Monday, November 30, 2009


Well, it turns out that I'm in California.  Again.  This surprises me, Kyle, and everyone else, but none more than Christy and Danny!  This week is a huge week in terms of Danny's test results, so good news or bad, I wanted to be here.  Mostly I wanted to make Christy happy and help out as much as I can--plus it's going to be fun!  So I thought about it on Saturday night and ended up driving with Mom and Dad back to CA on Sunday.  We made it in record time because we were so excited to see Christy's face when she saw me. Dad took a couple pictures when I opened the door:

Lucy was at the door first.  She was almost entirely unfazed.  She just stood there with a surprised smile on her face for a while, and then said "Hi!" and ran to hug my mom, who she really missed :)

Christy was on the phone with Katy when she came to the door (we are SO SAD that Katy isn't here too--stupid school) so she didn't completely lose her head bawling.  She was really surprised.  Danny was happy, as you can see.

Once the shock wore off, Christy got excited to plan our week and do fun things.  It's a relief week for Danny which means no chemo and he can have fun with us!

The main reason I can do things like this is that I married someone wonderful.  My whole family is really grateful to Kyle for letting me be here.  It's hard because I practically just got back from a week in California--Kyle and I really miss each other.  For some reason I was way sadder than usual to leave him this time.  But we talked everything out and weighed pros and cons and decided that it was important for me to support my family right now.  He is really understanding.  And cute.  AND he gets major brownie points from everyone, which we'll cash in someday when WE have a sucky trial to get through.

Hopefully on Tuesday we'll find out that Danny doesn't have to do any more cycles of chemo.  Prayers are appreciated!

Friday, November 27, 2009


Dad and I got to Sam's Club at 4 this morning.  It was pretty organized and relaxed (when you compare it to Walmart where people get trampled to death) but still...let's just say that in a Black Friday situation, some people's baser instincts kick in.  People were lying and cheating and displaying a general lack of integrity!  Dad and I both can't help but get really righteously indignant when people cheat.  It's okay though, because we got what we went for!  I can't say what we got because it's Kyle's Christmas present.  Afterwards, Dad and I came down from the adrenaline rush by eating french toast at Ihop. I just had to document my first foray into the world of Black Friday.

Thanksgiving was awesome.  Our food was sooo good and my house looked cute.  The maiden voyage of my fancy dishes went really well!  After lunch, Celia and Eliza came over, along with Nancy and Scott and the kids--for mass quantities of pie.  Celia brought an amazing chocolate fudge pie (which was my favorite), I made a couple PW chocolate pies, and Mom and Katy made a pumpkin pie.  Scott even hand-whipped the whipped cream.  It was basically amazing.

Today--decorating for Christmas, Christmas music, leftovers for lunch, and Park City outlets!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Obligatory (but Sincere) Gratitude Post

Tomorrow will be the first Thanksgiving under my own roof.  Mom and Dad are getting in today and I'm freakishly excited.  We're going to cook the meal together (well Mom, Katy, and I are) (ok maybe not Katy) and it's going to be perfect.  Because it's just the 5 of us, we get to cook the things that are our favorites and not have a million nasty side dishes.  Kyle gets his green bean casserole, Dad gets his sweet potatoes with mini marshmallows (this just enforces the fact that men are weird) and Mom/Katy/I get our nice, normal, delicious food.

This Thanksgiving I have a ton to be grateful for.  I guess I do every Thanksgiving.  Here's the creme de la creme:

1. Modern Medicine

Of course this is a basic one, but this year I have been astounded and immensely grateful for it.  While chemotherapy is in some ways the worst thing in the world, it is also saving Danny's life.  My family talks a lot of smack about chemo, but once in a while we have to stop and remember how amazing it is.  It's amazing that Danny was diagnosed in July and is now cancer-free.  This might be his last cycle of chemo--we're all praying for it.  We're fasting for it on Nov. 29th.  Danny overcoming cancer is something to be extremely grateful for, and I'm so happy that modern medicine can help him achieve that.  And HE should be grateful that he looks so good bald.

