turning so incredibly old, I decided to make a list of 26 things I love about him. You don't have to read them, because they might be mushy, but you might learn some things about him, too. Oh, and these aren't in order of importance. Remember that when you read the first one.
1. His tiny toes. Charles has hobbit toes. He doesn't really like them, but I hope our kids inherit them.
2. His sense of humor. That guy is hilarious. I really just married him for the free entertainment.
3. His crazy dreams. When we were dating, I couldn't wait to see him first thing in the morning and hear all about his adventures the night before. He still has mission dreams and river guiding dreams. I think he's dreamt about us being called on missions like three or four times since we've been together.
4. His sense of style. I love the way he dresses. And I love that my favorite shirts of his are his favorites, too. And he has such a good eye. I prefer to send him shopping for clothes for me, because he tends to pick better clothes than I do.
5. He is a good boy. He really wants to do what's right. I know he will always encourage me to get my lazy butt out of bed even when we have 9:00 church, and he's always been ready to give me a blessing when I've needed one.
6. He wets his toothbrush before and after he put toothpaste on it.
7. He challenges me to learn and do new things. Like Russia.
8. His sweet tooth. That boy loves his chocolate. I never have to convince him that it's time for a Ben&Jerry's run.
9. His smell. He likes to be clean and to smell good, and he does a really good job of it.
10. He does the laundry. I don't think we ever meant for it to be his chore, but it's kind of become his thing, and I'm very grateful for the times he's done all the laundry.
11. He's good at math and science. He's willing to cover all the math and science homework issues our kids will eventually have, and he's willing to let me have the language arts and art projects. And he doesn't make fun of my pathetic attempts at math.
12. He's sweet to his mom and my mom.
13. He likes to analyze movies with me when they're over.
14. He cuddles me whenever I want. He even reaches for me in his sleep.
15. He's such a good cook. Especially when it comes to grilling, but also when it comes to breads.
16. His laughs. He has a few, but they're all contagious!
17. He likes to learn.
18. He likes excuses to take homework breaks.
19. He really really really encouraged me to finish school even though I really really really didn't want to at times.
20. He's good with money. He's smart about our finances, luckily.
21. He thinks raw onions are yucky.
22. He is a summer man. He lives for summer.
23. He can name songs from the first beats. Every song, every time. This man has two external hard drives just to hold all his music.
24. He plays the bass.
25. He has profound respect for women. Even when he doesn't understand us.
26. His belly button and his earlobes. They're just funny.

These aren't the only things I love about him. As I was making this list, I came up with dozens more things to love about him, so Charles, you're going to have to live a VERY long time to get the whole list. I love you, CharlesCampbell!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Save it for a rainy day

Today's a rainy day, and Charles stayed home sick. He caught my version of the plague, unfortunately. This is him on our balcony, next to our laundry that somehow manages to dry amidst all this humidity. Luckily, last night before we went to bed we went on a candy run and bought all kinds of different chocolate. So we're well stocked for a rainy day. We also have my homemade potato soup in the fridge, and the ingredients for my homemade tomato soup. Too bad Charles eventually has to go back to work, because we're having a lovely day laying around and fighting internal battles against our germs.
So, Charles decided on his internship, and he's going to be working for a capitol investment firm. There aren't very many in Russia, because they're just now redeveloping an upper class who has capitol to invest. This particular firm has only been in business for about six months. It's more than doubled its funds since then, so they seem to be doing pretty well. Charles' job there is to research various commodities and services to invest in. He may even be doing some pitches to companies when he finishes researching. It's very exciting to him, and the job's pretty much tailored just to him. He may even be paid to fly to America a few times! He actually won't be speaking too much Russian, which ironically is a selling point for him. He wanted to spend time in Moscow, but he wasn't as thrilled with the Russian speaking aspect as the rest of the people who are in his program. They're all Russian majors, and he's a public policy major.

For now, though, we're just trying to survive this evil bug, and having internet in our house is helping alot!

Oh, I forgot to mention that we don't have any hot water yet. Most of Moscow doesn't have hot water right now, actually. Apartment buildings don't have their own water heaters here, because the city heats water and pumps it directly into the buildings from central heating plants. That means you never run out of hot water, except for during the summer when they shut down the plants for maintainence and stuff. Then you don't have water for anywhere from two weeks to a month! Luckily, we're in a very new area, and all of our pipes are very up to date, so it's just two weeks for us. And it turns back on tomorrow, thank goodness! Charles has been heating up water for me in the mornings for my shower, because Valya has this electric teapot thing that heats your water to boiling in less than two minutes. I heat water for him, too. We take turns doing it. A couple teapotfulls is good for a semi-cleansing shower, but I always use the actual shower head with cold water for my hair, because I need that water pressure to get all the shampoo out of my hair. Shaving is a nightmare. I can't wait for my hot shower tomorrow!