Friday, January 28, 2011

The end of (some kind of) an era.

Last Sunday as Micah was picking up one of the young men from our ward to go to church, our old friend, a 1989 Honda Accord, finally decided to give us more problems than we were willing to pay for. Basically the brakes went out. Thankfully, not in the middle of a freeway or busy road. You’ll have to ask Micah as to how exactly he managed to get the car back to our house…it’s all rather difficult to describe. Nevertheless, we had to walk to church from there and had to decide to quit trying to save this car and just get a new one.

We have fond memories of this old car. I’m actually laughing right now as I am writing this, because almost all events surrounding this car are slightly ridiculous and pretty comical. For all the years that we have had it, there have remained certain old possessions in the glove compartment that belonged to his great-grandpa (from whom Micah inherited it) – old sunglasses, matches, pictures of grandchildren, some, uh, feminine hygiene (???) among other things. We never felt the need to dispose of these things, because the glove compartment wouldn’t even stay shut on it’s own; we had to wedge a piece of paper to keep it from flying open at every turn.

I’m just glad Micah got rid of the stuffed body he made for Halloween last year. The plastic skull remains in the trunk, however.

When I met Micah in Provo, this car had already been giving him issues. I remember, before we even started dating, having to help him push the car to start because the battery was dead. This would usually happen in the dead of winter, but sometimes in spring, and continued to be this way even after we moved to Chicago. It was all just part of having the car, as it seemed. Then we finally got a new car battery.

For a good long time last year, I was able to easily tell when Micah was driving home from the hospital because we had no muffler. The car was so loud that people would look at us on the street. Now after getting it replaced, I feel oddly inconspicuous.

As bad of a car it was, I felt so attached to it, especially after coming home from my mission and knowing it was still there, and still a part of Micah. When I came to visit him to see him after 18 months of being apart, there was the blue Honda Accord to pick me up at the airport. It was wonderful to see it again.

Now we have no idea what we are going to do with this car if we manage to get a good deal on a new one, but it served its purpose well. I won’t lie and say I don’t get attached to certain things that contain sentimental value. But I know the value won’t be lost if we sell it/give it/throw it/ away. I can part with things, as long as my memory serves me well. 

Pictures to come soon.

(P.S. Okay okay, the feminine hygiene was Micah’s, because he likes to be prepared. Also, he is a weirdo.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011



Ukrainians don’t know how lucky they are.

Sister Pack, I owe you my life.

Being 25, and a recipe

Micah reminded me that my Birthday this year was much better than last year's. I suppose that’s basically true, since I didn’t spend a good percentage of it in the hospital. That was fun in it’s own special way.

Bananagrams, friends, Rock band, and red velvet cake. If you look closely, it looks like somebody tried to make the cake look store-bought. That was me. It was worth a shot anyways.


And just like any responsible 25 year old, I received video games.


Anyone up for some Super Smash Brothers? Cooking Mama? Beatles Rock band???? Hmm, maybe I should have asked for office supplies…


Nothing is better than a little lemon clam pasta on your birthday! Micah is king! He made dinner and hosted a little party for me. Ten points to Gryffindor!


And our plants are surviving the winter (somewhat)! For those of you who care.

And because I like you all so much (and because many of the links I posted are recipes) you get a tasty recipe! I don’t know if I have sung my praises to this book yet:


We simply worship America’s test kitchen, and take their advice on practically everything. Once in a while we catch the Cook’s Country show on T.V. and just eat it up (Pun?!). We recently made their pesto, and were so pleased with how FAST and delicious it was. It makes enough for one pound of pasta, and is done in 15 minutes.



3 garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 cups packed fresh basil

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds, toasted

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fresh parsely (optional)

Salt and pepper


1. Toast the garlic in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and spotty brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer the garlic to a plate and let cool before peeling.

2. Process the peeled garlic, basil, oil, nuts, Parmesan, and parsley (if using) in a blender or food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. When tossing the pesto with pasta, add some of the pasta cooking water as needed to loosen the consistency of the pesto. (We made it with homemade noodles, which were moist enough to balance out the pesto nicely.)


To toast a small amount of nuts or seeds, put them in a dry skillet over medium heat. Simple shake the skillet occasionally to prevent scorching and toast until they are lightly browned and fragrant, 3-8 minutes. Watch the nuts closely because they can go from golden to burnt very quickly.

We loved how the flavor of the garlic was present, but not overwhelming, due to the fact that you toast it before processing. It made for a nutty yet flavorful taste. My kind of meal!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Christmas isn’t over yet.