2. My New House

Kyle and I absolutely love our new house.  We know we did the right thing by moving to Springville (even though it's sad to be far from California).  I feel good about our neighborhood and our ward.  We are still in awe of our cute condo.  It's so pretty!

4. Our Family

Family is such a freaking big deal.  I'm excited that mine has grown, as I've joined the Vaughn family.  It's so fun to get to know them and know that I belong to them too now!  And as the Andersons have gone through trauma this year, we've grown even stronger and closer.  I'm incredibly grateful for the blessings that having a big loving family brings.  This week, my Vaughn parents and my Anderson parents will even get to hang out together for a little while!  That hasn't happened since...the wedding?

5. Kyle

Love of my freaking life. What can I say more?  Kyle has changed me and my life in incredible ways.  I love him like crazy, and I love our life together.  Knowing that we're going to be in love forever and be freakishly happy is...peaceful. And mind-blowing.

Also...he's FREAKING HOT.

Ok! Time to do laundry and clean the house before Mom shows up!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MY New Moon Thoughts

Book: Edward
Movie: JACOB. So much it's ridiculous.

When reading the Twilight  books, I love Edward.  I like Jacob, and I feel bad for the guy, but obviously Edward is the TRUE love. But once I saw New Moon, I was totally surprised by how easily I was won over to the Jacob camp.  I thought New Moon was better than the first, and I'm pretty sure it's because Edward is only in a small amount of it and Jacob is really the star.  This movie really enforced the whole Bella/Edward psychotic unhealthy relationship dealio that didn't bug me in the books, but drives me insane in the movies.  They're so awkard, have no communication skills, don't even have visible fun together, and the whole time Bella is down on herself for being a pathetic human who has no right to be with someone like Edward.  But JACOB.  Sweet Jacob.  He is so warm and fun.  He is way less tortured.  They could actually have a "normal" life together.  And he's way more attractive!  When he pleads for Bella to stay with him instead of going to Italy, I looked over at Katy and she had tears in her eyes!  (Sorry, Katy, if you wanted to keep that on the DL).  I thought his little chin was going to start quivering.  He somehow made me care--and think that Bella is a total moron for going with Edward.  (And for forgiving him so quickly and easily for treating her like shiz.)

I was really surprised that I thought Taylor Lautner did a good job.  I mean, of course I'll always love R-Patz (if only because I love to make fun of him...and I love the GFY posts about him..and I love calling him R-Patz with Katy and Jessica because it's hysterical, although occasionally I throw another Z in there because I like R-Patzz even better) but I don't actually think he's a good actor...or even does that well in these movies.  He looks the part sometimes (not when he's all furrowed or tortured) and for some reason, I accept him as Edward.  But Taylor Lautner made me love Jacob.  That was unforeseen.  I watched Taylor Lautner on Conan last night and he was just adorable.  I mean, he just seemed like a kid who was kind of nervous, loving publicity (but not in a d-bag way), and got a kick out of Conan.  He laughed like a total dork.

Anyways.  I liked New Moon.  Saw it twice (but that wasn't my fault, Katy made me go with her, but I admit I was excited to see it again).  

Really?  My favorite guy in these movies is Charlie.  But I think I might have...a problem.  So ignore that statement.

Tortured.  Know-it-all.

Spends a lot of time smiling. Way more believable love/relationship.

Is there something wrong with me?

Monday, November 23, 2009


I'm home!  Utah greeted me warmly--that is, with no snow.  I am eternally grateful.  It snowed the next day, but WHATEVER.  Kyle picked me up at the airport, along with Council Bluffs and Emily.  We headed straight to Star of India, a really great Indian restaurant in Salt Lake City.  We had a great time--even though we got a parking ticket.  Oh well.  After we got home, Kyle got to show off the cool things he's done around the house while I was gone.  He's so great!  He worked hard and the house looks GREAT.  There are a couple things I need to take pictures of and post, but my camera needs to charge.  Oh man including the COUCH.  It is here and it is BEAUTIFUL.  I love it.  I used to love going out and doing stuff and being busy, but now I'm so obsessed with my house that I hate leaving it.  I would rather just sit here and bask in the glory of my home. It's so cozy and comfy and pretty.  And being back with Kyle again makes me so happy.  He got a haircut and looks adorable!  He's just so cute and fun to be around.  I missed him a lot.

