Sunday, June 29, 2008

Anatomy of a S'more

Really there's only one reason to go camping--the s'more. For those s'more challenged folks out there, here are 4 easy steps you can take to make your camping experience much more enjoyable. Remember to follow each of the 4 steps carefully or else you'll just end up botching the whole thing up.

STEP 1: The campfire

You can't make a good s'more without the right campfire. After you've started up your campfire, you can't just jump right into making the s'mores. You've gotta be a little patient, let the fire marinate for a little while until the coals are glowing just right.

STEP 2: The mallow roast

Again, the trick here is patience. Once you have your mallow on its roaster, suspend it over the coals, slowly rotate it with care, and wait until the mallow is lightly browned.

STEP 3: The mallow transfer

Okay, this may very well be the most crucial step. Be sure that you have an acceptable wingman before attempting to execute the mallow transfer. You have to be quick, you have to be precise...Oh man, I'm getting a bit nervous just thinking about it. If you botch this step up, the whole s'more will be ruined. Once your mallow is sufficiently browned, have your wingman close by and ready with the grahams and bed of chocolate. As you can see, Melanie's an expert at the mallow transfer. Study the pictures, learn from her.

STEP 4: Mmmmm, s'mores

Once you've successfully completed the mallow transfer, you're ready to eat your s'more and enjoy the rest of your camping experience. Follow these 4 steps, and your camping buddies will look at you with awe and envy, not unlike the way Luke is looking at Melanie in the photo above.

Melanie and Luke...I told those two to take it easy with the mallows, but they didn't listen...just a couple of crazy kids.

Luke's variations on the traditional s'more. Genius.

Here are pics of the hike we went on. We hiked up to the wind caves in Logan Canyon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I got to hang out with Maya the other night. This girl's full of personality. Even with Cheetos powder on her face, she's still the cutest little girl in the whole world. Here, I have evidence...

Saying cheez for the camera

Maya, right after finding out that a brand new episode of Sponge Bob was about to come on. Maya is SB's #1 fan.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Foo

I'm getting really excited for the Foo Fighters concert in Denver coming up in a few weeks. This band has been my favorite since high school. I can't get enough of Dave Grohl. I've been to several of their concerts, and they never let me down. Check out this video for Long Road to Ruin. Pretty funny.


Thank goodness for journals. I've been writing in a journal since I was six years old. Well I should say that I was very faithful about writing in my journal from age 6 to about age 22, then I pretty much stopped. So thank goodness for blogging, 'cause it has got me back in the habit of recording my thoughts every week. I love looking at old journal entries, old photos, and old family videos. Being able to look back on things that you've written and thought about in years past is so invaluable. Looking through old journal entries sometimes helps me to remember old lessons learned, old dreams that I once had and have since forgotten but probably shouldn't have, old memories of little things that my friends and family have done for me that seem like really big things now. I'm so sentimental. I get it from my dad I think. Remembering old stuff has always been really important to me. Forgetting just seems like such a sad alternative.

Here are four of my old journal entries, spanning from 1986 to 1989. We moved to Panama in 1986 and moved back to the states in 1989. These early entries always crack me up.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Here's to the best dad a girl could ever hope for. I know I could tell Phil anything, even the really crummy stuff, and he would still think I was awesome. Here's to the best dad ever. Happy Father's Day!

Dad with me, Matt, Melinda, Baby Melanie, and Maria. 1987.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Did You Hear About Big Brown?

The Belmont Stakes horse race got me thinking yesterday. I'm not in the habit of watching horse races, but this particular one caught my attention. This race became a pretty big deal after a horse called Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes race, making him the first "Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing" hopeful in like 30 years or something. So people were pretty excited about it, and many were hoping that Big Brown would take Belmont and make history. It seemed as though Big Brown was sure to win. He had been bred to win. You could track his pedigree back years and years and find some of the most successful and celebrated race horses in history. But get this, Big Brown didn't win. He not only failed to win, but he came in last. Big Brown finished in 9th, becoming the first Triple Crown hopeful to finish in last place at Belmont.

So the race got me thinking, and I started to mess with my bottom lip. I tend to mess with my bottom lip whenever I start thinking about something for an extended period of time or whenever I'm in the middle of taking an exam or whenever I'm studying some complicated passage in a book. I don't know, it just seems to help me think. So as I was messing with my bottom lip during the aftermath of the upset, listening to the tv commentators break apart the race in an attempt to figure out what went wrong with Big Brown, I couldn't help but think about all the people who were really let down over Big Brown's loss. How many hundreds of people were pulling for this horse? How many thousands? I mean, this was a big race with a lot of money on the line. I found myself feeling pretty disappointed about the result, and I didn't even have any money on the race. I listened as the media unleashed their people to try and track down the reason behind Big Brown's disappointing finish. Everyone kept on saying, "There has to be a good reason behind this," or "There must be something terribly wrong with the horse," or "Big Brown just isn't the type of horse to foul up this bad, so there must be some type of injury involved." Everyone was convinced there was something wrong with the horse. Well it turns out that there was absolutely nothing physically wrong with Big Brown. After several medical exams, doctors reported that Big Brown was perfectly healthy. The horse just wasn't into the race. He just didn't wanna do it. So what that thousands of his adoring fans were rooting for him. The horse was oblivious to the fact that so many were desperately hoping that he would do well, hoping that he would win the race. All Big Brown wanted to do was go back to the stable and relax. It was hot out on the race track, record high temps for the day. Big Brown just didn't wanna race. There were so many people watching that race who were very sad and disappointed that this horse simply didn't care much about doing well at Belmont. So as I thought about this, I thought about the people who may be pulling for me? I mean, besides the usual suspects, Ruth and Phil. Those two are my biggest fans. My Grandma Fern seems to think I'm pretty cool too. But besides my family and friends who are here with me now, are there people that I'm not even aware of who may be rooting for me? How about people who have passed away or people that haven't come into my life yet or people that I've never met? To give you an idea of where I'm going with this let me tell you that I believe that I was supposed to be born into the family that I'm a part of now. So I believe that before I was born, I was a huge supporter of Ruth and Phil long before they even were thinking about having kids. I believe that I've been pulling for my mom and dad all along. So I think that there are people who aren't here with me yet but who really want me to succeed and do the best job that I'm capable of doing. These people aren't even here yet, but their lives will be effected by what type of effort I'm putting forth now. I used to be somewhat of an existentialist. 'Ya know, the type of person that thinks there is nothing they could do that would possibly have any true effect on another person. The type of person that believes their bad choices will only really hurt themselves and not anyone else. In other words, whenever I would do something stupid, I would take solace in the thought that I was only hurting myself. Well I've come to know that our individual actions have the potential to impact a lot of people. Even people we don't realize are cheering for us. I don't know, it makes me think about how I could make a better effort. How I could put more work into trying to finish towards the head of the pack instead of being okay with slowing down halfway through. I can just imagine a room full of people up in heaven somewhere, watching me go through the motions of life, hoping that I won't screw up and do something really stupid, cheering me on so I'll try to do my best. Who knew a horse race would get me thinking about existentialism? Not I.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Happy Happy Birthday Birthday!!

Happy Birthday to my big sister, Melinda! Thanks for always looking out for me. I love you. I wish I could go see a movie with you tonight.

And Happy Birthday to my little sister, Maria! I love you, Maria. Thanks for being such a good example for me. Hey, here's evidence that you once had a grand time camping with me. I think you should give it another try.