Hey, I’m not being delusional. It’s just the way the stars aligned for me. I’m one of the lucky ones who was born not too far and not too soon after Christmas. One month after, exactly. Meaning, when the holidays are over, I still have something to look forward to (PRESENTS!!!). Groundhogs Day in February is also awesome. So sorry to rub it in your faces. I love this time of year.

This month has been particularly rewarding, since Micah is not currently on a rotation and we get to hang out all the time! Don’t think we’re getting sick of each other and need to find something to distract us, because we’re enjoying the heckers out of it.

At the beginning of the month, after finally returning home from our travels, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry (again! We will never get tired of that place) to see the Christmas tree display before it went down. It was really amazing that they had a tree representing almost every country in the world. Here I am with the one representing Ukraine:


I wanted to take home some of the ornaments:


The tree from Japan was so awesome! It was decorated entirely from origami.




The tree representing Germany reminded me a lot of the Christmas tree at my house…


…because there was a GOLDEN SANTA!


I half expected to see an ornament with a picture of Santa putting a kid in his bag…


(The above ornament is pretty famous at my house.)

There was even a tree for Thailand, oddly enough. They don’t really celebrate Christmas there, but oh well! Christmas around the world!


The museum also had an awesome gingerbread model of the whole museum building with Sesame Street characters!



It is frigidly cold in Chicago now (7 degrees F!!) but our spirits have not been dampened!

(ok, secretly, I’m not always this chipper - I’m actually kindof an emo kid sometimes - but this new present has been keeping us pretty entertained.)



The end.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More stories from our travelingblings, and why you don’t want to be a model.

So we were at the airport a lot these past few months. A LOT. It started to get a bit maddening. During one flight, I was hoping that the stewardess was watching as Micah tried to put two wrong ends of the seatbelt together. I didn’t notice until I heard him struggling next to me.

On a totally unrelated note, while we were in San Diego, I got to do some unexpected work of my own. Near the end of November my mother forwarded me an e-mail from the church talent casting people, looking for returned sister missionaries to model for new materials based on the updated standards (as in, WHY didn’t they just get rid of nylons and mid-calf length skirts a LONG TIME AGO!?) I thought it was a joke that my mom sent it to me. But from what basic qualifications they had, I decided to give it a shot, and sent in some photographs. Then they hired me. It worked out well because Micah had an interview at UCSD the previous day.

The trailer.

So while we were in beautiful San Diego I got to pretend to be a sister missionary again, except in TOTALLY different circumstances from what my mission was like. Sunny, clean streets with the ocean nearby, and my hair done better than I thought was allowed. We took shots of us walking with purses. Eating breakfast at a cafe. Speaking English. The only thing I felt familiar with was getting weird looks from people. But that was because we were doing a photo shoot, not proselytizing. The other weird thing was that they gave me a nametag saying “Sister Bennet” – after a few seconds I realized - I was Elizabeth Bennet.

Me and my “companion” after shooting.

Inside the trailer, with one of the staff.

Overall, I was glad to be paid to help Sister Missionaries find more options when it comes to their wardrobe, but working with people who want everything to look PERFECT is not really very fun. If I put my hair behind my ears, they told me I looked weird. My feet looked awkward under the table, fix that. My companion didn’t know how to hold a fork properly. Don’t smile too big. Don’t look over there. Look HAPPY! Look relaxed. Your HAIR is in your FACE!!

I think they figured it was a compliment enough that we got the job.

So I don’t know when or where these photos will appear, but it might either be on a pamphlet somewhere, or on the church’s website.

And just for being good and reading all that, you get more pictures!

Micah in front of the San Diego temple.

Micah in New York!!

My first slice of New York pizza!

Micah and his new friend at F.A.O. Schwartz.

Micah trying out the quidditch supplies.

Me and a lego Chewbacca.

Micah at the Met.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A church program serves many purposes

I would not be surprised if many of you have used one at some point or another to make an airplane or two, or used it as a way to write a secret note to your sibling while you thought nobody was looking. Micah and I use it for things way beyond that. When I was younger I would make origami figures or draw elaborate things on any piece of program left blank. I still do occasionally. Micah likes to do math problems. This is his idea of fun.

A few months ago, Micah decided to write this:


At that point, we had no idea of ANY “baby that’s coming soon” whatsoever. Obviously, many of the names we are not serious about in the slightest. This is also, apparently, Micah’s idea of fun. I laughed at several of the names. You are free to try and guess which ones we would actually consider, and which were totally facetious.*

*No, we’re not asking for help choosing baby names.