The ONLY problem (other than the weather) is that I miss Lucy.  I uploaded pictures today and it didn't help.

Snow White in a bookstore. She wore this in the Disney store at the mall and the other little girls went wild.

Christy (and Lucy) makes AMAZING waffles.

A Sleeping Beauty dress too! The girl is spoiled.

Uh oh.  This is what happens when you don't let her take pictures too.

Yep, she's full-blown sad now.

I LOVE when Lucy gets sad. She looks all mopey and walks to the nearest surface where she can lay down her head.  If we're lucky, she does a Jasmine/Cinderella/every other princess-esque heaving shoulders cry. Then you ask "Lucy, what's wrong?" and she says "I so sad.  Becca {or any other offender} say no."  Sometimes she does this even if I say no to wanting a pear or cracker.  She hates no.

She's pretty easy to cheer up though.  Especially if you have a good book.

I talked to Lucy and Mom on the phone today.  Mom says that Lucy talks about me a lot and anytime they go somewhere new (church, Mom's school) she thinks that I'll be there.  Poor baby!  Poor me!  I miss her like crazy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lucy, SYTYCD, New Moon, and I miss Kyle.

Hey!  I'm still in California.  I'm having such a good time!  I get to wake up at 6:30 every morning to spend time with my baby.  (It's totally helping my sleeping schedule get back to normal.)  Lucy makes life so fun.  I have a constant stream of Princess songs going through my head and we dance ALL THE TIME.  Check out her majesty:

One of our dancing sessions turned into giving "elephant rides" (ouch) and then turned into "tackle Becca."

How cute is Lucy's outfit? I want to dress like her.

We have been able to hang out plenty.  I'm usually starved for Lucy time, so it's really cool to get all the time with her in the world.  I feel like she's old enough to really know and like me now.  It makes me feel really good when she wants me to do things with her--which is all the time.  She thinks it's so fun when we do/have/like the same things.  I can't believe she's only 2.5 years old--she looks and acts so much older.  I love when she asks to sanitize--she is obsessed with hand sanitizer and cleanliness.  PROBABLY because they have to be so careful about getting sick because of Danny's chemo and current lack of an immune system.  It's just little things that make her seem so old.  We do more than sanitize though.  We dance a lot, and go to parks, and watch Princess movies, and a ton of other stuff.

Christy and I had an amazing time at the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CONCERT!!!! Seriously, I can't imagine having more fun.  We just had so many EMOTIONS.  When they were finally coming out on stage, we freaked out.  It was totally unreal that we were seeing them in real life.  During the best songs, we cried.  I kept smacking Christy because I totally couldn't believe it was actually happening!  The show was amazing--the dancing is so much more impressive live.  Everything is faster and more passionate and AWESOME.  I totally never even cared about dancing until Christy got me into this show, and now I'm obsessed!  Not with dancing--I guess I only really care about dancing in the context of this show.  But still.  Christy and I had one pair of binoculars between us (we had good seats, but with binoculars we could observe facial expressions and drips of sweat) which we shared very nicely and with great civility---but in our favorite songs, there was smacking and rapid exchanges.  It was such an incredible experience.  It's cool because I didn't have to hate any of the really good dancers, because they're not a threat to Jason anymore!  I could just enjoy how freakishly good they are.  Including Jason, of course.  They did dorky introductions to dances and whatnot, so it was really entertaining and funny and we got a feel for their personalities.  We were total geeks and bought tshirts--which I TOTALLY do not regret.  I love my tshirt!  

Tomorrow is going to be a great day.  We have a fun morning planned (Danny doesn't have chemo on Fridays so we can all hang out together!) and then in the afternoon Christy and Mom and I are going to see New Moon!  We can't help but be excited.  I know it will probably be terrible, but it will be terrible in a really fun and entertaining way!  I can't wait.

I'm sad to say goodbye to Christy/Lucy/Danny on Saturday, but I'm so excited to go home and see Kyle again.  And my friends.  And my house.  Kyle has been working on projects to surprise me with when I get home, which is fun.  I really miss him.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Trip thus far

Hey!  California is awesome!  So far: hung out with Lucy (a lot), ate lunch with Grandma Joyce, ate Chinese takeout for dinner with Grandma Kay, went to my home ward, saw The Fourth Kind with Dad, walked in the hills with Mom and Dad and was terrified of mountain lions, ate delicious pork tenderloin, sung a lot of Disney Princess songs, and made cute cupcakes with Mom.

Here are our cupcakes:

Sprinkle hearts, meringue hearts, frosting hearts, and brownie hearts.

The brownie heart is my favorite.  I love it!

Mom is in the Stake Young Women Presidency, and tonight they're having a big fireside about dating--which is the reason for the hearts. And the quantity.

Being home is super fun.  The best part?  I'M OUT OF THE SNOW.  Ok that's not the BEST part but it's great.  I have missed my family like crazy and I'm just really enjoying spending time with them!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tomorrow I am going to California!  I could not be more excited.  The main reason I'm going is to help Christy out--having a husband going through chemotherapy and a 2 year old daughter is rough.  She's a total champion mom/wife/person so she's totally handling it, but it makes me feel good to try to help in any way.  Oh, and "helping Christy" basically means hanging out with Lucy, which immediately translates into "having the time of my life."

I'm also going for the So You Think You Can Dance tour in Sacramento, which I think I've mentioned 8 million times on here.  It is going to be unbelievably fun to go with Christy.  Even aside from the fact that we love the Top 10 from last season, it's just cool to do something fun with just the two of us. I'll take lots of pictures.

Other fun things that I can't wait to experience next week:
--waking up because I hear Lucy (I'm staying at the Leininger's house so I can be readily available for Lucy hangouts)
--giving Lucy the quilt I've been working on (this is the LAST BLANKET I'm giving her, I swear!)
--seeing New Moon with Mom and Christy (YES we are, and we're excited. JUDGE AWAY)
--watching Princess movies a million times, I'm sure
--eating food that my mom has cooked!!!! (Mom, didn't you promise me tamale pie?)
--going on walks in the hills with Dad

My flight leaves early tomorrow morning.  I get to pack today and do the little last minute trip things, like charge my camera and make sure the house is clean so Kyle can enjoy his week alone at home.  I'm pretty sad to leave Kyle (I don't think I'll ever get used to it), but whereas I used to assume that the second we were apart from each other one of us will get killed in a freak accident, now I know that everything will be okay and I'll see him in a week.  I don't love leaving Utah for a week (Katy is sick and I won't be able to help, now I won't see Ashley for 2 weeks, our couch is being delivered tomorrow and I don't get to see it, and I'm missing Celia's birthday!), BUT California is warmer and has all of the above mentioned things to offer.  I'm  really excited.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mostly for Katy, unless you want to be educated on a random subject right now

This probably won't be interesting to most people.  Don't feel bad.  Just don't read it!

My sophomore year at BYU, Katy and I randomly signed up for an Honors Literature class together.  I don't remember why we did--I guess it just sounded cool. It was called "Literature of the Great War." It might be one of the best classes I've ever taken!  There are classes, and there are good classes, and then there are amazing classes that totally open your eyes to a whole genre you've never thought about and then you're obsessed with it.  Katy and I are now WWI junkies--particularly when it comes to WWI poetry.  We could easily be called obsessed.  It was the best class.  Our professor, Brother Means, was a kindred spirit--he's a librarian at the HBLL, happens to be obsessed with WWI (seriously obsessed) and convinced someone to let him teach an honors class on it.  He loved Katy and me because we were so clearly interested and emotionally invested in these poets.  I cried basically once a class period--not to mention over my homework.  It was weird how quickly I loved poets that I had never heard of before.  For our final, Katy and I made a little video of our favorite poems, with Christy and Danny as our AMAZING stars.  It made Mom and Marilyn cry :)  I'm so nostalgic about that video.  Brother Means loved it, of course.

ANYWAYS--today is Armistice Day.  So all day I've been reading and thinking about my WWI poets and my favorite poems.

This is Rupert Brooke.  He was my first WWI love.  Yeats called him "the handsomest young man in England"--which Katy and I definitely agree with.  He died fairly early on in the war.  My favorite Rupert Brooke poem isn't actually war-related, and it's not his most famous--but here it is.

The Wayfarers

Is it the hour? We leave this resting-place
   Made fair by one another for a while.
Now, for a god-speed, one last mad embrace;
   The long road then, unlit by your faint smile.
Ah! the long road! and you so far away!
Oh, I'll remember! but...each crawling day
Will pale a little your scarlet lips, each mile
   Dull the dear pain of your remembered face.

...Do you think there's a far border town, somewhere,
   The desert's edge, last of the lands we know,
      Some gaunt eventual limit of our light,
   In which I'll find you waiting; and we'll go
Together, hand in hand again, out there,
      Into the waste we know not, into the night?

That's been one of my favorite poems for many years.  It can make me cry if I'm in the right mood.

Wilfred Owen is another of my favorites.  A lot of people say that he is the greatest war poet in English history.  He died days before the war ended.  His parents received news of his death ON ARMISTICE DAY.  As the Armistice bells were ringing in victory.  Can you even believe the tragedy?  I love his poems--can't really pick a favorite.  Here are two great ones:


Move him into the sun --
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields half-sown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this now.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds --
Woke once the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear achieved, are sides
Full-nerved, still warm, too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
-- O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?

This next one is probably the most (or second most, after Dulce et Decorum Est) famous poem from the First World War.

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
-- Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, --
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

Last and FOR SURE not least, Siegfried Sassoon.  Siegfried actually lived through the war!!  Yay!!  His poetry turned really bitter and cynical as the war went on.  Poor Siegfried.  I love him.  It is SO HARD to pick my favorite Siegfried poems.  There are seriously a million.

(this one is so sad--and a really good one to memorize several years ago when I was depressed all the time)

When I was young my heart and head were light,
And I was gay and feckless as a colt
Out in the fields, with morning in the may,
Wind on the grass, wings in the orchard bloom.
    O thrilling sweet, my joy, when life was free
    And all the paths led on from hawthorn-time
    Across the carolling meadows into June.

But now my heart is heavy-laden. I sit
Burning my dreams away beside the fire:
For death has made me wise and bitter and strong;
And I am rich in all that I have lost.
    O starshine on the fields of long-ago,
    Bring me the darkness and the nightingale;
    Dim wealds of vanished summer, peace of home,
    And silence; and the faces of my frriends.

I can't tell you how many times Katy and I have recited that to each other--mostly the last part.

I'm posting this one because it's about Armistice Day and it makes me happy:

Everyone Sang

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields, on--on--and out
      of sight.

Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away...O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless, the singing will
      never be done.

There are so many other poets that I love.  Vera Brittain, her fiance Roland Leighton who died in the war, Robert Graves, and others.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Last week

On Wednesday Nancy and I drove to Salt Lake to see Pioneer Woman!  She came to SLC as part of her book signing tour for her new cookbook.  And we love her.  Immensely.  Unfortunately, the tiny little bookstore was PACKED.  We were too late to be able to go in and get our books signed.  BUT she walked right by us (as I was fumbling for my camera).  She and her mother-in-law and sister-in-law (who we also read about and love) had to wait around the back while their agent got some keys, and Nancy and I tentatively stood near them.  There weren't any other people, and we obviously should have gone up to them and at least asked for a picture with PW.  BUT Nancy and I aren't the kind of people who do that!  I was kicking myself afterwards, but oh well.  It's just not our style.  It was so fun to see her in real life so up close.  This is the only picture I got:

At least you can tell it's her?

Afterwards, to make up for not getting our books signed, we stopped by the mall in Sandy to get some ice cream from our friend Julie Blodgett's new ice cream place in the mall.  It was freakishly good!  It was the first time I've had Blue Bell ice cream--and oh man.

It's right by a giant Forever 21, so it's pretty much heaven.  I would definitely recommend Boardwalk Ice Cream to anyone driving through Sandy.

On November 5th, Celia and Ashley and I took Guy Fawkes day to heart.  In keeping with our old tradition of burning things, the 3 of us wrote down things we wanted to do away with (mine included laziness, some old grudges, and spending too much money, among other things) (I liked how Celia burned sleep deprivation) and burned them.   It felt just like old times!

Our little effigies

There go all of my bad qualities, up in smoke.

You have to pose tough when you have ashes on your face.  We're all on the verge of laughing though.

Kyle finally saw Harry Potter 6 on Friday!  Can you believe he's gone so long without knowing what happens in the end?  I almost ruined it for him a million times, but I managed not to blow it.  I just don't know how you can be a human in America and not hear about it.  Before the movie we ate pizza muffins.  After the movie we got Blizzards from Dairy Queen with Katy and Ashley.  After DQ Alan came over we all ate apple pie that Katy made.  I think we were all a bit regretful when we went to sleep that night.

On Saturday, we spent a lot of time and money at Tai-Pan, which is an AMAZING place.  A wholesale home decor warehouse?  COUNT ME IN. Then we went to Ikea and got to buy things for our house.  It was, for some reason, even more fun than usual.  Every little new addition to our house is inexplicably SO EXCITING.  Like, we bought a new utensil drawer divider and it THRILLS me.  I LOVE our new juice pitcher.  New everyday plates and bowls?  OH MAN YES.  This is just getting ridiculous.

A week from today I'll be seeing JASON and the rest of the So You Think You Can Dance top ten!  I really hope Kayla and Kupono do the addiction dance that I'm obsessed with.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sweet Eliza

This afternoon I got to hang out with this sweet thing:

Eliza is so cute!  She just relaxed, looked around, and took a little nap.  She's such an angel.  Katy and I loved watching her while Celia took a little break.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Best Online Shopping Ever

Man.  Today I finally spent a Crate and Barrel gift card that we've been hanging on to for a long time.  I really can't remember a time I've been more satisfied by online shopping--and I LOVE online shopping.  Crate and Barrel just KILLS me.  Everything is so pretty and functional and cool to have.  Anyways, I was amazed at how much I could get with the card.  I thought everything there was freakishly expensive, but it turns out that just MOST of the stuff there is freakishly expensive.

We're going to have a lot coming to us in the next couple weeks:

Butter dish.  We need this.

Large and small gravy boats.  It's my first Thanksgiving at my house this year--we NEED gravy boats.

Pizza wheel--pretty standard.

We've been dying for a stainless steel bread box to go on our counter and match our stainless steel appliances.  I'm SO excited for this.

We really need new salt and pepper shakers, and these were so cute.  They're INKWELLS.  Come on.

A spoon rest!  I think these are the best!

A shaker. I plan on using this for putting cinnamon-sugar on my toast.

A cute little sauce dish.

Condiment spoon to go with the sauce dish.

Sifter spoon for putting powdered sugar on french toast, cookies, cake...

SIX of these adorable footed dessert dishes!  SO COOL.  I can't wait to throw a dessert party.  Maybe I'll make chocolate sauce and put it in the small gravy boat. Eating ice cream out of these will feel so fancy.

Anyways.  This probably isn't the most exciting blog post for everyone, but it sure thrills me.  I can't wait to start getting things in the mail!  We only spent forty-five cents on all of this.  FORTY-FIVE CENTS. Even the SHIPPING was free!